Grams Image

Grams Image

Friday, April 29, 2011

Food Storage Room!

Food Storage Room, sounds like a plan, a room dedicated to food storage and also big enough to keep most of my storage foods. This coming week the Lord willing my husband is taking a week of his vacation to turn an unfinished room in our home into my food storage room. It is off of the entry foyer but has a lockable door on it. It will be a dream come true for me. I have boxes of fruits, vegetables, and meats stacked in the walkway going from the front door to the kitchen. My pantry is full, my utility room is full, under the bed is full. I have food stashed everywhere. I can't do an inventory because I can't organize it so this will be a project for us to empty the room and build the shelving and then I can start with vegetables and organize them by type and date then go to fruits and meats and do the same. I will lastly do the packages and buckets. I will still have other areas stashed with food but I am hoping to keep maybe the buckets in the entry way closet then it will be near the food storage room. This will be like Christmas for me. A lot of work for me to organize and inventory but the final result will be a huge boulder off my shoulders. I must admit I have had a deep depression worrying about the mess and not having my house in order. I haven't been able to have guests over because of the mess. I would be devastated to have someone see my huge piles of food stacked all over the place. I do not advertise my food storage to my church friends because they all seem to feel we will be raptured before anything bad happens. Where they find that in the Bible is beyond me. Did he rapture the Christians before WWII? Did he rapture the Christians before the Black Plague? Or for that matter before anything bad that has happened since Jesus' death and resurection? I feel we don't have the magic pill to avoid bad times. Jesus taught us to be prepared and used many examples to teach the idea of being prepared for any problems. He also taught us to rely on God but not to forsake our own preparedness or being prepared to help others with charity. If your neighbor is starving because of a collapse will you be able to watch them suffer and die without offering at least the minimum to keep them going until times are better? Can we watch our extended family starve to death without helping? Not I! I have friends with much more money than I but with no more than a weeks worth of groceries in their pantries. When I have brought up the food storage idea to them they said it was a big waste of money, time, and space. That I should just believe that Jesus is returning soon to rapture us and I should just forget what all the people doing this stuff are saying. I guess they are in the know about exactly the chain of events coming in the future and they know exactly when Jesus will be back. It is really funny that I remember the Bible stating that no man knows the day or the hour of His return. I am sticking with the Bible and ignoring the know-it-all's. Some people will never be convinced of our need for preparedness.

My major thought is that we have been through a deep depression in the past when everyone lived in more rural settings and almost everyone had gardens and wells and septic systems. The way our times have changed we won't be able to survive in todays world without some preparation so I am trying to make sure that my family and neighbors will at least be able to have the bare bones to make it through. I also want to have the knowledge to make it through. My many notebooks full of how to's and information and my many books will be needing a place to live and be organized as well and that will be my next project after my food storage. Then my medical and first aid supplies and equipment will need a place to live and be organized also.

It seems it is never ending but the end result will be a comforting and secure feeling about our future. I pray that we will have the time to complete it all before the Collapse that is coming!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Worried about when Collapse Day will Be?

Hi everyone! It sounds as if everyone is worried about when C-day or Collapse Day will be.  I didn't coin that term to make people worry.  Let me explain my philosophy of when it will happen.  "It doesn't matter when!" Only God knows when! Our only mandate is to start to prepare, continue to prepare and pray.  God said there would be signs and yes we see them all the time now, but he didn't say how long the signs would be before a collapse.  So he told us to always be prepared like the brides with the oil in their lamps.  Look times are getting tough, lots of people are just starting to get prepared, and that’s okay, because the newbie’s are way ahead of the sheeple with their heads in the sand.  You know the types the ones that say, "The Government will take care of us...” and the ones that say, “We have always been able to persevere through tough times my grandparents made it through the depression didn't they?” Well, those of us who believe in preparedness won't be the ones jumping from the 5th story of an office building like so many did when we had the financial collapse that started the depression.  They had always had money and jobs and depended on those things and loved those things.  They had no idea how to go on without them.  The whole point of preparedness is #1 Trust GOD!, #2 Trust ourselves, #3 to be as prepared Spiritually, Mentally, and then be as prepared Physically as possible. The physical part is what most people on preparedness sites look for but the other things are important as well.  You need to prepare spiritually in your own way, following your own beliefs, no matter what religion you are it is still up to you.  With so many different belief systems out there we can't dwell on that in these sites but it is still important. Now all the newbie’s that are out there just waking up.  You are tackling your mental preparedness by realizing that you need to prepare. Now your next step is to tackle the first step in your physical preparedness.  It is overwhelming isn't it! But I am only asking you to take the first step!  One step - just ONE STEP!  How do you eat an elephant?  ONE bite at a time!  Can you imagine how Noah felt when God told him to build this huge Ark? How did he start? He first questioned and doubted his own ability to do it. The next thing was to study the plans and figure out what he needed to build it.  He then went with his list to cut the wood and made his first swing of the axe to cut the first piece of wood.  That is what preparedness is all about.  Believe in your own ability that God says you have and then figure what you need and start getting it one thing at a time. If you have a computer and you are reading this you probably already have a shelter. Next start saving your juice bottles and 2 liter soda bottles and wash them out as you empty them.  Fill your free bottles with your tap water and add 4 drops of plain regular bleach per 2 liter bottle and store out of the light like in a closet. Next you do what is in the next article after this. I hope this will help those just starting on their journey into food storage.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Start at the Beginning - One Step at a Time!

For the newbies to Prepping for survival let's not overwhelm with everything at one time.  Let's get organized and think logically.  Don't go to the warehouse store and buy 500 lbs of rice and beans and nothing else because you run out of money.  Let's start with looking at what your family likes to eat the most.  Can you think about the regular meals you make every month or every other week?  I will use my family as an example.  We have 3 in our household and we have favorite foods and some meals that I make every week or two.  You may have the same and probably have 14 meals that you could live with to have over and over again.  The following is an example of dinner menus:

1.   Spaghetti, garlic bread, green vegetable.
2.   Beef Stroganoff, green or orange vegetable, dinner roll
3.   Sweet and Sour chicken, rice
4.   Chile with beans, mashed potatoes (family tradition from childhood), corn muffins
5.   Beef Stew, dinner rolls or sliced homemade bread.
6.   Tuna Noodle casserole, Peas, Fruit cocktail
7.   Pork Curry with Apples, Rice
8.   Pork Perlau, Spinach
9.   Ham Scalloped Potatoes, Brocolli
10. Tacos or burritos, Spanish Rice
11. Homemade beef vegetable soup, peanut butter sandwiches
12. Homemade Chicken and dumplings or noodles
13. Homemade Sausage Pizza, Fruit compote
14. Salmon Cakes, noodles alfredo, lima beans

The above are not written in stone for us.  We can switch out menus for similar menus like - making beef burgundy instead of stroganoff. Or chicken and rice casserole instead of sweet and sour chicken.  You get the idea.  I will have the same meats but fixed in a different way in case we tire of the same meal every 2 weeks.   I may make enchilada casserole instead of taco's or burritos in the winter since I won't have fresh lettuce or tomatoes for them. Mexican lasagna is also an alternative.  Tired of spaghetti?  Try lasagna or stuffed shells.  Want a meatless meal each week then have  vegetable soup, spaghetti marinara, red beans and rice, or boston baked beans and cornbread.  The ideas are endless.  Look through different cookbooks and find interesting recipes.  Most recipes can be converted to food storage recipes.  Deep fried chicken, med. rare steaks, and the like will be hard to get or make in post collapse because they require fresh meats and we are not going to worry about those things at this time.  You may be able to raise chickens or rabbits where you live and then you can have the deep fried chicken or rabbit.  I can raise rabbits but not chickens where I live so I will not get much fresh chicken post collapse.  I also will not have fresh milk.  I will have powdered milk so I will be making yogurt, yogurt cheese, cottage cheese, and fresh farmers style cheese from powdered milk.  I will store parmesan for the first year and have some canned cheeses and powdered cheddar cheese for that first year as well.  All these things we will attack later. Now lets make a menu for 7 breakfasts:

1.   Pancakes with syrup and dried reconstituted fruit.
2.   Scrambled eggs and toast with Orange Drink
3.   Muffins, with orange julius
4.   Sausage, cheese, omelet with toast
5.   Oatmeal with apples and brown sugar and cinnamon
6.   Sweet bread with preserves and Orange drink
7.   Homemade granola with Orange drink

Now as far as the third meal of the day.  We may be eating it at night because of lack of power.  We will cook the large meal in a solar oven or solar cookit.  We will have a rocket stove or propane burner to hopefully fill in on bad weather days. We will do an article later about alternate cooking methods. Back to the light supper or lunch in the evening.  (Think about it, this is the healthier way to eat anyway.)  Leftovers will need to be eaten up in the evening because of poor or no refrigeration (if there is power outages).

1. Leftovers of what you had for you big meal or Dinner....
2. Tuna Sandwiches
3  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
4. Soup and crackers
5. Ham sandwiches
6. Chicken salad/sandwiches
7. In the summer if you can grow gardens this is when you should be eating salads with dried fruit and leftover meats or beans in them.

These are just some ideas.  There are many others.  You may want to make up some sloppy joes for a treat or grill some vegetables to serve with cheese and bread.  Your personal tastes and creativity are not limited to my ideas.  Just start thinking everytime you make a meal for your family, "Could I have made this with food storage?"  You will start thinking about what you will need to start storing.

Now Wendy Dewitt is where I have gotten the majority of my way of planning for storage.  Next she teaches to write out your recipes.  Take those ingredient amounts and multiply times 8 for a 3  1/2 month supply of once per 2 weeks for that particular meal.  Write those ingredient and amounts down in your list, notebook or wherever you will be keeping your info.

Example:  For a 3  1/2 month supply take 8  times the amount of the item needed for that recipe because that will give you the amount you need to have for cooking it every 2 weeks.
Spaghetti - 1 pint of home canned ground beef,                               8 pints
                   1 can of Hunt's mushroom spaghetti sauce,                  8 cans
                   1 can of diced tomatoes                                                 8 cans
                   1 teaspoon of garlic powder                                          8 tsp.
                   1 teaspoon of dried basil                                               8 tsp.
                   4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese                                32 tbsp.

String Beans  2/3 cup of dehydrated green beans                             5 1/3 cups dried green beans

Now you do this with every recipe and then add up like ingredients and you will have what you need to buy or can or dry of your foods for your food storage.  For instance I plan to use ground beef at least 3 times each 2 week period so I will need 24 pints of ground beef.  I hope this is clear and understandable.  Wendy Dewitt has equivalency charts to take your total tsps. or cups etc. of a particular item and make it into ozs. or cups or lbs. etc so you can figure what to buy. This is the end of this first lesson.   I will add more later which will include how to store your food, rotate your food, making substitutions for foods you cannot store, etc.  Start out with your menus like above and then we can work on it together if you need help.  Happy Prepping! You are on your way to becoming self sufficient one step at a time!  Gram

Shelf life is included when possible. Shelf life will always be diminished by heat and/or moisture
Letting foods "air out" in a large bowl will often take away that rancid or metallic smell they sometimes get.
The # sign before an item means "number" as in "#10 can" (number 10 can)
The # sign after an item means "pound" as in "2#" (2 pounds)
(jars) ...................... 5+ yrs 16 Tb / c 4 c / qt
Apple slices
(dehydrated) .......... 30 yrs 10 c / #10 can =1 ¼ # 1 c dry + ½ c water = 2 c fresh
Baking powder
................ 1 to 2 yrs (I also read indefinite) 32 Tb = 1# Test baking powder: add 1 tsp to 1/3 C
hot water. Foams/bubbles= it’s good. 2 parts cream of tartar + 1 part baking soda = baking powder
Baking soda
............................ Indefinite 32 Tb=1# Store in sealed container in cool dry place. To test: add to water....if it bubbles, it’s good
........................................ 30 yrs 12 c / #10 can 1 # =2 ½ c dry = 6 c cooked
Butter (almost)
..........................1 pound shortening + ½ tsp salt + 1 2/3 c condensed milk. Whip the shortening and salt until light. Add the condensed milk a little at a time and blend.
(canned) ......................... 10+ yrs (indefinite?) 12 oz can=24 Tb or 3 sticks of butter
Cake mixes
................................5+ yrs Includes cookie, cornbread, brownie and other mixes Vacuum seal in jars
........................................3 yrs / chocolates 6+ / jelly beans, hard candies, etc Vacuum seal in jars
Canned foods.
............................3+ yrs "Canned food maintains its high eating quality for more than two years and is safe to eat as long as the container is not damaged in any way." Toss out any bulging or weeping cans
(dehydrated) ................ 25 yrs 12 c / #10 can=2 ½ # ½ c dry=1 c hydrated carrots
(dehydrated) .................. 25 yrs 12 c / #10 can 2 oz=1 c ½ c dry=1 c hydrated celery
(canned) .................... 10+ yrs (indefinite?) Can be sliced. shredded or melted 8 oz per can
Cheese powder
........................ 5+ yrs 4 c in 1 # of powder 96 Tb=1 # Vacuum seal /use for mac & cheese
(canned)..............................10+ yrs (or as long as the can is still in good condition; no weeping/bulging)
........................................ 20 yrs 90 Tb =1# Vacuum seal in jars Will smell rancid when bad
.................................. 6+ yrs 4 c=1 # Vacuum seal in jars
.............................. Indefinite 45 Tb=1# Vacuum sealing not necessary
Corn syrup
............................... Indefinite 1 c sugar + 2 c water. Cook til thick. (About an hour in solar oven.)
Cream of tartar.
........................Indefinite 3 Tbs = 1 oz 48 Tbs = 1# Vacuum seal in jars
(fresh).................................1 yr Dip hands into warmed mineral oil and lightly coat eggs. Replace in carton with point down. In cold climates store in a cool, dark place. In warmer climates, place in fridge
(powdered) ....................... 10 yrs 32 eggs=1# 2 eggs=1 oz Use gelatin (Knox type) as an egg substitute
Egg substitute
............................See Gelatin
(white) ............................. 10+ yrs 12 c / #10 can 19 c=5#
(Knox type) .............. Indefinite 1# gelatin=192 eggs 1 oz unflavored gelatin=12 tsp=12 "eggs"
Egg substitute: 1 tsp gelatin + 3 Tb cold water + 2 Tb hot water=1 "egg" Buy in bulk ( Grapenuts
...................................10 yrs 6c in 24 oz box Vacuum seal in jars
........................................ Indefinite 20 Tb=1 c=13 oz 6 c=5# Reconstitute honey by heating it
Hot cocoa
................................. 2 to 3 yrs 12 c / #10 can #10 can=56 liquid c
Pancake mix................3+ yrs 1c mix = 6 (4") pancakes 10# bag makes 240 (4") pancakes
.................................. 30 yrs 12 c / #10 can 4 c = 1 # 2 c dry=5 c cooked
.............................. 6+ yrs 28 oz box=4 ½ c dry= 18 c cooked ¼ c dry=1 c cooked Vacuum seal
........................................ 3+ yrs 1 pint bottle holds 1# of meat 1 qt bottle holds 2#
(nonfat dry) ....................... 20 yrs 12 c/#10 can 1/3# dry=1 c dry #10 can=58 liquid c ¼ c dry = 1 c milk
: 1 c water,
1/3 c dry milk, 1 Tb vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit 5 min.
Condensed milk
: ½ c hot water, 1 c sugar, ¼ c dry milk, 1 c water. Place in canning jar with lid & shake

This equivalency chart is reprinted with the permission of Wendy Dewitt the author.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mentors, Influences, and Encouragers

I have just gotten an email from and old friend who is interested in starting food storage for her family.  I sent her an invitation to join us at our Survival Kitchen.  She has been a dear friend for many years and I would like to see her and her family survive the hard times that are coming.  I thought seriously about how to help her get the most for her money and I sat down and went through my Mentors, Influences, and Encouragers.
Some of my favorite teachers on the net have been Wendy Dewitt, Tammy from Dehydrate2Store, and Crystal from EverydayFoodStorage.  When I get bogged down I go back and watch their you tube videos again.  I have posted their links under the links section of this blog. I also have found a few other people who I admire for their selfless giving by teaching prepping and survival on you tube as well.  Southernprepper1 and Usfreedom22 have both been wonderful teaching about survival training and prepping.  Engineer775 and Eastcoastpatriot both are interesting and informative also.  There are a lot of guys around there sites who also have good videos.  Pioneer Living is a good site as well as Homestead Acres.  You can learn so many different things from people out there.  You just have to look and find the people that will inspire you to do the things you need to do to prepare for the hard times that are coming.  I will be asking my friend to watch a lot of these videos and learn how to start smart and organize as she buys or cans or makes what she needs for her food storage and prepping for the future. We all should look for those that will give us the kick in the pants to get going and keep going to improve our chances of survival in the up and coming trials that we will all be facing. I have never made a youtube video and know it takes time and organization for those who do it to make informative and interesting videos.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your wonderful teaching.