This is a cross listed post from my blog, Return to Rural. all rights reserved.
While on a road trip through Ohio last month, I stopped at Lehman's Hardware Store... a catalog and retail store specializing in hard-to-find old-fashioned tools and whatnot. It started off as a supply store for the local Amish community but has morphed into a landmark of sorts. Though I'd received the catalog for years, this was my first trip to the barn itself. I was a touch disappointed to find it 99% full of Made in China crap with the ambiance of a crowded Kroger. Still, it was full on that particular Saturday, and it did draw me in to take a look, and businesses must change with the times. While there I picked up a handful of postcards as well as a book titled Independence Days. It's about food preservation and security. I've had quite an interest in food preservation for a number of years but yet to develop skills in any methods other than dehydration, either in the sun or in the oven.
I chose to read Independence Days because it's more than just a how-to. I feel it presents more than the hows of food preservation but the undeniable need for a return to being resourceful ants. We've been grasshoppers for too long already. The way our culture disregards basic human common sense borders on arrogant. Heaven forbid there ever be a catastrophe... how long could we expect to live healthily on a diet of fruit flavoured corn syrup 'juice' and dead white bread. In one sense, we're already amidst such a catastrophe as the foods that are often covered by food stamp or child welfare programs are similarly empty and no doubt contribute to this nation's declining health on the whole. All these issues are cyclical and intertwined.
What foods do you preserve or store? Do you keep pantry staples on hand that could last you and your family an extended period of time? What advice would you share with someone just beginning a food storing habit? Are there any particular foods or resources you would suggest?