In a TEOTWAWKI situation very little will be available in the way of treats or delicious flavorings. Have you thought about making some preps to be able to provide a flavorful break from the bland day to day eating of rice, wheat and beans for over a year? More than just being able to provide something yummy to yourself and your family, good sweets will likely be a sought after barter item. The simplest treat to make and sell/barter would be hard tack candy. There are few ingredients to hard tack, we’ll get to those in a second. The most important ingredient in hard tack is flavoring!
Now I want to digress for a minute and talk about Vanilla Flavor. Vanilla extract is a VERY time and labor intensive product to make. In fact, it is the second most expensive spice in the world next to saffron. The majority of the worlds vanilla comes from Madagascar – and it’s being destroyed! 80% of Madagascar’s Vanilla farms are currently being killed off by a deadly fungus! This most likely means that the already expensive flavor is going to skyrocket in price. Vanilla is one of the most common flavorings – it is used in baking all kinds of products and is also commonly added to powdered milk to enhance the flavor.
OK, back to our main topic. Hard Tack candy is very simple to make but without flavoring it just tastes like hard sugar. Flavor Flavor Flavor is the key to good candy! If like me, you think that being able to produce candy after over a year of nothing but food storage would be a valuable enterprise then there are 3 main things you need to stock up on: Sugar, Corn Syrup and Flavor – coloring is nice but not needed. Here’s a quick hard tack recipe:
Hard Tack Candy Ingredients: 2 c Sugar 3/4 c Corn syrup 1 c Water 3/4 ts Food coloring 3/4 ts Desired flavored oil extract
Hard Tack Candy Instructions:
Mix sugar, syrup and water in saucepan.
Stir until sugar is dissolved; continue to cook to 300-degrees.
Remove from heat.
Add coloring and flavoring; stir.
Pour into 8 x 11-inch buttered pan.
Cut into squares as candy begins to set.
The other thing you’re going to need is a candy thermometer, buy a few and put them away. I’ve got several hundred pounds of sugar stored and dozens of bottles of corn syrup – and all the flavorings in the picture above. My sugar is stored in Mylar Bags with the bags being stored in 5 gallon buckets.
Flavorings are used in a lot more than just hard tack, they’re important for lots of baking and other needs. So if you haven’t been thinking about it, make sure you’ve got a nice selection of flavors stored away, and if you like Vanilla – go get some quick, and make sure you get the pure extract!