Sunday, March 18, 2012

Stocking the Pantry #1- Taco Soup

Don't you wish your pantry looked like this one?!?!  Click this link to see this photo and more at Design Sponge because really all the photos are just as inspiring

Stocking the Pantry for Taco Soup

So my pantry is in need of being tended to.  Somehow, it keeps getting moved to the bottom of the to do list.  And now it screams my name when I walk by saying, "Fill me. Clean me. Organize me."  So rather than actually clean it, fill it, or organize it, I will WRITE about it.    

Part of Miss A's home economics lesson is the plan the menu and do the shopping.  So I decided to start with an additional lesson on stocking the pantry.  While I tend to vary our meals, certain recipes hit the menu more frequently than others.  So my plan is to stock the panty once or twice a month with all the ingredients (at least shelf stable ingredients) for one recipe for a year's worth of eating.  Wow, that made total sense when I thought it, but looks really "wordy" all typed out.  To make that simple, this month I will stock my pantry with all the ingredients for a family favorite.  I'll stock enough to last a year.  I figure that if I plan for a year, then one recipe at a time is an attainable goal. 

So Taco Soup is my first recipe to stock up.  I figure we eat it once a month.  Of course, we don't eat it in the 100+ degree temps of July and August, but we might eat it twice, say in January or December.  I'm hoping it all evens out in the end.  And of course buying 12 cans of beans would be too easy, so I'm planning on canning my own beans.  ;-)

So here goes.  My plan to stock up with 1 year's worth of ingredients for Taco Soup.
12 pints of pinto or black beans. (Purchase 6-7 pounds of dry beans, if you plan to can your own)
12 cans of corn
12 cans of diced green chilis
12 cans of Ro-tel Tomatoes
12 cans petite diced tomatoes
12 packages of taco seasoning (I actually make my own)
If you have your own dairy cow, then you might want to also add your sour cream culture to have on hand.  I like this brand of sour cream culture. 
You can also find rennet and other cultures at New England Cheesemaking, however I have yet to master making my own cheddar cheese, but with the Jersey due at the end of the month, and my Skipper the Nubian diary goat due any minute, I dare say I shall have ample opportunity to practice this spring.

I almost always have ground beef, cheddar cheese, corn chips and sour cream on hand, so having these things in my pantry will mean that I will always have the ingredients for this simple crock pot supper.  If you decide to keep the taco seasoning on hand, then you will want to keep it in a glass jar to help it last longer and keep pesky grain beetles from finding their way into it.  You could also keep it in the freezer to keep it the freshest.I keep all my cheese cultures in the freezer for that very reason.

I listed this as Stocking the Pantry #1 because I plan to add a post about it each month.  Ideally, I will end up with a pantry well stocked for at least a dozen easy to put together meals.  The next pantry recipe to stock will be Chicken Enchiladas with home canned chicken...or turkey, depending on which you prefer to raise.

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