Thursday, April 26, 2012

How I started my food storage: Part III--Fats

I'm back with part three of how I started my food storage.  Today, I take up fats.

I have a confession to make.  Fats have never been my strong suit when it comes to food storage.  I have never had a year's supply on hand.  Perhaps part of the problem is that fats are by nature perishable.  Recommendations are that oil is only good for 6 months to a year.  This is not the kind of thing you can purchase and stick in your garage for 20 years.

Some of the other reasons that I found fats difficult is the list and amounts on the calculator.  Four pounds of shortening is just plain gross given that I try to avoid hydrogenated fats.  And two quarts of salad dressing is just silly when I prefer to make my own.  And there is no way I would go through two quarts of mayo.  If need be I can make that too so long as I have an egg.  I have yet to try it with powdered eggs, but you know I will.

So what have I done about fats?  I try to have a few months supply on hand of what I do use.  I like to cook with olive oil.  I use canola in my bread and for frying.  I keep butter in my freezer and we purchased some Red Feather canned butter--which is super expensive but awesome.  And I like to have several cans of spray canola oil for pancakes and my bread pans.  I don't skimp here either.  If the first ingredient on the can isn't oil, I don't buy it.  Some cheaper brands have the first ingredient as water.  Totally not worth the savings.

I will also let you know that I wanted to have a backup for spray oil in case I ran out so I purchased an oil mister.  I tried it on my bead pans and it was worthless.  I have no idea why.  So if you are thinking of purchasing an oil mister don't expect it to be useful for bread making.  I do like to use it for pancakes and french fries--it's easier to coat fries and uses less oil!

So how much oil should I store?  I am in the process of figuring that out.  I did some calculations and if I make 4 loaves of bread per week (I make about that now) it would use 1 and 2/3 gallons of oil.  That doesn't include any cooking.  But the recommendation is that you have 2 gallons per person for a year's worth.  I actually think that would be pretty close.  Plus I need to factor in olive oil and some other fats like peanut butter.  But you know, food storage is a work in progress.

Before I leave this fatty topic, let me say something about powdered butter and shortening.  I have used powdered butter, but have had mixed results.  See here and here for example.  My feeling is that it works ok for baking and some cooking, but not so much for anything else.  You can't spread powdered butter on bread.  The best use may be in a white sauce mix I have made.  I want to try it in a few more baking recipes, like applesauce cake--mmm  . . . applesauce cake.  I just lost my train of thought.

I suppose that this Self Reliance Experiment is a bit about figuring out what I want to store.  I use this as an opportunity to experiment.  I don't expect to have all the answers anytime soon.  Perhaps you can let me know what you do about storing oil?

P.S. I love butter.


  1. What about storing coconut oil? It's amazingly healthy. It is solid at room temp and will store longer. It goes into heated dishes well, as well as being great for frying. You can use it like butter on toast. Plus it is also good for your skin (we mix it with lavender essential oil for a fantastic diaper rash cream, and with other essential oils for a skin moisturizer). It's probably the healthiest oil out there, and it stores very well. It is, however, expensive. I've got a friend that orders it in gallon containers, but since it's practically the only oil they use, they really go through it. I can get some ordering info if you're interested!

  2. What is Red Feather canned butter used for? never heard of it.

  3. Cyndy, here is a link on Red Feather Butter.

    Ginger, the only thing that has prevented me from storing coconut oil is the cost. :( Someday . . .



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