NOTES: I finally cleaned out under both beds. I probably emptied 6 dozen jars of inedible food into the garbage. Some of it was just bad. The peaches and pears were so old they were almost black. I had 2 dozen jars of spaghetti sauce I canned myself. But, shortly after I had canned it, I tried one out and did not like the way the sausage had canned up. Not sure if it was the taste or texture, but I didn’t like it. Still, it was hard to just throw away so much hard work. But I finally decided that it was silly to keep it when I could use the jars for something else. I was ruthless.
Do NOT feel bad when you have to throw away food. Think of it as “insurance.” You have to “rebuy” your insurance every year, and frankly, you are HAPPY if you DON’T use it!!!
Obviously, it’s better to use it by rotating, but those peaches, pears, and spaghetti sauce jars bought me peace of mind for a lot of years. Plus, if you have an emergency, you’ll want good food to eat, not 15 year old peaches!
Remember my lettuce and my great new cover to protect it from bugs??? Yeah…..well…. I found aphids. Ugh. I get them in the Spring, then the heat drives them away, and now they are back. I spray with Safer Soap with Pyrethrin.
I broke down and planted carrots. I couldn’t help myself. They mature in 75 days. So…. 2 1/2 months. That means that by the end of November I should have carrots. We generally do not get really cold weather until February, so I should be okay.
This is my favorite part of gardening. This is lettuce.
THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE – soup 10 cans
The cost of soup is one of those things that has been steadily rising. No use waiting for a sale.
I have a really good recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup which I will share below. ( I have some freeze dried chicken which I use in the recipe so it can be totally shelf stable in a jar or in a Mylar bag.) If that is not a choice available to you, a can of chicken will work just as well.
Vegetable soup I usually make from scratch
But, Cream of Chicken Soup and Cream of Mushroom soup just last forever (because they are filled with preservatives!). There are recipes for using a soup “base” and then adding other ingredients to make these two soups, but for Cream of Chicken you have to add chicken, obviously, and for Mushroom soup you need mushrooms. So much easier to just get cans.
Ten cans will cost under $20 if you can shop at Winco.
Tomato soup will darken after 3-4 years, but the other cream soups will last 8-9 years at least.
I don’t know if you have ever eaten fresh “game” meat. My first husband used to go deer hunting when we were newly married. I do NOT like the “game” taste, and if you ever had it, you know what I mean. But I found that Cream of Mushroom Soup and some Lipton onion soup did wonders for the flavor! I don’t envision myself eating fresh game – even in an emergency situation, but stocking up on those two things can make a lot of other things taste better!
MISC PURCHASE: pet food
Just keep 1-2 bags of pet food on hand.
FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
Chicken Noodle Soup
In a pint size jar add
- 1/2 c. freeze dried chicken cubes
(you can substitute 1 small can chicken OR foil pack of chicken cut in small cubes). Do not open the pouch until you are ready to make the soup
- 4 oz (about 1 1/2 c.) fettuccine noodles broken in 2-3 inch pieces
- 4 tsp chicken bouillon
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 c. dehydrated carrots (pack separately in a piece of Saran Wrap or small snack baggie
- 1 TB dehydrated celery, also wrapped separately.
To cook: Add the carrots and celery to 1 c. boiling water and let sit for 15-20 min. Add the vegetables and jar contents to 4 additional cups of hot water in a saucepan and let simmer about 15 minutes until noodles are cooked.
This recipe is from Everything Under the Sun by Wendy DeWitt.
- 1/2 pound of washed pinto beans
Bring 3 c. water to a boil. Add beans and let soak for 2 hour.
Drain and replace the water with 3 c. clean water.
- 1 tsp salt – add Simmer for 2-3 hours until beans are tender.
OR, use 2 cans of pinto beans
- 2 oz. cans of tomato sauce (can make with 1 c. tomato powder and 2 c. water)
- 1 jar (1 pound) cooked and drained ground beef
- 2 TB dried onion
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 TB chili powder
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Put the beef and beans in the oven to cook at 350˚ or simmer on the stovetop.
melt 1/3 c. shortening and set aside.
In a bowl, stir together
- 1 2/3 c. flour
- 2/3 c. sugar
- 5 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 2/3 c. cornmeal – mix well
- 2 eggs – fresh or powdered
- 1/2 c. dry milk
- 1 c. water
Stir to a smooth batter.
Stir in melted shortening until just blended.
When meat and beans are hot and cooked through, remove from oven and spoon topping over meat and bake again about 30-40 min.
365 Loaves of Bread
Under Wendy DeWitt’s system, she plans to have a loaf of bread every day. (Craig and I can barely get through a loaf a week…. so plan for your family). But I thought the total amount of wheat and other ingredients was interesting.
- 2 c. white wheat (equals 3 c. flour) X 365 days = 730 c. flour = 61 #10 cans of wheat. Interesting that 61 cans of wheat will only yield 3 c. of flour a day.
- 1 c. water X 365 days = 23 gallons
- 1 1/2 tsp salt = 547 tsp = 4 2/3 containers of salt
- 2 TB melted shortening = 19 pounds of shortening Unless you are actually making bread every day, this amount of shortening simply will not keep. My shortening starts turning rancid after 2 years, even though it should last 3 years if unopened. It depends on where you are storing it! The recipe I use the most uses vegetable oil instead of shortening. I have better luck storing oil and have opened and used bottles that are 7-8 years old.
- 1/4 c. sugar = 46 pounds of sugar
OR 1/4 c. honey = 75 pounds of honey
- 1 TB yeast = 8 pounds of yeast – You can keep your yeast in the freezer, but it will lose potency after time. If you are serious about being able to make bread in an off-grid situation, you should learn how to do it with natural yeast, sometimes called sourdough yeast. My husband does NOT like the sourdough flavor, so I just add a lot of sugar. LOL
I have shared bread recipes before. But the following is from Wendy DeWitt, based on the amounts listed above.
Whole Wheat Bread Makes one loaf or 3-4 pints.
- 1 Tb yeast, 1 c water, 3 c wheat flour, 1 ½ tsp salt, 2 Tb applesauce or shortening, ¼ c sugar or honey.
Solar oven: Warm ¼ c of the water, stir in the yeast and set aside. Mix 2 c of the flour, the melted shortening, sugar, salt and the rest of the water in a large bowl. A little at a time, add enough of the rest of the flour, kneading until smooth and elastic. Cover the bread and let it rise until doubled in size. Punch down the dough, shape it into a loaf, place into a greased pan or jars, cover and let it rise again until doubled. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until browned. For a regular oven, bake at 350 for 25-30 min.
If you have never made bread, you should learn. It is not that hard, but it is something you actually have to do, not just read about. I’m SURE there are lots of YouTube videos that will walk you through it.