How To Make Wild Game Jerky

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If you hunt to supplement your protein diet, you have a lot of options when it comes to wild game. Besides making burger and stakes, you should look into other options to diversify your diet. Making wild game jerky is an ideal option for the hunters out there. Wild game jerky is an ideal snack … Read more…

The post How To Make Wild Game Jerky was written by Dan Mowinski and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Cooking Alternatives Off Grid!

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Cooking Alternatives Off Grid! Host: Denob “The Prepared Canadian” Over the last couple of years, I have had the chance to try a lot of different off grid cooking options. From home made solar ovens to open fire methods and everything in between, I found out a lot about what works and what doesn’t. Actually, … Continue reading Cooking Alternatives Off Grid!

The post Cooking Alternatives Off Grid! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Basic Essentials for Cooking Fish Off the Grid

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survival_fish_fire_cook

survival_bucket_of_fishFish are a nutritional powerhouse; with lots of protein, healthy fats, and a potent cocktail of nutrients that influence human brain function, optimize hormonal production, and even prevent aging! They’re also a camper or survivalist’s dream come true. Why, you may ask?  Fish go fin-in-stream with the most important resource – water! Whether you love the outdoors, want to be a little greener, or need to eat to survive, learning to cook fish using traditional “off-the-grid” methods is a useful addition to any culinary arsenal. There are a many techniques available to catch wild fish, ranging from building your own rod to catching with your bare hands, but this article is going to discuss how to best cook up your catch.

By John S., a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog & SurvivalCache

First, let us discuss the different types of fish meat. “Oily” or “fatty” fish are fish that are over five percent fat by weight, while lean fish are under five percent. Oily fish include anchovies, carp, herring, salmon and sardines. They are generally known for their moist texture and richer flavors. Lean fish include bass, cod, catfish, and perch. They’re known for being a little tougher and a little less flavorful. Your location will be a big factor in determining what types of fish are available to you. Study up on your local species to be best prepared to feed yourself, for fun or survival.

Baking on Smoldering Coals

survival_coals_fishOne of the best, and most basic, off the grid cooking techniques is baking on smoldering coals. While this method is useful for any kind of meat, it adds a certain smoky edge to fish that’s extremely delicious. Oilier fish are especially good when cooked with this method, since the hearty fats seal in a moist texture. Salt is a staple in every kitchen, and you may often hear people talking about bringing salt on outdoor excursions. This isn’t only for the taste, but it’s also especially useful in preserving food, so you should take care to keep some with you on all outdoor cooking excursions and during your survival practice.

Read Also: Best Glide Survival Fishing Kit

As for leaner fish, they’ll bake best wrapped in foil or, in an emergency situation, large leaves will do the trick. The wrapping helps trap moisture in and steams the fish. Feel free to dress a coal-baked fish up with some lemon juice and butter if you’re cooking for leisure! It’s probably safe to say you won’t have these items handy during a survival situation, but in that situation, anything edible, and especially nutritious, will be delicious.

Pan Frying (if possible)

fish_survival_pan_fryingFrying the fresh catch in a large cast iron pan is also an option, if you came prepared with the pan and a little oil. If you’re frying for fun, a simple mix of flour, breadcrumbs and your favorite seasonings will keep well in a zip lock bag, is easy to transport, and makes for yummy treat. Even without the mix, the fish will be a great meal on it’s own; especially if you’re eating for survival. The biggest key is to make sure the oil is hot enough, a spit test should do the trick. Simply wet your fingers with some water and flick the moisture into the pan, if the oil “spits”, or jumps and bubbles, on contact, then you’re ready to cook.

You will need long tongs or a durable cooking spoon to flip and “fish” out the filets once they’ve fried to a light golden color. This method tastes great, even with only light salting, and works well for both types of fish. If no tongs or cooking spoons are in your repertoire, you can use a multi-tool or knife so long as you’re careful not to damage it, as you will need it for other important tasks as well. Worst case, there should be twigs and sticks around for you to use as cooking tools.

Building Your Own Smoker

Last, but not least, fish meat is fabulous fresh out of a smoker. Not only is it fresh, but smoking fish, or any meat for that manner, is optimal for survival-based situations because prolonged smoking results in dehydrated, well-preserved food that can be saved and stored for several days. Building, or finding, a smoker can be tricky, you just need to create a small space where a rack can hang above a fire and a ventilation system to bring the smoke up through the fish meat.

Related: Teach Them to Fish

Stacking appropriately-sized rocks is a good and, usually, convenient method of construction. Covering the vents with foliage can help trap in smoke and improve the cooking process, and burning clean, dry logs will provide the best smoky flavor for the food. While this process does take longer than the other two, the preservation effects of smoking could mean the difference between life and death, so it’s definitely worth learning about and practicing. For example, if you are in a survival situation and are having luck catching some fish, you may want to use a lot of that meat in the smoker simply for preservation, and then consume the meat at a later time when you may be running low on food.

Conclusion

survival_fish_filetLuckily, there are a lot of options when it comes to preparing fish off the grid using very little materials. Salt is perhaps one of the most underrated items in a survival situation, as it offers a convenient method of preservation. Adding other herbs, spices and extras will provide a welcome kick to your next camping meal, but of course, this may be out of the question in a survival situation. Lastly, Always make sure any fish you consume is thoroughly cleaned and cooked before consuming. This, combined with thorough cooking, will ensure you have a nice edible fish packed with nutrients to keep you going. Practice makes perfect, so next time you’re out in the backcountry or doing some camping, try cooking some fish with as little materials as possible, ideally using natural objects around you. Good luck!

 

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Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Recipe – A New Orleans Classic

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Although most popular on Fat Tuesday, chicken and sausage gumbo is a wonderful comfort meal any time of the year.  I fell in love with gumbo while visiting New Orleans a few years back and have tried to replicate that

The post Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Recipe – A New Orleans Classic appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Using Leftover Fruit Peels in the Kitchen

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The essence of emergency preparedness teaches us to get by with what we have. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the woods or in the kitchen. Being able to improvise with scarce resources is perhaps the most useful skills you could develop. Today we will discuss about the use of leftover fruit peels in the … Read more…

The post Using Leftover Fruit Peels in the Kitchen was written by Rhonda Owen and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Feeling Hot Hot Hot: Solar Cooking in Action

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Solar cooking, parabolic, box cooker, panel cooker, solar, off-grid, self-reliance, cooking, food, technology

Despite looking futuristic – solar cooking has been used for many years

Cooking can be challenging in itself. Following recipes, getting the right ingredients and hoping it comes out tasting delicious – unless you’re a top class chef, everyone has had a fair few burnt dinners in their time. When you’re off-grid however it’s not just worrying about what it tastes like, but how to cook the food in the first place!

Harvesting the power of the sun for cooking has been a practice conducted for many years.

Solar cookers have been on the market since the mid-80s and have become a popular option for safe and easy cooking with no fires or fuel involved. There are obvious benefits to solar cooking, after the initial investment it is a free renewable source of energy. Not only this, but it is seen as a healthier way of cooking without smoke from fires etc.

Solar cookers convert the sun’s rays to infra-red radiation producing heat. Therefore, it is not the sun’s heat itself or the ambient air temperature outside the cooker that causes the food to cook.

There are three main types of solar cooker which can vary in their design and build.

The solar box cooker is derived from a box with reflectors that funnel the sun’s rays into the chamber which contains the food to be cooked. These models can reach very high temperatures, on average between 200-350°F, which is ideal for most baking needs. With a good heat retention and little need for supervision it is perfectly safe to leave food for long periods without fear of burning. Being a box shape these cookers are less likely to tip over and when constructed will have high levels of insulation.

The solar panel cooker on the other hand doesn’t reach temperatures quite as high; between 200-250°F. Essentially the design is a pot or pan within a plastic enclosure, with a 3-5 side reflective panel surrounding it to channel the sun’s rays. This type of design is best for slower longer cooking periods, leaving food very succulent. With no adjustments needed to track the sun, little supervision is needed.

Solar Cooking, food, cooking, solar, off-grid, technology

No need to worry about the risk of fire or burning food with solar cooking

Finally, the solar parabolic cooker can maintain the highest temperatures of the three main types and so can be used for grilling or even frying food. It can cook food much quicker, however usually smaller amounts than what can be held in the box or panel solar cookers. Also more attention is needed when cooking using this model, as the angle and direction of the cooker will need to be changed more frequently to track the sun.

There are many plans and designs for you to try if you want to have a go at a DIY solar cooker. Many designs include using materials commonly found around the home or are easily obtainable. For example, cardboard boxes, aluminium foil, black paint, some form of adhesive and even umbrellas!

If you don’t want the hassle of DIY or want a larger cooker with a guarantee, then there are several options on the market.

The All American Sun Oven is a box cooker design which can cook, bake, dehydrate and boil. Reaching temperatures of up to 400°F with even heating across the entire cooking chamber, the Sun Oven can do almost anything except frying. The built in thermometer also allows you to monitor the temperature. Weighing in at 23lbs the Sun Oven folds up like a suitcase, with its reflectors easily collapsing, making it easily portable. An adjustable leg prevents toppling and a levelling tray inside the cooking chamber ensures there’s no spillage when adjusting the Sun Oven.

Manufactured in Illinois, cooking times are similar to a standard electric cooker or oven after preheating. Factors that will affect the cooking time include the quality of sunlight at the time of cooking; the type and amount of food being cooked and how often the oven is refocused or the door opened. A typical rule of thumb stated on the Sun Oven website is to add between 10 to 15 minutes on to the cooking time, every time the oven door is opened. The model has an estimated life span of 15 years and can last a lifetime if cared for and maintained properly. The Sun Oven is available on Amazon at $298.00.

If you want something a little closer to the $200 mark, then the GoSun Sport is worth checking out.
Solar cooking, solar, food, cooking, off-grid, technology,

Small and compact the GoSun Sport and GoSun Dogger are perfect for fitting comfortably in an RV

This slightly futuristic looking design features parabolic reflectors and a solar vacuum cooking tube, which absorbs light and acts as an insulator. The tube converts approximately 80% of all the sunlight captured by the reflectors into useable heat for cooking – pretty impressive. With the parabolic shape of the reflectors, the GoSun Sport rarely needs readjusting as it captures light from a variety of angles. Not only this, but this model can cook in the cold and snow due to the high levels of insulation. Although, you will have to add up to 15 minutes onto the cooking time to allow the oven to heat fully.

With the cooking tube shape, food cooks evenly and in as little as 20 minutes, with temperatures of up to 550°F being reached! Despite this, the GoSun Sport is cool to the touch, easy and low maintenance and weighing only 7.5lbs is perfect for an RV or boat.

GoSun Ambassador Patrick Sweeney lives off-grid in his tiny trailer called Patcave. He told GoSun, “I love to cook and I love to be self-reliant. I also can’t afford to eat at restaurants. Living on the road in the Patcave, the GoSun stove allows me to cook great food anywhere the sun shines.”

The GoSun Sport retails at $229.00 on Amazon.

A smaller version of the GoSun Sport, the GoSun Solar Dogger, retails at $59.00 on the GoSun website. It is lightweight at only 2.5lbs and is perfect for hotdogs. Reviews on the Solar Dogger have shown that this model can be used for a wide variety of foods from oatmeal to fish.

The post Feeling Hot Hot Hot: Solar Cooking in Action appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Teaching Your Children How to Cook: It’s Important That They Know How

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About 53 percent of Millennials say they eat at restaurants at least once a week, compared with 43 percent of Generation X or baby boomers, according to a 2015 survey of 3,000 adults by Morgan Stanley.

Americans in 2014 spent more money on food consumed in restaurants, school lunch programs and at sporting events than they did on food prepared and consumed at home, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS).

The money spent on food away from home was 50.1 percent of the 1.46 trillion spent on food, while 49.9 percent was spent on grocery store purchases. In 1960, just 26.3 percent of a family’s income was spent on food consumed away from home (Lamagna, 2016).

We have to assume that some of the foods purchased from grocery stores were meals ready to heat and eat. In other words, no cooking skill was required to put a meal on the table.

According to a survey conducted in 2016 by the Pew Research Center American adults, aged 18 to 34 were more likely to be living with their parents than with a spouse or significant other. Thus, there are more and more adult children still sitting around mom and dad’s dinner table who probably do not see a need to learn how to cook at this time in their life because mom or dad are still laboring over the stove for their children.

There has always been a debate about the cost of eating out versus buying and preparing food at home. Some, of course, claim it is less expensive to eat out than to buy the food, carry it home, and then spend time cooking and cleaning up. It depends on the food you order in a restaurant of course, and the food you buy for cooking at home. We will not get into that debate because it can be more or less expensive depending on your personal preferences.

This article is about cooking and how necessary it is to have the right skills when grocery stores are shuttered and restaurants are just a fond memory of days past. An extended crisis will force all families and individuals to prepare their own food and without the proper skills, you can cause sickness, or even death, not to mention causing a revolt among family members. A hot meal can be a lifesaver not only from a nutrition standpoint but from a psychological one as well.

You will have to know how to prepare food from its raw state. Food pre-cooked and packaged for your dining convenience will be a thing of the past. What will you do if you trade some children toys and clothes or medicine for fresh game or fish? What happens if your spouse or partner drags home a deer that needs to be processed within hours for a meal that night and then you have to preserve the rest for the days and weeks to follow?

Cooking is not just for the females in the family or group and hunting is not just for the males in the group. Everyone needs to know how to hunt for fresh game and then cook and preserve that same game, and children, as well as adults, are frankly never too young or old respectively to start learning.

The Basics

You have to include safe food handling first and foremost. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) roughly 1 in 6 or 48 million Americans get sick each year from consuming contaminated foods or beverages, and 128,000 require a hospital stay while 3,000 die from food-borne illnesses each year. Food safety is important, and it must be taught first before anything else (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2016).

It starts with teaching inexperienced and experienced cooks alike the need for proper hand washing and this is even more important during a crisis where professional medical care and medicines may not be available if someone does get sick from contaminated foods.

Raw meats must be processed in such a way that they do not contaminate foods like bread or raw fruits or vegetables and other foods that may not be typically cooked or not cooked at a high enough temperature to destroy bacteria or pathogens that may be present.

Clean work surfaces before and after handling raw meats using bleach and water. Raw vegetables and fruits must be scrubbed and then rinsed well with clean water to remove any contaminates from the surface even if the product has a skin that will not be eaten.

Bacteria on the skin or peel can reach the edible parts if you cut the food with a knife or handle the food after handling the skin or peel. The bacterium on the outside is carried inside by a knife blade or by your hands.

Oil and butter are staples for cooking food in frying pans and for baking as well as salt and pepper. Most foods benefit from spices applied during and after cooking to enhance the flavor.

Start with the basics, like butter and olive oil or other cooking oils, salt, pepper, garlic raw or powdered as well as basil, parsley, rosemary, dill, sage, and thyme. These, of course, are not the only herbs and spices available for cooking but they are a start.

Ideally, you would either have a small herb garden inside the home, on the deck or have a garden in the backyard. Fresh is always better, and fresh herbs do provide many necessary nutrients and some do have certain healing properties as well.

Gardening is part of the cooking process when food supply chains are disrupted. Many of the spices you buy dry from the store can be raised with very little space or effort right in your own kitchen or on the deck. Your backyard garden can also provide fresh vegetables for daily consumption as well as provide a surplus for canning, drying, and pickling.

Some foods, of course, fare better when baked, versus using a frying pan, but during a crisis, you may have only a few options or even one option and that may be an open flame. You need utensils and pots and pans that can literally take the heat of open flames and can cook or bake virtually anything.

A Dutch oven is ideal for all types of cooking and baking from inside an oven to pit cooking using charcoal or even when cooking over an open flame. You can deep fry in a deep Dutch Oven, or fry a steak, boil potatoes, make biscuits, bread, desserts and even sauté or steam vegetables.

Know your cuts of meat so you know the best way to cook them. Tough cuts do better when cooked slowly and cuts like well-marbled steaks, for example, are best cooked fast over a hot flame.

Game meat like venison can have very little fat content and can be very tough if overcooked. Venison steaks can be cooked to medium or even medium rare for the best results. Pork, poultry and ground meats on in the other hand, must be thoroughly cooked to destroy any bacteria present.

Some meats and other foods will continue to cook after being removed from the heat, so study the chart provided below for cooking temperatures and resting times if applicable.

After you remove meat from a grill, oven, or other heat source, allow it to rest for the specified amount of time. During the rest time, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful germs.

Meat Temp Cooking Chart

Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2016

Children can be taught the basics rather quickly. They need to learn how to cut up meats and vegetables safely, because just tossing meat on the flame or carrots in the pot doesn’t always add up to a good meal.

When cooking vegetables they should be relatively uniform in size so they cook consistently. Large chunks tossed in with small pieces will be raw while the smaller pieces over cooked. The small details like this are what separate an average cook from a good cook. Knowing the cooking temperatures, cooking times and knowing what spices enhance certain foods.

It takes some experimentation and the best time to practice with your children is now before something happens, and they literally need to know how to cook to save their lives.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2016). Retrieved 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/2011-foodborne-estimates.html

Lamagna, M. (2016). Retrieved 2017, from http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-millennials-dont-know-how-to-cook-2016-08-10

The post Teaching Your Children How to Cook: It’s Important That They Know How appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

Chocolate Fudge Cake – With A Surprise, Healthy Ingredient

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Our son ate 3 pieces of this chocolate fudge cake and said, “This is the best chocolate cake that I’ve ever had!” He had no idea that the secret ingredient that made it taste so good was cauliflower.  Seriously, I

The post Chocolate Fudge Cake – With A Surprise, Healthy Ingredient appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Make a Solar Oven Using a Pizza Box

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Make a Solar Oven Using a Pizza Box You will need: Large cardboard pizza box (most local pizzerias will give you one for free) Ruler Marker Aluminum foil X-ACTO knife or similar cutting tool that can cut through cardboard Electrical tape Black construction paper Non-toxic glue (i.e. Elmer’s Washable School Glue) Thin stick about 10” …

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The post Make a Solar Oven Using a Pizza Box appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

7 Great Depression Recipes That Grandma Used To Make

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One great thing about the Internet is having access to literally tens of thousands of delicious recipes. The only problem is, most of them are needlessly complicated. I know some cooks like to fancy themselves gourmet chefs, but when I cook, I like a simple recipe that has no more than 10 ingredients and doesn’t […]

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Be Our Guest – Food Preserving Part 2

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Creek, Food Preservation, Off-grid, Refrigeration, Spring House,

Want a spring house but have no spring? Diverting water from a small creek is an option

In Part I, I covered canning and smoking as food preservation methods. This aricle take a look at refrigeration and dehydration.

Freezing and refrigeration is the easy way to preserve food compared to some other methods. The only problem is, once frozen or cooled it has to stay that way until consumption.

Before the wonders of electricity and modern technology, how did people do this?

On farms and in small villages it was common to have a spring house which would provide natural refrigeration. A stone building with troughs dug into the ground on which the house stood would be built over a natural spring. Water from the spring would flow through the troughs and jugs of milk or other produce could be placed in the channels. These would then be kept cool as the water flowed around them. Ledges and hooks would also be provided in the spring house, to hang meat and vegetables in a cooler environment.

If the house wasn’t built over a natural spring, water could be redirected from a nearby creek. Initially some spring houses were made of wood, however this was prone to rotting. Stone therefore is the better material, not only does it hold the cold better but it won’t decompose or decay with time.

Fancy building your own spring house? You can find out more at Bright Hub.

Another option which was used before electricity and still used today is root cellars.

These underground rooms stay cool in the summer but above freezing in the winter – perfect for fruits, vegetables and canned goods. The cool temperatures prevent bacterial growth and the humidity prevents withering. Ideally the cellar will have temperatures between 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, have low levels of sunshine, good insulation from materials such as straw or soil and be easily accessible.

Root cellars come in a variety of forms from walk in rooms to putting trash cans in the ground to create a “mini” cellar. If you’re on a tight budget, take a look at this video by the Walden Effect, who made a root cellar out of an old refrigerator.

Speaking of refrigerators, if you want to be a bit more tech-centric, then there are various options for off-grid cold food storage.
Propane fridge, RV, off-grid, food preservation, chest freezer, solar freezer

RV owners have relied on propane fridges for many years – but are they worth the cost?

Propane fridges have been a staple for many RV owners and in off-grid homes. Some models can run off propane, DC or AC, making them more flexible. Although these appliances are good for keeping food cold and frozen with ample storage, they do require some maintenance and if they break down can be expensive to repair. Not only this, propane may be unavailable or very expensive to get hold of in certain areas and some propane fridge models can be extremely “fuel hungry” – not exactly the most economical option. There is also an initial investment of over $1,000. Take the Dometic DM2652 on Amazon at $1,119.99. This model measures 24 x 23 x 53.8 inches and so is perfect size for an RV, if you’re willing to spend the money.

Solar power refrigerators are also gaining ground.

Some of which can be hooked up directly to solar panels, running off direct current. The EcoSolarCool Solar Refrigerator on Amazon operates on 12 or 24 DC volts and is reported to be the most efficient solar refrigerator when tested against two other leading brands also advertised on Amazon. Coming in at 121lb, this stand-alone 25.3 x 23.6 x 57.1 inch model is a good size with just over 9 cubic feet capacity for storage. It comes with an upper freezer compartment and a lower refrigerator compartment. With prices starting at $1299.00 though, this is also an appliance that comes with a rather large price tag.

Another alternative is investing in a chest freezer.

These range in price but can be fairly inexpensive and have good storage space. Plus they can average under 2 amps when running. However, because of its shape (it’s a chest) rummaging around for the food you want can be a pain. Chest freezers can also develop condensation and it is best to buy a separate thermostat to monitor the temperature. Some chest freezers come ready to be run by solar power such as the Sundanzer Solar-Powered Refrigerator – 1.8 Cubic Ft., “>Sundanzer Refrigerator, specifically designed for off-grid use.

If you want a more DIY approach and temporary refrigeration then a zeer pot could be the answer.

Popular in Africa, zeer pots are essentially one terracotta pot inside another. One pot must be small enough to fit inside the other pot, but large enough to hold whatever you want to keep cool. The gap between the two pots is filled with sand and then water. The process of evaporative cooling keeps the inner pot much cooler than the outside environment. Although this is not cool enough for meat storage, it is still an option for other produce such as vegetables. If you fancy making your own zeer pot, have a read of this.

From keeping things cold to heating things up! Another food preservation technique is dehydration.

Efficient with zero energy input and little hands on time required, dehydration is perhaps one of the easiest ways to preserve food. The downsides to dehydration are that even though foods weigh less and so are easier to store, there is a longer time for food preparation later when making meals. Also dehydrated food can have a different taste (and texture obviously) to fresh produce. If using a solar dehydration method then you are limited to when the sun is out. This may not be such a problem at lower latitudes, but higher latitudes can be very restricted in their “sun time”.

Dehydrator, food preservation, solar, off-grid

Dehydrating foods can be done in a variety of ways from drying in the sun to using an electric dehydrator

Herbs and greens are the easiest foods to dehydrate; they dry quickly with no slicing required. Fruits and veggies are a little trickier; they need to be sliced thinly or diced into small pieces for drying. Smaller fruits like blueberries should be punctured to allow the moisture to escape during the process. Meat and fish are the most challenging to dry safely. The cuts need to be sliced as thinly as possible and be kept in a constant supply of warm air. Salting first will help with the preservation. Meat and fish especially should be stored in a cool place after drying to ensure they last for a few months.

So what can you use for dehydrating?

Firstly, you could invest in an electric dehydrator. These are probably the most convenient option for setting up (with no babysitting) but require a power source. The Excalibur Food Dehydrator being sold on Amazon at $244.95 is one such appliance. With nine large trays boasting 15 square feet of drying space, you can hardly complain for lack of room. But despite this the whole body is not overly large at 17 x 19 x 12.5 inches. An adjustable thermostat ensures you dry at the temperature you want and a 26 hour timer means you can walk away without the fear of forgetting about your food!

If you want to go down the solar dehydrator route, there are pre-assembled options. For instance the Hanging Food Pantrie Solar Food Dehydrator has five drying trays and protects food from insects and pests whilst using the suns energy to dry the food. No noisy fans and it’s collapsible for easy storage after use. Retailing on Amazon at $59.99, this is an option if you want something that stores well but also has good drying space.

Alternatively, you can go the whole hog and build your own solar dehydrator.

There are many variations and the beauty of this option is you can adapt the design to suit your needs. The basic components are a heat collector and a drying box. The heat collector has a clear plastic top which heats the air inside causing it to rise up and into the drying box. This is typically made of plywood with trays to rest the food on top of. Strategically placed vents help to control the air flow into and out of the dehydrator box to keep a constant circulation around the food.

If you want more detailed information on building your own solar dehydrator, take a look at this guide.

The post Be Our Guest – Food Preserving Part 2 appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

What Is A Rocket Stove? Why Do I Need One?

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What Is A Rocket Stove? Why Do I Need One? Rocket stoves are fabulous! Easily built but capable of producing a hot flame that you can cook, I suppose, everything over. You can even bake bread with a little modification. Knowing how to build one from bricks or stones is practical knowledge, that if held …

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Be Our Guest: Food Preservation Part I

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Canning, off-grid, cooking, food preservation, water bath, pressure canner

With the “know-how,” food preservation isn’t so daunting

Charcutier Sean Cannon is opening his first restaurant, Nape, in London this month. Born and bred in Norfolk, Sean told the Guardian how growing up in a self-sustaining community influenced his cooking. His best kept secret – preserving.

“Whether it’s killing an animal and having lots of fresh meat, or early summer and everything is ripe, knowing what to do with a glut is key.” Cannon said.

If you live off-grid you’ll know that preserving food for future use is essential. Not only does it provide food security, but also allows you to taste sweet summer berries in the winter. By doing this age old tradition, it also stops more modern thoughts and concerns of “what is actually in my food?” If you do the preparing and the preservation, you know exactly what has gone into the food you will be eating.

There are many ways to preserve food including canning, freezing, dehydrating and smoking.

Canning is a valuable and low-tech way to preserve food. There are two main methods for this, either water bath canning or pressure canning. It is worth noting that water bath canning should only be done for acidic fruits, such as berries and apples. If canning other produce such as meats and vegetables, pressure canning should be used; otherwise there is a high risk of food poisoning.

The basic process is to heat water in your canner (or large pan if water bath canning). This should not be filled to the top; 3-5 inches should be left for your jars of food. Jars should have lids secured and be placed carefully into the canner, being careful not to knock other jars, as they could crack or break under the high temperatures. The jars should be immersed in the canner with the water just covering the lids. The canner lid should be locked in place if pressure canning and the jars left for as long as needed according to the recipe. After the required time, the canner should be allowed to depressurise if using a pressure canner, before the jars are removed. Heat protection and necessary precautions should be taken to ensure you do not burn yourself. The jars should then be left to cool and seal for a minimum of 12 but ideally 24 hours. The sound of popping and pinging will mark your canning success!

Canning is so popular because of the wide variety of foods that can be preserved this way and the length of time they will remain edible for. Plus there’s no worry of keeping food frozen or cool!

Canning does however come with an initial start-up cost. If you’re only looking to preserve fruits and jams, then water bath canning in a large pan is of course an economical way to go. However, if you’re looking to preserve a wider variety of foods which includes meat and vegetables, then it would be wise to invest in a pressure canner.

The Presto 23 Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker comes in at a reasonable $86.44 on Amazon. This can double as a water bath canner and a pressure cooker. Made out of aluminium, the canner allows for fast and even heating and with a liquid capacity of just under 22 litres, seven quart jars fit comfortably inside. The lid has a strong lock and an over-pressure plug can relieve any build-up of steam. With a 12 year warranty and excellent reviews, this canner will certainly suit the needs of most canners.

Canning, food preservation, jars, canning, water canning, pressure canning, off-grid, storage

Good jars & lids are a must – there’s nothing like hearing the “pop” of sealing success!

The Presto’s rival is the All American Canner. This is a pricier option at $225.37 on Amazon and has many similar features, being made of aluminium and also holding 7 quart (or 19 pint) jars. This is a heavier unit though, coming in at 20lbs to the Presto’s 12lbs. A reviewer having access to both canner makes did however point out another comparison between the two. She noted that the All American Canner has a weighted gauge which needs less “babysitting” than the Presto with its dial gauge, which required her to keep adjusting the heat of her stove. However, she pointed out that when compared side by side, both the Presto and All American took the same amount of time to get to pressure, to can the produce and to bring back down ready to remove the jars.

Once the initial canner investment is made, there are a couple of other bits and pieces which you will need. Jars are a must and are reusable. However, if using second hand jars to try and save on cost, it is important not to have any that are cracked or damaged in any way – this could lead to some nasty accidents later on!

In terms of lids, these can either be replaced for around $3 per pack or you could spend a little extra and invest in some reusable Tattler lids. These are marketed at $8.88 on Amazon for a pack of 12 and are “indefinitely reusable”.

Other kit you might want to buy (and are recommended to prevent nasty burns) are a jar lifter and canning funnel. These can be bought separately or in a set with other equipment such as kitchen tongs, a jar wrench and magnetic lid lifter advertised on Amazon at $8.79.

For more detailed information on canning basics for beginners, check out Starry Hilder’s video on YouTube!

Another popular preservation method, especially for meat and fish is smoking.
Smokin' Hot! Only if you want to eat your meat straight away. If you want to preserve your meat, cold smoking is the way to go!

Smokin’ Hot! But only if you want to eat your meat straight away. If you want to preserve your meat, cold smoking is the way to go!

This involves long exposure to wood smoke at low temperatures, which is different to grilling over an open fire. Smoking preserves meat and fish by drying the produce and the smoke creates an acidic coating on the meat surface, preventing bacterial growth. The addition of a rich mouth-watering smoky flavour only adds to the appeal of this preservation method.

 

There are two types of smoking method. The first is called hot smoking and cooks the meat so it can be eaten straight away. This involves getting the temperature above 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The meat will still need to be cooked over a long time, leaving it very tender.

The second is cold smoking which doesn’t cook the meat for consumption straight away. Instead temperatures between 75 and 100 degree Fahrenheit are used to seal the meat and flavour it. The time meat or fish is left to smoke depends on the cuts and type of produce. Adding salt to the meat can help to speed up the process as it is a natural preservative. After drying the meat should be placed in an air tight container and stored at a cool temperature until consumed.

There is a wide range of smokers from electric or gas to charcoal and wood. This propane smoker from Amazon comes with a built in temperature gauge and retails at $211.40. Alternatively, instead of trying to find a smoker that suits your needs, why not build your own? That’s what this family has done!

 

Part II of “Be Our Guest – Food Preservation” will cover refrigeration and dehydrating.

The post Be Our Guest: Food Preservation Part I appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Cooking With Mud Like In The Old Days

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Cooking With Mud Like In The Old Days Improvised cooking was part of everyday life during the time of the pioneers. Most families were lacking even the most basic cooking utensils. In order to prepare a hot meal, they had to improvise and look for alternative cooking methods. Cooking with mud was one of the …

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A Kitchen Miracle! 5 Great Reasons To Own An Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

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If you enjoy soups, stews, slow cooked meats, steamed veggies, rice or beans, you won’t believe what an Instant Pot will do for you! The time and electricity that you will save makes the cost of the purchase worth it

The post A Kitchen Miracle! 5 Great Reasons To Own An Instant Pot Pressure Cooker appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Preserving fish for long-term survival

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Living in a world where supermarkets are out of business is certainly no easy task. In order to survive in such world, you will be forced to hunt or fish for your food. Fishing for long-term sustenance requires for you to know various methods of preserving fish. Of all flesh foods, fish is the most … Read more…

The post Preserving fish for long-term survival was written by David Andrew Brown and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Solavore Solar Oven – Pic Review

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One of the big topics that has been consistent in preparedness over the years that I have run Prepper Website, is food.  People know how important it is to eat!  A few days of going hungry and you start to really lose energy and even the ability to focus and think straight.  Couple that with stress and expended energy to deal with your situation, eating isn’t a want, it is a need!

When it comes to preparedness cooking, you need options!  There might be times when you don’t have time to build and maintain a fire.  There might be time when you need to conserve your fuel.  There might be time when an open flame gives away your activities and your position.

One option for preppers is a solar oven. Until recently, I had only read about them and seen videos.  However, I now have some experience using the Solavore Sport Solar Oven.

The Solavore Sport Oven was shipped neatly packaged with clear instructions for setup.  Make sure you do read the instructions carefully and just don’t go to town removing the film on the lid that kind of looks like an anti-scratch plastic for shipping! It’s there for a reason. I almost made the mistake of ripping it off!  The solar oven comes with the solar box, clear lid, reflectors, two black pots, a temperature gauge and a WAPI.

My main concern and real trial was if the solar oven would cook the “usual” stockpile of food that preppers would store.  For me, that would include rice and beans.

My first attempt failed!  I waited for a sunny day, according to weather.com.  I started early in the morning and set everything up.  However, I lost the sun halfway through the day.  So, this is something that needs to be kept in mind if you’re cooking during an emergency situation.  You will need a backup plan to possibly finish cooking your food if you lose the sun behind clouds.

My second attempt worked!  Again, I waited for a sunny day. I set the Solavore Sport out before I left for work.  The cool thing is that I didn’t get back home till after 7 p.m.  The sun was already setting and the box was cool (January in Houston, TX).  The temperature gauge didn’t even register!  I thought I had another fail on my hands.  When I lifted the lid, I could smell the rice and beans.  I brought the pots inside and took a bite!  Everything was done to my satisfaction.  I made a bowl of rice and beans, added a little  Tony’s to it and popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm it up.

Solar ovens don’t burn food.  So, you can leave your food in your solar oven all day and not worry about it burning.  There are so many things that you can cook with a solar oven. Solavore has recipes you can try – savory and sweet.

My advice is that you experiment and try cooking with your solar oven when you don’t need it, so you will know how it works when you do need it!  The beauty of the Solavore is that it is so lightweight and sturdy.  You can use this all year long, just as long as you have sun.  And, you don’t have to wait for an emergency!

You can purchase the Solavore Sports Solar Oven on the Solavore site.

Check out my pics below as well as videos that I have linked to by my blogging friend, Anegela @ Food Storage and Survival.  Especially pay attention to her video on the WAPI.  I think this is a BIG selling point for solar ovens.

This is a pic from my first attempt. You can see I had a ton of sun, but I lost it 1/2 way through the day. I also think I put in a little too much water. You’re supposed to put in 25% less water than you normally use in a recipe.  I didn’t read that part during my first attempt!

Second attempt. Setting up the rice and beans.  A lot less water!

Pic of the Solavore Sport Solar Oven. This pic was taken early in the morning before I left for work.

Already cool because the sun was setting when I took the pots out of the oven, however, the rice and beans were fully cooked!

A little Tony’s! I was just missing some cornbread!

The Solavore Sports Oven comes with the oven and lid, reflectors, two pots, a temperature gauge and a WAPI.

WAPI = Water Pasteurization Indicator. If you haven’t seen one of these in action, check out the video below.

 

 

Do you have any experience with a solar oven?  What is it?  Would you consider purchasing one for your preps?

 

Peace,
Todd

Pizza-Stuffed Bell Peppers are the Best Reason to Eat Your Vegetables

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Pizza-Stuffed Bell Peppers are the Best Reason to Eat Your Vegetables Nothing beats fresh veggies from the garden, but getting the kids to eat them can be quite a challenge. Casseroles and pasta dishes are great ways to incorporate vegetables into the menu, but they can get old after a while. If you’ve exhausted all …

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How to Make a Wood Gas Stove

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One of the most popular types of stoves for bug out bags is the Solo Stove. Only problem is, they cost anywhere from $60 to $100. But there’s good news: you can make something very similar with two ordinary tin cans, and this tutorial by IntenseAngler shows you how. I typed out the steps for […]

The post How to Make a Wood Gas Stove appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

20 Crock Pot Tips for the Winter

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crock pot tipsThere is nothing better than ending a cool winter day than with a bowl of something cooked in a crock pot. In our home, we adore our crock pots, all four of them. There is always one on the counter top ready to go. The soups and stews are always a big hit, and a really good crock pot recipe book is worth its weight in gold.

Lately, we have been branching out and using our crock pot for more than soup. We’ve learned some tricks and tips than can take your crock pot meals to the next level.

Which size crock pot?

Slow cookers come in a variety of sizes, usually 1 quart to 8 1/2 quarts. Follow the recipe’s recommended size. This is important becasue the correct quart cooker will allow your meal to cook properly, and you won’t have an overflow of mess to clean. Most recipes will work best in a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker.

Don’t peek!

Every time you open the lid, heat escapes and you lengthen the cooking time by 15 – 20 minutes. The best time to check on your dish is about 45 minutes before it should be done. You will be able to tell how much of your cooking time needs to be adjusted.

Do not over-fill

Do not put too much in your crock pot. Most manufactures recommend that you fill your slow cooker no more than two-thirds full. Check what the manufacture recommends for your specific brand and size pot. By following the recommendations, you will avoid any possible food safety hazards and your meal will be finished on time. Don’t be afraid to cook whole chickens and big meaty roasts. These can be very healthy meals. Just check that the lid has a good snug fit.

Avoid the food danger zone

Bacteria love to become an uninvited guest at temperatures between 40° and 140°F degrees. The best way to avoid the danger zone is to put your prepped food in separate containers in the refrigerator ahead of time. Do not cook large chunks of frozen meat in the crock pot. There is no guarantee that large pieces of meat will be cooked all the way through. If you need to double check your food’s temperature, a good quality digital thermometer like this one will give you the information you need without having to lift the crock pot’s lid. Works great when keeping track of food in the oven, too.

Get the most out of the meat

To maximize the flavor of your meal, brown your meat in a skillet before adding it to the crock pot. Then deglaze the pan and with wine or broth. Deglazing gets all of the caramelized pieces of meat from the bottom of the pan. Add the liquid with those yummy bits of meat to your crock pot and you will have a richer flavor in your meal.

Out with the old crock pot!

Check out the new crock pots! There are so many new options available now. If you need your crock pot to do its cooking while you are out of the house, look into the programmable models. On these models, when the food is finished cooking, the slow cooker adjusts its temperature. This keeps your food warm, but at a safe temperature until you are ready to dig in. The latest crock pot in my house has a rubber lined hole in the top of the lid for a meat thermometer. This is a pretty brilliant combination of the crock pot with an indispendable thermometer.The thermometer fits snugly into the lid so none of the heat escapes out. Perfect for larger cuts of meat.

Preheat your crock pot

It is basically a little oven. So give it about 20 minutes to warm up all the way before you start adding your food. Just like you pre-heat your oven, pre-heat while prepping your food. It also cuts down on cooking time.

Food temperature matters

Putting frozen food in the slow cooker can increase your chances of bacteria growth. Remember that danger zone of 40 to 140 degrees F that was mentioned above? Prevent bacteria by avoiding all frozen foods. Fully thaw out all meats and vegetables before adding to the cooker. We have thawed out meat in the fridge or used our microwave to thaw vegetables. The only exception to this rule would be the prepackaged crock pot meals that are sold in the frozen food section in the grocery store. Just follow the directions on the back of the package.

Gingerbread in a crockpot meal?

Toss in some crumbled gingerbread or crushed ginger snap cookies! Ginger adds a depth of flavor and texture to the liquid. Use them in beef type dishes like stew and pot roast.

Use a high quality wine

Look for wines that are dry and have a high alcohol content to add more complex flavor to your dish. The alcohol doesn’t evaporate out much because the cooker lid is sealed. So remember that a little bit goes a long way.

The best vanilla quality possible

Like the wine, use a vanilla of high quality. The alcohol in the vanilla doesn’t burn off as fast and leaves a more intense flavor. Use the same amount your recipe recommends.

Forgotten food

If you rush out the door in the morning with food in an unplugged crock pot, you must toss it. I know, it hurts. But forgetting to plug or turn the crock pot to low or high means that your food could have spent the day in that danger zone. Even having uncooked food on the warm setting needs to go too. The warm setting isn’t warm enough to prevent bacteria. It is hard to throw away food, but it is easier than being sick. Again, you need a good food/meat thermometer!

Layer your food

To get all of your ingredients cooked at the right temperature and finished at the same time, you must layer. Any root vegetables, like potatoes and carrots, need to be placed at the bottom of the pot. These foods take longer to cook and need to be where most of the heat is. Place the meat on top of the root vegetables. If you are going to cut the meat, cut it into uniform pieces for even cooking. Any other smaller or delicate foods, such as mushrooms, can be placed last. They require a shorter cooking time

Pasta and rice

These can both be tricky. When overcooked, they become an inedible blob in your dish. It is best to add rice the last 30 minutes of cooking. Cooking the pasta separately and adding it to your food right before serving is a safer bet. My friend makes this pasta dish and swears by its ease and taste. I feel the ziti is a heavier pasta and that is why it works in this recipe without being cooked on the stove top.

Crock Pot Baked Ziti

Serves 8

1 lb. box of ziti noodles, uncooked

15 ounce container low-fat ricotta cheese

1 egg

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, fresh is preferred over the green can kind

1½ cup low-fat mozzarella cheese, grated

½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 24-ounce jars marinara sauce, any flavor

7-8 fresh, thinly sliced basil leaves or ½ teaspoon dried basil

Instructions

Use cooking spray to spray the inside of the crock pot, and rinse the noodles in a colandar and set them aside.

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, egg whites, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella, salt, and pepper. Stir until this is a smooth mixture.

In the crockpot, layer half of the noodles, about 2 1/2 cups. Pour 2 cups of the marinara sauce over the noodles. Use a spoon to smooth the sauce over the noodles so they are all covered and create an even layer.

Drop small spoonfuls of the ricotta mix over the sauce/pasta. Use the back of a spoon or a spatula to carefully spread the cheese mixture over the noodles.

Repeat the 3 layers: noodles, marinara, and cheese. Over the top of everything, pour the remaining marinara sauce.

Cook on low heat for 4-6 hours. By this time, the ziti will be finished. Sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the top, cover with the crock pot lid, and allow about 10 minutes for the cheese to melt.

Garnish with the fresh basil and serve.

Notes: For a heartier dish, you can add a layer of cooked ground beef, sausage or vegetables, such as mushroom and spinach after the sauce layer and before the cheese layer. This recipe freezes well. Source of original recipe is here.

Wait a day

Some foods are better the second day. Many soups increase in flavor when they have had time to sit. About 24 hours should do it. If your dish has any sinewy tissue, like brisket, it will also have an improved flavor after sitting in the refrigerator for a day.

Choosing the right cut of meat for the temperature

For low heat, chose pork shoulders, chuck roasts, short ribs, chicken thighs and drumsticks and any other tough or fatty meat. They tend to become tender and moist. Avoid cooking chicken breasts, pork loin and other leaner cuts of meat on low. They often get dried out. Trim any excess fat before cooking. You don’t want greasy liquid floating on top of your dish.

Dairy last

Milk products, like yogurt, milk and sour cream should be stirred in the last 15 minutes of cooking. If you add them earlier, they tend to break down and you will not have the creamy consistency you are looking for.

Vegetable mush

If you end up with mushy veggies, scoop them out and puree them. Reduce the puree in a sauce pan and make a glaze to pour over the meat or add it to your sauce. To prevent mushy tomatoes, try sun dried tomatoes or use whole canned tomatoes and cut them into large pieces. Diced or crushed tomatoes can disintegrate into your dish.

Consider desserts in your crock pot

The sealed lid allows moisture to stay in the most delicious cakes, breads and brownies. Even cheesecake! Consider using your slow cooker to make party mixes and to roast nuts. Breakfast in a crock pot is an easy way to start the morning. Steel cut oatmeal or a breakfast casserole can be easily prepared the night before. A crock pot also does a great job with oat groats.

Give your crock some TLC

Any sudden change in temperature can cause the ceramic insert to crack. Place a dish cloth in between the insert and cool countertop if needed. Let the insert come to room temperature before you expose it to a hot or cold element. There are plastic liners available that are specifically designed to be used for crock pots. The make clean up easy!

crock pot tips

Baked Honey Barbecue Wings Recipe – A Superbowl Party Hit!

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Baked honey barbecue wings are one of our favorite appetizers when we are feeding a crowd. By seasoning the wings before they bake, they develop an extra depth of flavor before being tossed in the homemade sauce. The wings bake up

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Epic Pure Filtered Water Pitcher vs. Brita Slim Water Filtration System

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epic_water_vs_brita_featured

epic_brita_side_by_sideI’ve been a long-time user of pitcher-type water filters; my old Brita filter has had probably hundreds of gallons put through it. The filtered water it produces tastes better, and I like the fact that it pulls a few nasty items out of the water my family and I drink every day.  Without a doubt, I am a big proponent of filtered water. After using my Brita, I feel uncomfortable drinking unfiltered water. Call me pretentious, but I would rather not consume strange heavy metals in my water. 

By Drew, a contributing author of Survival Cache & SHTFBlog

However, I recently received an EPIC Pure Water Filter pitcher-type filter in the mail for a review.  It was a great opportunity to do a little research, and see if the newer, more impressive-appearing EPIC offering was a better product than the tried-and-true Brita product that I’d been using for years.

Why use a water filter every day?

river_filtration_water_thinkIn a SHTF/survival-type situation, water filtration is a no-brainer.  Assuming the power grid is down, any water you can source that isn’t bottled can be assumed to be contaminated with some sort of offending nastiness, and absolutely should be filtered and purified.  However, in day-to-day life, it’s easy to become complacent about the water that flows from your faucets.  We take it for granted that the water has been made safe for us to drink by the unknown people at the water treatment plants.  We turn the tap on, and we blindly think that what comes out MUST be okay. But that “okay” water was processed with additives such as chlorine and aluminum sulfate, fluoride was probably added, and then it ran through miles and miles of metallic pipes underground, where it then makes the trip to your domicile, through the iron or copper plumbing that’s probably joined with lead solder, coursing out through the faucet that has bacteria living happily inside.  Most people don’t think about it, and I’ll admit I never did until I started doing research for this article.

Related: Trace Pharmaceuticals and Water

My house has city water supplied to it, and though the water company sends out yearly reports on water quality, the list of agents listed on the report definitely makes me take pause.  Yes, at the time of the report, the water quality is hunky dory – but how quickly can this balance be upset?  If something goes awry at the water treatment facility, how much water will run through my house and my family before the problem is caught and addressed?  Will the powers-that-be even let me know there is/was an issue with my water?

Environmental_Protection_Agency_logo.svgNow, I know that the people who are employed by the city to maintain the water supply used by thousands are highly qualified and trained to ensure that I have safe water that flows out of my faucets.  I also know that the Safe Water Drinking Act means that there are federal standards, regulated by the EPA, so that my water meets quality standards.  The EPA monitors the water for many organisms, bacteria, metals, chemicals, and other contaminants that can make you sick, give you cancer, or make life generally completely unpleasant in a multitude of ways.  However, the EPA doesn’t regulate many water-borne items, such as aluminum, chloride, and copper. In large enough quantities, these items and others that may still be in your water can do funky stuff to your systems.

Wells aren’t immune to contaminants either; pesticide runoff, petroleums, MTBE, metals that occur in the ground, bacteria, and other nasties can find your way into your dug or drilled well.  Again, most people don’t consider these issues once they have their well installed and tested – if everything is reported as fine, people run on automatic and think the water will always be fine.

All this being said, here in the USA and other developed countries, it’s safe to say that usually your water meets minimum standards for safe drinking water.  However, it’s also safe to say that you’re getting some additional unhealthy contaminant passengers along for the ride – no matter what the yearly water reports from the city water department say.

The Ins and Outs of Water Pitcher Filters

pitcher_inside_filterSo, me being the slight alarmist that I am (you have to be to run with this crowd, right?), I try to play it safe and drink filtered water, if it comes from my tap.  I don’t have the space or funding to really hook up a high-end in-line pre-faucet water filter, so I choose to run a pitcher-type filter for my drinking water needs.  It’s an easy, inexpensive way to keep clean water available.  Fill the pitcher, stick it in the fridge, and let it do its thing.  It’s easy for the whole family to do (provided the teenagers remember to fill the pitcher back up after they use the last of the water), so it’s a nice, simple, foolproof way to keep a half gallon or so of clear, clean-tasting water ready to go.

Basically, the way a pitcher-type filter works is simple: open the lid, located at the top of the pitcher.  Pour your to-be-filtered water in the top, straight from the faucet if you’d like. Put the lid back on, and let the pitcher work its magic.  Water is pulled from the reservoir at the top of the pitcher by gravity, coursing the H2O through the filter(s) located underneath the reservoir.  The inside of the filters contain any number of elements – almost always activated carbon is involved; Brita uses coconut shell-derived carbon.  Activated carbon, if viewed through a microscope, is porous and covered in lots of crevices that attract and hold impurities and contaminants through a process called adsorption.  

brita_and_boxActivated carbon works pretty well to eliminate a number of nasties in your water, such as chlorine, and some pesticides and some solvents – this is why activated carbon is commonly used in fish tank filters.  However, activated carbon eventually reaches its holding capacity and no longer can be used to reliably filter water eventually, so the filter must be replaced at periodic intervals. Other elements can be added to attract and reduce or eliminate other contaminants – but after quite some time searching the web for research on what these elements might be, it seems that most water filter manufacturers play their cards pretty close to the vest, leaving us to wonder at the magic of proprietary water filtration processes.

Since water pitchers function by pulling water through filters via gravity, there is generally not enough pressure to purify via reverse osmosis, and many bacteria can still get by – so it’s not recommended that you use pitcher-type home filters to cleanse water from streams, lakes, rivers, mud puddles, or the like.  Sediments and contaminants will be filtered for sure, but you can still get sick through bacteria infestation.  Dedicated outdoor-type water filters are recommended for naturally-sourced water filtration.

The EPIC Pure Water Pitcher Filter System

I, for a while, thought I just had a standard pitcher type filter.  However, upon digging about, I was excited to find that I had been sent the new EPIC Pure Pitcher  The Pure is like a Brita only for survivalists or preppers.

epic_filter_largeMy EPIC Pure pitcher filter features a large, replaceable filter and a pitcher that holds, by rough estimate, three quarters of a gallon or so of water.  The filter supports about 200 gallons of water filtration (my Brita does 40).  The filter elements and pitchers are 100% BPA free, and the filters themselves are 100% recyclable, which means that over the lifetime of the filter, you have potentially saved using 1,500 plastic water bottles – a definitive environmental impact.  EPIC boasts that their filters will remove up to 99.99% of contaminants that can be found in tap water.  I investigated their website to see what they actually remove, and the list is ridiculous: most are contaminants, and pesticides are things I’d never heard of but sound awful, and the metals removed list includes chromium 6, aluminum, mercury, lead, arsenic, TTHM, and Radon 222, among other things.  I won’t throw the full impressive list on this post, but definitely check out the list of what the EPIC Pure filter keep out of your body.

The Pure’s  Competition

I’ve used a Brita pitcher filter for years, as I stated at the beginning of this article.  Mine is a Brita Water Filtration System, the same model you can get online or at Target or Wal-Mart.  Brita has the market cornered on accessible, household name pitcher filters.  The Brita is an affordable pitcher filtration for the masses and 100% made in China.

brita_topThe Brita features replaceable filter cartridges, and they last approximately 40 gallons per filter, according to Brita’s website.  However, the Brita offering really concentrates on improving the taste of the water, instead of actually doing a really thorough job purifying.  According to Brita, the pitcher filters they offer just remove or reduce chlorine, copper, cadmium, and mercury.  There is no mention of filtering out pesticides like DDT, or other common contaminants and metals such as lead.  Brita does offer products that remove more contaminants, but not in the pitcher format we are analyzing here.

Battle Royale: EPIC Pure VS. Brita Water Filtration

brita_epic_head_to_headSo in the interests of doing a straight apples-to-apples test, I bought a brand new Brita filter cartridge from Amazon, and performed the standard pre-soak that Brita requires.  I loaded up the new filter in the Brita, and filled both up with straight tap water.  The larger EPIC reservoir took almost 15 minutes to filter. The Brita was much faster to process, probably just five or six minutes.  But in both cases, the water that was produced was crystal clear, and devoid of any of the slight chlorine smell that my city water usually has.

I went all Mythbusters on my taste test, and filled three glasses with water: one glass with tap water, one with water from the Brita pitcher, and one with water from the EPIC pitcher. I had my wife and son each try out the water, and report which glass they thought was from each aquatic offering. I then asked them to do the same for me. The results? The tap water was a gimme; its taste and smell was very distinct, with the rather not-great metallic chlorine taste. All three of us nailed which glass held the city-fed tap water.

As for the filtered water, my wife and I both were able to distinguish the EPIC filtered water, but I can personally tell you that the taste from both the EPIC and Brita products were quite close: clear, with no metallic or chlorine tastes – and very, very good. There was no smell from either glass.

Video

Where the EPIC filter really made a marked difference in taste was in coffee, believe it or not. The EPIC filtered water definitively produced much smoother, rich-tasting coffee from my home coffee maker. I have no science to back me up, but I am theorizing that the pH-modified alkaline EPIC water knocked back on the acid produced from the coffee, and the resulting beloved caffeinated product was far superior as a result.

Read Also: Epic Travel Bottle Review

So, Brita or EPIC? The Brita absolutely produces excellent-tasting water, and filters out a few undesirables in the water stream. But, if you can afford it, the EPIC offering is certainly a better product for the environment – its filters last 2 ½ times longer than the Brita offerings and are recyclable. The EPIC filter is certainly better for you and your family. If you buy bottled water to drink around the house because your well or tap water is unpalatable or unsafe, the EPIC will pay for itself in very little time. The EPIC pitcher is more expensive, and the replacement filter cartridges are also pricier (Made in the USA – yes, they will be more expensive). Yes, it’s pretty expensive – but the EPIC has something else going for it that makes it worth every penny, in my humble opinion.

Health Benefits

I mentioned earlier that I had perceived health benefits from my switch to drinking water from the EPIC Pure pitcher, and it’s true. I have a condition known as GERD (Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease) where the muscle at the junction of the esophagus and stomach relaxes, allowing built-up acid to splash up into my windpipe and lungs, causing severe heartburn and general chest discomfort, along with irritated lungs. GERD’s onset for me is usually stress-related and is exactly as much fun as it sounds.

coffee_waterOnce I received the EPIC Pure water pitcher, I immediately started using it for all the water I drink. Within a couple days, I noticed a huge difference in the amount of heartburn and windpipe discomfort I was experiencing. At first I attributed it to a switch in coffee brands I made at the same time I received the EPIC filter; I did not know that the EPIC was a Pure pitcher with pH benefits because they use activated coconut carbon filters which are alkaline.  When I brought some of the new coffee (from Main Gun Coffee Company – DEFINITELY check them out if you’re a coffee aficionado) to work for use at my coffeemaker there, I had acid issues kick in again. There went the coffee theory. 

However, when I started doing research for this review, I realized what which product had been sent to me, and the gears turned. The GERD symptoms definitely lessened right when I started using the filter, and when I drink water from other sources, sometimes I’ll have issues. So, it is my personal postulation (that is purely my own conjecture and could be completely wrong) that the alkaline pH levels that the EPIC Pure water pitcher introduces reduces acids that the body produces, driving down my heartburn symptoms. Take it for what it’s worth to you, but I believe the EPIC Pure product to really work, and has positive health benefits that go beyond eliminating contaminants and nastiness from the tap water I drink. It tastes great, makes bitchin’ coffee, and I feel better. Winning.

Wrapping It Up

epic_water_pitcher_pourThe EPIC Pure water pitcher is great, whether you just want clear safe water, or you’re looking to try health solutions that go beyond pumping pills in your face. The initial sticker shock is a definite turn-off,and I’ll admit to you that when I got the filter and I looked into what using it would cost me, I rolled my eyes and uttered a “yeah right.” But I’ve used the pitcher extensively, comparing it to a very common competitive filter, and I’m now a true believer in this filter.

For those of you who don’t want to take the hit on the Pure system, EPIC also offers a full line of other outdoors-rated filters, including the Stainless Steel Travel Bottle that allows you to drink from almost any water source you can find. If you’re looking to try the next level of personal home water filtration, and don’t want to invest in under-sink in-line plumbing filters or clunky faucet add-on filters, be sure to look at the EPIC Pure pitcher filter system. It’s head and shoulders above the competition, and you’ll feel better for it as a result.

What are your thoughts? Is the 70 dollars for a home tap water filter too much, even if there are health benefits besides hydration? Do you use something different? Sound off in the comments below!

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Horehound

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Horehound (Marrubium vulgare L. ),
commonly known as white horehound, is a European native of the Lamiaceae or mint family. Other names for this ancient remedy include hounds bane, marrubium, eye of the star, a seed of Horus, marvel, bulls’ blood, and hounds bane.

Horehound is a garden mint with green and white leaves and a distinctively bitter taste. It is native to Asia and Europe. Horehound is a hardy perennial that has naturalized in North America. Although the herb grows in a wide range of climates, the best quality is grown in desert heat, but it may be found in sunny, wayside places, thriving even in poor, dry soil.

The common name horehound comes from the Old English words har and hune, meaning downy plant. This descriptive name refers to the white hairs that give this herb its distinctive hoary appearance.

Another suggested derivation is the name of the Egyptian god of sky and light, Horus. Horehound is one of the oldest known cough remedies. It was one of the herbs in the medicine chests of the Egyptian pharaohs. In Roman times, Caesar’s antidote for poison included horehound. The generic name is believed to be derived from the Hebrew word marrob, meaning bitter juice. Horehound is one of the bitter herbs used in the Jewish Passover rites. Throughout its long history, white horehound has been valued not only as a folk remedy for coughs and congested lungs.

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Recorded mention of horehound began in the first century in ancient Rome. In his manual of medicine, Roman medical writer A. Cornelius Celsus, described antiseptic uses as well as treatments for respiratory ailments using horehound juice. In his book, “On Agriculture,” first-century agriculturist Lucius Columella detailed how to use of horehound for various farm animal ailments such as ulcers, worms, and scabs. In the second century, the noted physician Galen also recommended using horehound to relieve coughing and to support respiratory health.

In his 1597 book on the history of plants and their uses, the respected British herbalist John Gerard recommended horehound as an antidote to poison and a syrup of horehound for those with respiratory problems. English physician Nicholas Culpeper echoed Gerard’s promotion of horehound in his 1652 book for physicians, stating, “There is a syrup made of this plant which I would recommend as an excellent help to evacuate tough phlegm and cold rheum from the lungs of aged persons, especially those who are asthmatic and short-winded.”

USES:

White horehound is used for digestion problems including loss of appetite, indigestion, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and liver and gallbladder complaints. It is also used for lung and breathing problems including a cough, whooping cough, asthma, tuberculosis, bronchitis, and swollen breathing passages.

Women use white horehound for painful menstrual periods.
People also use it for yellowed skin (jaundice), to kill parasitic worms, to cause sweating, and to increase urine production.
White horehound is sometimes applied to the skin for skin damage, ulcers, and wounds.

In manufacturing, the extracts of white horehound are used as a flavoring in foods and beverages, and as expectorant in cough syrups and lozenges. Expectorants are ingredients that make it easier to cough up phlegm.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s LIKELY UNSAFE to take white horehound by mouth during pregnancy. It might start menstruation and could cause a miscarriage.

If you are breastfeeding stick to food amounts of white horehound. There isn’t enough information about the safety of medicinal amounts.

Don’t use white horehound on the skin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Not enough is known about the safety of topical use.

Diabetes: White horehound might lower blood sugar. Taking white horehound along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

Heart conditions: There is some concern that white horehound might cause irregular heartbeat in people with heart problems. It’s best not to use it.

Low blood pressure: White horehound might lower blood pressure. This could cause blood pressure to go to low. White horehound should be used cautiously in people with low blood pressure or those taking medications that lower blood pressure.

Surgery: White horehound might lower blood sugar. This might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking white horehound at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

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Preparations:

Preparations of Horehound are still largely used as expectorant and tonics. It may, indeed, be considered one of the most popular pectoral remedies, being given with benefit for a chronic cough, asthma, and some cases of consumption.

Horehound is sometimes combined with Hyssop, Rue, Liquorice root and Marshmallow root, 1/2 oz. of each boiled in 2 pints of water, to 1 1/2 pint, strained and given in 1/2 teacupful doses, every two to three hours.

For children’s coughs and croup, it is given to advantage in the form of syrup and is a most useful medicine for children, not only for the complaints mentioned but as a tonic and a corrective of the stomach. It has quite a pleasant taste.

Taken in large doses, it acts as a gentle purgative.

The powdered leaves have also been employed as a vermifuge and the green leaves, bruised and boiled in lard, are made into an ointment which is good for wounds.

For ordinary cold, a simple infusion of Horehound (Horehound Tea) is generally sufficient in itself. The tea may be made by pouring boiling water on the fresh or dried leaves, 1 OZ. of the herb to the pint. A wineglassful may be taken three or four times a day.

Candied Horehound is best made from the fresh plant by boiling it down until the juice is extracted, then adding sugar before boiling this again, until it has become thick enough in consistency to pour into a paper case and be cut into squares when cool.
Two or three teaspoonful of the expressed juice of the herb may also be given as a dose in severe colds.

—Preparations and Dosages–fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Syrup, 2 to 4 drachms. Solid extract, 5 to 15 grains.

Written by Rich, for AroundTheCabin.com
1/30/2017

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Survival Food: 5 Hearty Soup In A Jar Recipes

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Soup in a jar

We’ve already discussed how to preserve many foods, and even entire meals, by canning them using either pressure canning or water bath canning. Canning entire meals in a jar provides both convenience and nutrition; both of which will be to your advantage in a survival situation.

The difference between the two types of canning is that any food that is low acid, which is most vegetables and all meats, needs to be pressure canned in order for the food in the jars to reach a temperature that will kill all microorganisms such as botulism that will make you sick.

The general rule of thumb is that you process pint jars for 60 minutes and quart jars for 75 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure for vegetable soups, and 75 minutes for pints/90 minutes for quarts for meats. Leave 1 inch of headspace in the jars.

If you’re canning something with dried beans, put them in a pan and cover them with a couple inches of water. Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let them soak in the hot water for at least an hour. Bring back to a boil, remove from heat, drain, and add to the soup.

The general rule for canning soups is that you have half small cubed solids and half liquid. This may sound like a lot of liquid, but by the time the other ingredients absorb the water and swell, it will be nice and hearty.

You want that much liquid in the beginning so that heat can circulate evenly, but when it’s finished, you’ll find that it’s about 3/4 solids to 1/2 liquid. Just enough to soak some bread in!

Don’t Overcook

The main thing to remember when canning soups is that you don’t want to cook it until it’s mush. You lose both flavor and nutrients at that point. This means that you’ll likely pack everything into the jars nearly raw. You can make soup and then can it, but if you do that, just know that many of your veggies will be pretty soft, and some will cook away altogether.

Bring everything to a rolling boil for 5 minutes or so, just long enough to get everything good and hot, then pack it into your jars and process. Let it cook in the jars.

With the long cooking times, you may find that rice (not instant) is better in your recipes than pasta, which cooks to goo.

These lessons of yesterday will teach you the basic skills you need for survival cooking! 

Sterilize and Clean Everything

This is the key to successful canning. Your jars need to be sterilized before you put food in them.

Do this by washing them in hot, soapy water. The same thing goes for all of the equipment that you use, including lids, rings, spatulas and anything else that will come into contact with the inside of the jar, or the food.

Video first seen on Marjorie Vangenewitt

Now, without further ado, let’s get to the recipes!

And remember – you can adapt any of your favorite recipes so that you may can them and have your favorite meals anytime that you want.

Canning isn’t just about planning for the apocalypse. In fact, that’s just an added bonus. Canning is a means to preserve healthy food that you’ve grown yourself, so that you know what you’re putting in your body. If you have some left over, then even better!

5 Delicious Soups in a Jar

1. Italian Rustica

  • 2 gallons tomato juice
  • 3 cups cubed carrots
  • 2 cups chopped green beans
  • 2 pint canned tomatoes, rough chopped, not drained
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons chopped or dried oregano
  • 2 cups dried rice

Combine all ingredients except the rice in a soup pot. Bring to a rolling boil, then add the rice. Pack into jars and process. Yields about 12 quarts.

2. Ham and Bean Soup

  • 2 gallons water
  • 4 cups dried northern or cannelloni beans
  • 4 cups chopped ham
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

Soak your dried beans as discussed above. Bring them to a boil, along with the salt, pepper and ham. Pack in jars and process accordingly. Yields about 12 quarts.

3. Beef Stew

  • 4 pounds beef tips
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried tarragon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 4 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 1 pint canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 gallons beef stock

Braise beef tips with the onions and celery in a skillet just until rare but browned on all sides. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Pack and process accordingly. Yields about 16 quarts.

4. Cabbage Stew

  • 4 pounds ground meat, your choice
  • 1 head cabbage, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 pint canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 3 gallons water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste

Brown your meat in a skillet and drain. Add it along with all other ingredients to your stockpot and bring to a boil. Process accordingly. Yields about 12 quarts.

5. Southwest Stew

  • 3 cups white rice, not instant
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 quart diced tomatoes with juice
  • 4 pounds chicken breast, chopped
  • 3 cups corn
  • 3 15 oz. cans black beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoon dried cilantro
  • 2 packs taco seasoning
  • 1 small can green chilis, diced
  • 2 gallon chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Put all ingredients in a stockpot and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Pack and process accordingly. Yields about 12 quarts.

All of these soups are both delicious and healthy, and fairly easy to prepare.

Do you wonder what where the cooking secrets that helped our grandfathers survive the Great Depression? Click the banner below to uncover them!

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If you have any recipes that you’d like to share with us, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

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Cooking with mud like in the old days

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In my youth, I was extremely fortunate to be raised by my great-grandmother. She lived to be 96 years old and she managed to share some of her survival knowledge with us. Cooking with mud was her way of remembering the struggles she faced while settling down.   She and her family came to America … Read more…

The post Cooking with mud like in the old days was written by Dan Mowinski and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Steel Cut Oats, The Perfect Breakfast Choice! – Delicious Recipe Included

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Why should you choose steel cut oats for your breakfast? Well before we get into the specifics, first and foremost, they are really, really good! Not all oatmeal is created equal. Just take a stroll down your grocery aisle and

The post Steel Cut Oats, The Perfect Breakfast Choice! – Delicious Recipe Included appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

How to Grow Your Own Herbs for Cooking

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How to Grow Your Own Herbs for Cooking Fresh herbs are a wonderful and healthy way to season food, and many of them even have medicinal properties. Some of us are intimidated by the prospect of growing their own herbs, but as Spark People’s tutorial shows us, it just needs a little bit of knowledge …

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Surviving Off-Grid: 4 Recipes To Cook In A Haybox

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Haybox cooking

I have to admit, this was a new one for me, and I thought that I’d tried every method of outdoor cooking invented since cavemen sporked frogs and roasted them over an open fire. As it turns out, haybox cooking is a combination of two of my favorite cooking vessels – a Dutch oven and a slow cooker.

This method came about during WWII when cooking oil was rationed for the war effort. The air spaces in the hay trap the heat, as will anything similar, such as shredded newspaper or corn husks. You want the hay to be fine, though, so that you can pack it tightly. You don’t want stems and brambles.

The basic premise is that you heat the food in its own juices, or water, and then once you bring it to a boil, you put it in the haybox, which insulates it, and let it finish cooking all on its own. Of course, this is a method that requires food that is in a broth, but that’s about the only limitation that I can think of.

You can use it for roasting, boiling, simmering, or steaming; as long as there’s liquid to hold the heat.

This would serve you well if you were traveling and couldn’t cook along the way, or if you don’t want to use a ton of fuel by cooking it over heat all day. For that matter, it’s great just to help you save on your electric bill! All in all, it’s an extremely efficient way of cooking.

Learn the secrets that helped our grandparents survive the Great Depression! 

What Is a Haybox Cooker and How to Build One

HayboxA haybox cooker is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a box full of hay that you cook in.

The idea is that the hay is packed around a Dutch oven that has food in it that’s already cooked to boiling. You transfer it from the heat source immediately to the haybox, pack the hay around it, close it up as tightly as you can, and go about your business.

It’s a natural slow cooker, and just like cooking with its electric-dependent sisters, it takes several hours for food to cook. How long exactly, depends on the initial cook time of the dish, how long it’s already cooked, how tightly the hay is packed, and how air-tight the box is.

As you can imagine, it’s hard to give an exact time, but a good haybox will hold usable heat for up to 8 hours.

If you already have a trunk or old military locker/box that’s about 30 inches cubed, then you’re already good to go. If not, build one.

Start by building a sturdy wooden box that’s as airtight as you can get it – try to score some scrap tongue and groove from your local mill or home-improvement store.

Build a box with a sturdy, tight-fitting lid. Line the box with sturdy paper or cardboard to seal any cracks that remain so that the heat can’t escape.

To cook in your box, pack it with about 3/4 of the way full of hay, then form a little nest in the center for your Dutch oven and pack it as tightly as you can get it.

How to Cook With a Haybox Cooker

Bring your food to a boil or simmer, then transfer immediately to the hay box. Pack the top and remaining sides with more hay as tightly as you can pack it and shut the lid. Let it cook, and you’re good to go.

Note: You can even make you haybox in a hole in the ground – how handy is THAT for living in the woods in a survival situation? In that case, you could use dried grass and leaves, or whatever you could find lying around as insulation.

Oh, and did I mention that you can also use the haybox to make frozen treats such as ice cream?

Just make your favorite ice cream recipe and pour it into a coffee can with a lid. Find a bucket that’s 4 inches deeper and 8 inches (total) wider than your can. Put 4 inches of ice and coarse salt in the bottom of the bucket, put the can on top of the ice, and pace more ice and salt around the can. Put it in the haybox and seal it up. You’ll have ice cream in about 4 hours! 

Video first seen on Organikmechanic. 

4 Delicious Haybox Recipes

1. Hearty Beef and Cabbage Soup

This soup is especially filling and comforting. It’s a great meal-in-a-bowl for busy weeknights – just turn it on in the morning and come home to a wonderful-smelling pot of soup.

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cups chopped red cabbage
  • 2 cups chopped green cabbage
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 dry bay leaf
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large heavy skillet, cook the ground beef over medium-high heat, just until browned, breaking up with a spatula periodically until meat is crumbly. Drain all but 1 teaspoon or so of oil/drippings and return to heat.

Add the cabbages, onion, carrots, garlic, celery seed, paprika and cumin and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it reaches a rolling boil.

Add all to the Dutch oven and add bay leaf and broth. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a rolling boil for 5 minutes. Transfer to hay box for 8 hours.

2. Steak Chili

Sometimes nothing hits the spot quite like a good chili!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds top sirloin steak, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 12-oz cans dark red kidney beans
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 2 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 10-ounce cans beef broth or 2 ½ cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder

In a heavy skillet, heat olive oil and then brown the steak (in batches if necessary) on all sides for about 4-5 minutes.

Add all of the vegetables to the Dutch oven, pour in the broth and add the seasonings. Stir well to mix. Add the steak, cover and bring to a rolling boil. Transfer to haybox and leave there for 8 hours.

3. Slow Cooker Beef or Venison Stew

There are few things that say “comfort food” better than a hearty beef stew. Slow cooking means the meat is always succulent and tender and you’re welcomed home with wonderful aromas.

  • 1 ½ pounds beef or venison stew meat
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut on 1-inch pieces
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh kale, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 cups beef broth or stock, with ¼ cup reserved

Trim the stew meat of visible fat and cut into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large heavy skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat and brown the stew meat, in batches if necessary, about 4-5 minutes until browned on all sides.

Add carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, bay leaf and parsley to Dutch oven, then add meat. Pour 2 3/4 cups broth over all. Bring to a rolling boil for 5 minutes, then transfer to haybox for 8 hours.

4. Vanilla Ice Cream

Delight your loved ones with this classic and delicious frozen treat you can make in a haybox.

You will need:

  • 1 can sweetened milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups of whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Add fruits or nuts after it’s frozen.

Have you tried haybox cooking? If so, please share your experiences with us in the comments section below!

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

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The Portable Grill That Fits in Your Pocket

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The Portable Grill that Fits in Your Pocket An easy to set up, portable cooking device is valuable in so many situations: hiking trips, camping, and especially survival situations where we won’t have access to our normal conveniences. There are plenty of such portable cooking devices available for purchase, but how about making your own …

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The post The Portable Grill That Fits in Your Pocket appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Healthy 5 Ingredient Soups that are Easy to Make when SHTF

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Healthy 5 Ingredient Soups that are Easy to Make when SHTF Cooking hearty, warming meals to get you through the winter months doesn’t have to take hours in the kitchen and a ton of ingredients. Some of the best comfort food is simple and flavorful, like a hot, fragrant soup. Cooking Light has a list …

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The post Healthy 5 Ingredient Soups that are Easy to Make when SHTF appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Sesame Seeds

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Sesame seeds are a high energy food that help to provide optimum health and wellness. They are an excellent source of high-quality protein which is most beneficial for growth, especially in children. Sesame seeds are also high in minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and copper. In fact, did you know that just a 1/4 cup of sesame seeds provides MORE calcium than 1 cup of milk?

And calcium is not only vital to bone strength, it is also known to help ease the affects of migraines, aid in weight loss, and provide relief from PMS. The copper in sesame seeds offers anti-inflammatory benefits which can help to relieve swelling in auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Sesame seeds are rich in Vitamin E, Folic acid and B-complex vitamins such as niacin which enhances GABA activity in the brain, reduces anxiety, and provides for a better night’s sleep. They also contain a special element called “sesame-lignin”, a potent antioxidant, which is an active free-radical scavenger that can also aid in lowering cholesterol and preventing high blood pressure.

Sesame seeds have the unique ability to nourish the nervous system, strengthen hormone production, support the cardiovascular system, benefit the digestive system, and reduce fatigue. The high Vitamin E content in sesame seeds has been highly prized as an ancient beauty treatment for healthy skin, hair, and nails.

Sesame seeds can be sprinkled on salads, vegetables or rice, mixed with dates or honey, or used as a delicious spread known as tahini. Tahini (sesame butter) is creamy, rich, and satisfying and can be used as a savory base to salad dressings, dips, sauces or hummus, or used as a sweet treat when mixed with honey and nuts.

http://www.medicalmedium.com/blog/sesame-seeds

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Classic Homemade White Bread Recipe – Preservative-Free Freshness!

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Make this classic, homemade white bread recipe and you will never buy store-bought bread again!  The taste of homemade bread is just simply better than store-bought bread! Not to mention it’s preservative-free, inexpensive to make, and doesn’t take a whole

The post Classic Homemade White Bread Recipe – Preservative-Free Freshness! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Food Storage: It’s the Little Things!!!

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I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “the little things make a big difference.” That’s true in preparedness and really true when we consider food storage! Let me walk you through a scenario.

The “hammer” has finally “dropped” and America is in the middle of TEOTWAKI. Chaos ensues and it is not pretty! After a while, depending on where you are located in the country (some places might take longer than others), things finally die down (maybe literally) and eventually a “new normal” emerges in American’s everyday life!

Maybe it looks agricultural. Maybe it looks industrial. Who knows? But one thing that everyone will have to do is eat!

Now, imagine putting in a long day of…working in the field, patrolling, working in a factory or whatever. Imagine working a long day and then coming home to sit down to eat…the same old, bland food.

Many people say that if someone is hungry, they will eat whatever is in front of them. I actually believe that. But, remember, we are now in a “new normal.” People aren’t necessarily hungry. It’s just that the food sucks! Can you imagine what that would do to morale eventually?

Now, what if the person responsible for making the food knew tricks and tips and knew how to make things that tasted good? What would that do for morale? Just imagine, dinner time would once again be the centerpoint of the day. Families would come together to eat a good meal and enjoy each other.

Now, many of us have food storage. Some of your food storage might include MRE’s and dehydrated Mountain House meals. But the bulk of most preppers food storage would include basic staples like rice and beans. After your MRE’s and Mountain House is gone, how will you cook your rice and beans and other long term food storage in a way that won’t eventually get boring?

The truth here is that cooking, knowing how flavors come together, knowing what to use and when, is an important skill, not only when the poop hits the fan, but it can also be very useful now!

I would like to announce that I’m partnering, as an affiliate, with Chef Keith Snow and his new cooking program that has been designed for preppers!

Many of you know Chef Keith Snow from his own cooking podcast and his appearances on The Survival Podcast with Jack Spirko. He sits on Jack’s Expert Council when the topic is food.

In realizing the frailty of our system, he got serious about prepping and food storage. He also realizes the challenges that many preppers have when it comes to making their food storage taste good over a long time. He has developed a course to help his fellow preppers!
Keith has put together a course with 17 modules that covers everything from “What Food to Store” to the equipment you need to the specifics on food storage staples. He is just now launching it and adding to it weekly.

But, this isn’t just a course. When you learn how to really cook well, you are learning a valuable skill. You will use all your preparedness skills at some point. But you will eat everyday!

And, this course will help you save money because many of the main ingredients in the recipes are from food storage staples, which means they will be very affordable!

Good food at a great price…and learn a valuable skill?????? It’s a win-win-win!!!!

The cost of the course covers a lifetime membership and includes access to all of Chef Keith’s written materials as well as videos. The written material includes recipes and even items that you will want to purchase to add to your food storage.

Since the course has just launched, but isn’t completed yet, Chef Keith is offering an introductory offer to join his new program – $169. Again, this includes a lifetime membership and unlimited access to all of his materials, including a forum.

To sign-up for his course, CLICK HERE!

If you’re not convinced yet, and would like to get a little more information, subscribe to his mini-course which will get you access to a 45 page ebook in PDF , two written recipe with everything you need to know how to make these recipes and information from Keith’s perspective and rationale of the course.

To sign-up for the mini-course – CLICK HERE!

To put my money where my mouth is – I signed up for the course myself! I am excited to improve my cooking skills. I plan on putting out some of the recipes I try on my social media channels. Be on the lookout for them!

Peace,
Todd

Amazing Winter Squash Recipes

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Amazing Winter Squash Recipes Using seasonal produce is not only economical, it becomes necessary when you are growing your own vegetables and fruit. At some point we have to wean ourselves off of the convenience of buying whatever suits our fancy at a supermarket, and instead learning to enjoy the bounty of the season. It …

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Prep Blog Review: Let’s Talk About Survival Food

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Survival Food

As I remember, survival food was one of the top resolutions for preppers in 2017. From planning your stockpile, to cooking the best survival recipes, food should be a priority for every prepper. And, no matter how many times I’ve talked about food, there is always something interesting to share with you.

So, let’s talk about survival food!

For this week’s Prep Blog Review I’ve gathered 5 useful articles on this topic.

1. One Plan Is Not Enough: 7 Tips to Create a Successful Food Plan

Farmer“Every prepper has his/her own food plan for acquisition or storage of food for a crises scenario. Many might be homesteaders who rely heavily on their gardens and animal husbandry skills. Many of us store food either by canning, dehydrating, or stocking up on freeze-dried goods and MREs. Most of us include emergency rations in our bug out bags. Others plan to rely heavily on their ability to fish, hunt, trap, and forage for food.

The various preferences and vast differences in food prep styles are often largely based on what exactly the individual is preparing for. Whether you are planning to be snowed in and without power for the worst winter storm of the century, extensive layoffs, or putting together a militia for an imminent invasion, everyone can agree on one thing: Food must be accounted for. So where do we start? What are the most important things to consider? In this article I cover some of the requirements of creating your master food plan.”

Read more on The Prepper Journal.

2. 3 ‘Survival Crops’ That Store Naturally More Than 1 Year

“If you’re growing or foraging your own food for winter storage, there are plenty of options for keeping your family fed in the early days of winter. Many root crops, fruits and greens can keep for a field-852242_640few months cool and out of direct sun, even without a proper root cellar.

As the winter presses on, though, options start to dwindle and there are fewer and fewer choices in dependable home-raised crops that will take you all the way through the hunger gap into the first productive days of late spring and early summer. Nonetheless, humans survived millennia without refrigeration and long-term food shipments, so there’s plenty to get your family by.”

Read more on Off The Grid News.

3. A Beginners Guide to Sausage Making

Food, meat. Delicious sausages on the table“My grandfather was a large influence on my passion for homesteading. He was an avid gardener, hunter, made his own wine and sausage; and was always generous about sharing.

He made use of the plethora of meat he would get from hunting or deals he found at the grocery store. Once he was loaded up on meat, he would get his meat grinder out and carefully cut his meat for grinding and make some of the best sausage you could ever have. I grew up on his homemade sausage and could never get enough. I am a big believer in sharing family recipes and did so in my book, The Prepper’s Cookbook, so I had to share some of my favorite sausage recipes too.

Sausage making is a great way to use up an abundance of meats in the home freezer. I use an assortment of cheap meats. My grandfather’s secret was using equal amounts of brisket and pork butt.”

Read more on Ready Nutrition.

4. 5 Recipes to Make Your Own Survival Protein Bars

“Survival protein bars are becoming more and more popular among preppers and survivalist, but you can also find a few of them in any type of survival kit you can think of. These small snacks are5-Recipes-to-make-your-own-survival-protein-bars ideal for emergency kits because they help you control hunger, they provide proteins and fats, but they also keep your calorie intake in control.

These survival protein bars contain the right amount of protein and fats to keep you energized after intense activity even in the harshest of environments. There are many brands you can chose from and the flavors vary from chocolate to berries.”

Read more on Prepper’s Will.

5. Kitchen DIY: How to Nixtimalize Corn

Recipe-Hominy-300x200“This project looks deceptively simple, but it is one that I had to try a couple times to get right. I only stuck with it because Nixtamalization is a vital process for people that use corn as a staple food.

This is because the nutrient niacin is unavailable in unprocessed corn, and by cooking dried corn with a strong alkali (nixtamaling it), Niacin becomes available thereby preventing nutrient deficiency diseases like pellagra.”

Read more on Dave’s Homestead.

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Thai Chicken and Zucchini Noodles Recipe, Healthy and Delicious!

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Our Thai Chicken and Zucchini Noodles Recipe is the perfect dish for those who are craving pasta but are searching for a lighter and healthier meal.  We love pasta in our house, but unfortunately, the excess amount of carbs in

The post Thai Chicken and Zucchini Noodles Recipe, Healthy and Delicious! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Why a Dutch Oven Should Be Part of Your Survival Kit

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If you’re one of those folks without power, heat, or warmth because of the recent snow storms, you probably know that you need a cooking tool that can bake, boil, fry and saute. It should also be able to function with a variety of heat sources, since you don’t know when the electricity might come back on.

My nomination for this wonder implement has been around for hundreds of years. It’s easy to find, cheap and effective. Go get a cast iron Dutch oven. This cooking tool has a proven track record, and it can use virtually any heat source.

Survival with the Dutch oven

Hurricane Katrina was due to hit land in a few hours, and my relatives in Mississippi, about 150 miles north of New Orleans, weren’t sure what was going to happen. I overheard my wife talking on the phone to her sister, Patti, of Clinton, Mississippi. In the middle of the hurricane preparation discussion, they started talking about recipes and what to cook, using a cast iron Dutch oven!

Everyone near Katrina faced a potential power outage that could last indefinitely. There was a discussion of evacuating, versus staying put. Among the urban survival necessities in any natural disaster is a way to cook and purify water by boiling, and a Dutch oven serves this purpose beautifully.

We had given Patti a hand-me-down cast iron camp oven with the lipped lid and three legs. Designed to be heated on top and bottom with campfire coals or charcoal, the camp oven was considered a necessity on the American frontier for at least two centuries. That type oven was taken on the Lewis and Clark expedition, was used by travelers on the Oregon trail, who surely used it to cook foods on this list. The oven was indispensable in countless cabins, lean-tos and soddies.

Firepans are a critical part of your Dutch oven survival kit. They allow you to cook on snow or damp ground without putting out the coals.

Technically, a “Dutch” oven has a rounded top and  no legs and can be used in a conventional oven on top of a stove, or on an outdoor propane fish cooker of grill. Here is an example of this style of oven.

Today, a camp oven is on my short list of tools for my disaster survival kit. And if you’re one of the people stranded at home because of the record snows, or are anticipating some sort of disaster, you need a Dutch oven, too.

A Dutch oven can be used to boil water, make a stew, bake bread, and cook virtually anything that can be fitted inside. And if you were forced to evacuate an area, a camp and/or Dutch oven is compact and light enough to be easily transported. My wife’s advice to her sister was to go to Walmart and get:

Put the oven, these items, and some basic cooking utensils in a square milk crate for storage, and you’re ready to bug out. If you have more than one Dutch oven (one to use for everyday cooking and another for camping/emergencies), this milk crate system is excellent. Just store it with your other camping/hunting/emergency supplies.

Must-haves for your Dutch oven survival kit

I’ve been cooking with Dutch ovens at hunting and fishing camps for decades, and on many camping trips and Boy Scout and Girl Scout outings. Beginners frequently ask for a list of tools to get started in Dutch oven cooking. So, here’s the basic, bare-bones list of Dutch oven survival kit necessities, proven over the years.

1 12-inch Lodge brand shallow cast iron oven

I like Lodge cast iron best because it is made in America and has a proven quality record, but that’s just personal preference. Other experienced Dutch oven cooks may use different brands, such as Camp Chef, so chose whatever you like. You’ll get what you pay for. A cheap, poorly-made oven won’t work particularly well, and you’ll probably end up replacing it with a quality piece. Sometimes, I take an aluminum oven on outdoor excursions instead of cast iron to save weight.

3 shallow metal pans with lipped rims

These are critical, and common dog food pans work very well. Put one pan underneath the oven to protect the coals from dampness and help regulate heat; and another pan is used to store coals. The third is a spare that is used to cover the oven and protect it from rain or snow while cooking. Here is an example of this type of bowl. See the video below to see how these pans are utilized.

1 Lid lifter

In a pinch, a pair of channel lock pliers will work. Don’t underestimate the weight of the Dutch oven filled with food or how hot it gets! A lid lifter gives you plenty of distance from the heat source when you want to check on your food or stir it.

1 Trivet or tripod

This is a wire or metal rack that holds the lid while you stir the contents of the oven or adjust seasonings. It keeps the lid out of the dirt and clean, and if you’re cooking outdoors, you may not have a nearby, heat-proof surface.

1 Knife

You probably don’t need a tactical or survival knife, (even though, in an emergency, any  knife you have is a “survival knife”), but you will need something that will work for food preparation.

1 Nylon spatula and nylon spoon

This is used for cooking, serving, and cleaning the oven.

Sources of heat and organizing your gear

Charcoal is easy to use, and generally, in good supply. But when the charcoal runs out, you can use firewood, driftwood, coal, wood scraps from a dumpster, etc. Shipping pallets, generally found about anywhere, burn quite well. If the pallets are made of hardwood, which many are, then you’ll get great coals! You can also prepare for disaster by integrating an outside heat source into your normal cooking routine. My propane fish cooker stays operational year-round on my patio because it is used constantly. Even when there is snow on the ground, we still go outside to fry bacon or cook fish.

If your plan is to use mostly charcoal briquettes with your outdoor cooking, a Chimney Starter will make life much, much easier for you. It heats up the briquettes super quickly so you have coals for cooking in no time.

This Lodge camp oven and propane fish cooker will work very well for cooking and boiling water, even when the power is out.

The lid lifter, trivet, “survival knife,” spatula and spoon all fit inside the oven. All these items fit into a nylon commercial Dutch oven holder. Another great way to carry everything is in a square milk crate. Put the metal pans on the bottom, and the oven won’t tip over. The loaded crate stacks nicely.

Cleaning a Dutch oven is easy. Take the spatula, scrape out any food residue, and fill it with water. (Never put cold water into a hot oven. It might cause it to crack.) Put the oven back on the coals, and boil the water. Usually this will be enough to clean the oven, and all that remains is to scrape out the softened food debris and wipe it dry. Rub the cast iron with a light film of oil to protect against rust.

Obviously, there are other “nice-to-have” cooking items that could be included, but this basic Dutch oven survival kit will get you by. Check out these Dutch oven no-fail recipes for getting started or even if you’re an experienced outdoor cooke!

For more information about Dutch ovens and cooking outdoors, contact:

The International Dutch Oven Society

Lodge Manufacturing

Camp Chef

by Leon Pantenburg of SurvivalCommonSense, and updated by Noah, 1/7/17. All photos by Leon Pantenburg.

The post Why a Dutch Oven Should Be Part of Your Survival Kit appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

15 Secrets to Dutch Oven Cooking

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15 Secrets to Dutch Oven Cooking Cooking with a dutch oven is not only just pure awesomeness, it’s a great way to have better tasting food. I have to agree that if you have never used or only cooked in one of these for a short amount of time it’s pretty intimidating. Over at designmom.com they …

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25 Amazing Camping Recipes

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25 Amazing Camping Recipes If you find yourself off the grid, either by choice or by circumstance, you’ll need to cook meals without the usual conveniences found in the home. The easiest solution can be to open a can and heat something over a fire, but that can get old when you have a family …

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Budget Cooking: Feed 4 for $10

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Budget Cooking: Feed 4 for $10 Getting nutritious meals together for the family can definitely be a challenge when we have normal access to food, and would be even more difficult in a SHTF situation. If you are prepping for such as situation, you are undoubtedly trying to stock your pantry and freezers with substantial, …

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5 Recipes to make your own survival protein bars

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Survival protein bars are becoming more and more popular among preppers and survivalist, but you can also find a few of them in any type of survival kit you can think of. These small snacks are ideal for emergency kits because they help you control hunger, they provide proteins and fats, but they also keep … Read more…

The post 5 Recipes to make your own survival protein bars was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowl Recipe- A Quick and Healthy Meal

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Making your own chicken and rice burrito bowl is super easy to do and makes for a quick and healthy meal. In fact, if you use an electric pressure cooker, like the Instant Pot, it can be made in a single

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3 Delicious Appetizer Recipes For Your New Year’s Celebration!

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Looking for a few simple and delicious appetizer recipes to make for that New Year’s Eve or Day celebration? Well look no further! Here are our top 3 all-time most viewed appetizer recipes, sure to be a crowd-pleaser on party day! Our

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Top 18 Holiday Bargains for Stocking Up

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The holidays are the perfect time for stocking up! Here are 18 bargains to look for. | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comBeginning in October every year, grocery stores begin prominently displaying all types of food typically used in holiday cooking and baking. Every grocery store I’ve been to in the past couple of months has their holiday bargains right out front and center.

For Survival Moms who want to stock up their food pantry, this is an ideal time to take advantage of the coupons and sales that also come at this time of year. Today I took a look at this week’s grocery ads, and here’s a master list of items you may want to grab before the holiday season ends.

  • Ham and Turkey
    • Both of these can be frozen and/or canned to provide meals well into the New Year. A frozen turkey can remain frozen and still be safe to eat for up to a year. 
    • Stuck with a lot of leftover ham or turkey? Here’s a list of great recipes for turkey and more for ham that will give you something fresh and delicious to make with those leftovers.
  • Fresh oranges
    • Once the orange has been eaten, dry the peels and create your own orange zest for recipes throughout the year. If you end up with more zest than you think you’ll use within 6 months or so, use a Food Saver to vacuum seal the remaining zest in a pouch for longer term storage.
    • Speaking of a vacuum sealer, I highly recommend that you use it for vacuum sealing canning jars filled with foods of all kinds. It really is a must-have for a prepper’s kitchen.
  • Coffee
    • Grocery stores know that coffee is part of holiday entertaining, so you’re going to find lots of coffee brands on sale. Coffee beans, and especially green, unroasted coffee beans, will have the longest shelf life, but you can still repackage both beans and ground coffee in canning jars using the Food Saver jar attachment to suck out all the air/oxygen or seal the coffee in plastic pouches using your vacuum sealer.
    • Coffee is definitely worth stocking up on, but be sure to keep it stored in a cool, dark, and dry location. Even so, it will have its freshest flavor if used within just a couple of months.
  • Nuts
    • Again, this is the season for baking all types of treats and many of my favorite recipes include nuts. You’ll find nuts on sale but keep an eye on prices because they are still generally a higher priced grocery item.
    • If you do find a bargain, store those nuts in a cool, dry, dark location, and, if possible, vacuum pack them using a Food Saver. This will help the nuts stay fresh and stave off their tendency to go rancid.
  • Fresh fruit
    • Depending on where you live, you may find low prices on blueberries, blackberries, pomegranates, pineapple, oranges, and a lot more.
    • Dehydrating fruit is very simple and food dehydrators don’t have to cost a lot of money. I found mine on Craigslist several years ago for $30 and it still works fine. The Excalibur dehydrator is considered top of the line, and maybe if you have Christmas gift money, this might be a good time to buy!
    • You can also freeze fruit and even can it, so stocking up now on fruits that are in season is a very smart thing to do. Just make sure you budget your time so all that yummy stuff won’t rot during an especially busy time of year.
  • Butter
    • Right now my favorite grocery store has a pound of butter for $2.50. That’s the lowest price I’ve seen in a while. Butter can easily be frozen, at one time I had 40 pounds of it in our big freezer!
    • I’ve heard of canning butter but am not convinced it’s the safest thing to do.
  • Alcohol
    • Call me crazy, but it never hurts to have a few bottles of whisky or vodka around. Even if you’re not much of a drinker, vodka can be useful in making tinctures and from what I’ve heard, whiskey has medicinal uses as well. This article explains why preppers should stock up on alcohol.
    • If you’re thinking of stocking up on bottles of alcohol as a product for barter, stick with hard liquor: vodka, gin, tequila, rum, whiskey and brandy, as they can all have indefinite shelf lives.
    • Learn how to make your own wine with instructions from a book like this one
  • Potatoes, both fresh and instant
    • Potatoes can be peeled, sliced, and dehydrated by following these steps.
    • When stored in a very cool location, around 45 to 50 degrees, they can stay fresh for up to 3 months.
    • Instant mashed potatoes come in handy for quick meals. However, they will need to be repackaged for a longer shelf life. Read these instructions. Once repackaged, I highly recommend placing them in the freezer for at least a week in order to kill any microscopic insect eggs that might be present.
    • Here’s a terrific collection of awesome potato recipes.
  • Canned vegetables
    • Store these in a cool location and they can last for more than a year. Do circle the “Best By” date and then open a can every so often to check for color and flavor.
    • You can always drain the veggies and dry them on your dehydrator trays for even longer shelf life.
  • Over-the-Counter meds for coughs and cold symptoms
    • These generally have a shelf life of more than a year.
    • During the winter months, you’ll also find coupons for these for added savings.
  • Batteries
    • Retailers aren’t stupid. They know that for every battery-operated gift purchased, someone is going to need batteries! Keep an eye out for coupons and combine them with store sales.
    • Batteries are among the most useful items you can stock up on, so go crazy when you find a really good deal!
  • Not-just-for-Christmas wrapping paper
    • Who said that white wrapping paper with red polka dots is just for Christmas? When you find wrapping paper that will be perfectly fine throughout the year, buy it!
  • Gravy and gravy mixes
    • There’s nothing like homemade gravy, but there’s also nothing handier than opening a jar of gravy and pouring it over mashed potatoes! A few jars of gravy in the pantry just might save dinner one day soon!
    • Gravy packets are great as a stock-up item. They have very long shelf lives, can be prepared quickly, and can make items as plain as white rice pretty tasty. I recommend a stash of these for a bare-bones food storage plan like this one.
  • Frozen pies
    • Now, you wouldn’t ordinarily think of a pie when it comes to stocking up, but one or two in the freezer can come in handy.
    • Think about any special occasions coming up, potlucks, parties — any even where you might have to make dessert. Now think about how busy you’re going to be this year. A frozen pie looks like a better and better idea, doesn’t it?
  • Baking staples
    • Sugar, flour, baking powder, chocolate chips — you’ll find all these and a lot more on sale. And, all of them can be stored long-term.
    • Flour, in particular, must be repackaged. Read this to learn how.
    • Watch this video to learn how to store things like chocolate chips, shortening, and candy.
  • Snack foods
    • Grocery stores know that serving appetizers and snacks are a part of the holidays. You’ll find things like Triscuits and other crackers on sale, along with pretzels and chips. If you find these at a great price, stock up and plan on portioning them into snack bags for your kids’ lunches.
  • Chex cereals
    • Everybody and their dog is going to be making one variation of Chex mix or another, so why not stock up on several boxes for breakfasts or other recipes?
    • If you want to store Chex or any other cereal for long term, follow the instructions in the video I mentioned above or package the cereal in mylar bags with an oxygen absorber. This package includes both the bags and the absorbers.
  • Canned soups
    • Like most other canned foods, soups can have a long shelf life if stored in a cool location.
    • Buy soup flavors that your family members enjoy and soups that you normally use in recipes.

What other foods that are on sale during the holidays do you stock up on?

13 Survival Foods that will outlast you

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Let’s say that disaster hits tomorrow, do you have the basics like food and water covered? Stockpiling food and water shouldn’t be a prepping trend and every sane person should do it. We live in a world where natural and man-made disasters are no longer far-fetched scenarios and people have no excuse for being unprepared. … Read more…

The post 13 Survival Foods that will outlast you was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Overnight Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole, Ready When You Wake Up!

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Making an overnight slow cooker breakfast casserole is the answer to all of your ‘what’s for breakfast’ worries.   With a few basic ingredients layered in a slow cooker, you will soon wake up to a delicious breakfast that is

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Survival Lessons From The Old: One Pot Meals

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survivopedia-one-pot-meals

For eons, entire meals from stews to casseroles have been made in one pot.

The cowboys and settlers did it because they only had the luxury of one pot on the trail, and we do it today because of the convenience and simply because there are so many recipes out there that are delicious as well as fast.

We follow their example, and learn from their knowledge. Here’s what we should know about this old way of cooking!

As preppers, it’s important that we know how to cook without electricity, and though I’ve included slow cookers in this article, the rest of them don’t require anything other than fire and the vessel.

There are some rules for cooking in a single pot if you want the meal to be delicious and safe to eat, but for the most part, they’re quick and easy to prepare and clean up.

Adjust Cooking Times of Veggies

First, you want your vegetables to cook evenly, so if you’re standing over the pot, you may want to throw hard veggies like carrots in 15 minutes or so before you add the rest.

For soft veggies such as cabbage and broccoli, put them in at the last minute since they only take 10 or 15 minutes to cook in a pot. This isn’t a necessity, if you’re throwing something in the crockpot and leaving, so just know that some veggies may be a little mushy if you put them in all at once.

Sear Your Meat

Next, searing your meat adds flavor to the meal. This is especially true of large pieces of meat such as roasts, pork chops, beef tips, and other meats that are thick and solid. You don’t have to do this, but if you do, it will add an extra layer of flavor. Hamburger and Salisbury steak has a crispier texture if you sear it beforehand.

Beware of Pathogens

You must make sure that your meat cooks all the way through, especially if it’s poultry. This isn’t such a big deal with red meat as long as you don’t mind it a bit rare in the middle, but birds carry salmonella.

Trust me – one bout of food poisoning from that and you’ll make sure it never happens again! USDA guidelines say that red meat should be cooked to 145 degrees F, ground meats should cook to 160 degrees, and poultry should be 165 degrees.

When you’re finished eating, make sure that you refrigerate it. Bacteria begin to grow quickly between the temperatures of 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F, so too avoid the risk of food poisoning, refrigerate your food within 2 hours (1 hour if the temperature outside is above 90 degrees) after it comes off the heat.

Cold foods, especially ones that contain mayo or eggs, should be kept at 40 degrees, so just put them in a bowl of ice if they’re going to sit out, and stir it frequently to keep the entire dish cold.

Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days as long as their stored in containers, and can be frozen almost indefinitely, but they’ll begin to lose flavor after a month or so depending upon the food.

Types of Cookers

There are several types of cookers that you can use depending upon the dish and the circumstances. Especially if you’re cooking over a fire, you’ll want to cook as efficiently as you can, and one pot meals are certainly the best way to do that.

Since our primary concern is cooking in a survival situation, we’ll start with those methods.

Dutch Ovens

This is one of my favorite ways to cook outside because you can quite literally cook anything that you want to in them. Whether you want to make stew, chopped steak, or breads, a Dutch oven will do the trick. They steam the food internally, which keeps it moist and tender. You can buy aluminum and cast iron Dutch ovens, though the cast iron, in my opinion, is far superior in nearly every way.

The history of the Dutch oven is believed to date back to Holland in the early 1700s, and was brought to America with the first settlers. They were popular with settlers and other people, such as ranch trail cooks, and were used in work camps during WW1. Paul Revere improved the design by adding a flanged lid and made some other modifications, likely to improve the strength and consistency of the cooking.

Joseph Lodge built a cast iron foundry in Tennessee that still produces arguably the highest quality Dutch ovens and iron skillets available today.

They come in different sizes and two primary designs – the bean pot or kitchen oven, best for use indoors or placing on a rack over an open fire, and the camp or outdoor oven, which has a flanged lid that can also serve as a skillet. It also has legs, a flat bottom, and a sturdy wire handle so that you can hang it or lift it from the coals.

They’re great for cooking indoors or out and can be used in the oven, over a campfire, or buried in the coals, depending upon your needs and what you’re cooking. Cooking with a Dutch oven is simple, too, once you get the hang of it.

Solar Oven

Cooking with a solar oven is a great alternative when you don’t have (or don’t want to use) electricity. Though you can convert many of your own personal favorites and use them with your solar oven, here’s a recipe written specifically for that cooking method. You will surely love this pot roast cooked on your solar oven.

Ingredients for this tasty recipe are:

  • 3 pound rump roast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 4 medium potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 5 carrots, cut into 2 inch chucks
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 c beef broth (or 2 cups water with 2 bouillon cubes).

Put the roast in a roasting dish and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Add the veggies around the roast and then pour the bouillon in. Place in your solar oven and bake for 3 hours or until tender.

Stop asking yourself if the solar oven works during winter, because it does, and here’s the proof!

Video first seen on jnull0.

Let’s celebrate the Winter Solstice with a special offer for Survivopedia readers!

Use the promocode SurvivoSolstice and get 10% discount to boost your cooking! 

Iron Skillets

Thank you again, Joseph Lodge for making iron skillets of the highest quality readily available in the US. The original iron skillet dates back to 1707, when Abraham Darby invented a process to make cast iron in large quantities so that they could be produced for common use.

Iron skillets come in a variety of shapes and sizes, often with lids, and are great for cooking one pot meals in smaller quantity. They’re not quite as versatile as the Dutch oven, but certainly have value, especially for cooking quick meals such as breakfast scrambles and meals that don’t require a deep pot or long cooking times, such as Salisbury steaks, cornbread, camp biscuits, and fried chicken.

Slow Cookers

Ahh, possibly one of the best cooking inventions of modern times. Just as with man, the slow cooker started as something quite a bit different than what it is today. In 1952, West Bend came out with the electric bean pot, which was just a ceramic pot that sat on top of an electric heating element. This wasn’t much different than cooking on a stove, but was perhaps the first commercial attempt at a portable cooking vessel.

Enter Irving Naxon. He had developed the idea of a portable cooker that would have a crock sitting inside a casing that contained a heating element, thus providing even heating. He applied for the patent on May 21, 1936 and received it in January of 1940.

Naxon credited the idea to his Lithuanian grandma, who told him about how she used to cook dish called cholent after hours at a local bakery. She would prepare the meal, then place it in the oven so that the fading heat would slowly cook it overnight. This provided his inspiration for “low and slow” cooking.

He brought his idea, called the beanery, to market in the 50s and in 1970, Rival manufacturing hired Naxon, rebranded his product as the Crock Pot, and put it on shelves across America for $25. Surprisingly enough, that price hasn’t increased by more than a few dollars for a standard version since then.

There are, of course, improved versions with fancier technology and higher capacity that cost more.

Slow cookers are absolutely fabulous for all sorts of meals from stews to ribs that you want to cook slow and low while you’re away from the house or busy doing other things.

Canning

As survivalists, we would be remiss to leave out this method of preparing one pot meals.

We’ve discussed in another article how to put these together and, like our other cooking methods, canning is a great way to prepare both meals and desserts. You can also dry-can meals using dry ingredients that only require that you add water.

The one benefit that makes canning stand out is that you can eat the meal right out of the jar. It is, of course, more delicious if you heat it up, but if you’re without power and don’t want to draw attention to yourself with a fire, eating straight out of the jar may be your only option.

Another benefit here is that you can prepare the meals years in advance as opposed to cooking them on the spot. In a survival situation, that’s a huge plus.

The Beauty of One Pot Meals

There are a ton of reasons why a one pot meal is so appealing, but from a survival perspective, the ease of cooking is probably the biggest one.

You can cook a pot roast complete with all the fixings in a Dutch oven and you can even cook such meals as chicken and dumplings. They’re not just for soups and stews.

Having a variety of delicious meals is a huge morale booster as well as a way to get all of your nutrition out of one pot. Though beans and cornbread are delicious and filling, it gets old after a few days and isn’t a well-rounded meal.

One Pot Cooking Ideas

A quick internet search will net you a ton of great ideas for one pot meals, but you can always just use your imagination. There are also some recipes that you should know by heart. They aren’t necessarily one pot meals, but they are essentials that will help you keep your crew full and nourished.

  • Want fried potatoes, eggs, and sausage for breakfast? Toss your potatoes in first, then add your sausage and cook both til they’re done and throw in your eggs. Scramble them all together, and you’ve got a delicious one pot meal.
  • How about beef tips with gravy and a baked potato? Toss your beef tips into your crock pot or Dutch oven, wrap your potatoes in foil and toss those in with it. When they’re done, remove the potatoes and add some flour and milk to the beef tips. Cook it for a few minutes until the gravy thickens and you’ve got dinner.
  • Soups and stews, of course, are obvious, but how about ribs with corn on the cob and roasted potatoes? Easy peasy. Cut your potatoes into cubes and toss them in your seasoning. Wrap them in foil packs. Do the same with the corn after you break the ears into halves, or cut it off the cob. Put your rub or sauce on your ribs and toss them all into your Dutch oven or crock pot and you’re good to go. You can also do the potatoes and corn in the coals.

One pot meals are, for the most part, only limited by your imagination. They’re easy to throw together, toss into your cooking vessel of choice, and forget about. Also, you’re getting many more nutrients than you would if you only cooked a single item. That makes them a great survival food.

There is a great opportunity for Survivopedia readers to prepare for cooking in the sun, so grab this offer available only for a few days!

Use the promocode SurvivoSolstice and get 10% discount to boost your cooking! 

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

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9 Printable Food Storage Cookbooks

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The best thing about the Internet, in my opinion, is all the free information. Unless you’re looking for a particular survival course or plan, most of the info you need can be accessed with just a few clicks. One example of this is all the recipes. Back in the day you had to spend $20-$30 […]

The post 9 Printable Food Storage Cookbooks appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

7 Pioneer Recipes Every Prepper Should Learn

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There is a bit of a romantic fantasy about what it must have been like for the pioneers who traveled out west more than a hundred years ago. The idea of land that stretches on for miles without a single building or road was both exciting and frightening to them. However, they had the skills […]

The post 7 Pioneer Recipes Every Prepper Should Learn appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Survival Cooking: How To Use A Dutch Oven

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How To Use A Dutch Oven

Pioneers no doubt had to make some rough choices about what to take and what to leave behind when they made the voyage west. One thing that they didn’t even consider leaving behind, though, was their Dutch oven.

This marvelous piece of cookware is so versatile that it warranted a spot in the precious little space inside a covered wagon.

When you think about camping, you probably don’t think about making bread, biscuits, or cookies – other than s’mores of course! That’s because you’re not familiar with how a Dutch oven works.

In short, it’s magic.

A Dutch oven actually consists of two pieces: a pot and a lid. The lid seals over the pot when needs must, and serves as a skillet, too. You can use a Dutch oven on a stove or in an oven just like you’d use any other pan or skillet, but it’s so much more useful than that.

First, cast iron cookware in general is just fabulous to cook on. Other cookware, such as those made from aluminum or coated in Teflon, can be toxic to us over time. Teflon starts to flake off into your food after a few months or maybe a year. Then you run the risk of getting cancer. Aluminum has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Cast iron, on the other hand, has been associated with family treasures that are passed down from generation to generation.

Cookware made from cast iron can quite literally last hundreds of years – I have a skillet that’s nearly 150 years old and it’s seriously the best skillet I own. I have a square one that I bought 25 years ago, and I won’t make cornbread in anything else. I use it at home on the stove, in the oven, and on the grill. I take it camping and use it over an open fire.

So, I’m not just preaching it from the handbook, I’m drinking my own Kool-Aid. Cast iron rules.

Now that you know how I feel about the material, I want to get on to the exact piece of cast iron cookware that we’re discussing today: the Dutch oven.

Simply surviving isn’t good enough if you’re to stay happy and healthy in the long run. You need good food, companionship, and hope. A Dutch oven can’t do much about who you eat with, but it can be used to cook luxury foods that keep morale up. Cornbread, biscuits, cake, hot rolls, and desserts such as cobbler are all possible as long as you have the ingredients, a fire, and a Dutch oven.

Video first seen on Cooking With Cast Iron.

You don’t need electricity or gas, nor do you need an actual oven because a Dutch oven IS an oven. If you know the basics of cooking with one and have the ingredients, you can make anything that you want.

So, without further ado, let’s talk about how to cook with a Dutch oven.

Aluminum or Cast Iron Dutch Oven

I know, I’ve just expounded on the benefits of using cast iron, and even knocked aluminum cookware a bit. I personally don’t like to cook in it because studies have shown that the aluminum does leach into food, especially if the food is extremely basic (baking powder), or extremely acidic (tomato juice, vinegar, or fruit juices).

Studies show that anodized aluminum doesn’t pose this risk, so if you opt to go with an aluminum Dutch oven, make sure that it’s anodized. There are some benefits to cooking with an aluminum Dutch oven, primarily the weight. A cast-iron Dutch oven weighs about 7 pounds as opposed to the 18 pounds or so that you’ll be toting if you’re carrying a cast iron one.

Aluminum also doesn’t require seasoning like cast iron does, nor will it rust if you don’t care for it after you wash it. Many even come with a non-stick surface, but cast iron will become non-stick if you season it correctly.

Aluminum heats faster, but that’s not necessarily a good thing because the heat fluctuates in it, and aluminum will melt if it gets hot enough. Still, aluminum may be better for baking bread or making sauces and gravies than cast iron.

Cast iron holds heat evenly and for longer periods of time. It will actually keep cooking your foods for quite a while even if your coals cool down so you don’t need as much fuel to cook with it. The lid is heavy enough that it seals and steams your food so that it doesn’t dry out. This is why I said above that aluminum may be better for baking bread.

So, there are the differences. If you have to carry it, aluminum may be worth the downfalls to you. If you don’t, I’d say that cast iron wins hands down. I’m sure that there are those that disagree.

Types of Dutch Ovens

If you’re standing in the pot aisle at the store trying to figure out what the heck you need, or researching online before you go buy one, it can be confusing.

First, know that a camp oven and an outdoor oven are the same thing. These will usually have feet and a handle that you can use to hang the pot over the fire. The lid will also be flat and have a lip that seals the oven so that coals can’t get into it. You can use the lid as a skillet, too.

Kitchen pots and bean pots are also two names for the same sort of pot. They won’t have feet. Bean pots aren’t just for beans so don’t let the name fool you. It’s actually a cooking method that was common back in colonial days. These pots will have a flat bottom and a domed lid that may have spikes for basting inside of it. The steam rises, then drips off the spikes down onto the food.

Don’t be afraid to buy a used Dutch oven. As a matter of fact, I got mine from a yard sale for $5. Just be aware of what you’re buying.

  • First, don’t buy it if it has riveted tabs. You want the oven to be cast together, not riveted.
  • Look for inconsistencies in the thickness. That will lead to inconsistent heating and cooking
  • Don’t be scared away by a little rust. As long as it’s just surface rust, it will clean right up with steel wool.
  • Make sure that the bottom is level. It shouldn’t rock.
  • Make sure the lid fits well – not too loose, and not too tight, and it doesn’t rock.
  • Check for chips and cracks as well as imperfections in the casting.
  • If you’re buying a camp oven, make sure that the wire handle is sturdy.

Seasoning your Dutch Oven

Cast iron takes a bit of time to reach that non-stick state. This is called seasoning. Basically, the iron needs to absorb fat so that it develops a patina that keeps the iron from absorbing your food, causing it to stick. Seasoning also prevents the iron from rusting and makes cleanup much easier.

New ovens (or any cast iron) come with a protective coating from the manufacturer. The same is true with aluminum but all you need to do in that case is wash the aluminum with hot soap and water to remove the coating.

Cast iron takes a bit more work on the front end, but it will be well worth it in the end because you’ll have a piece that will be good for the rest of your life, and your children’s lives for that matter.

Before you season your skillet, wash it well. Some people use soap, others don’t. I use soap when I get a new one, or a used one that isn’t seasoned or has rust. I’m not like most people though, who only use hot water and steel wool.

Once you have your Dutch oven clean, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. You may want to turn off the smoke alarm, just in case.

  • Put the Dutch oven and the lid in the oven long enough that it’s so hot that it’s almost too hot to handle, then remove them.
  • Dribble a bit of olive oil, solid shortening, or vegetable oil. Don’t use butter, margarine, or cooking spray.
  • Use a paper towel to smear the oil over the entire surface of the pot and lid, inside and out.
  • Put the pot and lid back in the oven bake them for an hour. You should probably put a cookie sheet on the rack under them in case they drip. No need to burn the house down while you’re doing this.
  • Turn off the oven and let the pot and lid cool completely, then repeat the process.
  • Wipe down, and you’re done!

Video first seen on JRKFamilyOutdoors

Of course, the more you use your oven, the more seasoned it will become. Every time you use it, you need to clean it, then heat it to get the water out of it and wipe it down with a thin layer of oil again; just a tiny amount on a paper towel while the pan is cooling.

Avoid cooking super acidic or high-sugar foods the first few times you use your oven because these will break down your seasoning before it has time to harden.

Using a Dutch Oven in Coals

You may not know it, but the ashes under the fire are actually usually hotter than the fire itself. The ashes are compact and hold in heat. This makes for an excellent cooking environment. If you think about it, that’s exactly what happens in your oven at home, right?

Maybe you’ve cooked ears of corn or potatoes wrapped in foil in the coals of your fire, but it’s pretty tough to bake a piece of apple pie like that? Well that’s where your Dutch oven comes in. Different foods cook better depending upon how the Dutch oven is situated in the coals, and you can cook entire meals in it, too. Casseroles, desserts, stews: they’re all within your reach.

First, you need to decide if you’re cooking IN the Dutch oven, or WITH it. You can either cook your food directly in the oven or you can put the food in another container, such as a pie plate, and cook in on a trivet or rack inside of the oven. This is usually done to keep the food from burning, or to make cleaning your oven easier.

If you’re cooking a dessert and your oven is still relatively new, you may want to use this method so that the sugar and acids in the fruit don’t eat away your seasoning.

If you’re using your oven for frying, or boiling, all of the heat should come from the bottom. In other words, place the oven on top of the coals or a grill rack (or hang it over the fire).

If you’re stewing or simmering, the majority of the heat should come from the bottom. Place the pot in the ashes with most of it buried, but put some of the coals on top, about 4:1 bottom to top.

If you’re roasting food, heat should come from the top and bottom equally. Place coals under and on top.

If you’re baking, most of the heat should come from the top. The ratio should be 1 part on bottom and 3 parts on top.

If you’re wondering about specific foods, typically soups and stews should be cooked with most of the heat on the bottom (2/3 or so on the bottom, and 1/3 of the coals on top. Meats, veggies, and cobblers should have equal heat distribution, and cakes, biscuits, bread and cookies should have 2/3 of the coals on top and 1/3 on the bottom.

Dutch Oven Temperature

Bread and biscuits help you get a lot more mileage out of a meal and are comfort foods. They’re also the trail version of fast foods. You can cook extra and if you get hungry along the trail, you can pull out a roll or a biscuit and eat it on the run. Neither of these would be possible in large quantity without a Dutch oven.

You can make biscuits inside of the oven, or right on the lid – just butter or oil both sides so that they brown equally.

Bread or rolls are best if you let the final proof take place inside the oven, then bake them immediately. Some old recipes call for coating the inside of the oven with flour before you put your bread in to rise/cook. The flour will burn but your bread will be fine.

If you’d rather not use the flour, just oil the inside of the oven and the top of the lid, then let your bread proof. Put your oven in the coals, with 2/3 of them on top. When there are 5 or 6 minutes left for the bread to cook, take of the lid and butter the top of the bread. Put the lid back on and let it finish cooking. Bread is done when you peck on the top and it sounds hollow.

There are different ways to cook with your Dutch oven, but these are the basics. You can pick up a good Dutch oven for as little as $35 or so, and that’s for a Lodge, which is American-made and arguably the best brand of cast iron skillets out there.

There are, of course, gourmet chefs coming out with their own lines of cast iron cookware too, and some of them are even pre-seasoned, but you’re likely going to pay quite a bit more for them. It’s up to you, though. There are definite advantages to buying a pre-seasoned piece, but I’m old-school and take a certain pleasure in doing things for myself.

Learn how to make your own food based on survival ancient recipes from our forefathers. Click the banner below and uncover more survival secrets, and stay close for a great offer that will boost your survival cooking!

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

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6 Pioneer Dessert Recipes you should try today

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Being able to procure your own meat, to grow your own vegetables, to organize a pantry with all the essentials and to work with your hands are all activities worth knowing and mastering. But how about your own comfort, how about satisfying your sweet tooth when times are harsh? The following pioneer dessert recipes stood … Read more…

The post 6 Pioneer Dessert Recipes you should try today was written by Rhonda Owen and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

3 Things to Cook in your Dutch Oven

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3 Things to Cook in your Dutch Oven

I was reading a great article about dutch oven cooking the other day. After the smoke cleared from thinking I was left with three things added to my cook list. We have talked about this subject before.

Just like our forefathers here in the US used one it can be a useful piece here. The actual things that can be cooked in a dutch oven are limitless. The first thing I need to cook again in the dutch oven is bread.

That has already been done although that is not a picture of that bread. The one time I actually cooked a loaf of bread in a dutch oven is a great story that it seems I have failed to tell about. Look out for that story at another time. The second recipe that is superb in a dutch oven is none other than Dutch Baby.

Dutch Baby all done when cooked in a dutch ovenDutch Baby holds a very special place in my heart and nothing can beat a batch to provide comfort and solace in any situation. The ability to control the heat is essential. It also helps to have the top heat to properly brown it. This is one that is very good. The third thing that we need to iron out the recipe is Creamy Chicken Casserole.

You can tell just from the recipe that this one would be done very quickly. It also is very hearty and if you pair it with rice can be a complete meal at home, in the RV, or camping somewhere.

No matter where you are cooking the function and durability of a dutch oven will help you get the meals served. The fact that you can do it in a wide variety of areas is an added benefit. They are truly a great addition to any homestead.

 

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Chicken

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Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Chicken

Those busy days scream for an easy recipe and slow cooker brown sugar chicken is one that fits the bill. This one became an instant hit the very first time we prepared it.

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Chicken
Author: http://www.deepsouthdish.com/2014/07/slow-cooker-brown-sugar-chicken.html
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time:  10 mins
Cook time:  6 hours
Total time:  6 hours 10 mins

Serves: 4-6
 

Four basic ingredients and the use of a crock pot make this a great meal for the busy times. It is certainly easier to do since this is so good.
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 (6 ounce) can pineapple juice
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions
  1. Remove skin from chicken and season lightly with the salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and garlic powder.
  2. Pat seasoning into chicken and place into the slow cooker.
  3. Whisk together the brown sugar, pineapple juice and soy sauce; pour around chicken.
  4. Cover and cook on low for about 5 to 6 hours, depending on the size.
  5. Use a wide spatula to remove the chicken from the slow cooker to a platter and loosely tent with aluminum foil; set aside to prepare the glaze.
  6. Turn cooker to high until mixture comes to a boil, or transfer to a saucepan for the stovetop. Whisk together the water and cornstarch until there are no lumps.
  7. Slowly stir into the boiling sauce until fully incorporated and continue boiling for about 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture thickens.
  8. Remove from heat and let rest a moment.
  9. Brush the sauce over each chicken thigh and serve the remaining sauce at the table.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6

3.5.3226

We had some skeptics with the inclusion of pineapple juice on this one, but since it was chicken judgment was withheld. They also understand the house rule and new there would be nothing else served for dinner. We followed along with removing the skin on the chicken before throwing it in the crock pot.

Hopefully slow cooker brown sugar chicken can find a way to make it to your menu. I am sure that it will be a great way to add some more chicken to the dinner plates. Bonus is that you can buy pineapple chunks or a whole pineapple and have some fruit to eat.

Quick and Easy Artichoke Dip Recipe, Prepared And Ready In Minutes!

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Our quick and easy artichoke dip recipe is a life saver when you need to make a crowd pleasing appetizer and have little time.  Most likely you will have all the ingredients that you need in your pantry or refrigerator

The post Quick and Easy Artichoke Dip Recipe, Prepared And Ready In Minutes! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

The Lost Ways – A Truly Amazing Prepper Book

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Learn how to build a self-feeding campfire. How to use herbs to heal a wound. How to forage for food, navigate by nature, and make your own knives. How to cook a survival staple that will keep for years. How to build a shelter and cook over open flame. Preserve food and water. Make homemade soap and toothpaste. If the world as we know it came to an end tomorrow, would your family be able to survive? The Lost Ways is a book that could help you thrive.

I’d like to tell you about the book The Lost Ways. I bought the book several months ago, and really haven’t been able to put it down. There are so many prepper topics covered in the book, that I think everyone would be able to learn something from reading i; beginning prepper, and seasoned survivalist. Take a look at the table of contents, and you’ll see what I mean.

The Lost Ways – Table of Contents

Disclaimer …………………………………………………….. 4
The Most Important Thing ……………………………… 18
Making Your Own Beverages: Beer to Stronger Stuff …………………………………………………………………. 23
Making Beer – Basic Recipe ………………………………. 25
Equipment ………………………………………………………………. 25
Ingredients ……………………………………………………………… 26
Creating the Malt: Malted Barley ………………………………. 26
Making the Yeast …………………………………………………….. 27
A Word on Hops ………………………………………………………. 28
Making the Beer ………………………………………………………. 28
A Bit of the Stronger Stuff: Distilling Your Own ‘Moonshine’ …………………………………………………… 30
Making a Still …………………………………………………………… 31
An Alembic Still ……………………………………………………….. 31
A Homemade Still ……………………………………………………. 33
A Schematic of a Homemade Still ………………………………. 35
Ginger beer: Making soda the old fashioned way .. 37
The Deadliest Drink? ……………………………………….. 38
Drunken Sailors ………………………………………………. 39
Beer Gets Boring …………………………………………….. 40
Spicing It Up …………………………………………………… 41
An Easier Brew ………………………………………………… 42
An Unusual Organism ………………………………………. 43
Doing It Yourself ……………………………………………… 45
How North American Indians and Early Pioneers Made Pemmican …………………………………………… 47
Nutritional Qualities ………………………………………… 49
Directions ………………………………………………………. 51
Ingredients ……………………………………………………………… 51
1. Rendering the Fat …………………………………………………. 51
2. Dried Meat Preparation ………………………………………… 58
How Much Do I Need? ……………………………………… 65
Spycraft : Military Correspondence during the 1700s to 1900s ………………………………………………………. 67
Rectal Acorn, Silver Ball, and Quill Letters …………………… 68
Invisible Ink……………………………………………………………… 70
Mask Letters ……………………………………………………………. 74
Wild West Guns For SHTF And A Guide To Rolling Your Own Ammo…………………………………………. 77
Modern Firearms …………………………………………….. 78
Handguns ……………………………………………………………….. 78
Rifles ………………………………………………………………………. 80
Ammunition ……………………………………………………………. 80
Reloading Components …………………………………….. 82
The Cartridge Case …………………………………………………… 83
Processing Brass Cartridge Cases ……………………………….. 85
Primer Pocket………………………………………………………….. 86
Bullets and Projectiles ………………………………………………. 86
The Cast Lead Bullet …………………………………………………. 87
Casting Bullets………………………………………………… 88
The Bullet Mold ……………………………………………………….. 88
The Lead Melting Pot ……………………………………………….. 89
The Ladle ………………………………………………………………… 90
The Melting Process …………………………………………………. 90
The Casting Process …………………………………………………. 91
Swagging Bullets ……………………………………………………….. 93
Machining Bullets…………………………………………………….. 94
The Final Word on Lead Bullets …………………………………. 95
Powder …………………………………………………………. 95
Black Powder ………………………………………………………….. 95
Smokeless Powder …………………………………………………… 96
Primers …………………………………………………………. 96
Primer Size ……………………………………………………………… 96
Reloading Equipment ………………………………………. 98
The Lee Loader ………………………………………………………… 98
The Single Stage Press ………………………………………………. 99
The Progressive Press …………………………………………….. 100
Reloading Dies ………………………………………………………. 101
Reloading Bench ……………………………………………………. 102
The Tumbler ………………………………………………………….. 102
The Powder Scale …………………………………………………… 103
Manuals ……………………………………………………………….. 103
Storage of Ammunition and Components ………….. 104
How Much Ammunition is Enough? …………………………. 105
Recycling ………………………………………………………………. 105
Work Practices ………………………………………………………. 106
How Our Forefathers Built Their Sawmills, Grain Mills and Stamping Mills ………………………………. 109
How the Overshot Wheel Works ………………………. 111
Making That Force Usable ……………………………………….. 115
Gears ……………………………………………………………………. 116
Belts ……………………………………………………………………… 119
For Reciprocating Saws …………………………………………… 121
Don’t Forget Lubrication …………………………………………. 122
Building Your Own Water Wheel ……………………………… 123
How our Ancestors made herbal poultice to heal their wounds ……………………………………………… 126
What is a Poultice? ………………………………………… 127
A Few Poultice Recipes……………………………………. 130
Cataplasma Aromaticum …………………………………………. 130
Soothing Poultice …………………………………………………… 131
For Stomach Aches …………………………………………………. 131
A Mustard Poultice …………………………………………………. 132
A Native American Recipe to Treat an Abscess …………… 132
A Word of Warning from The Past ……………………………. 133
What Our Ancestors Were Foraging For? Or How to Wildcraft Your Table ……………………………………. 134
Arrowhead (Sagittaria Latifolia) ……………………………….. 135
Asparagus (Asparagus Officinalis) …………………………….. 136
Bulrush (Scirpus acutus, Scirpus validus) …………………… 138
Cattails (Typha Latifolia, Typha angustifolia) ……………… 139
Chickweed, Common ……………………………………………… 141
Chicory (Cirhorium Intybus) …………………………………….. 143
Cleavers ………………………………………………………………… 144
Dandelion (Taraxacum Officionale) …………………………… 145
Henbit (Lamium Amplexicaule) ………………………………… 146
Lady’s Thumb (Polygonum persicaria) ………………………. 147
Lambs Quarters (Chenopodium album, Chenopodium berlanieri)……………………………………………………………… 148
Mint (Mentha piperita, Mentha spicata) …………………… 150
Mulberry (Morus alba, Morus rubra) ………………………… 151
Mustard, Black (Brassica Nigra) ……………………………….. 152
Peppergrass (Lapidium Virginicum) ………………………….. 154
Pigweed (Amaranthus Retroflexus, Amaranthus Hybridus) ……………………………………………………………………………. 155
Plantain (Plantago major, Plantago minor) ………………… 156
Pennycress, Field (Thlaspi Arvense) ………………………….. 158
Prickly Lettuce ……………………………………………………….. 159
Purslane (Portulaca Oleracea) …………………………………. 160
Quickweed ( Galinsoga Parviflora) ……………………………. 161
Reed Grass ( Phragmites communis) ………………………… 162
Shepherds Purse (Capsella Bursa-pastoris) ………………… 163
Sour Dock (Rumex crispus) ……………………………………… 165
Storksbill (Erodium Cicutarium) ……………………………….. 166
Watercress (Nasturtium Officinale) ………………………….. 167
How Our Ancestors Navigated Without Using a GPS system ………………………………………………………. 169
Shadow Tip Method ………………………………………. 170
Watch Method ……………………………………………… 171
Using the Stars ……………………………………………… 171
Letting the Sun Guide You ………………………………. 174
Letting the Moon Guide You at Night ………………… 175
Moss and Other Vegetation …………………………….. 175
Making a Compass …………………………………………. 176
How Our Forefathers Made Knives …………………. 178
Forging a Knife Blank ……………………………………… 179
Forging the Blade …………………………………………… 180
Forging the Tang ……………………………………………. 181
Grinding the Blade …………………………………………. 182
Hardening the Blade ………………………………………. 184
Making the Handle…………………………………………. 186
To Make Your Own Knife…………………………………. 187
How Our Forefathers Made Snow Shoes for Survival ………………………………………………………………… 190
Anatomy of a Snowshoe …………………………………. 191
Making Survival Snowshoes …………………………….. 193
Using Your Snowshoes ……………………………………. 196
How North California Native Americans Build Their Semi-subterranean Roundhouse ……………………. 197
Building the Semi-subterrain Roundhouse ………….. 201
Supporting Poles ……………………………………………………. 203
Roof Construction ………………………………………………….. 204
Roundhouse Entrance …………………………………………….. 206
Fire Pit ………………………………………………………………….. 206
Summary ………………………………………………………………. 208
Our Ancestor’s Guide to Root Cellars ………………. 210
History ………………………………………………………… 211
The Right Space for the Job ……………………………… 212
Climate …………………………………………………………………. 212
What to Keep Where ……………………………………………… 215
Creating the Ideal Conditions …………………………… 216
Lighting…………………………………………………………………. 216
Humidity ………………………………………………………………. 217
Dirt Floors …………………………………………………………….. 218
Wet Cloth or Paper ………………………………………………… 218
Standing Water ……………………………………………………… 218
Bury Your Treasure ………………………………………………… 218
A Condensation Nightmare ……………………………………… 219
Ventilation ……………………………………………………………. 219
Storage Ideas ……………………………………………….. 220
In-Garden Storage ………………………………………………….. 221
Insulation ……………………………………………………………… 222
Things That Do and Do Not Belong in Your Root Cellar ………………………………………………………………….. 223
Proper Storage ……………………………………………… 224
Cull the Crops ………………………………………………………… 224
Preparing Vegetables for Root Cellar Storage ……………. 225
Curing Winter Vegetables for Storage ………………………. 226
Pests …………………………………………………………………….. 226
Organization ………………………………………………………….. 227
Good Old Fashion Cooking on an Open Flame ….. 230
Cast Iron Cooking ………………………………………….. 231
Care and Use …………………………………………………………. 232
Seasoning Your Cookery …………………………………………. 232
Never Use Dish Soap ………………………………………………. 233
Iron Rusts ……………………………………………………………… 234
No Fire ………………………………………………………………….. 234
Companion Tools……………………………………………………. 234
Roasting Meats ……………………………………………… 235
On a Spit ……………………………………………………………….. 235
On a String …………………………………………………………….. 236
Dutch Oven Cooking ………………………………………. 238
The Right Temperature …………………………………………… 239
Companion Tools……………………………………………………. 240
Recipes Past and Future ………………………………….. 241
Colcannon …………………………………………………………….. 242
Meat Pies………………………………………………………………. 242
Mock-mock Turtle Soup ………………………………………….. 243
Wassail …………………………………………………………………. 243
Apple Pie ………………………………………………………………. 245
Biscuits and Gravy ………………………………………………….. 245
Easter Cake ……………………………………………………………. 246
Porridge ………………………………………………………………… 247
Stew ……………………………………………………………………… 248
Bread ……………………………………………………………………. 248
Learning from Our Ancestors: How to Preserve Water ……………………………………………………….. 250
How Can I Make Sure That the Water Is Clean? …………. 256
Where Should I Hide or Store My Stock of Water? ……… 260
Learning From Our Ancestors How to Take Care of Our Hygiene When There Isn’t Anything to Buy … 263
Soap Making …………………………………………………. 264
Basic Recipe for Soap ……………………………………………… 264
Making Lye Water from Wood Ash …………………………… 265
Collecting the Fat …………………………………………………… 266
Cooking Up the Soap: The Cold Process Method ………… 268
Making Your Own Signature Soaps …………………… 269
Medicinal Soaps …………………………………………………….. 270
Homemade Toothpaste ………………………………….. 270
Basic Baking Soda Recipe ………………………………………… 271
Clay Toothpaste …………………………………………………….. 271
To Taste ………………………………………………………………… 272
How and Why I Prefer to Make Soap with Modern Ingredients ………………………………………………… 273
History ………………………………………………………… 274
Why Modern Ingredients ………………………………… 275
Understanding The Process …………………………….. 275
Irreplaceable Ingredients ………………………………… 276
Machinery and Equipment for Making Soap at Home ………………………………………………………………….. 278
Possible Soap Additives ………………………………………….. 279
Essential Oils …………………………………………………………. 279
So, How do You Make Soap? …………………………… 280
Ingredients ……………………………………………………………. 280
Equipment …………………………………………………………….. 281
Methodology…………………………………………………………. 282
Temporarily Installing a Wood-Burning Stove during Emergencies ………………………………………………. 288
Why a Wood-Burning Stove …………………………….. 289
Temporarily Installing Your Wood-Burning Stove … 290
Temporarily Installing the Chimney ………………….. 292
Heating with Wood ………………………………………… 294
Making Traditional and Survival Bark Bread ……. 296
How to Make Sourdough Starter (The Rising Agent People Used Before 1900) ……………………………….. 298
How to Make Tasty Bread Like in 1869 ………………. 301
Making Bark Bread (Famine Bread) …………………… 302
Trapping In Winter For Beaver And Muskrat Just like Our Forefathers Did …………………………………….. 306
Why Our Forefathers Trapped ………………………….. 307
The Best Places to Trap for Beaver and Muskrat … 308
Their Local Habitats ……………………………………….. 309
The Types of Traps You’ll Use for Beaver and Muskrat ………………………………………………………………….. 310
Foot Hold Trap Types ……………………………………………… 311
Finding the Land Trails ……………………………………. 313
How to Set the Foot Hold Trap …………………………. 314
Finding the Underwater Trails ………………………….. 315
How to Set a Body Grip Trap ……………………………. 315
Tanning ……………………………………………………….. 316
Selling at the Trading Post ……………………………………….. 318
And There You Have It…………………………………………….. 318
How To Build a Smokehouse and smoke Fish ……. 320
Cold Smoking ………………………………………………… 322
Before We Start: Woods for Flavoring Your Fish ………… 322
Cold Smoking the Fish …………………………………………….. 323
First Things First: Curing the Fish ……………………………… 323
Making a Cold Smoker ……………………………………………. 324
Creating the smoker……………………………………………….. 326
Hot Smokin’! ………………………………………………… 330
Recipes Using Smoked Fish ……………………………………… 332
Practical Survival Lessons from the Donner Party 335
The Story of the Donner Party …………………………. 338
The Fatal Decision ………………………………………………….. 338
Escape and Rescue Attempts …………………………………… 343
Survival Lessons from the Donner Party …………….. 345
Follow the Known Route …………………………………………. 345
Money Won’t Save You; It’s What You Know …………….. 346
Supplies + Time = Life……………………………………………… 346
Weather Is the Deciding Factor ……………………………….. 347
Know When to Turn Back ……………………………………….. 348
Stress Leads to Anger and Volatility………………………….. 348
Age and Gender Play a Huge Role in Survival …………….. 349
Small Wounds = Death ……………………………………………. 350
How The Sheriffs From The Frontiers Defended Their Villages and Towns ……………………………………… 351
Crime in the West………………………………………….. 354
Equipment …………………………………………………… 356
Guns …………………………………………………………………….. 356
Communications …………………………………………… 359
Organization ………………………………………………… 361
The Sheriff …………………………………………………… 362
Deputy Sheriffs ……………………………………………… 363
Posses …………………………………………………………. 364
Bringing It Up to Date …………………………………….. 364
Showing the Flag ……………………………………………. 368
Raising a Posse ……………………………………………… 371
References …………………………………………………. 375

 

The Lost Ways has a 60 day 100% money back guarantee on the book. Also several other interesting books. Click on the The Lost Ways book image below to watch the video. Decide for yourself if it is something you want.

The Lost Ways book
 

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Corn Flake Cookies Recipe, A Christmas Cookie Taste You Won’t Believe!

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Have you ever tried Corn Flake Cookies? WAIT – Don’t stop reading here!!! The first time I tried one, I never knew they were made with corn flakes, let alone dates! But as everyone was raving about the chocolate covered

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What Makes The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie? Here’s Our Recipe

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What makes the perfect chocolate chip cookie? Ask anyone and no answer will be the same.   Some people like their cookies to be crisp and crunchy, while others like them to be soft and gooey. Growing up I would

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A Thanksgiving Day Menu of Recipes – Celebrating Food and Family

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Preparing a Thanksgiving Day Menu can seem overwhelming. But with a few key pointers and simple techniques, you can impress your family and friends with this ‘back to the basics’ holiday menu.  Thanksgiving is hands down, our favorite holiday. The

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The Foodie Show

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Pizza, Pickles, and Well Heck It’s The Foodie Show Karen Lynn “Lil Suburban Homestead” This week Karen Lynn is interviewing Teri from Homestead Honey to discuss her book. Also her upcoming e-learning cooking course. Teri has been on The Prepper Broadcasting Network before with Karen Lynn to discuss her off-grid tiny house living lifestyle (Listen Here) … Continue reading The Foodie Show

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Cooking Great Food From Scratch

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With the holidays just around the corner, we are entering baking season.  Most of us have memories of mothers and grandmothers baking cookies and pies and other wonderful treats on chilly fall and winter days; or big family dinners with steaming bowls and platters crowded on the table.  Despite the popularity of the Food Network and Gordon Ramsay, cooking and baking from scratch are actually rare.  I hope this trend changes for so many reasons.

Before I start, I want to say that I don’t mean to “shame” anyone who doesn’t cook for whatever reason.  It’s no one’s business why anyone does or doesn’t cook at home.  However, for anyone wanting to be self-sufficient, this is a necessary skill.

Feed yourself…well

chopping
Cooking for yourself moves you closer to being fully self-sufficient.  Even if you don’t actually grow your own food, getting a local source for ingredients works just as well.  If this isn’t an option for you due to season, location, etc., basic canned or frozen fruits and vegetables are an alternative.  If possible, select products with no salt added.

If you cook at home, you control what actually goes into your foods.  Mass-produced foods have very high amounts of salt/sodium, sugar and fat because these are the cheapest flavor enhancers.  In my opinion, these ingredients truly don’t add flavor, they disguise flavors and just add tastes that we’ve gotten used to from foods.

I’m not an organic fanatic, but I try to read the ingredients of the foods I purchase.  I have my favorite brands and try to select the products with as few ingredients as possible; canned tomatoes that are just tomatoes, pasta with only semolina and water and maybe eggs – basically, ingredients that I can pronounce.

Anyone can cook!

Yes, I just ripped off Pixar, but I believe that anyone can cook.  Not everyone will become a cook like Julia Child; but anyone can follow a recipe and make something edible and nutritious.  And not everyone will enjoy cooking or even like to cook, but again, for a self-sufficient lifestyle, you have to know how.

If you’ve never learned to cook, there are resources out there to get your started.  Many higher-end grocery stores and cooking stores offer lessons.  Check with community colleges and community centers for any classes they offer.   These can be a little pricey, but one or two classes to learn the basics as far as technique and terminology are worth the price.

Over the past few years, several companies have begun offering subscriptions that provide recipes and ingredients for meals that you will cook at home; examples are Blue Apron and Hello Fresh.  The great thing about these services is that they provide everything you need to create the meal.  Other than having to manage a subscription, this is a pretty cool idea.   I haven’t tried any of them yet, but I’m always tempted.  Even for more experienced cooks, these services provide such eclectic recipes – different cuisines, styles and techniques – they can add to any repertoire.

Of course, you always have Google.  This is what I got when I search for Beginner Cooking Tips.  Check YouTube to see videos of these techniques.

Practice, practice, practice

As with any other skill, cooking takes practice.  Start small – spaghetti, panninis, meatloaf, mashed potatoes.  Don’t try to tackle roast duck with mango chutney on your first day.

Find a cookbook for beginners; one with good illustrations.  Wonderful Amazon has tons of them.  After a quick perusal, this one looks great.  I prefer to make notes directly in my cookbooks.  If you’re good at taking notes in an e-reader, definitely use that; if not, get a printed book and make notes in each recipe you try.

Here are a few tips that have made things easier for me:
prep before cooking

  • Follow the recipe in the beginning. All published cookbooks have gone through an extensive testing process to ensure the recipes are well written, understandable and work.  Once you’re more experience and comfortable, tweak recipes to yours and your family’s preferences.
  • Read the recipes all the way through before you start – I promise this will make things so much easier.
  • Stage all of your ingredients before you start. It always makes me swear if I’m searching for an ingredient while I have something simmering on the stove.
  • Prep as much as possible. Measure, chop, mince, etc. as much as you can before you start.  Various sizes of stainless steel or glass bowls are invaluable for prep.  Plastic works in a pinch, but plastic can absorb flavors and colors.
  • Have a Plan B. Even the most experienced cooks are going to ruin a meal now and then.  It’s good to have a back-up plan even if it’s delivery pizza.
  • Take care of your equipment. You don’t need to go out and buy top of the line cookware, knives, measuring pieces, and specialty utensils; but take care of the equipment you have.  Read the manufacturers’ care recommendations.  How should it be cleaned?  Is it safe to go in the dishwasher/microwave/oven?

Cooking Equipment

As with everything, there’s high end and low end.  My personal opinion is to get the best – not necessarily the most expensive – equipment you can afford.  I have a few tips listed below.
knives

  • Knives – dull knives are dangerous knives! Dull knives slip more often resulting in more injury.  One of the best knife values is Victorinox.  My husband loves these knives.  They are economical, professional grade knives that keep an edge.  These don’t fit my hands well, so I prefer my Wusthof.   These are more expensive but, for me, they were worth it.  Learn to use your sharpening steel and use it before every use.  Sharpen your knives professionally every 12-18 months.
  • Cookware – there are so many choices: stainless, aluminum, copper, cast iron, non-stick, etc. My favorite cookware is my stainless steel set from Calphalon.   I’m not a fan of non-stick due to the care it needs and fumes from damaged non-stick could kill my parrot.  Well-seasoned and well-cared for cookware will have minimal sticking.  I also use vintage cast iron for certain foods like chili, stew, jambalaya and fried chicken.  Cast iron is too heavy for me to use comfortably for each meal.
  • Appliances – again, get the best one you can afford. I love my KitchenAid mixer and use it every week.  I have the attachment set with the sliced, grater, sausage stuffer and food mill.  I also use my food processor  Get appliances that do more than one thing, when possible.  Research brands and don’t just go by historical reputations.
  • Utensils – these get used so much that they need to be durable. I lovelovelove my wooden and bamboo utensils.  These can be used on every cookware surface and are very durable.  I’m a big fan of OXO  These are very well-made, durable and comfortable to use.  Here are a few that every kitchen needs:

Special ingredients

…and maybe not so special ingredients.  Above, I discussed sourcing your ingredients from your garden and local sources.  Regardless of your options, there are going to be some things that you can’t get locally, especially spices.  I have my favorite companies:

  • Penzey’s Spices – Penzey’s has wonderful quality products and very reasonable prices. Their spices, extracts, herbs and blends are actually less expensive that those found in most grocery stores.  They usually have a special or two going on, as well.
  • King Arthur Flour – Okay, if you’ve read just about any of my other articles, did you really think I wouldn’t include them? KAF has flours, decorating supplies, chocolates, flavorings and wonderful mixes.
  • Amazon – again, did you think I wouldn’t include them? Amazon’s buying power allows for an amazing variety of products from which to choose.  I’ve found douban jiang from China, masa harina and corn husks for tamales, and fruit vinegars.
  • Saratoga Olive Oil – SOO has a wonderful selection of oils, salts, vinegar, etc. The infused oils are excellent; the salt blends are wonderful; and the flavored balsamic vinegar adds a wonderful extra pop to salads and vegetables.
  • Not-so-special ingredients – there are some ingredients that are the same regardless of who manufactures them.
    • Baking soda – this is sodium bicarbonate; that’s it, nothing else, so generic is going to work the exact same way as the name brand.
    • Table salt – iodized or non-iodized table salt is the same regardless of the brand. Granted kosher salt, pickling salt or other special salts are vastly different.
    • Sugar – sugar is sugar is sugar. Oddly, I’ve had better luck with generic sugar when making simple syrup; it just seems to dissolve better.

Food is love…

Yeah, yeah, all the psychologists out there just cringed.   I don’t mean to imply that food should replace actual personal interaction and affection, but feeding someone can be a very affectionate thing; especially if you prepare the food yourself.  This doesn’t have to be an extravagant, gourmet meal with exotic ingredients and “plate art”.  A simple meal of spaghetti with sauce from a jar with store bakery garlic bread can be a wonderful, warm family evening.

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Oven Roasted Garlic Artisan Bread Recipe – Simple, Delicious Flavor!

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Oven roasted garlic artisan bread – the combination of two of our favorite foods. This week, as we prepared to make our homemade artisan bread, we decided to add in an additional splash of flavor with garlic from our garden.

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Cheesemaking In The Early 19th Century

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We have a very special episode today! Deanna Berkemeier, from Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford, NY, walks us through the process of making cheese from scratch. Deanna is a master at the art of Cheesemaking. We hope you enjoy this! If you’re ever in the Rochester, NY, area, be sure to put Genesee Country Village & Museum on your itinerary! You won’t regret it!

Genesee Country Village and Museum – https://www.gcv.org/

This video channel is made possible by the patronage of our customers. Be sure to visit our website: http://www.jas-townsend.com

If you’re interested in learning more about reenacting, including the different kinds of historical interpretation you can do, be sure to sign up of our FREE “Getting Started in Living History” video course! Simply click on this link – http://bit.ly/2frQwwI

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The Smokeless & Easy-To-Build Off-Grid Cooking Stove

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The Smokeless & Easy-To-Build Off-Grid Cooking Stove

Outdoor cooking is a major part of my off-grid experience, and so a reliable outdoor stove was a must-have. And with many options of wood-burning stoves out there, fuel-efficiency and minimal smoke were at the top of my list.

After much research, the rocket stove because our outdoor stove of choice. In this article, I will share with you the concept of the rocket stove, how we built two of them, and its advantages and disadvantages.

oven-1A wood-burning smokeless stove sounds impossible, right? Let me explain it this way. Smoke is un-burned fuel. The rocket stove makes use of all the fuel. Everything gets burned in the combustion chamber before leaving the chimney. This concept is also seen in the Dakota fire pit.

The rocket stove, when fired up, sounds similar to that of a rocket taking off – hence, its name.

Here’s how we built our concrete rocket stove:

  1. My husband made a wooden mold for shaping the inner cavity — a 6-inch-by-6-inch hollow plywood “L”. He added 2 parallel sticks, ½ inch by ½ inch, on the lower front of the “L,” 1 inch from the floor, to create a groove for the shelf.
  2. Then he built a 10-inch-by-10-inch hollow “L” around the first one, creating a 2-inch cavity for pouring the concrete.
  3. The steel was then put in place. We left 1 inch of steel exposed at the top to be used as the pot support.
  4. He poured the concrete in the 2-inch gap, making the walls of the rocket stove 2 inches thick.

Our rocket stove has a footprint of 10 inches by 15 inches. From the floor to the top of the chimney is 22 inches. From the floor to the top of the fuel chamber is 10 inches. The combustion chamber or chimney is 6 inches by 6 inches.

New Solar Oven Is So Fast It’s Been Dubbed “Mother Nature’s Microwave”

We allowed it to cure for four weeks indoors, wetting every day during the first week to prevent the concrete from drying too quickly and cracking. We fired up the rocket stove to burn out the mold.

oven-2In our family, clay is play. So when it came to making the clay rocket stove measurements, looks took a backseat. Our material list was simple:

  • Two metal plates. One about 10 inches by 10 inches for the shelf, and the second 19 inches by 12 inches for the top of the fuel chamber.
  • Two round pipes 10 inches long and about 1 inches thick
  • Five big stones
  • Clay

Advantages of a Rocket Stove

  • It is easy to maintain. Push the wood inside, add more when it’s done, and pull the shelf out to remove the ash build-up after you’re done.
  • It is well-insulated. The fire is contained, making it safe to work around. I can touch the rocket stove while it’s fired up.
  • It is smokeless. This was the main advantage for me because I can do all of my prep work right next to it and not be chased away by smoke.
  • It cooks food quickly. The rocket stove can reach very high temperatures. We use dry coconut shells to increase the temperature. To lower the temperature, we pull out some of wood.
  • It is efficient. The rocket stove uses less fuel than every open flame outdoor cooking fires. It is great for getting rid of scrap wood and sticks around your homestead.

oven-3Disadvantages of a Rocket Stove

  • It makes pans black. This is usually the case with outdoor cooking, so we have separate pans for our indoor and outdoor cooking.
  • It needs monitored. The L-shape rocket stove design means that wood can burn out and fall off the fuel chamber. This can be a hazard. The J-shaped design solves this, as the wood slides into the fuel chamber on its own.
  • It might have smoke at first. I recommend starting the fire on the shelf outside the rocket stove, and then sliding the tray in when you have a flame.

Of the many outdoor cooking options we’ve explored — we’ve gone through a lot — the rocket stove meets and surpasses our off-grid cooking needs. From cooking to grilling to roasting, the rocket stove does it all.

What advice would you add on building and using a rocket stove? Share your tips in the section below:

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

Herbs for Seasonal Cleanse

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A lot of people ask about removing toxins from their bodies or a body cleanse. One of the best things you can to to help your body out is to eat foods and herbs, that are in season.

Here in the United States, we are lucky enough to receive foods from all over the world. Food is shipped in from the southern hemisphere and Europe, from Asia and the Middle East. What I try to eat is food that has been grown local, raised local, or harvested locally.

So my suggestion is to eat local and eat what is in season.

Most people also need to concentrate on drinking more water. Drinking more water helps increase blood volume, and helps to get the lymphatic fluids throughout the body moving. This will help wash your cells and clean fluids, that have built up, and aid in the removal of waste from the body. Basically, a “super flush” going on through your body.

We also want to focus on the gallbladder and the liver cleansing both of them.

Herbs that we can use to clean up the gallbladder and liver are:
artichokes
burdock
dandelions
turmeric
yellow dock
peppermint
milk thistle

These herbs are common throughout most United States and available for most of the year. There are more out there but these are the basics.

Using these herbs in teas, and leave or roots in foods, will help your body to get your blood flowing and your digestive juices moving.

Here we should also mention that you need to have your bowels moving at least once a day. Also check with your doctor before taking any of these herbs if you’re not already taking them, to check that they do not cause problems with any of your medications. (safety first)

If after all this you are still having problems check with your local natural foods store, and/or Dr. They may have a mild laxative formula that will aid you.

Written by Rich, for aroundthecabin.com

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How To Make Bannock For Survival

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Bannock for Survival

Do you need a quick bread that’s easy to cook over a campfire? Your very own instant baking mix of sorts that just needs water added?

Then you need some bannock!

Like hardtack, bannock has a long history. It’s believed to have been brought to North America by Scottish explorers. In Scotland, bannock was cooked over an open fire on a bannock stone.

Once in North America, the love of bannock spread quickly. Indigenous tribes from coast to coast adapted the method and created their own versions of this survival food.

Today, many outdoor enthusiasts rely on bannock to accompany their meals. It’s easy to prepare before heading out, and simple to cook over a campfire. This portability makes bannock a wonderful addition to your survival stores.

The ingredients of bannock are very similar to those of hardtack. Like hardtack, you can make a simple bannock out of just flour and water. However, to get the best tasting bannock, you’ll want to add a few additional ingredients.

A Variety of Bannock Recipes

There are bannock recipes with just two ingredients, and others with a lot more. At the heart of every bannock batch is flour.

The Scotts traditionally used oat flour. As the recipe grew in popularity in North America, corn meal and wheat flour were used. Obliviously, bannock works with a variety of flours. So use what your body can tolerate, and what you can easily store.

Besides water and flour, you can add some additional items to improve the taste of your bannock. Here are a few common additions, and how much to use of each.

To keep your bannock light instead of dense, add baking powder to your flour. A teaspoon for every cup of flour is an appropriate amount. Adding salt improves the flavor of the final product. Use ½ teaspoon of salt for every cup of flour.

Cutting a tablespoon of fat for every cup of flour into the dry ingredients helps improve the taste and texture of your bannock. If you use a shelf-stable fat like lard or shortening, you’ll still be able to store your dry mix for several months at a time.

You can adapt the recipe to use what you have on hand, which makes this bread an ideal survival food. Here’s how I tweaked the recipe. It created a flavorful bread when baked, pan-fried, or cooked over an open fire.

For each batch, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of white wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 TSB. unrefined coconut oil

You’ll also need some water when you’re ready to cook the bannock.

Begin by preparing the dry ingredients. I mixed them in a small bowl, and used a fork to incorporate the oil. My end mixture looked a lot like commercial Bisquick or other baking mixes.

Once you’ve prepared your bannock mix, you can store each batch in a sealable bag. Throw a couple of these bags into your bug out bag, along with a bottle of water, so you can always be ready to make bread.

Here’s a picture of a bag of bannock mix I made, along with a bottle of water and a green stick. All I need is a fire and I can have freshly made bread! Since each batch doesn’t take much water, that single water bottle is enough to make a couple of bags.

Bannock stick

How to Cook Bannock

The ingredients aren’t the only thing you can vary when making bannock. This bread can be cooked in several ways.

No matter how you cook it, you’ll need to add water to your mix. Just pour in a little water into the bag, and start gently squeezing the bag. You’ll distribute the water throughout the mix.

The dough will begin to form a soft ball. If your mix is too dry, add a tiny bit more water. It’s much better to add the water slowly than to add too much. Once your dough is a soft sticky ball, stop working it. You’ll make the bannock tough if you handle it too much.

Here’s a picture of what my dough looked like when it was ready to go.

Bannock dough

There’s many ways to cook your bannock. Here are three popular methods:

Pan Fry

Heat a little bit of oil in a cast iron skillet. Once water droplets dance, it’s time to add your bannock. You can just squeeze it directly from the bag to the pan. Or you can break it into smaller pieces to speed up the cooking. That’s what I did.

Let it cook a couple of minutes, shaking the pan gently. Once the bannock comes loose from the bottom of your pan, it’s time to flip.

You can either grab a spatula like I did, or grab the frying pan tightly and toss your bannock in the air. It’ll flip over and you can catch it. Then cook the other side.

Bake in an Oven

In a survival situation, you probably won’t have a traditional oven. But if you have a solar oven set up, or are just making bannock for supper, you can bake it.

Before putting it in the oven, dump your prepared bag out onto a greased pan. Then flatten it out a bit with your hands.

I baked my bannock at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes. It came out nicely browned, and cooked all the way through. Here’s a picture showing pan fried bannock (the small ones) and baked bannock.

Cooked bannock

Over an Open Fire

If you’re in the wilderness, find yourself a green stick from a tree. You’ll want to strip the bark from the end you’ll cook the bannock on.

You’ll also need a fire. Similarly to roasting marshmallows, you’ll want a fire that has plenty of hot coals. That way the bannock cooks all the way without burning on the outside.

To prep your stick, hold the peeled end of the stick over the coals for a couple of minutes. This will heat the stick and help the dough to cook on the inside.

When you’re stick is hot, it’s time to wrap your dough around it. Just pretend the dough is playdough and make it into a long snake. Then, wrap the snake around the peeled portion of the stick. Remember it’s hot, so be careful! You want the dough to be thin on your stick so it can cook.

Here’s what my wrapped stick looked like. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just as long as it’s on tight enough not to fall off while over the fire.

Raw bannock on stick

It took me a couple of tries to get my bannock cooked correctly, and not burn it. Then I discovered it was very similar to roasting a marshmallow, and adjusted the distance from the coals accordingly.

It should take a couple minutes to cook. When I thought it was done, I pulled my bannock away from the fire and broke off a little piece to test the center. After the center was no longer doughy, it was ready to eat.

Here’s my finished fire roasted bannock on a stick. The kids thought it’d make a fun hot dog bun substitute the next time we have a cookout. I agree.

Cooked bannock on stick

Add-In Ideas

We just tore this bannock into pieces to eat. But, you don’t have to eat your bannock plain. You can doctor up the final product with butter, jam, cheese, or some meat.

You can also stir many different ingredients into your dough to mix it up a bit. If you’d like a sweeter bannock, consider adding a teaspoon of sugar into your dry ingredient mix. Honey would also be a good sweetener, added at the same time as the water.

You can also add some shelf-stable ingredients to your dry mix that’ll add some texture and flavor to your bread. Here are some ideas to try. You can either use a single add-in, or make up your own favorite combination.

  • Chopped, dried fruit
  • Chopped nuts
  • Spices (such as cinnamon or nutmeg)
  • Seeds
  • Mini chocolate chips

Storing Your Bannock

The shelf life of your bannock mix will depend on what ingredients you include, and how you store it. A basic mix with flour, baking powder, salt, and oil will last at least a couple of months when stored in a sealed plastic baggie. If you remove the oil, the mix would have a longer shelf-life.

Mixing up a batch of bannock mix takes just a couple of minutes. You won’t have a large time-commitment ensuring you always have a fresh batch on hand.

If you’re storing plastic baggies in your bug out bag, or even just for a camping trip, be sure that they aren’t going to get punctured. You might consider keeping the smaller bags inside a stronger, larger freezer bag to offer more protection.

Once your bannock is cooked, you can keep it for several days. That means you can cook up a big batch and use it to help give you strength if you’re on the move to another bug out location. You’ll notice the texture will change a bit as the bannock dries out, but it’ll still taste fine.

Want to learn how our Grandparents survived through the Great Depression? Click the banner below and download your own collection of real American survival wisdom!

cooked_bannock_stick1

This article has been written by Lisa Tanner for Survivopedia. 

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Comfort Food Recipes – Our Top 5 Recipes To Get You Through Winter

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Comfort food provides us with a feeling of well-being and is usually associated with home-cooked meals that we ate as a child.   Most comfort food is eaten when one is cold, sick, sad, worried, or lonely.  And, if I

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Award-Winning Dry Rub Smoked Chicken Recipe

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Move over red meat, smoked chicken is becoming one of the most popular smoked meats by home cooks.  Not only is it a healthier option than red meat, it is also much easier to prepare. No matter what the flavor

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Homesteading Summit “movie trailer”…JUST RELASED!

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This “movie trailer” for the Homesteading Summit was JUST RELEASED!
It’s a pretty inspiring 50,000 ft view of what you can expect in the week ahead, watching the Mother Earth News Homesteading Summit!
This 100% online event is set to kick off this coming Monday, October 31st.
35+ speaker, over 7 full days.
Covering topics that include modern homesteading, growing your own food, raising healthy livestock, sustainable off-grid living, and so much more.
Watch the movie trailer above!

And when you’re ready:
Sign up to watch the Mother Earth News Homesteading Summit here:
https://wdf87122.isrefer.com/go/menhs/APN/
Everyone is welcome, and it’s complete free!

But don’t delay, you wan’t to register before October 31st!

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Fall Food Preservation!

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Fall Food Preservation James Walton “I Am Liberty” Listen to this show in player below! That smell is in the Its also getting colder, bacteria, flies and the like are getting slower and less prolific. On the East coast Fall is an incredible time of the year with apples to be picked, cider to be had … Continue reading Fall Food Preservation!

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Pumpkin Dip Recipe – Quick and Easy

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This thick and creamy pumpkin dip was a huge hit at our latest get-together. And best of all, it only took minutes to prepare!  Last week we were asked to attend a last-minute party and we knew we couldn’t come empty-handed.

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The Best Way to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

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Although there are many ways that you can roast pumpkin seeds, we have found the following method to work the best for us.  Each and every time, we end up with a crisp, delicious, and healthy snack that is easy

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A Harvest Succotash

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A few months ago we prepared a summertime succotash using fresh corn and beans. Today’s recipe is for a harvest version that uses dried ingredients instead. It’s a much heartier dish than its sweet-corn cousin, but that heartiness is balanced well with the addition of squash. Corn, beans, and squash were often referred to as the “three sisters” by early Native American peoples, and were often cooked together in stews and soups. Historic journals tell us this dish was also popular among early settlers. The corn we’re using is a hominy corn made with Iroquois white corn, a special flint variety that can be traced back thousands of years. You can buy the quality product from the kind folks at Iroquois White Corn Project at the link below.

Iroquois White Corn Project – http://www.iroquoiswhitecorn.org/

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6 Ways To Make Coffee When The Power Is Out

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Coffee can be the one staple that adds a sense of normalcy in hard times. You might even be one of those diehard coffee lovers who ritualize their coffee brewing. But what happens when the electricity goes out? There will come a time when the shit hits the fan and you find yourself facing the […]

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How to Cook a Raccoon

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How to Cook a Raccoon via Preparedness Advice

When was the last time you cooked a raccoon?  For most people that would be never. Yet for many years, raccoons were on the menu for the Native Americans and the pioneers. In parts of the south, raccoon hunting is still popular.

Raccoons have a wide range, living all over North America. They are easy to trap; my neighbor has caught quite a few when trapping to cut down the skunk population. He uses live traps and most of the time just releases the raccoons. These traps are humane and quite inexpensive.

But raccoons are edible, and if cooked right, they’re quite tasty. Most of us aren’t used to eating many wild animals with deer and elk being the major 2 exceptions. This book explains not only how to cook many different types of wild game but how to butcher them as well. It would be a good addition to your collection of survival related books.

When you dress the raccoon, be sure and remove the brown bean shaped glands under each front leg and on both sides of the spine. Then remove as much visible fat as possible. Then go ahead and roast it or make a stew.  Here is a recipe for roast raccoon.

  • 1 raccoon cleaned and cut up
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • 2 medium onions peeled and sliced
  • 2 bay leaves

Set several boney pieces aside and bread the rest in the flour seasoned with the salt and pepper.  Then brown the pieces in the cooking oil in a good frying pan.  Drain off the excess oil.  Put the meat in a roasting pan; add the onions and bay leaves.  Cover and bake for two hours at 350 f or until tender.

Take the boney pieces that you set aside and cover them with water. Simmer the pieces until the attached meat is tender.  Use this broth to make gravy.

As with any animal, if it looks sick or in poor condition do not eat it or skin it. Raccoons do carry rabies.

Howard

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The Best Soup You Will Ever Eat – The Taste Of The Fall Garden Clean Up

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It is simply the best soup we ever make. Period! And the funny thing is, we say that every single year at just about this time. Each fall, as we clear out the garden, it has become tradition to make a huge

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Coney Sauce Recipe For Hot Dogs or Fries

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I have never found a coney sauce recipe that I http://oldworldgardenfarms.com/2014/10/24/oven-baked-french-fries-the-secret-to-making-delicious-crisp-fries/absolutely loved, until now!  Most of the recipes that I tried in the past were too sweet for my taste. But after several trials of combining various ingredients together, I

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Paw Paw Pudding

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Ivy and Jon head to the kitchen with a basket of ripe paw paws! This exotic North American fruit is native to nearly every state east of the Mississippi, but we have yet to find them in any recipes from the 18th century. So what do they do with no recipe to follow? They improvise!

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5 Survival Recipes You Should Know by Heart

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Survival Recipes

What do you do now if you want a recipe for something you don’t know how to make? You go to the internet, or perhaps to a cookbook, though that’s becoming a rarity.

However, if you’re faced with an emergency where you have no power or no access to your cookbooks, you’ll have to know how to make some basics from memory.

Today, I’m going to tell you about 5 foods that will help you fill bellies in an emergency situation. Memorize them!

Pemmican

This is crazy simple to make, and was a staple food for Native Americans. It stores well and contains enough nutrients that you can effectively survive off it for a long time. It’s also easy to carry and doesn’t require refrigeration, which is why it was a staple for nomadic tribes or for hunters.

Traditional pemmican has three primary components: fat, lean dried meat, and dried fruit. That’s it. Add some flavor, nutrition, and texture by adding honey and nuts.

Tip:

Don’t use pork or bear for this recipe due to high fat content of the meat. Use any other lean meat, including beef, venison, caribou, or moose. Here’s how to make it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried crushed meat
  • 2 cups dried crushed berries or dates
  • 1 cup melted fat
  • 1/2 cup crushed nuts
  • 1/4 cup honey

Instructions:

Trim all of the fat off the meat, then dry in a dehydrator until it cracks and breaks. If it bends, there’s still too much moisture in it. Do the same thing with the berries. Render the fat into a liquid form and crush your nuts. You can grind them if you want, or leave them a bit chunky to add texture.

Crush the meat and berries into a fine powder. Using your blender or food processor for now will work better but if you’re making it without power, just grind them with a pestle. If the meat is a challenge, use the pestle or a hammer, or even your fingers to get the meat as finely ground as you can.

Add enough fat to the meat and berries (and the nuts if you’re using them) to make it stick together; no more. Add enough honey that it’s sweetened but not overly sticky.

Roll it out and cut it into bars, or do it as the Native Americans did and roll it into balls. Store in a bag in a cool, dry place.

In the video bellow you can discover the great Pemmican recipe inspired by The Lost Ways guide. You can prepare right now this delicious pemmican.

Many other survival secrets and recipes that helped our ancestors survive gloomy days are about to be discovered in “The Lost Ways” book. CLICK HERE for more information about this awesome survival book!

Hardtack

If you’re like me, when you hear the term hardtack, you might think of candy, but traditional hardtack is basically a cracker that will last practically forever as long as it stays dry. Cowboys carried hardtack with them to eat when they had nothing else. It was a staple for soldiers on long military campaigns.

It’s not as nutritious as pemmican, but it will fill the hole in your belly and provide you with carbs that you need to keep moving. It’s extremely hard, which explains the nickname “molar breakers”, and is easier to eat if you dip it in your coffee or water or add it to your soup.

Hardtack is extremely simple to make and consists of only three ingredients. You can cook it on the trail, too. Some recipes call for milk, sugar, and butter, but those ingredients significantly reduce the shelf life.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the salt and flour, then add the water. The dough shouldn’t stick to your hands, so either add the water a bit at a time, or add a bit more flour if it’s sticky.

Roll the dough out into a rectangle until it’s no more than 1/2 inch thick. Cut the dough twice lengthwise and twice across the width into 9 equal squares, then use a nail to poke 12 holes (a 4×4 grid) into each square.

Place each square onto a cookie sheet or into your Dutch oven or covered iron skillet if you’re cooking on the trail. Bake for 30 minutes on each side. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.

How to Make Hardtack

Beans and Rice

Though this recipe is extremely simple, it’s packed with nutrients and is a complete meal. If you’d like, throw in some bacon or some cayenne to taste to spice it up.

Ingredients:

  • Equal parts beans and rice (not instant or quick-cook). Any type of beans will work, but pintos, great northerns, or black beans are exceptionally good.
  • Salt and pepper to taste – start with a teaspoon per cup and add until it suits your taste.
  • Three times as much water as you have beans and rice

Instructions:

Rinse the beans and let them sit overnight. The next day, bring to a simmer and let them cook until the beans are still slightly crunchy, but starting to get tender – about 2 hours. Add rice and cook for another 30 minutes. If you’d like, throw in some bacon when you start cooking the beans. Add spices such as cayenne pepper, onion (fresh or powdered) or garlic to suit your tastes.

Trail Biscuits

You can make biscuits in your oven or in your Dutch oven or a skillet on the trail. Though ingredients such as buttermilk make them fluffier and more delicious, you can make biscuits with much simpler ingredients. These are heavier, but still soft and go great with gravy.

This is a stick-to-your-ribs food that will help stretch rations or fill bellies. The egg and lard is optional, but if you’re not using lard, substitute the baking powder for a couple of teaspoons of baking soda.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg (optional if available)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or lard
  • 1 – 11/2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 370 degrees F. or stoke your coals so that they’re hot enough to cook in.

Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl, then cut the cold butter or lard (bacon grease actually makes them delicious, but heavy) into the flour mixture until you have pea-sized pieces. Add milk until dough is barely sticky. Don’t overmix or your biscuits will be tough.

Drop about 1/4 cup at a time into a greased pan or Dutch oven.

Cook for 20 minutes or so until biscuits are brown. If using a Dutch oven, put the biscuits in, then put the lid on the oven and bury in the coals for 15-20 minutes.

Sausage Gravy

This recipe can be modified to use bacon, hamburger, or just about any other meat, but you will need a fat source. That means that venison is likely out unless you have some bacon grease or other flavored grease because that’s where the flavor comes from.

Though this recipe calls for milk, I’ve made gravy with only water. It’s not nearly as good, but it’s edible. It’s better to carry some dried milk than to skip the milk altogether. You can also use all milk, but when it’s in short supply, the amount listed will do just fine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound sausage
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Directions:

Fry the sausage, crumbling it up with the spatula as you cook it.

Sprinkle flour, salt, and pepper over the sausage and allow to brown, stirring as you go. Smash it with the back of the spatula to keep it from clumping.

Add the water a 1/2 cup at a time, stirring and smashing with the spatula well to prevent lumps. Once you have it smooth and it’s turning from a thick paste into a thin paste, pour the milk in, stirring vigorously as you do.

Gravy is easy. You don’t have to use exact amounts. Just add enough flour to make the grease a thick paste, then add enough milk and water to bring it to a gravy consistency. If it starts to get thin, stop adding liquid. If it’s too thick, add more. Remember that it will thicken slightly as it cools.

Sausage Gravy

There are many different easy recipes that you should learn so that you can make them off the top of your head. Fried cornmeal mush is one that I can think of. Cornbread is another.

Remember that in all recipes, dried milk, dried eggs, and dried butter are all perfect substitutes for fresh ingredients and will make your recipe better than if you don’t have it at all.

Eventually, you’ll have to make it up whatever you have on hand, just like our ancestors did in times of need. Click on the banner below to find out more about the way they survived during hard times!

 

the lost ways cover

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The Ultimate Guide To Cooking Without Power

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Here it is! The only guide to cooking without power you’ll ever need. In this mega-post we’ll cover: 12 Ways To Cook Without Power 9 Off The Grid Cooking Tips 17 Handy Tools For Cooking Without Power It’s funny how cooking without power is regarded as a survival skill when for thousands of years, it […]

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Homemade Baked Pumpkin Donuts

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Pumpkin donuts paired with hot coffee on a cool, Autumn morning…..Yes, please! Nothing screams Autumn more than pumpkin recipes. So this week we decided to share an old-fashioned favorite recipe of ours – Baked Pumpkin Donuts.  No need to worry

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Dehydrating Food Tips

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It doesn’t matter if you’re a Prepper or not dehydrating vegetables and meat has many wonderful benefits. Here are just a few:

1. Food storage.
2. Food Preservation. You actually increase the sugar, vitamins, and mineral content by dehydrating.
3. Easy food preparation.

Here are a few great tips to know when dehydrating vegetables:

1. There is no need to cook a vegetable before drying if it is one that you would eat raw in a salad such as pepper, tomato, mushroom or onion. All you have to do is clean, cut uniformly and spread in a single layer on dehydrator trays. You can go either way with carrots, but steaming them will turn them a nice dark orange when dried.

2. A vegetable that you would normally cook before eating such as corn, peas, broccoli and green beans will usually re-hydrate better if you steam them for eight minutes before drying, but it is not always necessary. It depends on how you will cook them.

3. It is not necessary to steam the vegetable before drying if included in meals where you bring it to a boil for one minute and let it sit insulated in the pot for ten minutes (corn is an exception).

Before going into the details of this article, there is one overriding tip you must follow to have success with your food dehydrator. Read the instruction manual fully and carefully. Different dehydrating units work differently and you will not get excellent results without first learning how to operate settings of your particular machine properly.

There are several designs of food dehydrators. The better designs have a fan at the back of the unit rather than on the top. The reason being is that this methods promotes a more even air and moisture low around your flow. Top fan units don’t give the even circulation that is needed to have all the food dehydrate at the same rate. However, if you’re looking for a top fan dehydrator unit try this one. It has excellent reviews from Amazon with over 2,400 comments.

Pay attention to the recommended thickness of the items you put on the dehydrator. Many of the items you dehydrate will need to be cut before you put them on the shelves. If the slices are of differing thicknesses, you will not get a nice consistent quality from the dehydrated food. Some pieces could dry too much and others could retain too much moisture – causing spoilage when you store it away.

Ultimate Dehydrating Success Tip:

Just like any successful recipe, I suggest that you make a log book of your dehydration recipes. This will help you recreate your success in the future. You should record all relevant details like: (1) temperature of the dehydrator, (2) how many shelves you used, (3) what items were in it and how thick the slices were, (5) how long it took to be ready, how well it stored and the weather conditions. A very humid day is going to affect your product differently than a very dry day. This book is especially important when dealing with seasonal items because it will get you up to speed much more quickly when season rolls around again.

  • Fruit leather trays are a good accessory to get, they actually make the job of dehydrating easier. You can even make all sorts of fruit and vegetable puree roll-ups. Some of the less expensive dehydrators tell you to just line a shelf with plastic wrap or wax paper. This will work too but it is better to have a tray built specifically for your unit. You will get better results. In the end the fruit leather tray just makes the whole process of dehydrating hassle free and a time saver.
  • Spray trays with a light coat of vegetable oil before using to keep foods from sticking. This is an area where you can experiment. Some foods will stick and others won’t. If you know a food won’t stick, there is no reason to add oil to it. But if it does stick, a light coating is a lifesaver.
  • Treat apples, pears and other fruits with citrus juice or ascorbic acid. This will help to retain the color of the fruit before, during and after the drying process
  • Blanche vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, celery, carrots, corn, peas and potatoes to speed drying time and to help maintain color.
  • Cool all foods completely before storing. Hot foods can cause moisture to condense in your storage container as it cools down. This will spoil all your efforts.
  • Humid air can slow down the dehydration process.
  • Slice and season meats like chicken, turkey, fish, beef or game. Fish and Poultry need to be cooked or smoked before they are dried.
  • You can dehydrate tomato sauce from a jar! It will look similar to a fruit roll-up. They can then be easily rehydrated with water! It’s a great way to bring sauces on camping trips without having to pack in heavy, bulky jars!

Be adventurous. Experiment. Try new things. The worst that happens is you lose a tray of food and a bit of time.

Once you get the hang of it, using a food dehydrator is pretty easy and it can make some amazing foods that can be eaten as is. Mix a few dehydrated veggies with a little seasoning and you have your very own to go munchie pack.

After foods are dehydrated, they need to be stored properly. Here are my recommendations:

1. Place your dehydrated food in an air tight food grade containers, mylar bags, or if you’re freezing your dehydrated food in Ziploc bags with a food grade oxygen absorber/moisture absorber pack as this will help alleviate any problems if a small portion still has moisture in them.

2. You should know that fats are and can be a problem when dehydrating. Even though you can make fantastic homemade jerky with your food dehydrator, you want to take pains to choose very lean cuts of meat or remove as much fat as possible. Too much fat in the meat will cause it to go rancid fairly quickly and this will ruin any meat that you might want to preserve long time.

Cost Saving Dehydrating Tip:

You can dehydrate frozen vegetables too. So if you find some great sales in the frozen food aisle, give it a go. It’s a great way to stock up on dehydrated foods without doing all the cutting and cleaning you will need to do with fresh produce.

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Prep Blog Review: How To Eat Right When SHTF

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Eat Right When SHTF

As a prepper, you constantly ask yourself what you and your family are going to eat when the store shelves will be empty. You need foods high in calories, proteins and nutrients to stay alive.

Having a balanced diet is pretty much of a challenge considering the limitations one has to face in a survival situation.

Here are some useful tips I found this week, on this topic. If you have any other suggestions, let me know in the comment section.

  1. Key Facts: Protein Deficiency

Protein “Even though many people have a medical kit that an accident and emergency department would be proud to own, that alone will not be enough to guard against dietary deficiencies.  As our life-styles get ever more fast moving and the need for instant-everything grows by the month serious deficiencies caused by bad diet are becoming far more commonplace.

Most of these issues are remarkably easy to sort out by simply adjusting what we eat but you wouldn’t think that as the incidences of malnutrition in the wealthiest First World nations are rising to levels never seen before.”

Read more on UndergroundMedic.

  1. Food Storage Smarts: Stock Up On Meal Stretchers

Meal Stretchers

“For many of us, buying food specifically for food storage is an additional expense that can, sometimes, become too burdensome.

When money is tight, it’s hard enough to cover the groceries for our main meals, much less add another few day’s worth of food to the grocery cart.

One solution to this dilemma is to stock up on meal stretchers. Foods like rice, beans, potatoes, pasta, and other grains have always formed the core of most food storage plans. First, they are inexpensive foods, like these potato dices.

Purchased either from the grocery store or in large multi-pound packages, it’s a lot of food that will go a long way in your meals.”

Read more on TheSurvivalMom.

  1. Survival Food – What To Eat When SHTF

Survival Food

“Unless you’re a zombie, you’ve probably thought about how you’re going to feed yourself and your family when the grocery store shelves are empty. You’ve shopped around on the survival food websites, priced how much it would take to keep everybody fed for a year.

If you haven’t started already, now is the time to start taking action, to make sure you and yours have enough food for survival. There are different routes you can take, but the safest would be to incorporate as many of the actions I’m about to discuss as possible. Redundancy just might save your life.”

Read more on EXXOGEAR.

  1. How To Make Jerky For Your Stockpile

Make jerky

“When you decide what types of food to keep stocked for bug-in or bug-out situations, there are dozens of good choices. Canned goods are great for bug-in situations, but nobody wants to carry all that weight in their pack if they are on the move. Another option would be MREs (meals ready to eat). These are nice to have because they give you some variety in your diet, but they can take up a lot of space in a pack and add a good amount of weight. The cost can add up quickly as well.

Meal replacement tablets do a fine job of providing all the nutrients you need to survive, but they do not taste all that great and can be expensive as well.”

Read more on Survival Sullivan.

  1. How To Make Delicious MREs at Home

MRE

“When it comes to emergency food supplies a lot of people think military-style MREs are the gold standard. They do have some advantages – they’re rugged, easy to prepare and can be eaten cold in a pinch – but they have drawbacks too.

They’re not designed with food intolerances or other special dietary needs in mind. They don’t always taste great. And, to get good ones with a lot of life left, you can end up spending a lot of money.

One way to get the advantages of MREs without the drawbacks is to make your own. This isn’t all that hard, and gives you a lot of options. Military MREs come in a couple of dozen menus, but if you’re making your own the choices are almost infinite.”

Read more on Ask A Prepper.

the lost ways cover

 

This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia. 

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