Store zucchini in bread

I have been searching for the best way to store zucchini and have found the answer: in bread. Instead of trying to freeze the zucchini itself, make it into bread first and freeze the loaves.

Other options that I am trying are freezing the shredded zucchini pre-measured in individual bags and as bread dough, pre-measured in individual, disposable baking tins. Freezing the shredded zucchini allows for convenience as you only have to thaw exactly what you need and it’s already measured for the recipe. The frozen dough is even more convenient as it only requires baking, saving you time and a messy kitchen. The most convenient option of course is pre-baked loaves though as they come out of the freezer ready to eat. I’m going to do some comparisons through the winter to see how much of a difference in taste and texture there is between bread baked from frozen dough and the pre-baked frozen loaves. If it turns out that the frozen loaves are just as good as freshly baked bread, then I will stick with that. It’s much easier and saves a lot of electricity to have a baking day where you cook it all at once. Continue reading “Store zucchini in bread”

Freezing green onions


I pulled a bunch of onions this evening, sliced them up, and arranged them in the dehydrator to run through the night. A post on that will be coming soon. I thought I’d post a quick note about green onions tonight though. Just because you have more than you can eat, don’t throw the rest out. Freeze them! Green onions freeze well and they don’t even have to be blanched. The texture changes a little so you probably won’t want to each them in a salad, but besides that they do quite well. I have enough that I won’t need to buy green onions again. Really. I’ll still be pulling them out of the freezer when next year’s are ready to harvest.

Swine flu fact check

Part of prepping is being smart. Educating yourself with existing knowledge and acquiring the skills to accurately and quickly secure and evaluate future information is critical for survival. Preppers should be leaders. People will look to you in an emergency for leadership and direction. Many people already do. As we work to help people understand the importance of prepping, it is crucial that we do it in a way that is not only sincere, but honest. Using scare tactics is not the right approach.

While stories of fear and death may motivate someone in the short term, its effects will not last and will not produce the change of lifestyle required for someone to truly be prepared. Being seen as a conspiracy theorist and a radical nut-job will also not help your efforts to convert friends and family, or worse, progress towards larger efforts for larger subjects nationally and across the world. Regardless of what you believe, where you stand, or which way you lean politically, your actions contribute to the perceived image of a prepper. Whether it’s individual rights, big-brother, small government, war, or the current battle over health care, the way you contribute to the conversation has a dramatic effect over the conversation. Continue reading “Swine flu fact check”

Price drop on oats, rice, and milk

The LDS Home Storage Center updated their prices two weeks ago. I was pleasantly surprised that the prices have come down on many items. The most substantial discounts are bulk oats (-28%), rice (-35%), dry milk (-44%), and apple slices (-16%). Black beans (+29%), white beans (+10%), and sugar (+26%) on the other hand have gone up. So, if you have the means, I would recommend getting some oats, rice, and milk now. If you were planning on getting some more beans and sugar, you might consider waiting a bit to see if the prices change. I’d buy now regardless of the price if you don’t have any however.

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Final call for orders on water storage tank option 2

We are excited about those that have been able to participate in the high-capacity water storage tank group buy. We will soon have a lot more people prepared water-wise. The last orders for option 1 were collected Saturday. That option is complete. The window to submit orders for option 2 has been extended to Tuesday, 30 June. We will place the combined order the next day. Those that have already placed their orders should have already been contacted by the distributor to arrange for payment. Additional orders (between now and the end of the month) will be contacted after the order is closed.

The product is a high-capacity residential water storage tank. It holds 275 gallons (the equivalent of five 55 gallon water drums) and is being sold for $345 (includes shipping). The unit fits through a standard doorway so you can place it in a back room or a basement. Please note the SureWater tank also comes in a 525 gallon option. While we did not include the larger size in the original announcement, it is available for the same discount at $470.

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Freezing broccoli and cauliflower

One of the most significant weaknesses in my gardening has been storing my harvest. Gardens aren’t just about fresh produce. People used to live off them year round. With so many people struggling to make ends meet or struggling to establish adequate food storage, I am surprised there are so few gardens. This year I have committed to educating myself on effective storage techniques and significantly adding to the variety and quality of my food storage with the fruits of my garden.

There are many ways to preserve and store food including canning, smoking, bottling, drying, and freezing. Each has it’s own advantages and weaknesses and varies in effectiveness depending on the food. For example, I could eat canned green beans with meatloaf every night of the week but would rather eat dirt than canned peas. Of course, if it really came down to it, I would likely choose to supplement the dirt with the canned peas to avoid death. Thus, I would recommend having a variety of food stored in several different methods.

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An attempt to build a rotating compost bin

I’m fascinated by compost. Watching kitchen scraps turn into dirt in just a few weeks time is exciting and anything I can do to improve my soil is worth the effort. I want the ComposTumbler, but finding $429 in the family budget (the price after you give them an email address) for a barrel that holds dirt is proving difficult. So, this past weekend I decided to build my own.

The project was not a success in my mind but I thought I would post this how-to article anyway describing what I tried and the lessons learned in the hope that it will save others of you time and money should you embark on such a project yourself. The unit is complete and in my garden cooking up a batch of compost at this very moment, but it is difficult to use, I have concerns about how long it will last, and the door doesn’t stay closed.
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Messiest pantry contest: cast your vote

Shelf Reliance, maker of the famous rotating shelf system, is holding a Messiest Pantry Contest. It began on 19 April with contestants submitting photos of their messy pantries or food storage rooms along with a description of why they deserved the makeover. The entries have been narrowed to five semi-finalists which are now competing in an online poll on Shelf Reliance’s blog to be one of the three winners. Continue reading “Messiest pantry contest: cast your vote”

Skills as a prep

A few weeks ago a guest author on a popular preparation blog discussed the value of gardening as a resource. He put forth the opinion that while he enjoys gardening as a pastime, the decision as to whether to engage in it should be based solely around time and cost. Citing the inability to move a garden in an emergency and the amount of labor required to get to harvest, he concluded that it is better to save your seeds for a bug-out and expend today’s efforts and money on a trip to the grocery store. “It’s all about time,” he says, “not a skill or desire.” Continue reading “Skills as a prep”

Gardening resources (local and mail-order)

Gardening in Utah can be a wonderfully enjoyable and productive experience. Knowing how to get started however can be a major deterrent for many people. Fortunately, there are a number of local resources we can rely upon in order to help us to get started on the path to productive, self-sufficient gardening.

After doing some research myself, here’s my garden fertilized and tilled, ready for the first planting next week:

If you are interested in getting started, keep reading for some recommendations on local resources.
Continue reading “Gardening resources (local and mail-order)”

Starts for the Spring garden

Ten days and counting. Boy do I have spring-fever. We planted lettuce, broccoli, carrots and two kinds of peas Monday night in our starter trays and by this morning they had already sprouted and pushed their heads up through the soil. I will be moving them outside on the fourteenth. I tried two approaches to see which would perform better. Half the seeds went in a 72 cup Jiffy Greenhouse Kit and the other half went in biodegradable peat pots filled with seed-starting potting soil and covered with cellophane.

I found the Jiffy Greenhouse Kit cumbersome, but it does appear to be performing better than the pots I filled with soil by hand. The peat pellets in the kit are compressed and dehydrated and come as small wafers. Before use, you must rehydrate them with an eighth a cup of water and slice open the top of the fabric that holds them together so that you can get the seed inside. The raised plastic lid also appears to be regulating the humidity better than the cellophane on the others. The cellophane is also going to have to be removed once shoots get much higher than the edge of the peat pots.

The only real obstacle that I foresee is distinguishing between each of the plants while they are young as my toddler has removed my markers.

Flash Alert: Sears in American Fork closing

Sears is closing it’s store in American Fork. A fourth of the store is already empty. I was there last night and it appeared that everything was thirty to sixty percent off. I was able to get bunch of batteries and toilet paper. Their prices are higher than Walmart to begin with so I am not sure how much of a deal it really is, but even saving a little is worth a trip when buying in bulk. Other things I saw while there were tents, canopies, air compressors, tools, and clothing.