solar oven

Did not use this much during the winter, but we are now at that time of year.

Yesterday did a piece of pork for pulled pork; cooking it for about 7 hours at 200F, and then heating it up this morning for today’s lunch.

Now have seasoned ground beef strips in there for making jerky.  When I do jerky for the dog just use the air dehydrator for as long as it takes to get crispy dry.  Put the jerky strips in the electric dehydrator yesterday for 12 hours and now they are in the solar oven.  The instructions said oven for 1.5 hours at 200F per side.  So much fat is coming off them, I’m going let them cook in there until the fat is pretty much off the meat – as it is the fat that would go rancid and put the taste off.  its definitely tasty stuff!

Advertisements

unexpected benefits

Prepping has had unexpected benefits of all kinds.  Am sure others have found the same, each of us depending on our lifestyles.

We work from home, so it would seem that I have plenty of time to do routine things. But that’s not always the case.  Of course, working from home means I’m trying to do inside things like housework, cooking, along with my office work, as well as give time to the garden, etc.  In other words, finding the balance any working woman struggles to achieve.  The big difference, I don’t lose travel time from my life – BUT – am expected to cook 3 meals a day!!!

And this is where prepping has exposed me to knew ideas.  Like cooking in advance (not new), and DEHYDRATING the results.  Butternut squash, brown rice, chilli,  even home made soups!

One of the prepper forums asked me why I would want to dehydrate cooked rice, after all, rice only takes 20 minutes, right?   But we want BROWN RICE and that’s 45 minutes minimum.  So a cooked portion just has to be thrown in water and rehydrated.  When the day is busy, and it’s suddenly 1/2 an hour before lunch, throw a steak on the grill, some rice in the water, heat up some veggies, and that long cooking lunch is ready in less time!

One day I’ll have enough cooked rice to set some aside for an experiment in rancidity.  Raw brown rice going rancid where white rice does not.   But what about cooked brown rice?

and bulk buying!!!!   Not everything, but we’ve discovered that freeze dried blueberries are a great snack food, as well as rehydrate nicely for making other things.  Husband loves dehydrated apples.  Powdered/dehydrated cheese.  You will never look at mac and cheese or cheese soups the same!  Bulk soup mixes and bullion.   I repack them into smaller quantities and vac seal them, but they do indeed get used up.  price is absolutely cheaper per/oz or serving than smaller supermarket packaging. sometimes the quality is better!

So the S may never HTF, but I’m glad I’ve been exposed to all these new things, new foods, new techniques.

dehydrated cooked rice

back when I was still with a prepper FB group, mentioned I was experimenting with dehydrating cooked BROWN rice.  We all know that BROWN rice has a limited storage life and I wanted to know if cooked and dehydrated BROWN rice would keep better.

The immediate response to that was why are you doing that. Rice keeps forever if you keep it dry and seal it, etc., etc., etc.  And we all know BROWN rice goes rancid.

and that is part of why I am no longer with that FB group . . .

The answer to the question is not going to be found because today, needing some cooked rice in a hurry for a fast lunch as I was late, used that dehydrated BROWN rice.  It was only 3 months old and it was GOOD!!

So guess I’ll make another batch and set some aside and see how it tastes in a year or two.

keeping in shape

Having reached the milestone of 68 years, am continuing to try to find balance with my preps and my age.

Today, realized how out of condition I’ve become over the last year as I struggled to add 4 x 5 gal water containers to my inventory.

there is a certain amount of the aging process we can’t stop, but if we work hard enough, can hold it at bay for a while . . .

home prepping

when I began the prepping journey – which was as much as anything, about saving money and being sure of where our food came from – bought an American Canner.  They are great, heavy duty, no gasket, canners, machined out of solid aluminum.  BUT to be able to do more than 8 or 9 pints at a time, you have to do multiple rounds.

Was able to pick up a hardly used Presto canner at the thrift not long after that.  Besides being much lighter, when it comes to pints and 1/2 pints, its tall enough to stack the jars!  not only does that save time, but also energy as adding 1/2 an hour to the canning time is a lot less energy than doing 2 x 70 minute batches!

My husband has enjoyed the results of having home made soups and chili and such available, although he’s looked at my preps as more of a humoring me thing, not with any real long term seriousness.

Until recently.

Be that as it may, am working up pints of soup this summer instead of quarts as I’ve had the big DUH moment that I’m not always wanting what he wants and why do I have to open a quart for us both instead of a pint each of what we want?  Just, am making bigger batches so some goes into long term preps, while some goes into the pantry.

Made 11 pints of lentil soup a couple of weeks ago.  Yesterday made chicken soup.  Last night Husband had chicken with wild rice (his favorite), and canned two quarts of chicken with rice for him to take on a camping trip with his nephew this weekend.  Filled the rest of the canner with quarts of water; a good way to keep good water on hand, keep the jars useful instead of storing empty, and keep the canner full for a good canning experience.

Today, have 15 pints going: 4 plain soup with brown rice, 3 plain soup, added tomatoes to the rest in the pot with more veg and did more pints with rice, and 4 without.

While they’re gone will do some pea soup and some mixed bean soup.  Since I’m gluten free can’t add any pastas; the gf pastas tend to completely dissolve in liquid over time.  But will make sure there is enough liquid that I can add a handful when I heat up the soup.

 

lifestyle insurance

This also came up when reading the LDS manual.

For those who have a problem with the idea of PREPPER, Lifestyle insurance.

Storm, illness, failure of the retirement fund, old age, job loss for any reason.  Lifestyle Insurance is the food, water, clothing, and hopefully fuel, stored for a rainy day.

And if you can’t get your brain around the fact that any of it could happen to you, think how you will feel when you can help someone else who has had it happen to them . . . because we all know it happens only to other people!