Do people ever act like you are a bit “crazy” for being interested in food storage and preparedness? We have a lot of readers who love our Facebook community because they feel like they can connect with others who understand their need and desire to help their families be more prepared. While many people first get started with food storage thinking about a natural disaster type of situation, it quickly becomes apparent that there are a TON of other reasons to store food. We did a little series on this that you can check out by clicking below:
Well this week I wanted to share a silly reason why I am so grateful to have my food storage. On Saturday I had to bring “funeral potatoes” to a funeral for someone in my church. For those who don’t know, this is just a creamy potato casserole with a crumbly topping, my family likes to call them Ritzy Potatoes. My “pregnant brain” completely spaced this fact until about 45 minutes before the potatoes were supposed to be at the church. This was not enough time to boil potatoes and cook the dish. I started to panic when I realized, duh, I have some freeze-dried potato dices in my food storage. Might as well try them out now!
It took about 1/2 of a #10 can to make one batch of funeral potatoes, so they definitely aren’t a cost-effective way to eat potatoes on a regular basis, especially compared to my “free” garden potatoes I’ve been eating the last few months. But they sure saved me in an “emergency”!
Shelf Stable Ritzy Potatoes
So here is the funny part of this story. My husband was so sad when they brought back the empty casserole dish because he had been salivating over the smell of them all afternoon. So the next day I planned to make another batch for our family but realized I had used the last of our sour cream the day before. So I did what any good food storage blogger would do and decided to do an experiment and try the recipe with ALL SHELF STABLE INGREDIENTS. It actually turned out fantastic! And as we were eating it my husband kept giggling to himself thinking how funny it was that in an emergency we could have something so delicious and NORMAL to eat. So here is the shelf stable version of the recipe for you. Try it out, it will not disappoint.
4 cups freeze-dried potato dices
1/3 cup dehydrated onion flakes
2 cans cream of chicken soup (or 20 ounces bean flour cream of chicken)
1 cup sour cream powder, hydrated
3/4 c. freeze-dried cheddar cheese
1/2 c. powdered butter, hydrated
2 tubes ritz crackers crushed
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Soak your potato dices and dehydrated onions in warm water. In a separate bowl, soak your freeze-dried cheddar cheese. While they are soaking, mix up your sour cream powder with water. My can said 1/2 cup of water per 1 cup of powder, it made a thin sour cream which is good for this recipe. Stir in your cream of chicken soup. (I don’t store much cream of chicken any more as I prefer to make my own. So I made a double-batch of bean flour cream of chicken and then measured 20 ounces of it into the bowl with the sour cream). Drain your potatoes and pour them into a 9×13 casserole dish. Drain the rehydrated cheese and add it to the cream mixture. Pour the cream mixture over top of the potatoes and stir together well. In a small bowl mix up your powdered butter. My can said to do 1/2 cup butter powder and 1/2 cup water. This made a REALLY watery butter. Add the crushed ritz and mix well. It will be quite goopy but it still works (I would probably just use regular butter for this since I store a ton of it in the freezer but I was going for all shelf stable here). Using your hand, crumble the ritz mixture over the top of the potatoes. Cover the dish with tinfoil and bake for 30-40 minutes or until hot all the way through. You can remove the foil for the least 5 minutes to get the topping a little more brown and crumbly.
Now a lot of these ingredients are NOT cheaper than buying fresh. We do not encourage you to make it a habit of replacing all of your foods with powdered or freeze-dried versions. But we DO encourage you to buy some, try it, learn how to use it, figure out the recipes it works in, and then store it! You will appreciate being able to make a lot of your “normal” family recipes in troublesome times.
If you are looking for places to buy some of these more uncommon storage items, check out the different companies on our Useful Links page.
-Jodi Weiss Schroeder