Sunday, September 13, 2020

Preparedness Update

I have been a busy chubby granny this week.

Monday my grocery order went in for delivery on Thursday.  Chicken was on sale for 77 cents per pound, so I ordered 6 whole chickens and 6 each of the family packs of legs and thighs.

The very next day, Youngest Son called to say he was picking up his brother Wednesday morning to do a Sam's Club run for me.  

Wednesday morning I handed the boys my list and some cash and off they went.  

I have ordered a pressure canner but it won't be delivered for another week and a half, so the meat I ordered specifically for canning had to be frozen for now.  That involved a panic mode cleaning out of freezers in order to have room for the important stuff.  

Since I brown hamburger and cook whole chickens before canning the meat, here is what I wound up with when all was said and done.

40 lbs. of hamburger, browned and frozen.

12 whole chickens, cooked, deboned and the meat frozen.

4 whole chickens frozen for future roasting or frying.

30 chicken thighs and 60 chicken legs stuffed into Ziploc bags and frozen.  Those I like to pack into wide mouth quart jars and can them whole.

8 lbs. of breakfast sausage that came 2 lbs. per roll.  I cut the rolls into thirds, flattened each piece and vacuum sealed them before freezing.

2 large whole pork loins.  One I cut into 1-inch thick slices for boneless chops and the other into several small roasts.  These were also vacuum sealed and frozen. 

9 lbs. frozen blueberries, repackaged 1 cup per bag and frozen.

12 lbs. fresh strawberries, cleaned, halved and frozen in 1 quart freezer bags. 

There were also 24 lbs. of frozen hash browns and 18 lbs. of frozen mixed vegetables that have been dehydrated.

I use my home canned food for my everyday meals and was getting a little low on some of the meats.  It gives me some peace of mind to be able to restock.  And I am blessed with sons who are willing to take the time to shop for me and who haul it all up the stairs without complaint.

I will be pleased when I can get it all into jars and on the shelves.

I probably wouldn't have bought so much meat at one time, but with the reports of meat processing plants closed due to the threat of the virus, I decided I had better get as much as I could while I still could.  I have noticed more substitutions and out of stock items in my twice-a-month grocery deliveries than there have ever been before.  That isn't just meat, but other products as well. 

We live in a world that seems to be upside down and backwards.  We have the threat of the virus hanging over our heads.  Has anyone else noticed that young children did not get the virus right up to the time school was due to begin and then, all of a sudden, we hear of the dangers of school children becoming infected?

It really isn't about a virus.  It is all about control.

So no matter what the elite powers that be decide to throw at us, we had better be ready for it.  

Pray and prepare, my friends.  Pray and prepare.  


  1. Whew, you must be exhausted! Do you have enough canning jars and lids for all that? They've been rather scarce lately.

    1. chipmunk...Funny thing. Before I started on all of this, I asked God to please give me the strength to do what needed doing. It wasn't until last night that I finally collapsed into my recliner and didn't move until this morning. :)

      I think I am OK on jars and lids. I have lots of half pint jars and I can chicken in those because the amount is just right for a couple of sandwiches or to add to a 'cooking for one' casserole. If I run out of either, I can just leave the meat frozen until I can order more jars and lids.

  2. When it comes to work, the phrase "sucker for punishment" comes to mind when I think of you. Oh well, I guess it keeps you off the streets. ;-)

    1. Keeps me from getting into too much mischief, Gorges. My kids likely think that's a good thing. :)

  3. Vicki~ I wonder how many people have had idle hands these past months with nothing accomplished except complaints on how life is not fair. You Good Lady are not one of those people.

    In my neck of the woods we are contending with smoke from the fires that did not need to happen. The lack of proper forestry management and misplaced environmental logic, plus some arson, have wrecked havoc.

    I was able to add oatmeal, wheat, lentils and masa to my preps and dried more veggies. My Delivery Guy said his Grandmother and Aunts knew bad times were coming before the Virus even got here. For those that didn't listen and watch, it will be lean times ahead. Our garden is doing well even with the heat. Adding the shade cloth helped a great deal.

    For those who can, stock up on seeds and soil amendments now.

    In God's Safekeeping

    1. Red...I was just lucky that circumstances let me add more to my preps than I normally do.

      I don't understand. If things are bad enough to complain about, then why wouldn't folks do something to make things better for their families. My favorites are the ones who look piously heavenward and say that God will provide. He does provide. I am living proof of that. But I also believe He expects us to do the work.

      I pray you and yours are far enough away from the fires so that smoke is all you will need to contend with. That is bad enough. Last I heard, the fires are due to climate change and it is all Trump's fault. Sigh.

      Good for you on the dry goods and dried veggies. Whatever we can put back means another day our families will eat.

      Take good care.

  4. Ms. Vicki, be careful doing so much all at once. Don’t over-do it.

    1. I really do appreciate your concern, Matt. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to add to my preps. Spent today resting, so I am fine.

  5. As Matt said..Please be careful..I have noticed that more people are using the personnel shoppers at WM. Place order online let someone else shop for you, arrive at set time, they bring it out to your car, and load it for you.

    Yes there are shortages because the can't keep the shelf's full, due to everyone who used to eat out now shopping. I have noticed most if not all fast food joints still have their dinning rooms closed. Drive through only.

    1. I am fine, Rob...Thanks for your concern. I had heard about Walmart's drive up service. I also found out that Target delivers. My daughter ordered some FoodSaver bags for me from Target and they were delivered to her door.

      I heard that some of the food shortages are due to processing plants closing and others because there is a shortage of raw materials to make the cans. Whatever the reason, the time to stock up is now.

  6. Glad to hear you are doing well! I continue to feel as though there's much to do and very little time to get it done. I'm checking things off my list, but I can't seem to reach the end. As you said, it keeps me out of trouble!

    1. Thanks, sbrgirl...I think many of us are feeling the time to get it all done is running out. I probably will never get to the end of my list either, but we just do what we can. And you are right. These days we are just too busy to get into too much mischief!!

  7. The entire supply chain is having woes, so even though the meat plants are open (so far) if they can't get packaging materials or what ever else needed to make the product, or find enough trucks to ship, shelves in stores might have empty spots, or jacked up prices. And there's also the jacked up demand for the latest "hot" thing to make, like bread was earlier this year. Nothing against learning to make bread, but so many taking it up at the same time caused problems.

    As for kids and the virus - I wonder if so much attention was paid to adults, and with schools closed in spring, they missed that kids are being infected but showing no or few symptoms??? I remember an interview with a doctor a long time ago, and he said when it comes to disease transmission, children are vermin - as in they are most excellent spreaders. I see no real reason why that doesn't apply to corona virus.

    Wow, you did a lot of work freezing all that! I don't (yet?) can meats, but am happy to have a freezer and pantry with extras in it. And a garden even though it didn't do well this year.

    I wonder - those who do nothing to stock up on supplies - do they have the equipment (and knowledge) to freeze and can? What about the funds or space for equipment if they don't? Space to store a stock of supplies? If they have funds, space, and the willingness to do the work, is the equipment even available? Do those that have no interest in stocking up simply assume all will go back to the old normal soon? So many questions I have no answers to.

    1. JustGail...I just a couple of days ago saw an article telling about Tyson closing some of their chicken processing plants. And yes, packaging materials are in short supply including what is needed to make the cans. Truck drivers are refusing to go into areas that have cut back the police forces or where the protests are happening. Too many loads have been hijacked and too many drivers abused.

      I agree that kids pick up whatever bug is going around. The 'medical experts' however, made a point on several occasions to state that younger children were not getting the virus. I am skeptical because that opinion changed only when school was about to start up again.

      A person doesn't need to freeze or can food in order to build up food storage. And they don't need to spend a wheelbarrow full of money. Simply buying a few extra items each time they shop for groceries will soon give them something in reserve. I often hear people say they have no room to store food. I live in a small, three room apartment and I have at least a years worth of food stored - probably more. If they think our lives will get back to normal, they are sadly mistaken. And if they are too lazy to do the work, they will be hungry.

      The equipment can still be found. It takes some online research to find it. My pressure canner broke. I ordered another from Walmart. It arrived this morning.

      If a person is interested in owning the latest gadget or in driving a new car or going on vacation, then chances are good they have zero interest in preparing. Those of us who do spend the time and money on preparing do it so that our families will be fed and taken care of in an emergency situation. It is all a matter of priorities. My family tops the list above all else except God.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. It is appreciated.

    2. Good news on the canner arriving! I'm a fairly recent reader of your blog - have you ever shown how you store all that food and equipment in your apartment? I agree that a food stock doesn't need to be done all in one shot. And it comes down to priorities. As you say, those who say "can't afford it" consider junk food, pop, smokes, lottery tickets or fancy "stuff" more essential than buying a few extra cans of food or package of t.p.

    3. JustGail...

      First off, let me say that my apartment will never be featured in a 'Beautiful Home' publication! If a person requires a living space that contains the latest décor, my methods will not work. I have never posted pictures, but I can tell you what I do.

      Much of my food storage is home canned foods. To hold all the jars, I bought 4 shelving units - heavy duty metal - each 6 ft. high and 4 ft. wide and 18 inches deep. Two are in my bedroom and two in my living room. Three are full of jars of food. The fourth holds 2 shelves of jars. The rest of that unit holds kitchen appliances, extra tin foil, parchment paper, etc., as well as my quilting fabric and my yarn stash.

      I had two night stands in my bedroom. One of them now functions as a living room side table. In its place is a smaller shelving system that holds mostly store bought canned goods and misc. foods from the store.

      The space under my bed is filled with boxes of food - mostly dry goods.

      There is a 6 ft. high shelving unit behind the bedroom door that holds dehydrated food.

      There are two closets in my bedroom. The small one holds my clothes and other misc. stuff. The large one is full of buckets of flour and sugar. The overhead shelf holds bottles of cooking oil, ketchup, pancake syrup, etc.

      I pulled my couch out a little over 1 foot and store water behind it.

      I have two dressers. One holds my clothes. The other holds Ziploc bags of rice, dry milk, cornmeal and oatmeal. I set a small bookcase on top of that dresser and there I keep baking needs - molasses, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, etc.

      I think that is probably way more information than you wanted, but that's how I store much of my food storage. It also helps to have a son living in the apartment next to mine. He stores the overflow from canning sessions.

      It can be done. Just depends on priorities. Me - can't think of anything more important than taking care of my family.

  8. I am so happy that your new pressure canner arrived. YEA!
    As for preps - another cucumber is in the food dehydrator. Two zucchini are waiting in the wings for their turn in the dehydrator.

    And the first two pounds of chopped figs are in sugar and getting 'syrupy' as my canning book described it. I won't can the mixture but will freeze it. Free fruit is the best deal around.

    I agree about building a food pantry by just adding a few things to your cart with each shopping trip. That's how I started building my pantry.

    Take good care, cheers,
    SJ in Vancouver BC Canada

    1. SJ...I was tickled that the canner arrived sooner than expected and delighted it arrived at all. There are no pressure canners to be had locally, at least in the obvious places Youngest Son looked.

      What do you do with the figs? We don't grow them here and I am curious.

      So many people think you need a boat load of cash to prep. Unless you are going with the freeze dried pre-packaged meals, you don't. Mine, like yours, has been built up a little at a time. The only time I spent some serious cash at one time is for a Sam's Club haul, and then only after I have saved money over time for just that. A little here - a little there - it all adds up.

    2. The canning book I'm reading says the jam makes great filling for Fig Newton type cookies. I say I'm 'reading' the canning book since I'm just using it for ideas - I'll be freezing my jam. I'm not up for canning right now.

      My first adventures in building a pantry came when I found a list on line titled something like 'build your pantry for $5' a week. Granted that was years ago, but the idea was to buy a small amount each week even if it was just one regular box of salt. I kept that list on my refrigerator for a long time.
      Cheers, SJ in Vancouver BC
      PS -- I just ordered an air purifier. One of those things my little inner voice was nagging me to buy months ago and I didn't listen to at the time...