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100-Day Pantry: 100 Quick and Easy Gourmet Meals

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  • Posted November 23, 2011

    Easy food storage--great for beginner.

    It's a great book. It advocates buying enough stuff for 100 days, and then rotating through that stock weekly in order to use everything up before its expiration date. It's based mainly on cans. This is bad if you're trying to avoid BPA; however, if you have a picky family/husband that would stop eating if he had to rely on beans, rice and wheat, this is a very feasible alternative. I probably only had 4 weeks of food in the house, and now I have 3 - 4 months.

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  • Posted March 2, 2011

    Just What I Was Looking For

    This is the best cookbook I've found for cooking from the pantry and while the focus is on stocking up for an emergency, the recipes are good for everyday meals as well as when unexpected company comes or to provide a meal for someone in need when there's no time to go to the grocery store. The recipes use the kinds of staples most of us already have in our pantries. But best of all, this book is a wonderful resource for planning an emergency pantry without feeling fearful, overwhelmed, or intimidated.

    The fact is, it doesn't help much to stock up on random cans of food just because they are on sale if one doesn't have a plan for how to use them in an organized way and rotate them into regular meals before they expire. This is where the 100-Day Pantry cookbook comes in with recipes that use canned and dried foods that typically have at least a two-year shelf life and can be found at any grocery store. There are some exceptions such as dried broccoli and spinach that are used in a few recipes, but the author includes a list of online mail-order sources for such items.

    Jackson suggests trying a recipe before stocking up the ingredients and if the family likes it, then buy enough for a few meals to store in the pantry. This can be done over time by simply buying a few extra ingredients each week when doing regular grocery shopping until one has enough food stocked for whatever level of preparedness they feel comfortable with. She also gives suggestions for how to rotate the food into regular meals so nothing expires and is wasted.

    I've tried a couple of the recipes and they are quite good, using canned soups, vegetables, fruit, meats and fish, jars of processed cheese, and beans as well as pasta and grains such as rice and couscous. What I really liked is that fresh food can be substituted in the recipes for everyday meals. For example, in an emergency one might need to use the dried onions and sour cream powder called for in the recipe but for a regular meal, fresh onions and regular sour cream could be used. Instead of canned meat, one could use freshly cooked chicken or beef. The recipes are mostly main dish soups, stews, and casseroles, with a couple of desserts.

    Preparedness isn't fun to think about but having a plan in place with a stocked pantry for corresponding recipes makes it easier to live normally in a crisis. Because the recipes mostly use canned and dried food they may not be as healthy as when using fresh foods, but they are good tasting and nourishing.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book for review but the opinion of it is my own and was not solicited nor required. If I didn't like the book I would say so.

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