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· Registered
92 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any one ever try to make their own meals? Not necessarily MRE's as my idea would need more prep but storable food you would use throughout the year any way. I plan on buying a 50 pound sack of rice, we eat about 5lbs a month, an equal amount of assorted dried beans, canned chicken/spam/fish/etc. Rice would be packed in 10 cup bags, beans 1lb to a bag and seasoning homemade packets (various, cajun/chicken/mexican/etc) for each bag of rice. I plan to dehydrate fruits and vegetables in season to add as well in individual bags for sides or additions. I also am adding 20 lbs of cornmeal, 40lbs of sugar, undetermined amounts of baking powder, oats, brown sugar, dried milk and vegetable oil. We always use rice, beans, sugar, corn meal, oats, oil and baking powder anyways. The bulk would be portioned out into food saver bags in quantities we would purchase at the grocery store. I figure in food saver bags in the dark basement in gamma sealed buckets I should get a minimum of 3 years shelf life, cycling the items into our normal diet and replacing with fresher ones will keep every thing in a usable state. Plus buying items we already use in bulk will save me $ on the grocery bill. I figure worst case scenario this will provide my family a 2 month food supply as long as the used items are replenished every 6 months or so. The benefit of this whole thing being I have a usable food ration to quell my fears and I don't spend a ton of money on food stores that will never see the light of day. I'm also working on a beer recipe using homemade yeast cultures, homegrown hops and wheat, so I can brew a simple beer if it really gets bad. It won't be anything fancy like the craft beers we do now but it would be worth it's weight in gold. I could always add it to my rice and beans for flavor and B vitamins.

· Diamond Member
13,558 Posts
Just a tip on the baking soda . baking powder... some recipes require one , some the other.. baking soda is pretty stable and store well and in use in recipes that include an acidic ingredient like yogurt, buttermilk, honey etc. to react with the baking soda aka sodium bicarbonate.

Baking powder is a dry mix of sodium bicarbonate and an acid usually cream of tartar and a little starch to act as a drying agent..adding the wet ingredients activate the two powders , one an acid and one a base to make CO2 and cause the dough to rise... but storing the two , the sodium bicarb and cream of tartar as a mix drastically shortens shelf life and makes storage conditions more important since any mositure, even just humidity, causes some degree of interaction and weakens the baking powder.

I recomend storing baking soda and cream of tartar seperate.. you hvae the advantage of longer shelf life .. baking soda when you need that and add a little cream of tartar and you make fresh baking powder as you need it.. it is also cheaper by buy them seperate. Recipe is two parts cream of tartar to one part sodium bicarb.. the regular arm and hammer stuff is fine , but you might want to put in a air tight container so it doesn't absorb odors and affect taste.

Beer yeast is quite a bit different than wild yeast like you catch for sourdough or regular bread yeast .. you can get the proper yeast for ale and lager in small one batch packets and store them in the freezer until the power goes out.. they are good for about a year at room temp , and you can culture the proper beer yeast by making a yeast starter or you can boost the proper yeast if it is old by adding a yeast nutrient to boost yeast growth .... trying to make beer with wild yeast or bread yeast is about the same as having some stray yeast infect the wort to start with .. yuck. Once you have a yeast starter going you can , if you have refigeration or it is reliably cool out , just use part of it for a batch and add the basics back to it and let the yeast grow for the next batch .. keep a bubbler on it and keep dividing it and adding food and it will last forever, but as a live thing it would take constant tending. if you can't tend it for a while then store it in your cool place.

I assume you know the differnce in brewing temps between lagers and ales since the central air may be out if you lose electricity and you may have to have ale yeast to brew sucessfully at higher temps.

White rice will store for several years as will dry beans and other grains if sealled up in mylar bags with O2 absorbers and put in buckets to keep air, light and vernim out. sugar and honey are good virtually forever.

Spices do lose potency over time , but basically are good for a couple years if kept away from oxygen and light.

Rotating your stores is the best way to have fresh emergency stores. Kudos.

· Banned
18,213 Posts
Yep. I posted in another thread (I think the one about freeze dried food shelf life) about the method I use.

Essentially make up a menu of good one pot meals of a type close to your normal diet, cook the food, dehydrate in a fan type unit & vacuum seal in a sealer. So far I'm good for 5 years+ doing it this way.
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