Marti’s Corner – 82

September 13, 2022

Marti's Corner at City PreppingHi Everyone,


*  I mentioned to a friend that I had a thermal cooker.  It’s like a crock pot but uses no energy.  Check out this video.  Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker FIRST COOKING DEMO- Getting started!

If you go to YouTube and search for Saratoga Jack, you’ll find other videos with additional recipes.  It’s cheaper than a sun oven and can be used indoors.

You can DIY on these thermal cookers if you search on YouTube.  But I didn’t want to take any chances and just got one when it went on sale.

The butane burner that is used in the video is under $30.  10,000 BTU CSA List Portable Butane Gas Stove with Carrying Case : Portable Butane Gas Stove  I think I bought mine at Walmart.

*  With all last week’s talk about earthquakes, I was reminded of this YouTube channel:  Large Earthquake M6.4 (M6.8) strikes North of New Zealand – West Pacific He shows you the latest and largest earthquakes that have happened and predicts how it will affect the “plates”.  He is not ALWAYS right, but with 533,000 subscribers, he is credible.

*Did you realize that the first Star Wars movie came out 45 years ago?  45 YEARS!!!  (Okay, that had nothing to do with emergency preparation, but WHERE DID THAT TIME GO???)


Horn worm evidence in my garden

*  A new pest.  See these little black dots on my tomato plant?  This is caterpillar poop! 

Hornworm evidence

These tomato hornworms will strip your plant of all its leaves in just a day or two.

I searched that entire plant and could not find it/them.  But if you see those black dots, they are there – I promise.  Captain Jack’s spray will work on them.  Don’t delay!  If you go out at night and have a black light (I don’t have one), you can find them quickly.  They glow in the dark!!!  What do hornworms look like in the dark

Nasty-looking things, aren’t they?

*  My baby tomato plants are about 3 inches high and are just getting their true leaves.  The broccoli is also up.  It WAS doing well…. until today.  We didn’t get home until 2:00, and even though they were under the shade cloth all day a lot of the broccoli just withered and died.  Just great. Before I replant them, I’ll have to check the number of days until harvest.  We’re running out of time.  For everything that is still alive, I’m going to put them into the containers where I’ve pulled out the beans and cucumbers. 

THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE: Sweeteners: pancake syrup & jam

SyrupsProbably once a week, I make pancakes, or french toast, or french pancakes.  All these require maple syrup – at least at my house.  I DO have a recipe for syrup, but I find that I don’t mind just storing an extra bottle or two.

This week, when you are at the store, just get an extra bottle of syrup, and pick up some jam.  Even if you are NOT a jam eater, when you are hungry, bread and jam is delicious!!!


I had a discussion the other day about food that was past its expiration date.  I NEVER look at those dates.  I open it and if it looks and smells good, then I figure it IS good.  But her comment was that she had heard the nutrientsPrepper vitamins - emergency nutrition decrease with time.  That may be true.  So, to combat that, and any other problems we may have with food supply, I store vitamins.  That food I have may not be as nutritious, but it will still be filling, and the vitamins will supply the nutrients.  (That’s my plan and I’m sticking to it!)

We don’t want anyone dying from scurvy if we can’t get fresh fruit.  Vitamins will fill that niche.  Vitamins have an expiration date as well, but I’d rather throw away and repurchase a jar of vitamins than cans of food storage.


Maple Syrup
1 c. corn syrup (see recipe below)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. water
few drops of maple flavor (maybe about 1/2 tsp)

1 TB butter
    Heat together, store in a mason jar.

Corn Syrup
3/4 c. water
2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
pinch salt
     Melt together until sugar is dissolved.

Maple Syrup #2 (no corn syrup)
1 c. water
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 TB maple flavoring

Substitutes for Cream of Tartar

  • White Vinegar. Like cream of tartar, white vinegar is acidic. …
  • Baking Powder. If your recipe contains both baking soda and cream of tartar, you can easily substitute with baking powder instead. …
  • Buttermilk. …
  • Yogurt. …
  • A good replacement for cream of tartar in baking is 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice for every 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar.
  • In most cases, you can simply leave the cream of tartar out. The food may not be as fluffy or perfect as you hope, but it will still work out and taste good. There is a slight risk that your meringue will lose some of its height or collapse, especially when baking.

How to make green beans taste better.

I saw this recipe MANY years ago. Now I use it whether I’m cooking fresh green beans or frozen.  Sometimes I use it with canned beans so they don’t taste so blah.

In a saucepan, add a little water, about 1/4 tsp garlic salt (or minced garlic if you want), 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon, and a few shakes of thyme.  Then add your beans and cook as usual.  It is so flavorful, that you don’t need butter and salt.  

Chicken Barley Stew
Previously shared from Betty Crocker on 11/8/2018

In a slow cooker
3 large carrots, peeled and diced (about 2 c.)

2 medium stalks celery, sliced (about 1 c.)
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 c.)

Place 2 bone-in chicken breasts on the vegetables
5 c. water
3/4 c. uncooked barley
2 tsp chicken bouillon
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can diced tomatoes
Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours.
Remove chicken and place on cutting board.  Remove meat from bones and chop into 1/2-1 inch pieces.  Discard bones
Stir chicken
2 TB fresh parsley or 1/2 TB dried
1 tsp dried thyme
        Into the stew.  Increase heat setting to high.  Cover and cook 10-15 min more until chicken is thoroughly heated.
Tip:  You can use tomatoes with Italian herbs or roasted garlic for more flavor. 


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