Archive for the ‘Amazon Pick’ Category
Commercially available MRE’s (meals ready to eat) taste better than in times gone by, but they contain a lot of preservatives. If you’d like to be more self reliant when it comes to food storage, why not make your own MRE’s?
They don’t have to be just for camping out or survival during the aftermath of a major storm. These MRE’s you make yourself are convenient for everyday use at home. And not all of your meals ready to eat would have to be in a foil pouch. Why not put meals in jars, too?
You can make your own meals ready to eat, naturally. In Meals in a Jar, by Julie Languille, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for 125 natural breakfasts, lunches, dinners and desserts. For example, you can make biscuits and gravy, braised short ribs, turkey pot pie, breakfast burritos, and white chocolate cranberry cookies, to name a few.
The recipes are good for meals you can take when you go camping or on other outdoor oadventures. They can also be lifesavers in times of disasters like fires, blackouts or hurricanes. But they’re also good for everyday use, such as quick nightly dinners for the family or when Dad or the teenagers are on the go and need a fast meal.
About a Creative Cook
Here’s her bio info.
“Julie Languille is passionate about both food and preparedness. She owns a dinner-planning website called DinnersInAFlash.com with thousands of recipes compiled to make dinner planning, shopping, and cooking easy for families. She teaches workshops on preparedness and long-term food storage, and regularly hosts food-packaging parties where families gather to make prepackaged meal kits to build their own food storage as well as bless families in need.
“Julie lives with her husband and family on lovely Whidbey Island, in the Puget Sound near Seattle, and when not cooking she loves to read, sail, and kayak in the waters near her home.”
About Meals in a Jar
Meals in a Jar is meant to take the stress and guesswork out of cooking. All you have to do is pull your meals off the shelf, mix with water and cook. Meals are easy and convenient, but they’re not store bought. Instead, you’ll be eating meals you’ve made from scratch.
Here are just a few of the meals you can make–ready to eat for you and your family.
- Tomato Soup with Cheese
- Cheddar Garlic Biscuits
- Cornmeal Pancakes with Syrup
- Breakfast Burritos
- Chicken Chipotle Soup
- Braised Short Ribs
- Turkey Pot Pie
- Coq Au VinRustic Fruit Pie
About Our Mouth Watering Conversation
While commercially available storage food is good, Julie has higher standards for nutritious, delicious meals for her family. She had other families in mind, too, when she put together Meals in a Jar.
It’s clear Julie puts a lot of thought and planning into her meals, and, thus, her cookbook. She’s very methodical. Some of the recipes are for dry ingredients such as soups or stews. Others are for home pressure-canned meals like braised dishes, such as pulled pork, or brisket.
Meals are packaged in either jars or vacuum sealed bags. Some meals are packaged with what she calls a sidekit, which is a side dish of mashed potatoes, polenta, noodles, tortilla makings, etc.
Variety of nutritious, filling meals in times of hardship is important to Julie. Her family’s favorites include braised ribs, pulled pork, pancakes and cowboy cookies.
I’m not a kitchen whiz, and my first impression upon going through Julie’s book is that following many of the recipes involves a lot of work. So I asked her about this.
One way to take a shortcut is to buy freeze dried and dehydrated ingredients, such as freeze dried meats. In doing so, you’re giving up greater control for convenience.
Another way to make things easier is to get together with other women, as Julie does, and have food packaging parties where they put meals together for one another’s families. Think of it as a good way to build your survival pantry and prepper community at the same time. Get children involved in meal preparation, too.
As the old saying goes, “Many hands make light work.” It’s apparent that Julie enjoys making these meals for her family and has a desire to see others do so as well. Love and enjoying the task at hand can also make things easier.
We talked about some key ingredients you’ll want to store as well as where to get equipment for dehydrating and canning. Once you’ve made up your mind to can with a pressure cooker, Julie offers assurance that the task isn’t as daunting as it might seem at first.
Are you concerned about how you’d use a whole #10 can of diced celery, chopped onions or pepper pieces? Julie says you’ll go through the cans faster than you might expect, especially if you mix ingredients together and set them aside to include in recipes. We also discussed butter alternatives.
Julie desires to see families get prepared. Her book is evidence of this. And she’s actively involved in preparedness activities through her church.
Find Out More
Meals in a Jar is a DestinySurvival Amazon Pick. Order your copy by clicking on its image below. You’ll be taken to the Amazon.com page where it’s featured. Add the book to your cart to start the order process. Her book is worth having if you’re serious about building your survival pantry from your home cooked meals.
However, in the interest of fairness to all those who left comments with the intent to win Meals in a Jar, I opened up the contest to all 11 who had commented by mid April. Whoever e-mailed me first would get the book. I heard from Kelly, and we’ve made the arrangements for sending the book to her. Congratulations, Kelly.
You’re always welcome to leave a comment any time on anything you’ve read in this post or on my interview with Julie. I look forward to seeing what you have to share.
After working my way through the book and interviewing Tess Pennington for yesterday’s DestinySurvival Radio, I can tell you why you should have The Prepper’s Cookbook in your survival library.
Have you been setting aside canned food items from the grocery store in your survival pantry, but you don’t know how you’ll use them creatively? Or have you purchased dehydrated and freeze dried foods, but you don’t know what you’ll do with them when the time comes to feed yourself and your family in a grid down situation?
It’s The Prepper’s Cookbook to the rescue.
About Tess Pennington
She’s the founder of ReadyNutrition.com, which is a popular prepping website with over 160,000 readers a month. Her site promotes disaster preparedness, homesteading and, ultimately, self-reliance.
She has a simple mission–to introduce easy to understand concepts and strategies for dealing with disasters and emergencies, be they man-made or natural. She believes that through knowledge, skills development and family-based preparedness, we can learn to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Her site offers a popular web-series called “52-Weeks to Preparedness.” It’s free and has helped thousands get ready for life’s unexpected disasters.
About The Prepper’s Cookbook
- Shopping wisely and buying plenty for less
- Knowing what to store for maintaining a balanced diet
- Knowing how much to store
- Suggestions to use equipment such as a solar oven and hand cranked appliances for off grid situations
- Making use of leftovers, including making soups
- How to repackage food with Mylar and oxygen absorbers so it will last longer
- Dehydrating and canning
- Getting children involved
- Lunchtime favorites
- Beans and rice
- Kid approved snacks
- Side dishes
- Breads and pastas
- Desserts and baked goods
- Alternative ingredients
- Applesauce Oat Muffins
- French Toast
- Black Bean Soup
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Beef Stroganoff
- Fish Tacos
- Potatoes Croquette
- Asian Ramen Salad
- Quinoa Tabouli
- Rice Pilaf
- Buttermilk Biscuits
- Peach Cobbler
- …and many more.
As with any useful skill, it’s important to practice now to be prepared for trouble. Start using the recipes and techniques called for in The Prepper’s Cookbook. You don’t have to be limited to freeze dried meals or MRE’s. Turn shelf-stable, freeze-dried and dehydrated foods into delicious, nutritious dishes your family will love eating.
Besides, the more you prepare ahead of time now, the less fuel you’ll need for cooking later when it’s in short supply or not readily available.
About boring survival foods
For example, we talked about things you can do with…
- Rice and beans
- Ramen noodles
- TVP (textured vegetable protein)
Find out more
The Prepper’s Cookbook is a DestinySurvival Amazon Pick and becomes available April 9th, but you can pre-order on Amazon right now. Click on the book’s image below. You’ll be taken to the page where it’s featured. Add it to your cart to start the order process.
Do you have favorite recipes you use in your survival pantry? To share your thoughts on this or anything else concerning food storage for your family, feel free to leave a comment below.
Now picture this. You could plant a survival garden that you…
- Plant once in your life-time
- Takes very little space
- Grows 5 times more food per square foot
- Provides food for the next 30 years
- Never have to weed
- Never have to use fertilizers
- And never have to use pesticide– ever.
- And it’s all disguised to look like overgrown underbrush!
Rick Austin has been doing it for years and has been teaching others to garden that way. In fact, he’s written Secret Garden of Survival-How to grow a camouflaged food-forest to show you and me how to do it, too.
Who is Rick Austin?
To quote from Rick’s info, he “is a long time survival expert, and has been using sustainable living and home building practices for 30 years. He is a permaculture gardening, solar, and off-grid living expert and has been a guest speaker to architectural, agricultural, sustainable building, and survival preparedness conferences. His presentations contain real life examples, photos, and anecdotes.”
I can tell you from our interview that he’s the real deal. He’s been prepping long before prepping became fashionable.
What’s in his book?
- What Do I Know About This?
- Starting with a Clean Slate- barren or existing ground; southern exposure, slope
- Grey Water Systems- as simple as laundry, complex as man made wetland
- Swales, Irrigation, Micro-Climates- exposed rocks collect and give off heat
- Permaculture Guilds- different types, how to plant them, what to plant
- Rain Water Collection- everybody has a roof.
- Vegetable and Herb Garden- key hole garden
- Infrastructure for the Garden- how to create berms, retention ponds,
- Preparing the Ground- micro-organisms, mulch, nitrogen fixers
- Planting Your Food Forest- proper way to plant, tools,
- Observing and Improving- wet, dry, hot, cold, windy,
Natural Pest Control- deer, raccoons, rodents; fire ants, trap plants (mustard)
- Growing Through The Season- what to do beginning, middle, end of season
Bonus–What To Do After The Harvest- preserving- canning, dehydrating
What about Rick’s survival garden
Keep pests away. For example, planting onions around fruit trees keeps mice away in winter. Catnip near tomatoes keeps tomato hornworms away. Attract beneficial insects by growing plants that will attract them.
Plants are grown in concentric circles around fruit and nut trees to achieve the food forest, camouflaged look. Space is saved when you grow vines up the trees. And plants are interplanted. This is both stealth gardening and intensive gardening.
Each tree with its surrounding plants is called a guild. Trees are planted 40 feet apart, but plants growing out around each tree will take up enough space so the guilds touch one another.
Rick has about 20 fruit and nut trees. He grows as many fruits as he can for his region in North Carolina, including numerous kinds of berries. He grows grapes, too.
From their first year of gardening this way, Rick and his wife grew more fruits and vegetables than they could consume. This was all done without fertilizers or pesticides. Even Rick is amazed by how well it all works.
It takes careful planning to make this system work. You must consider the space you have and select carefully for the varieties of plants that do well in your area. Rick says the best way to get started is to get his book and follow the step by step directions. Pictures demonstrate more than many words could explain adequately. It’s his goal to make it simple to understand.
This is truly low maintenance gardening. In fact, Rick doesn’t even worry about weeds. He says the most work comes at harvest time. Fortunately, crops are harvested at different times.
But the key is to work with nature, rather than against it.
How can you find out more?
No matter where you get the book, you may want to get the paperback version so you can take notes to refer to later. And you’ll have a hard copy for the future when we find ourselves in the proverbial off grid situation.
What do you think? Does Rick Austin’s secret garden of survival sound too good to be true? Or is it the way survival gardening was meant to be? Is this something you’ll try? Would you grow this way at a bug out location? I’d love to know your thoughts in a comment below.
David was my guest on DestinySurvival Radio yesterday, and I’ll be on his show sometime later. But before I summarize what we talked about on my show, let me tell you about him.
- David is a former U.S. Marine Corps non-commissioned officer, correctional supervisor and firearms instructor for the Tennessee Department of Correction. He is now employed as full time Emergency Manager for State Government.
- He has a BS in Emergency Management with a minor in Homeland Security.
- He’s been a member of the firearm community all his adult life.
- He’s an NRA member, training counselor and recruiter.
- David is licensed in several states to instruct conceal and carry classes.
- He’s a member of several organizations related to his profession and interests, including the Oath Keepers.
- He has completed numerous courses through the Department of Homeland Security on anti-terrorism, emergency management and more.
- He opeerates the Shepherd School at www.TNGun.com.
David’s one of the nicest people to talk to, and he’s a prepper, too, like you and me. It’s not just theory and rhetoric for him because he’s into quite an array of prepping activities in his everyday home life. He gardens in raised beds, keeps bees, raises rabbits and chickens, and, of course, shoots.
The Shepherd School started with an emphasis on firearms instruction, but David says it’s branching out into other instructional areas. His belief is that if more of us are prepared, the more secure each of us is.
Readingabout something is one thing. Doing it is another. David says he’s learned a lot by doing. Tasks he thought were impossible aren’t so difficult once they’re started. You can view videos demonstrating David’s prepping endeavors on his YouTube channel.
We talked about his book Understanding the Use of Handguns for Self-Defense, which came out a couple of years ago. Amazon describes it as “A priceless education for new handgun owners. An important refresher for experienced carriers.”
I’ve made it a DestinySurvival Amazon Pick. It’s highly rated. Reviewers say it’s easy to understand and is good for women shooters. It covers…
- Tips for selecting the right gun for you
- An exploration of shooting techniques
- Guidance on developing an “armed” mindset
- A realistic look at what happens in a gunfight
- Crucial advice for dealing with law enforcement
- Suggestions for dealing with anti-gun sentiment
He talks sensibly about how to choose a handgun and caliber that’s right for you. And he teaches balance. Firearms are important, but they should be one piece of your preparedness puzzle.
He believes there should be greater understanding between preppers and government officials. While the government doesn’t always show consistency in what they say about prepping and preppers, according to David, several emergency management workers are preppers.
Being a new parent sheds a new light on prepping for David. We talked about the parallels between parenting and prepping. Both offer chances to learn and grow.
David and I agree on the need to be flexible and adaptable. We’re both generalists with interests in a number of things.
Order Understanding the Use of Handguns for Self-Defense by clicking on its image below. You’ll be taken to the Amazon page where it’s featured. Add it to your cart to start the order process.
At the conclusion of our time together, David gave an excellent piece of advice. Practice your plan.
Are you practicing your plan? Feel free to leave a comment below and tell me a little about how you’re doing with that.
Even if that doesn’t happen, we would do well to live simpler lives. And you don’t have to be a rural homesteader to do this. Living in the city just means following a different path to preparedness and survival.
Christopher Nyerges is a well known expert on survival in the city or in the wilderness. It was an honor and pleasure to have him as my guest yesterday on DestinySurvival Radio. This is one interview I’m sure you’ll want to hear.
A Teacher and Author
He lives in the outskirts of Los Angeles, CA, and holds weekly classes throughout the year. Folks from all ages and backgrounds have an opportunity to learn from one of the countries foremost authorities on survival and emergency preparedness. His School of Self Reliance has been going since 1974. He also offers private and group consultations.
As a prolific author, He’s written ten books and thousands of magazine and newspaper articles. He was the editor of “Wilderness Way” magazine for 7 years. Plus, for two years, he appeared on Fox TV’s “X show,” where he demonstrated survival skills on the streets of Los Angeles. He also does an Internet radio show called The Weekly Report with Christopher Nyerges on the Preparedness Radio Network, where you hear DestinySurvival Radio.
His interest in wild edible plants began in his youth. He pursued those interests, and one thing led to another over time to take him to where he is today. Living as a homeless person and as a squatter at earlier times in his life taught him much and inspired at least one of his books. In a nutshell, he teaches that we can get more from less.
A Desire for a Simpler Way
He says politics and economics are two of our greatest problems. We’re our own worst enemy. As an example, he cited the difference between North and South Korea. They illustrate two different ways of thinking and functioning, and the contrast is stark.
Of course, Christopher wants people to focus on the littler picture, too, which involves living on less. That’s an area in life where you and I can still exercise control and become more self reliant.
Though it may sound odd at first, Christopher says living in an urban setting provides more challenges day to day than living in the wilderness. It makes sense when you think about it–bills, job pressures, living in close quarters, etc. And when grocery stores are out of food, what do you do?
The way to develop a spirit of self reliance is to take steps to raise some of your own food. Turn your yard into a garden. That takes you down a path toward greater independence and the ability to live on less.
We could also take a cue from the Amish and build our homes to take better advantage of natural light. Christopher’s most recent book, The Self-Sufficient Home, goes further into planning and modifications that reduce the need for the use of so much energy.
A Way to Learn and Grow
He learned about the traditions of Native Americans, too. They incorporated plants in many aspects of their everyday lives. He suggests we look to the past to find solutions to survive in the future.
He urges each of us to find a person to learn from because we learn better in person. Books and the Internet can help, but it’s vital to keep the focus on plants in your local area.
It’s not only important to have skills, but it’s necessary to work with neighbors to develop skills and strategies for survival. Christopher believes our greatest resource is other people. If there’s no local group you can connect with, start one.
A Few Myths Busted About Wild Edible Plants
Here are some shortcuts that could get you in trouble or even kill you.
- Watch what the animals eat
- See if the plant is red
- Chew a little of the plant and wait eight hours for a reaction
Yes, you can grow edible wild plants in your garden, such as Lamb’s Quarter, burdock and dandelion. They’re sure to come back year after year. But if eating only wild plants sounds attractive as a solution in the aftermath of a collapse, think again. Grow things now in your garden you like and will eat–fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits.
This is all part of a larger point of view or mindset. Christopher suggests we not think in terms of disaster survival. Instead, he encourages you and me to focus on self reliance.
A Recommendation or Two
And check out his site at www.christophernyerges.com. There you’ll find a store, where you can buy books, DVD’s and more. You’ll also find a number of interesting articles and a link to his blog. His writing is easy to read and full of great information that’s sure to hold your interest. While you’re at it, look at www.DirtTime.com.
Christopher’s books are available on Amazon, and the two mentioned above are DestinySurvival Amazon Picks. You can click on their titles in this post to be taken to the Amazon.com page where each is featured. Then add the book you want to your cart to start the order process.
There’s so much that has been said–and could still be said–about living a simpler lifestyle. Do you have questions you’d like me to ask Christopher during a future show? Do you have your own tips to pass along about living on less? Feel free to leave a comment and share what you know with the rest of us.
As usual, my blog post about our first interview was published on Friday. That happened to be December 14th, the same day the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting took place in Connecticut. That day’s post was one of my most read posts for a few weeks. And, as we all know, sales of guns, ammo magazines and ammunition have gone through the roof. People all over the country are concerned about home and self defense.
So how do we put this in perspective for preppers?
Guns for Protection
We discussed the basic recommendations for firearms given in his book. There’s no need to spend a lot of money on guns. Start with a .22 rimfire rifle. Move up to a 12 gauge shotgun, and handgun.
In this book Jim compares the attributes of pistols vs. revolvers. We touched on that in our first interview.
When caching, hide away supplies you may need in a pinch. Are their strategic places along your way to work or another important location?
Another reason to cache is to get something out of your home you don’t want to have there. /Do you have handguns you want to keep away from children? This is the sort of cache you’ll want to be able to keep an eye on. Jim suggested practical ways to cache valuables in or near your home.
Much depends on what the catastrophic event is and what your situation is. Stay home if you can, but don’t ignore reality when the situation dictates that you leave.
Have options. Ask yourself if where you are now is unliveable under the circumstances. If you decide you can’t survive there any longer, where will you go? How will you get there? Have you planned this out ahead of time? Or will you become a refugee?
Bug Out Bag
- Water and water filtration
- Food (and a way to get more food)
- First aid and hygiene
- Security (including ways to signal for help)
Radios & Communication
Be sure you and your family or group coordinate as to the radio equipment you use for communicating. Test it out.
I can’t help but throw in my two cents about a couple of other things.
Regarding shortwave radios, there’s a lot less on the bands than there used to be. The BBC, Radio Netherlands and numerous other international broadcasters, have stopped broadcasting to North America. They’ve put their content online or satellite. So you won’t hear much in English these days, except for Cuba, China and a few commercial stations here in the U.S. And who knows how any of these stations will fair in a total collapse situation?
It’s a good idea to get a shortwave radio with single sideband capability to hear the amateur radio bands. There’s sure to be plenty of activity there, as long as ham operators have a power source. If you’re interested in ham radio for yourself, it’s worth it to get licensed. A local ham radio club can help you get licensed and get equipment.
I agree with Jim’s recommendation in his book to have some kind of alternate power source, such as for solar power. Keep rechargeable batteries and a solar battery charger on hand, too. Some wind-up radios have the ability to charge cell phones.
By the way, the book includes tables for the phonetic alphabet and police 10 codes. Those 10 codes are useful, but they may be going away slowly as government agencies move toward plain speech.
Don’t overlook anyone. Each person has unique skills and knowledge.
If you haven’t yet ordered his book, you really should. He packs a lot of common sense info on a variety of relevant topics into a little over 200 pages. It’s a DestinySurvival Amazon Pick. Order by clicking on the image of the book below. You’ll be taken to the Amazon.com page where it’s featured. Add it to your cart to start the order process.
You can also check out Jim’s site at www.survivalweekly.com.
Any thoughts? Leave your comment below and let other preppers know about any home security insights you have.