Marti’s Corner – 110

April 30, 2023

Hi Everyone,

Rocket Stoves!!!  These handy stoves are so cool!!!  With a few tools, you can make one yourself.  “I” do not have such tools, but you COULD!  Here are the instructions: 

ROCKET STOVE: Build one with a #10 Can and Some Scraps!

Now, if you know you do not have the tools or time, then you can buy one here for about $30: 

Products – Premium Rocket Stoves

Rocket Stove

You can get all fancy schmancy and order one on Amazon.  But they are considerably more expensive.  This one is $99.  Like everything, you can get the deluxe model, but the Chevy model will do just fine.  This one is by Redcamp.

Red Camp

Along those lines, I am putting together some 72-hour kits and was looking for a small pan that I could include for cooking oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, etc.  I found this:

Stainless Steel Camping Bowls With Foldable Handle  (300 ml/10 oz)

Only $5.99!!!  It‘s JUST what I was looking for.Camping Bowl


Let’s talk about mulch.

I’ve tried grass clippings, but our cut grass has a lot of grass seeds in it, and when I use the clippings, I just end up Wood Chunkswith grass in the pots.  So I got this bright idea that I would put the grass in the oven and kill the seeds.  OH MY GOSH!  My whole house smelled like burned grass for days!!!

I tried pine chips (like you get for hamster cages), but they don’t break down very well, and I wasn’t happy with them.

I tried shredded paper, and it blew all over the yard.  We were scooping up shredded paper out of the pool and everywhere else.  Craig wasn’t very happy with that one.

Wood Chunks From Lowes

THIS YEAR, I’m trying shredded bark.  Be careful, and do NOT get the colored bark for landscaping.  It is made of scrap wood that’s been treated and painted with who knows what.  

My first two bags of shredded bark literally had huge chunks of wood.  Not my idea of shredded.

Pathway Ground Cover

Yesterday I bought this at Lowes. I LOVE it!!!  

I especially like the listed ingredients:  forest products.  I’m okay with that.  It was about $4.50 for this huge bag.

But, having said all this, here is my gripe with mulch.  It is the perfect hiding place for pill bugs and earwigs.  Ugh.  I use Sluggo Plus for these critters, but they are just ALWAYS there!!!!

THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE: tomato sauce, diced tomatoes

You can get a 16 oz. can of tomato sauce for $.69 at Winco.  Get 20 cans and you are out about $14.  I always get the 8-oz. size.  I just use it more often.  A flat of these is 24 cans.  You don’t need special tomato sauce with spices – Italian or green peppers, or whatever.  Just add your own.  I add about 1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning if the recipe calls for Italian stewed tomatoes.  If it calls for crushed tomatoes, I just put my immersion blender right into the can and blend a little.  If the recipe calls for tomato juice, just dilute the tomato sauce with water.  

MISC. PURCHASE:  Pancake mix.  I find this to be SO convenient.  I like the Krusteaz just-add-water type.  Because, well……….. you just add water.  Because I use it all the time (probably once a week), it gets rotated pretty well.  This pancake mix will NOT store for more than 12-18 months.  It has leavenings and fats that just don’t keep long term.

Bisquick – this also has fats and leavenings but can be used to make other recipes like shortcakes, biscuits, etc. 

Because these “mixes” do not store long-term, you probably should have a backup plan.  This would involve storing all the ingredients separately.  Still, that will include eggs (dehydrated or freeze-dried will work), oil…….and leavenings (baking powder and baking soda) which have to be rotated.


Homemade Bisquick Mix

    This recipe comes from

  • 4 c. flour
  • 2 TB baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

     Whisk together

  • 3/4 c. shortening – Cut into the flour.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer for up to three months.

Pancake Recipe with Bisquick

  • 2 eggs – beat for 2-3 min until light and airy
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

     Add to the eggs.

  • 2 c. bisquick
  • 2 TB brown sugar

     Add-In and whisk until combined

  • 2 TB melted butter – add

Biscuits with Bisquick – makes 12

  • 4 c. bisquick
  • 1 TB sugar
  • 1 1/4 c. buttermilk

     Stir just to combine.  Roll out 1/2 – 3/4 inc. thick.

  • 1 TB buttermilk for brushing tops before cooking

     Bake on a parchment-covered baking sheet 425˚ for 15-20 min.

  • 2 TB melted butter for brushing biscuits after cooking

Middle Eastern Rice with Black Beans

  (shared with permission from A. Jensen, whose son announced one day he was a vegetarian and she had to come up with new recipes for her food storage).

  • 1 TB olive oil – heat in a large saucepan over medium heat
  • 1 clove garlic, minced.  Stir into oil and cook 1 minute.
  • 1 c. uncooked basmati rice
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric

     Add, cook and stir 5 min.

  • 1-quart chicken stock
  • 1/2 c. dehydrated carrots
  • 1/2 c. freeze-dried celery (probably dehydrated will be okay as well)

     Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed.

     Gently mix beans into the cooked rice.  Season with salt and pepper.



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Diane Elmore
Diane Elmore
2 months ago

Hi Marti, I read once that someone would come and teach how to use a pressure canner. Was it you? My daughter lives in Menifee and we’d both like to learn. I have both pressure and regular canner. Please let me know as we’d like to work something out to be able to do so.

4 months ago

Marti, you are too hilarious! I love the stories you tell about your experiences with different things! It makes me feel like you are one of my family members. It is nice to enjoy your experiences, because these things happen to me too. It’s also nice because you are being “real”, without apologies or excuses. A refreshing difference from worldly articles that are so common today. Thanks.

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