QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, CONCERNS
Just a few days ago I received a kind email from a food storage friend. She had questions regarding emergency, or maybe just necessary, recipe adaptations. It’s easy to get caught up in the “what ifs” of building a food storage so I’m more than happy to share the solutions that have worked for our family.
1. Follow the direction from the First Presidency in building a three-month supply and longer-term supply. They have clearly suggested that we “Build a small supply of food that is part of your NORMAL, DAILY DIET” and “For longer-term need, and where permitted, gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive, such as wheat, white rice, and beans.”
2. Commit to the principle of storing food and create a reasonable plan for its preparation and use. All of my recipes use some amount of three-month ingredients combined with longer-term dry goods, AND fresh ingredients. Without the fresh ingredients my food storage recipes wouldn’t be NORMAL. (And remember, the First Pesidency specifically stated that our food storage needs to be normal.) It’s the fresh ingredients that make my food storage into meals my family actually wants to eat. That’s big. That’s how I protect my investment and begin to reap the financial and time management blessings connected to food storage. It’s really not just about preparing for emergencies. In fact, the Prophet Spencer W. Kimball emphasized the practical concepts when he taught, “Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life, not a sudden, spectacular program. We could refer to all the components of personal and family preparedness, not in relation to holocaust or disaster, but in cultivating a life-style that is on a day-to-day basis its own reward.”
3. IF something really bad happens and I can’t go to the grocery store (and I don’t have a fantastic garden) my recipes get modified, but they’re still familiar. Familiar to my children and myself, as the chief cook and bottle washer. I won’t have every single ingredient but I’ll have more than a clue of what to do with the food I’ve got stored because I’ve been practicing with it! Plus, the combination of both types of storage food, long-term and three-month, will give my emergency meals less “manna-in-the-wilderness” motif. (Remember the Children of Israel? They had food but the hated not having any variety.)
IF something really bad happens, I’m better prepared to comfort my children. I believe that the preparation of a parent greatly alters the experience of a child. Read I Walked to Zion. The children who successfully navigated a life-threatening journey were blessed with parents who already knew how to cook beans, make bread, and harness the oxen. Preparation and practice matter.
IF something really bad happens, I’m better prepared to “serve in the church”. Maybe that will look like holding a large spoon, instead of a lesson manual, and I’ll be dishing up wheat and rice with a dab of BBQ sauce or cream of whatever soup, for the people in my neighborhood. Maybe there’s a ”calling” out there, from the Bishop, and it will be for food. I want to be on the team that has something to share. I’m choosing now to be ready to say YES in the future. And I want to have some ideas on how I can prepare the food, even if it’s a modified, sans cheese and green peppers, adaptation.
The very first paragraph from the pamphlet All Is Safely Gathered In reads: Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to “prepare every needful thing” (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors and support bishops as they care for others.
I believe food storage is about stewardship and charity. What we’re willing to do right now, and what we would be willing to do in the future, with all that we’ve been given. Ready? Set. Serve~