Monday, November 9, 2015

Inventory - Winter Stores

Although our autumn has been warm and we haven't had any snow or ice as of yet, unlike last year when the first snow flurries arrived on Sept. 10th, we know it is coming.  (this photo was taken a couple years ago)  And that means it's the time of year when I must take inventory and make sure we are stocked up for a snow bound winter.

Our past 3 winters have been mild, meaning we haven't been snowed in for any length of time, but up here on Montana's rolling prairie one never knows what the winter weather will bring.  Four winters ago, our home was "snowed in" for nearly two months.  Therefore it is best to be prepared.  Besides, if we have another mild winter, being stocked up will save an exceptional amount of time and fuel by not having to drive 95 miles in snow and ice, round trip, to town for supplies.

We are stocked up with the following:


850 gal. propane (winter heat & cooking)
45 gal. gasoline (generator for power outages)
10 gal. diesel fuel
2 gal. lamp kerosene (for power outages)
4 cases bottled water (for power outages)
15 gal. bulk drinking water (for power outages)
150 gal. livestock water (for power outages)
8 ton hay (livestock)
2 ton oats (livestock)
100# rabbit alfalfa pellets
400# dry dog food
250# dry cat food
320# chicken feed


6 mo. laundry & cleaning products
18 rolls paper towels
36 rolls bath tissue
8 box facial tissue
6 pkg. feminine product
40 bars bath soap
7 lg. shampoo & conditioner
16 deodorant
16 toothpaste
6 rolls aluminum foil
3 rolls cling wrap
4 rolls waxed paper
4 rolls parchment paper
4 box gallon zip bags
6 box pint zip bags

35# dry milk
9 cans sweetened condensed milk (or I can make homemade )
100# granulated sugar
30# brown sugar
20# confectioner's sugar
185# flour
6# cornmeal
150# various types dried beans
55# pasta (or I can make homemade )
45# barley
45# lentils
70# white rice
10# brown rice
10# popcorn
12# oats
6# farina, aka cream of wheat
5# grits
50# salt
7# pepper
4# baking powder
4# baking soda
5# cornstarch
6 qt. honey
3/4 qt. sorghum
3 qt. corn syrup
20# various flavors baking chips
1 yr. supply of dried herbs & spices
2# dried mushrooms
6 oz. vanilla beans (I use whiskey or vodka to make my own vanilla)
1/2# sunflower seeds
3# unsweetened baking cocoa
5# shredded coconut
20 boxes jello
2 lg. coffee
1 chocolate milk mix
2 coffee creamer
12 lg. boxes tea bags
2 boxes Chex cereal
3 boxes life cereal
3 boxes Cheerios cereal
2 1/2 # yeast
96 oz. olive oil
64 oz. vegetable oil
2 lg. vegetable shortening
4# lard
2 cans non-stick cooking spray
7 gal. vinegar
2# chicken bullion
2# beef bullion
50# potatoes
25# onions

9 bottles wine
2 cases beer
1 1/2 fifth whiskey
1 fifth vodka
13 cans pork-n-beans
55 cans green chilies
20 pt. mixed vegetables
12 pt. green peas
41 pt. zucchini & tomatoes
16 qt. beets
7 pt. pickled beets
6 pt. artichoke hearts
5 pt. turnips
5 cans water chestnuts
1 can bamboo shoots
37 qt. carrots
50 qt. corn
95 qt. green beans
111 qt. tomatoes
47 pt. bread & butter pickles
6 qt dill pickles
5 pt. dill pickles
32 pt. apple sauce
36 pt. pear halves
6 qt. peaches
14 pt. peaches
10 pt. pumpkin
36 canned Mandarin oranges
4 pt. apricots
3 pt. pineapple
5 lg. bottled lemon juice
2 bottled lime juice
7 bottled fruit juice
41 cans tuna
11 cans shredded chicken
4 cans shredded ham
11 qt. chicken broth
13 pt. stew
74 pt. soups & chili
33 jams & jellies
3 can black olives
3 can French fried onions
12 pt. salsa
6 mayonnaise
3 mustard
4 half-pints homemade ketchup
5 half-pints homemade bar-b-que sauce
3 steak sauce
2 hot sauce
2 Worcestershire sauce
1 soy sauce
1 chili sauce
80 oz. canned garlic
2 lg. panko breading
2 jars maraschino cherries


28# butter
52 # cheese
12 frozen juice
3# raisins
4# pecan halves
3 1/3 # walnuts
3# almonds
1# pistachios
1/2 # macadamia nuts
1# peanuts
1# cranberries
6# strawberries
5# blackberries
20 pt. yellow squash
15 pt. zucchini
3 gal. green onion
30 qt. corn
40 ears corn
18# English peas
2# Brussels sprouts
10# hash browns (homemade)
37 qt. broccoli
5 qt. Swiss chard greens
10 qt. spinach
17# pork sausage
5# ground pork
6# salt pork
4# bacon ends
30# bacon
4 half hams
20# link sausage
4 pork roasts
46 pork chops
22 pork steaks
2 pkg. pepperoni
6 chickens
4 pheasant breasts
3 corned beefs
7 beef steaks
2 gal. calf fries
4 ling cod fillets
2# perch fillets
4# frozen shrimp
1# venison sausage
1# ground lamb
14# hot dogs
4# bologna luncheon meat
1# smoked turkey breast luncheon meat
5 eggs

Since we raise, grow and wild harvest a significant portion of our food, many food items will last us a year.  But for the things we don't produce ourselves, I must wait for good sale prices to stock my pantry, usually every 4-6 months.  With the holiday season upon on us the sale prices are great and I will finish stocking our pantry with an additional 1 case evaporated milk, 6# lard, 8# vegetable shortening, 4 lg. bottles cooking oil, 10# rolled oats, 15# farina, 10# cornmeal, 25# onions, 12# butter, 4 qt. black strap molasses, and 2 bottles lime juice.  I may also pick up a few more packages of turkey breast luncheon meat, since that's my favorite.  (Mr. B and the littles enjoy bologna, I prefer turkey breast and tuna.)  I plan to pick those items up this week and will gladly have no need to visit the grocer for many more months.

Since the 20 below zero, or more, temperature will cause our hens will stop laying for a couple months this winter, I've also started freezing eggs for baking and cooking.  I'll have to share that process in a later post.  This year's beets are still in the ground and they will most likely be preserved and stashed in the pantry later this week.  I currently estimate we'll add another 12 qt.canned beets and 12 pt. pickled beets.

Our meat freezer doesn't have the variety of meat it usually does because this year the littles 4-H buyers wanted the whole animal leaving us only one hog for the freezer.  We did not go fishing this summer so, not much fish.  As such, Farmer Boy must continue to hunt for pheasant and deer.  Pheasant season lasts until the 1st of the year, but deer season only has another 2 weeks.  Thus, he is currently focusing on deer hunting.  We will also add two of our young weathered goats to the freezers next week.

Are you stocked up for a snow bound winter or a natural disaster?


  1. Wow, Mrs B! You are really stocked up! What a smart homemaker you are.
    I do have enough of most everything to see us through for several months, maybe longer.
    I do need more water ASAP.

    I do have you out stocked on pecans and toilet paper :)

    1. Hello Mrs.Rhonda,

      Thank you for stopping by. Yes, we do have quite the stock on food stores. But that is because I grow a 5,700 sq. ft. garden each summer and we raise livestock. Otherwise, we would have only a four month supply like with our bath tissue, and many other non-food supplies. As far as our water storage, it is obviously only a short term emergency supply. Growing up on the Gulf coast where power outages and the resulting chaos caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. is common, I learned at a young age emergency supplies are essential for daily life in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Now that we live on the Montana prairie, we don't have to prepare for hurricanes or frequent tornadoes, but we do have to prepare for the occasional blizzard that brings a tremendous amount of snow and power outages. We live in a very remote location far away from the more populated cities and larger towns thus, we are a very low priority on the emergency services list. i.e., it could be weeks before we see a snow plow or electrical linemen repairing downed power lines.
      Blessings to you and yours,

  2. What an extensive list! I've been working on deepening my pantry but my list sure looks small compared to yours. We don't live in snow country but I always like to have enough food on hand to last a few weeks in case I was sick or an emergency came about. You're so wise to prepare!

    1. Hi Georgene,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I always encourage city and town folks to keep a minimum of three days to two weeks worth of supplies in their homes in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. City folks have access to emergency, electrical restoration services, and crisis aid that our rural location does not benefit from. Therefore when one lives in an extremely rural area, like we do, it is imperative to do all one can to be self sufficient in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. In our specific situation mountains of snow can prevent us from being able to leave our home and likewise, the mountains of snow can prevent emergency or electrical restoration services to reach us. We also maintain a good supply of 1st aid equipment and supplies. Which, because of our remote location, and farm work is important regardless of the time of year.
      If you live in or near a metropolitan area and have at least two weeks of supplies, I'm sure you are sufficiently stocked.


  3. That is one big list! You are very organised Mrs B, but I guess you need to be.

    I cant imagine temperatures like that. We have such mild winters here where we live. Our summers are quite extreme with scorching temperatures though. Not sure what I would prefer, too hot or too cold?

    God Bless,


    1. Hi Tania,

      Growing up and living the majority of my life on the Gulf coast of Texas, I can relate to extremely hot and humid summer temperatures. Until I moved to the Montana prairie, I too could not comprehend 20 or 30 below zero temps. However, we quickly learned that wool and layers are our best winter time friends. In January you will most likely find me donning a set of ThinSkin OR merino wool long underwear, a pair of thick wool socks, a thin cotton tee-shirt, a pair of jeans, a pull over sweater OR a long sleeve shirt. When I go outside I add a pair of Smart wool gloves, a wool coat, a wool hat and insulated boots. If I'm doing chores in the extreme cold and wind I'll also add a knit ski mask to protect my facial skin from possible frostbite. The ThinSkin and merino wool long underwear are not thick and bulky like standard cotton long underwear, thus, I don't feel like the "abominable snow man" by the time I've "layered up". Also, Smart wool is a thinner wool but it is woven very tightly which is excellent in blocking the wind.


  4. All I want to know is...what the heck are calf fries? 😳🤔😂

    Knowing you the way I do, I am not surprised at this list, but i do know that if you run out of ketchup or mayo you will just make your own! By the way, where's the mustard seed? 😜

    All my Love,
    Mrs. A

    1. Mrs.A,

      Calf fries, Calf fries ... are you sure you want to know? ...

      Well ... calf fries are an organ of a bull calf, specifically the testicle which is removed during branding season to turn the bull calf into a steer (which, as you know, but I'll specify for other readers, is raised specifically for meat, various medications, gelatin, glue, leather products, etc.).

      In the western US they are called rocky mountain oysters. In the south they are called calf fries. Southerners identify pig testicles as rocky mountain oysters. Therefore, the term can be confusing if one forgets to apply regional definitions.

      Preparation of calf fries is super easy ... After removing the outer membrane, salt & pepper the meat to taste; then dredge the meat in seasoned flour, beaten egg and then flour again. Fry in 350 degree oil until golden brown. Serve warm with a side of ranch dressing for dipping.

      Regarding the mustard seed it is included in the "1 yr. supply of dried herbs and spices". In addition to knowing I'll make my own mayo and ketchup, I'm sure you also know that I'll grind the mustard seed and make homemade mustard ... Maybe I should consider a future recipe post with my mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard recipes.

      I love you more,

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  6. Wow, that is some list! You really are stocked up big time and I can understand why living where you do. I had to laugh at the TP comment by Rhonda and by your response. I grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii (the one with the active volcano) and everything that was not grown on the island had to be shipped in from the mainland. I remember vividly that longshoresman strike when I was very young that stopped all things from being loaded or unloaded at the harbor and the lack of lots of food and other products in the grocery store. We were on a super tight budget but my mother wisely stocked up on TP beforehand. We were very careful about not using too much of it. I knew other families that ran out and resorted to using newspaper, catalog pages, leaves and phone books pages to clean themselves.

    I live in a small farming town with no grocery store. My mother taught me early on the shop sales and keep a deep pantry (we had to in Hawaii with the price of groceries there). She also was a very creative cook and could stretch things like no one's business and I am thankful that she taught me to do that too. I learned how to garden, can, make jams and do lots of baking of homemade breads, etc. once I was out on my own and had a family to feed on a very tight budget. Two of my sons and one of my DIL's hunt and my hubby has in the past
    also. They also love to fish and they share the bounty with us and I provide the fresh garden veggies and fruits for them. :) I try to preserve what I am able to but this year, having had to have surgery right in the middle of canning season, put a damper on that. I did freeze some of the fruit and veggies though.

    Be blessed,

    1. Hi Debbie,
      Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a terrific comment. I hope it encourages others to glean lessons from their past, like you have done, to maintain, and possibly improve, their lifestyles. It is always a wonderful blessing to be able to share one's garden bounty and receive gifts of harvest from others. You are a blessed lady.

      Blessings to you and yours,


Thank you for taking time to read my blog and leave a comment. I try my best to respond to each one. God Bless You, Mrs.B