Helpful Hints on Food Storage Cooking to Make your Food taste Better

helpful hints on food storageHere are some helpful hints on food storage that may help some new preppers and hopefully some seasoned ones.  We need to learn how to make our food not only look good but it needs to be appetizing.  These are some hints that I received from the LDS Church

Helpful Hints on Food Storage

      • Is your storage of the highest quality?
      • Use the foods that you are used to cooking and your family will eat.  It takes 3 months for your body to adjust to new foods.
      • Storing herbs and spices is easy, but you do have to rotate them to keep them fresh.  Growing what you use and dehydrating them every year is work but think of the flavor you add to your cooking.
      • Make sure you have a hand grinder and know how to use it.
      • Cooking oil is very important.  You get calories and flavor using it to cook with.
      • Think of cooking beans and combining them with rice, wheat or corn for a complete protein.
      • Add a little sugar to dehydrated veggies to improve the flavor.
      • Add a little vanilla to powered milk and then chill.
      • Also store a variety of grains like rye, millet, barley and spelt.  Allergies to wheat are getting more common.
      • Add canned meats and fish.  MRE’s have meat in them, but not everyone likes the taste and the storage life is not real good.
      • Stored water may taste flat when you use it, aerate it by pouring in another container and back again.  Keep flavor packs like Tang, Kool-Aid, Gatorade powder, etc in your storage to improve the taste of water.
      • Sprouting seeds are also very valuable.  Keep a good variety for fresh food.
      • Bouillon, packages of taco mix, beef and chicken flavors, tomato powder, butter powder and cheese powder.
      • You’re most important items for are baking are soda/baking powder, powdered eggs, yeast, onions, garlic and salt.

As I continue to prepare and store, I have been sealing meals in jars also.  If your children like Mac and Cheese, you can seal the noodles and powered cheese in a jar and you’re ready to cook.  Here is some links to posts on sealing your meals in jars. Food Saver Jar Sealer  Some tips on how to save food with your Food Saver   See my Wife’s Food Saver Demo

  

Think spaghetti with dehydrated hamburger.  Store the ingredients for chicken casseroles, dehydrated bell peppers, chicken, noodles and seasonings.

Use your imagination and who knows what great meals you will have in your storage.  As always, try what you store and get use to the flavors.

Happy cooking and please send me any helpful hints on food storage you have.

Preparedness Mom

What Color Light Should You use at Night to Protect Your Night Vision

night vision

Old style military flashlight with colored filters

For as long as I can remember, I have been told to use red lights at night to protect my night vision.  This has been used by the military since before WW2.  Recently, the US military has changed from red to green.  Part of the reason for the militaries change is the use of night vision equipment.  However, as it turns out, green light or blue-green offers some advantages over red as a means to retain night vision capability.

The biggest factor in protecting your night vision is the brightness, or illumination level of the light.  This has a more significant effect on night vision retention than does the choice of red or green.  But it turns out that your eyes are more receptive to green light than red.  Because of this, we gain better visual acuity at lower light levels of brightness than when using red light.  Green lights also allow you to better tell the differences between colors than red lights.  The magenta used on aviation charts, for example, is readily readable under green light, but not always with red.

Another complicating factor is variations in visual acuity at low light levels, so what would be perfect for one, might be too bright or too dim for another.  Chances are that without some means to vary intensity of the light, no light will be perfect.  Red, green or blue-green lights will both help to protect your night vision.  But the biggest concern is avoiding very high illumination levels, of either color, if retaining night vision acuity is your goal

night vision

Colored filters for Fenix flashlights

So when moving in the dark, you want the lowest level of brightness possible.  In this case, you might want a green or blue-green light source since your eyes are more receptive to these colors than red.  Red requires a high level of brightness.

You can find flashlight filters on the internet or improvise them out of cellophane paper.

Howard

How to Make Chinese Fried Wheat

Chinese Fried WheatWell even after all these years, I can still be surprised by some of the ways to cook wheat.  Most people have no idea how to cook wheat other than, use it for a breakfast cereal, or making bread.  You can use wheat berries in a lot of dishes and one I just found is Chinese Fried Wheat.  I found this recipe in a little booklet we got from the LDS Home Storage Center on our trip the other day.

This recipe sounds pretty good so I thought I would pass this along to you.  This is a way to use your wheat berries as a substitute for rice.  Fried rice with Chinese food is always great, but when you are out of rice here is another option.

Chinese Fried Wheat

      • 2 cups cracked wheat, (cracked wheat is wheat berries that have been ran through a coarse grinder to just crack the shell, strain out flour before cooking)
      • 2 1/2 cups water
      • 3 tbs vegetable oil
      • 1 onion, minced
      • 2 tbs. soy sauce or to taste
      • 1/2 tsp salt
      • 1 beaten egg
      • 1/4 cup celery, diced
      • Bacon or Ham or whatever
      • Peas, carrots or whatever if you have them

 

Bring the wheat, water and salt to a boil and cook for 20 minutes.  Put in a strainer and drain off the liquid (save the liquid for gravy).  Wash the wheat with cold water to make it fluffy.  Press the wheat to remove as much moisture as possible.  Set the wheat aside.  Heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil in a heavy skillet.  Slowly add the beaten egg, stirring rapidly with a fork so the egg is light and fluffily.  Set the egg aside.  Add to skillet 2 tbsp of vegetable oil, minced onion and celery and cook until tender.  Then add wheat, soy sauce, bacon or ham, and the egg.  Heat through and serve the Chinese Fried Wheat with extra soy sauce, if desired.

You can use the left over liquid from the Chinese Fried Wheat to make a nice gravy.

      • 2 tbs. vegetable oil or drippings
      • 1 cup liquid (use the liquid drained from the wheat.
      • 2 tbs. flour

Heat vegetables oil or drippings: stir in flour.  Remove from heat and stir in the liquid.  Cook over medium heat until smooth and thickened, stirring constantly. Season to taste makes 1 cup.

Preparedness Mom

 

Every Prepper Needs a Battery Tester

battery testerMy wife will tell you I am cheap, I try to drag the last ounce of life out of everything.  We use a lot of Eneloop rechargeable batteries, but because of the number of alkaline batteries we have had in storage we also use them.  Now I have noticed that just because a flashlight, radio or what have you, goes dead not all the batteries do.  Owning a cheap battery tester saves us a bit of money.

I bought a battery tester at our local Radio Shack for a few bucks (probably the best buy I ever made at Radio Shack).  Everytime one of my gadgets runs out of juice, I check the batteries prior to throwing them away.  Most of the time, I find that not all the batteries are dead.  It is very rare to find them all dead.

Now having a battery tester saves me a few batteries and under normal conditions is not going to make or break me.  But after TEOTWAWKI, who knows.

Regardless of the articles and videos that are showing up all over showing you how to drop an alkaline battery and tell if it is good, I would get a battery tester.  I have tried the drop test and while it seems to work part of the time, I would not want to rely on it if my life depended on it.  Beside the drop test will not work with lithium and some other types of batteries.

If you decided to use rechargeable batteries, I recommend you use the Eneloop batteries. A review of the Eneloop NiMH Batteries They can be charged up to 1500 times and will hold a charge for up to three years.

If you store alkaline batteries, I suggest you follow the guidelines shown in the following post.  How to Store batteries 

Howard