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

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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

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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

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Letter Re: Regarding Maple Syrup

Sarah, Yup, you got that right regarding maple syrup. We keep a gallon or two of maple syrup in our refrigerator/freezer and in our stand-up freezer in the basement. Both of those appliances are part of our core systems powered by 2Kw of solar panels. Backup inverters are stored in galvanized cans for hard times. So barring misfortune we will still have refrigeration during SHTF. Maple syrup is available in a variety of forms, including the favorite liquid (classification based on color) and crystallized candies. I often add it to recipes calling for sugar and highly recommend it be used when cooking a ham in the oven. Use it as an ingredient in your rub (1/4 cup) when prepping the ham. – M.A.

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Two Letters Re: Coffee

Hi Sarah, I took great interest in your article about coffee, as I am one who loves a good cup or two of coffee daily. My concerns in a SHFT would also be how do I ensure that coffee would be available. Currently, I keep 10 lbs on hand of whole bean coffee. I do not refrigerate or freeze as I thought that would destroy the flavors. The coffee is in 2.5 lb bags and rotated. I purchased a hand grinder and also bought a French Press, which makes delicious coffee and uses no electricity. My setup is fine for the short term. I don’t know why I never heard of green coffee beans but found your article very interesting for my pursuits of something long term. I’m definitely going to look into this. I’m wondering, however, about the storage for long term. You said you put your green coffee in mason jars and used your sealer. Does the green coffee have oils in it like roasted? It is my understanding that anything with a moisture content could not be sealed and have no oxygen (the idea being that botulism could grow in an environment with no air and moisture … Continue reading

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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

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Letter Re: Coffee

Mrs. Latimer, Thank you for your contributions to our survival knowledge. In regard to roasting your own coffee, we have been doing this for years and I thought I might share … Firstly we buy our beans green by the 150 pound (plus) burlap bags from Royal Coffee Co. and have it shipped to us. We have kept our beans in 5 gallon buckets in a cool place and have never had a problem with spoilage. Like you, we have gone through multiple evolutions of roasting techniques from cast iron pan to electric hot air popcorn popper, which I will add needs to be preferably a 1500 watt popper. The smoke from roasting is quite acrid and I have read (though can not verify) is carcinogenic so any thing that one does use to roast the beans in must be dedicated to that sole purpose and obviously should be done in a well ventilated area! (Read that as “outside”!) Now bearing in mind that a hundred-fifty pounds of coffee is a lot of coffee; one might choose to find others to share the purchase with, but we drink one pot of coffee a day. We always eventually have to buy … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Coffee

Sarah, I have tried grinding my own coffee and do prefer it. However, buying only a few pounds at a time I found that the beans cost more than buying the ground coffee! That goes for the green coffee beans too. It reminded me of the old Heathkit radios that everyone said you paid for the privilege of putting together. Perhaps they would be cheaper if bought in volumes of 100 or 500 pounds, but I can not afford such a purchase on my own and there is no one in my family, friends or acquaintances who are willing to even try coffee beans; they are happy with their store bought coffee. I finally had to give up, after the price of under 10 lb quantity kept increasing, and I went back to store ground coffee. So, in a TEOTWAWKI situation I guess I will have to live without coffee! – Jim HJL’s Comment: I usually buy 20lbs of green coffee beans at prices ranging from $3 to $7 per pound. While there are numerous places to make such purchases, I have always used Sweet Maria’s and have been very satisfied with the transaction. I typically drink a total of … Continue reading

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A Homemade Thermos Cooker, by M.P.

A thermos cooker is an energy saving cooking device. Earlier versions were a vacuum thermos that you placed uncooked food and boiling water into and then sealed it up, and in a few hours you had cooked food. Later versions have a pot that you put your ingredients into and place on your stove; you then bring the contents to a boil and place the pot into an insulated outer pot to hold the heat in and cook the food. Thermos cookers do not speed up cooking times; they only save energy, and in fact cooking times can be significantly longer than other methods. To cook food in the shortest amount of time, use a pressure cooker. Any serious prepper should already have and use a pressure cooker. The theory behind the thermos cooker is to limit the amount of heat that escapes from the cooker and hold that heat inside for a long period of time, therefore cooking the food inside with very little energy expended. Depending on the amount of food and liquid that is inside, a thermos cooker can also keep food warm for a very long time. Thermos cookers can be purchased at many online stores, … Continue reading

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Vinegar As An Essential Multi-Purpose Tool for TEOTWAWKI- Part 2, by J.R.

Equipment and Supplies Making your own vinegar at home is a simple, useful, practical skill that is applicable to TEOTWAWKI.  If you can crush apples and save the apple juice, you can make apple cider vinegar (ACV).  In addition to apple, there are many different types of vinegars you can make depending upon your needs and desires.  I have been making ACV for many years. I have gallons put away in my basement, and I always have a bottle in the fridge that I use on a continual basis.  Stocking up on some basic supplies ahead of time will ensure you have the potential of making your own supply of vinegar for years.  One of the most important items you would want is an apple or fruit cider press. Farms with apple orchards have used these elementary presses for decades to make apple cider.  Growing up in rural New England, I first saw one in use when I was a child when my mother took me to the local town apple orchard where they made apple cider.  These types of presses can be purchased online for between $100-$500, depending on the quality and brand of the press, and may even … Continue reading

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Vinegar As An Essential Multi-Purpose Tool for TEOTWAWKI- Part 1, by J.R.

During TEOTWAWKI, long-term survivability will depend upon more than adequate caloric intake and the ability to defend oneself and one’s family.  Historically, the leading cause of death during times of prolonged war, conflict, or natural disasters has not been violence or the direct impact of disasters, rather, most people perished due to rampant disease and infections caused by the interruption of access to medical treatment, clean water, and adequate hygiene.  In dire times, access to medicinal agents and the ability to both prevent food and water-borne illness and to maintain hygienic living quarters may make the difference between life and death.  Although various options abound to address one or more of those concerns, for the budget-minded prepper, tackling each of those categories can prove costly and confusing.  But what if we could utilize one affordable and easily obtainable substance to treat many medical conditions, preserve food, and provide for a hygienic environment?  Many people may be surprised to learn that such a substance does exist and has been known since ancient times.  That incredible substance is vinegar.   Even before the rise of civilization more than 6,000 years ago, vinegar was known among many cultures for its medicinal, preservative, and … Continue reading

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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

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