Wednesday 1 July 2015

An Experiment

Above is my attempt at collecting all of the bits from the willow tree.  Many would call it mess, I call it fire starter.  I think Bear Grylls and Ray Mears would be proud.

This post isnt about sticks though.  It is more about the experiment we had, at first we thought it would be for 4 months and it lead to 8 months.  What am I on about?  Well, I gave up work and we lived off of our food stockpile and savings, to see how long we would last.  Nearly 8 months.  Who would have thought.  The Mr carried on working, that was put aside.  This was to see in an emergency how would we do.

Over the last month I have started to restock, after being asked to help on a project.

We did buy fresh veg and milk, and almond milk.  Everything else was from the cupboards or stock pile.  

What did I run out of?  The first thing was lentils, then canned chickpeas (I was really upset about this, but I had dried chickpeas, that I cooked in the pressure cooker), then the nuts went and that was a real blow.  I still had 6 kilos of pasta shells and I think I have 7 500g bags of linguine left.  

I had previously worked out how much chicken I would need to freeze for the 4 months (4 chicken breasts a week for 16 weeks).  We did have some lamb already in the freezer (I dont like that and I dont like the smell in the house after either) and 5 packs of venison we had been given.

The meals were some what repetivitive, and asian cookery books were employed to help out.  The kidney bean burger on the blog 'a girl called Jack', were spiced up and are lovely.  A must try if you like bean burgers, I like the beans mashed only slightly.

What do I still have lots of and what didnt we use?  We have loads of rice.  I think about 12 kilos still.  What didnt we not use? Canned meat balls in a tomato sauce, I was told when I bought them,  I really like them I will eat them.  2 cans gone, 6 left.  I am putting them into the food bank box next time I pass.  I wont eat them as I dont like the idea of them.

There you have it.  Please dont ask me what levels/quantity of any things we had in there, as I didnt have it listed when we started.  Would we do it again?  Not unless it was the real thing.

What would I have the next time around if I was to do it?  More spicy food types.  Say dried fajita mix, and more curry sauce jars, maybe enough for one every other week.

I want to look into chapati flour.  I havent a clue how well that keeps.

Has anyone else done something like this?


Dani said...

Try keeping your nuts in the freezer. They won't turn rancid :)

lovelygrey said...

That's brilliant. I'm really impressed. Chapati flour is great. I think it keeps a while in a sealed tub. x

Sol said...

Hey dany, when I said they went, I meant we ate them all. eek.

Hey Lovely Grey, some days I just didnt want to make bread. I cant wait to see what you do to your house when you move in. Exciting times ahead!

Chickpea said...

That's a really long time, well done! I am trying to stretch my shopping trips further and further apart but don't think I would manage that long. We have a veg box and milk delivered once a week which helps to keep me away from the shops. You have got me thinking though, I may try to stretch the supplies even longer.

Sol said...

Hey Chickpea. We wanted to test our emergency fund level, for me to finish studying and to get a handle on what real levels we needed. it was completely by accident we carried on, as we didnt expect to take so long to move house.

I have plans for my prep/stock pile area and my short term stock level and storage.

powdered peanut butter is not the same at all. I still have probably 8 american cup loads left from the canister I bought from amazon as a test.

Maybe we should all do a picture of our pantrys or cupboards to show our levels and what we all use the most? Maybe on sunday?

Kev Alviti said...

Sounds like a great test but I know we'd run out pretty quickly at the moment but it's something I'm working on and trying to build more space to house it all. It's amazing how much we get through some weeks. How would you have coped without power and a freezer? I'm planning to get our house rigged to run off a generator if needed, but then again I have many plans!

Anonymous said...

I'm stuck on the twigs since I started a fire yesterday to get rid of a bunch of sticks. Is that wrong?

Tom Stephenson said...

I could not keep a pig and eat it, it would just turn into a pet. A hungry pet...

Sol said...

Hi Kev, in the old house I had wardrobes in the spare room like Tom And Barbara in the good life with the cabbages in the wardrobes. If you can fit it in, like we had, make sure it is in a north facing room. My friend had no choice where hers went and she said 4 years ago she had cans blow from the heat through the window on to her shiny black cupboards in the kitchen. kapow! food spurting out of the top.

Susie, the willow tree blew down it will make great starter fuel with news paper. I have 6 boxes like that. Some might buy fire lighters but they do pong a bit. hope it was a good fire. We are having a bit of a heat wave at the moment.

Hey Tom, I dont like the smell of pork cooking either. I am strange I think or something.

Harry Flashman said...

I'm really impressed, Sol. Not many have the foresight and fortitude to actually test out their plans like that. Good for you and the husband.

Sol said...

Hey Harry, if we hadnt of been moving house and I had my garden and green house up to capacity I think we could definitely live off of one wage for the long term and no wages for at least 5 months. we are reviewing the spreadsheets and the remainders in the cupboards. As I have kept the new stock completely separate from new. I will update with the final examination of the accounts and start fresh knowing weights and levels of all new for the future from the experiment spreadsheets and our account. It is interesting reading to me. May not be to others but it shows where we went wrong in stark relief.

My parents are very kindly gifting us both a hand crack mill and an electric one. So we will be able to buy wheat berries from my friend who is Mormon and she will purchase this and mylar bags from her church for me. I am hoping to attend one of their preparedness events. Especially with what is going on in Greece and with the French ferry blockades. even my parents are getting into it all now.

Hope you are well

Sol said...

that should say hand crank mill. lol

Harry Flashman said...

My wife is up visiting the kids in the North. She will be gone all summer. The ferrets and I are keeping things in order here.

Sounds like your records are as detailed as mine. It takes some time but once in awhile looking at the details gives you some surprises!

Good deal on the mills, both hand crank and electric. Having a good Mormon friend is invaluable. They are both good people, and very knowledgeable about preparedness. Both the massive migrations out of Africa and the Middle East, and the economic troubles everywhere, have a lot of people on edge. With good reason, I think.

Sol said...

I worry that what is happening in Greece could easily happen here. 60euros a day. What if you live on an island and have to pay for your water before they deliver it?

My stock pile is being added to, every week at the moment. I think I need to challenge people to have 2 weeks of food in their house.