Lessons From the First TEOTWAWKI- Part 1, by Sarah Latimer

Basics of the First “TEOTWAWKI” The first “end of the world as we know it” event that mankind experienced was initiated by a woman, and while there are plenty of reasons to finger-point at men in our world today over the problems it faces I want to focus primarily on the women in this article and their responsibility for some of the problems we face and discuss how we can correct these to create a better world, if only in our own homes and communities. I am talking to my “gender sisters” in this article. Yes, I know there are plenty of men who may want to come to our defense, but you men need to back away and let us deal with our emotions and think through the facts before short-circuiting what needs to occur. We may need a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on, but don’t stop the progress. There will likely be some emotions; there usually are when we find we have been lied to, used, or even when our own manipulative schemes are exposed and we struggle with the notion that we must admit it. Some of the SurvivalBlog women may not be surprised … Continue reading

Household Basics in TEOTWAWKI- Part 10, by Sarah Latimer

We’re continuing this section of the series on household basics, and I’m sharing my research on oil. I didn’t expect it would be a three-part section, but I did spend a lot of time researching and testing it, so you are joining me on this journey and getting the plan. I’ve shared that we have a Piteba seed/bean/nut oil expeller press that we plan to use as our primary means for oil. I’ve ruled out GMO grains and also lard, though I might use some beef tallow but want to keep it to a minimum for health reasons. Tallow is very useful in the homestead, but we are looking for vegetable oils that we can produce. Black Oil Sunflower Seeds Furthermore, whatever we were going to grow for producing vegetable oil needs to be produced in our high elevation climate and harvested without fuel-dependent machinery, as fuel might be unavailable or eventually our supply exhausted. I did research about growing some of these options and concluded that black oil sunflowers to produce sunflower oil was the most attractive solution for us. My research from a variety of people who have grown these black oil sunflowers suggest that we can confidently … Continue reading

Household Basics in TEOTWAWKI- Part 9, by Sarah Latimer

Last week, I began this part of the series on the subject of oil in TEOTWAWKI. I rejected the GMO oils, namely corn and canola oil, for health reasons. I spoke about my favorite oils– coconut and olive, for their many uses and health benefits, and I explained my inevitable problem with their inaccessibility or short supply. I also shared that we own a Piteba nut and seed oil expeller, which is designed to produce consumable oils from many types of seed, nut, and bean sources. Health and Storage Issues With Lard Now that you are caught up, let me address another type of oil that I have rejected but need to explain, because it may be your choice for oil. Years ago, I read an article (which I can no longer locate online) suggesting that there are some health benefits as well as flavor and texture reasons to cause a person to consider using lard (rendered pork fat) for cooking. This article somewhat shocked me, as I thought animal fats were well known to be taboo because of their health risks, but I read the article just the same to see what was said. I am willing to make … Continue reading

Household Basics in TEOTWAWKI- Part 8, by Sarah Latimer

I’m continuing my journey to consider some of the pantry basics (beyond meat, eggs, dairy, grains, fruits, and vegetables) that I will want to have available in the event of TEOTWAWKI. We’ve covered other pantry essentials, including baking soda, yeast, vinegar, salt and pepper (and other spices and herbs), coffee, and sugar/sweeteners to determine how we will provide them for our families in a TEOTWAWKI scenario. Some of these we will have to have stock piled, barter for, or find alternatives for, until they are manufactured again. Yet, other items are those we can make or produce for ourselves. This week’s basic item and possibly the final item on my list is oil, and it is a two-part article. Oil We use various types of oil for so many things on our homestead. In the kitchen, we use various types of oil for baking breads and treats, sauteing vegetables and meats, frying meats and vegetables, browning foods, making salad dressings and dips, and infusing herbs. For health and hygiene, we use oil for skin care, hair care, teeth, eye lashes, nails, digestion, to get rid of lice, for earache pain, soap making, deodorant, and more. In the home, oil can … Continue reading

Household Basics in TEOTWAWKI- Part 7, by Sarah Latimer

I’m continuing my journey to consider some of the pantry basics (beyond meat, eggs, dairy, grains, fruits, and vegetables) that I will want to have available in the event of TEOTWAWKI. While I am working on a couple of major projects that are proving more difficult than expected, I will write on something this week that is ever so sweet and appealing. We’ve covered other pantry essentials, including baking soda, yeast, vinegar, salt and pepper (and other spices and herbs), and coffee to determine how we will provide them for our families in a TEOTWAWKI scenario. Some of these we will have to have stock piled, barter for, or find alternatives for until they are manufactured again, but others we can make or produce for ourselves. This week’s subject is sugar. Sugar In a TEOTWAWKI scenario, when the electric grid goes down, fuel is not available for mass transportation, and ships are only sailing rather than running by engine, we will not be the beneficiaries of the massive amounts of sweeteners that are imported to or transported within our nation and across our continent to reach our local markets. The United States, almost exclusively the states of Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii, … Continue reading

Household Basics in TEOTWAWKI- Part 6, by Sarah Latimer

Well, this series on pantry basics (beyond meat, eggs, dairy, grains, fruits, and vegetables) is getting long. Yet, I still have several more items on my list to explore and share. These items even go beyond the normal bulk items we think of and beyond spices and herbs, though last week I covered salt and pepper and encouraged readers to use the improved SurvivalBlog search capabilities to go back and read some of the great articles our SurvivalBlog community has previous provided on the subject of “growing herbs” and spices. We have a wealth of information within our community not only on growing and using culinary herbs but also on medicinal herbs, and I wholeheartedly believe it is time to grow and learn to use them. I’ve been growing medicinal herbs for years and use them for normal everyday items, like deodorant and healing lotions/salves. However, it is helpful and health-ful to know how to use them for medical purposes rather than just hygienic ones. In TEOTWAWKI, we very well may only have what we can produce or scavenge in the wild ourselves, what we have stored, or what we are able to barter to obtain from those who do … Continue reading

Household Basics in TEOTWAWKI- Part 5, by Sarah Latimer

I’m continuing my journey to consider some of the pantry basics (beyond meat, eggs, dairy, grains, fruits, and vegetables) that I will want to have available in the event of TEOTWAWKI. I am resolved that I will ideally be able to make or grow these items myself, but in researching them I know I may find it necessary to either store them indefinitely in large quantity and have some alternatives available, and/or have a local/regional source for obtaining in barter. Quite honestly, this journey has caused me to dig deeper in some areas than I’d expected to go. Additionally, I am very happy that a few of you in our SurvivalBlog community have written to share your depth of experience and personal perspective on these items. I’m definitely intrigued with the idea of continuously maintaining and exclusively using starter dough instead of dry yeast. I have not converted many recipes yet and think this will be an undertaking. However, it sounds like not only a practical idea in the event of TEOTWAWKI, but a healthful solution for current times. So in addition to last week’s Household Basics Part 4 on yeast, in Part 1, I’ve dug deep into the use, … Continue reading

Recipe of the Week: Biga and Pugliese Bread, from Sarah Latimer

Biga For Bread This is a bread starter that is used for artisan type breads, including Pugliese bread. This makes enough for two loaves. It must be made well in advance (at least 12 hours and preferably 24 hours) of making bread for best results, and it makes a big difference in the texture and the crust of bread, generating the nice soft and spongy inside with a crusty outside and excellent flavor. When using homemade yeast water instead of the combination of water and dry active yeast, it becomes a wonderful pre-ferment dough. Yeast water from raisins are most common, but yeast water from basil and other sources can add nice flavor notes to the bread through the biga pre-ferment. Pre-ferment dough requires time to rise and activate and then is used with flour and other ingredients to produce a variety of breads, as their source of yeast/leavening. Give this a try, and see how it affects the flavor of your favorite Italian breads. Ingredients 1 cup + 2 Tbsp lukewarm water (or yeast water) 1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast (omit if using yeast water) 9 oz (approximately 2 cups) whole wheat flour, finely ground, sifted Procedure Mix water … Continue reading

Household Basics in TEOTWAWKI- Part 4, by Sarah Latimer

The Physical Properties and Application I’m concerned about having yeast readily available in TEOTWAWKI. I like having dry yeast readily available by the measurable spoonful, and so I buy it in one pound bricks and then store it in a sealed quart Mason jars – one in my refrigerator door and one in my freezer– so that the yeast keeps for well over a year (if I haven’t used it up in that amount of time). It is no problem to use cold yeast directly in your recipes. It wakes up in the warm water just as if it had been stored at room temperature. However, this dry, dormant yeast won’t last forever, even in my freezer, and I wonder if I will continue to be able to buy it. I’ve used other forms of yeast also. Let’s talk about yeast and look at our options for a long-term TEOTWAWKI situation where we can’t buy our dry, packaged yeast. The Simple Science of Common Baking Yeast Yeasts are single-celled organisms that generally reproduce asexually through mitosis, which can be simplistically described as cellular self-replication and splitting. The yeast reproduction process is commonly referred to as budding. Yeasts differ from mold … Continue reading

Household Basics in TEOTWAWKI- Part 3, by Sarah Latimer

I’m continuing my journey to consider some of the pantry basics (beyond meat, eggs, dairy, grains, fruits, and vegetables) that I will want to have available in the event of TEOTWAWKI. I am resolved that I will ideally be able to make these items myself but in researching them I know I may find it necessary to either store them indefinitely in large quantity and have some alternatives available, and/or have a local/regional source for obtaining in barter. So far, I’ve dug deep into the use, science, history, manufacturing, and storage of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and discovered that I will need to store it until the mines for soda ash are activated and some basic manufacturing and distribution of baking soda begun again. I also learned that there are a few alternatives to baking soda, though they’re far from ideal. Pearlash (potassium carbonate) is one of those. Pearlash is a bit troublesome to make and has a bitter aftertaste, plus I’m curious about the health implications. According to King Arthur Bread: On this side of the Atlantic the early colonists were blessed with hardwood forests as far as the eye could see. Aside from being a logical building material … Continue reading

Household Basics in TEOTWAWKI- Part 2, by Sarah Latimer

I’m continuing my journey to consider some of the basics (beyond meat, eggs, dairy, grains, fruits, and vegetables) that I will want in my pantry in the event of TEOTWAWKI. Sure, if it is a matter of life and death, we will take what we have and make the most of it. However, like many others who have contributed to the wealth of information on SurvivalBlog, I am pursuing the idea of thriving rather than just surviving, and I know that knowledge and tools are far more valuable in a long-term crisis situation than having a finite supply of end product stored. In considering what basics we use on almost a daily basis, there are quite a few that we will need to either be able to eventually produce on our homestead, find acceptable substitute for, or establish a local/regional source where we can purchase or trade to obtain them. Last week, I took a look at baking soda, which has so many uses in the kitchen, around the house, and for health care purposes also. This week, I will look at a product that is sometimes used as a companion to baking soda, at least for cleaning. Today, I’m … Continue reading

Letter Re: Baking Soda

Sarah, I just finished reading your article on “all about baking soda” and found this to be very informative. Thank you for your time in researching and writing it. Now I know the technical details of this wonderful product I had been using, same as you, for many years! I also had my question answered as to why my quick bread recipes worked by replacing the valuable egg with vinegar. The seven years my husband and I were sailing with our two children around the world, eggs were very dear when our passages were 1-3 weeks at a time. One cruiser shared with me the substitution of vinegar in quick breads allowing us to use the egg for hardboiled, in quiches or just scrambled, which helped tremendously in stretching our meals during long passages or when the fishing line came up empty. Here is my “tip” on saving eggs, if one is in need or perhaps allergic to eggs: one teaspoon of vinegar in place of one egg. One tablespoon of unflavored gelatin in place of one egg works also. (This is a tip I learned about years after our return to America.) Thank you for your informative articles, and … Continue reading