After staying within the confines of the Resilience Garden for three weeks, I thought it’d be a good time to see how my food stores were holding up.
Naturally, I have the box containing the fortnight’s worth of emergency supplies, as described in ‘Recipes for Resilience – Common Sense Cooking for the 21st Century’. I’ve hardly touched this, so I still have a good reserve if the kitchen stocks get low.
These are unusually high. Despite my reservations about freezer stores (see ‘Recipes’ page 171), I inherited a small front-opening freezer from a lodger. I was only just ahead of the panic-buying curve in filling it up, but went into lock-down with a good selection of frozen food. I targeted fresh meat, fruit and other ingredients rather than ready meals. I’d already discovered that a partly empty freezer consumes noticeably more electricity than a full one does, so as I use the supplies, I fill up spaces with packs of sliced bread or home-made cake.
A short power cut reminded me of the vulnerability of this method of storage, so I’ve been focussing on using up the freezer contents! The food I chose can be quickly cooked, even preserved, if the power really goes down.
The leeks in the Resilience Garden have just finished. I bought a small sack of onions in anticipation of this. The rocket has started to bolt, but there’s plenty of wild garlic for fresh green leaves and the broccoli is ready. The potatoes are finished; they refuse to stop sprouting now, unless drenched with toxic chemicals. Carbohydrates of all kinds are out of season. This is when one turns to dried grains, pasta, rice and flour products.
There’s a few gaps showing after so long living on stores. It’s a bad time of year for fruit. I should have acquired more of the tinned and dried varieties. I’ll have to adjust my usual diet a little to use these up in rotation. No food is wasted using the Resilience plans!
I’m very fond of little trifles, and always get a pack when I do my infrequent re-stocking at a supermarket. However, a packet jelly with frozen fruit makes six small dishes full, and a tin of custard provides enough topping for these. I should’ve put away more jelly and custard, plus some sort of cream!
I don’t like storing UHT milk as it has a relatively short shelf life and really does go off. It’s hard for me to use up, as I’m accustomed to have fresh farm milk delivered. When the milk deliveries suddenly went out of business last week, it was a bit of a shock!
It was a good opportunity to open up the bag of milk powder and get that used. Another firm has taken over the milk round now, so all is well with dairy produce again.
Local shops have regrouped and are offering deliveries as well, so I can order in some seasonal produce. I feel I need to support them, but it’s hard to find enough things I need. Rhubarb is good – mine is still too new to harvest – and cauliflower is in season. Mostly I buy more honey, which keeps forever.
In summary, after three weeks living very well on stores, I could still last for months. Tea and coffee might have to be replaced with garden herbs. I’m already out of chocolate and sweets, and the last packet of biscuits is being rationed. The reserve milk is gone, but I have Vitamin D tablets on board.
Following the Resilience Plan, not only will you be set up for food stores whenever something happens, but none of the food will be wasted!
‘Recipes’ gives detailed instructions on how to achieve personal food security and can be bought direct from the publishers.
‘The Resilience Handbook – How to Survive in the 21st Century’ has now been re-released as ‘The Handbook of Practical Resilience – How to Survive in the 21st Century’, with additional content!
How to survive? You need these books.