* Can you store food in empty bottles? Like 2-liter bottles or empty water bottles? Check out this article for pros and cons. Packaging Dry Foods in Plastic Bottles for Long Term Food Storage – The Provident Prepper
* It’s not too late to start seeds. My tomatoes are up and growing, but I haven’t done the peppers yet. According to this video, peppers can be started 12 weeks ahead of time. Gotta get on that. A Complete 20 Minute Guide to Starting Tomatoes & Peppers Indoors – YouTube
He has another video and I watched it too. Seed Starting Tomatoes & Peppers Indoors: Why, When & How, Cell Size, Fertilizing & More Explained – YouTube
He germinates his seeds under grow lights. I don’t have any of those. What I do is cover the pots with plastic wrap, and keep them on the kitchen counter. As soon as they sprout, I start carrying them outside for sun and wind. Luckily, here in So. Cal, we can do that – even in January. But, I bring them in at night. (It’s a pain, but my husband is patient, and I really want them to thrive.)
* Want to actually be in a class? Here is a free webinar: 9 Things to Know Before You Start Plants From Seed – joe gardener® There are four classes to choose from (the same content) Jan 26, 27, 28, 29. Free!
* I opened the strawberry jam that I bought in 2012. It tasted fine. But it had turned a dark color, and it wasn’t appealing. I tossed it. I HATE to throw away food, but we just don’t go through jam as fast as a family with children might. Craig has it on toast, or biscuits, or PBJ sandwiches. I’m not a big fan of PBJ, so I usually eat leftovers from the night before instead of a sandwich. I marked today’s date on the outside of the jar, so I’ll see how long it takes us to go through it. Meanwhile, I’ve decreased my jam jars from 8 to 3.
LONG TERM FOCUS: Oats
So I got thinking about other hot “cereals” you could have for breakfast. Personally, I like Cream of Wheat. I have maybe 4-5 boxes stored. I just vacuum sealed the whole thing, box and all, and wrote the date on it.
I also looked up “cornmeal mush”. Pretty much, it’s just cornmeal and water, mixed and cooked with a little salt. Two parts water, 1 part cornmeal. A couple of shakes of salt. Mix in a saucepan and stir until it thickens (5-7 minutes). You can put it in bowls and serve it with milk and sugar. You can cool it in a loaf pan, then slice and fry in oil.
Also, have you ever had grits for breakfast? It’s not a typical So. Cal thing, but I had them once in Idaho on a farm. They were divine!!! Grits are made from stone-ground corn. For cooking, boil 1 1/2 c. grits in 4 c. water. Then remove from the heat and let sit overnight. In the morning, just boil and cook for 20-25 minutes with 1/2 tsp salt. Stir constantly so it doesn’t burn. When the water is absorbed, remove it from the heat. Serve with butter and heavy cream. You can also add Parmesan cheese.
SHORT TERM FOCUS: Syrup
When my kids were little, I made my own maple syrup:
1 c. corn syrup
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. water
few drops of maple flavor
1 TB butter
I gotta admit, homemade syrup doesn’t have all the chemicals (sodium hexametaphosphate, sodium benzoate, and sorbic acid) that my Log Cabin syrup has. But you still have to store the corn syrup. (NOTE: I found a recipe to make your own-see below) I keep the recipe, and I keep some corn syrup on hand (for Rice Krispie treats), but I admit that I buy syrup and store it. I’ve never had it go bad (must be all those chemicals, right?). Because pancakes are a big part of my “storage plan”, the syrup is a must-have.
72-HOUR KIT FOCUS
I have one of these in each of my kits: ReadyWise Seychelle Water Filtration Bottle, BPA-Free, 28 oz.
It’s a water bottle with a filter inside. The filter removes up to 99.99% of pollutants for 100 gallons of water. They are kind of pricey at $30 each, but I just bought one at a time until we all had one. Since I keep my 72-hour kit in the car, if I need clean water, I can always filter whatever I can find. Plus, I like the fact that I could carry water (as opposed to a filter straw).
FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
from food.com, submitted by Roosie
2 c. white sugar
3/4 c. water
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Combine and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover for 3 minutes to get sugar crystals off the sides of the pan. Uncover and simmer until it reaches soft-ball stage 235-245˚.
Monster Cookies from the Pioneer Woman (EVERYTHING yummy goes into them!)
1 c. butter
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
Mix butter and sugars
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. M&M’s
1/2 c. chopped pecans
3/4 c. chocolate chips
2 1/4 c. Rice Krispies
Mix and form into large cookies. Bake 350˚ 12 min.
(My notes said that when I made them, they were really flat and needed maybe another 1/4 c. flour?)
Rice Krispie Yummies
13 X 9 pan, buttered
In a saucepan
1 1/3 c. white sugar
1 1/3 c. white corn syrup
1 1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
Heat til dissolved. Do NOT cook. It will turn into hard candy and make the squares hard as a rock. I speak from experience here.
In a bowl:
6 c. Rice Krispie cereal
Pour the sugar over the cereal and mix well. Press into the baking dish.
1 1/3 c. chocolate chips
1 1/3 c. butterscotch chips
Melt in the microwave 30-60 seconds at a time. Pour on top and spread evenly. Let cool.
I make my corn meal mush in the microwave. 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup of corn meal. I heat it in 1 minute increments until ready stirring in between. Be sure to use a big enough bowl so it doesn’t overflow. Saves me from having to wash a pan. Also works for grits.
Marti, a huge THANK YOU for the recipe book. I found they were offering well over a dozen vintage cook books for free download as well. My comment for your blog is if you are storing syrup get the pure maple syrup. I was horrified to find Mrs. Butterworths made with High Fructose Corn Syrup, which has caused so much suffering in this country. It has contributed to all sorts of autoimmune disorders and type 2 diabetes. I’d guess log cabin uses it too. The natural syrups don’t.
We have tons and tons of Oats stored but I also like Malt-O-Meal. Has a really different flavor and you can also use rice as a hot cereal in the morning. For those of us who can’t do much Dairy because of allergies you can use almond milk or oat milk Etc
Marti, I forgot to agree with you on the Cream of Wheat. My favorite, too.
On the cornmeal mush, my mom used to pour a mixture of cornmeal in a loaf pan then put it in the frig to get solid.
Then you slice the ‘loaf’ like a loaf of bread…wait for it.. this is soooo good…then you fry it up in the pan like French toast and serve with a dab of butter and drizzle on syrup. YUM! You eat it and enjoy.
Thank you for the inspiration to plant those seeds and encouragement.
I have little tomato plants about 2 to 3 inches tall now. I also have lettuce just about ready for some BLTs. I am waiting for my pepper seeds to arrive for Valentine’s day.
Caring for little seeds and waiting for them to poke a little green head out of the soil or the hydroponic hole is like a breath of fresh air and rays of sunlight. My son and I have cabin fever.