Thursday, November 15, 2012

More Grocery Store Food Items for Emergencies

In two different stores this week, I found items on the shelf that had already expired best by dates. One by a full year! I don’t know what is going on because I’ve never seen that. One item was 2% evaporated milk which is something you don’t want to fool around with. Had it been a package of jello, I wouldn’t have thought too much about it. I do believe those would last forever because all that is in it is flavoring and sugar which doesn’t ever go bad unless you are invaded by ants.

We will have to remember to diligently rotate food in our 3-month store. I am gradually shifting  pantry items that are close to “expiration” dates to my within-reach kitchen shelves. In addition I am planning meals around the items that should be used next.

Sometimes when there are good sales, I buy items we haven’t tried. I found a bargain on the Indian product, Awadhi aloo mutter. The box says it is mouth-watering with a fine blend of traditional Indian spices, exotic herbs and other ingredients which are not listed. I’m going to try it and hope the other ingredients are not monkey brains or something equally awful. Dick will probably pick up a Kyrstal bag. All I have to do is immerse the sealed pouch in boiling water for 3 – 5 minutes. It is fully cooked and ready to eat. I checked the list of ingredients and they all look familiar except for ONE. I’ll let you know if it is monkey brains. Although I don’t know how I’d recognize it as I have not as yet dined on that exotic delicacy.

I JUST found a new Ronzoni pasta item. It is Quick Cook. The box has several stove-top recipes that are basically the dump and eat variety. This product isn’t recommended for baked pasta dishes. You cook it only 3 minutes and there is a warning about overcooking so I wonder if it, too, is a product that would reconstitute if it just sat in water. I’m going to soak a couple of elbows in water and find out.

Tonight I’m going to also try the “soak” test on instant grits and oatmeal and Minute Rice. I’ll let you know how they turned out.

Another good potato product is Betty Crocker Mashed Sweet Potatoes. This requires ¾ cup of milk, 2/3 cup of hot water, 2 tablespoons of margarine or butter. Using powdered milk, you just make up the ¾ cup when you need it. The best I can figure, you REALLY DON’T have to heat the water. We just like to eat our foods warm. It only takes a minute for the potatoes to absorb the water if it is hot. Margarine in a squeeze bottle like Fleishmann’s does not HAVE to be refrigerated. So if there is a power outage, this product would be one you’d want to have on hand.

Hungry Jack makes a hasbrown potato product that only requires you to pour water heated to 120 degrees into a little carton. After it stands for 12 minutes, you pour out the excess and pan fry the potatoes on one side for 3-4 minutes. If you like them crispy just flip and fry 3-4 minutes more. These would work well cooked over an open fire.

Stove Top Stuffing Mixes are yet another emergency store goody. You heat 1 ½ cups of water and ¼ cup oil, butter, spread, or margarine (not whipped) to a boil. Just add the package contents and you are ready to eat in 5 minutes. I’ve made up stuffing mixes just using all chicken broth when I needed it for a main dish recipe and it worked great. This isn’t the time to skimp on fat. Our bodies need the calories that fat provides.

I’ll let you know if the experiments are successful. I might be eating cold instant oatmeal tomorrow morning.

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