Sunday, October 9, 2011

REAL Cream of Wheat

Have you ever made homemade cream of wheat?  It does not even resemble the stuff you buy in the box and it is YUMMY, and so good for you.  I made some this week and took pictures in case you have not tried it. 

First you need to grind the wheat very coarsely.  My electric wheat grinder can't do coarse enough.  My hand grinder can but it's too big of a pain to drag out so I use this handy little coffee grinder.  (You can also use a blender with the pulse setting.)

Just put a handful of wheat in there and grind it until it looks roughly like this:

I actually usually don't do it quite this fine because I like the larger pieces in my cereal. They kind of pop in your mouth when you are eating them and they are SO good! Anyway, once you grind your wheat, bring about 1 cup of milk and a pinch of salt almost to a boil on the stove and then add 1/2 cup of your ground wheat. Whisk it to prevent lumps.

Cook over low heat 10-20 minutes depending on how fine you have ground your wheat.  Use the longer time for more coarse wheat.  You also may need to add more milk to get the desired thickness.  Continue to stir ocassionally.  When the cereal is cooked add a half a tsp of vanilla and brown sugar if you want - I definitely do!

Yea I do stir that in before I eat it  :)

One of my favorite breakfasts on a cold morning, and it is really good for you (minus the brown sugar maybe  :)

Also, I found Ghee on sale at Costco this month!  If you don't know what that is, it's clarified butter.  Keeps for 6-12 months and does not need to be refrigerated.  I bought a Costco sized bottle for just $15 which is a screamin good deal for Ghee.

The guy at checkout was fairly dubious I knew what to do with this.  He said, "Do you know what this is?"  I promised him I did.  He was not convinced and said, looking at my lilly white skin "You know Indians are the ones who use this."  HaHa!

Ghee on homemade bread
 Anyway, if you've never used Ghee it does taste like butter but has a more grainy texture.  It will become hard if you put it in the fridge but on the counter stays at a more liquid state.  It does melt normally on toast and stuff but definitely takes some getting used to.  Believe me, if it's all you had, you would LOVE it.  However, it does need to be rotated regularly with such a short shelf life so if your family doesn't like it enough to use it now it might not work for you.

Also, if you live near a WinCo - ours began carrying Gamma lids a short while ago and they are just $6.49!  That is a great price and I love these screw on lids for 5 gallon buckets.  It's so much easier to get in and out of my buckets and keep things rotated.  I did notice that Emergency Essentials also has them on sale right now if you need some and don't have a WinCo.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Canning Pears

Every year my friend places are large order of pears from the LDS church's pear orchards, and every year I can them. 
Pears are actually the only fruit that I like canned.  Everything else gets too mushy for me.  Anyway, this year I took a bunch of pictures so I could blog about it.

To start with, pears only require waterbath canning so you don't need a pressure canner for this. Besides the canner (or even just a giant pot really), you need basic canning supplies and jars and lids.  Some people really prefer Ball jars over Kerr but I've used both and didn't see any difference.  I do, however, only use wide mouth jars.  They are easier to fill and empty.  Amazon has a pretty nice section devoted just to canning supplies and information.  Shop around though because Walmart's prices are sometimes cheaper.

First I ran my jars and rings through the dishwasher to clean and sterilize them.  I just left them in there until I was ready to fill them so they would be nice and hot.  Cold jars into a hot canner = exploding glass. And yes, I speak from sad experience.....

Then I filled up a big container of water and added some Fruit Fresh.  This keeps the pears from turning brown.  You can also use lemon juice.

Peel the pears, cut them in half and use a melon baller to core them.  You can cut them into smaller pieces of you want but it just seemed like extra work to me, plus I like them bigger so they retain as much of their shape as possible.  I kept the pears in the Fresh Fruit solution until they went into the jars.

Pears must be packed in a solution of water and sugar or fruit juice.  It's up to you which to use. I have tried both and I didn't not like the juice nearly as much.  Sugar is added to improve flavor, help stabilize color, and retain the shape of the fruit. It is not added as a preservative. When making the sugar water syrup you can make it heavy, medium, or light, depending on what you prefer.  My family likes the medium.  To prepare syrup, heat water, add sugar slowly, stirring constantly to dissolve. Bring to a gentle boil. After preparing the liquid syrup, keep it hot (but not boiling).

Sugar Syrup

2 cups
6 cups
7 cups
3 cups
6 cups
6 1/2 cups
4 cups
6 cups
7 cups

Now I had multiple items going on the stove.  First the water was heating in the canner, plus I had my lids sterilizing in a small pot, and finally I had the syrup heating so it would be ready to add to the jars.

Once everything was hot and ready to go, I could add the pears to the quart jars.  I only took a couple out of the dishwasher at a time to preserve heat.  Then I carefully placed the pears in the jar packing them tightly without squishing them.  Now many people hot pack the pears, meaning they boil them in the sugar water for 5 minutes or so before putting them in the jars.  I have always cold packed them and they turn out fine.

Once the pears are in the jar you need to pour some of your syrup in the jar, leaving about 1/2 inch head space.  The pears should be covered completely by the syrup.  Then take a knife and release all the air bubble trapped under the pears.

Finally, wipe the top of the jars with a clean, dry, towel to remove any moisture or food particles that might prevent a good seal.  Carefully take a lid from the hot water and place it on your jar with a ring.  Do not over tighten the lid.  Turn the ring until it just tightens and then stop.

 Place the jars carefully into the canner.  They should be covered with at least 1 inch of water.  Also, never put jars directly on the bottom of the canner, they need to go on a rack like the ones that come with the canner.  Use the chart below to calculate your processing time:

Water Bath Times. Recommended process time for Pears, halved or sliced in a boiling-water canner,  in pints or quart jars.
Process Time at Altitudes of
Jar size
0 - 1,000 ft
1,001 - 3,000 ft
3,001 - 6,000 ft
Above 6,000 ft

20 min
25 min

After processing, use your jar grabber to carefully remove your jars from the canner.  Do not tilt the jars as you remove them, and carefully place them on a towel or rack.  Again, placing them on a cool, or even room temperature, counter can cause the jars to crack or explode.

Leave the jars out for 24 hours without touching or bumping them.  After they are cooled, you can tell if they're sealed by pushing on the center of the lid and listening for a popping sound.  If the lid pops, it did not seal.  You will need to put that jar into the fridge and eat it soon.

When you are ready to put the jars into storage (store in a cool, dark place for maximum shelf life) be sure to remove the rings.  Lids can sometimes lose their seal and then reseal if the ring is still on tight.  You will never know the seal was compromised.  If you remove the rings the lid can not reseal.

Canned pears will maintain quality best when stored up to 66 months at 40/F, 40 months at 70/F, or 15 months at 90/F. 

On a related note, I also canned more chicken.  I did breasts this time but since I had used up all my quart jars, I had to do them in pint jars.  That was a mistake because a pint jar only holds 1 1/2 chicken breasts  LOL!  Way too small for my family.  Still it's all I had so I did it.

I really can't get over how EASY it is to can chicken.  I was cramming it in between a soccer game and a baptism and didn't have any trouble.  I also tried my re-usable canning lids on a couple of them.  Last time I had trouble with those sealing but this time I lightly tightened the rings as normal, and then after I took them out of the canner I tightened them down further.  Both of mine sealed correctly.

For a more detailed post on canning chicken please see my previous post: Canning Chicken with Re-Usable Canning Lids.

Yes, I am aware that canned chicken looks like a Biology dissection experiment waiting to happen, however, if you can get past the looks, it really is incredibly convenient and delicious.  You don't add any liquid when canning chicken so what you are seeing is pure chicken broth from that chicken.  Plus, it does not need to be refrigerated so you can take this chicken camping without having to worry about keeping it in the ice chest.  Or if you get home late and have to throw dinner together in a hurry, there you have precooked chicken just ready to shred or chop into whatever recipe.  I really can't say enough about how great it is!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I Must Be Crazy!

So I bit the bullet and decided to agree to be a guest on a blog radio show for preparedness. It's called the "Doctor Prepper Show" - so cute right?! Anyway, it's a live show so I'm pretty nervous but I figure I'm only talking about what I know so it should be fine. Plus, I usually jump at any chance to help people become more prepared.
If you want to listen in, the show will be at 11am PST on Tuesday August 2nd. You can listen in at this link. If you listen live you can call in with questions. If you can't make it for the live show you can listen to the recorded version later.
Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Food Storage Cookbook

Anyone that has followed my blog at all knows that my whole adventure had just one purpose - figure out how to actually live off food storage. The hardest part of that was finding recipes that call for just food storage.

Well, that job just got a whole lot easier! My good friend just started a blog called MyFoodStorageCookbook where she lists hundreds of food storage only recipes that she has tried. She also introduces her recipe system that she uses to keep it all rotated and to ensure that her family has something different to eat every single day for a whole year if they had to live off their storage. AMAZING!

I encourage you to take a look.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Powdered Peanut Butter

Did you know that peanut butter does not have a long shelf life? I didn't. Duh. You would think the fact that it's practically swimming in oils would have clued me in but no. I bought a whole years worth before I realized I had a problem.

It really is a tragedy. Peanut butter is beautiful on so many levels. First it's a good protein source, it's also a great thickener, it's delicious, and in a pinch it really will satisfy a sweet tooth if you have nothing else. But alas, I have to move on to peanut butter plan B.

So I purchase some powdered peanut butter. Not my idea of fun, but then neither is living without peanut butter. I found a company that seemed very excited about their product AND they would let me purchase just a small trial package - BONUS! I love that some companies are doing that now. No more buying a #10 can of something just to try it and find you hate it.
However, if you are ready to take the plunge and get a whole jar of it, you can also find it at Amazon, which is very convenient because I pretty much shop there weekly......

Anyway, they actually have different flavors of peanut butter, one of which is CHOCOLATE peanut butter. Seriously. I would never kid about chocolate for food storage. Of course I bought a trial package of that too.

So here is the run down. Instructions say it is 2 parts PB powder to one part water. I tried that and the flavor was actually really good, however the consistency was a bit off. So next I tried half/half water and oil with the PB powder. That made the consistency better, but now the flavor was off.

In the end I decided that it is better with just the water. I can live with a slightly different consistency. Plus I'm imagining 1,000 beautiful uses for chocolate peanut butter in food storage :)

The shelf life of powdered peanut butter is not fabulous, just 12 months, but that is probably because there are no preservatives in it. The only ingredients are roasted peanuts, sugar, and salt. It's a solid alternative to regular peanut butter but it will have to be rotated regularly.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

When Camping Spots Attack..........

Ok, so I HATE camping! Totally and completely. I didn't always feel this way, when I was a kid I thought it was the greatest thing ever, but that was back when I didn't plan, pack, cook, clean, or care about dirt. Now I'm the mom and seriously, WHAT can be fun about living in the dirt and trying to feed your family out of an ice chest? But I digress.....

There is one upside to camping for me and that is that camping supplies, by their very nature, are emergency perparation items, SO when I found myself unavoidably forced to go camping last week I resolved to at least stock up on a bunch of emergency preparedness "necessities."

I figured if I was going to have to camp, I was at least going to be as comfortable as possible so we went to Cabelas and practically bought out the store's camping section. I'm not kidding. We had THREE sales guys helping us load all our stuff on a big pallet cart. They were so excited I could tell they were looking at all the stuff we were buying and thinking "Well our jobs are secure for the rest of the year!"

Not to make anyone jealous but we got 2 tents (one is 10x20!), a nice, large cooking stove with accessories, a kitchen complete with a kitchen sink :), a shower WITH hot water, a giant shade screen to fit around our picnic table and kitchen to avoid bugs, 2 double high air mattresses with sleeping bags that convert to a bed set so you aren't squished into a narrow sleeping bag, plus a host of other things. Yep I was going to be camping in style and getting prepared at the same time, or so I thought.

So we traveled all the way down to Arches, UT for our little adventure and truthfully I was excited to try out my new stuff. It took us four hours to set up camp but I figured it would be worth it. We were camping with all of my extended family, some in tents, and some had rented RV's that were in adjacent sites to our group site. You can see from the picture how awesome our spot was. Day one went great, I LOVED my kitchen and the new "beds" were so comfortable I slept like a baby all night. Day 2 was still going well when the men and older kids decided to go on an evening hike about 7pm, leaving us women folk at camp with the little children.

My sister and I watched the 2 littlest boys playing in the sand while the other kids were off playing somewhere nearby. We chatted at the picnic table enjoying the relative peace and quiet when all of the sudden we were hit with a wall of sand traveling up to 100 mph! We watched in horror as our 2 little boys were swallowed up by the sand. I ran to my 4 year old and did the only thing I could, I wrapped him up in a human cocoon to keep him safe while my bare arms and legs were pelted mercilessly by the flying sand. My mind was in a panic wondering where my other kids were but it was impossible for me to move the wind was so strong. As soon as it let up the littlest bit I picked up my son and ran for the tent thinking I would put him in it and search for my other kids. However I saw that the poles had come loose and were flying dangerously in the wind, it was about to collapse. I had to instead put him under the semi covered "porch" of tent number 2 and tell him to stay there with his eyes closed. I had no choice but to leave him to find my other 2 kids. I struggled against the sand and wind screaming their names but the storm was so loud no one could hear me. I started to panic. I had no idea where they were and no way to find them. I bumped into one of my nieces who yelled over the storm that she thought they made it to one of the RVs. I ran over there and opened the door. There was my 6 year old, on the floor of the RV curled up in the fetal position crying. My 8 year old daughter had found him tumbling down the road like a tumbleweed and rescued him. She sobbed to me, "I was with cousin Jacob too mom but I couldn't save them both. I had to save my brother. I don't know what happened to Jacob."

I think the storm (I hear they are called a microburst) lasted probably less than a minute but it felt like SO much longer. When it was all over everyone was safe but our camp was decimated. All of my stuff survived but only because we were on the side more sheltered by the trees, my siblings were not so lucky. Three tents were literally torn to shreds and their poles bent beyond repair. Everything we owned had sand in it. Even my camera which had been in my tent, in it's case, was full of sand. My sister's family spent the night in their van as nearly everything they brought was destroyed. The next day we packed up and left.

So what does this have to do with food storage? Well I learned that most of today's camping equipment is meant to be used in the cushiest of circumstances, in nice weather, in a nice campground. Of course you can buy extreme weather items, but who does that? Almost everything I own would be of no use unless conditions were basically beautiful.

I will say that when the weather was good everything functioned wonderfully. The hot showers were AMAZING and cooking was a breeze. I even brought my canned hamburger and made tacos. My siblings thought that was one of the coolest things ever, no need to refrigerate the meat, and didn't even have to cook it, just reheated it.

However, I'm no longer deluding myself into thinking that we could use our camping gear for any kind of long term, rugged emergency situtation. I'll have to consider that and make up a new plan. In the meantime, I am grateful that although I came by this knowledge the hard way, the only thing that was lost is replaceable. We feel so blessed that the people we love most were safe and in the end we were all reunited. After it was all over my mom said to me, "Why would God let this happen to us?" but all I can feel is gratitude that He protected us all when it did.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Canning Chicken with Re-useable Canning Lids

So I tried canning chicken several weeks ago but I'm only just now getting around to blogging about it. Pesky Spring Break vacations and such have kept me from my blog :)

So I wasn't initially going to bother canning chicken. I already store the store bought chicken in a can, which I don't mind the taste of, and it stretches pretty far. However, curiosity got the better of me as so many people sing the praises of home canning chicken. To make it interesting I decided to can boneless thighs and I used re-usable canning lids.

If you haven't heard of re-usable lids they are made by Tattler and supposedly you can use them over and over rather than having to throw them out after each use like the metal ones. I've been wanting to try them out for awhile because no matter how many lids I store, I'll eventually run out. Re-usable ones seem like a smarter way to go.

To start off, I boiled my lids and their rubber ring, just like you would with regular lids. The white lid you see in the pot is just like the regular metal canning lid, although it's not metal. The red ring you see is a rubber gasket that provides the seal. It is also re-usable.

You do not need to precook the chicken. It will cook as it boils in the canner. I put 1 tsp of chicken bouillon in the bottom of each jar. This is not necessary but I was interested in having really good broth for chicken soup. I cut all the fat off my boneless, skinless thighs, and then put them into the jars. There is no need to add any liquid. You should not pack them down tightly but they cook down quite a bit during the canning process. Next time I will put more in than I did this time. Make sure that you leave an inch of head room though.

Now the jars are ready to go into my canner. You can see in this photo the three jars in front showing the three steps to putting the lids on. First make sure your jar rim is clean. Then put on the rubber gasket. Next place the white lid on top. Finally, put on the metal ring. Tighten as you normally would, then turn BACK a 1/4 turn. That is the only thing that was different about using these lids.

I had my first canning accident as I put in my first jar of chicken. I had no sooner put it in the canner then I heard a giant CRACK! Ugh, the bottle had cracked and the bottom came off completely. It was my own fault, I had let the jars get too cool and then put them in the hot canner. I had to throw that whole jar away. Bummer. I ran hot water on the rest of the jars before putting them in the canner. Thankfully there were no other problems.

Here are my jars of chicken all done hot out of the canner. See that liquid? That is pure chicken broth baby! YUM! Ok, I know it doesn't look that appetizing. In fact my MIL came over, looks very skeptically at my jars and said, "Um, can I ask what that is?" I tried to answer as matter of factly as possible. "It's canned chicken." She said, "But you aren't going to eat it like that?" "Well, you certainly can, it's fully cooked, but I'll most likely be shredding it for enchiladas and such." She responded, "Well, you really are Miss Betty Homemaker aren't you?" LOL! I know we preparedness people look like freaks to the outside world. I'm totally ok with that.

So now for the bad news. I had a 50% fail rate on my re-useable lids. Half of them did not seal. However, I'm pretty sure that this was user error. I think I might have loosened them too much before putting them in the canner. So I'm going to give them another shot because I really like them. I definitely like the whole concept. I've used several jars of chicken since canning them and I just put the lids and rings in the dishwasher, and they are ready to be used again.

Here are a few of the items I have made with my canned chicken. It has been super convenient and really yummy. I absolutely love just grabbing a jar of chicken and using it in meals.

The first thing I made was chicken noodle soup so I used the broth and everything. I just dumped the whole jar into the crockpot and shredded up the chicken. It was really good, flavorful soup.

I also made homemade toquitos. Wow, they were so awesome! Usually these would be a lot more work but all I had to do was drain the chicken, shred it with a fork, and add it to my recipe. Awesome!

Finally tonight we had homemade chicken pot pie. Again, it would have taken a lot longer without the convenience of just grabbing the jar and shredding the chicken. Absolute perfection if I do say so myself. :)

I'm definitely a fan, and will continue to can both hamburger and chicken. I have a date to help my SIL can her meat too so I'm sure that she'll be converted soon as well. I find that the chicken goes a long way. We've only used 3 quart jars so far and we are feeding 8 people. I'm planning my canned meat as part of my 3 month supply since it does need to be rotated regularly. Canned meat expires in about a year.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Yet Another Attempt at Butter

Ok, I know my blogs on spreadable butter are endless but a friend gave me another recipe to try. If you can get past the "ick" factor it's actually pretty good! Here's the recipe:

1 lb shortening (I used butter flavor Crisco)
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 evap milk OR sweetened condensed milk

Whip the shortening and the salt until light. Add the evap milk a little at a time and blend.

I like it with the sweetened condensed milk better. It more closely resembled sweet cream butter, but my kids preferred the evap milk.

I know it's hard to get past the thought of eating Crisco, but if you can, the actual taste and consistency was pretty good. My biggest worry was that it would not melt. That's my hubby's biggest criteria. If it doesn't melt, he won't even try it. I put it on toast though and it melted right in just like butter.

Anyway, it's not the perfect solution yet, but it's one more idea. Plus, it's made of stuff I already store and it is shelf stable which is a plus.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Canning Hamburger

Ok I finally did it. I set some time aside and canned hamburger. I've been putting it off because I just couldn't imagine wanting to spend the time canning it when I can just throw it in the freezer. Well how WRONG I was! I'll tell you why later, but first let's get to the process.

First I fried up a bunch of ground beef from Costco. I'm not sure how much I started with but it was lean ground beef. You do not want to can high fat ground beef. I drained the meat well before putting it in the jars. You can cook this up with onions and other seasonings and can it like that. I did it plain just because then I can use it however I want later. Next time though I think I will fry it up with onions. I almost never use ground beef without onions.

Next I took sterile quart canning jars and I put one beef bouillon cube in the bottom. Some people use just water, some people use beef broth, but this is just the way I did it.

Next I added ground beef. I filled up the jars but did not pack them tightly. I think I might try packing in a little more next time because my jars didn't seem to hold as much meat as other people's. Once the meat was in, I filled the jars up with boiling water, leaving 1 inch of head room. Then I carefully wiped the rims and put the lids on.
Now I had read some people put raw hamburger in the jars since it cooks as it cans. I decided to try one jar like that. I packed it full of raw hamburger and then put a tsp or so or beef broth flavoring on top. There is no need to add liquid to these jars so I just put the lid on.

Next I placed them in my pressure cooker. I can fit 7 quart jars in my canner. This is the first time I have used a pressure cooker and I was a little nervous. I took my gauge into my local county extension office to get it calibrated but I have heard horror stories about pressure canners exploding so I made all my kids stay out of the kitchen. :)
When canning hamburger it needs to cook at 11 pounds of pressure for 90 minutes. If you are doing pints then it's 11lbs for 75 minutes. I had to pretty much stand next to the pressure cooker for 90 minutes as the pressure didn't stay completely steady the whole time and I had to make minor adjustments to the heat. This was the only really time consuming part.
After the 90 minutes are up you turn off the heat, however, it does take a while for the pressure in your canner to subside. You just have to wait, although you don't need to babysit it anymore. Once the pressure is gone, you can remove the lid and carefully remove your jars. They should sit on your counter for 24 hours to cool. You can see it the picture the difference between the precooked meat (on the right) and the raw meat (on the left). The precooked meat looked MUCH more appetizing and had a lot less fat in it. Still I was trying to reserve judgement until I tried it.

The next morning I checked on my jars and you can see that the grease had coagulated in a ring. The raw meat jar looked truly disgusting. I also wasn't sure it has sealed properly so I put it in the fridge to use right away. All of my other jars looked great!
Just FYI, I decided to do another batch of pint jars and to actually rinse the meat to see if I could get rid of that ring of fat. I suppose it doesn't really matter but it just didn't look very yummy. It worked since they had virtually no white ring but again, not sure it mattered other than aesthetically, and it might even have been a bad thing as some of the flavor no doubt washed away as well.

Ok, so, we did try to eat the jar that began as raw meat, and I say try because I never did manage to even get it out of the jar. It was a like a rock solid little meat loaf in there. After gouging at it with all sorts of implements with little success of dislodging the meat, I gave up and threw it in the trash, jar and all. Guess I won't do it that way again. It could have been extra hard because I had it in the fridge but it looked so revolting to begin with that I'm not even going to try it that way again.

I have also used some of the other meat. It's SO terrific! I couldn't tell the difference between that and meat cooked up fresh. Plus the convenience of just grabbing a jar, draining it, and fixing dinner was indescribable. I'm forever forgetting to take meat out of the freezer in the morning so this is a huge blessing to me. Plus if we ever lost power for very long, I would lose all of my meat in the freezer. Canned meat will last at least a year. Longer if stored correctly.

One other note. Most people say you can fit 1lb of hamburger into a pint jar, and 2lbs into a quart jar. I didn't get nearly that much into a jar. In fact I would say it was about half that. Maybe it's because I didn't pack it tight enough, or maybe they were talking about precooked weight, but just wanted to let you know that my experience was different.

I'm not going to can all my meat. After all, you can't use it to make hamburgers :) but I'm going to keep enough for my family for 3 months. I haven't canned any of my hubby's elk yet. I'm waiting for a month to go by, then I'm going to eat some more of this meat and make sure that the taste stands up over time. I'm hopeful though.

Give it a try if you are at all interested. It's just one more tool in your preparedness box!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

15 Minutes of Fame

You remember that my favorite food storage website was collecting food storage only recipes? Well I submitted like 7 hoping they would choose at least one so I could qualify for a PDF of all the recipes. Good news! This week they are featuring one of the recipes that I sent in! For this week it's right there on their homepage. After this week I think it will show up on this page: Wheat Applesauce Cake This is likely to be my one and only shot at 15 minutes of fame so go check it out.

Also, I added another page to my blog today that includes a list of supplies you might not realize you should be storing, or have on hand, in case of desperate times so check that out too.

Finally, I spent a couple of days this week canning hamburger. It was SO awesome! I took lots of pictures so next week I will post all about it and how to do it. Plus, my hubby went elk hunting again and bagged a big one. He brought home at least 100 pounds of meat. We did manage to squeeze it all into our outdoor freezer but I'm going to spend this week canning a lot of the hamburger from that too. Can't wait to share with you - once you try it, you'll be addicted!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Favorite Food Storage Books

Added a new static page today that lists all of my favorite food storage books and why I like them. Hopefully you will find them as useful as I have. You can find the link near the top of my blog.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Handout Pages

So I taught a class this week (again) on living off food storage. It was the first time I taught a class to a non-food storage group though, and it was to a group of people who actually know me so it was a little more nerve racking than usual. I had a LOT of fun though! I was thinking this was the last time I was going to teach this class as I was getting a little tired of doing it over and over but after class someone asked me to come teach another one in her ward. I happily agreed. I guess this is a subject I just don't get tired of.

I have several handouts that I give out to my class that I realized I have never posted on my blog. Blogger now lets you create static pages to your blog so I decided to create a few, one page per handout. I just published the first one, it's entitled "What You Are Not Storing But Should Be" You will always find the link to it at the top of my blog. I'm going to add one more page each week until I have them all up. Hopefully that will be useful to people.

I'm considering just starting a website. That has actually been a goal of mine but I just can't imagine where I will find the time. Still, it's a worthwhile goal. I would like one that answers all the basic question of food storage and that no matter what stage of preparation you are in, you would be able to find the info you need without getting overwhelmed. I already have it all mapped out in my brain, I've just got to figure out when I can set aside a large chunk of time to do it. You all will definitely be the first to know!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

100 FREE Food Storage Recipes!

Best News EVER!! Just found out my favorite food storage website is having a contest. They are collecting recipes made from food storage only, or from shelf stable foods only. They will then publish the best 100 recipes submitted. THEN (and here's the best part) if you submit one of the winners, they will send you a copy off all 100 recipes for FREE!!

One moment while I do the happy dance :)

Having lived off food storage last year I know how hard it is to come across recipes that are good, that contain only food storage items. I have quite a few but I'm ALWAYS on the hunt for more. You can bet I've already submitted quite a few of my best. Now keeping my fingers crossed at least one of them makes the cut and I'll get a copy of all 100 they choose. For me, a good food storage recipe is better than gold.

So, I want to encourage all of you to go submit your recipes now before the contest ends. It's possible that you have some you haven't even thought of. Maybe you can even adapt one of your family favorite recipes. Wouldn't it be so great to get 100 ready made recipes to try and use? Click here to submit your recipes.

Let me know how many of you make the cut. I would LOVE to know which recipes are yours!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Hunting We Will Go......

So my husband went Elk hunting for the first time last week. Being from California we haven't had much chance to hunt but I really consider hunting skills the ultimate in food storage preparedness.

Anyway, pound for pound it was WAY more expensive than just buying meat in the store but I consider the experience well worth the cost. I told my husband, "You slay it and butcher it, and I'll cook it." Seems like a good trade off for me. :)

They bagged an Elk the first day so I had elk meat for the first time on Sunday night. It was really good! I could barely tell the difference from beef. It was a great feeling to sit at the table and eat pears that we had canned and meat that we had pulled off a mountain side. Funny how those kinds of things make us feel so extraordinary today, when 200 years ago, that was the norm.

My hubby is now on a hunting kick. He's going back out to Utah for more Elk in a couple of weeks, and then fowl hunting here in Cali in a few of months. As far as self sufficiency goes, it's hard to put a price on knowing how to hunt and prepare your own meat. I'm glad he's finally found a way that he enjoys contributing to our quest to be ever more self sufficient. Almost inspires me to learn how to sew. Almost.

I cooked up 12 pounds of hamburger last week and going back to Costco for more next week so I can can it. That will be a first for me but everyone says that there is nothing better than precooked, home canned meat. I can imagine it is very convenient when you are trying to make dinner.