Storage Items: Food


The box I've got right now is called "Cheese Tang" and I got it from a Best Buys distributorship in Wisconsin. It seems to be more generally available at baker's supply houses. A National Guard chef that I met recently suggested looking for the Trio Brand, available from commercial food distributors (which also sell to the public). It seems to be a pretty useful product, and it has a lot less fat and cholesterol than regular cheese.


Wal-Mart sells a 25# bag of pinto beans for $12, and 20# bags of white rice for $8. For less than $800 you could buy all the beans and rice a family could eat for a year -- and for an extra $200-400, you could add spices, oils, canned fruits, canned meats, powdered milk, vegetables, plus plant a small garden of foods you enjoy.

If an outlay of $800 is too much at one time, you can spend the next year buying a little at a time -- for an extra $20 a week, you can put in all the beans and rice you need in 6 months....IF YOU START NOW!!! Don't wait until the last minute -- supplies from storage food companies are already in short supply, and many have several months of delay before shipments can be fulfilled. Shop during sales, buy two of .everything our family likes, eat one and store one. WE have a discount food shop here in town and I started buying his "bulk" stuff he had too much of. He gave me a big discount for buying it by the box. I bought canned soups at 4 for a dollar. A huge bag of rice for $2.00 and all kinds of peanut butter etc. I told him to keep letting me know when he has a deal for me. It works good for me and him. He says he can't get rid of the stuff when he has so much of it. (its a small town) So now every time I go, I try to get whatever he has that will keep with shelf life and that we like.

Try finding a discount food store in your area and cut a deal with them if your can. its even worth a little drive to do it. Diane


I have navy (pea) beans, red kidney beans and pinto beans in 5-gallon buckets 25# of the pea beans fill it about 3/4 of the way. The kidney and pinto beans are a bit more bulky. Probably 30# of each would fill your buckets. Any over you could use immediately.

Have you thought of putting the beans in zip lock bags and then putting an assortment in each bucket? That way, you wouldn't be opening a bucket of ONE kind of bean but of an assortment. Have also heard (but not tried) of putting different kinds of beans in 2-liter soda bottles, putting them in a bucket, and then filling the bucket with rice. That also provides an assortment.

I keep my beans with only bay leaves for protection but I must emphasize that I live in a cool climate and have a cool house.

BUYING: Purchase Your Food Now; Don't Delay Gary North has a portion of the article, with commentary. Here's THAT address:

The survival food market is overwhelmed by the demand. There in Utah, the Mormons are used to stocking up on food, since their religion mandates having a one-year supply. There are several dried food and bulk food dealers in the intermountain region. None of them are able to meet the demand. People in large numbers are becoming aware of the implications of Y2K, and are taking action NOW. One dealer had people flying out to Utah with their life savings, renting U-Hauls, and showing up

at the door, demanding that they fill their trucks! The guy said that people are writing checks for $50,000 worth of food! I could be all wet, but it seems to me that if you stock up on 50 pound bags of dried beans, flour, oil, rice and pasta, and add lots of canned goods, a family could get by pretty well while helping their neighbors. I can't imagine being happy knowing I had thousands of dollars worth of food squirreled away while my neighbors and friends went without. So we're putting away some basics and storing water. I haven't heard of any runs on the grocery stores yet, so as long as you can buy canned goods by the case, the corner grocery will still be a viable food source. Some of the bulk vendors are already so back ordered that they're saying they won't be able to ship before 1/1/00, so they've stopped taking new orders. Public awareness is going to peak pretty soon, which is good, because the more people who have stores put back, the less serious the crisis will be for everybody.


Why would someone choose the dehydrated foods over the canned?

They take up significantly less space.

How do they compare dollars wise, nutritionally, shelf life etc.?

Canned food is less expensive, dehydrated foods are better nutritionally, and if stored in cool, dry conditions both have about the same shelf life

CANNING: Cooking Jelly Without Pectin

Making jelly or preserves without added pectin is pretty simple. You just cook it until it "sheets." That means every so often you dip a metal spoon in the stuff as you cook it. Hold the bowl of the spoon perpendicular to the pot, and let the stuff drip back in. At first, it will just run back in a series of single drips. When your preserves reach the sheeting point, the drops will join together along the edge of the spoon, and will look like a "sheet" of jelly or preserves. At this point, it is jelled enough.

This works best with fruits that have a lot of natural pectin (like apples.) You can add apple to other fruits or berries, or add crab-apple (just a little: lots of pectin, but they're tart)--- that'll give you good results.

DEHYDRATING: Non-Electric Food Dehydrating

I was thinking about how to dehydrate foods without using electricity. I finally decided to take two of my trays from my(electric) Excaliber and load them with squash and put them in my gas oven. I'd heard you can dehydrate by pilot light. It's working wonderfully. It usually takes a day and a half to dry a tray but the nice thing is that it's not costing me anything extra: the pilot light would be on regardless.

Now my husband wants to have our gas stove changed over to propane (they can do thus by altering the burners ) because if there's a SERIOUS electric breakdown in y2k, the gas won't be pumping through the pipes for awhile either, but we could still cook a long time on 250 gallons of propane. I'm wondering, does propane use a pilot light?

To answer your question about what the Excaliber trays are like. They are a basic square with a plastic screen on them. Easily duplicated like the other post that was on today's list. I also know that we tend to have shear curtains hanging around for some great purpose in the future. I would think they would work too. I've used them for cheesemaking as well. The oven pilot keeps the oven about 150 degrees at all times. I'm actually really enjoying dehydrating this way after having used my electric dehydrator for years. No buzz of the fan to bug me! doesn't put all that heat into the house for the summer. I do like the outdoor dehydrator as well.

I have two friends in TN that have built outdoor dehydrators they both work well. However, they built them so large that it takes a lot of food to fill them up. I like this method of a little at a time. It's no sweat to chop or grate up two trays full and set them into my oven...every other day. Plus when I need to bake, it's no big deal to find a place to set two trays while I need the oven. However, I would caution you about putting the trays back in the oven too soon....(smile)...I kind of warped one of my Excaliber trays not meaning too! It still fits in the electric dehydrator thankfully!

We also knew some folks that dehydrated in the window of their car all the time. I have also used old clean sheer curtains over the top of my food that is dehydrating outdoors. It works great. They can usually be purchased from Goodwill for a $1 or so.

DRY PACKING: Mormon Cannery Very Helpful

I called a Mormon : they said I was welcome to come down any time to look around, but suggested I make an appointment if I actually want to buy, as it takes some time. Only a certain number of people are allowed in at a time and they spend the entire day there 'dry packing' their food working together as a group

They will help anyone to plan their meals depending on family size and tastes. Even said he would give me some kind of floppy disc for my computer that I can use to plan my meals. Apparently, they have some kind of program that is available. They have a complete line of dried/dehydrated foods we can buy.

I don't know their prices or if they charge more if one is not Mormon. I also expect that if you do go to a cannery, they will try to evangelize. This is okay by me: I can handle that! In any case, they seemed very willing to help me, even though I was not a LDS.

I understand that the Mormon's have cannery's all over the country that we might be able to use to help us. LDS software and cannery locations:

EGGS: Cellar Eggs Keep 6 Months

My mom sells eggs to friends. They last at least 6 months. Mom tells her customers not to wash them. There is a coating on the eggs that will keep them fresh. Then keep them in the basement, which is a dark cool dry cellar. She said that was the way they did it growing up.

EGGS: Chickens & Eggs

Q: If we get chickens, can we have eggs year round? We live in Vermont.

A: Eggs year round is unrealistic for ANY area. We live in FL. Those little chickens need a vacation! They stop laying for about 2 months, when the daylight hours are short. Eggs keep well though, if you don't wash them and keep them in a cool place - above freezing. The commercial places keep their hens laying by using artificial lighting. But their chickens wear out young. We have 4 year old hens still laying - huge eggs! Don't even fit in the cartons. We also have some younger ones. But ours aren't all worn out from laying year round.

EGGS: Storage

The incredible, edible egg can be stored in the basement or fridge. The eggs need to be turned once a week. Just keep them in a carton and turn them over once a week. Mother Earth News did a test years ago and I believe they kept eggs for 6 months in a cellar just that way. To check and make sure the eggs are good put in water. Good eggs lie on the bottom, they do not float.

I store eggs with Sodium Silicate. It's the same stuff you get at the auto parts store or pharmacy. I found mine by the quart jar (much cheaper this way) for about $6 at the local pharmacy. We bought it to seal the engine of an old truck....and by the worked great. The couple that we gave the truck too are still driving it a year after we did that seal thing with the sodium silicate. They've had no problems!

P.S. I have a friend that got the WalMart pharmacy to special order her some...also they special ordered her citric acid for cheese making and it was much cheaper than anywhere we could find it!

EGGS: Store Eggs With Waterglass

Waterglass (liquid sodium silicate) has several uses, one of them is for storing fresh eggs for extended periods of time. Here is a quote from Lehman's ad:

"Preserve eggs for months with Waterglass. Mix one part Waterglass with ten parts cooled, boiled water and pour into a large, stone crock. Wipe off fresh eggs with a flannel cloth and place in solution (eggs should be covered with 2"). Cover crock and store in a cool, dry place. (From "The Boston Cooking School Cook Book" by Fannie Farmer, c. 1886) Waterglass (liquid sodium silicate) - One gallon bucket will preserve 50 dozen eggs. Non hazardous; fumeless. $21.95"


I've read that shortening in large metal cans (NOT the foil-covered 3 pound cans) will keep the longest of all.


These Times, a Catholic organization which can feed a family of five for $1500/yr with basic foods. They're at

There is also Wheat Montana at: and it supplies buckets of wheat, oats, barley, other grains, legumes, honey, etc. and if one's order is sufficiently large, will deliver it via semi right to one's door. If we have the grain to make a bread or cereal, the legumes, oil, salt, and pure water, we should be able to manage just fine. One can also use sprouting seeds as a terrific source of vitamins and enzymes as they multiply hugely their nutrients within a few days by sprouting. So, a bucket of alfalfa or mixed sprouts would take care of many vitamin needs. For cooking, use a small butane/propane burner, a solar oven, or build your own clay oven which could be used whether or not we experience severe difficulties. gives a brief introduction to clay oven baking.

My storage priorities are the above, plus: are: macaroni and pasta, beans, rice, powdered milk, condiments (sugar, spices), cheese blend powder, tomato powder. That's what I eat now, plus small amounts of hamburger and chicken, occasionally a little sausage. If I can find a cheap source, I may add some textured vegetable protein.

GRAINS: Local Sources For Bulk Grains & Beans

FOR SEVERAL YEARS, I milled and made bread and pancakes with whole yellow corn that I purchased from a local feed store because it was not available anywhere else, including my bulk food supplier. I recently asked another local feed store if they could supply me with wheat, and they indicated that I could purchase a FIFTY-POUND BAG OF WHEAT FOR ABOUT EIGHT DOLLARS, although at the bulk food supplier that I use, a 50 lb bag is about $15. The difference is that the cheaper variety is mainly used for planting and to feed animals; however, the same feed store said that they sell this kind of wheat as well as corn and beans to people from Mexico all the time, who cook it and eat it themselves.

I understand that such food might not be subject to all the inspections required for human consumption, and might not have been transported in food-grade containers. + the storage facilities in feed stores may not conform to regulations for storage of foods for human consumption. In any case, the corn that I used to get from the feed store was very clean, and any invisible pathogens must have been destroyed by cooking anyway. If you have no other way to obtain grains and beans at a reasonable cost in the very near future, you may want to consider a feed store. You can upgrade to higher quality grains and beans later, if the opportunity arises.

GRAIN STORAGE: Heat-Treating Storage Grains

A 25 pound bag of pinto beans cost about $8 or less at our local warehouse store. (Costco) 25 lbs of flour was $3.50 or so, and 23 lbs. of white rice (not as nutritious, but it was there!) was about $12 or less.

With all of these, and oatmeal too, and whole wheat from the feed store, we put them in the oven in fairly large containers and heat them to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep stirring the stuff from time to time so that the heat penetrates all the way through. What you are trying to do is to kill any eggs of "pests" that have come in with the produce. When everything is really warm to the touch, bag it up into small bags. We used the white paper bags that come in packs of 500, again from the warehouse store, because they were heavier than the brown paper bags.

(Donít microwave: the microwave drives all the moisture out of the material, and then it recondenses on the bowl or the bag.)

Seal and label the bags.

Make up an assortment of various dry goods like this....try cornmeal, oatmeal, grits, salt (don't forget the salt although you don't have to dry it in the oven!) and pack all into a small metal garbage can. A NEW can. Don't do the really big cans. Drop a piece of dry ice into the bottom of the can, or shoot a small spray of nitrogen into the bottom of the can. Nitrogen is an inert gas, available from welder's supply places. When it appears that the air is out of the can (because, in the case of dry ice, the "ice" is smoking out of the can (harmless), seal the can with heavy tape. That gray plumbers tape is good. Then label and date it.

To cook pinto beans, soak overnight. Drain the next morning. Cook on a wood stove, the barbecue, the solar oven, whatever. You can start and stop cooking once or twice, it doesn't hurt them. Rice or Corn is the complementary protein to beans. Pinto beans have almost as much nutrient as soy beans or fava beans. If you are not used to eating might grow some epasote, or lay in some beano!

GRAIN STORAGE: Whole Grains In Doughnut Buckets

I have stored rice for several years in the airtight buckets found in delis and doughnut shops. I get the brown rice from Walton's and have never had any trouble with it. I have found all Walton's grains to be clean and bug-free (never used bay leaves). We do keep it in a cool basement, though. The problem of spoilage is much worse for cracked and ground grains than for whole grains, even in an "airtight" bucket. With that in mind, I am changing my habit of ordering rolled and cracked cereals to only whole grains while I invest in a grain roller. Oats are incredibly good fresh-rolled, and I imagine other grains will be as well. Any good grain mill will crack grains for cereal at the "coarse" setting.

GRAIN STORAGE: You Can Store Grains Outdoors In Freezing Weather

I have had several grains that I had to keep outside in the shed during the winter months and have had them for 2 years without any bugs..I had some oatmeal that I had only a few months, inside, and it got very buggy. Oatmeal that I had stored out in the cold has kept for those 2 years... I think the extreme cold killed those little critters. Now I will put all my buckets in the cold for at least a while to kill those little dudes.


I have a book: Making the Best of Basics. On page 187 it refers to Blue Green Algae & other Green Foods it states: THESE WHOLE FOODS PLUS WATER PROVIDE ENOUGH NUTRITION TO HELP SUSTAIN LIFE FOR YEARS.

I called a health food store in our area and it appears that this stuff has a 2 year or so shelf life.For those on a limited budget (most of us) it seems that this would be a good buy.

Also, sprouting is really a good food and doesn't require a lot of equipment. I don't really know but it seems that survival is possible with water, this blue green stuff, sprouts, oil for calories, Starkist tuna fish (6 yr shelf life) herbs, grains and some honey could do a fair to middlin job of keeping someone alive and healthy. those are the things Iím going to try to be sure we have. When push comes to shove we may have to have a boring but healthful diet.

HERBS: Freezing Herbs

I put my herbs in a zip lock bag and put it in the freezer without washing it. When I get it out I chop it up to use it when its frozen, rinse it off and it tastes just as if it were just picked! Use the sandwich zip lock for one serving at a time! Diane


Our family loves herbs and spices and generally buys them in large quantities and the savings are substantial. Much of what we have purchased comes from Sam's Warehouse (mostly spices, as we grow several herbs and dry them) Here's a sample of some prices as of Saturday:

Cinnamon (1 pound) - $3.99
Chili powder (1 lb 4 oz.) - $3.99
Cajun seasoning (1 lb 3 oz.) - $5.29
Pepper Corns (1 lb 2 oz) - $5.69

There were several other spices that we were in need of that Sam's does not carry, but I have located an excellent site with prices only a few cents more than what Sam's charges (they also sell in lesser quantities for smaller families!). Try for an outstanding selection of herb and spices!

MEAT: Need Meat - Consider Trapping

Almost all suburban and even urban areas have wild animals which can be used for meat. But you don't want to go shooting off a gun in your urban/suburban environment! One solution may be trapping. Invest in a humane trap such as a Have a Heart type, available at hardware stores for about $30.00. Bait it with sweet potato or apple. I have even caught two opossums at one time. The trap would also be useful for catching rabbit or squirrel in case of a meat shortage.

Be aware of trapping laws in your area. Most rural areas allow trapping of wildlife that are destroying property. Raccoons and fox should not be trapped. They should not be eaten NOR relocated NOR killed because of the possibility of rabies and because they are often a protected species. BTW, I am the director of our county animal control dept.

MILK: Pressure Canning Milk

If you have cows or goats, but no longer have refrigeration----

Don't try to can milk with just a boiling water bath: it doesn't get hot enough to kill all microorganisms. But you CAN can (can can?) milk with a pressure canner. Be aware the milk we be just fine pressure canned but will turn slightly brownish like evaporated milk. The reason it does this is due to the high temps of pressure canning. It caramelizes the milk sugars. The milk will be fine for's fine for drinking just doesnít taste quite the same.

Pressure Canning Milk:

Fill clean jars with strained milk, leaving 1/2 inch headspace for expansion. Put on lids and rings and tighten down rings gently. Place in pressure canner with 2-3 inches of water and process at 15 lbs pressure for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool 24 hours undisturbed before moving into storage.

MISC: Hard Candy, Canned Meat

Consider a supply of hard candy, especially the "sour" kind that has ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) to provide energy without your having to use up your more valuable protein foods for body fuel.

In August 1998, small cans of Libby's Vienna Sausage have an expiration date of October 2000, and are not expensive. Neither are small cans of sardines, and they have a good storage life as well; the ones packed in oil would probably be a better choice than those packed in sauce. A recent telephone call to Hormel Foods revealed that their SPAM AND OTHER HORMEL CANNED PRODUCTS HAVE A SHELF LIFE OF FOUR TO SIX YEARS because they are cooked in the can. Again, consider these items for bugout packs, in addition to tabouleh.

Surely, you have opened a jar of peanut butter and left it in the cupboard for a close to a year at some point; it kept pretty well, didn't it? It's inexpensive enough to buy several jars. Ordinary canned vegetables (but not all fruits) are generally edible for about two years.

My own experience with everyday cooking oils has been that after opening, they were still quite usable two years later. Some olive oil I opened was good three years after I opened it. A manufacturer of vegetable shortening has told me that their product has an indefinite shelf life if left unopened.

MISC: Instant Roux And Canned Meats

There are several companies that have started making dry or instant roux in the past few years. I prefer to use these as their is less fat in a dry roux. Savoie's Instant Roux and Gravy Thickener is my favorite. The phone number on the jar is 318-942-7241. Kary's Dry Roux is another I have in the pantry but it only lists an address: Kary's Roux Ville Platte, La. 70568

I bought 10 small boxes of Jambalaya mix yesterday at Super one for 1.00 each and plan to empty them into a gallon jar, add a nitro pac, and seal the lid with Gulf Wax to store. I also purchased some canned smoked sausage by Prairie Belt that is packed in beef stock. I haven't opened this to try it yet but it is a 3 lb can for 3.95 and sounds better to me than TVP meats. It is packed out of West Point, Mississippi.

OILS: Oil, Fat, Grease

People nowadays have such a prejudice against fat-oil-grease, we think we just have to throw it away lest we die of cholesterol! But for most of the last 5 - 10,000 years, most people have thought of these as valuable commodities. Here's what you can do with them:

- Add to the food of any outside-living pets (dogs or cats.) They need extra fat in the winter to stay warm

- Roll fat-oil-grease with birdseed to feed to the wild birds in winter.

- Save to make soap.

- Save to make tallow candles. These are softer, and burn faster and smokier than beeswax or paraffin candles, but they do make acceptable candlelight--- especially the harder fats, like beef or sheep suet--- and it makes sense if the fat is free and would be thrown out otherwise. (And fat is hard to throw "out." Doesn't compost well.)

- Fry foods in it. It's no worse than Crisco, and some folks even say that lard (animal fat), though it has cholesterol, is healthier than vegetable oils products like Crisco which, through artificial jiggery-pokery, have been made hard through hydrogenation/saturation.

Potato pancakes NEED to be fried in chicken grease. Try it and you'll taste how much better they are.

Scrambled eggs NEED to be fried in bacon grease.

Save your hamburger grease for frying onions.

And burn up those extra calories! Get out and chop some wood!

POTATOES: Dry Potatos

I found this in my dehydrater book. Preparation; Peel, wash and slice 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick or shoestring 3/16 inch thick , or grate or dice depending on how the dried potato is to be used. Pretreatment: Steam blanch over water containing 1 tsp. sodium bisulfite per cup of water 4 to 6 minutes or until translucent but still firm. Rinse well in cold water to remove gelled starch. Drying Temperature: 160F for 1 to 2 hours, or until done. How to use: Grate slices and rehydreate for hash brown potatoes.

POTATOES: Homemade Potato Flakes

Homemade Potato Flakes: Spread cooked mashed potatoes on lightly oiled fruit leather sheets, place in the dehydrator and dry. Break the sheets into chunks, put in the blender, and pulse until ground into flakes.

Here's some advice from an expert involved in this situation. Use it as you may.

RABBITS: Feeding Rabbits

I'm raising a few rabbits for meat. Rabbits can eat almost any vegetable or fruit. Potatoes are absolutely the favorite. Dandelions in the spring and summer are a real treat too. I will still stock up on pellets but give hay, table scraps (not meat though) another thing that is treat is bird seed. I spilled some out by the rabbit accidentally and they loved it.


Subject: Another food solution
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999
From: Tim S

Food Suggestions

I buy rice at the oriental market. They buy Jasmine rice in bulk and then devide it themselves. The cost is only 50% of what the normal grocery store charges. To cook it I use one dry cup of rice, two wet cups of water, put both on high heat until boiling. Then reduce heat for 20 minutes. Your rice comes out perfect, with just enough "stick" to eat it with chopsticks.

Other solutions you might want to think of are buying condensed and powdered milk and buying canned juices. The Romans use to eat a porridge made from milk or water and wheat, often times not cooked......sound a little like our breakfast cereals?

RICE: Put Bay Leaves On Your Stored Rice

The only advice I can offer regarding that fact that I've kept my brown rice for a couple of years is (1) freeze the grain for 24 hours (in 5-lb batches, if you don't have room in your freezer to do it all at once)--- this kills any live bugs or bug eggs that may already be there; and (2) put bay leaves on top of every grain container that you store. This will deter any NEW bugs from getting in. I buy the big container of bay leaves at Samís and I put the leaves all over the top. Works with any dried grain, seed or bean you're trying to store: bay leaves repel insects.

RICE: Yes, You Can Store Brown Rice

I know the folks say that brown rice will go rancid but I bought some brown rice in a 50 lb bag and it took us over a year to eat it. I had filled up my Tupperware container full of rice and then put the rest in a 50 lb bucket. That bucket inadvertently got mixed up with my storage buckets of wheat. We discovered the half full rice bucket 2 years later. I've now used all that rice and it sure didn't taste "off" in any way. However, we did notice that it required more water to cook it for some reason

SALSA: Canning Recipe

This is good, but a little tart due to the vinegar in it. My County Extension home economist says do not alter the recipe, since the time and pressure of processing is dependent on the acidity of the recipe. All in all, I think salsa is better fresh or frozen. Has anybody tried dehydrating all the ingredients, and then preparing a "mix" that can be reconstituted with water? Anyway, here ya go:

Combine all ingredients in a large kettle. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Fill jars, leaving 1/2 in. headspace. Adjust lids and process in a boiling-water canner - pints 20 minutes, 25 minutes if you live above 6000 ft. altitude.

SALSA: Canning - Great Zuke Tomato Salsa

I have a most wonderful salsa recipe. It's main ingredient is zucchini of all things. It is sooo good. Everyone who has ever tasted it wanted the recipe. Here it is, hope you enjoy it.

Maria's Zucchini Salsa 10 - 15 cups grated unpeeled zucchini ( about 3 - 5 medium zucchinis ) 8 oz. jalapenos ( the first time I used canned jalapenos and it was mild, then I used about 3 jalapenos and it was a little spicier -- you can add up to 16 oz. but that's too spicy for me ) 3 - 5 cups chopped onion ( about 4 medium onions )

Mix and refrigerate overnight. Use plastic gloves when handling jalapenos. (I didn't and suffered -- real hot, red hands all night long ) Rinse and drain the next day.

Simmer above ingredients together with the chilled mixture for 1/2 hour. Process pints for 20 minutes or quarts for 45 minutes ( water bath ). Pressure canning, process pints at 10 lbs. for 15 minutes.

Makes about 17 pints.

STORAGE: Store What You Eat And Eat What You Store

This is the number one rule of food storage. Imagine spending a wad of cash on weird dehydrated space shuttle food, then being stuck with it for the next year, or two or three, till you choked it all down! I have noticed no price increases for basic stuff like rice, beans, and pasta. Prices for these primary products should be going DOWN since wheat is at its lowest price since the depression -- around $2 a bushel, which is 60 pounds and which makes 60 pounds of flour. There is a lot of food around, what is short is the ability of the food storage industry to process and package.

Buy flour and bake your own bread; if what we are concerned about happens in January 2000, you'll have to do this now anyway, and now is the time to make your mistakes, not in January 2000. besides, home baked bread is better for you, and the process of making bread is a very healing thing to do. if I am angry and depressed about something, such feelings never survive baking bread. I always say the Lord's prayer and Hail Mary as I knead the dough, and I highly recommend this as a spiritual practice. Not to mention the good eating.

Another way of preserving food cheaply is to buy produce directly from farmers and dry it yourself in a less-than-$20 dehydrator you can get at Waltons. I have bags of shredded carrots and zucchini, all ready to go into tomato sauce.

Note for those interested in food co-ops: been too busy to pursue this, but it remains on my agenda.

Regarding public awareness, The Weekly World News, a tabloid, has a front page article on its issue of 9-15. the headlines read: "January 1, 2000: the day the earth will stand still! All banks will fail! Food supplies will be depleted! Electricity will be cut off! The stock market will crash! Vehicles using computer chips will stop dead! Telephones will cease to function! Domino effect will cause a worldwide depression!"

So of course I bought it, immediately. IF nothing else, it will be a magnificent souvenir. the article itself basically reports the worst-case Road Warrior TEOTWAKI scenario.

I have been wondering how long before this hits the tabloids. This seems significant to me because a lot of people read tabloids.

STORAGE: Storing Kroger Cans

If any of you are stocking Kroger brand canned goods, this is what their code means. There are two lines stamped on the can. Ignore the second line. The first line will have something like 7H826 (canned 8/26/97)

Also, Kroger is recommending the following as maximum shelf life:


From BALL BLUE BOOK (1985): "Wash, dip in boiling water for 30 seconds, then cold water to remove the skins. Core. Cut into slices l/4 inch thick. Dry at 145F until crisp. Use in soups, sauces or combined with other vegetables for flavor. Can be powdered and used in making tomato sauces, paste or catsup". From PUTTING FOOD BY (4th ed 1991): "The newest commercial put-by food to reach celebrity status at this writing is the imported sun-dried tomato -- a dark-red morsel usually salted, tough, and expensive. Almost always from Italy, where it is used much as North American cooks use their home-canned tomatoes, it is the plum/pasta/Roma type, the chunky little oblong without much juice but mighty in flavor. Since the mid-eighties it has superseded the classic "canner" in our catalogs. "To reconstitute unpeeled salted halves: cover with hot water, let stand until soft and plumped. If the water is not too salty, cook them in it for sauces and soups, etc. To hold for snipping -- used like pimientos or olives for a garnish -- remove from soak water, rinse if you like, pat dry, and put in a storage jar with olive oil to cover. "Italian Style, unpeeled: Wash well, halve lengthwise; remove stem base and heavy midrib. Salt to remove moisture from tissues: spread flattened halves on a platter, cut side up, sprinkle 1 tsp. canning salt for each 2 pound of tomatoes; stack several layers, weight with a plate for an hour. Steam blanch 4 minutes. May be sun dried or done in a drier. "Dry test: pliable but not soft. Store bought ones are quite tough, but they have traveled far."

For years, we simply cut tomatoes and dried them -- the machine drying gives us a better product in our humid climate. For the past season, we cut, then salted the tomatoes --...didn't cut out ribs, seeds, or peel them. The flavor was much superior with the little salting we did, plus the color was darker and more attractive. BTW, cherry tomatoes, cut in half and salted, then dried to crispness, make very nice, bite-sized "raisins" that can be reconstituted and added to pasta salads for color and intense flavor!

TOMATOES: Plant 'Meaty' Tomatoes For Drying

We've planted several varieties this year hybrid and non-hybrid alike, and have found when dehydrating them, that the meatier non-hybrid "German Queen" gives us the best results. Some of the hybrids which are labeled "beefsteak tomatoes" have shriveled up to nearly nothing when dehydrated due to the high water content . You can actually use any variety of tomato, but the meatier types (such as "plum" tomatoes) just give you more end-product per pound of fresh.

It's really very easy. All you do is slice the tomatoes and lay them on the dehydrator trays. If you have the screens to go over the trays, it's easier because the tomatoes tend to be sticky and the flexible screens make it easier to get them out. They are done when they are like fruit leather or dryer.

TOMATOES: Ripening Green Tomatoes

Shelby's hint of the day: To ripened green tomatoes - place green tomatoes in brown paper bag, add apple or banana, close bag, place in warm spot. (Tomatoes do not need the sun to ripen, they need a warm place, the gases from the apple or banana, confined with the brown paper bag makes the tomatoes ripen. )

VEGETABLES: Barleygreen And JustCarrots

We're looking into a 1-year supply of BarleyGreen and Just Carrots. Both of these products are packed full of nutrients. Canned carrots do not have nutritional value equal to the dried form. BarleyGreen is made from young barley grass. It has more than a dozen vitamins, enzymes, amino acids and more . We're stocking up in order to keep our immune systems in the best possible shape. We will not be able to minister to others if we are not physically well

VEGETABLES: Using Dried Veggies

I'd recommend the book "Stocking up III". It's an all around good reference...everything from drying foods, canning, making cheese, etc.

Zucchini and Summer squash....we have found that we like grating the zucchini before drying. I then can rehydrate it quickly for pizza's, soups and breads. The yellow summer squash is our favorite for breads so I do dehydrate some of it grated but the rest we slice very thin with our food processor and dehydrate. It's is a bit tougher when you rehydate it but if you steam it while you fry it or steam it while cooking in butter and's just fine.

Peppers....I usually just chop those and dry them. Add them to soups and chilies and such. I've been told you can do strips and they rehydrate OK but have never tried it myself.

WHEAT: Storing Wheat

We ordered 350# of golden wheat from Emergency Essentials. It is vacuum packed in metallized bags and in 5 gal. "super pals." It will last indefinitely. However, your best bet may be to borrow a canning device from a Mormon cannery near you, buy their cans and oxygen ABS packets and do it yourself...especially if you can buy your own wheat. The Mormons will also allow you to bring items like wheat, sugar, flour etc. to their operation and can on their premises. This is great if you prefer whole wheat flour to their white flour, or have bags of lentils or say barley from Walton's. I know folks who have found a deal on an item, loaded up and spent the day at an L.D.S. cannery. They have been great in helping out "the gentiles" as they refer to us.

I have seen the 5 gal. mylar bags for sale at E.E. or one of the other preparedness companies. Of course, you can get buckets and gamma seals from many places. It depends on how much wheat you will be using whether you use #10 cans, or 5 gal pails. As long as you use the ABS packs, your wheat should last many years

WHEAT: Varieties

Wheat comes in several varieties. The hard wheat is best for yeast breads. Soft wheat is best for pancakes and muffins, things made with baking powder or soda. It refers to the amount of protein. High protein forms gluten, which is great for yeast bread. In fact, without gluten, you'd make a doorstop instead of a nice soft loaf of bread. But high protein in a quick bread or muffin, etc., will make it tough. Most feed stores probably sell high protein. Just make sure it is very clean - no weed seeds or small stones, and no extra stuff added. Wheat sold for milling (human consumption) is usually triple cleaned. At least ours is. That's important if you're using a high speed electric mill. Not quite as important if you're using a hand mill, although the weed seeds will change your bread somewhat.

YEAST: Preserving Yeast

Red Star instant active yeast can be purchased in large packages and is vacuum packed. Unopened, I've kept them in my pantry for years and they're still fresh when opened. Once opened, they stay fresh in the fridge for more than a year. And they last more than a year too, even with frequent, high volume bread-baking! Another great thing about it, it's instant active which means you don't have to add warm water or proof it to get it started. You just add it in with your flour and go! No matter what I do to it, it's never failed to rise! I love it!