By Billie and Robert Nicholson


We have always liked the idea of having a “mini-grocery store” in our pantry. Whether you need something for a regular meal or a late night snack, chances are that our MG (mini-grocery) will have it.

In our MG we try to stick to the basics. A short list would find items such as flour, white and brown sugar, non-instant powdered milk, olive oil, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, vinegar, kosher and iodized salt, jams, jellies, our own canned fruit and veggies and so on.


In some cases by storing basic ingredients separately, we found that our supplies last longer than when they are mixed together. For example, foods that contain oil go rancid and spoil, so we mixed the basics as needed. We also have a printed copy of our favorite recipes. Recipes found online are good only when you can access them, when there is electricity. Our MG also doubles as an emergency supply. It helps shelter us from storms or bad economic times. Our MG is an important part of our family that we always enjoy having around.


I love fresh bread and we make it right here in our kitchen. Our home is set up so that we don’t necessarily need power to cook or bake. We have a SunOven®. We have found that we can have fresh foods made right here using basics found in our MG. Below are a few recipes that you can Google for complete instructions.


I love the “5 Minute Artisan Bread recipe” all you need is:

6 ½ cups of unbleached flour

1 ½ Tbsp kosher salt

1 ½ Tbsp granulated yeast

3 cups lukewarm water


“Magic Mix” is another time-tested recipe we use. For this you need:

8 ½ cups flour

1 Tbsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 ¼ cups shortening or butter

1 Tbsp baking powder

2 tsp cream of tarter

1 ½ cups powdered milk

Put all dry ingredients in a large bowel, blend well. Then cut in shortening or butter with a blender, blending well. You now have Bisquick®. Store in a closed container in the refrigerator. Use for muffins, white sauce, sausage, gravy, pancakes, etc.





Another thought is making your own Spaghetti Seasoning Mix. You can mix this up and store till needed. Here is what you will need:

1 Tbsp instant dried onion

1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes

1 Tbsp cornstarch

2 tsp green pepper flakes

1 ½ tsp salt

¼ tsp instant dried minced garlic

1 tsp sugar

¾ tsp Italian seasoning (or combination of oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme, sage and marjoram)

Combine all ingredients, seal in container to store or use immediately. If you buy your spaghetti sauce mix in the 1 ounce envelope @ 99 cents each, this comes to $15.84 a pound. Make it yourself and save. Billie has a couple of food dehydrators. We grow and dry quite a few of the ingredients used in the above Spaghetti Seasoning Mix. Thus we save even more and we stock these dried items in our MG.


Billie and Robert welcome your comments or questions. Contact them at


Photo Wiki Korb_mit_Brotchen.jpg