Marti’s Corner – 65

May 12, 2022

Marti's Corner at City PreppingHi Everyone,


** I was reading an article about things that are already in short supply.  One of those items was chlorine, especially chlorine tablets for pools.  Since WE have a pool, we decided to go see what we could find.  A typical 50 lb. bucket of tablets used to be about $75.  Then it started creeping up and was recently about $125.  Craig went this morning to Lowes and found it for $210!!!  Walmart was $245!  We ended up ordering on Amazon and getting it for about $165.  We decided to buy a couple of buckets despite the cost.  You CANNOT let your pool go without chlorine.  In just a matter of weeks, it will be unusable.  Ugh.  One more thing to worry about.

Update:  The chlorine came.  It was NOT the 50-pound bucket, but the 25-pound bucket that came.  I still paid $165 per bucket and only got 1/2 as much as I thought I had bought.  Sheesh!!!  I HATE when I make mistakes like that!  We would have been better off getting the $210 bucket at Lowes.  

Potatoes** I took my own advice and bought three 15-lb bags of potatoes.  I did one bag in jars and got 18 jars, and had enough diced potatoes for another 3-4 jars.  But my canner only holds nine jars, and I didn’t want to do another batch.  So I decided to dehydrate the rest, along with the other two 15-pound bags.

** Tampons have a shelf life and need to be rotated like everything else.  After five years, the risk of bacteria becomes high, and you won’t want to use them.  But, they will still absorb blood so don’t toss them out.  You can use them for wound care:  gashes, puncture wounds.  (Microorganisms will not grow on the tampons if you can keep them dry.  Transfer those you want to store to a ziplock and add a moisture absorber.  Or vacuum seal, or seal in mylar bags. I think I stored some in 1970, and after ten years or so, they simply would not absorb any more.  Rotate, rotate, rotate.

**  I found some more ways to use rancid cooking oil.  Here are a few suggestions:

#  Soak pieces of cardboard in the oil.  Let them dry, and use them for fire starters.Oil

#  Make an emergency oil lamp.  Use a cotton wick (or a string from an old mop)  How to Make a Vegetable Oil Lamp (with Pictures)

# Mix the oil with wood chips to start fires.  

# Mix with orange oil and Dawn to kill fire ants.


** Did you know there are over 400 types of aphids?  I get black ones on my zucchini, green ones on my lettuce, and gray ones on my broccoli.  Ugh.  They will take over SOOOO quickly.  If I see “one”  I will spray everything!!!  I just did that this morning.  I found 1 aphid on a tomato plant and I sprayed everything with Safer Soap.  Be vigilant!!!

**Maybe it’s too late for this note, but I really liked it and am going to save it for next year:

Vegetables“Crop rotation may seem complicated, but it has only a few basic rules. First, don’t plant a similar plant two years in a row. This means not planting other root crops or other members of the Solanaceae family after potatoes. Second, remember this rhyme for alternating the crops in your garden.

beds: beans, roots, greens, fruits.

It is a simplified version of crop rotation that works for most home gardens. Beans include peas and green beans that add nitrogen to the soil. Roots include potatoes, turnips, and beets. Greens can be any crop harvested for its leaves, ranging from cabbages to lettuce. Fruits include tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, and corn. Keeping crops in this rotation helps to reduce nutrient depletion soil and reduces the chance of pests and diseases running rampant. So, after your potatoes, set that garden bed aside for something leafy.

**  So, the pest of the week is the flea beetle.  The damage looks like this:

Flea Beetle garden pest

See those little tiny holes.  It’s not as much damage as a tomato hornworm will do, but it’s unappealing in any type of leaf you want to eat – like lettuce, or swiss chard, or cabbage.  Like all other insects, they will just get worse.  Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew will work on getting rid of them. (I got mine at Armstrong Garden Center) It is organic.  When I saw this leaf this morning, I sprayed the whole garden!!!  Capt Jack’s will also work on cabbage loopers (the little green worms that come from those little white moths/butterflies that flutter all-around your garden).  As much as I “say” I’m going to be better about spraying for bugs, I lost a lot of produce last summer because I was NOT vigilant.  This year, I WILL be better!!!

THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE: vegetable oil

Do you ever use shortening?  I only use it once in a while:  biscuits, pie crusts, snickerdoodle cookies…..  I don’t keep too many cans in the pantry because it will go rancid.  But as we see from above, you can always stick a wick in it and have a giant candle!  Vegetable oil is always in short supply in an emergency.  I read they were already starting to ration it in parts of Europe.  If you already have several bottles in your rotation, then ignore this.  If not, get one or two more.

I think this week I’ll splurge and get “butter flavored” Crisco, which I NEVER ordinarily buy.  But if you can’t get butter, this will work as a replacement for certain things you cook.  You probably won’t want to spread it on your toast, but for cookies, and general sautéing it will work.

MISC PURCHASE: trash bags

Trash Bags for emergency preparednessWe would only have to go a week or two without trash services, and we would be in trouble.  I can’t begin to imagine how much trash a city produces a week.  You can easily store a few hundred trash bags on a shelf in the garage.  Start slow and get one extra-large box.  Then another one next week.  Also, think about getting some small trash bags (like you would put in the bathroom trash can).  If you have no water,  that means no sanitation.  You might have to dispose of your sanitation necessities daily.  Small trash bags will work.  If you use kitty litter in them, you can get by using them several times before having to dispose of them.  

Check out this video for some great suggestions:  How to dispose of human waste (poop and pee) after a disaster. Kris has another video coming out on this subject in the coming weeks.


Chantel’s Brownies

(Chantel is my daughter-in-law and these are delicious)

2 c. sugar
2/3 c. cocoa
dash salt – combine these three
4 eggs – mix in
3/4 c. minus 1 TB flour – add
2 sticks melted butter (can substitute butter-flavored shortening,)
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. chocolate chips optional
  Pour in a greased 7 X 11 pan.  Bake 350˚ for 25-30 min.

I used melted shortening instead of butter as an experiment.

Update:  I’m making these as I write this email.  I baked for 25 min, then added an additional 5 min.  They “looked” done so I took them out and waited about 10 min before I cut into them.  The center was still totally liquidy.  Ugh.  So, back into the oven they went.  I added another 15 min.  I’ll let you know next week how they turned out because I need to get this sent off.

Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies

From New Ideas for Cooking with Basic Food Storage

1 c. shortening
2 c. sugar

2 eggs
2 c. applesauce
     Mix well. Then add:
2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp cloves, 1 tsp salt and mix

3 1/2 c. flour
2 c. oatmeal
1 c. chopped nuts
1 c. chocolate chips optional
1 c. raisins optional

Mix and drop by spoonfuls on greased baking sheet.  Bake 350˚ 10-12 min.


from “Live Well and Bake Often”  Easy Buttermilk Biscuits – Live Well Bake Often

2 c. flour
1 TB baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt

    Whisk together

6 TB cold, unsalted butter, cubed
    Cut in with pastry cutter for fork
3/4 c. cold buttermilk
    Pour in and stir till it starts to come together.

Scoop onto a lightly floured surface and gently pat into a rectangle.  Fold it in 1/3rds and pat down.  Repeat 2 times.

Final pat should be a rectangle 1/2 in. thick.  Be sure to measure!  Use a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter.  Press down, do NOT twist.

Arrange biscuits on a cookie sheet covered with parchment.  Make sure they touch each other.  You can brush with a little buttermilk

Bake 450˚ for 15-17 min or until lightly browned.  Brush with melted butter if desired.  Allow to cool for a few minutes.

Make sure baking powder and baking soda are fresh.
Make sure butter and buttermilk are cold, cold, cold
Don’t overwork dough
Don’t twist cutter
Make sure biscuits touch each other before baking.


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Big Tee
Big Tee
1 year ago

Cooking oils don’t ignite as readily as charcoal lighter fluid. But neither do they make your food taste like asphalt. I have used chips as tinder (potato or corn). Come to think of it, I haven’t done this since before chips doubled in price, so, unless they’re not edible, perhaps it’s no longer cheap tinder! Would mylar/O2 absorber storage stretch the shelf life of tampons? Is there as much of a concern with pads? Two major concerns I have (in regards to staying home vs. bugging) are wastewater and trash. My building will likely be unsafe within a month if… Read more »

1 year ago

So glad I saw this.

Kat W
Kat W
1 year ago

This is the first time reading Marti’s Corner and THANK YOU. I really enjoyed the read and there were a lot of ideas here. Truly, thank you. Cannot wait until the next one.

1 year ago

Hey Marti, Those are fantastic ideas on how to use rancid cooking oil! Thank you for that. Now that I have uses for it in the event it goes bad, I feel much better about having extra on hand. Could also use the fire starters made from it to give to family/friends who aren’t prepared and aren’t good starting fires. As for using plastic trash bags for kitty litter, one thing we do is use the plastic grocery bags. Now, I hate the way those store because they’re so messy. Then I tried folding them up similar to how you… Read more »

Edith R. Northam
Edith R. Northam
1 year ago
Reply to  Janeen

Hi! Just saw your post about the plastic grocery store bags. HAD to laugh! My OCD juust simply will not let me stuff them – in anything. So years ago I started smoothing them out, cutting the “dangly” stuff off the handles, the “dangly” stuff at the top of the bag, folding them in half, in half again, folding the handles down, then folding the rest in thirds or fourths, THEN storing them in a small paper bag with the folded side up where I can grab it easily. Just sayin’ – OCD. AND, OLD, SINGLE WOMAN! at libeety to… Read more »

1 year ago

Edith, you old, OCD woman—-I love this! Thanks for the belly laugh lol 🤪

Big Tee
Big Tee
1 year ago

That sounds very good for long-term storage. I don’t get enough of them to bother with orderly storage, and I use them up fairly fast. I do stuff them between other items in storage bins. There, they have a secondary use as a bit of packing material. I personally don’t like empty spaces in storage. 🙂

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