November 29, 2010

Food Storage Items to Shop for in December

My December food storage purchase suggestions include some additional baking goods, cold medicines, and a few paper products. Because your focus is on Christmas shopping, I will keep this list simple. I change items every month to help you rotate food storage purchases so you won't end up with a lopsided food storage supply. Also, I've been following the seasonal sales and tell you the cheapest place to buy certain items.

If you can afford to splurge, December may be a good month to buy an electric wheat grinder/mill. Watch for sales. Mine is an old wooden Magic Mill and I'm not ready to change. But based on a survey from my readers last year, 47% liked L'Equip Nutrimill Grain Mill (retails $290), and 27% liked the WonderMill (retails $280). Right now both are on sale at Amazon.com for $239.95 and the shipping is free! Make sure on check-out that you check the box morked Free Super Saver Shipping. If you click on the ad on the right side of my blog page, and purchase, I will receive credit. Thanks.

Shelf Stable Foods
Baking cocoa (Sam's/Costco)
Spices (Winco refills/Sam's/Costco)
Vanilla (Sam's/Costco/Walmart)
Vegetable oil (48 oz. on sale grocery stores)
Cooking spray (Sam's/Costco)
Marshmallows (on sale)
Nuts (rebag and freeze) (Sam's/Costco)
Crackers (on sale everywhere)
Vitamins (Sam's/Costco/on sale)

Non-Food Items
Trash bags (Sam's/Costco)
Paper bowls (Sam's/Costco)
Cold medicines (Walgreens/Walmart or other drug store)
Cough drops (Walgreens/Walmart or other drug store)

Equipment
Electric wheat grinder (see Amazon.com link on this blog)
Lantern (after Christmas clearance)
Solar shower

Books
"Cooking with Chef Brad: Those Wonderful Grains" (see Amazon.com link on this blog)
"Preparedness Principles" (see Amazon.com link on this blog)

November 20, 2010

Food Storage Ideas from Utah State University Extension

Check out some of these fantastic food storage articles from Utah State University Extension. Learn where to buy products, how to package, storage conditions, nutrition and shelf life. I will add them for reference on the sidebar of my blog:

Wheat - Article tip: "Store containers off the floor-- especially off concrete floors. Concrete can wick moisture to stored containers very easily. "
Canned Goods stored in liquid - Article tip: "Store all canned food in cool, dark, dry space away from furnaces, pipes, and places where temperatures change like un-insulated attics. Do not allow sealed cans or glass jars to freeze. Freezing changes food textures, and leads to rust, bursting cans, and broken seals that may let in harmful bacteria. Always store metal cans off of the floor, especially bare concrete. Moisture can wick up to cans and encourage rusting."
Dry Beans - Article tip: "All dried beans, except lentils and split peas, require soaking in water for rehydration. Typically, 3 cups of water is needed for every 1 cup of dried beans. Allow beans to soak overnight and then rinse them in clean water."
Dried Milk - Article tip: "A U.S.U. study concluded that after 4-yr storage, NFDM samples stored in plastic bags (not Mylar-type) were statistically less acceptable than samples stored in cans."
Sugar - Article tip: "The typical retail paper package for crystal sugars is not suitable for long term storage. Polyethylene bags, Mylar-type bags, food-grade plastic buckets, glass canning jars, and #10 cans are all suitable for dry sugar storage."
White Rice - Article tip: "Depending on personal preference, about 25 to 60 lbs of rice should be stored per person."
Salt, Baking powder, Baking soda, and Yeast - Article tip: "Store salt, baking soda, and yeast packets in their original containers placed inside another stronger packaging. "

November 16, 2010

Acts of Kindness During a Power Outage in Farmington

Driving home from the mall today, I experienced a partial city power outage here in Farmington. There is always something to learn from this type of experience, so I thought I would share.

As I exited the freeway from a shopping trip I noticed that the street light in front of me was not working. I carefully looked before entering the intersection and continued to another light that wasn't working either. It was then that I called 911, however, they said they were already aware of the situation. I continued driving to Smith's grocery store and parked my car. I walked into a store with only backup lights on. I could see that a few registers were still open, but that most were not so I decided to get the two items I needed.

I gathered my package of strawberries from the produce section and then headed to the deli. It was then that all of the lights went out. It was completely dark except for the flashlight that the deli girl had. She calmly asked what I needed and I thought she was kidding. I told her what I wanted, she identified my item with the flashlight and handed me my precooked barbecue-flavored rotisserie chicken. I thanked her and headed in the darkness to the front of the store feeling somewhat vulnerable, hand outstretched. Seeing an elderly woman with a grocery cart put me at ease and we headed to the front of the store. The lights flickered and the backup lights returned. As I reached the checkout line the few of us shoppers began to talk speculating what had happened and how long we would need to wait. Most pleasantly talked, but a few were anxious to move through. However, the registers were not coming on yet.

Knowing my 5-year old daughter was going to be out of school in a few minutes, I decided to go to the service desk and try to pay with cash. Seeing only two dollars in my wallet was not good. I asked if I could pay for just the strawberries. The employee said her register was not working so she couldn't take my money. She then said that I could pay for my items on my next shopping trip. I stared at her incredulously and asked if I could at least give her the two dollars. She said she had seen me in the store before and knew I was a regular shopper. That surprised me because I couldn't remember her name. I tried again to give her the two dollars, but she said that it was not a problem. Still dumbfounded, I thanked her and headed to the door with the strawberries and chicken. You know I will be back at Smith's to shop!

Upon arriving at my daughter's school I entered a dark foyer with limited light coming in from a few windows. Everyone seemed calm about the power outage. I walked down the dark hallway to her classroom, and peered into the room where her Kindergarten teacher was talking calmly to the children on the "carpet." Later my daughter said that when the lights went out her teacher read books to them near the windows. I am grateful for good teachers!

For me the lesson learned is that there are still good people in this world doing good things. These acts of kindness are what make the world a better place. May you each be able to calmly handle emergency situations and do it with kindness.

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