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Posts Tagged ‘food supply’


 

Finished MIJ ChiliI am married to a Texan.  A few things I learned to cook when we were married was bbq brisket, bbq beans and chili.  He really is a chili snob.  So I felt really challenged when I set out to make a dry version from the ingredients we have in our food storage.  After all, preparing for hard times is being affected as little as possible.  Having your favorite foods will make the hard times much easier and healthier to face.  It took a few tweaks, but I put a recipe together that he is very happy with and is regularly rotating into my menu.

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Add and adjust your personal preference in spices. Sprinkling a dash of red pepper will add some heat

As with any meal in a jar, they are quite pretty sitting in my glass front, antique cupboard.  But I have to say, these make adorable gifts, too.  I have given away many and always get great reviews.  With a decorative tag where you write or print the cooking instructions on and a mini-bottle of tabasco, they are a fun gift to give and look even more pretty in your cupboards.

For more information on freeze-dried food, I have put information in this document to answer questions you may have.   Meal In A Jar Newsletter.  For safely preparing your jars, I have put together this document  Prepping Jars

Chili Meal In A Jar
Recipe Type: Soup
Cuisine: American/Mexican
Author: PrepperPenny
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 4-6
Layer your ingredients in the order listed. You may have to lightly pound you jar on your countertop to get the ingredients to settle and fit in your 1 quart jar. If you have a vacuum seal system, use the attachment to draw out all the air. If you do not have one, you will need to add a 100cc oxygen absorber which will draw out any air.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 Cup THRIVE Tomato Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Mix
  • 1 Tbsp Beef Bouillon
  • 1 Cup THRIVE Instant Red Beans
  • 2/3 Cup THRIVE Freeze-Dried Ground Beef
  • 1/3 Cup THRIVE Freeze-Dried Sausage Crumbles
  • 1/4 Cup THRIVE Freeze-Dried Onions
  • 1/2 Cup THRIVE Freeze-Dried Mixed Bell Peppers
  • 1/2 Cup THRIVE Freeze-Dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 Cup Celery
  • 1/4 Cup THRIVE Freeze-Dried Green Chili Peppers
Instructions
  1. Bring 8-10 cups of water to boil. Empty ingredients into the boiling water and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 30-45 minutes.
  2. Adjust salt, pepper and preferred spices to taste
  3. If you like chili mac, simply reduce the amount of instant beans and replace with the pasta of our choice. Or you can simply add pasta when you cook this meal.

 

For any THRIVE food, please visit my store by clicking here

For any THRIVE food, please visit my store by clicking here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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garden-feb-lgLike me, so many of us are diligently planning our spring gardens.  We start our pen-to-paper plans, gather supplies to start our precious seeds, and wait for the weather to turn so we might start working and preparing our beds.  But in this idle time we have waiting, you really should be considering inventorying your canning supplies and planning your crop based on your families  need.

GETTING YOUR SUPPLIES IN ORDER

 

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It’s a good time to calculate how many jars of pickles, cans of jelly and jam your family typically needs to get you through winter months.  I learned this winter that I hadn’t actually canned enough dills to carry me through.  Same was for our tomatoes.  I’m down to only a few jars of my tomato’s and sauce not having realized how much our family of four would actually go through.  I’m a good canner, but my math needs to be honed.

I am now in the process of figuring out how many canning jars and sizes I have vs. what I will need.  Same for lids.  Since I have to replace dozens of lids, I have opted to invest in reusable Tattler lids after having decided they work beautifully and will save me money in the long run.  Another consideration I made was, as a committed prepper, I believe material may be hard to come by.  Having to replace my lids every time I can and believing there is even a remote possibility that they may be hard to come by would defeat all my seasonal garden planning.

How many quart jars did I use last year and how many more I need this year was a big question.  How much jelly or jam will I put up?  How much applesauce or peaches will I need?  Obviously, I could never lay out a formula for you, but you really should start planning and pre-planning.   And buying your canning supplies now, before the season hits will save you money.  Last season I found myself running around looking and buying jars when the prices were their highest.  Buy them out-of-season to get the best price.

HERBs, SPICEs AND OTHER INGREDIENTS

Spices

Salt, sugar and spices will also be needed.  Will you be planting the herbs you will need to can your harvest?  Dill is one that is vital to me.  Italian herbs are as important.

RESOURCEs AND OTHER EQUIPMENT

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You may, like me, wish to scan all your recipes and determine which ingredients you can grow and what you will need to purchase.  Start planning now, watch for sales on items you will need to purchase and be sure to stock up on it when it’s most feasible.  And your canning books are as important as anything.  A few of the VERY best I could recommend are:

Ball Canning Book

Ball Complete Book Of Home Preserving

Canning is just one aspect to preserving your food.  Dehydrating is another.  Do you have a dehydrator?  You can look on Craigslist or garage sales to find one, but if you are seriously planning on building a food supply, you really need to invest in one.  And because dehydrating is sometimes much more than slicing and drying, you will want a great cookbook.  The best on the market (by many standards and reviews) is Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook.

The same is true for a vacuum seal system.  I use and would recommend the FoodSaver which is a workhorse.  I use it nearly every day and much more in the summer months.   All these appliances which allows you to protect and preserve your food may not pay for themselves this season, but they will pay for themselves over time.

LONG TERM STORAGE

Also, if you plan on putting some of your foods into long-term storage, you will need oxygen absorbers and mylar bags.  Start asking your bakery and deli department for 5 gallon buckets now. You may also wish to purchase moisture absorbers as an added line of protection for your food.  You will need these if you plan to store food.  Many local businesses will give them away or sell them for $1 each.  But, be sure you get food-grade buckets.  You may also wish to invest in high quality gamma lids.

 

 

 

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IMG_0286I recently posted the recipe for the sourdough starter I made.  It turned out very, very good.  So of course, I needed to jump right in and start making sourdough bread.  I searched high and low and happened across a recipe to make it in my Emeril’s bread machine.  I was a bit skeptic, but it obviously turned out really good.  Otherwise, I would not be posting it.

Honing skills for making bread it a very important to overall preparedness.  Self-reliance and saving money is what I am all about.  Learning these skills now, before SHTF, will only serve you and your family well when the time comes that you have no choice but to make your own.

Sourdough Bread Ingredients

These simple ingredients (which you likely have) is all it takes, and the machine does all the work!

Yeast, Sugar, Salt

The quality of ingredients are important.  I used Pink Himalayan Salt, raw sugar and bread maker yeast.

Dry Ingredients

I started by dumping 1 cup of flour, the sugar, salt and yeast into the machine and allowed it to mix up a bit.  Here, I have begun the cycle and the machine paddles are running.

Warm Milk

Slowing adding the sourdough starter, warm milk and soft butter to the dry ingredients.  This looks quite wet, but keep going. Next you will add the rest of the flour (2 1/2 cups).

Kneading

At this stage, I added the remaining flour (2 1/2 cups). The kneading is working and you can see how it is looking quite normal.  It is a dry dough.  There were crumbles separate from the mass.  I just pressed it all together and allowed it to finish.  Close the lid and allow your bread machine to finish the work.

NOTE:  Be sure to remove the paddles as soon as it’s done with kneading.  They are a bugger to get out of baked bread!

Sourdough Loaf

Allow your machine to run the complete cycle being sure to set it on dark crust setting.  You can see here, it turns out a beautiful, golden brown.  Remove it from the machine and cool on a wire rack.  But admittedly, we cut right into it.  Superb!

If you don’t have a bread machine or prefer to bake it in your oven, here is how to do that.

Combine your ingredients using exactly the same method and in the order listed for the machine version.  Once all the ingredients are combined, durn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.

Place dough in an oiled bowl, making sure to turn it to oil all surfaces.  Allow it to rise for 1 hour.

Punch down and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.  Now shape it into a load and place in a greased 2 pound loaf pan. Allow it to rise again for another hour.

Bake at 375* for 30 minutes.

Sourdough Bread . . . Bread Machine
Recipe Type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Author: PrepperPenny via Unsophisticook
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 15 mins
This recipe is simple, delicious and works in a bread machine or conventional oven.
Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tbps Sugar
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp Dry Active Yeast
  • 3/4 Cups Warm Milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Softened Butter
  • 1 Cup Sourdough Starter
Instructions
  1. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast to your bread pan. If your bread machine has a warming cycle, turn it off and start a basic bread cycle to stir these ingredients together. Set your machine for a 2 pound, dark crust loaf.
  2. Slowly add warm milk, softened butter and sourdough starter (in this order)
  3. Add remaining 2 1/2 cups of flour slowly into wet mixture.
  4. Close the top of the machine and allow it to finish out its’ cycle.
  5. When done, remove load and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
Notes
Oven Directions: Add 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast to a mixing bowl SLowly stir in warm milk, butter and sourdough starter. Mix remaining 2 1/2 cups of flour – slowly – into mixture. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 8-10 minutes Place dough into an oiled bowl, being sure all surfaces get oiled. Allow to rise for 1 hour Punch down and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Shape into a loaf and place in a greased 2 pound loaf pan. Allow to rise for another hour. Bake at 375* for 30 minutes or until done.

 

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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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Spicy Mustard Ranch Mix

Another spice mix that will be a wonderful addition to your home store.  Use as a salad dressing, veggie dip, chip dip and even as a sauce for a yummy baked chicken dish.

Zingy Mustard Ranch Mix
Recipe Type: Condiment
Author: iVillage.com
Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: 5 mins
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk powder
  • 1/4 cup dried parsley
  • 1 Tbs dried chives
  • 2 tsp dried dill
  • 2 tsp dried whole basil leaves
  • 2 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
Instructions
  1. To make ranch dressing or dip, mix 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 1/2 cup milk (or buttermilk) with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mix, depending on how strong you like it. This seasoning mix is great as a dry rub for fish or chicken, and you can also sprinkle it on hot buttered popcorn or oven fries.
Notes
Combine and store in an airtight container

 

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teriyaki-sauceHow many dishes do you make that calls for teriyaki sauce?  If you don’t already use this delicious, sweet and spicy condiment, you should look at your chicken or beef at a different angle.  This sauce is one of my families favorites.   This is a great addition to your home store.

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
Recipe Type: Sauce
Author: PrepperPenny
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 10 mins
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce – Make your own with my recipe linked below
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5 tablespoons packed brown sugar – Make your own with my recipe linked below
  • 1 -2 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
Instructions
  1. Mix everything EXCEPT cornstarch and 1/4 C of your water in a sauce pan and begin heating.
  2. Mix cornstarch and cold water in a cup and dissolve. Add to sauce in pan.
  3. Heat until sauce thickens to desired thickness.
  4. Add water to thin it if you prefer
  5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 6 months.

Make your own Soy Sauce.  Get the recipe by clicking here.

Make your own Brown Sugar.  Get the recipe by clicking here.

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PrepperPenny's GranolaBuilding up my home store saves me money, time and allows me to control the ingredients my family is exposed to.  With a 3 year old and 5 year old, cereal is a given.  But who really wants to pour unhealthy, refined sugary food out for them?  Not this nana!  Here is a delicious and healthy alternative that my children love.

Homemade Granola Cereal
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Author: PrepperPenny
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 90 mins
Total time: 1 hour 45 mins
Serves: 15
Avoid refined sugar and eat healthier. Not just for adults, children love this sweet alternative to commercial cereals, too.
Ingredients
  • 10 C. Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 3/4 C. Toasted & Chopped Walnuts or Pecans or combination of both
  • 2 C. Almonds
  • 1 C. Shredded Coconut
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 3/4 C. Canola Oil
  • 1 C. Maple Syrup or Honey or combination of both
  • 1 Tbsp. Mollasses
  • 2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract *See recipe to make your own
  • 1 tsp Almond Extract
  • Optional: Dried Fruit
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250*
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients
  3. In a separate bowl, mix all the liquid ingredients.
  4. Pour liquids into dry ingredients and mix until everything is incorporated well.
  5. Transfer the combined ingredients into a jelly-roll pan or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (This is a large batch and will likely take several pans) Spread granola evenly on each pan,
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, stir granola and return to the oven for another 30 minutes. Repeat one more time until they have cooked for a total of 90 minutes.
  7. Turn off your oven but allow them to sit inside the oven overnight. They will harden and become very crisp.
  8. Transfer granola into an airtight container where you can add raisins or other dried fruit of your choice. Dehydrated pineapple is delicious with this recipe.
  9. Stores for 4 weeks in your pantry or in the freezer for 6 months.

 

*See my video on how to make your own Vanilla extract here.

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Master Brownie Mix

Cake mixes, brownie mixes, canned pie fillings and puddings are some of the more common pre-made food most Americans keep in our pantries.  But you save a lot of money and avoid any ingredients that commercial producers may use in pre-packaging something you can easily make yourself.  Part of building your own store is learning to make the foods that you rely on buying at your local grocers.  Here is a delicious brownie mix I have all the time.  Like with any brownie mix, you can adapt it to make them just exactly the way you love them.  Cover them with icing, add chocolate or butterscotch chips, marshmallow or nuts.  You have total control. Learning to use the foods you store develops the skills you may have no choice but to face in tough financial and economical times.

Master Brownie Mix
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: PrepperPenny
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 35 mins
You can divide the recipe to make smaller batches.
Ingredients
  • 8 C. Sugar
  • 6 C. Flour
  • 2 C. Cocoa Powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Salt
Instructions
  1. Mix – 2 1/4 Cup
  2. Eggs (Beaten) 2
  3. Oil or Melted Butter – 1/3 Cup
  4. Vanilla – 1 tsp.
  5. Mix and bake at 350* for 30 mins.

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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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Chicken Enchilada’s

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Chef Todd w/THRIVE
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Shredded Colby Cheese is perfect for your favorite warm winter meals, from soups to grilled cheese sandwiches. Save 25% when you order Shredded Colby Cheese #10 or pantry cans this month, and try it in Chef Todd’s Chicken Enchiladas!
Ingredients
  • FILLING:
  • 3 c. THRIVE™ Chopped Chicken (FD)
  • 1/3 c. THRIVE™ Green Onions (FD)
  • ½ c. THRIVE™ Green Chili Peppers (FD)
  • 1/3 c. THRIVE™ Chopped Onions (FD)
  • 2½ c. water
  • 1/3 tsp.chili powder
  • ¾ tsp. cumin
  • ¾ tsp. season salt
  • ¾ c. THRIVE™ Shredded Colby Cheese (FD), reconstituted
  • SAUCE:
  • 2 tsp. garlic, fresh
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 2/3 c. water
  • 1½ tbsp. THRIVE™ Chicken Bouillon
  • 1/3 c. THRIVE™ Chopped Onions (FD)
  • ½ c. THRIVE™ Green Chili Peppers
  • 2 tsp. THRIVE™ Tomato Powder
  • ¾ tsp. cumin
  • 1/3 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/3 c. sour cream
  • 2/3 c. THRIVE™ Shredded Colby Cheese (FD), reconstituted
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch + 2 tbsp. cold water
  • TOPPING:
  • 1 c. THRIVE™ Shredded Colby Cheese (FD), reconstituted
  • 16 corn tortillas
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix all filling ingredients except cheese and let sit for a minimum of 5 minutes. Sauté mixture in small amounts in a very hot skillet to brown and caramelize. Set aside, let cool, and fold in ¾ c. cheese.
  2. In a medium-size saucepan, sauté garlic in butter until softened. Add remaining sauce ingredients except sour cream, cheese, and cornstarch slurry. Bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes or until starting to thicken and then blend in blender until smooth. Pour back into pan. Mix cornstarch slurry, add to sauce, and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and fold in sour cream and cheese.
  3. Mix 1 cup of sauce with filling. Stir lightly without breaking up the chicken. Fill each tortilla with ¼ cup filling and roll up. Place enchiladas in 9×13 baking dish. Cover with remaining sauce and sprinkle cheese over top. Bake at 350⁰F for 15–20 minutes, until bubbly and browned.

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