This week’s items–Oil & Shortening

Fat is your friend.

At least in cooking it is. It’s pretty hard to cook without using oil, butter or shortening. Those are one of the Big Four must-have items in anyone’s food storage. No matter whether you are trying to stockpile for a year or are just hoping to get a couple of week’s worth of food, you need fat.

This week we’re going to concentrate on oil and shortening. Get whatever oil you prefer. Make sure you don’t get just olive, though, because that tastes awful in baked goods. I like to split my oil up between olive (my preference for cooking) and canola (my preference for baking and salad dressing.)

Also get some shortening. I rarely use shortening because, well, it doesn’t taste that great (although it does add volume and a nice texture to some baked goods when it’s combined with butter. Like in snickerdoodles. My recipe here is excellent.) But it’s very smart to have on hand as a substitute for butter. It stays good for over a year, whereas butter must refrigerated and it lasts for only a couple of months.

The problem with all items that are high in fat is that fat becomes rancid with 18 months. Sometimes earlier. So nuts, chocolate, oil, peanut butter and anything else that’s fatty will need to be rotated regularly. Fortunately these are the best-tasting items so using them up is not a big problem. We just need to be aware.

I recommend half a botttle of oil per person, and half a can of shortening per person. So if you’ve got four people in your family, you’ll get two bottles of oil and two cans of shortening. If you have enough room in your freezer I’d recommend getting some extra butter, too. It freezes beautifully.

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3 thoughts on “This week’s items–Oil & Shortening

  1. I think I told you this, but the lady at my church in charge of emergency preparedness is a food storage GODDESS. And she says that coconut oil lasts nearly forever. It has natural antibiotic properties which means it doesn't allow bacteria to grow in it, (it also means it's VERY gooc for you), and it's saturated fat, which doesn't go rancid. She buys huge 20 lb barrells for her food storage. I'll see if I can get the link for you where she gets it. Anyway, it's an idea for long-term fat/oil storage. (One side note, it does have a slight coconutty taste, so it's definitely better in baked goods, but in a pinch you could use it for anything).

  2. p.s. I also bought a couple of 5lb cans of powdered butter, though I have no idea if it's good or how to use it. Thoughts?

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