Monday, July 27, 2009
Pantry talk - those little items which make a big difference
After writing what a friend's dad told Christopher about "stocking guns and food", I read a couple more financial e-mails that came in. Both said they expect the economy to get worse before it gets better (and if war breaks out in the Mideast... watch out for sky rocketing oil prices).
I understand what the investment counselor meant about gold. If one has enough money they need to protect, gold is a good hedge against inflation and the devaluing of the dollar.
However, I also understand why he told him food and other necessities are a priority and can be "cash" in an emergency.... hmmm, is the financial counselor suggesting we prepare for bartering?
For the next few days I thought I'd share experiences from the times I deepened the pantry more than usual. I'm still mostly living out of the pantry (as cash is limited) so I'm learning more each week. It makes all the difference in the world when your pantry and freezer is all you have to shop from and a quick trip to the grocery store is not an option.
I'm also learning even a small garden is absolutely beneficial. :)
I keep a grocery list just to write down those items I need for the pantry. When I have the money to restock, that list becomes my pantry priority list. It includes regular pantry items I'm beginning to run out of, items I realize would be good to add to the pantry, and it is at my side when I go through recipes to see what I will need in the pantry for a particular recipe.
I stock the usual foods one would expect... those basics needed for baking and cooking. But once in awhile I find a new item that should be stocked. For instance, I use fresh mushrooms for most recipes but I couldn't purchase any. It would have been great to have mushrooms on the pantry shelf. The recipes just weren't the same without them (canned would have been far better than none at all). So canned and dried mushrooms went on the pantry grocery list.
Mostly I use my pantry money for basic groceries but if I see a favorite gourmet item on sale... and I have most of my basic items on the shelf... I'll add it to the pantry. For instance I love lemon infused olive oil and it is on my pantry shelf when I can find it at a good price, not something you'll find in the average Stocking Up book.
It's exactly the reason I stock some items which may seem unimportant... but I've found in the past useful for certain recipes. For instance, I always have small cans of sliced black olives on the shelves. I added them to my pantry grocery list during a time such as this when I realized they would add "just the right flavor" to a couple of other pantry items.
Those little extras we choose to stock will be as individual as our menus, heritage, and favorite foods. My mother had pickled pigs feet in her pantry. I do not. :)