Tag Archives: Preparedness Mom

Canning Salsa

Now is the time to start thinking about canning some salsa. The peppers and tomatoes are getting plentiful and we don’t want to waste anything from our gardens. My husband loves hot food so I use a lot of peppers

Canning salsa is easy and you get the freshest veggies to do it with out of your garden.

Recipe follows;

  • 5 lbs of tomatoes
  • 2 lbs of chile peppers (your choice)
  • 1 lb of onions
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 3 tsp salt   (sea salt is great)
  • ½ tsp pepper

Wear plastic gloves or rubber gloves, if you prefer not to wash your hands with soap and water before touching any part of you face.

Peel, wash and dry peppers. Slit each pepper on its side to allow steam to escape. Peel peppers using one of the following ways. Place chilies in the oven at 400 degrees or broiler for 6-8 minutes until skins are blistered. You can also roast the chilies on a cast iron griddle or pan once roasted remove to plate and cover with a damp towel. This will make them easier to peel.

Let stand for 2-3 minutes and start peeling and removing seeds; once they are peeled and seeds are removed you can start chopping the peppers

Wash tomatoes and dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skin splits. Dip in cold water and slip skin off and remove core. Coarsely chop and combine peppers, onions and remaining ingredients in a large saucepan. Heat to boiling and simmer 10 minutes. Fill jars, leaving ½ inch at top Adjust lids and process in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes.

It’s always best to use pints or smaller jars if you don’t use a lot of hot sauce, once you open the jar keep refrigerated until used.

Preparedness Mom

 

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Making Scrapple and Sausage

This is a recipe that will come in handy when things are tough. Since we will be trying to use everything we have and not waste anything.

The following is a recipe that I found in an old cookbook from the 1800’s and I hope that you will try it next time you butcher that hog. If you have ever made sausage you know that there are many leftover parts.

“Scrapple is generally made from the head, feet and any pieces which may be left after having made sausage meat.

Scrape and wash well all pieces designed for the scrapple, put them in a pot with just as much water as will cover them. Add a little salt and let them boil slowly till the flesh is perfectly soft, and the bones are loose. Take all the meat out of the pot, pick out the bones, cut it up fine, and return to the liquid in the pot. Season it with pepper, salt, and rubbed sage, to taste. Set the pot over the fire and just before it begins to boil, stir in gradually as much Indian meal (corn meal) as it will make it as thick as thick mush. Let it boil a few minutes, take it off, and pour it in pans. When cold, cut it in slices, flour it, and fry it in hot lard, or sausage fat.

Some prefer buckwheat meal; this is added in the same manner as the Indian. Indian meal is preferable, as it is not as solid as buckwheat

Sweet marjoram may be added with the sage, if preferred.”

Here is a Sausage Meat Recipe from the same book; (In case you need one)

  • Twenty-five pounds of pork
  • Half a pint of salt
  • One gill of rubbed sage (six tablespoons)
  • Half a gill of black pepper (three tablespoons)
  • One tablespoon of cayenne pepper

We hope that this will help with preparing your recipe book for the tough times. Those fancy kitchen do dads will not work without electricity. Start now to gather all the recipes that you will need for solar, Dutch ovens, open camp fires and rocket stoves… Using your propane stoves and alternative fuels has a learning curve.

Are you ready to try it? Now you need a hog. Our son has one that will be butchered in September. Don’t know about sausage, but the other parts he may give up.

Preparedness Mom

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Zucchini and How to Prepare for Drying

 

Well folks it’s getting knee deep in zucchini around here so I am drying a lot of it for future use.  Now as you know you can’t reconstitute them and have it come out looking like a fresh vegetable because it would look like mush. So what I do is blend it with bell peppers, onions, some chili flakes and dried carrots till you can shake it out of a spice bottle.  You know the kind with holes on top you buy at the store for extra spices.  It gives salads, soups, dips and even meat a nice flavor and it cost you pennies.

Preparing the zucchini is easy; first, I put in piles by size.  If you have a garden you might want to pick them medium size, otherwise they get grainy and seedy.  If they are given to you, sometimes you get them the size of a loaf of bread.  So those are the ones you use for drying.  They still have flavor but not fresh enough to cook and look good.  You want them dark green in color for eating.  Some are discolored yellow looking I try not to even dry those because they are going to be seedy inside and not much meat. (They are good for the compost pile or if you’re saving seeds to dry)

I wash the zucchini with either water or vegetable wash.  Then pat dry and set on paper towel.

I use a mandolin to cut in even slices, but I have also just used a knife and they come out fine.  Cut about ¼-inch slices and put them on the drying racks for the dehydrator.  The usual time for drying is about 9 hours to get them crispy.  It might take longer in some areas, depending on the humidity where you live.  The main thing is to get them dry or you will find a lot of moldy vegetables in your bag later.

Whether you use an electric dehydrator or your drying rack outside you can enjoy your vegetables all year long.

If you like stuffed zucchini: You can make a batch and freeze it.  I use ground turkey and mix it like a meat loaf and stuff the zucchini and freeze it.

Preparedness Mom

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Spelt-Potato Biscuits

I have written a blog on spelt ( Spelt an Ancient Grain) flour pancakes and waffles (Spelt Bread and Spelt Pancakes). The recipe below is for spelt–potato biscuits because they are easy to make.  We don’t eat much bread lately since we are trying to watch our intake of starch, carbs and fat, but I do make biscuits since you can freeze them and just take out 1 or 2 at a time.  I hope that you will try them and learn to cook with other kinds of grains like rice, barley, and oats.  If you don’t find the flour, get the flakes or grains and put them through the grinder.  I hope you will try this recipe.  There are so many different kinds of textures and taste out there that  you need to  try before anything happens.

This recipe makes 12 biscuits

Preheat oven to 425 and lightly spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.  As an alternative, you can cook this recipe in a Dutch oven.  Go to the following site to see how to determine the temperature when cooking with your Dutch oven, (Dutch Oven Cooking with Charcoal).

  • 1/1/2 cups white spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/1/2 teaspoons nonaluminum baking powder
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 large potato, cooked, peeled, and mashed
  • ¼ cup margarine or butter
  • ¼ cup turbinado sugar (or sweetener to your liking)

Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in a 2 quart, and sift together.

Place the potato, margarine, and sugar in a 1-quart bowl and mix.

Cut the potato mixture into the flour mix using a pastry blender.  Mix until well blended.

Place the dough on floured board and knead for 1 – 2 minute or until it has a paste like consistency.  Using a rolling pin, roll dough until it’s a 1/2 inch thick.  Using a biscuit cutter cut into 12 biscuit.  Place 1 inch apart on prepared pan and cook for 12 minute until lightly browned. Serve warm.

Options:

Sweet Potato Biscuits: Just replace the potato with a cooked sweet potato.

Try baking these in your solar oven, the weather has been hot enough, but watch you don’t burn them.

Preparedness Mom

 

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Pancakes from Scratch

Have you ever made pancakes from scratch? You are missing out by using the mix out of a box. Yes, I have used them too, but anything you get frozen or out of a box doesn’t taste as good.

My son-in-law makes his from scratch and my granddaughters are always looking forward to him cooking breakfast. But pancakes are not just for breakfast anymore. You can make great desserts too. Cover them with fruit, nuts, preserves or jams and enjoy with a little whip cream for a low calorie dessert.

Remember you have to practice making your food from scratch, no stores, no freezers, and no refrigerators before the time comes to start using your food storage.  When that time comes, it might be too late to learn how to use it.  Besides, it’s healthier for you to know what is in your food.

A very simple recipe for pancakes

Pour 1 cup milk into a bowl. Add 11/2 to 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir in enough flour to make it a little thicker than you want, then add 1 egg and another ¼ cup milk.

Bake on a hot griddle.

Buttermilk pancakes or Sour milk

  • 11/4 cups sifted flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted shortening, cooking oil or drippings

Measure all dry ingredients. Beat eggs, buttermilk and shortening together in a separate bowl. Add to dry ingredients all at once stirring only to moisten. Batter should be lumpy!

Drop on preheated griddle. When top of pancake is bubbly and bottom browned turn over.  For thinner pancakes add more milk, for lighter ones an egg white can be beaten until stiff and folded in last.

Options: add chocolate chips, fruit of choice, (blueberries are my favorite) Adding seeds or nuts to batter are also good.

Preparedness Mom

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Canning for Summer, are You Ready

The time is near where you will be using all the kitchen implements again for canning, dehydrating, juicing or your pressure cooker.  Now is the time to check for worn and cracked lids or pots that may not seal tight. Everything should be checked and cleaned and ready for the new season.  I stuffed most of mine in the garage and I know they will need washing and I need to check the pressure cooker valve, also.

And of course all the little items that go with them, so you can find them faster. For canning, you have the jar holder, funnels, stick to push the food down in the jars and of course, the magnetic stick for the lids you take out of the hot water.  Most of my jars are in boxes and a lot of them where given to me. They all need to be checked for nicks and cracks. I am usually hunting for the items when I need them because; I put them where they fit for storage.  The easy thing to do is to put them all inside the pots and I would have them

Other things you might want to check also are, cherry pitters, your grinders and the squeezo, jar lids and rings, so you don’t run out in the middle of a project. I plan on making some more pepper jelly for Christmas gifts so I will need pectin and labels. If you can start picking stuff up now you can look for deals and buy a few things at a time. You may be able to find some on sale at WALMART, Home improvement centers, grocery stores, and even discount stores. Check around and get some deals. We were at a garage sale last weekend and they had jars for sale, but they wanted almost the same price as new. They were really dirty and you would have to check each one for nicks and cracks. I passed, so just be careful when finding them at garage sales.

Strawberries seem to be the first fruit of the season so as soon as my stuff is sorted and cleaned, I will be putting up strawberries for cobblers, jams and jellies. Our daughter puts up freezer jam, but I never have the room.

Remember the blog on freezers, I was trying to decide whether to get a stand up one or chest type? Well I settled for a chest type and now my poor husband knows why I wanted a stand up one. Well, coming this summer to our house is a stand up freezer. LOL

Good luck with your cleaning and buying your supply for the season. As always we appreciate your questions and comments.

Preparedness Mom

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Cleaning Fish

My memory of my first fishing trip is the one I remember best. No other trip can compare to that one. I must have been around 11 or 12 years old and the school I was going to offered an over night trip to some camp, (can’t remember) which one, but we did some trout fishing and what we caught we got to eat that night. There is no experience better than your first fish frying in an open camp fire. I have been fishing since, but always brought the fish home to cook. And since then I have learned how to clean them. LOL

When preparing for an emergency you have to be able to fish, among all the other things you need to know. There will be many people that haven’t prepared and will be out looking for game to kill to survive. The only thing that will be left to catch is fish. Depending on where you live, if it’s inland or by the ocean you have to have the right equipment to go fishing. So get your equipment together and fixed if you need too.

For those of you who haven’t been fishing but know something about it, I hope the following information will help you to clean and prepare the fish for cooking. Those of you fishing by the sea have a lot of choices, fresh water fishing you need to find a stream or river.

Many fish respond to deep fat frying, pan frying, broiling or baking. There are also fish that steam or poach well. Some very oily fish respond to smoking and others to being salted. Of course you have other fish strong in flavor or dry in texture that need to be marinated. The main thing with fish is don’t overcook it.

Cleaning fish; it’s very important to have a good sharp knife. Find a nice smooth surface and cover with newspaper (clean up is easier) if you are cleaning your fish at home. If you need to scale your fish cut off the fins with scissors so they will not nick you while working on the fish. Wash the fish in cool water; scales are easily removed from a wet fish. Grasp the fish firmly near the base of the tail. If it’s too slippery use a cloth to hold it. Begin at the tail, pressing a rigid knife blade at a slight angle from the vertical position to raise the scales as you strip them off. Be sure to remove the scales around the base of the head and fins. After scaling remove the first layer of paper and discard.

Next draw the fish cut the entire length of the belly from the back to the head and remove the entrails. They are easily freed from the flesh. Now cut around the pelvic and ventral fins on the lower side and remove. If you are removing the head cut above the collarbone and break the backbone by snapping it off on the edge of the work surface. Then remove the tail by slicing right through the body just above it.

Discard the entrails. Now wash the fish in cold running water removing any blood bits or membrane. Be sure the blood line under the backbone is removed. Dry the fish and now it’s ready to fix what ever way you like.

We received several fresh salmon during the season and had to clean them; we made steaks from one and filleted the other. It was so fresh and good we froze some and gave some to family. My husband usually doesn’t like salmon, but he ate three pieces of this one with Habanero pepper jelly. The favor was excellent. I baked the salmon this time and you really have to watch it because it dries easily. I know there are many fisher men out there that can explain cleaning fish better since am not a serious fishing person. But if an emergency arose, believe me I would be out there.

So send in your comments and suggestions, we are always ready for a new adventure. Happy Fishing!

Preparedness Mom

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Homemade Mayonnaise

Homemade mayonnaise, yum. Have you ever tried it?  We don’t use much mayonnaise, but when I need some it’s easy to make and will keep for a week if refrigerated.  You can use different seasonings like minced garlic to jazzy it up for sandwiches.

I know that some of you out there don’t like mayonnaise and prefer Miracle whip as some of our family does. But that is not mayonnaise, please don’t take offense if you are one of them, but to me it’s just a spread. Try making homemade and see what you think.

Mayonnaise (uncooked)

  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • Pinch of paprika
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 pint chilled vegetable oil or olive oil (I use olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice

Mix the dry ingredients, blend in eggs, and then slowly add vinegar while stirring vigorously. (I use my vita mix blender) but you can use a rotary beater and add the oil drop by drop until the mixture thickens. Beat in lemon juice and oil alternately until both are used.  When finished beating, the mixture should be completely smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.  Makes 2 1/2 cups.

If you prefer a cooked mayonnaise, try the following recipe.

Boiled mayonnaise

  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • ½ cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 drops Tabasco sauce
  • ½ cup evaporated milk

In top of a double boiler; mix together dry ingredients.  Add the beaten eggs gradually while stirring. Place over boiling water, while stirring rapidly; alternately add a little oil, vinegar and lemon juice, until all three ingredients are blended in. When the mixture thickens, remove from heat at once. Put inTabasco sauce and give a final stir.  Let cool and then refrigerate. Just before serving stir in the evaporated milk. Makes 21/2 cups

Preparedness Mom

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Greens in Your Salad or For Cooking

Sorrel

I was planting some things in the garden and realized that I didn’t have anything new to try.  We eat a lot of salads during the summer and I like to jazzy it up for taste.  Last year we tried Arugula lettuce.  We loved the different flavor in our salads, but you can also use it as a green vegetable.  You can sauté with onion, garlic, and a little olive oil or place it under cooked fish on your plate for a nice tangy taste.

Arugula consists of vibrant green leaves attached to a pale creamy green hued stem.  The leaves are lobed and can be harvested when young and mild in flavor or when fully mature at 3 or 4 inches in length.  Arugula offers an herbaceous, peppery flavor with nuances of nuts and mustard.  Leaves allowed to mature too long on the arugula plant will become bitter in taste.  The pungent flavor of arugula is due to its high content of sulfur containing compounds known as glucosinolates.

Arugula is a nutrient rich leafy green providing vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, riboflavin, copper, iron, zinc, folate and potassium.  Cruciferious vegetables such as arugula are also high in antioxidant phytochemicals and rich in sulfur containing compounds known as glucosinolates which have been shown to have detoxifying properties.

I used the arugula greens mixed with fresh spinach, strawberries, onion, (your choice, green or red) and a hand full of slivered almonds.  You can also use walnuts or other nuts and seeds of your choice.

I have recently got interested in Sorrel; it’s a surprisingly bright green herb.  It has tangy, lemony flavor.  It’s related to rhubarb and contains oxalic acid compounds that give rhubarb its tanginess.  Try it in your salads or try the following recipe.  This is a great salad anytime of the year.

Tabbouleh Salad

  • ¼ cup finely shopped red onion
  • ¾ cup med-course bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 med cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped sorrel
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Boil enough water to cover the bulgur, pour over the wheat and let stand for 15 minutes, until the wheat softens.  Drain any remaining water and stir in onion, tomato, cucumber, herbs, and sorrel.  Toss with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill before serving.

Preparedness Mom

 

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Some tips on how to save food with your FoodSaver

Occasional we taste test various freeze dried and dehydrated  foods.  Since many of them come in #10 cans and there are only two of us, we end up with left overs.  If you leave them in the can with a plastic lid in place they will last for several months.  But some things we may want to keep longer, so my wife has been experimenting with different ways of preserving the left overs.

One of the things that she has been doing is to assemble them into meals in a jar.  These can be given to others to try or just use when you want a quick meal.  The following you-tube shows how she does it and gives some tips on sealing the jars.

Howard

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