Letter Re: Things to Prep For

Just thought I’d send a note to let you know some thoughts.

  1. I use my hands for everything. One of the biggest things I would say to stock up on is rubber gloves for yourself and the kids. It hurts to do the dishes with cuts on your fingers. Rubber gloves take care of that problem, but they do rip easily. You need another pair for changing the composting toilet, another for doing laundry by hand when you have bleach in the water, and another pair for anything gross that comes up. Also we have used the disposable gloves quite a bit for animal related jobs. It also hurts quite a bit when your finger splits due to dryness. Anything that bumps it hurts, and you’re always bumping your fingers. Hand cream and something stronger to put on the split fingers is good. Here is what I do: When my hands become very dry, I put some strong, thick hand cream, like Petro Carbo or the equal, on and then put on medical disposable gloves and let the cream work all night long. In the morning, it usually helps. Of course you need garden and work gloves, but I thought people may overlook the winter indoors and how drying it is, especially if you are doing dishes, cleaning, and laundry by hand.
  2. Slippers wear out way too fast. They are not as reliable as I thought. A better choice would be indoor runners. When it is cold you are going to wish you had slippers, but it’s not even Christmas and everyone has holes in theirs. Just letting you know.
  3. Dice and cards are probably the most bang for your buck. We play all together, and it’s something that involves the whole family. However, stock up because as soon as a card is missing you need a new deck.
  4. It takes about 20 days in the dark winter to go through a a 9.46 liter jug of Kerosene. That will light up about five lamps. One of our lamps (for the table) is a double wick, bought from Lehmans. It gives off the most light and is our best lamp. Glass lamps are better in my opinion, since it is easier when filling to see how much oil you are putting in. I’ve spilled over the other metal ones, and it makes a mess. Kerosene can give people headaches, as compared to lamp oil (which is more expensive). We had this at the beginning, and now it doesn’t seem to bother us. It helps to have a window a crack open, but that may be too cold in the winter. You should practice now and see, before stocking up on the wrong thing for your family.
  5. You need to now practice quick suppers/meals. You will be so busy that you are not going to have alot of time to put into meals. Everyone comes in hungry, and you will not have fruit. Too much flour in recipes make people feel sick. Here is something I have learned: Day 1 cook a chicken. Make something with chicken over rice. Day 2 boil the bones all day and make chicken soup (double batch) Day 3 use the left over soup and put that in a casserole dish and just add a drop biscuit recipe by putting spoonfuls of the dough on top and cook it in the oven. Note: The soup must be boiling hot first, so I put it in the oven and then make the biscuit topping. When I’m ready with the biscuit dough, the soup is boiling. (Otherwise the bottom of the dough is not cooked and the top looks done.) Day 4 serve chicken fried rice. This is how I get four meals out of one chicken for a family. We just add diced chicken to the meals; we don’t eat it as a main course.
  6. If you are tight for money, here are my ideas: Truth is, if you are really tight for money you can’t afford meat, fruit, and veggies and expensive healthy breads. You can only afford a little bit of it. So how do we do this for our family?
    1. Don’t eat meat as a meal; everything needs to be diced up. Here are some ideas: casseroles, fried rice, soup, pizza, quiche, pastas, salads with diced meat, sandwich melts, and macaroni/potato salads.
    2. When you go shopping, look at the meat and ask yourself how many meals can I get out of this package. Pepperoni sticks are great. You want meat with a lot of strong flavor when you are adding it to meals. I can make two large pizzas by dicing up one piece of smoked sausage. Garlic sausage is good too. Imitation crab meat can be made into a soup, sandwich, or salad. Think of how many ways to use it so that it doesn’t feel like your eating the same thing. So maybe you will spend $6 on a piece of meat and get three meals.
    3. If your family complains because they are used to better, do your practicing on lunches so as to get them used to eating some new recipes. If someone doesn’t like something, just because they are picky, they are just not hungry yet. However, it really bothers me when parents make their kids eat. Some times people really do have a hard time with foods, and it is really rude to think that just because it doesn’t bother you it shouldn’t bother them. I just let them dish out their own. You can tell the difference, if you watch their attitude.
    4. Start gathering recipes to bake that require no butter, eggs, and milk. Learn how to make these. Often you can run out of something, then at least your not stuck. They will also save you money. Cookies, cakes, and breads can be found.

Hope this helps, – LM