Eggplant Rollatini stuffed with homemade ricotta, or Farm Cheese - Delicious!
Fear is NOT of Yahweh, even in this panicked time of “pandemic.” We are not to worry, not to fear, not to panic. We are to think for a few moments: what was taught to Abraham who was forewarned about Sodom and Gomorrah; Noah who was told to build an ark to save his family; and Joseph who was warned to store up excess grains for the impending famine. These men were ready for what was about to happen and had great courage to follow through. If we listen to these historical events, we would be courageous and prepared, too.
Part of being prepared is knowing not just what to store away, burt to know what to do with what you have stored. I used to have friends who had a basement filled with foods they would "use in an emergency," yet if an emergency hit, they honestly had no idea what to do with 75 pounds of dried pinto beans and 50 pounds of powdered milk!
Being prepared for emergencies isn't just about store foods and personal items to keep you through troubled times. No, we need to know HOW to be prepared in our THINKING, too. Often that is the last place people look to, yet it should be the FIRST PLACE we should turn after we have turned to Yahweh.
Here’s what I mean: Over the decades I have regularly been asked, “WHY do you do everything that you do?” What people mean when they ask this is, why do you cook everything from scratch? Why have you ground your own flour? Why do you make raviolis from farm cheese which you make from the milk you buy from the store?
My initial answer is often, "BECAUSE I CAN!" I am not being snarky or rude here, but I do all these things because I am capable of making those things from scratch. In other words, I do them because I know how to. AND, the blessings of creating so much from scratch end up being SO many.
Firstly, it is SO much cheaper to cook from scratch. I will share with you about raviolis as an example. Often when we go to the store and price a bag of raviolis with ingredients close to what we would make at home – ones that don’t have fake ingredients or fillers – the price is insane compared to what I can make them for. If I buy a pack of 18-24 ravioli for $7.00 (gluten free options would be more costly), people might think that is decent. But if I MAKE a batch, I will end up with more than 24, likely around 50 ravioli the same size as in the purchased package.
This is enough for one dinner for two immediately and one dinner for two to be frozen for later, maybe even two meals! The cost for my making them?
The cost is amazing – I calculated it the other day using gluten-free flour, spinach, and homemade farm cheese from whole milk (which requires ¼ cup of vinegar and the milk).
Filling (Cheese and spinach)
Pinch Salt: $0.75
Total: $3.10 + water, electric and a pinch of salt = $3.50
If we only ended up with the same 24 ravioli as in the purchased bag, it would cost half my calculated price. The cost would be 1/4 to 1/2 what it costs as a frozen bag of product. Yes, it takes the investment of time. But I tend to use my time wisely. I listen to lectures from school, or uplifting music. I use the time to catch up on videos or audios for which I haven’t had time. Sometimes I make them while praying for our needs or those of our children and family. There are so many things I can multi-task with while I make raviolis. My time is neither wasted nor lost.
Secondly, I create from scratch because I KNOW that in a pinch, if the world goes to Hades in a hand basket as we have seen happening lately, with minimal ingredients we will be able to create the same kinds of foods we are accustomed to eating. We don’t need to just eat rice and beans.
This is EXTREMELY important to us. For a few reasons. It means we can store a lot of the basics and get farther in food supply than many others can. But even more than this, we have LIVED on instant foods before. In a financial pinch, we had to eat some food storage foods we bought as a package deal a few years ago. We ate them for almost 18 months. There were days when we ate that food and WERE NOT satiated. In other words, we ate our serving sizes according to package instructions, we felt FULL, yet still felt HUNGRY at the same time. It was very strange to me.
When I looked into why, without our realizing it, those foods we stored were filled with “empty” ingredients. What this means is that many of the ingredients had NO nutritional value to our bodies, and our bodies KNEW it. Our bodies were not satisfied and were begging for more! Making and eating more is a bad idea. Families store foods by number of servings so food will last a certain amount of time, and enough to cover the number of people in the home. If you have stored enough SERVINGS for one year, yet those servings are not nourishing your body, you are likely to eat more. The result is you reduce the amount of time your food storage will last. Additionally, lower nutrient foods will cause nutritional issues, leading to possible health issues.
Thirdly, we know exactly what ingredients go into each meal – no hidden surprises or having to look strange ingredients up. We don’t have to tolerate over-starching, over-salting, or over-sugaring our bodies with products containing hidden items. Many manufactured foods have vague ingredients, such as “natural flavorings.” Following a Biblically clean diet, we want to know that the ingredients we eat will pass muster with our Biblical principles.
Fourthly, I truly do enjoy cooking and creating foods. Jim does, too. In fact, he is much better at it than I am. Some people have that knack – where they can take herbs and spices and mix the right ones together to create a delicious meal. Jim is one of those people. While I, on the other hand, am great at baking. We make a great combo!
It is a great blessing to be able to tie all these things together for our benefit. During some really rough times, we have been left with only a few ingredients in the cupboard, yet Yahweh has blessed us with new recipes and ideas for delicious meals. Having that blessing of knowledge as things get wonky in the world brings us peace of mind. We don’t have to be concerned about whether or not we will eat because we can’t find a premade meal hiding in the pantry – Comfort comes from knowing we will be able to make something delicious AND nutritious from nothing.
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Lead Author (Bio)
Jim, (Judi's husband), has Sephardi Jewish ancestry and is a minister and head of Shofar Productions. Jim was a denominational pastor, hospital chaplain, and former director of a non-profit community organization.
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