94°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Take stock of what’s on stock

If you had to stay in your home without leaving for 14 days, could you do so in comfort? That’s the question and it’s causing a lot of concern. The intention is to be prepared should you choose to not leave your house.

Current information says it’s unlikely our access to electricity or water will be disrupted. We’ll be able to go to the store for supplies as needed. So, you don’t need six months of nonperishable food and supplies.

If you see empty shelves today, don’t worry. The items that are out of stock will soon be restocked. There’s no shortage of food, cleaning products or toilet paper in the U.S. This is a consumer-driven shortage that will right itself.

Begin by taking stock of what you already have in your house. You probably have more than you think. Take inventory of all you have in your freezer, fridge and cupboards.

The obvious stock-up items are in short supply. Here they are when you can find them: rice, beans, pasta and sauce, peanut butter, canned meats, fish, soups, fruits and vegetables, frozen fruits and vegetables, meats, fish and poultry, powdered milk, cooking oil, salt, sugar, spices, foods for those with dietary restrictions, baby food and pet food.

The obvious aside, here are some useful tips you may not have thought of.

To free up refrigerator space, many fruits and vegetables keep well for weeks stored in a cool, dry place. These include apples, cabbage, carrots, citrus fruits, hard-shelled squash, onions, potatoes and sweet potatoes.

If frozen vegetables are in short supply, you can purchase fresh vegetables and freeze them. Look online for instructions.

You can freeze milk; just leave room in the container because milk expands when frozen.

Eggs freeze, too. Remove them from shell, scramble and add either ¼ teaspoon salt (for savory dishes) or sugar (for baking sweets) for each cup of eggs. Place mixture in freezer-safe containers for up to one year. Use an ice cube tray for single egg servings.

Storing items like cottage cheese, sour cream and yogurt upside down creates a vacuum in the container that represses bacteria and mold from growing.

Corn meal is very versatile and can be used to make grits or polenta, corn muffins, cookies, cakes, hush puppies, casseroles, dumplings, a crunchy coating for baked and fried foods and even corn dogs.

Oatmeal is another versatile food. Besides oatmeal, you can make granola or cookies or add it to yogurt and smoothies. It can be ground into flour for baking or soaked to make oat milk.

If you’re feeling the urge to stock the freezer, here’s an easy and inexpensive chili recipe. You can use it as a base for meals like burritos, tacos or taco salad. Serve it over baked potatoes, rice or pasta, make chili mac, use it as filling for omelets or just eat it with tortilla chips.

10-MINUTE CHILI

Yield: 4 servings

What you’ll need:

1 pound ground beef, pork or turkey

1½ cups onion, chopped

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon dried minced garlic

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1 15-ounce can red kidney beans

Salt and pepper to taste

Here’s how:

Heat skillet to medium-high. Place ground meat and onion in the skillet, stirring occasionally.

While the ground meat cooks, open the beans and tomato sauce and rinse the beans. Set aside.

When the meat is nearly done, drain the excess fat from the skillet. Add the chili powder, cumin, garlic, tomato sauce and beans. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool and divide into freezer safe zip top bags for future use.

Bonus recipe: To make hand sanitizer, in a mixing bowl blend together 2/3 cup 99 percent rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol, 1/3 cup 100 percent pure aloe vera gel and 8-10 drops essential oil for fragrance (optional). Use a funnel to place into a pump bottle.

Lastly my friends, remember: Facts, not fear. Clean hands. Open hearts.

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is a recipe developer and food writer of the website “Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at divapatti@divasonadime.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Seniors parade their accomplishments

Graduation day for Boulder City High School’s Class of 2020 was different this year as the students and parents celebrated with a parade instead of a traditional commencement ceremony.

Lentils move from side to center plate

Have you noticed lentils are popping up everywhere lately? They have officially moved beyond soup and have been added to salads, made into pasta, breads, chips and other snack foods, and have even become plant-based meat replacements.

Veterans, tourist attractions find common bond in Las Vegas

Gambling, entertainment and gourmet dinners will remain the big draws in Las Vegas when Nevada opens up again. But Southern Nevada has so much more to offer. History buffs and military veterans are all encouraged to take detours and see a side of the city that most are not even aware exists.

Blatchford: A high-flying Eagle

Hope Blatchford considers herself a typical high school student.

Future bright for class’s top scholars

The valedictorians and salutatorian of Boulder City High School’s Class of 2020 are excited about the future and thankful for their time in town despite their senior year not going as planned or expected.

Seniors to celebrate with parade

On what would have been the night of their graduation, members of Boulder City High School’s class of 2020 will parade through town to celebrate their accomplishments.

Film fest poster contest entries sought

The poster contest for the Dam Short Film Festival returns for its second incarnation and area artists are being asked to submit entries.

Super sides add zest to summer barbecues

Memorial Day weekend fills me with gratitude as we honor our veterans who made possible the freedom we so often take for granted. It’s a weekend of recognition and thanks.

Gunslingers lived — and died — fast in Pioche

Oftentimes on TV Westerns, and the better Western movies, there is a big gunfight between the good guy and the bad guy. I saw it happen a lot on the popular TV show “Gunsmoke.” Even the opening scene for many years showed one: Matt Dillon in a quick-draw contest with someone. But it was really just the same gunfight shown over and over in the opening credits.