We know what the root cellar held, and the importance of canning, what the freezer held, and we’ve been dehydrating . And indeed, this year’s root cellar is going to be even more complete than last season’s, the freezer is nearly full, and dehydrating is in the works. All great means of preparing for winter, but we haven’t discussed perhaps the most important; staples!
Putting up food is not just a “prepper” ideal for potential zombie attacks, nor is it folly or old fashioned. It is smart. One good snow storm or emergency could leave you home bound. One lost job or identity theft could keep you from spending money. Having a house stocked with food is important and takes away a lot of worry and fear.
In a pinch, you could blend together baking powder, oil, flour, salt, and water to make fluffy biscuits for breakfast or guests. Use jam from the root cellar and you have a fabulous treat. You can make bread from just salt, yeast, flour, and water. You can make a lot of delicious meals more filling with cooked farro, or barley, or couscous, or rice. Dried beans are at the ready to simmer all day to enjoy on a cold winter’s night with some warm bread.
Organic bulk grains, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and flours are fairly inexpensive (two bucks a bag for beans) and can make several meals complete. I store mine in canning jars so that I can see what I have. Otherwise they become mountains of staples in the pie safe that I forget I had. One positive thing about closing my retail front was reclaiming one of my display pieces. It is a sixty plus year old hardware shelving unit with several cubbies. I love the look of it, the numbered spaces, and the vintage appeal it lends to my kitchen. It is becoming a wine rack/staples case. Filled with canning jars of nuts, beans, and different grains and flours, and of course, wine, it will lend an easy air to cooking in my kitchen this winter.
Look for split peas, lentils, pinto beans, white navy beans, rice, barley, couscous, cornmeal, walnuts, pine nuts, any thing you enjoy, and fill the canning jars with them. Display. They look great out and make cooking dinner more inspiring.