Monday, July 27, 2020

Experiment Fail - Sort Of

Whenever I experiment with my food storage and the experiment works, I am quick to pass the information on to you.

So when an experiment doesn't work so well, the only fair thing to do is to let you know what happened.

I had this grand idea.  I often have grand ideas.  Some work.  Others don't.  This one sort of worked but not really.  I will explain.

I have one shelf full of mostly home canned tomatoes and some cans of commercially canned tomatoes.  I also have a box full of bags of dehydrated tomatoes.  Toss into the mix several recipes for using tomato powder.

The grand idea was to use dehydrated tomato powder to make often used tomato products, thus saving shelf space.  If the experiment worked, a good deal of the canned tomatoes could be dehydrated and the shelf space used for those cases of food sitting on the floor for want of space to put them.

So I spent an afternoon running dried tomatoes through my handy, dandy little electric coffee grinder, reducing them to powder. 

The next day I made up a batch of each recipe.  And each recipe worked just like advertised.  The down side was the taste.  I expected them to taste just like the tomato products from the store shelves.  They didn't.

The reasons are numerous.  Perhaps I left the tomatoes in the dehydrator too long and that had an effect on the taste.  Or maybe my expectations were too high.  I was ready to scrap the whole thing.

But after thinking about it for a day or so, it occurred to me that the ketchup made with tomato powder might not taste just like bottled ketchup, but what if bottled ketchup was no longer available.  Anything is possible in our troubled times and with the food shortages happening across the country.  Ketchup that isn't exactly like bottled is still useful should it be all I have.

So I will continue with the experiment.  Most of my home canned tomatoes are going into the dehydrator.  Shelf space gained will be put to good use.  Below are the recipes.  You can decide for yourself if this alternative to tomato products is right for you.

Tomato Paste
6 Tablespoons tomato powder
1/2 Cup water
Equals one 6 oz. can.

Tomato Sauce
2/3 Cup tomato powder
2 Cups water
Equals a bit more than one 15 oz. can.

Tomato Juice
1 Cup tomato powder
8 Cups water
Equals one 64 oz. bottle.

1/2 Cup water
6 Tablespoons tomato powder
1/4 Cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon each salt, oregano, cumin
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard

BBQ Sauce
6 Tablespoons tomato powder
3/4 Cup water
1-1/2 Cups brown sugar
1/2 Cup vinegar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons paprika
1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Bring to a simmer.  Cool and refrigerate.

Tomato Soup
6 Tablespoons water + 4 Tablespoons flour
1/4 Cup water + 3 Tablespoons powdered milk
4-1/2 Cups water
2/3 Cup tomato powder
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
Mix four and water until smooth.
Mix water and dry milk until smooth.
Heat 4-1/2 Cups water until almost boiling.
Whisk in tomato powder and heat on medium low to a simmer.
Whisk in flour/water mix.
Add brown sugar and salt and mix well.
Heat to almost boiling.
Turn off heat and stir in milk/water mix.

Spaghetti Sauce
1/2 Cup tomato powder
1 Tablespoon onion flakes
1-1/2 teaspoon each dry parsley, basil, oregano and Italian seasoning
1-1/2 teaspoon each salt and garlic powder
1/4 Cup brown sugar
Simmer 1 hour.

So there you are.  If anyone gives this a try, please let me know how it works for you.  And as always, pray and prepare.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Let's Call it a Protest

 On the heels of a mandatory, state wide mask order by the communist governor of Minnesota, a friend wrote the following piece.  He is a Viet Nam Vet, a retired policeman and someone who has my complete trust and respect.

"I was asked why I don’t take Covid and the mask situation seriously. I said that I do take the virus seriously. I believe the people who are disseminating the information to us have a long, long track record of lying to and showing dismissive contempt for American citizens as a whole.

At one point, the disease was supposed to have a 5% death rate. The death rate has now been reduced to less than 1/3 of 1% worldwide. The truth is I’m not opposed to masks at all. Much like carrying a firearm, I won’t shame anyone for deciding to wear one or not. Sort of a “my body, my choice” situation I suppose.

However, when considering the trustworthiness of information coming from our politicians, I’ve been unable to reconcile the fact that 200,000 people protesting in the streets is met with little to no concern, but a bar, restaurant or hair salon with 10 people in it could be disastrous. The idea that a Trump rally of 18,000 people is a significant risk but a group of 20,000 students tearing down statues isn’t, leaves me perplexed.

Further, how could you possibly take anyone seriously who mandates that free citizens stay at home and wear masks in public but also calls for the acceptance of millions of immigrants entering our society illegally with no record of immunizations against more common and deadly diseases every day.

The truth is that our political “leaders,” just like with guns, drugs, our national debt or sex trafficking, have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about and no plan outside of what’s handed to them 6 seconds before they reach the podium.

So I choose to protect myself as I see fit. If anyone doesn’t like it, I’m ok with that. Just think of it as a “protest.” That seems to be ok with many people."

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

In Less Than 4 Months...

In 4 months, the U.S. transformed into an obedient socialist country.

Government dictated what events are acceptable to attend. Violent protests that instill fear are OK, but church services, family funerals and patriotic celebrations are dangerous. And you bought it without a fight.

Standing in a graduation line is a "safety hazard". Small businesses were forced to close, but crowds to support the corporate money machine at WalMart, Lowe's and Home Depot are OK.

It's "just a mask" & "safety precautions".

Here's $2,400 that we stole out of your pay check in the first place. Enjoy. Buy something with it, from a big corporation.

Cash is dirty. We can't give change. There's a coin shortage. Use your card. In 4 months, they convinced you to use a traceable card for everything.

In less than 4 months, government closed public schools then "restructured" education under the guise of "public safety".

In less than 4 months, our government demonstrated how easily people assimilate to "guidelines" that have NO scientific premise whatsoever when you are fearful.

In less than 4 months, our government successfully instilled fear in a majority of the population in America that allows them to control every aspect of your life, including what you eat, where you go, who you see and your toilet paper.

And the most dangerous and terrifying part? People are not afraid of the government who removed their freedom. They're afraid of their neighbors, family and friends!

And they hate those who won't comply!

It's absolutely terrifying to me that so many people don't question "authority". They are willing to surrender their critical thinking skills and independence. They just... gave up without thinking. Without a fight.

Do you know what's coming next?

"It's just a vaccine. Come on. It's for the greater good".

Wait until you're told that you can't enter any store or business without proof of the Covid-19 vaccine. Wait until you can't go to public events or get on a plane without proof of receiving the vaccine.

To everyone that doesn't believe this is possible - DO YOU UNDERSTAND that government successfully dictated to people WHEN they were allowed to be outside, WHERE they were allowed to go, and HOW their children would be educated in LESS THAN 4 months? And that a majority of the population followed blindly because they were told to do so?

You're kidding yourself if you think this behavior won't be repeated with a vaccine. Or whatever the next step is.

"I don't follow politics."

"Who cares about that stuff?"

"I don't like to think about it."

6 million Jews were exterminated in Germany because 97% of the population cowed to populist control. Nobody wanted to think about it. It's easier to just ignore it.

But that couldn't happen here, right?

They got you. Without a thought. Without a fight. Just like France. Just like Russia. Just like China.

Welcome, comrades, to what they call the New Normal.

It is not "just a mask."

Posted by a friend on Facebook.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Way To Go, Maddie

I have been getting phone calls now and then from my son and granddaughter, Maddie Mae.  They would call while they were out driving so Maddie could practice for her driving test.  Speaker phone enabled me to talk to both of them and there were some fun conversations. 

Yesterday was the big day.  There was another phone call on their way home, telling me Maddie passed her test with flying colors.  I was not surprised.  Maddie is a hard working girl, determined to do well at whatever she sets out to do.

Time flies by.  I have no idea where the time went between this

and this.

Congratulations, Miss Maddie Mae!  You do me proud in so many ways.

So this one is just for you.

Love, Grandma.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Another Scam

A few days ago a small storm went through my town.  About three miles south of my location there were some small trees uprooted and trash cans were tossed about.  My immediate are was untouched.  The storm wasn't bad enough to rate even a mention in the local newspapers.

Yesterday I received a phone call from someone with a thick accent who told me his company was checking the area for storm damage.  They would be at my building the next day to check our roof.  I hung up on him.  A phone call to my landlord confirmed that no request for storm damage assessment had been made.  He was unaware of any storm at all.

This morning I got another call.  The first tip-off was that he asked for Alberta.  Alberta was my neighbor who died a couple of years ago.  The caller sidestepped that error and proceeded to try to convince me that access to the building and to my apartment was necessary to check for damage.  I told him that unless my landlord accompanied him, access would be denied.  What I know and he doesn't know is that my landlord is currently out of town.

We also had a very short discussion about the close proximity of my building to the police station. 

Makes my day when I can get a scammer to hang up on me.  :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Let's see...

First we had about three years of "He's a Russian asset." 
Then there was the Ukrainian phone call debacle.
Followed by the silliest impeachment hearings in modern history.
Then along comes a virus, turning governors and mayors into power hungry tin gods.
When lockdown weary folks began to defy the orders from on high, enter the riots and looting and burning.
And once that activity lessened, here comes a second wave of virus hysteria.
And smack dab in the middle of all this, lets toss in the protest marches designed not to protest injustices but to keep us riled up and spreading hate.  God forbid we should sit down together like civilized grown-ups and try to work out our differences.
And we can not forget those politicians who posture and pontificate and treat us like dim-witted children who can't possibly make decisions for ourselves and our families.  The same ones who do their level best to keep society dependent upon government.  The same ones who think that defunding the police is a great idea.  How's that working for you Chicago, New York, Minneapolis!  Not working out too well for the baby boy who was shot and killed while sitting in his stroller at a family picnic.  Not too well for the little girl shot and killed while playing outside at her Grandma's house.  Not too well for the cops who lost their lives due to the uptick in criminal violence this week.  And last week.  And the week before.  But hey - we need fewer cops, dontcha know.  Not working out too well at all.

I'm tired.  Tired of it all.  I was under the impression that I lived in America.  You remember America, don't you?  That place where we could speak our minds freely.  That land of freedom to live our lives the way we chose to within the law.  Where with hard work we could accomplish great things.  That place where our flag waved proudly and was treated with respect and where citizens were treated the same.

I wonder if we can ever get it back - that America. 

Thursday, July 9, 2020

I will just come to your house...

How many times have those of us who prepare heard similar words from folks who can't be bothered to set aside extra food for emergencies.  My standard answer is, "No, you won't."

Jennifer over at Prep School Daily has an excellent post dealing with this subject.  Go read it.  It is worth your time.

I will add only two things.  The first is that I keep doing all I can do to prepare because I never, ever want to be in a place where I have to look into the eyes of a hungry grandchild and tell them I have nothing to feed them.

The second is that in spite of the current notion among younger generations, nothing is free.  Someone always has to pay.  The best advice I ever received came from my Dad who said, "If you want it, work for it."

Pray and prepare.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

The Bat Bike

Some time ago my oldest son ordered an electric bike.  Duane says it looks like something out of a Batman movie, so he calls it the 'Bat Bike.'

Due to shipping delays, it finally arrived this week.  It is painted a flat black color and has a removable battery pack that can be recharged.  Information on this kind of bike can be found by searching 'ecotric'.

The bike required some assembly  The owner of the local bike shop put the seat and handle bars on it and checked it out.  It was good to go.

Duane did a test ride to the Target store about two miles away, where he bought a backpack to hold necessities for mostly fishing expeditions.The bike performed perfectly.

On his way home, Duane passed the Sheriff's office that is close by his apartment.  There were three deputies outside and they called Duane over.  Turns out none of them had ever seen a Bat Bike before and were curious about it.  Duane showed them the bike and explained how his stroke had left him unable to drive a car.  The numbness in one of his legs makes riding a regular bike difficult, so he found the Bat Bike online and thought it might be the answer to his transportation problems.  The battery takes over so pedaling is unnecessary.

One of the deputies asked if he could take the bike for a spin around the block and Duane said he could.  Duane had a good test run and a nice conversation with the local law.

But all cops are supposed to be bad - at least that is what we are expected to believe.  I guess our local sheriff deputies didn't get that memo.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Heads Up

As if there isn't enough crazy in our world, I have had some odd phone calls so far this week.

There have been the daily calls advising me to consolidate my credit cards.  This would be tough to do considering I own zero credit cards.  Sometimes I just play along and waste their time and sometimes I remark on their obvious lack of proper parentage and hang up.  Depends on my mood.

But this week I have received two calls from someone with an accent claiming to be from the Social Security Administration.  The first one I hung up on.  The second I played along with to see what the scam was.  Aparently my Social Security Number was used in connection with a crime in Texas.  They could not recite my number to me for verification and they could not tell me the nature of the supposed crime and they did not know the name of the police officer in charge of the case.  Then we had a short discussion about recording my calls and of attorney generals prosecuting fraud cases and they hung up on me.  I may be old but that doesn't necessarily make me stupid.

Todays call was from someone who said they were from a fancy sounding law firm  They tried three times to get me to say "Yes."  They kept asking if I was agreeing to accept the call, to which I replied three times, "What is the nature of this call."  Finally they told me that the call concerned a settlement of a lawsuit in which I was to receive a cash payout.  We then had a short discussion about phone call recording and fraud.  They hung up on me, too.  Don't know why.:)

Sadly, there are lonely elderly folks who believe that the SSA is calling them and that a law firm really has money to give them.

There has to be a special place in Hell for those who prey on the vulnerable elderly.