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 Going over preps 
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Post Going over preps
I've been looking over my preps the last couple of weeks or so mainly because we've had two food drives and I've donated some food and hurricane season is just now getting started for real.

I'm looking at all of this stuff and still wondering what the heck am I gonna do with all of this? Meaning just how am I going to incorporate it into our regular diet so I can "turn over" the preps for next year?

Some may not know but I've been doing Weight Watchers for the last 4 months and I've lost 30 pounds! :banana :brockoli

Along the way, I have also changed a lot of my eating habits and these changes are starting to show up in the preps, too! I find that I'm buying a lot more reduced fat items (soups comes to mind) and more vegetarian soups, beans, etc. Preps are also now chockful of fruits and veggies and not so many starchy foods.

Along the fitness journey, I've been looking for new recipes or at least some ideas to make breakfast, lunch and dinner more interesting. I found something completely unexpected along the way.

I am English/Irish with a tad bit of German thrown in there in the last couple of generations.

My DH, East Texas, is Scots/Irish/French/Choctaw.

I've noticed that I still cook very similar to my heritage. In other words, these are some of the items I routinely cook (and have stored preps):

Shepherd's Pie
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Cornish Pasties (my husband's family still calls them Bridies!)
Yorkshire Pudding
Egg salad sandwiches
Cucumber sandwiches
Bubble and Squeak - still make this on Mondays in the winter time
Scones
Mincemeat pie/tarts (DH loves this at the holidays!)
Shortbread
Corned beef hash
Sausage, fried potatoes and sauerkraut

My DMIL used to make oatcakes, bannock and Indian fry bread, too. I never got the hang of those and the fry bread? :nono

I cook so many Southern and regional Texas dishes that it never really hit me that I still cook and prize these old recipes. :doh

I also found that one of my favorite recipes for Christmas is Canadian! :huh

Nanaimo bar
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Nanaimo bar is a dessert of Canadian origin popular across North America. Made of chocolate no-bake square, it is named after the West-Coast city of Nanaimo, British Columbia. It consists of a wafer crumb-based layer, topped by a layer of light vanilla or custard flavoured butter icing, which is covered in chocolate made from melted chocolate squares.[1] Many varieties are possible by using different types of crumb, flavours of icing (e.g. mint, peanut butter), and types of chocolate. Two popular variations on the traditional Nanaimo bar involve mint flavoured icing or mocha flavoured icing. :heart

You betcha I have the stuff for these babies in the preps! :crylaugh Weight Watchers or NOT!

What about ya'll? Are you still cooking treasured family recipes from the old country? If so, what are they?

Have you incorporated these ingredients into your preps?

I can tell you that I cooked Shephard's Pie about a week after Ike. We were fortunate that the electricity stayed on just long enough for the small toaster/convection oven to do its thang! It was heaven after so many days of sandwiches, crackers and peanut butter, and soup. Somehow that bit of comfort food made everything bearable! ;)

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Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:51 am
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Post Re: Going over preps
Wow, BB, congratulations!! :clap I've done WW too, but don't have the free time any more, what with grands and DH. Maybe this fall when the kiddos are in school and DH has the aide with him.....

I'm Irish and English, raised near Boston, so many of the foods you mentioned are staples for me too.

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Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:58 pm
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Post Re: Going over preps
Hi, Blue & Rutsy:

I, too, am caught betwixt' the old faves and my more contemporary fresh foods preferred diet that seems to suit us better. I now save the 'classics' for the Major State Occasions and holidays. My sister is the master of those, at any rate.

But the key to making them is in the know-how: the time spent watching Grandma and Mom rolling the dough at the kitchen table. And also in knowing how to grab up the seasonal ingredients when you see them in the market. Knowing that you need/need/need that common spice or fruit or herb is the critical difference that can transform that ordinary flour, butter and eggs into the Food of Happy Memory, isn't it?

But all good traditional food is made from ingredients that were easily available in that time and place.

And ours is now different.

Our kids will miss - what? - MacDonald's burgers? Reese's Peanut Butter cups?

Not, surely, our own home cooking. [Insert Guilt Here :roll ]

So, yeah. Comfort food, yes. But what (comfort foods) do we live on now?

Just wondering....

Cheers.

Selene


Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:27 pm
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Post Re: Going over preps
Selene - yep I save my comfort foods now for the holidays and for some Sundays.

We, too, are eating fish like never before. I'm fortunate that I live near the sea and am able to go to the fish market each Saturday. I buy directly from the folks who own the boats so the fish/shrimp/crabs/oysters are fresher and cost less as well.

After the fish market (with our purchases safely tucked away in an ice chest) we head to the local farmer's market. Sadly, this will end at the end of this month.

I love buying my fruits and vegetables from folks I've gotten to know the last 2 years. The lady that bakes our bread always puts a bagette aside for us because she knows sooner or later we will be there. The veggie man always has something fresh for us to try - he's the one that turned us onto leeks. ;)

The goat cheese folks only show up twice a month but it is always good to see them and try a new flavor even though I nearly always only buy the fresh chevre.

The Indian spice man knows that East Texas loves his mango chutney and garam masala. He always has something for him to try as well.

We buy grass fed organic beef only occasionally but these folks, too, always say hello and ask how we're doing! They own doxies, too, so we have a nice chat with them. :lol

The organic gardener has become a good friend and she always has something tucked away for us. Last weekend it was bales of pine straw for the tomato bed. :heart

Thank you Alice Waters for turning us onto the whole slow food/buy locally movement. These folks bring joy to my life each Saturday.

It won't be long until the market closes for the winter and we will be sad to say goodby for a while to good friends. If/when/should TSHTF - I will miss them terribly not only for the good food they bring into my life but for their friendship, too.

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Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:12 am
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Post Re: Going over preps
With hurricane season six weeks away, time to review/renew the preps!

Had 3 bottles of water burst from a case stored in the garage since Ike! :roll

Dried beans have nearly all been used, I'm down to about 1/2 lb of pinto and navy beans.

All the nuts are gone.

I seem to have a ton of elbow macaroni left and not much else in the pasta department. Freezing the pasta packages first seems to have helped eliminate critters in the pantry. :lol

Scored last weekend on some spaghetti sauce. Our local grocery store had a buy one jar get one free AND I had coupons, too! :elephant :banana :brockoli

Down to 1/2 lb of sugar from the holiday baking last fall. With East Texas a diabetic, sugar lasts a looonnggg time in my house. Sweet n low and Splenda nearly gone, too.

Flour is nearly all gone except for the whole wheat - I think this one multiplies in my sleep! :silly

Scored some sun dried tomatoes last weekend at Central Market - our local equivalent of Whole Foods. These are just dried - no oil.

Canned carrots are gone, green beans okay, and we have enough canned tomato products to last, oh, six months or so. Can you tell they've been on sale recently? ;)

We are also nearly out of grits, cream of wheat and oatmeal.

Soup is nearly all gone - tomato basil, anyone? That seems to be the only kind left. Sigh! I HATE that soup!!! Blech!

No vienna sausage, no Spam, one lonely can of tuna, and one lonely can of salmon.

Canned fruit is in short supply as well. Need pudding, jello, jam, pickles, olives, ketchup, mayo, mustard, yada yada yada! Used up the last of the Parma milk last weekend because it was set to expire. Not much in the way of canned or powdered milk, either.

Even the poor doxies' cupboard is bare - no treats or food for them either! :dunno

Can you tell we've been having pantry challenges here lately? :crylaugh

All in all, it looks like we've successfully used our preps this past year! :clap

Soooo, I will begin my prep shopping in earnest after the Easter weekend. :roll

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Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:25 am
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Post Re: Going over preps
How's the prep shopping going, BB? We too have the dual challenges of hurricanes and diabetics....


Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:22 am
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Post Re: Going over preps
PJ - the best advice I can give you is from the Galveston weather office. We attended a hurricane conference when we lived in Galveston.

1. Buy only what you will eat (of course)
2. Add 1 extra can to each week's grocery

For instance, East Texas and I love ranch style beans so I buy this a lot. I always buy 2 cans.

Peaches - both of us love canned peaches (crazy right). I always buy two.

Where you live, your biggest problem will be no electricity rather than storm surge or high wind. Not to say you won't get some high wind but you certainly shouldn't get 100+ winds like I can get.

Lastly, make sure you have some stuff tucked away that your kiddos love. Getting them to eat in a disaster might take a bit of doing. You already know my Rita story about getting the kiddos to eat tomato soup with goldfishies in it! East Texas' great nephews ate nearly nothing for 3 days until I put the fishies in their soup. ;)

I don't worry too much about "healthy" foods rather I prep for convenience.

Last tip, if you have a chest type freezer or a garage freezer, place all your frozen food in large garbage bags. Trust me on this one - it gets rather nasty when you've been without power for 5 or 6 days. This way all you have to do is take it to the curb. Learned this from relatives after Rita. ;)

You won't be able to bake anything even if you have natural gas. At least on my stove because I have an electronic ignition system. But I can still use my stove.

BG gave me a great tip make sure you have a head lamp. It is great to use to wash dishes at night.

Unlike prepping for bird flu, you really only need to prep for 72 hours. After that, FEMA will arrive and open feeding stations. You drive through and pick up a case of MREs, water and ice. You can do this every day.

That's pretty much it. Just take advantage of whatever electricty you might have to wash clothes, dishes, etc.

If you wait to buy a generator, FEMA will most likely pay for it. Unlike most folks, I have a small one that will power a fan, a light and the tv. That's all. Some people I know have huge ones that also power their refrigerators. But then you get into finding gasoline to power the generator.

When a storm gets into the Gulf, go to the bank and withdraw about $200, fill the car with gasoline, and go to the pharmacy and pick up whatever meds you might need. One last trip to the store for bread, milk and ice is also in order - but don't wait too late or you will face crowds of people.

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Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:37 am
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Post Re: Going over preps
Back at it again. Couple of things are spurring my preps:

1. The show "Doomsday Preppers" has finally woken East Texas to the reality of what might be coming. March 1 I will begin buying a case a month of MREs to store.

http://www.mredepot.com/servlet/the-270/MRE-Military-USGI-Meal/Detail

These are the same ones FEMA gave us after Ike. I have about a case and a half left. Tons of food in one days worth. Yes, it is expensive thus only 1 case a month.

2. $4 to $5 gasoline in the US.

I firmly believe this is a reality by May. The price of groceries is going to skyrocket here. Time to stock the freezers and both pantries.

My local HEB grocery store has:

Sirloin steak
Chicken - whole $0.77/lb - limit 3
Ground beef

on sale this week. These are all going into my freezer in the garage.

3. Hurricane season is 3 months away. We've had a really mild winter and I fully expect we will have a tough season this year. No science to back that statement up just a gut feeling.

The other thing I can report is that my local HEB has several really good preps on sale this week:

Aluminum foil
Plastic forks, knives, spoons
Paper towels
Dog food - gotta prep for the doxies, don't cha know? :mrgreen:
Canned tuna
Campbell's soup
Hormel canned chili

They also have several prepper's dreams on buy one get several free:

Buy Hellmann's mayo and get free tuna and free relish
Buy frozen turkey meatballs and get free spaghetti and sauce
Buy a large Dawn dishwashing detergent and get a free gallon of Clorox bleach :yamon

I'm also purchasing gallons of water, peanut butter, canned Spam, Underwood deviled ham, and Vienna sausages this week. Yep, this week we concentrate on water and protein.

Next week we focus on crackers, dried beans, canned juice, canned milk, dry milk, protein bars, jello and pudding.

The week after we will focus on propane bottles for the Coleman stove, matches, batteries for the flashlights, rope, and other hardware items.

The week after we begin again with canned fruits and veggies.

The trainer at the gym turned us onto Isoflex - Whey Protein Isolate.


http://www.allstarhealth.com/f/all_max_nutrition-isoflex_whey_protein_isolate.htm

My local Nutrition Depot has it cheaper than this. You add 1 scoop to 3/4 C of milk. We drink it before and after we work out but you can also drink it when you have a high carb meal - like preps.

I'm thinking about adding this to my preps, too.

Oh and I forgot to add that March 1 I will order a Water Bob from Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/waterBOB-Emergency-Drinking-Water-Storage/dp/B001AXLUX2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329943068&sr=8-1

Why Amazon? Because I pay no sales tax. Sadly, I don't think it is eligible for free 2 day shipping via Amazon Prime. Drat!

What about you? What have you done to prep today?

P. S. - Last thing 'cause I just thought about it. I checked the first aid supplies I stored during the swine flu a couple of years ago. Yep - you guessed it - most of my flu/cold remedies are expired and never used. :gah :gah :gah :gah :gah :gah

Oh well, best to replace than be without, right?

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Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:40 pm
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Post Re: Going over preps
Update on the above:

I didn't buy the Campbell's soup because there wasn't really any we would eat. Sorry! I think we've become soup snobs since I retired! I've been making home made soup at least once a week since December and we both looked at it and went meh!

I still have several cans of Progresso soup, though.

I also didn't buy the canned chili. Checked the label and there is just way to much fat and sodium. So that is out. :whistle

East Texas convinced me not to get the peanut butter as this is a major, major trigger food for me. I've lived in a peanut butter free zone for a year and a half now. Boy do I love me some peanut butter! Don't even need bread - just lick it off a spoon. :crylaugh :slap :roflmao

I did, however, pick up the chickens, hamburger meat and steak. I also purchased 5 containers of Cool Whip. All of this is now in the freezer in the garage. :mrgreen:

Kinda lonely looking in there but I plan to fill 'er up slowly.

I also placed the meat in large garbage bags, too. Jest in case...

Anybody else prepping?

Edited to add:

Didn't get any of the canned meat - too much fat and sodium. Ditto on the frozen meatballs. Sigh!

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Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:09 pm
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Post Re: Going over preps
Blue you and Ruts are freaking me out with all this canned scare stuff :scared

I'm thinking I may have a big delivery to our local food bank before we hit expiry dates.

I would rather feed folks than throw out good food!

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Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:28 pm
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Post Re: Going over preps
Hahahaha L2L - no need to run at all I say....

In a TEOTWAWKI sittuation, canned stuff is gonna be real handy. SO don't panic, but just think of new innovative ways to store, like do some glass jar canning yourself. If DW can get a team effort going in the kitchen, it is surprising how much you can get done.

Blue - those meds for flu's and colds are not neccessaryy at all if you have some MMS stored away in a dark place. It kills off all bugs in the body. Have not had a cold for over 9 months now! Grin
If you buy the sodium chlorite you can even make your own stock when needed. [If anyone needs to see the forum we share experiences on - PM me for the link]

We are buying more plastic containers and storing more base bulk stuff like flour, rice, couscous, beans, and some grains. I may even do a few bins of grits and ground corn/maize too!

I feel it is the time for PREP now, as March and June will be good indicators for what is being spiked as a cosmic event for December 2012 to April 2013!


:hmm

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Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:03 am
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Post Re: Going over preps
L - not trying to freak you out, buds. Sorry!

I agree with Sky. These calories are gonna come in real handy should TSHTF. I'm still on the fence about the vienna sausage, deviled ham, etc. East Texas is the one doing the finger shaking and saying no.

Part of this is because we are working really, really, really hard to get in shape for (drum roll, please) a cruise in May! :elephant :brockoli :banana

Mid-May East Texas and I will be married 35 years and we are going on a Western Caribbean cruise. I can not wait. Neither of us has ever done this before so it should be an experience.

After that, I will sneak some of the no-nos into the preps. ;)

I agree, Sky, I want to store more pasta, dried beans, rice, powdered milk and items like that. I'm also looking at dehydrated vegetables, too. I know I can make soup from the items I just mentioned.

Sky - I think March will be a definitive month, too. I don't believe grocery prices (at least in the US) are currently reflecting the actual costs. Yes, prices have risen over the last 2-3 months but I think many grocery stores are still eating fuel costs. I don't think they can continue this much longer.

An example would be the strawberries and blackberries I just purchased. They are from Mexico and were priced 2 for $4.00. Seriously? How can that be?

However, if there truly is a gasoline "bubble" driven by speculators as reported in MSM this past two weeks - we may be in for a bubble bursting in the near future. I don't, however, see gasoline prices dropping into the $2.00/gallon range anytime soon, though.

I'm also noticing my local grocery store and even Walmart are lacking in food on the shelves. For instance, I ran into Walmart yesterday to buy some seeds and needed a can of cream of mushroom soup. I usually buy the healthier variety and they were completely out. :shock: They were also out of cream of celery and cream of chicken - the healthier version.

My local grocery store has been hit or miss lately with ground turkey products, too.

Coupons in the local paper are becoming scarce as well. I usually use these for my prep items and am having a bit of difficulty finding the ones I need. :hmm

Anyone else seeing these things?

June - I would love to hear your thoughts on this, Sky. What triggers to you see then?

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Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:35 am
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Post Re: Going over preps
The June remark was purely a connection to what Pane Andov added in his "feel" for the world in that period. I think it has to do with the Sun and how the environment will respond.

Hopefully your cruise will be over then Blue??!?

I will run more data in once I have completed my review of his work....

Been busy with setting up a Wireless Broadband project for my farming community local - and we are installing this week :roll

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Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:27 am
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Post Re: Going over preps
Yes, Sky, we will only be gone 5 days.

Your broadband project sounds interesting. Good luck!

Edited to add: Cruising in my part of the world, especially to the Caribbean, has to be timed just right for hurricane season. ;)

No travel between June 1 and at least mid-September unless you like:

A. choppy seas;

B. unexpected ship detours.

Yeah, just not my style. :nono

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Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:53 am
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Post Re: Going over preps
My apologies for being absent here for so long, but I am still prepping – and learning! I’m now focusing on longer-term (more than a year) storage since our actual day-to-day diet is mainly fresh fish and veggies, both which will quickly disappear in a shutdown, so I need to consider alternative menus for “eventually”, especially if the SHTF during the winter. Lotsa pasta, rice casseroles, soups, etc… Plus a good stash of heritage non-GMO veggie seeds which are stored in the freezer.

My prepping discoveries:

Buy seed packs now [March/April in northern hemisphere], bag them sealed as-is into plastic bags or a glass jar and stash in the cold until needed. Stored in cold or frozen, these will stay viable for years. I’ve been picking up a few new varieties each spring, adding them to the stash. Nothing you can buy now will give you more bang for the buck later than viable seeds – and knowing how to grow them.

I’ve lately become more aware of the huge range of prepackaged brand-name foods that use dehydrated ingredients – the same ingredients sold in bulk for long-term storage. I’ve also been noticing recently how many “ordinary” snacks and foods are now being packaged in the same mylar bags used for state-of-the-art long-term food storage. Both make excellent ready-made preps at low cost when bought on sale.

So here’s a few low-cost finds:

• If you’ve been looking longingly at the mouthwatering but hugely expensive Mountain House or AlpineAire freeze-dried, dehydrated and ready-mixed main dishes for long-term stashing, http://survivalacres.com/, guess what? Virtually all of these are sold inexpensively locally – without the freeze-dried meats, which you can buy separately (above) – as “Sidekicks” side dishes by Knorr. Yes. These little wonders come already mixed and prepacked in single-serving mylar pouches, just add boiling water and a bit of oil, some freeze-dried chicken or beef from Survival Acres or your canned stash. From Mountain House, these pouches average about $6 per meal. From Knorr (who probably makes them for Mountain House anyway….), the same flavors were on special at my local No-Frills grocer for 99 cents each. Beef Stroganoff. Singapore Chicken Curry. Honey Garlic Noodles. Fettuccine Alfredo. The perfect antidote to beans, beans, beans when you’re tired of cooking on a shoestring.

• Some hugely expensive freeze-dried fruits are also available in small mylar packs: strawberries, banana slices. Perfect for adding to your instant oatmeal. Look in the snack section. $3.99 per pack, about half of what AlpineAire charges for same canned.

• A lot of easy-to-make favorites like crowd pleasing Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese, instant oatmeal, mashed potatoes or cake mixes come dehydrated and ready for storage but packaged in waxed paper or plastic bags. These bags are oxygen-permeable and foods stored in them will not keep fresh tasting more than a year or possibly two under ideal conditions. These products need to be re-packed in mylar with an oxygen-absorbing packet to keep them fresh indefinitely if you do not plan to use them near-term. (I’ve also invested in some dehydrated whole eggs and butter to sustain my baking habit…Those treats are going to look mighty good to my stressed brain when TSHTF, calories be damned.)

•Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers are the current state-of-the-art in food storage and you can do it yourself. The mylar prevents air, light or moisture seepage much, much better than plastic of any type, the inexpensive oxygen absorbers will instantly pack the contents in inert nitrogen (remember that ordinary air is actually 80% nitrogen – all you have to do is sequester the 20% oxygen to preserve dried foods indefinitely.) This prevents bacterial or fungal growth, bugs, etc from affecting the food, keeps flavors fresh, nutrition high etc. The cost is minimal compared to the expense of nitrogen-flushed cannery rental, and easily done at home. You can buy food in quantity on sale and pack it yourself.

• Repacking in larger mylar bags is easy: you don’t need to remove each serving from its own bag. Simply puncture each with a fork or slit the bags on the topside before packing them all into a larger mylar bag. Cut the cooking directions off the original cardboard package and drop them into the mylar as well. Drop in the proper size oxy absorber on top (the punctures will ensure that all oxygen is absorbed from each separate bag) and heat seal the mylar with your iron. How to heat seal mylar using your iron:



• Label and store the sealed bags in a lidded plastic pail or bin to rodent-proof the contents and prevent scuffing damage or pinholes in the mylar.


• Mylar bags and oxy absorbers can be ordered online or from eBay.

• Speaking of lidded food pails, the 5 gallon work pails sold by Home Depot are actually food-grade plastic and come with high-quality gamma-seals lids (sold separately). Yeah, they’re vivid orange – but who cares? HD also offers plain white pails in packs of ten online only. Those big yellow pails that cat litter comes in are also highly stackable and seal nicely to protect mylar goods.


• I’m also packing into smaller mylar bags dehydrated versions of my favorite spices. I’ve found that I can cut a one-gallon mylar into two bags, then very carefully and thoroughly heat seal the “bottom” of the second bag before filling it and heat-sealing both tops. Garlic, ginger, basil, black pepper, chili powder, curry…Sure, it’s not the same as fresh – but certainly better than nothing when you need them. Salt will keep indefinitely as long as it’s moisture proofed. And salt, remember, is necessary for life-support (in small quantities, but still necessary.)

• We also scored some very nice canned 2 lb. Danish hams – two for five bux at CVS last week. These keep virtually forever, and the price was practically free. $1.25 a pound – c’mon. A bit of ham does wonders for soups, beans ‘n’rice, or sandwiches and a little goes a long way. Needs no cooking or reheating. Also seeing canned chicken breast in large cans on special. Beats eternal tuna…. Since you can make more variety with chicken.

• Pick up an extra el-cheapo hand-operated can opener – or two – at your local dollar store. Stash them with your canned goods for when your electric opener is out of power. (!) They’ll also make surprisingly valuable barter items when the power is out, too.

• Stash a box or two of sandwich-sized Ziploc bags for eventual repackaging of small amounts of foods, sugar, salt, etc to be used for barter or gifts. In a barter situation, instead of offering your whole last 5 lb bag of sugar or flour, you can say “Okay…three packs instead of two for the…..” without risking your entire hoard.

• Speaking of small amounts, if you’re putting aside some petty cash for times when the terminals won’t work, put aside the smallest bills you can get. Think singles and fives, not twenties or fiftys. Reason: again, this gives you more bargaining leverage, since no one will be able to make change for a large bill and it will be all or nothing. You can offer two fives or a couple of singles instead of giving away your last twenty for a ten-dollar purchase. And I suspect that coins – even if not silver, etc – will still circulate for quite some time in a shutdown. Stash that small change now.

• One of the things we’ve observed in our extensive travels off the beaten path is that the further you get from the main metropolitan economy into the smaller villages, etc, the smaller and older the bills in circulation. And sometimes if you want to make a simple purchase, making change for your big-city denomination bill will not only clean out the merchant’s till, but require them to canvas all the other merchants at the street or bazaar to make your change. This is what will happen very quickly even in affluent areas as central economies implode in a shutdown. Smaller currency is better. Also less conspicuous to carry when cash is scarce for everyone.

Cheers,

Selene


Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:17 pm
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Post Re: Going over preps
Thanks, Selene! Great tips all! :clap

Quote:
If you’ve been looking longingly at the mouthwatering but hugely expensive Mountain House or AlpineAire freeze-dried, dehydrated and ready-mixed main dishes for long-term stashing, http://survivalacres.com/, guess what? Virtually all of these are sold inexpensively locally – without the freeze-dried meats, which you can buy separately (above) – as “Sidekicks” side dishes by Knorr. Yes. These little wonders come already mixed and prepacked in single-serving mylar pouches, just add boiling water and a bit of oil, some freeze-dried chicken or beef from Survival Acres or your canned stash. From Mountain House, these pouches average about $6 per meal. From Knorr (who probably makes them for Mountain House anyway….), the same flavors were on special at my local No-Frills grocer for 99 cents each. Beef Stroganoff. Singapore Chicken Curry. Honey Garlic Noodles. Fettuccine Alfredo. The perfect antidote to beans, beans, beans when you’re tired of cooking on a shoestring
.

Love it, love it! I'm gonna check this out this week. :heart

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Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:36 am
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Post Re: Going over preps
selene wrote:
Stash a box or two of sandwich-sized Ziploc bags for eventual repackaging of small amounts of foods, sugar, salt, etc to be used for barter or gifts. In a barter situation, instead of offering your whole last 5 lb bag of sugar or flour, you can say “Okay…three packs instead of two for the…..” without risking your entire hoard.


This is an excellent suggestion, one which we have not done.

Your progress is impressive Selene.


:clap

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Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:37 pm
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Post Re: Going over preps
Awesome advice there Selene thank you :clap :clap

Who are you purchasing your seed packs from, PM me if you wish as I know we are close to each other and you may not want to reveal our location.
Also where are you getting your freeze dried meats?

You reminded me that I have some Mylar seeling to do :doh
What do you use to seal the bags, an iron?
I just bought a Vacum Sealer that has an attachment hose to drain air from Mylar Bags etc so that should help..

I have been stock piling those Knor "Side Kicks" for some time now and they regularly go on sale for .99 cents.
In fact think I will head to my local No Frills today and get some more.

I recently learned that Bulk Barn started selling Powdered Eggs so I bought a small quantity to try them out and believe it or not they were actually pretty good.
Well guess what, I go back to get a bigger stash and they are all sold out and NOT planning on getting anymore, DOH!!!!

Does anyone know of a good inexpensive supplier of Powdered Eggs & Milk?

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:17 am
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Post Re: Going over preps
Hi, L2L ~

Actually you can get good seeds almost anywhere in Canada in the early spring – Home Depot, Home Hardware, Sheridan etc. There are only one or two major packers anyway. You can also order online, but most of those growers are a bit pricey.

The important thing is to get Non-GMO “Heritage” or “Heirloom” varieties, which are surprisingly widely available. You just have to know what strains you’re looking for, which is fairly easy to research. These non-hybrid “old faithfuls” are usually right there on the shelf at the same price as all the rest, as they are always robust, reliable, tasty and therefore popular best-sellers. There are, of course, a zillion newly-recovered exotic types for collectors – at a price – usually by mail from specialists.

Also, of course, study up on how to save the seeds from your own crop for the following year. I’ve put a document on how to save seeds into a new thread under “Gardening”. Print that out] and store it.

Key point: When planting your seeds, always keep one-third of each seed type in reserve, unplanted, in case your first crop fails. Always have a backup; weather can do strange things, as any farmer knows.

Here’s a reference list of some of my heritage varieties, most purchased from Home Hardware: It's good to have a variety of each for early, mid, & late crops, drought or wet conditions, etc. Cover all your bases....

Green beans
• Stringless green pod
• Tendergreen
• Slenderette
• Blue Lake

Beans
• Red & White Calypso
• Black & White Calypso
• Butterscotch
• Black Valentine
• Mayflower
• Painted Pony
• Rattlesnake

Carrots
• Chantanay Red
• Scarlet Nantes
• Nantes Touchon
• Nantes Coreless
• Imperator

Peas
• Little Marvel
• Homesteader
• Lincoln
• Laxton’s Progress

Spinach
• Bloomsdale

Lettuce
• Black Seeded
• Grand Rapids
• Cos (Romaine) – Also called Parris Island
• Lucullus Swiss Chard

Cucumber
• White Wonder

Squash
• Table Queen (Acorn)
• Connecticut Field Pumpkin
• Waltham Squash
• Crookneck Summer Squash
• Black Beauty Zucchini
• Dark Green Zucchini

Melon
• Hale's Best Cantaloupe
• Crimson Seed Watermelon

Corn
• Golden Bantam
• Honey & Cream
• Stowell’s Evergreen

Broccoli
• Green Sprouting

Onion
• Annual Bunching
• White Sweet Spanish
• Yellow Sweet Spanish

Beet
• Detroit Red

Cauliflower
• Snowball

Peppers
• Early California Wonder

Radish
• Purple Plum
• Champion

Tomatoes
• Marglobe
• Beefsteak
• Rutgers

Cabbage
• Golden Acre


Cheers, :wavey

Selene

(Will follow this with another post below, also PM you....)


Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:00 pm
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Post Re: Going over preps
L2L wrote:
You reminded me that I have some Mylar sealing to do
What do you use to seal the bags, an iron?

I just bought a Vacuum Sealer that has an attachment hose to drain air from Mylar Bags etc so that should help..


Yes, an ordinary iron, set on ‘wool’ without steam works perfectly. Here’s a really good link with more details: http://adviceandbeans.com/2010/08/using-food-storage-supplies/ I highly recommend this blog, BTW – lots of good food storage advice.

[Addendum: I've just found this note on another blog: "This is why no matter which system you use, I would recommend [oxygen] absorbers over vacuum sealing, or in addition to. Though do not use a vacuum on Mylar, as generally speaking it is not intended to be put under a full vacuum."]

Instead of a vacuum sealer, I simply use a clean (fresh out of the wrapper) ordinary drinking straw (in addition to oxygen absorber packets). I iron the mylar bag closed except for a tiny bit at one end, slip in the straw, pinch around it to seal and suck out the excess air. Pull out the straw and finish ironing the bag closed. Easy!

Straw tips:
• Mark one end with a felt tip so you always put the other into your mouth to avoid contaminating your stash.
• Don’t plunge the straw in too deeply, to avoid inadvertently inhaling a bit of rice or flour….

As for freeze-dried or canned meats, there are now a few bulk food suppliers that will ship to Canada or are based here:

• SafeCastle.com http://www.safecastle.com/canadian-mountain-house.aspx?gclid=CLeHhrb3-K4CFYIQNAodPV8vxA ships Mountain House freeze-dried within Canada

• Nitropak. Com http://www.nitro-pak.com/ takes Canadian orders by phone. They carry Mountain House freeze-dried meats as well as eggs, butter and cheese nitrogen packed in #ten cans (the size of a coffee can), which will keep 25+ years if kept cool.

And actually, I wouldn’t be terribly surprised to discover good bulk food deals these days at the Canadian outlets of the big American retailers WalMart or Costco, since they’re very responsive to the American customers’ needs – and prepping is getting to be hot, hot, hot retail – so they might bring some of that up here. Bulk rice, of course, on Spadina in downtown T/O or up in Newmarket.

Happy hunting!

Cheers,

Selene


Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:45 pm
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Post Re: Going over preps
Selene you always have a wealth of knolwedge at your finger tips, THANK YOU!!!!!


And where have you been hiding that website, WOW that one goes into the book marks :clap :clap :clap

Here are the 3 Videos onthe weblink that Selene provided.

Part 1



Part 2



Part 3


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Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:59 am
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Post Re: Going over preps
We also plant some of the same varieties in my southern-most location.

The Bluelake beans are the best, IMHO. They are prolific in my region. The more you pick the more they come on. They make excellent canned beans.

If you can find them, try some Scarlet Runner beans. They are purple and are amazing. They are pole beans. You can either pick them when they are small and eat them like green beans (they turn green when cooked) or you can let them mature and shell the beans. In the South we call them "shelly beans." We usually can a mixture of the shelled beans with smaller beans.

I plant the nantes carrots and they are really good and sweet. I have some problems with carrots due to gumbo (clay) soil. Added a load of sand and voila! These carrots are smaller than what you find in the grocery store - not quite so long - thus, making for a perfect home garden carrot.

Don't forget to use the Three Sisters method of planting in your home garden. Plant corn, pole beans and squash together. The corn will support the pole beans while the squash shades the roots of the bean and corn plants. It acts as a natural mulch. Space savers - gotta love 'em.

I have a Seal-A-Meal that I use to suck down frozen foods, rice, beans, flour, etc. You can usually find a good deal on them at garage sales. ;)

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Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:56 am
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Post Re: Going over preps
Here are a couple more Long Term Storage Videos I stumbled upon today

Part One



Part Two


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Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:36 pm
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Post Re: Going over preps
Ok so I just finished doing three 5 gallon pails for my long term rice storage and I have two questions for your seasoned vets...

First I put in 9 absorbers per bucket, 3 at the botton, 3 in the middle and three at the top then sealed the Mylar bags, was that over kill and will they be ok like that?

Second I notice in the last video above the lady states NOT to seal the bucket until the next day, I didnt do that but I did throw in a couple of absorbers between the lid and the sealed bag so is that ok?

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Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:41 pm
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Post Re: Going over preps
Sounds like you're good to go, L2L. Any extra oxygen absorbing capacity in the absorbers will simply remain inert until the bag is opened or if damaged.

I think the reason she might suggest not sealing the bucket itself until the next day is to allow the sealed bag(s) inside to contract as much as they are going to, so that the air space around them remains stable and the bucket itself doesn't contract and compress after adding another oxy absorber to it. Compressing the bucket is harmless, but it may not stack as solidly if its shape is distorted. The makers of so-called Superpail packaging - which is what you are doing if you put an extra absorber or two into the pail outside of the bag(s) - say you can release the lid a bit to let in enough air to straighten the pail without harm if you reseal it promptly before storing. Your choice. The vacuum pack of the food itself is unaffected.

Waiting 24-48 hours to seal the bucket also allows you to double check the seal of each bag to be sure there are no leaks. Not all bags will compress fully - this is normal - so you might want to press or test each to make sure the air/nitrogen inside is "ballooning" and not simply entering from a leak.

Cheers,

Selene


Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:17 am
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