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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…

Marti’s Corner – 49

Marti’s Corner – 49

Marti's Corner at City PreppingHi Everyone,

NOTES:

*  And…….just like that…….it’s cold.  Okay, it’s not Indiana cold, just California cold.  Even though we’ve had frost on the lawn, my tomatoes have not died yet.  I have maybe 2 dozen green tomatoes and I’m just hoping they will ripen (at least blush so I can bring them inside).  I got ONE zucchini, and ONE yellow squash, so we are having them for dinner in a recipe I made up.  I call it Andrew-ala-Toni because it was my son’s favorite dish when he was little.  The recipe is below.

*  My peaches that I canned back in 2016 are looking sad.  But I didn’t want to just throw them away.  So into the blender, they went (after I drained most of the water).  I didn’t need to add any sweetener because I used a medium syrup when I canned them.  I blended them up, spread them on sheets for the dehydrator, and in they went.  This is my second batch.  The fruit leather from the first batch is really good!!!  I’m including it in all my Christmas boxes for my kids.  What child doesn’t like fruit leather?  Now the jars are freed up for other things.

*  I want to share that I finally made a successful batch of almond Roca!  I’ve tried several times and could never get it right.  This year, I found the winning recipe (see below).  I’ve made three batches so far.  Chocolate chips are on sale at Winco for less than $2

*  My lettuce is flourishing!  In fact, it’s time for me to pull out the lettuce that is bolting and plant 2 new tubs.  It takes 4-5 weeks before you can harvest the lettuce.

*  Thank you to Paul Diffley for sending me this link:  5 Imported Foods From China You Should Avoid

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

Marti’s Corner – 40

Marti’s Corner – 40

*  So I decided to follow my own advice and can some vegetables this week.  I bought 20 pounds of potatoes for $6 and then went here:  Canning Potatoes  Last time I canned potatoes, I did NOT soak them first to get the starch out.  When I opened them, I had to rinse them really well to use them.  PLUS, after about 6 years, they have “grayed” somewhat.  I have to kind of sort them and discard the gray pieces.  This week’s final tally:  20 pounds of potatoes = 33-pint jars.

*  AND I dehydrated some corn.  It was $1.39 at Winco.  (prices are climbing!!)  This was all sparked by a recipe I found for Wild Rice and Vegetable soup.  I’ve included the recipe below.  Add meat if you want.  But I’m thinking I’ll make some “Mylar Meals” and give them to my kids for Christmas.  The recipe says it serves 6-8 (that will work for all my kids) and it only uses 1 TB of corn, carrots, etc.  So the 5 pounds of corn that I dehydrated should work.  LOL

*  My garden is still producing.  The cooler temps are allowing the plants to set fruit again.  My lettuce is growing again.  Here is an October guide for zones 9-10.  October Garden Checklist Zones 9-10 | Kellogg Garden Organics™

*  THIS week is the Great California ShakeOut.  The official event will happen on Thursday, October 21, at 10:21.  Your church or school may choose to have their drill on another day, but it will be sometime around then.  Be SURE to talk to your family members about what to do when there is a real emergency.

*  Paul Diffley shared this link with me.  He says they still have stock.  He asked for a discount and they gave him 10% off his second order…

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

6 Just-Add-Water Meals That Belong In Your Prepper Pantry

6 Just-Add-Water Meals That Belong In Your Prepper Pantry

When we are faced with dramatic emergency situations, convenience can help keep us calm and eliminate some of the added stress that’s inevitable during a crisis.  That’s why convenience is one of the basic rules to creating a solid emergency food pantry.

When we are faced with dramatic emergency situations, convenience can help keep us calm and eliminate some of the added stress that’s inevitable during a crisis.  That’s why convenience is one of the basic rules to creating a solid emergency food pantry.

 Many busy moms know that boxed dinners can be a time saver when you are in a pinch. Having some pre-packaged items or just-add-water meals during emergency scenarios will help you begin acclimating yourself to cooking in a grid-down scenario as well as can help provide some comfort at the same time.  Keep in mind, however, that those pre-packaged meals are most often not as nutritious as other meals, but you will need to weigh your options in times of crisis. Sometimes, beating the stress is simply more important. Another thing to watch for is making sure you are keeping dietary restrictions in mind.  For example, if you or a member of your family have celiac disease, you would want to avoid anything not specifically labeled “gluten-free.”

But if you just want some quick “just add water meals” to store in case the grid goes down, or worse, these are all excellent options. Plus, you could easily buy these in bulk either at the grocery store or on Amazon!

  1. Hamburger helper – This can be turned into a soup, especially if you have some beef bouillon on hand! It isn’t half bad either! Just add a lot of water, and some additional beef bouillon to flavor the water, and viola! Hamburger helper soup!

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

How to Make Meat Powder – A DIY Recipe

How to Make Meat Powder – A DIY Recipe

If they ever had to turn to their food preps out of a pure emergency, many preppers would find it extremely tough to make it through on rice, beans, and canned goods alone.  Getting the right nutrient mix and maintaining that through an extended disaster is of vital importance.  When it comes to protein, flavor, vitamins, and nutrients, meat has to be a part of the equation.  Hunting protein sources may not be a possibility.  Stored jerky has a short shelf life and can be hard to chew and process.  Freeze-dried meats are ideal, but they’re also expensive.

In this post, we will preserve and store our meat the way people have done for thousands of years by making it into meat powder.  It may sound gross, but you’ve probably already eaten it regularly when you’ve used bouillion or beef or chicken flavorings.  In our homemade product, however, we get to control the ingredients, so we’re not ingesting strange ingredients from factories around the world.  Just 3 ounces of our meat powder will add to your largely fiber beans and rice 140 calories, folate, iron, zinc, choline, magnesium, selenium, coenzyme Q10, B2, B6, and B12 vitamins, an incredible 24 grams of protein, tons of flavor and a mere 4 grams of fat.  It’s the beefy flavor addition to any meal, which will be the main reason you’re going to want to make this and get meat powder in your preps and cooking.  I will show you how to make it. Then I’ll show you how to use it.   Let’s do this…

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Beef heart.

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

Pemmican – Proven Ancient Survival Food – DIY

Pemmican – Proven Ancient Survival Food – DIY

Indigenous people of North America, trappers, and early settlers all owe their lives to pemmican.  It’s a dense, high-protein, high-energy food that can be stored easily on a stable temperature shelf for an incredible five years.  It has the right mix of fats, proteins, and calories to keep you going long into the aftermath of any disaster or for many miles down any trail.

There are hundreds of variants to this ancient food, but most are generally a mix of meat, berries, and fats.

WHAT YOU NEED

For this recipe, you simply need about 3 to 5 pounds of lean beef, 2 cups worth of dehydrated berries, salt, water, and tallow.  You can either obtain your tallow from the store or render your own, as I show you how to do in another post.   You will also need a dehydrator or oven with a low setting and a food processor, or else you will have to powder both your dried meats and berries manually.  A cookie sheet, wax paper, and a bowl and spatula are everything you will need.

Moose for pemmican

For this recipe, I am using beef because living in the suburbs doesn’t allow me to use and eat elk, moose, bison, caribou, seal, deer, or other meats.  If you have access to any of those meats, your pemmican will taste even better, in my opinion.  Generally, everyone has access to beef, so we’ll use it here for our basic recipe.  If you want to make your beef taste a little gamier, it is common practice to add organ meat to it.  This will also significantly boost the nutritional quality of the food.

…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…

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…

Solar Dehydrator: A Very Appropriate Technology

Solar Dehydrator: A Very Appropriate Technology

Some of our modern tech is inappropriate. Rude. Too gaseous for the air, too messy for the planet.

But some technologies are easy on the Earth by nature, leveraging the existing energy flows that surround us. Personally, it’s the hand tools, the solar tools and the things that work all by themselves that bring the most value to my life. There’s no substitute for a mattock and a couple of good shovels, which leverage human effort into great effects with a negligible environmental impact. I love the wood stove, the solar shower, the solar oven, the laundry rack, the ceiling fans and most especially, my new solar dehydrator.

The best tool isn’t one that just promises to make a job easier or faster, it’s one that makes a job possible, where before it was impossible. It’s so humid here even in drought conditions that I have a terrible time getting my home-grown hibiscus tea, hops and corn dry enough so they won’t mold in storage. The solar oven works too well for dehydration; it just cooks stuff. How on earth was I going to dry apple rings or tomatoes?

I could get an electric dehydrator for a hundred bucks, pay to run it, and then pay for extra AC to cool the house back down. No thanks.

It turns out, two of my homeschooling/homesteading friends were having similar thoughts. We got together with these free plans from Appalachian State and made our dehydration dreams a reality. Working together is wonderful partly because it’s fun, partly because teenagers provide built-in babysitting, and partly because you can pool your extras.

The plans specify about $300 worth of materials, but I think we spent about $200 total to build three dehydrators. Somebody had some plywood and hinges lying around.

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

3 Emergency Cooking Ideas Anyone Can Do

3 Emergency Cooking Ideas Anyone Can Do

Going without power because of a natural disaster can be stressful. There are steps you can take to plan for the next storm and one of these is to set up a system for emergency cooking.

Going without power because of a natural disaster can be stressful. There are steps you can take to plan for the next storm and one of these is to set up a system for emergency cooking | PreparednessMama

 

I think it is fun when the power goes out and we have a chance to pull out the camp stove and use it. I actually have separate pots and pans to use on my outdoor stove and even though we almost always use this as our emergency cooking source, it’s a good idea to plan for more than one way to cook in an emergency.

When the storm hits and you are without power for a few hours, days, or even weeks, how will you heat water and cook food?

Those of you who go camping regularly will probably have today’s topic covered. For the rest of us, who don’t take the time to “rough it”, we will be taking a look at the things you can set up for emergency cooking without power.

Plan for More than One Way to Cook in an Emergency

A camp stove works great, but if you run out of fuel you will be stuck. With a little advance preparation, you can make all of these ideas at home and they will cost pennies to make.

Tin Can Stove

This stove is created using a #10 can, a tuna can, wax, and cardboard. A tin can stove and buddy burners have been around since the Great Depression. It was our “go to” cooking source when I was a Girl Scout!

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

Ideas, Thoughts And Observations On Home Canning

Ideas, Thoughts And Observations On Home Canning

We’ve only two adults in the household these days (not counting pets of any age) and here’s a few ideas I use for ‘down sizing’ & trying to manage the food rotation. All just a few basic ideas, humble opinions, etc., that I’m happy to share with any & all that may be interested.

1. When I home can foods, I use MORE PINT JARS than quart jars simply because we are two and not four or more, right now. Exceptions most noteworthy being food products the two of us use a lot of, like tomatoes, tomato based sauces, salsa mixes, & quick pickled veggies, simply because our two, singular yet like-minded taste palates can eagerly consume a quart of any within a week or so. So, nothing goes to waste and most things that are well processed and if not used within a year can also remain ‘shelf safe’ for a much longer time.

For another food example, my husband & I could both eat green beans or green garden peas eight days a week (so I have canned both green beans and green peas in quart jars) but canned carrots, not so much. Not that there’s anything wrong with canned carrots, ha, ha, ha, – – – just not a ‘go to’ canned veggie for us! I mostly only need a smaller amount of carrots for certain soup, stew and casserole recipes. Therefore, carrots are assigned pint jars only, for now. Saves on food waste.

I’m also hoping to teach myself how to (properly & consistently) can preserves, jams & jellies – which I hear ??? isn’t as scary as I imagine – this summer. Since a) this will be an ‘experiment’ of sorts and b) we love such but don’t need or crave such every week, I’ll be starting out with even smaller, 1/2 pint (one cup), jars.

…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…

 

 

How to make Meals in a Jar

How to make Meals in a Jar.

How much easier would it be to have a meal ready to cook by only adding water, or adding some meat and maybe some canned tomatoes?  There are many books on the market for making meals in a jar for meat eaters and vegetarians plus dehydrated meals for hikers and campers.  If using dehydrated or freeze dried meat, the only item necessary to add is water.  You can make your own MRE’s at a fraction of the price.  If properly sealed, meals in a jar or Mylar pouch will last easily 7-10 years!  So let’s get started.

The first thing I did was to learn how to make mixes for baking and soups, etc. by reading and by watching youtube.com.  I have several links at the bottom that will introduce recipes; but more important, basic skills to learn.  Improperly sealed jars or pouches means food goes to waste to soon.

The first process I go through in developing a mix or a recipe is to identify which recipes I use that are adaptable to storing in a jar.  I look for those with a majority of dry ingredients.  I lean toward recipes with lots of dried veggies including beans.  You will see a video later on how to treat beans if you want to use them in your meals in a jar.  Pasta in any form is great.  As a Vegan, I do not use real meat, but there are many meat substitutes out there many with beef or chicken flavorings.

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

Pad Your Pantry: How to Preserve Your Thanksgiving Leftovers |

Pad Your Pantry: How to Preserve Your Thanksgiving Leftovers |.

The day after Thanksgiving, most people’s refrigerators are so full with leftovers that getting to door shut requires the family engineer to play Tupperware Jenga with all of the containers of food. Inevitably, in many households, much of the leftovers go to waste after the 10th turkey sandwich in a row.  In this economy, none of us can afford to let anything go to waste, however. There’s a lot more you can do with those leftovers besides referring to your book of 101 Ways to Make a Turkey Sandwich. The preserving goes way past turkey – there are lots of tasty ways to preserve your other leftovers too.

Today, instead of fighting the Black Friday crowds, spend the day adding things that are frugal and delicious to your pantry.

Freezing

Nearly all leftovers can be successfully frozen and used in other meals.  For Tess Pennington’s guidelines on freezing food, click HERE.

  • Freeze vegetables in cheese sauce to be used later in a pureed soup.  Cheesy cauliflower and cheesy broccoli soup are big hits in our household.  Simply thaw the veggies in cheese sauce and add to some white potatoes boiled in water.  Thin the mixture down as desired with milk and serve piping hot.
  • Freeze chopped meat mixed with gravy as the basis for a future speedy stew.  If you want, you can also add cooked carrots and roasted potatoes to the mixture.
  • Freeze leftover dinner rolls.  You can reheat them as needed to use as rolls or you can dice them finely and freeze them for use in stuffing.
  • Freeze desserts in individual servings for brown bag treats.  They’ll be thawed out and delicious by lunch time.
  • Freeze single servings of casseroles, lasagnas, etc.  You’ll have the best lunches in the office!

– See more at: http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/pad-your-pantry-how-to-preserve-your-thanksgiving-leftovers-11282014#sthash.hNkuKQfc.dpuf

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