Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Deep Pantry


This is the day that changed my life.  My husband was in the office on the top end. Our car was near these cars- completely destroyed. I was at school- five miles away. My building was rocked and so was my world. We brought students back to a small compound that had injured soldiers all over it- many of the injured were the parents of the students. We had no idea.

For the next month I made meals for a core group of twenty people on night shift. Night shift in Saudi is day shift in the US- so they were core to the survival of the injured and moving the KIA. Several of the cooks were in the destruction, so that left the night shift to those of us who could put it together.

After having a tour in Hong Kong, I had learned to buy the things my children loved to eat in quantity when I saw it.  The supply ship would come in and three families would purchase cases of dried milk, pasta, pasta sauce, canned meats, jams, flour and yeast (one ship brought us salsa). Divide and conquer.  Each of us had a picky seven year old. It was important to them. It was then and there I can to appreciate a deep pantry.

The commissary officer laughed in Germany when I went for a mid tour breather from Saudi and ordered cases of the same things.  Those foods arrived in early October. November came with a crash and my life became one of "looking for fresh" on the economy. That meant that I would done my abaya and hijab, call one of the few drivers who still would take us places, and head to the market.
People in stress love comfort food. Finding a place that sold fresh ricotta and mozzarella was huge. I had the noodles and sauces in the pantry. I went to a huge market and found baking pans. I learned about the local fresh veggies and fruits in season and how to use dates instead of sugar. We made breads, entrees and fruit platters. It was crazy.

 Since that time, I have always had one. Deep pantry.
My family says that I am a closet prepper, but it is all about the moment.
Canning has added fruits to the winter- fruits from the area instead of South America.

After a wicked ice storm in Kansas in 2009 (we were stuck for ten days), different types of fuels were added to our deep pantry. Bees wax and soy candles, lots of solar lighting, back up water and propane were all a part of that preparation.
The garden is my new part. Having my own foods in the pantry, foods that were brought up in my backyard, well, it is a pleasure.
We finally live in a place where we can ride bikes to get places. We live in a community that can be self sufficient very easily.

Twenty years ago my life was changed by 220 lbs in the back of a pick up truck. Learning to take the good from the bad.
Maybe next year first aide will be on my list of things needed to make myself a part of the deep pantry.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

Wishing you a day of peace, despite remembrance of such a devastating time and event.