It’s time for another disclaimer. I am NOT an “expert”. I have no “degree” or professional training. I’m just a mom who’s been canning and preparing since the 1970s when we put wheat and dry ice in paint buckets to store them. My pressure canner is harvest gold (a true 70’s color!). I experiment with gardening every year and get some things right and a lot of things wrong. Talk about a learning curve.
But I DO believe in being prepared – and the key is to go step by step. Just do a little EVERY week. Of course, it seems that time is speeding up, and who knows how many weeks are left. When President Woodruff (I think it was him) was asked about the Second Coming and how much time was left, he said he felt it was close but he was still going to plant fruit trees. Slow and steady. But I will tell you this, being prepared is ALWAYS on my mind, and there is hardly a week that goes by that I have not canned something, or dehydrated something, or bought something to store.
After the shelves emptied in 2020 in three days, we should all be very aware that this can happen again.
** Rolling Blackouts This Summer – Don’t know if you’ve seen this “scare” news yet. A Hot, Deadly Summer Is Coming With Frequent Blackouts
What could that mean for you??? Well, if you lose power for a day, you will most likely be okay. Try NOT to open your refrigerator or freezer.
No power — no lights (invest in some outdoor solar lights for the garden that you can bring indoors) —no power to charge phones or computers. Use your car to charge, or maybe some small solar chargers? I have a few of these:
Solar Power Bank, 10,000mAh External Battery Pack: Cell Phones & Accessories There are several brands to choose from.
I try to keep them charged because it takes about 15 hours of sun to fully charge one. But, they will charge your phone in about 2 hours with power left over. I love them when I am going to be out for several hours with no power (car shows with Craig, or an airplane trip).
Venture 35 + Nomad 10 Kit – Goal Zero Goal Zero has all types of solar kits, from small camping types to larger home types. These solar panels do NOT have batteries, so they will charge your phones directly. Of course, if you have the means, you should think about a generator. Goal Zero has some but also Lowes and Home Depot. ($350 – $2,000) Consider something that does NOT run on gasoline. Some run on propane, some are solar. — electric stove? You’ll need alternate cooking methods like a BBQ or hibachi — no TV/internet Pick up a couple of decks of cards or games or better yet – BOOKS!
What else? — no A/C? If there is no power, fans won’t even work (unless you have a generator). Find a friend with a pool, have the kids run through the sprinklers, take off for the beach, spend an hour or so at the mall, and try to stay cool. ** If you have freezers full of food, and an emergency of significant length occurs, you could lose all that food! Soooo… you have to diversify!!! Have canned goods – stew, soup, fruit, vegetables. Maybe enough canned goods to get you through a week – 10 days. Make it a family activity. Plan with your kids and let them get involved. Kids will not worry if they know there is a plan. What could you eat? What could you do for entertainment?
Blackouts are usually localized, so maybe you could make arrangements with another family to be partners and take hot showers at each other’s houses.
THE POINT IS TO TALK ABOUT IT NOW AND PLAN NOW.
It’s time to feed the garden again. Most of the vegetables that home gardeners grow are “heavy feeders.” This includes tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, etc. They need food to produce food. My zucchini is looking anemic, but I’m going to hold off for another day or two and keep somewhat to my schedule. A good fertilizer and some compost will do the trick.
Let’s talk about carrots. They don’t get “diseases” like the tomatoes and don’t get aphids or worms. But you just never know what you’re going to pull up. Sometimes I feel like alien seedlings have been growing. These are from carrots I planted last fall.
THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE: canned MREs
Ready to eat canned meals: ravioli, chili, stew. You can purchase these for about $2 per can. Get 10 cans at least – more if you are able. These canned meals can easily be stretched to feed more people. For example, you can use a can of chili, diced tomatoes, and cooked macaroni, and make chili mac. You can add a can of corn and a can of beans to some Dinty Moore stew and serve an entire family.
MISC PURCHASE: water!
We like to buy water at Cardenas. The water comes 32 in a package. They usually run 4 / $11-$12? We keep a stack in the garage and rotate them. When we get down to 1-2 packs, we buy 4 more. You might want to buy several gallons of water in the store ($1 each??) DON’T get the water that is in cheap plastic milk carton type containers. It WILL leak and I know this from experience. Yes, it can go in the garage, IF you rotate it. I see people taking their empty 5 gallon containers and filling them up at the store. Also fine. Because our city water is treated, you can just fill those from the sink. If you are thinking about LONG TERM storage, you might want to add a drop of bleach (Google this for the exact amount).
FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
Beef Biscuit Pie
(There is a very long recipe for the beef part, and basically, it’s beef stew meat along with carrots and potatoes. So, I’m thinking, why can’t you use 2-3 cans of Dinty Moore Beef Stew instead? Having just opened up some stew like this a few days ago in an effort to do some rotating, I found that I needed to add a pint of diced potatoes to even things out)
Dump the beef stew mix in a casserole dish or cast-iron skillet. Topping: 2 c. flour, 4 tsp baking powder, 3 TB shortening – cut in, 1 1/4 c. grated cheese. Mix and add 2/3 c. milk. Knead lightly and roll out over the stew. Cover and bake for 20 min at 400˚.
When was the last time you ate that??? If ever. This recipe is called Papa’s Favorite Beef Hash from the book Cookin’ with Home Storage by Peggy Layton
1 can of corned beef
2 c. dehydrated diced potatoes
1 c. dehydrated onions
1/4 c. powdered milk
1 TB flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
5 c. water
1/4 c. oil
Combine potatoes, onions, milk flour, salt, pepper, and water in a large saucepan. Boil for 10 min or until liquid is mostly absorbed. Heat oil in skillet. Add potato mixture and corned beef. Cook over low heat, turning frequently until potatoes are tender and brown – about 20 min.
Scones – Actually called Best Ever Scones from the same book
1 TB sugar, 6 c. flour, 1 TB yeast, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 7 TB powdered buttermilk – mix in a large bowl.
1 beaten egg (or 1 1/2 TB egg mix), 2 c. hot water, 1 TB oil
( Add the egg to the hot water with about 1 c. of the dry ingredients. You don’t want cooked egg)
Add liquid to dry ingredients and knead into a soft dough. Let rise. Divide into two sections. Put out on floured board and cut into pieces about 4 X 4. Fry in hot oil.