by Jonathan Bombpop Perry
I don’t have a fallout shelter, but if I did (and I really should, just so I can get one of those signs) I could start filling it right now with these unused and under-consumed foods that have been long-neglected in my cupboards and freezer. Yes, I tend to overbuy and not plan meals very carefully, often eating whichever frozen meal sounds tastiest. I might as well store the surplus in a very special bomb shelter pantry. These 9 foods are mostly great foods, but they’ve been sitting in my house for years in some cases and they’ll probably last forever anyway (the underused veggies and half loaves of bread won’t). Besides, they’re taking up precious kitchen space.
1. Soup-If I’m in the mood and the weather is cold, I’ll eat soup, but I really haven’t been in the mood and it hasn’t been cold for at least 6 months. I like soup. I mean, it’s easy to heat up, but ehh. There’s always too much sodium.
2. Ramen Noodle-Also a soup, Ramen Noodle is the vestigial tail of my college years. It’s cheap, doesn’t take up much space and is pretty yummy. I should eat some. I wonder how old that package is. I wonder if it’s buggy.
3. Quinoa-There were samples of quinoa (keen-wa) at the grocery store a few months ago. It was delicious and I wanted to make the food sample lady feel useful, so I bought a package of the weird ricy/pastafarian/grain-stuff the Incans feasted on after sacrificing a virgin. I know that I’m too lazy to recreate it the way she did (the food sample lady not the sacrificial virgin) since this would require planning so that I return to the store and purchase ingredients for the fancy preparation. In the nuclear fallout shelter, I’d be less picky and would just steam it or whatever. Maybe use soy sauce. Or spaghetti sauce. I also need to make more rice.
4. Spaghetti-Last year after I moved into my house I was really getting to know my kitchen and made attempts at growing up and cooking food like an adult. It lasted about 3 months. During this time, my big food was pasta. Mostly spaghettis, but some raviolis. Somehow I overbought sauce in jars, which I should eat. I think there really is some sort of expiration/BPA leach date I should heed. There are 4 jars of tomato sauce in the cupboard and one jar of opened pesto sauce in the fridge. Oh, and noodles.
5. Cake-I have many boxes of cake mix. I’ve made a couple cakes, but have several still sitting there aging, luring bugs. I’ve been making lots of tasty brownies instead. Of course, cakes would be great in a bomb shelter. Why not celebrate the end of civilization? Also, I could just eat pudding.
6. Instant Pudding-Honestly, this probably came from mom’s house 10 years ago before she moved out of the state (braised gluten also came from mom’s house). These days if I want pudding, I’ll buy the pre-made stuff in those little prepackaged cups in as many weird flavors as I like (Blueberry Muffin Pudding, anyone?). They’re cheap, too. They may or may not require refrigeration.
7. Potato Pancake Mix-What the heck? Yeah, I saw this at the market and being the impulsive buyer of weird stuff that’s not too expensive that I am, I brought it home where it decorates my cupboard (I found hummus and falafel mixes, too). 10 years ago when I was visiting Castle Neuschwanstein in Germany, we ate at a restaurant at the bottom of the hill between bits of tourist nirvana. It just so happened that the potato pancakes dish was 1 of 2 vegetarian items on the menu. It was magically delicious. Anyway, maybe I’ll make it sometime. Mom used to make potato pancakes out of leftover mashed potatoes. Tasty.
8. Fancy Exotic Dishes like Indian or Thai-I eat a lot of microwaveable meals, even Indian and Thai, but they’re mostly frozen microwaveable meals. Of course there are microwaveable meals that don’t require freezing. These sit in your cupboard all sealed up nicely waiting for Iranian nuclear warheads to destroy all electronic devices via EMPs (electromagnetic pulses), rendering microwaves useless. I suppose a living room campfire would still heat up the stuff. You could eat it with quinoa.
9. Canned Veggie Meat-Being a vegetarian, I have occasion to eat veggie meat (and tofu and braised gluten). I don’t really do it much these days, but if I would just bother to cook more, it might happen. However, I have prepared for those times when I do have the perverse urge to cook. Seriously cook. That bit of cooking will require some great canned veggie meats from the likes of Worthington, Loma Linda, and Morningstar Farms. It also usually requires 3 or 4 people to consume it at a meal. If I dare open a can, I am basically committing myself to eating the stuff within the next week or before it goes bad (whichever comes first). That’s maybe 4 or 5 meals of the stuff over several days. I really need more variety. The frozen versions of the stuff seem to be more useful to me at this point.
I don’t have a bomb shelter, though. More is the pity. I have lots of food waiting to go into it. There might even be popcorn, crackers, and chips. Can you say fallout party? What do you overbuy and why?
Stay tuned for my interview with Maureen Wurtz with the U of Nebraska’s College of Journalism. That is, if it’s not worse than I recall. Also be on alert for future DB eBooks!
The secret phrase is fallout party.
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