Good Housekeeping, October 1925
Over the last week hopefully you will have created a list of menu items that your family use on a regular basis.
The next step is to apply maths........
On a sheet of paper, you need to look at each menu suggestion and break it down into the ingredients that you use :
Example : Spaghetti Bolognaise ( apparently the most popular and easy dish created in the UK!)
You will need :
Pasta 6 oz
minced beef 8 oz
tomatoes 1 tin
binding agent 1 tbs of flour
tomatoe puree 1 tin
pepper and salt
cheese 4 oz
Continue to do that for every meal on your list and you will have a list of ingredients that your family use as a staple.
Look at your breakfast options and staple foods such as bread, milk, eggs etc.
This list is going to give you the most used ingredients on a monthly basis.
When completed you add up the amount of each ingredient.
Next comes the maths .......
Plan on preparing 80% of your meals from this storage planner. Other meals for the year and storage will include foods that you eat less, short term seasonal foods, special meals, holidays and basic storage items such as beans, rice, etc etc.
80% of 365 days is 292. Divide the total number of dishes or meals in step 1 into 292. So if you have 10 meals the factor is 0.0324
Multiply each food totalled on your list by the answer above. This will give you the amount of food that is needed for 80 to 90% of a years supply of foods most eaten.
Other items are easier to calculate:
If you use 1 loaf of bread per day and it takes 500g of flour, you will need 182.5 kg of flour in the year.
If the flour comes in 3 kg bags, that means that over the year you will need 60.83 bags of flour ( lets make that 61).
Now the average shelf life of flour that I buy is 3 months, so the quantity I need to 3 months = 20.33 kg
My supplier charges carriage per 27kg so I know on average that one order every 3 months will satisfy my requirement for 1 loaf of bread per day.
Knowing that I need 61kg of flour per year with the time I can store it, enables me to search out special offers. So if for instance my local supermarket does a special offer on flour, I would check the use by date......lets say it is 3 months ahead...I know that the maximum I should buy of that is 21kg.
You probably have a headache by now, but the principle is simple and if you have worked out what fruit and vegetables you consume on average over the year, it will help you put together a list of plants that you can grow yourself.
On my list for example is blackberry and apple pie, at least each month. Over the year I will make 12 of these. If I use 8 oz of each fruit for that, I know that I will need to freeze or can at least that amount of fruit to have blackberry and apple pie on the menu each month. Why store more? It should curbe enthousiasm for 26 kg of apples that I am not going to use.
Another one is that this family quite likes apple sauce, so the question is will I freeze the apples or prepare and can the apple sauce and in which quantity?
Next we will look at how to store items,. how to keep track and explore a variety of ways to preserve food.