Marti’s Corner – 32

August 20, 2021

Marti's Corner at City PreppingHi Everyone,

Seed Harvesting*So I decided to save some seeds.  I have two tomato plants that I really like.  One is a cherry tomato, and the other is like a mini-cherry tomato.  Every 

day I go into the garden, I take off the ripe ones and plop them in my mouth.  They have a “burst” of flavor.  So sweet.  But, I bought the plants and not the seeds.  So…I thought I would try saving the seeds.

I scraped seeds from 3-4 ripe tomatoes and put them in water.

Seed Harvesting Technique

The directions said to let them sit for 2 days, but NOT too long.  So, 2 days it was.  Then I strained them and spread them out to dry.

A kind of gel surrounds tomato seeds.  The two days of soaking are supposed to “free” the seeds.  The mini cherry tomato seeds probably could have used another day.  The cherry tomato seeds look good.  I decided to plant 3 of each kind, to see what I’d get. 

They came up in 5 days!

Seed harvesting step 3

This only means the seeds are viable.  We’ve yet to see exactly WHAT kind of tomatoes I get from them.  BUT…… no matter what… will be food!

*  You can still plant. Late Summer & Fall Garden Planting – YouTube  Here in So Cal, we are zone 9b.  Our first frost date is Dec. 15.  That’s 117 days.  Even though you have the time, you will need to have a place that gets good sun.  As the temperatures decrease, you will need sun, especially if you want to plant another crop of zucchini, cucumbers, beans, or tomatoes.  Cauliflower, carrots, turnips, beets, peas, and broccoli are “cold weather” vegetables.  Go ahead and plant them.  If we DO, by chance, have a frost in December (we usually get them in Feb & Mar), the frost will NOT kill the plants.  But, the shortened days tend to extend the growing time…. so…. lots of sun is the key!  Especially after we pass the Autumn Equinox, I have to move my garden out by the pool and into the sun.  I started my second crop last week.  They look so nice not eaten by bugs and covered with blight.  LOL, You still have time!Late planting vegetables

*  I saw a good article about the first 72 hours after a disaster.  Her basic advice is NO ONE IS COMING TO HELP YOU!!!  Why the First 72 Hours After a Disaster Are Critical Of course, we all belong to a community (church, family, friends), and hopefully, we won’t be totally alone.  But you cannot count on ANYONE to support you.  It’s an interesting read with some good ideas.

LONG TERM FOCUS: Potato Flakes
Check out this video:  Storing Instant Potato Flakes in Long Term Food Storage – YouTube  Basically, she vacuum seals them, but she puts them in paper lunch bags first.

SHORT-TERM FOCUS: Feminine Hygiene
It’s a reality, ladies.  Time to think about this.  Check out this article:  Periods and the Apocalypse: How to Deal with Feminine Hygiene during Disasters.  Start with just buying a month or two ahead.  Do that every month until you have a stockpile stored.  Just like TP, you will NOT want to be caught without any supplies.

CashTime to add some money to your kit.  Maybe you can find a hiding place in your car for a few $10 bills.  You should put some cash in EVERY 72-hour kit.  The amount will depend on you.  It would help if you also had cash at home, preferably in a fire-safe box.  How much?  The suggested amount is 3 months’ worth of income.  I WISH I could do that.  But something is better than nothing.  $5 here and $2-3 there will add up.

MISC FOCUS: Bath Tissue
It’s time to stock up on TP.  According to Google, the average person uses about 100 rolls of TP a year.  We have 2 people, so if I store 100 rolls, that will last me 6 months.  But, we know all rolls are NOT equal.  The Costco packs have 30 rolls.  If I store 3 of those packs, I’ll have 90 rolls – closeToilet Paper Shortage enough.  Luckily, you can store it in the attic, or the rafters of the garage, or even outside in a container or under a tarp.  The best estimate would be to keep track of how much you buy for your family size.  Do you buy TP every time you shop?  Then buy 2 each time and put one away.  Didn’t you find it odd (ironic, funny, a little scary) that TP was the first thing to disappear from the shelves?  What about a long-term solution?  Well, it’s not too nice, but instead of throwing away any old towels, just cut them in squares (about 6 inches X 6 inches).  They could be used in emergencies, then soaked in buckets with a little bleach water, washed, and reused.  This is how we did baby diapers in the dark ages.  You gotta admit that 4 towels, cut into squares, will take up a lot less space than 100 rolls of TP.


Refried Beans

I “used” to make these – when I was young and poor.  They are pretty inexpensive, just time-consuming.  BUT, there is no need to store dehydrated refried beans.  I’ve tried the dehydrated refried beans, and I didn’t like them.  I much prefer this recipe if you’re going to DIY.

Soak 2 c. pinto beans and 1 chopped onion overnight in 2 quarts of water.  (You can boil first, or not.  I prefer to boil)  The next day, drain and cover with clean water.  Simmer beans until tender (1-2 hours). You can do this any time during the day. Check it partway through to see if you need to add a little more water.  Don’t let them burn (I may have done that before).  Add 1 tsp salt (or to taste).

Option 1.  Add about 1/4 c. oil and mix with an immersion blender. 

Option 2.  I didn’t have an immersion blender in the ’70s, so I would drain the beans, add some oil to a frying pan, dump in the beans and mash with a fork.

They are SOOO good this way.  So easy to change this recipe.  Add some bell pepper to the water as it simmers.  Add some tomato sauce or paste when you mash them.  Add something spicy?  Add some salsa?  Lots of ways to flavor them.  Roll in a tortilla with or without meat and cheese.  Makes a filling meal.

Brigham’s Buttermilk Doughnuts
(a pioneer recipe from Cookin’ With Home Storage by Peggy Layton.  This recipe came from Brigham Young’s wife, Emily Dow Partridge Young.)

2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. sugar
    Combine and mix well
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp nutmeg
5 c. flour
     Combine dry ingredients and add with
1/4 c. melted butter or oil
Mix and roll to 1/4 inch thick.  Cut with a doughnut cutter.  Fry in hot oil until brown.  Drain and sprinkle with sugar.  

Little Jake’s Mashed Potato Boats
from Cookin’ With Home Storage by Peggy Layton

Shape 8 pieces of tin foil into boat shapes.
2 TB dehydrated onion minced
      In a small cup, add the potatoes to some hot water and soak for 10 minutes.  Drain
4 c. of mashed potatoes made with instant potato flakes or potato pearls
To the mashed potatoes, add the rehydrated onions,
1/4 c. dried butter or margarine powder (or use regular butter or margarine)
1/4 c. dried cheese powder (you can get this at Winco)
salt and pepper to taste
bacon bits if you have them.

Spoon the potato mix into the foil boats.  Sprinkle paprika on them.  Bake 350˚ for 20 minutes until lightly browned.

Carry on, everyone.
World events continue to remind us that we need to get ready.
Be consistent.  Be committed.  Be prepared.

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2 years ago

If you save tomato seeds from most commercially grown crops, they probably won’t produce. Be sure to use organic seeds.

Debbie Curtis
Debbie Curtis
2 years ago
Reply to  Martha

Organic doesn’t necessarily mean open polinated. Hybrid seeds won’t produce, open pollinated are able to.
Also – I haven’t tried this because I just read about it: Dried tomato slices. Just put a slice in a starter pot and separate the plants after they germinate.

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