Marti’s Corner – 97

January 19, 2023

Marti's Corner at City PreppingHi Everyone,


** I went shopping on Wednesday, and it was the first time since 2020 I noticed items missing.  AND, when I went to buy Miracle Whip, the price of a quart of reduced-fat Miracle Whip was almost $9!!!!  Yikes!  for a jar!!!!  I was reluctant to buy the store brand because I wasn’t sure how it would change the taste of the salad dressing I was making.  So, I paid nearly $5 for “regular fat” dressing!  LOL

**  Since we are at the beginning of a new year, I thought it would be appropriate to include a list of “what should you store.”  BASIC MINIMUM FOOD STORAGE  The first list is a “what will keep you alive” list.  After that, on the same document is the “supplemental” list of what to add to the first list if you would like more than a starvation diet.  Most people who store food AND rotate food have two separate categories of food that they store.  First is the food they eat every day:  pasta, soups, sugar, flour, peanut butter, and oatmeal.  Second is the long-term storage that they can put away and not think about:  wheat, dry beans, rice, etc.  An ideal situation is a combination of Empty grocery shelvesboth.  If the store shelves are suddenly empty (2020), you have what you need for a few weeks and don’t suddenly have to break out the wheat grinder.  I think we have all come to realize how “unstable” the marketplace can be.  Having a supply of food is NOT hoarding, it is “laying up in store” for hard times to come.  It is “providing” for your family.

**  How long can you store a cake mix?  Does it go bad?  Certainly storing a mix is easier than storing all the ingredients.  But cake mixes have leavenings, and those DO have an expiration.  This is a good article that answers all those questions.  Does cake mix go bad – easy guide with tips (Short answer: it DOES expire)

BUT…… what about brownie mixes?  Huh?  They DON’T have leavenings.  ???????

** Someone asked me about powdered eggs.  Okay, yes, you can get powdered eggs.  Don’t get Freeze-driedegg prices scrambled eggs.  A #10 can of those will only give you 8-10 servings.  You want dehydrated whole egg powder.  But as the cost of eggs has risen…the cost of powdered eggs has risen as well. This #10 can contains about 72 eggs and is $62.24, down from $115!!! Augason Farms Dried Whole Egg Product 2 lbs 1 oz ( pack of 1) : Grocery & Gourmet Food This works out to $.87 per egg.  Eggs at Stater Brothers were $8.89 for 18 which is only $.50 per egg. Every few weeks I check the cost of these cans.  I’m waiting until they get down in the $25 range.  Who knows if THAT will ever happen!!!


**FINALLY found the link I’d been searching for!!!

Planting guide and reminders to keep your kitchen garden growing

I “did” plant my celery this week.  I “do” have carrots that are already coming up.  I have NOT planted any spinach yet, I should do that!  And, even though the chart says to wait for January….. I went ahead and planted my tomatoes and peppers.  I already have broccoli coming up.  I want to get some cauliflower going as well.

Seed startersMy husband is NOT a fan or the seeds taking up room on the kitchen counter.  But, until they are sprouted, I like to keep them in the warm house.  After that, they can go outside during the day to be in the sun.  Taking them in and out, in and out is a real pain!  But, if left inside, they get spindly and will die.  They need several hours of sun and a good breeze to develop strong stems.  You CAN do this indoors, in a basement, or spare room, or garage IF you have a nice bright light and a table and a fan.  Wouldn’t I LOVE that?  But, you make do with what you have, and right now, I have counter space. 

Consider growing (or trying to grow) something!!!  Ok, preferably something you can eat.  Plant lettuce today and you can be eating fresh lettuce in just 4 weeks.  

Snow on the ground?  Consider planting some broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage starts indoors.  They will be ready to go outside in 6-8 weeks.

**  Oh my gosh!  I just went outside and found hundreds of these little round things (they look like small sea shells).  They were stuck to the sides of the black 5 gallon pots, and under the pots, and EVERYWHERE!  I think they are baby snails.  Ewwww!!!!  Nothing to do but try and clean them up.  I scraped them off the pots, moved all the pots and swept under them and used a dust pan to throw them in the trash.  The more I looked, the more I found.  Then, I sprinkled snail bait EVERYWHERE!!!  I feel like I’ve diverted a major disaster.  LOL

THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE: milk, 2 #10 cans, or about 5 pounds

You can get #10 cans of milk at a Church Home Storage Center.  Find a Home Storage Center WE can get them atMilk - Powdered Milk our local Winco.  I DO know that the cost of milk IS going up after Jan 1, so plan accordingly.

IF you have milk that is more than 15 years old, it’s time to open that can and have a look-see.  If it smells and looks good, then use it up.  The SNEAKY way to do that is make up a quart, stick it in the fridge, and when your gallon of “store” milk gets about 1/2 way low, just add in the non-fat powdered milk.  NO ONE will know!

MISC: pet food

Old Dog Charlie Drum


Whatever food you buy for your pet, just have a back-up.  I buy cat food in 3-pound bags.  I try to keep three on the shelf (okay in the garage).  When I open one, I buy one to replace it.  It’s NOT a year’s supply, but it will get us through a few weeks.


Southwest Chicken
My husband and I have this ongoing discussion about whether he can actually tell the difference in taste between black beans, pinto beans, and red beans…… because I can’t.  So, for variety, I try to use all three.  This recipe uses black beans.

Place 4 boneless chicken breasts in a skillet.
1 c. picante sauce – pour over
2 package taco seasoning – sprinkle over
2 c. water – pour over everything.
   Put on a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
2 c. Minute rice, uncooked.  I SELDOM cook with Minute Rice, but it works well here.
1 c. drained and rinsed black beans – stir in
1 c. cheddar cheese – sprinkle on top.
Cover and cook an additional 5 minutes.

My notes:  Because it’s just the two of us, I usually use 1 1/2 chicken breasts cut into big chunks.  This recipe is so easy — no chopping, or pre-frying.  

Veggie Tot Pie
I don’t often cook vegetarian meals.  We’re MEAT eaters over here.  BUT, this looked good.  It’s from the Pioneer Woman’s cookbook.  She explains that “One beauty of this recipe is that you can mix or sub in whatever frozen vegetables you like.”

Use an ovenproof skillet so you can pop it right into the oven.
1 TB butter
1/2 c. frozen diced onion
     Sauté the onions in the butter
1 c. frozen green beans
1 c. frozen butternut squash chunks
1/2 c. frozen roasted corn
1/2 c. frozen peas
1 4-oz jar pimientos, drained (I’m not a huge fan)
1 TB garlic paste or 2 garlic cloves, grated
     Cook the veggies for 10 min, stirring often to heat them through
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can Cream of Celery soup
    Add the soups and 1 can water.  Stir as the mixture heats and begins to bubble, about 5 min.
Salt and pepper to taste
Tumeric – just a pinch
1 32-oz. bag of frozen tater tots
   Arrange the tater tots on top, completely covering the sauce.  Bake at 450˚ for about 30 min.
Chopped fresh parsley – sprinkle on to garnish.

Tuscan Chicken Soup
Here is another one from Rhee Drummond.  This one uses cannellini beans.  It has hearty chunks of chicken and tomatoes, but it has toasted sourdough bread at the bottom of each bowl of soup.
8 thick slices sourdough bread – lay them on a baking sheet.  

Drizzle generously with olive oil.  Bake 425˚ until golden and crisp and set aside.

In a soup pot or Dutch oven, heat
2 TB butter and 2 TB olive oil
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs diced
2 yellow onion finely diced
2 garlic cloves minced
    Add to hot oil/butter mix and cook until chicken is fully cooked, about 5 min.
2 TB tomato paste
1 28-oz can tomato puree
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 can cannellini beans drained
4 c. chicken broth
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1 tsp dried
2 TB honey
   Reduce heat and simmer for 10 min to combine flavors
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
   Add to the soup
salt and pepper

To serve:  tear the bread into large chunks and place in the bottom of the soup bowl.  Ladle the soup over the bread, letting the chunks stick up on the surface.

Top with Parmesan shavings and drizzle with olive oil.


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2 months ago

You can give your seedlings the light they need with hanging shop lights. I use one regular florescent bulb and one plant light bulb. Keep the lights about 2 inches above the tops of the seedlings. I use a wire shelf unit and hang the shop lights from the shelf above. I’ve been doing this for years and it works great.

2 months ago

I would really encourage people to start having urban chicken coops as we do. With the deep litter method and a little creativity you can build a nice Coop and get three or four chicks for about $2 each depending on where you live. Once they reach the point where they’re laying you can get three eggs a day for half of the year or more. Then you can make your own mayo! For Miracle Whip relatively speaking fee does not that expensive for now and you supplement with fruits and veggies

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