Making Elk Hamburger With Added Beef Fat

Making Elk Burger with Added Beef FatElk is very lean meat.  If you grind it straight into burger it tends to be very chewy and needs water added when you cook it since there is so little fat in it.  In order to make it cook and taste better, we like to add some beef fat to our elk burger.  There are a couple of different ways you can get fat added to your elk.  The first is to add straight beef fat, and the second is to add fatty ground beef.  We’ll cover both methods and the math involved with them in this post.

What’s that you say?  Math?  Yep.  You know in algebra class when your teacher said you’d use this someday in your real life?  Well, here’s your chance!  (I know some of you are secretly rejoicing.)

Method #1: Elk burger with added beef fat.

You will need: Elk meat, meat grinder, and chunks of beef fat.  We get ours from the local grocery meat department.  We just asked the guy if he could save us some beef fat and we got it for no cost.  You might have to pay a little something, but it shouldn’t be too much. Continue reading “Making Elk Hamburger With Added Beef Fat”

Put Your Excess Halloween Candy in Your Food Storage

I don’t know about the rest of you, but my kids certainly came home with plenty of candy from last night’s trick-or-treating. Maybe you, like us, also have some left over that you intended to hand out. If you have too much candy around your house today, here are some great ways to put some of the excess in your emergency supplies.

Hard candy, suckers, smarties, and other candies that are primarily sugar have an extremely long shelf life (as if any candy isn’t primarily sugar, but you know what I mean). These are great for adding to your bug out bags or emergency kits just as they are. They even do well in a vehicle kit where temperatures fluctuate. Continue reading “Put Your Excess Halloween Candy in Your Food Storage”

Six Reasons I’m Not a Fan of Pre-Mixed Food Storage Meals and Why I Still Have Some

Pre-packaged food storage meals are super convenient and easy to store and cook. Ranging from MRE’s to dehydrated mixes to freeze dried entrees, these meals have all the meal ingredients in them and are either heat-and-eat or add water and cook. It’s tough to find a food storage company that doesn’t offer at least a handful of pre-mixed meal choices. They sound like a good deal–I mean, who wouldn’t want to be served lasagna or chicken a la king without having to actually make it? Well, here are 6 reasons I don’t like pre-made food storage meals and a couple reasons why I still have some in my preps.

1. Amazingly picky eaters. Especially the kids. No, especially the husband. Well, maybe the kids have him beat sometimes. They haven’t met a pre-made meal they really love and few that they even like enough to eat. A couple of Mountain House varieties have been deemed okay for camping if we don’t have anything else (but only Turkey Tetrazzini and Chicken a la King) as well as a couple of varieties of the Thrive pouch meals (Baked Potato Cheese Soup and Pasta Carbonara). I can’t say that I have tried every variety from every manufacturer–there may be a couple more that my family would accept but I don’t hold out high hopes. Maybe this all stems from reason number two.

Continue reading “Six Reasons I’m Not a Fan of Pre-Mixed Food Storage Meals and Why I Still Have Some”

Preparedness items at local Sam’s Clubs

I work near a Sam’s Club and sometime head over for a lunchtime visit. It is hard to beat a Polish Dog and soda at $1.50 for lunchtime frugality. While I am there I often browse through the store to see what seasonal items are on display. Over the last couple months I’ve noticed a few preparedness items at local Sam’s Clubs.

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June Mountain House Sale

We love it when local stores have good deals for preppers, even better when it’s the stuff we want the most.  Emergency Essentials let us know that this month they are featuring a 20-25% discount on Mountain House cans and we wanted to make sure to pass the word along.  Most people involved in preparedness or camping will have some familiarity with the Mountain House products. They are the original commercial freeze-dry products, and have an incredible choice of entrees available.

The big #10 cans of freeze dried food are something we don’t say you should solely base your food storage on, by any means. But they are an amazing part of your overall plan. The large cans allow you to get more food, in a longer-life container. Just remember two key factors when using freeze-dried food from a can. First, contents have settled, so some of the flavor is on the bottom, you’ll want to mix it up. Second, once that can is open, there is no more long-term storage. So entrees you like you need to use within a few days. In a real emergency, that’s not a problem as long as you are aware.

If you do any scouting, or larger group events. Can’s make it so it is a more economical choice vs other options.  So if you need to augment your storage, looking to expand the menu, or are even just starting it’s worth checking out their sale.

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Searching for the Cure (Bacon)

My brother passed along a video today that fits right in here on the blog. As many people know, I have a long love of cured foods.  Bacon, of course, ranks at the top of my list.  Bacon, and country hams were an important staple for survival to people in the Appalachians for hundreds of years before refrigeration was introduced.  While I don’t have a setup for curing my own bacon (yet), this video sure encourages me to get that setup sooner than later.  This 10 minute documentary is about a man who run’s a business curing bacon and ham the old fashioned way.

As I told a friend, the subjects Appalachian accent is like a Barry White with the sequences of frying bacon and country ham.

Once you’ve watched, you’ll probably want to go buy bacon or ham from their site and then once you’ve tasted the difference, try to cure bacon on your own.

New Products Announced at Shelf Reliance Convention

As a consultant for Shelf Reliance, I had the opportunity to attend their annual convention in Salt Lake this past weekend. It was exciting, educational, and exhausting (especially with my 10 month old in tow). There were quite a few new product announcements that I’d like to let you know about, so before they even get the new products launched on the site, I’m letting you in on them right here.

NEW THRIVE PRODUCTS:



Continue reading “New Products Announced at Shelf Reliance Convention”

Store what you eat / Eat what you store

This is yet another “Eat what you store / Store what you eat” post.  I had a few experiences in the last week or so that has worked me up to this article.

Eat what you store

First.  A few weeks ago I went to get some cooking oil from our storage area.  I discovered to my dismay that well over half of my oil had gone rancid.  I’m not sure if I had a tempurature fluxuation or what happened.  Bottom line:  I was almost out of oil.  Fortunately it didn’t ruin my dinner plans, but imaging discovering that your oil was bad in the middle of a crisis?  The oil was out of date, but my previous experience has lead me to believe that generally oil has more longevity than is stamped on the bottle. Continue reading “Store what you eat / Eat what you store”

Honey in the News

Local Raw Honey, image from freshstepsonline.com
Local Raw Honey, image from freshstepsonline.com

There have been a few articles lately in the news regarding honey, mainly in response to a Food Safety News study that was published this week. To sum it up, the report found that most honey purchased in stores had been highly processed to the point that all the pollen had been removed. Aside from no longer supplying healthy benefits by containing pollen, removing all traces of pollen also makes it impossible to track the location of origin for honey if it turns out to be contaminated or otherwise harmful. Continue reading “Honey in the News”

OvaEasy Eggs

Heading out on a hike recently, I needed to find a good item for breakfast.  Having already converted my friends to the awesomeness that is freeze-dried eggs, I wanted to try something new.  I’ve long been anti- dehydrated/powdered eggs after having far too many bad experiences with them. To me they still always taste odd, and it leaves me not wanting eggs for a while afterwards.  However, I do have a love for eggs and really wanted to have some on our hike.  So as I was browsing along a local sporting good store, I happened upon a new item. Continue reading “OvaEasy Eggs”

Reusable Canning Lids

How many canning lids do you have in your storage? Canning in a long term emergency situation means having the supplies to do it. You’ll need your canner, jars, rings, and of course those pesky lids. Lots of them. Those lids that you can only use once and then you need a new lid. And once you’ve used your stash of lids, then what? Or is there a better way? What about canning lids that can be used over and over?

Last fall I tried some Tattler reusable canning lids. I canned jam, tomatoes, and salsa with them. The Tattler company has been making these lids since 1976. They are two pieces–a plastic lid and a rubber gasket. You’ll need the metal rings that came with your jars or you can buy some extras on the Tattler site if you’re short on rings. The lids are BPA free and made in the USA. Tattler has them available for wide mouth and regular jars. The upfront cost of $7.00-$8.00 per dozen is, of course, more than the metal lids, but with regular re-use they pay for themselves pretty quickly.

Continue reading “Reusable Canning Lids”