All Hallows Eve 2016
Here we are getting ready for all the ghosts and goblins of Halloween. Decorations are fun and do not have to cost an arm and a leg. The attached picture is a wreath that Lorane did using stuff she got at Dollar Tree for around $8.00. it just takes a bit of time and talent to make it yourself V about 4 times the cost to buy ready made decorations.
Most places will put their Halloween candy on clearance tonight or first thing in the morning. NOW is the time to stock up for the year at half or better price. The kids both little and big will thank you for some candy during stressful times to come and if you are lucky you can just use it as a weekday treat.
These same concepts work for the other holidays during the year.
Ref earlier posts for other thoughts.
Russia two weeks ago [2016 October 3rd] started a disaster exercise putting 40 million people into shelters which was reportedly to last 4 days. I have not heard anything as yet to say that the exercise is over and this is the first such exercise that I recall since at least back to the 1980s. They have recalled families traveling abroad EVEN students who are in the middle of semesters AND the US government has broken off diplomatic ties with them as well, this last 2 were within the last week [all of thus far I heard on the radio news stations] and just yesterday [Sunday 2016 October 16th] a friend was telling me about a news report out of the UK that the RAF had been cleared to fire on Russian jets in Syria. He had read the story a couple of days ago.
So it IS time to pay attention and get ready.
Get ready for what? Just general disasters or hoards of Walkers – which returns for season 7 soon. ;]
Pay attention to the news both here and abroad, don’t take just one source as fact [not even RBO] but use it as a starting point for your own research. Consider investing in short wave radios to listen to the news of other countries, as well as a scanner for local emergency services traffic.
Talk with your friends and maybe pool your resources on some of this. Perhaps one family gets the scanner and another gets the short wave. Each family would monitor them and as things happen share the information with their group. You could set up a weekly [or even nightly as things heat up] sharing time to discuss the things you heard. This may be a good thing to do over dinner. Strongly consider including your kids in the discussions as they will have something to contribute AND the world situation will note seem as scary to them [or more scary in an informed way] .
As many of you know I am a strong advocate for CB radios for local chat in case the cell phones go down. The hand held Baofeng works good for short range communication if you have the appropriate licenses and it will act as a great little scanner for FRS/GMRS, marine radio band, as well as many emergency services agencies.
Things to do: check stock levels of food, water, medications ect…
keep your fuel tank over half full in summer and over ¾ full in winter.
Update your emergency contact lists
consider how much cash you need to have on hand [small bills and change]
Practice your preps.
http://www.preparesurvivethrive.us/comms-2/ parts 1 and 3 are good too
2 1/2 cups wheat grains red or white
1 1/2 cups spelt *** if you do not have spelt use the same amount of wheat OR if you have a problem with wheat use all spelt so that you still end up with 4 cups of this grain.
1/2 cup pearled barley
1/4 cup millet
1/4 cup dry lentils – green, red, brown or what ever color combination
2 Tbs. dry northern beans
2 Tbs. dry kidney beans
2 Tbs. dry pinto beans
4 cups lukewarm whey (or water/milk -you can add powdered milk to boost the flavor and nutrients)
1 1/8 cups local honey – any honey will do BUT local honey helps your local economy.
1/2 cup oil such as olive oil, melted butter can work too both add flavor
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. active dry yeast (2 packages)
the following are optional
1/2 cup milled flax seed
½ cup whole sunflower or sesame seeds to mix in the bread
½ cup raisins or other dried fruit for added flavor and nutrition
the types of beans listed above and the millet can be adjusted to what you have on hand, just adjust the amounts to compensate. Amaranth, chia or alfalfa can replace the millet too.
1. Grind in a flour mill each of the grains and legumes separately. This makes about 9 cups of flour, be sure to mix the flours well to combine evenly and mix in the dry yeast
2. In large bowl mix whey (or water), eggs, honey, oil, salt and the dry fruit if any.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir or knead 10 minutes either by hand, dough hook, or mixer (given that this is a batter bread, it will NOT form into a ball)
4. Pour dough into 2 (10×5) greased pans or 2 9×13 pans
5. Cover with towel and let rise in pans until dough is about 1/4 inch from top of the pan, [about an hour] but not much higher or it most likely will overflow in the oven
6. Bake at 350 degrees 30-50 minutes until thermometer reaches 190F or a toothpick comes out clean (smaller pans takes less time – 30 minutes; larger pans take longer -close to 50) all ovens are different so you will have to check more often until you learn how this reacts in YOUR oven
7. Remove pans from oven and place on cooling rack
8. Run a knife or spatula around the edges and remove the loaves from the pans immediately
9. Let rest on it’s side but do not cut into the loaves until they have cooled at least 30 minutes
10. This concoction does not survive well on the counter as it is so packed with nutrients and mold will start growing in 72 – 96 hours. *** This IS a good thing ;] Compare this mold to regular store bought bread that has molded, This mold will be a vibrant green V the sickly color of the mold on the store bought bread or cake.
Please share your experiences and thoughts with the rest of us.
Fresh IS best …. most of the time. Eat the fresh stuff first before it spoils. Forage or hunt for more before you run out of food. Listed under the fresh field rations section [but yet kinda shelf stable] would be eggs, summer sausage and cheeses. Eggs can be shelf stable for up to 6 months if they are kept at least as cool as you are comfortable living. Store bought eggs are most likely a couple of months old before you buy them. Historically summer sausage and cheese was a mainstay with most cultures especially for field work or war.
Jams and jellies occupy that area between fresh and long term food storage. Depending on how they are packaged [glass, metal, plastic] dictates how well they will travel. I like them better for field rations in the individual serving size as there is less waste or contamination chances. Less mess too.
Dehydrated ‘back packing’ meals are good as they are portion controled. They have a longer shelf life but are more expensive than many other options.
The Knorr side dishes are a great option as they are more economical, are portion controlled and something most of us are used to using. You can experiment and make your own similar side dishes / main courses for way less money.
Along this line in history the Indians used parched maze [corn] as a trail food which could be eaten out of hand or mixed with pemmican and reconstituted.
A more modern rendition would be the ‘instants and flours’
Instant potatoes [and pearls] ARE great in the field, just add to hot water and eat. Also, make flour or meal from beans, barley, corn, carrots, rice and wheat and do the same. it cooks faster and you get more nutrients out of it than whole. Prepare it as bread or soup and mix in whatever extra you find ei herbs and meat. For storage / transport you can either premix it and then put in coke bottles or keep the types flour in their own coke bottle and mix it in the field. Look up Ezekiel 4:9-13. We have used this system for many years and it has worked well. IF you can not have a fire for whatever reason you can mix with cold water and drink it down rapidly before it sets up… think Metamucil texture.
Store bought examples of some of this would be cream of wheat [which does NOT come with dairy mixed in so the cream of wheat is referring to the texture being smooth] and grits. A more economical form of these 2 is whole wheat flour and corn meal.
Please share your experiences and thoughts with the rest of us.
There are a lot of conversations going on about field rations, which ones are best and what ‘systems’ are more appropriate or BETTER.
MREs are the best because our military uses them, they are the coolest and most ‘sexy’ foods to eat out on maneuvers. They have a LONG shelf life and are lite weight. MREs also COST a lot more than most other foods of the same calorie count. IF cost is not a factor for you, great, go get a ton of them.
MREs weigh less…. the actual food content is the identical weight per serving as fresh made, frozen or canned. The packaging may weigh less than the metal can and when you are talking about shipping the amount needed for 500 people that IS a factor. In the amount per person for 3 days most people will not be able to tell the difference between a pack with MREs in it V an identical pack with the same amount of food that is packed in metal cans. If you think you can you are delusional and have never done a double blind test of it. BTW the component that adds the most weight to either is the water content.
MREs have a LONG shelf life…. yes they do.. WHEN properly stored. The cooler that they are stored equals longer shelf life. If you store your MRE in the trunk or passenger areas of your vehicle during the summer the temperature can get over 200 degrees F during the day in direct sunlight. It gets so hot that you can bake cookies or bread on the dashboard – or cook your kids / dog to death, but that is another story. The rated shelf life of an MRE over 140 degrees is under 3 months. SAME story for canned goods. Some friends and I when we went through basic military training were eating the old C-Rats which were 40 years old and some of them was just as bad as the day they were packaged, some we liked a lot, it all depends on your tastes and how hungry you are. ;]
canned goods…. as noted above … and they have at least 3 added benefits compared with MREs. 1. we are more familiar with eating them as there is most likely not a week go by that we do not have food from a can. 2. canned goods are more likely to be rotated in part due to the economical cost. 3. you end up with cans to use for other survival projects such as cooking, treating water and they can be used as part of an alarm system.
[ What other uses can you come up with? Please share your thoughts with the rest of us in the comment section of this post]
As previously written Milkweed is good eats. Few plants reproduce without seeds. Now is the time to be collecting the seeds to be able to establish a crop or several crop beds of this delectable wild food. What you are looking for is the span from when the seed pods first start opening until they are nearly empty as long as there are seeds to be harvested. The fluff of the milkweed which is attached to the seeds is there to facilitate the spread of seeds via the wind.
The day [s] that you collect the seeds you can carry them in whatever you have available including plastic bags from Walmart as long as you can transport it. Once you are done collecting for the day transfer the seeds and fluff into PAPER bags so that the seeds can finish drying. IF you leave the seeds in plastic or other occlusive containers as they will mold and rot.
Store the bag with the seeds in a warm dry space out of direct sun light. While the seeds are drying you can be scouting out the areas you plan to establish your crop beds. Look for areas near your home territory that is similar to the spots you found the plants in, undisturbed, mostly sunny, perhaps near a fence line.
How to plant, as closely as possible mimic nature. Scratch up small areas to drop seeds and cover lightly and firm the soil down over it. Scatter leaves, grass and twigs over the spot to capture snow which will later melt and water the seeds in the spring. The seeds will sprout better if they winter over outside in the spot they will be growing in.
A second way to ‘plant’ the seeds is to mix the seeds with damp potting soil and form it into shooter marble sized balls. Place the seed balls in a single layer on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Freeze at least over night. Once solidly frozen the seed balls can be placed into a plastic bag until you are ready in early / mid winter to seed your food plot. Well what do you do with them now? Keeping the seed balls hard frozen take them to the area you have selected along with your sling shot and liberally & randomly launch the seed balls out into the area. The seed balls will sit over winter and during the spring thaw they will start to sprout and grow.
Once the milkweed seeds have sprouted and become established this type of food plot is hardy and should produce food for you and your family for MANY years.
Original Salvation Army Doughnut Recipe used during WWI [1914 – 1918]
with some additions ;]
5 C flour
2 C sugar
5 tsp. baking powder
1 ‘saltspoon’ salt (1/4 tsp.)
1 3/4 C milk
1 tub lard [enough to DEEP fry the doughnuts ]
Optional add either or both nutmeg / cinnamon START with ¼ teaspoon each and adjust to your tastes. Vanilla OR almond extracts 1 teaspoon adjust to taste works too.
1. Combine all ingredients (except for lard) to make dough.
2. Thoroughly knead dough, roll smooth, and cut into rings that are less than 1/4 inch thick. A variation would be to cut then into strips 2×4 inches or squares 2x2inches (When finding items to cut out doughnut circles, be creative. Salvation Army Doughnut Girls used whatever they could find, from baking powder cans to coffee percolator tubes and artillery shell cases.)
3. Drop the rings into the lard, making sure the fat is hot enough to brown the Doughnuts gradually. Turn the doughnuts slowly several times.
4. When browned, remove doughnuts placing them on a grate in a pan and allow excess fat to drip off [recover drained fat and reuse].
5. Dust with powdered sugar. Let cool and enjoy.
Yield: 4 dozen donuts depending on size and shape that you make them.
These were often cooked over an open fire and IF they were lucky sometimes a wood stove. The main purpose was to raise the soldiers’ spirits which it did and to provide a few extra calories. With this in mind in a disaster situation [there are few situations worse than war zones] that it should be very viable to cook nutritious and appealing meals in the field. It just takes a bit of planning.