Time for another disclaimer: I do not represent any particular company or business. I am not an expert in anything!!! This newsletter represents a lot of things that “I” do in an attempt to become more self-reliant. I’m just trying to be a cheerleader and encourage others to feel the peace that comes from being prepared for an emergency.
** Last week I talked about using a propane space heater. I was reminded that using such heaters in enclosed spaces could result in carbon monoxide poisoning, and that careful consideration to manufacturer’s instructions should be given.
I decided to do a little research. Can propane heaters be used indoors? Are Propane Heaters Safe for Indoors? According to this article — yes — BUT there are 17 safety rules to protect you!
Here is another article about Mr. Heater Buddy Heaters. (Seems like a lot of “heaters” in that title) Are Mr. Buddy Heaters Safe to Use Indoors?
Propane is used in mobile homes and campers. Even so, please be wise. The decision we made to use our heater indoors was a personal one. Make wise decisions and be informed.
** I’ve been using my dehydrated carrots A LOT and started wondering how many pounds of fresh carrots would equal a pound of dehydrated carrots, and whether it is more reasonable to just BUY a can of DH carrots at $9.50? Ugh. Math.
1 can of DH carrots = 2.1 pounds
According to Healthy Canning, 20 pounds of peeled carrots will dry down to 3-3.5 pounds. Using an average and setting up a ratio, 1 #10 can of DH carrots = about 12 pounds of fresh carrots. $9.50 / 12 pounds = about $.80.
So there you go. If you can buy carrots for less than $.80 a pound, you will save money by dehydrating yourself.
** Oil of Oregano – More and more I am looking for natural herbs to do my healing. Here are two great videos:
This is from a high school student. Oregano Vs Amoxicillin
Then watch this one from a doctor: The Miracle Healing of Oil of Oregano (The Best Home Remedies) – Dr. Alan Mandell D.C.
My daughter was quick to point out that as a physician’s assistant, she does NOT prescribe Amoxicillin for e.coli bacteria because it does not work well. Doctors use Keflex or Bactrim. Still, it might be worth it just to have oil of oregano on hand and reading up on how it might be beneficial if no other medications were available.
So, yes, I have already got seeds started. My tomato plants have 3-4 leaves, as do the cucumbers. I thought I’d check on the roots, and they are still very small. I don’t want to “pot up” until the roots reach the bottom of the little dirt cell.
Because the soil outside is still cold, I have them in the house at night. As soon as the temp gets above 60, I take them out in the sun. Here is a good reference for seed starting: How to Germinate Seeds for Your Vegetable Garden: Expert Tips and Tricks
You can see–the warmer the soil, the faster the plants germinate. The gray numbers are the shortest time. If I want to plant beans directly in the soil, I need to wait until the soil is between 77˚ and 86˚. By doing this, the beans will germinate in 6 days.
**I cleaned off a wire shelving unit that had been sitting outside in the weather for months, bought some shop lights for $18 each, and made me a “seed-starting” shelf that now sits inconveniently in the laundry room. BUT, my seeds are SOOO happy. I have a fan that blows softly on them to strengthen their stems. Craig wants to know why I put them under the warm lights and then put a fan on them to cool them down. LOL — NO MORE hauling my baby plants in and out, in and out.
THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE: flour
A few weeks ago I opened a vacuum-sealed package of flour that was about 8 years old. It just was not good. I used it a few times but ended up throwing it all away. I “knew” that flour did not store for a long time. It goes rancid and gets a “smell.” THAT is why we are encouraged to store wheat. I like having flour on hand and usually keep 4-5 bags of flour in the closet. But evidently, I am not rotating it often enough. Lesson learned. Remember, the flour will get weevils, so you MUST package it with oxygen absorbers, or vacuum seal it.
How much do you need? Well, how much do you use? Try to have a 3-4 month supply on hand. When the shelves emptied in 2020, I knew I had enough flour to make bread, but I didn’t WANT to make bread. LOL For a large family, that’s about 5 pounds of flour a week (to make about 8 loaves).
MISC: pancake mix
There is nothing easier than just adding water to a pancake mix and having breakfast done. Add some fruit and you are good to go. My favorite is Krusteaz. I mentioned last year that we used to live by a professional chef. He used a mix to make pancakes, but he added a little powdered sugar and a little vanilla. YUM!
You cannot store pancake mix long term. The oils in it will go rancid. The leavenings will stop working after 12-18 months. I have one open and one on the shelf. No more.
You can make your own pancake mixes. MarysNest.com has some “healthy” pancake mixes. She uses whole wheat flour. The shelf life is only 6 months. She does NOT add fat because that would further decrease the shelf life.
FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
Beef and Rice
This recipe comes from Pantrycookingplus.com
She has quite a few recipes along with canning information, dehydrating instructions, cooking with whole wheat, etc.
1/4 c. dried onion – rehydrate in water for 15-20 min.
1 TB oil – brown onion in oil in a large skillet
1 can 12-oz. roast beef, rinsed, drained, and shredded (about 1 1//3 c.)
2 TB dried green pepper (optional)
2 cans diced tomatoes undrained
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp beef bouillon granules
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 c. long grain white rice
1 c. water
Add all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 30 min or until rice is cooked.
KFC Buttermilk Biscuits
Heat oven to 400˚
250 g. all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 TB sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
Then cut in:
4 tsp butter flavor Crisco (I don’t have this….maybe I’ll just try regular butter for the flavor)
3 TB vegetable shortening
Mix until it resembles coarse crumbs
Stir in 128 grams of buttermilk just until a soft dough forms
Dust flour on a surface, turn out the dough, and knead gently until the board is no longer sticky.
Divide our dough in 1/2 and roll each half softly into a 1/2″ thick circle. Cut out the biscuits with a cutter, being careful NOT to twist, but cut straight down. Reform scraps and work to continue cutting. Place slices on an ungreased parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush the tops with whole milk. Bake until golden brown for 15 min. Immediately brush with butter.
Mickey Mouse Beignets
Dissolve 1/2 tsp dry yeast in
1/4 c. warm water
In a mixer add:
1/4 c. sugar
2 TB shortening
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. very warm water
4 c. flour
Mix on medium speed with a dough hook until the dough combines and is smooth. Let rest 30 min.
Roll to 1/4 in thick and cut in shapes.
Cover with a towel and let dough rise until double. 1-1 1/2 hours.
Heat 3 inches of oil to 350˚. Fry until golden brown about 2-3 min. Turn when they are brown on one side. Place on paper towels to drain. Dust while warm with powdered sugar and serve immediately.