Friday, August 28, 2020

Alternate Methods

Those of us who for whatever reason can not raise a garden, look for alternate methods to acquire vegetables.  Farmer's Markets are a good option.  But if that venue is not available, we watch the sale ads for our local grocery stores.

The store that my delivery service uses ran an ad for fresh veggies.  And I took advantage of it.  Yesterday 6 cabbage, 8 lbs. of carrots, 2 bunches of celery, 5 lbs. of onions and 6 very large green bell peppers were delivered.  And I had no real idea what I was going to do with them, but they are food.  They will feed my family.

I also ordered 4 lbs. each of frozen corn, broccoli, peas and mixed vegetables.

After thinking about my options, I decided to dehydrate everything.  I have lots of home canned vegetables on the shelves and those are good for meals.  Many dehydrated vegetables will rehydrate well for meals as well, but they are also good for soups, stews and casseroles.

Onions and peppers don't need to be blanched before drying.  Those I will dice and dry.  They can be used as is or turned into powder for adding flavor to various dishes.

After doing a bit of online research I found that the other vegetables that need to be blanched can be done so in the microwave.  That appeals to me because I have a smoke alarm in my apartment that will go off when I just boil water.  Cabbage, carrots and celery are shredded or diced, placed in a 2 quart casserole dish, adding a few tablespoons of water, cover and microwave at one or two minute increments until their color turns bright.  Then they are plunged into ice water to stop the cooking and patted dry before going on the dehydrator trays.

The frozen corn and mixed vegetables are drying.  I am off to shred and dice the fresh vegetables and get them ready to dry.

Food shortages are on the horizon due to weather events, civil unrest and widespread pandemic panic.  Every bit of food we can put back now will insure our families are fed no matter what happens next.

Pray and prepare, more now than ever.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020


 I am not tech savvy enough to post this video here what with Blogger's new format, so please go over to Rev. Paul's blog to view.  It is important.  Thank you.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Always Have a Plan - B

So here's the deal.  I talked with Youngest Son last evening.  He has been scouting around for a new pressure canner for me since a part on the lid of mine broke.  He has found none.  He says there are no canning jars or lids to be had, either.

I could go online and order all the supplies.  Thing is, when you are on a fixed income, choices have to be made.  I am not destitute.  I can pay my rent and my bills, pay for groceries and meds, do what I need to do to live relatively comfortable.  But I have just so much cash set aside for extras.  And at this point, I have decided that the extra cash needs to be spent on food.

Things are getting dicey out there, folks.  Weather destroyed a good bit  of the corn crop in Iowa.  Many migrant farm workers are now being tested for the virus and when the tests come back positive as they all do, farms are being shut down.  China is in the middle of a food crisis which then has an effect on our food supply.  Ice Age Farmer has several good videos out about these things, but I have also seen other similar reports.

Now maybe these reports are all just fearmongering hype.  But then again, maybe they aren't.  The question is, am I willing to listen to those who think I have taken a swan dive off the edge of sanity with my preparations, or do I pay attention to my gut instinct that tells me I had better kick it into high gear because time is running out.

Bottom line.  I will not risk the welfare of my family by doing nothing.

So onward with Plan-B.

I like having home canned meat in jars because it is fully cooked and often it makes meal preparations easier for me due to my physical limitations.  But there is no reason I can not have the same product in my freezer.

I have a FoodSaver.  Oldest Daughter is picking up several rolls of FoodSaver bags for me at Target this week.  The plan is to cook up the pork that is in my freezer along with what comes on my grocery order this week and what Youngest Son is picking up for me at Sam's Club next week.  All of that can be divided into meal sized portions, vacuum sealed and frozen.

My grocery order this week includes lots of frozen vegetables that can be dehydrated.  There is a sale on fresh vegetables, so I am ordering cabbage, carrots, celery, bell peppers and onions.  I am not sure yet what I will do with those.  I am still able to water bath can, so I might can some relish or pickle some of the vegetables or some can be dehydrated.  It is all food to add to the stores.  It is all food that will sustain my family if things really do get bad.

Flexibility is necessary in these uncertain times.  If Plan-A doesn't work, move on to Plan-B.  Or Plan-C or Plan-D.  Whatever it takes to do what we need to do.

Maybe everything will work out.  Maybe the rioters will go back to their Mama's basements and play computer games again.  Maybe those governors and mayors who are drunk on power will back off from their virus mandates and defund the police initiatives and be sensible again.  Maybe life as we knew it will come back.

Or maybe not.

Pray and prepare, my friends.  Right now, that's all we've got.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Plans - Sigh

So the plan was to take some time off from blogging to do a serious amount of canning.  That was a great plan right up to the time a part on my pressure canner lid broke.  After checking on the cost of sending the lid in for repairs, I found that buying a new pressure canner would cost less.  So Youngest Son went on a quest for a new canner.  And guess what - apparently pressure canners are becoming as scarce as hen's teeth.  He has a couple more places to check and if none can be found in the stores, he says he will order one for me.  As luck would have it, I had not yet thawed the pork in the freezer that I planned to jar up.

Pressure canners aren't the only items that seem to be in short supply.  Every two weeks I add canning lids to my grocery order.  I order six boxes of each size.  I am lucky if I get three boxes total.  And I ordered two cases of pint jars and got none.  Thankfully, one of my dear readers sent me a link to order jars and I may need to do that soon.

Canning supplies are not all that I am finding in short supply.  As some of you know, due to health issues, I rely on a grocery delivery service, so I am not in stores to see the condition of the store shelves as far as shortages go.  But I am noticing that substitutions within my orders are increasing.  The service I use does not substitute items unless the particular item is not on the shelf at all.  Last week apparently at the store where the service shops, there were no bags of frozen chicken breast, no Dawn dishwashing liquid, no DelMonte sliced peaches and no store brand bowl cleaner in addition to no canning lids or pint jars.  Others that I am in touch with tell me the shortages they see in their areas are different, but are shortages nonetheless.  Methinks the time to seriously stock up is coming slowly to a close.

This time away has not been a total loss.  I have been working on an inventory of my food storage.  It is much easier to consult a notebook when doing my grocery order than it is to dig around in my store room to see what I need.  Plus, there is a flaw in my character.  Or in my memory.  At any rate, I have been known to put something away for safe-keeping, only to lose it for all time.  Yep.  I do that.  So now, at the very least, I know what is in the buckets and I know what is stashed under the bed.

I have dehydrated home canned tomatoes for turning into powder.  If canning jars continue to be hard to get, I may do more, just for the empty jars.  

I have been researching Do-It-Yourself projects to replace some of the items I may not be able to get, should the shortages get worse.  I have found instructions for several that I will tell you about as I give them a try.

And I have been getting some sewing done, particularly a baby quilt for my soon to be born Great Grandbaby.  That job is just fun.  And Lord knows, we all could use a little fun in our lives to counter all the insanity around us.  I will post a picture when it is finished - probably next week.

That's all I know today.  I pray all of you are well.  Take good care and continue to pray and prepare.   

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Taking Time Off

I am taking a couple of weeks off from blogging to concentrate on food preservation.  There is pork from a good grocery sale to thaw and can.  There are hashbrowns and tomatoes to dehydrate.  There is close to 100 lbs. of flour to repackage and store.  And that is just for starters.  

I have a quarter beef coming this fall from a local farmer, so the freezer needs to be cleaned out and anything that can be canned or dehydrated needs to be taken care of.  And my sons are planning another Sam's Club run.  And I have another grocery delivery in a week and a half.

If you think for one little bitty minute that things are going to go back to what we considered normal, think again.  We are told we have to 'social distance' and wear masks, but the riots continue unabated.  No social distancing there.

I read in the local news that shootings are a nightly occurrence in Minneapolis.  There was a time not all that long ago that as far as large cities go, Minneapolis was one of the more decent ones.  Now that the 'defund the police' movement has reared its ugly head and law enforcement is no longer allowed to do the job we pay them to do, anything goes and the criminals are deliriously happy with that.  Citizens - not so much.

Between the riots and mayhem that Democratic leaders are allowing to happen and the fear being perpetuated by the left over a virus with a 99% recovery rate, the normal world we grew up in is fading fast.

If you think the Dems will not use every dirty trick in the book and will make up a few more in order to gain power over us, you are delusional.  

Time is short.  If we are not now doing all we can to take care of our families, then shame on us.  That is why I am taking time to can and dehydrate and stock up on other supplies necessary to see my family through what is ahead.  I will be back when I am caught up on what needs doing.

Churches have been closed but so far as I know, there is not a ban on prayer - yet.  Pray and prepare like never before.