When the Ingalls knew winter was near, they started to prepare of what they should do. Their first idea was to just go back East, they lived in a shanty out on the prairie and surviving would be difficult. But then Pa got the offer to stay in the Surveyors House on the other side of the lake. It was going to be empty for the winter and available. Laura gets to the house first because she ran ahead of the wagon and so she gets to describe what she saw for us.
“She opened the third door. A squeal of excitement came out of her mouth and startled the listening house. There before her eyes was a little store. All up the walls of that room were shelves, and on the shelves were dishes, and pots and pans, and boxes, and cans. All around under the shelves stood barrels and boxes. The first barrel was nearly full of flour. The second held corn meal. The third had a tight lid and was full of pieces of fat, white pork held down in brown brine. Laura had never seen so much salt pork at one time. There was a wooden box full of square soda crackers, and a box full of big slabs of salted fish. There was a large box of dried apples, and two sacks full of potatoes, and another big sack nearly full of beans. ~ By the Shores of Silver Lake p.144
In a previous Living Like Little House article I wrote I talked about my food storage in general. I showed a video of the different storage spaces that we keep things in around the house. But I didn’t touch much on how we store our bulk goods like it talks about in this paragraph from the book.
I buy most of my food in bulk. Flour, beans, oats, rice, and more. For different products I have different storage methods, here is some of them.
For the products I get that come in large quantities, like 50lb bags of turbinado, sucanat, flour, I use 5 gallon food grade buckets. I order these from my co-op online. For lids, I buy gamma seal lids. You pound them on to create a seal and then they are so easy to open. You just twist the middle. They also help to make the buckets stack really nicely. And let me tell you, when you have several large buckets of food in your house you are trying to find storage for, being able to stack them really helps!
Those buckets work really well for the big things, but then there are other things I buy in bulk that don’t really need such a big bucket. For these things (ie: powdered buttermilk, cocoa powder, salt) I like to use glass jars. I really like to store in glass when I can and I also really like to be able to see the product that’s in the container without taking it off the shelf and opening it.
I use all sizes of glass jars for many different things. Like I said above, I like the gallon jars for bigger storage, I use half gallon jars for many things in the fridge like whey, chicken broth, and more. And I like the pint and quart jars for spices and small dried things.
Everyone should have a supply of clean water on hand in case of an emergency. Most sources recommend that you have 2 weeks of water supply on hand for every member of your family(1 gallon per person per day). Storing water in those plastic milk jug like containers isn’t good because they deteriorate too fast and can leak chemicals into the water. I buy these opaque food grade jugs like the ones pictured above to have our water storage in.
What do you keep your food in? Is there something special you use that I didn’t mention here?
Make sure you check out the entire Living Like Little House series!