* Can you eat food that is labeled as “expired”. Check out this article by the USDA How long can you keep canned goods?
Here is a quote from the article. “ As long as the can is in good shape, the contents should be safe to eat, although the taste, texture, and nutritional value of the food can diminish over time.”
* Putting together a 72-hour kit can be daunting! What do you put in it? What do you put it in? Like everything, you just start a little at a time. Use an old backpack. I opted to get a new pack that had LOTS of pockets!!! Then, little by little, I added to it. This site is pretty comprehensive and may look intimidating. Bug Out Bags – Bug Out Survival Kit If it looks like too much, do your own thing. But get one!!! I keep mine in the car and replace the food every 12-18 months. I do NOT have water in my pack, but the water is in the garage so I could grab some if I needed to. I DO have a Silcock key Sillcock Key: Counting Water Spigots In The City, and a water filter (both a straw and water bottle with filter included). ReadyWise Seychelle Water Filtration Bottle My backpack weighs 15 pounds. I figure even I can carry that much.
* If you do NOT want to use a backpack, get a small suitcase.
* We’re passing the Vernal Equinox. Days will start getting shorter (here in the Northern Hemisphere at least). I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love the science of it and look forward to cooler temperatures. I will miss the sun and long summer days.
I got the best bean crop I’ve ever had this year. But, by July, my beans were all dying. I tried to keep them alive but to no avail. Then in August, I replanted. Frankly, they are NOT doing well either. Then a few days ago I saw this video: A Farmer’s Guide to Mastering Growing Green Beans – YouTube
Bottom line: I’m doing a bunch of things wrong. I did NOT feed my beans anything (he explains what and when to feed) AND beans want to be between 45 and 80 degrees. Out here in the desert, most of my summer was just too hot for the beans. He says to wait until day temps are in the mid-’80s before planting another crop. I just checked the 10-day and it’s still going to be warm. Maybe one more week.
* I’m SO disappointed in my little tomato starts. I looked at them this morning. I planted them on August 3 and they have barely grown in the last month and a half. Ugh. Literally, I have had better luck letting the suckers on the tomato plants generate new plants. I let those suckers grow as the old plant starts to die. My fingers are still crossed for a new crop.
* That week and a half of 80-degree weather have given me a few squashes and some green tomatoes. Finally!
THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE: Fruit
We are nearing fall and the end of the growing season, so fruit is “in season”. While I was in Utah, my daughter bought a box of peaches. Oh my goodness, they were sooooo good. BUT, the boxes were only about 10 pounds and it was $26 per box. I thought that $2.60 a pound was kind of pricey for peaches. It’s a lot of money to pay if you want to can them. But they were REALLY good for eating. I haven’t been blown away by fruit prices here where I live. But you can still try to pick up some cans of fruit. Even applesauce is good. Fruit has to be rotated pretty often, so plan on eating it within the year. You can always get fruit roll-ups for about $.39 each that will last longer. Freeze-dried fruit can be expensive. Augason Farms Freeze Dried Sliced Strawberries 6.4 oz #10 This can of strawberries is $20 and says it contains 18 1/2-cup servings, so $1+ is not too bad. Even raisins are good for you and will last a long time if they are unopened. I’m not a big fan of raisin cookies, but I like raisins in granola. GORP is a good snacking food to put in your 72-hour kit (GORP=good old raisins and peanuts). Just remember all nuts have oils and will go rancid after about a year.
MISC PURCHASE: Baby Needs
Now is the time to get an extra can of baby formula, or some baby cereal, or an extra tube of Desitin, or whatever. If you have a child in diapers, you should invest in some cloth diapers. If you never have to use them, count yourself lucky. Otherwise, you will be SO thankful you have them. Just get 2 dozen diapers and put them in the back of a closet. Don’t have a baby, get pet supplies.
FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
How many of you have those cans of dried apples and don’t know what to do with them besides eat them? Here are two great recipes:
Apple Filled Cookies
Chop or break 2 cups of dried apples into small pieces. DO NOT RECONSTITUTE. Place in a saucepan and add:
3/4 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. chopped nuts
1 TB flour
Cook slowly, stirring constantly to prevent scorching until thick. Cool.
1 c. butter
1 3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. water
1 tsp vanilla
Mix together and add to creamed mixture:
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 1/2 c. flour
Drop dough by teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Make a depression in the middle of the cookie and place filling in the depression. Then place 1/2 tsp of dough on top of filling. Bake at 350˚ about 12 hours.
Baked Apple Pie (without the crust).
It will puff up while cooking. Serve hot with ice cream or as a snacking cake.
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 raw apples diced, or 1 c. dried apples reconstituted in
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. chopped nuts
Mix ingredients and spread into a deep greased pie dish. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Oatmeal Kids Love
2 c. water
1/4 tsp salt
Bring salted water to a boil.
1 c. regular oats (not quick)
1/3 c. chopped dried apples
1/3 c. dried cranberries
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 TB brown sugar
Add oats and all the remaining ingredients.
Turn off heat and leave on the burner to thicken to desired thickness.
On a gas stove, reduce heat to very low and allow to thicken to desired thickness.
Serve with milk. Serves 3-4
Tip: combine all but the water and store in a container or bag to make breakfast preparation faster. Make up multiple mixes to keep on the shelf.
I like this one because you can use fresh, frozen, or dried blueberries.
Preheat oven to 425˚ with the rack in the middle. Prepare and set aside a 12″ X 18″ baking sheet.
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. sour cream (can substitute heavy cream)
1 tsp vanilla
Whisk together until smooth and refrigerate
2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients
8 TB cold unsalted butter
Grate the butter on large holds right into the flour mixture and toss together to coat the butter in flour. Add the cold, wet ingredients and stir just until barely holds together.
Dump the dough out onto your working surface and continue pressing the dough together until it holds shape, then fold several times to form a dough. Do NOT overwork it or the scones will be tough. Use the rolling pin and roll the dough into a rectangle 16″ X 12″, flouring the surface and the pin as needed.
2 c. blueberries
3 TB sugar
Mix sugar and berries and spread them all across the surface of the dough. Press them in with the palms of your hands. Fold or roll rightly into a log. With a sharp knife, but the log into 12 triangle pieces for small pieces or 8 triangles for larger sizes. Transfer to a 12 X 18-inch baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with
2 TB melted butter and sprinkle with sugar
Pro Tip: refrigerate or freeze the scones for 15-30 minutes so they retain their shape better when baking.
Bake 15-20 min until the tops are golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving.
Optional lemon glaze
1 c. powdered sugar
1-2 TB of lemon juice
Mix till smooth. Drizzle over the cooled scones.