Author Topic: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria  (Read 254594 times)

Offline swoods

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2011, 08:45:36 AM »
Wow, just found this thread, very good stuff. And oh, yeah, coffee is an absolute necessity!

Offline donaldj

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2011, 10:46:52 AM »
This is a very informative thread.

Would like to know what else husband does to help besides peeing off the back porch and barbecuing, though.   ;D

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2011, 10:55:00 AM »
Donald, he's like you - a fun guy.  Thanks for making me laugh as I write more about storing food.

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2011, 12:37:30 PM »
This is a very informative thread.

Would like to know what else husband does to help besides peeing off the back porch and barbecuing, though.   ;D

Ha!

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2011, 02:27:57 PM »
I appreciate some men are reading this thread.  Here are two comments regarding men:

Husbands:  Husbands are good for two things: carrying heavy boxes and killing spiders.  Present law allows only one at a time, a pity.

Men in general:  I'm serious about this one - men are swell people.  They have lots of information I want to know and I've learned so much from them.  Some are really clever and inventive and most have a great sense of humor - men are soooo cool. 

Back to STORING FOOD

The reason I know something about food storage is, I've made storing mistakes and learned not to do that again.  Perhaps I can prevent you from making mistakes plus simplify ways to do it so you can make choices that work for you. 

For simplicity of understanding, I'll explain my system plus give other ways to do it.  Some ways are more expensive than others, naturally.  At some point, you have to decide the best way for you and start doing it. 

I wanted to store food for short term emergencies and an emergency lasting a year or more.  I  have no MREs or other individual ready to eat meals.  These individually packaged meals are way too expensive to store many of them unless you have more money than you can spend, so this method is the most expensive.  The only exception to this, for me, might be some MRE/individual type meals for three days packed in your "leave the house fast" box or backpack.  By the way, we could call the "leave the house fast" box/backpack, a bug out bag (BOB), however, a bug out bag seems to have a connotation of heading to the woods and never coming back.  If you want to call your fast leave box/backpack a "BOB" to sound like a Bubba (love Texas Bubba's), go ahead - "Man, I got a BOB to throw in my 4x4 and split town - ain't that cool - wanna beer?"

Storing for short term up to a year:

Grocery Store foods: One may store canned and packaged foods, kind of/sort of, expecting two years of shelf life, except some are good forever or almost forever and some important ones won't last a year if they aren't stored properly (plus, without power, dairy is a problem after a few days without refrigeration and eggs and cheese after that).  Well, that sounds difficult, doesn't it, trying to figure out what lasts and what doesn't last and how to fix/overcome that (will list long life grocery foods later). 

I will admit right off, I totally screwed up storing flour and cornmeal for the longer term and you really don't want to know what that looked like later; let's just say it didn't work although I froze it for days to kill stuff that might be in there and stored it in food grade buckets with bay leaves to ward off insects.  So, I have a hang-up about flour/cornmeal.

I don't trust flour and cornmeal from the grocery to last without hatching bugs longer than six months unless it's in the freezer and if power goes out, forget the freezer.  I don't have bunches of boxes/bags of grocery store flour and cornmeal stored because  I don't use enough to keep it rotated.  However, if power goes out for a while, you have no bread unless you can make it and flour and cornmeal make several kinds of easy to make bread (easy recipes later).  I do have several boxes of unopened Bisquick.  Can do a lot with that in a short term emergency.  When those go completely out of date to the point I think they need to be replaced, I'll do it. 

So, I didn't have enough grocery flour/cornmeal in my house and what if I couldn't get to the store to get it before an emergency happened?  I needed flour/cornmeal I could depend on to be good for years.  Where could I find flour/cornmeal that I know has been hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, so it has many years of shelf life no matter when an emergency happens?  I got it from Walton Feed company.  Walton Feed is an end line company, buying the raw food and hermetically sealing it in the absence of oxygen so it's good for years.  The flour and cornmeal is good for 5-10 years (remember heat destroys shelf life faster and cool extends it).  There are other end line companies other than Walton, but I knew a fellow there and have faith in this company.

You need to decide what to do about flour/cornmeal.  I fixed it by buying sealed Walton flour/cornmeal.  A #10 can of flour is $6.00, #10 of cornmeal is $6.05.  Where do I keep these cans so they aren't in sight or rolling around on the floor?  Under a bed.  Imagine sleeping over your wonderful stored food - now, that's security.

There are other options for flour  -  here they are:

If you are really gung ho, you can buy oxygen absorbers, a machine to suck out air or a substance that helps gets rid of air, and buckets with super seal lids, buy flour/cornmeal at grocery and store it. 

To go even further back to nature with flour - buy wheat - it's cheaper than flour.  One can buy bags of wheat, do the oxygen absorber/etc., bucket thing, buy a wheat grinder, and have flour.  You can also buy the wheat already hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen at a place like Walton, so you don't have to do the bucket thing to preserve it - has a storage life of 30 years at a stable temperature of 65 degrees.  You will need a hand grinder, expect to pay from $100-$400.  I'm just not into grinding wheat, will stick to flour.

Next is dairy, eggs, other foods with no power in short (or long time) emergency.


Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2011, 12:52:19 PM »
MILK, BUTTER/MARGARINE, EGGS, CHEESE

We have stored water, have our clever running water, ways to cook, ways to start fire, prepared a quick leave box or backpack(s), called a bug out bag (BOB) if we want to be cool, and five days of non-fresh emergency food stored.  Now, we're working on food for a longer term emergency lasting longer than five days and up to over a year.  In order to be able to make simple breads, you've made a decision how to obtain flour and cornmeal that will last for at least a year or many years after that. 

If you remove milk, butter/margarine, eggs, and cheese out of your fridge and sit them on the kitchen counter, how long will they last until you have to toss them?  Not long, right?  We'll fix this for long term storage.

MILK
Instant milk is at your grocery.  Buy it in individual packages in a box.  It's slightly more expensive that way, but a box of loose instant will turn into a big brick if moisture gets in there - avoid those boxes.  The individual packages put another layer of dryness between the milk and the outside.  I believe the cheapest priced boxes are at Walmart.

This is non-fat milk and I can see you turning your nose up at it.  Let's fix it:  Store jars of powdered creamer.  Add some creamer to the non-fat milk and it will get character and taste more like regular milk.  Also, put a few drops of vanilla in the milk, now it's even better.  Also, buy chocolate milk powder that dissolves in cold milk.  Some chocolate drink mixes only dissolve in hot liquid - read the box before buying.  You'll also want the kind that dissolves in hot liquid for hot chocolate, but be sure to also get some that dissolves in cold liquid to flavor the milk.

Instant milk from the grocery will stay good for months, and keep its original taste as long as it's dry and not around a strong odor that would infiltrate the box and the dry milk absorb it - the individual packages also help prevent odors from getting in.  If you want to go to guaranteed good for the long term, Walton (or companies like Walton), have instant or powdered milk that remains good for 20 years as long as it's kept reasonably cool.  Instant milk or powdered milk, once reconstituted, may be used in recipes with no problem. 

There is a difference between instant and powdered milk.  I doubt grocery stores carry milk powder since instant is the most well known.  Although I have grocery instant milk, for longer term storage (good for 20 years), I bought milk powder rather than instant from Walton for one reason: it's cheaper, doesn't take as much powder to make a cup of milk as it does instant.  I could have more milk for less money.  Instant dissolves almost instantly in water; it takes a little longer for powdered to dissolve, need to stir it a bit.  I thought I could stir in order to have more milk.     

BUTTER-MARGARINE
Oh, wow, there's no power and the butter/margarine has run down the inside of the fridge and you have to clean it up, but you still don't have any.  I've worked this problem for some time - from small to large, expensive down to cheap:

Molly McButter in the grocery seasoning section, will put butter flavor on veggies, fish, hot cereal, rice, pasta, scrambled eggs and popcorn.  It does taste like butter.

Companies like Walton have butter powder and margarine powder.  No, you can't make this into solid butter/margarine.  It's only good for recipes and it's really expensive - I don't have any.  Here's a substitute for butter/margarine in recipes:  for 1/4 lb. butter/margarine, mix 2 tablespoons shortening (like Crisco) with 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon water - there, you've got butter/margarine for recipes and it was really, really, cheap.  I got this info. from a book, "Eating off the Grid" by Denise Hansen - of all my survival books, I wouldn't be without this one.  Amazon doesn't have the physical book, has it only for Kindle and you need the physical book.  Go to waltonfeed.com, click on "shop", then click, "books",  and there it is for $15.95.  I could go on and on about this book, but trust me, and just buy it.  Will post a little more from the book later.

Finally, there is now canned butter - for a price of around $8.50 for 7.05 ounces.  Two brands are Red Feather and Wijsman.  You can find these on some preparedness company web sites, one is Pleasant Hill Grain.  I have one can of Red Feather and that's it.  These canned butters cost too much and I can do without it.

So, the solution for butter for me, is, in recipes, use Denise Hansen's clever method of substituting shortening/oil/water for butter/margarine, and for butter taste on top of anything, use Molly McButter.  I experimented with Molly McButter, putting a tiny amount of water, a drop or two, on some of the powder, and putting that on toast and it was okay to get butter flavor on there. 

CHEESE
Molly McButter Cheese Sprinkles on rice, pasta, eggs, vegetables, potatoes.  These sprinkles have a good strong cheese taste; you're gonna taste it whatever you put it on.

Walton has cheese powder - can't make cheese to hold in your hand and eat - it's only to be put in soups and casseroles.  It's too expensive and I don't have any.

Now there is canned cheese - a 7.05 oz. can of cheddar cheese will cost about $5.00.  Too expensive and I don't have any.

Make your own, actual cheese easily and cheaply:  Denise Hansen to the rescue, again.  In my book, it's page 37.  Recipe consists of reconstituted milk from instant or powder, bit of salt, some vinegar, few tablespoons oil, and follow the directions and you've got real cheese to eat with crackers or whatever, or use in cooking.

So, for me,  it's Molly McButter Cheese Sprinkles and make my own real cheese when I want it. 

EGGS
This one took a long time to solve - years actually, until a new product came out.

Powdered egg whites and whole eggs can be had from Walton to put in recipes but you can't cook this powder and put it on your plate and eat.  I don't have this powder.  They do, however, have "egg mix" and that makes actual scrambled eggs to put on your plate so be sure you get the "egg mix" if you want eggs on your plate.  I have cans of this and the shelf life is 5-10 years.  Remember heat shortens shelf life.

The greatest find ever for eggs for recipes (for me, at least) is "Ener-G Egg Replacer".  One box for $6.69 is 113 eggs in each box - that's less than 6 cents an egg.  A number of companies on the web now carry this, so maybe you can find a little bit cheaper price; I ordered from the actual Ener-G company located in Seattle.  I bought a number of boxes and sealed each in a gallon plastic bag to keep out moisture.  If I need an egg in a recipe, there it is.  This product in boxes will last for years if kept free of moisture.  The main reason for an egg in a recipe is to help hold or bind the rest of the ingredients together when it's cooked.  The ingredients in these boxed "fake" eggs do just that.

Oils and dried beans (they don't last forever) are next, plus more information from Denise Hansen, registered dietician from the best university for all things food - Brigham Young University in Utah.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2011, 01:06:06 PM by Victoria »

Offline Halffast

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2011, 05:40:47 PM »
Great thread!  Thanks.

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #37 on: January 28, 2011, 12:59:41 AM »
After following the thread to this point I've decided that Victoria's motto is:

"Twenty is One, and One is Negative Nineteen.  :D

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #38 on: January 28, 2011, 10:03:38 AM »
Nicodemus, Mr. Military Ant, you have too many arms and weapons for me to argue with you (know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em).  Anyway, your math is correct:  if 20 is 1, 1 would have to be -19.  Comparing that assumption to my thread - could you expound on this theory?    :o

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #39 on: January 28, 2011, 01:58:46 PM »
Aside thoughts: There are numerous non-fiction survival books with long lists, longer lists, many lists, too many lists, of items to buy and set aside for storage and survival.  Really, I have most of these books and have read every line, even down to descriptions of weapons (rock chunkers) legal in this country.  Then, there are numerous preparedness companies on the internet listing thousands of products for one to buy.  One finally gets to mind overload and the brain turns to jelly. 

It takes time to discern from all this what one really needs, not what would be nice to have, to prepare for a short and long term emergency.  Unless money is of no concern, limits must be set.  Survival with adequate water/food/shelter/safety and reasonable comfort guided my choices.  Could be you want a fortress with all comforts to the max.  If that's your goal, just make sure you have the basics (written about on this thread and others) to sustain life for a long period before moving up the "spend more, get more comfort", ladder.             

OILS/FATS, CANNED/DRIED BEANS, RICE

OILS
Crisco
Some type of cooking oil is necessary.  It's in recipes and it goes in a skillet for frying or sautéing, etc.  The easiest way to buy/have oil for the long term is vegetable shortening, like Crisco.  Buy large size cans, it's stays good for years if kept out of intense heat, and you're done, but there is a caveat now to consider about the cans. 

Crisco did a bad thing (in my opinion) some years ago - they went from metal cans to non-metal cans (these new ones are cardboard/plastic stuff).  Crisco in a metal can was good for a number of years, 5 and over (like forever most of us thought and still think).  Then, not only did they change from metal, the FDA did their thing with companies and Crisco had to put a "Best By" date on cans - it's about two years from the date of manufacture (date is on bottom of can).  Their web site says this about Crisco after opening and using it:  "If you notice any change in color or appearance, or if your Crisco product develops an off odor or taste, it's probably past its shelf life and shouldn't be used."  I'm not worrying about my canned Crisco shelf life, even in cardboard/plastic cans. 

Add some cans of Butter Flavored Crisco to use instead of regular Crisco when you want butter flavor in breads, cookies, whatever.  Without power/toaster, one can put a little butter flavored Crisco in a skillet and fry slices of bread on both sides to get a reasonable toast.  Both the regular and butter flavor cans give the formula for replacing butter/margarine with Crisco in recipes and one would have to do that if there was no butter/margarine due to no power, no fridge.

Let's not forget Canola oil for shorter term emergencies, a year "maybe".   

Canola Oil
I know olive oil is healthier with the Omega 3 oil it has and that's what I use except for frying (burning/smoking point of olive oil is too low, Canola is higher).  Olive oil will go bad sooner rather than later, and especially soon if light gets to it.  The best choice for liquid oil for our short time emergency situation, a year or less, is 100% Canola oil.  Watch those labels - once I got Canola oil, said Canola oil on the label, and looked later at home and it had other oils in there.  Make sure somewhere on the bottle it says, 100% Canola oil.  I've had a few bottles of 100% Canola in my pantry for some years, opening one as I needed it, and never had one go bad.  It's darkish plus cool in the pantry, but if you don't have air conditioning, it will go bad faster, hence the Crisco would have much longer shelf life than Canola oil.

Other Fats
Peanut Butter - hmm, good.  Peanut butter does not need refrigeration when opened, that's a good thing.  I've had jars unopened for at least a year and it was still good when opened.  Here's a quote from the Peter Pan company and this will suffice for other companies:  "Creamy and Crunchy varieties of Peter Pan Peanut Butter have a recommended shelf life that is 18 months from the date of manufacture. Beyond this date, the product does not spoil, but may develop off-flavors due to age."  So, store peanut butter with confidence.

BEANS AND RICE
In general: Of all foods to store, beans and rice will keep you alive and provide the protein you need.  Beans and rice (plus cornmeal fry bread and flour fry bread) kept our early settlers alive to spread over our country.  It was the main stay food of cowboys on the range.  If you store no food except beans, rice, flour, cornmeal, oil, and salt, you'll live and have sufficient protein.  These foods all the time might get boring, but you will live.  This is why I don't do guess work with the storage life of these foods.  While I have these from the grocery to last a good six months or more, for guaranteed long term storage of beans and rice for 25-30 years, I got them at Walton.  That's also why I got flour and cornmeal for long term storage there and why I have plenty of salt and Crisco.

Canned Beans:
Canned beans only need warming and that saves fuel, and there are numerous combinations to buy.  However, they are expensive when compared to dried beans, and the cans take up a large amount of room.  That said, canned beans are super for the "keep five days of food available at all times".  For this five days of emergency food, assuming there's no power, a large box of instant rice is suggested to go with the beans.  Use instant rice in emergency situations with no power because it only takes the water used for the rice to come to a boil, then no more fuel is needed.  Regular rice takes 15-20 minutes of constant boiling and that's lot of fuel used.

Beans and rice combine together to provide complete protein a body needs.  That means one can get sufficient protein without eating animal meat and in an emergency situation, that's important as animal meat could be diminished, even severely.  Now, I know guys will get their trusty rifles and head to the woods to shoot Bambi.  Unless all laws fail, that's not going to happen except during deer season and there's no way to keep that deer meat good anyway without refrigeration/freezing, except to make it into jerky (if you know how to make jerky without power in the house).

The chemistry part:  Beans and rice do not have to be eaten in equal amounts in order for the body to break it down into complete protein.  Denise Hansen, the dietician tells us in, "Eating off the Grid" (you really need this book), that the ratio of 3 or 4 portions of grains (rice) to 1 of legumes (beans), is sufficient.  Let's see, that's about 4 tablespoons of cooked rice (grain) and 1 tablespoon of cooked beans (legumes), or about 1/2 cup cooked rice and 1/8 cp. cooked beans, or 1 cup cooked rice and 1/4 cup cooked beans.  Get the idea?  Be sure to eat enough rice with the beans and be sure smaller children don't just eat one or the other.  Said another way by Utah State University: "Dry beans average about 22% protein in the seed, the highest protein content of any seed crop. They contain all essential amino acids, except methionine. Methionine can be obtained from corn, rice, or meat."   Remember milk also provides protein.

The plastic packages of all dried beans in the grocery, have a best by date of about 1 year (stamped on the back in ink and good luck finding it).  I don't depend on those packages after a year for an emergency situation, and here's why: over time, oxygen will turn the oil in beans rancid, plus the bean oil will finally dry out, then the beans will not absorb water.  Only thing to do with the beans, then, is grind them up for powder and add it to other dishes you make. 

My final bean/rice solution was:  a few cans of beans we like and a box of instant rice for a few meals in the five day emergency food stack.  From there, figured out how many grocery store dried beans and boxes of instant rice we might eat in six months in emergency situation, having beans/rice one meal a day for three days a week.  For after that, the long term stored beans/rice would start and I calculated how much of each I wanted.  If you have the space, you can certainly store beans/rice from the grocery to last a year.

I did not include brown rice for storage at all.  It is more nutritional, but the oil in it causes it to spoil very quickly, in 6 months or less.  Even professionally packed in the absence of oxygen, it still doesn't last long, only 1 to 2 years.

Next are tips about cooking beans and more from "Eating off the Grid".

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #40 on: January 28, 2011, 06:41:39 PM »
Nicodemus, Mr. Military Ant, you have too many arms and weapons for me to argue with you (know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em).  Anyway, your math is correct:  if 20 is 1, 1 would have to be -19.  Comparing that assumption to my thread - could you expound on this theory?    :o

There's a saying in the prepper/survival/bushcraft fields that "Two is One and One is None", meaning that if you only have one item to do something with and you lost that item you're in trouble. Therefore, you should always carry a backup or have multiple ways to do something. After reading your post on fire, and particularly the comment "OK, maybe I've overdone it with ways to start fire but it's sure I won't be without a way to do it.  Make sure you have at least three ways to allow for failure of two ways." it brought the old saying to mind. You not only listed 2 ways to start a fire, but three others as well. So, I bumped the saying up to twenty and negative nineteen for fun.  ;D

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #41 on: January 28, 2011, 07:08:20 PM »
Nicodemus, oh, I knew that saying two is one and one is none.  I see what you mean now.  I'm afraid I do that with nearly every survival problem I solve - overkill - more ways than I need (but what if the others didn't work).

Offline Bennington1776

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #42 on: January 28, 2011, 10:11:53 PM »
Thank you for a great series of posts.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #43 on: January 29, 2011, 01:06:51 PM »
An additional note about grocery store instant milk:  Thinking about nutrition, I compared grocery store instant milk with long term storage milk (both instant and powdered) and an 8 oz. glass of grocery store instant milk contains 25% of daily requirements of Vitamin D;  this supplement has been added to the milk, just as the regular milk your growing child drinks now has Vitamin D added - Vitamin D is not added to long term storage milk, instant or powdered.  A suggestion, is, if your growing child does not get in the sun for at least 15 minutes per day so sun can get on face and hands to make his/her own Vitamin D, consider storing grocery store instant fortified Vitamin D milk as your main milk (shelf life "maybe" up to 2 years -again, if it's kept dry, away from strong odors, and as cool as possible), with long term storage milk as your backup.

I feel the above is important to know as some children may be more inside people than outside; however, if power is out, TVs and computers stop and the outside may become popular again.  A few outside games would be good to have - maybe croquet (set is about $30), horseshoes, got a hula hoop, bicycle?  Without power, the whole family is going to be outside more than they are now so Vitamin D from sun may not be a problem.

"EATING OFF THE GRID" BREAD, AND COOKING DRIED BEANS

"Eating off the Grid", author Denise Hansen, $15.95, waltonfeed.com, click "Shop", click "Books", there it is (the physical book is not available on Amazon).  There is much information, including nutritional, about cooking without electricity.  There are also 270 recipes not using fresh or frozen meats, fresh milk and milk products, including butter, margarine and cheeses, fresh eggs.  Shortening, oil and peanut butter provide vegetable sources of fat in the recipes.  I know, how could there be that many recipes providing food for a whole family, and not using those ingredients?  The ingredients are the ones you are going to store - amazing.

When there is no power, there isn't going to be grocery store bread.  It's so simple to buy bread at the grocery.  It's a disaster when one can't do that and the home stove doesn't work so the oven doesn't work.  You could have the finest recipes for making loaves of bread and it isn't going to happen without an oven.  There are portable type little ovens that sit on top of a propane or wood stove, but right now, you don't have one and may never buy one and that's okay because we can make numerous types of bread without an oven.

Bread was a real problem for me to work through - how to have it and have it fairly quickly using the least amount of fuel possible - and it had to taste good.  A number of my answers about providing this or that, took me back to pioneer days and how to have bread was one of them.  I have numerous recipes for fried bread made on top of the stove.  Denise Hansen brought a number of these old recipes together and they're in the book.  All these breads in the book are made on top of the stove and remember, we now have several ways to have a cooking surface:
Corn Tortillas
Flour Tortillas
English Muffins
Hoe Cakes, also Corn Pone (originally hoe cakes were cooked on a greased hoe over an open fire)
Hoe Cake Pancakes
Indian Pumpkin Bread
Navajo Fry Bread
Skillet Toast
Panned Bread
Hush Puppies
Steamed Dinner Loaf (can be sliced and used for sandwich bread and no yeast or kneading is needed)
Steamed Nut or Oat Bread

Some of these fried breads can be made into desserts by adding sugar and cinnamon on the top and serving with honey or syrup.  Hoe Cakes/Corn Pone, Hoe Cake Pancakes, being made of cornmeal, will be especially tasty as a dessert.  So would the Indian Pumpkin Bread.  Lots of choices in these recipes to make good tasting bread and it only takes a skillet and trusty Crisco or other oil to fry them quickly.

COOKING DRIED BEANS:
Dried beans are hard things that have to be made into soft, plumped up things.  Cooking dried beans seems to mean a long time of boiling, boiling, boiling, using a lot of fuel - example:  I have a bag of 15 bean soup mix, have to soak beans overnight, then simmer them two and a half hours.  I also see recipes on the web saying simmer pinto beans for four hours.  I'm not using that much fuel in an emergency situation.  (In today's world, with power, when I do bean soup, I put it all in crock pot and let it do it's thing for about 5 hours.) 

Rather than write the instructions for cooking beans in Cooking off the Grid, I'll just tell you what I did when I followed them, very simple.  For this experiment, I used one cup of dried pinto beans.  I rinsed them to remove any dirt.  Put them in a pot with water to twice the depth of the beans.  Brought them to a boil and boiled (don't simmer), for two minutes (just two minutes!).  Removed them from heat and let them sit 1 hour.  Poured off the dirty soak water.  Covered with new water, added 1 tablespoon oil and 1/2 tsp salt as it said, boiled them 30 min. and they were totally done.  Beans that will cook to soft in this thirty minute final cooking are black, white, red, pinto, kidney, garbanzo, etc.  Lima beans, large or baby, need 45 min. final cooking time.

Some type beans do not need soaking/puffing up before cooking - lentils is one and they cook in 30 minutes.  Others are split peas and black eyed peas.  There is so much information about various beans, and ways to cook them in the Hansen book, no way to put it here.

I didn't add any seasoning other than that bit of salt it called for, just wanted to see if the beans cooked that fast and they did - don't forget to add the oil when you cook beans.  Later I'll add a recipe section with simple recipes (if they aren't simple, I don't use them) and list numerous seasonings to put in beans so they won't have the same taste every time you make them.

Well, gee, think I'll make the 15 bean soup tomorrow with ham added.  Have to make Creamy Cornbread to go with it, as that's a husband favorite.  A tip for better tasting soup:  in today's world (with power) don't put water in soup as water has no taste; for a beef based soup, use canned beef broth for the liquid; for chicken based soup, use canned chicken broth or vegetable broth and for just vegetable soup, use the veggie broth.  In tomorrow's world (no power), and you don't have access to canned broth, use beef or chicken bouillon cubes or crystals (yes, you stored some) mixed with the water to get that extra flavor in there. 

Grains other than flour/cornmeal, canned/dehydrated/freeze dried veggies, canned meats are next.



Offline RootStrike

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #44 on: January 30, 2011, 04:45:50 AM »
Okay, first post. I don't remember how I found the TSP, but have been listening to the podcasts for the past few weeks and seems like I can't get enough of it. So many topics, great ideas, pursuing personal liberty and just common sense. I seem to be drawn to having "backup plans" before coming here, not nearly as developed, but just having that "feeling" of, well, you know, keeping extra cash, snacks, ammo, medicine, office supplies, foods, vitamins, shampoo, dental floss, huh. Sorry to ramble. I guess we already do like to stock up in a small sense...

I really also very much like the discussions about finances, getting out of debt, the dumb things (and lies) told to the average American, and how people are waking up. There is a lot of wisdom found in the Bible, and also from your elders, and Dave Ramsey, and some friends. And of course the host of TSP I might add, thank you Jack. But of course there are a lot of dumb self-absorbed consumers out there too. I am gracious when I can be, they are humans like me, how do I know I wasn't put here to reach out to bring light to them?

So anyway, to be on topic, this is an AWESOME posting and thread. I am trying to get my wife on board with planning these things, and with financial problems in our country sure to come, she calls it "paranoid" and "that will never happen" or that I am worrying too much. The things you all have been posting in this thread just seem, well, common sense. Plus, I have that feeling of wanting to prepare to help us out, and our dog, and also to have a way to perhaps help a neighbor who didn't plan ahead if a situation arises. Of course discreetly, and I see the logic of making good friends BEFORE you really need them.

I am copying and pasting the things in this thread to a Word doc, and I have already backed it up to a couple flash drives. I usually make multiple backups of reference, etc. material so I can find it later. So let me say a huge THANK YOU and please keep the info coming. I am very green at this deal but want to learn, grow, understand, and help my family and others take smart steps, one at a time, that will help if we need to use what we have set aside.

I recently placed an Emergency Essentials order to try out some foods; I bought a portable propane heater Buddy? and some small propane tanks; need to work on water filtration too, and of course food, medical supplies, etc. And a small grill/oven thing (have been looking at the Volcano II?), you mentioned a small grill earlier in this thread, also cans of heat? (like when you go to buffets) And yes ammunition, that it not wacko it is being prepared. I would rather have plenty than wish I did. Already have some, prefer not to elaborate. But insights about better munition containers are appreciated, currently using small plastic bins with silica gel packets in them to keep it dry.

PS I will have to try out the instant milk too, I like milk, as a kid my parents made powdered milk in the blender, so I pretty much was raised on it. That way you always have some around.

Offline RootStrike

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #45 on: January 30, 2011, 04:56:55 AM »
Oh, ha ha, I just went out to the main page and saw the topic section for this thread "Lady Survivors." Well, there is good info here, and there is at least one lady I know whom I want to survive, and do so well. Thank you all again for your insights, wisdom, and humor in discussing this whole mindset and planning for the future. Victoria this is outstanding info, tempered with experience, divided concisely into separate topics. Likely good info here for the neophyte as well as the seasoned planner.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #46 on: January 30, 2011, 06:27:02 AM »
Welcome rootstrike... and, yes, you did wander into the "Lady Survivors" corner of the forum. However, we always welcome you guys to join in.

We are glad you are here... please stop by the intro thread when you get a chance,

LvsChant.

Offline Dawgus

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #47 on: January 30, 2011, 06:47:20 AM »
Victoria
 Thank you very much for this thread! I've never seen any one person post anything so informative from their own experiences. This thread is now printed and in the front of my hard copy of the LDS Preparadness Manual.  ;D

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #48 on: January 30, 2011, 07:58:17 AM »
To RootStrike, Dawgus, thanks for your comments - I appreciate knowing these posts/articles may help you.
RootStrike, I feel honored you made your first post here.

I'll just  keep writing until Jack tells me to stop.  I don't personally know Jack but I think he lives in Texas, so maybe he will cut me some slack and let me keep writing. 

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #49 on: January 30, 2011, 04:16:52 PM »
An aside:  I seem to have developed two phrases in these posts, so will define them so won’t have to define them over and over:  “today’s world” means we have power; “tomorrow’s world” means we don’t have power.  Hopefully, “tomorrow’s world” won’t happen.

A word about ordering large amounts of long term storage food:  It’s not a good idea for people around you to know what you have (the security thing).  If a UPS truck stops at your house and unloads large boxes and lots of them, your neighbors are going to wonder why.  For this reason, I staggered my orders, not ordering large numbers of boxes at a time, and letting a few weeks go by before I ordered more. Think about this if you order a good amount of long term food.     

A comment about Egypt and our preparing:  this morning I’m hearing, due to the rioting, food is scarce and gasoline is scarce.  If these riots don’t stop soon, water will stop as the employees won’t be at work and pumping stations will go down.  People have barricaded themselves in their homes as rioters are now in the more well to do neighborhoods.  I wonder if people in these homes have any water and food stored (I doubt it).  There is a lesson here – they didn’t know this emergency was going to happen so didn’t know to prepare.  If you couldn’t leave your home today due to rioting with no end to it in sight, do you have stored water and food? 

GRAINS: RICE, OATS, PASTA plus VEGETABLES, CANNED MEATS

RICE
We’ve only talked about rice in relation to paring it with beans for complete protein.  Rice by itself can be a side dish, put in soups, used to make tasty rice pudding on top of stove; the uses are many.  Morning rice made with cooked rice, milk, sugar, chopped apple, cinnamon and raisins sounds tasty and that’s in Hansen’s book.  As said before, instant rice is better for emergencies, due to the small amount of fuel it takes to cook it.  From the Minute Rice website we find the shelf life of their 5 minute rice is two years.  For longer shelf life, hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen from Walton, the shelf life is 25-30 years.  This long term storage rice is not instant.  However, there’s a recipe in Eating off the Grid, that tells us how to cook regular rice only bringing the water to a boil and turning it off – takes a lot more time than instant, but fuel is saved.  Make your choices of storage based on your goals – I chose to have 25-30 yr. rice.   

OATS
Instant oatmeal is a fixture in our modern world.  It’s made instant by cutting the oats into smaller pieces so it cooks quickly.  For shelf life:  I just bought a box of apple cinnamon sugar free instant oatmeal and the “best by” date is December, 2012.  This is January, 2011, so it’s “best by” date is two years from now and “best by” doesn’t mean it’s spoiled two years from now - it’s just not going to taste as super fresh as it did before and that’s due to the seasoning taste beginning to lessen.  Plain, no flavor, no sweetening, instant oatmeal can be used in recipes when you just need oats, however boxes of regular oats are much cheaper for recipes.  For long life, long term storage oats, sealed in the absence of oxygen, are good for 25 years.  I have some.   

PASTA
Technically, pasta would be covered under flour since it’s made from flour.  However, it doesn’t seem like flour and it’s storage qualities are different.  In today’s world, at our house, we eat brown spaghetti, better tasting than white and better for you.  I don’t store brown spaghetti/pasta for the same reason I don’t store brown rice - very short shelf life.  White pasta will store very well for at least two years or more as long as you keep it dry and away from light.  Buy it in plastic bags, not cellophane bags (these are too flimsy and split easily), or cardboard boxes (not tight enough to keep out moisture).  If you do have it or buy it in cellophane or cardboard, put those in plastic bags, press out the air, and seal.  Keep pasta in the dark.  Long term storage pasta lasts 20 years or more.  I have some.   

VEGETABLES
Canned veggies in the grocery store, basically, have a good tasting shelf life of about two years if kept reasonably cool.  After about two years, the quality of the taste diminishes. For canned veggies, I would rotate them to keep the taste up.   Long term freeze dried veggies are more expensive than long term dehydrated so I don’t have any.  However, I do have dehydrated ones, again bought from Walton.  They have a shelf life of 20-25 years.  The beauty of these dehydrated veggies is, they don’t have to be rotated and many more can be stored since they are dehydrated and take up much less space than cans with liquid in them.  They are sold as individual veggies or mixed veggies.

There is one veggie in the grocery that has a huge amount of life sustaining nutrition, even if it’s canned.  This marvel is sweet potatoes.  A 2/3 cup serving of canned sweet potatoes has this:  190% of Vitamin A one needs a day: 30% of Vitamin C; 2% of Calcium, 8% of iron.  That’s a lot of nutrition in one veggie – in tomorrow’s world, open a can, heat the contents, put some on each plate, sprinkle with Molly McButter and cinnamon, and even the kids should like it.  When you heat them, you could add some brown sugar - pour off some of the liquid in can if you do it this way so the sugar will concentrate itself on the veggies- won’t take much brown sugar this way.  There is fiber in the canned ones but if you had fresh ones (which you likely won’t in tomorrow’s world), the fiber content would be higher, naturally.

CANNED MEAT
Buy Hormel canned meat of every kind and you’re done – that was easy, wasn’t it?  Not long ago, I searched their website and read due to their processing, as long as the can is intact, the product is safe to eat.  For best taste quality, canned ham is 2 years, canned meat and poultry, is 2 to 5 years.  I can’t guarantee other brands, or store brands, would last this long as I have no information on their canning techniques, so I’m sticking with Hormel brand.  I do believe Hormel is the standard for canned meat – Spam, Spam, Spam, does that register?  Look at Spam cans, there’s more than one type Spam now. They have been providing our individual military men with meat forever it seems so they know what they’re doing when they can meat.  Buy a can of Hormel ham, one of the Spam varieties, one of chicken every week and they will build up in your pantry – or buy more than one each every week and watch the stack grow faster.

Look, don’t diss Spam.  Sliced, fried Spam is tasty a number of ways: on a sandwich with mustard and it’s good with eggs and it’s good as the meat on a plate with other foods.  Hormel ham will do nicely as meat in soup or sliced as the main meat for a meal.  Hormel chicken is useful to make chicken salad, put it in soups, etc..  It’s chicken so use it as you would chicken now.

Hormel meats are the only real meats I store.  One 14.5 oz. can of “Signature” hamburger in juices, at Walton, is $6.45, one can of “Signature” chicken chunks in juices is $6.45 and both have a shelf life of 3 years.  That’s too much money for too little meat for too little storage time.  So, I went to long term storage meat substitute – beef and chicken flavored textured vegetable protein (TVP).

Don’t turn up your nose at TVP.  Look, we’re talking a major disruption for whatever reason, and TVP could be the only meat texture and flavor you have if you don’t store canned meat.  Plus, beef or chicken flavored TVP is fine to put in soups – gives you the texture and  flavor of meat plus protein and saves your canned meat to have pure meat on the table.  A #2.5 can of beef flavored TVP is 10 servings for $4.30.  A #2.5 can of chicken flavored TVP is 11 servings for $4.50 and the storage life for both is 10 years.

Next is fruits, sugars, salt, baking powder, baking soda, honey, bottled/canned pasta sauce, salsa/Picante, gravies, ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc..



« Last Edit: January 30, 2011, 04:54:16 PM by Victoria »

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #50 on: January 30, 2011, 06:20:47 PM »

Look, don’t diss Spam.  Sliced, fried Spam is tasty a number of ways: on a sandwich with mustard and it’s good with eggs and it’s good as the meat on a plate with other foods. 


Your right about that!

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #51 on: January 30, 2011, 10:25:07 PM »
CANNED MEAT
Buy Hormel canned meat of every kind and you’re done – that was easy, wasn’t it?  Not long ago, I searched their website and read due to their processing, as long as the can is intact, the product is safe to eat.  For best taste quality, canned ham is 2 years, canned meat and poultry, is 2 to 5 years.  I can’t guarantee other brands, or store brands, would last this long as I have no information on their canning techniques, so I’m sticking with Hormel brand.  I do believe Hormel is the standard for canned meat – Spam, Spam, Spam, does that register?  Look at Spam cans, there’s more than one type Spam now. They have been providing our individual military men with meat forever it seems so they know what they’re doing when they can meat.  Buy a can of Hormel ham, one of the Spam varieties, one of chicken every week and they will build up in your pantry – or buy more than one each every week and watch the stack grow faster.

Look, don’t diss Spam.  Sliced, fried Spam is tasty a number of ways: on a sandwich with mustard and it’s good with eggs and it’s good as the meat on a plate with other foods.  Hormel ham will do nicely as meat in soup or sliced as the main meat for a meal.  Hormel chicken is useful to make chicken salad, put it in soups, etc..  It’s chicken so use it as you would chicken now.

Hormel meats are the only real meats I store.  One 14.5 oz. can of “Signature” hamburger in juices, at Walton, is $6.45, one can of “Signature” chicken chunks in juices is $6.45 and both have a shelf life of 3 years.  That’s too much money for too little meat for too little storage time.  So, I went to long term storage meat substitute – beef and chicken flavored textured vegetable protein (TVP).

Don’t turn up your nose at TVP.  Look, we’re talking a major disruption for whatever reason, and TVP could be the only meat texture and flavor you have if you don’t store canned meat.  Plus, beef or chicken flavored TVP is fine to put in soups – gives you the texture and  flavor of meat plus protein and saves your canned meat to have pure meat on the table.  A #2.5 can of beef flavored TVP is 10 servings for $4.30.  A #2.5 can of chicken flavored TVP is 11 servings for $4.50 and the storage life for both is 10 years.

I agree with this wholeheartedly. Hormel cans a lot of different kinds of meat and most people will find a couple that they like. For instance, I'm not a big fan of regular SPAM, but I like Turkey SPAM, Bacon SPAM and I can handle Hickory Smoked SPAM. I like Hormel's Chunk Meats even better. Their Chunk Chicken, Turkey and Ham are all pretty good in my book. Make sure you keep an eye out for their Valley Fresh Label chunk meats as well if you need to go for gluten free or tend to like Organic. I also like Hormel's Corned Beef, Corned Beef Hash and Roast Beef in gravy. I can even eat Hormel Deviled Ham and Potted meat in a pinch.

Don't overlook Armour Brand canned meat either. They also claim that if the can isn't bulged and the seal is intact it will store indefinitely. Though they admit the taste deteriorates over time. They carry a lot of the same products as Hormel, but then there is also Armour Vienna Sausages! This is a vice for me. When folks are eating desserts around here I'm having BBQ, Hot ’n Spicy, Smoked or Honey Mustard Vienna Sausage.  :D

Oh, and don't forget about Dak/Plumrose Hams and Corned Beef. They claim a "Best used by date of 5 years" and indefinite shelf life.

As a disclaimer, make sure you read the labels. Some of these products are extremely high in sodium and other things that might affect you badly. Having said that, you don't need to eat the whole can to get a decent amount of protein and fats.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2011, 10:37:12 PM by Nicodemus »

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #52 on: January 30, 2011, 10:35:12 PM »
Thanks, Nico - I need to add those other Hormel meat products - totally forgot about chili.  Also, men tend to go for Vienna Sausages, the crude critters they are - oh, I forgot, you are one. ::)

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #53 on: January 30, 2011, 10:37:50 PM »
Thanks, Nico - I need to add those other Hormel meat products - totally forgot about chili.  Also, men tend to go for Vienna Sausages, the crude critters they are - oh, I forgot, you are one. ::)

It's true, I don't deny it.  :D

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #54 on: January 31, 2011, 01:07:17 AM »
...Also, men tend to go for Vienna Sausages, the crude critters they are - oh, I forgot, you are one. ::)
Hey, whats the matter with Vienna Sausage? Some bread, some mustard and you have pigs in a blanket.  :D

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #55 on: January 31, 2011, 02:37:18 PM »
Included in Hormel meats are the various types chili they have.  Don't get the ones with beans 'cause you want as much meat as possible in those cans; if you want beans, add your own beans.  And, okay, get some Vienna sausages for the guys and maybe your kids will eat them, too.

Note: When searching for the shelf life of a product, it’s best not to click on a website like, “Uncle Joe’s shoe repair and food shelf life information.”  I go to an actual company that makes the product so I can have the most reliable information possible.

FISH
I somehow forgot to mention canned fish. 

Tuna
StarKist says their unopened products have a recommended shelf life of up to three years.  Another company, Gold Seal, says , “Canned tuna is one of the most shelf-stable food products available, and can be safely stored in a pantry for several years. The shelf-life of canned tuna is generally "advertised" as three (3) years. However, if properly stored in a dry pantry, the actual shelf-life of canned tuna can be as long as 10 years, provided that the integrity of the can has not been compromised due to damage or corrosion.”

So, canned tuna is a winner for storage.  It has Omega 3 oils and is a healthy food choice.  For extra special taste, StarKist also comes packed in olive oil but that is more costly than regular oil or water.  For emergency living, buy it packed in oil, by any company, to give your body that oil, plus many think it tastes better than when packed in water.   

Salmon
From the Salmon industry: “Canned salmon is one of the most shelf-stable food products available, and can be safely stored in a pantry for many years. The shelf life of canned salmon is generally "advertised" as six (6) years. However, if properly stored in a dry pantry, the actual shelf life of canned salmon is 10 years or more, provided that the integrity of the can has not been compromised due to damage or corrosion.”

“Sockeye salmon has the highest amount of Omega-3 of any fish with approximately 2.7 grams per 100-gram portion. Therefore, just one serving of Alaska Salmon per week can help to lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.”

“A 4-oz serving of canned salmon with bones contains almost as much calcium as a cup of milk. During the canning process, salmon bones are softened so they can be easily crushed and included in any recipe. Salmon is also rich in vitamin D, which helps our bodies absorb calcium into our bones.”

The above should convince you to store salmon as well as tuna. Pink salmon is cheaper than red, so store pink.  Maybe you have a recipe for salmon croquettes.  My mother made them so I make them like she did – nothing fancy.  Take the salmon out of 14 oz. can (should make 4 good sized patties), put in bowl and crush bones with fork and mix it all up.  Then, put “some” (mother never measured anything – was “pinch” of this and “half or full handful of that” measurement) and I don’t know how much I put in, either, but it’s not a lot.  The object is to get some in there to help the egg (Ener-G boxed EGG SUBSTITUE in tomorrow’s world) hold the salmon together. 

Anyway, after you add “some” cornmeal, stir in an egg until it’s all mixed.  Then, make a patty and cover it both sides with cornmeal and keep making them – work gently so they don’t fall apart.  By this time, the oil in your skillet is hot enough to fry– enough oil to come half way up the patties.  Gently fill the skillet (I put one at a time on a spatula to slip them in – don’t trust my hands that close to the hot oil) and fry golden brown on both sides and you’re done.  Good with ketchup or tarter sauce.  I know, some recipes use cracker crumbs and no cornmeal, put  in cooked chopped up onion and red bell pepper, etc., but I don’t – my mother didn’t so I’m not doing it either, okay?  I also like these patties cold later.  Really, I think it’s the cornmeal that makes them so tasty – crackers just aren’t going to cut it. 

Next is onions, fruits, sugars, salt, baking powder, baking soda, honey, bottled/canned pasta sauce, salsa/Picante, gravies, ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc.. 

« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 03:06:27 PM by Victoria »

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #56 on: January 31, 2011, 08:17:30 PM »
Honey Mustard Vienna Sausage.  :D
I have never seen honey mustard ones.

Offline monkeyboyf

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #57 on: January 31, 2011, 11:19:16 PM »
Victoria, your recipe for salmon patties is the very same my mother made ,so that's how I make them. Have had the ones with cracker crumbs, but not the same as the goooood ones. ;D

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #58 on: January 31, 2011, 11:42:52 PM »
Monkey, your dog is beautiful.  I looked at your age and see both our mothers were of the same era, plus you live in Texas where my family lived all my life.  If your mom lived in Texas then, maybe cornmeal was nomral for them.  We had cornbread at every meal except breakfast.  As a child, I thought it was strange when people had sliced white bread at a meal.  I think the same thing to this day about cornmeal and salmon - crackers?  Ruining salmon with crackers.

Offline The Wilderness

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #59 on: February 01, 2011, 01:21:57 AM »
Victoria, I have been meaning to do this for a couple of days but have just been to busy.

You have been given the "Outstanding Poster" award for this thread.

This is a great thread and I am sure that all of our members will benefit greatly from it.

Thank you very much.

TW