Preparedness Training

My husband is an Eagle Scout, so he is always prepared.

When we owned a ranch near Paris, Texas, he planned for every contingency, including war, famine, and zombie apocalypse (thanks to The Walking Dead). 

We stored water and canned goods to save our children, siblings, and parents, although I debated whether that included his mother. To ensure the kids survived, the stash contained several cans of SpaghettiOs.

By the time Covid hit, we had sold the ranch and devoured the Chef Boyardee. In the spring of 2020, the pandemic felt like it was becoming a panic-demic. There was a run on everything. Even Costco, always a go-to in a crisis, or family reunion, ran out of toilet paper.

That’s when I channeled my inner Eaglet and went hunting, well actually, shopping. I texted myself a list and headed to Central Market. As I unloaded a full cart, an over-eager cashier alerted me that I had broken the two frozen pizza limit rule by trying to purchase three pizzas. What? I didn’t see a sign. The skeptical clerk just pointed to the frozen food section. Shoulders sagging and masked face down, I took the walk of shame to return the outlaw pie. Soaked in humiliation, I went home empty-handed.

But, this birdie was not deterred. With fast fingers on Amazon, toilet paper, surgical gloves, medical masks, and enough Clorox wipes to sanitize AT&T Stadium were on their way.

However, we still needed contagion calories. That’s when my Eagle soared. Days later, a pallet (like the kind you move with a forklift) of freeze-dried food stamped with a sell-by date of 2055 arrived.

The rations included spaghetti bolognese, and chicken tetrazzini. As I stacked the astronaut fare in my foyer, I made a mental note always to serve Italian in a calamity.

Sensing my culinary curiosity, my ravenous raptor suggested lunch. He boiled water, poured it into the package, and set a timer. In what felt like a minute, because it was, the dust bowl was transformed into tasty pasta. I wondered where I could buy a freeze dryer and if it would fit next to the toaster. As I forked the spaghetti out of the package, I also realized that the moon food container bowl is disposable – meaning no clean-up!

That day, I Googled freeze dryers and began planning for Thanksgiving.

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Michele Valdez

Michele Valdez, a slightly compulsive, mildly angry feminist, has been an attorney, volunteer, and The Mad Housewife columnist. She has four demanding adult children and a patient husband.

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