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.

Advertisement:

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

Advertisement:

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

Advertisement:

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

Advertisement:

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

Advertisement:

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

Advertisement:

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

Advertisement:

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

Advertisement:

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

Advertisement:

Our Home Freeze Drying Saga, by R.P.

First, let me share a little background. Being single for a long time, I bought a very small house on a big lot. Well, things seem to happen in our lives. I met a woman, one thing led to another, and now I have a wife and three kids in a very tiny house. Retiring at the first of the year, my brother asked me to help rehab a house. While I was working, I kept hearing these ads for a food freeze drier by Harvest Right. After a few months of this, I went home one night and asked my wife if she had heard of it. She didn’t even blink, and said her mom had one and loved it. Did I forget to tell you my wife is Mormon? We spent the evening looking at everything we could find on the Internet and talking about it. It was back to rehabbing for me after that. About the time I got done with the house rehab, my wife tells me she has bought us a freeze drier and it will be here in a few days! Now it’s scramble time. I have five people living in less than 700 … Continue reading

Advertisement:

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

Advertisement:

Letter Re: Yeasts and Natural Leaven for TEOTWAWKI

Dear Latimers, Your latest post on leavening bread is certainly of interest. One of the concerns with store-bought yeasts is that they use bromides to kill off the bacteria in the yeast. Unfortunately, this de-natures some of the effects we should have in our breads, and the bromides are thyroid suppressants. Furthermore, guess what? We have thyroid deficiency in endemic proportions! If we will go back to the leaven that the Hebrews have passed down since times immemorial, using methods that have proven themselves over millennia, it seems that we can be sustainable, and have better health. Those bacteria that are killed in order to isolate and stabilize baker’s yeasts, well, many of these are needed to help render the proteins of the grains more digestible. Also, it has been shown that some of these bacteria are able to survive not only baking temperatures but even the firing temperatures of ceramic and still go on to reproduce. They dwell with everlasting burnings (Isa. 33). Here is an article telling the way some have been able to have a natural, sustainable source of leaven. Some years ago, we got a start of an old (many centuries old) Swedish leaven from a … Continue reading

Advertisement: