For some reason, it’s just struck me how important it is to know how to cook from scratch. What works with what. Basic techniques, and advanced ones. Ingredients, and how to maximize them.
It’s just not a huge topic in many preparedness talks – but if you think about it, it’s probably one of the more critical ones. Food preparation isn’t just an energy source, but it can also be a morale booster, a barter item, and an employment source.
Folks have two basic strategies regarding cooking and preparedness.
One strategy is to use prepackaged items as much as possible – MRE’s, freeze dried items, pre-cooked and canned items, and the like. Not much prep time to get a meal together, but oftentimes the meals become boring fairly fast. (ah yes, the old Tabasco Sauce cure. They still sell the little shot bottles of Tabasco, by the way. Not inexpensive, but I have a few that I throw in a bag if I’m going overnight. Brings back memories, it does. Mmmmmm….nothing like a can of pork patties and some crackers to feast on. Which is where the Tabasco sauce comes in…anyway, back to my point) Once meals become boring it’s harder to keep eating. Matter of fact, there are folks out there, kids and adults both, who will happily become malnourished or worse if they can’t find food they find palatable.
The second strategy is storing bulk foods, spices, and growing your own as much as possible. Call it the homestead style, if you’d like. Learn how to cook those basics, and get those you’re with to experiment and learn too. Learn how to prepare some things that you might find “strange”, but work perfectly well. The added plus to this form of pushing the envelope is, if done right, you and those you’re with will develop a tolerance of other foods and ingredients. Could come in pretty handy in a situation where you can’t find your regular chow.
This also leads into another facet of preparedness supplies.
I have a shelf section (actually a couple of shelves) that are devoted to nothing but cookbooks. Nothing new in there, all bought used, and some that are turn of the century. Things like Pioneer Kitchen, The Frugal Gourmet series, and even old Good Housekeeping cookbooks. Great spots to find them are library sales, garage sales, and second hand bookstores.
Now I’m gonna go finish off those beef stroganoff crepes I just made. Excuse me….I’ll see you folks later!