It is heavy! Strangely, about 25 lbs. worth of heaviness.
As you know, just last week we made a cross-country move and I had to empty our precious little house of all its belongings. We were fortunate to have people helping us with the move but it also outed me on a strange little tendency I have – to hoard food for the end of the world.
Namely 25 lbs. bags of pinto beans and 15 lbs. bags of rice. Let me tell you, with those two items, ingenuity and enthusiasm alone you can heat your home feed your family without a grocery store for about three months.
I realize if you’re not Mormon or still celebrating the paranoia of Y2K or the recent rapture this may be odd to you. I don’t blame you. But since I have been an adult I’ve had a stash of the most vital pieces of food and supplies handy just in case.
But I got a little embarrassed when my packing helper labeled the stash: “END OF THE WORLD SUPPLIES.”
Then I arrived at my parent’s house and immediately felt better. They have more space, more food, and more access to the mecca of all bulk shopping: Costco.
I walked into the pantry and saw a plethora of canned items, fruit snacks, paper towels, pasta, dried milk, peanut butter… the list goes on and on. Really.
It took me back to the day in 1993 when we discovered the grocery store was discontinuing their stamp program. See, for ages they had handed out a stamp for every $5 you spent in the store. You filled up a card with 9 stamps and it acted as a $1 off coupon for anything else in the store.
Still following me? Because here’s where it gets tricky – if you went to the store on double coupon days your $1 off stamp card was worth two dollars!
But, in 1993, after about 25 years of the program, it was coming to an end. And my mom had 25 years worth of stamp cards sitting unused in a drawer.
Everyone in the family put on athletic gear, did warm up stretches and my mom gave us the pre-competition pep talk. We had specific objectives: nothing priced over $2 and canned items were preferred because they had a longer shelf life.
We spent hours in the grocery store that day. We bolted up and down the aisles, bringing items to my mom for final consideration and approval. Occasionally we were able to sneak something in that didn’t quite meet the guidelines, but it was rare – my mom is a dedicated woman and she was on a mission.
We left the store with over $300 worth of food items for about $20 cash, an impressive feat.
And then we ate it. For….EVER.
I can never look at a can of baked beans without the memory and a little shudder.
And yet, left to my own devices, I have created my own END OF THE WORLD SUPPLY. I have no explanation, but my trip to my mom’s pantry just assured me I may not be able to help myself… it’s in the genes.
(If by chance you’re interested in building your own end of the world supply, here are a few websites you might find helpful: Menus4Moms, the Well-Stocked Pantry, Stocking Your Pantry, Essential Ingredients to Have on Hand, Modern Homesteading, Designing, Building, and Stocking a Family’s Food Supplies.)
Do you have any traits that have been passed from generation to generation?