I hope you enjoy learning along with me as I practice being prepared.
* I want to call this the tale of two sprouts. Planted on the same day.
|These are tomatoes
||These are broccoli
I wish I could say that the healthy plants are mine. But alas, not so. All these plants were planted on the same day. My daughter took hers home. SHE grew the ones on the left. MINE is on the right. So what went wrong? She put hers in her kitchen window. So did I. But my kitchen window has a tint film on it to block afternoon heat. It also blocks sun UV rays, which plants thrive on. You can see that the broccoli plants are long and “leggy.” They are looking for the sun. They stretch too long, and the stems can’t support the weight, then they fall over and die. I even bought grow lights, but evidently, they just didn’t give the plants enough light.
LUCKILY, I always double and triple plant. In other words, I put 2-3 seeds in each little planting space. So I went to my daughter’s house, and we separated all her healthy plants, and she shared with me. Now, if I can just keep them alive for another few weeks…
Because I have no good light inside, I’ll just have to take them outside during the day and bring them in at night. (It’s a pain to be sure!) HOWEVER, you have to be careful with this too. Start slowly. One hour the first day. Then add an hour each day. This is called hardening off. Meanwhile, I’m going to replant and see if I can get better results by taking them outside as soon as they sprout. Gardening, for me, is just practicing – and learning!
WHY, you may ask, don’t I just go to the Gardening Center and buy plants? Don’t think I haven’t thought about it. But I want to grow some specialty tomatoes (bred to avoid splitting caused by wide fluctuations in temperature) and some heirloom veggies. You don’t always get those at the garden center.
LONG TERM FOCUS: Beans
The whole category of “legumes” includes beans, split peas, lentils, and nuts. They are a great source of protein. “One cup of cooked adzuki beans contains 17 grams protein and only .2 grams of fat.)”
Variety is the key to any great diet. Many prepper websites offer black beans, white beans, and pinto beans in #10 cans. But you can also buy adzuki beans, Anasazi beans, garbanzo beans, and lima beans (yuck). LOL Peas include green peas, snow peas, snap peas, split, and black-eyed peas. Peas are also high in protein and low in fat. Lentils can be yellow, orange, green, brown, and black. The nutritional value does not change with color. BUT, sprouted lentils contain additional amino acids, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, and enzymes. In addition, sprouted legumes are more easily digestible. Lentils are my personal favorite thing to sprout. I buy this: Organic Lentil Salad | Crunchy Lentil Fest Sprouting Lentils
This week, consider what legumes you have stored. Think about adding some diversity. If you have #10 cans of beans, consider buying some other types (lentils, garbanzo beans, etc.) from the store on your regular grocery shopping trip. Here in So. Cal, I know that Stater Brothers has a good selection of dried beans, split peas, and lentils.
SHORT TERM FOCUS: Tomato Sauce
Invariably, tomato sauce will go on sale for 5 cans for $1. THEN, I’ll buy 2 flats of 24 cans each. 48 cans + 2 = 50 cans for $10. It takes me almost a year to use a flat. Then I just replace it. I’ve never made tomato sauce. Frankly, it’s a toss-up when you compare the cost of tomatoes plus the work involved. BUT, I always have hope that my tomatoes will produce a lot, so I watched a few videos and found this one. No More RUNNY Sauce! I WISH I knew THIS when I started. She doesn’t use ANY special equipment, and her sauce looks great!!!
I have opened tomato sauce that is 5 years old, and it’s fine. However, tomato paste does NOT last that long. After 1 – 1 1/2 years, it starts to brown. It probably won’t make you sick, but it is unappetizing, and I just throw it away.
I watched another video where the cook made fresh tomato sauce with garlic and basil. How to Make Tomato Sauce From Fresh Tomatoes: Italian Cuisine. It looked really good, and fresh, and was probably delicious. But I wanted something where the final product was similar to what I was used to using.
72 HOUR KIT FOCUS: Emergency Contacts
If you are like me, I am not even sure what my husband’s phone number is. I’m lucky I can remember my own number. At a minimum, your family should have an out-of-state number in case of emergency.
If you have young children, you should have an emergency contact list posted where the babysitter can find it. It should include both parents’ numbers, the number of the out-of-state contact, and the number of a nearby neighbor they can call if needed. ALSO, it should have your address. Sometimes in a panic, you can’t remember anything, and even though most emergency agencies have GPS, it would be wise to be able to give them your address.
Your 72-hour kit should include a list of emergency numbers: parents, children, neighbor, church clergy, etc. Print it up on a 1/4 – 1/2 sheet of paper. Make a copy for EVERYONE’s bag. Go down to the Fed Ex store and laminate it. It’s pretty cheap. It should slide right into the pack. Consider including passwords to any off-site storage units or gates. Don’t include those addresses (I don’t want to help any crooks), but it might help you if you are stressed.
MISC FOCUS: Toilet Paper
Get some!!! Then, get some more. Put it in the attic, put it in the garage rafters, put it in large clear trash bags, and store it on the side of the house. Just do it. Figure 1 roll per person per week. It takes up a lot of space – I get it. But we all saw last year what it was like to have no supplies coming in. Don’t want to store a year? Store 3 months. Next week, I’ll talk about what to do when/if you really DO run out!
FOOD STORAGE RECIPE
Rice & Beans with a Bam
From Survival Mom by Lisa Bedford
Remember: rice and beans make a full protein. It’s a good combination.
1 TB olive oil – heat and sauté
1/2 c. chopped onion (about 1 TB dehydrated – reconstituted)
1/4 c. chopped red bell pepper (you can use either freeze-dried or dehydrated). Cook for about 5 minutes.
Add 3 minced garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder and simmer for about 1 min. more.
1 c. water
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried coriander
1/4 tsp ground red pepper, optional
3 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained. (This is the same as 1 lb. dry black beans soaked and cooked)
Bring to a boil, reduce and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes until thoroughly heated.
Meanwhile, cook rice: 4 c. water, 2 c. rice, 2 tsp salt.
Serve beans over cooked rice. Sprinkle with cheese.
From Survival Mom by Lisa Bedford
Everyone probably has their own chili recipe. In fact, I find chili to be kind of a dumping pot. Throw in some bell peppers, or corn, or mushrooms, or whatever! The base of this soup is tomato sauce, but I’ve used tomato soup before and liked it just as well.
Combine in one pot:
4 15-oz cans kidney and/or black beans
strained and rinsed
3 8-oz cans tomato sauce
2 TB dried chopped onions
2 TB chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp pepper
1-2 c. cooked ground beef
Simmer for about 30 minutes to let all the flavors blend together.
That’s all for this week. Do something to be prepared.