YWtGS: Quarantine Week 1 Menu and Food Storage Recipe

A Year Without the Grocery Store has a post up about their first week of quarantine and how to plan meals from storage food – Quarantine Week 1 Menu & Food Storage Recipe . Also check out Rural Revolution’s recipe for Beef and Mushroom Pie, resulting from a cleaning out the fridge moment.

So many of our lives have been turned upside down.  Whether you are now homeschooling your kids – since many schools have been closed.  Are you eating at home on a regular basis now when normally you would have gone out to eat one or two times during the week?  Are you used to precooked or prepackaged meals?  Each of these things can be so hard to navigate in their own, so what is one thing that we can do to make one of these things easier?  Make a Menu!

So it’s hard to think about what to feed families during a crisis.  And even for those of us who have a food storage menu set up, some of those meals might not sound appetizing at the moment.  How do you go about making up a menu for while you’re in quarantine?

Principles for Making a Quarantine Menu

Quarantine Menu - Week 11) Start with what you already have

Are you like me?  Do you buy food for a specific meal and at least once a week you don’t eat it?  More than that, oftentimes, you don’t reschedule those meals for the next week?  Yeah, me too!  So when looking through my freezer, I found a lot of food that is easily incorporated into this week’s menu.

I have a fairly deep pantry that I’ve been developing over the course of several years.  I built it using a food storage menu.   When I started making this week’s menu though, I didn’t major on my food storage menu.  I started with what I already have in my freezer.

(2) Eat “normal” foods as much as possible.

This is a really scary time for us as adults.  California has already been given a “shelter in place” order.  It’s been rumored that Illinois will be under the same order starting tomorrow.  This can raise our anxiety level – and we’re adults!  Imagine what it is like for your kids!

If you feed your kids normal foods, this will actually help them emotionally deal with this situation.  The greater a level of “normal” you can give to your children, the better off they will be during this crisis.

Don’t think that introducing crazy, strange foods at a time like this will do anything good for their (or your) digestive system.  Don’t think that your kids will all of a sudden eat canned asparagus if you never fed it to them before.  The same goes for

(3)  If you’re struggling, make a schedule.

I’m not talking about a menu.  I’m talking about a dinner schedule from which to make your menu.  A schedule might look like this.

  • Monday – Mexican Dish
  • Tuesday – Italian meal
  • Wednesday – Oriental Dish
  • Thursday –  American/Casserole
  • Friday – Soup
  • Saturday – Pizza (either frozen or homemade)
  • Sunday – Left Overs

OR maybe you’re “schedule” will look like this

  • Monday – Beef
  • Tuesday – Chicken
  • Wednesday – Pork
  • Thursday – Vegetarian
  • Friday – Beef
  • Saturday – Chicken
  • Sunday – Pork

Then when you go to make a menu, you don’t have to stress too much because the hardest part is already set up for you!

My breakfast and lunch meals are almost always identical from week to week.  This is how our breakfasts and lunches go in general.  I plan on keeping it the same as MUCH as possible even in quarantine.  I do know how to make bread, bagels, granola, biscuits, pizza, and cinnamon rolls, so I can keep that up even if I have to make it from scratch.

  • Monday Breakfast – Oatmeal / Lunch – Grilled cheese
  • Tuesday Breakfast – Bagels / Lunch – Beefaroni or soup
  • Wednesday Breakfast –  Homemade granola / Lunch – Sandwiches
  • Thursday Breakfast – Eggs and bacon / Lunch – Mac and Cheese
  • Friday Breakfast – Homemade Granola / Lunch – Pizza
  • Saturday Breakfast – Biscuits and Gravy / Lunch – Get Your Own
  • Sunday  Breakfast – Cinnamon Rolls / Lunch – Meatballs

4.) Don’t hesitate to learn new things!

Making bread really isn’t hard!

And if you can make bread, you can make cinnamon rolls, pizza crust, and bagels.  Making noodles is actually really easy too.  These things are just time-consuming, but when you’re forced to be at home, it’s a great way to spend your time.

Making homemade granola is even easier to make, and then you have several days worth of breakfasts ready at once.  One batch of our granola lasts us 2 weeks eating it twice each week.

My Menu for Quarantine Week 1

So here is an actual picture of my menu for this next week.  It goes on my fridge today and will stay up.  One of the reasons why I post it is so that I don’t get “What’s for breakfast, Mom?”  ALL-THE-STINKING-TIME!  I have one child who will finish dinner and go, “Hey, Mom! What’s for breakfast?”

The second reason that I post a menu is that my oldest daughter is responsible for breakfast every day.  My middle daughter is responsible for lunches every day, and I’m responsible for dinner every day.  This way, they don’t have to ask me what they should be making.  They know because it’s listed.

So here’s my menu.  Some of this will be from scratch.  This week, I’ll make the cinnamon rolls from scratch, but we still have “canned” biscuits” to make things easier on my daughter.  We still also have frozen pizzas, so we’ll do those instead of making those from scratch.  In future weeks, these will eventually be made from scratch.

 

Food Storage Recipe – Homemade Granola

We double this recipe and it makes at least 4 breakfasts for a family of 7.

Ingredients

  • 6 C Oats
  • 1 C Nuts (we prefer pecans)
  • 1 C Chocolate Chips
  • 1 C Coconut (can be omitted)
  • 1/2 C Cocoa powder
  • 1 C Coconut oil
  • 1 C Honey
  • 1 T Vanilla

Directions:

Grease a 9×13 two-inch deep casserole dish.  Mix the oats, nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, and cocoa powder together.  In a saucepan melt the coconut oil and honey together.  Once they are melted together, remove from heat and add vanilla.  Pour the mixture over the oat mixture in the 9×13 dish, and stir thoroughly.  Bake for 1 hour at 250.

Do you need help setting up a food storage menu?  I have written a FREE 7-page  Fast and Easy Food Storage Solution Guide to help you through the process.

What About You?

How are you setting up your menu for this time during quarantine?  Do you feel like you’ve got a good handle on it?  If you’re doing well, do you have any tips and tricks to share with the rest of our readers?  I’d love to hear.  Leave a comment below in the comments section so that we can all be better prepared.

Together lets Love, Learn, Practice, and Overcome!

There are links in this post.  Some of the links may be affiliate links.  Some of the links may not be.  My promise to you is that I will only recommend the most economical version of the best quality of items to serve you. These are the items that I have bought for my own family.  You can feel free to use my affiliate links, of which I will get a small amount in compensation, or you can choose to search out your products on your own.

Please note that any affiliate links above are for A Year Without the Grocery Store and not for the Lower Valley Assembly.

AYWtGS: Covid-19 Quarantine Day 1

A Year Without the Grocery Store related their first day of quarantine – Covid-19 Quarantine Day 1 – in which a perhaps surprising number of issues pop up.

I had planned on making one more trip to Costco before going into quarantine.  Did we NEED anything?  Probably not, but there were a few items that I really wanted to get a few more of – mostly dairy type items. I do have other alternatives, but they take preparing, and I’m by nature lazy.  I wanted another package or two of shredded cheese, some more heavy whipping cream and maybe some more eggs.

I messaged my mom to ask her if she wanted me to pick up anything for her.  She asked me not to leave the house.  I was willing to head out, but I understood her hesitancy.  So because I wanted to honor my mother, I stayed home.  It was the right decision.

Bad News from Texas<img class=”alignright size-medium wp-image-17746″ src=”https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/benjamin-bousquet-PDVvoXRAmCY-unsplash.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1″ alt=”” width=”300″ height=”200″ srcset=”https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/benjamin-bousquet-PDVvoXRAmCY-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/benjamin-bousquet-PDVvoXRAmCY-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C683&ssl=1 1024w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/benjamin-bousquet-PDVvoXRAmCY-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/benjamin-bousquet-PDVvoXRAmCY-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1024&ssl=1 1536w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/benjamin-bousquet-PDVvoXRAmCY-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1365&ssl=1 2048w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/benjamin-bousquet-PDVvoXRAmCY-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=650%2C433&ssl=1 650w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/benjamin-bousquet-PDVvoXRAmCY-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=600%2C400&ssl=1 600w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

I got a phone call from my father-in-law.  We had asked him to join us up here in Illinois because he really wasn’t ready for this.  But in his phone call, he let me know that one of his friends was presumptive positive for Covid-19.  While he hasn’t been in contact with this friend, he had other friends who have spent time with his presumptive positive friend with whom he has spent time.  So he won’t be coming up, but he needs items to get him through this next bit – where hopefully he doesn’t come down with the virus.

In case he does get sick, we’re sending him “just add water” dry soup mixes to help feed him past these next two weeks (which he only has 1 can of soup per day).  We’re also sending him Xlear to help keep his nasal passages clear and zinc lozenges.  I found a great article on the benefits and problems with zinc, so make sure you read it before you run out and start taking zinc.

The plan is for him to shelter in place for 2 weeks.  If he doesn’t come down with it during the next 2 weeks, then he’ll drive up here.  We’re also sending him PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) so that if he does come up here he will be protected during his trip.

If he does come up here, he will be quarantined for an additional two weeks, so make sure that he doesn’t get sick from his trip up and it gives us an additional two weeks to make sure that he doesn’t have a latent infection from his being exposed in Texas.

<img class=”alignleft size-medium wp-image-17747″ src=”https://i2.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/hermes-rivera-qbf59TU077Q-unsplash.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1″ alt=”” width=”300″ height=”200″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/hermes-rivera-qbf59TU077Q-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/hermes-rivera-qbf59TU077Q-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C683&ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/hermes-rivera-qbf59TU077Q-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/hermes-rivera-qbf59TU077Q-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1024&ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/hermes-rivera-qbf59TU077Q-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1365&ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/hermes-rivera-qbf59TU077Q-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=650%2C433&ssl=1 650w, https://i0.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/hermes-rivera-qbf59TU077Q-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=600%2C400&ssl=1 600w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>Conflict

I am not putting this out there to throw my husband “under the bus.”  I’m putting this out there so that all of you can understand that the conflicts that you’re experiencing right now are (very unfortunately) a part of this situation… (continues)

AYWtGS: Handling Quarantine with Kids

Karen at A Year Without the Grocery Store has an article up – Got Kids? How Do You Handle a Coronavirus Quarantine With Them? – with some suggestions on handling quarantine without going crazy.

We all love our children.  But despite that love, want to see parents cringe quickly?  Tell them that they are going to be stuck inside with their children for three months or more.  More than that, they cannot leave their home.

That thought in itself is incredibly overwhelming!  Add to it, getting ready to cut yourselves off from the world, it’s enough to devastate any parent.  How do you handle being cooped up with your kids for months on end?  Don’t stress, there are answers that don’t include 24/7 TV.

Let me start by saying, I’m a mom to five kids ages 8-17.  I don’t take the notion of being stuck inside my home for months with my kids lightly.  While younger kids will have an easier time staying home, older kids are going to feel the isolation much more.

So how do we handle a quarantine with kids?

When I was pregnant with my second set of twins, I was in the hospital every week for a non-stress test.  I had a friend who was pregnant at the same time.  She was hospitalized with placenta previa.  She wasn’t just hospitalized for a week or two.  No, she was hospitalized for more than TWELVE weeks.  And during that time, she was mostly confined to half of a small room.

How in the world did she keep herself sane being remanded to that small room for so long?  Some of her tips and tricks will work for us as we talk about how we’re going to help our kids (and ourselves) through what could be a long quarantine.

(1) Start Your Day Off Healthy

Make sure that you are starting your day off with a multi-vitamin, vitamin C, and a probiotic.  I would also suggest that you spend time in God’s word and prayer at the beginning of your day.  We love to sing together as a family, and this would be a good time to do that as well.

(2) Make sure your kids are learning.

Whether you homeschool or not, make sure that your kids are still learning.   Even if you send your kids to school, make sure that they are bringing their school books home with them as you get closer to keeping them home from school in a quarantine.   Or you could put together a school kit so that you will always have items to help your children learn if they can’t go to school.

For me, it’s really simple.  I have three children still in school.  And since we homeschool, they will all continue doing their school just like normal.  That will go a HUGE way toward helping things still feel normal.

What about older kids who have graduated and are working while still living at home?  Make sure that you have conversations with them now about when you are going to tell them that they can’t continue working for a while.  Have them talk to their employers NOW to manage expectations.

These older children should still be learning!  As I was going through totes today taking stock of everything for our quarantine, I found suture needles and other implements for doing stitches and practice skin.  Find a YouTube video on practice suturing and have them learn how to do sutures.  Or have you or your kids ever made bread or noodles from scratch?  Why not use some of that time to learn how to do a new skill?

(3) Make sure that you and your kids are moving daily.

If you have little kids, it’s obvious why they should do physical activity every day.  But what about older kids who aren’t bouncing off the walls?  Why should they (and you) exercise daily?

Studies have shown that mice were divided into three groups and all infected with the flu.  One group was sedentary.  One group jogged on a wheel for 20-30 minutes (modest activity for mice), and another group of mice was kept on a wheel for 2 1/2 – 3 hours.  Fifty percent of the sedentary group died.  SEVENTY percent of the mice who ran for 2 1/2-3 hours died!  Only 12 percent of the mice who were kept on the wheel for 20-30 minutes died.

Even if you aren’t going to expose yourself to the virus, keeping your body moving a modest amount can help your body better handle whatever is thrown at it.

Now, not everyone has a treadmill or a stationary bike, I get that.  But do you have Amazon Prime?  You can learn (or practice) yoga with your kids using this free video.  Don’t like yoga?  Here’s an exercise video called “Marching Low Impact.”  Or buy a digital copy of “Sweating to the Oldies” and sweat (and laugh and laugh) with your kids.

(4)  Play at least one game a day with your kids. 

This is a great time to spend time playing some of those games that you don’t play regularly either because you haven’t taken the time to learn them or because they take a little more time to play.

Do you have two decks of cards?  All you need is a Hoyle Card book, and you’ll have hours of fun at your hands.

Another thing that might fall into this category is putting together puzzles.

(5) Take a skill that you have to the next level.

Do you have a skill that you enjoy – like knitting?  Take it to the next level.  Maybe you could learn how to do cables or knit in multiple colors.  I’ve learned a bit about spinning, but don’t take a lot of time to actually practice it.  This would be the perfect time to take that skill to the next level.

How Do You Handle a Quarantine with Kids?(6) Schedule time for kids to talk with their friends using Facetime or Skype.

Only one of our kids has a cell phone.  And her cell phone is one for which we purchase minutes.  That means that calls aren’t a regular part of our kids lives.  Even if your kids have cell phones, talking with friends makes so much more of an impact when they can see them.

What if your kids could ‘virtually’ get together with their friends regularly during a quarantine?  They would be able share stories of what’s going on, what they are learning, and the time would pass so much faster.

(7) Enjoy movies and TV shows in moderation.

There are few things that make me feel more claustrophobic than sitting in front of a screen watching mindless TV too long.  I will often feel the need to get up and do something when I’ve got an Amazon or Netflix show going too much.  But that being said, sometimes, we just need to let our minds go to a more fun place and a movie or a TV show can do that for us.

(8) Most Importantly set a routine for your days.  How Do You Handle a Quarantine with Kids?

I say this last because I wanted to give you a lot of options for filling a routine.  Why do you need a routine?

When I was pregnant with my second set of twins, I was in the hospital on a weekly basis for non-stress tests.  I had a friend who was pregnant at the same time, but she was admitted to the hospital because of placenta previa and was at high risk for hemorrhaging.

The thing is that she wasn’t just in the hospital for one or two weeks, she was in the hospital for TWELVE weeks!  She wasn’t just confined to the limits of the hospital.  She was almost exclusively confined to her small hospital room, which she had to share with another person from time to time.

How did she keep from going crazy while she was confined to such a small space?!?

The most important thing that she did (by her own admission) was to set a routine for her day.  She would start it with time in God’s word and prayer.  Then she would spend around two hours scrapbooking.  After that, she would watch TV for about two hours.  Then she would work on a crocheting something for an hour or two.  Her kids and her husband would come and visit her for a couple of hours later in the day.  She would spend some time reading after that.  Then she would spend some time coloring in a coloring book.

Her routine kept her from going completely stir crazy.  So I want you to take 10-15 minutes and using activities from above or others that you come up with on your own to set a schedule for yourself and your children so that you have a routine for when you all are quarantined.

Will the routine change once you get into your quarantine?  Absolutely!  Some things will work.  Some things won’t work as you envisioned them, but you’ll be giving yourself a framework for your family.  Change it around, turn it on its head if need be.  But make sure that you actually have a routine so that everyone doesn’t go completely crazy!

What About You?

What other ideas do you have on how to keep your kids from going crazy during a quarantine?  How long do you anticipate that your family will need to be in quarantine?  Are you concerned about missing any really big events because of the quarantine?  I’d love to hear!  Share with us in the comments so that we can all be better prepared.

Together lets Love, Learn, Practice, and Overcome!

There are links in this post.  Some of the links may be affiliate links.  Some of the links may not be.

AYWTGS: 10 Kits to Put Together Today

Karen at A Year Without the Grocery Store has had to bug out three times, twice for riots and once for a tornado. She has enough to say about preparedness that she’s written a book and started a website. In the article, 10 Kits to Put Together Today to Be Ready for Tomorrow she talks about a variety of kits to have prepared so that you aren’t spending precious time rummaging around trying to find a light or cook stove.

1.) Where is the closest flashlight to you at this moment?

2.) Do you have an air filtration mask and could you put your hand on it in two minutes or less?

3.) What items do you have to keep your house cool and where do you keep them?

4.) If you had to remove stitches yourself, do you have the tools to do it?

5.) What’s your secondary method of communication?  Is it charged and ready?

So how did you do on the quiz?  Obviously, there’s no right or wrong answer.  The bigger question is  – could you answer each question.

Each of these things above is integral to preparedness.  Sometimes, we have these things – which is HUGE!  If you just have these things – high five!

More often than not though, if we have these things, we don’t know where they are.  So how do we organize things so that we KNOW that we KNOW where things are?

We develop kits!

Each kit is self-contained and is kept in tote.  For larger items, I keep them in large totes from Costco.  For smaller kits, I keep them in smaller totes which fit in the large Costco totes.   So what kinds of kits should we be putting together?  I’m going to be giving you a list of 11 kits.  I’m going to give you an overview here, but I’ll be doing a post on each of these so I can dive deeper.

Now there is one very well known kit that I am not including in this and it’s called a Bug out Bag or Grab and Go Bag or many other things.  A Bug Out Bag is for leaving the area, and we’ll cover that at some time.  These kits are all about what you are ready for at home.  So we’ll jump right in with kit #1.

Click here to read the entire article at A Year Without the Grocery Store.