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By Kellene Bishop

Comfort Food photo c/o sheknows.com

Comfort Food photo c/o sheknows.com

During the course of this month’s Preparedness Pro Food Challenge, we’ve seen several posts and e-mails conveying a very similar message: “I need more comfort foods.” 

I have shared with our readers in the past that such would be the case. Stress and boundaries bring out the cravings in all of us. So I do indeed recommend you take that into consideration in your food storage that you’re creating now. However, I’d like to offer you an alternative solution.

You see, food really is only a form of fuel. Most of us need it for an emotional fuel as well. (I’m not immune to that whatsoever.) But what most people don’t realize is that cravings actually come from a deficiency in the nutritional strength in our bodies. Unfortunately, these cravings are hard to identify sometimes, in terms of what the deficiency is that’s triggering them. For example, when you are deficient in plain water, the craving can often be misconstrued as a craving for sugar. Women who are enduring a menstrual cycle are naturally deficient in iodine. And yet the iodine deficiency is “solved” with chocolate.

So, how can we get rid of the false triggers in our body so that we don’t store any more unnecessary foods than we have to? Give our bodies quality nutrition to improve our diet now. The more food you eat now that truly meets your body’s demand for nutrients, the less you will require. Our bodies will require more of the “junk food” in a time of high stress than we eat now. So, in the interests of optimal survival, and not requiring any more space to store everything, I suggest that you begin improving your diet now by incorporating the quality foods in your diet today. Doing so will actually minimize the types of “false cravings” that you get. Ultimately, you’ll be healthier. Don’t think of this as a diet. Tell yourself you can still have exactly what you want so long as you feed your body what you know you NEED first.

A good start for a healthier focus to improve your diet now would be the following two recommendations:

To improve your health now, drink more water. Photo c/o epa.gov

To improve your health now, drink more water. Photo c/o epa.gov

Water. Your kidneys process the equivalent of hundreds of gallons of water per day. If you’re not giving your body new water, then your kidneys will end up working really, really hard processing sludge instead of water. Water is also the ONLY way that you carry nutrients from one part of your body to the other. The thicker your blood, the less able you are to deliver the vitamins and minerals to the parts of the body which need them. Drinking adequate water is a simple way to improve your diet now.

Fiber. High quality, simple foods such as whole grains give you much more energy for the mass than do simple, processed foods. In other words, you can go a heck of lot longer on a stomach full of oatmeal than you can a stomach full of Lucky Charms. As I’ve shared with you previously, I like the results that eating whole wheat bread and wheat meat give me, as I’m not hungry or craving crazy things afterwards. Remember that sprouts will also satisfy you in this manner as well (and are full of fiber like most vegetables). I like to take a bunch of different sprouts, put a nice salad dressing on them and eat them as a substitute for salad. Grant it, I didn’t think I would enjoy this when I started. But the funny thing was that after I started eating sprouts regularly, my body started craving them. In other words, the more direct you are in satisfying your nutritional needs, the less deceptive your body is in telling you what your real cravings are.

Fiber is a great source of so many of your vitamins and minerals! Sprouts have actually been proven to CURE diseases. When has a Twinkie ever done that? When you combine a high fiber bread with some sprouts and your other sandwich makings, you’ve improved the quality of the meal significantly! I also keep several cans of freeze-dried vegetables. I like to throw those into the casseroles that my husband likes. That way he’s getting the “comfort tastes” that he wants, but he’s also getting the nutrition that his body really craves and thus the meal is much more satisfying. Another great way to improve your diet now.

Freeze dired raspberries photo c/o usaemergencysupply.com

Freeze dried raspberries photo c/o usaemergencysupply.com

What you may not realize is that these minor additions have a much smaller impact on your pocketbook as well. It costs only pennies for a handful of sprouts. While it may take time to make your own bread, the ingredients only cost about a 10th the price that it costs to buy the bread in the store. I’ve found that freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are also much more economical. I can spend $4 on a half gallon of ice cream or eat a handful of freeze-dried raspberries. The sweet tooth is appeased either way, but with the fruit, I’m spending less and giving my body more quality nutrition to work with, and doing so without all of the ingredients that I can’t pronounce. This is just one way in which it literally PAYS to improve your diet now.

To successfully incorporate a smarter and more effective way of eating, I recommend that you simply ADD to what you’re already eating. Fine, go ahead and have your Dr. Pepper. But having a handful of sprouts on your salad or on your sandwich before you indulge will steer your body in the right direction. Go ahead and have your 5-cheese grilled cheese sandwich. But have it on some high quality whole wheat bread instead. Give that milkshake the appetizer of 8 ounces of water first. You’ll find that if you listen to your body now, it will do a better job of preparing you for ultimate survival much better than any blog you can read. 

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

Natural Disaster photo c/o history.com

Natural Disaster photo c/o history.com

Typically when I mention emergency preparedness to someone they automatically think of “food storage” or “the Mormons.”  Unfortunately, a focus on either will not save your family in a time of crisis.  There are actually ten vital areas to being prepared for an emergency whether it be a natural disaster, act of war or financial collapse.  Food is only one component that we’ve addressed recently.  So let’s take a look at all 10 areas of being prepared.

I’m listing them for you in the area of importance.

  1. Component of Emergency Preparedness #1: Spiritual. This category has everything to do with your belief system.  It’s where you draw on peace even in the midst of chaos.  It’s also where you draw on knowledge and understanding of that which is to come.  Your spiritual preparedness needs to be fed on a regular basis.  It will be incredibly invaluable in a time of great need, such as a catastrophic emergency.  If your spiritual preparedness is lacking, not much else you focus on will be of benefit to you.
  2. Component of Emergency Preparedness #2: Mental. This category has to do with your knowledge level, skills, and mental rehearsals for chaotic scenarios.  This area requires constant nourishment, education, and deliberate thought.  Unless you mentally prepare for a situation such as self-defense, or mass chaos, or the fact that all hell can really break loose, then you will be physically and emotionally paralyzed from being a leader and a protector to anyone, let alone your family and loved ones.  The mental preparation is what prepares you in spite of the crazy looks and comments you get from friends and loved ones.  Immerse yourself in movies, books, and conversations relevant to emergency preparedness (see #5).  Expose yourself to as much learning experiences as you are able.  Work that mental muscle as much as possible.  It will serve you well in a time of crisis as well as long-term survival.
    The key to your mental preparedness is Attitude, Skills, and Knowledge. Fortunately all three of these aspects can be obtained without monetary cost as there’s so much available through classes and online.
  3. Component of Emergency Preparedness #3: Physical. This area covers a great deal.  Physical preparedness has to do with your physical strength and ability to maximize your physical strength, such as the
    Exercise photo c/o healthspablog.org

    Exercise photo c/o healthspablog.org

    use of wagons or wheel barrels, your ability to protect yourself and your family, as well as planning for any necessary travel needs.  Keep in mind that your physical strength will be your primary asset when it comes to travel.  Since most of us aren’t trained extensively in military tactics and maneuvers, firearms are a key consideration for physical self-defense.  Make sure you have tools like small wagons, bikes, wheel barrels, etc.  You can strengthen your physical preparedness by adjusting your diet now to avoid foods that impede your performance or you won’t have access to later.  And no, I’m not going to rattle them off because you already know what you’re doing wrong in that regard.  Exercise is critical for your physical preparedness as well.  You will inevitably be called upon to be more physical in your survival efforts in an emergency.  Perhaps you will need to trek 30 miles.  Or perhaps you will need to do some heavy lifting to create a suitable shelter.  You will also need to function without air conditioning or heat like you’re accustomed to.  Take precautions now so that you are better physically prepared later.

  4. Component of Emergency Preparedness #4: Medical. This includes having what you need for first-aid, solutions for your existing medical needs, as well as sanitation.  First-aid needs includes bandages, a field surgical kit, pain relievers, herbs and essential oils, as well as the knowledge to use such items.  Your existing medical needs will be a challenge since most individuals can’t get a year’s supply of prescription medicines.  If I were you, I would make sure to study up on alternative options available, such as herbal nutrition, essential oils, homeopathic care, etc.  Recently, as a result of my goal to be more prepared medically, I set a goal to eliminate all of my prescription drugs.  I started the New Year with seven prescriptions on my nightstand, and I’m now down to one.  The most recent I was able to get rid of was my thyroid medicine by incorporating quality nutrition products into my diet instead of my thyroid medicine.  While my doctor wasn’t happy with the approach, he did acquiesce just this last Friday that my blood tests showed that I was no longer in need of my thyroid medicine!  I feel much more independent and capable now.  While I can’t supply a years worth of pharmaceuticals safely, I sure can keep a year’s supply of various nutritional products.  (Just FYI, I elect to use Reliv products.  No, I don’t sell them but you can locate them easily online.)
    As far as sanitation is concerned, you have to be sure you’ve thought this one through.  Digging a hole out in your back yard will not do.  You’ve got to have the chemicals on hand to break down the waste.  I assure you that if the hole in the back yard was everyone’s strategy, everyone within a 50 mile radius will be dead within 30 days!  The holes have to be dug deep.  Plan on using some type of a disposal breakdown chemical regularly.  Disposing of the waste, keeping it covered, and minimizing its location and effect on everything else around you will be critical in a time of emergency.  Understand that this aspect of preparation will not be simple.  You should expect a lot of diarrhea initially as a result of stress, different foods, and drinking less liquids.
  5. Component of Emergency Preparedness #5: Clothing/Shelter. This category is a higher priority than food and water.  Many folks really overlook this critical area.  While being able to survive in your own home is ideal, it’s not necessarily possible for a myriad of different reasons.  Be sure that you’ve got SPARE clothing available for all of your children’s ages and have it readily accessible.  This may mean you need to go to a local thrift store and purchase clothes for a year in advance of your children’s sizes right now.  Sturdy shoes will be critical—especially if you have to walk long distances to get to safety.  Also, be mindful of your clothing and your shelter accommodating either warm or cold weather.  Be sure to have hats and gloves for everyone—spares so that there’s no chance of them “getting lost” in the event of a crisis.   Even if you are able to survive in your present dwelling, be sure you have tools on hand to reinforce it, such as hammers, nails, sheeting, duct tape, and even some plywood.  (My preferred sheeting is purchased at Costco.  It’s twice as thick as others, you get twice as much, and it’s less expensive.)  Be sure that you don’t have to rely on electricity and batteries for the use of your tools as well in the event of a solar flare or an EMP attack.
  6. Component of Emergency Preparedness #6: Water. Let me be perfectly clear on this.  A two week supply of water is NOT sufficient.  That’s short-term.  I hardly EVER address short-term preparedness in my articles, and am almost always focusing on long term.  As overwhelming as it may sound, you need one gallon of
    Water Barrel Storage photo c/o homelandpreparedness.com

    Water Barrel Storage photo c/o homelandpreparedness.com

    water, per person, per day.  That’s 365 gallons per person.  Yes, that’s a lot of barrels.  But that’s just the MINIMUM.  You’ll be using water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, sanitation, and bathing.  There are a myriad of different ways to conserve water, but you’ll want to employ those even if you do have the 365 gallons per person.  Water is the only thing that will keep your organs functioning properly.  You need water just as much in the cold as you do in the heat.  Your kidneys process hundreds of gallons worth of water each day.  You do not want to treat your kidneys like a teenager treats their oil filter, right?  You’ve got to continue to give your organs new water in order that they will not shut down.  Your body uses flavored water very differently than it does real water.  You use more energy to benefit from the flavored water than you do just straight water.  In addition to storing enough water, I also store a lot of paper goods that I can use that won’t require cleaning afterwards.  I also store cleansing cloths.
    You don’t need to treat your water before storing it if you’re using tap water.  Plan on treating it afterwards if necessary (8 drops of Chlorox for each gallon of water).  You can rotate your water once every 5 years and be just fine.  Stale water can taste a LOT better if you simply aerate it—such as pouring it back and forth from one container to another before serving.

  7. Component of Emergency Preparedness #7: Food. As I’ve shared in the last 8 part series, be familiar with the food that you’ve stored, be prepared to cook it without electricity, and be sure that it’s nutritious.  90 days of food is SHORT-TERM.  It’s not the end result.  One year of food supply for your family is absolutely necessary.  Also be sure that you have all of the tools on hand you will need that don’t require electricity.  Be sure you have nothing in your equipment stores that you have not used yet.  (In other words, don’t just buy that solar oven and put it in your basement.  Use it.)
  8. Component of Emergency Preparedness #8: Fuel. Your fuel should be usable on as many tools as possible, and every responsible member of the family should be familiar with its use.  I store butane for my small oven, propane for the grill, and kerosene for my lights, heaters, and another stove.  I also have some
    Butane Stove photo c/o manventureoutpost.com

    Butane Stove photo c/o manventureoutpost.com

    charcoal and some wood for other forms of cooking.  I’ve experimented with my cooking fuel coupled with my pressure cooker and have learned that I can cook 2 meals a day for 3 weeks on one can of butane.  It’s critical that you know how much fuel you need for your family.  It’s also critical you know that the lights you’re relying on can actually put out enough light.  We bought these “100 hour candles” only to discover one night that they barely put off enough light for us to see the match and the wick so that we could light the next one.  I recommend to all of my clients to try a day or two without electrical lighting.  I also recommend that they go a whole week without using any electricity to prepare their food—including the refrigerator.

  9. Component of Emergency Preparedness #9: Financial.  Financial preparation isn’t just about having debt.  Most of us will have a mortgage if nothing else.  I recommend my clients pay their utilities and their taxes in advance whenever possible.  It’s also critical that you have goods with which to trade such as wheat, sugar, and other stores that will be in high demand.  Anything more than $500 cash on hand is a waste, in my opinion, as a crisis will quickly make money worthless.  If you don’t already have what you need, you will NOT be able to buy it amidst a mob of crazy people who are unprepared. 
  10. Component of Emergency Preparedness #10: Communication. All of the other areas of preparedness I discussed are focused on you and your family.  This is the only area of preparedness that focuses on reaching out to others.  In order to be prepared for communication in an emergency, you should have a very specific plan of communication with you family and friends.  You should have a specific point of gathering agree upon for everyone to meet in the event of a disaster.  Additionally, plan on other forms of communication such as a HAM radio, accompanied by the license and skill to operate.  Also plan on good old fashioned message delivery.  (Another good reason to employ physical preparedness.)  Being able to coordinate with the outside world will become important during and after your initial crisis reaction.

Don’t get overwhelmed with all of this.  Just put it on your radar and start chipping away at it.  Look for opportunities to learn and strengthen your spiritual and mental preparedness first and foremost.  Everything else will appropriately follow.

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

Gasonline Generator photo c/o germes-online.com

Gasonline Generator photo c/o germes-online.com

Obviously, given my line of work, I’m frequently told by people that they are prepared because they have a generator.  Well, I see a whole lot of downsides of owning and relying on one, so I thought I’d share my two cents as to why I don’t plan on ever owning a generator.

  1. Generators are relatively expensive.  If I had to opt between a generator and a firearm, I would definitely select the firearm.  There’s a whole heck of a lot of wheat or water or other emergency preparedness supplies that I can buy in lieu of a generator.  I’d much rather have items that run off of solar power rather than being reliant on a generator.
  2. In many instances, many generators will be destroyed in the event of an EMP strike.  Some older generators may have points and condensers but most of them today are electronic fuel injected, making them useless in the event of an electro-magnetic pulse hit.  So there goes all of the other necessary supplies you could have obtained instead of the generator.
  3. A generator usually takes gasoline to operate.  Gasoline is combustible/flammable.  It’s frankly hard to store it safely.  It also gets old easily.  Generators are temperamental.  The gasoline needs to be clean in order to be effective.  Yes, you can buy a gasoline additive to keep it clean, but that’s that much more money you need to spend on the generator and the gasoline.  Also, the gasoline will not be available to buy once the electricity goes out.  Most pumps are electric.  So you will have to rely solely on the gasoline you have on hand.  And I can think of a whole lot of more important uses for gasoline other than a generator.
  4. Except in the case of emergency medical assistance, I feel like a generator is a temporary luxury that most homes simply can’t afford to have.  If you don’t have a year’s supply of food, fuel, water, ammo, clothing, shelter, financial reserves, medical supplies, and entertainment, then you can’t afford a generator.  It’s not like you’re going to use a generator to keep your refrigerator going or to watch movies on you computer.  Generators should be used for emergency purposes only, not to live off of otherwise.  In my opinion, if I come across the need for a generator, it will be very temporary and for that I can work in trade to obtain the use of or trade with some of my supplies.  Bottom line, if you ever saw me with a generator, it’s because I got it for free along with the fuel I needed for it, or I had so much money to burn and everything else I wanted, I just couldn’t resist.
  5. Solar Oven photo by Preparedness Pro

    Solar Oven photo by Preparedness Pro

    A generator is simply not as necessary as many folks believe.  As I said previously, other than keeping life-saving equipment on, I can’t think of another reason to have one. Yet most folks think they will need one in order to eat, cook, light, cool, and heat with.  They are incorrect.  You’ll have to let Mother Nature do the cooling for you.  You can cook with more stable fuels such as wood, propane, butane, kerosene, isopropyl alcohol, rolled newspapers, charcoal, and solar.  You can live off eating plenty of items that don’t need to be cooked or refrigerated.  You can have light via a candle and several other fuels I’ve mentioned previously.  And the same fuels, as well as quality cold-weather clothing, blankets, and sleeping tents and bags, will provide you and your family with the heat you need.  Sure, when the power goes out you’re going to have some spoilage with the meat.  But you don’t need electricity to recover from that.  You need Mason jars, and a canner, and voila—you don’t need that freezer anymore.  Sure there will be a few things you can live without, but considering all of the non-electrical technology that you can rely on today, losing electricity isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you.  

targetIf you rely on electricity for physical life sustainment, then I recommend that you diligently research the best kind of generator to obtain that will not be affected by an EMP hit, and a way to store fuel for it around your home so that it’s safe.  Also be mindful of the fact that if you have a generator running in hard times, you will be the target of crime and looting.  Be sure that you have a way to secure it so that you can have the use of it when the fit hits the shan.  Don’t plan on using a generator if you’re the lone dweller of a suburb home.  You’ll need some help keeping it running and defending it.

Ultimately, before you rush out to the store thinking you need a generator, think about all of the other priorities that should come first on your preparedness list.

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

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.

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

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.

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flu-masks

You’ve heard the announcement on the TV of a pending emergency.  What’s your first reaction?  Well, if you’re like 95% of the adult population it’s to go to the store and stock up.  But if you already have key items on hand and know how to discern between that which is needful and that which is foolish, you’ll avoid the chaos that will inevitably be present at any store after such an announcement. 

Want to know what to be sure you have on hand in the event of an emergency?  Here is a list of items that typically were scarce or flew off of the shelves first in other areas of the country when a disaster hit.  Obviously, if these items are the first to go when doom and gloom is forecast, then it is logical to believe that these are items that people will value most in an emergency.  However, while I will highlight these items as those which individuals hoard in an emergency, I will also address why you may be smart to avoid the hoarding inclination.

NOTE: I don’t typically post blogs this long, though I realize people may want to print this off as a reference.  This is a very thorough list, but if you read nothing else, read #58. 

  1. Generator: If you must get one of these, do not skimp.  Get a good quality one.  However, I don’t recommend that you waste good money on this when you don’t have everything else ready.  A generator should be the last thing you acquire because it is a luxury item.  And worst case scenario, you can trade some of the many other valuable items you have for the temporary use of a generator.  In order to use one of these, you will need to store gasoline which does not have a long shelf-life.  It will also be a target of thieves and it makes its share of noise too. You will also need to be prepared to perform repairs on it as well.
  2. Water Filters/Purifiers: Iodine tablets, charcoal based purifiers, gravity fed purifiers, etc, are ideal.  You can also use a solar oven to pasteurize your water.  Also, store regular Chlorox to purify your water as well.
  3. visa-potty1Portable Toilets: This item has been increasing in price on a regular basis.  You can purchase an inexpensive 5 gallon bucket and a “toilet lid” for it as well.  Be sure to store lye or some other available products to break down the waste.  Chlorox is useful for this as well.  Also store plenty of heavy duty plastic bags to line the bucket with.  It’s smart to have shovels on hand as well to provide alternative resources or to dispose of the waste as well.
  4. Seasoned Firewood: While it doesn’t necessarily need to be seasoned, that’s simply what hoarders go after.  It usually costs about $100 per cord; Your regular wood can take between 6 to 12 months to become sufficiently dried.  It takes a great deal of wood to use as a heat, light and cooking resource.  I recommend that you store alternative types of fuel instead such as propane, kerosene, or Isopropyl alcohol.  Obviously, whichever fuel you have you’ll want to make sure that you have the appropriate items which USE such fuel.
  5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps: Too often folks forget to have multiple wicks.  I’ve read and seen situations where there were plenty of oil, but not enough wick.  Considering they are inexpensive it’s a shame not to have the on hand in abundance.  Be sure to buy clear oil.  You will be happy to have as much of this as is legally possible to store.  I store lamps which function on kerosene instead of the more traditional expensive lamp oil.
  6. Coleman Fuel: I’m not advocating this particular fuel specifically, it’s just the first to go in the event of a looming emergency.  While this may not be important to you, it may be urgent for your less-prepared neighbors.  The cost is between $2.69 to 9.00 a gallon, depending on where you go.  Ultimately, Coleman fuel is white gas.  It burns hot and clean.  You can also purchase MSR fuel which is more expensive, burns hotter and cleaner.  In fact, if you have a problem with a stove that’s not burning right you can burn MSR fuel through it and it do better.  This is definitely something that I would have plenty on hand!
  7. Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats, Slingshots, etc.  Ok.  If you’re going to store guns, then be sure you have stored at least 1,000 rounds of ammo for each gun.  Yes, one thousand.  If all heck breaks loose, your ammo supplies will be worth more than your cash!  Whatever it is that you store to ensure you are not the victim of civil unrest or lawlessness, be sure you know how to use it properly (see www.womenofcaliber.com for more information on this topic) 
  8. can-openerHand-Can openers & hand egg beaters, whisks: If you’ve relied on these items electrically, be sure you have the skills to get the same task done without the electricity.
  9. Honey, Syrups, white and brown sugars Honey is your bet all purpose sweet item.  It stores well longer then sugar and has a better glycemic affect on the body than sugars.  Consider storing the sugar in a 5 gallon bucket, but use one of the stone sugar preservers (mine are all in the shape of gingerbread men).  They keep the sugar soft and nice.  
  10. Rice; Beans; Wheat: White rice is now $12.95 – 50# bag. Sam’s Club.  White rice stocks in store all over are depleting often and then being replaced with the more expensive Jasmine Rice.   So bottom line, when you see it on the shelves for a price that doesn’t feel like our national debt, get it.  Rice, wheat, and beans will cook faster and with less hassle in a Pressure Cooker.  I highly recommend you embrace this way of cooking.  You may also want to consider adding flax seed or millet to your collection of grains as well as they are an asset to your digestive system as well.
  11. Vegetable oil: for cooking, baking, maintenance, etc.  You’ve got to have oil so that your hormones and joints will function properly, so don’t try to skimp on using such a commodity.  Peanut oil burns very hot and can store for a long time.  We’ve stored ours for as long as 5 years, and that’s after using it.  Olive Oil also has a good shelf life and is also good for you.  However, the best oil to store is expeller pressed coconut oil.  It doesn’t taste like coconut in your foods, and has a very, very long shelf life.
  12. Charcoal & Lighter fluid: While this may be OK for an immediate source of cooking, it’s unrealistic to think of this as a long-term solution. Being able to store enough is not likely and the lighter fluid is combustible, so not ideal to store either.  Think in terms of more long-term solutions such as the fuels I’ve mentioned previously.  However, these two items will become scarce very, very quickly if a news report breaks out of a coming catastrophe.
  13. Water containers: In my opinion, if you wait for the news report to try and obtain these, then you’ve waited too long.  You should be acquiring these now.  Only use hard clear plastic.  Do not use milk bottles as they break down very quickly.  It’s important to think in terms of all different kinds of sizes so that you can have portable water as well as primary sources.  You can live without food for 3 days, but you cannot go very long without water.  It’s necessary for the 200,000 gallons of blood your heart pumps through each day, and the several thousands of gallons worth of water than your kidney and liver go through each day as well.
  14. Fuel-based heater: It would be a shame to have plenty of food and water on hand but still perish due to cold weather.  Cold weather will also compound any illnesses that you and your family may be experiencing as well.  If you use a kerosene heater, you can use it inside in an emergency situation, but you will need to have ventilation as well. 
  15. Grain Grinder: Yes, these get hoarded in an emergency situation.  You need to have a non-electric one on hand.  Flour will fly off the shelves with the right newscast.  And it’s significantly more expensive than the whole grains of wheat, millet, etc.  So start looking now for the ideal model while you have the luxury to do so in order to not have to do with whatever is left.
  16. Propane Cylinders: Another highly hoarded item is the grills that go with the propane cylinders.  Be sure that you have a quality grill on hand now and some spare propane cylinders as well.  
  17. Lamps such as Aladdin, Coleman, etc.: YOU will not successfully be able to light your environment without something more substantial than candles.  A human being will function an average of 8 hours each day when there is no natural light on hand.  You’re probably more reliant on light that you realize.  So be sure to think in terms of long-term lighting solutions now.  Be sure that you have appropriate hardware to hang a lantern someplace as well.
  18. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula/ointments/aspirin, etc.  These items were some of the most asked for items when the Teton Dam broke.  I would suggest that if you have little ones in diapers that you at least store some cloth diapers and pins for an emergency as well.  Even though we do not have children, we have put them in our storage as a great trade item should things come to that.
  19. washboard2Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer: Sanitation is critical in an emergency.  And having clean clothes is a serious component of maintaining a sanitary environment.  There are also small hand-cranked clothes cleaners you can purchase at emergency preparedness supply stores.  Your biggest downfall will be if you think in terms of “short-term survival” and think that you won’t need clean clothes.  Be sure that you have liquid laundry detergent on hand as well!
  20. Cookstoves: such as propane, Coleman, and kerosene.  I would suggest that you get these now while you have the luxury of selection and also be sure that they operate properly.  Having to live off of such a small cooking surface can be daunting.  The use of a pressure cooker will help you conserve fuel as it takes less to heat them up and keep them hot.  And you’ll still end up with very hearth and satisfying meals with them as well.
  21. Vitamins: I’m relieved that such an item is hoarded.  Do not underestimate this asset.  It is critical.  Due to the lack of serious diseases in our culture so many of them are off our radar, but in an emergency when you are making your meals from what’s dead and processed on your shelves, supplementing that food with sheer vitamins is critical.  Vitamins C, E, and B are the top of my list.  If you’re involved with a nutritional network marketing company, be sure to store a year’s supply of the health product of your choice!  (I prefer Reliv to everything else I’ve tried out there over the last 3 decades… Not only is it the highest quality of nutrition I’ve found, but I could live off of it too if I had to.)
  22. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder: Small but important.  The small canisters are actually dangerous to use without them.
  23. Hygiene products: such as feminine products, shampoos, toothbrushes and paste, floss, deodorants, and lotions.  There is a reusable product called a menstrual cup made from either latex or medical-grade silicon. They work much like a diaphragm.  I recommend the DivaCuptm.  Also be sure you have combs and brushes on hand.  For some reason there was a run on women’s hair bands after the Teton Dam broke as well.  Guess when you don’t care what you look like, you just want to pull that hair back and get back to work.  Be sure that you also have baby wipes also.  Using them to “bathe” with will conserve your water and your energy. So will anti-bacterial liquids such as Purell.
  24. Thermal underwear: Remember tops and bottoms.
  25. Bow saws, axes and hatchets & Wedges: Remember the honing oil as well.
  26. Aluminum foil: If you have to select between regular or heavy duty, get the heavy duty.  You can wash it and reuse it under many circumstances. (Great Cooking & Barter item)
  27. Gasoline containers:  I completely disagree with this item, but if you’ve got to flee in your vehicle, it is smart to have on hand. However, for long-term survival, gasoline is impractical.  It’s dangerous and it will only put a target on your back from looters who can’t think to survive any other way.
  28. garbage-bags1Garbage bags: This is one item that you do not want to skimp on. If we fail to take care of sanitation, then everyone within a 50 mile radius will be dead within 90 days.  It’s impossible to have too many of these.
  29. Paper products: such as toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels.  Do you even know how long one roll of toilet paper lasts in your home?  Better find out.  Also paper plates and plastic cups and utensils will help to conserve your water supply as well as your energy.
  30. Milk: Think in terms of powdered or condensed milk.  Be sure the shake the canned milk ever 90 to 120 days.  You can make a whole lot of your ideal dairy products with powdered milk such as cheese, yogurt, sour cream, butter, etc.
  31. Garden seeds: (Non-hybrid) Do not buy canned seeds – they must be aerated.
  32. Clothes pins/line/hangers: This should be a “duh” item, but most of us take our electric dryer for granted.
  33. Canned meats:  Thank goodness for the big wholesale warehouses that sell quality canned beef, chicken, turkey and tuna.  Also, I’d rethink your negative stigmas of the canned “meat” Spam.  I’ve made several great dishes with this recently.  And Spam stores for a very, very long time.
  34. Fire extinguishers: Where there’s chaos, there are fires.  Be sure you’re prepared.  It would also be smart to have very large boxes of baking soda on hand for the same purpose as well.
  35. First aid kits: Ideally you can also have a military field surgical kit on hand as well.  This is an area that is significantly underrated and will be used more times that a toilet in an emergency. Be sure to remember aspirin, ibuprofen, and cough syrup as well.
  36. Batteries: You’ll want to be sure that you have all different sizes on hand.  In my opinion though, you’re best off if you have rechargeable batteries and invest in a solar battery charger.  Be sure to be mindful of the expiration dates on the batteries your purchase.
  37. Spices and baking supplies: Be mindful of flour, yeast, salt, garlic, and other spices that you use on a regular basis.  Be sure you have bouillons and soy sauce, plus mixes for soy sauce, vinegars, gravy mixes and soup mixes on hand as well.
  38. Matches: While matches are an asset, you’d be better off getting a magnesium stick with a striker.  However, if you’re going to purchase matches, be sure to get the “strike anywhere” kind.  Keep in mind that the boxed and wooden matches will go first in an emergency.
  39. Writing paper/pads/pencils/solar calculators: Don’t make me expound on this one.  Just make sure you have plenty paper and writing utensils on hand J
  40. Insulated ice chests: Ice chests have a dual purpose in both warm and cold weather.  In the warm weather they obviously can prevent items from overheating, but in the cold, they can keep items from getting freezer burn or just plain getting too cold.  Think of them as an insulator for what ever temperature you want to maintain.
  41. work-glovesLabor attire: such as work boots, belts, gloves, jeans, etc.  You’ll find yourself much more active in an emergency. So your everyday clothes that you may wear for fashion as opposed to function just aren’t going to cut it.
  42. Flashlights, light sticks, and torches: Portable lighting will be invaluable in an emergency.
  43. Cast iron cookware: When you’re cooking on raw open flames you definitely don’t want to you use your standard cookware.  Be sure you have cast iron cookware available.
  44. Fishing supplies/tools: While this is a resource for getting “protein” in your diet, the likelihood of fishing supplies really coming in handy during the initial phase of an emergency is slim.  Waters could be poisoned in the event of an earthquake or terrorist attack, and you will be much more focused on taking care of your family right where you are rather than expending energy to forage for food in the lakes and streams. This is yet another reason why you need to have food stored that you can use in your home, and not kid yourself into thinking that you can fish your way through a disaster.
  45. Pest and Insect repellents: Consider sprays, creams, or lotions.  The oil made by Avon, called Skin-So-Soft is actually a VERY effective mosquito repellent and obviously has multiple purposes.  In the event of a disaster which requires you to live without your standard comforts, get ready to make friends with the bugs. Keep traps and bug sprays on hands as well.  When all heck breaks loose, the varmints will come from everywhere they normally are foraging for survival just like you.
  46. Duct tape: You will NEED duct tape.  And lots of it for a whole lot of reasons.  We have purchased cases of it at the warehouse places.  
  47. Shelter Materials: Be sure you have heavy tarps, stakes, and rope on hand to ensure that you do not go without shelter. You will also need the tarp to section off rooms in the cold so that you’re heating just small spaces instead of your entire home.  You’ll want to be mindful of screen patches, glue (super glue, craft glue and fabric glue), nails, screws, nuts and bolts.
  48. Candles: While these do run in short supply very quickly in the event of a looming disaster, they are extremely ineffective as a source of light.  See comments on lamps for more details.  Spend your money elsewhere.
  49. the-north-face-patrol-35-backpackBackpacks & Duffle bags: in the event that you’ve got to leave your home and travel with sufficient supplies elsewhere, backpacks are necessary. These are also ideal for a 72 hour kit if you choose to have those handy as well.  
  50. Sewing supplies: Clothes will need repairs; fabric will need modified, so be sure that you have a really good quality of scissors. If you don’t know how to sew, it will serve you well to take a couple of basic classes. Regardless of what your financial circumstances are that may prohibit you from purchasing the preparedness items you need, you have no excuse not to hoard knowledge.  You’ve got the internet, the library, and a whole lot of cheap or free classes available so that you can learn these types of necessary skills.
  51. Canned goods: such as fruits, veggies, soups, etc.  Be sure to have your own canning supplies on hand as well such as the jars, lids, and paraffin wax.  This makes plug #3 for a pressure cooker a wise investment so that when you do can foods, you ensure your jars seal properly.
  52. Knives: Be sure to have the foresight for sharpening tools as well.  Obviously these are good as weapons, tools, cooking aids, etc.  Don’t skimp on something so critical.  My husband periodically takes solely a knife and hikes into the wilderness.  It’s the most important tool he takes with him. 
  53. Bedding: While you may believe your own bed is comfort enough, you’re very likely to be taking others into your shelter in the event of an emergency, or to need to flee elsewhere with transportable bedding.  Think of having sleeping bags, cots, self-inflating mattresses, pillows, sheets, blankets, and ground mattresses on hand.  You’ll be useless if you can’t get quality rest at night.
  54. Games: such as board games, cards, dice, etc.  I love seeing that these are items that are in high demand in the event of an emergency.  Many have the foresight to take care of the mental needs of themselves and their loved ones.
  55. Water enhancers: such as chocolate or strawberry powder, Tang, Kool-Aid etc.  While it takes much less energy to add a flavor to stored water to make it taste good, it’s not the best way to intake your daily dose of water, especially in an emergency state.  Your body even treats water with a simple lemon in it completely different than it does straight water.  It has to exert energy to filter it prior to it being used by the kidneys and the rest of your body.  Your body needs WATER.  Just plain WATER to function properly.  Try to avoid relying on flavors to get your necessary intake.  Instead try pouring the water from one container to another to aerate it to make the taste more pleasant.
  56. Easy foods: Such as graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, trail mix, beef jerky, peanut butters, and nuts.
  57. Lumber: 2 x 4s and sheets of plywood are the first to go.  Having a few of these pieces on hand will save you a great deal of stress later. stop-introder       

     

  58. And last, but definitely NOT least… Guns and Ammo: While many so-called emergency preparedness experts tend to shy away from discussing this need, it’s naïve and frankly derelict in my opinion to do so.  If there’s an emergency, chaos will ensue.  There’s no guarantee that those behind bars will stay there.  And there are PLENTY of persons who are not prepared for such a disaster that will be desperate and highly motivated to get the resources they need—from your supplies.  You can say to yourself that you would be willing to die if someone needed your food and other supplies that badly.  That’s fine.  That’s your choice.  But are you willing to make that same choice for your children?  It’s naïve to believe that only your supplies will be targeted by those who would harm you for what isn’t yours.  Are you willing to watch idly by while those you love have their virtue threatened at the hands of violent criminals as well?  In order of priority, get a handgun first, then a shotgun, and then a rifle.  Be sure that you have at least 1,000 rounds of ammo for each gun type you have.  And last but not least, be sure you get sufficient knowledge so that you can actually use a firearm in an emergency.  Mark my words, there will come a time in which ammo is worth more than the currency you carry in your purse or wallet.  So even if you have no intention of defending yourself, you may want to at least have something of value on hand to get what you need.  If you don’t believe that these items will be important in the event of an emergency, understand that sales have increased over 40% from last year just because of an administrative change in our government.  People will be more aware of this need in the event of a disaster.  Having the supplies are one thing. Being assured that you get to benefit from them is another.

Preparedness Pro Note: 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 also 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 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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