After over two months in quarantine, we’re still going strong eating our food storage. The world is starting to open a little, but we’re pretty much planning on staying put, at least for now. Mike is working at home and the kids still have a couple of weeks of school at home. It’s really nice not spending money on gas!
We still have plenty of food, so we’re going to continue our challenge, at least for a while. It’s hard to believe we’ve been eating so long on our food storage because it hasn’t seemed to diminish very much. Our fridge is looking pretty empty, but we’ve barely touched the food in our deep freezer and we still have lots of long-term food storage.
Besides not having a lot of fresh produce (just canned, frozen, and dehydrated fruits and veggies), our meals this week didn’t seem too different from what we would normally eat. Either that or we’re just getting used to this food storage menu.
I’m loving having the kids help out more in the kitchen. My two oldest kiddos (12 and 10 1/2) can each make bread on their own, which is super convenient! My oldest made eight loaves a couple of days ago! It’s so soft and yummy when it’s fresh!
We’re more excited about having a garden than we ever have been I think! When the garden comes on, we should have fresh produce coming out our ears! Hopefully we’ll have enough to harvest that we’ll be able to can, freeze, dehydrate, and save a lot of it!
I’ll be sharing more about the progress on our garden next week.
What We Ate
We had oatmeal a couple of times, steel cut oats, cream of wheat, eggs, and sourdough waffles for breakfast this week.
We had peanut butter and jelly most days this week, along with apple or orange slices. We also finished off the string cheese we got at the beginning of March. One day when we didn’t have bread I made pasta for lunch. I made mac and cheese for the little kids and a chicken tomato pasta concoction for the rest of us. There was enough to have it again as leftovers for dinner later in the week.
I didn’t do a good job of keeping track of what we ate for dinner this week. I wrote out a menu for the week, but didn’t follow it very well, so I honestly can’t remember everything we had! I’m notoriously bad at following my own menu. Mike and I joke that whatever the menu says we’re guaranteed to eat something else. I do remember some of it.
We had lentil tacos on homemade tortillas with lettuce, salsa, and homemade cheese (more on the tortillas and cheese in just a minute).
My in-laws came over for dinner and we had creamy taco casserole, jello with pineapple, green salad, and pumpkin custard.
White Bean Chili
I cooked white beans in the crock pot and then added some dehydrated onion, diced green chilis, and some spices.
We had leftovers at least twice this week, but maybe three times? All the days are blending together and apparently so are the meals!
New Things I Tried
Last week I told you that I would be trying some new things. I’ve been meaning to try at least homemade tortillas and chees for a long time, but I never seemed to get around to it. I figured that telling you about it would hold me accountable and it did!
Also, thank you Jennifer, Rebecca, Jennifer, Jen, Laura, and Kandice for your tortilla and cheese input last week! Your suggestions both on the blog and on YouTube were really helpful.
Here’s how it went:
Making Homemade Tortillas
Tortillas are a favorite for everyone around here, whether it’s tacos, burritos, quesadillas, Tex-Mex casseroles, PBJ on tortillas, or just plain tortillas. In the past when I’ve tried to make them they haven’t turned out well. Now that we are totally out of tortillas, I finally gave making tortillas another shot.
I’m happy to say that it went really well! I used this recipe that Jennifer suggested that you can make in a stand mixer, so it was super easy. The tortillas were a huge hit. The kids were seriously asking, “Why are these tortillas so good?”
The only problem was that it took a long time. I used the cast iron skillet so I could only do one at a time. Eventually one of the kids came in to take over for me. Next time I’ll use the griddle or get several pans going at once so it doesn’t take so long. I doubled the recipe since we have several big eaters, and we only had three left over.
Making Homemade Cheese
I tried two different cheese recipes. One was a fresh cheese from powdered milk that was super simple. Besides the powdered milk that I was using, I only needed lemon juice (or vinegar). It turned out pretty good, but a little dry since we squeezed out too much moisture in the final step.
The second kind I tried was a mozzarella. I did a small batch because I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, especially since I was using powdered milk. In addition to the milk, it also called for rennet and citric acid. The process is more complicated and different recipes use completely different processes. It didn’t quite turn out right. It was fine until the final step where the instructions had me put my ball of cheese into salt water in the fridge overnight. In the morning it had turned weird and slimy and overly salty. We’ll try again some time soon.
Making Wheat Hot Cereal
We tried a new hot breakfast cereal this week made with whole wheat. You can do this with either whole wheat or cracked wheat. We used the whole wheat kernel. The friend who suggested this great way to use wheat said she used her rice cooker, so that’s what I did. For every cup of wheat, you add 3 cups of water and then cook in the rice cooker on the brown rice setting.
Our rice cooker has a delay timer that I love! I put 2 cups of wheat and 6 cups of water in the night before and told the rice cooker to have it ready at 8am. That’s a great feature.
Though most of the family liked the wheat cereal, two kids did complain that the texture was weird.
To Try Next Week
This past week a friend asked if I had ever tried SOS Mix. What’s SOS Mix, you ask? It’s short for “Soup or Sauce” Mix. It’s a mix of a few dry ingredients including powdered milk, cornstarch, chicken bullion, dried onions, and italian seasoning.
As the name implies, it can be used for soups and sauces. In fact, 1/3 cup of the mix whisked with 1 1/4 cup of cold water and then heated, will sub for a can of cream soup in any recipe. There are lots of recipes using the mix and I’m planning to try at least one of them out this week!
I also want to try making homemade graham crackers like Julie suggested last week and chocolate cream of wheat like Sarah mentioned.
How about you?
How is quarantine going for you? Are you planning to get out soon or are you going to stay put for a while? Any more great suggestions to add variety to our food storage menu?
Quarantine Food Storage Challenge Series
Why We’re doing a Quarantine Food Storage Challenge, Pantry, Food Storage, Fridge, & Freezer Tour
UPDATE #1– What we’ve eaten, Food Tips
UPDATE #2– What we ate, Theme Days, Baking Supplies, Snacks, Seeds
UPDATE #3– What we ate, Trying New things, Garden Expansion?
UPDATE #4– What we ate, Food Storage FAQ
UPDATE #5– What we ate, New things to try
UPDATE #6– What we ate, New Things we tried
UPDATE #7– Pantry Update after 2 months of our challenge
UPDATE #8– What the kids think of the food storage challenge
Elita Goldin says
Thank you so much for sharing these in the quarantine time.
Did you make your tortillas with whole wheat flour or the all purpose flour that recipe calls for?
Hi Amy! We used whole wheat flour. We’re using that for everything these days. We’re reserving our white flour for brownies since we don’t have much! 🙂
My daughter says I’m famous because of your mention. 🙂
I really admire your ability to stay out of the stores this long. I made it 20 days and then I was craving fresh produce so badly we did a grocery pick up.
😁 Love it Julie! Twenty days is great! We are missing salad too! Our first lettuce is about two inches tall! So we’ll get some soon if we don’t go shopping before then!
I made enchilada sauce from scratch last week for an enchilada casserole (I don’t take the time to roll individual enchiladas, rather I just layer everything like you would lasagna and bake it). Anyway when I realized I was out of canned sauce I decided to make my own from here: https://dinnerthendessert.com/best-homemade-enchilada-sauce-and-quick/
No more store-bought sauce for us – this got thumbs up all around.
I love homemade enchilada sauce! It’s all I use. I use a recipe from Cookie and Kate.
Way to go Karen! I love when you DIY in a pinch and it turns out better or cheaper than the alternative!
We made homemade graham crackers and they were so good we ate them all in one sitting. I think it would be dangerous to make them again — they were SO good!
I can see us having this same problem!!
Linda Adams says
I use my weekly menu as a suggestion. We just have to use what we have but can configure it however we are feeling at the moment. I use SOS mix. I have for the past few years. I heat it in the microwave because I hate standing over pots stirring constantly. It is nice to know I do not ever have to buy canned soup again and less chemicals.
Your little guy is very cute, especially when he smiles.
Thanks Linda! Everyone else was asleep so he got to join me! 🙂 That’s good to hear that you use the SOS mix! I usually make my “cream soups” from scratch, but having a mix sounds great!
Deb Stevens says
I look forward to your posts! Quarantine cooking is certainly timely! Keep up the good work!
Thanks Deb! It we are definitely learning a lot!