*May is Dairy Month*
01 May 2005May is here already! Thanks for being patient with me. I am not as regular as the folks who keep the board up to date with the monthly updates. I see from this experience of posting monthly, how difficult it is to be regular month after month. Anyway -- May is my month for Dairy. Dairy is my weakest area of food storage and since my wife grew up on a dairy farm and was a herd master on an 80 head dairy farm after college for her first job, we eat a lot of diary and I need to really strengthen that area. OK, let’s "fill in the gaps" in our dairy food stores. Prior month’s suggestions are on my web page at http://www.alpharubicon.com/~stryder/survive.htm.
My goal with this plan is to systematically improve my food stores while not significantly impacting my family budget. I think you all know that now. If you already have a plan going (and you should!) then you can use this as a guide to make sure you address each area systematically. If you don’t have a storage plan going (you should start one!), then just follow this plan for the whole year.
BUY WHAT YOU EAT AND EAT WHAT YOU BUY. Buy what works for you and if you say to yourself "Why is he recommending that?" then don’t buy it! Just stick with the general category, dairy this month, for example. Remember to clearly mark your food as you store it so that it is easy to rotate the older food.
May is Dairy/Egg month. The suggested goal in the literature that I’ve seen is 40 lbs. of dairy per person/per year. Fifty dollars this month will buy about 25 lbs. of diary, enough for about 0.6 man-years.
One #10 can of dry milk = 4.1 lbs.
4 lbs. of non-fat instant dry milk will reconstitute into 20 quarts of liquid milk.
1 cup whole fresh milk = ½ c evaporated milk + ½ c. water
1 cup whole fresh milk = 1/3 c instant dry milk solids or 1 ½ Tbs. non-instant dry milk powder + ¾ c water
1 cup whole fresh milk = 1 c. reconstituted non-fat dry milk + 1 Tbs. Butter
Storage – Remember your mileage may vary. These are the guidelines I use and they have served me well over 20 years of food storage. If you find through experience that you get more or less storage time out of your storage – adjust these as needed.
Milk, Canned, Sweetened, condensed – 30-36 months
Milk, Canned, Evaporated – 30-36 months (invert cans every 4 months)
Milk, Powdered (Instant non-fat) – 12-18 months
Milk, Powdered (Non-fat Dry) – 36 months
Buttermilk Powder – 36 months
Creamer, non dairy – 24-28 months
Cheese (cheddar, edam, gouda, etc.) Hard and Wax coated – 6 months
Cheese, Parmesan or Romano, grated – 12-18 months
Cheese Powdered – 36 months
I store my dairy in the original containers I buy it in for the most part. I do take powdered milk and cheese and store it in vacuum sealed quart canning jars for extended shelve life, sometimes with an oxygen absorber thrown in for even longer term storage. My kids like powdered cheese and eat it in cooking often for cheese sauces on vegetables and pasta, mac and cheese, and in cheese breads. They do like reconstituted powdered milk much though. I know, I know, they will eat what they have to when the chips are down and I’m sure it’s true. But as much as I can I try to make sure that what I store we use and like and if TSHTF tomorrow we would have as little change as possible for the things I can control. So … we use some Carnation Malted Milk mixed with the powdered milk and the kids like it much better. I also have used Hershey’s Quick Chocolate Powder (they don’t like that as much and it has a lot more calories) and some vanilla, they like that as much as the malted milk powder.
Here’s my list for April:
Milk, Powdered non-fat – 8 lbs. $18.00
Milk, Canned, evaporated (12oz.) – 12 cans $7.50
Cheese, Powdered 3 lbs. $10.80
Cheese, Parmesan 4 lbs. $8.00
Eggs, Powdered – 1 lbs. - $6.50
You know the drill - If you’re good to go already with one of those suggestions, move the money and buy extra of one of the others where you're a little weak. The nutrients and fat from dairy are important to overall health and many of the foods you may want to make like bread and puddings will require dairy ingredients.
And if you’re completely good on dairy then you might want to spend this month’s $50 on canning supplies, jars, bands, lids, pickling mix, pectin, etc. – none of which will be a part of this food program this year but all are still critical for a well rounded storage supply.
Remember that cooking requires a heat source! Make sure that you have a way to cook this food if things start to fall apart. A camp stove, a BBQ grill, a charcoal grill and a supply of charcoal. Double check that you have a way to cook if your kitchen stove is not available.
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