100-Day Pantry: Quick and Easy Gourmet Meals
Lisa Olsen Tait
CFI/Cedar Fort, 2010
Reviewed by Lisa Olsen Tait for The Association for Mormon Letters
Could you feed your family in a crisis? This book is designed to give
you confidence in answering that question with a resounding yes.
Most of us know that we should be working on our food storage. Even if
we haven't been indoctrinated by years of provident living lessons at
church, we've all seen enough coverage of hurricanes, earthquakes,
chronic unemployment, and other disasters to know that it is a good idea
(and a good investment) to have enough food in the house to support
ourselves if needed. The hard part is knowing where to start and how to
build a usable supply of food. In the 100-Day Pantry, Jan Jackson has
come up with a simple and realistic solution.
The book opens with a straightforward statement that pretty much says it
all: "The purpose of this book is to help you prepare your pantry so
that you can eat from it for one hundred days." In a short seven-page
section Jackson then proceeds to describe her method and give tips for
implementing it. The rest of the book then consists of recipes (one per
page) and a short "Tips and Tricks" section at the end.
As Jackson explains, the recipes are designed so that there are no
extra ingredients necessary; that is, you won't need anything fresh or
frozen, and there is no need even for extra water. The ingredients are
all dried or canned and will store for at least two years. Moreover, by
fixing just one recipe per week using ingredients you have stored, you
can rotate through your entire supply in two years. This means that this
book can become kind of a total guide to food storage following the
newer guidelines set forth by the Church, encouraging members to begin
by building a three-month supply of food they normally eat. Jackson even
shows you how to do the math and come up with a total shopping list (or
target quantity list) for the entire 100-day supply.
I really like this idea. It is simple and realistic, and this book does
all the work for you. You can use the recipes you like and ignore those
you don't. They are inexpensive to try, and they actually sound
appetizing. Many recipes include alternative preparation suggestions
for everyday use if you don't want to use dried or canned items. For
example, the recipe for Chicken a la King calls for sour cream powder,
dried onion, dried celery, and dried bell pepper. For everyday meals,
the recipe suggests replacing the dry vegetables with double the amount
of fresh and the sour cream powder with an appropriate amount of fresh.
Fresh meat can be substituted for canned, as well. These substitution
suggestions mean that this book provides a great resource for quick,
easy, inexpensive meals under any circumstances.
I think this book would make a great gift for newlyweds, college
students, young families, older folks, missionaries, people who like to
go camping, compassionate service leaders who need to come up with quick
meals for ward members; in short, for just about anyone. I intend to get
started on my 100-day pantry right away.