The Power of Comfort Foods

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comfort food 1200 900Imagine that you have six full month’s worth of food stored up.  You have ample water and supplies set aside.  You’re ready for anything.

Now imagine that you actually have to rely 100% on what you’ve stored.  No more trips to the grocery store.  Restaurant meals, and even fast food, are out of the question.  It’s you, your family, and your stored goods.

Consider the events and circumstances that have caused this to happen.  A total collapse of our economy, perhaps?  A horrific natural disaster or civil war?  A complete and abrupt end to your income flow?  Whatever the case might be, when the time comes that you must rely solely on what you have stored, you can count on high levels of stress and anxiety.

image by wickenden

In the midst of the trauma, it’s dinner time.  The family sits down at the table for their usual dreary meal of beans and re-hydrated vegetables, and what do they see?  Why, a pan of hot, fresh-from-the-Sun-Oven brownies!!!!  This rare treat brings smiles, laughter, and in a matter of minutes, the pan is empty.  That is the power of comfort food and why I recommend that it be part of your food storage.

Comfort foods do, actually, bring a degree of comfort and reassurance.  The foods are familiar and are linked to happy memories.  Maybe for you, it’s a plate full of mom’s recipe meatloaf and mashed potatoes with gravy or homemade apple pie.  For the Paranoid Dad, it’s fried Spam and rice.  (No joke.)

I’ve stocked up on macaroni-and-cheese (Kraft for short-term storage, #10 cans of macaroni and cheese powder for long-term) specifically because it’s my kids’ favorite meal.  A dozen or so boxes of brownie mix are tucked on a back shelf in the pantry, hidden because we love being comforted by brownies more often than we really should!

What are the comfort foods that you and your family enjoy?  Make a list and begin adding those ingredients to your food storage.  Pay attention to which ingredients are short-term storage only and figure out ways to either store them properly for a longer amount of time or track down alternative ingredients that will yield the same results but are packaged for long-term storage.  This is one part of food storage you’ll be grateful for.

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I'm the original Survival Mom and for more than 11 years, I've been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more with my commonsense prepping advice.

27 thoughts on “The Power of Comfort Foods”

  1. Is it bad that I buy Mac and Cheese as a regular survival prep food? Haha 🙂 The great-value walmart brand is 50 cents a box. That's hard to beat.

    But I agree with your point, the longer you go in a survival situation the more morale become key.

    My comfort foods would be sweets, or homemade spaghetti sauce

      1. You marinara recipe looks pretty delicious, and I like that it's easy.

        I actually don't know a thing about the recipe of mine, haha.

        My grandmother grows tomatoes and makes sauce every year. It is amazing and I have gotten so spoiled I won't even eat store bought sauce anymore. I have to make several trips up there per year to get a case, yes she makes it by the case.

  2. What security measures do you have in place to keep "predators" out of your comfort foods?
    ( i.e. My husband is the worst! I can't keep chewy granola bars or Chex Mix stockpiled!)

    1. My security measure is a pantry door that gets stuck in the door jamb! That's about it. My son is the worst predator in the family, so that sticky door is hardly an issue for him. When he's hungry for a granola bar, he'll find a way to get it!

      1. For a relatively small amount, you can always "package" them inside something else. Put them inside a big puffy (spare) comforter or a stack of linens. Or in the middle of a box of books that everyone has outgrown, but no one wants to get rid of. Or a box of girl clothes. 🙂

          1. I had Zone Bars (note the past tense) behind other things in our grocery store food storage, double wrapped in plastic bags. DH did admit they were well hidden and tough to find when he dug them out. But dig them out he did. :-p I have to admit, I know that Zone Bars will never last to a SHTF situation in our house, but at least hiding them where the kids can't find them and dh has to search means they might be there when we're low on food in the regular pantry and we need something super fast.

            I have some five gallon buckets I just got at Lowe's that have camping gear, wool socks, new underwear and other things we don't need soon that I really REALLY don't want to have turn into mouse houses before we need it. I may take another one and put some things like Zone Bars in it to leave them "hidden" in plain site. After all, how likely that your spouse or kids will disturb the spare socks or underwear tubs? (Note: These are prepackaged items that won't spend 5 or 10 yrs stored here, which is why I'm not too concerned about them not being in food-grade containers.)

          2. Lisa,
            I think you may have a new article or contest here. "Where are your best hiding places from the scavengers in YOUR home?" LOVE the Maxipad idea! I may use my large Tampax box. ROFL!!!

  3. Coconut curry chicken and rice does it for me.
    Life just isn't worth living without something curried on rice.

    To that end, a few years ago, we transplanted a small grove of mature coconut trees that a home builder was just going to cut down; although free, the backhoe and transport weren't cheap but we have a good supply of versatile fresh coconuts which we've supplemented with packaged coconut milk powder for quick meal preps.

    Good Madras curry, freeze-dried chicken, onions and peppers, sugar and rice are prominent storage items at the family compound as well. We also store a mix of canned stock and bullion cubes to complete our particular comfort food picture.

    Next on the "just do it already" list are gardening and preserving onions, peppers, and beans to achieve a higher level of self-sustainability.

    After that…Chickens, but I'm not quite ready for that leap yet.
    Soon come…

  4. Pingback: 37 Things You Should Stock but Probably Aren't

  5. Girls, several years ago I came across a book written by Vicki Tate. It is called "Cooking with Home Storage". It is an excellent resource. She not only has recipes giving the exact amounts to use such as " 1/2 c dried milk" but she gives many helpful hints in her book, about natural remedies etc. Well worth the price. I checked and it is still available on Vicki Tate is a Morman and has practiced food storage for years. A lot of wisdom in the book.

    1. Vicki Tate is very well known in food storage circles. You can find one of her books, Cookin' With Home Storage, on Amazon.

  6. Anybody have a recipe for snickers bars and peanut m&m’s that can be made from long term storage items????!!!!

  7. My comfort food is grease fried brown eggs and crab cakes. But my family were Chesapeake Watermen so there you go.

  8. I have been doing a lot of canning. Found an old Presto Canner/ Cooker in my Mom’s cellar and would like to use it too. Big problem, the lid seems sealed to the canner body and won’t budge. I guess the sealing ring is the problem. Any ideas how I get this open, so I can clean and use the canner after having the pressure gauge checked? Susan B.

  9. I hide all the snack packages in a empty diaper box so far it works really good! He hasnt found them yet… My husband is the worst I swear he can sniff them out like a blood hound! Lol

  10. We’ve had Preparedness Expos for the last few years and at the first one, a woman showed a shopping cart with the equivalent of a 3 day food supply for a family of 4. Included with things like oatmeal and peanut butter was a package of cake/ice cream sprinkles. I asked what they were for, thinking I was going to find out they have another cool and unheard of use like water purification or something. Her answer, “Morale builder. Sprinkles are associated with fun and happy things, so even some sprinkled on the oatmeal could give everyone a smile.” So next trip to the dollar store I bought some. Now I will add brownie mix or cake mix. Would vacuum sealing homemade mix work?

    PS for the curry lovers: Trader Joe’s used to carry some curried items in the sealed heavy bags; very slim and lightweight and just heat and eat, no water or added ingredients necessary. If you have one near you it may be worth checking out.

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