Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Another Kind of Survival Pantry

The walls are unpainted.

One of the nerve racking problems with having a lot of allergies, mostly with a corn allergy, is that buying packaged foods is a crapshoot. You cannot trust something as simple as a bottle of water, cooking oil that claims to be just the oil listed on the bottle, or frozen strawberries that claim to be just strawberries.

Food is neatly stored.
How can bottled water be a problem? In the bottling process it is not unusual for manufactures to use corn starch as a lubricant in the machinery. Since it is not an actual ingredient of the product it is not listed as an ingredient on the label. For someone with a body as sensitive as mine this means finding out too late that another packaged food item is not safe. It creates not only a situation where I often waste money, but it means pain for as much as three days.

The broken ceiling allowed mice in.
When do I find a packaged food item that works, I, then, find the store is frequently out of that item. To resolve this I took an old coal room, I had been using for a dysfunctional pantry, and made my husband turn it into a decent pantry. I can, now, buy food by the case. 

Wood panel sealed the holes.

 I'd like to conclude this post with a recipe that uses many of the type of items stored in a pantry.

Sweet Potato Soup
Optional and alternatives ingredients are in parentheses.

2 c diced sweet potatoes (butternut squash, pumpkin)
1 large diced apple
(1 Tbs minced onions)
1 stalk mince celery
Water to cover (apple juice can be used in place of an apple and water)

Cook until tender. Turn off and cool for handling. Place a cup or two at a time in the blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pot and cook on medium low heat. Add:

½ tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp ground rosemary
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
(¼ tsp pepper)
1 c almond milk (any milk or cream, or milk or cream alternative)

Simmer 30 minutes or until thick and creamy. Top with roasted and salted sunflower seed. I like to roast the sunflower seeds myself and add Italian seasoning and salt at the end of the roasting.

Alternative roasted toppings:

pumpkin seeds
almond slices
chopped pecans
sesame seeds

Serve with Millet Bread.

A sweet alternative, instead of Italian seasoning and salt try cinnamon or pumpkin pie spices and 2 Tbs of your choice of sweetener. Then top with one of these choices:

sauteed apples
shredded apples
shredded carrots
candied nuts
candied seeds
dried cranberries

Serve with:
sweet crackers
in bowels made from pie crust
a couple of sugar cookie