Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Times Twelve Plan

I have a friend who is pretty much the Queen of Food Storage. Really. But just a few years ago, she didn't have a single can of green beans stashed under a bed. I think I am having my own food storage epiphany this month. Your many funny, poignant and touching blog entries about Hurricane Ike have really made me think. Just three years ago, we lived in one of those neighborhoods that went powerless for a week or two. More recently, the Queen was visiting teaching me when mention of the apocalyptic bird flu came up. If (do I dare say when?) your city is hit, your family may be quarantined for up to three months.

Though still encouaraged to build up a year's supply of essentials, the Church is currently emphasizing being well-stocked for three months. This seems overwhelming in a house that barely holds our day-to-day life, but I read a very funny quote recently from the man who is the director of food storage for the Church. He said, "If you need it, you will wish you had stored it in the living room and kept your furniture in the garage." Hmm . . . food or leather sofas?

In light of the whole world going crazy this month (black October anyone?), this week, food is sounding like the right choice.

Anyway, some months back, the Queen taught Sunday School and told about her "Times Twelve Plan." She has come up with seven meals that her family likes that can be made entirely from food storage. Now, some of her recipes are optimal using fresh ingredients, but in a pinch, there is a food storage substitute that is totally adequate. Then, to create a three month food storage supply, you simply multiply each ingredient by 12, and that is what you buy to create your food storage, in addition to toiletries and longer term storage items. I like this because it gives you specific meals to make, and food storage you will actually use. The Times Twelve Plan helps you avoid the following conversation on Day 8 into your food storage:

STM says, "Hey, Plantboy, any ideas what to make with dried lentils, cream of chicken soup and canned green beans?"

To which Plantboy replies, "If only we had some cheese, you could make a killer casserole."

"Right. I think I actually have some shaky cheese."

"Yummy. What about throwing some Ramen noodles in there?"

You get the point. On Day 9 you would eat the leftovers. By day 30, you are boiling wheat to eat like cereal with your last six ounces of sugar. By day 45, you are eating each other . . . .

The problem, for me, with this plan, is finding recipes that can be made using no fresh ingredients that my family will actually eat. So I think it would be cool if anyone reading this blog, who happens to have a great food storage recipe that your family loves would post said recipe under the title, "The Times Twelve Plan." Between all of us, we should be able to come up with several good meals: we may not even have to eat the same thing each week. I am posting two. The first is a meal, the second is a wonderful bread recipe made entirely from food storage. The bread, served with prepared tuna (mayonnaise and relish count for food storage) and a can of fruit, is an excellent, nutritious meal.

Southwest Stew

Using a crockpot or a Dutch oven, boil 2 chicken breasts with 3 cups of broth OR drain a large can of chicken and combine it with 2 cups broth and 1 cup water (canned chicken is saltier).

When cooked, shred chicken into bite sized pieces and add the following (draining beans and corn):

1 small can diced green chilis
1 large can diced tomatoes (or sub two previous ingredients for 2 cans Rotel brand tomatoes, any variety)
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can corn

Stir well, add one package (1/4 cup) of taco seasoning and a ranch dressing mix packet. Stir again.

Variations--If eating fresh, serve with chips, sour cream, shredded cheese and chopped cilantro. You can easily modify this to a vegetarian version by using vegetable broth, skipping the chicken, and adding an extra can of beans, any variety. If making it fresh, I use frozen corn: it is more flavorful and has much less salt. You can cook beans from scratch for this recipe, but if power is an issue then you will want something that can be heated through quickly.

The Queen's Whole Wheat Bread

Combine 3 cups warm water, 1/3 a cup honey (or sugar) and 2 Tbsp yeast. When yeast softens and begins to work, add 5 cups whole wheat flour. Allow this sponge mixture to rise until double, about 40 minutes.

Add another 1/3 cup honey (or sugar), 1 tsp of salt, 2 Tbsp oil, 4-5 Tbsp dough conditioner (also called gluten flour or wheat gluten) and 3 more cups whole wheat flour. Knead. Rise until double, another 30 to 40 minutes.

Divide into three smallish loaves and place in greased bread pans. When loaves double, another 30 to 40 minutes, bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

This bread is so soft and yummy, but it is the addition of the gluten that makes it so. It is also good half wheat and half white, which is a good option if you don't have gluten. Generally, I do five to six cups of wheat, 2-3 cups of white and a 1/2 a cup of quick cooking oats. Very yummy. A professional grade Kitchenaid mixer with a dough hook will handle this dense dough, but it is tough. It is best to hand mix in the flour in the second mixture to save your motor a few extra years!

I will wait anxiously for your recipes!


Hannah said...

Great recipes!

If you need any help finding more recipes, please feel free to visit our blog. ALL the recipes we post there use non-perishable food ONLY, just like you suggest. It really is the best way to plan, in our opinion.

Great post! I hope you enjoy our blog, and I hope it helps you. Our recipes are listed on the righthand column under the "Food Storage Recipes" link.

Hannah @

denedu said...

I had a chuckle at "food or leather sofas." All I could picture was the scene from the movie "RM" where he is sleeping on a bed made out of food storage. hahaha I need to be better about my storage, too. Ug!!! At least here the grocery stores sell stuff especially for it. Yeah for Utah. hahaha :)

Christie said...

This is a great post. I have to admit that I'm a little jealous of the woman you call 'Queen.' How does one go about becoming the queen of something? What could I be the queen of? Chickens? Hmm. The Chicken Queen. I kind of like that? What would you give yourself the queen title of? (Can you tell I'm trying not to think too much about the scary stuff we'll probably need food storage for in the next few months?!)

Slyck and Slim said...

That is exactly how I planned my food storage out -- certain recipes planned for the month and then multiplied by 12. Nice to hear someone else couldn't wrap their head around how to store a year supply of food that their family would actually eat. I will email you the recipes I collected and you can use what ones you want to. Ike taught us alot and we literally lived off food storage for three weeks since there was no dairy or fresh meat available for that long. My mom asked me how long I could feed my family for if I couldn't get to a store. I thought about it and then said with quiet confidence, "A year." When she told that to a lady sitting next to her on a plane back from Cincinnatti, the lady's eyes just about popped out of her head. But you know, how long have we been told to have a year supply of food? I think we have approached the time when we will be needing it. We might as well know how to eat it.

Anonymous said...

I am adding this because if you make this, you can make anything in your food storage come to life!

Creamed Soup Mix

I made a huge batch of this and now use it all the time. It is much cheaper and gluten free also.

2 C powdered milk
3/4 C ornstarch
1/4 C instant Chicken buoillon
2T dried onion flakes
1t dried basil
1t dried thyme
1/2t pepper

To substitute 1 can condensed soup use 1/3 C mix with 1 1/4 C water. Cook, stirring until thickened.

Mushroom Soup-add 4 oz. can mushrooms and substitute 1/4 cup water with mushroom liquid.

Celery- add 1/2 C cooked, sliced celery

Cheese broccoli- add 1 C chopped broccoli, 1 C grated cheddar cheese and increase water to 1 3/4.

Potato-1 C cooked potatoes, 1 1/2 water and 1/2 C grated cheddar.


Sunnie said...

i still feel like a rookie at food storage. i have no good recipes, no good suggestions for how to use it. i got nothing. i do know that emergencies call for D batteries and those are the first to go at stores when a hurricanes coming. so load up on those! hopefully over time i'll learn more and more about storage.

Science Teacher Mommy said...

Welcome Hannah. I'm not sure how you got here, but it appears from going to your blog that this is the first time I've ever written about a topic you find relevant. Your "Safely Gathered In" blog was incredible and extremely intimidating. My purpose here is to find FULL PROOF recipes that your families love so that I don't have to spend a lot of money on trial and error stuff that nobody wants.

Oh, and Christie, the Queen has chickens too. Sorry. And I'm not sure she IS the queen; I hadn't been to Hannah's blog before creating this post. If it is any consolation, you are much funnier than she is . . . and your storage shelves are totally awesome.

CaLM RAPIDS said...

I had come up with 10 different dinners, breakfasts, and lunches and multiplied that by 7 people and 100 days. That's 2,100 meals. We are set for 3 months in this area of food storage and it is kept in an antique armoire in the dining room. It's close enough to the kitchen to rotate the food. We have food storage in every closet and have set our furniture at diagonals in some rooms to fit buckets of wheat behind them.

I think it's a great idea to share recipes for food storage cooking. It's always good to get new ideas and I've already printed off the ones you have. Here are our 10 dinner ideas: (1)canned chicken or tuna w/pasta, rotel tomatoes, and cream of chicken soup (2)spaghetti (3)canned stew(4)hamb gravy over rice (5)canned chili (6) homemade pizza--you can cook this on your grill (7)chicken tortilla soup--a lot like your southwest stew (8) canned chili -not my fave but everyone else's (9) homemade mac and cheese (10) soft tacos made with homemade tortillas topped with refried beans, cheese, canned tomatoes if you're desperate for tomatoes.

Here are some ideas for breakfasts and lunches: instant oatmeal, cream of wheat, muffins, canned fruit, pancakes, waffles, biscuits and gravy, quesadillas, pb&j's or tuna sandwiches, creamed tuna on toast.

I had been working on this 3 month storage recently and it really got me thinking about easy to store, easy to cook, easy to rotate. Maybe because we camp and know how to cook outside and so that's what I thought of when I came up with our list. The only ingredient that needs refrigeration is cheese. We love cheese. During our 2 weeks without power, we didn't use much of this particular storage though because we had lots of refrigerator/freezer food that we HAD to use first.

We really missed fresh--we envy your garden up there!

Doreen said...

We lived on canned food for a week after Ike. What did I learn? Get low sodium stuff as much as you can find! Holy salt, batman... I also realized that the old saying 'store what you eat' comes with a caveat. Some things should be stored that you don't normally use. Like canned chicken. We never use canned meats, so it never even occurred to me to store them. Lesson learned. Thanks for the great post. :o)

Sherry said...

I really appreciated this post. So much so that I have come back to it since you wrote it a few days ago. I have been thinking a lot about how to work around the "fresh" bit. And now I'm going to focus a few of my own recipes that I blog about around this topic.

Since I've lost my job we've been trying really hard to eat less meat and focus on healthier, more affordable ways to get our protein in. I feel like it's a good thing to learn.

Food storage has been a bit hard for us in our circumstance (living in a new country for only twelve months), but when you think about it, EVERYBODY has some sort of circumstance that they could claim gets them out of needing to be prepared, whether that be lack of space, lack of money, lack of time. So we just decided to suck it up and do the best we could, and now we're really glad we did.


We've been struggling the past few months where I'm not able to just automatically go to the grocery store to get what I want like in days past. It's amazing how creative my cooking has evolved into when I have a limited amount of ingredients and I need to make it stretch enough to feed 8 people.

I HEART the Internets! A lot of the time I'll just enter the ingredients I have on hand into the google search bar and then follow it with the word "recipe." There's always a recipe out there for whatever you have. I bet even if I entered some oddball combo like "Jar of Pig's Feet, Pickled Beets and jalapenos" there'd be a recipe for it.

Science Teacher Mommy said...

There is nothing like spicy pig feet casserole to get your bowels moving.

Kathleen said...

Thanks Nan. I think I've made the soup recipe before but. It's really good. I add hamburger meat to it. I'm excited to try out the bread recipe. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Z. Marie said...

I made the bread Friday. We haven't had it as a meal yet, but when I'm feeling sick (which is way too often these days), I'm able to eat it. So maybe I'll just make it constantly for the next few months!
Food storage is something I need to really improve on. I'll try to scrape up some recipes to share, though. I do have some.