I hate the fact that our summer is coming to a close, and pretty rapidly at that. But, I must say that we did enjoy a wonderful weekend at Bryce Canyon in Utah. This canyon has such amazing rustic beauty. We really enjoyed it all.
While we were there, we stopped at a museum that told of the life style of the Anasazi Indians in that part of the country. I was fascinated by so many aspects of their culture. Outside of the museum were unearthed foundations of more than one home. They also had built a model of what the structures would have looked like. This also fascinated me. As I learned more about how they lived, I then thought that we in our modern culture really do not have any excuses to not have enough food stores in our homes.
Lessons in Food Storage and Life, learned from the Ansasazi Indian lifestyle....
This is the model I was speaking of. It is an "L" shaped building made from stone, wood, and adobe.
They used an entire wing of their structure for food storage. Hmmm, do we really need a movie viewing room?.....
This is the view into the Food Storage area, just big enough to climb through but high enough to store food under the opening.
The Food Storage rooms were nearly as big as the living area. This is the actual foundation from an ancient structure.
Look at their vessels. They would prepare and store foods in the vessels that they made. Contrast that with how easy it is to go to the local big box store and pick up a few needed 'vessels' for our own homes.....at a reasonable price no less.
They showed another structure that was virtually underground. They had a belief that life came from below, or out of the earth. This Structure reportedly would reinforce and remind them of their sacred beginning. Even in this situation, they would store food in here!
Maybe this is the first "Open Concept Kitchen". They slept, interacted, and cooked in an area about the size of the food Storage rooms. Each room had a small fire pit.
So why is this history lesson so important? The Anasazi Indians were agrarian. They planted, harvested, and stored their food. What have we been encouraged to do time and time again? Plant a garden, and preserve the harvest for our families.
Additionally, they dedicated a large portion of their structure to Food Storage. I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard an excuse about not having space to store a food storage. Our homes are significantly larger than those discussed above. We are not being asked to dedicate nearly a half of our homes to store enough food and supplies for our family against future challenges. But, we should re-evaluate how we are dedicating our space. Is there an opportunity to store foods in the foot of a closet, under a bed, in a Pantry, or in unused or underutilized space? Could we get more into our Freezer with a little organization?
The Anasazi's interacted, slept and ate all in the same space. Meal preparation was a large part of their daily routine where they lived and slept. How could we integrate our family members more into the opportunity of food preparation? How can you take advantage of the opportunity to build memories and bonds that stand the test of time? Consider decreasing the reliance on electronic gadgets and offer more interaction and bonding time. In the years to come, I can't imagine that our children will be relishing in the viral video as a fond memory of family. Rather, it should be of a time working together and spending valuable time together in the art of living.
So, please take a moment and rethink your space, and your priorities. Consider the words of President Gordon B Hinkley:
We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the best storehouse is the family storeroom. In words of revelation the Lord has said, “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing” (D&C 109:8).
I encourage you to prepare every needful thing. Our family has been blessed time and time again because we had prepared in this way. In fact, our Sunday Dinner was all from food storage. No one seemed to know that. We just ate our Beef Stroganoff and enjoyed each other.