Saturday, March 18, 2017

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Lessons learned

Happy Saturday!  It is still cold where I live although the last of the snow melted from the deck yesterday.  I was hoping to write a Book Talk mid-week, the books are here on the desk, but it has taken longer to recover than I would have liked so household duties took up all of my time.

While still physically weak, my vision is clearing up more each day.  So I am just now beginning to read again although screen time must still be limited.  I've set aside a book with smallish print I was reading.  I'll finish it when my vision has cleared completely but I have a mystery with larger print.  :)

Thank God for antibiotics!

I have the strength for a quick Saturday post so I thought I'd share what I learned through this last bout of unexpected illness.  I mean, it went from just a cold and cough to a serious infection overnight that left me unable to do anything.  I honestly didn't think I needed a Cold & Flu container, anymore.  Not since the kids were grown and there was only two of us.  I was wrong.

So I'm going to start putting items in an extra Rubbermaid style container that is in the garage.  Along with some cans of chicken noodle soup (in a perfect world I would always have homemade soup in the freezer), I will once again keep a box of tissues (or two), Ritz crackers, sugar free lemon lime drink or ginger ale, regular lemon lime drink or ginger ale, medicinal tea such as Throat Coat, peppermint tea, extra cold medicine, dry cereal such as Cheerios, and anything else I can think of that would be helpful to have on hand.

This hit when I had already been on the sofa awhile and when my checking account was low, a reminder that a pantry is most needed when one can shop their pantry instead of going to the store.  I'll begin again early in April to stock the most important items.  Some things like cough drops are kept in the medicine cabinet because they can melt.

The biggest surprise came when I decided to use some of my emergency pouches of Mountain House food for a few meals because this was... an emergency.  It's funny how our brain works because at first I hated to use them and then I convinced myself that it was FOOD and they only required boiling water.

So what worked?  Well, the best was one of my favorites and that is Chicken and Dumplings With Vegetables.  It is very tasty and "ill health friendly".  I do keep a couple extra pouches of this for when I need a quick dinner.  It is very good when prepared properly.

The one thing I've learned (originally from Reviewer Comments) was that with any Mountain High biscuit type meal, one needs to add slightly less boiling water than called for, stir once and then seal the package, and let it set for the very minimum time required.  Otherwise it can get mushy.  This applies to their Biscuits and Gravy meal, too.

I also used an Italian Style Pepper Steak With Rice pouch.  A few reviewers said that the meals with rice or noodles benefit from extra "cooking" time.  So I added the boiling water, gave it a stir, sealed the pouch, and let it sit about five minutes longer than the longest time called for.  I put some of it in a flour tortilla and ate it that way.  It was yummy.  I couldn't eat but half of it so I closed the pouch and put it in the frig for the next day.  It heated up nicely.  This would not work for biscuit based meals!

The other meal that works great when sick is their Chicken Breast With Rib Meat and Mashed Potatoes.  It is pricier than their others because there are two pieces of chicken breast in it.  You prepare the chicken breast with boiling water separately than the mashed potatoes.  It worked great and I would say worth the money for such a good source of protein for a second person if you can't cook.

I only tried what I had on hand but I expect some of their other meals would work well.  I'd stay away from their more ethnic meals when sick since they can be 1) spicy, and 2) their oriental meals have a bit of an aftertaste.

So as Amazon credit is available, I will be replenishing the Mountain House meals I used and I will definitely keep a few in the Cold & Flu container.   This worked great, especially with just one or two people at home.

Of course, the best thing would be to have Downstairs Staff but that ain't happening here.  ;)

Items mentioned in this post:
Mountain House Chicken and Dumplings With Vegetables... here.
Mountain House Biscuits and Gravy... here.
Mountain House Italian Style Pepper Steak With Rice... here.
Mountain House Chicken Breast With Rib Meat and Mashed Potatoes... here.

Mountain House pouches have a 25 to 30 year shelf life unopened.

Disclaimer:  Most links to are Associate Links.
Image: Brambly Hedge pantry.  I want one like it!


Vee said...

I don't know, Brenda, that pantry is awfully cute and all, but do you want to climb that high?

Something happened to my shopping today...must have gone hungry because I am home with a fair amount of comfort foods to include Girl Scout cookies. Accckkk! Perhaps I can put a lot in my hospitality pantry, which has been sorely lacking much like your Cold and Flu provisions.

Good to know that you are getting back to health and that your eyesight is improving each day. Take care of yourself. I am going to follow your links to the food choices just to read more about it. I like things that last a quarter of a century...

Anonymous said...

SOOO Glad you are feeling better, and your vision is improving!! I kept checking back here and began to get worried when you hadn't posted anything yet, today! I've been praying for you! I think a cold/flu bin is a great idea! I think I would add a DVD, and maybe a book, or adult coloring books for entertainment, too. Thanks for the info on Mountain House meals! We bought some individual freeze dried packets of another brand and used them when our power went out a couple years ago. They weren't that great, so it's nice to find out there are actually good ones available! Hopefully, with the first day of spring on Monday, the weather will begin to warm up! We're actually going to get two days of no rain, and maybe get to see some sunshine, here in the PNW! Two days is better than none! We've already had a year's worth of rain in the last six months!
Take good care!
Laura C. (WA)

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

So glad to hear your vision is improving! God is good!

Thanks for your reviews on the different emergency foods. Good info and links.

Ann said...

Glad to hear you're on the mend. Take your time so you don't get a relapse.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you are healing, albeit slowly. Take care of yourself.
Pam (SD)