News Flash…White Flour is NOT Forever!

For years I  have assumed the accepted  belief that white flour has an indeterminate life cycle and that once it’s packed, it is good for life.

Home Storage Friends, I’ve got some seriously bad news for you, white flour is not forever!

Boy – did I receive a tasty surprise when I discovered a couple of white flour buckets that had gotten tucked behind other items.

These flour buckets were dated 2009 and yes, it had the original flour still inside.
I thought, “Ooooh, I need to use this stuff!” and proceeded to make a double batch of biscuits.

Well, That was a BIG mistake!

During dinner, my kids and their friends – (what a way to make an impression) – seemed to turn bit white, while gagging slightly, when they took their first bite of these mirages of flaky goodness.  Even after their first  bite,they were troopers as they attempted to mask the beyond bitter taste with butter, honey and/or cinnamon sugar.

One of the neighbor kids at the table stated that my biscuits tasted like really bad play-dough.  The expressed consensus throughout the meal was that rancid play-dough doesn’t really taste very good.

The last time I had gotten a ‘compliment’ like this from a non-bias crowd was when I served some roll-out sugar cookies several years ago to the children of a good friend – the recipe for these cookies I found on the Martha Stewart website and had felt pretty confident that they were be the ‘bees-knees’.

My friends kids were kinder than my own.
The older girl in the car simply asked me if I was serving the ‘play-dough’ cookies again.
It was an awkward moment, but I took it well by incorporating generous amounts of humor.
If I can’t laugh at myself then I won’t have any fun when my friends are laughing at me.

FYI: I am very sure that it was the slightly aged flour, not the recipe,
that brought on the less-than-desirable play-dough taste.

My mistaken imaginations of forever white flour were shattered this past week as I slaughtered a double-batch of innocent biscuits.

I will say it again: Home Storage Friends, I’ve got some seriously bad news for you, white flour is NOT forever!

I truly feel concern for those who have acquired their ‘food-storage’, (hunkering down for decades in grandmas basement) either by early inheritance, or by personal investment…the day will come when you will need to eat it.  Make sure it is edible today to ensure you can eat it tomorrow.

If you have those #10 cans or 5 gallon buckets of white flour that are dated beyond two years from their original packing – unless they are vacuum sealed in Mylar or food sealer bags – then your white flour probably tastes pretty nasty right now.

This past incident with my flour being 7 years old just topped my record of serving some pretty nasty food.  Believe me, starvation would definitely more flavorful that those biscuits.  I don’t think there is any amount of sugar, milk, butter or other flavor altering ingredient that can fix rancid flour.

I mean it was rancid!  Not just the “Ewe, that’s stale.” taste, it was more like the “Ugh! Get this nasty tongue stinging, stinky, nausea party out of my mouth!” kinda taste.  There was no fixing it….there IS NO FIXING IT!

Wheat and other grained flour is worse – 6 months tops for wheat flour before it goes, unless you keep it in a 45-50 degree environment, then it may have a bit longer keep.

My advise to you is to open TODAY an older #10 can or 5 gallon bucket to verify that the flour is still good.  Sometimes food in the can will also take on a tinny taste over time.

My theory is: If one can. or bucket of white flour is bad then be assured that all the cans or buckets of white flour reflecting the same date, or close to it, will be bad as well.

If your white flour is vacuum sealed in Mylar or food sealer bags, it may still be good.  You will not know unless you open it and the worst time to discover your stores are bad is when you are ready to eat them.

Remember stored food is not meant to sit in your basement, crawlspace, stairway space or closet waiting for an apocalypse.  It is supposed to be regularly consumed and replenished just like your cupboard.

Eat What Your Store Today ~ Store What You’ll Eat Tomorrow

May the Storage Be With You

Anne 🙂




Making Pancakes…eggs are optional…oil is not.

This morning I ventured into the kitchen to whip up a stack of pancakes.  Upon opening he fridge, I realized I had neglected to buy some eggs when I was in town yesterday.

Well, I didn’t want to disappoint the strawberries, whipped cream or maple syrup so I went ahead its my plans.

I made the pancake batter without the eggs and it came out fine.

Yea…don’t need eggs for pancakes, but eggs do provide healthy protein, so if you have them, add them.

What you do need is oil.

Honestly, ‘cakers’ are better with oil.

 oil, the If we neglected fats and oils cake would stick to the pan and will bake up dense and dry.  I often add oil to my batter, as well as making sure my cast-iron skillet has a drop rubbed into the cooking surface before I begin.  This way, my cakes are moist and don’t stick to the pan.

Oil and fats are an often overlooked component in food storage.

Look over you recipes, how many of them require oil in the mix or as part of the cooking regimen?

Most recipes, for baking, call for 1/4 to 3/4 cup of a liquid or solid fat to add moisture to the baked good.  I have accidentally left out this vital ingredient in a recipe and it ultimately became bird food because the kids were not interested in super-dense and dry muffins.  :/

Fats and Oils are essential to the human diet.  Natural fats are not dietary demons.  It is man-made fats such as hydrogenated fats and fake fats made in a lab that are bad for your body, because fake and chemically modified fats cannot be processed effectively.

Oils are important for your body as well, but there are oils that should be avoided.  All corn, vegetable, canola and soybean oils on the general market, at this time, are genetically modified.  While some people think that this poses little to no health threat, there is plenty of concern that the long-term health issues from consuming these substances has yet to be substantiated.

So choose your fat and oil wisely ~ your body is counting on you to make the healthy choice.

How much oil should I get?  

Let’s say you decide that 1/4 cup of oil is all you need each day. 
1/4 cup = 2 oz.  Multiply 2 oz by 7 days = 14 oz a week.  
There are 52 weeks in a year, so 14 x 52 = 728 oz for one year, or   30+ 24 oz bottles of oil.

Will it store?
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I initially thought that my oil would go rancid within six month and could not be stored for long.  I learned, by experience, that my beliefs were mistaken.

It really depends upon what type of oil you get and how you store it. Corn, vegetable, soybean and canola oils are notorious for going rancid quickly, even in a dark, cool space. 

I recommend olive, coconut and safflower oils in smaller bottles, such as 24-30 ounces each.  Store them in the dark, in a chilly place of the house…temps between 45-65 degrees.   Other seed and nut oils have varying shelf lives, but storing in optimal conditions will help.

When I first began researching and developing my own ways of storing oil, I found the need to establish a storage baseline.  Not surprising, this baseline was the same as storing all my other food storage – in a cool, dark, dry environment. 

There are ways to achieve dark conditions for your oil, other than covering the windows with foil and black curtains.  I have stuck my smaller bottles of oil inside a large black sock, wrapped them in aluminum foil, or have draped a blanket over the shelf they are stored on.  you can then store them in storage containers on shelves or directly on a shelf. 

To keep the room your food is in cool, close the heater vent that goes into that room, you can also remove the heater vent and tape plastic on the underside, then reinstall it with the vent closed, that should help.  Having a door draft stopper on the bottom of your storage room door will help to keep it cool.   Door drafter stoppers can be a simple as a rolled up blanket or a commercial creation sold at your local store.

Lastly – you need to date your bottles with the month and year you purchased it.  Do your best to keep your oil in their original bottles, to ensure that they stay uncontaminated.  Set bottles on your shelf, oldest to youngest, use oldest bottles first. 

For example:  if I have three bottles dated for 01/12, 06/12, 02/13 – which I have, btw ~ and they are still good, I would use the 1/12 bottle first, because it is the oldest.  I would then have the 06/12 behind the first bottle followed by the 02/13, so they are used in order of purchase.

With oils and fats you won’t have to worry about dense muffins and waffles stuck to the griddle.

~ May the Storage Be With You ~

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