Author Topic: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria  (Read 261344 times)

Offline Sarey

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #90 on: February 13, 2011, 04:58:20 PM »
Victoria,

Thank you for such an amazing plethora of tips, idea's and hints.  Much appreciated!

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #91 on: February 13, 2011, 05:10:20 PM »
Sarey, glad you got something worthwhile from the postings.  Am writing on security; hope to post it by Tuesday evening.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #92 on: February 14, 2011, 11:11:31 AM »
SECURITY

I don’t have all the answers to security – there are many options, but here are some to get you started in the right direction. 

Personal security in your house, house security outside and inside, and around the immediate area – those need to be hardened as much as possible to feel secure.  My generation grew up with doors unlocked all the time.  I can remember when I started locking my car when I parked on the street.  Today, no one would leave a car unlocked and I would bet, if you don’t have children going in and out, you keep your front door locked. 

Personal Security
I’m speaking of personal security inside your house, not on the street or in the woods.  Your best approach to personal security, in my opinion, is to harden your house so a bad guy can’t get in, or it would take him so long to defeat the house, you could quickly stop him immediately and at a distance.  For information about guns for women, first go to “Weapon of Choice” on the women’s forum.  That is superior for women to gather information.  Then, women and men go to, “The Armory: Rifles, Pistols, and Other Weapons”.  Also read, “Best Home Defense Weapon if no Gun”.  If you’re a mother-in-law, ignore the jabs on that thread made about mothers-in-law – I’m sure they love us (but who cares).   

Self protection is a mind set.  If you think you are weak, you will be.  I choose not to be weak.  Once that decision is made, one has to find the proper defense mechanisms that will work in more than one type confrontation.  Most women have to make up for smaller size and strength.  I am 5’5” and of smaller frame, but if someone manages to break into my hardened house, I will win that confrontation because I will already know he’s there.

Being smaller, I know I have to keep the bad guy as far away from me as possible.  A gun makes that possible (Plan A).  Could you shoot someone?  If the bad guy has kept at it until he has defeated the hardened house, and entered, he will not hesitate to kill you.  In that case, in defense of my life, Plan A will permanently stop him.  In Texas, one may own guns and we have the right, by actual law, to defend our person and our household.  I can’t imagine living where one could not have a gun and defend him/her self.

One must also be ready to defend one’s self at closer quarters, should that arise.  I would still try to keep distance between the bad guy and me.  Plan B would be major pepper spray foam that sprays a long distance and stays on the face, in combination with Plan C, a police steel baton of some length, 20+ inches.  A baton is a choice if you know which parts of the body to hit for maximum effect (groin, knee, eyes) to take the assailant down and incapacitate him long enough for you to make another move (he needs to be down and I need to be standing).  If I had to do that, once the bad guy was down, I’d go back to Plan A if possible or use the baton until I was “totally” safe. 

Even closer quarters would require Plan D, a knife – a big, long one (a kitchen chef knife is a good thing) to make an incapacitating strike in only one strike.  If you don’t know how to grip a knife properly for that kind of defensive strike, I’m sure you can find it on the web or maybe in one of the threads of this forum. 

I think it helps to do mind practice.  Visualize various circumstances, and think through your actions until you know exactly what you would do in fast order; go through it over and over.  Then, should an incident happen, you’re not caught off guard, you’re not paralyzed with fear, you’ve done that before.  You also need to know exactly where your defensive weapons are and be able to get to them quickly.

House Security Outside and Inside
I’m assuming power is out.  If it’s a short term power outage, numerous houses may have candle light or flashlight light showing through windows.  After a period of time, there will be no light showing since people will have used up their few candles and their battery flashlights will be dead.  If you have blaring light showing outside then, you are a target for bad guys who want what you have.  It makes sense if you still have light then, you have other supplies. 

At that point, you must stop light showing.  Rolls of thick black plastic sheeting can be bought at Lowes or Home Depot.  This sheeting is much thicker than black plastic waste bags – those will not shut out light.  Even with the thick sheeting over every tiny part of the window, thick curtains still need to be pulled over the sheeting.  Another way is to buy a large block of thick plastic foam and cut it to exactly fit the inside of the window, cutting out all light with no need of curtains for another layer.  Whatever method you use, stop light from showing.

The outside of the house should inform bad guys the house is guarded and if they try to enter, alarms will sound and you will know it.  I want the bad guy to go to an easier target and leave me alone.  That way I don’t have to have personal confrontation.

1.  The Fake Way
Amazon has, for not much money, fake signs saying the house is protected.  These signs are to be put on windows and doors.  There are also fake cameras with fake signs for not much money, to be installed above your door or some other place where the bad guys can see the red light blinking and see the sign saying the house is protected by this camera and will alarm if they try to enter.  You could have lights that come on when motion is present.

The problem with the fakes, is, they are fake and if the bad guy says screw the signs and/or camera and lights, and kicks the door in anyway, you don’t know it and he’s in.

2.  Combine Fake with Real.
There’s nothing wrong with fake cameras/signs saying the house is protected.  That might be enough to send the intruder to an easier target.  However, the house needs to be hardened against a determined bad guy.  The FBI says most forced entries into homes are made by kicking the door in.  That really ticked me off – what about my two dead bolts?  Doesn’t matter, the soft wood of the door frame where the dead bolts go in, will split when given some good kicks and the door will open.  Surgery can be done on the door frame, reinforce it with strong metal that won’t give or it will take a long time to defeat it; one is StrikeMaster II Pro Door Frame and Hinge Reinforcement (about $100). 

Another, less expensive way requiring no major installation, is to reinforce the “kick area” from the inside.  From what I read, the Master Lock door jammer (very inexpensive) that fits under the inside door knob, is not strong enough to prevent the door being kicked open fairly easily. The Buddybar Door Jammer, at $60, also fits under the door knob, but is heavy duty steel and would be much harder to defeat.  It would take so much time to keep kicking that reinforced area, you would be alerted to attempted forced entry and could take action with Plan A.   

To add to the Buddybar, should the door move even a little, an inexpensive device made by GE, is a door stop that, once set in place and turned on, screams a sound as loud as a smoke detector if the door moves.   You would definitely know it if that went off and you could take immediate action with Plan A.

Your front door is the weakest part of your house unless you do something to reinforce it.

Next are your windows.  You need a way to slow down an intruder and alert you to the intruder attempt.  An intruder can break the window, reach in and turn the thumb lock on the window, raise it and get in.  That can’t happen at my house.  I bought inexpensive small window locks (I have aluminum windows) that are set in to prevent the window from opening.  They are locked in by placing them in the window, using an Allen wrench to lock them, so there is no thumb lock on those for the intruder to open if he breaks the window; the window isn’t going up.  My windows are in about 11x11 inch panes with metal strips between the panes.  Since the window won’t go up, it would take some time to break enough panes and then rip out the metal strips to gain entry.  Way before he got that done, I would know it, and Plan A would be in effect.  I actually think he would give up when the window wouldn’t raise, and go to an easier target. 

There are also key locked window locks – these have to be screwed into the window to install.  Another more expensive way is to install metal window bars.

Another layer to tell you there is an intruder, is motion sensors inside that go off with a loud alarm if motion happens in that area.  These need to be battery operated, not plugged in the wall in case power is off or need to be dual powdered so the battery takes over if power goes out.  There are inexpensive ones up to very expensive.
 
If you have a two storey house, and there is a way for someone to get to those windows, harden them.

Don’t forget your garage if it is attached to your house.  Most are easy to enter, and there is your door from your house into the garage.  Harden that door with a Buddybar or other method.  Never leave that door unlocked.  Is yours locked, now?  Don’t leave your garage door wide open.

Area Security
Where do you live in relation to others?  If bad guys came to your area, would you have any help from those who live around you?  Do you know your neighbors and their capabilities? 

I live in town in a hard to find, even if you have the address, very small gated community.  Most of us are older (although we have some younger ones) and that means we don’t want anyone messing around in our small area.  There are always people at home and that’s a good thing.  You know, older women seem to instantly know everything that happens in here.  I stay busy, so I don’t keep up with who is doing what, but they do – bet they can identify every car belonging to everyone in here.  One time several years ago, a guy managed to get in by climbing a very tall brick wall and getting in an older woman’s garden.  She saw him climbing over that wall, which took him some time; she called 911 and her neighbor lady and a guy here, then went out and grabbed him, marched him through her house into an open area and by that time, other women and men were there to help her, then the police arrived quickly and took him away.  That guy didn’t have a chance.  That’s the only time anyone has tried to climb those tall brick walls.

When Ike came through, our gate wouldn’t work, so was in the open position.  Some guys who don’t live here tried to walk in, and a few of our older guys caught them right there and made them leave.  The thing about older guys, is, many of them were in the military, and they don’t put up with ----.   I doubt there’s a house in here without more than one gun and I know these no nonsense people would use them.

Get a feel for your neighborhood so you’ll know what it might be like should an extended emergency happens.  Are your neighbors the kind to resist intrusion and help you should that happen to you?

Next is seeds, sprouts, drinks, recipes and whatever else I think of.


Offline Nicodemus

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #93 on: February 15, 2011, 07:46:02 AM »
More great information, Victoria.

In addition to window locks, I'd like to suggest a few other options.

First there is window film. It is an adhesive film that attaches to the window that offers nearly the same kind of protection as safety glass in car windshields. When someone attempts to break the window, the glass cracks and shatters but it is held in place by the adhesive making it much harder to open up a space large enough to get a hand in. Even if the person manages a big enough hole, they've made a lot of noise and wasted a lot of effort trying to get in.

Second there are window sill spikes. While some are made to keep birds off of window sills in high rise buildings you can buy spikes that are much more durable and made to deter criminals. If you don't like the idea of these because they tend to look rather ugly, you can keep some glass bottles around and in the event of TEOTWAWKI you can break the bottles and line the sills afterward. The latter is done in some South American countries on exterior fences and walls. The walls there are often built with a channel on top to fill with shards of glass. While not as effective as razor wire, it can deter a burglar or home intruded in the midst of an act.

Window bars are probably the best protection, but I must admit they make me nervous especially if some bad people try to set your house on fire and you can't get the blaze under control with your fire protection. At that point they only need cover a few doors to catch you coming out if you can't get out of the windows.

Another option is to plant thorn bushes underneath windows that can be accessed on the ground floor. The problem here is if you need to make a quick exit out of a window in case of fire or in case someone manages to breach your home defenses.

Also, I'd think about hardening a room or two on the interior of your home in case you need to hold up against intruders who have made it inside.

Also, don't overlook dogs for home and even personal protection. They work without electricity. Even the small yappy types that wouldn't offer much in the way of a physical deterrent can serve as great alarms. Their eyes and ears are far more keen than a human's.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 07:52:23 AM by Nicodemus »

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #94 on: February 15, 2011, 08:45:26 AM »
Thank you so much, Nico, I didn't know about window film and it keeping the broken glass there - seems like the would be intruder would get his hands cut to pieces trying to get through the film after he breaks the glass.  Will search for film immediately. 

I've been to a number of countries and have seen broken glass set into concrete at the top of walls.  For my purpose, I think I should keep some empty glass beer bottles handy - that's the ticket - buy beer to stay safe.  ::)

Spikes would be a problem if one had to get out of the window, I'll go for beer glass, strictly for safety purposes, of course.

Most window bars these days are made to swing out so people can get out.  However, I think the locks and film should do the job much cheaper.  I used only one lock on each window to stop it from opening, and have an Allen wrench for each window very close, so a couple of turns with it and I can open a window.  I really don't want to climb out of a window and I will use every weapon I have before that happens.

I don't have a hard room, glad you brought that up.  I've known that is a weakness but haven't dealt with it.  Should have mentioned having a hard room in my post.  One not so hard kick, and my bedroom doors would open - lousy push button locks.  I need to fix the one for a bedroom that has an attached bath with no exit door from bath so only need to harden the bedroom door.  The door itself is of decent strength so will nag husband until a dead bolt gets on that door, plus will use bar under the door knob to harden that door more and will put simple provisions in that bedroom.  There's already a Plan A weapon in there.

I also should have mentioned having some provisions sitting where bad guys could easily find them and think that's it, that's all the provisions there and they take them and leave.  Bad guys want a fast in and out and those provisions would encourage them to grab and go if they managed to get past my barriers and get in and I'm in the hard room.

Please keep commenting on my posts, as I value what you know.

Dog:  I had a little Yorkie for 17 years and now she's gone. She knew someone was at the door before the bell rang or the person knocked and she let me know it.  She was a human being, just very small and a beautiful coat.  I do wish I had another (they are so expensive now).
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 09:07:23 AM by Victoria »

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #95 on: February 15, 2011, 09:26:36 AM »
Ah, good point regarding the swinging window bars.

Also, thanks for bringing up the problem with spikes. I had meant to mention that if someone were to use these that they should keep a piece of scrap carpet nearby in case they need to get out through a window. They just throw the carpet over the window spikes for protection. This can also be used as protection against glass shards.

Here is a video showing what window film can do. It also can protect occupants from flying glass caused by storms such as hurricanes or tornados.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYdVK3BqPfk#

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #96 on: February 15, 2011, 09:36:40 AM »
That security window film is awesome.  That guy isn't getting in.  Going to get some.

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #97 on: February 15, 2011, 11:37:24 AM »
We have the security film on all of our exterior windows. Get the thickest you can afford.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #98 on: February 15, 2011, 11:47:19 AM »
TexDaddy, thanks for posting - started looking and do see there are various thicknesses and prices accordingly.  I don't need to stop bullets, just slow down bad guy trying to get in and keep the glass in place if glass is broken.  Also see various companies make it.

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #99 on: February 15, 2011, 12:13:25 PM »
Also, you can order the material and do it yourself, but...

It takes a little skill to get it each piece cut just right and installed just so, with all the air bubbles removed. If you or your husband are very handy, well go ahead. We elected to have it installed. Buying the material from the installer was no more than anyone else. The two guys who did ours did the whole house in about the same time I would have gotten two windows done. It does cost though. Right at doubled the price to have it done vs. doing it ourselves, but it was infinitely easier.  :D

Offline elcoyote

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #100 on: February 15, 2011, 08:08:29 PM »


Second there are window sill spikes. While some are made to keep birds off of window sills in high rise buildings you can buy spikes that are much more durable and made to deter criminals. If you don't like the idea of these because they tend to look rather ugly, you can keep some glass bottles around and in the event of TEOTWAWKI you can break the bottles and line the sills afterward. The latter is done in some South American countries on exterior fences and walls. The walls there are often built with a channel on top to fill with shards of glass. While not as effective as razor wire, it can deter a burglar or home intruded in the midst of an act.

It's the coolest thing to wander the streets of New Orleans, and see all the "homemade" window and fence spikes. Everything from nails to broken glass to fancy wrought iron spikes. So bizarre and yet so cool!

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #101 on: February 16, 2011, 12:20:28 PM »
BETTER WAYS, WASHING CLOTHES, SEEDS, SPROUTS, DRINKS

Are we having fun yet?  :) :D ;D ???

Once one reads an idea/suggestion, it’s in one’s mind.  I believe, if I counted right, this is subject post twenty-two.  If you have read one or more of those, some of the ideas/suggestions are stuck in your mind and you will take action on those that are the most meaningful to you.  That makes you better prepared than you were before and brings more peace of mind. 

Maybe you think you can stop preparing, now.  It doesn’t work that way – at least it doesn’t for me.  As time/years went by, I would see holes in my preps and I’d find new products, and I kept reading and finding better ways to accomplish this or that, than I had thought of before.  I also read fiction survival books – haven’t read any zombie books, however.  I find a fiction survival book on Amazon, click the button to buy, and it magically flies through the air and lands on my Kindle.  I always learn something from these books.  The last one I read was, “Lights Out”, by David Crawford.  He’ll have another out this summer, “Lost and Found”.   

Yesterday, I found a faster, cheaper, better way to shut out light coming from a house.  It’s on Amazon, “Redi Shade 1617201 Black Out Pleated Shade 36-by-72-Inch, 6-Pack” for $24.55 (about $4 per window), and there’s also 48 x 72 inch ones.  It’s just heavy, pleated black paper. There’s sticky tape to stick them up, but that’s not great to stay there, so people used thumb tacks to quickly put them up.  Another suggestion was turn the sticky tape down to the 4th pleat and stick it which creates a tube – then put a cheap tension rod through it and quickly put it up.  During the day, gather the pleats up to let in light and use the included clips to keep them up, then just remove clips at night.  These would take very little room to store and could be put up fast when they are needed.  I also found reasonably priced, for what it is, window security film.   

Washing Clothes
No power, no washing machine.  If you don’t have many clothes to wash, use your two kitchen sinks for “tubs” (naturally stop them up to keep water in there).  Don’t store clothes washing detergent like you use in your electric washing machine.  The violent action of the washer is needed for that detergent to work.  Your arms and your “new” washer will never swish clothes that violently.  Buy a toilet plunger for your “new “ washer.  I will use liquid dish washing soap, like you use now when you wash a dish at your sink.  It only takes a small amount to have gobs of suds to wash away dirt.  You could get fancy and buy Woolite or such, but don’t think jeans and shirts would know the difference.   Maybe buy a bottle of Woolite for something fancy you might wash.

You could have warm or hot water if you have a camp shower bag or two, and heat it, or them, in the sun.

If you have a pair of kitchen rubber gloves, put them on (must keep hands nice looking).  The clothes are in the sink.  Add water and a bit (very small bit) of dishwashing liquid and put your “new” washer to work, pushing down over and over and moving it around in the sink to get the soap into the clothing.  When you’re tired of doing that, wring out the clothing and put it in the rinse water in other sink.  Get soap off your plunger, and use it to move clothes around in the rinse water.  See, if you use too much dishwashing liquid, you’ll never get all the soap out.  Now, you have gotten “most” of the soap out, wring the clothes well and hang them on your clothes line.  Oh, wait, we don’t have a clothes line.

You can find a good one made by Coleman that is cheap and designed to tie to trees or posts or whatever you have outside, to made a tight clothes line.  Also, look at Walmart for various type clotheslines, plus various kinds of clothespins, and they may have the Coleman clothesline in their sporting goods section.  Buy whichever one is better for you, considering where you need to hang it and how many clothes you might need to wash at one time.  I also have a wood folding clothes dryer in my house.  It it’s raining or too cold to go outside, put the folding clothes dryer in your bathtub and hang the clothes there – it will not hold many clothes – if you’re really into washing in bad weather, you could have two folding ones if you have two bathtubs – don’t think two would go in regular tub.  If you have a large area shower, not tub, two would probably fit.

If you have too many clothes for the kitchen sink tubs, you’ll need two larger tubs.  They need to be sturdy to stand up to your plunger and not turn over.  Metal tubs would be the best – found at hardware stores.  Select the size your family needs.  Set the tubs up on something so you don’t have to bend to the ground to use the plunger.  Do the same thing with these two tubs that you did in the kitchen.

Don’t overfill your tubs if having water is a problem.  Conserve water wherever you can.

When it rains, just send everyone out in the backyard to stand in the rain with soap and wash the clothes they have on – no, I’m kidding.  ;D  Have everyone strip off for a bath in the rain?  Maybe not.  Wash hair in the rain?  I’d be tempted.  I see rain coming down as fresh water to be used every way possible, as well as captured in water barrels or kiddy plastic pools.

Seeds
Don’t consider storing hybrid seeds; they only produce the true plant one time.  You need “heirloom” seeds so you can collect seeds from your plants and plant those the next year.  One can buy heirloom seeds from numerous growers, I use Terroir Seeds, Home of Underwood Gardens, http://www.underwoodgardens.com/.  I also have stored heirloom seeds from Walton.  There are books to teach one how to collect the seeds and store them for the next year.  Two of these, are, “Seed Sowing and Saving”, by Carole B.Turner, and “Seed to Seed”, by Suzanne Ashworth.

You can grow food in containers on your patio or balcony if you live in an apartment.  The seeds want good growing soil and they don’t care where it is located.  I tried an experiment last fall, but think it got cold too fast for it to work.  I read about this, and it sounds right to me.  A plastic bag of potting soil is a container of growing soil – right?  Plants should grow in that container of soil.  Punch some small holes in the bottom of the plastic bag for water drainage, and you have a container of soil with drainage.  No need to buy pots or buckets, remove the soil out of bag and put it in them.  I’ll try another bag this spring (if this cold ever goes away) and see what happens.  Any container you have that will hold soil, will grow plants.  Now, trying to grow tall corn in a small pot, is very likely to fail, so maybe you need a veggie gardening book to guide you.  That will also give you information about soil and fertilizers.

If there’s no water in the pipes and rain fails to come to water plants, those 55 gal. barrels of water will feed them.  The time we may be short of rain here, is usually July and August.  That’s also in hurricane season, so we could have a tropical depression come in with plenty of rain or it could develop into a hurricane.  No matter where one comes in, from anywhere on the coast of Texas through Louisiana, some of that disturbed weather will send rain to us.  During July and August, we usually want a tropical depression to show up but not it’s mother, the hurricane.

Drinks
I didn’t cover drinks adequately in the food posts. 

Coffee: If you are a coffee drinker, figure out how much coffee you use in a month and store enough cans (I’ve read cans store for two years at least, but it won’t be a problem to rotate those if you really drink coffee) for whatever length you want – a year is comforting to me.  Use the Melitta single cup plastic filters and paper filters and/or the Melitta non-electric six or ten cup glass coffee maker and paper filters and keep it hot using a Sterno stove or a teapot warmer, which is a metal or porcelain stand with a tealight size candle under it.  Teapot warmers can usually be found on Ebay and on tea company websites.  I swear by the Melitta single cup plastic filters and your own cup.  That single filter isn’t going to break and that means no fail, ever, coffee.  They are so cheap, it makes sense to have them.  The Melitta glass ones are also inexpensive (on Amazon), so, if you want, get both the larger filter with glass pot and plastic filter so you can make individual cups or a larger amount in the glass.  Which you would use when depends on how much fuel you have to devote to coffee making and keeping it hot/warm.

Chocolate drink to flavor instant or powdered milk: 
Nesquick chocolate powder: will dissolve easily in milk and it has a few extra vitamins in it. 

Hot Chocolate:  There are many brands of hot chocolate mix to mix with hot water.  Some have sugar, some have no sugar.

Carnation Breakfast Essentials:  This is not the old Carnation Instant Breakfast. Breakfast Essentials is a powerful mix of vitamins and chocolate powder.  Comes in a large size can and I drink a delicious glass every day.  The vitamins and nutrients are too many to list.  Pick up a can at the grocery and read the list.  You’ll put one in your grocery cart to try out.  This is a good way to get more vitamins when using stored food, plus it will make instant or powdered milk taste just great.

Fizzy type coke drinks:  Stored some of those one time – eventually they go flat, taste bad and/or leak out of the can – both happened.  There’s no nutrition there, but if you can’t do without cokes, don’t expect them to last more than a few months – and they won’t be cold.  Sure, I’ll miss my diet coke when they’re gone.

Next is recipes.  Back when I was an associate school psychologist, every morning I put a simple recipe in every teacher’s box.  One morning I missed doing that and an irate teacher came to my office, said she was using those recipes every day to cook for the family and what was she going to do that day?  Well, she wasn’t as irate as she made it sound, and we worked through her mental problem for cooking that day.  The recipes I post will mainly be those I’ve searched out for emergency situations.  I can tell you this in advance, canned fruit pie filling is a blessing for dessert - just spoon it over everything.  :o



Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #102 on: February 16, 2011, 03:28:53 PM »
Forgot sprouts.  :-[ Will put that in with recipes.

Offline GoingToDoIt!

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #103 on: February 16, 2011, 05:27:18 PM »
I'm loving this thread!! You are certainly covering some of the major areas of survival. (Thank goodness for my big black lab, too. He's scared off one prowler already. Means I didn't have to shoot anyone. ;))

A couple of things - what if the power went down permanently? How would we get lamp oil as paraffin is a petroleum by-product? Do you know or is there anyone who knows how to make oil from animals/fruits/veggies/nuts that we can burn in an oil lamp?

You said:

At that point, you must stop light showing.  Rolls of thick black plastic sheeting can be bought at Lowes or Home Depot.  This sheeting is much thicker than black plastic waste bags – those will not shut out light.  Even with the thick sheeting over every tiny part of the window, thick curtains still need to be pulled over the sheeting.  Another way is to buy a large block of thick plastic foam and cut it to exactly fit the inside of the window, cutting out all light with no need of curtains for another layer.  Whatever method you use, stop light from showing.

You can use tin foil. Cheap CHEAP cheap. Easy. Can be done from the inside. Room for error - just don't make it too small!! Of course, it's a pain in the butt to uncover the windows.

And you mentioned stripping down and showering in the rain...  ;D  Well, if one was so inclined and didn't live in the city (because this would be very noticeable), one could build an outdoor shower stall with a large roof that slopes to a drain hole in the center for showers. Just put a rain barrel underneath when not in use! But really, brr. :o Well, someone might try it just for the helluvit!

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #104 on: February 16, 2011, 07:48:39 PM »
...You can use tin foil. Cheap CHEAP cheap. Easy. Can be done from the inside. Room for error - just don't make it too small!! Of course, it's a pain in the butt to uncover the windows....
Foil is not really an option here, where we have many days in a row over 100*F in the summer. This can cause the glass in many windows to get too hot and crack.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #105 on: February 17, 2011, 07:35:40 AM »
GoingToDoIt, Thanks for your comments.  Your question about lamp oil: note in "Lighting" section, I stored the amount of lamp oil I wanted.  Plus, I use battery flashlight lanterns and have rechargeable batteries.  After that, I would go to stored jar candles.

To darken a house, I will use Redi Shade Black Out Pleated Shades, as they are fast to put up, easy to operate, inexpensive, and easy to store.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #106 on: February 17, 2011, 10:15:56 AM »
RECIPES
Here are some recipes, but I’m not through with recipes.  None of these recipes come from “Eating off the Grid” although a few fry bread ones might be similar.  I hope you get the book if you don’t have it.

I try to stick to recipes that use basic storage foods and basic baking ingredients.  However, check the recipes so you can store more specialized ingredients if called for.  Cooking items to get and directions to help you:
1. Waxed paper
2. A tortilla press for corn/flour tortillas (and anything else you want to flatten).  You can buy these over the web but the good ones are heavy metal and you’ll know it in the shipping price.  If you live in Texas, go to a Fiesta Grocery Store and they have them.  To make corn or flour tortillas with a tortilla press, put waxed paper in tortilla press, put in dough ball and another piece of waxed paper, and press.  Or make them by hand as noted in the recipes.
3. If a recipe calls for an egg and you don’t have any, use egg substitute mentioned in an earlier post or powdered egg.
4. You may use reconstituted instant milk or milk powder in any recipe calling for milk.
5.  For fast puddings, can’t beat storing boxes of instant pudding, any flavor.  Add milk and stir, that’s it.
6.  Store canned fruit pie filling – all fruits available this way.  There are some with less sugar if you need that.
7. Baking cocoa powder is used in some recipes.
8. Light corn syrup is used in a few.
9. Along with regular sugar and brown sugar, store some powdered sugar.
10. I don’t have separate bottles nutmeg or ginger (they cost more like that).  If either is called for, I use Allspice.  Pumpkin Pie Spice also has all that in there.  If you don’t have cinnamon, use Allspice or Pumpkin Pie Spice and it’ll be great.

BREAD ON TOP OF STOVE:
Looking for the easiest bread to make on top of stove has caused me to dump recipes over and over as I would find a faster, easier one without sacrificing taste.  These are the result of years of searching:

Hoe-Cakes plain or as breakfast with syrup
2 cups corn meal
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups boiling water
oil/shortening for frying
In a large bowl combine the corn meal and salt.  Pour the boiling water over the cornmeal and stir until combined.  The cornmeal will swell up, absorbing the water, making a very thick mash.  Heat 4-5 tablespoons of oil or shortening in a large skillet over medium high heat.  As soon as the mush is cool enough to handle, scoop up a little of the cornmeal mush (about 1/4-cup) and shape it into a patty.  Place patty into the hot fat. Continue until the pan is full.  When the underside is crispy brown, turn them and cook the other side.  When both sides are crispy and brown, transfer them to a plate to keep warm, and start another batch.  This recipe makes about 12 hoe cakes.  Serve Hoe Cakes as a bread with a meal, or by themselves for breakfast with syrup. 

Corn Tortillas
3/4 cup cornmeal
1-1/4 cups white flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening or oil
1 cup boiling water
Waxed paper
In a bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour and salt.  Stir it up while the water is coming to a boil.  Place the shortening in the bowl with the cornmeal and flour.  Pour the boiling water over everything and stir it up with a fork.  Stir and stir because it will lump up quite a bit before it turns into dough.  Allow the mixture to cool. Divide the dough into 10 lumps about the size of golf balls.  Use tortilla press or roll each ball out very thinly between sheets of waxed paper.  Loosen and remove the top sheet of paper, and lay the tortilla down on a hot dry skillet, with the bottom sheet of waxed paper still attached, and now on top.  After the tortilla cooks for a few seconds, the remaining sheet of waxed paper will easily loosen for removal. When the underside of the tortilla is dry with a few brown spots, turn it and cook the other side.  This recipe makes 10 corn tortillas. 

Flour Tortillas
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon shortening
1 cup or less lukewarm water
Combine flour, salt and baking powder. Cut shortening in with fingers. Add lukewarm water gradually and mix evenly with fingers until dough is soft and pliable (not sticky or tough). Let rest for 5 minutes.
Pinch off 8 to 12 balls of dough.  Use tortilla press, or pat flat, then roll on unfloured board.  Roll from center out, concentrating on the thickest edge and flipping the tortilla about 1/4 turn with each roll and keeping hold of one edge or side, holding it firmly and slightly off the board. Roll and stretch until thin.
Heat a skillet or griddle as hot as possible. Fry tortilla quickly, flipping once. The faster you fry them, and the hotter, the softer and more tender tortilla. Place fried tortillas on towel. Cover and repeat until all are done. Let tortillas cool slightly, then place all of the tortillas in a plastic bag.  Makes 8 to 12.

Cherokee bread served hot with honey or syrup
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup milk
Mix ingredients adding more flour if necessary to make a stiff dough. Roll out the dough on a floured board till very thin. Cut into strips 2 X 3 inches and drop in hot cooking oil. Brown on both sides. Serve hot with honey or syrup.

Indian Pumpkin Fry Bread
2 cps. all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 can pumpkin for making pie (not solid can of pumpkin)
¾ cup brown sugar
Oil/shortening for frying
Mix all ingredients together. Cut dough into 6 parts. Roll thin and fry in hot oil until golden. Note: if you use a solid can of pumpkin, mix in enough egg substitute for 1 egg (or use regular egg if you have it), ¼ tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. nutmeg or allspice, ¼ tsp. vanilla.

Creek Indian Bread – to make buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup milk (regular or instant or powdered)
2 cups flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Sift flour, salt and baking powder then add milk and more flour to make dough stiff. Roll out onto floured bread board and cut into 4 X 4 squares with a slit in the center. Fry in hot cooking oil until golden brown. Drain on plate with paper towels.

Hot Water Cornbread
The cornbread is shaped into little cakes and fried. They are served with maple syrup over them. 
Serves six:
Prep time 5 min, cook time less than 10,
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1-1 1/2 teaspoon shortening
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons boiling water
In medium bowl, combine cornmeal, salt, and sugar.
Add boiling water and shortening; stir until shortening melts.
Pour oil to a depth of 1/2 inch in a large skillet and heat to 375 degrees.
Shape cornmeal mixture into flattened balls using a heaping tablespoon as a
measuring guide. Fry each in hot oil, turning once, until crisp and golden brown,
about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve at once with maple syrup or honey.

Easy Fry Bread
4 cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
Combine all ingredients. Add about 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water and knead until dough is soft but not sticky. Shape dough into balls the size of a small peach. Shape into patties by hand; dough should be about l/2 inch thick. Make a small hole in the center of the round.
Fry in about l inch of hot lard or shortening in a heavy pan. Brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels and serve hot with honey or jam.

DESSERTS

Funnel Cake
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
2 tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
Directions:
1. In a deep skillet, heat about two cups of oil over medium-high heat until hot. Test the temperature by dropping a pinch of flour into the hot oil. If it sizzles right away without smoking, it's perfect.
2. Beat egg and milk. Mix all other ingredients in a separate bowl and slowly add to the egg mixture, beating until smooth.
3. Using a funnel, drop into hot oil working from center outwards in a web pattern. (You can use a gallon sized freezer bag instead of a funnel by pouring the batter into the bag, snipping off a small corner of it, and squeezing the batter into the oil.)
4. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, remove from the oil when golden brown and crispy.
5. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

Skillet Cobbler
Biscuit mix (if don’t have biscuit mix such as Bisquick, use any recipe to make up as much biscuit dough as you want and add as much sugar as you want)
Sugar
Canned pie filling
Oil or Crisco
Cream if available
Prepare biscuit mix per directions on box. Add enough sugar to sweeten as desired.  Fry spoonfuls of dough in skillet. Heat pie filling in pot. Serve over warm, fried biscuits and drizzle cream on top, if have.

Easy Stovetop Peach Cobbler – I recently got this.  I would use any canned fruit pie filling instead of canned peaches/cinnamon/sugar if didn’t have canned peaches.  That just leaves canned pie filling and package yellow cake mix as the ingredients.
1 (29 ounce) can sliced peaches
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (9 ounce) package yellow cake mix
4 teaspoons margarine (or butter flavor Crisco)
Discard 1/2 of the juice from the peaches and pour the rest into a saucepan. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and sugar.  Empty the cake mix on top of the peaches (or use pie filling) in an even layer. Place the margarine on top of the cake mix in the center.
Cover sauce pan with a lid and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once you see steam escaping the saucepan, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Do not lift the lid during this time! Remove from heat and allow to stand with the lid on for 15 minutes before serving. The cake mix should look like dumplings.

Quick Rice and Raisin Pudding
1 cup uncooked instant rice
1 cup milk or water
1/4 cup raisins
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or nutmeg
Mix all ingredients in 2-quart saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.

Granola Squares
2 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
In a large bowl, stir together the rice cereal and oats. Set aside. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray or oil.
Combine the brown sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat just until boiling, then remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Pour over the cereal and oat mixture, and mix well.
Press into the prepared pan using the back of a large spoon. Allow to cool, then cut into squares.

This is from Quaker Oats Company:
3-Minute No-Bake Cookies
2  cups granulated sugar
8  tablespoons (1 stick) margarine or butter (or butter flavor Crisco)
1/2  cup low-fat milk
1/3  cup baking cocoa
3  cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
In large saucepan, combine sugar, margarine, milk and cocoa. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Continue boiling 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat. Stir in oats. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let stand until firm. Store tightly covered.  If using old fashioned oats, cool mixture in saucepan 5 minutes before dropping onto waxed paper.

From Minute Rice Company
15-Minute Vanilla Rice Pudding
Prep Time: 5 min
Total Time: 15 min
Makes: 6 servings, about 1/2 cup each
3 cups milk, divided
1 cup MINUTE White Rice, uncooked
1/3 cup raisins
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
BRING 1 cup of the milk to boil in medium saucepan. Stir in rice and raisins; cover. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare pudding as directed on package with remaining 2 cups milk.
ADD rice mixture to prepared pudding; stir. Cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap; cool 5 minutes. Stir. Serve warm or chilled.

Jello rice pudding without sugar/without fat
1 egg
4 cups fat free milk
1 pkg. Sugar free fat free cook and serve vanilla pudding
1 cp. Instant white rice
¼ cp. Raisins
¼ tsp. Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Ground nutmeg
Beat egg (or egg substitute) and milk in large saucepan with whisk until blended.  Add dry pudding, beat 2 minutes.  Stir in rice and raisins.  Bring to full rolling boil on medium heat, stirring constantly.  Cool 5 min., stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle with spices.



« Last Edit: February 17, 2011, 10:33:42 AM by Victoria »

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #107 on: February 17, 2011, 01:26:02 PM »
RECIPES

Here's a few more:

Desserts

No Bake Cookies
2 cups white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup milk
1 pinch salt
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a saucepan bring sugar, cocoa, margarine, milk, and salt to a rapid boil for 1 minute.
Add quick cooking oats, peanut butter, and vanilla; mix well.
Working quickly, drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper, and let cool.

Toppings for any canned fruit pie filling
Heat pie filling. Distribute to dishes. Toppings:
Crushed or larger pieces graham crackers 
Any granola cereal (I’d use mainly oats based) or crushed up granola bars
Crumbled gingersnaps from box

If have none of the above toppings, here’s a crisp topping to make.  Double recipe for more:
Crisp Topping
3 Tbl. Butter or butter flavor Crisco
½ cup nut pieces
1/3 cup rolled oats
¼ cup brown sugar
Melt butter in a medium nonstick sauté pan over medium high heat. Stir in the nuts, oats and sugar. Cook while stirring constantly for 3-4 minutes. Pour the mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper. Spread evenly to create a single layer and set aside to cool.

« Last Edit: February 17, 2011, 03:31:57 PM by Victoria »

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #108 on: February 18, 2011, 07:42:43 AM »
MAIN DISH

Ham Supper
This recipe is for today’s world (see below for emergency situation).  People will think it took you a long time to make it because it’s so tasty.
1. Bite size cut up ham pieces
2. Uncle Bens Original Recipe Long Grain and Wild Rice
3. Can of pineapple chunks
In 10-12 inch skillet, brown 2 cups (or more) cut up pieces of ham in 2 tablespoons butter.  You'll end up with some pieces browned and some not so much, but it doesn't matter. 
Add box Uncle Ben’s Original Recipe with included seasoning packet.
Drain syrup from pineapple chunks into measuring cup.  Add enough water to make 2 1/2 cups liquid.   Stir liquid into the ham and rice - cover and boil with medium to medium high heat until the liquid is absorbed.  Stir in the pineapple chunks.  Serve. 

Ham Supper in emergency situation
1.  Bite site cut up ham pieces
2.  Uncle Bens Instant Recipe Long Grain and Wild Rice, OR 2 cups plain instant rice
3.  Can of pineapple chunks.
In 10-12 inch skillet, brown 2 cups (or more) cut up pieces of ham in 2 tablespoons butter flavored Crisco.  You’ll end up with some pieces browned and some not so much, but it doesn’t matter.
Add box of Instant Recipe with seasoning packet.  Drain syrup from pineapple and use that syrup (with more water if necessary) to make up the amount of liquid called for on the instant box.  Go by directions on box for amount of cooking time.  Stir in pineapple chunks. Serve.
OR, if use plain instant rice:
Follow the above instructions, but substitute two cups of plain instant rice for the Instant Recipe box.  Drain syrup from pineapple – that should be two cups of liquid – if not, add enough water to make two cups.  Bring to a boil and boil two minutes, then take off burner and let sit 5 minutes.  Stir in pineapple chunks. Serve.

15 Minute Chicken & Rice Dinner
4 servings
1 lb (or less) cooked chicken pieces
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup
1-1/2 cups water
2 cups Minute White Rice, uncooked
Put all in pot and bring to a boil; boil for a minute or so, then set off burner for 5 minutes, then eat.

For today’s world, because it’s really good sauce and easy for special occasion (like Super Bowl) or just because:
Bourbon Little Smokies
14 oz. ketchup
1 cup cheap bourbon or whiskey
1 cup brown sugar
Combine in sauce pot.  Bring to a boil, turn heat down some but keep it lightly bubbling until sauce thickens some (longer you boil it the thicker it gets).  Add two 1 lb. packages of Little Smokies and simmer until they are hot.  Can put in chaffing dish to keep hot for a crowd.  Provide toothpicks or little skewers to pick up Smokies.  If these are for the family, not a gathering, put some in small bowls and enjoy.
(In emergency situation, if you have some bourbon/whiskey, make the sauce for whatever type meat you have.  Spoon it on top of meat.)  This sauce is safe for kids; the alcohol burns off leaving just a great taste.

Offline swoods

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #109 on: February 18, 2011, 08:52:51 AM »
+1, this is such good common sense advice. I thought I was prepared in many areas and yet I have gotten many, many ideas from your posts. I love your style of presenting information; straightforward and humerous!

Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge/exeperiences with us.

swoods

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #110 on: February 18, 2011, 09:22:47 AM »
swoods, it has been a pleasure for me to do this.  I appreciate your writing to tell me it has helped you.

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #111 on: February 18, 2011, 08:42:06 PM »
My sister is totally cuckoo for no bake cookies.  :D

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #112 on: February 18, 2011, 08:53:28 PM »
Hi, Nico, I think the bourbon/whiskey barbecue sauce would be your cup of tea.  Some guys have told me they'd like to just drink it - forget the Smokies.

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #113 on: February 18, 2011, 09:21:08 PM »
Hi, Nico, I think the bourbon/whiskey barbecue sauce would be your cup of tea.  Some guys have told me they'd like to just drink it - forget the Smokies.

I think you're right. I'll have to give those a try!

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #114 on: February 18, 2011, 09:29:09 PM »
Yes, make them and report how you liked them, or didn't.

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #115 on: February 22, 2011, 12:51:55 AM »
Victoria...I'm so loving this thread.    Do you happen to have a good Spanish rice recipe?  I have some tomato powder and I was thinking that it might be good in a Spanish rice dish,  along with dried bell peppers, onions etc.

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #116 on: February 22, 2011, 06:04:38 AM »
I missed the Flour and Corn Tortillas for one reason or another. I appreciate you writing up the recipes for those, Victoria. Thanks!

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #117 on: February 22, 2011, 08:23:32 AM »
Foxfire,
Using canned, stored dry food, and dehydrated food such as tomato powder, green pepper, etc., causes one to adjust recipes to fit what one has.  No recipe is made in stone - they can all be changed.  Here's a possibility for fast Spanish Rice.

Quick Spanish Rice
2 cups Instant Rice
1 1/2 cup chicken broth (either canned or made with two chicken bouillon cubes and 1 1/2 cup water)
1/2 cup tomato sauce made with tomato powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
enough onion powder or chopped dried onion (or real onion) to make 1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder
reconstituted green pepper - as much as you want.
Put it all together, bring to a boil, boil 1 minute or so, take off burner, cover, let sit 5+ minutes.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #118 on: February 22, 2011, 08:27:12 AM »
Nico,
I know, with your ant mentality, you store food.  You need a tortilla press.  Hate to think of you without one if TSHTF.

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #119 on: February 22, 2011, 10:16:51 AM »
First a grain mill, then the tortilla press!  ;)