We are re-stocking our family’s 6-8 month pantry supply. Recently we started inviting some people in our area to order with us when we order for our on line store in bulk when we ordered for the inventory. The question was soon asked of me, “Just what do I stock?”
This has a lot to do with what your family will eat. In an emergency situation, of course taste buds are not as picky, but simply stated the two things aside from actually something they or you will consume are: Nutritional value and long term storage. The next two things to consider are how these items will be prepared (do they require many more ingredients?) and how often will you serve it over a 6 month period.
You probably already stock most pantry basics needed to prepare for a disaster.
Canned foods are some things immediately come to mind, whether you can your own or purchase store bought canned goods. Vegetables canned in a liquid are excellent to have on hand in case of a water shortage, as the liquid can be used in place of fresh water in your recipe. A variety of dried herbs and spices (or even some live ones in the garden/containers), as well as salt, are a necessity for adding flavor to make pantry foods more tasty.
Olive oil is fine unrefrigerated for a few months, indefinitely in cooler weather. You might want to stock up on small jars of mayonnaise that can be used quickly. Although it has preservatives, nd it will separate after opening if not refrigerated or kept on ice, it does have a week or so of shelf life.
Whole grains to be milled into flour will last for years if stored in a dry and cool place. Sugar, salt, and honey are everlasting as long as they are properly stored in sealed packages or waterproof containers.
Pastas, rice, and dried legumes have long shelf lives, unless your water supply is limited. Dry cereals can be eaten without milk or with canned juice as a snack or a meal on the run, a sure kid-pleaser. Pasteurized milk is now available in boxes which will keep in your cupboards up to 6 months and come in handy. Powdered and evaporated canned milk are further backups.
Dehydrated onions and mushrooms, along with canned vegetable juices, are great for soups, stews, and dutch oven meals with the additional benefit of reducing the need for added salt due to the concentrated flavor. Dehydrated fruits are also quick energy with almost a ‘teat’ type reward.
Canned meats and seafood can be used in cold or hot dishes. Processed cheese food and dry grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses are shelf-stable for a few weeks and can fill in for cheese flavor.
It is important to be prepared in the kitchen for whatever may hit. Either because of natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, blizzards, and even simple short-term power outages or crisis that arise from food shortage or gas shortage for shipping, a 6-8 month pantry is a good idea.