Archive for the ‘Survival Kitchen’ Category
Food security 101, part 3: Why I love my vacuum sealer (and more)
By Rowena Aldridge
In parts one and two (Issues #138 and #139), we covered basics and homemade convenience foods. Now that you’ve become so proficient at making delicious, nutritious, and economical foods for your family, how in the world are you going to store it all? How will you keep it from losing quality and going bad?
I do this by making frequent use of my FoodSaver® vacuum sealer. It’s my BFF — best friend forever — when it comes to food storage.
Read the whole article here:
Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
Which kitchen tool or gadget do you find most helpful for preparing and storing food? Leave a comment and help others build a survival pantry.
For yesterday’s DestinySurvival Radio I interviewed Wilson to find out more about Pantry Paratus and bring them to your attention. Whether you’re new to prepping or have been at it a while, consider Pantry Paratus as a helpful resource.
What’s in a name? One of my first questions was where the name came from. We all know what a pantry is, but what about that word “paratus”? It so happens it’s latin for “ready” or “prepared”. By the way, paratus is pronounced with emphasis on the second syllable, which has the short a sound.
Who is Pantry Paratus? They’re a small family owned and operated company with a desire to see you and me think seriously about what our families are eating, where that food comes from, and how we can preserve any surplus we may have. The goal is to prepare our pantries for the lean times, whether you go through unemployment or we experience a catastrophic crash.
Wilson says customer service is important because they want you to be able to get the help you need. If you buy a pressure cooker at a big box store, that store likely won’t be able to answer your canning questions. Why not be in touch with people who can walk you through your journey?
With much knowledge lost over the generations, Pantry Paratus offers beginner kits and supplies for skills like canning, bread baking and cheese making. They also sell heirloom seeds and encourage you to grow your own food wherever you live.
What do you need to know for survival? Pantry Paratus puts their focus on four core competencies for homesteading.
- Water purification
- Bread baking
- Pressure canning
What about ready-made storage food? Have it in your survival pantgry, but be careful to buy food that doesn’t have GMO products in it. You don’t want to eat something in times of stress that would make you ill.
If you know how to grow or raise your own food, you’ll have an ongoing supply. You’ll also put greater value on what you produce yourself.
What about a traditional food diet? Wilson and Chaya are very careful about what their family eats. They avoid foods with long lists of ingredients no one can pronounce. They eat meat, so they’re not vegetarians. They also enjoy whole wheat bread with no worries about gluten or bad carbs.
What about special needs diets? If you’re diabetic or have other dietary concerns, the best thing is to avoid as much processed food as possible.
For further reading… Two books you may find of interest are:
The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition, by Carla Emery
Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig
Your thoughts? I’d love to know what you have to say concerning what you’ve read here or what you’ve heard in my interview with Wilson. Share any comments you have with me and other readers.
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.
Don’t rule out that possibility. Meat may be hard to come by one day. But plenty of wild hogs are a food source, and they roam the countryside. You might want to include them in your prepping endeavors to keep your family fed.
The first two videos below demonstrate how ham is cured and smoked. Take a few minutes to watch. And try not to drool on your computer.
The third video is just for fun. It features Ricky Skaggs singing, “You Can’t Hurt Ham.” It makes a telling point about why you should think of ham for survival.
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.
Editor’s Note: Warmer weather isn’t far away. Late winter and spring often bring floods. Be ready. According to a recent long range weather forecast I heard a few days ago, Missouri (where I live) won’t have flooding like in 2011 because there’s not nearly as much snow pack to the North. We’re still in drought conditions.
But flash flooding can happen at any time. And so can floods from hurricanes in other parts of the country. Therefore, take a look at the following tips provided by Wise Food Storage.
The US experiences more damage than any other weather-related event…Stocking food for the family is one of the most important things to do. Dehydrated food or freeze-dried food such as Wise Food Storage products would be ideal because it is light and is easy to prepare. As an added bonus, Wise Food Storage gives you tips for staying safe and getting prepared during flood emergency.
Assemble an emergency kit. Red Cross recommends to include:
- Water – at least 3-day supply; one gallon person per day
- Food – at least a 3-day supply of nonperishable, easy-to-prepare food; ideally dehydrated or freeze-dried food
- Battery powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
- Multipurpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of the area
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Rain gear
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Camera for photos of damage
Stay informed. NOAA Weather Radio, the NOAA website, or local TV or radio stations will issue flood warnings and reports from the National Weather service. If a flood warning is issued for your area, be prepared to evacuate right away and move to higher ground.
Protect emergency food and water.
- Basements are excellent for emergency food storage because of their low, constant temperatures. Ensure that food is elevated enough to stay dry. Better yet, temporarily move your supply to the highest level of the house.
- Keep a supply of bottled water or keep a Katadyn water filter nearby. Do not use the water from a well until it has been tested and deemed safe.
- Wash fruits and vegetables and prepare baby formula with safe water.
- Don’t eat anything that’s come in contact with floodwater.
- Throw out food that is not in waterproof containers (screw caps, pull tops and crimped caps are not waterproof).
- Food in metal cans and flexible metal or plastic pouches can be cleaned by removing labels and sanitizing containers before opening.
- Thoroughly sanitize food prep pans, countertops, dishes and utensils with hot soap and water or a bleach solution.
- Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.
- Before entering your home, check for loose power lines and damaged gas lines. If you see or hear either one, leave immediately.
- As you enter, be aware that wild animals, especially poisonous snakes can seek shelter in flooded houses.
- Wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
- Contact your local or state public health department for specific recommendations for boiling or treating water in your area after a disaster as water may be contaminated.
As illustrated by recent events, even if you’re not in a designated flood plain you may be at risk for high water damage in extreme weather conditions. Take some time to assemble a kit and familiarize yourself with basic safety information. Be alert. Be prepared.
For more on flood awareness, go here for the FedHealth e-newsletter for March 2013.