The Magic Number 12





Friday before last I decided to throw a party at my home. I wanted it to be an enjoyable night for the girlfriends in my life, so I threw in some paraffin hand treatments and made tons of food from my food storage supplies.  We had 3 main dishes, 2 side dishes, an appetizer and 2 desserts.  Would you believe, the food disappeared rapidly with countless requests for recipes?


After everyone had enjoyed their fill of yummy food – yes, I did say “yummy” and yes, it was all made from what I had on hand – we then all sat down and discussed the 10 Principles of Preparedness.  So many additional ideas and insights were added to my own and we all benefited substantially.  So in addition to sharing the recipes with all of my blog readers, I’m also going to break down various components that were discussed for practical application in your preparedness activities.  So here’s a great tip followed by a recipe of ingredients from your food storage:



The Magic Number 12.



cottage-mtg-2This is a great tip for novices and pros alike when it comes to accumulating your food storage. As I’ve shared previously, it’s important to store what you eat and know how to prepare what you store. This particular tip addresses an effective way to store what you eat.


The other day I was reading a cookbook — I do that frequently — and I happened upon a recipe that I realized I could adapt to make from cans, jars, and food storage items.  So I purchased the items from the grocery, tested the recipe out on my hubby, and discovered we had a new yummy recipe that he would eat for a nice dinner, let alone in an emergency situation (He assures me that he won’t be as picky of an eater in an emergency as he is now…but I’m not planning on counting on that promise).  So I watched the coupons and ads for the local grocery stores and then went out and purchased enough ingredients to make that dish 12 times.  Why?


The objective is to store a year’s supply of food storage, right?  I’m also sensitive to avoiding “appetite fatigue” and ensuring that my husband actually enjoys the meals I create.  In an emergency, it’s not likely that you will be cooking 3 meals a day, rather one meal of substance, and the rest would be meals of convenience such as instant oats, cold cereal, peanut butter and jelly, canned chicken on crackers, etc.  As long as you have a plan for one main meal every day, then you’ll be far ahead.  To recap, if you have 30 different meals in your repertoire each month, then you are likely to not meet any appetite fatigue issues or stress because you’re attempting to introduce something new to your family when they are already under a great deal of stress as the result of an emergency.


This is why I purchase my grocery items in increments of twelve.  If 12 is too much to handle due to space or financial restraints, then take it down to 6 or 4 or 3. But if you get yourself in the habit of buying this way when you have a recipe that works for you and your family, you will have your year’s supply of meals in a short period of time.  Now that’s what I call “eating the elephant one bite at a time.”


Here’s one of the recipe’s which I created for this event.  It’s just an open, dump, stir, and warm kind of recipe. Thus not only does it use a minimal amount of your physical energy, it will require a minimal amount of precious fuel as well to warm up.



Southern Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

chicken-rice-recipeCombine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well with a spoon.  Transfer to a Dutch oven, or a pre-greased baking dish if you’re cooking in a solar oven. Top the dish with the Parmesan Cheese. If using a solar oven, be sure to cover the dish with foil.  If using the Dutch Oven, simply put on the lid.


Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until it’s bubbling and the rice has cooked.  Let cool about 5 minutes and then serve.


You can also cook this most expeditiously and economically in a pressure cooker. Simply bring the cooker to full pressure with the ingredients mixed together inside, then once it’s come to full pressure, remove from heat, wrap in towels and continue to cook for about 15 minutes.


Enjoy!  Let me know what you think!




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It was a very informative evening. I heard lots of very positive comments the next day about all that we learned. Thank you Kellene. Good food too! Jan

How would you keep miracle whip or Mayo in an emergency with no electricity.

Those are 2 items that don't require refrigeration since they are made with processed eggs.

what did you mean by not refrigerating mayo, i understand that you don't need to before you open, but thought it had to be after opened

You can find the details for this food as well as several others if you do a search on this site. You may want to take a look at the article which talks about "forever foods" Just use the search bar.

As illustrated in the article that I direct our readers to "Forever Foods", the mayo is made with pasteurized eggs and as such does NOT need to be refrigerated. That doesn't mean that I don't refrigerate; it simply means that I won't have to in an electricity outage scenario.

As far as I understand it says it has too be refrigerated after opening in the article.

Will try this recipie soon. Need the Uncle Ben's, water chestnuts, pimento....and I will have all I need to make it.

Want to also stock up on a few Angel Food cake mixes (the ones you just add water to) and canned pineapple so I can make up something sweet from time to time with basically no prep time. May not be as good for you as other things, but the cake sure satisfies the sweet cravings...

Also may try your Emergency Nachos...I have every thing to make those. (using chives from my garden last year, although I saw yesterday that they are coming up again this year)

I tried this recipe in my thermal cooker and it worked perfectly! My husband is also a picky eater and he really liked it. I do want to know why you say to only use Miracle Whip instead of mayo though. I bought the MW but haven't used it in 30 yrs because of mayo preference, don't know what else I will use it for. I also used the canned chicken juice toward the 1 1/2 c of broth. I also only used two 12 oz cans of chicken, because its just the 2 of us and that was a lot of food, everything else remained the same.

There's a sweetness that the MW brings that the recipe needs that's not the same as sugar + mayonnaise.

Any reason you can't use the liquid drained from the 4 cups of canned chicken toward the 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth or water? Can you collect whatever amount of liquid from the chicken and add enough broth or water to make 1 1/2 cups?

Not everyone has that much broth or water in there, but using it is exactly what I would do.

I'm lucky that I don't have to worry too much about "meal fatigue". DH eats anything I put in front of him - as long as it's not squash, Cornish game hens or anything with bones (ribs, drumsticks, etc.) because he hates paying for "that *$#@%*% bone". Now that we've retired, I'm experimenting with more foods/meals and so far there are only a few on the "both times" list. (Both times means we've had/eaten/done it the first AND last time at the same time. ) :-) When we first started long term storage, we bought quite a few of the meals in a #10 can. They don't taste too bad, though a few need some "doctoring" with spices, etc., but I can do as well or better with a hand full or two of pasta, dried onions, carrots, peppers and my home canned Zaycon meats. That's a real confidence builder!

Loved the info. on bottled butter, do you think you can do the same to tallow or and lard for preservation as it to is good for good vitamins and nutrient dense?

This would be a great recipe for all that canned Zaycon chicken! There's too much salt in this recipe for me though.

I must be doing something wrong with my mayo. I had a few jars that I stored in a cool, dark room Had never been opened.. I am extremely hot natured and keep my house COLD. I opened one that was just 4 months past its expire date. Rancid? It was Hellman's. I was so disappointed! Any advice?

Stop buying Hellmans. :-) Just kidding.

LOL! Seriously though, is that the problem? The brand I bought? If so, what is a good brand for storage?

Nah, I'm just razzing you Cindy. There are SO many possible factors that caused that to happen. I actually purchase Hellman's for my hubby and Miracle Whip for myself as that's what I was raised on--however, I've now become much more apt to make my mayo from scratch instead of using the MW. The conditions in which they were stored in the warehouse before you bought them is likely the culprit here, just FYI.

Cindy if you make it with the pasteurized powdered eggs then it won't need refrigeration, just FYI.

Good to know. I am getting ready to start making my own mayo too. A mayo made with whey that is supposed a couple of months in the frdge. In a grid down situation, I guess I'll just have to eat the entire recipe at once. LOL. I do love mayo so I probably could.:)

This soynds like the perfect

This soynds like the perfect recie for a my now canned zaycon chicken. Thank you for getting me inspired to can meat. My DH helped with the chicken, and is now hooked on PCing. Sausage and beef are next.

You better jump on the ground

Preparedness Pro's picture

You better jump on the ground beef, Shirley. Due to the drought and high costs of care, Zaycon was only able to get ONE THIRD of their regular inventory and it's not because they are a smaller company. They buy in the same sort of volumes that Costco does, so don't hesitate! Get it while you still can!!

Excellent idea of buying in

Excellent idea of buying in 12s! You just solved a major problem!! Thank you!! Love your blog! :)

Could you share other canned

Could you share other canned/dry style recipes for those of us just starting out? This is a great idea!

Coming soon!

Preparedness Pro's picture

Coming soon! However, if you put "recipe" in the search bar, you'll see a lot of the various entries we've put up all ready, many of these recipes are exactly the ones I use for my Bucket brigade. ;-)


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