Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ark Prep 101 - Part 9: How Do I Use My Food Storage in My Everyday Recipes!

Ark Prep 101: Part 9
I have to admit . . . This is my FAVORITE part,
But to some, setting up a system to incorporate 
food storage into your everyday life
can make your brain hurt a little!
(Chocolate and a Caffine-Free Dr. Pepper should help with that!
Ok . . . I admit it . . . My Dr. Pepper is not Caffine-Free, but I add lots of ice!)
Not to mention the hastle and work of making all of the changes.
We all love change . . . RIGHT?!?
YES, we do!
Especially when the changes:
I wanted to force myself to use not only my 3 Month Supply
of food storage, but my Long-Term Supply as well.
It took a few tries, but I have to say, I FINALLY GOT IT!
I think the easiest way to teach you this system
is to show you pictures of what I did,
(I'm a visual person if you can't tell!)
and then I have a feeling your brain is going to kick
into over-drive thinking of how you can adapt this system
to fit YOUR kitchen and YOUR family's needs.
I set my kitchen up into different zones.
This is my Baking Corner
The goal here is to be able to stay in one place
while I prepare different parts of my meals,
making my work time much more effecient.
My measuring spoons are easy to find
and right where I need them.
I put a sticky hook in my cabinent for my rings . . . I hate getting
dough in them when I make bread or rolls.
My Favorite Recipes are posted on the inside of my
cupboard door.
All of the baking ingredients are here too.
My measuring cups are on hooks as well. 
They are divided by measurement
so I don't have to waste time looking for the right size.
Blenders and Mixers
Cooking Utensils
Mixing bowls and larger measuring cups
are stored in the corner.
Almost all of the ingredients I need for baking are in
this corner area.  The only time I really have to leave my
baking corner is to get milk, or eggs . . . but I use the
powdered versions a lot more than I thought I would!
You really can't taste the difference, especially when you
use the ingredients in baking . . . I promise!
I keep my Flour, Sugar, Wheat, Pancake Mix (from the cannery),
and Magic Mix (made with butter powder)
in the canisters in the corner.  I use them a lot and the
canisters make it super easy to get to.
Especially nice when you have to measure 12 cups of flour.
I found my scoops and canisters at Walmart.
They were really inexpensive and I think they look cute.
I use a drawer to store the rest of my baking ingredients.
Brown Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Oat Flour . . . etc.
All of my baking spices are in one cabinent.
The seasonings are in a different area.
The next zone is for Meal Prep.
It's close to the pantry, the stove/oven, and the fridge.
All of the seasonings I use in preparing meals
are in this cabinent.
I should have switched the pans and baking dishes,
but this works too!
Now for the pantry . . . My FAVORITE!
I found these 1/2 gallon-sized jars at the D.I.
They are perfect for storing food because I can see
exactly what I have, and how much I have, just by opening
the pantry door.
So many times, we put our food storage away in dark basements
or closets.  It's almost like it's out of sight, out of mind.
When you store it where you are cooking and preparing meals
that is no longer the case.
I purchased 7 washpans and put the days of the week on them
using vinyl.  Each tote is for one day of the week.
I use the totes to hold the dinner ingredients.
This makes incorporating food storage into my everyday
meals so easy and I am able to rotate my food a lot better.
My breads, potatoes, and onions are in the stackable carts
in the bottom of my pantry. The onions go on the top.
(Looks like I need to go shopping!)
I used the same stackable totes in the top of my pantry.
I keep lunch ingredients on this Lazy Susan.
The 5 gallon buckets are for extra wheat, flour, and sugar.
I take my reusable shopping bag down stairs to my food storage
room and fill it with the ingredients I will need during the week
to make my family meals.
I hardly ever bring my groceries in and put them into my
pantry up stairs.  They go right into the food storage.
I fill out my shopping list after I shop from my food storage,
then when I go to the store I can replace what I just took.
That's makes rotating my food much more consistent
and I'm always replacing the items I'm using.
I painted a chalkboard on the inside of my pantry door
for the day's menu.
I should have made it for the week.
Just use chalkboard paint and some vinyl letters
to make your own chalkboard.
They have magnetic paint as well . . . It would
be PERFECT to combine the two!
I have a notepad with the days of the week so that I can
remember what meals I planned to make.
A Calendar is a great option as well.
It's a great way to keep track of the meals your
family is eating.
It organizes your seasonal foods too, and all you have to
do is write down what you had for dinner each day.
Sooo EASY!
I made enough breakfast mixes to last for the month.
It takes the same amount of time to make 1 as it does
to make 10 and it makes morning rush a lot less stressful!

Hopefully this gives you a few ideas for creating
your own food storage system.
Don't Worry if you're kitchen doesn't have
a lot of space to work with. 
 I lived in Illinois for almost 5 years with
a very small kitchen and lots of humidity.
I'll show you how you can still use a lot of the ideas I
just posted . . . but I'll do it in a smaller spaces!
Where there's a will . . . there's a way!


Melinda said...

I am a visual person too. But I was expecting pictures. Either my computer didn't bring them up...or there were no pictures. Please help a lost food storage person with pictures please.

Staci said...

I'm am completely JEALOUS of the amount of storage room you have in your kitchen! Utah houses are built with so much more storage spaces than ours here in AZ. We don't have a basement and it's just too hot to store the food in the garage. Any suggestions? staciandtodd@yahoo.com :) Thanks!

Tricia Smith said...

Check back next week. I'll be posting ideas for storing food in small spaces as well as how to store food when you don't have a basement.
Thanks for the great comment!

Kristen Duke Photography said...

wow, that was awesome! I am soon moving into a home with a bigger kitchen and pantry than I currently have and this is great organizing ideas!

Jessica said...

Ohmygosh! Your kitchen is beautiful! This is what I aspire to...right now my kitchen isn't even big enough for me to open my fridge all the way!

Anonymous said...

Have you posted the food storage inventory sheets you referred to in ark 101 part 8?

amy said...

i'm dreaming of your workspace and storage! Thanks for the awesome ideas.... now i am thinking of ways to implement. Thank you, thank you!

Bethany said...

I'm in love! At the moment I'm in a small apartment and half our food storage is hidden behind our couch. It works for now, but when we have a bigger place I can't wait to implement your organizational ideas.

Thanks for an awesome blog!

Crystal Dever said...

I'm new to your blog and I LOVE it! Thanks so much for all the adorable stuff! Do you have posted somewhere how you make your breakfast mix? I'd love to know that.

Tricia Smith said...

The recipe for Magic Mix can be found under the Food Storage Meals and Menu Planning Section. If you were talking about the Pancake Mix, I get that from the cannery. (It's amazing!)
Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

Love the blog! Can you tell me where you got the racks pictured in the bottom of your pantry? Thanks

Tricia Smith said...

I got them from Walmart. You can buy them one at a time or you can buy them in a box of 3.
Hope that helps!

Melissa said...

I just found your blog. Oh, my awesome kitchen! I would love more details! What is in all the jars. What does your food storage look like. How do you do it! I will look more through your blog but thanks for the inspiration!

MStevenson said...

Found your blog through Melanie at Sugar Doodle on one of her facebook status's.

Cough, cough. You make my kitchen look like crap.

Well done. I really like a lot of your ideas. I need to get organizing. Are you for hire? :)

One thing that we like to do...

Momcani said...

I love the storage you have. I moved from a large house that I designed to a tiny one bedroom apartment with a galley kitchen. Great job on the blog

Tricia Smith said...

The jars are filled with rice, pasta, beans, chocolate chips and other fun baking supplies as well as dehydrated onions, carrots, celery and some freeze dried food. I also have premade soup, cookie, and muffin mixes in some of the jars.
If I see my food storage, I do a better job of using it . . . otherwise, out of sight, out of mind!

Tricia Smith said...

Keep checking back . . . I will continue to post ideas for storing foods in smaller spaces.
I know what a challenge it can be.

Anonymous said...

I love your kitchen I wish I had that much space to organize.

Andie said...

I love all of this! I am going to my kitchen and rethinking what I have and where its at! Thanks!

Amy C's said...

This is fantastic!! Thank you so much for the inspiration...I'm going to run, not walk, to my kitchen and get started. AWESOME blog!

Jurema Brautigan said...

Oi! Aqui no Brasil admiramos muito vocês e a Igreja têm dado grandes exemplos diante das catástrofes, pois nosso país sempre cultivou a idéia de ser a terra da abundância, nada de terremotos, avalanches...
Admiramos vocês por procurar viver previdente, aprendemos muito e somos abençoados por compartilharem...Estamos no Caminho...Sirvo como Pres/da Sociedade de Socorro aqui em Sapiranga/Rs Estaca Novo Hamburgo, Grande Abraço!

2Bis2DO said...

Wow!, I'm so impressed. I am going to try and incorporate some of this into my food storage. Thanks so much for sharing.

Brian~Cami~Rian said...

Wow this is so amazing! You have inspired me! So many ideas I want to use for my own kitchen.

For those who need food storage stuff, check out Honeyville Farms stores in Brigham City or Salt Lake. They have a huge selection with great prices! Here's their website. http://honeyvillefarms.net/

Janis said...

Please tell me that you just organized your kitchen right before all these pictures were taken and that it doesn't always look like this. PLEASE! lol All joking aside, great ideas for organization. I particularly like the bins in the pantry for the days of the week, and you put the ingredients needed for the meals in the bin.

Callie said...

I love your organization tips and I think your ring hook is genius. I am always setting my rings by the cups and running down the next day to make sure they are still there and haven't been bumped off!

Do you have any suggestions or tips on storing water? Cases of bottled water vs big storage barrels?

Oh and Honeyville Farms also have stores in Chandler, Arizona and southern California for those outside Utah.

Tricia Smith said...

I store water in the barrels and in cases of bottled water. The bottled water fits under the bed perfectly and is easy to rotate. The barrels are nice because they store so much, but they are heavy and do need to be rotated yearly. They have 5 gallon, 6 gallon and 35 gallon barrels and containers that are a little easier to work with, but I still find it a lot easier to rotate the bottled water.
Hope that helps!

Tricia Smith said...

I have to say, I have closet and cupboard issues. I dream of ways to organize spaces BASICALLY . . . I'M AN ORGANIZING NERD!
If it makes you feel better, you should see my garage. That project is on the list, but I haven't had enough mental preparation time to even start on that project. I'll take before and after pictures and you'll see!

Tricia Smith said...

Jurema Brautigan,
I am sooo going to order the Rosetta Stone Program so I can read what you wrote!
I tried to read it out loud and it sounded really cool, but I have no idea what it says!

Jake and Sheena Halverstadt said...

I am so jealous of your kitchen space!! I also like the day of the week totes, I'm going to have to do this. I get morning sickness in the evening right around dinner time (that makes wanting to cook nonexistant!) and my husband works 2nd shift so it's just me and my 3 girls. Maybe if everything is right there it will help me and I'm sure my girls would like to eat something besides cereal and toast for dinner! Thanks for all you do!

Aubri said...

Are you for real??? I've never "met" anyone as organized and creative!! This is fabulous. I definitely gets me inspired. ☺

Anonymous said...

Are the bins that hold onions, sweet potatoes, and potatoes (on floor in your pantry) from Walmart? Do they come in that set of 3? Or is the "top for onions" a separate purchase?
Also what are those dimensions, because my walmart seems to carry the smaller ones you suggested for use in holding packet mixes, ie marinades or gray packets. Thanks so much for all you do-- and don't reply until you're done with vacation...I'll work on translating the portuguese for you.
from California

Anonymous said...

Here's the portuguese translation-
Here in Brazil we admire you so much and the Church has given great examples of disasters preparedness, because our country has always cultivated the idea of being the land of plenty, no earthquakes, avalanches ...
We admire you for trying to live providently, learned a lot and are blessed to share ... We're on the Way ... I serve as Pres / Relief Society here in Sapiranga / Novo Hamburgo Rs Stake, Big Hug!

Tricia Smith said...

Thank You, Thank You, Thank YOU!!!
I've been wondering what that said.
What a sweet comment!
You made my day . . . both of you, the R.S. President and the amazing anonymous translator!
Hugs Right Back,
By the Way . . . the part that holds the onions is actually a rectangle colinder. I purchased mine at Walmart. The bins come in a boxed set of three or can be purchased individually in the large and small sizes.
The boxed set actually comes with a flat lid, but I used that in my food storage room.
Hope that helps!

kitchenrecovery said...

I love this post! It's so fun getting a sneak into your kitchen and organizing. Amazing job!

Crystal Dever said...

Thanks for your answer to my question back in April. The breakfast mix I was talking about was mentioned in the very last paragraph of the post... where you say its as easy to make ten as it is to make one. But you call it a breakfast mix. Is that the magic mix you're talking about?

Crystal Dever said...

So is the magic mix the 'breakfast mix' you're talking about in the end of that post?

Prepared Not Scared said...

No, sorry I had just made a muffin mix that I make for breakfast. I thought that's what you were talking about. Magic Mix is AWESOME! I think I posted the recipe in January. I'll check for sure.

Prepared Not Scared said...

The mixes at the bottom of the post are for some of my family's favorite pancakes and waffles. I used powdered eggs and milk so that all I have to do is add milk and oil and they're ready to go. If you have never used powdered eggs or non-instant powdered milk to bake with, you won't be able to tell the difference. You can make these breakfast mixes with your own recipes. If you have a question on a particular recipe, let me know and I'll see if I can help you figure it out. Hope that helps! Trish

Crystal Dever said...

Very cool! Thanks!

Misty w/ Shelf Reliance said...

I love the idea of having everything you need within reach. Looking forward to tips for small spaces.

Misty w/ Shelf Reliance said...

Okay, funny. Just found this post on pinterest and totally thought it was new. Just realized that is over a year old. Oops. Sorry for the totally off base comment. I will go look up the small storage spaces post.