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September is National Emergency Preparedness Month

The Emergency Preparedness
Tip o'da Week

Recipes for Rotating Your Emergency Food Supplies

The material presented on this page is intended to start you thinking about what you can do today that might someday save your life. If nothing else, our "Tip o' da Week" might just make your life a bit easier when a disaster strikes. We do not present topics that cost a lot of money (like structure reinforcement.) These are "do it yourself" projects and are relatively inexpensive.


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Iniki Au Gratin


Submitted by Bryan Nelson, Owner of TheEpicenter.com.

Bryan says, "I recently rotated some supplies that I had stored some time after going through Hurricane Iniki in 1992.  I came up with a recipe that can easily be modified to use any items you might need to rotate or might just have on hand for a quick and easy dinner."


This week's Tip O'da week is on rotating out emergency supplies.

All of us who store away food eventually need to rotate the supplies and replace them with current dated stock.  In my own storage, I have a mix of supplies including MREs (and lots of them), as well as commercially canned goods and dried items from my garden.  The canned goods include ready-to-eat items like soup, chili, ravioli, fruits & vegetables, as well as canned meats like tuna, spam, and corn beef.  Other items include dried soup mixes, dried vegetables such as tomatoes and bell peppers, and spices of all varieties.  Many of the dried goods come from each year's garden and are not only stored for future use, but are used regularly throughout the year.

I recently took an inventory of the detached garage, outside storage containers, and the shed, and I selected items to be rotated out of storage and replaced. Some of the items were as old as December of 1993.  Most of the items were from the end of 1994 thru mid 1995.  I combined several components into a casserole I call INIKI Au Gratin.

My point in sharing this recipe is to help you think of creative ways to use your supplies before they go to waste at the end of their shelf life.  You should think of your supplies not merely as an emergency cache, but as a deposit in your food bank.  Anything you purchase for your emergency supplies can be used in your normal diet when the items need to be rotated.  A bit of creative thinking will help you come up with tasty menus.  The key is to think of ways to combine things you have on hand when you don't have the exact ingredients you would normally use to make dinner.

Here are the ingredients I used in creating INIKI Au Gratin. This menu makes 11 servings of 1/2 cups:

Iniki Au GratinI started with some dried Idahoan brand potatoes Au Gratin. The potatoes Au Gratin comes with dried potatoes and a dried cheese sauce mix.  The recipe printed on the box calls for milk..  I had no fresh milk, so I used some MRE whole milk that was 2 years old.  I was also out of butter, so I substituted olive oil that was again, several years old.

Look over the list of ingredients, and you will see some surprising items.

Combine the potatoes, sauce mix, peppers and tomatoes in a 3-4 quart pyrex pan.  Stir in boiling water.  Add butter or olive oil and add cold milk.  Add corn beef, stir in and break into small chunks.  Add olives.  Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for approximately 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

As soon as this dish starts to cook, expect a visit from your neighbors.  My neighbor Ann Marie had to stop by to ask what smelled so good.  I explained the project and handed her a sample.  She was so excited, she asked for the recipe.  When I informed her about the age of the ingredients, she was amazed.  Remember, all the ingredients were from my emergency cache, and no other items were used!


This is a past episode of TOW.  Go to Emergency Survival Tips to see TOW's.


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