I found something that's revolutionizing our pantry here at HomePlace. Making our own convenience mixes as preparedness planning takes a bit of time, but is well worth it. Why buy boxed and bagged dinners at steadily increasing prices when you can do your own and control your ingredients?
The idea took hold when I discovered Dinner's In the Jar by Kathy Clark. She explains how to create a 90 day supply of dinners stored in Mason jars. This book is not available at our library and Barnes and Noble doesn't carry it either. Drat!
What to do? I wanted to start immediately, not make an order to Amazon and wait. I searched further and found budget101.com and recipelion.com which have extensive lists of convenience mixes. I began with making seasoning mixes.
Understand I can't leave well enough alone and have to mess with recipes to suit our tastes. I read the ingredient lists and went to the local discount warehouse to stock up on onion powder, garlic powder, dried onion, chili powder, assorted boullions and parlsey in larger sizes. Other spices and herbs were in our spice box already, but I'd need to replenish them soon.
Secondly, you don't need to trot out and stock up on canning jars. Use what you have at home first! Chip dip jars, olive jars, salsa jars and the like are wide mouth jars with rubber where the jar meets the lid. Even freezer type baggies will do.
None of the following recipes contain sugar; if you want it, have at it!
Here's two spice mix recipes I modified:
2TBS + 1 tsp paprika Mix and store in air-tight
2TBS garlic powder container. Use on seafood
2TBS onion powder chicken, fish, beans, or on rice.
1TBS chicken boullion Can be used in other mix recipes.
1TBS Italian seasoning
1TBS dried thyme
1TBS cayenne pepper ( HOT - may want to modify more)
Taco Seasoning Mix
1TBS dried minced onion Combine in air-tight container.
2TBS chili powder
2 TBS paprika
41/2 tsp cumin
3 tsp onion powder
2 1/2 tsp garlic
1/8 tsp cayenne or red pepper
Add 3 TBS to1# browned ground beef,chicken or turkey. Add 1/2 c water or 1/2 c salsa for extra zip. Use in other convenience mixes to follow in future blogs.
Stay tuned for more recipes and hints for preparing your emergency pantry supplies.
I've made up 37 dinner mixes in jars and bags in two "sittings" of 1 to 2 hours each. The project will continue for some time, complete with culinary experiments. The rice pudding dessert mix recipe needs a lot of tweaking, for instance!
Hope to live off these during the summer with the garden, home raised rabbits, venison,chickens, eggs and some purchased meat added in. Almost forgot the home cannned fruit and jams, too!