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WHAT HAVE YOU DONE THIS WEEK TO PREPARE? PART 35


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What have I done to prepare?

 

The orange tree in my back yard is going to fall over with all of the fruit that is hanging from its branches, so I have started to pick...and pick...and pick.

 

I have zested and squeezed for a day now!

 

This afternoon, am going to start marmalades and candied rinds.

 

Our friend gave us some clippings (and peppers) from her Thai Pepper plant, so I have the little plants rooting on my window sill in the kitchen, and they will be the first thing planted in our new garden this spring.

 

The peppers are drying and will be turned into pepper flakes, powder and sauce.

 

Yesterday, I also chopped up my last pumpkin, and made 5 cups of puree for the freezer. I had a bit of puree leftover and made a small bit of Pumpkin Gnocchi for a meal down the road.

 

Pumpkin Gnocchi Recipe:

 

Pumpkin Puree

A Dash of Nutmeg and Pepper to taste

Enough Flour to form a soft dough

 

~Mix all together.

~Cut the dough into 4 pieces. With each piece, roll out into a log about 1-inch thick. With a knife, cut the log into small 1-inch pieces.

~At this point you can:

 

~Put the pieces in boiling water and boil until they float to the top. Serve on a plate with a burnt butter and sage sauce topped with parmesan cheese, OR

~Put pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet. Put it in the freezer until pieces are frozen, then put the pieces in baggies or containers, and freeze until ready to use.

 

 

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Organized my food preps today and put some in the mylar bags I ordered awhile back. Only thing is I cannot find my bag of oxygen absorbers.... hmmmmmm.... they will show up later when I don't have time to get it done. But I did get them in the bags and buckets.

 

I also found that I have lots of some things and not so much of other things. We have been of course using things to rotate but I have not be diligent about replacing everything. Making a list for my next big Aldi trip on the 23rd.

 

Also have been doing year-end paperwork, looking at my accounts and tranferring some money so it can make more interest. I need to set up an automatic deposit to the savings and to the christmas club account each pay period. We used to do that and quit when I changed employers a LONG time ago. Now DH's check is direct-deposited and we just need to get this done. Then the savings will be done for us, not just when I think of it. If it isn't in the checking account, it won't get spent.

 

Still need to cook up a squash that is going soft. Better get to that right now.

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I had the best thing happen to the family today. It was 30 degrees and the power went out. We live in the city, I have a gas stove but it has a digital oven to turn it on and off, gas furnace with an electric blower and a gas hot water heater. So we started are day making a list of holes in the preps. We knew where the flashlights and matches were. We found out that even though the stove has an electric ignition I can light it with a match but not the oven. I know that we will have hot water for cleaning and what not and the toilet flushes...YEAH! I also know that all my oil lamps are filled and that the candles are accessible. All of the blankets and board games were in easy reach. Everyone had some type of project to do to help pass the time. Such as reading, I had my crocheting, things of that nature. I know that I need to do alot more but I am fairly confident in the fact that I have been prepping like a fool. smile

 

Now priority on the list of holes:

 

1. Source of heat that doesn't need anything additional; ie., propane, wood, kerosene ( I don't have the room to put enough to keep us for very long... and if something major happens I wouldn't be able to afford it anyway. So I am thinking a solar heater. Income tax!

 

2. How to bake? Now this one is going to take some time to consider. Without being able to use the oven and I don't have a fireplace, how do I make things like bread.

 

3. I need some non electric alternatives, I don't have any way to make coffee or even grind the beans. So I need an old percolator coffee pot and a hand grinder.

 

I know that there is a lot more stuff that I will need if it ever hits big... But these are little safe learning adventures. They sure got my family in line as to what was needed and expected of them.

 

Yes, the power came on. And before I got to try out all of my oil lamps.... Oh well, they are still filled for next time.

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Originally Posted By: Yart
I had the best thing happen to the family today. It was 30 degrees and the power went out. We live in the city, I have a gas stove but it has a digital oven to turn it on and off, gas furnace with an electric blower and a gas hot water heater. So we started are day making a list of holes in the preps. We knew where the flashlights and matches were. We found out that even though the stove has an electric ignition I can light it with a match but not the oven. I know that we will have hot water for cleaning and what not and the toilet flushes...YEAH! I also know that all my oil lamps are filled and that the candles are accessible. All of the blankets and board games were in easy reach. Everyone had some type of project to do to help pass the time. Such as reading, I had my crocheting, things of that nature. I know that I need to do alot more but I am fairly confident in the fact that I have been prepping like a fool. smile

Now priority on the list of holes:

1. Source of heat that doesn't need anything additional; ie., propane, wood, kerosene ( I don't have the room to put enough to keep us for very long... and if something major happens I wouldn't be able to afford it anyway. So I am thinking a solar heater. Income tax!

>If your city/town will allow it, I would suggest a
>wood stove - NOT A PELLET STOVE. If the electricity
>goes out, the auger for the stove stops. Wood is
>available almost everywhere.

2. How to bake? Now this one is going to take some time to consider. Without being able to use the oven and I don't have a fireplace, how do I make things like bread.

>There are free instructions on how to make a solar
>cooker. They are not hard to make and USUALLY can
>be made very cheaply. I made one of the "more deluxe
>ones and my cost was under $50 - $40 was just for the
>tempered glass to go on top. On a nice sunny day the
>unit will heat up to around 360 degrees. Most days
>I normally get 300 - 325 degrees from the unit. I
>have tried it for a "one pot meal" (chicken stew).
>It took almost 7 hours to cook, but came out very well.
>
>With a wood stove (or Coleman camp stove), Coleman
>makes an oven that sells for about $28 at Wal-Mart.
>the oven can take 1 9"x9" pan. I have used this on
>my wood stove and baked a Cinnamon Bread in a 9"x5"
>loaf pan. You need to stay with the oven, because
>you "adjust the temperature" by opening the door
>slightly to lower the temperature, then close it
>again - very similar to baking in an old fashioned
>kitchen wood/coal stove.

3. I need some non electric alternatives, I don't have any way to make coffee or even grind the beans. So I need an old percolator coffee pot and a hand grinder.

>Wal-Mart sells 8 cup stainless steel percolators for about
>$20.
>
>There are hand operated grinders available. I am certain
>they can be adjusted to do coffee. Check with some of the
>more knowledgable people here - I seem to recall something
>about not using your grain mill for coffee, but I do not
>remember the reason for it.

I know that there is a lot more stuff that I will need if it ever hits big... But these are little safe learning adventures. They sure got my family in line as to what was needed and expected of them.

Yes, the power came on. And before I got to try out all of my oil lamps.... Oh well, they are still filled for next time.
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I just put in my first order with bulkfoods.com I'm getting tomato powder, asparagus powder, spinach powder and beet powder and celery flakes (they didn't have powder) for making "cream of_____" soups. Also ordered some Ascorbic acid crystals. I'll premix the soups and store in canning jars and one jar of each will go in the bug out food tote. All you add is boiling water to the mix for a hot nutritional drink.

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I've got a sample of tomato powder sitting here - what do you do with it?

 

You know, if you have a dehydrator, you can make your own celery flakes, I did. I sliced up a head of celery with my mandolin slicer and then chopped that up. Spread it on the shelves of my dehydrator. Viola, celery flakes. They dried really fast, too!

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You can also grind up the celery flakes and make Celery Powder and also Celery Salt. Works the same for onions.

 

Tomato powder is a great all purpose seasoning. Add it to anything you want to enhance the tomato flavor, soups, salads, dressings, sandwiches, vegetables. You could even use it to make tomato soup.

 

 

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10 pounds of coffee, rice and pinto beans.Dehydrated some carrots and green beans. Made candles and I am going to do laundry soap tomorrow.

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I bought coffee, 6 pairs of knitting needles, 2 very large skeins of yarn, added a few extra boxes of benadryl and childrens tylenol to our OTC prep supplies (grandson's allergic to corn pollen, we live in Kansas... go figure!).

 

Added more craft supplies to the "entertainment" foot locker, as well as some educational items, like astronamy books and maps to go with the telescope I got DGD for christmas. Noting big or exorbitant to report, but every little bit helps. Refilled prescriptions even though the Doc says I can cut back on their use and only use as needed.... (yeah right, the bottom falls out I'm gonna have my meds and that's a fact.).

 

Finished printing out my new 2009 prep journal sheets and am just about finished filling them in. They're already in the binder and ready for use..

 

 

I will fill my pantry one can and one jar at a time.

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Picked up some more baby clothes at the thrift store as well as a couple of nice toddler toys so we are prepared with that lead law going into effect last month. The only thing I would like to add is a couple of pairs of shoes, hopefully we can do that in the next month. I also scored some nice flannel sheets at the thrift too, as well as a nice belt for DH.

 

Also added more supplies to the medicine cabinet, and I've been trying out some new recipes using mostly prep items.

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I canned 7 quarts of chili and had enough left over for dinner.

I also drug up my sewing table and machine and set it up in the family room. I don't care how cluttered it looks, I'll never use it down in the cold basement away from the family. Who wants to go to a cave to sew?

I'm working on privacy curtains for windows upstairs. I love the open look with light streaming in, but feel the time is coming to conceal what we have and where we are in the house.

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Originally Posted By: HannaLee
I found a FABULOUS clearance sale! I bought ten 4.5 to 5.5 leg of lamb roasts for $30. I'll be freezing some, canning much of it, and roasting one for tomorrow's dinner.


You can definitely have my share. Lamb...BLECK!! Yeah, I can't stand the taste of lamb. neener
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I had a bag of red potatoes not being used so I canned 8 pints of diced potatoes for a change of pace. They would be some nice to make breakfast potatoes or hash some time in the future.

 

Also got another #10 can of powdered eggs for the stockpile and a bag of oxygen absorbers, which brought on a thought....

 

How do you store your OA's till they are put in a container for use? I move mine from the big bag to a pint-sized FoodSaver bags so they are in smaller quantities for me to work with when I need them.

 

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I put mine in regular canning jars with regular lids. Seem to work fine. I think you need to make sure that the oxygen absorbers keep the jar filled up. That is if you use a lot of them, maybe you should transfer the rest of them to a smaller jar. Works for me....Katmom

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Well, in the effort of organization (and the fact that DH was kicking around the house working from the home office and waiting for some equipment to show up), he was driving me a bit crazy so I ended up doing a clean sweep of the kitchen and vacuum sealing a bunch of stuff, cleaning out a few buckets and 'bucketizing' pantry items.

 

Oh yes, a list was kept and DH is impressed that our pantry - both regular and long term storage is in good shape.

 

I learned that I CAN seal round containers - I sealed some flour, cocoa, and corn meal. I just left extra long bottoms and tops and set the FoodSaver to "gentle". No 'popping' or misshapen items. See photo. woohoo

 

I also took a bunch of things and put them away in the basement, including a box FULL of empty canning jars. This took a while because I've not really sorted and put them away before. I don't really have a system yet for the 'empties' aside from letting them pile up.

 

I am firing up the dehydrator again because I was given a boatload of frozen peas. Since I don't have the freezer space, I figured dehydrating them would be a wise choice. I used this as an excuse to put in new grids/screens I had ordered a couple of months ago. Those Excaliburs sure can take a beating and keep on running!

sealed cylinders.gif

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I got my chest freezer back into my house (had been at my moms - sharing space with her). This definately makes meal planning a bit more spontaneous.

 

I was given a bunch of canning jars (4 dozen?) and got them organized - up in the attic.

 

Made a meal plan for this next week - baby steps!

 

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I'm starting to get some seeds in the mail. Alpine strawberry as an experiment with my youngest and some ground cherries so far. I read about ground cherries in one of Laura Ingalls Wilder books and thought they sounded so interesting so I'm trying those. They are a self seeding annual. WOO HOO! I'm waiting on "cutting celery" seeds which apparently grows like parsley but has the celery flavor and it's grown like an herb I think.

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My dh says that contractors string works better than fishing line & most other string. It really is tough! We have some from over 15 yrs ago & it is still strong.

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My squash seeds arrived this week as well as 3 cans of dehydrated chicken chunks, 2 cans of dehydrated celery and a can of dehydrated onions.

 

I am scheduled to receive 3 cans of diced beef and 5 lbs of egg noodles the beginning of of the week.

 

We also picked up our new "watch dog" this past Sunday, to accompany our 75 lb Boxer - an 8 week old 3.5 lb Shitzu.

 

It should be interesting when a stranger arrives at the house. They hear Patches barking and are greeted by the Shitzu, however standing about 3' in back of Patches is Shadow, our 75 lb Boxer (who is usually VERY quiet and rarely barks or growls). eek

 

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