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Marti’s Corner – 51

Marti’s Corner – 51

NOTES:

eggs-in-a-basket

*  Egg substitutions.  I have some dehydrated eggs stored, and have even used them to make scrambled eggs once (they were pretty good actually).  But in this article by “I Am Baker” she experiments with 4 types of egg substitutions:  {4 OPTIONS!} Egg Substitutes – i am baker  I was surprised to see seltzer water on that list.  Seems like that would be an easy and cheap alternative.

*  Every December, I buy new baking soda and baking powder.  When I checked the “use by” dates on the old baking powder, it was “use by Oct, 2021”.  It was only about 1/2 empty.  I don’t always go by those dates, but baking powder and baking soda DO lose their effectiveness over time – usually about a year.  Luckily they are inexpensive, so I don’t mind tossing the old one and paying $.89 for a new one.  My daughter and I were talking about it once, and she never even buys baking powder.  But I’m always thinking WHAT IF. Baking powder is a must for homemade pancakes, waffles, and quick breads.

So, this is a good time to repurchase and start the new year fresh.

*  Besides, baking soda has a lot of other uses:  21 Clever Uses For Baking Soda Around The House | HuffPost Life

*  I got an advertisement for a “Healing Garden” today in the mail.  Healing Herbs Garden Kit

Many of these herbs I’ve bought online, usually dried.  Some of them I’ve tried growing myself, although I’m still not very good at it.  Growing herbs and flowers is different from growing vegetables.  It’s a good variety, however, and includes echinacea, calendula, marshmallow, mint, chamomile, lavender, and yarrow (among other things).  I grew yarrow once and even used it to make aLavender for soap making salve.

It’s surprising how many of these flower seeds suggest planting them in the winter, then waiting for them to come up in the spring.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Do-It-Yourself Freeze-dried MREs

Do-It-Yourself Freeze-dried MREs

Make Your Own MREs: Freeze-Dried Chili Mac

While I like to have a range of freeze-dried foods on hand, I may not have time to prep a meal in an emergency.  That may result in my having to chew on rehydrated carrot chips or crunchy corn washed down with swigs of water, but having my Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) can be a huge nutritionally complex advantage.  First, I know what’s in it, so I know it’s good for me.  Second, my body had already processed some of this same food when I first made it, so I’m not shocking my system at a time when I need as stable of physiology as possible.  Third, I have a meal ready to eat anytime I don’t know what to have for dinner on a particular night.  And, though there are many other reasons I could probably go into, like the fact that the food has a shelf-life of upwards of 25 years, a huge reason is its cost savings.  Food prices aren’t going down, so when I cook in bulk today and set it aside, I am essentially putting food in an interest-bearing savings account of sorts.  The ten dollars I might spend today on food will be worth even more five years from now, and after a disaster, it will be priceless.

Portions of frozen chili macIn this video, I’ll make and freeze-dry classic Chili Mac.  To rehydrate, just add hot water, and you’re eating a home-cooked meal while the disaster rages outside.  Throughout this series on the Harvest Right Freeze-Dryer, I’ll give you a few pro-tips based on lessons I have learned and one technical fact per video….

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Marti’s Corner – 38

Marti’s Corner – 38

NOTES:

*  Here is a great article about storing water:  Drinking Water Guidelines.

*  I came across a FaceBook group called, “Simply Prepared With CFD Publications.”  From there I found this website: CFD Publications  You will find a lot of good information in both places.  You will also find a book called Pantry Cooking by Cheryl Driggs, which offers over 350 shelf-stable recipes.

*  Beginning in late 2020, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints began to publish “Local Area Preparedness Guides.”  Go here to find YOUR area:  Local Area Prepare    Here is the one for So. Cal:  Temporal-Preparedness-Guide-North-America-Southwest-Area-Guide-May-2021

*  I apologize if I’ve offered this before, but it’s really great:  Houston Emergency Preparedness Cookbook  You can download it now and look at it later.Emergecy Preparedness Recipes - Cooking

**  Garden Update.  For several weeks, something has been eating my lettuce – AS SOON AS IT SPROUTS!!!  I tried sprays and diatomaceous earth.  I finally dug up all the lettuce and started over in new tubs.  Same thing.  I took pictures and sent them to a master gardener.  She suggested mice, rabbits, or squirrels.  I bought some sticky mouse traps and laid them right in the tubs.  BUT, then I decided to move the tables away from next to the house.  If it’s a mouse, I thought, it won’t be able to climb up the table if it’s away from the wall.  Soooo… I did not catch a mouse, only a bunch of flies in the sticky goo.  BUT, moving the tables has seemed to work, and I’m now harvesting lettuce again.  In addition, I have also gotten zucchini and yellow squash from plants that I sprouted only a few weeks ago.  Yay!!!  I feel that the plants are finally starting to bloom again after the summer heat.

LONG TERM FOCUS: Milk

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How to Make Beef Jerky – DIY – Prepper’s Kitchen

How to Make Beef Jerky – DIY – Prepper’s Kitchen

City Prepping Ultimate Jerky RecipeIn this blog, we’re going to take you through, step-by-step, showing you how to make beef jerky. We’ll cover the steps, the recipe, and all of the items you’ll need on hand. Nobody has ever been able to eat a whole cow in one sitting but to survive, it’s essential to preserve as much of the meat as possible for consumption.

It seems like everyone I know has their own jerky recipe, but Shawn assures me his is the ultimate jerky recipe. You don’t need a fancy dehydrator to make it.

WHAT YOU NEED
I’ll address optional ingredients in a moment, but Siracha is a great fermented pepper sauce to use for this. For my recipe, you will need two or more pounds of beef (I used top round and flank steak), a bowl to marinate the meat, a measuring cup, 3/4 cup soy sauce, one tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, one teaspoon smoked paprika, one tablespoon brown sugar, one teaspoon or more ground pepper, one teaspoon garlic powder, one teaspoon onion powder, one teaspoon liquid smoke.

Optional other ingredients include toasted sesame oil, hot pepper flakes or hot pepper powder, 1/4 cup pineapple juice, two teaspoons ginger, Siracha sauce to taste. If you have a particularUltimate Jerky Ingredients preference in taste, feel free to add an optional ingredient. I will add some sesame oil, pineapple juice, and chili paste to mine at the end of the basic recipe to make mine just a little more Pacific Island style.

THE QUICK RECIPE

  1. Trim the fat off the meat and reserve it for other purposes like making tallow, which I cover in another blog. Cut the meat against the grain into 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch slices depending upon the thickness. You don’t want the meat so thick it will be hard to dry the center.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Marti’s Corner – 25

Marti’s Corner – 25

Marti's Corner at City PreppingHi Everyone,

NOTES:

* Last year I posted about a remedy for bites: mosquito bites, bee stings, ant bites, tick bites. It uses charcoal to “draw out” the poison. I kept it in the refrigerator and used it all last year. I finally threw it away a few weeks ago. And wouldn’t you know it, I got a half dozen bites just last week and have suffered this whole time. Ugh. My granddaughter who is staying with us got a huge bite yesterday and I decided it was time to make more.

Bite Remedy: Psyllium Husk Powder 1 part psyllium, 3 parts charcoal, and just enough water to make a soft jelly. Roll it out or press it between two sheets of plastic wrap. Keep it in the fridge. When you need some, just cut off a little square with the scissors, and cover it with a bandaid. The charcoal draws out the poison, the coolness calms the itch.

* As you rotate your food, eventually you will probably have to throw something away. It’s okay. Think of it as insurance. You “re-buy” insurance every month even though you don’t get to use it. So, you throw something away. Buy more and try to get it rotated this time.

Along those lines, I found this great article about what to do with rancid oil. I’ve copied the text and have included it below.

LONG TERM FOCUS: Onions

I just don’t buy fresh onions anymore. I exclusively use dehydrated onions. You can buy dehydrated onions at the grocery store and try them out. This jar has onions I purchased from the Church of Jesus Christ store. Anyone is welcome to purchase from that site, but you have to buy food in cases, which is 6 #10 cans at a time, which is A LOT of onions.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Marti’s Corner – 23

Marti’s Corner – 23

Marti's Corner at City PreppingHi Everyone,

NOTES:

* I tried to post a video last week that was taken down because the person who created it was just besieged with people wanting to share it! Now, she has created a YouTube video. It is almost 45 minutes long. At the 7:53 mark, she begins to present her data. It is well worth the viewing. If you are on the fence, or not concerned, you will be after watching her video. Famine is coming.  Helena Kleinlein – Feast or Famine? The Coming Food Shortages.

* Garden update – My cucumbers are producing like crazy. I have too many tomatoes to eat, but not really enough to can. I think there are 12 ripening on my counter as I type this. Some kind of fungus has attacked all my potato plants and they are simply dying off. I’ve tried spraying with fungicide, and with hydrogen peroxide, and several other things. No go. Leaves keep turning yellow with brown spots. Ugh. I got little green worms in the lettuce and had to thin that out. (Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew to the rescue) I left the shade off the lettuce and it just about wilted to death. Plants do NOT like this extreme heat (106˚ the other day). Getting them in the ground early (February) has been a game-changer. Except for the potatoes, everything has produced some food already. Everything is covered with a shade cloth, and my sweet husband even took a fan out to the garden yesterday to cool off the plants. But, but, but!!! When you cut open that first ripe tomato, or fry up that first squash or eat that first crisp cucumber……THAT’S why I do it. Store-bought food cannot compare in deliciousness!

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Marti’s Corner – 15

Marti’s Corner – 15

Marti's Corner at City PreppingHi Everyone,

NOTES:

* All of my vegetables are planted in containers. Here is a good article about planting in 5-gallon buckets. Bucket Container Planting Vegetables – Using Buckets For Growing Vegetables These buckets are under $3 at Lowes and Home Depot. Considering the cost of planting containers, and if you don’t mind having buckets in your yard, it might be worth it. We’ve collected a lot of our containers at estate sales and such. I’ve also used those fabric bags. I like the 7-gallon size. They are deeper and seem to give the plants more room to grow.
* I also found this FaceBook page: Tomato Bible. It is NOT just about tomatoes. There are a lot of interesting facts about insects, nutrition, etc. of your garden
* I found this website where you can download a guide explaining 5 steps for getting prepared Listos California | IECF

  • Get official alerts
  • Make a plan
  • Pack a GO bag
  • Build a STAY box
  • Help friends and neighbors

There is information explaining each of these things in more detail.

LONG TERM FOCUS: Eggs

eggs-in-a-basket

So, let’s assume you have run out of eggs, you are allergic to eggs, or you are now vegan and won’t eat eggs.  How do you make your favorite foods?  There are substitutes.  Check out this article, 13 Effective Substitutes for Eggs.  Eight of these substitutes are listed here:  applesauce 1/4 c. = 1 egg; mashed bananas 1/4 c. = 1 egg; ground flaxseeds or chia seeds 1 TB seeds _ 3 TB water until fully absorbed; silken tofu 1/4 c. = 1 egg; vinegar and baking soda 1 tsp soda + 1 TB vinegar; yogurt or buttermilk 1/4 c. = 1 egg; Arrowroot powder (it resembles corn starch.  2 TB + 3 TB water = 1 egg

You can buy dehydrated eggs here: Amazon.com: Augason Farms Dried Whole Egg Product 2 lbs 1 oz No. 10 Can: Sports & Outdoors.

SHORT TERM FOCUS: Peanut Butter

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Marti’s Corner – 11

Marti’s Corner – 11

NOTES:

* Here is a packet of seeds like the one I mentioned last week. There are 40 different varieties of seeds. They are 100% heirloom. This means that you can save the seeds from year to year. There is a 5-year shelf life if kept in a cool, dark place. There is a 30-year shelf life if kept in the freezer. AND there are a gardening book that comes with it—16,500 Heirloom Vegetable Seeds 40 Variety Kit. The cost is $35. You cannot buy 40 seed packets for that price. But, in some of the varieties, you only get a few seeds. For example, bush beans only have 12 seeds included. Zucchini has only 8 seeds.  Anyway, check it out. Even though you only have 8 zucchini plants, just 1 or 2 zucchini, let go to seed will give you dozens of seeds for future use.

* Here is another choice Spring Garden Bundle. The number of seeds is not listed but probably similar.

Picture of lots of seeds

* One last choice from Seed Armory.

* I wanted to share this video by my friend, Kris. He has been getting his family prepared for a while now, as you can see from this site. He just finished this video:  How to Build 1 Year of Food Storage – Ultimate Guide – YouTube. Everything you need to know and all the “how to’s” included!

* I just found this website. Mary’s Nest: Mary’s Nest – YouTube She has videos on EVERYTHING: sourdough starters, stocking a pantry, how to preserve crisp pickles, homemade yogurt, natural remedies for colds and flu. It’s a treasure trove of information. Check it out!

LONG TERM FOCUS: Rice

Rice

If you are still unsure about packing rice, here is a YouTube video to show you how. How to Store Bulk Rice – YouTube

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 COOKINGFIRST AIDFOODGARDENINGMARTI’S CORNERSKILL, city prepping, prepping, preparations, food preparations, food storage

 

Cinder Block Rocket Stove

Partly the reason has been health issues (not Covid-19), and partly the reason has been a husband who has been working a lot more than usual (totally Covid-19). Even though it hasn’t been a productive fall for writing, it’s been a very productive fall for resilience activities. I’m excited to tell you about them, starting with the fun experiment of the cinder block rocket stove.

As I’ve written here and here, we cook mainly off-grid. In winter there’s the wood cook stove. In summer there’s the All-American sun oven and the camp stove, a ten year old dual-fuel Coleman. We have an electric kettle, a toaster oven and a crock pot as well, but I consider these to be convenience devices, mainly used for integrating the 9-5 life with the farm life as seamlessly as possible.

In short, they provide caffeine to the wage earner who gets up way earlier than I want to start a breakfast fire, and a ready hot meal at the end of the (now very few) days the kids and I spend away from home. Very nice. Not essential.

What is essential is that camp stove. I need it for meals on warm but cloudy or rainy days, for quick meals during the heavy work months, for eggs which provide most of our summer animal protein, for the scalding pot. It keeps the cooking heat out of the house. It keeps the wet feathers out of the house.

What if it failed? Some rust is apparent. What if I couldn’t afford or couldn’t get the gasoline, or maybe just forgot to refill the can? It will also run on kerosene, but boy is that stuff expensive.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Lost Art of Scratch Cooking

The Lost Art of Scratch Cooking

If you compare the meals served in many of the kitchens today to meals served 100+ years ago, there is one very big difference.  Nearly every meal served in North America has at least one dish that has come from a box, bag, or pouch.

Take breakfast, for example.  Did you have toast?  If so, did you make the bread?  Cereal?  One of those little packs of Quaker oatmeal, all flavored up and just waiting for you to add water?  Did your breakfast originate in the freezer?  Frozen toaster versions of pancakes, waffles, and pastries abound in many kitchens.

Several years ago, I did a “Scratch Challenge” during which everything we ate had to be made from scratch – no convenience ingredients allowed.  It wasn’t until I did this that I realized that even in my fairly “clean” kitchen, there still remained a lot of processed items.

If you do a quick survey of your own kitchen, you may be surprised at what you find.  I discovered that the best way to clean up my act was to focus on cooking only from scratch.  Now, my kitchen has only a few holdouts, most of which are there for food storage purposes.

Some of the most common processed items that “sneak in” are dairy and grain products:

  • Bread
  • Yogurt
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Crackers
  • Pitas
  • Tortillas
  • Cereal
  • Pasta

None of these would be incredibly difficult to make, but they ARE time-consuming.  In a world that is ever-increasingly geared towards convenience, few people take the time to roll out noodles or bake cookies these days.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why Cast Iron is a Prepper Essential

Why Cast Iron is a Prepper Essential

Ready-Nutrition-Cast Iron
There’s nothing better than a hard day in the winter of cutting wood than coming home at the end of the day with a Dutch oven sitting on top of your wood stove with elk cuts, carrots, potatoes, onions, celery, and garlic marinating in broth and seasoned up…hot and ready to eat. In the morning, just add some wood to the fire you banked, heat up the stove, and make a nice stack of pancakes on your cast iron griddle along with some eggs and bacon.

Cast iron is coming back into fashion in a lot of ways. Even in the cities, many people cook over a gas stove with cast iron cookware. Poisonous Teflon coating is avoided, as well as “Chinese Steel,” a term of yours truly to describe steel that appears to be stainless, but is not totally steel and is mixed with other metals. Aluminum is not good to cook with and high concentrations in the bloodstream are linked to Alzheimer’s in studies.

Cast iron is durable, versatile, and not expensive. It can work on the happy Hallmark home stovetop, on a wood stove, or over a campfire. The main reason people do not use it is that they perceive it as something that is difficult to clean, and it really is not. If it’s well seasoned and you don’t burn the food in it, then cleaning it is easy. Seasoning is a way to prepare your cast iron cookware by cleaning it and oiling it (with food oil, nothing petroleum-based), and then baking it in an oven for an hour or more until the oil dries.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Much Money Do You Save by Cooking at Home?

This post is adapted from the blog of wellio, a Priceonomics Data Studio customer. Does your company have interesting data? Become a Priceonomics customer.

***

Intuitively, we all know there are benefits to cooking at home. You can use healthier ingredients, set portions to a reasonable size, avoid food allergies, and of course you can save money compared to ordering restaurant delivery or using a meal kit service.

But just how much money do you save by cooking at home? We decided to analyze our recipe data to find out the true cost of cooking at home from scratch, compared to delivery from a restaurant or a meal kit service. 

We analyzed data from Priceonomics customer wellio, a platform that breakds down millions of recipes into single ingredients and matching those to grocery items from local stores. That allows us to measure the ingredient cost for a wide variety of recipes. For 86 popular dinner recipes, we decided to look at the average cost per serving of cooking from scratch and compare it to the cost per serving of ordering from a restaurant or a meal kit delivery service.

We found on average, it is almost five times more expensive to order delivery from a restaurant  than it is to cook at home. And if you’re using a meal kit service as a shortcut to a home cooked meal, it’s a bit more affordable, but still almost three times as expensive as cooking from scratch.

When cooking at home, you’ll save a substantial amount of money on carb-based meals like pasta or pizza, and you’ll save the most on protein-based meals when compared to ordering from a restaurant or meal kits.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Dark Kitchen: Uncivilizing the Table

DARK KITCHEN: UNCIVILISING THE TABLE

Today we begin a new series that explores food and eating in times of collapse. During this Lenten month we’ll travel through different kingdoms and terrains, sharpening our appetites and cooking knives, in the company of artists, filmmakers, writers and activists – starting with an introduction by series editor Charlotte Du Cann.

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We are looking at a plate. Tiny translucent slices of fish are artfully arranged around its rim. It is 1990 and we are in a Japanese restaurant in downtown Manhattan. ‘Who is going first?’ we wonder and laugh nervously. I am with Hamilton and Steve. We’ll all go at once we decide and put the poisonous raw fugu in our mouths, declaring that a tingling was definitely happening. The dish costs $50.

We are looking at a plate. On it piled in chunky layers are home-baked sourdough bread, crispy seaweed and a poached egg. It is 2017 and we are outside in the lee of the Dorset cliffs, cooking on a camping stove. Everyone wants to go first. I am with Caroline, Jack and Mark and yesterday we cut the bright green fronds from the rocks, as the aquamarine sea swirled about our feet. We declare this is possibly the best breakfast we have ever had and laugh.

This is a story about food and powerdown. It could seem like a personal story except that it is not: it is a social story about how everything changes when you break the illusions your civilisation is wrapped in.  In 1990 I am staying in the Algonquin Hotel, covering the US fashion collections, and I know nothing about the industrial food system; in 2017 I am staying in a hut on a beach, talking about Dark Mountain, and I know all its dark secrets.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Preparedness Tip: Cooking Without Power, Part 1

Preparedness Tip: Cooking Without Power, Part 1

Thanks to a reliable power grid Americans aren’t used to the “lights going out” often, but when they do many are surprised to also lose their cooking means—stovetop elements, ovens, microwaves, toasters, and coffeemakers. Everything Americans use on a daily basis for food preparation needs a plug. Even gas stoves rely on power to light the burners (a few gas ranges have battery-powered igniters). In the coming hard times power will be down for at least several months and possibly several years depending on your area.

Worse, the best retreat sites are in rural areas which won’t merit priority for restoring power. Even natural gas, which relies on electric power to operate its pipelines and distribution, will fail—unless your service is one of the few that use natural gas generators to keep pumps going.

A 1000 gallon propane tank is the easiest way to store a lot of cooking fuel: it is cheap, lasts indefinitely and is easy to put in and have filled. Propane is cheapest in the summer so get enough propane on-site that you can go a whole year without having to dip into your reserves—preferably several hundred gallons.

If you need to get another tank as backup now is a good time—propane prices have been so cheap recently, you can install another tank for 1/3 the cost. Connect both tanks together with an isolation valve between them so a leak in one doesn’t empty both tanks.

Even if you have natural gas, it is worth getting propane as a backup. You can buy replacement jet nozzles for all your natural gas appliances like the stove, oven, dryer and water heater and convert to run on propane. Many modern gas appliances already also have an “LP” (liquid propane) attachment point and have two sizes of jets inside, so switching over is easy.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

The Value of Learning To Cook

The Value of Learning To Cook

The potential of food to add beauty/pleasure to everyday life should not be under-estimated.

I have been discussing job skills for the past five days, but life skills are equally valuable. For example, knowing how to cook. Knowing how to cook offers benefits beyond just saving money (though that is important); when you know how to cook:

1. You and your household will eat healthier, better-tasting food

2. You can create joy by sharing what you make with friends/neighbors/roommates

3. You gain the power and confidence that comes with having useful skills

4. You can add beauty and pleasure to your life and the lives of others

5. You can dramatically improve your health

6. Your value as a spouse, roommate, friend, colleague etc. rises

7. You can save money for investing or spending on higher-priority items/experiences

8. You have a daily creative outlet

The joys of cooking are varied and flexible. Once you gain the basic skills of prep (chopping, slicing, etc.), stir-frying, sauteeing, baking, etc., then just about any recipe is open to you.

It takes a lot of practice to create beautiful food (presentation), but this is a bonus. I am not adept enough to fashion such perfect spring rolls as the lady of the household; these were her first spring rolls, made a week or so ago (the dipping sauce is from Charles Pham’s cookbook Vietnamese Home Cooking):

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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