Recipe: Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake Made With Storage Foods

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As much as I love sauerkraut, anything can get dreadfully boring if that is all there is to to eat day after day. This sauerkraut cake recipe came from an old cookbook, and could have been cooked on the Oregon Trail, or in any number of places along the frontier.

10 Easy and Delicious Camping / Bugout Recipes

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I like a strawberry millennium bar as much as the next guy, but there are times when you need hot food and meat-based protein. The more arduous the task and the more stressful the day, the more you want those fatty, warm, and filling meals. Bugging out can have many hang ups, but food is […]

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Try making hardtack: A great, cheap addition to your survival gear

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Looking for a way to use up surplus flour, or make a cheap trail food or durable survival ration? One answer may be hardtack, a baked, unleavened wheat cracker. As a survival food, hardtack has a proven track record.

by Leon Pantenburg

Vicksburg, MS: My gray-clad brothers-in-arms and I  hunkered down to eat. In the morning, we would do battle with those “heathen Yankee horde” Civil War re-enactors at Champions Hill, between Jackson and Vicksburg,  Mississippi.

I was “under cover” on assignment for the Vicksburg Post to photograph the battle, one of the biggest re-enactments of the year. Except for the Nikon safely hidden  in my haversack, my gear, weapons and accouterments were authentic in every way.

Hardtack can have different ingredients to make it more flavorable.

Hardtack can have different ingredients to make it more flavorable.

Since I was working for the Post, I had to represent the home team and be a Confederate. (This probably caused a minor earth tremor in Ruthven, Iowa, as my great-great-grandfather, James Hallowell,  92th Illinois Infantry, rolled in his grave!)

My only excuse was that like most Confederate soldiers, I had been drafted, thought “The Cause” was illogical, had no choice about being there, and wanted to go home!

I ‘d learned a lot about being a Civil War infantryman in one short, sweltering afternoon: the food was absolutely awful; our wool uniforms were too hot, and felt like you were wearing a sweatsuit: the Kepi-style caps provided no sun protection and the canteens were too small.

The Sargent, sensing my discontent (because of  my constant whining and complaining) picked on me.  He proclaimed to all within hearing distance that I was a “slacker,” and called me a “baboon” when I dropped my canteen during drill. As darkness fell, the re-enactors would sleep under wool blankets, not to stay warm, but to fight off mosquitoes.

But the food was the worst. Dinner was a piece of hardtack, a fatty piece of bacon toasted on a bayonet over a campfire;  horrible boiled coffee brewed in my tin cup and a wormy-looking apple. After eating my meager meal, I was ready to either desert or form a raiding party to attack  the Yankees and get some real food!

A hardtack biscuit

A modern hardtack biscuit

Hardtack is one of the original trail and emergency foods, and it is worth considering if you are a prepper or are interested in wilderness or urban survival.

The advantage is that hardtack is easy to make, transports easily and will last a reasonably long time if stored in appropriate containers. The disadvantage is the bland taste, and traditional toughness.

Even after yeast was discovered by the Egyptians, there was a purpose for unleavened breads. It was easy to carry and durable, so it was standard fare for hunters and warriors.  Centuries later, Christopher Columbus took unleavened bread on his journeys.

Hardtack remained a staple in the New World. During the early settlement of North America, the exploration of the continent, the American Revolution, and on through the American

Hardtack was a durable, if bland-tasting, field ration.

Civil War, armies were kept alive with hardtack.  A basic concept in war is that the side that keeps its soldiers from going hungry will probably win.

Hardtack is also reasonably nutritious. Wheat flour is more than 10% protein and includes Vitamin B. During emergencies, people can live for quite a while on just bread and water.  Although raw flour is hard to digest, in the form of hard bread, it is edible.

No one has determined just when, or how, during the American Civil War, hard bread began to be referred to as hardtack. Apparently,  it was first called hardtack by the Union Army of the Potomac; although the name spread to other units, it was generally referred to as hard bread by the armies of the West.

Regardless of the time frame, if you’re a history buff, prepper or hard-core survivalist, you should consider including hardtack in your emergency food supplies or survival kit. A guaranteed conversation starter at any campfire, campout or outdoor event, hardtack can have a useful place  in today’s survival kit.

(It only takes a few additional ingredients to turbocharge  the nutritional value of hardtack. To each cup of flour in the recipe, add one tablespoon of soy flour, one teaspoon of wheat germ and one teaspoon of powdered milk. There is no difference in the taste, and these ingredients combine to make the bread a complete protein.)

There are many versions and varieties of hardtack recipes: Try some of these to start out.

Army Hardtack Recipe
  • 4 cups flour (preferably whole wheat)
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • Water (about 2 cups)
  • Pre-heat oven to 375° F
  • Makes about 10 pieces


After cutting the squares, press a pattern of four rows of four holes into each square, using a nail or other such object. Do not punch through the dough.  The appearance you want is similar to that of a modern saltine cracker.  Turn each square over and do the same thing to the other side.

Place the squares on an ungreased cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Turn each piece over and bake for another 30 minutes. The crackers should be slightly brown on both sides.

The fresh crackers are easily broken, but as they dry, they harden and assume the consistency of fired brick.

Swedish Hardtack

I cup water

3 tbsp. vegetable oil

3 tbsp. honey

3 cups rye flour (or 1 1/2 cups rye & 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour)

1  1/2 tbsp. brewer’s yeast (optional)

1/4 tsp. salt

Mix liquids together.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.  Combine the mixtures, stirring to moisten throughout.  Form a ball.  On a floured surface, flatten the dough, and roll out thinly. Cut into squares and prick each cracker with the tines of a fork a couple of times.  Transfer to lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 425° F for around 8 minutes, checking to be sure not to over-brown.  It is best served warm.

Mix: two cups of all-purpose flour and a half teaspoon of salt.  Use more salt for authenticity. Mix by hand. Add a teaspoon of shortening and a half cup of water, stirred in a little at a time to form a very stiff dough.  Beat the dough to a half inch thickness with a clean top mallet or rifle butt.  Fold the sheet of dough into six layers. Continue to beat and to fold the dough a half dozen times until it is elastic. Roll the dough out to a half-inch thickness before cutting it with a floured biscuit cutter or bayonet. Bake for about a half hour in a 325° F oven.

The basic ingredients are flour, salt and water. General directions are also similar: Dissolve the salt in water and work it into flour using your hands.  The dough should be firm and pliable but not sticky or dry. Flatten the dough onto a cookie sheet to about 1/4 inch thick, and cut into squares 3 inches by 3 inches.  Pierce each square with 16 holes about ½ inch apart.  Bake in oven until edges are brown or dough is hard.

Preheat the oven to 400° F For each cup of flour add 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix salt and flour with just enough water to bind. Bake 20-25 minutes.  The longer you bake the hardtack, the more authentic it will appear.

A Sailor’s Diet

In a separate container, mix:

  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk.
  • 3 tablespoons honey.
  • 1/2 cup melted bacon drippings or shortening.

Combine the two sets of ingredients. When the dough is thoroughly mixed, roll it out on a floured board to a thickness of about a quarter inch.  Cut out circles of dough with a large drinking glass dipped in flour and put them on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake for about 5 1/2 minutes at 450° F.

Let the hardtack cool on a wire rack before serving with jam or jelly.



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 […]

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The Top 10 Survival Recipes from the Backwoods

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The Top 10 Survival Recipes from the Backwoods

With a post apocalypse bearing down, what are you willing to eat if it came down to it?

Somewhere right now down in the American south — whether that’s Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama or Louisiana — a poor family is eating a creature caught in their own backyard or nearby Bayou, some kind of creature most people in the city would likely puke at the thought of eating. Stuffed possum. Baked raccoon. That kind of thing.

Baked Raccoon?

I don’t want to offend anyone with roots from somewhere in the south, actually if anything I want to tip my hat a bit to the brave souls over the years willing to bag some of these critters and then come up with easy ways of preparing them as a tasty meal for oneself or an entire family.

Hungry yet? Here are 10 recipes we have searched out for 10 common creatures and now present to you as suggestions for emergency meals if your pantry ever runs empty or you have to make a run for it one day and find yourself alone or with your family and in the backcountry. All of these critters qualify as small game and can be shot, trapped, speared, or the smaller ones like squirrel and rabbit even taken with a child’s pellet gun or sling shot.

Remember, this is survival.

What do you season critters with?

If you’re empty handed in the backwoods, you’re not going to have anything to season or garnish these critters with or any flour if you favor deep frying. In that case, consider chopping up your critter into smaller pieces and roasting it over a good charcoal wood fire and this thing is now going to be a bit more palatable. Like wild fish and poultry, the flavor of smoke can help diminish the unique flavors of certain critters.

With that said, the recipes that follow assume that you have a cache of packaged non-perishable food like emergency potatoes and vegetables, flour, cooking oils, and seasoning, essentials for today’s prepper concerned about a coming food shortage. These are all things you can use to season small game that you bag in the nearby woods or your own backyard.

Basic tools

When it comes to skinning and removing the entrails (as well as the scent glands in certain animals), a high quality bowie knife and sharpening stone can go a long way. With a Marine KA-BAR you can make yourself a spear and then after you’ve drained the life blood from an animal you’ve caught, now proceed to preparing a tasty meal with whatever you have available.

In no particular order, here is the first critter recipe to consider:

1. Kentucky Fried Rabbit

1 Young rabbit
4 clove Garlic
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 Onion
1 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp Oregano, dried
1 tsp Rosemary, dried
1 tsp Thyme, dried
3 tsp Cayenne pepper
2 cup Flour
1 tsp Paprika
1 Salt and pepper
1 Oil
2 cup Buttermilk

Directions: Place the rabbit in a zip-lock bag with the buttermilk, onion, garlic (minced), oregano, thyme, rosemary, paprika, and 1 tsp of cayenne. Marinate overnight in fridge (if you have power).

In another zip-lock bag mix the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, 2 tsp. cayenne pepper, and season well with salt and pepper. Heat 2-3 cups of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Drain the rabbit from the buttermilk. Toss pieces into the flour mixture and shake until well coated. Add the rabbit to the skillet and fry for 10 minutes until golden brown on each side. Be careful to keep the oil hot enough to fry the rabbit, but not so hot it burns. When done, place on wire rack to drain excess oil. (Source: Kentucky Fried Rabbit)

2. Squirrel Stew

1 cup Corn
3 Onions, medium
3 Potatoes
1 tsp Thyme
2 cup Tomatoes, canned
1 All purpose flour
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 Salt and pepper
2 1/2 tbsp Butter
7 cup Water
1 Squirrel, cut up


Dredge squirrel pieces in flour, salt and pepper. Brown in butter.

Add squirrel and all ingredients except the tomatoes to the boiling water. Cover and simmer for 1 to 2 hours.

Add the tomatoes and continue to simmer for another hour. (Source)

How To Cook A Squirrel – Before you can cook a squirrel, you’re going to have to locate the scent glands which are at the small of the back, under the forelegs and the thighs. Once located, these scent glands must be removed carefully so that they are not cut. Squirrel meat is a medium red color.

Expect squirrel to be tender and mild in taste. Squirrel meat is low in fat and if you plan to substitute it in a recipe for chicken, you’ll need to add fat to the dish to make it comparable to chicken. Common preparations for squirrel are frying, broiling, or roasting, however older squirrels have tougher meat and will likely need parboiling beforehand to make the meat tender enough for easier chewing.

3. Baked Raccoon

1 Large Raccoon
3tbsp Oil
4 Bay Leaves, crumbled
1 Large Vidalia Onion
1 Large Bell Pepper
2 Celery Stalks
1tsp Poultry Seasoning
2 cups Water
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation: Dress the raccoon and be sure to remove the raccoon’s lymph glands! Either have someone who is experienced remove the glands and the skin for you or seek out individual instruction for yourself from someone else experienced with raccoons. (This is a skill passed on through generations and not common knowledge.)

1. Wash thoroughly under cold running water.
2. Cut into quarters and soak in water for 3 to 4 hours.
3. Drain.
4. Season with salt and pepper and Poultry Seasoning.
5. Chop the onions, celery and bell peppers.

Cooking method:
1. Heat oil in fryer on medium high heat.
2. Add raccoon pieces and brown well on both sides.
3. Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees F.
4. Place the browned pieces in the roasting pan.
5. Crumble the Bay Leaves over the meat.
6. Sprinkle a little more Poultry Seasoning over the meat.
Option: Poultry Season can be substituted for Old Bay Seasoning if you like Cajun flavor.
7. Add onions, celery and bell pepper.
8. Add water. Add more if needed during baking.
9. Bake for about 21/2 – 3 hours or until the meat is tender enough to fall off the bone.
10. If the meat finishes cooking and does not look brown enough, place under the broiler for a few minutes.

Serve with peas, potatoes, cornbread and gravy. (Source)

4. Stuffed Possum

1 possum (whole)
1 quart cold water
1/8 cup salt
5 beef bouillon cubes
2 bay leaves
3 celery stalks (chopped)
2 onions (sliced)
1 bag packaged stuffing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soak possum in cold salt water for 10 hours. Rinse meat in cold water and refrigerate 2-4 hours. Prepare stuffing according to package directions. Stuff possum cavity with prepared packaged stuffing. Close cavity tightly. Place stuffed possum in roasting pan, add water, bouillon cubes, bay leaves, celery and onion. After 2 hours turn meat. Reduce heat to 300 degrees. Cook for 1 more hour. Test roast, if not done reduce heat and cook until done. (Source)

5. Fried Snapping Turtle

Turtle meat, cut into serving size pieces
2 cups flour
3 tsp black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
Vegetable oil

Mix the flour, pepper, garlic powder and salt together. Heat oil in pan on medium-low. Shake a few pieces of turtle in the flour at a time and place in hot oil. Once all meat is in, cover. Brown on all sides then cook, turning occasionally, until done and somewhat crisp on the outside. Drain on paper towels and serve with your favorite sides. (Source)

How to Cook a Snapping Turtle – Unlike many turtles, snapping turtles are typically legal to catch and kill. It takes quick reflexes to dispatch one. Two main ways are used. The first being to hold a stick in front of the turtle, waiting for its head to emerge. Once it does, a swift swing with an axe to remove the head is required. Alternatively, a .22 shot to the top of the head will do the trick. Either way, the mouth of the turtle can still snap so caution should still be taken. It’s advised to keep the turtle turned downward to allow the blood to drain out.

Some choose to dip the turtle in to a vat of boiling water for a few seconds to make the meat easier to remove from the shell. This is also known to cause the skin easier to tear. Boiling isn’t required.

Place the turtle on its back and separate the lower shell from the upper, carefully trying to keep all the meat on the carcass. Once the lower shell is removed, take the time to scrape out all the remaining meat within the upper shell until the body is free. Some meat is found under rib-like bones that should be cut with bolt cutters. This meat is quite tasty and worth the extra work. (Source)

6. Woodchuck (Ground Hog) Stew

1 Woodchuck
2 Onions, sliced
½ cup celery
Vinegar and Water
Salt and Pepper

Clean woodchuck; remove glands; cut into serving pieces. Soak overnight in a solution of equal parts of water and vinegar with addition of one sliced onion and a little salt. Drain, wash, and wipe. Parboil 20 minutes, drain, and cover with fresh boiling water. Add one sliced onion, celery, a few cloves, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until tender; thicken gravy with flour.

How to cook a Woodchuck – When preparing a Woodchuck/Groundhog to be cooked the blood should be drained, entrails removed and the remaining body cavity wiped clean. The meat should then be hung for 48 hours at which time it is ready to be skinned and cooked.

The meat of a Woodchuck is dark but most find it to mild and tender to the palate. It’s not required that the meat be soaked but still many people choose to soak overnight in salt water. It’s required for you to remove the animals scent glands, known as kernels. There are 7-9 of them found in the small of the back and under the forearms. Older animals may require parboiling to soften the meat. (Source)

7. Fried Alligator

Okay, for fried alligator you’re probably going to have to live in the south somewhere; swamp lands, rivers, and certain lakes will offer prime hunting grounds for alligator.

2 lbs Alligator, Sliced into strips.
Red Pepper
Black Pepper
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder

Roll the gator in the flour and deep fry until golden brown. (Source)

8. Campfire Wild Goose

Fresh caught goose.

Wrap hunks of goose meat with bacon.

Secure with toothpicks.

Roast over open flame. (Source)

9. Baked Wild Hog

Pig (wild hog, preferably 100-120 lbs).
2 Onions
Your taste of seasonings.
3 Potatoes
Hot Pepper if you like food with a kicks.
Bacon grease or 1/2 lbs bacon.

Shape aluminum foil into a pan so that ham can be wrapped and sealed in it. Place ham in foil. Place bacon grease or strips on ham. Slice onions and place on top of ham. Slice potatoes the long way and place around ham and then sprinkle all with spices. Seal all ingredients in aluminum and do not open foil until done cooking. Cook on low heat 3-4 hours and then turn up to 450 degrees for an additional hour or two. (Source)

10. Deep Fried Earthworms with Apple

Chop apple into chunks.
Layer apples and cleaned boiled earthworms in an air-tight container.
Refrigerate for 24 hours.
Remove apples and roll in a mix of all purpose flour seasoned with paprika, salt & pepper.
Then roll worms in same flour mix.
Deep fry both in the same pan together.

Earthworms can be a high source of protein containing several dozen grams of protein per worm (larger worms equal more protein). Preparing earthworms for a meal takes some prep first. There are few options including boiling a worm for 15 minutes at least twice, soaking for 3-24 hours in water, or milking the dirt from the worms body with your hands. Worms are not bad tasting once cleaned but they are bitter. Drying the worms mellows the bitterness and also prevents the worms from popping when you fry them due to their 90% water content. (Source 1), (Source 2) (Source 3)


Keep in mind, the people who eat these critters best are those who are prepared beforehand with canned or bottled veggies or even freeze dried food packets (look for potatoes and other vegetables as these go with just about any kind of meat) or are those blessed enough to have a garden or farm where they can harvest fresh vegetables, herbs, tomatoes, and potatoes, just to name a few.

Saving our forefathers ways starts with people like you and me actually relearning these skills and putting them to use to live better lives through good times and bad. Our answers on these lost skills comes straight from the source, from old forgotten classic books written by past generations, and from first hand witness accounts from the past few hundred years. Aside from a precious few who have gone out of their way to learn basic survival skills, most of us today would be utterly hopeless if we were plopped in the middle of a forest or jungle and suddenly forced to fend for ourselves using only the resources around us. To our ancient ancestors, we’d appear as helpless as babies. In short, our forefathers lived more simply than most people today are willing to live and that is why they survived with no grocery store, no cheap oil, no cars, no electricity, and no running water. Just like our forefathers used to do, The Lost Ways Book teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available. It comes as a step-by-step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you how to use basic ingredients to make super-food for your loved ones. Watch the video below : 


Source :

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60 Authentic Frontier Recipes You’ll Love

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If the western world ever reverts into a bunch of third world countries–whether due to economic collapse, world war III, or something worse–the survivors will have to go back to cooking simple recipes from scratch. Recipes like the ones pioneers made on the frontier. But that doesn’t mean everyone will be eating bland, disgusting food. […]

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Go-to recipe: How to make squirrel mulligan

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Some recipes, like this one, are old friends.

by Leon Pantenburg

Recipes trigger memories sometimes, and that’s what happened when I came across this mulligan recipe. The date on it is December 16, 1989, it has a 3.5 star rating out of a best possible four.  I remember why I cooked it.

Annebelle lock

My favorite hunting rifle is a flintlock.

At the time I lived in Washington D.C., and frequently hunted at Quantico Marine Base, south of the city.

For a country type such as me, weekend hunting trips helped me keep my sanity amid the Beltway hustle and pressure associated with a stressful job.

Shotguns were required to hunt on the base, but there was a loophole that allowed blackpowder rifles for small game hunting. Blackpowder is my favorite method of hunting anyway, and my .40 caliber flintlock was my ticket to small game heaven.

All hunters were required to check in at the gate before dawn, and each was  allotted 160 acres to hunt on for the day. I had scouted the land, knew where the hickory and oak groves were, and usually got my favorite spot.

There is something about drifting through a hardwood grove just after dawn, wearing a powder horn and shot bag and hunting with a genuine longrifle that makes it impossible to worry. The smell of the damp leaves, and  ker-flu of the flintlock firing, followed by the fog of powder smoke were part of an incredible experience.  Harvesting a squirrel was a bonus.

On this particular day, I was flinching just right when I pulled the trigger, and had killed three squirrels with three headshots. I dressed the squirrels and headed back home through the insanity of the  Beltway traffic.

Later that week, I was looking for a recipe to use three squirrels, and found this one. It’s a winner!

Squirrel Mulligan

3 squirrels, dressed

2 onions, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

2 russet potatoes, diced

4 Tbs chili pepper

salt to taste

pepper to taste

dash of Louisiana hot sauce

1 c cooked rice

Stew squirrels in water until tender. Removed meat from bones. Place meat into broth, and bring to a boil; add remaining ingredients except rice. Cook 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add rice and serve.

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5 Survival Recipes You Can Make from Your Stockpile

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5 Survival Recipes You Can Make from Your Stockpile If you’ve been prepping for any length of time, you’ve started to build up your pantry stockpile to draw from when SHTF or when times get lean. There are many different survival pantry lists out there that list out what types of food to stockpile and … Continue reading 5 Survival Recipes You Can Make from Your Stockpile

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Storage food recipe: How to make country hash brown breakfast

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Survival food is sustenance that can be made easily during a survival or emergency situation with simple, long-term storage food items, cooked outdoors, using off-the-grid methods.

Country Hash Brown Breakfast

2 c potatoes, hash browns, dehydrated
3 Tbs onions, chopped, dehydrated
2 Tbs, mixed peppers, chopped, dehydrated

Dutch oven cooking is simple and delicious.

Dutch oven cooking is simple and delicious.

1 tsp sale
4 Tbs mushrooms, sliced, dehydrated
12 Tbs scrambled egg mix, mix with 12 Tbs water
1/2 c sausage, crumbles, freeze dried or canned, or use sausage TVP
1/2 c cheddar cheese, grated, or freeze dried mozzarella cheese, grated freeze dried

In medium pan, bring to a boil 6 cups of water, add potatoes, onion, mixed peppers and mushrooms, lower heat to medium, allow to cook until vegetables are tender, remove from heat and add sausage and let stand for five minutes to rehydrate.  Drain well.

Ina medium bowl, mix scrambled egg mix with water until smooth, set aside. Over medium heat in a large skillet, add a tablespoon of oil, add drained vegetables, slowly add scrambled egg mix and start to scramble. Continue cooking until eggs are almost set.

Sprinkle with cheese and stir again lightly. Turn off heat and let eggs finish setting up and cheese melt. Serve with your favorite breakfast toast.

For variety, you can also serve this with tortillas as breakfast burritos, and serve with salsa.

– From “Jan’s Fabulous Food Storage Recipes: Converting Stored Foods into Usable Meals” by Jan LaBaron

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Survival Recipe: How to make Buckaroo Beans with storage foods

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Anyone with storage supplies of  dried beans needs innovative ways to cook them. Here is a favorite starter recipe  from the Central Oregon Dutch Oven Society.

by Leon Pantenburg

People getting started in Dutch oven cooking are often kinda intimidated when it comes to participating in a Dutch Oven Gathering or cookoff. One of the fool-proof recipes that is usually recommended to these folks is Buckaroo Beans. This recipe, from Amber Franks, and published in the Central Oregon Dutch Oven Cookbook, Volume One, makes use of several kinds of beans.

Dried or storage foods can easily be substituted for the fresh equivalents. Another nice aspect of this dish is that the beans can be cooked and simmered over a campfire in a Dutch oven.

Check out the recipe – you’ll find yourself making it even when you don’t need to prepare a meal under survival circumstances!

Buckaroo Beans

1 lb ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dry mustard

1/2 c ketchup

2 tsp vinegar

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp each of oregano, basil and dill

2 (14 oz) cans of kidney beans

1 (6 oz) can baby lima beans

1 (24 oz) can Boston style baked beans

In a 12-inch Dutch oven, brown hamburger with the chopped onion. Add seasonings and beans (undrained except for the lima beans). Mix together and add ketchup, vinegar and  Worcestershire sauce. Cook at about 325 degrees for about one hour.

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Foil wrap campfire cooking | Make easy, tasty fuel for outdoor energy

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In an emergency, let’s hope you have food and know how to cook it. But what happens if you end up with a fire, some food staples, and a piece of aluminum foil – can you combine those to make a tasty meal?

All you need to make a foil dinner is aluminum foil, food and a heat source.

By Leon Pantenburg

In a survival situation, food should taste good. When (fill in the acronym) happens, previously-fussy eaters will find that hunger is the best sauce. But the same diet everyday will soon grow monotonous. (Really, how many MREs can you eat before all the entrees taste the same?)

Most people will eat whatever is available because they are hungry. But what about the old folks, little kids and toddlers? Diet monotony, or bland, repetitive tastes can cause them to just quit eating.

Obviously, this is dangerous – without the food energy, their bodies can’t produce warmth, they will grow weaker and their mental outlook and the group morale will deteriorate.

So food preparation in survival situations is important, and tasty food can start with just a piece of aluminum foil. (I carry a big piece in most of my survival kits!)

As part of a survival scenario, consider where you might be when disaster strikes, and what your needs

might be.  If I’m hunting, fishing, hiking or participating in some other vigorous activity, then food is fuel. At the end of the day, I want a lot to eat, fast, and taste is not so important. If convenience is the major consideration, I’ll eat whatever is available. Frequently, that might be something like jerky and hardtack.

But if I’m at a Central Oregon Dutch Oven Society outing, a group devoted to outdoor epicurean cuisine, then gourmet-style food prepared outside in a cast iron pot over coals is the reason for being there.

The lowly foil wrap can fit quite well into either category, and a well-prepared prepper or survivalist should know this

Hardtack, a very simple. long-lasting survival ration, is very easy to make and has the taste, texture and consistency of a fired brick!

Hardtack, a very simple. long-lasting survival ration, is very easy to make and has the taste, texture and consistency of a fired brick!

survival technique.  A wrap is nothing more than food bound up in aluminum foil and cooked over campfire coals or on a grill over charcoal. The wrap can be the main course, a side dish or a dessert. Foil wrap food can be as simple as a foiled baking potato or ear of corn on the cob or as complicated as a delicate salmon fillet smothered with fresh herbs and vegetables.

At elk or deer hunting camp, we frequently prepare a simple foil wrap of sliced potatoes and onions seasoned with some garlic and gobbed with butter the night before. We hunt all the next day, and whoever gets to camp first starts the fire. By the time everyone gets back after dark, there is a nice bed of coals to use with the Dutch ovens and foil wraps.

The wrap is tossed on the coals, biscuits are popped out of the tube into a Dutch oven, and elk or deer backstrap is sliced, dredged in flour and fried. Total time for a great meal is about 30 minutes.

Foil wraps are simple and fun and are a great way to make lunch with your kids. A wrap can make a nice meal to take along on an outing or day hike. A foil wrap stored in a plastic bag can be perfect for a noon meal in the backcountry. And everyone can make their own, dictated by their own tastes.

As a cooking merit badge counselor for Boy Scout Troop 18, I frequently run across youngsters who, according to their parents, are very fussy eaters.

Wraps can change that. Let the youngster decide what ingredients go into a wrap for lunch or dinner, but make sure there are veggies, some soup for a broth and fish or meat. The novelty of building your very own fire, and cooking over it, plus the positive peer pressure of the other kids will overshadow previous food prejudices.

In wilderness cooking, every recipe should start with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Even though the cooking conditions may be primitive, sanitation shouldn’t be, and a case of dysentery or giardia can taint those otherwise great memories.

Food preparation with foil wraps is simplicity itself, and for short day trips, all the cutting and dicing can be done at home. For longer trips, some dishes can be pre-made, wrapped and frozen. Insulate the frozen food well, place it in the bottom of your pack, and it should thaw out in time to make a fresh, hearty meal for the second night out.

To wrap the food, place it in the center of a rectangular piece of heavy duty foil, then bring the long edges together on top. Fold the long edge over once, then continue roll-folding until it’s snug over the food. There should be several inches at each open end that are clear of food.

Dutch oven cobbler

Dutch oven cobbler

Then, roll the ends in tightly, compressing the food and making sure that each end has at least three complete rolls. This prevents juices from escaping during cooking and gives you something to hang on to when turning the packet.

Sometimes, depending on what’s cooking, you’ll want to double wrap the packet. To avoid any leakage while transporting, put the completed package in a plastic bag. Then, when you’re done eating, put all the leftovers and used foil in the bag and carry it out. (Sounds like a tasty MRE, right?)

Temperatures for foil wrap cooking are best learned through experience and will depend to a certain extent on what is in the wrap. But a good rule of thumb is that the coals should be hot enough that you can place your hand an inch above the grate for about five seconds, but no longer, without discomfort.

You may put the wrap directly in the coals of a campfire, but make sure the fire isn’t too hot. A good idea is to rake some coals away from the flames and place the wrap directly on them. Obviously, you’ll need to watch the wrap closely.

Food is a critical item among preppers, survivalists, outdoorspeople  and anyone who needs energy. Storing and preserving food is a consideration for whatever disaster and/emergency might happen.

But regardless of what stockpiled food you may have or what you cook, a little planning, preparation and foil can make a great meal.

And that’s a wrap.

Try these recipes with your kids, or outdoors beginners to teach the foil wrap technique:


2 TSP butter or margarine

1 English muffin, split

12-inch square of foil

3 TBS canned pie filling, any flavor

Butter the outside of the muffin and place down on the shiny side of the foil. Top with pie filling. Butter the other muffin half and place on top of the fruit. Roll the foil over the muffin and make sure the ends are securely rolled.

Cook for about 15 minutes, moving the packet every few minutes. When done, the outside of the muffin should be browned. Be careful the filling will be extremely hot. Let cool before eating.


18-inch square of foil

2 whole small carrots

1 TBS of margarine or butter

1/2 tsp of dried herb mix

1/4 tsp lemon pepper or garlic pepper

Fresh fish fillets, about four to five ounces

Lay foil shiny side down on flat surface. Peel carrots and slice 1/4-inch thick. Arrange down the center of the foil. Cut butter into pats and distribute over the carrots. Place fish on top of the carrots and sprinkle the herbs and lemon pepper over the fillet. Cut the remaining butter into pats and distribute over the fish.Fold the foil around the fish and place the packet fish side upon coals. Cook for about 15 minutes, then flip and cook another eight to 10 minutes.

To serve, carefully open the packet; serve directly from the foil or transfer all the contents to an individual plate.


18-by-24-inch piece of heavy duty foil

1 TBS of barbecue sauce

1/4 small onion

5 ounces of lean ground beef or venison

1/4 tsp seasoned salt or garlic salt

1/2 small baking potato

1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into pennies

Fold the foil in half, shiny side in. Place the barbecue sauce in the center. Peel onion, slice and arrange over the sauce. Combine ground meat and seasoned salt, mix well and form into oblong patty, about 4-by-3-by-3/4 inches and place on top of the onions. Peel potato and carrot and slice both 1/8-inch thick. Top patty with potatoes and carrots. Fold foil over the ingredients and be sure to seal the ends very well.

Place packet on grill or coals, and turn and rotate every 10 minutes. Total cooking time should be about 35 minutes.

To check for doneness, open packet. Vegetables should be tender and meat should be medium-well.


Pie filling

White or yellow cake mix

Pats of butter or margarine

This is a beginner recipe that is very popular with kids or first-time campers and adapts the time-honored dump cake to foil.

Place several tablespoons of pie filling on the foil, then top with cake mix and pats of butter. Fold the ingredients into the foil and place on the grill. Cook about 10 to 12 minutes on one side, then flip and cook another 5 to 10 minutes.

Survival recipes: Tips and techniques for better-tasting biscuits

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Baking great-tasting biscuits is not rocket science. Here are a few simple tips that can  help turn that mundane biscuit into  a taste treat.

by Leon Pantenburg

Biscuits and gravy are comfort food for me, and a good biscuit is generally the sign of a good place to eat breakfast.

Crowd the biscuits into a tall skillet so the dough will rise upward. There were originally four biscuits in this batch, but they looked and smelled so good, I ate two for breakfast!

Crowd the biscuits into a tall skillet so the dough will rise upward. There were originally four biscuits in this batch, but they looked and smelled so good, I ate two for breakfast!

But some of the best biscuits I’ve ever eaten were from the late Jean Jennings’ kitchen in Mountain View, Arkansas. Jean was legendary for her delicious breakfasts, and her biscuits were tall as a tea cup and light as a feather.

The recipe wasn’t important, she said, and any simple biscuit recipe will do, with any kind of flour you prefer.

Jean’s secret was in how the biscuits were cooked.

Jean used a cast iron skillet, with tall sides, heating it to be very, very hot with bacon drippings covering the bottom. Each biscuit placed in the skillet was immediately turned over, so it had bacon grease on both sides.

The heat of the tall skillet helped the biscuits to rise. Butter, gravy or some kind of jam made a breakfast at her house memorable.

My friend Gordon A. Cotton, of Vicksburg, MS published this technique in his historical cookbook “The Past…and Repast, Recipes, Old Photographs and Bits of Vicksburg’s History.”

And here is a great biscuit recipe from that book.

Cheese Biscuits

1 cup sifted flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp butter

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup grated cheese

3/8 cup milk or water

Sift flour once, add baking powder and salt, and sift again. Cut in butter and cheese, add liquid gradually until soft dough is formed. Roll 1/3-inch thick on slightly floured board. Cut with small floured biscuit cutter. Bake in 450 degree oven for 15 minutes.

This recipe appeared in a cookbook published in Vicksburg in 1937 by the home demonstration agent, Mrs. Judson Purvis, with recipes contributed by Home Demonstration Club members.

Leon Pantenburg is an avid Dutch oven cook, judge, teacher and a charter member of the Central Oregon Dutch Oven Society. Along with team mates Linda Stephenson and Michael Pantenburg, he has been a two-time finalist in the International Dutch Oven Society’s World Championships.

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Recipe: Make quick, easy apricot energy bars

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Are you using the storage foods in your pantry? One piece of preparedness advice is that mossy old saying: “Store what you eat, and eat what you store.”

Food is the fuel that keeps you warm in the outdoors. (Pantenburg photo)

Food is the fuel that keeps you warm in the outdoors. (Pantenburg photo)

by Leon Pantenburg

This philosophy makes sense, since your stored food is an investment. No matter what the expiration date may be, it’s always a good idea to rotate the stock.

Another thought is to make full use of those stores. Rather than spending upward of a dollar or so for a commercial energy bar, try making your own.

And if you can find a recipe that uses your stored food, that’s a bonus. Not only can you experiment and tweak the recipes, but you can also find a flavor combination that is just what you’re looking for.

If you can bake cookies, you can make your own energy bars, and here is a recipe that uses stored food you’ll like!

Apricot Bar Recipe

Chop in a food processor:

        • 1 cup dried apricots
        • 3/4 cup almonds
        • 3/4 cup walnuts
        • Mix fruit and nuts with:
        • 1/2 cup honey
        • 1/2 cup wheat germ
        • 2/3 cup flour
        • 2 tablespoons oil

Add: Enough liquid (2 to 4 tablespoons juice) to form a thick batter.

Mix well. Press into an 8-by-8-inch square greased pan. Bake 30 minutes or until firm at 350 degrees. Cut into 12 bars but leave in the pan to cool. Later, package individually and store in a refrigerator or freezer. Makes 12 bars with about 220 calories per bar.

For more recipes using natural foods, click here.

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100s of Delicious Recipes From The Great Depression

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Food has changed so much over the last 100 years that even amateur chefs rarely cook from scratch anymore. Instead, they rely on ready-made ingredients like cream of mushroom soup, seasoning mixes, pasta sauce, etc. But if we ever face a total economic collapse and a return to […]

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Over 500 Camping and Dutch Oven Recipes

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It may be getting cold out, but there’s still time to do some camping before winter sets in. If you like to cook in the great outdoors, then I have the ultimate resource for you: A FREE recipe book with over 500 recipes you can make over a campfire! Stop […]

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