The Survival Mom » Food http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Sun, 20 Jul 2014 10:00:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 5 Tips for Maximizing Garden Produce http://thesurvivalmom.com/maximizing-garden-produce/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=maximizing-garden-produce http://thesurvivalmom.com/maximizing-garden-produce/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 10:00:24 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15889 If you keep a garden of any size, it can be hard to keep up with a harvest that’s coming in at various points during the growing season. It can be a bit of a juggling act to eat what’s Read More

The post 5 Tips for Maximizing Garden Produce by Kathie Lapcevic appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Maximizing Garden Produce - The Survival MomIf you keep a garden of any size, it can be hard to keep up with a harvest that’s coming in at various points during the growing season. It can be a bit of a juggling act to eat what’s fresh and preserve the extra for winter eating. It’s not always easy to decide either what should be eaten fresh and what should be saved. Let’s face it – it’s all tasty!

No one wants to let all that homegrown (and earned through hard work) produce go to waste. In order to get the most out of a garden’s produce, you need to make a concerted effort to include eating and the preserving it all in your weekly meal and to-do list planning.

Here are my tips for maximizing garden produce.

What to Eat Fresh

Use up the small bits. When there are just small handfuls of various things – a few lonely peas, handfuls of greens, a radish or two – it’s probably not worth the effort to preserve them. Use these small bits up in green salads, pasta salads, stir fries, and smoothies. There’s no reason why the small fresh bits can’t be included in every meal.

For breakfast, eat toast topped with thinly sliced radishes topped and a fried egg. For a mid-day snack, toss a few berries with yogurt and maybe some greens into a blender for a smoothies. For lunch, a pasta salad with that handful of fresh peas, chopped baby carrot, and few stray cherry tomatoes is pretty darn heavenly.  For dinner, all those little bits with some rice and meat (if so desired) make a tasty, filling, and frugal meal.Maximizing Garden Produce - The Survival Mom

Is it better fresh?  Some things are just better fresh than preserved and this is somewhat of a personal preference too. Rutabagas, for instance, aren’t great canned. Unless you have a root cellar, these should be eaten fresh. On the other hand, beets are pretty tasty either pressure canned or pickled. They can be preserved for later whilst eating up the rutabaga or turnip harvest.

Zucchini freezes and dries well, but might be preferred fresh, sautéed with some onions and garlic as an immediate side dish, instead of storing tons grated in the freezer for bread later on.

What to Preserve for Later

The windfalls. When something comes in like gangbusters or a neighbor gives you 20 pounds of sweet cherries, this is the time to put in some preservation effort. When there’s too much to eat fresh before spoilage happens, pull out the canner, bags for freezing, or dehydrator, and get to work.

These are the green beans that fill many winter soups and casseroles, the frozen zucchini for Christmas loaves of bread, and the dehydrated apricots that go into morning oatmeal.

The good preservers. Like above, if your family likes canned carrots, can those while eating the peas or asparagus fresh. Tomatoes tend to come ripe in giant batches. This is the time for salsa or sauce making, rather than trying to eat them all before they rot. All those bushy, over-productive herbs, they’re easily dried and oh-so-good in winter meals and teas.

Maximizing Garden Produce - The Survival MomThe small bits that become overwhelming.  Maybe you’re eating fresh zucchini with breakfast, lunch, and dinner and having salads and snacking on radishes and still have a handful or two of various vegetables that you’re having trouble using up.

This is the time to cook up some mixed veggie soups or meat and veggie soups to save for winter. You can preserve these soups in a pressure-canner or freeze for later use and are great ways to use up odds and ends for quick, frugal meals later on. This is also a good time to stretch those jam-making skills and get creative with small batches .

In the end, everyone needs to make decisions based on their family’s preferences. There’s no point in making 18 pints of rhubarb chutney if no one likes to actually eat rhubarb chutney.  Maximizing garden produce should be all about how a family will eat that produce, not only fresh but also preserved for the leaner months of winter.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post 5 Tips for Maximizing Garden Produce by Kathie Lapcevic appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/maximizing-garden-produce/feed/ 1
Small Batch Fruit Preserving http://thesurvivalmom.com/small-batch-fruit-preserving/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=small-batch-fruit-preserving http://thesurvivalmom.com/small-batch-fruit-preserving/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 10:00:03 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15966 As we work on maximizing garden produce, we need to stretch our preservation skills to include small batches. Fruit sauces, butters, and syrups are all easy and tasty ways to put up small bits of produce before any spoilage occurs. It might seem Read More

The post Small Batch Fruit Preserving by Kathie Lapcevic appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Small Batch Fruit Preserving - The Survival Mom

As we work on maximizing garden produce, we need to stretch our preservation skills to include small batches. Fruit sauces, butters, and syrups are all easy and tasty ways to put up small bits of produce before any spoilage occurs. It might seem intimidating at first, but with a little confidence and some practice, small batch fruit preserving can quickly add up to a stocked pantry.

Making Fruit Sauces

Applesauce is probably the most common of all fruit sauces. However, almost any fruit can be made into a sauce or combined with other fruits into sauce. Pear sauce is especially yummy, as is apple-pear sauce. Apple combines well with most berries and even rhubarb.

To make a fruit sauce, simply core and chop fruit (peeling is optional) and place in a pot with an inch or two of water at the bottom. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook until the fruit is soft. Remove from heat and either mash with a potato masher for a chunky sauce, or run through a food mill or blender for a smooth sauce. Bring this sauce to a boil one more time (adding sugar and spices if desired) before putting into jars and processing in a water bath.

When canning mixtures, can to the fruit that takes the longest amount of time to process. If you make apple-cherry sauce for instance in quart jars; apples need 20 minutes but cherries need 25 minutes. Process for the longer time, 25 minutes to keep everything safe.

Making Fruit Butters

Fruit butters are basically fruit sauces that have been cooked down even more into a thick, butter-like substance. These are a bit easier and less fussy than jams and jellies. They tend to be sweetened and spiced often, but this is a personal preference. When making a fruit butter, start just like making a fruit sauce by cooking the fruit until soft. Remove from heat and puree into a think sauce. To this sauce add spices and sugar as desired: peach-honey-vanilla is quite nice as is pear anise.

Fruit butters need to cook for a while in order to remove the water content and get thick. This can be done on the stove over very low heat but requires much stirring in order to prevent scorching. An easier way to do it is to put it in the slow cooker on low, keeping the lid off. The fruit will cook down with minimum stirring and make the house smell nice too. Process in a water bath canner according to the fruit that takes the longest time for safe processing.

Making Fruit Syrups

Fruit syrups are essentially sweetened fruit juices. Berries, cherries, and grapes make especially nice syrups. A basic fruit syrup method:

  1. Crush fruit in a saucepan and heat to boiling, simmering until soft – probably 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Strain through a colander and drain until cool enough to handle.
  3. Strain the collected juice through a double layer of cheesecloth or jelly bag.
  4. Discard the dry pulp.
  5. To the pressed juice, add sugar or honey and bring to a boil, simmering for 1 minute.
  6. Remove from heat, skim off foam, and pour into jars leaving 1/2-inch headspace.
  7. Process in a boiling water bath 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude.

Ways to Use The Preserves

Obviously fruit sauces make great snacks, fruit butters are great on toast just like jam, and fruit syrups are great on pancakes or waffles.  However, their versatility goes much further:

  • Unsweetened, plain applesauce makes a great fat replacer in baked goods. Other sauces would work as well, but might change flavor slightly, so experiment.
  • Fruit butters can often be used in baked goods just like jam or jelly – tarts, cookies, bars, etc.
  • Fruit Syrups mixed with club soda or even water kefir make for an occasional fun treat that’s great for kids birthday parties!
  • For a more adult version, mix fruit syrups with vodka or brandy for a cold night toddy.
  • The sauces, butters, and syrups make great mix-ins for yogurt, oatmeal, rice, even smoothies.

Take advantage of all those small bits of fruit and watch the pantry shelves fill quickly with homemade goodness for your family to enjoy all year long.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post Small Batch Fruit Preserving by Kathie Lapcevic appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/small-batch-fruit-preserving/feed/ 6
10 Tips for Selecting an Emergency Food Storage Company http://thesurvivalmom.com/10-tips-selecting-emergency-food-storage-company/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=10-tips-selecting-emergency-food-storage-company http://thesurvivalmom.com/10-tips-selecting-emergency-food-storage-company/#comments Sat, 05 Jul 2014 19:00:46 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15802 If you have ever tried to find the ‘right’ emergency food company to buy from, you may have seen just how many of them are out there. They all make similar claims about being the best for various reasons. It Read More

The post 10 Tips for Selecting an Emergency Food Storage Company by LeAnn in Alaska appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Emergency Food Storage

If you have ever tried to find the ‘right’ emergency food company to buy from, you may have seen just how many of them are out there. They all make similar claims about being the best for various reasons.

It can be extremely overwhelming. Whatever your reasons for buying some long term emergency food in the first place, it can leave you feeling frustrated and tempted to just throw your hands up and put it off.

I have heard people say things like, “I will buy some when I have more time to research it,” or “They are all basically the same, I will just get one of those buckets from Wally World.”

I cringe when I hear this for several reasons. The purpose of this article is not to tell you which one to buy, but more to arm you with some criteria so you can choose the best one for you and your family.

10 Tips for Selecting an Emergency Food Storage Company (not in any particular order).

  1. Price per meal. Single packs are more expensive than buying in bulk. It is also important to pay attention to how many servings are in each bag. Some companies have large 4-serving pouches of dinner entrees, while others might contain just 2 servings. This affects the price per meal.
  2. Method of cooking. Some companies sell their meals in pouches that allow you to pour boiling water directly into them and let them steep, much like cup-o-noodles. Others require a pot and fire or other heating source to cook them. Consider your situation and where you see yourself actually using these meals. Will you have a pot to use? Do you have other ways to heat water and food if the power goes out?
  3. Ingredients. This is very important. Because you are looking at food to be used during an emergency, high quality food is more important than ever. Filling up on a bunch of chemicals and preservatives will have a greater negative impact should you find yourself surviving a disaster than just sitting on a couch. Just because you’re buying emergency food doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your family’s health.
  4. Caloric value per serving. This ties in with the ingredients criteria. Going ‘low fat, low carb’ is not the smartest option in an emergency and a SHTF situation is no time to worry over eating too much. You will absolutely be burning more calories than you do on average, especially if you are bugging out. Pay close attention to how many calories you will get per serving. Make sure you are getting at least 1800 a day per adult to maintain your body’s systems.
  5. Taste. Hunger will only go so far in making food taste good. Some companies offer a free sample or smaller containers so you can taste their product, and I highly encourage you to take advantage of it. If you never try the food until you need it to survive, you may be in for a nasty surprise. Taste plays an important role in not only palatable sustenance, it can improve morale and overall feelings of ‘normality’ which will be a precious thing in a catastrophe. If you cannot get a free sample, look into buying just one or two pouches. See if the company sells single packs via the internet or in chain stores such as Walmart, REI, Cabela’s, and others.
  6. Specialized diet options. Do any of the people in your group have allergies to certain foods? Is anyone vegan or have other special needs? There are companies out there who offer large varieties of packages that suit pretty much everyone’s needs.
  7. Do they offer packs of just one item such as a bucket of freeze dried chicken? While getting a 1 month bucket for each family member is wonderful, each person will still have the same foods to choose from and it will get boring. Companies that offer supplemental foods such as rice side dishes or dried fruit will make for a nice variety.
  8. What kind of variety? Can you combine to make new creations? Companies that do not have much of a variety should be avoided. At some point, you will need to get creative and extras on the side will help greatly. Depending on the time of year, you may be able to forage or hunt for some of your food and only need to add some freeze dried chicken or dried mixed veggies to make a meal.
  9. Weight. Weight is a consideration mostly for those who are bugging out. You do not want to have a pack so heavy that you cannot make it 2 miles.
  10. Optimal storage conditions and shelf life. You want to get high quality food, but you also want something that will last a good, long time. Look into what the optimum storage conditions are and how long the food will last for that time. Then factor in what kind of storage conditions you have available and go from there. Ask yourself if you think food that should last 20 years in perfect storage conditions will only last 10 years in the conditions I have – is it still worth it? Can I improve the conditions?

 

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post 10 Tips for Selecting an Emergency Food Storage Company by LeAnn in Alaska appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/10-tips-selecting-emergency-food-storage-company/feed/ 6
Food storage recipes for your sweet tooth http://thesurvivalmom.com/food-storage-recipes-sweet-tooth/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=food-storage-recipes-sweet-tooth http://thesurvivalmom.com/food-storage-recipes-sweet-tooth/#comments Sat, 05 Jul 2014 15:50:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15258 Sometimes when we think about food storage, rice, beans, and, hey!, more rice and beans come to mind. This type of thinking totally misses the point of food storage recipes that taste good. Recipes made with traditional “food storage” ingredients Read More

The post Food storage recipes for your sweet tooth by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
food storage recipes

image by lindsayloveshermac (Creative Commons)

Sometimes when we think about food storage, rice, beans, and, hey!, more rice and beans come to mind. This type of thinking totally misses the point of food storage recipes that taste good.

Recipes made with traditional “food storage” ingredients can taste just as good as fresh. Here are 2 examples shared by Augason Farms.

 

Blueberry Muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup unbleached flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup milk or buttermilk

5 tablespoons Augason Farms Dried Whole Eggs

1/4 cup butter – melted

1/3 cup Augason Farms White Granulated Sugar

5 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup Augason Farms Freeze Dried Whole Blueberries

Pinch of salt

Directions:

Rehydrate blueberries in lukewarm water for 15 minutes. Grease or line a muffin tin with papers. Sift dry ingredients. Beat milk, butter, vanilla, water and sugar together. Add to dry ingredients. Drain blueberries and add to muffin mixture. Spoon into muffin tin and bake at 375˚F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with sugar if desired. Makes 12 muffins.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup dry Morning Moo’s Milk Alternative
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp water
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
5 Tbsp Augason Farms Dried Whole Eggs
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 – 2 cups chocolate chips

Directions:

Make this food storage recipe by mixing Morning Moo’s Milk, oil, water and sugars together. Add vanilla; beat for 2 minutes. Mix in dry ingredients, carefully mix in chocolate chips last. Place spoonfuls of dough on greased cookie sheets and flatten. Bake at 350°F for 7 minutes.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post Food storage recipes for your sweet tooth by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/food-storage-recipes-sweet-tooth/feed/ 0
Book Review: Little Jars, Big Flavors http://thesurvivalmom.com/product-review-little-jars-big-flavors/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=product-review-little-jars-big-flavors http://thesurvivalmom.com/product-review-little-jars-big-flavors/#comments Fri, 04 Jul 2014 20:00:06 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15765 Not a lot of produce but reluctant to waste? No problem! Southern Living presents a 2013 cookbook with something for everyone! Whether you’re a beginner, a seasoned canner, or a microwave-only cook, you’ll find inspiration in Little Jars, Big Flavors Read More

The post Book Review: Little Jars, Big Flavors by Kris appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Little Jars, Big FlavorsNot a lot of produce but reluctant to waste? No problem!

Southern Living presents a 2013 cookbook with something for everyone! Whether you’re a beginner, a seasoned canner, or a microwave-only cook, you’ll find inspiration in Little Jars, Big Flavors from author/chef Virginia Willis.

Little Jars Big Flavors For Beginners

Detailed instructions with beautiful color photos will walk you through the process. And because there’s no pressure canning (water bath-only recipes), no need to worry that you’ll blow up your kitchen.

Included are helpful tips to prevent messes; what you aren’t allowed to “fudge” in processing and ingredients; and full-color pictures of gel tests. It’s much easier than learning the hard way.

It’s fine if you don’t have a huge garden and tons of produce. Blueberry-lemon jam only calls for 3 cups of blueberries and yields 4 half-pint jars. No worries that you’ll waste a bunch of produce doing it wrong. Even if nothing seals, you only have a few jars to eat and share. Take the kiddos to a local pick-your-own farm and see how much produce makes it home. We only had a few cups left, anyway!

The layout includes at-a-glance references for prep time so you can determine whether you have time to preserve what’s in your refrigerator just before leaving for the weekend.

For Experienced Canners

You’ll love the new twists on old favorites. I still had some strawberry and blackberry jam left from last season and didn’t want to put up more of the same. Soooo…I now have some strawberry-basil and strawberry-port jam, as well as blackberry-black pepper jam. The coolest thing? The time and produce investment is small enough to experiment. If you don’t like the results, you only have half a dozen jars to give away. I plan to try peach-rosemary jam, mimosa marmalade, and double-onion marmalade when the harvest changes.

Experimenting is extra fun because the author includes ideas and even recipes for using your yummy concoctions. Onion marmalade sounded pretty gross—until I read that it can be a quick substitute for carmelized onions in my recipes. What an awesome shortcut!

And for even shorter shortcuts, try some freezer pickles or jams or even microwave nectarine-ginger preserves. The flavor combinations in Little Jars, Big Flavors are different from anything in my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, my go-to guide in the summer.

Best Value for Purchasing

I ordered my paperback copy for $9.95 plus shipping from the Lakeside Collection online catalog. It lays fairly flat during use, so I’m glad I didn’t pony up for the $32.00+ hardback version from Amazon. Some used paperbacks are just under $9 on Amazon, but for an extra buck, I like the assurance of a pristine book. No kindle version exists at the time of this writing, but for beginners, I think an e-version would be a mistake.

The Very BEST Part

An entire chapter is devoted to what the author calls “Putting-Up Parties”. I LOVE this idea! If you’ve ever thought about starting a prepper’s circle, this is a completely fun and non-threatening way to get started.

Think of it like a “cookie-exchange” party. A few women get to share the work, chat together in the kitchen, share a few snacks, and at the end of the day, everyone has a few different recipes to take home rather than a year’s worth of one item.

Because the recipes require just a little produce, each lady can bring the ingredients for one recipe for very little cost. Go ahead and call up a couple of church ladies, the moms from your homeschool circle, or the parents of your kids’ friends! It’s a great way to get to know each other. And chances are, if some of them are already canners, they may possess other skills you can learn from them. (I’m still hoping someone can show me how to use the sewing machine I got for Christmas!)

I’m planning a “putting-up party with my sisters-in-law who aren’t currently prepping. They’ll walk away with new skills and confidence (and a few jars of awesome goodies). This will definitely open the door to conversations about other food preservation methods I’m trying and other efforts to be prepared.

We’ll only mess up one kitchen. The dads will spend a day herding kiddos, and the cousins will spend some quality time together.

As a side benefit, I’m eager to try out some of my sister’s expensive Pampered Chef gadgets that I haven’t been able to talk myself into. The last time I went on and on about how much I loved my mom’s strawberry huller and my mother-in-law’s apple peeler/corer/slicer, I got one of each as a gift. Just sayin’.

Canning for “Real Women”, not Martha Stewarts

Believe me, I’m no Martha Stewart—but I don’t really have to be. This chapter suggests canning recipes for each season with some overlapping ingredients, snack and beverage suggestions, and lovely ways to decorate those beautiful jars for gift-giving. If you have kids, have them help out with making teacher gifts for Christmas or teacher appreciation.

Even if that’s not really your thing, you can probably pretend for a few hours to make prepper connections in the least awkward way I’ve ever seen. At the very least, you get to walk away with a variety of goodies that you didn’t spend all day doing by yourself.

If a friend shared this post with you via Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, consider yourself invited to her next “Putting-Up Party.” You can host the next one in the fall when you’ll be eager to put big apple, pear, and cranberry flavors into little jars.

*Kris and The Survival Mom team have no affiliation with the author or publisher.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post Book Review: Little Jars, Big Flavors by Kris appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/product-review-little-jars-big-flavors/feed/ 2
REVIEW: Green coffee beans – The Perfect Cuppa Joe Today and Long-Term Storage Tomorrow http://thesurvivalmom.com/green-coffee-beans/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=green-coffee-beans http://thesurvivalmom.com/green-coffee-beans/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15441 My favorite time of the day is Coffee:30. Warning: Do not attempt to activate this person without coffee! You call it coffee, I call it Liquid Sanity. When it comes to serious coffee addictions, I think I’ve heard every joke Read More

The post REVIEW: Green coffee beans – The Perfect Cuppa Joe Today and Long-Term Storage Tomorrow by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

My favorite time of the day is Coffee:30.

Warning: Do not attempt to activate this person without coffee!

You call it coffee, I call it Liquid Sanity.

green coffee beansWhen it comes to serious coffee addictions, I think I’ve heard every joke there is. I don’t quite fall into that category myself, but when I was given a 2-pound bag of Green Colombian Coffee Beans from Coffee-Reserves and asked my coffee-addicted friends to help me out, they jumped to volunteer. I never knew so many of them just had to have that cup of Liquid Sanity every day!

The green coffee bean experiment, as one friend called it, was a rousing success. Who knew green coffee beans could be so much fun?

Not for just a cup now but long-term storage for later

As I listened to my friends’ experiences with roasting and grinding the beans and then enjoying the fruits of their labor, I was impressed with the versatility of green coffee beans. Coffee drinkers are a lot like beer drinkers. Each has his or her own preferences and often refuse to drink anything else. By using beans that haven’t yet been roasted, each person can get the customized taste and body they want for that perfect cup of coffee.

Coffee-Reserves ships all their green coffee beans packed in nitrogen, which forces oxygen out of the container, giving the beans a longer shelf life. For more protection against oxygen, an oxygen absorber is also added. I especially appreciate the fact that their bucket of green coffee beans is, in fact, a bucket of 2 lb. bags, insuring that each and every bag remains sealed and fresh until it’s opened.

The Green Coffee Beans Experiment

To launch this experiment, I identified 3 coffee-crazy friends, Amy, Joyce, and Michelle, and furnished each with one cup of green coffee beans.

Roasting the beans is the first step, and there are multiple ways to do that. We each used different techniques: hot air popcorn popper, a cast iron skillet, oven roasting, and an actual coffee bean roaster. I was very impressed that we didn’t need any specialized equipment, although out of all 4 of us, Michelle, with the coffee roaster, probably had the easiest time of it.

To make this process easy for their customers, Coffee-Reserves provides detailed instructions for roasting beans here.

Roasting reports

My friend Amy used the hot air popper and reported:

All went well as we placed about 4 ounces of the nutty smelling green beans into the hot air popper.  I let it run for a couple of minutes before adding them to make sure the popper was super hot.  I stirred the batch to make sure the temperature was consistent as the fragrance began to rise.  Some of the beans launched from the popper because I did not put a chimney globe on top to prevent them traveling.  (For the second batch I just flipped the plastic lid over to prevent loss) I hated to return the beans that popped out for fear the batch would be negatively affected by the differing temperatures.

The dog ate one of the fallen beans!  She guarded the house quite alertly that evening!!

After about four minutes of stirring we heard the first crack, only a minute or so later we heard the second crack and poured the beans into a metal colander.  We shook the colander a couple minutes and aired the medium brown beans for about forty-eight hours.

Amy said that her beans weren’t consistently a dark brown color the first time around but with a second batch, she let them roast a couple more minutes past that second crack.

Joyce roasted hers in a cast iron skillet over a gas stove. She said the process was simple enough, she just had to keep stirring the beans while they roasted. With this technique, the skillet needs to be at an extremely high temperature, at least 500 degrees Fahrenheit, so pre-heating and having a way to measure the temperature are important parts of the process.

My own roasting experience required very high temperatures as well. I chose to roast my beans in our gas oven. It was a very simple process that required placing the beans in a metal steamer. I put the steamer on a baking sheet and roasted the beans for almost 8 minutes. Since this was the first time I had ever roasted coffee beans, I didn’t leave them in the oven as long as I should have. They were browned, but not evenly and not dark enough.

Well-roasted beans will appear dark brown and oily.

It was Michelle, a true coffee fanatic, who used an actual coffee bean roaster. She has years of experience roasting green coffee beans, and the final results of her beans looked to be the best, with the beans a nice dark brown with visible oil. She said,

The green beans were identical to the ones I buy locally in smell, size, and texture. I roasted them the same way I do my African beans.

As Michelle had described her typical roasting process, I could tell I was in the presence of coffee master. She asked if I wanted a light, medium, or dark roast and said that dark roast was her favorite. I was impressed that she had the expertise to get variable results, and when she said that she loved the cup of coffee from her Coffee-Reserves beans, I was thrilled.

What about the taste?

Everyone agreed that they loved the flavor and aroma of their cup of coffee. Michelle, the coffee expert, said:

The smell of the fresh cup of coffee was delicious and the flavor was remarkably smooth. For flavor alone, I would buy the coffee.

Amy agreed and said, “My first batch smelled great and I could not wait to grind and brew!!  I ground them pretty fine and brewed six cups of coffee. The taste was very French, and a little bitter.  However, the caffeine proved the batch worthy.”

Joyce liked the flavor as well and commented on the smooth taste. She served it to a couple of friends who also liked it.

All 3 of my friends had coffee grinders. I was the odd man out and decided to grind mine using my Ninja food processor. I also had a manual grain mill that would have done the job nicely as well.

Coffee-Reserves has a real winner in their green coffee beans. They are easy for even a beginner to roast, grind, and across the board, the final cup of coffee got a thumbs up from everyone who participated in my experiment.

Tips for beginners

First, I recommend not being afraid to purchase green coffee beans if you love your coffee. I had never roasted coffee beans before, and yet I was able to get decent results on my first try using nothing but my gas oven, a metal steamer, and a baking sheet. It took more time pre-heating the oven than it did to roast the beans.

A second tip and one of the lessons we all learned was the importance of roasting very small batches at first. My friend who referred to this as an “experiment” was exactly right. If you aren’t an experienced roaster, it may take roasting 2 or 3 small batches before you get just the right timing and results. In fact, I recommend making a note on either the bucket or the bag of beans with the exact temperature and timing of your favored roasting process.

Specialized equipment does make the roasting and grinding process easier. If you stock up on green coffee beans, eventually you’ll want to make life easier by investing in a good roaster and grinder. These can be found on Amazon and in specialty stores. If you decide to use a grain mill to grind your roasted beans, consider the Wondermill Junior.

Why store green coffee beans?

For a very long time I have strongly encouraged readers to stock up on comfort foods. Rice, beans, and staples are all well and good, and necessary, but in times of stress, nothing comforts like a favorite food or beverage. For millions of people, it’s that cup of hot coffee that soothes, relaxes, and comforts.

Coffee-Reserves realized early on that their beans aren’t just good quality and priced well, but by packaging them for  long-term storage, the beans can become an important part of a family’s food storage pantry. For non-coffee lovers, they make a great item for barter as well.

Check out the green Colombian coffee beans sold by Coffee-Reserves, and tell them The Survival Mom sent you!

 

 

 

 

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post REVIEW: Green coffee beans – The Perfect Cuppa Joe Today and Long-Term Storage Tomorrow by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/green-coffee-beans/feed/ 3
How to Stretch your Grocery Budget on Taco Night http://thesurvivalmom.com/stretch-grocery-budget-taco-night/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=stretch-grocery-budget-taco-night http://thesurvivalmom.com/stretch-grocery-budget-taco-night/#comments Sun, 29 Jun 2014 12:00:35 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15530 Tacos are a favorite with our crew. Not just tacos, I mean all things related to the humble taco. Crispy tacos, Soft Tacos, Taco Salad, and even Taco Soup. With a family of 8, it can be tough to stretch Read More

The post How to Stretch your Grocery Budget on Taco Night by Andrea Urban appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

Extending Ground Beef

Tacos are a favorite with our crew. Not just tacos, I mean all things related to the humble taco. Crispy tacos, Soft Tacos, Taco Salad, and even Taco Soup. With a family of 8, it can be tough to stretch that pound of hamburger as far as it needs to go to feed everyone. With teenage boys, it’s even tougher. If you’re like us, then you need to stretch your grocery budget.

With meat prices on the rise, family food budgets shrinking, and the kids still just as picky as ever, we sometimes have to get a little creative to make mealtimes work at our house.

When I was a kid my mom would extend the ground beef by adding TVP. Umm. Yuck!   No offense mom but texturized vegetable protein from the 70’s left a lot to be desired in the texture department. If you aren’t a child of the 70’s or 80’s just imaging those little rubber bouncy balls ground up and added to your taco meat.

It did take on the taste of whatever flavorings you used for your dish but there was no hiding that icky texture.

I’m pretty sure the TVP has improved over time because it’s still on the market with lots of variety in flavorings. But you won’t find me using it at my house…I think I must have been traumatized by TVP as a child.

Remember those picky eaters I mentioned above? If there is a ‘green thing’ visible in the dish it might as we’ll be horse manure as far as getting them to eat it. So, I have to get a little creative with my bunch.

Stretching ground beef has become a bit of a challenge, but over the years I’ve landed on a few things that work at my house. The following list is by no means all inclusive. In fact, I’m sure that there are dozens of other ways to extend ground meats but I’m a little on the lazy super busy side. I’m all about easy, convenient and fast.

Favorite Ground Meat Stretching Tactics:

  • Oatmeal - Yes the humble oat. I use Quick Oats or Rolled Oats interchangeably. It just depends on which #10 can the child fetched when I sent them after another can of Oatmeal from the food storage room. You can use the plain oatmeal as is, or if you are like my family and the oats can’t be recognized for their true selves…blend away. We end up with an oat powder that we make into a paste. The paste is added as beef is browning, about half way through the cooking time when there isn’t much pink left.
  • Potatoes - The execution of this one depends on the pickiness of your family. I’ve diced up frozen hash brown shreds, they are pretty small and blend well, but for the uber picky, the potato form of choice is potato flakes. I buy them in bulk but you can also get them in the grocery aisle. These are the ones we use to make mashed potatoes. These are very forgiving, sometimes I sprinkle them with the ground beef as its browning and sometimes I mix them into a paste first. These work great as a soup thickener too. Just add water as needed.
  • Dehydrated Re-fried beans are, by far, my favorite ‘stretcher’ for taco meat. Beans naturally go with Tacos so there’s nothing weird or foreign here. Add the beans (they look like dark cornflakes) as the ground beef is browning. I add these early on so they have time to rehydrate and I then add additional water as needed depending on how it looks.

The main thing I LOVE about these three is that they’re all shelf stable items just hanging out in the pantry waiting for me. They all have very long shelf lives and I don’t have to worry too much about rotation. Viewing shopping as an annual activity, not weekly or even monthly one, has really helped me.

When it comes to rotation and babysitting food items, I have enough to worry about just making sure the milk doesn’t get chunky or the cheese doesn’t develop green fuzzies. Who really needs one more thing to keep track of?

I’m curious if any of you were also traumatized by TVP from your childhood? If so, have you recovered?

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post How to Stretch your Grocery Budget on Taco Night by Andrea Urban appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/stretch-grocery-budget-taco-night/feed/ 19
17 Things to Do with Tomatoes http://thesurvivalmom.com/things-to-do-with-tomatoes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=things-to-do-with-tomatoes http://thesurvivalmom.com/things-to-do-with-tomatoes/#comments Sun, 29 Jun 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=13264  It’s summertime! And with summer come summer vegetables, like tomatoes! Whether you are harvesting tomatoes from your own garden, or purchasing them from a grocery store or farmers’ market, you can use them to make some of these great recipes. Read More

The post 17 Things to Do with Tomatoes by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

tomatoes 2 It’s summertime! And with summer come summer vegetables, like tomatoes! Whether you are harvesting tomatoes from your own garden, or purchasing them from a grocery store or farmers’ market, you can use them to make some of these great recipes.

Main Courses

 A tasty but simple tomato soup recipe will start us off! Don’t like to eat soup when it’s hot outside? Why not make it in the winter with your stored tomatoes? Read more here!

 Try this delicious and spicy sauce next! Pour it hot over some meat and beans for a hearty chili or serve it cold with chips or vegetables for a yummy salsa. Find the recipe here.

 Have leftover scraps from all these tomato recipes? Why not turn them into tomato sauce? Find out how to make a versatile sauce with just your scraps from the recipe at this link.

 Looking for ideas on how to use your fresh tomato sauce? Add some seasonings and it would make the perfect topping for cabbage rolls like the ones in this post!

 Looking for another tasty dish that could be served both hot and cold? How about some chicken and sun-dried tomato pasta? Find the recipe here! (Bonus! This one has both gluten free and dairy free options. Double bonus! The post about dehydrating tomatoes, which you will find below, also tells you how to make the sun-dried tomatoes you’ll need for the pasta.)

 

Salads

 Love the flavor of a good BLT, but don’t want the bread? Maybe you’re allergic to gluten; maybe you’re staying away just to be healthier; maybe you just want to try something new. Whatever the reason, a BLT salad would be just the thing for you! Read more at this link. (Bonus! The end of this post has lots of links to other great salad recipes, many of which feature tomatoes.)

 

 Next up is the easiest veggie salad you’ll ever make! Just chop the vegetables and mix them in a big bowl. Find the recipe here along with some other ideas on how to use your mixed veggies.

 Looking for more unique and healthy flavors? Try this recipe for some corn, tomato, and quinoa salad! (Bonus! Had enough salads? try serving it warm as a side or even as a main dish.)

 

Sides

 Who doesn’t love a good salsa? Okay, maybe you aren’t fond of the spice, but if you make it yourself, you can adjust exactly how much (or how little) spice you use! Find an excellent recipe here.

 Looking to try something just a little different? How about some pico de gallo instead of just salsa? Read more here!

tomato ketchup Planning any backyard cookouts? Of course, ketchup is always necessary for your hotdogs and burgers,  but ketchup from the store is often full of preservatives, corn syrup, and other harmful ingredients. Why not make your own? Take a look at this post for a great recipe!

 Since bacon has been so popular lately, it only seems fair to include this tomato bacon dip in our list of recipes! Serve it with crackers, bread, veggies, or just about anything else! Read how to make it here. (Bonus! Try using turkey bacon for a healthier twist.)

 

Preserving

canning tomatoes Preserve your tomatoes in the summer to have fresh tasting tomatoes all year round! This post will give you instructions on two different ways to can your tomatoes.

dehydrating tomatoes For a slightly different flavor, preserve your tomatoes by dehydrating them! There are many ways you can use dehydrated tomatoes, and you can even reconstitute them to use them just like fresh tomatoes! Read more from this article. (Bonus! Find out how to make sun-dried tomatoes, too.)

 That last post mentioned using your dehydrated tomatoes to make tomato powder. This post tells you exactly how to do that, and it includes several great ideas on how to use your tomato powder!

 Probably the fastest and easiest way to preserve your tomatoes is by simply freezing them. This post has some helpful tips for when you’re freezing your tomatoes.

 

Growing

 Have all these recipes left you inspired to grow your own tomatoes next summer? Maybe you’ve already grown some but want some tips to improve your harvest. Check out this post for several great suggestions on growing tomatoes from how to select the best varieties to how to prevent pests.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post 17 Things to Do with Tomatoes by The Survival Mom appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/things-to-do-with-tomatoes/feed/ 2
3 Ways to Preserve Eggs and Milk for Long-term Storage http://thesurvivalmom.com/3-ways-preserve-eggs-milk-longterm-storage/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=3-ways-preserve-eggs-milk-longterm-storage http://thesurvivalmom.com/3-ways-preserve-eggs-milk-longterm-storage/#comments Mon, 23 Jun 2014 10:00:48 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=15339 We have an abundance of milk and eggs on our farm due to our milk cow and flock of laying hens. Production slows down a bit in the winter, but in the summertime we run two fridges just to keep Read More

The post 3 Ways to Preserve Eggs and Milk for Long-term Storage by Courtney Wollam appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

cwollam_eggs and milk_title pic (600x800)

We have an abundance of milk and eggs on our farm due to our milk cow and flock of laying hens. Production slows down a bit in the winter, but in the summertime we run two fridges just to keep up with it all!

I’m desperate to turn my second fridge into a cheese cave, so I began trying to find some different ways to preserve the precious bounty that would free up my fridge and also tide us over in the winter months.

To Freeze, Can, or Dehydrate?

I focused on freezing, canning, and dehydrating to preserve eggs and milk. Instructions for completing each method, pros and cons, my recommendations, and pictures of some of the results are below. This way, you can decide which method would be best for you and your family, and your food storage needs. Even if you’re not trying to free up a second fridge, you never know when there will be a power outage. Not depending solely on your refrigerator is important!

Freezing: Takes up a lot of space in the freezer, but prep is quick and easy

Freezing is the least time-consuming method for long-term storage, but it is also the most energy dependent one. Eggs and milk can be frozen in many different containers: freezer bags, jars, plastic freezer containers and they perform much like the fresh version when thawed and used. If you are using farm fresh raw milk, freeze the cream separately. Once thawed, the cream will sit on top of the milk in flakes and the two will not mix together, no matter how hard you shake the jar!

freezing eggs ice cube tray (600x800)To freeze milk, simply pour it into your chosen container, leaving room for the milk to swell. My container of choice are ziploc freezer bags. I pour 1/2 gallon of milk in a 1 gallon freezer bag and lay flat in the freezer until frozen solid so they will be easy to stack.

Preparing eggs to be frozen is also extremely quick and easy. Simply break them into a bowl, beat to combine the yolks and whites or push through a strainer and pour them into your container and freeze. To save space, I pour the eggs into an ice cube tray and, once frozen, remove them from the tray and place in a freezer bag.

1 “egg cube” = approximately 1 egg

3 tablespoons frozen, thawed egg = 1 whole fresh egg

2 tablespoons egg white = 1 egg white

1 tablespoon yolk = 1 egg yolk

Canning Milk and Eggs: Works great for milk, but eggs turn green

I have canned milk for quite a long time and used it with much success; the result is most like the evaporated milk that you can purchase at the grocery store. It has a slight caramel color and tastes most like fresh milk when diluted 1/2 and 1/2 with water.

Preserve Eggs and Milk

Canned Eggs

I was, however, very leery about canning eggs. I’d never even heard of canned eggs! When I started doing some research, I found some references to them and pieced together some basic instructions for both water bath and pressure canning eggs. Those instructions warned that the eggs will swell quite a bit while processing and will turn green after sitting on the shelf, and, yes, they do. In fact, they turned green while they were canning, much like over-cooked hard-boiled eggs.

Not knowing how much they would swell, I only filled my jars about half full to make sure they didn’t overflow while canning. As a result, I couldn’t can them in a water bath; the jars had too much headspace and floated to the top of the water in the canner.

If canning eggs was the only method of preserving available to me, I would might experiment with different pressures in the canner, different head-space levels, etc. to get it just right, but, to be honest, I just don’t think I will use this method in the future.

Because there are no safety guidelines for canning eggs, and I cannot recommend it. Eggs can be pickled, which is another option if you have lots of eggs. Here is some basic information about preserving pickled eggs.

The instructions below for canning milk are basic and require some canning knowledge to complete:

How To Can Milk in a Pressure Canner:

  1. Fill pressure canner to fill line with tepid water. Do NOT pre-heat the canner, leave the stove off while you prepare the jars.

    Canned Milk

    Canned Milk

  2. Pour milk into sterlized jars, add warmed lids and rings. (It isn’t necessary to warm the milk before adding to the jars.)
  3. Place jars of milk in pressure canner and attach canner lid. Turn the stove onto a med-high heat and allow the canner to heat and  the steam to vent for ten minutes.
  4. To safely can your milk, refer to this chart for proper altitude adjustment. For my altitude, less than 1000 feet, I place the 10lb weight on my canner and let pressure build just to 10 lbs.
  5. Turn the stove off and let the canner de-pressurize naturally. Remove jars and set on a towel on the counter to cool.
  6. After 24 hours, remove rings and check seals.

Dehydrated Milk and Eggs: Great Long-term Storage Option Using Minimal Space

Powdered eggs don’t sound appealing, but when reconstituted, have a taste and texture very similar to fresh or frozen eggs. You can beat the eggs together and dry them or dry the whites and the yolks separately. Reconstituted eggs can be used the same as fresh eggs. You can even use the dried egg whites to make a nice fluffy meringue!

I dried a dozen eggs and blended them into crumbles and they fit into a 12 ounce jar. If I had blended them even more, into a powder, I’m sure I could fit that whole dozen into a 1/2 pint jar. That would be 4 dozen dehydrated eggs per quart jar. Great use of space!

The only downfall to this method is the amount of heat that the dehydrator puts out. In the hot summer months, it might be a better idea to freeze the eggs and then thaw and dehydrate them when it is cooler outside (especially if you don’t have an air conditioner in your house).

1 tablespoon powdered egg + 1 tablespoon hot water = 1 egg

I have not attempted to dehydrate milk at home, but before we had our milk cows I always kept a couple boxes in my pantry for emergencies.

How To Dehydrate Eggs:

  • Line the trays of your dehydrator with parchment or wax paper, folding up all the edges to form a tray so the liquid eggs won’t slide off and make a mess.
  • Break your eggs and stir to combine, or separate them and dry the whites and yolks on two different trays.
  • Slowly pour the egg onto the tray, moving your bowl around so as not to pool them in the middle. I also used a spoon to spread the eggs to the edges of the tray. You will want a very thin layer so they dry evenly.
  • Dehydrate at 135 degrees for 6 to 8 hours or until no moisture is left. It took about 6 hours for a dozen eggs on one tray to fully dehydrate in my Excalibur 9 tray model. I stirred about halfway through as a skin had formed on the top and the outside edges.
  • Once dried, you can crumble the eggs up and store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid or grind or blend the crumbles into a powder. I put the egg crumbles in the blender and ground them up.
  • To use, reconstitute with hot water then cook as normal. When using for baking, simply add the powdered eggs with the dry ingredients and add the same amount of water with the wet ingredients.

Which Method Will You Choose?

After my experimentation with all of these different methods to preserve eggs and milk, I will most definitely continue to can my extra milk in jars. However, as soon as I can keep our 2nd fridge free of the over flow, I will start cheese-making again. Dehydrated eggs are my choice for putting those up. I can’t say that I will want to eat them as scrambled eggs in the winter all of the time, but I am really excited about having an abundance available for all of my holiday baking!

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post 3 Ways to Preserve Eggs and Milk for Long-term Storage by Courtney Wollam appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/3-ways-preserve-eggs-milk-longterm-storage/feed/ 19
The 15 Commandments of Food Storage http://thesurvivalmom.com/15-commandments-food-storage/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=15-commandments-food-storage http://thesurvivalmom.com/15-commandments-food-storage/#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 10:00:06 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=14665 Who doesn’t love that bit from Mel Brooks’ History of the World ,Part 1 where Moses descends from Mt Sinai clutching three stone tablets proclaiming: “The Lord has given you these 15 ( one tablet falls, smashing into a thousand Read More

The post The 15 Commandments of Food Storage by Beth Johnson appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>

food storageWho doesn’t love that bit from Mel Brooks’ History of the World ,Part 1 where Moses descends from Mt Sinai clutching three stone tablets proclaiming: “The Lord has given you these 15 ( one tablet falls, smashing into a thousand pieces on the desert floor)…Oy, um…ten! Yeah, Ten Commandments!”

Ever wonder what those other five might have been?

Try as I might I just couldn’t keep limit myself to only ten commandments when it comes to food storage. So if 15 commandments are good enough for Mel Brooks, it’s good enough for me!

The 15 Commandments of Food Storage

1.  Start now

If you buy even one extra can of tuna tomorrow or box of crackers tomorrow, it will give you a sliver of peace of mind until next week. Worst case scenario, it’ll keep you alive for another few days. Over time, every bit adds up.

2.  Store water, too

All the food on an Army base will do you little good without adequate water.

Remember the survival Rule Of Threes: you can survive three weeks without food but only three days without water (three hours without shelter, three minutes without air).

Don’t count on canned food for more than a tiny amount of water. There’s not much in there and most of it is swimming with salt or sugar.

In addition to storing water, it’s essential to have at least two ways to collect and purify more for replenishment. The internet and your local library abound with advice on both replenishment and conservation.

3.  Store what you use and use what you store

We’ve all heard this, but what does it really mean? A couple years ago, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons or LDS), the original food storage experts, reiterated the call to start with three months of ordinary foods your family eats every day while building up basic staples like wheat and dry milk.

Some people had a rude awakening when they realized just how many Spaghettio’s and chicken nuggets they were eating. Convenience foods are also more expensive and typically occupy much more space than staples. Which leads to…

4.  Eat and cook real food

Not food-like substances. It’s cheaper to eat the real thing, it keeps longer, is healthier and far more versatile! A can of chili is a can of chili. But a can or bag of kidney beans opens up a whole world of possibilities and doesn’t contain a nutritionally criminal amount of salt.

You can pay the grocer or the doctor when a poor diet gets the best of you, and the grocer is cheaper. The cry of the last 20 years that healthy food is more expensive than chemical and additive laden convenience food is total codswollop, and there are whole books and websites devoted to it. If you haven’t read Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, it takes less than an hour but the benefits last a lifetime.

5.  Don’t buy a years’ worth of one thing at a time

Buying basics in bulk is economical and absolutely should be part of your plan, but what happens when all of one item expires or goes stale at the same time? If you spread out your buying, then you spread out your expiration dates, particularly with basic staples. In an actual disaster, how would your family fare if you’ve got 100lbs of wheat, 100lbs of rice, 50lbs of powdered milk – and nothing else – to actually live on?

6.  Condiments will save you

Extracts, herbs, and sauces spice up a bland diet, and a years’ worth of cinnamon only costs about $6!

Since the goal is to cook real food, picture this: you’re making pasta sauce from jarred tomatoes, olive oil, and onions from your root cellar but…no oregano, rosemary, or bay leaf. That’s not going to make much of an impression with your loved ones.

I talked to someone a few years ago who was living on their food storage due to prolonged job loss. One day she realized that she had a vast array of baking ingredients but no vanilla. Or any other extracts.

Every family is different, but for most families the most versatile ones to start with will be ketchup, soy sauce, and something spicy like chili powder. They’re good for something else,too…

7.  Have a few convenience/luxury foods for barter and illness

As has been asked here on The Survival Mom, what if you were sick, injured(or worse) and your 9 year old was suddenly in charge of feeding the family? They need the temporary option of popping open a can and sticking a spoon in it.

Now imagine a prolonged disaster. Power has been out for over a week, propane and gasoline are gone, or nearly so. People are cooking basic staples and wild game in fireplaces and back yard pits either in their homes or in evac shelters.

Under those conditions, what do you think would be the new value of a $2 box of water-only pancake mix? How about “luxury” items like chopped clams or chocolate chips? I just bought 14 cans of chopped clams because I had a rain check that got me extra gas points.

8.  Replenishment is the 8th commandment of food storage

What if the emergency went on for years? It doesn’t have to be Zombie Apocalypse. It happens in war all the time.

What if your preps were stolen? How do you get more food? Sharing and barter are helpful, but it’s folly to count on them.

That leaves three choices: foraging, hunting/fishing, and gardening. Do you know how to find and identify wild edibles? Do you have even rudimentary fishing/hunting equipment and knowledge? It’s harder than it looks.

Store heirloom, non-hybrid, non-gmo seeds and learn how to grow them! Remember to include grains, beans, herbs, and even fruits, if you can. Protect them from moisture, heat, light and oxygen in that order. A brown paper lined canning jar in the fridge or freezer does nicely. If you buy a ready made “vault”, make sure it is from a seed company and not a food supplier.

9.  Store the rainbow

My parents used to say that God color-coded the plant world for a reason: eat all the colors and you’ll be healthy. We laughed and thought they were hayseeds. Who’s laughing now? There are different protective chemicals attached to each color and you don’t want to miss any. In both food and seeds, make sure to have multiple sources of all colors plus some vitamin tablets, just to be safe.

10.  Multiple layers of storage

Simply put, have some dry, some canned, some freeze dried, some frozen, etc. When the fridge is gone, there’s dry. If you can’t cook at all, there’s canned, etc. Just make sure you have a good can opener for the canned goods.

11. Store multi-use items

Your food storage can include medicine, hygiene items, and household cleaners. Vinegar, baking soda, coconut oil, lemon juice, peppermint, and ginger, among others, serve myriad purposes besides cooking and baking. That’ll save space, money, and toxic chemicals.

12. FIFO and Par

Those aren’t Norse gods. They’re restaurant concepts. FIFO means “first in, first out.” Write the date you buy it or the use-by date ( whichever works for you) on items and rotate them so the oldest is used first. This also helps you track how much you really use of an item.

Par is the amount you’ve decided to keep in stock. When do you buy/make more? At half-par. Let’s say you’ve decided to keep 40 lbs sugar around. You buy more at 20 lbs. Going lower is a good way to invite disaster. Kind of like the way washing your car causes it to rain.

13. Dishes

What are you going to eat all this food on? Traditional dishes and dish washing eats up a lot of precious water and space. Buy some multifunctional dishes like shallow bowl/plates, pie tins, sporks, and metal cups that can go on a fire. Dishes can be wiped with a damp cloth and sanitized with alcohol or witch hazel. Cast iron pans and can go right onto coals and should never be subjected to soap. Sturdy paper plates can be used several times and then composted or used for tinder.

14. Location, location, location

This means store your supplies in more than one location. There’s potentially some loss at any one location due to water, natural disasters, mice, or whatever. The rest is safe.

One of the biggest threats is theft. Unless we’re talking about a total Road Warrior scenario, marauders tend to hit and run quickly. If there’s stuff in every room, under the beds, behind the books, in the suspended ceilings and so forth, they’ll never find it all. Which brings us last, but certainly not least to…

15. OpSec

Operational Security. If you ever watch “Doomsday Preppers” and similar shows, the people sometimes get their score and cryptically comment that they didn’t show the cameras everything. And they often use the phrase “undisclosed location.”

Then there are other people whose house is easily located by their identities. They then show you where the guns are, where 90% of their food is, and even the “secret” escape hatch in the garage floor.

Which of those approaches sounds least likely to get your carefully collected preps stolen? Also, when others don’t know exactly what you’ve got then they also don’t know what you AIN’T got, which is equally important. I don’t just mean guns and dogs. Say it comes down to barter time and someone knows you’re out of something vital like medicine or fuel. They’ve got you over a rather large barrel, haven’t they?

Everyone has to eat, so food is the most obvious place to start getting prepared. Just remember the goal. This is not panic fodder. It’s panic prevention.

I was a child when the Blizzard of ’78 hit New England in the days before Doppler radar and we had no idea how bad it was going to be. People were housebound or stranded all over. Stores ran out of supplies in hours. People were unprepared and all my friends’ parents were pretty scared.

My parents hardly raised an eyebrow because they were Upstate New York farm kids. We always had several months’ food in the house and I had no idea that other people shopped week to week. I had trouble wrapping my mind around causing so much anxiety and danger when it’s so easily avoided. I still do.

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

The post The 15 Commandments of Food Storage by Beth Johnson appeared first on The Survival Mom. Be sure to check it out!

]]>
http://thesurvivalmom.com/15-commandments-food-storage/feed/ 19