Having backup plans was part of my last post and I feel it trickles down into most areas of preparedness. When I am cooking I think of how I would make this particular meal if I didn't have water, or power, or fresh ingredients from a garden. It really gets me thinking outside of the box in my very convenient everyday life. I purchase a lot of canned goods and I use them regularly to rotate my food storage, but I also don't want to use them all the time because they would become a hot commodity if I had limited water. Chicken broth is one example of a canned good I use all the time, but lately every time I open a can I think if I didn't have water I would be very stingy in using them. Since I do have running water and electricity right now I have been trying to use bullion more than canned broth. I was using chicken and beef bullion from Winco and the chicken flavor was good, the beef not so much. So I have been on the lookout for a great bouillon, and I found one, and it has great flavor and shelf life!! Most chicken bouillon is supposed to be kept in the fridge to keep fresh, not with what I found.
I want to introduce to you...Shirley J products. I am sure a lot of you have heard of Shirley J, but I have been a little slow in truly loving their products. My friend Lisa, the store manager at Honeyville Grain, mentioned that her husband uses the chicken bouillon powder to make his Ramen noodles instead of using that little toxic packet that comes with it. Well, my kids LOVE Ramen but I cringe at what they are really eating. I decided to test it out by making the noodles and adding the Shirley J bouillon. It was a hit!! I bought a big container of both the chicken and beef bouillon at Honeyville and now I can make their favorite meal healthier. (it is sad, but they really do love Ramen noodles) Now, if I could get them to add veggies to it I would be really happy!! Unopened the Shirley J products have a shelf life of 25-30 when stored in a cool, dry place, perfect for food storage!!
What I loved about the bouillon is that is dissolved almost instantly and I didn't have to stir out any lumps. It is also very concentrated so you only need 1/2 t to 1 C of water. The flavor is that of chicken broth not salt. Shirley J products also don't have any MSG and their Universal Sauce, now called Whisk Bliss, is a white cream sauce mix but it doesn't have hydrogenated oils in it. I make a white sauce mix but I use butter powder and the Shirley J mix would be so much healthier. I have to take one step at at time though :)
I made dinner at 7 PM last night and to say I had a hungry mob was an understatement. I threw together a quick soup with potatoes, freeze dried broccoli, dehydrated celery, carrots, and onion, and Shirley J chicken bouillon. I have no picture of it because it was devoured! I started off with 3 C of water and 1 1/2 t of Shirley J chicken bouillon and cooked the potatoes and veggies for about 10 minutes. I added 2 C of milk and thickened a little with some flour, added some parsley and about 2 C of cheddar cheese and stirred until the cheese was melted. I am really not a throw together kind of cook, but this totally worked and I was so happy. I also made an orzo side dish the other night by sauteing the orzo in butter and then cooking it in water/chicken bouillon like Rice-A-Roni. My kids ate the whole pan!!
I keep finding that I really, really like Shirley J!! The 76oz. container that I bought at Honeyville was $22 and some change and that size container will make 65 gallons of chicken broth. That equals 520 16-oz cans of chicken broth. I am thinking the Shirley J 76oz container would take up a little less room than 520 cans :) Saving money and having food storage on a budget is where these products go hand in hand. You don't have to commit to the 76oz container, they sell 16oz containers as well. I don't think you'll be disappointed though.
You can find Shirley J products at the Honeyville Grain store in SLC and Brigham City, the Shirley J store (in Orem), online or many other locations. Click HERE to view other locations.