Saturday, November 01, 2008

Yet, more pantry ponderings

It is a gorgeous Indian Summer day here. The menfolk are both working at the bookstore today. Christopher works every Saturday and my hubby gets called in during football season when they think they are going to have a busy day. Those little paychecks help a great deal to cover milk, eggs, and gasoline.

After they left this morning, I looked at Sasha and told her it is one of those "just us girls" days. "We" will bake two pies (because there is no way I could get away with making one for our neighbors and not have another for the guys), try The Pioneer Woman's recipe (linked to in yesterday's post), and bake "something" for Christopher to take to a party this evening.

In the midst of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs... I hope to do some "redecorating by puttering" as I've been in the mood for that this past week.

Having to depend on what I have stocked up brought to mind all kinds of things to share, that which I'm experiencing in real time. Here are some pantry ponderings from the past week to share...

Deepening the pantry was always done by households before refrigeration and the availability of inexpensive food from around the world (remember the Proverbs 31 woman). By doing so now, you are not only saving money in the long run and providing food for your family but you are also quite "vintage"... which can be a very good thing.

I have found through the years that I've developed a pantry mentality. Whenever I saw something on sale that I knew would store well, I stocked up as much as possible given income and space. For instance, I have a large Rubbermaid container filled with dry pastas and bags of noodles, ready for recipes. Did you know dry pastas have a shelf life of at least a year if properly stored?

I find myself all the time thinking of something I wish I'd stocked up on when I had the money. I now have a "wish list" that I keep handy so I can add to the list easily. For instance... vacuum cleaner bags are not found on any Internet "stocking up" list but you will be very happy you have one should you need it (belts, too, if your vacuum requires one).

If I don't write down immediately what I realize would be very important to have on hand, I forget it within minutes. That's why my list is on the side of the refrigerator where I can peruse it when I have the extra funds.

Speaking of lists, I once had an "emergency list" which was inspired by Howard Ruff's book. He wrote about hearing of the Cuban missile crisis on his car radio and finding the nearest phone booth to call his wife and tell her to immediately drive to the grocery store and stock up on necessary food and supplies.

Although the announcement had just been given, the stores were already packed with others thinking the same thing. This is not only the reason he has an entire chapter about keeping a good supply of food and nonfood items at home but also why it is a good idea to have an "emergency list".

This list would include anything you think you should purchase for immediate use in case of emergency (a blizzard watch, hurricane watch, local or national emergency, etc). I don't have one right now but thinking through such a list would be a good idea.

My dear friend in Corpus Christi, Texas keeps a "hurricane list", which is similar to the one above. Only hers also includes items she must remember to take with her when they are forced to evacuate. She did this after evacuating a few years ago and realizing later she'd taken stuff she didn't need and left behind very important items.

I need to take an inventory of what we need for the cold and flu season and stock up on those items when we have the extra funds. I've already written about this in a previous pantry post. This would include items like cold medicine, cough syrup or drops, Vick's, both regular and sugar free lemon lime soda, cans of chicken soup (as well as broth in the freezer when possible), tissues, etc.

Remember, doing a little each time you shop is better than nothing at all. I truly believe we will all be happy we have "stocked up" as much as we feel we should. I can't do very much but some can do a lot. How good it has been for my family to have a pantry so many times and even being able to help friends when we have been more prosperous and they have gone through financial trials. Very little says we love you more than a few bags of groceries given in love!

I'll have more pantry ponderings soon but I must go outside for awhile to enjoy the early morning sun in the forest!

Picture: Grandpa's Pumpkins by Jay Sorenson;


Anonymous said...

Brenda, I love your blog....I am working on "deepening" my pantry", it gets a little challenging as I still have 4 (!) young adults at home...and extra's often for thing that helps me is, as you shared, keep extras on hand of favorites to make simple meals, and I also make meal plans from the sales. What a beautiful day we have today...may we live it fully! Cathy

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

My pantry is going to be deepened again today as I clear out the canned goods cupboard at my dh's place. Now he believes in being well stocked. I'm feeling fairly overwhelmed by it all. I really appreciated knowing that pasta lasts a year. I suppose that "properly packaged" doesn't mean in the original box.

Thanks for the ongoing discussion about being prepared. It all helps.

Susan P. said...

Thank you for sharing all your wisdom on this subject, Brenda. I'll had to admit that this is not something I have done in the past, but you have made me realize the importance of it. I am going to print out all your pantry posts so I can refer to them easily when I need to.

Anonymous said...

Brenda, your pantry ponderings have deepened my pantry and stretched my food budget. I love them!

Anonymous said...

I have two chest freezers that no longer work where I store my bags of wheat berries, rolled oats, salt, and other such supplies. My basement shelfs are full of canned goods and other basics.

I really need to clean out my closet and restock the cold and flu meds. Thanks for the encouragement!


~~Deby said...

I grocery shopped this past Friday...and my husband commented on my deepening pantry...I took the phrase and advice from's been baby steps but now it is noticeable..these are great posts Brenda...and I think I want to have enough to share if need be..

Gumbo Lily said...

I'm really enjoying your pantry entries, Brenda. Purchasing vacuum cleaner bags is something I have to remind my self about because the type I use are only found at the vacuum/sewing machine store in town. I think I'm running a little low, now that I think about it. I know this is going to sound weird, but do you ever empty the bags and staple them shut to re-use? I can only do this one time, but it works in a pinch.