A site for sore tastebuds and a woeful wallet

Snow Storm And Living Off Stores

A great snow storm is headed our way so I thought having been a Girl Scout and a Scout Leader I would but those skills to work by being prepared…I earned my camping and cooking badges and have always taken the motto and the promise to heart.  I thought I might practice those skills tonight by living off of foods we’ve had in storage.  We have many dehydrated foods that can be re-constituted if need be.  Tonight I prepared some favorites of au-gratin potatoes, fresh baked bread and frozen pork chops.  This meal was delicious and we have plenty more put away to get us through the approaching storm.

49582I don’t want to be caught up in the grocery store frenzy either and by baking bread, we will have both good food and something fun to do.  I’ve stocked up on milk so that is covered, and also, since Easter is coming, I’ve purchased plenty of eggs already.  We now have no reason to go out among the frantic shoppers who must grapple for that last loaf or gallon, and check out in what I like to refer to as the “panic aisle”, because we were prepared long49584 before the storm.

This evening I wanted to use some of my dehydrated ingredients to make potatoes au-gratin with other vegetables all of which have been stored since 2009.  The chops have been in the freezer for about a month, and the bread was made from flour with which we have rotated use from storage under a day bed set in a little nook in the basement that is the perfect height for five gallon buckets.  We’ve done this for years.  Quite a few fit under there and they are all full of things we might need if this storm gets really bad or maybe just if we run out of something in the kitchen pantry.  All we have to do is shop from under the bed.

49588So to make this meal, I put a good handful of potatoes in a pie plate, some dried tomatoes, onions and green peppers also were sprinkled in for added taste and nutrients,  I shredded some Co-Jack and Parmesan cheese, poured 49590milk and a little cream over everything until they were completely 49591submerged then dotted a bit of butter around, seasoned it with salt and pepper, and put it in a 350° oven.  The oven was already warm because I had baked some bread just before and it made the house smell lovely.  The potatoes took about 50 minutes to become bubbly and browned on top and in the last fifteen minutes I started the chops which were now completely thawed, bones 49593removed, and in a skillet, I pan seared them with a little olive oil and spices on both sides.

49594For the last five minutes I turned off the fire, put a lid on them, and gave them a while to rest.  When the potatoes were ready, I removed the chops 49595to a plate and let them rest a bit more under a foil tent while I made a little gravy with the drippings in the pan.  Flour, spices, salt, pepper and water is all I needed for that.  Suddenly everything came together and we found ourselves eating a beautiful meal together.

49597It was amazing how much flavor the potatoes had.  It was as if they were sliced just an hour before.  You could never tell that they had been hanging around the house for the past four years because they were stored well.  Same with the vegetables…the onions, tomatoes and peppers though they were very well cooked, tasted terrific!  If I could, I’d love to have a dairy cow because the milk, butter, cream, and cheese didn’t hurt the flavors in this dish a bit.  You can bet I’ll be looking into ways to store dairy products in the future because that is the only thing I haven’t figured out how to store.  It is so good when it’s fresh, I just never considered any other way to slice cheese or spread butter.  Maybe during this snow storm something will come to me.  I’m open to suggestions.  In the meantime, to all my Mid-West friends, get ready to put your scouting skills to work:  “Be prepared” and take care.


4 responses

  1. Dinah Hale

    I hope someday I can visit you guys and see how you have everything set up. I *LOVE* what you guys do and this website. The potatoes au-gratin looked amazing.

    March 27, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    • Thanks Dinah! I hope you can come and visit some time too. We got over a foot of snow so I’m sure you don’t miss that…maybe you do but anyway, we had some fun in it and stayed nice and cozy inside.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:10 pm

  2. It looks delicious as usually! Have a great week!

    April 1, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    • Yikes! Has it really been a month of not blogging? A delayed thank you, and I hope you had a lovely April.

      April 30, 2013 at 3:13 pm

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