Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Value of The Pantry

My husband informed me that I am now a part of an official movement. Apparently the people who are preparing for inflated prices are being referred to as "Preppers". Since I have a garage full of canned goods and a chest freezer full of meat, I guess that I can't help but admit that I probably do fall into that group. (Thankfully that's not too wacky of a name!) But let me ask a question: Is it really a new movement to have food on hand for hard times? What we call a pantry these days is usually a small cupboard for a few boxes of cereal. The pantries of yester-year, however, were usually cellars or rooms full of shelves lined with stores. Shucks, even in Alaska in the 80's, most people had good-sized pantry rooms full of canned goods and powdered milk since shipping up here was more sporadic and unreliable. But now, if you have more than what fits in your ktichen cupboard, you have been relegated to a fringe group of society. The ironic thing is, from the explosion of homesteading websites I'm seeing online, this movement appears less fringe and more trend-setting!

So, I'm a Prepper. I will wear that badge with pride because today I was, in fact, prepared for a food emergency! It wasn't a job loss or shipping problem. It was an impromptu lunch/playdate with 2 other homeschooling families. 3 women and 12 kids arrived at the casa of yours truly, ready to devour some grub. I ran to the freezer and pulled out an extra package of lunchmeat and loaf of bread. I went over to my garage shelves and grabbed another jar of jelly and jug of mayo. On the way out, I stopped back by the freezer and pulled out a tub of bakery m&m cookies that I'd gotten on clearance and froze for those 'just in case' scenarios. Up to the kitchen to set-up my food. Back down to the garage when I remembered I had a few bags of Doritos on hand from a coupon sale the other day. I threw the bread and the meat in the microwave on the defrost cycle (at separate times of course!) and set up the sandwich buffet line. Feeling pretty good about myself and throwing a few pats on my own back, I was just about to settle into a chair when my 3 yr old asks "Can I have a drink?" Oops. I knew the juice I had made up in the fridge wouldn't go around the whole group, so back to the pantry one last time for a jug of juice (another sale, 'just in case' item). Voila-lunch! Gourmet? No. Happy kids? Yep. Comfy, chatting Moms? Yes!:)

Is this all about me bragging about how organized and on top of things I am? No. This is to show that a pantry has value beyond armageddon or catastrophic scenarios. Yes having food on hand will help with inflation, job loss, and logistical shutdowns. However, it's also a great thing to have for when you just wanna have some friends over to lunch!

Blessings to you and yours! Thank you for the encouraging comments on my maiden blog entry the other day:) Tonight I'm off to a class about building greenhouses. I'll post any helpful tidbits soon.

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