Monday, October 3, 2011
Ominivore or Vegetarian?
I am one of those people who has wasted my time canning beef, chicken, pork, venison, and meat stews, and soups. I have read many comments on survival sites about how canning meats are a waste of time. They say that people can hunt for their meat or live a vegetarian lifestyle. I say both are non-sustainable. I believe the animals that are considered meat sources will be hunted to near extinction and vegetarian lifestyle will not be giving you enough calories to do the hard work you will need to do for survival. I plan to only eat meat 2 to 3 times a week if the stuff hits the fan and we can't go to a grocery store for our regular foods. I have a years supply of food for 4 to 5 people but will be feeding upwards to 13 people possibly. I will not be feeding everyone straight meat but will be putting a bit in with beans and rice dishes or vegetable and meat soups or stews served with rice or noodles or mashed potatoes or breads of different kinds. Meat will not be figured prominently any more but will be there for psychological value and flavor. Special holidays such as Christmas, Easter and Fourth of July I will serve a more pure form of meat such as salmon cakes or barbeque pork or sausage egg casserole. They will seem much more celebratory if they are few and far between. Thanksgiving I have a recipe for Chicken or Turkey croquets put away along with stuffing, veggies, gravy and rolls like most other Thanksgivings of our past. I always like the fixings better than the Turkey on Thanksgiving anyway.....Now to talk about vegetarian eating. It isn't my favorite way to eat everyday but 3 or 4 times a week it could be okay. I have played around with creating things like lentil rice burgers and when they are served with all the hamburger fixings and also with a little beef boullion in the burger it is really passable and my husband even said he can deal with that as a substitute for burgers atshtf. Also baked beans and corn bread and fried rice is a very acceptable meal. If your beans are the canned variety and come with bits of pork fat. Make sure you chop the pork fat very fine and leave it in the beans for flavor and the fat that is needed in your diet. Spaghetti sauces that you stock up on can be the meat type flavors such as Del Monte's Meat Spaghetti Sauce or Italian Sausage style sauce. Spaghetti Marinara is fine but try to put away Parmesan Cheese into your storage for those meals. It will help mask not having meat in them. Who here hasn't tried vienna sausage in their beans and rice or in the rice caseroles? What about buying the cheaper canned Luncheon Meats like Treet, which I bought about 75 cans of for 75 cents each for flavoring otherwise bland meals like bean soup or frittata's or quiches. My husband tells me all the time not to buy Spam because he hates it. I cook for him many different meals with the luncheon meat and he has never said a negative word about it and cleans his plate. Perceptions are something we will have to work around until everyone is on board with eating what we have and being grateful for it. I figure I will be able to make Tuna Macaroni and cheese casserole to feed 13 people with 2 cans of tuna in oil if I leave the oil in the tuna and add it to the macaroni and cheese. The tuna flavored oil can substitute for the butter and will add the taste of tuna throughout the casserole. What about learning to make a hummus sandwich spread to make for a change of pace from the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and think of eating baked beans over toast for lunch in the winter. In the summer make use of the salad greens and tomatoes for sandwiches. What about refried bean and red rice burritos with a dollop of yogurt. If you have cucumbers or zucchini make sandwiches with them with a spread of yogurt. Learn to make homemade yogurt and cottage cheese and riccotta from non fat dry milk and serve those with fresh or canned fruits or vegetables for lunches or light dinners. Yogurt is very versatile and can be used in place of sour cream in stroganoff and on baked potatoes or with instant mashed potatoes for a richness and tang that you would not be getting without the butter and sour cream that we are all so used to. Don't forget that yogurt takes to being flavored very well. You can add some strawberry jam to it or chives and garlic powder, try different seasonings with plain yogurt and you will see what I mean. Just look as some of the recipes you use regularly and figure how you can change them to use what you have in food storage or buy the things for your food storage that you don't think you can live without like powdered sour cream it is really quite yummy. But if you can't afford it then learn to make the yogurt. If you are a pretty staunch carnivore/omnivore consider raising rabbits and or chickens if your city allows it. My city does not allow the eating fowl of any kind to be raised domestically, but they don't have any rules about rabbits so we are headed for raising rabbits this coming year. And don't forget that rabbit manure is considered one of the best fertilizers and does not need to be aged to be used. We will start them off in a greenhouse type structure this winter and will move them outdoors in the spring. Everyone's tastes and preferences will be different but you need to think about whole meals when you plan your food storage, not just individual ingredients. Take the time to look at your menus and store the things you will need for the whole menu or learn to deal with substitutes now before tshtf. These are important steps on your journey to your future survival and life skills that you are trying to prepare for after the collapse or catastrophe happens.