* Wheat is available online here: Hard Red Wheat | United States Store for $36.25 or here: Hard White Wheat | United States Store for $36.40. It is a case (6 #10 cans), which is about 33 pounds of wheat. Just a little over $1 per pound. I could not find wheat at beprepared.com, but I found some on Amazon here: Augason Farms Hard White Wheat Emergency Food Storage 24 Pound
$40 for 24 pounds, about $1.67 per pound.
* Garden Battles. I have this one pot. Last year, whatever I put in that pot got eaten – and I mean EVERY leaf, one by one until only stumps were left. So this year I took out all the dirt. Yeah. All of it. Put in new dirt and plants. I got some lovely broccoli, and then two days ago I got this:
Literally, every leaf was eaten off the broccoli plant. Last night I went out at about 11 PM with a flashlight. I looked over and under EVERY leaf. Nothing. Ugh. This morning, another 2 leaves off the other broccoli plant were stripped. Friday, I declared war. First, I smeared the entire broccoli stems (2 plants left) with Vaseline. What the heck? I read it someplace and why not? Then I encircled the stem with a toilet paper tube. THEN for extra measure, I encircled THAT with a cut-up water bottle. AND to top things off, I sprinkled crushed eggshells all around the plant.
Next day – more eaten leaves.
Do you see that stripped leaf? Poor thing. This is the biggest mystery. I’ve already tried the Sluggo Plus which is supposed to kill cutworms, earwigs, snails, etc. Whatever it is, it’s happening between 11 PM and 5 AM. I need a surveillance camera.
Update: My cat captured a 6-in grasshopper. AND I covered my broccoli with a fine net. All was good for 2 days. Then today, another leaf is missing. Ugh. I noticed that the netting was not secured at the bottom. It is now. But, the stump IS starting to show signs of new leaves. There is still hope. The saga continues.
Update: No missing leaves for the past 3 days. Mesh is secured. All stripped plants showing signs of regrowth.
* I ran out of cumin and knew I had some store somewhere. I found it in the back of a closet, vacuum sealed and dated 2016. Herbs are only supposed to be good for 1-2 years. I opened it. It was as fragrant as ever!!!! Yay!
* If you are growing broccoli or cauliflower for the first time (and they are SUPER easy to grow), be sure to submerge the heads in salty water for 5-10 minutes BEFORE you cut and cook. My first broccoli years ago had little green worms that wriggled out and floated to the top. Ewwww. Since I’ve been using Capt Jack’s Dead Bug Brew I have not had worms. BUT, when I brought in 2 cauliflowers and submerged them. I had at least a dozen earwigs float up. Ewwww again.
I’m pretty sure I do NOT save money gardening. But I look at it like I’m practicing gardening. Plus, fresh veggies taste SOOO much better. Just saying.
LONG TERM FOCUS: Grains & Pasta
I like pasta. I like the taste. AND I like how it can extend a meal to be filling and feed more people. So… I store pasta. You can purchase macaroni in #10 cans here: Macaroni | United States Store $32.35 for 6 cans that will keep for 30 years (3 pounds). AND you can buy spaghetti bites (short pieces of spaghetti so it will fit in a #10 can) here: Spaghetti Bites | United States Store $31.90 for 6 cans (2.7 pounds). Of course, buying pasta at the store, especially when it’s on sale, is MUCH cheaper, and you have a much bigger variety. BUT, you have to be able to store your pasta without pantry moths or weevils getting into it. Me? I vacuum seal it and it lasts 5-6 years easy. I’m currently trying to eat up all the pasta I sealed in 2016. I don’t recommend just stacking the pasta on a shelf or under the bed. You have to repackage it somehow. Mylar bags are an option. Sealable buckets and oxygen packets are another option. Either of these choices will STILL be cheaper than purchasing the #10 cans. But some people like convenience. So you choose.
Mostly, I buy and store what I like to use: spaghetti, fettucini, ditalini (small salad pasta). I don’t use macaroni very often, but I do have a little on hand. I also have lasagna noodles because I like to make Skillet Lasagna. I try not to buy pasta when it is around $1 per pound. You CAN find it on sale less than that, sometimes at $.50 a pound, but you have to watch and be patient. If you want to get a head start on pasta, just buy 2 next time you need 1.
SHORT TERM FOCUS: Natural Yeast
Natural yeast is how you get sourdough bread, waffles, pancakes, and other baked treats. (My favorite are blueberry muffins). Set out a jar filled with 1/2 water and 1/2 flour. Cover it with a cloth, or a coffee filter so it doesn’t get dust or whatever in it. At night, pour out 1/2 of the jar, then add 50% water and 50% flour. Let it sit on the counter overnight. In the morning, pour out 1/2 of the jar, and add your water and flour again. Wild yeast is everywhere in the air. After several days, you may begin to see bubbles forming. Keep at it. You can put a rubber band around the jar and see if it “rises” during the day or night. When it consistently doubles in size, it is ready. At this point, you can keep it in the refrigerator and only feed it about once a week. AND, you can start baking with it. Because you have to “discard” so much of it in the beginning, don’t start with a lot. Maybe 1/4 -1/3 c. water and flour. Once you have a healthy jar of bubbling yeast, you can start making delicious bread and other treats. It might be a fun experiment for your kids this summer. Then, if you don’t want to keep your yeast, you can just use it and not replenish it. BUT, you will have learned something!
72-HOUR KIT FOCUS: lighters
An easy thing to store in your kit is a cigarette lighter. Pretty cheap. But, they do NOT last forever and will need to be replaced. Google says that if you keep your plastic lighter out of the sun it will last for many years. Burn time: for full-sized Bic lighters – about an hour. Mini Bic lighters will burn for about 20 minutes.
FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
Today’s recipes are from a Food Storage Cookbook, by the South Jordan Utah River Stake, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2003
Everyone probably has a recipe for this already. Mine includes tuna, Cream of Mushroom soup, and macaroni. That’s it. Although I used to make it a lot when my children were young, I seldom make it now.
Here is another version.
1 package 16 oz. noodles or macaroni
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 cans tuna
2 c. frozen peas
Cook pasta until done. Cook peas until tender. Mix soup, sour cream, mayonnaise, and tuna together. Mix all ingredients together and heat in oven at 375˚ until hot, or warm on top of the stove.
1 can (30 oz.) Hunt’s chili beans
1 lb. hamburger
1 large onion, diced
1 pkg spaghetti
1 can (28 oz. tomato juice) OR 1 can (16 oz) tomato sauce and water to make 28 oz.
salt and chili powder as desired.
Brown hamburger and onion; drain all fat off. Combine with chili beans and tomato juice. Add salt and chili powder to the desired taste. Cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Cook spaghetti in another saucepan till tender. Drain all water from spaghetti and add to chili mixture. Heat well and serve. Can top this with grated cheese or sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
6 oz. spaghetti
2 TB butter or margarine
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 well-beaten eggs
1 c. cottage cheese
1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 bottle Prego spaghetti sauce
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese.
Cook the spaghetti according to package directions; drain (should be about 3 cups spaghetti. Stir margarine into hot spaghetti and then add parmesan cheese and the well-beaten eggs. When spaghetti is well coated, form spaghetti into a crust in a buttered 10-inch pie plate. Spread cottage cheese over bottom of spaghetti crust. Mix ground beef, onion, and spaghetti sauce together and spread the sauce over cottage cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes; then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake 5 more minutes. Let pie stand for 5 minutes before cutting into pie shapes.
Taster’s Note: It was really good and different. My kids really liked it!
I hope you have committed to getting your family ready? Food first!!! Get 2 weeks, then increase to 3 months. Now you will begin to feel peace of mind. Increase that to 6 months. NOW you will feel really good about what you have.
Start small. Little by little.
This week, do something!