Thursday, January 19, 2012

500th post and all I can say is I'm tired and more about Mexico

I think the title says it all today.  This is post number 500!  Wow.  I didn't think I had that much to say.  Sometimes I don't and I just ramble.  Sort of like today...

I started my day at 4:15, got the kids up at 4:45 then I left to go to work.  I had their breakfast ready and their dinner ready.  They are responsible for getting their own lunches, although I put a bunch of food out on the counter for them to choose from.  I figure if I made their lunch it would probably end up in the trash, but if they make the same thing they are more likely to eat it.  I had a class to teach from 8-10 and another from 3:30-4:30.  That wouldn't have been bad except the place I was teaching was three hours from home.  Hence the very long day.

During my six hours of driving I was thinking about our prepping.  What else was I going to think about?  Perhaps dreaming of the rain that we are supposed to get?  I was thinking about our food storage and what I learned in Mexico.  The family from Cabo didn't have a huge variety of food that I saw.  Now they did say that they shop every couple of days for fresh items.  I witnessed many people walking home carrying bags of produce and fresh meat.  At their house almost every meal included beans and vegetables.  There were also tortillas at most meals.  The meat was used as a side dish except when it was a special occasion, then it would be a main dish. 

Here if I said I wanted a beef burrito the entire burrito would be filled with beef.  It could have 1/4 pound of beef stuffed into the thing, maybe even more.  There would be very little of anything else in the burrito.  At the home of the taxi driver, I was given a beef burrito for lunch.  I got a burrito filled with cut up vegetables and chilies and maybe a tablespoon of shredded beef mixed into it.  There were beans and rice on the side.  It was a complete meal, grain in the flour and rice, protein in the beef and beans, and vegetables. 

I don't always use a ton of meat when cooking dinner.  In fact, tonight's dinner, if you can call it that, had no meat.  I put 3 cups of water, two cups of wagon wheel noodles, and a can of spaghetti sauce into the rice cooker.  I turned it on at 4:45 this morning.  It cooked up perfectly.  The kids ate every bit.  I like cooking in the rice cooker because nothing burns and nothing overcooks.  This meal was in the cooker for 13 1/2 hours and supposedly tasted like I just threw it together.  Now if I was actually home I would have added some sourdough bread or something but the kids felt very grown up getting to stay by themselves for an hour and a half and serving themselves dinner.  Me, I missed having a family dinner since we eat together every night.

Back to Mexico.  I was thinking that I am working too hard on trying to get variety in our storage.  They said they ate the same dinner for two nights in a row.  They also had about three or four different dishes that they made each week, that they repeated week in and week out.  For Sunday they had something different each week.  Sure eating a different main dish and side dish everyday for an entire month may be normal for most people in the US but do we really need to eat that way?  Perhaps we should go back to the older times.  Monday meatloaf, Tuesday spaghetti, etc.  OK not that far back, but still, perhaps a basic 10 or 14?  We can still throw in something different or special.  It doesn't have to be set in stone. It doesn't have to be as basic as three or four dishes like the family that I visited.  But it sure would make the food storage plan much easier if we didn't expect to have such a variety.  If I had 10 different dinners then I'd need enough for 35 meals of each type.  For example, if I had spaghetti for one of the 10 dinners then I'd know I'd need 35 pounds of spaghetti in my storage to last one year and 35 jars or cans of sauce.  If burritos were in the 10 dinners then I'd need 35 jars or cans of beef chunks along with 35 cups of dried beans, 70 chilies, and 100 cups of flour for the tortillas.  At least having an estimate of how much I may actually use may be a better way of thinking about storing than how I do now.  One bucket of this, a bucket of that.  Never knowing if I truly have enough food. 

That's enough thinking for tonight.  375 miles, two lectures, 25 emails for work, one blog.  Bedtime.  Happy 500th post.


  1. Happy 500th post!


  2. For what it's worth, I struggle with deciding how much of what to store. But, when I decide what to make for a meal I look at what I have and mentally think of what I can make with what I have and then I make it. I suspect I would do the same after TSHTF. That is regardless of what I have stored I will evaluate it and make something from it. If I didn't store enough corn meal I will use more wheat or rice. Now I agree it would be "perfect" to have just the right amount of everything I can accept that reality is making do with what you have. I thinkl the important thing is to store food, preferably food you are familiar with and know how to prepare.

  3. Eating the same meal two night in a row is something we do. With maybe a lunch thrown in between. The economics of scale come into play. There is a certain quantity that is easiest to prepare and that is what is done. If it lasts two or three days then that is what we eat.