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By Kellene Bishop

Fuel photo c/o pgdb.co.nz

Fuel photo c/o pgdb.co.nz

One of the ten areas of emergency preparedness is fuel.  Fuel brings us the much needed light that we will require not only to see, but also to feel good.  It includes any fuel we’ll need for cooking, and the fuel we’ll need for keeping warm.

Before you elect to get a years supply of fuel for these purposes, consider the most basic rules of thumb.

1)     Think safety first

2)     Conserve energy—including yours

3)     Conserve body heat

4)     Confine the heat appropriately

Alcohol photo c/o chemistryland.com

Isopropyl Alcohol photo c/o chemistryland.com

When considering what fuel to store, the safety of it should be your primary concern.  Why store gasoline when you can safely store isopropyl alcohol outside in 55 gallon drums for a lot less money and little risk of combustibility?  (You can usually get free delivery of this alcohol too.)  A few cans of propane is much safer than gasoline, and so is kerosene if stored in a cool, dry place.  Check with your local fire department for maximum storage abilities of these fuels.

Keep in mind that if you store kerosene, Home Depot has a program in which they will buy back your old kerosene after you’ve stored it several years.  They turn around and sell it to the farmers whose diesel engines will still run on it.  To dramatically extend the life of the fuel can, be sure to add a fuel preservative to your gasoline and your kerosene.

If you’re planning on surviving off of firewood, be sure that it’s already cut up—for two reasons.  One reason is to conserve your physical energy.  The last thing you need is to be expending your own energy in the midst of an emergency.  Two, be sure that you don’t have to needlessly use dangerous tools when you’re not fully functional, especially those who may not be familiar with the use of such a tool.  That’s how tragic accidents occur.  What if you are the only one who can chop the wood and you get sick?  What will your family do for fuel?  Try a task that they aren’t as experienced at as you when they’ve had just as much stress and as little nutrition as you?  Definitely not a good idea.

Whatever alternatives of fuel you elect to use, be sure you share the wealth of knowledge on how to use those tools.  One of the most foolish things I see households do is place the majority of the lifesaving information in the hands of one individual.  This is a dangerous supposition that that person will always be around.  Every responsible person in the family should know how to use the propane heater, the pressure cooker, and the alcohol lights, etc.  

Volcano Stove photo c/o barbequelovers.com

Volcano Stove photo c/o barbequelovers.com

When you are considering what tools you’ll use to cook, light, and heat with, consider the cost and accessibility of the fuel the tools will use.  Recently my husband and I purchased a small, collapsible Volcano Stove.  We have lots of means to cook with if necessary, but the price was only $99 and it was a multi-fueled tool.  It will cook off of charcoal, wood, and propane (which also means tightly rolled newspapers, too).  That made it very attractive so that we don’t have to rely on just one fuel for our cooking.  Another cooking tool we have is a kerosene heater that has a grid on the top so while we’re heating our surroundings (with ventilation, of course), we can also be boiling water, or cooking on the same component.  We also have some Joy Cook stoves that are commonly used in Korea.  With only one can of butane and my pressure cooker, I have been able to cook three meals a day on my Joy Cook stove for an entire three weeks.  

Also, consider conserving your fuel as much as possible, especially when you’re cooking.  Once you bring a pressure cooker up to high, you can remove it from the heat, turn off your heat source, and wrap the pressure cooker in towels—it will continue to cook for up to an hour.  That’s a whole lot of fuel-free cooking.  The solar oven is even more fuel-friendly in that regard.  If you have sunshine, you have an oven that will cook anything that you can cook in your regular oven, with the exception of frying.  Better yet, nothing will scorch or burn in your solar oven and the clean up is also a breeze, thus conserving your own physical energy.  This way I’m conserving the majority of my fuel for light and heat instead of just cooking.  I use my pressure cooker and my solar oven on a very regular basis so that I’m familiar with it even in the midst of a crisis, and so that it brings comfort to my family and friends. 

Dutch Oven photo c/o cityweekly.net

Dutch Oven photo c/o cityweekly.net

This leads me to my final reminder in this area of preparedness.  USE that which you are planning on using to survive a crisis.  Use it now when it’s convenient.  Don’t buy it and then stash it away until a crisis hits.  What if it’s not in working order?  What if it’s missing a part?  Also, waiting to use something until the crisis hits will only use up more of your vital physical fuel as you expend a lot of it through stress.  Remember, prepare in comfort of panic in chaos.  For example, if you have a Dutch oven that you’re planning on using in a crisis, great.  But be sure you’ve used it enough before a crisis so that you’re comfortable with it.  Besides, Dutch oven cooking is yummy.  So if you enjoy it now, when it comes time to having to use it, it will feel more like a comfort to your family rather than a science-fiction survival mode.  The more you use these items, the more you can truly be prepared because you will notice parts and components that will make your job easier that you may not have thought of previously.  For example, I use my pressure cooker all the time.  As such, I notice that the rubber seal that goes in the lid of the pan eventually gets old and thus doesn’t seal as well.  So, in the interest of truly being prepared, I’ve stocked up on a surplus of those rubber seals so that when my life is reliant on the proper function of my pressure cookers, I’m not left starving.  

Fuel doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.  Ways to keep your family warm and cook for them are usually one-time purchases that will ensure you’ve got a full life beyond, even in the midst 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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By Kellene Bishop

Over the weekend I canned about 15 pounds of ground beef and about 20 pounds of some pork roast.  They both turned out marvelous.  I’ve heard of some myths that canned meats don’t have a great texture or don’t taste as well.  That’s just hogwash, folks!  Remember, I LOVE to eat, and I refuse to eat garbage, even in an emergency.  So for today’s post, here are some of my favorite food storage recipes.  I use these in my everyday cooking and I use them as well in my “UNDERwhelmed in Food Storage” classes.  They taste the exact same whether I’m using bottled butter, my own preserved cheese, my own preserved eggs, and my canned meat or the “fresh” stuff from the store.  They are essentially my comfort foods and I’m sure they will be yours, too–even in the midst of a crisis.

Solar Oven photo c/o democraticunderground.com

Solar Oven photo c/o democraticunderground.com

Keep in mind that I frequently use a solar oven to make my casseroles.  Mind you, I’m not a miser by any stretch of the imagination, I just like having the choice of where my money goes.  So, especially in the summer, I love using my solar oven so that I don’t have to pay to heat up my oven and then pay to cool down my house.  All of these recipes can be made in your own conventional oven, in a solar oven, or even in your Dutch oven.  They are super easy to create and they will disappear FAST on even the most persnickety dinner table.

Chicken Poppy Seed Casserole

1 box of Rice-a-Roni (or generic brand) fried rice, prepare as directed

4 chicken breast halves, boneless, skinless, cooked and shredded OR 4 cups of canned chicken, drained

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 ½ c sour cream

1 “sleeve” of Ritz crackers, crushed

1 stick butter or margarine, melted

1 tbsp poppy seeds

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole photo c/o everydayfare.blogspot.com

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole photo c/o everydayfare.blogspot.com

Layer the bottom of the large casserole dish with the rice mixture.

In a separate bowl, mix together the chicken, soup, and sour cream.

Place the chicken mixture over the rice mixture in the casserole dish

Mix together the crushed Ritz crackers and the butter. Top the casserole with this mixture.

Sprinkle poppy seeds on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until dish is hot and bubbly.

10 Minute Soup

1 pound of ground beef, browned and drained

2 cans of regular sized Italian stewed tomatoes

2 cans of beef broth

1 can of mixed vegetables. ( I don’t know why exactly, but I prefer the Veg-All brand)

1 cup of mini, dry noodles

Heat beef, tomatoes, vegetables, and beef broth and bring to a boil.  When boiling add the noodles and cook for about 10 minutes.  Having some yummy bread to dip in the broth is a great idea.  Enjoy!

Frito Pie photo c/o photobucket.com

Frito Pie photo c/o photobucket.com

Frito Pie

Line the bottom of a casserole dish with Fritos (not flavored in any particular manner).  The depth of the Fritos should be about an inch.  Top the Fritos completely with your favorite brand of chili con carne(usually about 2-3 cans).  Top with grated cheddar cheese.  Bake in the oven at 350 degrees until cheese is bubbling (about 20 to 30 minutes).  This dish is YUMMY. (I like to serve this up with a sprouted salad to make sure that I’ve got a lot of nutrition in the meal as well.)

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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bottling-butterBy Kellene Bishop

June 12, 2007.  That was a day I experienced a moment of euphoria as a concern of mine had just been satisfied completely.  That was the day I discovered you could bottle butter.  It was a very, very happy day for me, until I began doing research on it.  There were an abundance of comments surfacing on the internet stating that bottling butter simply wasn’t safe because it was “impossible” to get rid of any botulism.  My joy was squashed.  But after speaking to many lifetime emergency preparedness folks who swore that bottling butter was just fine, I decided to do more research on the matter.  The good news is I’ve decided to fully embrace bottling butter.  The thought of butter on my homemade wheat bread, even in the midst of a crisis, is just too enticing to pass up.  So here’s how I’ve come up with my rationale for bottling butter in spite of what some information on the internet has said.

1)      History: I interviewed no less than TWENTY individuals who have been bottling butter and using it without any instances of illness or food poisoning.  Most of these individuals have been bottling butter for longer than a decade.  The key is to use clean and sanitized jars and lids as well as to bring the butter up to the boiling point. (Instructions follow)

2)      The Source of the Bottled Butter Controversy: The bottom line is that oxygen and bacteria are the primary culprits in the deterioration of foods.  Just as fire can’t live without oxygen, bacteria doesn’t do so well without it either.  The bottling butter process eliminates oxygen from the butter.  However, nothing—not the canning of any item—can  be certain to  “kill” botulism.  You simply need to make sure that you do not provide a source for botulism in the first place.

Botulism is a muscle-paralyzing disease caused by a toxin made by a bacterium, Clostridium botulinum.  Such bacteria are commonly found in soil.  Butter is not a substance harvested from soil.  Additionally, instances of botulism have been mostly eradicated in the U.S.  Each year, the CDC records roughly 25 cases of food borne botulism poisoning.  Most of the findings originate in some fermented whale and other traditional foods prepared by Alaska natives.  There has not been a case of commercially prepared foods containing botulism since the early 1970s.  (Click here for a link of warning)

I have found that the majority of those who state that bottling butter is dangerous are relying primarily on a report issued by the USDA as linked for you above.  In other words, the primary entity stating NOT to bottle your own butter is the Department of Agriculture.  While I may sound a bit like a rebel, I don’t give that much stock.  After all, the FDA, Surgeons General, etc., have made a whole lot of big mistakes over the years such as “smoking IS NOT hazardous”, “Laetrile will not help with cancer”, “Ephedrine is perfectly safe”, just to name a few.  I’ve found that a great deal of “government studies” always tend to benefit the person who’s paying for the study.  Clearly it would not be financially beneficial to the commercial dairy manufacturers if folks were bottling their own butter. 

While you’ll have to make this decision for yourself, I for one will be bottling my own butter and stocking up on it any time I can get it for less than $1.50 a pound.  After all, does the USDA tell you that you can store cheese on your own for 25 years, or that you can store “fresh” eggs for 9 months?  I think not.  And yet I KNOW that these methods work.  I’ve also seen several “butter storing” canisters for sale on the shelves at kitchens supply stores.  Again, the concept is that you can store the butter on your counter by eliminating the oxygen that gets into it.

I have a confession to make.  I keep my butter on the counter by the toaster for when I have toast.  I don’t refrigerate it.  I’ve done it ever since I was a little kid, ’cause that’s just what Mom and Grandma did.  I’ve NEVER gotten food poisoning—ever.

When it comes to using your bottled butter, I have a recommendation.  In an emergency situation where you’re having to make your supplies last for “who knows how long” I don’t recommend using your bottled butter for anything other than buttering.  Applesauce, pie fillings, oils, and so many other items will suffice as substitues in your other baking and cooking endeavors.  So don’t think that you have to bottle enough butter to use in everything to last you for a year.  Save the butter moments for when it really counts.

Here are the bottled butter instructions.  You’ll see that they are VERY easy.

  • As an extra precaution, I place all of my jars, rings (no seals), utensils, pots, funnel, etc., that I am going to use for this project out in my solar oven for about 30 minutes at 200 to 250 degrees so that they are all sanitized.
  • You can use any butter available, but I don’t recommend bottling margarine.   The less quality of butter that you buy will take a little bit more “shaking’ but I’ll get to that later.  The results are the same regardless of how much you spend on the butter.
  • (One pound of butter slightly more than fills one pint jar, so if you melt 11 pounds of butter, heat 12 pint jars.  A roasting pan works well for holding the pint jars while in the oven.)
  • Heat up your clean, pint jars in a 250 degree oven for 20 minutes, without rings or seals.
  • While the jars are heating in your oven, melt your unwrapped butter slowly in a pot on your stove until it comes to a slow boil.  DO NOT DO THIS IN THE MICROWAVE.  Be sure that the pot you are using is EXTRA clean and sanitized.  (I always like to make sure the pot I use has gone through the sanitize cycle of my dishwasher or the sanitation recommendation above.)  Boil the butter for 5 minutes like this.  Using a clean utensil, stir the bottom of the pot often to keep the butter from scorching.  When you rest the utensil, be certain that it is NOT placed on any area that may have germs.  Being sure to do a slow boil will make the necessary shaking time shorter.
  • Place the rings and lids in a pot boiling water for about 10 minutes, or until needed.  Use tongs to pull them out of the water to avoid burning your hands.
  • Once the butter is finished boiling, remove it from the heat.  Using a ladle or small measuring cup, scoop the butter from the pan and pour it into the jars.  I like using a funnel to ensure I don’t leave a mess.   Fill the jars leaving a ¾ inch of head space in the jar.  This allows room for the shaking process.
  • Wipe off the top of the jars with a clean, sanitized towel or wash cloth. Place a hot lid and ring on the jar.  Secure lids.  The lids will seal as they cool.  Once a few lids “ping,” shake the entire jar while the jars are still warm, but cool enough to handle safely.  You are doing this because the butter will separate and become foamy on top and white on the bottom.  You want to blend it as much as possible while it cools.  Repeat this every 5 minutes for about 15 minutes.  You will begin to see a the same consistency in the entire jar.
  • Now place your jars into the refrigerator.  While they are cooling and hardening, shake again every 5 to 10 minutes for a half hour.  The butter will begin to look like firm butter.  Be sure that you don’t skip this step as the final shaking is very important!  Check every 5 minutes and give the jars a little shake until they are hardened in the jar.  Leave the jars in the fridge for a total of one hour.

Canned butter will store for 3 to 5 years or longer on a cool, dark shelf.  I’ve had butter as “old as 7 years” with no problems or compromise in taste.  Know that your bottled butter will not re-melt after you’ve bottled it so you won’t need to refrigerate it after opening (yet another plus, in my book), though you should still plan on using it up within a reasonable amount of time.

Ultimately, if you don’t want to bottle butter, you can store it in your freezer and then use it up if your electricity dies.  If you decide that THEN would be a good time to try to bottle the butter after all, you can do so with a solar oven or simply by the power of the sun in your backyard.  But that’s another story.

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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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.

    Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

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    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.

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    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!

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