A DIY Masonry Outdoor Cook Stove, by K.R.

During our harsh winter weather, I look for projects that increase our preparedness, but that can be accomplished in the warmth of my garage; preferably with a minimum of cost. This winter, my wife and I were reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of our preparations. We were inspired by the SurvivalBlog articles that have implored us all to examine and test our preps. We considered how we would do our cooking in a grid-down situation during summer, when cooking on our inside wood stove would be impractical. We already have (a few) gas-fueled camp stoves; but what about that day …




Making Your Own Sauerkraut – Part 2, by E.P.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) My grandmother used open ceramic crocks to make sauerkraut. The problem is that they, like the Gartopf style ceramic crocks, are quite expensive compared to glass jars, so I bought several used crocks to try. It is hard to seal open crocks adequately to provide the anaerobic environment necessary to make sauerkraut without having to regularly skim off the spoilage that forms at the top of the crock. I tried using a piece of lexan sealed to the top of the crock with silicone glue, drilling a hole in the lexan to …




Making Your Own Sauerkraut – Part 1, by E.P.

I have been making sauerkraut for many years. My grandmother (my mother’s mother) was German, and used to make it many years ago. Unfortunately, she never taught me how to do it, so I had to learn how to do it on my own. Fortunately, I found a really excellent book, Making Sauerkraut and Pickled Vegetables at Home, by Klaus Kaufmann and Annelies Schoneck. This book not only explains how to do it, providing many different recipes but also explains the science behind the fermentation process. I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in making sauerkraut. The basic …




My Ten-Day Test-My-Preps Adventure – Part 3, by St. Funogas

(Continued from Part 2.) Day Four It was completely overcast by 06:30. Yes! I can fully test my solar panel output. Freezer temps before the morning solar-panel electricity came on: 24°F. I can deal with that if it never gets any warmer during the test, and it didn’t. This on/off freezer method could potentially work year-round so let the SHTF when it wants. As the days get shorter and less solar power is available, seasonal temperatures also get cooler making it easier for the freezer to keep up in my unheated shop. This will be an interesting comparison test for …




My Ten-Day Test-My-Preps Adventure – Part 1, by St. Funogas

With today’s world events, I’ve moved from “remote possibility” to “high probability” that we’ll soon see some major changes in our country and world that most folks can’t even imagine today. I’m not alone in thinking at some point there is a good possibility today’s events could lead into a major war for the U.S. We’ll be fighting some real armies, not a bunch of boys with old rifles riding ponies, as we did in Afghanistan. How hard would it be for enemy with Special Forces-type teams to take out our national power grid without even dropping any bombs? We …




Homemade Yogurt as Survival Food – Part 2, by N.C.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) Cooking Tools The pot and metal bowl form a quick double boiler, it’s not strictly necessary, you could just use the pot. Using the double boiler helps keep you from burning or overheating your milk which can lead to a grainy texture. I find it very easy to keep the temperature where I need it and cleanup is easier with the double boiler setup. If you are using a rocket stove or some other live fire source of heat, the boiling water will keep a steadier heat. I use a metal bowl …




Homemade Yogurt as Survival Food – Part 1, by N.C.

Yogurt isn’t something most of us think about. I love my classic “Back to Basics” book, it’s chock full of things that I say “oh yeah I should try that”, from carpentry to basket weaving to tinsmithing to blacksmithing. I love that book. But the section on making your own yogurt I looked at and said “yeah…no. Why would I ever do that?” Fast forward 5 years and I’ve lost count of how many batches of yogurt I’ve made. Some advantages of yogurt: Yogurt can get around lactose intolerance for some people, It is a form of milk preservation, It …




Desperate Dining, by Prepared Pamela

EFFECTS OF THE PANDEMIC ON HOMELESSNESS AND THE HUNGRY Billions of people have been affected by the global coronavirus pandemic. Some are worse off than others, but each of us has been touched by this disaster. Many individuals have been left homeless, barely surviving without adequate shelter or food. Fifty million Americans in the United States go to bed every night hungry. We are all affected by the supply chain issues, lack of provisions and high prices. Unfortunately, 40% of the food produced annually is discarded. Our country throws away tons of viable food that is considered no longer consumable, …




Home Canning Water-Level Measuring Sticks, by St. Funogas

This is the third in a series of home canning articles dedicated to ways of making your home canning experience easier, quicker, more efficient, and less stressful. My hope is that they’ll add something new to the mix by offering some canning techniques which many home canners may not be aware of. My first two articles in the series were: Uncommon Canning Techniques Canning Tomato Sauce, a New Twist Canner Water-Level Conundrum One of the big frustrations for beginning home canners, and for many veterans as well, is trying to figure out exactly how much water to boil in the …




Alternative Ways to Source Food, by SaraSue

I was thinking how different my shopping habits are now than what they used to be. I used to go grocery shopping once a week, and didn’t think twice about running into a grocery store during the week for something I forgot or ran out of or needed for a new recipe. Now? I rarely go to a grocery store. Last year, I was popping in once every week or two just to grab a gallon of milk or a pound of bacon, but I don’t even do that anymore. Part of the reason is that I stocked up on …




Canning Tomato Sauce With a New Twist, by St. Funogas

I’m always on the lookout for new canning techniques and I enjoy experimenting as well. The method discussed here saves over half of the time and most of the propane is normally used to cook the tomato sauce. It’s also quick enough that it allows me to easily make three batches in a day. With tomatoes being my largest canning crop and having doubled my production this year, this method is even more important to help me avoid spending 50+ hours canning tomatoes over a hot stove in record-breaking heat and drought this year. I should be drinking iced tea …




Food As Currency, by SwampFox

The following is intended as an intellectual exercise. Our nation has been the victim of the slide toward globalism over the last couple of decades. We still retain our independent Dollar, but for how long? The European Union has a unified currency that is a model for the rest of the world. There have been attempts at an Asian currency as well as a North American currency, which was briefly titled the “Amero” and even heralded by a short-lived government website, back around 2007-2008. But there is one thing that unites all humans – the need to eat. My thoughts …




Eight Uncommon Canning Techniques, by St. Funogas

Many of us have been canning for so long that we still have the recipe for that T-rex stew we first canned while trying to figure out the mysteries of pressure canners. Others are just starting out on this fulfilling journey on the joys of home production and the uplifting feelings of self-reliance that come from home canning food for long-term storage that we raised and grew ourselves. I hope some of these techniques can help newbies and veterans alike in this year’s canning projects as you incorporate some of them into your own canning practices. My family did some …




Canning Potatoes, by Patrice Lewis

If you remember, early in May I put up a blog post asking for reader input on canning potatoes. You all came through beautifully in sharing your wisdom.           Well, I just tried canning them myself, and what do you know … they came out very well. Ironically, the day I canned potatoes was a day I had absolutely no interest in canning. Our weather has done a great big celestial 180 degrees this week, and we went from cool and rainy to hot and dry. Who wants to can anything in hot weather? But I …




Food and Treats for Fido, by Mrs. Alaska

In this article, I will describe making your own food and treats for your dogs. Many of these include long-term storage items. Recently, Zero Hedge posted an article that described animal shelters throughout the country as at full capacity because pet owners have brought in their pets at record rates.  The sad reason repeated is inflationary prices for human and pet products.  Fido and Fluffy had to go. I heard the same thing when we recently adopted a dog from the Anchorage, AK pound. Fortunately, there are many pet products that one can made from scratch, often with long storage …