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Thread: What's in your pantry?

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    What's in your pantry?

    I'm building a pantry - not the physical holder of foods, but the actual food in it.

    Just before the pandemic started I was baking our own bread. But after March, >poof< I could no longer get flour; I was buying it on an as needed basis. Luckily we could still get bread from the store. But, man, two years ago things were weird!

    But since then, I've given a lot of thought to building a store of food to last six months or so. I had some discussions with my mom, because I remember her canning a lot. And I remember her canning a lot because we kids were drafted into the prep. I remember peeling carrots, chopping green beans into 1-1/2" pieces, etc. So, I asked her - why did you do that? I thought for sure I was going to get a reason like "food security" or we were gathering in the harvest to last through the winter months. But what she said instead shocked me. (remember this was two years ago) She said that inflation was so bad in the 70s that every time she went to the grocery store prices were higher and higher, so she turned to canning to alleviate that issue.

    I didn't think anything about inflation until this year. And frankly, after my last grocery shopping trip I noticed a lot of things have almost doubled in price. At my local ALDI's I was getting butter for 2.99 - it's now 3.58; eggs were 1.27 doz, now 2.07, and all the produce is up. Some things didn't go up yet like sugar, flour, canned soups, coffee. So, I bought a flat of canned beans, a little extra coffee, and a few bags of rice (which was also up in price).

    I'm not doing this out of fear, but out of prudence and being a wise steward. Since 2 years ago I've had some leeway in my grocery budget for building a pantry storehouse, and I've done quite a bit.

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    One thing I've started doing again is baking sourdough (fermented rise) bread. This is a new thing for me as I've always made yeasted bread.

    I figured out that basically, about one pound of flour makes about one smallish loaf of bread. DH and I go through one loaf a week. So I did some looking online for great deals on flour and found a 50 pound bag for about 0.11 an ounce. I bit the bullet and bought it. I dry canned the flour into half gallon canning jars and now have flour to make approximately 45 loaves of bread.

    Dry canning: holding the temp of the contents in jars sans lids, at just over 200F for 90 minutes. Take out of the oven, pop the boiled and still hot canning lid on and fingertighten the ring to the jar. This kills any critters that may in your flour.

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    Senior Member Romans828's Avatar
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    Funny that you brought this up, H.F.

    I was just thinking this morning that I should "stock up" on Flour and Sugar - While I've never made bread from scratch, I'm sure there are tons of YouTube videos that can show me how.

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    We spent some time up at our cabin this past weekend. We went to an Amish store that I've been meaning visit. They have herbs and spices - good quality - for so little $$. I saw mustard seed - 10X more for the same price I bought a little jar of McCormicks. I did buy some thyme - a 1/4 pint (volume size) for under $2.00. SCORE!!!!!! I'll be planning to buy more spices and herbs from this store in the future.

    I also found canning lids! Hallelujah!!!! I usually get them from Menards but they don't always have them in stock. And I admit, I have carefully reused some of my old lids.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Romans828 View Post
    Funny that you brought this up, H.F.

    I was just thinking this morning that I should "stock up" on Flour and Sugar - While I've never made bread from scratch, I'm sure there are tons of YouTube videos that can show me how.
    You can a) buy and freeze yeast - and it will still be good. Or you can b) make a sourdough starter and make bread without yeast.

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