Not just any rally, though. During the past couple weeks the Black Hills of South Dakota has been the site of the biggest, baddest, rowdiest, noisiest rally of all: The 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
And why do they come? Well, here's one reason:
And here's another:
But this is the biggest reason:
|Photo Credit: South Dakota Tourism|
No one is saying the "M" word yet, but attendance estimates are well over the record of 700,000. I wouldn't be surprised if the final count is at least one million attendees.
(To put that in perspective, the population of the entire Black Hills area is about 150,000. That means that during a normal rally week our population quadruples - this year has been crazy!)
Great for the bikers! But what about the rest of us?
Many people (including several of our friends) rent their houses to attendees and leave town. The rest of us just hunker down for the duration.
After all, with that many bikers descending on our area, the streets are almost too congested to go anywhere!
This is when I use my pantry!
We've talked about pantries here in the Cafe before. They're great for saving money - you can stock up when items are on sale; they're also wonderful when the local food bank has a special need; and they're the best when you can't get to the grocery store for an extended period for some reason.
Usually those reasons are natural disasters like blizzards or hurricanes. But around here, it's the first week of August :)
So the week before the rally was scheduled to start, I did a quick inventory of the pantry and made a list. I stocked up on all the basics: chicken (we already had beef), canned and frozen vegetables, tomato sauce, flour, sugar, butter, milk, bread, etc.
The pantry and freezer were full!
Then I made a list of all the meals I could make with my stash of staples - eighteen meals for the eighteen days I planned to be staying at home.
The main thing to remember about living a pantry lifestyle is to always follow the rule: "Store What You Eat and Eat What You Store." I do keep a few special canned goods on hand for a rare emergency (like our big blizzard a couple years ago - you can read how we survived that HERE) - things we don't normally include in our menu but are fully cooked and only need to be heated up. But everything else I store is part of our normal eating.
So my eighteen day menu included summer family favorite meals like tacos, steak, grilled chicken, Baked Parmesan Chicken (recipe here), hamburgers, brats, spaghetti, breakfast burritos, Philly Beef and Cheese Sandwiches (recipe here)...I think you have the idea!
Of course, since I'm on a deadline (20 days to go!), the meals also had to be quick and easy. No problem with the menus planned and a full pantry!
Hubby and I did venture out one night - there's nothing like going to Lone Star Steakhouse with a crowd of bikers. I've never seen so much black leather IN. MY. LIFE.
But the pantry continues to be a success. I'll do another pantry inventory after September 1st to make sure we're well-stocked for winter. I think of my pantry like I do my savings account - I don't want to deplete it if I don't need to, but I sure appreciate knowing I have the cushion!
So, I have a question for you - are you prepared for a disaster (natural or otherwise)? Share what you and your family have done so we can all learn from each other!