Preparedness: Cooking/Baking Basics

WAIF seriesH5Next up in the “What Am I Forgetting?” series is……..

Cooking/Baking Basics

WAIF series_5(shown: yeast, cumin, salt, celery leaves, baking powder, chives, vanilla)

I mean, can I live without cinnamon and vanilla, spices and herbs, yeast and salt? Maybe

Would life be much better with cinnamon, vanilla, spices, herbs, yeast and salt in it?? DEFINITELY

For a long time food storage was wheat, beans, powdered milk, rice, and sugar. Thank goodness there’s been a shift to storing what you regularly eat! And for us, since we do most of our cooking from scratch, and avoid most processed/prepackaged food, storing things like seasonings, yeast, baking powder and baking soda, salt, etc are ESSENTIALS to our HomeStore. (Not familiar with the HomeStore? Visit this post.)

I have a whole shelf in my HomeStore closet that is dedicated to spices. On a good day, it’s all alphabetized and organized.



Today, it looks like this:


Some tips:

  • I buy my yeast in large (maybe 2 lb) packages at Costco, and store them in the freezer. Once opened, I store them in the fridge in an airtight container to protect from moisture.
  • One great way to know which spices and seasonings to store is to keep a menu list and write down all the seasonings/spices you used during the month.
  • Buy small bottles of different brands of new spices so you know which ones you like, and which ones that no matter how much cheaper they are, are not worth a dime because they smell like chemicals when you open them, and don’t taste like whatever they claim to have in them…buying small means you’re not stuck with a large bottle of junk you either won’t use/throw out or curse every time you have to use it because you’re too frugal to toss it. Not that frugality is a bad thing. You know I’m all over that, but you gotta know when you’re beat. And yes,…..I DO have a bottle of one of these horrible brands in my unorganized picture above. I just haven’t been able to bring myself to throw it out….but I will, because I have never used a spice by that company that smelled, tasted, or looked like it should. Sad.
  • Buy aluminum free baking powder, and remember that baking powder needs to be fresh or it loses potency. Unless you use it frequently (like 1-5 times a day, like we do), purchase it in Pantry Can sizes, so you can use it up before it’s no good.
  • Put the purchase date on your purchases so you can effectively rotate them (In my shorthand, 0314=March 2014)
  • Spices do lose potency, so unless you use something frequently (we go through one of those large chili powder canisters every 4 months or so, one of Cumin about every 6 months, Parsley every 4, OH….and crushed red peppers, about one every 1.5 months….the hubs sprinkles them on everything he eats), buy them in smaller containers and faithfully rotate them!
  • A couple of favorite products for my Cooking/Baking Basics? Thrive’s freeze dried Spices/Herbs found here in a Variety Pack that includes: Parsley (FD), Basil (FD), Oregano (FD), Cilantro (FD), Chives (FD), Salad Seasoning Blend (FD), Italian Seasoning Blend (FD), Chef’s Choice Seasoning Blend, Peppercorn Seasoning Blend. Also, some of my go-to products are the Thrive Sauce Mixes found in this Variety Pack that includes: Béchamel: Creamy White Sauce, Velouté: Rich Chicken Gravy, Espagnole: Savory Beef Gravy, Tomato: Classic Tomato Sauce. They’re extremely versatile and convenient…oh, and delicious. They are also all sold separately.
     Tried ’em all, love ’em all.

Storing Cooking/Baking Basics is just one more way that having a HomeStore makes me a better mom/housewife/nutrition coordinator/etc. At any moment I have the ability to come up with something good to feed my family. And that brings me a lot of peace.

What Cooking/Baking Basics do YOU have in YOUR HomeStore?
Have you started YOUR HomeStore yet??
I’d love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

Oh, and tomorrow??? BIG NEWS on a BETTER than BLACK FRIDAY Case Sale!

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