"We encourage members world-wide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings." (From the First Presidency)
For the last year or so, Mitch and I have begun to focus a bit more on our food storage. In light of the recent economic downturn, I think it has become even more critical to be prepared for crises, be they of a worldwide scale or simply personal difficulties that we all face. Our church leaders have been encouraging us for nearly a century to be self-sufficient and to prepare for the unexpected. I hope that we are listening to them soon enough and that the horse is still in the barn, as we plan to close those doors.
My biggest personal hurdle with regard to this admonition is that I don't know what to do with 62 cases of wheat, 40 of pinto beans and 25 of rice. I can't make a meal out of that... Recently my mother-in-law, who has an amazing food storage system herself, discovered a fireside that had been produced to address this, and many other barriers that we face in regards to storing food. It is amazing!! It was done by a Sister in Arizona who masterminded a system for both storing and rotating foods that you actually will eat. It is brilliant!!!! My food storage paradigm has been completely shifted and I find myself actually excited about it. Her fireside is available online here, and if you haven't seen it already, watch it!
One of the many ideas that she puts forth is that we can rely more on home canning things like meats and other staples. As she points out, even the dog won't eat TVP. One cute, sort of gimmicky thing that she does is can breads and cakes. This isn't intended for long-term storage, since it is obviously easier to store the various components, but is an option should you have limited fuel and need to do all of your baking at one time. Some could be canned for later (weeks to months) use. Since all you need for this trick is some empty canning jars, we decided to give it a try! Yesterday for FHE, we had canned chocolate cake for treats!
Here are all my pretty little canned half-pints of chocolate cake.
I tend to overfill pans when baking - this was no exception, and since I needed a level, clean surface to seal, I got the bonus of a bunch of "muffin-tops" which I spent all afternoon devouring.
We had our friends, the McKernans, over for FHE and shared some canned cake with them (and watched the DVD of Sister DeWitt's fireside). The cake was yummy and came right out of the jars ready to cut into little mini cakes. Cute and functional!
Even though I don't think I'm going to be canning a ton of cake to go into our food storage, I am really excited about this new system that I think will help us to actually become more self-reliant and more prepared for the future. As more scary things roll out of the White House, I am more and more concerned about what my own family has yet to face, but I feel better now that I feel like this food storage thing is actually doable.