Thursday, December 5, 2013

Prepper-ish: A List for Those Who Are Not Too Worried, but Want to Skip the Stores (Bonus Cookie Recipe!)

Oatmeal Cookies
Image credit: Paul martin on Flickr
As a winter storm barreled our way this morning, one of my favorite writers, SortaCrunchy, asked what we were doing to prepare.  I mentioned that we didn't do much beyond baking a double batch of our favorite dark chocolate walnut oatmeal cookies, because we are prepper-ish.  In other words, you will never see us on a reality TV show, and we would be in deep doodoo if a disaster lasted beyond a couple of weeks, but we also get to avoid the panicked crowds at the store before the occasional ice storm.  So, if you want to be reasonably prepared in case of a minor emergency, but have no interest in Youtube videos about the coming apocalypse, this post is for you.

Our pantry staples:
  • Several cases of bottled water (enough to last our family of six and pets for several days)
  • Several bags of chocolate chips (seriously, we do not want to endure stress without chocolate)
  • Plenty of coffee (ditto)
  • Several cans of sweetened condensed milk for the aforementioned coffee
  • Toilet paper
  • Trash bags
  • Salsa
  • Flour
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Vanilla
  • Oatmeal
  • Candles
  • Lighters and matches, flashlights and batteries
  • Any meds
  • Beans and rice, because we like them
  • Cocoa and tea
  • Dish soap
  • Canned goods that we actually like, mainly tomatoes 
  • Pet food
  • Applesauce
  • Pasta
  • Parmesan cheese
  • precooked shelf stable bacon
  • chicken broth
  • Folex (a miracle worker for cleaning anything, especially if you can't do laundry for a few days)
  • plain bleach
  • chiles
  • salt
Our freezer staples:
  • ground beef
  • chicken
  • cream
  • frozen fruit
  • butter (I have a Paula Deen streak, y'all, and I also stock up on pastured butter during the spring and summer and then stick it in the freezer so that I have it year round)
  • bread
Most of these are pretty self-explanatory, but you likely noticed the prevalence of comfort foods.  I know that there is the idea that if you are starving, you will eat anything, but it isn't true, and we have kids, and honestly--if I am already stressed out and in an emergency situation, I need my coffee and chocolate.   Similarly, I am not optimistic enough to think that that will be a great time to try to convince my children that canned spinach is going to be delicious.  So I only stock things that we already enjoy and would use, which means we are limited on the veggies, but most spaghetti sauces have veggies, or you can do some V-8 or something.  And though I know how gross Velveeta is, it lasts forever and makes really good cheese dip, so I keep a box or two and some Rotel on hand as a special treat.  Think of your favorite foods and plan from there.

Although water is the biggie, I also want plenty of flavored beverages in case we need to boil water later on.  In Haiti, we added a few drops of bleach to the water and boiled it to make it safe for drinking, then disguised the taste by making it into strong coffee with lovely Haitian vanilla.  Tea or cocoa can be used if you aren't into coffee or just want a variety.

Since we have dealt with egg and dairy allergies in the past, I am not too worried about eggs and milk (and applesauce can make a good egg substitute for baking).  

We also keep an extra can of propane for our grill in case we need to use it for cooking.

For any minor medical emergencies, having four kidlets means that we are pretty well stocked, but I try to make sure we have plenty of the basics: essential oils, bandaids, pain reliever, allergy meds, burn ointment, etc.

Make sure that all phones, etc, are fully charged, and there are even some neat solar chargers and other fun things if you are worried about being without electricity for a considerable period.

Books, of course.

Our little ones are now weaned, and out of diapers (praise Him!), but you would obviously want to have extra diapers in their sizes, wipes, and any other baby needs.

I have a diva cup and cloth pads.  Although I am not a fan of the diva normally, I would totally go with it in this scenario.

The FEMA site has some helpful guidelines for building your own emergency kits here.

The good thing is that you don't have to stock up all at once.  An extra case of toilet paper here, and few extra cans of tomatoes there, a $4 case of water this week, an extra bag of chocolate chips next week go a long way without breaking the budget. 

As we cozy up with extra blankies, a movie and cookies, I am really glad that I won't have to fight anyone at the store or be around well-meaning but inept drivers on icy roads for the next few days.

Now, for our favorite cookie recipe.  I suck at giving recipes because I am of the throw-it-together-till-it-looks-right school of measurement, but this one is nearly impossible to screw up.  I used to do a GF/EF/DF version, and it always turned out great!

2 C flour
2 C regular oats
1 1/3 C honey or sugar
1 1/2 C dark chocolate chips (we love the 60% cacao Ghiradelli, but any is fine)
1 C walnuts
1 rounded tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 sticks melted butter
1 egg
generous glug of vanilla
a splash of milk if needed

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix dry ingredients together (if you use honey, save it for the wet ingredients).  Melt butter and let cool just enough so that it won't melt the chocolate or cook your egg.  Add in the egg, vanilla, honey and stir, then blend with the dry ingredients.  It should be thick enough to hold its shape, but thoroughly moistened.  If you need to (basically if you used sugar instead of honey), add a splash of milk.  Scoop into golf-ball sized balls and put on a cookie sheet.  Back about 15 minutes or until the edges are golden.  Then enjoy the sound of the storm on your windows with a good book, cookies and coffee.  :)

1 comment:

SortaCrunchy said...

I am beyond DELIGHTED that you wrote this up! THANK YOU! So inspiring.