Being able to cook a decent meal for yourself and your family during and after a disaster scenario has got to be at or near the top of your list of things to do when Prepping. The thing is, while you may be a pretty good cook today with a fully powered and functional kitchen and plenty of running water, being able to whip up the same tasty meals while trying to conserve on every level can be tough.
Of course you’ll need a good reliable heat source but we’ve covered those options in a previous post. I think the bigger issue here is using water wisely and getting the absolute most out of it.
For example, if I were to make myself some pasta today under ordinary conditions I would just go ahead and fill a pan with water, boil it up, and drain the pasta into a sink. Post SHTF this would be an incredible waste. First of all, you’re much better off using couscous which only requires a small amount of water to prepare, all of which is absorbed and therefore used and consumed with nothing wasted. Couscous is also very compact so you’re storing a maximum amount of food in relation to the space it takes up. You don’t store rigatoni, there’s too much air in the box and not enough pasta…
If couscous is not to your liking then try something else that’s small and compact like orzo. It will take a bit more water to prepare but if you catch and save the water you cooked the orzo in while straining it you can re-use that water to cook with again, also adding a bit more protein and nutrients to your next meal. Use the water to cook rice and you’ll be happy with the extra flavor you get as well. At the very least, saving the water you’ve used to cook with could provide you with a little weak tea to drink.
The last bit of advice I will leave you with, and this goes for everyday living and not just in an emergency, is be wise with your resources and always use leftover bones to make stock. A rotisserie chicken that has been stripped of all of its meat should not be discarded. Boil the bones down and save the resulting stock and you’ve got a protein packed addition to just about any recipe. Personally I use a bit of the stock every time I make pasta to add flavor and protein. I put some in the water I make rice with for the same purpose.
This is fun and a good use of resources during normal times. After an emergency when conservation is an Absolute Must it will be critical. Every ounce of food and water has to be used wisely. With the economy the way it is today, it’s not a bad idea to start practicing some of these skills right away…