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A Prepared Cook’s Guide To Creating An Ideal Kitchen Space

22 Sep

There are patterns and principles, long since tested, that can make anyone more effective in whatever kitchen space they find themselves in.  This post is a collection of rules you should know as well as the best shortcuts and re-purposed items I’ve found that have made a difference in the way I’m able to effectively work in my kitchen.

These ideas, while they’ll do tremendous things for the way you feel about your kitchen today, are also something I’ve come to appreciate as an added layer to my food preparedness too.  Not only does an organized kitchen make you want to cook more, (encouraging you to get better at the skills themselves) but in an extreme circumstance, it’s benefits could even include a much faster and smoother transition if relocation to a new space was necessary.  There are lots of reasons to put thought into both your kitchen space as well as the tools/ ingredients  you use most to find the path of “least work” for the “greatest return”. Continue reading

My Personal “Preparedness” Board of Advisors

24 Apr

With so many preparedness voices out there (with the ever growing number of emergency preparedness “experts” on the internet and otherwise), I thought I’d focus my post today on a preparedness planning idea I’ve used that’s helped me filter and safely navigate all the information (and misinformation) as well as keep things balanced in my life.  It’s not always 100% fool proof, but it’s a whole lot better than going it alone.

First off, as far as preparedness matters go, I don’t have to tell you it’s easy to get overwhelmed, distracted, scared and even sometimes downright frozen from all the information that’s available and not knowing what to do with it all.  It’s easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of collecting ideas feeling like you’re being productive simply by collecting them, but yet at the end of the day (or week or month) you don’t seem to have much to show for it.

What do you work on first and who do you trust for advice? Continue reading

Good recipes, smaller packages

12 Apr

Many of you don’t have an army to feed like I do but would still like good food storage recipes, just in smaller packages.  If that describes you, this post offers some help!  The frequent questions (about recipe downsizing) that people have been asking are: “When does it work?”  “When does it not work?” and “Which recipes are best to use?”

The majority of this post’s ideas come to you thanks to Jennine Wardle, (check out her blog Off-Grid in Alaska), who, besides being an accomplished cook and living off the grid for the last four years, has done so cooking for two, just she and her husband.  Once again, she comes to our rescue with some great considerations on this topic.

Adjusting food storage recipes to a smaller serving scale is yet another example of why a personalized plan is so important to have before going out and buying a lot of food, especially long term food!  Whether you use these ideas to scale down the recipes here or elsewhere, these 10 tips should help you along the way. Continue reading

Working food storage into the day to day menu plan

28 Jan

I’ve had this type of question come up at least half a dozen times now so I thought I’d post the answer in case there are any others of you who are wondering the same thing.

Q:   How do you rotate your pantry meals and other food storage food?  Do you just add in one pantry meal per week to your regular menu plan?

With a busy family, pantry meals work easily into a weekly menu because they’re fast and convenient to make.  Honestly, I don’t  put much thought into “planning” them into our menu, they work themselves into it due to necessity.  To demonstrate, our usual week looks like this… Continue reading

Where I store our food storage

24 Jan

The tricky eventuality of having food storage is that you actually have to find a place to store the food, as well as have some sort of functional system to keep it accessible and rotated.  Living in Texas added some challenges for us with the heat and humidity,  not to mention the bugs.  The houses here aren’t built with basements and the garage, due to the heat (outside of housing a spare freezer) is entirely off limits for storage.  Our food storage is stored inside the house, along with the seven people who live here and I try to keep it from being overly noticeable.

While my ideas here won’t work for some, they work for me.  My choice to have food storage has a price (beyond the money I paid for it) requiring nearly a “whole house effort” to store it.  I’ve decided it’s worth the trade of having a magazine perfect house in exchange for the security and independence of being able to feed my family on my own if needed.

That said, you can still have a cute house and have your food storage too!   Continue reading

Your Recipe Cards Are Here!

15 Sep

No cooking today… I’ve been busy at my computer!  The printable recipe cards (all except 10) have been added!!

A HUGE thanks to my sister Melese for creating them!

Here are the details:

Where (to find them):  at the top of each post

How (to print them):  

the cards — uncheck the “fit to page” option and they’ll fit on a 4 x 6 card

the pages — these are full sized 8 x 10 recipes (too much info for a 4 x 6 card)

What (other printing options do I have?):  At the bottom of each post you can print the entire post if you want, step by step pictures and all.  This might be helpful to keep as reference for some of the more complicated recipes.

Why:  To build your own food storage cookbook!  Now it’s easier than ever!

When:  Get started now!  Refer to the “Create your Own Book” page at the top of the blog!

Why all the information on the back of the recipe cards?

26 Jul

I got a question from a reader that I thought I’d share in case anyone else wondering about the same thing:

Q:  I was wondering if you could explain or show the back of one recipe card. I am having a hard time understanding what the back is for and why would you need it if then front recipe shows what you need.

Thanks for asking!  You can see an example of what I’ve named my “ingredient summaries” in the planning pages section (a drop down tab if you look under “Create Your Own Book” at top).  There are four main reasons why I’ve included these on the backs of my recipes:

Continue reading