Great Powdered Milk Taste Test and Review

This post is cross posted from my blog.

Ever wanted to find a powdered milk that tastes good?  You’re not alone.  So just in case you don’t want to go through the expense and hassle of trying out every kind of powdered milk you can find, read on.  I did it for you.

After a comment about the flavor of powdered milk on another post, I hatched a plan to have folks try a bunch of different kinds of powdered milks to maybe find one that tasted good so this reader and anyone else who wants to know (including me) will know which brands would be best to buy because you know powdered milk is not cheap.  I had some super help with this milk experiment from Emergency Essentials, Grandma’s Country Foods, Walton Feed, Blue Chip Group (now Augason Farms), and Honeyville Grain who all donated some of their milk for the review.  Thank you to all of you–we couldn’t have done it without you! Continue reading “Great Powdered Milk Taste Test and Review”

Growing and Harvesting Dry Beans

Dry Beans, clockwise from top: Calypso, Jacob's Gold Cattle, Jacob's Cattle, Black Valentine, Mayflower
Dry Beans, clockwise from top: Calypso, Jacob's Gold Cattle, Jacob's Cattle, Black Valentine, Mayflower

One of my garden experiments this year was growing dry beans.  Most of the “survival seed” packs have a variety of beans in them.  I had five different kinds of dry bean seeds in addition to my usual favorite green bean varieties, so had plenty of beans growing in the garden this year.  The dry bean varieties I planted were Calypso, Jacob’s Gold Cattle Bean, Jacob’s Cattle Bean, Black Valentine, and Mayflower.  I also planted Blue Lake Bush Beans and Royalty Purple Pod Beans just for eating. Continue reading “Growing and Harvesting Dry Beans”

Food storage short-life supply

Jud Burkett, The Spectrum

I believe that there are two types of food storage: short-life and long-life. The difference is shelf-life. Note that it’s not short-term; the factor is how long the food can be stored, not the length of emergency it’s for. I believe that you should complete your short-life storage first because these are things that you are used to eating, used to cooking, are more interesting, and are generally more nutritious. Where the ratio between short-life and long-life falls depends on the length of time you plan to store against, the types of food you eat, and the methods you use for preservation.

The first step to improving (or starting) your food storage is to dispel the misconception that food storage is an emergency tool to be stowed away safely until the unforeseen day it is needed. A “2 person gourmet package” tucked away in the crawl space is better than nothing, but listening to your children cry because you can’t figure out how to rehydrate ingredients to make a meal or suffering from appetite fatigue isn’t what I called being prepared. Why store powdered eggs before real eggs? Potato flakes before real potatoes? MREs before peanut butter and jelly? Pinto beans before pasta sauce? You can’t just pour milk on a bowl full of wheat. Continue reading “Food storage short-life supply”

72 Hour Kit Rotation

Many products and services bill themselves as a “set it and forget it” way of getting things done. Adequate preparedness, however, clashes with this approach. Knowledge fades, food spoils, and medicine expires. One of the most important aspects of preparedness, then, is a refresh or rotation of your supplies or knowledge.

I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (like many people in Utah). Why do I mention that on this blog? Well, every six months our Church has a huge conference over two days. Since it’s such a frequent and expected event, I (like many others of whom I’m aware) have used the weekend as an easy reminder for me to rotate my supplies. Specifically, I rotate the food in my 72 hour kit (I refer to it as a “bugout bag” since it’s got more goodies than your average kit) and one of my water tanks.

This may be fairly basic for many, but here’s what I did for our bugout bags:

Continue reading “72 Hour Kit Rotation”

Survival Food: How to Make Parched Corn

Dried corn ready to be parched
Dried corn ready to be parched

Corn – You can boil it, toast it, roast it, parch it, eat it raw, grill it, steam it, stew it, cream it, grind it, feed humans or animals with it.  You can eat it fresh, freeze it, can it,  dry it, drink it or burn it in your vehicle.  It’s a diverse food that can serve a prepper well if they know what to do with it.

Parched corn was eaten regularly by American Indians warriors and hunters as an extremely lightweight, high energy trail food long before European explorers showed up and was a typical food or treat for the pioneers as well.  It is the original “trail snack” and can also be ground up for stews or soups.

Continue reading “Survival Food: How to Make Parched Corn”

Dehydrating Peppers

Peppers courtesy of the garden
Peppers courtesy of the garden

Harvest season is upon us here in Utah, so I’ve been pretty busy preserving the harvest.  This year I grew pepper plants from seed and have LOTS of peppers in my garden.  Some are hot and some are mild.  This is a good thing if you like peppers a lot, but I do not.  Thankfully my husband does, but even a pepper lover like him can only eat so many peppers.  So what do we do with all those peppers?  We eat a few, put a few in salsa, and save the rest for later by dehydrating them.

Continue reading “Dehydrating Peppers”

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”

Solar Cooking Challenge and Special Price

A while back, I did a post detailing the unboxing of my Solar Oven Society Sportster solar oven. I’ve been meaning to do a post where I showed how easy it is to use, but haven’t been able to get around to it.

My wife and I have been using the oven pretty frequently and are very pleased with it. When we first got it, we did a side by side comparison of it and my neighbor’s Global Sun Oven which costs just a bit more. Without getting into too many details, I think that the build quality of the Global is better, which translates to faster heat up times. The Sportster oven on the other hand is a bit larger and can handle two small pots where the Global is restricted to just one. Since a meal often consists of more than one dish, cooked in a different pot, this can be a real concern.
Continue reading “Solar Cooking Challenge and Special Price”

Evacuation Preparedness List Review part 3

This is the fifth installment of the Evacuation Preparedness Kit Series.  The first post, on Evac Prep Basics is here, and the second post, which introduces the Evac Prep Master List is here.  The third post, and the first post on the list review is here.  This post will pick up where we previously left off in reviewing the categories on the Master List.

Continue reading “Evacuation Preparedness List Review part 3”

Live Together, Die Alone

(Cross posted from my blog).

photo credit: micsx032

In 1624, the English poet John Donne wrote in one of his Meditations that “no man is an island.” His poem explains how our common humanity ties us together in one common thread, and that as individuals we cannot thrive in isolation. Christians have been taught likewise, their common identity as followers of Jesus binding them together into a body focused on one purpose. Whatever the commonality that brings us together, the simple fact is that our spiritual and physical survival depends on our willingness and ability to help one another along our shared path.

This principle is especially important in terms of preparedness. When a catastrophe comes our way, each family will quickly discover a need for things they didn’t think to keep in supply, and only through bartering and buying from others will they be able to obtain those things. Isolated individuals will be easy prey for roving gangs and other desperate groups. Lack of communication will increase frustration, loneliness, and ignorance. Only by becoming part of a trusted network beforehand will we be able to more easily deal with whatever disasters may strike.

Continue reading “Live Together, Die Alone”