Foods that are part of your three-month supply should be foods that you regularly eat. As I have collected foods, I've acknowledged that there are some foods that I need for my three-month supply that just don't store well (especially if there is no electricity or refrigeration). In an effort to have easily-storable foods on hand, I often purchase items for my three-month supply in a form that I don't necessarily use regularly. For example, I use frozen or fresh onions in my cooking, but I've stored freeze-dried and dehydrated onions for my three-month food supply.
Because foods packaged for optimum storage sometimes carry a price premium, I am usually hesitant to open and use some of these storage items. I debate about whether to eat or not to eat those storage foods. "Sure," I think to myself, "I'll use it eventually -- before it goes bad." And then these products sit on my shelves unused and untried. I'd really rather use my cheaper, familiar onions than open a huge #10 can that I'm not really sure I'll like or know how to use. "Plus, it's supposed to be for storage," I rationalize. "If I use it, I'll have to buy more."
I have decided that it is important to try and use ALL of the items that I've stored for my three-month supply. I already use most of my storage items in my regular cooking. But there are a handful of products that I've ignored. I still haven't tried my canned cheese, freeze-dried onions, freeze-dried fruits, fruit drink mix, dried refried beans, or my butter powder (just to name a few). My canned butter also fell into this category until just a few weeks ago (see previous post on canned butter). But I've tried the butter and now I can be confident about the canned butter's use as a substitution if needed.
I'm going to do better! I'm resolved to try more of these ignored products, even if it is just one at a time, over the next year. There will probably be a small extra expense for doing so, but I'll chalk it up to the importance of becoming familiar with my stored foods. I keep reminding myself that this is actually an essential step in storing foods. If I hadn't tried the LDS home-storage dry milk, I wouldn't know how much I hate it. Can you imagine getting into a situation where you need to use your three-month supply, and only then discovering that you hate (or can't use) what you stored?
Are you with me? Will you resolve to try some of your ignored storage foods in the next year? I would love to have you share what you learn. In fact, I'll include your information and experiences if you're willing to share. Look for some future posts discussing my own experiences eating and cooking with my "ignored" storage foods.