Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Blog will be on hold till Feb. I will be getting Married and Moving

Ladys and Gents I will be puttig the blog on hold for the next 3 weeks. I will be getting merried and relocating to Gerogia.

With the move will come a lot of good content though, I will be moving with the wife to a farm as live on ranch hands.

Expect some killer blogs about gardening, live stock, homesteading, and more.

Sorry for the wait, but I promise, It will be worth it.

Have a good week readers!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dehydrating index

There are 3 kinds of foods to consider when dehydrating. My goal is to make an index of these 3 groups for reference not only for you, but also for myself. Please leave foods I have missed as comments so I can add them to the list. Thanks!

The 3 groups are:

  1. Food that needs some processing (steaming, blanching, lemon juice or ascorbic acid, etc.)
  2. Food that just needs to be sliced and dried.
  3. Foods that have no business being dehydrated.

I'll update the list as I come across new additions. It will be a work in progress for nearly forever I am sure.

Processed Food:
Steamed Foods, Mostly veggies.
Beets- Cook, peel, slice, dry.
Broccoli- Steam lightly to enhance color and reconstituting abilities.
Carrots- Steam lightly AND spray with lemon juice.
Cauliflower- Steam lightly, 3 minutes. Note, this will always turn brown.
Egg plant- Steam lightly, 2-3 minutes
Potatoes- Steam, 5+ minutes.
Summer Squash- Steam lightly, 3 minutes
Sweet Potatoes- Steam lightly, 3 minutes

Foods needing lemon juice or ascorbic acid to maintain color.
Carrots- These need steaming and Lemon juice.

Non processed foods. These can be sliced and dried.

Bell Peppers
Blueberry- Note: Stab with toothpick to allow moisture an escape route.
Cherries- Note: Stab with toothpick to allow moisture an escape route.
Grapes- Note: Stab with toothpick to allow moisture an escape route.

Foods that I feel, turn out very bad being dehydrated
Cantaloupe- People say it can be sliced and dried. I have never liked the result.
Watermelon- People say it can be sliced and dried. I have never liked the result.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Important thing to have in your food storage.

The title might be slightly misleading because there is no "one size fits all" list of things to have in your food storage.

The way I see it though, this is important.

Potatoes is what I am speaking of.

There are entire diet plans based around potatoes, simply because of how deceptively filling they are for how relatively few calories are in them.

The reason this is a good thing, rather than bad, is because if you are like me, you do horrible work when you are hungry. I have a long list of ex boss's who can vouch that.

In an emergency, especially of extended time, the truth is, you might be forced to cut back on rations. In my case instead of 4 or 5 meals a day I would maybe only get 2 or 3.

This is why say potatoes are important. If you are only going to get a certain amount of food, you might as well extinguish the "hunger" factor.

So now for the "how to".

Potatoes are slightly different than other things i have dehydrated. They take some prep work, rather than slice and dry.

Step 1: Wash, Peel.

Step 2: Slice, cube, make curly fries out of them, which ever you prefer.

Step 4: Steam them. This is how I did it but in this scenario, there is more than 1 way to skin a cat.

Load the bottom tray of a pressure cooker with potato slices, add a few cups water to the cooker, use something to set the tray on above the water, I used a colander. Turn the burner on, and let the potatoes sit in the steam just long enough to make the surface slightly cooked, and slimy, almost.

Step 5: Lay the slices on the dehydrating racks and let it go. I was surprised how quickly these dried, in just under 7 hours.

Final product, you can see they are slightly yellow, no surprise, I used yellow potatoes, but all varieties work the same way.

These would work great in soups, mashed potatoes, or any sort of potato casserole that you can come up with. To reconstitute, simmer in water for 10-15 minutes.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The more you know, The less you need. A new years goal.

The title of this blog is one of my favorite quotes.

I recently offered to teach a fairly large group a couple of basic things to help them become more prepared and one of the topics was a BOB, or bug out bag.

I discovered after looking at my own though, I would not be able to use it as the example for the class.

My bob contained many things that made it more of an infinite amount of time survival bag, rather than a 3 or 4 day "just barley keep alive" bag. however, the user of the bag had to have a fairly extensive resume of survival skills. Let me explane.

Most BOB's will have a lighter or water proof matches, or something similar, something that will run out rather quickly. Mine had a spark rod, one that would last 80,000 strikes. For me, that's probably 40,000 fires, and if I got a bit more proficient, could be used for up to 60,000.

Instead of a water bottle or two or three, I have a water filter.

Instead of a collection of energy bars, granola, and dehydrated fruit, I had 4 fish hooks and line, some paracord to be broken down and used as snare wire, and a little fold up reminder sheet of edible plants.

No tent for me, Just a small tarp weighing a couple ounces.

You can see that I can accomplish the same things anyone else can, but for a near infinite amount of time at a fraction of the weight and volume.

My knowledge has allowed me to be fruitful without as much gear.

Just the need to carry 3 days of water, which weights in at over 8 pounds a gallon, can add many pounds to a BOB. the same goes for food, and tent.

So, This year it is my goal to become more proficient with knots. I have a basic collection I improvise for situations, but I have found that even just doubling the knots I know, would benefit me far greater than adding double the amount of paracord in the BOB to mitigate when I waste it trying to use a knot that is not correct for the situation.

This is the website I will be doing most of my work on. It has a play by play for each knot and makes it very easy.

Knot website

I hope you guys will also work on some survival skills, because even if you have a year supply of food, it will mean nothing if you get separated from it. The same goes for water, shelter, and many other things that make survival much more effective.

Happy New Years!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Medium Term Storage recipe to Stock Up On!

Along with advocating the normal staple items in anyone's food storage, I like to advocate fun, good tasting, comfort food/dessert type items, that can help with the stress, lack of comfort, and over all tenseness of a situation whether that be hurricane, snow storm, or a major catastrophe, like we saw with Katrina.

This is something I thought about last week and got around to semi-testing the idea.


  • Dehydrated Bananas 10+ years shelf life
  • Powdered Milk 30 year shelf life
  • Dry Pudding Mix In Box: 3 year, in mylar or vac sealed: Much more is my bet.
  • Vanilla Wafers 3 year vac sealed
  • Water

Step 1: Make pudding. Mix 2 cups milk (the dry powdered is the kind I used) with the pudding mix.

Step 2: At the same time, get your bananas started reconstituting. Simmer in hot water 15 minutes or till you like them. They come out mushy, great for pudding or bread.

Mix Mix Mix the pudding and milk.

This is my milk, although don't follow my bad example of keeping it in zip locks, get something more legit.

You can see how easy this is...

Banana pudding is easy to make, however you like, I layered wafers, pudding, more wafers, then banana and pudding mixed as the top layer.
Bananas simmering....still some time to go.
All done, they look gross, but are tasty i the pudding.
Mix in a second batch of pudding, to create that top layer I was talking about.
Add the top layer to the others, and you're good to go!

No reason this cant be packaged up and kept long term(ish). I'll make another post for when I get around to packaging it some cute way for the girly friends family or something :)