When my sister and I were children we loved to play "Little House on the Prairie". I always insisted on being Laura and my sister, of course, was Mary. The game eventually got a little out of hand when I boldly decided to give up my identity ( I was about 3 or 4 years old by the way!) and only respond to the name LAURA! My mom, being patient with her spirited daughter played along for a while until she realized that I was pretty serious! I had fully embodied Laura Ingles and there was no turning back! Just like any mother, her patience soon ran out and I was forced to come back to reality and just be me: Sabrina.
Yesterday, my sister reminded me of this because she has come to the conclusion that I am indeed living a pioneer life and from now on she WILL call me Laura! (haha...Victory). But she is indeed right.
This past weekend Shane and I drove 3 hours to get to the town of Bozeman, MT to begin purchasing our winter supplies. There are 2 other towns, Jackson and Cody which are 1.5 hours away however they only have 2 grocery stores and a Walmart or Kmart. Bozeman is the closest town which has stores like: Costco, Home Depot, Target, Michaels and Bed, Bath & Beyond. So, naturally if one needs massive amounts of household goods and food Bozeman is where you're headed.
Stocking up on winter goods is essential because at some point in November Yellowstone will stop plowing the road from our house to the park entrance which translates to a 40 minute snow mobile ride to the south entrance followed by digging out our car and then driving one hour to Jackson. Grant Village, Yellowstone receives about 8 feet of snow with lows in the -40's. So as you can imagine we might be tempted to buy a few items, maybe milk and eggs but full size grocery orders is out the question!
But exactly how does one determine what food you will need for approximately 4 months? As Shane and I started making our shopping list I quickly realized that most of the pre-packaged things we eat are all flour, sugar, water, cornstarch etc. My shopping list begin to change. Items like pancakes, cake mix, bread mix, oatmeal cookies, alfredo sauce were removed from the list and replaced with flour, flour, flour!!! As I began flipping though our stack of cookbooks I realized that most of us are seriously spoiled and seriously ignorant! I never realized just how easy it is to make pancakes because I have ONLY ever bought them from a box!!!
And so my "Little House on the Prairie" thinking cap went on: 50 lbs of flour, 15 lbs of sugar, 8 lbs of masa harina, 8 lbs of chocolate chips, 10 lbs of oatmeal, 25 pounds of rice, a healthy variety of dried beans and so on and so forth!
After twos of shopping in Bozeman our final bill was $2200 dollars of which approximately $1700 was in food. This is in addition to the $700 we spent 3 weeks ago in food. Our kitchen is a mini grocery store! And so when people ask me "What are you going to do this winter?" I confidently reply "I will Cook!" From homemade soups to breads I am officially prepared to cook 5 star meals from scratch this winter. Maybe my "Little House in the Prairie" obsession did me some good afterall.