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Monthly Archives: November 2010

  • Cook With Confidence

    You’ve got your holiday meals planned, and your oven is ready for the turkey. But, have you considered how you’d cook all your preparedness food during an emergency? With these ideas, you’ll be able to cook with confidence!

    Many years ago, I decided I’d try cooking my very first turkey. It was just a week before Thanksgiving and some good friends of ours were moving and I wanted to give them a great memory and a home cooked Thanksgiving meal. I was mortified to cook my own turkey, I fretted over my mashed potatoes, and I can’t even begin to tell you how I worried over the gravy. Despite my distress, the meal turned out wonderful. I believe its success was because I had three important things. Good ingredients, and a little know how from my mom, and the right tools for the job.

    Preparedness cooking is no different. You must begin with the right foods. We’ve spent the last several months discussing the different types of foods to store and which ones are right for your family. We’ve also spent some time learning about recipes and discussing how best to prepare many of the foods available for your preparedness pantry. Now, I’d like to discuss a few of the cooking tools you should have to help you serve up a feast, no matter what conditions you encounter.

    Having a good emergency stove is essential to cooking with confidence. There are many different choices, and what you choose will depend upon your needs and your budget. For your emergency kit, or if you are on the go, you may wish to rely upon a simple flat fold stove. This stove stores flat, is lightweight, and each canister provides about 5 hours of cook time. The fuel is free from toxic fumes and biodegradable. It can also be used for warmth.

    If you are at home, don’t forget your patio BBQ! Yes, that wonderful backyard cookout can be an emergency cookout too. You might want to consider storing extra briquettes in buckets for just such an emergency.

    If you prefer using propane, you have more options available for your cooking needs. The Volcano stove is powered by propane and can even be used to bake. It folds flat and can be stored easily. It can be fueled by the same propane you use on a gas grill and is extremely versatile.

    These are just a few of the options available to you as you decide how to cook in an emergency. Study your options and make sure your choice accommodates your different cooking needs and your family’s situation. Don’t be afraid to take the time to try out your emergency cooking tools, you may be pleasantly surprised at how you will soon be cooking with confidence!

    -Angie Sullivan

  • Prepare for Presents!

    By Angie Sullivan

    Not sure what to give everyone on your gift list? Consider preparedness products! 

    Many years ago, when my husband and I had just started our little family, I yearned to become more prepared. With the cold weather and a new daughter to care for, I realized how much I might need a few items to keep my family comfortable should an emergency happen. I let my parents know that for the holidays that year, I would like food storage or preparedness gifts. I remember opening the cans of food and being so grateful that my little pantry would be better stocked in the coming year.

    Don’t hesitate to consider preparedness items for your gift list this year. Imagine giving those you love the gift of a better prepared home, some extra cans of food, or warmth should they need it. Here are some ideas to help you check off a few presents on that gift list!

    • Stocking stuffers are easy to find when it comes to preparedness! Emergency blankets, first aid kits, whistles, fire starters, and hand warmers. are just a few of the wonderful items available to stuff a stocking with.
    • If you need a gift for a dear friend, you might want consider an emergency kit. You can find kits as small or as big as you would like.
    • Would you like to celebrate a great teacher, hairdresser, or mail carrier? A basket containing an assortment of preparedness items really shows how much you care.
    • Know someone who spends a lot of time commuting? Give them an emergency car kit to help keep them safe on the road.
    • Many of us have avid hunters and sportsman in our families. Could they use a new tent, sleeping bag, or water filter?
    • Do you have a friend who loves to cook? There are food dehydrators, canners, mixers, mills, and many other items that can make kitchen work fun, easy, and help them should an emergency occur.
    • Who doesn’t enjoy a good meal? Consider putting together a collection of several dehydrated or freeze dried items to make an entire meal for a special family.
    • Neighborhood gifts can be simple when you consider preparedness items. One year, I supplied my neighborhood friends with a 5 in 1 Survival Whistle and a fun poem about preparedness.

    The possibilities are endless! This year, take a closer look at your holiday gift list and consider checking it off with emergency preparedness items. Not only will you be helping your loved ones prepare, you’ll be blessing them with the gift of love by letting them know you want them safe and comfortable no matter what the future holds. You might find that you’ve started a new tradition in your household, being prepared for presents!

  • Practice Makes Perfect...Soup, that is!

    Practice makes Perfect . . . Soup, that is!

    Winter is a great time of year for practicing with food storage items. Why? Because there are so many great possibilities for food storage soup! Combined with food storage bread, we can have great winter lunches or dinners while rotating storage and learning better ways to use long-term storage items.

    My favorite storage soup is Split Pea Soup. It is so easy it almost makes itself, and it is really good! I use as much as I can from my #10 cans.


    1/4 cup dehydrated carrots
    1/4 cup dehydrated onions
    1-2 Tbsp cooking oil
    Ham, bacon or ham jerky
    1/4 to 3/4 tsp dehydrated garlic powder to taste
    1 or 2 cups dehydrated split green peas
    8-12 cups water and/or broth
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Reconstituted sour cream powder (optional)


    Rehydrate carrots and onions in ½ cup warm water. Saute vegetables in oil with ham, bacon or ham jerky.
    Add between 1/4 and 3/4 teaspoon of dehydrated garlic powder to taste. Add a cup or two of dried split green peas. I stir the dried peas around in the moist mix of flavors for a minute before adding water or chicken broth. This allows the peas to soak up the concentrated flavors first. Add about 6 cups of water or broth, cover and simmer. Check every 10 minutes or so for the first half-hour, and replenish liquid as it is absorbed. Depending on how thick or thin you like your soup, 8 to 12 cups of water and/or broth will be the total requirement.

    For a smoother soup, you can use a hand-held blender or a potato ricer to puree the peas, once they are softened. Just before serving, add salt and pepper to taste.

    We serve this with a large dollop of reconstituted sour cream in the middle of the soup and a chunk of fresh whole wheat bread on the side. I use my stored wheat, ground with my grain mill.

    This recipe will make enough for 8 generous servings of thick soup, or 10 to 12 servings of thinner soup. Leftover soup makes a great gravy over rice for the next meal.

    --Gretchen, Arizona

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