This is a book geared toward, but not limited to, the Mormon population and it focuses on the products available from their church canneries. If you use it understanding these factors you can get a lot out of it. The recipes are basic family-friendly fare; delicious but not gourmet. I found the book, and Crystal's website, shortly after buying several food storage items that I planned to store for 20-30 years, and then throw out and replace if I didn't have to use them. The money was spent just to have a back-up, but now I'm using at least one or two items on a daily basis and I plan to use all of them and replenish as I go along. This is a much better use of my money and storage space.
There are positive and negatives about this book. First, the positive aspects:
You will learn how to actually USE your stored food on a daily basis. This really is the focus of the book and the web-site, not how to survive without power. Not only will you save money by not wasting the food you're storing, but you'll save money because food storage is generally cheaper than fresh foods. All the food storage I have uses no preservatives or artificial flavor or color enhancers, so I can use it as a convenience food without the additives found in many convenience foods. The recipes are organized according to the type of stored food, i.e., powdered milk, powdered eggs, whole wheat, dried beans, dried vegetables and fruits.The layout makes it easy to find ways to use specific types of foods. One interesting idea is to use dried beans to replace some or all of the fat in baked items (I prefer using half beans and half oil or butter because the flavor and texture are better). Crystal also provides several recipes for using magic mix, a concoction of powdered milk, butter, and flour that is very useful to have on hand.
The negatives include:
The black and white photos are dark and of poor quality. They really add nothing to the book. There are several editing errors throughout the book. These include several misspellings, a misplaced subheading, and an ingredient mix-up between two recipes. I noticed these mistakes while doing a quick scan of the book. Spell-check should have picked up most of the spelling errors, and a careful proof-reader should have noticed everything else. I would have preferred more recipes and a lot less of the first three chapters, but that is just a personal preference.
Overall I am satisfied with this book. Its focus is on using your food storage on a daily basis and not just during emergencies; there is no better system for rotating your food storage! It has changed the way I look at food storage and use it and I am saving money on groceries because of this book.
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