Monday, September 8, 2008

Prepping in Plain Sight - Stealth Food Storage

One of the major ingredients in my food storage program is spices and herbs. I’m a firm believer that taste really does matter and one of the easiest ways to enhance the flavor of your food is to use spices and hebs. The annual consumption of spices and herbs in America now exceeds three pounds a year and is continuing to increase, with the “hot variety” of spices showing the most dramatic increase (125 %). It’s no wonder those picnic packs of plastic utensils always have a package of salt and pepper in them.

I use large decorative glass containers to store my spices and herbs and keep them on shelves in plain view for everyone to admire. Place a label on the bottom of the container that will be out of sight or tie a card with a piece of ribbon to it with the date and contents. The capacity of the decorative containers varies but you can use whatever you have handy, as long as they have viable seals on the lids. The best thing is that the average person has absolutely no clue when admiring my collection of spices and herbs that they are viewing a year’s supply or more of that particular spice or herb. You can even tailor your spice and herb storage to your own particular tastes.



As an example, I have a couple of vintage (1982) Planter’s Peanuts apothecary jars with the wheat motif. The jars are 7" tall (8 1/4" if you include the lid), and 3 1/2" in diameter. They have a 24 ounce capacity when full and look very pretty sitting on the shelf full of brightly colored spices. Hiding in plain sight is one of the most effective ways to conceal an activity while making use of all available space!

Most of my spices I get in bulk through a barter agreement with a co-worker and I usually wind up with an excess of what I need. I merely put the excess in decorative containers that I get at flea markets and garage sales and use them as holiday gifts for friends and family. Simply tie a ribbon on them and attach a card with a witty saying and you’re good to go!

Some of the types of spices I keep stored are dehydrated onion and garlic, chili peppers, and paprika, along with dill and mustard seed.

You can find additional information (spices are listed in the misc. category) about our food supply and consumption rates here:

http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/publications/foodsupply/FoodSupply1909-2004Report.pdf


Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

23 comments:

Mayberry said...

Good idea, I like that one!

Belwether said...

I use those 1qt jars that scented candles come in - They have great sealing lids and are not that difficult to clean once the candle has expired.

Belwether

gott_cha said...

In plain site always seems to work.....

Good one RiverWalker!

Survival Chick said...

I think I'd die without Louisiana hot sauce... so thanks for the tip! Going to add it to my stash..

Staying Alive said...

I have 7 & 1/2 pounds of spices plus a couple bottles of Hot Sauce. I think I could use some more!

Michael

Marie said...

This is great because it looks good, takes care of the "where do I store this item" question, helps others to store with the gift idea, and encourages rotation because you would remember to use it. Thanks for an idea that works on so many levels!

riverwalker said...

To: mayberry

It's a good way to get the little ladies involved and they like pretty things they can set on the shelf for their friends to admire.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: belwether

I've also used the decorative candle jars. I try to find decorative contaiiners at yard sales, etc. first because they don't require as much "work" to prepare them for use. I get lazy sometimes.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: gott_cha

Being the wolf in "sheeple" clothing allows you to think like a "sheeple" but prep like a wolf.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: survival chick

Start a "hot sauce" collection, put it out on a shelf and you can brag about your "collection" of hot sauce. Hot sauce - gotta love it!

RW

BTW, Hot sauce is great on the veggies!

riverwalker said...

To: Michael

I get about 3 or 4 pounds of spices and stuff each time I do a little bartering. I'm gonna have to box some up and send it to you.
Might even send some to Mayberry!

RW

riverwalker said...

To: marie

I always like to have extra for gifts and to share with family and friends. Acts of kindness can be contagious. I usually wind up receiving a lot more than I give for some reason. You can also help others be a little more prepared while you're at it.

RW

Survival Chick said...

Oooohhh I love the idea of a collection! :)

Patricia said...

When I was out and about the net researching elderberries, I came across an article about herbs and spices--and their marvelous health benefits. We know now that cinnamon is good for balancing blood sugar levels and is a good antimicrobial agent. Cloves, nutmeg, allspice, all of these spices have some medicinal effects. And of course, so do herbs. Besides the miracles they can help produce in your kitchen, they are just plain good for you. One reason I have very little counter space is because I have and use so many spices, herbs, seeds, etc. Definitely get herbs and spices for your stored foods.

Great idea on the decorative containers--I'll copy that one!
HM

riverwalker said...

To: patricia

Use any idea you want if it can help you. I just hope to get more people better prepared.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: survival chick

Label your collection with the date and place it came from. It will help you in your roatation and give you a conversation starter as well.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: survival chick

If you still need to know a stealth hiding place for your stash of cash just e-mail me and I'll tell you what mine is - it's one of my tips that I won't make public but will share the idea for what it's worth if you ask. Thanks.

RW

scoutinlife said...

I'm a spice nut my self not forgetting the hot sauce one thing I like better than regular salt I use sea salt instead............ I have at least 20lbs of variuos spice in stock all the time.........

Anonymous said...

It's a good idea (rotation and storage-wise), but have you found that the clear jars let sunlight degrade contents? I've had some bad luck with that in the past with just small quantities.

riverwalker said...

To: scoutinlife

Another fan of sea salt, YES!
I like the sea salt for the extra mineral content as well as the extra flavor.

RW

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous

Sunlight can be a problem. I just make sure the shelves where I set them aren't in direct sunlight. Plus I keep extra in back storage.
Always good to have a little something for back-up - in case jar breaks,etc. Thanks for bringing it up!

RW

Mayberry said...

I gets me sea salt through osmosis! Oh it's salty I is I yam I arrrr.... Heh heh heh.

riverwalker said...

To: mayberry

Just don't drink the water (salt water, that is)! Let me know when your comedy tour starts so I can get tickets.

RW

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