As events in NYC point out, when the power goes down, the refrigerator becomes a petri dish, and Tony-&-Sal’s aren’t delivering any more chicken parms, it’s time to go with what you have in your cupboards.
While we store a decent amount of food, much of our long-term food supply is packed in #10 cans. These cans are great, but unless you can use up the contents before the open container goes bad you might wind up wasting food. I never really gave that much thought because in my mind a #10 can of chicken-and-rice would probably be consumed within three days or so…well within the threshold of safety. But lately I’ve been thinking that smaller sized cans would be useful…especially for handing out to friends or, more importantly, for creating ‘custom menu’ food packages.
Mountain House is obviously the benchmark for this sort of thing. The food is pretty tasty and should last for the rest of my life. Trouble is, it’s expensive, the menu is limited, and they really pissed me off with the screw-the-small-dealer program a few years back. I’ve been wanting to experiment more with the Augason Farms brand products. I am especially interested in their ‘everyday size‘ cans. These are cans that are much smaller than the #10 so you can use up the contents much more quickly. I decided to take advantage of a sale and order a bunch of stuff to try out and feed to the unsuspecting wife. Depending on what seems good (or not good) I’ll probably wind up ordering more to supplement ,round out, and add creativity to our long-term stored food supply.
First off, here’s the difference between the #10 can and the smaller ‘everyday size’ which, according to industry specs, looks to be a “#2.5″ size. Here’s a photo for size comparison. The Coke can is for scale.
As you can see, the #2.5 size can might be a bit more practical in terms of ‘dinner for two’. Of course, some stuff is gonna be just fine if you open the #10 can and then put a plastic lid on it…rice, vegetables, etc. But some stuff will draw moisture like crazy and cake up (eggs, for instance). So it might be nice to have those in smaller ‘single serve’ cans.
I picked up some soup mix, egg mix, cereal, etc, etc, and will be trying them out over the next few weeks and reporting back on what I thought of them. While I’ll be trying these things ‘standalone’ I’ll also be incorporating other long-term foods into them to see how well they integrate…like adding some canned chicken to the chicken soup, for example. Or using the freeze-dried strawberries with some sugar and other ingredients to make syrup for the pancakes…that kinda thing. What’s nice is that the #2.5 cans give me a chance to try a product without having to spend the coin on the #10 and then find out I don’t like it.
I’m rather looking forward to trying this stuff out. They have daily specials on the website and also on their Facebook, so if this looks like stuff you might be interested in check those venues for sales.