* Beans – Even though this is not the month for beans, I wanted to pass on this site about cooking beans. He did several experiments with storing beans and then cooking them. He also talks about sprouting and growing beans. IF you have beans in your storage, this article is full of good information. Beans: An Important Survival Food for Hard Times | Robert Wayne Atkins, P.E.
* Food Storage Recipes. I sent this out a while ago and there were several people who were not able to open the file because of formatting. I have re-typed all the recipes and have included them below in a pdf format.
LONG TERM FOCUS: Brown Sugar
I tried storing brown sugar in a #10 can. It turned black everywhere it had touched metal. Don’t do that. Besides, we can’t do our own canning in those #10 cans anymore anyway. My next effort was vacuum sealing. I was worried that the sugar would clump, but I’ve had a lot of success doing this. I snip a small cut in the bag and then vacuum seal so that the air is removed from inside the bag as well. It stores like a brick clump, but when it is opened, it is soft and fluffs right up. If your sugar DOES get hard, I use a piece of bread to soften it again. The bread draws the moisture out of the sugar. Works like a charm.
But you CAN make your own brown sugar. 1 c. white sugar + 1 TB molasses. Mix a little and voila!!
Not sure which is more convenient: to store the brown sugar or store the molasses.
Other than making cookies, I use brown sugar on my oatmeal, for marinades for chicken, for BBQ sauce, and stuff like that. I find it’s easy to store 6 or 7 2-lb. bags stacked up on the shelf, and then rotate them.
This is a good time to buy them. Most stores have them on sale for about $.75/pound.
SHORT TERM FOCUS: Chocolate Chips
I have friends who never eat chocolate. It’s hard to believe there ARE people like that! My own son wanted chocolate chip cookies without the chips, so I had to set aside cookie dough just for his chocolate-less cookies.
So, can you store chocolate chips? The short answer is yes, but not long-term. Do Chocolate Chips Go Bad? – Storing Chocolate Chips – Foods Guy
I have mine in the refrigerator. If you store chocolate in the freezer, it will sometimes change color. According to the link above, it is still good and will not lose flavor, and will dissolve back when you melt it. BUT, what if you don’t WANT to melt it and you want to use it in cookies? Yeah, that’s why I don’t do that. I think of chocolate chips as a decadent treat for when I’m tired of eating beans and rice.
I also store peanut butter chips.
All this yummy baking stuff is on sale for the holidays, so pick up some extra bags. You can get chocolate chips in the bulk section at Winco, and I think they are a LITTLE cheaper, but not much.
MISCELLANEOUS FOCUS: Sanitation
What if you lose the ability to flush your toilets?
As explained in an email a few weeks ago, I’m all for the “trench” method of latrine building. BUT, this might not be practical – depending on the situation. Here are some alternatives to outdoor latrines: DIY Portable Toilet (Emergency Use Bucket Toilet).
In her case, they actually had to do this when the plumbing in their house went out. She explains how to build a portable toilet, and tips to handle the smell. Here is another article: 3 Ways to Make a Camping Toilet – wikiHow. Both sites use empty buckets and plastic bags. They also use sawdust, pine chips, peat moss, dried used coffee grounds or kitty litter to absorb the waste. Comments below the article also suggest sand, dirt, newspapers. Also garbage bags – lots of them!!!
Five-gallon buckets are suggested.
You CAN use pool noodles, sliced lengthwise for a comfortable seat, OR you can just buy one. Emergency Zone Brand Honey Bucket Emergency Toilet Seat.
I think they even have them at Walmart.
Just like everything else, this is easy to set aside because you don’t need it right now. But when you do need it, suddenly it will be THE most important thing you WILL need. (Remember the toilet paper hoarding in 2020???) Just pick up a bucket at Lowes, get some bags at the store, and put it together later.
FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
I made chili for dinner last night. It was nothing special, believe me. BUT, I used dried beans (I don’t do that often). I had to be gone all day, so I boiled them for about 3-4 minutes in the morning, turned off the heat, and let them sit until I got home in the afternoon. I drained the water, and started with freshwater, and boiled them for about an hour, to really soften the beans. You are NOT supposed to add salt until they are ready. When they were done, I drained MOST of the water, added tomato soup, rehydrated chopped onions, a jar of canned hamburger, some chili powder, salt, and diced tomatoes. Everything was from my food storage. Coupled with Marie Callender’s cornbread (no time to make it from scratch!) and it was pretty good!
Beef Ragu With Garbanzo Beans
I shared this about 1 1/2 years ago, but I just made it for dinner the other night and really like it. I have everything on my shelf (including the hamburger), so it’s an opportunity to use my storage and rotate my food.
2 large carrots – chopped finely (I used carrots that I dehydrated last summer)
2 large celery stalk – chopped finely (yes, dehydrated celery that I did when it was on sale)
1 onion (yes, dehydrated onion, about 1 heaping TB)
From this point on, I halved the recipe because there are only two of us.
2 lbs ground beef, browned and drained (I used 1 jar, which is only 1 pound)
2 14-oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 14-oz cans beef broth (I use Knorr’s powdered beef bouillon and mix 1 tsp per cup of water)
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 TB tomato paste (I usually save the rest of the can of tomato paste, then throw it away when it grows mold. LOL)
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp crushed red pepper (We are not spicy people over here, so IF I use this, I just add a small pinch or so)
Put it all in the crock pot.
Cook for 4-6 hours on high.
Add 2 lbs (1 pound for me) of Rigatoni, already cooked and drained. The last time I made this, I added more water and let the pasta cook IN the crockpot. I didn’t have time to monitor the pasta separately.
Serve with Parm cheese (I ALWAYS forget to do this, and it works anyway)
Chantel’s Peanut Butter Bars
Another cookie-sheet bar cookie. SO GOOD!
1 c. butter
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 c. flour
2 c. oats
1 package of chocolate chips or peanut butter chips
(Her kids prefer the pb chips. I have not tried the chocolate, because I like the pb chips too)
Press onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake 350˚ for 15 minutes.
When I made this last time, I added 1/4 c. flour because it felt “too” sticky.
(Just so you know I “could” have made it by scratch if I’d really wanted. LOL)
2 sticks butter melted
1 1/3 c. sugar
4 eggs – Add and blend with a wooden spoon
2 c. buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Mix. Then add
2 c. cornmeal and
2 c. flour
Barely blend, and pour into a greased 13 X 9. Bake 375˚ for 30-40 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean.
Try cooking at least one thing this week from your food storage. If you can’t, then you know what you have to do!!!