Monthly Archives: June 2013

  • After its bouts with big storms, disaster prep in New York City is going mainstream. The TODAY Show is doing its part to get people thinking about preparedness; several months ago they partnered with the Ad Council to create a series of public service announcements.

    As part of the TODAY Takes Action campaign, weatherman Al Roker created a PSA to promote preparedness. The video below shows the making-of and the PSA.

     

    Al’s video highlights how important it is for individuals and families to prepare by showing a family that is not prepared. (Thanks Natalie for being a good sport!) Sure, the video just covers the basics, but those basics are very important. If you get those basics in place, you and your family will be ready to move on to the next level.

    In the video, Al and FEMA expert, Paulette Aniskoff, bring up some basic questions. To help you get answers to those questions, click on the question below. You’ll be taken to specific education pages on our new website.

    Here’s a helpful tip from Al’s video that you can do tonight:

    Check your alarms and practice what to do if they go off. You should check your alarms every 6 months to make sure they work. The Fire Alarm is a great place to start and if you have a carbon monoxide detector, security alarms, and alarms on any medical devices, don’t forget to check those too.

    All the best in preparing!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: preparedness, Urban Preparedness, Urban Prepping

  • Come and get ‘em! Get your June sale items before the Inventory Reduction sale is over!

    Inventory-Reduction-Sale-Hero

    You know you’re gonna see a post like this every month, but it’s only because I don’t want you to miss out on any of our great deals. You’ll decide which products are the best for you, but just in case you need a little hint, here are the ones I think are great.

    By far the best deal this month is the Provident Pantry freeze-dried, uncooked salmon. It’s a gourmet food storage product that is 58% off. You read that correctly, FIFTY EIGHT percent off. If you hesitate any longer, there might not be any left! Seriously. Just like the Provident Pantry Mini-Meatballs. I’d tell you more about those but they sold out quickly and I don’t want to make you too jealous if you didn’t get any.

    The Ultimate Water Reserve Combo is on sale for $779.99 (normally $849.95) – for that you get two 160 gallon Water Reserves, a 50 foot water-safe hose (which comes with a 10-year warranty), and 6 Aquamira water treatments (3 packs). The Water Reserve is a really great product and this combo makes it even more irresistible.

    I just figured out that our Emergency Essentials seasonings are often cheaper than buying herbs and spices—even in bulk (especially when they’re on sale)–and they’re packaged for long-term storage. Check out the Basil Leaves, Oregano Leaves, and Whole Black Pepper, all on sale this month. (Check out the rest of them, too, while you’re at it.)

    Creamy Select drink mixes are on a pretty big sale this month, Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese is priced to move, and the Freeze-Dried Yogurt Variety combo (for which I personally vouch) should catch your eye.

    There’s not much more I can say, this Inventory Reduction Sale is pretty good. Hop to it!

    ~ Steph

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • _MG_0229

    When you hear the words, “Dutch oven,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For me, it’s images of peach cobbler and pineapple upside-down cake (Dutch ovens are famous for making excellent desserts). Dutch ovens are versatile and durable, making them a great choice for cooking food while camping or in a survival situation when it may be the only oven you have!

    When making desserts, follow the instructions outlined in our article “Dutch oven Basics—Prepping and Cooking with your oven” to bake desserts in your oven without burning them. Remember to either create a foil ring to place on the bottom of the inside of your Dutch oven or you can also purchase Dutch oven baking racks to place under your oven to stop your desserts from being burned.

    If you cook your dessert directly on the bottom of the oven, be sure you don’t have too many charcoal briquettes beneath it—slower cooking times are better than scorched dessert!

    Here are some delicious Dutch oven desserts you can try (but don’t blame us if everyone starts begging for more):

    Apple Cake

    2 Eggs (4 Tbsp Provident Pantry Whole Egg Powder + 6 Tbsp water)

    2 C Provident Pantry White Sugar

    2 tsp Vanilla Extract or MyChoice™ Pure Vanilla Powder

    2 tsp Provident Pantry Iodized Salt

    1 ½ Tbsp. Provident Pantry Baking Soda

    ½ C Provident Pantry Shortening Powder

    2 C Provident Pantry White Flour

    1 Tbsp MyChoice™ Premium Korintji Cinnamon

    4 C Provident Pantry Freeze Dried Apple Dices

    ½ C Chopped Nuts (optional)

    Reconstitute apple dices and drain excess water. Cream together eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and shortening powder. Add water, flour, and cinnamon; Mix well. Stir in apples and nuts. Pour into greased, floured cake pan (that can fit in your Dutch oven). Place cake pan in Dutch oven on top of foil coil or flattened foil ball. Use 17 briquettes on top and 8 on bottom to raise temperature of Dutch a 12 inch oven to 350 degrees. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.

     

    Chocolate Upside Down Cake

    3 Tbsp Provident Pantry Butter Powder

    1 C Provident Pantry White Flour

    2 tsp. Provident Pantry Baking Powder

    ¼ tsp. Provident Pantry Iodized Salt

    5 tsp.  Provident Pantry Dutch Process Baking cocoa

    ½ C Provident Pantry Dry Milk

    1 C chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

    1 C water

    ½ C Provident Pantry white sugar

    ½ C Provident Pantry Brown Sugar

    ¼ cup Provident Pantry Dutch Process Baking cocoa

    Melt 3 Tbsp butter in dutch oven and swirl around to cover sides. In zip-loc, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cocoa. (Could do this beforehand) In a bowl, combine flour mix with milk and vanilla. Pour in melted butter from dutch oven. (Just take what pours out, leaving the oven well-coated.) Add nuts and stir well. Pour batter into dutch oven. Mix sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa in a zip-loc. (Could prepare beforehand) Sprinkle sugar over top of batter. Pour 1 cup of water over batter.

    Use 17 briquettes on top and 8 briquettes on bottom of a 12 inch oven (using this many briquettes on top and bottom will heat your oven to 350 degrees). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes with more heat on top than under. Check for doneness by inserting toothpick or similar into center of cake - if it comes out clean, it is done.

    When done, remove from heat and remove lid for about 5-10 minutes to cool. Then, put lid on and turn cake over onto lid. If all goes well, it will fall onto lid, but you may loosen the cake with a knife before flipping. Serves 6.

     

    Cobbler

    From Don’t be Afraid of Your Food Storage . . . Just Dutch It!  By Archie and Linda Dixon

    10 inch or 12 inch Dutch oven, 24 briquettes: all on bottom to start, then 8 bottom, 16 top; Cook 30 to 60 min.; serves 10-12

    Good:

    3-5 cups Provident Pantry freeze-dried fruit, soaked 1 hour; drain

    1 cup Provident Pantry white sugar

    3 Tbsp Provident Pantry corn starch

    1 tsp. MyChoice™ Premium Korintiji cinnamon (optional)

    1 ½ cups water (use water used to soak fruit)

    1 cup Provident Pantry whole wheat flour

    ½-1 cup Provident Pantry white sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)

    1 ½ tsp. Provident Pantry baking powder

    ¼ tsp. Provident Pantry Iodized salt

    ¼ cup oil

    ¼ cup reconstituted Provident Pantry dry milk, ½ cup if making a cake-like batter

     

    Mix together sugar, corn starch and cinnamon in Dutch oven. Add water (use water fuit soaked in) and stir until sugar dissolves.

    Add drained fruit and cook and stir over colas until fruit is partly cooked and mixture is thick.

    Make Topping: Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add oil and milk. Mix. Turn out on lightly floured surface and roll out to ½ inch thick or just press with hnads. Cut into 1 inch strips and lay these over fruit mixture. If you want moister dough just add more milk until desired consistency (make either drop biscuits or add more milk to make a thick cake-like batter you would pour over fruit). Bake 30 minutes, then check. Cobbler is done when topping is golden and fruit is bubbly.

    Better:

    Use canned fruit; drain first, saving 1 cup juice to mix with 2 Tbsp. cornstarch. Mix together sugar and cinnamon, then mix everything together in Dutch oven. Cover with topping. Use fresh fruit in place of dried. Replace whole wheat flour with white flour.

    Best:

    Replace powdered milk with evaporated milk for a richer batter. Replace oil with melted butter.

    Note: for easier clean-up, line oven with heavy duty foil. If you like nuts, sprinkle ½ cup chopped walnuts over fruit mixture and on top. Be careful it doesn’t burn on bottom.

     

    Dutch Oven Basics Part Five: Dessert (BePrepared.com)

     

    Dutch Oven Apple (or any dried fruit) Pie

    1 double 9-inch pie crust

    3 cups Provident Pantry freeze-dried apple slices or apple dices

    2-3 cups water for reconstituting (Soaking fruit for 30 minutes will save on baking time.)

    ¾ cup Provident Pantry White sugar

    2 Tbsp. Provident Pantry cornstarch, or ¼ cup Provident Pantry White flour

    1 tsp. MyChoice™ Premium Korintiji cinnamon (unless your apples were dried with cinnamon)

    Dash nutmeg

    1 tablespoon Provident Pantry butter powder, shortening powder or oil

    Dash Provident Pantry Iodized salt

     

    Drain the soaked fruit, reserving the liquid. Put fruit and 1 ¾ cups of the liquid into smaller Dutch oven (or other heavy pot) on a bed of coals. (If you’re using anything other than a Dutch oven, support your pot over the coals on bricks or rocks so that the bottom won’t burn.)  Mix spices with sugar and either cornstarch or flour, and add to fruit; Stir until dissolved and liquid is bubbling. Add butter, oil, or shortening and salt. Juices should have thickened somewhat, and will thicken more as pie bakes and cools. Pour hot fruit mixture into pie shell. Moisten edge of pastry; add top crust and fold edges under edges of bottom crust. Crimp together with fork or fingers. Cut several slits in top crust.  Sprinkle with a little sugar if desired. Place pie on rolled foil rack in clean 12-inch Dutch oven which has been preheated for five minutes, using 4 coals between each leg of oven and 2 rings of coals on lid. Check after 30 minutes to see if pie is getting too browned, and adjust coals as needed. Bake 10 to 20 more minutes. Pie is done when juices are bubbling in the slits.

    Tip:  experiment with dried fruits according to what you have. You might try apple, cherry and raisin, or apricot with dried pineapple, or peach with raspberries. What about cherry, blueberry and raspberry?

     

    This is the final installment of our Dutch Oven Basics Series. We hope that you’ve enjoyed learning about how to care for your Dutch oven and getting some new recipes to try out!

    Can’t get enough of our Dutch oven series? Click the links below to read the rest of the series

    Dutch Oven Basics Part One: Picking Your Oven

    Dutch Oven Basics Part Two: Prepping and Cooking with Your Oven

    Dutch Oven Basics Part Three: Breakfast Recipes

    Dutch Oven Basics Part Four: Sides and Main Dishes

     

     

     

     

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, Dessert, Dutch oven, outdoor cooking, emergency cooking

  • Au Gratin Potatoes with herbs

     

    Cooking a hot, comforting meal in your Dutch oven will give you and your family a small sense of home during an emergency. You want to make sure that you have the essential ingredients to make foods that your family is familiar with. A meal of Beef Stroganoff with fluffy Dutch oven rolls can go a long way toward keeping your family calm and relaxed during an emergency.

    Check out these recipes for sides and main dishes you can make in your Dutch oven using your food storage.

    SIDES

    Dutch oven Dinner Rolls

    From Don’t be Afraid of Your Food Storage . . . Just Dutch It!

    10” or larger Dutch oven; 4 round or square cake pans; 24 briquettes: 8 bottom, 16 top (more if using a larger oven), Makes 32 rolls.

    Good:

    1 tablespoon SAF Instant Premium yeast

    ¼ C warm water

    ¾ C warm milk (reconstituted Provident Pantry Dry milk)

    ¼ C Provident Pantry sugar

    1 teaspoon Provident Pantry Iodized salt

    ¼ C oil

    1 egg (2 tbsp Provident Pantry whole egg powder+ 2 tbsp water) (optional)

    3 to 4 cups fine Provident Pantry whole wheat or white flour (or a mixture)

    Directions:

    Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk, sugar, salt, egg (if using it), oil or shortening and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth, mix in remaining flour. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 5-10 minutes. Grease medium size bowl, place dough in bowl then turn dough over so greased side is up. Cover with towel and let rise in warm (not hot) place until double in size, 1 ½-2 hours. Dough is ready if finger impression remains. Punch down dough and form into your favorite type of rolls. For our example you will make pan rolls.

    Grease pans that will fit into your Dutch oven. If baking directly in your Dutch oven use foil to line it, then grease foil. The only downfall to this method is you can’t pre-heat the oven. I use 9 inch round cake pans or 8 inch square pans. This recipe will make 4 pans of rolls, 8-9 rolls in each pan. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. For round pans, form 8 balls of dough out of each divided part of dough. If using square pans, form 9 balls of dough for each pan. Place balls of dough equal distance apart in greased pans. Cover and rise 20-30 minutes. To pre-heat ovens, place coals on Dutch ovens 10 minutes before baking rolls. Place one pan in each oven, being sure to use foil rings underneath pans. You may have to cook several batches of rolls, or you can stack ovens to conserve charcoal. Bake 15 minutes, then lift lid to check rolls. They should be golden brown when done Bake longer if necessary. If you were cooking in a kitchen oven you would be baking at 400 degrees.

    Better:

    Add 1 reconstituted powdered egg

    Best:

    Replace oil with butter or butter flavored shortening. Replace whole wheat flour with white flour.

     

    Potatoes Au Gratin

    2 C Provident Pantry Instant Non-fat dry milk

    4 C Provident Pantry Potato Slices

    1 tsp Provident Pantry Iodized salt

    1/8 tsp Provident Pantry Black pepper

    2 Tbsp Provident Pantry butter powder

    1 Tbsp Provident Pantry Chopped onions

    1 C Provident Pantry freeze-dried cheddar cheese

    2 Tbsp Provident Pantry white flour

    Reconstitute potato slices according to directions on can; Drain excess water. Measure milk into 2-quart saucepan. Add potatoes, salt, pepper, chopped onions, and butter. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until almost tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat, add cheese, and stir carefully until just melted. Sprinkle flour over surface. Stir gently then pour into greased Dutch oven. Use 19 coals on top and 10 coals on bottom if you are using a 12 inch baking pan (having this many coals on top and bottom will raise the temperature of your oven to 400 degrees). Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes until browned.

     

    MAIN DISHES

    Dutch oven Chicken Noodle Soup

    1 1/2 cups Provident Pantry freeze-dried white chicken, broken into small pieces

    5 cups water

    2 cups Provident Pantry egg noodle Pasta

    ½ tsp MyChoice™Premium garlic powder

    1 Tbsp. Provident Pantry Freeze dried onion

    3 chicken bouillon cubes, or 3 teaspoons bouillon powder.

    1-2 Tbsp. Provident Pantry freeze dried celery, or 1 teaspoon celery powder

    ¼ cup dried Provident Pantry carrot dices or slices

    2 Tbsp. dried parsley

    1 tsp. Provident Pantry Iodized salt

    ¼ tsp. Provident Pantry black pepper

    Bring the 5 cups of water to boil in Dutch oven, using 20-25 briquettes, all on the bottom.  Add all other ingredients. When soup boils again, remove half of the coals and continue to simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until noodles are tender. Makes about 6 servings.

    Note:  For a creamy, thicker broth, remove ½ cup hot broth and whisk in 2 tablespoons flour and 1 tablespoon powdered milk. Return mixture to soup, stir well and allow to simmer until slightly thickened.

     

    Beef Stroganoff 

    1 c Provident Pantry dry milk

    1 Tbsp. Provident Pantry freeze dried onion

    ½ cup Provident Pantry freeze dried mushrooms

    ½ tsp MyChoice™garlic powder

    1 tsp Provident Pantry iodized salt

    2 beef bouillon cubes (or 2 tsps beef bouillon powder)

    2 cups Provident Pantry egg noodle pasta

    2 Tbsp Provident Pantry White flour

    ¼ cup water

    ¼ cup Provident Pantry sour cream powder

    1 ½ cup Provident Pantry freeze-dried roast beef

    Reconstitute 1 cup powdered milk with 4 cups of water (or a combination of half evaporated milk and half water). Place in Dutch oven with dried onion, dried mushrooms, garlic powder, salt, and beef bouillon cubes or powder. Mix well and bring to a boil over hot coals. Add 2 cups egg noodles and 1 ½ cups freeze-dried roast beef broken into bite-sized pieces. When noodles are nearly done, whisk in 2 tablespoons* flour mixed with ¼ cup water. When they are done, stir in sour cream powder. (If you happen to have it, add 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce.) Cook for 3 hours (or until noodles and beef are done). Use 4 briquettes on bottom and 12 on top if using a 12 inch oven (replenish briquettes every half hour).

     

    Now that these recipes have made you good and hungry for dinner, we’ve saved some room in our Dutch oven series for dessert! Check out our final installment of our Dutch oven series, “Dutch oven Recipes—Desserts  ”

     

    Want to read the rest of our Dutch oven series? Click the links below!

    Dutch Oven Basics Part One: Picking Your Oven

    Dutch Oven Basics Part Two: Prepping and Cooking with Your Oven

    Dutch Oven Basics Part Three: Breakfast Recipes

    Dutch Oven Basics Part Five: Desserts

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: recipes, recipe, Dutch oven, cooking, outdoor cooking, emergency cooking, Main Dish, Side Dish

  •  

    fried potatoes

    Many people enjoy Dutch oven cooking as a handy skill while camping or picnicking.  But what if—in some emergency situation—a Dutch oven was the only available cooking method, and the only foods you had to cook in it were those you had stored? Dutch oven aficionados say that if you can cook it on the stove or in a traditional oven, you can make it in a Dutch oven.

    Depending on the design, the lid of your oven can be turned upside down and used as a skillet to cook pancakes or fry eggs (those with self-basting lids won’t work). Bread, rolls, and desserts can be baked with only the addition of some rolled foil in the bottom of the Dutch oven to act as a baking rack (see part two).  In fact, you can make all three meals of the day from a Dutch oven! Let’s start with some craving-inducing breakfast recipes, shall we?

     

    Breakfast Brunch Casserole

    2 C Provident Pantry Hash browns

    2 C Provident Pantry Sausage Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) (can be replaced with Ham or Bacon)

    ¼ C chopped Provident Pantry white onion flakes

    2 C Provident Pantry Shredded Cheddar Cheese

    6 eggs (3/4 cup Provident Pantry Whole Egg Powder + 1 1/8 cup water)

    1 Tbsp. dry mustard

    2 C milk (1/3 cup Provident Pantry instant milk powder+ 2 cups water)

    Butter inside of Dutch oven. In a small bowl, add 2 cups water to hash browns and let stand for 15 minutes or until tender. In a saucepan, add 2 cups water to sausage and bring to a boil; Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Drain both sausage and hash browns before adding to casserole. While sausage and hash browns are reconstituting, beat eggs, dry mustard, milk, salt, and pepper together. Layer hash browns, onions, sausage, and cheese in Dutch oven. Pour egg mixture over top.  Use 17 briquettes on top in checkerboard pattern and 8 on bottom if you are using a 12 inch oven  (having this many briquettes on top and bottom will raise the temperature of your oven to 350 degrees) Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees or until knife comes out clean.

     

    Honey Banana Bread

    1 tsp. Provident Pantry Baking Powder

    2 Eggs (4 Tbsp Provident Pantry Whole Egg Powder + 6 Tbsp water)

    ½ C Provident Pantry Honey

    1/3 C Provident Pantry Butter Powder

    1 tsp. Nutmeg

    1 C Provident Pantry Freeze Dried Banana Slices, mashed

    ½ C Provident Pantry Rolled Oats

    ½ tsp Provident Pantry Iodized Salt

    ½ C Provident Pantry Whole Wheat Flour

    1 tsp. MyChoice™ Natural Vanilla Powder

    ½ C Chopped Walnuts

    ¾ C Provident Pantry Whole Wheat Flour

    Reconstitute bananas, drain excess water and then mash in a large bowl. Cream honey and butter in large mixing bowl until fluffy. Add egg one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine dry ingredients. Add alternatively with bananas, blending well. Stir in walnuts. Spoon into greased loaf pan. Place loaf pan in Dutch oven on top of foil coil/flattened foil ball. Place 17 briquettes on lid and 5 briquettes on bottom of a 12 inch Dutch oven (having this many briquettes on top and bottom will raise the temperature of your oven to 325 degrees). Bake at 325 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center of loaf comes out clean. Cook completely before slicing.

     

    Whole Wheat Pancakes

    From Don’t be Afraid of Your Food Storage . . . Just Dutch It!

    Use the lid of a Dutch oven, upside down, any size, propped up on bricks. 10+ briquettes under lid; makes 8 to 10 pancakes

    1 C milk (1/3 c Provident Pantry dry milk with water to make 1 cup)

    2 Tbsp oil plus oil for lid

    1 C Provident Pantry whole wheat flour

    ½ tsp. Provident Pantry iodized salt

    ½ tsp. Provident Pantry baking soda

    1 tsp. Provident Pantry baking powder

    1 Tbsp. Provident Pantry white sugar

    Start heating lid before mixing. Whip together milk and oil. Mix together remaining ingredients, then add liquid. Don’t over-beat. You may have to add some water, depending how thick you like your pancakes. Oil the lid. Lid is ready when water dripped on it dances around. Cook one at a time, turning when bubbles form and edges are set. Eat with powdered sugar, jam, syrup, or honey.

    Better:

    Add 1 powdered egg to liquid mixture

    Best:

    Spread with butter and maple syrup. If you have mapleine and sugar, make homemade syrup. Just boil 1 cup water, pour over 2 cups sugar and add ½ tsp. mapleine. Stir until sugar dissolves

     

    Blueberry Coffee Cake

    2 ¼ C Provident Pantry White Flour

    1 ¼ C Provident Pantry White Sugar

    ½ C reconstituted Provident Pantry Butter Powder at room temperature

    1/3 C Provident Pantry Instant Non-fat dry milk

    2 Eggs (4 Tbsp Provident Pantry whole egg powder +6 Tbsp water)

    1 tsp MyChoice™ Natural Vanilla powder

    1 C Provident Pantry Freeze-Dried Whole Blueberries

    2 Tbsp Proivdent Pantry White flour

    8 oz cream cheese (a possible short-term food storage item to regularly rotate)

    ½ tsp Provident Pantry Baking Soda

    ¼ tsp Provident Pantry Iodized Salt

     

    Topping

    3 tbsp Clarified Butter

    ½ C Provident Pantry White Flour

    ½ C Provident Pantry packed Brown Sugar

    1 tsp MyChoice™ Premium Korintji Cinnamon

    Start heating Dutch oven before mixing. In a large bowl combine all coffee cake ingredients except for blueberries and 2 tablespoon flour, blend together until well-mixed. Add blueberries that have been tossed with 2 tablespoon of flour. Spread in loaf pan and place pan in Dutch oven on top of foil coil or flattened foil ball. For topping, mix all ingredients and sprinkle over batter. Use 17 coals on top and 8 coals on bottom for a 12 inch oven (having this many briquettes on top and bottom will raise the temperature of your oven to 350 degrees). Bake 40-55 minutes at 350 degrees. Let stand for 10 minutes, and serve.

     

    Looking for some recipes with more sustenance? Check out the next installment of our Dutch Oven Series, “Dutch Oven Basics Part Four—Main Dishes and Sides”

     

    Want to see the rest of the Dutch Oven Series? Click the links below to read them

    Dutch Oven Basics Part One: Picking Your Oven

    Dutch Oven Basics Part Two: Prepping and Cooking with Your Oven

    Dutch Oven Basics Part Four: Sides and Main Dishes

    Dutch Oven Basics Part Five: Desserts

     

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • iStock_000003506509XSmall

     

    “Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes”—The American Red Cross

    June 23rd to 29th is Lightning Safety Awareness week. Throughout the week, the American Red Cross will issue a series of safety tips and educational information about the dangers associated with lightning and how you can stay safe this summer Thunderstorm season at http://www.redcross.org/.

    Many of the recent Wildfires and Red Flag warnings across the western United States have been caused by lightning. The Red Cross suggests that “in Colorado, which is currently facing devastating wildfires, lightning starts around half of the wildfires where gusty winds fan the flames, spreading the wildfire.”

    For more information on Lightning Safety and First-aid tips check out these articles:

    http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Its-Lightning-Awareness-Week

    http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/outdoors.htm

    Check out this cool article from NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory that explains the science on how storms produce lightning:

    http://nssl.noaa.gov/research/lightning/

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • iStock_000004149794XSmall_Dutch Oven

    Now that you’ve learned how to pick a Dutch oven for outdoor cooking it’s time to learn how to prep it and cook with it! Dutch oven cooking has become almost an art for people like Byron Bills and also for Archie and Linda Dixon, authors of Don’t be Afraid of Your Food Storage . . . Just Dutch It! As converts to Dutch oven cooking, the Dixons are living proof that even a beginner can master Dutch oven cooking.

    Cooking without electricity is a very important skill to have for your emergency survival. Since Dutch oven cooking is a delicate process, let’s talk about how to prep your oven and how to cook with it, so you can become a Dutch oven cooking master!

     

    Prepping Your Oven: How to Season Your Oven

    You can buy pre-seasoned cast iron Dutch ovens, skillets, and griddles. If you choose to season your own, you can follow the steps below.

    Cast iron must be seasoned before use by having shortening, bacon grease, lard or certain vegetable oils rubbed into the inside and outside surfaces and baked on. Some vegetable oils become sticky, so choose a good oil. The best choices for seasoning cast iron are flaxseed oil, soybean oil, and canola oil. A good explanation of why can be found in this informative article by Sheryl Canter. She also includes great steps for getting a nice seasoning on your pan. It’s more involved than the steps below, but seems to give fantastic results.

    A cast iron oven that has been properly seasoned and cared for can last for generations. Seasoning is a much more intricate process than merely rubbing a couple of oils on and calling it good. Follow Sheryl's process or the Dixon’s tips for preparing your new oven:

    1. After washing out your oven with warm water, wipe the dry oven and the lid all over with a lightly oiled paper towel or cotton cloth while the oven is still warm. After oiling the Dutch oven, place it in your kitchen oven on the bottom rack at 350 degrees with lid ajar. Bake one hour.
    2. You may get strange smelling fumes so turn on your kitchen fan and open a few windows (This process should be done before there is an emergency, ie. No power). If you can’t use your kitchen oven and have a barbeque with a lid, you can use that instead.
    3. Once the Dutch oven has cooled down, remove it, oil it, and bake it again. Leave it in the kitchen oven until warm, remove it, then oil it lightly one more time. Your oven is ready to use.
    4. Your oven will turn a golden color, but after you use it several times it will have a black shine. If your oven rusts, scrape off the rust with steel wool, and repeat the oiling process again.

    Cooking Your Food with Charcoal

    1. Use good quality briquettes and place hot charcoal in a circle (rather than a pile) under the oven, so air can circulate. Place briquettes in a checkerboard pattern on the lid. Avoid bunching coals either under or on top of your oven, as this can cause hot spots and possibly burn food.
    2. To attain certain temperatures in your oven, add or remove hot coals to the lid and under the oven. For example, to achieve 350° F., use a ring of very hot coals under the oven (about 3-4 between each leg) and place briquettes in a checkerboard pattern on lid (about 15-16). Check out Prepping to Survive’s advice on how to heat a Dutch oven to 350 degrees. Since this is not as exact a gauge as your kitchen oven, you may need to learn by experimenting with the number of coals and checking your food as it is approaching the time when it should be done. Some experts have learned to test the temperature by counting how many seconds they can hold their hand over an open oven!
    1. To roast food, place an equal number of coals above and below the oven. To simmer soups and stews, place 1/3 of the coals on the lid and 2/3 below the oven. Several ovens may be stacked (largest on the bottom) with coals on top of each oven.

    Use this temperature guide can help you determine how many coals you will need to heat your Dutch oven to a specific temperature.

    Temperature Scale

     

    Using your Oven to Bake

    For baking, either obtain a baking rack for the bottom of your Dutch oven or make one very simply by tightly rolling an 8-inch sheet of aluminum foil like a snake, then shaping it into a ring or coil and flattening it slightly. If you are baking a pie, breads, or anything with that uses a dough, place the dough/crust in a loaf or pie pan and put the pan into the Dutch oven. Make sure that you either use the aluminum coil or a slightly flattened foil ball to place the loaf or pie pan on so that the bottom of your pan does not sit directly on the Dutch oven. If your pan does sit directly on the floor of your Dutch oven, the bottom of your baked goods will burn.

     

    Other Helpful Tips and Tricks

    1. Never pour cold liquid into a very hot oven—it will crack.
    1. Don’t allow cast iron ovens to soak in water—wash quickly in hot water (no soap) and dry with a cloth, then re-season. (Some suggest placing it over heat again for 10-20 minutes to dry out any remaining moisture before rubbing down with oil and storing).
    1. Don’t place an empty cast iron oven over a hot fire—use coals

    Now that you know how to prep and cook with your Dutch oven, check back tomorrow for the next installment in our Dutch oven mini-series, “Dutch Oven Recipes—Breakfast.”

    Check out the rest of our series:

    Dutch oven Basics Part One: Picking Your Oven

    Dutch oven Basics Part Three: Breakfast Recipes

    Dutch oven Basics Part Four: Sides and Main Dishes

    Dutch oven Basics Part Five: Desserts

     

    Chart Source:

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: recipes, Dutch oven, cooking, outdoor cooking, mini series, emergency cooking

  • 20121029-_MG_2524

    In an emergency situation I am the type of person who would lose all my matches in the black hole of my emergency kit. After digging around in my pack I would find that one glorious match! I’d light it and watch in amazement as it blazes and flickers for a few short seconds. But, knowing my luck, the wind would blow it out before I could even place it on my kindling to make a fire. I’d be starving, freezing, or both.

    In an emergency situation I am the type of person who would lose all my matches in the black hole of my emergency kit. After digging around in my pack I would find that one glorious match! I’d light it and watch in amazement as it blazes and flickers for a few short seconds. But, knowing my luck, the wind would blow it out before I could even place it on my kindling to make a fire. I’d be starving, freezing, or both.

    How many of you have my luck? Does everything that could go wrong seem to go wrong? The way that I see it, being “unlucky” just means that you have to be more resourceful. So, in my emergency kit I need to have UCO Stormproof matches to trick Lady Luck and get a fire started.

    UCO Stormproof matches are windproof, waterproof, stormproof, and easy to light. In fact, these matches will even stay lit under water! A UCO Stormproof match will stay lit for up to 15 seconds (a regular match will typically stay lit for 3-5 seconds before it burns your fingers).

    Check out this video to see how cool the UCO Stormproof matches are as they stay lit in water, wind, and other adverse conditions!

    UCO Stormproof matches can stay lit longer because they are 2 ¾ inches longer and more robust than a typical match. Each box comes with 25 matches and two spare strikers. They are great for camping or emergency kits, and the National Hurricane Center suggests having a box of waterproof matches on hand in case of a Hurricane.

    Emergencies aside, July 4th is only two short weeks away. A box of UCO Stormproof matches could help you get your fireworks and grill lit quickly without burning your fingers. If you’re prepared, you don’t need luck, so pick up a box of UCO Stormproof matches today to store in your emergency kit or with your camping supplies.

    --Angela

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Summer is a great time to experiment with alternative cooking methods, so we’re highlighting Dutch ovens in a week-long series of posts.

    Dutch ovens produce some of the tastiest meals by using a constant heat maintained over a longer duration. This series will take you from getting your first Dutch oven to creating a magnum opus. Enjoy!

    SONY DSC

    Dutch Oven Basics—Picking Your Oven

    “How many of us would know how to cook for our families if electricity and natural gas were suddenly gone? With the Dutch oven skills I’ve learned over the years, I have confidence that I can cook my family a good hot meal at any time, regardless of our ‘current’ circumstances!” ~ Byron Bills, Expert Dutch oven chef

    Dutch oven cooking may intimidate you, but the basics are fairly easy to master even if you are a beginner. Here are some tips for picking a Dutch oven.

    Indoor or Outdoor: What’s the Difference?

    The first rule for picking a Dutch oven is deciding whether you want to use your oven for indoor or outdoor cooking. Indoor ovens have flat bottoms and are meant to sit on the rack in conventional ovens. Outdoor ovens have three legs that sit over hot coals, and a lid with a lip. This lip is meant to keep the coals from sliding off.

    You can use indoor Dutch ovens outdoors, but you’ll need to make a few adjustments. For this series we’ll be focusing on outdoor ovens.

    Types of Ovens: Cast Iron and Cast Aluminum

    Dutch ovens are made from either cast iron or cast aluminum; each type has its own benefits and drawbacks.

    Aluminum ovens can be washed with soapy water. Aluminum is also better used for foods that need to cool quickly once they’re cooked, but cooking temperatures can vary based on wind or atmospheric temperature changes.

    Cast iron is preferred by many Dutch oven professionals because it keeps a more even cooking temperature and keeps food warm longer. Also, cast iron ovens like the Volcano are very durable and can last for generations.

    Follow your manufacturer’s recommendations for washing, drying, and seasoning a new Dutch oven before using it. In general, cast iron ovens should NOT be washed with soapy water (unless you have just taken it out of the package for the first time). Putting soap in a cast iron oven will destroy the ‘seasoning’ and will seep into the pores, where it can leach out into your next meal.

    Seasoning refers to the vegetable oil or butters that you coat the Dutch oven with before each use. Seasoning stays within the walls of a Dutch oven during each use, building up over time. It prevents rust and corrosion and creates a non-stick cooking surface. Don’t get rid of the seasoning!

    Oven Sizes

    Dutch ovens come in sizes from 8 to 22 inches in diameter. The depths vary too, giving you a wide range of choices.

    The smallest ovens are good for vegetables, sauces, side dishes and desserts; the largest will accommodate a good-sized turkey with vegetables. Don’t forget that the bigger your Dutch oven, the more it will weigh. Byron has a 49 quart Dutch oven that weighs 158 pounds—empty!

    Because of the weight and size of Dutch ovens, you want to choose an oven with three sturdy legs; skinny legs might break.

    If you’re only purchasing one oven, the 12-inch size, that holds about 6 quarts, is probably the most useful. A 10-inch and a 14-inch would also be very handy to have, especially if you’re cooking several foods at the same time.

    Keep in mind that when you’re cooking you can stack several ovens (smallest on top) and conserve coals by placing them between ovens, as they will heat both upward and downward.

     

    Oven Accessories (You’re Going to Need These!!)

    • You will want a shovel, a selection of tongs and hooks, and good insulated leather gloves to help you handle your hot, heavy ovens. A whisk broom is handy to brush ashes off lids before you open the oven.
    • Charcoal chimney starter
    • Consider keeping your charcoal in a large bucket or garbage can topped with a tight-fitting lid.

    Now that you’ve learned how to pick a Dutch oven, you can learn how to cook with it!

    Check out the next installment of our Dutch Oven Mini Series, “Dutch Oven Basics—Prepping and Cooking with your Oven.”

    Check out the rest of our Dutch oven series:

    Dutch oven Basics Part Two: Prepping and Cooking with Your Oven

    Dutch oven Basics Part Three: Breakfast Recipes

    Dutch oven Basics Part Four: Sides and Main Dishes

    Dutch oven Basics Part Five: Desserts

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: recipes, Dutch oven, cooking, outdoor cooking, mini series, emergency cooking

  • Commercial Canning Facility

    We want to pass this information along, because we know that many of you across the country may be affected by these changes.

    LDS Canneries have been or will soon be making some changes. The primary change has to do with the opportunity for patrons to self-can food storage goods. Only 12 facilities nationwide will maintain self-canning facilities, and all other locations will continue to offer pre-canned and pre-packaged goods at no additional cost.

    Some patrons have been upset by the changes, because they have enjoyed the opportunity to participate in canning their own items. Although food safety regulations appear to have played a part in the changes, there are several contributing factors according to the official statement by the LDS Church (which operates the canning centers).

    Several individuals interested in emergency preparedness and food storage have blogged about LDS canneries, including the 2011 price increases, how the Home Storage Centers work, and their experiences participating in a canning session.

    (Hat tip: Kellene Bishop)

    Happy prepping!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: food storage, canning, Current Events

  1. 1-10 of 31 items