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Do you have emergency food storage?

Long story short, I got very sick last week. So weak that I could barely get out of bed and stand up straight. I also couldn't consume any solid foods. I would just vomit. I was so glad that I had one small container of my home made chicken stock in the freezer and one small package of Jelly powder. This may seem like nothing in normal days, but they were life savers.

I think I will make a concise decision to always keep Jello, and soup cans from now on for the unexpected.

How about you? Do you keep any food for any forms of emergency?

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  1. Not for medical emergencies, but during hurricane season we are fully, and I do mean fully, stocked with everything and anything you could possibly need or want (esp. alcoholic beverages). We lost our home and everything in it to a hurricane in 2004, but boy oh boy did we have a great hurricane party that went on for days and included all the neighbors. My husband was an Eagle Scout back before electricity, so you can rest assured that we are good and ready. LOL

    11 Replies
    1. re: MrsPatmore

      Heh, I was home on leave when those hurricanes hit. Bonny, Charley, and Frances all hit that month.

      My brother's in-laws lived on Sanabel Island and lost everything when Charley hit. As I recall, Charley cut a channel through the north side of the island.

      We were flooded out when Bonny hit, then we had to cut a hole through the wall of my grandmothers house in order to get her out (due to a tree collapsing) when Frances hit. Also for the entire month we had no power.

      That was a crappy vacation...

      1. re: deet13

        You forgot Jeanne a just two weeks after Frances!

        +1 on having a big plastic bin full of the basics, then donating it at the end of the season (happily just in time for the Thanksgiving food drives for those going through tough times)

        1. re: sunshine842

          +1 on not needing hurricane supplies is right, sunshine! And deet13, all y'all welcome at our place next time . . .

          1. re: MrsPatmore

            How did this Florida Boy get through the hurricanes? And 3 weeks of no power twice?

            20 gallons of gas for the generator.
            A full tank in the truck.
            A full pantry.
            3 propane tanks and stove.
            An empty chest freezer.

            It is so much easier on the boat now. No chest freezer.

      2. re: MrsPatmore

        Reminds me of when winter storms come in and people hit the super markets like locusts. Like most have no food in the pantry? I always have peanut butter, jelly, tuna, chic soup on hand so I can avoid the on slot of shoppers fighting over a jug of milk.

        1. re: treb

          same thing happens when hurricanes wander too close -- except down here, we figure everyone's just planning to make French toast -- the bread, milk, and eggs always disappear first. (the maple syrup stays put, however, but it's a fun thought)

            1. re: Veggo

              for the record, we were so busy with moving and new jobs that my hurricane box appeared as often as the hurricanes this year..

              i.e., not at all.

              1. re: sunshine842

                Agree on that one. And thankful. Been riding on a 22 lb Danforth. The 45 lb CQR is still in the lazarette.

                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                  and NOT having to dig that sucker out of the sludge and wash Mother Nature's concrete off of it is something to be thankful for, indeed!

          1. re: treb

            Snow started falling yesterday, husband calls and asked if we needed anything he would stop after work? I said no I just got groceries 2 days ago. He asked again , bread , eggs, milk anything ? I said no we have plenty of everything. I turned on the TV, I hadn't watched the weather and saw that Saturday was going to be snowing all day. So I quickly texted hubby grab a couple bottles of wine!
            Don't want to be caught without supplies.

        2. CNS - Campbells Chicken Noodle Soup!!! It's my go-to for when I don't feel well. When we travel out of the country I pack a can. I DO have stocks in the freezer. And all sorts of rice, beans, pastas, etc. We had a wonderful ribolitta soup today with lunch and I thought then that I really should make a wonderful soup and freeze in two cup portions.

          15 Replies
          1. re: c oliver

            <Campbells Chicken Noodle Soup>

            This really does bring back good memory. I love the alphabet one:


            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Now the rest of the story. I make it with milk. That's how Mother did it for me and that's how I do. I recently had a little bit of cream left over and made it with that. Oh yeah :)

              1. re: c oliver

                I make cream of tomato with milk -- because that's how my mom makes it.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  That also. Definitely.

                  sunshine, tell us since you've live in France, do Europeans do this sort of thing?

                  1. re: c oliver

                    Nope. No condensed soups on the continent. (found a tin of tomato soup in Holland -- BLECH -- like sugar water with tomato flavoring)

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Thanks. What about "emergency" provisions?

                      1. re: c oliver

                        Most of my friends had stock gel on hand, plus rice and pasta, or most people can walk to a supermarket, so it's pretty well in hand.

                        I was surprised by one thing -- would you believe that they (including pharmacists!) had never heard of the BRAT (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast) for intestinal woes?

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          Being able to walk to a market is huge. When we lived in SF we had that option also.
                          Until CH I'd never heard of BRAT either. And with my strong gut I bounce back immediately so maybe that's why I never heard of it.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            IIRC, you haven't had a toddler in the last 15 years or so....it's the mantra of the pediatricians.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                but unless you've been the one taking them to the pediatrician, you wouldn't hear the chanting...

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  Exactly :) And as far as I've heard, neither of them has had that affliction. Knock wood.

                                  1. re: c oliver


                                    Hopefully, with the advent of some of the new vaccines in the last couple of decades, they *won't* head down that road.

                                    The rotavirus vaccine will work until they get to school....then they start passing around all the *other* breeds of nasties...

                          2. re: sunshine842

                            That's cuz we got zwieback and chicken broth. Of course, by 'they' you mean the French -- can't really speak about them, as I'm sure there are huge variations in Europe, given the many countries of which it consists '-)

                            1. re: linguafood

                              exactly...it might be an economic union, but it ain't EVER gonna be a cultural union.

            2. I have supply of sugar free pedialyte just in case I ever get ketoacidosis again. type 1 diabetic.

              1. I have so much stuff jammed in my pantry and freezer, we could probably live for a month on just that. There's probably plenty of 'sickbed' food that I could whip up (including stock and jello!).

                I thought that was a lot of food, until a member of a volunteer organization I'm in said she has enough to last four years. Yep, that's right. Four years. In case of a political apocalypse.

                4 Replies
                1. re: kitchengardengal

                  Oh please. Four years. Sigh.

                  When we lived in San Francisco we kept bottled water for earthquake preparedness and we still should.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    I think that Mormons are enjoined to keep a year's supply of food on hand. They actually have huge canning facilities available to their members for putting up food. A year's supply of food for a family of 4 takes up a lot of space. Frankly, if the end of the world is happening, I don't really want to stick around for a year.

                    1. re: pikawicca

                      That's what I thought, too, picca. Four years of living on the basement stash? Just kill me now.

                  2. re: kitchengardengal

                    Same here. In fact, when we last had an extended power outage due to weather, we pooled with neighbors and had plenty of food for days.

                    Also, I live 2 blocks from grocery stores and many restaurants so I figure I can scavenge if push comes to shove.

                  3. Yes, this is earthquake country. Water, foods that don't have to be cooked, Bic Flame Discs and charcoal to cook the things that would be defrosting in the fridge and freezer, etc. I'm not the only one here so we would just help each other if one were that sick. If both were that sick we'd eat the canned soup. Jello is not allowed in this house, though. I can not abide Jello, sick or not.

                    1. I don't but now I plan to. I also was very sick the past few weeks. I didn't eat much for probably 5 days and was desperate for food but had nothing that was even remotely appealing or tolerable. I eventually crawled out of the house and bought several chickens and existed on homemade stock for days. I plan now to make ahead and freeze it. It was exactly what I wanted and really seemed to make me feel better when my symptoms randomly worsened.

                      17 Replies
                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        <was desperate for food but had nothing that was even remotely appealing or tolerable.>

                        Yeah, me too. I had food, but they were real solid food. I actually did not need those. I need liquid, easy-consume food.

                        < I eventually crawled out of the house and bought several chickens and existed on homemade stock for days.>

                        You crawled out of bed and made chicken stock from scratch? Amazing. I could not stay up for more than an hour.

                        < what I wanted and really seemed to make me feel better when my symptoms randomly worsened.>

                        It definitely helped me. I couldn't eat solid food without vomit, so chicken stock was perfect. Liquid and full of nutrients (relatively speaking).

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          I literally resorted to putting a chicken in the pot every morning, eventually I progressed to bland simple scrambled eggs but the soup really held me over and the homemade was so much better than any I've ever bought.

                          The stock is super easy. I'd throw the chicken in the pot, toss in celery, onions, carrots, bay leaf, peppercorns, garlic then I'd let it simmer on the stove for a few hours while I went back to bed for a few hours. Let it cool, skim off some fat but I really didn't care and there wasn't that much fat then I'd pour in a mug or a huge bowl and drink away.

                          I actually started referring to it as "my antibiotics" it really did make me feel better and settled my stomach quite well.

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            <The stock is super easy. I'd throw the chicken in the pot, toss in celery, onions, carrots, bay leaf, peppercorns, garlic then I'd let it simmer on the stove for a few hours while I went back to bed for a few hours. Let it cool, skim off some fat but I really didn't care and there wasn't that much fat then I'd pour in a mug or a huge bowl and drink away. >

                            It is easy if I am not sick. :P

                            It would have been too hard for me -- at least too hard for the first two days. At one point, I sat down between my bathroom and my bedroom, and I didn't have energy to walk, so I crawled back to my room. :)

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              Well, now we both know, make it ahead :)

                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                :) My problem is that I often make my chicken stock AFTER I used up the last container. Maybe I should not do that anymore. From now on, I should make my chicken stock while I still have one last container. In other words, I need to avoid the situation that I used up the last container, and then get really sick, and not yet able to make the new stock. :P

                              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                I have just discovered that my Costco is carrying their own (Kirkland) brand of stock not broth. It comes in two cup waxed milk carton type containers. I think it's really, really good.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  Great, thanks for the tip. Do you know the sodium content? I was pretty sick and just needed soup and all I wanted to do was just go out and get some but I have serious salt-related water retention which is a big part of what motivated me to make my own.

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    360mg/8oz. Will that work for you?

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      Wow that's pretty great for store-made stock! Higher, than I prefer but way less than many other brands. Thanks!

                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                        I thought it was pretty good but wasn't sure about your needs. It's really good.

                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                          Was going to suggest Better Than Bouillon to you and Chem, but a quick google search seems to indicat that even their low sodium offerings are somewhere around 500mg/8oz

                                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    Are you ok now Chem? That sounds rough:(

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      If you have a crockpot, chicken soup can be made overnight... all you have to do is toss in your carcasses, add water, and press 'cook'. But in case of sickness I keep at least a few cans of chicken soup in the cupboard because I'm not going to be wanting to smell 'cooking' if I'm feeling icky.

                                      1. re: Kajikit

                                        <because I'm not going to be wanting to smell 'cooking' if I'm feeling icky.>

                                        Also time too. I may not have time to make the stock, refrigerate the stock, skim the fat....etc. Your suggestion of can/package stock makes perfect sense to me.

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          FYI for quick skimming you can use a fancy fat separator or grab a ziploc bag, but yes sometimes I'm sick enough to just be able tor each for a package or call for soup.

                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                            Sometimes DH will order Chinese just so I can get the wonton or chicken-and-rice soup. The local diner does a really nice chicken-and-rice soup too. Might have to pay them a visit in the next few days. I've got a so-so cold and my appetite's way down but I think I could go for some of their soup. I wonder if they do takeout so I don't have to sit there sneezing.

                              3. Not for "emergency" situations... KNOCK ON WOOD... but have enough canned stuff and rice/pasta that would take a LONG time before I looked SKINNY!?!

                                REALLY have to pare down my pantry... shelving in garage. Have decided NOT to succumb to great prices on canned goods... unless reall good on GOOD tuna??

                                Knocking on wood... my forehead... I DON'T live in an area that often has severe weather. Did have SANDY last October but I'm WELL inland. BIG snow is kinda rare & have "crazy" GOOD neighbor who takes care of that... won't take money but beer or being guinea pig for food is always an option.

                                1. Yes, earthquake country here. Food, first aid/meds, water, sanitizers, batteries/solar...the works. In different places in case of not being able to reach it due to rubble. My stash inside the house is in what we call the "Y2K cabinet"....if anyone remembers that era :)

                                  I live far enough out that I might need a few weeks of supplies before getting any help.

                                  I really try to rotate stuff but it is easy to buy in bulk -and harder to eat in bulk. I am not getting through the 10 pound sack of pinto beans as I had hoped :)

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: sedimental

                                    Did you really have to remind me of that Y2K fiasco. It took us 6 months to use up the bottled water, toilet paper and canned goods. I remember waking up at 2 a.m. and feeling really let down:-)

                                    1. re: miss_belle

                                      I know! RIGHT?
                                      The world as we knew it, did not end, lol.
                                      .....I might still have some canned meat in there....

                                    2. re: sedimental

                                      Also earthquake country. Have the same stash as sedimental, but also have a backpack in the car trunk, with those aluminum (?) packets of water, nuts, some first aid stuff, light sticks and wind up flashlights. We rotate all supplies, home and car, annually and donate the "thank heavens we didn't need this" to the food bank.

                                    3. Due to personal experiences with hurricanes, plus rotating through several combat zones while enlisted by Uncle Sugar, I've learned to keep at least six to eight months worth of non-perishable goods and other supplies to take care of my family.

                                      1. Not what I consider emergency stash but if you count the boxes of canned goods stacked up in one of my spare bedrooms used for storage and all the pasta/rice/flour/ and other dried goods plus the two freezers that stay full, I could go about three months without shopping.

                                        I don't normally eat canned soup anymore since the kids left home and I make my own but I do keep a few random cans around and do have dried jello & pudding powders in my cabinets, although I can't even remember the last time I made any...I know I haven't made any this year.

                                        We do live in hurricane/tornado territory and when it gets to be that time, we make sure the generator is good to go and we have enough charcoal to get us through a couple weeks if we had to use the grill everyday.. We keep cases of water stacked regularly...

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: Cherylptw

                                          <dried jello & pudding powders in my cabinets, although I can't even remember the last time I made any...I know I haven't made any this year.>

                                          Me neither which is why I had one box left -- a box from a brand I dislike and from a favor I dislike -- I intentionally avoid -- which turned out to be a life saver. That disgusting jelly suddenly tastes so great after 2-3 days straight of vomiting and diarrhea

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            Earlier this spring, I had a 24 hour stomach virus that had me going to the bathroom every 15 minutes for 8 hours straight, I kid you not...that random soup was all I wanted to eat once my stomach calmed down. I'll continue to keep the jello & pudding mixes cause you never know....

                                            1. re: Cherylptw

                                              Did I tell you that I lost 9-10 lb in 3 days? Really. I weighted myself a few times just to be sure. I was 9-10 lighter.

                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                Don't worry. You'll gain it back in 2 days. It's all water weight.

                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                  :) I did. I am already back to my normal weight. It is mostly water loss. I just want to share how much water I lost in 3 days. Despite that I tried to drink water, my body just won't absorb.

                                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                  Me too! I couldn't believe it..although technically the worst of my illness was those 8 hours but the day before and day after, I really didn't eat much of anything...

                                          2. Always.

                                            I was raised in hurricane country and we always had canned goods, batteries, water, meds, propane/charcoal at the ready.

                                            I've also lived in areas where I was without water and/or electricity for a week at a time. So the habit has stayed with me.

                                            the last 10 days I've had problems standing for more than a few minutes at a time so the "provisions" have been very helpful. I've run out of fresh tomatoes and bananas but aside from that I'm good!

                                                1. re: magiesmom

                                                  Chocolate like chocolate bars, or chocolate like cocoa drink?

                                                2. but the roundabout answer is yes -- I try to keep saltines and a few cans of chicken soup on hand. I always have rice and pasta and instant mashed potatoes, as well as the Knorr gel stock concentrates, so there's always something to eat when someone's under the weather.

                                                  1. LOL Chem...I am about to go rummage through the kitchen cupboards at 11:30 PM to make a list. I rarely become ill but if I were to get knocked on my butt like you did I would want cold liquids and warm broth.

                                                    1. I keep jugged water, staples, canned foods and emergency cooking supplies all in one place in the mudroom, along with a replacement set of meds. for the pets and us that I refill every coupla years or so.

                                                      1. No, even though I'm on the coast and we DO get bad storms. I can honestly say I've never felt the need to stock up before a storm though I definitely should. I have a few candles around and usually have a few cases of water just because.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: deputygeorgie

                                                          Regarding candles, when mine burn down low I toss them in a bag for emergencies.

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            I should do that. I just have candles I don't burn often. The BF thinks everything twill catch on fire if I have a handle burning on the counter and walk upstairs.

                                                            1. re: deputygeorgie

                                                              I've been known to have a couple of dozen burning at a time! But normally when entertaining it will be about one dozen. I buy them cheap at Ikea.

                                                        2. I don't have intentional emergency food but have too much food in general. I have a cupboard full of instant ramen and a freezer full of rice. I have canned tuna and canned tuna curry as well as pouches of curry and pasta sauce in the freezer and lots of pasta. I have bread for toast plus measured ingredients I can throw in the breadmaker. I have miso paste galore for soup. Who knows what else I have.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: TeRReT

                                                            Same here. I'm in Chicago and the worst environmental catastrophe we've had to face is huge snowfalls. We generally have too much food for the 2 of us because we never know when the kids or friends will stop by and we like to be prepared.

                                                            And no matter how heavy a snowfall we can always get a pizza delivered (and in the wife's smoking days we could always bribe the delivery guy to pick up a couple of packs on the way).

                                                            If we get hit by a nuke, a zombie attack or aliens, I intend to be the first to go, so we're not especially concerned about doomsday prepping.

                                                            1. re: ferret

                                                              <we never know when the kids or friends will stop by>

                                                              This is your emergency? :)

                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                No, just stating that we tend to overstock as a baseline. We don't intentionally have any emergency provisions. We entertain a lot and always have several cases of bottled water and other beverages in the garage at any given time, so I guess that would do in a pinch. But like I said, we're not in any environmental nightmare zone.

                                                          2. nothing intentionally planned, but i generally have several quarts of soup, plus a couple of chicken stock in the freezer, along with a loaf or two of ww bread and several varieties of nuts.

                                                            i also have a half dozen cans of tuna, a couple of cartons of trader joe's roasted red pepper/tomato soup and soy milk in the cupboard -- and of course, some good chocolate.

                                                            1. 'Sick' food equals gatorade, ginger ale, low-sodium canned soup, and refrigerated pudding and jello cups... I try to keep at least a little on hand because I get randomly nauseous (thanks fibro), but if we don't have any DH is dispatched to the grocery store to pick some up in times of need.

                                                              1. One emergency "food" (I use the term advisedly) that it's good to have around - or two or three of them, if you're so inclined and they're on sale....is large cans of Crisco or other veg. shortening. If you insert a wick (admittedly, not the thing we all usually have around, but...) it will burn as a candle for weeks on end.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                  Or you can also fill a small ramekin with olive oil, drop a cotton ball in it as a wick and light it and voila! a biblical candle!!! Actually, any oil will work, but if you want it biblical, it HAS to be olive oil! '-)

                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                    C1, I'll vote for olive oil every day over Crisco :)

                                                                  2. re: mamachef

                                                                    "If you insert a wick (admittedly, not the thing we all usually have around, but...) it will burn as a candle for weeks on end."

                                                                    Sure you do. A cotton shoelace will work as a wick.

                                                                    I've read this advice before, but it's been a long time since we've had any solid shortening in the house. I don't make my own pie dough and the trans fats thing makes it easy to skip the Crisco.

                                                                    Our electricity is so reliable, I don't think it's been out for more than about an hour total in the last dozen years.

                                                                    As far as food goes, we have a lot on hand, although it's not really about any emergencies, just a habit I picked up from my parents. We have a couple sets of shelves in the basement between the basement refrigerator and the upright freezer. I make a lot of homemade stock of all kinds, so there is always homemade chicken, beef, ham, turkey, pork, and shrimp stock on hand.

                                                                    I concur with the point about people rushing out to stock up on the French toast supplies before a big winter storm. We live in the suburbs so I've never seen a blizzard in the Twin Cities, but I grew up out on the prairie in rural Minnesota and we would get stuck at home for 2 to 3 day blizzards with regularity.

                                                                  3. Aside from a pantry that is usually crammed to the gills, we have two cases of MREs stashed away. At this time of year, one case goes into the back of the SUV and stays there until spring (we ski just about every weekend, so in case we get snowed in anywhere, we're set for a few days).

                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                    1. re: ricepad

                                                                      Good idea. We have our "blizzard bag" which has clothes, boots, etc. Food should go in also.

                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                        Before we got the MREs, we used to carry a big bag of dry dog kibble. It's nutritionally complete, but unlike most emergency food stashes (e.g. trail mix, Power Bars, etc), you won't be tempted to break into it unless you absolutely have to.

                                                                        1. re: ricepad

                                                                          Definitely not tucking into that one till you have to. . .

                                                                          Keep that well sealed. Picking maggots out of dog food bags was the least fun thing I ever did in my Shopko days

                                                                          1. re: autumm

                                                                            Maggots in DRY dog food? I thought they just liked "flesh." No?

                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                              I'm thinking it might be weevils, rather than maggots.

                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                  only broadly -- both the larval stage of an insect.

                                                                                  Maggots are typically larvae of things like flies, and feed on decaying flesh (wet), while weevils are usually larvae of various grain weevils (same name for larval and adult stages) and feed on old/decomposing grain matter.

                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                I only had to do it once, but we had to rip open all the bags of dry dog food to see what was "living" in there so we could appropriately dispose of/bill the vendor who sent us the icky stuff. They were white and crawling. It was also 15 years ago, some memories have been re-directed.

                                                                            2. re: ricepad

                                                                              I think that's a really good idea. When we're traveling we have the dogs so their kibble is in the car. I really do like that idea. Just need to carry more.

                                                                            3. re: c oliver

                                                                              When I was living in rural Minnesota, we always had a blizzard bag in the trunk along with softener salt and a shovel. Then there was the emergency coffee can...

                                                                          2. Certainly have a sufficient supply of canned soup among other things. However, be sure to date them so you can donate them to a food pantry before they expire. Another issue I found is that if you are staggering around an enormous store trying to replenish stock, you might as well stay home. A year or so ago, when I was hardly able to negotiate a vast warehouse supermarket, I put a couple of familiar sounding soups in my cart. When I came to cook them, eeuw. So try them first. Be Prepared.

                                                                            1. Not consciously, but we could probably live on what we have here. We'd have to get creative, though.

                                                                              1. ummmmmm.... Whether emergency supplies or sick room food, am I the only one in the whole wide world who ever buys ramen?

                                                                                When I was at Sam's club the other day they had a "box" of Maruchan Chicken flavor noodle soup with THIRTY SIX packs for $6.87, or 20¢ a serving! Emergency food I can afford to throw away in five years!!

                                                                                No, it's not in the Styrofoam cups, it's just in cellophane packs, but everything is included. I HATE the Styrofoam cups because when I first moved here I hired a "housekeeper" who put the damned Styrofoam cup in the dishwasher! It didn't exactly "melt." Just the glue that holds the little plastic balls together did. The housekeeper was replaced immediately and the new one and I spent the next six months picking stinky little plastic Styrofoam balls out of the dishwasher with tweezers every time we ran it! So now I buy all ramen/udon/whatever either in solid plastic bowls or just the package.

                                                                                Anyway, chicken flavor ramen soup is good stuff when I have a head cold. Doesn't anyone else ever buy ramen??????????????? :-)

                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                  Are you the only one that buys ramen? Hell no! I but it by the case! I prefer the (imitation) pork flavored varieties over most others, altho I've had a few miso flavored brands that were pretty good, too. I have no idea what my favorite brands are, tho. I just cruise the ramen aisle at the local asian supermarket and choose according to the prettiest packaging!

                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                    < Whether emergency supplies or sick room food, am I the only one in the whole wide world who ever buys ramen? >

                                                                                    Of course not. I have a few packages just in case.

                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                        +1 for ramen. But all ramen is not created equal. Mama brand Tom yum soup flavor is my favorite. Photo credit: http://mobile.seriouseats.com/2013/05...

                                                                                        1. re: MrsPatmore

                                                                                          but..it's some salt, and some liquid, and it's warm, and the noodles are fairly non-offensive.

                                                                                          Do mind the amount of chile you add....

                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                Caroline1, I have never seen that but I'm going to buy some if I can find it.

                                                                                                1. re: MrsPatmore

                                                                                                  If you like the big fat chewy type of udon, this is the BEST that I've found, and I've tried about four different brands. Not quite as good as just buying frozen udon and making your own, but darned close!

                                                                                                  Wish I had some now. Snow and a sprinkling of power failures all day! <sigh>

                                                                                        2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                          We have Ramen on hand for occasional use. The stuff is high in fat, carbs, and sodium however. (I never use the entire flavoring packet.)

                                                                                          I can't buy it by the case however, we prefer a variety of the Ramen flavors.

                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                            I just bought 5 packages yesterday at the store. I wasn't feeling well on Thursday and really wanted some ramen, and didn't have any. So now I have some.

                                                                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                              < I wasn't feeling well on Thursday>

                                                                                              :) I thought the MSG package in ramen will only make you feel worse.

                                                                                          2. I forgot to mention Rice-A-Roni. A must-have.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                              I have RIce-A-Roni too......Actually, I think I just ran out.

                                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                Our Safeway just had them 5 for $5. Got 5 ;)

                                                                                            2. There's clearly a distinction between when you're sick and when there's a natural disaster. Some people's "emergency" foods assume the ability to at least boil water. I don't make that assumption.

                                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                <There's clearly a distinction between when you're sick and when there's a natural disaster. Some people's "emergency" foods assume the ability to at least boil water. I don't make that assumption.>

                                                                                                Excellent point. For natural disasters, it is important to include food with require no cooking -- like many canned foods. Like you have suggested, sometime there is power. Sometime, there is no power.

                                                                                                For illness, it is important to have foods which are easy to make and easy to absorb -- which is why I think Jello and chicken soup/stock are very important.

                                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                  UMMMM.... http://tinyurl.com/lne7ex5

                                                                                                  Where there's a will, there's a way. I have two. If I'm still alive and the house is still standing after the earthquake/storm/tornado, I COOK....!!!

                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                    :) Oh my. I was so thinking about getting one of these recently. Not for emergency, but for the Chinese hot pot thing.

                                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                      FYI, Iwatani makes a pricier unit than my link above that produces 15,000 BTUs, and can put a little breath in your wok with the right wok ring...! '-)


                                                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                        :) I was looking exactly that. It is a pretty powerful portable gas stove. I mean. It rivals household gas stoves.

                                                                                                        Of course, I remember another CHOWHOUNDER was hunting for this very attractive burner:


                                                                                                        Me? I think I would be very happy for this Iwatani stove:


                                                                                                        It is not as powerful, but supposedly an efficient design.... need to read a bit more. :)

                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                          My original and still kicking strong is a "Pot Au Feau" brand that has to be 30 years old still works perfectly! They're really quite ingenious little devices! Imo the BTU output is more critical than the brand, though Iwatani is top of the heap today. I don't think they were available in my area 30 years ago, looooooong before amazon.com!

                                                                                                          They are incredibly handy, especially when you have an all electric house and induction cooking. I use my tagines on mine as well as my "Mongolian barbecue," but I get better performance from my carbon steel wok by turning my wok ring "large side up" on induction and cranking it up to high. But the portable gas burner turns ANY attractive low pan into a sukiyaki nabe. It opens all sorts of things in the world of cooking, including charring the skins off Chiles for rellenos. However, mine recently gave me a new appreciation for induction. I made an omelet on it during a power failure. I had completely forgotten how much gas heat curls up around the pan and bites your hands!!!

                                                                                                          I suspect you will love yours when you finally make a choice. Oh, and I buy my gas at my nearby restaurant supply. Cheaper!

                                                                                                    2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                      We have natural gas to our grill and our fireplace so no need for this.

                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                        Oh, I don't know.... As a native Californian who has survived a 6.something on the Richter scale, ain't no way on God's green earth I would light a natural gas barbecue after an earthquake. Or a gas kitchen stove. And you don't exactly live in an earthquake free zone. These things are great for things other than emergencies though, such as sukiyaki dinners, cherries jubilee flambéed at the table, Korean barbecue at the table, or just to cook on if you have an all electric kitchen and a power failure strikes...

                                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                          We lived in SF in '89. We had a wrench to turn off the gas to the house if necessary.

                                                                                                        2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                          natural gas only works if the pipelines haven't been compromised (this applies to a tank in the yard, too)

                                                                                                        3. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                          We have an extra propane container and a bag of kingsford briquets for each of the webers just in case. Plus a canister for the coleman camping stove.

                                                                                                          And a ton of booze. Drink your troubles away. When we lost power last summer after bad storms, DH was considering sump pump chilled beer. Would have brought it down to around 60.

                                                                                                    3. oh goodness, i could probably have a general store from what i have on hand. ;-).

                                                                                                      35 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                        <oh goodness, i could probably have a general store from what i have on hand.>

                                                                                                        Are you proud or are you ashamed?

                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                          LOL! As similar discussions have come up over the years, I've noticed that VERY well stocked pantries are often an indication of how old we are. <sigh> I have kept a very well stocked pantry ever since I had to go through nuclear survival training at the hands of the CIA and Strategic Air Command in 1960 at the height of the Cold War. My mother kept a well stuffed larder as a Great Depression survivor. I suspect most Baby Boomers tend toward "generous on-hand provisions." Younger generations? Not so much.

                                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                            I suspect that some themes impact family history more strongly than others, and hunger and deprivation are surely among them. As a descendent of a family who came over from Europe, including some concentration camp survivors, every generation up to and including mine has been "trained," if not literally then by osmosis, to keep a well-stocked pantry, above-and-beyond the norm, "in case of emergencies."
                                                                                                            My daughter does the same thing, but her emergency involves a Zombie invasion. Or an earthquake.

                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                              my mother was the depression child. i am a depression child by proxy, and a late proxy at that.

                                                                                                              i suspect i have a good stock, though, because i like to have a variety of things to choose from -- and not because i am hoarding food.

                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                I'm the same. I'm set for emergencies because of the food I typically have on hand. But I should have water.

                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                  Hear, hear on the last line. Besides being stocked for the Big One when it happens, I love to cook and I like to eat well, and having a variety of things to hand makes my life a whole lot more convenient.
                                                                                                                  I have a friend whose sister was truly a food hoarder. I saw her basement and I had never seen anything like it: large, upright and chest freezers stuffed over-the-brim and literally duct-taped shut because of the ice. I mean, it was unquestionable, when seeing it, that something was very, very wrong in there. Had the food been safe and edible, and from what I could see (there were also floor/ceiling cabinets w/ doors for dry storage) it looked to me like it would have lasted a few years. The upstairs was just as bad, but that basement was SCARY bad.
                                                                                                                  Anyway, I keep a good stock, and I buy many canned items in bulk, but it's definitely not hoarding, because I also use and rotate my surplus stuff.

                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                    yes, i am making an effort to reduce my stock, and start going through more.

                                                                                                                    i have some she crab soup in the fridge, and was thinking of adding a drained and rinsed can of corn.

                                                                                                                    i like marinating some of the canned italian pole beans to use on my green and composed salads. they are also good cooked with garlic and onions and tomatoes to make the arab dish loubiah b'zayt.

                                                                                                                    (by the way STRING beans are all wrong for this dish. it needs POLE BEANS! "pict-sweet" brand frozen veggies also have very good frozen "italian pole beans" that are perfect for making the long-cooked loubiah from scratch).

                                                                                                                    i have jiffy corn muffin mix that -- with a can of corn niblets, a can of creamed corn and a pint of sour cream -- makes a terrific corn pudding. (i know there are some here who will sniff at that, but hey, who cares? i know it tastes good to me. and truth be told, if many who tasted it without knowing what went into it, they would rave. and eat it till it was all gone).

                                                                                                                    i LOVE all my canned peas and beans. beans to make chili or to marinate or to put on salads, or in soups.

                                                                                                                    sometimes, yeah, i'll admit it -- i just open up a can of bush's beans (i'm loving the "onion" one these days, where i used to love the vegetarian) and eat the beans right out of the can. (PS, did you all know that beans on white bread is a valid sandwich? ha!).

                                                                                                                    canned and stewed tomatoes, ro-tel, and the like are used very, very often.

                                                                                                                    i love zatarain's low-sodium jambalaya rice mix, and it makes a great main dish when frozen gumbo veg mix is added, and a couple of sliced andouille or garlic chicken sausages.

                                                                                                                    and…for you southerners (which i am), you will not believe how "authentic" the braised collards are from "GLORY" brand.
                                                                                                                    trust me, you warm those collards through in a lightly covered skillet, you will think someone cooked a batch "home-style" and brought some over to share with you as a treat.

                                                                                                                    ps, in memory of my mom, i also have to have a couple of cans of the le sueur tiny early green peas -- to make her famously-requested-for-family-gatherings pea salad , made with cheese, mayo, onions. http://www.nancyskitchen.com/2011Reci...

                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                      Thanks for the tip on the Glory collards. If I can't find them locally, I (of course!) can get them on Amazon. At a price. But it would be worth it to have them.

                                                                                                                      And my mother made that exact pea salad from those exact peas. Hadn't thought of that in a LONG time. But I still think I might opt for frozen :)

                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                        trader joe's frozen organic peas are the best frozen peas i've had. they are like fresh english peas you've shucked from their shells. (i don't know why the regular, non-organic, peas aren't the same look/feel). i've never tried frozen peas in that salad (but have done in the 7-layer salad).

                                                                                                                        funny thing about the le sueur peas: mom insisted on those and those alone. ;-). the salad had to sit in the fridge overnight, too -- otherwise it just didn't "work."

                                                                                                                        ps, as to the collards, i think glory brand is pretty widely distributed, so maybe you'll be lucky and not have to buy them on amazon.

                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                          fun fact:

                                                                                                                          Le Sueur is a really bizarre name -- "Sueur" is actually feminine, so it should be "La Sueur"

                                                                                                                          And even worse -- "sueur" means sweat. Yep, not schweddy balls, sweaty peas.

                                                                                                                          Despite that, I have an unnatural love for Le Sueur tinned peas and have been known to eat them right out of the can, cold.

                                                                                                                          (Shush -- I love fresh peas enough that they are growing in my garden right this minute.)

                                                                                                                          eta: Le Sueur refers to the name of the town in Minnesota where that specific variety of peas was created, and where they were canned until 1995. But. Still.

                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                            Baaaaaaaaaaahaw! Love this bit of trivia. Another fun note - they're actually relatives of mine. Meridel LeSeuer died a few years ago, but all her offspring are alive and well in MN, prolly eating canned peas!
                                                                                                                            You're not in the States, right? OH how I envy you. Fresh peas. MFK Fisher wrote a marvelous ode to them, but I seriously doubt she was referencing the groovey, now-hip silver can, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight?

                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                              heh -- no, I'm now back stateside, so now I have a Florida gardening season -- *starts* in September, and we can have two rotations before it gets too hot and humid by the end of May.

                                                                                                                              my northern gardening pals are stuck between envy and just being glad to hear that it's still warm and sunny *somewhere*.

                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                Welcome home, sunshine! My sister lives on Merritt Island there, and I need to visit her next year. I know nothing of FL geography except I could totally pick it out on a map :) but if the Island is close to you, maybe we can have a coffee or something.

                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                  Let me know when you get to the Space Coast.

                                                                                                                                  Awesome German restaurant ( Gasthaus food) in Melbourne.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                                    Oh My Stars, INDIANRIVERFL. It'll probably be June, before it gets too hot for me to breathe.
                                                                                                                                    I will be sure to let you know. German food? Oh man oh man. I love that stuff - sausages, salads, tons of pickles and sour cream and potatoes. Oh, the split pea soup. Ohhhhhh, the big, soft pretzels.
                                                                                                                                    It's a deal.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                    mamachef, i think if you started a thread with your itinerary, you'd have chowhounds from across the state inviting you for their favorite haunts or to their homes. you'd get some good bbq that way, for sure. fried grouper. and boiled peanuts. you could maybe even take in the swamp cabbage festival in labelle (february -- a great time to visit because there are a lot of food and other festivals for the snowbirds), where i know you'd have blast. ;-).

                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                      alkapal, I'm just heavily distressed. It won't be 'til June/July, so golly gee, I'll miss the swamp cabbage revelry. Have you ever eaten it? What IS it?
                                                                                                                                      It would be SO much fun to meet other CH's in person, you know?
                                                                                                                                      Getting hungry now. I shouldn't, but I'm going to go find a snack and then write about it on the snacking thread. :) Please don't think I'm narcissistic for that. :)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                        it is hearts of palm. they cook big pots of it over grills loaded with hickory wood and serve it with steak. http://www.flickr.com/photos/qkgirl/6...

                                                                                                                                        seminole fry bread is sold by locals, and there are crafts and armadillo races!



                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                          and fresh, it's one of the most delicious things you'll find!

                                                                                                                                          (I like it canned, too, but fresh is amazing)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                            yep, you'll see them hacking it out of the palmetto palms right there. http://pickmeyard.files.wordpress.com...

                                                                                                                                            it is cooked with some animal fat ( i'm guessing lard) <photo in my post upthread shows it with sliced pork belly, but i don't remember that. it has been a few years>. it takes a lot of black pepper. good stuff!
                                                                                                                                            i have to get the seminole fry bread, too. a bit greasy, but oh so tasty. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1...

                                                                                                                                            another place to get swamp cabbage is clewiston. looks like clewiston has its own festival -- a sugar festival, but the elk's lodge sells swamp cabbage, with sausage and in fritters. yum!. clewiston is sugar cane country…not far at all from labelle. http://helenalockey.blogspot.com/2013...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                              I love it just raw or sliced over a salad.

                                                                                                                                              Still need to source cane syrup, though. Hard to find, even in cane country

                                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                Readily available in Cuba, French Guiana and Suriname. No delivery, don't even mention Venezuela.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                    How things change in a short time, sunshine. My CT - FL grandfather used to have his Italian boat maintenanced in Maracaibo Venezuela, in the 70's, which would not be a practical option today. Maracaibo used to be the best yacht basin in this part of the world, I doubt that is true today. The Halcyon II was a fine boat, and we never lacked for another bloody mary!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                      Wow, that sounds amazing. My parents once went to Curacao, which I guess is close to Venezuela.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                        Yes, one of the A-B-C islands. Another beautiful one off Venezuela is Isla Margarita, where Columbus scored 320 lbs. of pearls for Queen Isabella. Great diving, and in a food emergency one could live on all the oysters there!

                                                                                                                                    2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                      Thank you!

                                                                                                                                      Yes, mention your itinerary, and we might even manage a Chowdown!

                                                                                                                                      I'm over on the Gulf Coast, so anything is possible.

                                                                                                                                    3. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                      I already knew you were back but it still takes me aback to think about gardening now. We got over a foot of snow last night!

                                                                                                                                  3. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                    mmm, now i can think of sweaty pea salad. (some would agree with that name, too! ha!).

                                                                                                                                    i envy you there in florida, because you are getting some good tomatoes right now.

                                                                                                                              2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                Amen to the Glory brand, alka. Allen's also turns out some decent stuff: field peas w/ snaps is one that comes to mind. And the corn pudding you mentioned is delicious - try adding a can of diced roasted mild green chiles sometime, and top it w/ a sprinkle of cotija or dry Jack before baking.

                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                  i like that chiles addition. and the cheesy top, too! i'll bet diced pimento would be a colorful addition.

                                                                                                                                  speaking of allen's, i have a can of those field peas with snaps. think i'll try it today.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                    Oooooh, THAT pea salad!! Your sweet mama was SOOO right about the LeSeuers. Nothing else will work to achieve that num taste and texture. I make mine w/ small brunoise of the sharpest Cheddar I can use.
                                                                                                                                    Oui on the pimientos, too. I've used them more than once. Hot Tip: be sure to rinse and pat them dry, because the oil for some reason totally overpowers the entire mixture - makes it kinda dull, ya know? So just give 'em (about 2 T. per batch) a little blast of H2o first. (I have no idea why I think I need to tell you that, one of the finest cooks I know. :)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                      aww, you are sweet, mamachef i would not have thought to rinse the pimentos at all, so i do appreciate any and every hot tip you can give me. (PS, i hope that is a temporary tattoo ;-).

                                                                                                                                      about *that* pea salad, i agree that you need to make the cheese bits small -- even smaller than the peas (but the cheese is supposed to be diced to the same size) -- and it does need to be sharp! in addition to extra sharp, there is another cracker barrel cheese i like to use in it -- the "aged reserve" black label. (i should look for it on sale near the holidays. i think i recently saw a sale price of 3 for $10).

                                                                                                                                      i tried changing it up once with half pepper jack, half medium cheddar. meh. my mom was not happy with that iteration. i was not happy with it either. in fact, everything needs to be finely diced, as far as i'm concerned. (always a pain in the butt for onions).

                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                        I tried playing around with the cheeses too, alka. When I used pepper Jack, Princess Dove wouldn't touch it because "it wasn't the right color." And she's not even picky!!!
                                                                                                                                        Aw, you got my note. I was joking about the tattoo. It would require way too much energy on my part to actually get up and go DO something.
                                                                                                                                        "Sweaty Pea Salad." Didn't they call it that because of the appearence of the frozen peas while they were defrosting?

                                                                                                                      2. Mushroom soup, oyster crackers and ginger candy for the flu (they seem to help with nausea).

                                                                                                                        I do have a ridiculous amount of pho stock - I found a good one and just loaded up. I fear the day it disappears from stores. They're in cartons, so I'm set for quite some time. Gotta have my pho stock.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. Yes, for emergencies we have water (which we cycle through), MRE's and enough food to feed our cats for sixty days and there is always broth, stock and soup in the freezer.

                                                                                                                          1. Not at all. If an emergency occured today, I wouldn't last long. I'm even currently out of bottled water. :/

                                                                                                                            1. I also have enough ammo (if there's such a thing as 'enough ammo') and the means to defend my stash.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: ricepad

                                                                                                                                Your post reminded me of something funny, at least I thought it was funny. When the whole Y2K thing was approaching, it was of much discussion at my office. I told my co-workers, none of whom owned firearms, that I bought a brick (500) of .22 shells for each of my kids. I said we were going to help defend the Food 'n Fuel down the street, from looters. This was just a few years after the LA-Rodney King riots, and the funny thing is, they seemed to believe me.

                                                                                                                              2. I usually keep a fairly stocked pantry in the winter since the possibility of being snowed in for a week is pretty real. We all ended up with viral pneumonia in succession in September. The pantry was empty. Apparently the solution when I am too sick to function is to buy a months worth of takeout and convenience food. I want that month & wasted money back.

                                                                                                                                1. Having gone through a few severe earthquakes in LA we've learned to keep 3 day survival kits on hand. They contain high energy food bars, water, first-aid supplies, blanket, flashlight, etc.

                                                                                                                                  1. We keep a well stocked pantry and freezer all year long. the hard part is rotating.
                                                                                                                                    We have 2 weeks worth of MRE type meals in the event of a major societal upheaval, either natural or manmade.
                                                                                                                                    We keep fuel on hand for the emergency generator.