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How to prepare medically for an EMP attack

By Kellene Bishop 

When any natural disaster hits a region there will always be devastating consequences, particularly to those who are in ill health or who rely on medications and modern technology to get through their day.  Unfortunately, without preparing medically, these individuals will be the first casualties of such a disaster.  I understand that stating such a reality doesn’t make me popular or a preferred guest at your next dinner party, but I do feel compelled to teach you the real consequences of a crisis, while also teaching you to prepare medically so you can avoid being a death statistic.

Photo c/o chip.state.il.us

Photo c/o chip.state.il.us

First get the 10,000 foot view of how an EMP attack or a solar flare will affect your medical preparedness.  ALL electrical gidgets and gadgets will be fried and made useless, regardless of whether or not they are turned on, plugged in, or out of their styro-foam box.  So, if your “plan” is to race to Walgreens once you catch wind of an emergency, you’re in for a rude awakening.  Medical supplies such as prescriptions run on a one day delivery schedule.  That means that the most that pharmacies have on hand is ONE day of supplies for their regular number of customers.  Regular, as in a peaceful, calm, normal day.  If the “fit hits the shan,” you need to understand the mathematical problem in expecting your supplies will be on hand when you need them in a mass emergency situation.  You will have LESS than 30 minutes to get there, get it, and get out.  So you see why that’s not the best plan to prepare medically?  What you should do is to have a frank conversation with your doctor, tell him that you want and need to prepare medically for an emergency, and ask for a 1 to 3 month supply of your medications in addition to what you need to be taking.  So long as your prescription is not a controlled substance, you should be able to make a convincing argument to prepare medically.

If you are dealing with diabetic issues in which you need insulin, get what you can as a supply AND store advanced technology ice packs to prepare medically.  There are kinds of ice packs that look like a pox-marked quilt that stay frozen and distribute the cold for longer periods of time than simple ice.  There are also gel packs that can be heated or frozen.  They hold their temperature a lot longer than ice.  Keep in mind, if you store your insulin in the refrigerator, dramatically limit opening that refrigerator.  You will be able to keep it cool for a 50% longer period of time.  Other preparedness methods that you should explore are solar energy generators sufficient only to run a small refrigerator, a “solar oven” that converts to a refrigerator at night and how to construct an electricity free refrigerator (see Google).  Our forefathers did without electricity and so can we if need be.

Photo c/o ehow.com

Photo c/o ehow.com

Another suggestion to prepare medically is for you to be certain that you are storing nutritious foods.  I hear folks frequently tell me that they will be able to survive off of their food storage simply because of all of the boxes they have of Kraft Mac and Cheese.  I assure you, that is not surviving.  It’s barely even living.  In an emergency situation your body is naturally in a heightened state of stress.  Your body needs MORE nutrition to “survive”, let alone to thrive.  Stress compromises your entire health system—especially your immune system.  Having proper nutrition in a crisis situation is the utmost of importance.  Multi-vitamins, essential oils, quality grains, sprouting supplies, etc. will all be crucial to you surviving not only an existing medical crisis, but one that may occur due to your circumstances as well.  You can not underestimate the power of nutrition for your health—especially in an emergency.

It’s easy for us in this country to become complacent with all that medical technology will do for us that we aren’t willing to do for ourselves.  On New Years Day this year, I looked at my nightstand and was struck by how many prescription bottles I had that I needed to take everyday.  I suddenly became very aware of how those prescriptions would compromise my ability to survive and emergency.  Thus in the name of emergency preparedness I made a vow that I would eliminate the need for all of them this year if it were at all possible.  As of May, I have eliminated all but one of these meds by being more conscientious of what I eat, how active I am physically, and using nutrition as my medicine instead of just as my food.  (Please consult your physician before attempting this.)

Photo c/o flickr.com/photos/troikkonen

Photo c/o flickr.com/photos/troikkonen

For the first 8 years of my marriage, my husband’s breakfast consisted of two handfuls of peanut M&M’s, a Cherry Coke, and a bag of Cheetos (he fondly called it “Vitamin C3”).  Throughout the day he would eat Lindt chocolate and any other kind of sweets that sounded appetizing.  I couldn’t get that man to eat veggies unless it was on a slab of beef.  Healthy, eh?  However, one day it hit him that he didn’t want to be a slave to these kinds of foods in an emergency.  So he went from a sugar addict to a “no sugar guy” overnight.  He’s now 2 years “sober”—all in the name of emergency preparedness.  He also runs up “Y” mountain in Provo, Utah every morning while stopping long enough to do a total of 600 push-ups along the way.  Each day it’s being prepared for an emergency that motivates him. (Please consult a psychologist before attempting this! :) )

While it’s not realistic to arm yourself with a year’s supply of medicine, you can arm yourself with as much health and strength as you can possibly store AND you can also have a year’s high-quality nutritional products on hand.  I’m not talking about diet shakes.  I’m talking about products such as Reliv, Sunrider, Young Living, Xooma’s water sachets, etc.  Worst case scenario, stocking up on some Ensure may save your life if you can’t get the other products.  I don’t recommend nutritional products such as these to make money in an “MLM.”  I recommend products like these to literally save your life.  (Which is exactly why I’m NOT going to provide you with contact information for these products. Please Google them.)  

Increase your knowledge of the use of essential oils, herbs, and alternative medicines. There is an abundance of information freely available.  Even cancer can be appeased with alternative medicine (click here) All of these chemicals we take have their own natural origins.  Go to the source.  Even diabetes can be made less severe with essential oils and herbs (click here).

Lastly, in order to prepare medically you need to keep in mind that in the event of an EMP attack, it’s not likely that you will have any notice.  Unlike a tornado warning, you won’t be able to go underground for safety.  BUT…if you DO have such a warning, then be prepared to flee into or to store vital items immediately in a Faraday cage or like protection.  (More info on that coming up this week.)  If you have a pacemaker or oxygen machine, get yourself as far below ground as possible.

The bottom line is, we do not have to be helpless medically in any event with some concentrated efforts to prepare medically now.  Remember, you won’t be able to rely on hospitals, doctors or emergency services to help amidst a catastrophic event (Think Hurricane Katrina).  But as you prepare medically, you can be self-sufficient with mental and physical preparedness now.

  • EMP 101: Part I–The Likelihood.
  • EMP 101: Part II–The Aftermath.
  • EMP 101: Part III–Prepare Medically.
  • EMP 101: Part IV–Faraday Cages.
  • Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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    This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

    By Kellene Bishop

    Photo c/o total-diet.com

    Fruits and Veggies. Photo c/o total-diet.com

    I’ve conducted over 100 food storage evaluations over the last year and a half, and while there are a myriad of issues and common errors that many make, one thing that concerns me the most is a lack of emphasis on the storage of fruits and vegetables.  These items are critical in fulfilling the body’s need for fiber, vitamins and minerals.  The best weapon you can have in an emergency is your health and fruits and veggies are a key to providing this.  A focus on fruits and veggies has a great deal of lifesaving merit.

    Given that many of us utilize fresh or frozen produce, we tend to overlook the need for canned or freeze dried sources to meet those nutritional needs in the event of an emergency.  We’re constantly pummeled with “wheat and water” admonitions for food storage, but we rarely hear the need to be mindful of fruits and veggies.  So how many servings do you need and in what form should you store it?  Given the variety of emergencies that can affect us, relying solely on a small garden or what’s in our freezer to provide us with this vital nutrition is not a good game plan.  You really can’t afford to have this vital source of nutrition off of your radar.  You simply must focus on having 3 servings a day of fruits and veggies, especially during an emergency.

    Freeze dried bell peppers.  Photo c/o 21food.com

    Freeze dried bell peppers. Photo c/o 21food.com

    I’m a big fan of freeze dried fruits and veggies.  In number ten cans, quality freeze-dried produce will last 20 to 30 years.  Even better, if you are able to get it on sale, it needn’t be something that you obtain just for emergencies.  For example, I regularly acquire freeze dried spinach and diced red and green peppers.  When I’m making an omelet, I take a couple of spoonfuls of spinach and mix it in.  Not only have I saved myself time by not cleaning and cutting the veggies, but this way I know that I won’t have to throw veggies out later.  When I’m making a spaghetti sauce or a casserole, I simply add a dash of my peppers for flavor.  This is actually a LOT less expensive than if I were to go to the store, pay for the produce, clean it, dice it, and then hope that I’ve got more uses for the remainder before it goes bad.  The same holds true for fruits.  In fact, I regularly find myself munching on the fruits out of the can without even the need to reconstitute them.  They are a delightful snack this way.  Freeze-dried pineapple, blueberries, apples and strawberries are yummy!  And they are much easier on your blood sugar than the sweets you will inevitably crave in an emergency.

    Understand that there’s a big difference between freeze-dried and dehydrated foods.  Dehydrated fruits and veggies lose the majority of their nutritional value, not to mention that they don’t always taste the best.  Whereas freeze-dried produce keeps 90% of its nutritional value, and with an easy bit of reconstituting can be indiscernible from fresh produce in your dishes.  In my opinion the taste of freeze-dried goods are just as good, if not better than the real thing.  It’s almost like the freeze-drying process compounds the flavors. 

    Next, canned fruits and veggies.  I don’t mind canned fruits, but personally, I’m not a big fan of some veggies from the can.  I love fresh produce and the canned goods just don’t cut it for me.  That said, I’ve learned to live with them in a casserole or when mixed in with something else.  But I’m also mindful that in an emergency, the nutritional value is critical for those not-so-green goodies in the can.  Obviously, taking on the lost art of canning is a GREAT idea.  Chances are that the canners your grandmothers used still work perfectly today, but other canners have progressed significantly in our time that provide more safety features.  Plus, Mason jars and lids are very, very affordable.  Learning how to can allows you the luxury of making the most of a great sale on produce!  There’s very little that you can’t can and put away for a rainy day.  It’s not nearly as time-consuming as you may remember as a child thanks to the advance technology available.  Consider that you can also can fruits and veggies in a solar oven without heating up your kitchen or being fearful of the hissing that your canner makes.  I’ve even known women in Arizona and Texas who have canned their produce simply by putting it in jars out on their hot patio.  Now how easy is that!?

    Sprouted wheat. Photo c/o nandyala.org

    Sprouted wheat. Photo c/o nandyala.org

    Lastly, sprouting.  Yes, wheat is a starch, but when you sprout it (as well as other grains and legumes) it becomes a high quality fresh vegetable!  Consider also that in the event of an emergency, water will be a highly valuable commodity so using large amounts of water to preserve your vegetable garden may not be realistic.  However, sprouting is very easy to do, indoors or out, and it requires a minimal amount of water.  Most sprouted items increase in nutritional value by over 500%!  So while you’re storing up your wheat, be sure to consider the supplies necessary to sprout your wheat into a good supply of vegetable source as well.  When your wheat does sprout, it’s also a great indicator that your wheat is in fine condition for consumption.  If it doesn’t sprout, it means that it’s lost a lot of its nutrients during storage.  While it can still be used for flatbreads and such, it’s not going to do much more than fill you up when you’re hungry.

    Word to the wise: don’t forget to store your fruits and veggies! 

    Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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    This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

    By Kellene Bishop

    I hate having to learn dumb lessons.  Don’t you?  As I’ve looked back and realized all the simple tricks and strategies I’ve learned over the last 10 years, I cringe at the thought of all of the money, time, anxiety, and energy I’ve wasted.  So I decided to share them with you.  You’re sure to learn something in this list!  I hope you’ll learn from my mistakes NOW!

    1. Yeast will last indefinitely if stored in your freezer!  Outside the freezer it only lasts a year, but inside that freezing climate it lasts over 5 years—so far.  When I use it in my bread, I just use it directly from the freezer into my bread dough with no problem.  I cringe at the though of all of the yeast I’ve wasted over several years.
    2. clipping couponsI can obtain food storage for FREE or better, and certainly inexpensively, if I just use coupons and an organized system!  Now that’s really something to cringe about!  I acquired a great deal of my food storage over the years from Costco, but now that I can get name brands for free or dirt cheap elsewhere, I figure I can’t afford to shop at Costco, thanks to coupons! It really IS worth using coupons.  I can’t believe I was so pious to think that coupons were “beneath me.”
    3. Cooking with a pressure cooker is a sanity saver.  They are fast, nutritious, fuel friendly and SO easy to use!  I wish I hadn’t been afraid of them way back when.  I’m so grateful that a patient teacher showed me their merits!  
    4. Yes, you can CAN MEATS!  And it’s the easiest thing in the world to can.  Simply stuff the RAW meat into a mason jar with a bit of salt, put the clean lids on it, put the jars in your pressure canner for the recommended period of time, and VOILA!  You have BETTER THAN CANNED meat.  (The canned stuff you buy has been processed twice.)  This meat will be SO tender, so juicy, and will save you a BUNDLE over the canned stuff!  (Let’s see.  Tastes better.  25% cheaper.  Easy to do. Dang!  I wish I could relive the last 10 years!)
    5. cheese-wax-goudaCheese wax is a God-send!  I can have all of the REAL cheese I want if I simply use cheese wax to preserve it!  The cheese will keep for 25 years using this method.  Now I’ve got Swiss, Monterey Jack, Colby, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Cheddar, Gouda, Blue Cheese, and even a delicious smoked cheese literally sitting pretty in my food storage!  If I had known about cheese wax 10 years ago, I would have made much better use of the cheese sales over the years and never tried that nasty processed stuff.
    6. Preserving eggs that I buy from the store is a snap!  After I wrote a lengthy article on egg preservation, I discovered that a quarter cup of warmed mineral oil, coated on my eggs that I buy from the grocery store works great.  I then can store them pointed side down in a Styrofoam carton, in a cool, dry place.  I don’t have to get the eggs FRESH from a farm.  And I don’t have to stack them carefully in anything.  How’s that for easy?!  I have WHOLE, REAL eggs for up to 9 months!  Forget the bran flakes, the paraffin wax, the salt storage.   Just some mineral oil is PERFECT.  WOW!
    7. I never have to live without yummy chocolate again!  I can buy all of the candy bars, Hershey kisses, chocolate chips, peanut M&Ms, Dove chocolates, Lindt chocolates, stuff them in a Mason jar, and with my trusty Food Saver jar attachment, seal their goodness for YEARS!  (I like getting them on sale after a holiday)  This also works for ANYTHING that doesn’t require refrigeration.  When I open the jar years later, they still taste as fresh and yummy as they would have on the day I bought it!  
    8. ONLY store what you eat.  If I don’t eat it, I won’t eat it, and thus it’s a waste of money.  If you can’t eat wheat, DON’T store it.  If you can’t stand the taste of powdered milk, store canned milk or soy milk instead.  Fortunately I’ve learned to prepare all my oddball foods that weren’t previously in my regular diet, but it sure would have saved me some headaches if I had done things differently.  If I store what I eat, the rotation is a cinch!
    9. You can have meals already made, cooked, and stored in a Mason jar!  You can bake bread, cake, cookies, casseroles, pudding, and more, in a Mason jar, seal it, and they will last for SEVERAL years!  That way you don’t have to figure out how to cook up something every day while you’re enduring a crisis.  Do it in comfort now, so you can live in comfort even in the worst of disasters!  
    10.    

       

      solar-oven-kelleneSolar ovens are the bomb–not just in an emergency, but every single day the sun shines!  I LOVE cooking in mine.  I haven’t found anything that I can’t cook in it that doesn’t turn out wonderful!  I’ve essentially tripled the life of the fuel that I have stored, since I won’t need to use any of it on cooking anymore except on cloudy or rainy days!  Not having to worry or pay for a years supply of fuels such as propane, kerosene, fire wood or isopropyl alcohol, makes the price I would pay for a solar oven well worthwhile. So… like any woman, I bought two! :)

    I’ll be writing more about each of these items later, if I haven’t done so already.  The point is food storage can be GLORIOUSLY DELICIOUS.  You don’t have to do without and it doesn’t have to be expensive and boring either.  One dollar a day, per person, will provide you with absolutely comforting and delightful meals regardless of your challenging circumstances.  Enjoy!

    Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

    Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

    This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

    By Kellene Bishop

    Many are reluctant to take food storage preparations seriously due to a fear that they will have to live merely on beans and rice.  While I do enjoy a good meal of beans and rice, I’ll admit the thought of it makes me somewhat depressed.  As a professional preparedness consultant, I can assure you that your meals need not be any less enjoyable during an emergency that they are now.  You can truly anticipate meals that are fit for a king, even when you’re living off of your storable commodities.  Perhaps the only downside to these meals is that you’ll have to do the cooking.  A little bit of preparation now will go a long ways in preserving your own physical energy and warding off the blues in the event of a crisis.  Bring on the succulent feast!  

    My primary suggestion for the preparation in the future is to begin to embrace freeze dried and canned foods in your everyday cooking now so that you can enjoy dishes fit for a king.  (Photo care of http://www.logoi.com/)

    Photo c/o bluechipgroup.net

    Photo c/o bluechipgroup.net

    Freeze dried products have come a LONG ways.  I am very partial to the Blue Chip products as they are SO tasty, and even come with an 18 month guarantee that’s effective AFTER you open the #10 cans.  Now when I use freeze dried veggies and such, I don’t throw away or waste produce, I only use as much as I need, I don’t have to sacrifice taste or nutrition and I also save a great deal of time.  For example, I have several food storage recipes which call for a part of a can of tomato paste.  By using the freeze dried version, I only use exactly what I need and the rest will be there for me over the next 18 months.  When I want a little bell pepper and spinach for an omelet (how’s that for dishes fit for a king?), I don’t have to take the time to dice the produce.  I just add in what I want and the put the rest away for later.  Easy, right?  I’ve tried over 35 of the Blue Chip products (also recognized under the name “Morning Moos”) and have never been dissatisfied.  In fact, I have enjoyed some of the products so much, that they’ve definitely made their way into my everyday cooking!  

    So enjoy these recipes fit for a king today and know that they will taste just as yummy in the future!

    Turkey Tetrazzini

    (Serves 4)

    2 10 oz. cans of turkey or chicken

    14 oz. of spaghetti noodles, broken into thirds, cooked and drained

    1 6 oz. can of sliced mushrooms, or the equivalent of freeze dried mushrooms

    1 T of minced onion

    1 T of minced garlic

    1 t. of fresh parsley (fresh is best so consider keeping an herb garden)

    1 16 oz. can of chicken broth

    1 12 oz. can evaporated milk

    ½ cup flour

    1 t. salt

    ½ t. pepper

    ½ C of butter (or dried equivalent)

    ½ C grated parmesan cheese

    Make a white sauce by mixing the butter, flour, chicken broth and 1 C of evaporated milk in a pot on medium heat, stirring constantly until creamy.

    Stir in the mushrooms (if dried, allow them to rehydrate before adding in any other ingredients) and then the turkey/chicken.  Add onion and garlic and parsley.

    Add in the cooked pasta.

    Stir the sauce and pasta together well and place in a baking dish.

    Top with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  This can be baked in a Dutch oven easily or a solar oven.  It can also be baked in a covered grill at a low heat.  Be sure that the casserole dish can withstand direct fire contact. 

    Photo c/o lapetitechinoise.com

    Photo c/o lapetitechinoise.com

    Shepherds Pie

     (Serves 4)

    1 40 oz. can beef stew

    1 12 oz. can vegetables (peas, corn, or green beans)

    1 C of “potato pearls”, “potato gems” (made by Blue Chip), or “potato buds”

    ½ C grated cheese (optional.  You can easily keep cheese in your food storage by waxing your own cheese)

    1 C very hot water

    Combine stew and vegetables and pour into a 9×9 baking dish. 

    Combine potato pearls with water. Stir briefly. Cover and let stand for 5- 10 minutes.

    Spread potatoes over the stew mixture, top with grated cheese if desired.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

    This can also be cooked in a Dutch Oven or a solar oven very easily. You can also put the mixture into individual ramekins and cook them in the solar oven as well.

    Beef Stroganoff

    (Serves 4)

    1 10 oz. can of beef chunks of cooked ground beef

    1 4 oz. can of sliced mushrooms (or equivalent of dried mushrooms)

    1 10 oz. can of cream of mushroom soup

    2 T of dehydrated onion

    8 oz. of egg noodles, prepared according to directions

    OR

    1 C of rice prepared according to directions

    1 C of yogurt or sour cream (this can easily be prepared from your powdered milk)

    In a large skillet or Dutch oven, combine all ingredients except for the yogurt or sour cream and noodles/rice.  Heat through.  Stir in the yogurt or sour cream and heat through.  Serve mixture over noodles/rice.

    Notes: You can also add some fresh parsley to this dish or a can of peas, drained.

    Swiss Steak

    (Serves 4)

    1 1.25 oz. package of dry, brown gravy mix

    1 15 oz. can diced or pureed tomatoes (depending on your texture preference)

    1 12 oz. can roast beef chunks

    1 C potato pearls, gems, or buds

    2 T dehydrated carrots

    1 T diced dehydrated green pepper

    2 T minced dehydrated onion

    1 ¾ C water for gravy

    1 C very hot water

    2 C of boiling water to mix with potatoes

    First hydrate the carrots, green peppers and onions by placing them in a bowl and covering them with the very hot water. Set them aside for about 10 to 30 minutes, adding more water if necessary.

    In a large skillet or Dutch oven, mix together the water and gravy with a whisk.  Stir until lumps have been dissipated.

    Stir in the hydrated carrots, peppers, onions, and the tomatoes. Bring to a boil while stirring. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Add beef and continue to simmer until heated through.

    In a separate container mix together the potatoes and 2 cups of boiling water. (Water previously used for cooking pasta, rice or vegetables is ideal)

    Enjoy your new food storage dishes, fit for a king! 

    Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

    Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

    This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

    By Kellene Bishop

    Photo by Julia Kalloz

    Photo by Julia Kalloz

    Hundreds, if not thousands of dollars are regularly spent by Americans on gadgets and gizmos to make their cooking experiences taste better.  Smokers, cedar planks, fancy grills, kitchen appliances, turkey fryers and more are all acquired with the intent to produce that ideal mouth-watering meal.  Given my love of cooking, it’s no wonder my friends constantly accuse me of having every kitchen gadget known to man—er… woman.  So it’s no surprise that I recently acquired yet another gadget, only to discover that not only did it produce the most amazing taste in foods I’ve prepared otherwise, but it was also ideal to use in the event of emergency survival.  No water.  No messy clean up.  No worries of scorching or burning.  No constant monitoring.  And no fuel of any kind is required.  The solar oven is now officially my new cooking nirvana.  

    As any reader of my blog knows, I love, love, love the pressure cooker.  It gives me scrumptious foods in a fraction of the time.  So when I need it fast (which I usually do) the pressure cooker wins, hands down.  However, my solar oven will also give me delectable delights while I leave it and forget it, and the resulting taste, even in some of the most innocuous dishes, is incomparable with any other form of cooking.  It provides distinctly unique results to meats, breads, vegetables, rice, pizza, and even brownies!  (In fact, I’ve heard stories of some teenage boys who won’t eat brownies any other way now that they’ve discovered the merits of a solar oven.)

    Before I get carried away with the food aspect of the solar oven, let me start with the basic benefits.

    Sunshine by Sailorette857

    Sunshine by Sailorette857

    Obviously, storing a year’s supply of fuel to cook, light, and heat your home in the event of an emergency is not feasible for the majority of Americans.  It can also be hazardous depending on what kind of fuel you’re planning to use.  Thus the limited amount of fuel you are able to store ahead of time will be precious in a time of uncertainty.  However, a solar oven will make use of the FREE fuel God’s provided us, allowing you to divert the majority of your available fuel resources to other needs besides cooking.  You can use a solar oven on any day of the year in which you have full or almost full sunlight, even in the winter.  It makes absolutely no difference what the outside temperature is when you use it.  The majority of your dishes will take only 2 to 4 hours to fully cook.  Your food will never burn or scorch (although baked goods will dry out if left in too long), and you will have effortless clean up afterwards.  (Thereby conserving your physical energy as well—a big plus!)  There is no danger of a fire, and with the exception of frying foods, there’s not much you can’t prepare successfully in a solar oven.

    Another very interesting benefit of the solar oven is that it is typically waterless cooking.  That’s right.  If you want to cook a pot roast, simply put in your meat and your seasonings—no water—and allow it to sit in your solar oven for 3 to 4 hours, depending on the size of the roast.  When it’s done, it will simply fall apart into tender pieces, and you’ll have plenty of liquids left over to make scrumptious gravy with.  Much like the concept of a pressure cooker, when you cook in a solar oven, your foods will actually retain more of their nutrients this way, and certainly be more flavorful and tender.  You want to cook vegetables?  No need to water down the nutritional value by adding water.  Simply put them in your container in the solar oven and you will have yummy results a couple hours later.  You can even put corn on the cob still in the husks in your oven, and they will turn out so delicious and tender you may easily do without the salt and butter.  Want “hard-boiled” eggs?  Just put the raw egg in a dry pot in the container Mother Nature provided and let it cook for 1.5 to 2 hours—less time if all you want is a “poached” egg.  Since water weighs more than air, adding water to a dish, such as soup, will actually take longer to cook than even a whole chicken—although soups and such turn out just fine in a solar oven as well.  In fact, the solar oven is ideal for pasteurizing your water for safe cooking and drinking consumption.  (Think of all of the fuel and personal energy you will save by not having to boil your water or treat it with expensive doo-dads!)

    Think you’ve got “little friends” in your wheat?  Simply “bake” the grain in your solar oven for a couple of hours, and you’ve got “critter free” grains that are easy to sift out any unwanted guests from.  That’s a heck of a lot better than throwing out the good pasta, rice, beans, and wheat, due to some enemy infiltrators, right?

    While you can purchase a wide variety of solar ovens, they are also relatively simple—and definitely affordable—to make.  (see http://solarcooking.org/plans/funnel.htm)  However, to be honest, I prefer to buy mine so that I don’t have to figure out how to make one when I need it most.  After scouring the internet for hours, I found the best value for commercial types right here in Utah.  (Nope, I don’t sell them, but I’m happy to direct you to the source I found that does.  Call Five Star Preparedness at 801-734-9596 to order the right solar oven for you, complete with shipping right to your door.  You can also visit them online at www.fivestarpreparedness.com)

    Here are the basic fundamentals of an operating solar oven (not to be confused with a parabolic solar cooker).  Sunlight has to pass through a glazing shield of some sort-usually glass, and then be absorbed by a black interior and black cookware.  The heat rays from the sun are long and thus they cannot escape the oven, so they remain inside.  The reflectors you will use allow for more of the sun’s rays to pass through the glazing layer, increasing the temperature within the cooking chamber as a result. Most solar ovens will get up to 350 to 450 degrees.  Just so you know, any food can cook at 180 degrees or more, it simply will take more time than you’re used to at such lower temperatures. 

    To create the preferred “black cookware” to use with your solar oven, all you need to do is spray the outside of a clear glass cooking dish (or even a Mason jar) with BBQ grill black paint.  (You can easily obtain this for about 5 bucks at your local Wal-Mart.)  This paint will not leech any chemicals into your food unless it heats up to 1200 degrees, so it’s safe to use in this instance.  There are also plenty of dark cookware items available in your local stores.  Truth be told, the black cookware isn’t absolutely necessary, but other choices will dramatically slow down your cooking time.

    In the event that you are using your solar oven during a prolonged power outage, plan on putting your first dish in the oven in the morning to be ready for lunch, and then putting in your dinner meal after you remove your lunch preparations. Baked goods cook best with the mid-day sun, as opposed to the later afternoon. 

    In closing, allow me to highlight some great ways to use your solar oven:

    • Cook (the smaller the food is cut, the faster it will cook)
    • Bake (even bread, muffins, cookies, etc.)
    • Water Pasteurization (You can even obtain a simple water pasteurization indicator)
    • Sanitize dishes/utensils (Conserve your hot water)
    • Eliminate bad enzymes or insects from grains and legumes
    • Conserve energy with easy clean-up
    • Conserve Fuel
    • Conserve Water in cooking
    • Reduce heat in your kitchen during the summer
    • Can goods such as jams, fruits, and veggies
    • Disinfect homemade bandages

    And at least 25 more uses that I simply don’t have room for in this blog.  I wholeheartedly encourage you to discover this great way of cooking now. Not only will the flavors and textures be to your liking, but you certainly won’t feel like you’re “roughing it” in the event of an emergency. 

    Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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    Friday before last I decided to throw a party at my home. I wanted it to be an enjoyable night for the girlfriends in my life, so I threw in some paraffin hand treatments and made tons of food from my food storage supplies.  We had 3 main dishes, 2 side dishes, an appetizer and 2 desserts.  Would you believe, the food disappeared rapidly with countless requests for recipes? 

     

    After everyone had enjoyed their fill of yummy food – yes, I did say “yummy” and yes, it was all made from what I had on hand – we then all sat down and discussed the 9 key areas of emergency preparedness.  So many additional ideas and insights were added to my own and we all benefited substantially.  So in addition to sharing the recipes with all of my blog readers, I’m also going to break down various components that were discussed for practical application in your emergency preparedness activities.  So here’s a great tip followed by a recipe of ingredients from your food storage:

     

    The Magic Number 12

     

    cottage-mtg-2This is a great tip for novices and pros alike when it comes to accumulating your food storage. As I’ve shared previously, it’s important to “store what you eat and know how to prepare what you store.”  This particular tip addresses an effective way to store what you eat.

     

    The other day I was reading a cookbook — I do that frequently — and I happened upon a recipe that I realized I could adapt to make from cans, jars, and food storage items.  So I purchased the items from the grocery, tested the recipe out on my hubby, and discovered we had a new yummy recipe that he would eat for a nice dinner, let alone in an emergency situation (He assures me that he won’t be as picky of an eater in an emergency as he is now…but I’m not planning on counting on that promise).  So I watched the coupons and ads for the local grocery stores and then went out and purchased enough ingredients to make that dish 12 times.  Why?

     

    The objective is to store a year’s supply of food storage, right?  I’m also sensitive to avoiding “appetite fatigue” and ensuring that my husband actually enjoys the meals I create.  In an emergency, it’s not likely that you will be cooking 3 meals a day, rather one meal of substance, and the rest would be meals of convenience such as instant oats, cold cereal, peanut butter and jelly, canned chicken on crackers, etc.  As long as you have a plan for one main meal every day, then you’ll be far ahead.  To recap, if you have 30 different meals in your repertoire each month, then you are likely to not meet any appetite fatigue issues or stress because you’re attempting to introduce something new to your family when they are already under a great deal of stress as the result of an emergency. 

     

    This is why I purchase my grocery items in increments of twelve.  If 12 is too much to handle due to space or financial restraints, then take it down to 6 or 4 or 3. But if you get yourself in the habit of buying this way when you have a recipe that works for you and your family, you will have your year’s supply of meals in a short period of time.  Now that’s what I call “eating the elephant one bite at a time.”

     

    Here’s one of the recipe’s which I created for this event.  It’s just an open, dump, stir, and warm kind of recipe. Thus not only does it use a minimal amount of your physical energy, it will require a minimal amount of precious fuel as well to warm up.

     

    Southern Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

     

    • 4 cups of canned chicken, drained
    • 1 package (6 ounces) of Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice Original Recipe
    • 1 can of cream of celery soup
    • 2/3 cup of Miracle Whip (don’t substitute any different mayonnaise)
    • 1 can (8 oz) of diced water chestnuts, drained (I like to chop mine a bit smaller than they come in the “diced” can)
    • 1 2 oz. jar of sliced pimento peppers. (diced is fine also)
    • 1 regular sized can of French cut green beans, drained
    • 1 ½ cups of chicken broth OR water
    • 2 Tablespoons of pre-grated Parmesan cheese (the stuff in the green can is just fine.)

     

    chicken-rice-recipeCombine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well with a spoon.  Transfer to a Dutch oven, or a pre-greased baking dish if you’re cooking in a solar oven. Top the dish with the Parmesan Cheese. If using a solar oven, be sure to cover the dish with foil.  If using the Dutch Oven, simply put on the lid.

     

    Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until it’s bubbling and the rice has cooked.  Let cool about 5 minutes and then serve.

     

    You can also cook this most expeditiously and economically in a pressure cooker. Simply bring the cooker to full pressure with the ingredients mixed together inside, then once it’s come to full pressure, remove from heat, wrap in towels and continue to cook for about 15 minutes.

     

    Enjoy!  Let me know what you think!

     

     

    Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.
    You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  

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