Please, please be vigilant in preparing. We KNOW that natural disasters are going to increase in frequency and severity. And whether the pandemic is contrived or real (I don’t want to get into that argument), it probably won’t be the last. The scriptures talk about the plagues of the last days. In my own mind, I can name a few health issues I would consider plagues, but it could be we have only begun to see what could happen. We HAVE to be responsible to protect our families. Food, medicine, shelter, water. As we so vividly saw, we cannot rely on church or state when things shut down. In the Old Testament, there is a story of Joseph who was sold into Egypt. The Pharaoh was given a dream about 7 fat cows followed by 7 lean cows. Joseph interpreted the dream to mean 7 years of plenty followed by 7 years of famine. He told the king that Egypt should store food for 7 years to prepare for the lean years. I feel like, after 2020, we have been given a reprieve and are experiencing some “fat” years again. But I feel like lean years are ahead. Take advantage of the “plenty” now, before it’s too late.
* Garden news this week. I still have the shade cloths over the garden. I’ve been replanting all the lettuce, but the cat keeps walking through the tubs. So now, I’ve got metal grids over the tubs, and shade cloth over that. The indeterminate tomatoes are so tall, I’m going to cut the tips off and let some of the suckers grow lower on the stems. I finally have some yellow squash again, but the zucchini is not having any of this heat. Every day, I go out to the garden with scissors and spray. I feel like I’m going into battle. LOL
* Food shortages may be in our future. Don’t panic. Just prepare. With record-low inventory going into the pandemic, California tomatoes wither under drought and limited irrigation water – The Washington Post
* This came up on my Facebook feed this week. Maybe someone is looking for some way they can serve. Volunteer — Miry’s List.
* If anyone is interested, there will be a “Be Ready Utah” webinar on Thursday, September 16 from 6-9 Mountain time. Topics include Family Disaster Plans, Water Storage and Filtration, and What Families are doing to Prepare.
LONG TERM FOCUS: Potatoes
This month’s focus has been potatoes: dehydrated hash browns, dehydrated potato slices, and potato flakes. Whether you purchase them in bulk and repackage in mylar bags, or buy them in #10 cans, potatoes are a filling comfort food. Along with rice, they are gluten-free and can take the place of pasta in many dishes. The recommended amount is 1 #10 can per person per month. I can’t imagine that any of you have never used potato flakes. Just in case there is a “I-always-use-real-potatoes” reader out there, making potato flakes taste good requires water, milk, butter, and salt. You might want to store some butter Augason Farms Butter Powder 2 lbs $38.99.
Can you store potato pearls? Yes, of course. But potato pearls (just add water) have oils and will go rancid. Shelf life is 12-18 months, and longer if kept cool and dark. But they WILL spoil. So, rotate, rotate, rotate!!!
SHORT-TERM FOCUS: Dehydrated Onions & Garlic
So, I found large containers of minced onion and minced garlic in the spice section at Winco. They were about $5 each? I pretty much use the dehydrated onions exclusively now, and I wanted to see how the garlic works as well. I use the jars of minced garlic now but wanted to see how the dehydrated will work for long-term storage.
72-HOUR KIT FOCUS: Knife Sharpening Stones
We’ve been putting together a “camping” box and then adding to it another box that would be an “evacuation” box. We gathered up maybe 4-5 small hatchets. NONE of them are sharp. So, I bought this: Knife Sharpening Stone Set
Then I watched this:How To Sharpen a Knife with a Whetstone – Kitchen Knife Sharpening – YouTube
It’s a developing skill.
MISC. FOCUS: Insect Repellant
We lived in Indiana for two years. While there, we had spray cans of Off in the car, and next to the front door. We never left the house without spraying ourselves. And if we forgot, we had some in the car. I think some movie I watched once had a line that said, “Just assume everything out there wants to eat you.” Pretty much. Typically, I seldom use it. But when we go camping, I bring it along.
FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
Today’s recipes come from Simple Recipes Using Food Storage compiled and printed by CFI, Inc. (Cedar Fort, Inc, Springville, Utah)
Cheesy Potato Casserole
(all these ingredients can be found at Winco in the bulk section)
2 c. dried potatoes – Cook in 6 c. boiling water and 1 tsp salt until tender. Drain
2 TB powdered butter
4 TB milk powder
1 c. water
1 TB powdered cheese
Add, blend well, and place in a greased 9 X 13 baking dish. Top with buttered bread crumbs and bake at 350˚ for about 20 minutes or until heated through.
Variation: Try adding canned tuna, salmon, clams, or Spam
(As a child, my mom called this “Shepherd’s Pie) It’s basically a layer of meat, a layer of green beans, a layer of potatoes, and cheese on top.
Season the meat the way you like it. For me, that’s adding a little rehydrated onion, maybe a little garlic, and a can of tomato sauce.
The recipe calls for: a layer of meat
1/2 chopped onion (cook with the meat until tender)
1 can tomato soup
pinch of thyme
pinch of marjoram
dash of chili powder
salt and pepper
Layer of green beans (just use canned beans). You can mix the beans with the meat, or just layer on top.
A layer of potatoes – use potato flakes and follow directions to make 2-3 servings OR use dehydrated potatoes that have been cooked to tender.
Stir 1 egg into the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Drop-in mounds on top of the meat mixture. (I like to spread my potatoes over the meat).
Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 350˚ for 30 minutes or until heated through.
Potato Soup (using potato pearls)
2 c. very hot water
1 c. potato pearls
Combine and let potatoes puff up. Add:
2 c. milk or half and half
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. finely chopped celery
1/2 tsp onion salt
dash of garlic salt
chopped onion (fresh or dehydrated) to taste
frozen or freeze-dried vegetables
potato cubes or hash browns
Heat and serve
Carry on, everyone.
World events continue to remind us that we need to get ready.
Be consistent. Be committed. Be prepared.
Hi Mardi, I am honored to learn from you. As a woman who stands up for The Lord, Jesus Christ publicly declaring your membership in His Church, I was immediately drawn to your blog! I read Diane Elmore’s blog. She is 70! I am 63. I was raised by Preppers but haven’t been able to convince my children of the need to prepare. Thank you for your focus. My goals are to methodically go through your past blogs to benefit from your teachings. Your recommendation to put TP in the attic is for me, brilliant. My attic is not useful… Read more »
Marti, Shade cloths – or at my house in the Northeast, slug cloths. Since I am a quilter, using material to cover small plants and protect them from bugs, slugs, and birds was a no-brainer. I go to the discounted, 50-60-70% off section of JoAnns and buy really ugly tulle. Currently, I have yardage of tulle with bright pink dancing hippos. (I have no idea who designed that and who would buy it! What do you make out of that, I wonder?) Anyway, I thought it was 70% off, but when I got to the counter to have it cut,… Read more »
Marti, I am a single 70-year old lady living alone, not much family. How do I begin “prepping” especially with these freeze-dried foods? Can’t do gardening, as I am in a mobile home. I am also in a hateful park, deteriorating over past 10 yrs, and neighbors are hateful to one another as well. I have been gathering what I can, but I have no clue about dehydration and the safety of it. Love your blog!. I’m in SoCal.
Diane, the Ball Blue book of canning has a section on dehydrating, but the absolute best book is The Dehydrator Cookbook by Tammy Gangloff. EVERYTHING you ever wanted to know is in that book, including how to turn those dehydrated fruit and veggies into meals. I have neighbors that are hateful too, so I totally relate.
I read this article in The Mother Earth News in 1979(!), and it inspired me so much that I made sure to keep a copy in my home prepping/homesteading library. It is about a man trying to “live country” in a trailer park. Maybe it will give you some ideas, too. https://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/country-in-the-city-zmaz79ndzraw
You can buy dehydrated onions from the LDS Home Storage Centers for about $8.00 for a #10 can (2.1 lbs.).
Marti, I sure do enjoy your posts with such a lot of helpful information.
Thank you, CT