Saturday, April 4, 2020

four storage plan book 8


FOUR STORAGE PLAN BOOK 8
Chapter Four ( continued )
Bug-In Plan
An obvious choice for bug-in meals is to can your own ready to eat meal such as stews or soups. I'm sure there are even ways to can pasta or rice ( it might warrant extra research ) with the meat. Remember, in an MRE there are no carbs ( one stale cracker doesn't cut it ), and your body will crave it soon enough. Better to have them to start with. The military just focuses on immediate performance, which meat and fat provide.
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If you don't have a pressure canner, it might be too late for that ( and I worry about their suitability long term after an apocalypse ). There are plenty of MRE substitutes in the grocery store. There is the kid favorite Chef-Boy-R-Dee, if you can stomach that as an adult. But they have similar, more palatable, meals in the plastic tray for the microwave types. To me, they are all nasty convenience foods, but to be realistic, “convenience” can be cheap, healthy and filling only if you make it yourself. Store bought is almost always lacking two out of three.
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Plan old tried and true for 150 years tin cans are getting added back to the shelves now. You can eat chili, stews and soups for an almost complete meal. I wouldn't recommend eating them cold unless you are a week into starvation ( not that a shrunken stomach could handle the richness, but you take my meaning ), but opening a can and heating it is still close to no work as you can get unless you go with the previously mentioned jerky and parched grain. Hot meals are really satisfying and elemental, anyway. Try to limit the No Heat meals to bare bones necessity.
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Now, here is one that I heard about that might work for you. The circumstances are limited, but it might be applicable. One guy knew of another in the military who hated government issue MRE's. So he made his own. He would cook up his healthy ingredients, his one pot meals such as stew and chili, then freeze them. Once frozen, he placed the chunk in a vacuum seal bag, then replaced in the freezer. On their four to seven day field exercise the foods didn't spoil as quick because the air had been removed. It wasn't a substitute for a real can or MRE pouch, but it was a short term replacement. I don't know if I'd trust that for a week, even if it took a day or two to thaw out, but I guess the guy never died from it.
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This would be more applicable if you envisioned a EMP massive grid failure or a two week long hurricane power outage ( keeping the freezer shut and wrapped in blankets, the food would take some days before beginning to thaw ). It gives you an extra couple of days before spoilage. I don't recommend it, just bring it up for your consideration ( and you may not even have the machine ). I think plain old air drying is the way to go. That way you get plenty of fruits and vegetables, along with meat and carbs. Dried meat used to be a lot easier, as the meat was generally more lean ( except pigs ) before industrial agriculture.
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But it isn't impossible. You can dry chicken and turkey, what little fat there is easily removed. Lean cuts of meat probably should still be refrigerated after drying, but once your power goes out it will be keep at room temperature for weeks if not months. I've dried hot dogs and suspiciously, they are still good years later. They cannot be beef hot dogs. Those have too much fat. Get the yard bird hot dogs. Now, I know, they are NOT a good value. They are full of fillers. But they are also full of salt and already cooked.
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This is more of a lazy boys jerky. Just cut about nickle coin thin and dry. To eat, let soak in water for five minutes. Drain, refill, five more minutes. Most of the salt is removed and they are still dry enough that their taste is completely different. I can't stand apricots, myself. But once you dry them, they taste completely different. It is same with tube steaks. I hate the taste of hot dogs. But once dried, they taste SOOO much better. But like anything air dried ( I don't bring up home freeze dried, due to cost-it IS a deal, but only if you are making years worth of food ), you can soak in water to reconstitute if you prefer the original form.
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Some store bought “instant” foods are oatmeal, peanut butter, Top Ramen ( although in scarce supply right now, unless you hit the Ramen Lottery. The stores keep getting more in but you must be there at the right time ). For the really lazy and those not diabetic, there is sweetened condensed milk. 1300 calories in a tiny three inch tall can. That might not be light weight, but it is condensed. A jar of peanut butter is about as dense. With a few packs of Top Ramen ( which don't even need to be cooked-you can munch on them raw ) along with either the PB or milk, and some Tang drink mix, you'll basically get all your nutrients.
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Really, if you think about it, there is little reason to actually ever buy an MRE. If you do eat those, at least have some rice to eat along with them. That will go a long way satisfying. But they are NOT needed. Freeze dried meat is almost superior to any other form of storage, but unless you buy the machine those are unavailable ( and at the old price of $50 a can, buying the machine was almost mandatory ). Even a tinned can of meat will last longer than an MRE. And is much cheaper. The only sacrifice not eating MRE's is convenience.
( .Y. )
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35 comments:

  1. Tang? They still make that stuff? Remember those “food sticks” from the 70’s? They kinda looked like a giant tootsie roll, and came in a few different flavors. One imagines that they weren’t overly nutritional, but they weren’t awful tasting, and they were cheap.

    MREs are just too expensive. I haven’t researched it, but there’s gotta be a way, using high heat oven bags, to make your own, non-refrigeration, MREs. If all that I wanted was to have “just stay alive calories”, I’d buy the product in the link below, before I’d buy MREs (Yes, I tried to provide an Amazon link. But Amazon is plumb out of em)

    https://www.ebay.com/p/672061467

    With regards to the tube steaks. I just don’t think that I could mentally prepare myself to consume something that sounds like a recreational tool for the homosexual community. Well, that, and they probably taste rather shitty :D

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    1. I think pressure canning Mason jars is the closest and easiest answer. For home use anyway.

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  2. Good discussion these past days on food preps. I think the best meal for the extremely poor is still good ol' mac-n-cheese with with some summer sausage in it. Get the small tubes (that don't require refrigeration!) so you can use it in one serving.

    It's good to have canned meat too, but tuna definitely needs mayonnaise. I told y'all before that you should be looting the corporations by buying a dollar item at a fast food joint and then filling your bag at the condiment counter. If you don't have a thousand single-serve packets of mayo, mustard, sugar, etc it's your own damn fault.

    That is all.

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    1. I grant you the point on the condiments. One brownie point awarded. I'll feel the fool when out of mayo, and it ranks with butter and bacon as life's necessities. Tuna without mayo isn't too bad if dumped on Saltine or other cracker, as you would a sardine.

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    2. Tuna mixed with pickle relish is good also.

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    3. tuna works really well with mustard. (even half and half). and mustard lasts forever. (and mayo lasts way longer than "the date")

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    4. Parmesan cheese lasts a few years past expiration as well. Not seven years, though. I tried one of those.

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  3. How 2 people can eat 2 meals for less than $5 total ($1.25 each meal).
    2 packs of Knorr noodles ($1 each), 1 can of GV chicken ($2), 1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables (50 cents), whatever spices you like (a quarter). Throw all that stuff in the pot + 4 cups of water and a shot of butter, turn the fire to high, cook for 10 mins, get your spoon out and bib on.

    We do that all the time but I use egg noodles and home made sauces. Can use any style pasta or rice, and type of meat. It's a universal 1 pot meal system. You really can't fuck this method up. Can also supplement with some Ritz and PP butter. We have at least 1 years worth of these 1 pot meals on hand. Maybe 2. Sure do miss fresh produce and milk.

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    1. Produce, like meat-you don't need much but it makes all the difference

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    2. Good suggestion on the Knorr noodles. Unfortunately, as with everything else that’s of vital importance, it looks like almost no one has them in stock anymore. We’re basically screwed until the supply chain catches back up (If it ever does). With the exception of bulk grains, it’s tough to beat noodles. They’re also very versatile.

      It seems that most people don’t want to hear this, but for meat protein, sardines are tough to beat. Even paying full retail, they’re as little as a buck a can. I suppose you have to have an open for them. When I cracked my first can, I was reminded of my ex-wife (Albeit, the sardines were a significant improvement :D ). But in all seriousness, they’re also very healthy. Sardines are low on the food chain. This means that all of the other contaminants that are found in far greater levels in other fish (Such as mercury) are found in significantly lower levels in sardines. And really, they’re not at all bad.

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    3. Oops. Meant to say “have an open mind for them”.

      The perils of not being able to edit my posts, since I don’t want those bastards at google being able to tie me to an identity!

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    4. Sardines ain't bad. A LOT of them, I don't know...When they were fifty cents a can I stored lots of them. But not at today's prices. Hey, some months I'm at mid 80's wages. Sometimes I have to act like I'm personally offended inflation happened, like old humpers do.

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    5. We used to eat sardine sandwiches growing up: lightly toasted bread, butter, sardines, sliced onion, salt & pepper.
      I still stock Sardines and have purchased 12 can cases off Amazon. Also Kippered herring.

      Sardines have a lot going for them nutritionally, one thing the bones for calcium. Lot of calories (esp in oil) for a small flat easy to carry can.
      The Germans ate a lot of Sardines in N. Africa in the early glory days of the Third Reich.

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    6. BeachCliff brand is all I buy, mustard flavor. Don't care for the oil or Louisiana Hot Sauce flavor. I also buy the Polar brand of smoked Kipper Snacks. Oval can. Dam they're good. Better'n sardines.

      If you got water, salt and flour you can make noodles. I remember my mother making them way back before they were sold in the stores. She rolled the dough out on the counter real thin then sliced them with a knife. No they weren't perfect, but they got ate. They filled the hole, as they say. I suppose if you have corn meal you could make corn meal noodles, right? Acorn noodles?

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    7. LOL , I use you and myself as examples when I hear someone whine that the poor cannot save and have reserves. You lead by example ! In that category anyway ha ha...

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    8. 6:40-the NOL is like that. Take the nastiest sounding food, add an onion. An onion will cure anything! LOL
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      GS-corn meal has no gluten, which holds the flour together. Without it, it crumbles apart. Think how cornbread is. You might use food starch, but I'm not sure how that effects taste or texture.
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      Spud- And my hair. My hair leads by example. :)

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    9. You're always on about your glorious mane of hair, get sport no hair...
      Whereas the Orange ass hat is castigated for his fake hair.
      At least your hair is real just like you!
      Unlike the Orange baboon, where everything is fake...
      When it all washes out and all is done. My money is on you having more followers than he.

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    10. That is the common refrain with my hair, no one realizing the glories of minimalism. Heretics. Well, I ALMOST had a shot at the brass ring, at the false alarm Orange Man had Beer Virus. I honestly cannot imagine what people see in him. By the third sentence, given any speaking occasion, he is already lying like a rug.

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  4. Hey Bison! - Great series over the last few days. Good grist for both old timer and tenderfoot. I've had to play catch-up though since spring garden preps have taken priority. I'm seriously planting potatoes this year. I eat a lot of potatoes. I haven't bothered planting them the last few years since I could buy 15 lb sacks of #2's for 13 cents a pound. No longer. Can't even find #2's and price for #1 is 50 cents per pound and up. Highway robbery... sure hope the farmer is getting some of that markup. Fat chance.

    I'll mention dehydrating over pressure canning again. For some reason, onions are plentiful and really cheap right now. Often under 35 cents a pound. Unfortunately they only store for a month or so in the steel garbage can root cellars that fill my garage. Dehydrated though, they last well over a year and flavor is as good as fresh. Bonus is that once dehydrated, 10 lbs of onions fit in a single quart Mason jar. Vacuum sealed, they store well for over 2 years.

    Quick question about pressure canners - at the beginning of today's post you mention that you worry about their suitability long term after an apocalypse. Curious why?

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    1. The lid issues ( and the glass chipping ). I know, just like ammo, there is no substitute ( no, I don't trust the Tatlers ). But whereas you can go a long time without using ammo, the same won't be true of canning. Like a water well, I just feel it is tech best avoided. A word on dried onions-I can actually eat them. Fresh activates my heartburn. If applicable to anyone

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    2. Check out the lid set up on All American pressure scanner. Tasteless and seems pretty bullet proof.

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    3. You need to grow a "Fixer" mentality.
      Screen spline, you know, the stuff that keeps screen in the window frame. Use the spline as a gasket between the pot and the lid. Use C clamps to apply the needed pressure. If the lip around the edge is adequate you could drill it and install bolts.

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    4. Lids on the jars themselves, not the pressure canner lid.

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    5. OK gotcha. Was just looking at a mason jar. There is a very thin vinyl-rubber material on the underside of the lid which I assume is what holds the pressure in (gasket) and where it is likely to fail. What other similar material could be used in the event the original fails? Used condom? lol

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    6. Ha! That was classic. Good one. :)

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    7. Maybe that flex seal stuff the dude shills on TV lol

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    8. And if you order in the next thirty minutes!

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    9. Just buy up a few hundred lids. Not likely you'll live long enough to use them all up. My mom used to seal all her jams with just a layer of paraffin. Though these days I'm sure lids are less expensive.

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    10. True, not rocket science. Just like ammo-store in bulk. I think I'm mostly just uncomfortable relying on glass, in earthquake country. Also not insurmountable. I should specify, not canning is a PERSONAL choice. Others mileage may vary.

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  5. The food dryer just showed up. Let the experiments begin!

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    1. We are still experimenting, years later. Legal playing with your food

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    2. Have made black potatoes yet?

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    3. I've got the NOL on drying potatoes this time, since I humped it up so bad. She's a genius in the kitchen.

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  6. Scarecrow (J.G.)April 7, 2020 at 7:25 PM

    https://www.healthycanning.com/tattler-reusable-lids-for-home-canning/

    Best new canning tech. I use both these and the metal lids they come with.

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    Replies
    1. From what I've read, some love them, some hate them. I decided it wasn't worth the gamble, even if you might be correct

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