cheese-variety2

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Well, at least those of us who are addicted to cheese anyway. 

  • Can you name at least 10 different kinds of cheese that you love?
  • Do you believe that cheese should be its own food group?
  • Are you helpless to abide by your diet unless it involves huge amounts of melted cheese?

Then this article is for you!

 

cheese-fruit-plateSo picture this.  It’s a bona fide emergency survival situation.  You are holed up on your home and living off of the emergency preparedness supplies you stored.  And you’ve got one heck of a hankering for some yummy melted cheese.  But you’re just not in the mood for the Velveeta, that nasty powdered stuff, or the “squirt” kind of cheese.  You want a good solid bite of a yummy Parmesan, or Swiss, or a sharp cheddar.  (I’m making myself drool even as I write this.)  But hey, cheese doesn’t store for a very long time, right?  Well, in this case, I’m happy to tell you that you’re wrong.  And if you’re a true cheese addict, then you’ll be happy to hear that you’re wrong for once, right?

 

cheese-wax-goudaSo here’s the good news.  You CAN have your favorite cheese on hand, even in an emergency, and even though no stores are open and you have no access to electricity.  All you have to do is buy the hard blocks of cheese that you want now in order to have them  stored for up to the next 25 years.  Cheese wax prevents your cheese from developing mold or bacteria and it keeps the moisture in.  Simply use a combination of dipping and brushing with a natural boar’s hair brush to apply the melted cheese wax liberally to your block of cheese, let it harden, and then, VOILA – you’ve got your wish.  Cheese treated with cheese wax will store for up to 25 years at a mild to cool temperature.  Sure, it will continue to age.  But it sure won’t get moldy!  (And even if it does in parts, you can simply cut off that part, and re-wax over it.) Be sure that you select block sizes of cheese that you and your family can easily consume within a 3 to 5 day period in order to avoid it going bad once you’ve cut into it.

 

 

A couple of tips you should know though.

  1. cheeseclothDon’t use paraffin wax.  It tends to crack.  Cheese wax warms slower and heats to a higher temperature and thus plies better to your cheese shapes and sizes.  Cheese wax is also less crumbly and you can use less of it than paraffin. Remember, it’s reusable too!
  2. I have yet to find a hard cheese that I can’t wax.  So long as it’s hard enough to be in a solid block, you can wax it.
  3. You don’t need cheesecloth, but if you desire to use it prior to your wax layers, it may be helpful getting the wax off.  I haven’t had any problems without it though.
  4. It’s best to melt the cheese wax in a double boiler as opposed to direct heat. Any pan you use to melt your cheesewax in will be your designated cheese wax pan. They are impossible to get clean afterwards. So be forewarned.
  5. cheese-wax-double-broilers1The less you handle the cheese with your hands the better. Use food handling gloves.
  6. Dip the cheese in for about 5 seconds, then bring it out and HOLD it there for about 90 seconds. Do 3 layers of dipping and then one layer of brushing.  (Using the natural boar’s hair brush)  The reason why you want to use this kind of brush specifically is because other brushes will apply the cheese wax too thick, or with crevices, etc.  This kind of brush is perfect for cheese waxing.
  7. You don’t need to use food-grade labels for your cheese, however, it’s smart to use a label on the outside of your cheese just prior to the last wax layer.  That way you don’t have to worry about it falling off.  Be sure to label not only the kind of cheese it is, but when it was waxed as well.
  8. cheese-wax-brushDon’t store your waxed cheese in additional containers.  Just stack them on top of like cheeses and let them breathe.  I like to hang them from the ceiling in a “fishing net” kind of contraption.
  9. Be sure to check for pockets or crevices that didn’t get sealed.  Four total thin layers of wax is a good practice.  There’s no need to do more coats than that.
  10. The cheese surface should be clean and dry prior to waxing.
  11. If your 2nd and 3rd coats are applied while the prior coat is still just a bit warm you will get a better adhesion.
  12. Cheese wax can be re-used several times.  You can simply wash it in warm water, let it dry and then re-melt it.  So when you remove cheese wax from your cheeses, you can simply reheat and reapply the wax.  Simply heat the cheese wax to about 200 degrees F.  This will also ensure that you’re not transferring any bacteria or unnecessary moisture to your new cheese–even when you’re putting it on your cheese which is cooler.
  13. You do not need to filter the cheese wax after you melt it.  So don’t worry about that step.
  14. Your first coat will have some unevenness to it.  Don’t worry.  The 2nd and 3rd coat will even it out just fine.
  15. Cheese will respond to gravity. So using cheesewax vs. paraffin is important as it’s more pliable. I periodically turn my cheese in view of the gravitational pull.

cheese-wax-waxCheese wax can be found multiple places online or in your local health food stores.  I also recommend that you use red or black cheesewax as it will prevent more light from getting int. You should also have no problem finding a boar bristle brush either.  

 

Once you get the hang of this cheese waxing stuff you can progress to making your own cheese from powdered milk in any flavor you decide!  Yummy!

 

Enjoy the recipe below!

 

Kristen’s Cheesy Roughin’ It Enchiladas

 

1 can of tomato soup

1 can of cream of chicken soup

1 regular sized can of enchilada sauce

2 cups of canned chicken, drained

About 2 cups of your favorite shredded cheese

 

cheese-enchiladas2Make your sauce by combining the soups and the enchilada sauce.

 

Use enough flour or corn tortillas to line a large baking dish or Dutch oven with your enchiladas (About 12 to 15 depending on how big you stuff them).  Be sure to spray your dish with some cooking spray.

 

Lightly coat the bottom of your tortilla with the sauce.  Then add about 2 tablespoons of chicken, according to your desire.  Top the chicken with about 2 tablespoons of cheese.  Then roll up your tortilla and place seam side down in the dish.  Continue until you’ve filled the dish a single layer deep.  Once you’re finished, pour the remaining sauce over the top and top with the remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until the cheese is completely melted.  You can add chopped black olives, black beans, rice, or even green chilies to this recipe as well. 

 

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

 

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

 

The Magic Number 12

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Southern Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Enjoy!  Let me know what you think!

 

 

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

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Here’s a reality question. Do you really have sufficient food and water storage for one year? Recently information was revealed that the majority of a large nationwide mix of individuals who thought they had a year’s supply of food for their family, actually only had 90 days!  And of the individuals who thought they had a years supply of water only had 3 weeks!  Wow. Talk about a false sense of security, eh?  (Let’s at least hope that the situation has been remedied since the results of the analysis.)

 

In my opinion, what’s more disturbing though is the vast majority of individuals who know…really know…that they need to store a years supply of food, water, and other necessary emergency supplies but who have not even begun.  It reminds me of the joke of the guy who’s stranded on the top of his roof due to flood waters. 

 

The man prays and prays for the Lord to spare him.  Interrupting his prayers was a man in a small life raft, offering the man safe passage.  The praying man waved the life raft on, assuring the would-be rescuer that he would be just fine.  The man continues to pray for help.  Shortly thereafter a helicopter arrives to take the man from his roof.  The man waves the helicopter on convinced that the Lord would spare him in answer to his prayers. Finally, the flood waters rise enough to drown the man. As he’s standing before the Lord he asks Him why He didn’t answer his prayers?  Naturally the Lord responds that He did indeed send the life raft and the helicopter. 

 

Are we ignoring the life rafts and helicopters?  Have we as a nation not had sufficient warning that we need to be more prepared for the disasters in our life?  Do we need to be subjected first hand to a tsunami, the Teton Dam breaking, an earthquake, a debilitating ice storm, or a ferocious hurricane before we wake up and truly prepare?  Is there really any fact-based doubt in anyone’s mind that we need to take responsibility for our own well-being in the midst of a calamity?

 

Recently my local electric company and gas company officials were questioned as to their availability for a restitution of power and gas should there be a major disaster.  The gas company informed us that they had 30 employees to take care of over 450,000 homes. The power company informed us that they had only 4 backhoes to take care of that many homes as well. In other words, there is not going to be a quick fix in the event of a true catastrophe.  No matter how much we pay them, our demands for a restitution of service will go unheard.  It’s simply a matter of fact.

 

national-guardMy neighbor is a fireman.  A relatively close neighbor is a surgeon. And yet another is a National Guardsman.  But does this mean that these individuals will be on hand for their neighbors should there be a catastrophe? Nope.  Sorry. These individuals will be doing what they are trained to be doing…and doing it elsewhere.  Heck.  They are hardly ever home with things are going well, let alone when there’s a disaster.

 

4 in 100 families who religiously believe in a doomsday scenario are appropriately prepared with a years supply of necessary items.  Needless to say, those are some awful statistics—and this is among those who are religiously convinced individuals. What about the rest of society that simply doesn’t care or take time to think about such preparedness?  A lot of lives will be unnecessarily lost and a lot of hearts will be unnecessarily burdened if we do not take care of our needs for tomorrow, today.

 

May we all take a solemn responsibility for our well-being that we may be in a position to help others who are truly in need when times get really, really tough.

 

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.  

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

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

 

By Kellene Bishop

 

Recently I’ve been inundated with requests from readers to know how I’ve personally prepared for the future.  These requests have come about as a result of my blog post of Gerald Celente’s economic forecasts (see link here).  In fact, I’ve even create an entirely new blog called Preparedness Pro, devoted exclusively to emergency preparedness in the categories of food (including cooking), water, first aid, self-defense, finances, and emotional preparedness.  Be sure to add Preparedness Pro to your blogroll (www.preparednesspro.com) and check back often! 

 

What makes me a pro?  I’ve been practicing personal preparedness doggedly for over 9 years.  Our house has 3 full rooms of necessary emergency supplies.  Usually, instead of going to the store, I just go downstairs to our food storage room, grab what I need, and replenish about every 6 months or so.  It will be up to you to decide whether or not what I share with you has merit.

 

water-myoakforestFirst Things First—WATER! 

 

If you have not started preparing for an emergency, do not start with food.  Start with WATER!  If you’ve already started a sufficient emergency supply food storage, you are probably like the majority of individuals and have put off storing water.  “Where am I going to store those ugly barrels?” you ask?  Believe me, that’s the last thing you’re going to care about when you need water.

 

How much water should I store? 

You can go without food a heck of a lot longer than you can water.  I know this may sound a bit overwhelming, but you really need to store enough water to provide you and your family with 1 gallon per day—minimum—for at least 3 months.  Allow me to restate this.  1 gallon per person is MINIMUM.   That’s a lot.  But you don’t need to go back too far in history to realize that such a need could exist.  Think of the hurricanes our nation has had in recent history.  Is your area ripe for an earthquake?  What if some moron crashes their chemical truck into your water supply?

 

Keep in mind that that one gallon of water is not just for drinking.  It’s for hygiene, (and don’t even think that you’ll avoid bathing all together…this will foster serious illnesses, among other things) cooking, toilet use, laundry, and cleaning. 

 

How do I store my water?

Store your water in NEW barrels.  Please don’t store water you intend to use for drinking and cooking in barrels that have been used for something else.  You will suffer, indeed.  (It’s fine to use those kinds of barrels for water you will use exclusively for cleaning, etc.) 

 

Please, please, please do not store your water in empty milk or soda pop bottles.   They deteriorate.  (Although is you have to choose one of them, pick the soda pop bottles instead.  They last a bit longer)

 

Should I store purified water?

Don’t treat your water before storing it.  Chance are very good that it’s already been sufficiently treated by your municipality.  Besides, I would recommend treating your water prior to using it for drinking or cooking anyway.  To do this you want to use 8 drops of pure Chlorox per gallon of water. 

 

You can fill your water barrels through the garden hose.  As long as you let the water run through the hose a bit and there aren’t any bugs sitting in it, you’re fine.  Surely you drank out of a hose when you were little and you’re no worse for wear, right?  If you’re a purist, you can purchase a marine hose that is lined with an anti-bacterial coating.  Those are readily available at your local hardware store.

 

Keep in mind that the water in your water heater, water bed, and toilet tanks is usable as well. 

 

Iodine tablets, colloidal silver, and quality camping water filters are also a good preparedness step in the event you’re required to use water from sources you’re not familiar with. 

 

One of the things that I stock up on as well are the little Xooma water sachets. These small, tea bag like sachets contain minerals and such that can bring your water to a good non-alkaline levels and infuse minerals in them. I personally believe that doing so helps for better hydration to the body.  So I keep stocked up on these for an emergency as well. 

 

How often do I replace the water?

We empty and refill our water barrels every two years.  You don’t need to do it that often, but we’re a bit fanatical about things.  You’re fine to go out 5 years prior to refilling them as long as it’s good water to begin with.  You will want to aerate your water though prior to drinking it.  Doing this is as simple as pouring it a few times from one container to another, such as a couple of pitchers. 

 

Where am I supposed to store all this water?

water-blogged-3If you’re in a small apartment, you will be pleasantly surprised how easily you can disguise a water barrel as an end table with a small round piece of plywood and a classy decorative tablecloth.  We are fortunate enough to have enough space in our basement and have several of them lined up and then have plywood stacked on top of them to begin shelving for our food storage.

 

Note to wives: If your overzealous husband convinces you to store “an extra” eight 50-gallon barrels under one of the guest beds, you may want to think twice.  It’s a family joke now when folks come to stay with us and sleep in the “water bed.”

 

Don’t buy into the myth that you can’t store your water barrels on cement.  Clarification is that you should not store your water on cement that gets heated by the sun.  So if you’re storing it outside, the sun will heat the cement, which will then heat your water.  This makes water taste nasty.  If you’re storing them outside, place the barrels on top of 2 x 4s.

 

You can store your water barrels outside in freezing weather, but you run the risk of them freezing and cracking.  At the very least, you should not fill them up to maximum capacity to allow for the freezing expansion.

 

Conserving Water

Consider ways to conserve water in an emergency as well.  Storing paper goods such as paper plates and cups will eliminate cleaning, and learning to cook with a pressure cooker which uses a minimum amount of water for cooking is also a good idea. (more on pressure cooking in a future blog.)

 

P.S.  In view of some of the e-mails I’ve received, I just want to clarify…you only want to use HOUSEHOLD chlorine, such as Chlorox.  And remember, don’t treat the water prior to storing it if you’re getting it from your tap.

 

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.  

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!