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Sourdough in CrockOne of my favorite books for pioneer recipes is Cookin With Home Storage by Peggy Layton.  I keep this book on my desk, compared to most which are on a bookshelf.  I’m starting some sourdough and thought I would share what I learned in Peggy’s book.

Sourdough Starter – It wasn’t until the Danish people immigrated to Utah that years was brought to raise the breads.  Before then, they made a started which they called “Sourdough.”  It was made by combining flour, salt and enough warm water to make a spongy dough.  This was put in a crock with a loose lid and kept warm for several days, during which time it bubbled and formed it own yeast.  These breads weren’t as light as yeast breads but the wonderful flavor made up for it.  Sourdough was a favorite of the sheepherders in Sanpete County and still is.  It was used for breads, biscuits , and pancakes.

Dehydrating Your Sourdough Start

You can dry your start and store it for later use.  Spread a very thin layer on a piece of plastic wrap.  Dry it in a dehydrator or allow it to air dry.  When one side is dry, turn it over to allow it to dry on that side.  When it is completely dry, break it into pieces and grind it into a powder.  Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator.  To re-start it, just add water or milk until you get it back to the original consistency.  When using a reactivated starter, allow it to set at room temperature for 8 hours.

Sourdough Starter
Author: PrepperPenny via Peggy Layton
Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: 5 mins
Almost any recipe can be changed to use sourdough. To make it work you have to control the leavening and keep the thickness or moisture the same. If the recipe calls for baking powder, leave a teaspoon out. If no but your results are too heavy, put a little baking powder in it. You may need to experiment a little.
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 C Warm Water
  • 2 1/2 C. Flour
  • 1 tsp Active, dry yeast
Instructions
  1. Stir together and allow it to set for 3-5 days in a warm place to ferment.
Notes
Save 1 cup from every batch to add more flour and milk to keep your starter going. Use in pancakes, biscuits and breads!

 

 

 

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Brown Sugar Recipe

Keeping fresh brown sugar in my home was . . . challenging.  By the time I was half-way through a box or bag, it wound up being a terribly hard block that I would literally take a hammer to.  No more.  Now I make only as much as I need when I need it.  So it’s always fresh and fluffy and very easy to work with.  Here is all you need to do.  Adjust the amount for what you need.  Make a half-batch or double, triple or whatever.

1 Cup Sugar

1 TBSP Molasses

You will just stir, and stir and when you think you have a lumpy mess, stir some more.  The first time I made it, I though, “Oh no.  I messed up.” But I kept going and eventually the sugar was eventually all coated with the molasses and as you can see by the photo, turned out absolutely beautiful.

 

 

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My Pantry ShelvesBuilding a home store has more advantages than you can imagine.  It’s a good concept, but certainly not new.  We are simply re-visiting ways our ancestors survived through droughts, winter storms and other severe weather.    Most of our parents or grandparents had root cellars or basements and would can foods to last them through the winter months.  It was vital to their survival to safely preserve and store food during the summer when it was abundant.  They didn’t have convenience foods and grocery stores to buy pre-packaged meals if their own supplies ran out.  They had to be diligent in food preservation, farming and complete self-reliance.  And basically, that’s what many people today are trying to get back to.

Most Americans have never seen our grocery supply interrupted except community-wide during major storms when shelves are stripped in less than 3 hours.  We have never faced an economic and financial collapse of the government, nor lived through a depression.  But in recent years we have seen how close we are to a collapse and how fragile our food and fuel supply is.  It has drawn a certain kind of American to re-visit how our parents or grandparents lived and are trying to emulate it as best we can.

THRIVE PantryAs with any significant lifestyle change, there are certain start-up costs.  However, in my own experience, I was able to recoup those costs and was quickly began seeing my grocery bill go down.   Some of your start up costs is as follows:

1)   Purchase of Freeze-Dried and powdered foods that allow for long-term shelf-stability.  You will begin to make your own spice mixes and blends, box dinners, powdered drinks, breads and more.

2)   Purchasing Canning Equipment & Supplies

  • Quality Pressure Canner ~ The American Canner is the arguably the best on the market.  It is metal on metal without the rubber ring which can eventually fail.  It’s more expensive, but will last generations.  You can look for them at garage sales, Craigslist and eBay.
  • Water Bath Canner ~ This is an inexpensive purchase.  I got my canner at Wal-Mart for around $20.  Subsequently, I purchased a Ball-brand plastic basket that easily fits into an average size stockpot.  It’s perfect for small batches of food.  It holds up to 3 quart jars.  I use it often for small batches of jellies and jams.
  • Canning jars and lids ~ While many supplies like you see in kits are very nice to have, you can get by with only a jar lifter tool. The very best prices to get these types of supplies is at seasons end in the late fall.  Also, always look at stores like Goodwill or Salvation army.  I find them on Craigslist and at garage and estate sales.  Normal retail prices vary on size of jars but full retail runs between $9-$12 per case.
  • Grain Mill ~ I purchased two inexpensive mills but quickly realized that they would be inadequate for my needs.  I want to grind my flour in large quantities and those of different sizes from small Quinoas to corn and red beans.  I researched it exhaustively.  But I finally settled on the highly reviewed Country Living Grain Mill.  Again, it’s one of the finer pieces of equipment and its’ cost is reflective of that.  It was about $500.  I wound up purchasing some accessories, which I wanted, but you can do without.  It’s price is consistent with other mills of this caliber, and in some cases costs less than some.   This grain mill will also be handed down from one generation to the next.  It is a manual fly-wheel design that can be altered to be electric.  I wanted one that did not rely on electricity.   And it is 100% USA made.
  • Dehydrator ~ Here, too I began on the cheap.  And I got what I paid for.  I purchased a used round dehydrator I bought on eBay.  I didn’t know enough about dehydrating at the time to realize it was an old model and incredibly inefficient for the volume of food I was dehydrating.  Newer versions of the round ones have more features and I see them used a lot on the You Tube videos I watch.  But it worked well enough to make me realize that dehydrating was going to save me a lot of money, especially from what I was spending on commercially processed dehydrated food.  I eventually moved up to buying the very best residential dehydrator on the market.  That is not just my opinion, you can Google reviews and come to the same conclusion.

You also will need to learn new prepping skills;

  • Gardening ~ Using heirloom seeds will allow you to harvest seeds so you will never need to purchase them again.  You can find endless blogs, FB Pages and articles to teach you ways and what to grow.  Even if you are in an apartment or small space, you can still grow food using raised beds or various containers.  Things like herbs can be grown on your windowsills indoors.
  • Canning ~ I found the first steps to learning to can were intimidating.  I had never canned before or been around a material figure who ever did it in my presence.  But canning has come a very long way.  It’s not to be feared.  It’s actually very easy, whether you pressure or water bath can.  Just follow the strict guidelines, watch demonstrations on You Tube and contact your local Extension office who often hold classes to teach you.
  • Dehydrating ~ Basically, dehydrating is simply cutting food into small slices or pieces and putting in the dehydrator.  Sometimes however, there are one or two steps to take before your food goes into the dehydrator.  Again, the internet is an vast world of information at your fingertips that will give you the particulars to being successful in drying your own food.
  • Cooking with food storage ~ This goes to my point of making some minor adjustments in preparations, but cooking much the same as you already do.

I was buying dry foods from companies we all see advertised all over prepper pages, blogs and other survivalist sites.  I purchased all those name brands, but didn’t know to do anything with them except stack them neatly in my long-term storage.  Only when I started buying THRIVE food from ShelfReliance did I start to understand that I was really wasting money by continuing to store their food while going to the grocery store and spending outrageous prices for packaged foods when I now had the same ingredients in my home that commercial processors use to make dry mixes and entree’s, but without the additives.  My THRIVE consultant and ShelfReliance’s website taught me how to save money by actually using their food in my “conventional” recipes.MyCanned Food

They also have a program called The Q.  This is where I was able to set a budget for buying Freeze-Dried and powdered food and ingredients.  I then went into start building my home store.  I went online and started shopping and picking out the products I needed in my store.  Some of the powdered foods and staples I put on my Q were these:

  •  Butter
  • Shortening
  • Honey
  • Instant & Powdered Milk
  • Cheese Powder
  • Eggs
  • Sour Cream
  • Chicken & Beef Bouillon

Some of the Freeze-Dried foods in my Q were these:

  • Ground Beef
  • Chicken
  • Sausage
  • Various Fruits
  • Ham
  • Instant Beans and Lentils
  • Vegetables (Example)
    • Corn
    • Green Beans
    • Peas
    • Onions
    • Green/Red Peppers
    • Carrots
    • Broccoli
    • Spinach

I set a budget of $200 per month based on my overall grocery budget.  You can go as low as $50.  Each month, I received an automatic shipment of foods from my Q.  But I made sure I checked their sales for the month to be sure to replace what I could wait on with what I needed that was on sale.  Within a few months, my home was bursting with #10 cans of healthy and delicious food.

I also decided to become a consultant for THRIVE last year which helps to reduce my expenses even more as I pay “employee” prices and earn credit and a small income which I use toward food and emergency supplies.  I have been able to buy the sun oven and rocket stove without actually breaking into my own money.

But THRIVE didn’t meet all my needs and I eventually learned of other resources to help my food budget.  The best one was my local LDS Cannery through the Latter Day Saints Church.  Now I buy my powdered milk, sugar, potato flakes and drink mixes through them.  Their prices can’t be beat.  But like with any company or organization, they have limits, too.  They don’t carry Freeze-Dried foods and no meat.  They offer only the very basic staples.

I’m now down to one grocery store trip a month.  And when I go, I’m very diligent in making a list and sticking to it.  I search for coupons and go to bulk stores to make the most of my budget.  Even when I don’t “need” frozen vegetables, if they are on sale I still buy them and immediately put them into my dehydrator and keep them in my pantry.   My food costs have gone down significantly and I rarely run out of anything.   And if I do, it’s just a matter of taking a moment to pull cans off my shelf and making another batch.

When it comes to milk, I have two little ones, 5 and 3 years old.  We go through a lot of instant milk.   I found it cheaper to make drinking milk from storage, even though it is more expensive per serving than fresh.  My reasoning is that to stop by the grocery store for a gallon of milk and even a loaf of bread always winds up being an armload (or more) of impulse purchases.  A quick stop to the store would always wind up costing $25 or even $100!  Impulse buys are killers of your tight budget.

Fiscal CliffBut with the political upheaval in D.C., I decided to take my regular Q deliveries of instant milk and stock them away.  If milk prices skyrocket as is predicted, I will pull them out.  But in the meantime, I will save my reserves until I need them more.  As long as prices remain stable, it’s wiser for me to buy fresh and save the instant.

I have several recipes posted on this blog.  These are mostly intended to use food storage.  You will find both mixes and meals.  I have many more recipes to share and post.  I will make a concerted effort to post more.

I grind my own flour, buy sugar in bulk to use in my kitchen pantry (different than my #10 cans in long-term storage), buy legumes and beans in large quantities and can or package them myself.

There are many families out there who also have home stores.  They may have built theirs differently, but this is how I built mine.  I made many mistakes along the way that were costly that I would have rather avoided, but were all good lessons.

Home Store

Click here to visit my THRIVE Store

But having your own store will require a different way of preparing your food.  Rehydrating dry food will require adjustments to liquids and a certain level of pre-planning to allow for the rehydration process.  It’s not like opening a can of corn and throwing it into a microwave.  I actually have very few “cans” of food on my shelves.  Not the kind of canned vegetables you see in about every kitchen across the country.  My cans are the big #10 size cans and the food inside is dry.  I have canning jars filled with fruit and vegetables I dehydrate myself.  I have canning jars filling my shelves with last summers peaches, beans, peas and pickles.  I even can a lot of meat.  I find I actually spend less time preparing meals because much of the work has already been done.

Below are either exactly or comparable with the equipment I have in my home.  It’s a lot of equipment and collectively it cost a lot of money.  But I did it one step at a time.  It took me about a year when my plan got on track.

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Homemade PectinAny prepper with their salt is always looking for ways to produce everything possible from our own land, our own homes.  Here is a very frugal way to use fruit to make you own pectin.  It can even be made with citrus peels!  It’s free pectin because it’s made from scraps.  Now is a perfect time to start making and canning your own pectin, before summer harvests start coming in.  JoeandZack on youtube offer many way to help you be as self-reliant as you can be.

 

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Ever since I began and launched my blog, I have been trying – emphasis on the word, TRYING – to put together articles about what are the best and most complete supply caches you should maintain in your home and vehicles. I did an article on Bug Out Bags (BOBs), but there is just so much more.

I’m constantly learning and posting things I learn to share with you. To truly become self-reliant and prepared for economic collapse, natural disasters, or other emergencies, the amount of preparedness is so varied and vast that I cannot possibly address and post all elements at once. But I just came across an excellent article which will serve me well and I feel will do the same for you, too. I wish I could credit the original author, but it is unknown.

As you may or may not know, I am a consultant for Shelf Reliance/Thrive Food.  We are a preparedness company and I can help you make your plan to get your family protected. Just let me know how I can help. Of course, you can visit my store at by clicking [here] or click any of the links I provide throughout the article.

(more…)

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PrepperPennys Shelf Reliance Store

PrepperPenny
Independent Consultant

*******

When I started prepperpenny.com blog, it was purely from the position of sharing my own adventures and experiences in becoming self-sufficient and reliant with my family, friends and followers. I am devoted and committed to doing all I can to cut my family’s food costs, find alternatives to processed food and learn methods of feeding my family without relying on commercially produced food. I feel a strong calling to have a sufficient supply of food in my home regardless of what emergency may emerge, be it natural disaster or manmade.

In this journey, I began buying a variety of food from companies who offer shelf-stable, nutritious food as a back up. But there was one brand, Thrive freeze-dried foods I was most impressed with. The flavor was outstanding and I found I began to use it in everyday cooking. Aside from the great flavor and variety, another way they were different from others is that they have a program which allowed me to order as much food as I want and held it in a que, The Q. I then set a budget of how much I could spend each month.  I began receiving food from The Q every month and stayed within the budget I allotted! It didn’t take long for me to see my shelves filling up.  I was so happy.

And because I want to help others to build a home store with good tasting food, I looked deeper and I took it upon myself to contact the parent company, Shelf Reliance about linking their website through this blog.  I spoke to an exceptionally nice consultant who lives several states away from me here in Washington. After talking to her and doing my due diligence (talking to Mr. PrepperPenny), I decided to become a consultant, too. Check out this short clip which tells a bit about the emergency products, shelving system and Thrive food.

So you will begin to see Thrive and Shelf Reliance references and logo’s on my site which will link you to my online website for this business venture. Please believe me when I tell you that I am doing this for two reasons,  to advance my food supply preparations and offer resources to help you do the same for your family. Plus, I really believe Thrive foods is the best company of its’ kind.

Start Building Your Own Store At HomeI was going to post a review of the products I had begun accumulating and tell you how wonderful their food was. But while I have prepped for a couple of years, my blog is only a few weeks old and I haven’t gotten to post a lot of what will eventually be here. Because the purpose of this blog is to share my experiences with you, I would have been remiss to not write about the food I am storing, how I use that food and share recipes with you. The only difference will be that recipes I post will now show the Thrive products I use. And, of course there will be the logo and links to my online store.

I’m very excited and hope I can help you to advance your own home store. And if my plan appeals to your goals to offset your costs to build your food storage and you would like to learn about becoming a consultant as well, just click here to see what Shelf Reliance offers. I look forward to answering any questions you might have. Below is a video which will explain why I am so sold on Thrive food. I believe the benefits of storing Thrive foods will work for any family who is building a food supply. For my family, the peace of mind and security of eating so well during difficult times is irresistible.

Related articles

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PrepperPennyWho, or I should say, what is BOB? BOB is an emergency Bug Out Bag. It is your critical link to survive in a total crisis, but for only 72 hours. According to Bug Out BagFEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency under The Department of Homeland Security), every person should have a readily available, well stocked BOB. According to their website, the first 72 hours of a crisis is the most critical time in an emergency. During a power outage on the northeast coast of America in 2003, store shelves were empty within only a few hours. And it just can not go without saying. We know the failure of FEMA  in the aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans. Seventy-two hours was a joke!  Even if the entire city, county and state had BOBs, it would not have sustained them until help arrived. Please, please, PLEASE don’t go through life taking misplaced comfort in thinking that your government will be there to help you in a disaster! You are risking your family and your own well-being. I just can’t put my faith in them, or anyone other than my family. The government has proven too many times that they are inept and simply can not protect its’ people! That’s one reason I prepare. American’s need to stop relying on their government to do for them what they can and should be doing for themselves. And whether you want to face it or not, we all must wake up to a world that is different from the one we grew up in. There is no more Mayberry and there are no more super heroes. We must all take the care and well-being of our families very serious. You must ask yourself this. If I were to wake up tomorrow and there was no more electricity, no more gas, no more food in the supermarkets, how will I take care of me and my family. Can I take care of us? If not, you better begin to learn what you will need to know, now! If you are even one day late . . .

Empty Store Shelves

Stores Can Be Emptied Within 3 Hours

BOBs in the prepper community are an important part of their every day lives. Serious preppers would never be without their BOB on any given day. My husband and I each keep BOBs in our cars. We also keep an additional, commercially produced and packaged 72 hour kit which contains nothing but enough food for a family of 3.  However, this kit is not portable like BOBs but it is packaged to keep the supplies safe for more than 20 years. It’s a back up to our back up.

But what should be contained in BOBs are as diverse as the people who keep them.  For example, my BOB has different items than my husbands because I usually have our grandson with me so I pack according to  his needs in addition to mine. My husband travels throughout the state on business. He often has to drive over treacherous mountain passes. So if he were to be stranded on a mountain, his needs would be much different.  And this difference is typical for all BOBs. Even with the vastly different items in each of our BOBs, my husband and I started out with basic essentials then customized them from that.

When we finally decided to move toward self-preservation, we learned that a bug-out-bag was an important element to ensure the safety of you and your family.  I watched a lot of You Tube videos and read many blogs to learn how to put a BOB together. I found that everyone’s were different. But I found a few places that actually give you a roadmap to putting one together.

I will post these lists below. But here, I would like to talk about adjustments I have made since I first put our BOBs together. I’m always learning new things and understanding more. While at first, I packed cans of things like tuna and chilli, I began to learn more about recipes for dehydrated and freeze-dried foods and began replacing the heavier canned products with these alternatives. I can (and will post videos and recipes soon) make complete, healthy and flavorful meals using only dry products that need only boiling water to reconstitute. Meals like chilli, cream soups, casseroles, spaghetti and lasagna. I’m even working on a recipe for beef stroganoff complete with sour cream. These meals also work in your food storage supplies and look beautiful assembled in canning jars. And I have to add, make excellent gifts. But again, I digress.

While if a disaster were to hit now, my grandson, CJ would be covered by the BOB I have prepared for me. But I am working on getting him his own BOB with things like crayons, coloring books, flashlight, compass, and things that will make his life a little more pleasant and make him less distressed during an emergency.

And don’t forget about what your pets will need.  Please don’t overlook this important member(s) of your family. Click here to be directed to the Humane Society website to help plan for your pets specific needs.

Axel & CJ Playing

Axel and CJ playing with a big red ball

Finally, I will be posting more about my own BOB soon. I will show what I have chosen for it, and why I have chosen what I used. But for now, I hope this information will help you to get started if you have not done so already.

FEMA

I lifted this directly off of FEMAs website.

  • Food: Maintain enough nonperishable food for each person for at least 72 hours.
  • Water: Store enough so each person has a gallon a day for 72 hours, preferably for one week. Store in airtight containers and replace it every six months. Store disinfectants such as iodine tablets or chlorine bleach, eight drops per gallon, to purify water if necessary.
  • First aid kit: Make sure it is well stocked, especially with bandages and disinfectants.
  • Fire extinguisher: Your fire extinguisher should be suitable for all types of fires. Teach all family members how to use it.
  • Flashlights with extra batteries: Keep flashlights beside your bed and in several other locations. Do not use matches or candles until you are certain there are no gas leaks.
  • Weather Radios: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio, with battery backup, portable radio or portable television with extra batteries: Telephones may be out-of-order or limited to emergency use. The NOAA weather radio, portable radio or portable television may be your best source of information.
  • Miscellaneous items: Extra blankets, clothing, shoes and money. Wear sturdy shoes just in case you need to walk through rubble and debris.
  • Alternative cooking sources: Store a barbecue or camping stove for outdoor camping. Caution: Ensure there are no gas leaks before you use any kind of fire as a cooking source and never use charcoal indoors. Gasoline-powered appliances should be filled away from ignition sources.
  • Special items: Have at least 72 hours of medications and food for infants and those with special needs. Don’t forget diapers.
  • Tools: Have an adjustable or pipe wrench for turning off gas and water, and a shovel or broom for cleaning up.
  • Pets: Assemble an animal emergency supply kit and develop a pet care buddy system with friends or relatives to make sure someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be sure each of your pets has a tag with your name and phone number.  Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to plan for your pets.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Off-the-shelf Red Cross preparedness kit

A bug-out bag[1][2] is a portable kit that contains the items one would require to survive for seventy-two hours[3][4] when evacuating from a disaster. It is also known as a 72-hour kit,[5] a grab bag,[6] a battle box, and other popular names include “Personal Emergency Relocation Kits” (PERKs) GO Bag and GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge)[7] bag. The focus is on evacuation, rather than long-term survival, distinguishing the bug-out bag from a survival kit, a boating or aviation emergency kit, or a fixed-site disaster supplies kit. The kits are also popular in the survivalism subculture.[8]

The term “bug-out bag” is related to, and possibly derived from, the “bail-out bag” emergency kit many military aviators carry. The concept passed into wide usage among other military and law enforcement personnel, though the “bail-out bag” is as likely to include emergency gear for going into an emergency situation as for escaping an emergency.[9]

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