Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," in the waning days of winter! I'm going to cross my fingers and hope we don't get a late-season snowstorm.
When I think about my grandparents, I recall how they devoted the months of August and September to canning. Even when they got old, they still canned up a storm. In fact, I took it as a sign of ill health when I started hearing them grouse at each other and make mistakes in the process.
By October, my grandmother would have rows and rows of home-canned goods lining her pantry shelf. This food would not have been enough in and of itself to get my grandparents through the winter ... or maybe it would have been, if they conserved. And shot squirrels, which taste just like chicken.
I think of this because, if I were told to stay in my house for a week and not come out, I'd be hard-pressed to feed the three mouths living in there based on the contents of my cupboards. The only creature at Chateau Johnson who is prepared for a siege is Decibel the parrot, whose big bags of bird food typically last about three weeks in the wintertime.
Mr. J and I sometimes argue about being prepared for dire contingencies. He says I'm an alarmist, that I shouldn't worry my daughters with the prospect of a solar storm knocking out the power grid, or a meltdown at one of the many nuclear power plants to the west of our house.
With all due respect, husband, I'm going to get some cans. No, I'm going to get lots of cans and watch the expiration dates on them. Whatever is on sale at the grocery store this week, I'm going to buy.
I have pantry shelves in my basement. Right now they're being used to store holiday decorations for every season. I look at those shelves and think of Grandma. She would have had 30 cans of green beans there instead of a light-up jack-o-lantern.
It may be foolish optimism that would make me hoard food, but what's the harm in having disaster food supplies? What do you think about water, reader? Should I stockpile that too? Our local water comes from an aquifer.
In the event of a prolonged power outage, I believe we could keep at least one room warm with our existing supply of firewood, furniture, and books. We have lots of books. Call me Savonarola if you will, but I'll need something to keep off the chill.
What do you think? Stockpile candles too? I'm serious.