Emergency food stash

In keeping with one of my goals this year of Food Security (well, full disclosure: it’s my goal every year, but this year it’s an official, written down type of goal), I thought I’d write a little about different food “emergencies” that a person might experience and how I prepare for them. Here are 5 food emergencies that often come up in everyday life:

  1. Work day lunches (and breakfasts, and suppers, too, depending on the hours that you work). Disclaimer: assumes presence of water and microwave at your place of employment. Here’s what to keep in your pantry…er, desk drawer for days that you just don’t have time to pack up a meal (or meals) before you leave for work: single serving 3 oz cans of tuna, peanut butter (of course), granola bars (good luck finding ones without HFCS), packets of oatmeal, cups of instant minute brown rice, cans of nuts.
  2. Last minute playdate for tween, the timing of which will undoubtedly span a meal time (and possibly a winter storm in which you’d prefer not to drive). Keep a box of mac and cheese on hand, but hidden so that no one eats it when you aren’t around. This is a meal option that no tween has ever turned his/her nose up at. I make this statement with full confidence since I’ve had to rely on it on many occasions for both the boy-child and the girl-child over the years and it has never failed to please.
  3. Last minute invitation (or you actually remembered the invitation at the last minute) to a potluck (work, family party, book club). An antipasto platter is the way to go. You can keep everything you need in the pantry so all you have to do is open the jars and dump on the platter (this step can even be done at your destination, so all that prep would involve is bagging up the jars before you leave). If you have any lettuce in the fridge, that would be a bonus, but it’s not necessary. *Note: pay attention to spouse’s anxiety level due to over-stuffed pantry, fridge, freezer…he may not take kindly to a bonk on the head from your stockpile. Also, try to ignore it when he mumbles about ‘hoarding behavior’ under his breath.
  4. And speaking of weather (see #2 above) that you don’t want to drive in…there will probably be plenty of occasions of that in the next couple of months…this is Maine, with winter approaching, after all. Keep a box of the macaroni of your choice (capellini and rotini are my go-to’s) in the pantry, a block of parmesan in the fridge, and a bottle of olive oil on the counter, and you will never starve (garlic, red pepper flakes, and parsley are welcome bonuses to the above dish if you have ’em). . . well, unless the power goes out and you are generator-less.
  5. Chocolate emergency. I keep a few (okay, many, many, many) pieces of dark chocolate around for when I just have to have it. There really is no substitute that works in this case. Buy a bag of dark chocolate Hershey’s Kisses. Split the bag between your hiding place…um, cabinet at home and (the back of ) your desk (drawer) at work. You’re welcome.

That’ s my short list of food ’emergencies’ for today. Do you have any of your own to add to the list?

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