Sunday, March 14, 2010

Typical Week

I've been trying to think what other people might wonder about living off food storage. It's hard for me to think if there is anything I should post about beyond recipes that are edible. I was thinking today though that you might be interested in the ins and outs of a typical week living off food storage so here it is.

I guess the biggest issue is how much time I spend in the kitchen. Hours everyday. In many ways I'm at a disadvantage over what the pioneers had because women then typically had no responsibilities outside the home. They spent all day cooking and cleaning. No soccer practice, part time (or full time) jobs, PTA meetings, play practice, shuttling kids between 3 different schools, etc. Plus their daughters were home much of the time working right beside them. HOWEVER, they also didn't have electric appliances, dishwashers, washing machines, etc. If you add all the pluses and minuses up, I probably come out a little ahead, even though I feel like I have to be super human to get all this stuff done. :)

So, like I said, I spend the bulk of my time cooking. 3 months into it, I'm in a pretty good rhythm. At the beginning of each week I make a meal plan on a spread sheet that shows what we are eating that week for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner each day. Then I also make up a separate list of what I have to do each day so that I don't forget something, like taking out beans to soak the night before. So here is a typical week of using food storage. I won't bore you with all the other things I have to get done in a week, this list only includes what I have to get done with food. Note that on the weekends I get the bulk of the cooking for breakfasts and snacks during the week done. I also put the approximate time each thing takes if it takes 30 minutes or longer. I just picked a random, typical week:

1. Make 50 waffles (or pancakes) and put in the freezer for breakfasts. [1 hour]
2. Make 6 loaves of bread. Bake 2 and put the rest of the dough in the freezer in loaves to bake later in the week. [3 hours]
3. Make one gallon of milk (my family used to dring 5 gallons of milk a week. With powdered milk we don't even use up 1 a week, so if you are thinking that is how your kids will get their calcium and vitamin D, you might need another plan)
4. Make a gallon of juice from the cannery (This my kids LOVE and go through several gallons a week).
5. Make cold cereal for the kids to eat during the week. [2 hours]
6. Make granola for the kids to snack on after school or eat for breakfast. [1 hour]
7. Make spreadable butter from powdered butter.
8. Make cookies (peanut butter, sugar, or no bake chocolate cookies)[1 hour]
9. Plus make dinners those days.[2 hours]

1. Put frozen waffles in the toaster for kid's breakfast. Serve with butter and syrup.
2. Pack kids lunches with PB and J, dried apples, and cookie.
3. Put beans in the crockpot to cook for dinner.
4. Make kids popcorn (or popped wheat) for snacks after school. [30 minutes]
5. Make cornbread for dinner. [30 minutes]
6. Make meatless chili using cooked beans. [1 hour]
7. Make apple crisp for Family Home Evening. [1 hour]

1. Make oatmeal for the kids for breakfast.
2. Pack lunches with Tuna, granola, and cookie.
3. Make more juice.
4. Make chips for dinner and lunch tomorrow. [2 hours]
5. Make pretzels for kids snacks (double the recipe and freeze half for another day) [2 hours]
6. Make Tortilla soup with the chips for dinner. [1 hour]

1. Cold cereal for breakfast.
2. Pack lunches with PB and Honey, chips from yesterday, and cookie.
3. Defrost and bake 2 loaves frozen bread dough. [All day to defrost and 30 minutes to bake]
4. Make chocolate milk.
5. Make granola bars for kids snacks. [1 hour]
6. Make garlic crescents for dinner. [1 hour]
7. Make meatless spaghetti. [30 minutes]

1. Toast and chocolate milk for breakfast.
2. Pack PB and J, dried apples, and granola bar for kid's lunch.
3. Make more juice.
4. Make brownies for lunches. [30 minutes]
4. Make wheat thins for kids snack. [1 hour]
5. Make tortillas for dinner. [1 hour]
6. Make bean burritos with rice for dinner. [1 hour]

1. Frozen pancakes and syrup for breakfast.
2. Pack Tuna, granola, brownie for lunches.
3. Defrost and bake last 2 loaves of frozen bread. [30 minutes]
4. Defrost pretzel dough and make pretzels for snacks. [30 minutes]
5. Macaroni and Cheese for dinner with reconstituted veggies on the side. [1 hour]

Then we start all over again. Despite all the time that it takes, it feels so good when I see my family eating things that I worked to make from nothing but food storage. The reality is, it's very empowering to feel completely self sufficient, relying on no man to feed my family. It's been difficult but SO worth it.

If the day comes that we ever have to live completely on food storage you can expect to spend most of your time feeding and caring for the needs of your family. Rather than thinking of this as a burden, I have come to realize that it is service in it's highest natural form. Seeing to the physical and spiritual nourishment of my family is my highest calling and most treasured job at this time in my life. Interestingly, I have food storage to thank for making that so crystal clear to me once again.


  1. Holy cow. That's a lot of work. Question, why don't you bake all the bread loaves and freeze some of them? Do you not have enough freezer space? It just seems that would save some time and utility usage for the oven. Do you knead the bread by hand or do you have a Bosch / Kitchen-Aid?

  2. I have a Bosch. I don't bake them all at once because I love baking the bread fresh. Nothing is quite as rewarding as the smell of fresh baked bread and this way I get it several times a week :)

  3. Hey, whatever floats your boat! I was wondering about the Bosch because my whole-wheat Bosch recipe doesn't take 3 hours, and I get good reviews on it even though it's 100% whole wheat. It takes me 5 minutes to gather ingredients and grind flour, 10 minutes kneading while the oven preheats and I grease pans, 20 minutes rising in pans while I clean up, and 30 minutes baking.

    1. Could I please get a copy of your recipe?

    2. Could I please get a copy of your recipe?

  4. My recipe is not that quick because it has to rise twice, one hour each time. I LOVE it though! Super yummy.

  5. Okay so Cherish, can I have your recipe for the bread?!

  6. WOW. Reading that and I am both amazed at your super woman skills and overwhelmed because that is a LOT of cooking. And I don't even have kids yet!! Wow. I am certainly impressed. I do want to learn to bake fresh bread though. My hubby and I love bread with our pasta.