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Friday, August 27, 2010

Free Meals From Storage

On a regular basis - usually once a week - we try to cook with our emergency foods.  I try not to dip into the whole grains or the stuff in long-term storage buckets, but more with the stuff that's been home canned.

I know it's not correct, but in my head I'm thinking, "That was a free meal!"  Most of the time, the stuff that I home can is extra stuff.  For instance, when I make a pot of beans, I'll make a double batch, can the first half, and put it up.

Yesterday, we had chicken burritos.  They consisted of 1 pint of home canned chicken breast and one quart of home canned beans.  I dumped everything in a pan, shredded the chicken, added some cumin and chile powder and heated it up.  Four tortillas, some home canned tomatillo/green chile salsa and some cheese, and we were good to go.

Ten minutes of total prep time, and four people stuffed to the gills for about 6 bucks.

I must admit, I've been using our home canned foods much less lately.  I'm in an "acquire while you can" mode.  Still, once in a while, I break down and tap into the "hoard"!

In the most recent issue of Backwoods Home Magazine, Jackie Clay (my inspiration to start home canning) had an article on starting your own home pantry.  The magazine has made the article available online.

It's a great article, not only for how to set up your storage, but on why you need to do this.  She relates a story where suddenly, her parents had to move into her household.  This was on top of her garden "freezing out" and everyone in the household being broke!

The two years of food she had stored up kept them all fed until the next planting season.

Get storing.

Is anyone else getting tired of all of the economic headlines that seem to all start with, "The (pick an economic indicator) UNEXPECTEDLY worsened"? 

Unexpected by whom?
New home sales fell 12.4 percent in July to the lowest level on records dating back to 1963 despite low prices and mortgage rates.

The unexpected drop in purchases rounds out three of the worst months on record as sales dropped to an annual pace of 276,600, down from a revised 315,000 units in June, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
How could these economists expect sales to increase, when even the highly-suspect government produced economic data says people keep losing their jobs?  No job, no spend.  It's not that difficult of a concept.

It was too funny this morning listening to the radio.  The "top of the hour" news network talking-head was talking about this string of bad economic data we've been hit with this week.  Bad, bad stuff.

The guy - from CNN Radio - made a comment along the lines of, "Despite all of the recent economic data, the stock market is on the rise.  Go figure."

When CNN starts questioning the logic of what's happening during a Democrat administration, you can be pretty sure the wheels are coming off the cart.

As I write this, the Dow is up nearly 100 points.  Hilarious!

Accept The Challenge

Use this period of deflationary price drops to fill your bins.  This period won't last long.  It looks like some areas (Chicky-Bit Run - "Put Up Or Shut Up") may already be seeing price increases.

Even if you can't afford the money to get the 6 gallon buckets and mylar bags, do like Jackie Clay does.  Buy new, clean garbage cans - with tight lids - and fill them up with whatever you can afford (leaving the food in their original containers).

With recent reports of Russia losing a huge percentage (20%) of their wheat crop and their decision to stop all exports, expect to see all grain prices increasing as people choose alternatives to wheat products.  These price increases will trickle down to meat products, because most farm animals eat grains as well.  Vicious circle, huh?

Sugar should be spiking shortly as well.  Half of the American sugar source - sugar beets - is screwed.  It seems that genetically modified beets were planted near non-modified beets, and the non-modified beets were pollinated by the modified beets.

One little problem:  Now, the non-modified beets won't produce seeds for the next crop, AND Monsanto, who makes the modified seeds, is saying they don't have enough of their demon seeds for everyone that needs them.

Funny how that worked out, huh?  Yeah, real funny.

On that note, for goodness sake, get your hands on some heirloom (non-modified) seeds.  Even if you don't plant veggies right now.  These can be true life savers.

What's your risk?  If those 'green shoots' start sprouting around the country, you'll have a ton of food that you can either eat or donate.  Either way, it won't go to waste.

What are you waiting for?

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Copyright 2010 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


Andrea said...

Great post, Chief.

I loved Jackie's article on building up a pantry. It's such a daunting task initially, but it builds up so quickly! At this point, I can't imagine NOT having a full pantry as a cushion against (pick one- inflation, deflation, unemployment, natural disasters).

BTW-Walmart in my area has started carrying wheat berries. 25# will run you somewhere around $12...what an easy way to stock up!

Chief Instructor said...

Andrea, I had read somewhere about a year ago that Walmart was starting to sell bulk prepper foods. My local Walmarts don't yet do it.

Our local cheap-food store, WinCo, has a great bulk foods area. About every other month, I buy 4 sacks - 100 lbs - of bulk beans, rice or whatever. I've started getting my bulk wheat from them. Last time was 53 cents a pound, or $13.25 a sack.

That seems like a high per-pound price, but not when you factor in the high shipping costs from places like Walton Feed (which I really like).

Their price for a 25lb sack of Hard Red Winter wheat is $6.90, but delivery is $15.70, or $22.60 total for the exact same thing. I can almost buy twice as much for the same money!

Anonymous said...

Most of my long term food stores will outlast me (I'm 67). But some items like vegetable oil for example will not. I keep it for the official amount of time it should remain good and then donate it. (Yeah I know maybe I should just throw it away but I don't think it's really "bad" just past it's date.)

I truely think many in the MSM think we are going to pull out of this just as we did all the recessions since the great depression. They continue to be flabergasted that their hero (Obama) hasn't fixed this with a wave of his hands. They are clueless.

The story on the beets is actually a little different. The didn't cross polinate and make the seeds so they would not grow. In fact nothing has happened. The lawsuit was brought over what "could" happen not what has happened. There are plenty of non-GMO seeds and plenty of GMO seeds. The judge (suprise-suprise) has unilaterally and probably unconstitutionally stuck his gavel in where he had no right to stick it. He has single handedly caused the problem where there was none. The people filing a lawsuit were not harmed in any way they merely are following an anti-GMO agenda.

Chief Instructor said...

Anon, interesting. When I first read stories about the beets, they were ALL about the non-GMO plants getting essentially sterilized by the GMO plants. Now, all the stories are about the hardship this is going to place on the farmers.


Regarding storing fats, I opt for good old Crisco. It has a published shelf life of about 2 years. Easier because of the longer rotation period, but also easier to forget about and have it go bad on you!

And you're right about the press. I think many of them are stunned that tossing trillions of dollars at the problem hasn't fixed it. They have no clue whatsoever about even the most rudimentary economic concepts.

Andrea said...

Buying extra flour.

Buying extra sugar. Lots of extra sugar.

Have you tried coconut oil? 2 year shelf life, it's actually good for you...and it has a number of uses other than cooking. It's a great hand/face lotion. Excellent conditioner. Safely removes mascara-(I know, that's not high on your priority list but I don't want to be walking around post-TEOTWAWKI with raccoon eyes.) You can also use it as a carrier oil for essential oils and homemade remedies.

suek said...

I started to write something about the various types of wheat, and decided to check myself...found this site, which although focused on an investment market, has good info on types of wheat and how they're used. I'm buying "Better for Bread" flour. I don't expect to need much in the way of cake baking flour. I haven't seen much in the way of Durham flour - that's what you'd expect to use for various pastas. If you use the All Purpose flour for pasta, it tends to be a litttle mushy and make the cooking water starchy - if you want to starch clothes and iron them, it would probably work(does anybody do that any more?)!

Chief Instructor said...

Andrea, yeah, but doesn't it smell like coconuts?! What about the flavor? I don't want to fry up some eggs that taste like a tropical drink!

OK, OK, I'll consider it. I DO like the shelf life.

Sue, I generally use regular old AP flour when I make pasta. In fact, I usually use it for everything!

If you dry it for a couple of hours before using it, you usually won't have too many problems.

Andrea said...

The brand I use doesn't really smell/taste like anything...(LouAna, Walmart, @ $6 for 31oz.) It's a little bit earthy, maybe a bit like the husk...but defintely no tropical drink taste or smell!

Chief Instructor said...

Well that's what I get for assuming! I figured it would be all coconut-y. Next time I got to Wally World, I'll have to grab a bottle.

suek said...

Someone posted this link on another blog - a site that discusses how long various foods will keep. Passing it on to anyone interested: