* I went on an internet tangent and found a bunch of recipes that you can use starting with some hot chocolate mix. Here are 15 of them: 15 Unexpected Ways to Use Hot Chocolate Mix.
* I also found a Pinterest group that is full of shelf-stable recipes. Here is a site from the organic prepper with a full month of shelf-stable recipes. (I looked at them this time and yes, there is a month’s worth) A One-Month Shelf-Stable Food Menu Your Family Will Love
* This is an 8-part series from the BBC on how daily life in Britain during WWII. This particular episode talks about how people grew food and cooked. Episode 1 Wartime Kitchen and Garden – YouTube
* And, with the warm weather we’ve been having, I’m already fighting aphids. Here is what I use: Insect Killing Soap Concentrate 16oz. It is called Safer Soap. It is OMRI listed. That stands for Organic Materials Review Institute, which means it is safe and organic. You HAVE to spray or the bugs will eat all your food. All organic gardeners spray – it’s just a matter of what they spray with! Safer Soap kills aphids, earwigs, grasshoppers, leafhoppers, mites, plant bugs, spider mites, whiteflies, and others. (I had ALL of these in my garden last year) I also spray with BT. That will kill all “worm” bugs like cabbage loopers and tomato hornworms. BT is also OMRI safe. You just have to be vigilant about bugs. You have to spray weekly. They can overrun your garden so quickly and destroy all your hard work. Be consistent. Spray both every week.
* Want something to do over Spring break? How about making your own solar oven? I think even “I” could do this. DIY Solar Cooker – YouTube
LONG TERM FOCUS: Rice
This is our last week to focus on rice. It’s something that will last for 30+ years and is easy to rotate into your regular menus. You can usually buy a 20-pound bag for under $10. Rice is a haven for pantry moths, so you HAVE to store it properly for the long term: either in 2-liter bottles, buckets, or Mylar bags, or just vacuum sealed (I have some of all those things!). Plus, it’s gluten-free.
SHORT TERM FOCUS: Preserving Meat
“Canning Meat” is pretty easy. But, you need a pressure canner. There are many varieties. This is the one I have:
Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker. Mine is about 50 years old.
Like everything, there are different types and prices. You don’t need the Cadillac model. Probably shouldn’t get the Volkswagen model. The Chevy will work fine. This particular canner is $150. If you think that’s expensive, keep in mind that a #10 can of freeze-dried ground beef is $60 or more.
Nutristore Freeze-Dried Ground Beef | Emergency Survival Bulk Food Storage | Premium Quality Meat | 25-Year Shelf Life. If you buy just 3 cans of beef, you will have spent more than the canner cost. With your own canner, you can preserve vegetables (buy potatoes at 10 pounds for $3 or carrots at 15 pounds for $6), and you can “can” chicken, beef, bacon, and other meats and vegetables.
The price of beef is rising (or so they say), but at Winco, you can still get 10 pounds of 85-90% lean for under $40. Chicken is still pretty reasonable and you can find boneless, skinless chicken breasts for about $2.25?? Canning chicken is so much cheaper than buying cans of chicken.
Congratulations to my friend S.P. who just canned her first batch of ground beef.
Wherever you live, there will be someone nearby who can help you. If not, watch lots of YouTube videos!!! It is NOT difficult or scary. A friend with experience will be a lifesaver. There are FB canning groups where you can find someone nearby.
**You will need jars, but they are reusable. Look for them at garage sales, or thrift stores.
72-HOUR FOCUS: FAK
In each of my first aid kits, I have a folded, vacuum-sealed (just to make it flatter) sanitary pad. These are designed to soak up the blood. In case of a bad injury, this will serve as a thick, absorbent band-aid until you can get help. It’s something most people have around the house already.
MISC FOCUS: Chapped Lips
I like this tubed Carmex because you don’t have to worry about it melting in the car or in your pack.
You don’t need this particular brand, but you want something that will withstand the heat. There is nothing worse than chapped lips and no relief.
When I was a kid, we used this Mentholatum:
It is the BEST! Under your nose for congestion, on your lips, it’s great stuff. I haven’t seen it in the stores for a long time but you can get it on Amazon.
FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
(This is one of my 19 shelf stable recipes that I try to keep ingredients for on hand)
1 c. rice, Prepare using 2 c. water and 1 tsp salt.
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 TB dry onions
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 pint beef
Mix together, heat and serve.
Swedish Beef Over Rice
1 can Golden Mushroom Soup
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
4 TB butter
1 12-oz can of evaporated milk
Mix till smooth
In a cup mix:
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. flour
Add to the soup to thicken.
1 pint ground beef or 1 12-oz can roast beef. Add to soup.
Serve over prepared rice: 1 c. rice, 2 c. water 1 tsp salt.
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
1 lb. ground beef or 1 pint ground beef
1 onion diced and sauted with meat or 1 TB dehydrated onion, soaked in water for 15 min.
1 clove garlic minced
Add onion and garlic to meat
1/2 small cabbage, sliced thin
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 1/2 c. water
3/4 c. rice.
Mix all together in a large skillet. Cover and simmer 20-30 minutes until rice is cooked.
In all your planning, don’t forget to plan to take care of your family in an emergency. GET and STAY prepared. EVERY week, do something.