Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Kitchen In A Box-- An Emergency Essential!

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Before we get to the kitchen in a box, let me give you a little background on why I made one.  If you have read the blog for awhile you know what a big fan I am of the Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker. The thermal cooker is great for emergency preparedness BUT it is also one of my favorite kitchen appliances to use daily.  Click HERE to view a post on the thermal cooker. I have had fun experimenting with the thermal cooker but it is always helpful to have a cookbook to guide me along.  Cindy Miller has recently published a brand new thermal cookbook called "Let's Make Sense of Thermal Cooking".  (click here to see her website

It is a gorgeous cookbook with color photos, spiral bound binding, and so many helpful tips and tricks to use with the thermal cooker.  There are also recipes that will help you gather and use your food storage.  She has recipes for grains, beans, pastas, meat, and veggies.  It is the most complete book on thermal cooking to date!! I highly recommend you own this book if you own a thermal cooker or wonderbox/oven.

I have attended several classes taught by the owners of Saratoga Jack's thermal cookers, Amy & Jack, and they are always so organized with everything they need to cook, and demonstrate the thermal cookers. Amy calls it her kitchen in a box.  I always thought it was a great idea for them because they travel and teach so often, but I never really considered making one for myself. While reading Cindy's book she writes about using a kitchen in a box as well when she teaches, but it also is part of her 72-hour kit.  When I read that I felt prompted that I really needed to have one of these kitchens in a box for my emergency kits.  

It really just makes sense to have all the basic cooking utensils in a grab-n-go type container.  What was I planning on using in an evacuation type situation to cook our food in our 72-hour kits?  I really hadn't thought this through very well.  The kitchen in a box is very easy, and inexpensive to put together. 

If you have a Wal-Mart or Dollar Store near your home you can find everything you need for your own kitchen in a box.  Wal-Mart had most items for around .88 each.  I bought a stack-able plastic container (in the office supply area of Wal-Mart) and it was the perfect size to fit the longer spoons.  I really want a stack-able container that has separate layers that snap together, but this will work until I can save up for that.  This is what I included in my kitchen in a box.  It isn't finished quite yet, but I found the basics. 

  • kitchen scissors
  • can opener
  • jar opener
  • vegetable/fruit peeler
  • complete set of measuring spoons/cups
  • small knife with a cover
  • large stirring spoon
  • smaller wooden spoons
  • cutting board (found in the camping section)
  • whisk
  • two dish towels
  • plastic gloves
  • sanitizer 
I wanted the absolute basics that would allow me to make a meal on the spot without having to make-do with a utensil that wasn't proper for the job.  I still need to add:
  • spices
  • spatulas
  • pancake turner
  • camping pots
  • hot pads
  • cleaning scrubbies and soap
  • grater
As you cook your next meal, think of what you use the most to get the meal prepared.  Make a list of these items and keep a look out for them at the store.  We are all different and cook differently, but I think we all use the basic measuring cups and knives. 

My kitchen in a box now sits along side my butane stove and fuel.  They are ready to go with our 72-hour kits.  These along with my thermal cooker will allow me to prepare and serve meals to my family in any situation.  The days following a disaster will be filled with chaos and making meals will be a huge stress for everyone.  But preparing beforehand and knowing that you have a 72-hour kit, food, and a way to prepare the food will give you peace of mind.  

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