Wednesday, November 09, 2005

This Ain't Pretty

There's nothing I can do to make this photo, or this post, pretty.
It's just ugly survivalism. And boy, does it hurt, after the wonderful lessons my mouth learned during Eat Local August.
This is our stockpile, our hedge fund, our emergency rations, in the event of an avian flu pandemic.
It has to be preserved food, and since I didn't think about preserving very much local produce myself (I do have a freezer full of tomato sauce I made this summer, but that's about it), I've had to settle for Safeway and Long's Drugs and Costco.
You're not even seeing half of it. I have no idea how much food to store up, but I'm thinking right now we could get by for maybe six weeks without having to visit a store. In addition to the cans and packages you see here, we have dried beans, dried pasta, beef jerky, peanut butter, jugs of juice, evaporated milk... (That's even a bottle of hand sanitizer on the cracker box.)
The plan is to be able to avoid crowds, to not have to exchange contaminated cash, to prevent making just one fatal misjudgment.
Pedestrian food, for a couple of geezers who would rather not be pedestrians when the germs are a'swirlin'.
I know. Hyperdramatic.
Whatever. I've actually been known to eat stuff like this.
Update: Dr. Biggles, who is emphatically not frittering away time at work, has seen the light. Er, the not-light. He tinkered with my original color pic, and spookily turned it into black and white. It now replaces my first effort. Dr. Biggles, with his absolutely spot-on Rod Serling interpretation, is now officially Art Director of I'm Mad and I Eat. Eh, Doc?


Jamie said...

Hyperdramatic? Maybe. Maybe not. All I know is, if there were a pandemic (or other sort of disaster, for that matter), wouldn't we feel silly for NOT planning ahead? It's good to be thinking of these things.

We could eat out of our pantry for a loooooong time, I bet, but that's just by accident. I am such a hoarder.

cookiecrumb said...

Thanks for not making me feel like a dodo.
If the water supply remains safe, we'll be OK.
I hate this.

mrs d said...

I am reminded I really need to finish parts 2 & 3 of my hypothetical flu scenario post.

Oh, and speaking of hypothetical, I posted your recipe!

Okay, now that word is really stuck in my head.

Also, I don't think you're being hyperdramatic. Why do you think I just bought 24 cans of tuna fish at Costco?

lisaSD said...

Gotta love Costco! Might as well plan ahead. Now, you've created yet one more thing on my to-do list. Thanks much, cookiecrumb!!! snark

johng said...


Yes, you are being hyperdramatic. The truth is that it is far more likely that you'll be eating all that good stuff after an 8.0 earthquake or a major terrorist attack than during the bird flu pandemic.

Sorry, but somebody had to tell you.

cookiecrumb said...

So, john: either way, I'm ready.

Jack said...

I took 17 HPs of Stomach damage from viewing your photo. Next time, send me a warning email!

-- Jack (smiling)

cookiecrumb said...

Jack has a connecty message thingy. Would you all just please click through and visit his cool site?

ilva said...

Sorry but do you keep all that stuff for a particular disaster or just in case?? I agree with johng, it's quite, quite unlikely that there will be a pandemic of bird flu! I keep a store of certain goods here wintertime because if it snows we're isolated, well we can walk of course, because we live on a hill but that is about it!

cookiecrumb said...

Truly, Ilva, I don't know what to think. I'm scared, but I try to be sane and reasonable. I figured it was smart to put some supplies in the garage. If I'm proved overexciteable, I can always eat it later. I'm not at all reassured about my government in case of a disaster.

mrs d said...

It's all about hedging your bets, I think, which is a very good thing to do. We know for a fact that our government's ill-prepared to handle any sort of disaster, so why not stock up?

Also, for my part, I've been reading quite a bit on bird flu (science policy & immunology blogs, mostly) and truth of the matter is, it's ominous. Yes, it could be nothing, but yes, it could be 1918 all over again. Better safe than sorry and all that.

Monkey Gland said...

Have Own Gasmask, Will Loot.

Sorry, that should have been forage.

Jamie said...

Yes, it doesn't hurt to have some food in storage, so why not do it?

I'm not trying to be tin-foil-hatty, but it doesn't take much for things to get sketchy. When the Soviet Union broke up, people who had been high-level officials were suddenly bartering jam and chickens to make ends meet. Things happen, and if you take care of yourself to a reasonable degree, they don't have to be the end of the world.

P.S. Assuming that the disaster in question is not an earthquake and that therefore the water system still works, you could boil it and be fine.

drbiggles said...

I say, grab a few things each day and make something 'interesting' with them. Aaand then post.

Such as a Rosarita Taco Shell Taco wiht a minced clam filling or clam chowder filling. Or Saltine Cracker & Tuna a la king!
MmMmMm, a la king. When was the last time you made or ate something that was a la kinged? I was perusing a cookbook from 90 years ago put together by a woman's club in Berkeley that had Ham a la king. MmMmm, ham.


cookiecrumb said...

Mm. Ham.
Y'know, I'm sure I could come up with some not-so-terrible dishes a la king there. Or St. Jacques.

Greg said...

Shades of Y2K. I keep a pantry in case FEMA takes two weeks to ride the ferry to Marin next emergency.

cookiecrumb said...

Greg: Our real estate agent says he sells houses by telling potential buyers it has a "Costco room." Y'know, for storing all that bulk.
As for disasters, though -- we're seriously thinking of keeping supplies in the trunk on the patio, in case of total building collapse.
Know what else we thought of? Keeping wads of cash in small denominations, so we can just throw money at vendors, and not have to get germy change.
This is simply too creepy.

Brett said...

Is avian bird flu the fear mongering of the moment? Man I'm glad I sold my television. If it does indeed strike, maybe I'll finally empty out my already overstuffed pantry.

cookiecrumb said...

Brett: Yeah, probably. Do you read the comics? Even Boondocks is playing along.
(Go the the little archives calendar on the left and click on Nov. 7.)
I got a lot of half-price boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese I could subsist on.
(Did I say that?)

johng said...

My remark was meant to be ironic, but it was a tad too dry, I guess. Seriously -- especially here in earthquake country you have to be nuts, lazy, or just plain stupid not to have at least a week's supply of at least water and food on hand, if not fuel, batteries, candles, medicine, etc, etc.

I had been remiss myself of late, but I'm pretty much caught up. One problem I've run into is that we don't much eat a lot of the stuff we stockpile, so, for example, I just tossed out 12 cans of Chunky Soup with a 2003 expiration date. I need a recycling regimen for this stuff.

You may have hit upon a good topic for one of those group blogging things -- either get everybody to post photos of their emergency food kit, or, better yet, get them to do something creative with all the expiring stuff that needs to get tossed out.

cookiecrumb said...

johng: (sniffle) I'll be all right. (sniffle) Thanks.
Yeah, what a crime to throw out dead food. I'd probably eat it anyway.
So: What's in your larder?