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By Kellene Bishop

Morning Moo's Cans photo c/o everyday_something

Morning Moo's Cans photo c/o everyday_something

If you’re in Las Vegas, NV; Henderson, NV; Gilbert, AZ; Southeast Gilbert, AZ; or Mesa, AZ you should feel pretty darn special cause you’re getting a product that isn’t available anywhere else. Costco now has 2 special 6-packs of the Morning Moo’s/Blue Chip foods that they are selling.  In one 6 pack they have “breakfast items” and in another 6-pack they have “dinner items.”  The 6-packs contain 6 #10 cans. Some of these items are SO dang good I can’t believe they are freeze dried! 

In the Breakfast Pack they have the whole Freeze-Dried Strawberries (scrumptious!), Creamy Wheat, Buttermilk Pancakes (amazing!), Scrambled Egg Mix (I use these all the time), Imitation Bacon Bits (only 1g of fat!) and the Potatoe Shreds. There’s over 200 servings in these 6 packs, and they have up to a 25 year shelf life. 

I like to add a bit of cinnamon to the pancake mix and let the batter rest a moment. I served some of these to a girlfriend who has 9 people in her family and she says that she’ll never make homemade again.  Also, if you recall, I’ve shared with you how great the strawberries are. They are WHOLE, not flakes. You can eat them right out of the can or make syrup or pie filling or jam with them. The creamy wheat is really hearty. I enjoy it! (See my fried creamy wheat recipe below.) I have served the potatoe shreds and folks can’t believe they are freeze-dried. I use them in casseroles as well. And I use the scrambled egg mix to make quiches, all kinds of scrambled eggs, and even French Toast. (Dang, do I sound like a “foodie” or what?)

In the Dinner Pack they have the Creamy Potato Soup (yum), Imitation Beef Bits (TVP), Potato Gems (I eat them RAW–they are THAT good), Honey White Bread and Roll Mix (Divine and idiot proof), Freeze-dried Sweet Corn (great right out of the can!) and the Vegetable Stew Blend. 

I use the corn, potato soup and bacon bits all in the same soup for a chowder like soup. The vegetable stew is just plain vegetables like cabbage, tomato, red and green bell peppers, celery, potato dices, and onion. So it’s REALLY versatile!  The Potato Gems are already flavored with butter and salt. So I LOVE eating them raw, in their freeze-dried state right out of the can!  And when I want to make them I just have to add a little warm tap water. So dang easy.

These foods are just “food storage” to me folks. I use them everyday. But even I don’t get them in this Costco priced 6-pack. Only you folks in NV and AZ will get them. Stop in to one of these stores this week and get some samples. If I remember correctly, Blue Chip demonstrators will be there all the ding dong day for 3 days, so call your store to see which days this week.

In addition to the 6 packs they will also be offering the oats and the Morning Moo’s milk at these same stores as well. (The oatmeal is a great deal and has an awesome shelf-life!)

If you’re not in AZ or NV, you can still purchase the products in Utah Macey’s stores and most of Utah’s Central and Southern Wal-Marts. The good news is that I that I have an inside track as to when they’ll be coming to other parts of the country. I do know that there are plans in the works, folks, so just be patient. I also just spoke last week with a new internet store that will be selling the less common Blue Chip products nationwide at low prices, so I’ll let you know what that comes on line too.

As you know, Preparedness Pro doesn’t sell anything, and we never will sell any products. But I am in LOVE with these products. I’ve compared them to several others and I’m just happiest with these. As a result, Blue Chip found out what a fan I am and asked me to develop some recipes for them. So I did and I’m sharing some of the recipes with you.  Enjoy!  PS- just got an update on the pricing for you folks.  The breakfast pack is only $53.99 and the dinner pack is only $48.99!  Considering it has 200 servings in each pack, that’s only 25-27 cents per serving!!!  Crud, just the strawberries alone retail in my area for about $25!  Go get em’ AZ and NV!

Corned Beef and Veggie Stew

½ cup of Morning Moo’s Vegetable Stew Mix

6 cups of Water

1 teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon of pepper

½ teaspoon of caraway seeds

1 can of corned beef (broken into bite sized pieces)

Bring all ingredients to a boil for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, in a small skillet add 3 Tablespoons of flour to 2 tablespoons of butter. On medium-high heat, stir constantly until small bits of golden brown mixture are cooked. Add to the soup mixture and still until thickened.

Morning Moo’s White Chili

1 cup of Morning Moo’s Creamy Potato Soup

4 cups of chicken broth

2 cups of cooked, boneless chicken cut into small cubes

1 can chopped green chilis

1 can (19 oz.) white kidney beans (cannelloni), undrained

2 green onions, sliced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of ground red pepper

½ teaspoon of oregano leaves

1 teaspoon of cilantro leaves as a garnish, optional

Shredded Monterey Jack cheese as a garnish, optional

In a medium saucepan whisk together the soup and the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer on medium-high heat. Add all ingredients except for garnishes and beans and simmer for 15 minutes. Add beans and cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve topped with cheese and cilantro.

Morning Moo’s Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder photo c/o Never Trust a Skinny Cook

Corn Chowder photo c/o Never Trust a Skinny Cook

1 Tablespoon of butter

1 cup of Morning Moo’s Creamy Potato Soup

1 cup of Morning Moo’s freeze-dried Sweet Corn

2 cups of Morning Moo’s milk (in powdered form)

4 cups of chicken broth

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

2 Tablespoons of Morning Moo’s Bacon Flavored TVP

½ teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves

¼ cup of diced of red or green bell peppers

½ teaspoon of sea salt

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the butter, soup, milk and chicken broth. Add all other ingredients and simmer for approximately 20 minutes on medium heat.

Melt in Your Mouth Bread Sticks

3 cups of Morning Moo’s Honey White Bread and Roll Mix

2 Tablespoons of instant dry yeast

1 cup and 1 Tablespoon of warm water

½ cup of oil

3 Tablespoons of lecithin granules

Salad Supreme Seasoning

4 Tablespoons of melted butter

Dissolve yeast in water. Add the bread mix and mix well. Add the oil and lecithin granules and then knead for about 7 to 10 minutes. Dough should be elastic and soft. If dough is too stiff, add a little bit more water in 1 tablespoon increments.

Spray a large piece of plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray and cover the dough in a bowl with the non-stick spray side down. Allow dough to sit in the bowl for about 30 minutes at room temperature, until dough has doubled in size. Gently pinch off 2 tablespoon pieces and with your hands roll into small bread stick shapes. Dip in the melted butter, and then place on a large cookie sheet. Continue until you’ve used all of the dough. Allow the dough to rest on the baking sheets at room temperature for 15 more minutes. Generously sprinkle the dough with Salad Supreme. Bake rolls in the oven at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Red Carpet French Toast

French Toast with Whip Cream and Strawberries photo c/o ehow.com

French Toast with Whip Cream and Strawberries photo c/o ehow.com

1 cup of Morning Moo’s Scrambled Egg mix

3/4 cup of warm water

1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 cup of prepared whipped cream

½  cup of Morning Moo’s freeze-dried Whole Strawberries

Whisk together the egg mix and the warm water until all lumps are removed. Add spices and whisk to incorporate. Dip thick slices of bread into the egg mixture, covering completely and then place on a hot skillet. (About 325 degrees)  Let cook about 1 ½ minutes on either side. Top with whipped cream and strawberries and serve.

Fried Creamy Wheat

Prepare Morning Moo’s Creamy Wheat according to directions on the package, but omit about ¼ of the water. When finished cooking mixture should be cooked nicely but very thick. Place prepared creamy wheat in a non-stick bread pan. Allow to cool at room temperature and then place in refrigerator overnight. In the morning, release the loaf of creamy wheat and slice into ½ inch slices. Place on a hot skillet greased with butter and fry on each side about 2 minutes. Top with your favorite syrup and butter.

Divine Scrambled Eggs

 1 cup of Morning Moo’s Scrambled Egg Mix

1 ½ cup of warm water

1 Tablespoon of Morning Moo’s Imitation Bacon Bits

1 teaspoon of Johnny’s Garlic Bread Seasoning

Salt and pepper

¼ – ½ cup of shredded cheese

Whisk together the egg mix and water until no lumps are visible. Add TVP and seasoning. Place mixture into a hot skillet and let cook on one side for about 30 seconds. Then scramble and flip to other side of the egg mixture. Allow to cook about 30 seconds then add the cheese. Continue cooking until the eggs are at the desired texture then serve.

Breakfast Casserole

2 cups of Morning Moo’s Potato Shreds

2 cups of water

2 cups of Morning Moo’s Scrambled Egg Mix

3 ½ cups of warm water

1 teaspoon of black pepper

½ teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of Tabasco Sauce

¼ cup of Morning Moo’s Imitation Bacon Bits

1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Combine the potato shreds and 2 cups of water and boil for approximately 20 minutes in a small saucepan. When finished, drain the potatoes and place them flat on the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray.

Whisk together the egg mix and the 3 ½ cups of warm water until all lumps are dissolved.

Add seasonings and mix well. Pour over the potato shreds.

Top with bacon bits and shredded cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

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

As you all know, I’m big into using coupons to build up my food and other emergency preparedness supplies. With the coupon culture comes some unexpected consequences that one may not anticipate. The most obvious consequence is that I buy a lot of the smaller containers as opposed to the large, warehouse size. The good news is that smaller containers are actually a good way to store your food in preparation for an emergency. In an emergency survival situation, smaller is definitely better. Here’s why.

Post Cereals on display in Palo Alto, CA. Photo c/o AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

Post Cereals on display in Palo Alto, CA. Photo c/o AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

Smaller is Better Reason #1: Cost. We all know that you usually get better value on bigger containers of an item. However, when it comes to using coupons, I’d much rather get 5 free small jars of mayonnaise than pay over $5 for a large one. Most coupons do not come with size restrictions on when you can use them. Some do exclude use on trial/travel size, but not all of the time. And most coupons only require that you buy at least their smallest “regular” sized item in order to use the coupon. So let’s compare for a moment. The other day I got 5 boxes of Post Raisin Bran for 88 cents each in the 20 oz. size. The Raisin Bran cost 04 cents per ounce. Now, at Costco, I could get it for 15 cents per ounce. (Keep in mind there’s a membership involved to get that price as well.) So, perhaps now you can better understand why I believe that I can’t afford to shop at the warehouses in most cases. I reserve my warehouse spending to meats, cheeses, eggs, and perhaps some other specialty items like the tarps I like so much at Costco. At least these items can be canned or otherwise preserved. Even then, I still keep my eyes open with the coupon usage in regular grocery stores. I got a gallon and a half of milk for only 17 cents and 2 pounds of block cheese for $2.99 the other day. Costco and Sam’s Club can’t match that.

Condiment Packets photo c/o clubheinz.com

Condiment Packets photo c/o clubheinz.com

Smaller is Better Reason #2: Waste. Obviously in the event of a long-term emergency survival situation, we will be without the luxury of refigeration. This is another reason I’m a big advocate of buying small. When I open a warehouse size of Miracle Whip in the midst of an emergency, I’d better plan on using it all to feed an army or throwing it out due to spoilage. However, when I open a small 15 oz. jar of Miracle Whip, it’s probably just the right amount for a pasta salad or white sauce. I am also a big advocate of saving small condiment packets you are given at the fast food restaruants. I’ve got a lot of salt, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, relish, and other items this way, so when I want ketchup for a sandiwch, I don’t have to open an entire jar. I can just open a couple of condiment packages instead. No wasting. No refrigeration necessary.

Smaller is Better Reason #3: Trade. Just as I advised my clients to only keep small bills of U.S. currency on hand for an emergency, the same goes for food items as well. It’s a heck of a lot easier to trade a small can of tuna for what you may need rather than trying to get the best bang for your buck with a large warehouse size of it. In a time of emergency in which food, water, and ammo is king, you may have a hard time “finding a market” for trading your larger items for something that you really need, and thus you’re likely to “under trade” for it. 

Smaller is Better Reason #4: Portability. I’d much rather stuff a small can of Vienna Sausages and a couple packages of ketchup in my travel pack than a big 24 oz. container of chicken and a large bottle of ranch dressing, wouldn’t you? In an emergency, even if you have to leave your home temporarily during the day, you shouldn’t do it without some food and water supplies on you. You may be able to assist someone you find along the way, or you may get held up somewhere as well. Regardless, it’s obvious that the smaller containers will travel better than the large ones.

Square Bucket Storage photo c/o Preparedness Pro

Square Bucket Storage photo c/o Preparedness Pro

Smaller is Better Reason #5: Storage. It’s easier for me to safely store a lot of little items in containers and place on the shelf rather than large items. For example, when I find a great sale on plastic bins, I’ll take them home and stuff them with toothpaste, or mustard bottles or baby wipes. I’m able to get a heck of a lot more in that enclosed container than I would be able to stack on the shelf or slide under the bed and have them remain there–organized. Given that we’re all struggling to find room for everything, the easier storage component of the smaller items shouldn’t be underestimated.

Dollar for dollar, I’ve discovered that the smaller items make more sense for an emergency. Smaller definitely is better in 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

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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You may think that my top 7 handy dandy preparedness “tools” are an unusual list for emergency preparedness supplies, but I’m quite certain that you will find them invaluable under the right set of circumstances.  I love discovering and using items that serve a dual-purpose, especially when those purposes are compounded substantially.  If I have something in storage, chances are it serves more than one purpose. Whether it be medical supplies, seeds, a heater or wood, virtually everything I relegate space to store has multiple uses that I familiarize myself with so I get the most use out of my space.  Without further ado, here is my Seven Handy Dandy “Tool” list.  

 

1)    duct-tape-bumper Duct Tape: We have an entire case of duct tape in our basement.  You can use it medically as well as to fix leaking or broken items.  It’s even viable to use to mend clothing or shoe, too.  It’s also affectionately called the “100 mile per hour tape.”  When I was in my early 20’s I was in a car accident and “needed” the insurance money to live off of.  Consequently, I used duct tape to reattach the bumper and away I rode… for another year and a half until I bought a new car.  While I never went 100 miles per hour—not that I’m willing to admit, anyway—it worked just fine in keeping my car together.

2)     Super Glue: Yet another case of supplies occupying our storage area.  This can also be used in lieu of minor stitches as well as prolonging the life of items that may break down.  In an emergency, you may very well have to rely on yourself for such instances as opposed to a professional “fix-it man” or medical personnel.

3)     bounce-dryer-sheets1Bounce Dryer Sheets: Ah hah.  I knew I’d get raised eyebrows on that one.  Here’s just a few ways that your dryer sheets will be useful to you.  They repel insects, including yellow jackets, bees, ants, and mosquitoes.  All you have to do is loop it through a belt loop, and voila, you are a walking citronella candle.  They also repel mice.  Simply lay them down around an area that you are trying to protect, and you’ve scared little Mickey away.  You can also use them to dissolve soap scum (just wet and scrub), prevent sewing thread from tangling (rub on a strip of thread prior to use) and removing baked-on foods from kitchen items (simply soak with a sheet in it and it comes off).  Not to mention the everyday uses it provides you with such as cleaning blinds, eliminating static from your computer and TV screens, deodorizing shoes, books, and photo albums.  It will truly serve as a duplicitous ally when you’re “roughing it.”

4)     Tarp, Tarp, and More Tarp: We buy the blue tarps from Costco and have a small stack of them in the basement.  They are sturdy, water proof, and priced much better than even one good quality tarp elsewhere.  In the event of nuclear fall out, roof damage, window damage, freezing temperatures, and a myriad of other instances, I find that this is one product that makes sense to have on hand.  In fact, even if my tents were to fail to provide me with shelter, I can always combine the tarps with my duct tape supply and have suitable protection from the elements. *wink*

5)     Foil: In addition to the regular, everyday uses of foil, you can also use it for emergency signaling, cooking and insulating.  You can even put water in a well made foil and duct tape “pan,” let it sit in the sun during a warm day and have distilled water at the end of the day.

6)     lemon-juiceLemon Juice: We’ve got a great supply list for this, too.  Lemon juice is great as a:

a.      Deodorizer

b.      Sanitizer

c.       Antiseptic

d.      Disinfectant (even for medical uses)

e.      Dandruff treatment (add 1 T. prior to shampooing, then 2 T. diluted with water after rinsing)

f.        Laxative—without the usual side-effects

g.      Relief for a sore throat or hacking cough

h.      Itch and pain reliever from poison ivy

i.        Yummy flavoring

j.        Blemish treatment (when mixed with honey)

k.      Substitute for buttermilk (mix 1 T. with 1 cup of milk)

l.        Tarnish remover

m.   Bleach substitute in laundry. 

I could share more with you, but since I’m certain I’m listed as a “right wing extremist”, I won’t egg anyone on talking about the self-defense measures that can be realized with lemon juice as well J

7)     Salt: You’ve heard biblically of salt being a critical component.  Perhaps after seeing all of these uses you’ll understand why I always take advantage of sales on simple table salt.  In addition to all of the ways salt can be used, it’s also a necessary nutrient that many underestimate.  Salt can also help:

a.      saltPrevent lettuce from wilting

b.      Repel ants

c.       Prevent food from sticking to your griddle (just rub it in)

d.      As a wood preservative (boil your clothespins in them and they will last a LOT longer)

e.      A boiling water accelerator (faster boiling means using less fuel)

f.        Remove mildew (when used with lemon juice)

g.      Remove stains (even works on grape juice in your carpet—but hey, who’s going to really care about the carpet in an emergency, right?)

h.      Kill weeds

i.        Prevent your laundry from freezing when you hang them out to dry in cold weather

j.        Make your milk last longer with a dash of salt

k.      As a plaster substitute (when mixed equally with starch)

l.        Substitute for toothpaste (with equal parts of baking soda)

m.   Relieve sore eyes (when rinsed with salt water)

A pinch of salt also improves the flavor of a lot of items that may taste stale otherwise such as cocoa, gelatin (it sets more quickly as well), fruits (when putting them in also water—this also prevents them from turning yellow), tea, cooking apples and warm milk (makes it more relaxing as well).  Also, egg whites and whipping cream whip up faster with a pinch.  And last but not least, when you soak your shelled nuts in salt water overnight, all you have to do is gently tap the edge gently and they will easily come open, providing a whole nut instead of crumbles that you have to hunt to find among the shells!  

 

In addition to all of these items, I would also recommend you Google multiple uses for vinegar, wheat, rope, isopropyl and rubbing alcohol and apricot seeds, among other things.  Obviously it doesn’t cost you any money to at least gain this knowledge. And you may end up being a real, live MacGyver in the end.

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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A couple years ago I was interviewed by a magazine and asked what was it that I couldn’t live without?  I replied that other than my husband, I couldn’t live without my pressure cooker — but it was a close tie.  J  I am so absolutely in love with all of the features of a quality pressure cooker, that I’m out to convert every person who considers themselves a cook, or concerned with emergency preparedness.

 

kuhn-rikon2When I mention a pressure cooker to most, they have images of one blowing up in their grandmother’s kitchen, or at least making some frightening hissing and clanking noise.  A lot of people only think of a pressure cooker for canning.  But here’s the good news.  You can cook like an absolute pro in no time with a pressure cooker today.  They’ve come a long way since their initial popularity during World War II.  And the good quality ones are a must in every kitchen.  The one that I highly recommend is a Kuhn Rikon.  It has 3 safety features on it and has a fabulous quality otherwise.  But let’s cut straight to the perks of a pressure cooker.  Bottom line, if I had to choose between a microwave and a pressure cooker, I would hands down go with a pressure cooker.  You’re reducing the cooking time of at least two-thirds and yet you don’t sacrifice flavor, tenderness, or quality.

 

Here are a couple of examples of cooking times: whole beef or pork roast with the BEST gravy every – 45 minutes.  Artichokes – 15 minutes.  Whole, long-grained rice – 5-6 minutes.   Risotto – 8-10 minutes.  Cheesecake – 12 minutes.  Frozen chicken breasts –  10-12 minutes (and VERY tender).  Mashed Potatoes, 3-5 minutes.  Whole lamb, 35 minutes, etc, etc.

 

pot-roastDo you love a good pot roast?  How about creating a fabulous pot roast with the most effortless savory gravy in under 45 minutes?  Once you make mashed potatoes in this thing, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it.  How about getting home from work wondering what in the world to prepare and only see frozen chicken breasts in the freezer?  With a pressure cooker you can take those frozen chicken breasts and a jar of BBQ sauce and have a yummy, tender chicken dish in less than 15 minutes!

 

What a pressure cooker does is exactly what the name implies.  It creates a hot sealed pressure within the pan to cook anything inside.  You’re creating 8 pounds of pressure per square inch above external pressure.  Typical boiling heat is 212 degrees. However, with a pressure cooker, you’re cooking on high at 254 degrees Fahrenheit.  Due to the sealed system, your not losing any of the flavor or moisture from your food, in fact, you’re infusing it!

 

You will need less water, less spices, less fuel for heating and less time with your pressure cooker. 

 

Here are a few of points that I love to make when it comes to using a pressure cooker.

 

1)     cheesecakeYou can make so much in a pressure cooker—from roasts, to stews, even to desserts such as cheesecake.

2)     Even if you have some meat that’s suffered a bit of freezer burn, you can salvage it in your pressure cooker because moisture is infused into it. 

3)     So long as you have sufficient moisture/liquid in your dish, you don’t have to worry about over cooking or burning a dish.  A meat dish, for example, may not end up turning out in the consistency you had imagined should you forget about it for a few minutes, but it will still be tasty.  It just may determine whether you need a knife or not for the dish. 

4)     I love to dump a bunch of chicken in the pressure cooker, cook it about 7 minutes per pound, and then just use a fork to shred it with—effortlessly. I can then use the broth for other dishes and the chicken for the myriad of casseroles I make.  Add just a tad bit of veggies and you’ve got a very inexpensive chicken broth!

5)     vegetables-beans-soup-kalynskitchen1Foods are healthier with a pressure cooker.  When you cook green beans, peas, or broccoli, you’ll discover that even though their sufficiently cooked and tender they are still a beautiful green.  The reason is the nutrients and color don’t escape with the evaporating steam.  It stays in the pan under pressure! The pressured steam actually intensifies the flavor of your foods, so your vegetables actually taste fresher!

6)     Instead of boiling the pasta, then making the sauce and adding everything else, you can literally throw it all in there and end up with a GREAT dish.

7)     When you cook potatoes for mashed potatoes dish you will notice a difference when you prepare the potatoes in the pressure cooker. You do not need to cut the potatoes in small pieces. I usually just cut the potato in fourths and then cook them.  You will need very little mashing afterwards, and you can easily add garlic to infuse a yummy taste in your potatoes as well!

8)     When you make a pot roast (or any kind of roast) you can seer it right in the pressure cooker, then add your liquid and seasonings.  Cook the meat and then the last 10 minutes you add the vegetables.  When you’re done, you will have a YUMMY gravy that’s just the right consistency as it will be naturally thickened with the starches in your potatoes and carrots.  And the roast will be fork tender as well! Ooh. I’m getting hungry just writing about this!

9)     Artichokes typically take about 45 minutes to cook.  Only 10 to 15 minutes in pressure cooker though, and they are much more flavorful!

10) Rice and risotto cook effortlessly in a pressure cooker as well.  And you can really spice things up with small amounts of seasonings too.

11) kuhn-rikon-duromatic-thermal-cookerIn the event of an emergency, if you need to conserve water, fuel, and personal energy, a pressure cooker will really come in handy.  If you bring the pressure cooker up to high pressure, you can turn off the heat source, wrap the pressure cooker up in towels, and then continue to cook the contents for as much as another hour (Not that I can think of anything that takes an hour to make in a pressure cooker).  Even in everyday cooking you will find that it takes significantly less fuel or electricity to cook your items.

12) Pressure cooker will keep your food warm without ruining it.  My husband never seems to come for dinner right when I’m ready.  I don’t mind so much when I’ve used a pressure cooker though because dinner will stay nice and warm and meat will simply get more tender. (Although I do hate it when he’s late when I’ve made vegetables… sometimes you don’t want them more tender)

Bottom line, there’s a whole new world of successful cooking waiting for you with a pressure cooker.  And it’s a great asset in the event of having to cook in an emergency.  In fact, in many of the European countries that don’t have a reliable source of fuel and electricity whenever it’s desired, you will see 2 or 3 pressure cookers in every kitchen.  It’s a realistic way of life for them.  And it’s an exciting way of life for you to take on.  It makes your life easier, your food healthier, and maximizes your time in the kitchen.  
 
So give it a try.  You’ll love the benefits now and later. 

Here’s one of my favorite recipes for a pressure cooker.  It’s a luxury comfort food.  I like to buy the Italian cheese mix at Costco – it comes in a clear plastic container.

Four Cheese Italian Risotto (Serves 6-8)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cups Arborio rice (found in Harmon’s and Target)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, or white cooking wine
  • 4-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I use an Italian 4-cheese blend)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground nutmeg (optional)

PREPARATION: Combine 1 Tbsp. of the butter and all of the olive oil in the pressure cooker and heat, uncovered, over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the onion begins to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.  Be careful not to brown the onion or the butter.  Stir in the rice to coat the grains with the fat and onion mixture, and cook about 1 minute longer.  Add the wine and cook, stirring, until it is mostly absorbed by the rice.  Add 4 cups of the broth.  Cover the pressure cooker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, increase the heat to high, bring the pressure up to high, and cook for 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat and release pressure quickly, according to manufacture’s instructions.   Remove the lid.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup broth, 1 Tbsp. butter, and the cheese and stir well to combine with the rice. Season with the salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4-6

If you would like Kellene Bishop to present an Emergency Preparedness message for your community or church group, please contact us at 801-788-4133.  Ms. Bishop is an experienced speaker and demonstrator on Emergency Preparedness topics and has created a great “Preparedness Party” platform which makes the learning of such a topic more enjoyable for all.

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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A Frank Exploration of Buckets of Emergency Food Supply

 

emergencyfood275_newIf you have food storage accumulation on your radar, you’ve no doubt been tempted (or already beguiled) to purchase the so-called 3 months supply of food that comes in a 5 gallon bucket which you’ve seen in emergency preparedness stores or your local warehouse.  With these products claiming to be a 3 months supply of food for 1 person at approximately $85 to $125, you’ve not doubt thought that this would be a much easier way to get your years supply of food storage as opposed to accumulating huge bags of wheat, sugar, rice, beans and all of the other necessities and then trying to find room for them.  Well, I hate to tell you this, but you’d be wrong.  In fact, in light of a true emergency, relying on this type of nutrition in a volatile time, you may even find yourself dead wrong.  

 

The minimum amount of wheat storage for one person for a year is 400 pounds.  Forget the rice, beans, sugar, seasonings, and other items that you should be storing as well.  If you divide the 400 pounds of wheat by 4, you’ll get 100 pounds of wheat per person, per quarter, minimum.  There is no way that you’re going to get 100 pounds of nutrition in one of these 25 pound buckets–dried up and dead or otherwise.  

 

Let’s also take a look at the survival bars that the military eat for survival basis only.  These bars come in 2400 or 3600 calorie versions.  They are intended for the intake of one per day in extreme survival situations.  Clearly, there’s no way you’re going to be able fit 90 of these in a 5 gallon bucket.  Keep in mind your caloric requirements increase in times of high stress, fatigue, depression and emotionally climatic situations.  Again, let me stress that the survival bars issued by the military are for a minimum amount of survival until rescue comes.  If you look at the caloric intake of the meals that come in these 5 gallon buckets, at two meals per day as the package recommends, you will get a total of only 660 calories, and that’s if you eat the most caloric dense meal that the bucket provides 3 times a day. That’s less than 25% of an adult’s minimum caloric intake needed in a time of crisis.  There’s no voluntary dieting or calorie skimping in a time of crisis. You will be a useless human being if you attempt to take that route.  If you want to see how many calories you should have daily, without the crisis consideration, just use this link here.  http://www.hpathy.com/healthtools/calories-need.asp  It may be a good eye opener to many of you.  In spite of this common sense information, I see so many naively buying up these buckets and thinking that they’ve got their food storage for the year.  It’s a sad commentary to discover that the Orem, UT Costco sold more of these food storage buckets than any other product in their history of specialty products!

 

The majority of the meals included in the bucket require 20 to 25 minutes of simmering.  If you are using fuel to boil this water, that’s an awfully long time for one meal. There are at least 100 different meals that come to mind that are healthier, tastier, and that don’t take nearly that much prep time, fuel usage, or water usage.  Remember, in a crisis you need to preserve your energy, your fuel, and your water.

 

If you’ve already accumulated this kind of bucket food storage, don’t fret. There are some good aspects of it.

 

1)     It is a START. Considering that there are so many that don’t even start on their preparation, you should give yourself kudos for taking a step in the right direction.  But please remember it is in only a start. Please do not allow yourself to have a false sense of security in thinking that you or any member of your family has enough nutrition and calories with this kind of storage.  

 

2)     It’s a good add-on to wheat, rice, and beans.  Making up some of the contents in these buckets may be a perfectly good way to spice up your other plain staples.  One thing you do want to be aware of is guarding against “appetite fatigue.”  You don’t want your loved ones refusing to eat simply because they are “sick” of the same old food.  This has happened on many occasions even in 3rd world nations where they are starving. And I’m sure we’ve all heard of the occasional story of the 4 year old who will only eat 3 items…chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese or pizza.  Clearly it’s important to prepare yourself to utilize ways to make your food as tasty as possible (I can’t tell you how many people I talk to who have completely forgotten to store any kind of spices).

 

3)     These kinds of meals may come in handy for trade, and since they are a trade item and take up a small amount of space that gives them a decent value to have on hand. Remember, in a true emergency that is expected to last a while, currency will have very, very little value.  In fact, there are many studies that show a bucket of wheat will be worth more than a bucket of gold.  

 

Discussing the merits of wheat is an entire book practically, but I will address a few aspects of it quickly lest you think that the recommendation of wheat storage is fostered my some maniacal men who desire to make your life miserable or to challenge your creative storage techniques. 

 

wheat-sproutWheat has numerous uses, and not just in the berry or flour form. Wheat, especially when it’s sprouted, is a fabulous nutritional resource.  In fact, when you sprout wheat it is 600 times more nutritious than the wheat ground down into flour. In fact, if you’d like, the wheat can be sprouted, then dried, and then ground down and made into whatever you’d like, thus manifesting that much more nutritional benefit.  1 cup of sprouted wheat has 8 grams of protein.  It’s also a great source of nutrients, amino acids, and good carbohydrates. Sprouted wheat has been used to cure scurvy and birth defects.  Let’s see if your bucket of empty calories can do that.  

 

In future blogs I will share with you how to cook with wheat, what to substitute if you are allergic to wheat, and so much more! Glad you’re reading to get better prepared.

 

Kellene

 

 

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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