Marti’s Corner – 25

July 15, 2021

Marti's Corner at City PreppingHi Everyone,


* Last year I posted about a remedy for bites: mosquito bites, bee stings, ant bites, tick bites. It uses charcoal to “draw out” the poison. I kept it in the refrigerator and used it all last year. I finally threw it away a few weeks ago. And wouldn’t you know it, I got a half dozen bites just last week and have suffered this whole time. Ugh. My granddaughter who is staying with us got a huge bite yesterday and I decided it was time to make more.

Bite Remedy: Psyllium Husk Powder 1 part psyllium, 3 parts charcoal, and just enough water to make a soft jelly. Roll it out or press it between two sheets of plastic wrap. Keep it in the fridge. When you need some, just cut off a little square with the scissors, and cover it with a bandaid. The charcoal draws out the poison, the coolness calms the itch.

* As you rotate your food, eventually you will probably have to throw something away. It’s okay. Think of it as insurance. You “re-buy” insurance every month even though you don’t get to use it. So, you throw something away. Buy more and try to get it rotated this time.

Along those lines, I found this great article about what to do with rancid oil. I’ve copied the text and have included it below.


I just don’t buy fresh onions anymore. I exclusively use dehydrated onions. You can buy dehydrated onions at the grocery store and try them out. This jar has onions I purchased from the Church of Jesus Christ store. Anyone is welcome to purchase from that site, but you have to buy food in cases, which is 6 #10 cans at a time, which is A LOT of onions.  I filled the jar you see here to keep in my kitchen, then filled more jars to empty the can, then sealed the jars and put them under the bed.  When you are ready to use the onions, simply put about 1/4 c into a small cup of water. If I’m in a hurry, I heat the water for 1 min in the microwave. It seems to help them plump up faster. The picture of them in my hand is after 30 minutes in water. 1 TB dehydrated onions = 2 TB chopped onions. You simply can’t dice fresh onions this small. They look and taste like onions. No tears, no chopping. It’s the greatest invention EVER!

Prepper Onions Soaking onions Rehydrated Onions

SHORT TERM FOCUS: Oil & Shortening

I tried storing as much shortening as I thought I would need in a year. The problem was I don’t use it often enough to rotate the storage. For example, in an empty-store emergency, I’d probably use shortening to grease all my pans. I don’t do that now because I use spray-on stuff like everyone else. In fact, I’ve used shortening for a lot of things that call for “oil”. I just melted it a little and used it instead. Because I ended up throwing it away, now I only have 1 open (I use it for biscuits mostly – and a few cookie recipes) and 1 on the shelf. I make my chocolate chip cookies with butter. But in an emergency, I might use shortening (I did it this way for YEARS anyway).

Oil is another great commodity to store. I read that during WWII, the only thing more in want than oil was bullets. I have 1 -2 large oil bottles in storage, and at least 1/2 dozen smaller bottles of EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil). EVOO is my preferred frying choice so I use it a lot. You can use vegetable oil (coconut oil, grapeseed, etc) as a base for making healing salves, or for dry skin issues. Here is an article that tells you 40 uses for vegetable oil. 40 Easy And Surprising Ways To Use Vegetable Oil Around The House


Both my backpacks have a small kit like this one: MalloMe Camping Cookware Mess Kit Gear. Frankly, I think I just found them one day at Winco when I was shopping. I like this because there are 10 pieces, including a cup, a pot, a pan, a wooden stir spoon, a bag, and a few other things. You don’t need anything this fancy. You may want to just tuck some paper plates and plastic forks in your backpack. Do what works for you. OR, maybe you are only going to have finger foods (beef jerky, fruit roll-ups, granola bars, etc.) At a minimum, you should have something to carry water.

MISC FOCUS: Dish Detergent

I’m surprised how often I go through a bottle of dish detergent. And I have a dishwasher!!! I think I’ll do an experiment and write the date that I first use a bottle, and see how long it lasts. Since I just opened one this morning, this will work out well. I’ll let you know the results. But, I don’t usually buy the Dawn brand. If you look online, you will find SO many other uses for Dawn. Is Dawn really THAT different from other brands, I couldn’t find any specific research indicating it is. If you know, please share.
Anyway, Dawn can be used for:

** making bubbles Bubble Solutions
** cleaning messes out of hair
** cleaning windows, 3 drops Dawn in a gallon of water
** Sidewalk de-icer. Mix 1 tsp of Dawn, 1 TB rubbing alcohol, and 1/2 gallon of warm water and pour over walkways. They won’t refreeze.
** Multi-purpose cleaner. A drop of Dawn in 8 oz. water will clean tile and no-wax floors, bathroom, and kitchen counters and sinks, woodwork like baseboards, and shelves. (On wood, make sure you dry as you go)
** One drop Dawn in a spray bottle of water, and spray on plants to kill aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs.
** Wash poison ivy areas on the skin to keep it from spreading.
** For driveway oil stains, first sprinkle kitty litter to absorb excess oil, then use a scrub broom and a solution of Dawn and warm water.
** Use to bathe dogs. It kills fleas on contact
** Rub a drop of Dawn on eyeglass lenses and wipe clean. It will prevent them from fogging. (Now I learn this? It would have been helpful during the mask-wearing pandemic!!)
** Soak greasy tools before putting them away to remove oil and grime.
** Pretreat clothes for lipstick, grease, butter, oil, pen ink, etc. Apply Dawn and scrub with a small brush or toothbrush.
** Apply to sliding glass doors, doorknobs, hinges as a non-toxic lubricant
** Ant repellant. Spray countertops, cupboards, any other areas where you see ants with a solution of Dawn and water. Wipe dry.
** Safe enough to use as a facial cleanser for oily skin. (They use it on baby birds, right?)
** You can use Dawn in your dishwasher. Put 3 drops of liquid Dawn in the soap slot and fill the rest of the way with baking soda. Dishes will be squeaky clean
** You can clean cuts with Dawn. 1 drop-in several cups of water to rinse wounds. It is similar to using an iodine-based medical cleaner to remove bacteria.
** Armpit stains: 1 part Dawn, 2 parts hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit for an hour or more. If the stain is stubborn, add baking soda and scrub.
** Carpet cleaner refill: 1/4 c white vinegar, 1 TB hydrogen peroxide, 1 TB Dawn dish soap, fill with warm water.
** Jewelry cleaner: 7 parts hot water, 1 part ammonia, a small squirt of Dawn. Use an old toothbrush to scrub your jewelry.

Maybe I’ll get some and try it and see if it is worth the extra cost.



1 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
Cream together
2 eggs – add and mix
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
Add and mix
2 3/4 c. flour – add and mix
Refrigerate for 30 min. Roll in 1″ balls and roll in a cinnamon-sugar mix. (I don’t measure this. Just start with the sugar and add cinnamon until it’s what you want)
Place on parchment
Bake 375˚ 8-10 minutes

Pie Crusts

Single crust – 1 1/2 c. flour, 1/2 tsp salt. Cut in 1/2 c. shortening. Add 4-5 TB water, just enough until you can make a squeeze ball of dough and it sticks together.

Chocolate Crinkles (Coooookies!)

1/2 c. shortening
1 2/3 c. sugar
2 tsp vanilla
Cream together
2 eggs
2 1-oz squares of melted chocolate
(you can substitute 6 TB cocoa and add 2 more TB shortening)
Add eggs and chocolate and mix
2 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Mix dry ingredients and add alternately with
1/3 c. milk
1/2 c. chopped walnuts – optional
Roll in 1″ balls and dip in powdered sugar.
Bake 350˚ for 15 minutes.

Never-Fail Biscuits

2 c. flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 TB sugar
Mix together
1/2 c. shortening – cut in
1/2 c. milk
If you have never made biscuits, you might want to watch a video – or ask your grandma how to “cut in” and then how to roll out and make the biscuits.
Bake 450˚ 10-15 minutes.
I pretty much bake EVERYTHING on parchment. It saves having to grease the cookie sheets (which causes them to get blackened with the hot grease)

It’s interesting – my perspective – as I buy groceries. I see full shelves and KNOW that they can empty in just a day or two. Our food supply is precarious. NOW it the time, while the shelves are full again, to stock up. Get something this week. Our challenge is for 6 months – 1 year by next April. Totally do-able. Little bits at a time.


5 5 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Cyn Dee
Cyn Dee
2 years ago

Use Dawn with the duck on the label, as it is environmentally friendly and works just as good.

Shortening/lard can also be used in homemade cold process soap. So, if you find you will not be able to use up all your shortening for baking etc…this would be a great way to use up any scrap resources.

2 years ago

One of several reasons I keep stocked up on dehydrated onions is they contain compounds which are synergistic with one of my meds. In a time of medicine shortage, I can use onions and a couple other foods to stretch my med supply.

2 years ago

Great info! Small correction- dehydrated onions can be purchased as a single # 10 can from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at one of their Home Storage Centers. Food purchased at those locations is also less expensive. But you are correct, if you order online and have it shipped, it needs to be a case.

2 years ago

What kind of charcoal do you use for the big bite remedy? Like activated charcoal? I have tons of bugs that bite regularly, as you said — there’s a lot more this year!

Related Posts

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x