Sunday, June 20, 2010

Food Storage Utopia

I spent all of last week in Utah (AKA Food Storage Utopia). Man, people there just don't know how lucky they are. I visited all of my favorite places (except Honeyville Grain).

First I went to Emergency Essentials in Orem. I bought their plunger for hand washing clothes, some powdered milk, and some gamma lids. Then my sister tells me, "Oh they sell those lids at Walmart."

WHAT the heck?!! Walmart sells gamma lids in Utah?

It takes me a minute to digest that kind of information. (They didn't have David Archuleta's new book though. Weird.)

Then I went to the holy grail of preparedness stores - Smith and Edwards in Ogden. If you haven't been there, you are REALLY missing out. I bought my own meat grinder since I had borrowed a friend's to make my wheat meat, got another kind of powdered milk to try, and bought my first dutch oven. I'm SUPER excited about that. My next venture is to learn how to cook my food storage in a dutch oven. You just never know when you might have to function without electricity. A dutch oven would be essential IMHO.

Finally, I went hunting for Rennet so I can make cheese. That was a bit tougher. I had read online that you could just go into any grocery store in Utah and get it. That turned out to be a bit of an exaggeration. (Kind of like people who say that everyone in California lives on the beach, or everyone in America is rich and beautiful :) ) I went to quite a few grocery stores. Nada. Finally tried The Good Earth store and.... SCORE! Now I can make cheese. Just have to get my hubby to build me a cheese press this week. BTW, did you know that you can wax store bought cheese and keep it, unrefrigerated, for years? I'll have to try that too.

So much to do - so little time........ sigh

Today I am making 5 different brands of powdered milk and I'm going to do a blind taste test with my family. Whichever they like best is the brand we are going to store to drink. I'll let you know how it goes next week!

Finally I want to give a GIANT shout out to my favorite food storage website in the world - Food Storage Made Easy. I have been with them since they began as a small blog and I was blessed to find out that they featured my blog on their Facebook page last week.

Funny story actually.

My sister-in-law called me up and says, "So you are famous now?" I said, "What are you talking about?" She told me a link to my blog was on the Food storage made easy Facebook page. I couldn't believe it - and immediately regretted that my blog isn't prettier :)

Anyway, just want to say thanks and welcome all my new followers from there! You are awesome and I'm so happy we have this common interest.


  1. OK since you went to Utah I am dying to know what part of the country you are in? I am in South Texas area. South of Houston. I have a large , large, and even larger food storage. I blog about it on two blogs. I too cannot find Rennet I was told that you could buy Junk-it brand in the grocery store by the rock salt. But, nada. I have looked it up online and I am to cheap to pay those prices. I love your blog and recipes.
    Good luck and maybe we can keep each other motivated. Try my oven apple pancake from dehydrated apples it is yummo.

    Keep posting, I love it!

  2. Yep, that's definitely a perk to living in Utah. I love having Honeyville Grain so close...although I actually had one within an hour's drive when I lived in CA.

    As for the home-waxing of cheese, it's one of those unsafe practices that people still do, like old, dangerous canning methods. Just a heads up, practice at your own risk.

  3. Wow, lucky you...what great shopping fun ! I posted about you and linked your blog after seeing you highlighted on facebook "Food Storage Made Easy" which I are just awesome !!!

    How thick does the wax have to be on the cheese to preserve it ? Can you just use plain wax or does it need to be a certain kind ? There are often good deals on block cheese, but with a smaller household now to feed (4 instead of 7 ) we just don't eat it fast enough. I am anxious to see how your cheese turns out too !

  4. Melissa - I live in Northern California. I have family in Utah though so I visit about once a year and stock up. I do like Honeyville Grain for online shopping because shipping is just $4.95 no matter how much you order. Word of warning though, do NOT order their powdered butter or cheese. Disgusting. Can't wait to check out your apple pancake recipe - just wish I would have seen it before I made pancakes for dinner tonight!

    Cherish (I've missed you!) and Nonna - I'm just looking into waxing cheese, there is lots of good information online but yes, it does take a certain kind of wax, although the wax is re-usable so if you take it off one cheese, you can re-melt and use it again.

    I also read several articles on the safety of it. You definitely want to do it right and not be careless with storing it, but I have found that government regulators are a little too overcautious when it comes to food warnings. Many of them seem to be borne more out of being sure they can't get sued, then actual science.

    Refrigerating cheese is actually a modern idea. (Actually it's a largely American idea.) Cheese is a MUCH older invention than refrigeration. There are definitely safety rules you need to follow though, like the thickness of the wax, optimal storage temperatures, and rotation.

    Surprisingly, cheese, eggs, and butter (for short term) don't need to be refrigerated if stored properly.

    I'll try it out first, and if I die, DON'T do it. :)

  5. I'm looking forward to your post about powdered milk. I have a sister who actually likes Morning Moo's better than real milk. It's sweeter, and you can literally taste the fat content. It's really pretty good. You can actually use it to make whipped cream which is impossible without the fat. Anyway, I hope you like it.

  6. I have waxed cheese in my food storage pantry right now. Everything is a risk, even store bought lettuce is a risk. But I love cheese and will be trying out my waxed cheese later this summer. That will be one year from the time I started waxing cheese. Yes, there are instructions for waxing cheese and there is special cheese wax that you need to purchase to do it, just not any old wax, like candle wax. I thought a class to my ward last year. Hugh success. Any way, you can buy your wax from You can find all of the supplies you need to make and store wax there. Good luck!

  7. Mardi,

    Terrific! Please update us on how it goes when you try it.

  8. Wow - now I can say I know someone famous! I'm excited to hear about your milk taste test. There are a lot of people who swear by the morning moo products. I haven't bought any because I'm a little wary of the fake dried milk. But, hey, if they like it, and it works, then maybe I should give it a try!

  9. So living in Utah definitely has it's advantages with regards to food storage. First, you don't seem soooo weird when you start dancing around during a discussion on wheat prices. But most importantly, second, we have conference sales. I scored huge savings when Augusson Farms changed alllll their labeling to reflect the new official name and label. They are the makers of morning moo and many blue chip products. Instead of relabeling, they sold everything during April Conference this year at very deep discounts. If you have family here, put out feelers for conference pricing and consider coming then. It can really make a difference. Especially if you only want to try something and regular prices are just too much for that.

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey. I found you last week and I'm being inspired to implement some new ideas.

  10. Christie - I've been reticent about "fake" milk too, so I had only stored real powdered milk. The problem is, my family wouldn't drink it. Even when we are living off food storage and there iss nothing else to drink.

    I think the only thing to do is to store real powdered milk for everything but drinking, and then store whatever tastes best for drinking.

    Nelle - I didn't know about Conference sales. I'll have my sister check it out for me. Thanks!

  11. I have 6 cans of powdered milk alternative that were handed down to me. From what I read online, milk alternative often has nasty ingredients like corn syrup, but I have no way of knowing since the label consists of "milk alt. '97" and nothing else, haha.

    I haven't tried using it in cooking since it isn't milk, but I finally got brave enough to try it in milkshakes and it tastes pretty good. I've probably been making 1-3 kinds of shakes a week, so if you have it, don't be scared of it!

  12. I started reading your blog after it was featured on the food storage made easy facebook page. Interesting project you are involved in! :) I love reading your new posts about the things that are working for your family, and especially the things that aren't working. It gives me ideas to try out.

  13. Thanks for the info/link about waxing cheese ! I am excited to hear how it goes and I pray it is all safe and delicious for everyone else who does it too !!!

  14. I remembered reading this post back when it was originally written, and I thought of you when I went shopping this past weekend. I live in the Sacramento area, and I found gamma lids at WinCo!! They run $5.98 each. I was in the bulk foods section looking at the buckets they sell, and the gamma lids were right there in the same display. Just thought I'd share.

  15. Have you tried the powdered butter, sour cream and cheese sold by Walton Feeds (Rainy Day Food Storage) or Blue Chip (now called Augason Farms)??? Wonder how those taste. The Augason Farms brand is being sold in Walmart.

  16. @spencenjess - I heard about gamma lids at Winco! How awesome is that? I shop at the one in Elk Grove and it doesn't have them but my sister-in-law told me the one in Folsom has them. And that is a GREAT price as well!

    @Phoenix - I have tried Walton Feeds but not Blue Chip. I still like Shelf Reliance butter the best.