Wednesday, March 25, 2009

IN THE BEGINNING ... There isn't much money

Believe me, I understand all to well that there isn't much money to go around these days. Heck ever. But with food storage, I have found that you just really have to make it a priority or else you'll never get it all done.

If you're not willing or able to take HUGE steps at purchasing a complete food storage program, I suggest you take toddler steps. Frankly, I think the time for baby steps has passed. It it time to crank things up a bit.

But have heart, you can get started and not break the bank. I'll be posting some ideas from time to time. Until then, check out these blogs that work specifically with those starting out.

I'll add more when I fire up my Google Reader. I'll also be adding things to my side bar. Until then, here's my getting started tip for today....

Hamburger Helper + TVP + Canned Vegetables

Yes, frugal preppers, you read that right. It was suggested to me years ago that Hamburger Helper is a good place to start with food storage. There are a lot of Pros and just a few Cons:

o Familiar food to most people
o Relatively inexpensive
o Requires no special ingredients other than water and heat
o TVP is also relatively inexpensive and a little goes a LONG way
o Stores for a long, long time
o Lots of different flavors to vary your meals

o High sodium and fat content make it not the healthiest meal on the planet
o Not everyone likes casseroles

Hope this helps you take the first step.

You really need to get started.

A Few Resources

I had a conversation with a delightful LDS girl at a Scout function recently.

We got on the subject of food storage. Surprisingly, she was not all that well versed on some food storage details.

For instance, she thought she had just won the lottery by finding some buckets at Home Depot that a Gamma lid fit on. I asked it the buckets were food grade, she said that she was sure they were. I'm pretty sure a paint bucket isn't food grade and I'm hoping for her sake that they go through an awful lot of flour in a short amount of time so her family isn't eating leeched plastic!

So, since everyone doesn't have the time or gumption to research different prepping resources, here are a few of my favorites in no particular order:

Honeyville Grain -This is a mill in Utah and California that has very high quality products. Their prices are slightly higher than WINCO and some of my other stand bys, but with only $4.49 shipping cost for ANY order, it's a good deal. In addition to their high quality items, they also offer a huge selection of Organic items if that is important to you.x

My husband and I always make a point of stopping in their Salt Lake City warehouse when we visit our friends there. Our poor car drags all the way back home.

Oh, I forgot to add, their powdered milk is THE best I've ever had. Add it to their delicious granola and you'll be a food storage fan in no time!

Freeze Dried Guy - This wonderful gentleman is a fantastic resource for, you guessed it .... Freeze Dried products. As I've said before, we're loosely following a vegan diet. But I have got to tell you. I'm very happy to know that we have some quality beef patties and chicken in our battery. High protein foods are great for satiating an appetite. And a little will go a long way. Just add it to casseroles (rice, potatoes, etc.) for a nice protein meal.

Sun Oven - Just how do you plan on cooking all this food storage if there is no power or gas? We asked ourselves that question and did some research. We found the Sun Oven. We have had our's almost 10 years now and love it! While it is a little expensive, and it is a little bit small, I can tell you this thing WORKS! I have made bread, rice, cakes, potatoes and more in it. The only thing I've found that doesn't cook well is cookies.
The Sun Oven is much like a crock pot in that it holds in the moisture of what you're cooking. That's why the cookies don't get crisp.
Cookies are a small sacrifice when you're able to make food for your family.
Using a Sun Oven does take some planning, so I suggest if you do purchase one, begin using it immediately. That way you'll be comfortable with using it.
I'll write more on the Sun Oven soon. It's a fabulous product that I am passionate about.

Ok, that's it for now. I'll add more resources over the next few weeks.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

WHY all the excitement?

If you're new to food storage, you're probably wondering what all the excitement is about when someone says that a recipe is good for using food storage. After all, isn't food storage for STORING?


Let me explain. Whether you're storing for religious reasons, you want to be prepared for some emergency, or whatever the reason, you need to be accustomed to using what you're storing.

If you're not, you're going to be one of those poor unfortunate souls that has a garage full of beautiful clean white buckets filled with wheat, corn, barley, and oats. And that's it.

I've read of people boasting that they are prepared for any disaster and they don't even own a bucket opener or wheat grinder.

Someone like that wouldn't have the first clue how to sustain themselves during any kind of emergency. Even if they have a ton of food stored.

Therefore, you listen to those that tell you to...

This is the best advice you'll ever get in regards to prepping.

Also, if you have small children that are accustomed to a steady diet of Wonder Bread and frozen pizza, a diet of food storage just might bring on a mutiny from the under 4 feet crowd.

I suggest that you begin making at least one food storage item at each meal. Bread, biscuits, soup and muffins are a good place to start getting them (and you!) accustomed to eating more whole grains and homemade items.

Start slow. There is no reason to force it down their throats. Add more as time goes on and you'll probably find that they are quite agreeable to the changes. Even more so if you get them involved with preparing the recipe.

And when you start cooking with your food storage, be sure to replace any of the used items. That way you won't be caught off guard with having to go to your supplier for a huge order.

Have a great day!

Friday, March 20, 2009


Again, I ran out of ideas for breakfast. I'll be the first to admit that I have spoiled my children.

They hate repetition. Oh sure, if I rotate meals, they're fine with that. But cereal 4 times in a row just brings a revolt.

One thing I have found to keep them at bay is making this wonderfully easy and quick bread. It can be made in a stand mixer or even by hand. But I tend to use my bread machine so I can do other important things in the morning like taking in the goodness that is my morning coffee.

This recipe is my loose interpretation of pita bread. My kids love how it puffs up when it cooks. So "Puffy Bread" was born.

Here it goes:

Puffy Bread

1.5 cups water
1/2-1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten or white flour
2-2.5 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 teaspoons yeast (NOT rapid!)

Place all ingredients in bread mixer and put on "dough" setting.

When machine has mixed and kneaded for about 10 minutes, stop and restart and let it go through it's entire cycle. You want it to knead for at least 20 minutes to develop the gluten.

You want the dough to be firm yet still a little bit tacky. You want the small amount of wetness because it is the steam that makes it puff up.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

This should make 6-7 breads. Break off your dough and roll into balls. Flatten the balls (I use a rolling pin. Others use their hands.) into discs that are about 1/4 inches tall. I'll admit, there is a learning curve. If you make them too thick, they come out like hamburger buns. If you make them too thin, they are just a great big cracker. Neither are bad options, but if your kid wants to fill his puffy bread with cheese or peanut butter, things become difficult when you don't have the right kind of bread to work with.

Place the discs on a lightly greased sheet pan.

Now, let the bread rest while your oven heats up to it's firey, hot temperature of 500 degrees.

Once your oven is the right temp, put the bread in and then turn it down to 400 degrees.

In my oven these take about 12 minutes to puff up and brown a little. My mother in law's oven takes 18. So just watch the bread. I have found that once they puff up, you can let them stay in the oven another 2-3 minutes to firm up and you've got a great pocket to fill.

As you can see, this is more of a technique than a recipe. Feel free to change according to your family's tastes.