Last June I told you about my pandemic inspired pantry experiment. (to me yippee)
The goal was to stock the house (it’s a small house) with all of the supplies we would need for one year. This included everything from computer paper to lentils to chocolate. I tried to purchase every item we could need, which would allow us to go several months, ideally a year, without going to town. So, it has been a year. How did we do?
As a base, the freezer was filled with every conceivable meat, including 30 pounds of Halibut which we were able to buy through a friend of a friend and packaged into 40 dinner sized portions which were rationed carefully. We stocked up on a shocking amount of peanut butter and breakfast cereal. There were pounds of coffee tucked into every nook and cranny of the house. You can imagine libations were of primary concern. We stocked “a cellar” with homemade wine.
We, fortunately, had a weekly grocery delivery, from a neighbouring island, which I wasn’t aware I would have, that provided us with fresh milk, fruit, vegetables and unexpected needs. I gave myself a limit of $50.00 per week. The shopping list was routine. Milk, bread, two tomatoes, mandarin oranges, 6 bananas and a cauliflower. If I needed a turkey, I made our bread that week. If we needed dish soap, I used the long life milk instead of buying fresh. We are very boring cooks with about six recipes that we rotate. We have very simple needs and honestly it was fun to play with the concept. There wasn’t anything else to do all winter!
Thank god for island eggs. We have neighbours with chickens who provided endless meals with their eggs. At $6.00 per dozen for huge fresh eggs, we were thrilled to include the cost in my weekly budget.
It goes without saying that all junk food and treats were gone by Christmas. Chocolate, trail mix, taco chips and salsa were the first to go.
We ran out of dog food at Christmas and again this week. Three bags of Costco dog food lasts five months. I do not have the space to store eight bags of dog food annually so I can’t fix this problem. Storage is a factor. It is one thing to store hundreds of bottles of wine under the house quite another to store dog food in a world of mice, squirrels and raccoons. For worst case scenarios, I keep cans of dog food under our bed.
We ran out of toothpaste. I had bought seven. We ran out of liquid hand soap, bars of soap, dish soap and laundry detergent. I wasn’t aware of how hard it was to stay clean. We ran out of HP sauce until I remembered my sister in law gave me some of her homemade. All good for toilet paper and paper towels but ran out of kleenex.
I have enough lentils until the end of time.
There can never be enough chocolate in the house. We will often share a chocolate bar as a treat rather than making cookies and cakes. If we even have one bar, shared between us per week, that is 52 chocolate bars!!!!!!! Hard to go through the check out at the grocery store with 52 chocolate bars without experiencing a little shame.
E has been working on the live edge shelf for the kitchen island. Our brother in law milled a nice piece of alder and E sanded the bejesus out of it.. All stained with Varathane, it looks mighty fine.
The lessons learned from my pantry experiment are evidenced by the shopping list for the coming year. We need more cleaning products than I could ever have imagined. I had seven toothpastes last year, this year I will get twelve. There is no such thing as too much junk food in the pantry and I need to make more salsa this summer. All the extra lentils won’t go to waste, apparently they can also be used to make a nice
bean bag chair