Marti’s Corner – 55

March 04, 2022

Marti's Corner at City PreppingHi Everyone,


*  I thought I’d share some gardening adventures.  I planted tomatoes on Jan 5, and have been babying them along.  They are still small.  But the tips of the leaves are turning yellow.  Sometimes that means they need to be fed.  So I thought I would “pot-up” and feed at the same time.

Store bought tomato plants Perfect spring tomatoes

By contrast, here are the tomatoes I bought at Lowe’s last week.  Makes ME wish I had a greenhouse!Lowe's Tomato plants

Again, why bother with planting your own?  For one reason, you have access to better variety.  For another reason, the Lowe’s plants are about $5 each, which can be pricey if you are doing several plants (my goal is 12 tomato plants this year).  By the first of April, you won’t be able to tell the difference.

We still have cold nights ahead.  In fact, we are expecting freezing temps this week.  So, don’t plant “warm” plants outside yet, unless you are prepared to cover them on cold nights.

What’s the difference between storing something in a #10 can, or a Mylar bag, or in a jar?  They all have advantages.  The #10 cans are easy to stack and store.  Most items you buy online will come this way.  We “used” to be able to do this canning at home, but unfortunately, you can no longer get the empty cans and lids.  Especially now.  Even the church is having trouble getting the raw materials for the cans, or so I heard.  Plus, there are some things I don’t like to store in the cans.  I don’t like how the flour or the oats smell after being in the cans for long periods.  Some say you can get rid of that smell, but I was never able to do that.  

Packaging hardtack for long-term storageMylar Bags.  They are about $.50 each – cheaper than jars.  They are much lighter than jars, but a lot less durable.  They get pinholes easily, which can allow air into the bag and ruin your food.  They are also more difficult to stack and store.  Don’t get me wrong, I have food in Mylar bags.  Just be careful and invest in the 9 ml. bags for protection.  Also, I double bag my food with sharp edges.  I put it into a gallon zip lock first, THEN into the mylar bag to protect from light.  BTW, mice will chew right through the Mylar.

Glass jars – really good protection.  Much heavier, and about $1.  But, they are rodent proof.  Because they are glass, you have to be careful about exposure to light, which is not good for the food.  Store in the dark: under the bed, in a closet, under the stairs.  Plus is that the jars are reusable.  Negative, you need a store of lids.  There are such things as reusable lids.  I’ve never tried them.  I just have a hugePickling Jars supply of canning lids (but it is never enough).  There has been a shortage of jars and lids since 2020, so I look for them EVERY time I’m at the store.

They have a great “chili bean” mix in the bulk section at Winco.  I think it’s a combination of 5-6 different beans.  It would be easy to buy several pounds and then store in 2-liter bottles, or in Mylar bags, or even pint jars.  

If you have never cooked dry beans, the one thing to remember is that after you soak them, whether overnight, or after boiling, you pour off that water and start with fresh water.  The longer soaker removes more of the “gassy” chemicals, so it is preferred.  But the short soak will still work.  In fact, I’ve been known to just fill the pot with water and boil it away.  About 1/2 way through cooking, I pour off that water and continue with fresh water. 


Best tomatoSo I watched a video from a “camper” who dehydrated a lot of his food for backpacking.  One of the things he did was dehydrate sauces:  tomato sauce, cream of mushroom soup, etc. for use in casseroles.  So I thought I’d try it.  I opened some tomato paste, and measured out 1 TB at a time onto my dehydrating sheets and flattened them out.  I did two cans.  They came out as nearly black rectangles.  The next step is to rehydrate and see what I get.  Stay tuned.


Each kit should have some money.  How much is up to you.  I think I have maybe $40 in my pack?  Small bills.  I’ve heard some people recommend up to $300.  Today, put some money in your pack, even if it’s just $5.  No packs?  That’s okay, put some $ in an envelope and put it in the glove compartment, or in the cubby where the spare tire is kept.  Someplace in the car.  Small bills are best.  Some coins.


We use a lot of kleenex at my house.  I store 4-5 boxes of it under the sink.  You don’t want to have to waste precious TP for runny noses.  Keeping a box in the car is also a good idea.  At least a travel pack of kleenex in the glove compartment.

More Beans and Rice recipes from The Prepper’s Cookbook by Tess Pennington
(no directions are given)

Mediterranean Beans and Rice
4 c. prepared white or brown rice
3-4 c. cooked cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
1 6-oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 tsp celery seed powder
1 TB garlic powder
1/2 c. whole pitted green olives
1 TB lemon juice
1 TB dried parsley
1 tsp dried dill weed
salt and pepper

Baltimore Beans and Rice
4 c. prepared white or brown rice
3-4 c. cooked black-eyed peas
1 c. fresh kale or spinach, chopped
1 TB apple cider vinegar
1 TB Worcestershire sauce
1 15-oz can whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained
2 TB Old Bay or Chesapeake seafood seasoning

Rice Fagioli
4 c. prepared white or brown rice
1 15-oz can cannellini beans, undrained
1 TB garlic powder
1 TB chicken bouillon
2 c. fresh spinach leaves
2 tsp Italian seasoning
grated Parmesan cheese for serving
salt and pepper

Lemon Black Beans and Rice
4 c. prepared white or brown rice
3-4 c. cooked black beans
1 TB lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1 TB chopped fresh cilantro

This comes from Taste of Home online.  And, for a change, I thought I would make it first and try it out.  My first experience at making chili was sautéing onions, adding ground beef, kidney beans, and tomato soup.  I thought I would look around for a recipe that used spices instead of the soup and I found this one.  It was delish!!!

I made 1/2 of this recipe and it was plenty for two people with some leftover.  Marie Callender’s cornbread was the perfect compliment.  

2 lb. burger, browned and drained (I used 1 pint of home-canned hamburger – canned in 2013 and still good!)  Set aside
2 TB olive oil – add to the same pan you cooked the meat in.
2 medium onions chopped.  I used dehydrated onions and reconstituted them in a little water for about 20 min.  Sauté the onions.

Add 1 diced green pepper and sauté it together with the onions. (I used dehydrated peppers, and just added them with the water and spices)

2 cloves garlic – add and cook another minute or two
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 TB chili powder
3 tsp beef bouillon
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp cinnamon (I was hesitant about this, but you couldn’t taste the cinnamon and it added some depth to the flavor)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 c. water.

Simmer 1 hour.  I checked it after 30 min and added a little more water.  Then I lost track of time and the next time I looked it was almost OUT of the water.  Yikes.  So I added more.  Then it looked a little watery, sigh, so I finally opened that can of tomato soup and added some in.  Just right.

When you have simmered to let the flavors blend, add 1 can of kidney beans and heat through. 



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Big T
Big T
1 year ago

Part of my EDC is a satchel. It’s geared more for being stuck while out around town (I use a wheelchair). I ALWAYS keep just enough money to get home from anywhere in the county. It’s kept separate from my wallet. It’s 1’s and 5’s. It would also buy half a tank of fuel (at today’s prices), or basic food for two days.

Nakisha Guzman
Nakisha Guzman
1 year ago

Thanks Marti! I wish more women showed up to share. Be Well!

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