Observations from living exclusively off my pantry

So I’ve been “unexpectedly forced” to live off my pantry for a few days now.  So far it’s actually going pretty well although I know it will get more and more uncomfortable.  We’ve run out of a few things but are doing okay with some substitutes that I happened to have on hand – and may I say, I am GLAD I have them!

One of the best things was this powdered milk substitute called “Morning Moo’s” milk.  And yes, the apostrophe is where it is supposed to be… sigh.  Anyway, I saw it at the store one day and bought one of those big #10 cans to try out.  I’ve been using it periodically for cooking and it works GREAT.

I’d used it in the past for drinking.  It tastes pretty good, way better than regular powdered milk.  I don’t think I’d like it much for drinking, but I’m particular about my milk.  The kids didn’t care, though, and their opinions are the ones that matter.

So I’ve saved what skim milk we have for me and the girls have been drinking half of the Moos milk mixed with regular milk. It’s working pretty good.

Anyway so here’s what we’ve run out of and some observations I’ve made:

  • Out of eggnog which is sad because I probably won’t get any more this season.  I think I may go get some rum flavoring and make my own eggnog flavored creamer from the Morning Moo’s milk.  I used it for creaming my coffee this morning along with some chocolate syrup and mint flavor and it worked swimmingly.
  • Low on fresh fruit, naturally. I do have a little left and I have some canned fruit as well, but I don’t have much of a variety.  Definitely something to consider.
  • Low on veggies as well.  This is something that I probably need to research – all I have left here in the wintertime are carrots and potatoes.  I don’t like canned veggies aside from tomatoes & corn, which I have plenty of.  So what ends up happening is we don’t get many of the nutritious veggies, and more of the starchy ones.  Next year I’ll have some homegrown broccoli in the freezer, but in the meantime our nutrition is probably going to suffer a little.  I need to think of creative ways to be able to have green veggies and the more nutritious ones, without canning or relying on greens (which I don’t really like much).
  • Out of coffee creamer. Morning Moo’s works pretty well though, so I think we’ll manage.  I am gonna need to get some more of this stuff.

General thoughts
It’s kind of weird how my mind has halfway switched into some sort of “mode” and I can’t even really describe it.  I guess it just feels weird, like I’m getting into character for a role or something.  I’d probably be interested in doing this for a longer period of time just as a way to challenge myself and also to teach myself what we’d need to be prepared if we couldn’t shop for whatever for a few weeks or something.

I might be singing a different tune by Friday though!  I think my main concern that I think that I need to find a better way to get green and other non-starchy vegetables in my diet in better forms than the fresh veggies I buy at the store each week.  This probably won’t be a big deal in the summertime but in the winter and spring I could see it being an issue.  Especially when you consider that winter is most likely the time I would not be able to get to the store for some reason.

My problem is that I do not like canned veggies and I don’t like greens.  I guess I can tolerate canned green beans, and I do like pickled green beans and asparagus.  I need to try freeze-dried and maybe that will be better.  I’ve had freeze-dried peas and broccoli and they taste pretty similar to frozen.  Nothing I’d want to rehydrate and just eat, but decent for cooking with.

I would be GLAD for any other ideas, though.  I feel very uncomfortable at the idea of only having a week’s worth of fresh veggies and then having to eat nothing but carbs and starches, even with the proteins thrown in there.

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  1. Good morning. I enjoy your posts. I thought I would share two things. I also keep powedered milk on the pantry shelf. I have made the quart and added 1.4 c of half and half. It is delish, really. Just a share their. I never have whole milk on hand so the half and half works well.
    I spent all last winter studying winter gardening. I had test gardens this past spring and summer and my first winter garden ever-so the virdict and fine tuning will come as we grow, sos to speak. I am sharing this as a means of giving you an idea on who to get more greens available for your family. Winter gardening in New England is quite possible. We will see. Thank you for this post.

    1. Hi Narde,

      Let me know how those winter gardens go, I’m really curious. I can’t grow much where I live mainly because my yard is like a jungle and I have no sunny spots but I am thinking about experimenting. And thanks for the tip about half & half! That stuff makes anything taste good, I bet it would really doctor up the powdered milk.

  2. I freeze milk here in the states it comes in plastic bottles or jugs an is homogenized so I can buy it once a month bring it home drop a few gallons in the freezer and and I just grab one when i am running low they need a full day to thaw at room temperature

    Also I have not done it myself but a friend buys milk in bulk every few months an then pressure cans it in quart jars an keeps it in her cellar she lives 50 miles from the closest store and doesn’t want to try an keep a milk cow

    hope this helps

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