“We demand entire freedom of action and then expect the government in some miraculous way to save us from the consequences of our own acts…. Self-government means self-reliance.”
One of the reasons people hesitate to stock their pantries and fruit cellars with the shelf-stable foods that will provide essential nutrients during a time of economic downturn or man-made or natural disaster is the idea that canned food is gross and boring. Not so. I’ve provided for you some recipes tailored to foods that can be a part of long-term home storage. These are not the C-rations or MREs. They are tasty, quick, and inexpensive dishes that will provide the nourishment and familiarity that will help families and individuals get through times of scarcity. All of the ingredients in these recipes have a shelf life of at least 1 year, and longer if refrigerated.
Drain the canned vegetables, cook the pasta until it is firm to the bite, drain and cool. Mix all ingredients and serve. 8-10 servings.
Coconut Fruit Salad
15 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
8 oz. can pineapple tidbits, drained
1/2 cup coconut
Mix the fruit and let marinate in the natural juices before service. 4-6 servings.
1 can kidney beans
1 can green beans
1 can corn
two cans tomatoes
2 can chicken broth or 2 cups water and 2 bouillon cubes
1 package dried taco seasoning
Mix all in pan (including all juice) Simmer for 15 minutes-soup, garnish with corn chips. 6-8 servings
Smothered Green Beans
4 cans cut green beans
4 ounces of shelf-stable real bacon bits
dehydrated onion or Lipton onion soup mix
2 T margarine or butter flavor shortening
Add margarine in bottom of pan with bacon bits and dehydrated onion. Saute for a few minutes and add 2 cans of green beans with no juice and 2 cans with the juice of the beans. Cook until wilted and smothered. Add salt and pepper to taste. 8 servings
Au Gratin Potatoes – Food Storage Recipe
5 cups dried potato slices
1 – 2 Tbsp. dried onion
2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
¾ cup powdered milk in 4 cups water
Salt and pepper
½ cup cheese powder
1 cup crumbled bread crumbs
Soak potatoes and salt for 1 hour. Drain (save water for mixing with milk). Grease casserole layer ½ of potatoes in bottom. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and ½ of onion and ½ of cheese powder. Layer remaining potatoes, then salt and pepper, onion, and remaining cheese powder. Mix reconstituted milk and whisk in flour. Pour over potatoes. Bake in oven, checking every 15 minutes. On the 3rd checking, sprinkle bread crumbs over potatoes. Cover and bake 15 more minutes.
Banana Bread – Food Storage Recipe
1 cup sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1 cup dried bananas, broken into very small pieces, soaked until tender, and drained
½ cup vegetable oil or shortening
¼ cup reconstituted powdered milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Lightly grease 8×4 bread pan. Mix dry ingredients (first 5) together. Cream together remaining ingredients, then add wet ingredients to dry. Mix well. Pour batter into pan. Bake on foil ring for 1 hour. Check for doneness. Cook until done (bread has pulled slightly away from sides).
Dried Apple Pie
2 1/2 c. dried apples
2 1/2 c. or more of water
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. butter
Lemon juice or raisins (optional)
Cook dried apples in water until tender. Lemon juice may be added for tartness. Add sugar, cinnamon and salt. If it is to juicy add a little thickening. Pour into pastry lined pie pan. Dot with butter and add top crust. Bake in moderate oven 40 to 45 minutes
Basic Shortening Pastry for 2 9 inch pies
2/3 c. + 2 tbsp. shortening
4-5 tbsp. cold water
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
Cut shortening into flour and salt until the size of peas. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1-2 teaspoons extra water can be added if needed.)
Divide pastry into 2 flattened rounds. Roll on floured surface. Roll one round 2 inches larger than top of pie pan, fold in fourths, put in pie pan and unfold ease into corners (try not to pull). Roll other round, fold, cut slits, place over filling, unfold.
These recipes resemble the foods that sustained the Greatest Generation through the Depression, minus the home-grown vegetables and fruits. Our parents and grandparents made due with simple ingredients, many of which could be stored in root cellars and larders. Some of our best memories are of the home cooking from simple, often spare, times past.