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ANTS IN YOUR PANTRY 
The ants are a people not strong,
yet they prepare their food in the summer.
 
Prov. 30:25









Debunking Zetatalk | Planet X | Hellion 1957 | Food Storage | Survival Guide

STEP 1:  PLANNING

DO YOUR HOMEWORK! 

Set your goals, read up on food storage programs, use the food calculators to calculate the quantities of the types of food you want to store, search for coupons, discounts and other ways to save money, then get ready to go out and shop! Welcome to Ants In Your Pantry. This site is all about food:  its planning, procuring, preserving, packaging, pantry (organization), and preparation.  Get busy like the ants and you and your family will eat in the coming bad times. Before you continue, read this article from Holly Deyo: 

Holly Deyo:  Food Shortages Coming To America?

Now that you have a reason to prepare, the first thing you have to decide is how big your storage program needs to be.  This is goal setting.  A common time period is one year.  That is a big project, and the more mouths to feed, the bigger that project becomes.  

It is far easier to prepare for a smaller period of time, such as a week or a month, and once that is accomplished, do it again, and keep repeating until you have one year's worth of food.  But how much food do you need?

One way to find out is to conduct an inventory of the food in your kitchen right after grocery shopping.  This includes food you just bought, as well as food items (such as baking accessories) that you have around for a while but don't buy every week (or every shopping day, whenever that is for you).

If you have the money and want to go ahead and get a year's supply, you need to have an idea of the quantities you need to stock.  These are usually defined as "per person/per year."  These next links provide this information.  Browse through them and you will gain a good understanding of the components of a basic food storage program. 

Food Storage For 1-Year
http://www.scribd.com/doc/12769647/Food-Storage-1-Year
Contains other information that is useful.
We recommend storing a year's supply of canned and packaged goods, and as much of the staples as you can.  The staples have a longer-than-one-year shelf life and consist of  things like wheat, rice, beans, pasta, white sugar, pure, raw honey (see http://www.endtimesreport.com/storing_honey.html), pure, cold-pressed olive oil, etc.  Combining the canned/packaged goods with the staples gives a variety and will extend your food for a longer period of time, especially if you cut down on how much is eaten every day.  This next link gives you more information on the staples.

Long-Term Food Storage Consumer's Guide
http://www.fcs.uga.edu/pubs/current/FDNS-E-34-1.html
Bare minimum basics (staples) to keep one person alive for one year.  Additional items to add variety is highly recommended.

Miles Stair's "How Much To Store?"
http://www.endtimesreport.com/how_much_to_store.html

The Emergency Lady:  Long-term Food Storage
http://www.theemergencylady.com/longterm_food_storage_000537.html

Tips On Food Storage
http://www.breadonthewaters.com/0169_food_storage.html

Prudent Food Storage:  Questions and Answers
http://www.survival-center.com/foodfaq/ff-intro.htm
(Choosing "Frames" puts the table of content on the left side which links to each section just by clicking on it.)  This site is comprehensive.  Bookmark it and refer to it frequently on all the different topics covered on this site.

As a general rule of thumb, food in metal cans last at least a year (many types last longer, though flavor and nutrition start declining; however, they still will provide some nutrition and, especially, calories and bulk), food in packages last about six months.  Shelf life data is also provided in the Pantry section.

Organization is important.  Get a written inventory.  The first link below has a comprehensive Excel spreadsheet you can copy to your computer and use as a starting point.  At this point, this is where food calculators come in handy.  Here are some links to different food calculators:

Deyo Food Storage Planner (free)
http://standeyo.com/News_Files/Hollys.html 
Under Long Term, click on Food Storage
There are a number of food storage calculators.
For the Deyo free one, look under Food Planning Software, click on Deyo Food Storage Planner.
Next screen, you will see a link (in blue, underscored):  Deyo Food Storage Planner.  Don't click on this link.
Look down.  Where it says US Measurements, click on BLUE "click here."  For those using metric, click on
the RED "click here" link.
This is a very detailed spreadsheet that downloads to your computer.  It is good for not only determining what you have and what you need, it also helps you keep track of your inventory.

(While you are there, check out the food storage menu.)

Food Storage Analyzer (Beta)
http://www.foodstorageanalyzer.com/
This is nice if you buy a lot of food from beprepared.com.

A Simple Food Calculator
http://www.thefoodguys.com/foodcalc.html
For those focusing on just the basics.

Food Storage Made Easy
http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/start-here/
They make food storage fun.

You also need to store water.  It is very bulky and heavy to store, so if you can't store it, you need a very good water filter (like the Katadyn Pocket Microfilter), extra filters and a water source.  This link provides good information regarding water in emergencies, as well as a brief list of shelf lives and how to cook in an emergency:

FEMA:  Food & Water In An Emergency
http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/f&web.pdf

Miles Stair's Water Page
http://endtimesreport.com/water.html

Another important point to remember when planning your food storage  is variety.  Adults can get what is known as "food fatigue" and simply stop eating.  Children can too, or they just refuse to eat strange foods.  That's why having more foods than just the bare-bones staples is vital. 

Here is a link to The Top 10 Money-Saving Pantry Essentials: http://food.yahoo.com/blog/foxyfestivities/8655/top-10-money-saving-pantry-essentials. Notice the different ways you can fix staples like rice and pasta. It is important to build variety into your food storage program.

And since pasta is one of those staples, it's good to learn how to make really good pasta. The following article, The Do's and Don'ts of Perfect Spaghetti at http://food.yahoo.com/blog/edlevineeats/35215/the-do-s-and-don-ts-of-perfect-spaghetti/ gives good tips from a master chef. He says throwing it against the wall to test for doneness is an old wives' tale. (Not that we've ever done anything like that before!;-)

STEP 2:  PROCURING & PRESERVING

PROCURE YOUR FOOD!  That's easy enough for most people, just go to the grocery store and get it.  You don't need to do anything because it is already preserved in metal cans and vacuum sealed bags.  If that is your entire plan, you can go on to Step 3 if you want to store your packaged goods in heavy-duty plastic buckets (to rodent proof the food) and/or add dry ice (to remove the oxygen to prolong the life of the food).  It is also recommended that you dip your metal cans in wax (remove the label and write the name of the food in permanent marker on the can).  This prevents rust.  See: http://www.endtimesreport.com/waxing_cans_and_boxes.html.  Another person has suggested varnishing the de-labeled and marked cans as a better way because wax can be knocked off.  If you want to skip these precautions, go on to Step 4. 

However, if you plan to "DIY" or "do-it-yourself, (i.e., grow your own fruits and vegetables), you will need to know how to garden, as well as how to harvest your produce, save seed, and preserve your home grown food.  If you plan to raise livestock for food, the principles of preservation are basically the same.

GARDENING

Gardening is a huge topic.  Our advice is to start small, no more than a 10' x 10' plot; or use containers on the balcony or patio.  Beans and squash are the easiest for a beginner to start with.  They grow almost by themselves.  Tomatoes, while popular, can be temperamental.  Our two favorite books on gardening are John Jeavons' How To Grow More Vegetables... and Dick Raymond's The Joy of Gardening.  These two books have more than enough information to help you create a productive garden.  Both are available at amazon.com.  

And the internet is full of information as well.  For instance, here is a very good site on growing beans:  http://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Beans-and-Peas.  We suggest you search the internet for the types of plants you want to grow (free) or get the two books mentioned above (you can probably find them used on amazon.com).  

For seeds, we recommend Southern Exposure Seed Exchange if you live in the mid-Atlantic region.  Their website is at http://www.southernexposure.com/index.html.  Heirloom seeds are what you want to get.  They are also called "non-hybrid seeds."  Heirloom seeds will produce more seeds so you will have seeds the following year.  Hybrid seeds are designed to not produce seeds so you have to buy seeds every year from BigAg.  Another good source for seeds is Johnny's Seeds at http://johnnysseeds.com/.

One of the biggest questions we had when we started gardening was "how many plants do we need to grow to end up with enough food to feed a family of 2 (or 4 or 6).  Here's a video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyVNAgrbQz4.  The wikihow websites also usually say.  So does the John Jeavons' book.  Understand that one seed does not equal one plant.  Some seeds simply won't germinate.  Seed packets usually tell you to plant 2 or 3 seeds and then thin them out when they start sprouting.  This is so at least one seed will germinate in that spot.  Sometimes none germinate, sometimes all three will germinate.  You can't let more than one plant occupy the spot because the roots become tangled and compete for nutrients and end up killing all of the plants.

One way to get around the mystery of whether a seed will germinate or not is to test your seeds to see if they are "live" (i.e., will germinate).  Wrap them in moist paper towel and let them sit for 2-3 days.  If they sprout, they are live and you can plant them.  This is good for larger seeds.  Very tiny seeds (like lettuce) wouldn't be time effective to try to do this, so just plant and thin.

The other important thing to remember (besides the right amounts of sun and water, which requirements vary amongst plants) is to make sure you have good soil.  If not, you need to add amendments (compost, straw, sand, depending on the type of soil you have).  Also, plants have different nutritional requirements.  For instance, beans don't need nitrogen because they pull it from the air.  If you put fertilizer on beans that has nitrogen in it, it will make nice big vines but a diminished harvest.  Each different type of plant has its own requirements which is why we refer you to the books for complete information. 
Remember in Gone With The Wind, when the Union soldiers went through Georgia?  How they took every morsel of food they could find?  Well, Miles Stair has developed a "secret garden" that is a good thing to have when times are bad.  These are plants that are not readily recognized by most people as being edible.  Check it out at http://www.endtimesreport.com/gardening.html

One last thing about gardening.  This past summer was exceptionally wet and we got very little yield.  Because the weather has become so erratic, it might be prudent to establish a greenhouse garden.  Here is one design:  http://endtimesreport.com/greenhouses.html.

PRESERVATION METHODS

Next, we'll generally talk about the variety of ways to preserve food for long-term storage.

The first process developed to remove moisture from food was dehydration. Freeze-drying is a more modern process. There are some types of foods which are best preserved by dehydration, but for the most part, freeze-drying has become the preferred method for retaining the freshest taste, color and texture of perishable foods.  You can buy foods that have been commercially dehydrated or you can dehydrate your garden produce at home.  Freeze drying, as far as we have been able to ascertain, is normally a commercial process.  However, this link shows you how to freeze dry some fruits and vegetables: http://www.ehow.com/how_4827970_freezedry-foods.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art. You can check around for other sources as well.

Dehydration: The standard commercial method is to place items on a conveyor belt and run them through an oven at a high temperature for a relatively short amount of time. Between 90 to 95% of the moisture is removed. Some vegetables are more suited to this form of drying than others, and will rehydrate back to their original state more easily. Preferable items include: onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, celery, carrots, and mushrooms. 

You can dehydrate at home by hanging your washed and sliced produce on the porch and letting it air dry (in warm weather), or on wood boxes you construct with a mesh screen floor so the warm air can go through.  You can also buy an electric dehydrator at Wal-Mart or similar stores, or on-line.  They can range from $20 to several hundred dollars.  "The Excalibur" is said to be the best (and, correspondingly, the most expensive).  Think about how expensive sun-dried tomatoes are.  Just do it yourself for a real taste treat, especially if you grow the tomatoes!

Freeze Drying: This is a commercial process and can't be done at home:  The first step in freeze-drying is to rapidly freeze the food. The frozen water content  is turned directly into a gas and withdrawn from the food during the vacuum and heat steps which keeps the product from shrinking.

Most AlpineAire Foods products are custom freeze-dried to suit their strict quality requirements. Products include: grains, beans, fruits, meats, seafood, pastas, vegetables and eggs. Key advantages of freeze-dried products are:  it retains the original taste and nutritional value of the food; no waste; it is an ideal method for maintaining flavors of meat, poultry and fish; it extends the shelf life of the product; no preservatives are necessary; it results in a super-lightweight and compact product; and a wide variety of foods are available. 

There are many excellent commercial products, Mountain House and Alpine Air being two of the most well known.  You can buy pre-made meals in a can, add hot water and voila, instant meals.  However, watch out for the salt content, as some meals have excessive salt in them.  The best thing to do is buy pouches of meals that interest you and try them out before you invest in cases of these meals as they are expensive.

Provident Pantry is a more economical way to go.  This line provides individual fruits and vegetables, as well as grains and beans, etc.  This way you can create your own meals and decide how much salt to use.  Provident Pantry is offered by a number of vendors.  At our last inspection, beprepared.com (one of our favorites) had the lowest price. 

One way to save even more money is to take advantage of beprepared.com's "Group Specials."  Get a group of friends or family members or your group and buy in bulk (6 or 12 cans, usually).  They also offer monthly sales which offer discounts from the regular prices (but not as good as the group specials).  They also host the Preparedness Pantry blog, a good source of information from the pros.

And while we are on the subject, their Education tab presents a number of good preparedness books and manuals.  But like we have said elsewhere, look on amazon.com for used versions and save money.  

Read their Insight articles and check out the recipes they have for using their storage foods.

In the FAQs tab, at #16, they discuss the shelf life of their products.  They use the phrase "best if used in 5 years."  Read the FAQ for vital information in determining if food is good, what types of food hold their nutritional values better than others, etc.  Old food does not equate to unusuable food.

Now, Mountain House and Alpine Air state that their freeze-dried meals have a 30-year shelf life.  They package food for the US Government.  So, if you are anticipating a worse-case scenario and want the longest shelf life you can get, then consider freeze-dried products.  Check with them to ascertain if 30-years means the product will be just like fresh, or that it will still be safe to eat, but with loss of flavor and nutrition over time.  Since they prepared meals contain a lot of salt, the salt may act as a preservative.  The Provident Pantry line is not prepared with salt.  Important information if you are on a salt-restricted diet.

Home Canning:  The use of the word "can" is misleading because the receptables used for home "canning" are glass jars.  "Canning" is the process of putting food into containers and applying heat for long-term preservation.  Some brand names of "canning" jars are Ball, Mason, and Golden Harvest.  The method of "canning" are either hot water baths (used for high acid foods like tomatoes on the stove in big pots of boiling water) or pressure canning (used for low acid food like green beans using a pressure cooker).  It depends on the type of acidity of the food as to which method you will use to can your food. 

Ball puts out a Home Canning Guide, as does the USDA, which you can find on amazon.com or at Wal-Mart in the canning section (or seasonal section).  You need one of these Guides so you can get the cooking times and lots of other information.  Here are some videos that will teach you the basics of home canning:

Home Canning Basics, Part 1 (Basics)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeSQmYK8uE4&NR=1

Home Canning Basics, Part 2 (Two Types of Canners)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke-iE6rTWvw&NR=1

Home Canning Basics, Part 3 (Easy Steps to Home Canning)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLB5b0l2uqg&NR=1

Home Canning Basics, Part 4 (Water Bath Canning)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIomyJDTs5Y&NR=1

Home Canning  Basics, Part 5 (Pressure Canning I)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj4nYiD-CcY&NR=1

Home Canning Basics, Part 5 (Pressure Canning II)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EObiaC30Ybw&NR=1

Home Canning Green Beans With A Pressure Canner
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNgDDE7S3FI

Home Canned Food Gone Bad 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0n8eFOMLUM

Home canning is a "medium-technology" food preservation method.  Remember, if things get really bad you may not be able to get replacement jars and lids (bands are reusable).  Also remember, if you are in earthquake country, these are glass jars and will break.  So factor these realities into your overall food storage program. 

Root Cellar:  Another way to preserve your food is by the use of a root cellar (or basement).  This is a way to preserve the produce from your fall/winter garden into the winter.  It takes a book to explain it (though it is not hard to understand).  Our favorite is published by Storey Books and is authored by Mike Bubel.  All books mentioned on this site have links on our  http://www.apocalyptichousewife.com site (in the Guide) and most are available through amazon.com.  If you weren't referred to this site from our Guide on apocalyptichousewife.com, go there for more information.  The Guide will help you in many other areas of preparedness. The link to purchase it is at the bottom of the Home Page.  It is modestly priced at $10.

There are other methods to preserve food.  For instance, meat can be "jerked" (jerky), fresh eggs can be preserved in lard or vaseline  (see http://www.motherearthnews.com/Sustainable-Farming/1977-11-01/Fresh-Eggs.aspx?page=4); some things are good pickled (cucumbers, cauliflower, etc. and boiled eggs--search the internet for instructions), or fermented (cabbage, as in sauer kraut, which is also effective in killing the bird flu virus, see our recipe in our Guide). 

We haven't tried our hand at any of these methods so we leave it to you to research them and decide if you want to use them.  Dehydrators bought at Wal-Mart give instructions on how to make beef jerky, and pickling requires powdered lime, which can be bought in the canning supplies section at Wal-Mart, or wherever canning jars are sold.  Here are links to make pemmican, jerky, and smoked meats:

http://www.endtimesreport.com/storing_meat_1.html (Pemmican)
http://www.endtimesreport.com/storing_meat_2.html (Jerky)
http://www.endtimesreport.com/smokehouse.html (Smokehouse)

These are low-tech methods of preserving meats, when electricity is no longer available, with which you should familiarize yourself. Other low-tech methods include dehydrating your fruits and vegetables by using the sun or warm-air drying on the porch or storing your fall/winter vegetables in a root cellar, using lard or Vaseline to preserve fresh eggs, using sterile sand to preserve your jerky, pickling vegetables and eggs, fermenting (sauer kraut), and so on.

STEP 3:  PACKAGING FOR LONG-TERM STORAGE

PACKAGING AND STORAGE ARE VERY IMPORTANT.  DON'T SKIMP!  If done improperly, hungry pests will invade your food storage and eat it for you.  From tiny weevil eggs to ants and other insects, to rodents (which can and do chew through very hard substances) and hungry bears (if they can smell food).

Why is Nellie looking so nervous?  She didn't take preparing her food storage seriously and now that winter is almost here, she ran into your house to try to grab what she could, but your storage was airtight; she couldn't get in.  Uh-oh!  What's she going to do?  Unless she has a friend or neighbor who'll help her out, she's going to starve!

Pests/Heat/Moisture/Buckets:  Wherever your food storage is, you need to rodent proof it with traps or poison, or hungry cats on patrol.  The rodent's super-strong teeth can break through even the tough plastic of a 5-6 gallon bakery bucket if given enough time.  This is why it is important to put your bulk foods in mylar bags and then into buckets, so that the rodents can't smell the food. 

However, we understand for most folks there is only so much money to go around, so use hungry cats (given away freely) and let them hunt for their food if you can't afford the mylar bags. 

Ziploc also makes a very low cost vacuum packaging system available at Wal-Mart in the plastic sandwich and freezer bag section.  It is a hand pump that sucks the air out of the Ziploc bags.  Try it out and see if it works for you.  We found that using the pump system on grains like oatmeal and wheat clogged the pump valve on the bag, so we used regular (non-vacuum-seal) freezer Ziploc storage bags (thicker) and squeezed out as much air as we could.

There is a lot going for the Ziploc system.  First off, it is relatively inexpensive.  It removes the oxygen for longer shelf life and if one bag becomes infested or goes bad, the other bags are protected, thus you don't lose all the food in a particular bucket.  It also provides another measure of protection from moisture and it also adds an additional layer between your food and the rodents' noses.

DO NOT USE CLEAN, UNUSED GARBAGE BAGS.  Many of them are treated with pesticides.  If you do use them as an extra moisture barrier, be sure your food is in freezer ZIPLOC bags (thicker) or some other kind of food-grade plastic.   

Back to the Ziploc vacuum seal system.  While it costs a few dollars for the pump, the real expense is in buying the specialized bags. If it is more than you can afford, then use regular Ziplocs and squeeze as much air of of them as you can (or use Miles Stair's recommendation of using a straw and sucking the air out).

Freezer bags are thicker and thus provide more protection, but get what you can afford.  We have heard some garbage bags are not treated, but you need to check with the particular manufacturer to find out for yourself.  It would be the cheapest way to go and you would be able to pack in more food per bucket.

So after we pack the Ziplocs and squeeze the air out, we place them into the 5-gallon buckets.  These buckets are usually free or low cost from bakeries or donut shops.  We clean them out ourselves.  Only use buckets that have contained food (which means they are "food grade" buckets) and nothing else.  NEVER use paint buckets or any kind of bucket that did not originally contain food in it.  If you don't know, don't use it for storing your food.  The buckets do make good storage units for non-food items:  tools, hygiene supplies, toilet paper (to keep it dry), use your imagination.

Pickle and relish buckets:  "A few pounds of unused cat litter in the bottom of a pickle bucket will remove residual odors relatively quickly. Then the bucket can be washed, hot, thick old coffee placed inside and swished around, and then washed and dried again, and all is nice in the world again."  From http://www.endtimesreport.com/bucketstorage.html

Avoid exposure to heat and moisture. Make sure foods are not accessible to insects or animals. Never store food directly on the ground or on concrete floors, moisture can build up inside containers. Avoid such storage places that experience temperature build-up such as attics, garages or car trunks. Ideally storage should not exceed room temperature, the cooler the better. In fact, for every 10 degrees you can lower the temperature, you add years to the life of your food storage.  Store in a location that’s accessible so that periodic inspections are easy.  Rotate supplies.  Storage of some bulk foods can be enhanced by natural aids such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide, bay leaves, rosemary, and diatomaceous earth.  (This keeps insect eggs from hatching and the resulting insects eating all the food in that unit.)

Other ways to remove oxygen from bucketed food:
http://www.dryiceinfo.com/food.htm
http://www.waltonfeed.com/old/self/upack/dryice.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNGa7OxRhQQ (dry ice demo)

Diatomaceous Earth
http://www.waltonfeed.com/old/self/upack/dryice.html

Oxygen Absorbers
http://waltonfeed.com/old/self/upack/oxyintro.html
Our experience with Ageless Oxygen Absorbers "D" type is that they are good for 6 months FROM THE TIME THEY LEAVE THE MANUFACTURERS.  Make sure if you order O2 absorbers from a middle man that they are still good.  Also, don't order them until you are sure you can use an entire package.

Mylar Bags
http://www.utahpreppers.com/2008/12/how-to-adventures-in-food-storage-with-mylar-bags/
https://www.usaemergencysupply.com/emergency_supplies/mylar_food_storage_bags.htm

Sealing Mylar Bags For Food Storage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk9b0dAtJ80

Sources for Mylar bags, O2 Absorbers, Etc.
http://sorbentsystems.com/longtermfoodstorage.html
http://www.beprepared.com
Other websites already mentioned on this site.

Vacuum Packaging
http://www.foodsaver.com/FoodStorage.aspx

If canned goods are going to be stored in damp environments (under the house, a leaky basement) you should either wax or varnish the metal.  Remove the labels, write the contents with a laundry marker, and then either wax or varnish.  Waxing instructions are here:  http://www.endtimesreport.com/waxing_cans_and_boxes.html.

Here is a very inexpensive way to store your wheat based on some of the above principles:  http://www.endtimesreport.com/storing_flour.html.

TIME FOR A BREAK!  You're about half-way through this website.  How about a little levity? Would you like to hear some history of the name of this site?  Well, we took the idiom "ants in your pants" to the next level by putting hard-working ants (you!) in your pantry.  Unbeknownst to us, someone had beat us to this name (sort of).  If you remember The Three Stooges, their 12th short subject was entitled "Ants In The Pantry."  Here's a wikipedia link to the history: "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ants_in_the_Pantry and here's a hulu link to the video:  http://www.hulu.com/watch/23071/the-three-stooges-collection-ants-in-the-pantry.  Enjoy!



STEP 4:  PANTRY

YOU NEED SPACE AND ORGANIZATION TO PROPERLY STORE AND TRACK ALL THE FOOD YOU ARE NOW ACCUMULATING.

Some people have extra cabinets, or store food under beds and in closets, some people have shelves in their basements.  Pretty soon you start forgetting where you put what, and not long after that you plain forget that you have cans of black beans in storage.  And one day you run across those forgotten cans of black beans and wonder how long they have been sitting in the back of the closet.  Scared they are past their prime, you throw them away.

There are many ways to organize your food storage.  A written inventory is one important management tool.  Your best and easiest can management system is a "FIFO." 

So what is a FIFO?  FIFO means "first in, first out."  It allows you to easily rotate your canned goods.  You don't have to invest a lot of money in this.  At its barest minimum, a FIFO system can be made by simply putting your newest cans behind your older cans.  However, this becomes tedious and is open to error. 

There is a tool to organize your canned food that are called "can trackers" or "can racks," which are a form of rack that allow your newest canned food to be added at the top of the rack and your oldest canned food to come out the bottom.  This easily forces the oldest canned food to be eaten first.  You don't even have to think about it. 

We got ours from http://www.fifostorage.com/.  Go there now and take a look.  The ones we are talking about are the white plastic ones in the middle.  You may like the mini-tracker on the left if you have narrow shelves and/or lots of small cans.  The tracker is constructed with a downward angle and the end pieces are connected by dowels which allow the cans to roll.  And they have gone up $5 since we bought ours back in March '09. 

The large FIFO can rack on the right would be nice to have, but it's pricey, currently priced at $399.99.  Right now, one of survivalblog.com's advertisers has one on sale just like it at a 25% discount ($349.99).  (Note:  On some of survivalblog's sales, you have to click on their links to get the discount or mention a discount code, so be sure to check out the requirements to get your discount). 

For comparison purposes, survivalblog's advertiser is ShelfReliance at  www.shelfreliance.com". The same large can rack you are looking at, at fifostorage.com, is this product at http://www.shelfreliance.com/product/view/p105.

You can buy the FIFO can trackers premade or you can make them yourself.  Premade or homemade, you can size the racks to fit most sizes of cans.  However, you may not get so lucky if your shelves are not standard size.  Then the D-I-Y (do-it-yourself) plans are the better choice.  Be sure to check out the dimensions before you buy! 

Here is a link where the do-it-yourselfer can buy plans for $14.95 to make the can storage racks: http://www.canracks.com/.  Here is a link to where there are FREE plans: http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/2009/02/16/build-your-own-can-rotating-rack/.

These racks go on shelves, and you need lots of shelves.  And that is all a pantry is:  shelves, cabinets with shelves, and FIFO racks for your canned goods.  You may also have 5-6 gallon buckets stacked one upon another that contain your grains (wheat, rice, oatmeal, etc.) and can be stacked next to the shelves and racks, in corners, wherever you can find a spot.  Remember to stack the buckets on wooden pallets and not directly on basement floors which are subject to moisture.

SHELF LIFE, GENERALLY

Once food lands on a shelf or in a FIFO, how long is good for?  Here are some information and links to answer that question.  The information was gathered years ago and the links have been lost:

GRAINS

Soft grains (barley, oat groats, rolled oats, quinoa, rye) will keep for 8 years at room temperature sealed without oxygen, longer under ideal conditions. Once opened, shelf life is 8 months without refrigeration.

 

Hard grains (buckwheat, corn, flax, kamut, millet, wheat, spelt, triticale) will keep 10 to 12 years or more at room temperature sealed without oxygen, longer under ideal conditions.  Once opened, shelf life is 8 months without refrigeration.


Note, look around.  Different sites sometimes give different information.  Take an average of what you find. 

 

VEGETABLES

 

Dehydrated vegetables will keep for 8 to 10 years under the same ideal conditions.

 

Canned fruit juices keep 18 to 36 months in a cool, dry place.

 

Salad oils keep 6 to 9 months.  However, pure, cold-pressed olive oil can last for years under ideal conditions.

 

Some examples of date coding on food packages:
 

Capri Sun (800)227-7478 Capri Sun - Juice in pouches

CODE: First digit is the year (8 = 1998). Next three digits is the day on Julien calendar

SHELF LIFE: 18 months


Motts (800)426-4891 Apple juice

CODE: After WA, first number is year, second two are month, next two are day.

SHELF LIFE: One year


Welches (800)240-6870 Grape Juice - Plastic bottle

CODE: First number is year, letter is mgt plant, next 2 numbers is day of month, next

letter is month A=Jan, B=Feb, etc.

SHELF LIFE: One year


Our old link for date coding is now defunct.  However, Holly Deyo devotes an entire chapter (12) to unraveling date coding on canned and packaged goods in her book Dare to Prepare at http://standeyo.com/Our_Books/DTP.html#Anchor-47100, a recommended purchase.
 

More Links From A Different Site:


Canned meats (most) - (12 months unopened; 1 -2 months opened, refrigerated)

Canned Meat:

Beef, canned (in chunks with natural juices) – 30 months

Chicken Breast, canned – 36 months

Chili, canned – indefinitely

Dried Beef, canned - indefinitely

Fish, canned – 18 months

Ham Chunks, canned - indefinitely

Spam, canned – indefinitely (Hormel 1-800-523-4635)

Tuna & Seafood, canned – 48 to 60 months (Starkist 1-800-252-1587)

Vienna Sausage, canned – 24 months (Libby's 1-888-884-7269)

Other canned meat or chicken – 36 months

Chili w/beans, Hormel - Indefinite 1-800-523-4635

Shortening, Crisco, Proctor & Gamble - Indefinite 1-800-543-7276

Cheese, dehydrated - 60-96 months

Proctor & Gamble Crisco &Butter flavor Crisco Code on both (800) 543-7276:

First number is year. Next three are Julian datebook

** Regular Crisco in can has indefinite shelf life. Should be used within 12 months of opening

**Butter flavor has shelf life of 18 months, to be used within 6-12 months of opening.

 

StarKist Tuna in the Flavor Fresh Pouch; has a minimum shelf life of 18 months from the date of production under normal storage conditions. For information about shelf life of StarKist canned tuna, please refer to http://www.starkist.com/

Links:

Storage Life of Dry Foods
http://www.waltonfeed.com/blog/show/article_id/163

Storage Life of Particular Foods
http://www.waltonfeed.com/blog/show/article_id/162

Survival Acres:  Dehydrated Food Shelf Life
http://survivalacres.com/information/shelflife.html
Has storage life and temperature chart.  Also see info pages (link on left).

Doing Your Own Food Storage
http://theepicenter.com/tow08237.html

Safe Home Food Storage
http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/store/texas_storage.pdf

Your inventory list can be modified to include rotation dates.  Be sure to label your long-term storage buckets with the date you put the food in or the date you bought canned foods, and the approximate expiration dates, in case your written inventory is lost.

And one last thought... make sure your storage area is cool, dry and pest free. Maybe have a cat or two that has access to it so it can watch for rodents. Have pesticides available so you don't get caught with ants in your pantry! Diatamaceous earth is a non-toxic remedy for ants. They also don't like the smell of peppermint.

STEP 5:  PREPARATION

HOW-TO MAKE BASIC FOODS AND INGREDIENTS

First comes the work, then comes the fun. In the Aftertimes as those of us who survive try to regain some semblance of normalcy, we will need to understand how things work and how to improvise. Like the ants, we can celebrate our storage food.

HOW TO PUT THE NUTRITION BACK INTO WHITE FLOUR

Use unbleached unbleached white flour (no chemical whiteners added) and add 1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk solids, 1 tablespoon soy flour and 1 teaspoon wheat germ. Combine all ingredients in a measuring cup, and fill out the balance of the cup with unbleached white flour. Do this for each cup of flour called for in the recipe

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN BAKING POWDER

To make your own baking powder, stir and sift together 2 parts of Cream of Tartar to 1 part baking soda and 1 part cornstarch.

If you don’t have the ingredients to make baking powder you can make bread with only baking soda. For instance, Irish soda bread relies on the reaction between baking soda and the acids in buttermilk for leavening — there is no yeast in it. According to one reference, the reason for the absence of yeast is that Irish flour is very soft and doesn't produce a good quality yeast-leavened loaf. Therefore, in order to have bread with an acceptable structure, the Irish used the quick leavening action of baking soda. Using baking soda for leavening requires fast assembly of ingredients and immediate baking, as the reaction between the soda and the acid almost instantaneously produces carbon dioxide, which causes the bread to rise.

Traditionally (before all areas of Ireland had electricity), soda bread was baked on cast iron hotplates or griddles, over the open peat fire. The quality of the bread depended not only upon the baker's skill in making the bread, but in keeping the fire at a steady temperature, too. In his book, The Complete Book of Breads, Bernard Clayton Jr. indicates that soda bread in Ireland is baked with a lid over the pan (which would likely keep it more moist), and suggests that bakers try the bread both with and without the lid to see which version they like best.

 

While some people prefer their soda bread plain, others like a sweeter loaf. The addition of currants is mentioned in a few cookbooks as the way to sweeten soda bread, and currants and other dried berries and fruits were popular in traditional Irish baked goods and desserts. In a pinch, raisins would also be acceptable, of course.

 

Soda bread can be shaped in a loaf or in a round, as the baker prefers. When shaped in a round, however, it's better to cut it into wedges instead of long slices, which may fall apart. Soda bread is rather crumbly, due to the fact that there's little fat in it.

 

Buttermilk Bread

Adapted from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads.

There is no baking powder in this recipe; it relies entirely on the buttermilk and soda for the leavening. Buttermilk powder, which may be substituted for the milk itself, can be found in most supermarkets and specialty food stores.

 

2 cups all-purpose flour, approximately
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk (or 3 tablespoons buttermilk powder in 3/4 cup water), room temperature

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) If using a convection oven, reduce heat 50°F (30° C). Choose a non-stick baking sheet or sprinkle a regular one with cornmeal or flour

By Hand or Mixer: 10 mins.

Measure the flour into a medium bowl and add the baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and sugar. With your fingers or a mixer's flat beater work the butter into the flour until it resembles rice or small peas. Slowly add the buttermilk. If the dough is too moist to handle without sticking, dust with additional flour. There is no kneading, only mixing to thoroughly blend the ingredients.

 

 

HOW TO MAKE TRADITIONAL SOURDOUGH STARTER

(This recipe makes yeast)

2 cups low-fat milk

2 cupes whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon honey

Put milk into a small container (non-metal), cover with cheesecloth, and leave at room temperature for 24 hours. The next day add flour and honey, and stir well to blend mixture. Cover container with cheesecloth, and put in a warm place. After 24 more hours, “capture” yeast should begin to activate. This may take 2 to 3 days. When starter becomes bubbly and begins to expand in size, it is ready for use. Replenish the starter with equal amounts of flour and water after each use. Starter should be stored in refrigerator, then taken out and brought to room temperature. If there is no refrigeration, then you should probably have enough for the day’s baking always “brewing” and use immediately when it is ready.

 

 

HOW TO MAKE YEAST FROM POTATOES

Potato Yeast
Boil one quart of Irish potatoes in three quarts of water. When done, take out the potatoes, one by one, on a fork, peel and mash them fine, in a tray, with a large iron spoon, leaving the boiling water on the stove during the process. Throw in this water a handful of hops, which must scald, not boil, as it turns the tea very dark to let the hops boil. Add to the mashed potatoes a heaping teacupful of powdered white sugar (I think that this is probably granulated sugar) and half a teacupful of salt; then slowly stir in the strained hop tea, so that there will be no lumps. It will take two or three days in a warm spot for this to start 'working') and pour into glass fruit jars, or large clear glass bottles to ferment, being careful not to close them tightly. Set in a warm place in winter, a cool one in summer. In six hours, it will be ready for use and at the end of that time the jar must be securely closed. This yeast will keep two weeks in winter and one week in summer.

 

YEAST-FREE BREADS

 

Corn Tortillas

Mixture of water and cornmeal that has been cooked with lime. The mixture is flattened and cooked on a hot griddle until slightly brown, then served with beans, rice, and/or meat.

 

2 cups of masa harina (cornmeal with lime found in Mexican stores or Mexican section of your grocer)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons corn oil

 

In a medium-size bowl mix masa harina with water and oil until it forms a ball. Divide into 10 balls, and cover to prevent from drying. Place 1 ball between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Roll out into a 6-inch circule, or press in a tortilla press. Cook on a hot ungreased griddle or in a medium–size heavy skillet for 30 seconds. Turn and continue cooking for 1 minute. Turn again and continue cooking for 15 to 30 seconds. Tortillas should be soft and pliable. Makes 10 tortillas.

 

How to make your own Masa (spanish for dough) and check out a tortilla press, see http://gourmetsleuth.com/masa.htm

 

 

Flour Tortillas #1 (with baking powder)

This recipe will make approximately 12 flour tortillas.

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cut into pieces

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 cup warm water


In a bowl, blend flour, salt, baking powder and shortening until it resembles fine meal. Add water, a little at a time, to flour mixture and toss until liquid is incorporated (water amount will vary with different flour types). Form dough into a ball and kneed on a floured surface until dough is smooth and elastic. Divide, and make 12 smaller balls. Cover and let stand at least 30 minutes.

Roll each ball of dough on a floured surface to make 6 or 7 inch sized tortillas. Place on a pre-heated griddle or cast iron skillet and cook till medium golden on both sides. Stack between towels or plastic.

Small amounts of butter may be used for frying if desired. Tortillas can also be grilled over a barbecue and wood burning stoves with smooth flat tops and types with round covers make excellent grilling surfaces for this recipe.

 

Flour Tortillas #2 (without baking powder)

2 cups flour, white
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup water, hot

Mix flour and salt together. Cut in shortening until crumbly and then mix in the water. Roll out ping pong sixe balls on a well floured surface and cook in a nonstick pan on medium heat. When tortilla starts to bubble up turn over immediatly and be ready to take it out as it only needs 20 seconds on the other side.

Note: Do not overcook, they are meant to be soft and bendable.

 

Flour Tortillas #3 (Vegetarian)

These flour tortillas are quick and easy, but don't skimp on the "resting" times - they are the key to soft, pliable tortillas. Yields 6-8 tortillas. Takes about 1 hour. Tools needed are medium bowl, wooden spoon, kitchen towel, rolling pin.

 

1 cup of flour

dash salt

2 tablespoons butter or warm olive oil

1/2 c water

 

Mix the flour and salt, then stir in the butter. When fairly mixed but still lumpy, add the water. Knead well for about 3 minutes.

Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Knead for just a moment, then divide into 6-8 balls. Roll out each ball into a thin circle.

Preheat the dry griddle (no oil or butter). Place the plate inside the plastic bag.

Cook a tortilla on the hot griddle until brown spots develop on the bottom (30-45 seconds). Flip tortilla and do the same on the other side. Then put the finished tortilla on the plate and close up the bag.

Repeat with the rest of the dough, placing each cooked tortilla on top of the last in the plastic bag.

I's best to let the finished tortillas rest for about 10 minutes. If you can't wait, use the tortillas in the same order that they were cooked, in order to allow the others to steam as much as possible.

You can roll these up into enchiladas, cook them into quesadillas (tortillas that have cheese or meat inside) or just eat them withguacamole (avocado), hummus (chickpea aka garbanzo bean), or some other dip.

 

Flour Tortilla #4 (whole wheat)

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 cups whole wheat bread flour

1/2 cup shortening

2 tablespoons salt

1 1/2 cups boiling water

all-purpose flour for rolling

In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup all-purpose flour, the whole wheat flour, and salt. Rub in the shortening by hand until the mixture is the texture of oatmeal. Make a well in the center, and pour in the boiling water. Mix with a fork until all of the water is evenly incorporated. Sprinkle with a bit of additional flour, and knead until the dough does not stick to your fingers. The dough should be smooth.

Make balls the size of golf balls, about 2 ounces each. Place them on a tray, and cover with a cloth. Let stand for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.

Heat a griddle or large frying pan over high heat. On a lightly floured surface, roll out a tortilla to your preferred thinness. Fry one at a time. Place on the griddle for 10 seconds, as soon as you see a bubble on the top, flip the tortilla over. Let it cook for about 30 seconds, then flip and cook the other side for another 30 seconds. Roll out the next tortilla while you wait for that one to cook. Repeat until all of the balls have been cooked. Tortillas can be refrigerated or frozen.

 

Note: For white Mexican Flour Tortillas, use the same amounts of flour, but using white flour only. Another variation is to use 3/4, 1 cup, or 1 1/4 of vegetable shortening or lard. All these amounts work; I have tried them, but I like to keep things light. I must say the best tasting recipe is the one with all white flour, and 1 1/4 cup lard...of course!

Chapati

Served warm as scoops for other food are puffed up on a hot griddle.

 

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup corn flour

1 cup cold water

 

Mix flours together in a medium-size bowl. Add water gradually, adding just enough to keep dough from sticking to hands (about 1 cup). Divide into 8 portions, and roll out each portion on a floured surface until it is about 5 inches in diameter. Cook over medium heat in a large, dry, cast-iron skillet for about 30 seconds on each side, or until lightly toasted and cooked through. Makes 8 chapati.

 

 

Johnnycakes

Made from thin cornmeal batter cooked quickly on a hot surface. Many recipes. This is just one…

 

1 cup stone ground white corn meal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 1/4 cups boiling water


Combine corn meal, salt and sugar. Stir in water until mixture is smooth (it will be thick). Drop by tablespoons onto a well greased griddle and fry over medium heat for about 6 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for 5 minutes.
Makes 8 to 10.

For thin Johnnycakes, thin batter with 1/2 cup milk or water.
Serve buttered with maple syrup.

 

 

HOW TO MAKE EGG SUBSTITUTES

Using Flax Seed:
This recipe is every bit as good as real eggs for use in your favorite baked goods. For each egg needed, place in blender:

1 Heaping Tablespoon of whole organic Flax seed, blend until it becomes a fine meal. Add 1/4 cup cold water blend 2-3 minutes until thickened and has the consistency of eggs.

Each 1/4 cup of Flax seed mixture will replace one egg in baking.

 

Using gelatin:
Before starting recipe for cookies, cake etc...
Combine 1 tsp unflavored gelatin with 3 Tbsp cold water and 2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp boiling water. This mixture will substitute for 1 egg in a recipe. Dry gelatin will last 5 years. Buy the unflavored kind.

 

(You can also make flavored jello just by adding a fruit juice to the unflavored gelatin. (Recipes on box.) Of course, if there is no refrigeration, then it won’t set properly. Possibly, this would work: Put the fruit gelatin mixture in a sealed container and float it in a stream (if the water is less than 45 degrees).

 

 

HOW TO MAKE BUTTER

First, allow the cream to warm to churning temperature (58 to 62 deg.F). If it is too cold, much of the butterfat will end up in the buttermilk; if it is too hot, the butter will be soft and greasy.

To churn the cream, fill a regular butter churn half full, or a five-cup blender jar three-quarters full. Run the churn, the blender, or a powerful mixer full tilt until the globules of fat have separated out to form the butter.

With a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, pat the butter into a ball and lift it out of the buttermilk. Press the ball of butter to squeeze out any remaining buttermilk. You can also wash it under cool running water or churn it again in cold water. Press out the water and wrap the butter tightly for storing in the refrigerator or freezer ) (or container in a net submerged in running water).

 

 

HOW TO MAKE YOGURT

It only takes two ingredients to make yogurt: milk and a starter. Just about any milk – goat’s, mare’s, water buffalo’s, cow’s, reindeer’s, soybean – will produce a tasty yogurt, though the taste and texture will vary with each. Whole cow’s milk makes a smooth, custardlike, tart yogurt; skim milk makes a fairly thin one; and a combination of half milk and half light cream (or three cups milk with one cup heavy cream) yields a rich, thick, sweet product. Adding one-third cup of dry milk solids to one quart of skim milk will produce a firmer, more nutritive yogurt. The starter can be a packet of freeze-dried culture (bacteria) that is available at natural food stores, or yogurt from a previous batch. You can also use a tablespoon or two of commercial yogurt, but get it without any flavors, gelatins or sweetners, as these interfere with the growth of the bacteria. Use an enameled, stainless steel, or glass vessel for heating the milk, as those don’t taint the taste. A glass bowl or jar works best for the incubation period. To make yogurt: slowly heat a quarter of milk until it just reaches the boiling point. Do not let it actually boil and foam. (Pasteurize the milk if it is raw. Bacteria in raw milk will interfere with the yogurt culture.) Cool the milk to between 105 and 110 deg.F. At that temperature a drop of milk on your wrist should feel lukewarm and you should be able to keep your little finger in the milk for a slow count of ten. Stir into the milk one packet of freeze-dried culture or two tablespoons of yogurt from the previous batch. Incubate the mixture—do not jiggle it during incubation—in a covered container at 105 to 110 deg.F for five to ten hours. You can use an insulated picnic cooler to accomplish this. Place jars in cooler and surround them with warm water (105-110 deg.F). If possible, the water should be up to the midpoint of the jars. However, too much water will make the cooler unwieldy. Check the temperature every hour and add or subtract water as needed. Chill the thickened yogurt in a covered container at 40 deg.F for at least 12 hours before serving. (Again, if no refrigeration, put in sealed container perhaps in a net submerged in a nearby stream or pond.) Yogurt will stay fresh for four to five days (if refrigerated—so make enough for the day only if no refrigeration), though it will taste tarter on the fifth day than on the first. If a watery, yellowish liquid (whey) accumulates on the top, drain it off if you like a thick consistency, or stir it in if you prefer a thin one. Flavors should be added right before serving. To retain a thick consistent, gently fold flavorings in instead of stirring. Pureed fruits, homemade preserves, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon, or just plain fruit, work well to make light desserts and snacks. Yogurt can also be used to give sauces and soups smoothness, and when used in breads, cakes and biscuits, pancakes, the acid interacts with the protein in flour which makes the bread tender. It also has healthful benefits and is used to start cottage cheese.

 

 

HOW TO MAKE CHEESE

Homemade salt-free soft cheeses are easy to make at home. Hard cheese, on the other hand, require quite a bit of equipment and time and require salt. It takes about ten pounds (or about five quarts) of milk to make one pound of cheese. You also need these seven items: (1) an earthenware crock, glass casserole dish, or stainless steel or enameled pot; (2) a dairy thermometer, (3) a long-handled spoon (preferably made from glass, wood, stainless steel, or enamel); (4) a spatula or wide knife); (5) a large pan or shallow pot that is larger than your crock; (6) a cheesecloth; and (7) a colander. All equipment must be scrupulously clean. Unwanted bacteria will interfere with the curdling process and produce off-flavors and strange textures. Wash the equipment with soapy water and rinse it thoroughly with very hot water. Cottage cheese is the “beginners” cheese. Small-curd cottage cheese can be made in 16-36 hours. It can be eaten alone, in lasagne, in pancakes and other applications.

 

Small Curd Cottage Cheese

1 gallon skim or whole milk

¼ cup yogurt OR ½ cup cultured buttermilk

 

Pour milk into a very clean, large, stainless steel or enameled pot. Set pot on a rack inside a larger pot. Fill outside pot with hot water. Warm on stove over low heat until milk reaches 85 deg.F.

Stir yogurt or buttermilk into milk with a wire whisk. Cover with a towel. Incubate milk, without disturbing it, at a temperature of 72 to 85 deg.F. until milk becomes firm and yogurtlike. When curd pulls away from side of pot, it is ready to “set” by being heated. You will see a clear liquid around edges of pot. This will take between 12 and 36 hours. Temperature may fluctuate during this time but milk may not be jiggled.

It is now time to separate the whey, a clear liquid, from curds, which are white and made of coagulated proteins. With a long thin stainless steel knife, cut curd into ¼-inch squares. Next, hold knife at a 45-degrees angle and slice diagonally through lines which are already made. These cuts will allow whey to seep out of curds and will facilitate even heating.

Place fresh hot water in outside pot and place pot containing curds in it. Over low heat raise temperature of curds to 90 deg.F. (check temperature near outside of pot). At no time allow water in outside pot to get hotter than 170 deg.F. Slowly stir curds from outside edges into center and bring curd from bottom to top, using a rubber spatula or a large metal spoon. Curds are still soft at this point and easily broken. Continue to raise temperature of curds to 120 deg.F., stirring gently every 10 minutes. Time needed to raise temperature to 120 deg.F. from room temperature should be regulated to take about 45 minutes.

Hold curds at 120 deg.F. until they feel firm, 10 to 20 minutes more. When curds show resistance to being squeezed and feel slightly springly but still a long way from being rubbery, they are ready to drain. Whey will be very clear with a golden tinge. Rinse a cheesecloth and line a colander with it. Gently ladle curds into colander. Pour whey through curds. Rinse gently with cool water. If water drains too slowly, shift curds about in cheesecloth. Rinse again to finish cooling curds. Tie ends of cheesecloth together and hand to drain for another 30 minutes. Then refrigerate. Yields 4 cups.

 

Farmer cheese is the same as cottage cheese until you drain it in the cheesecloth-lined colander (it is now pot cheese at this step). Instead of pressing, wrap the curds in several layers of cheesecloth, press with a 1- or 2-pound weight.

 

Yogurt cheese is a fresh cheese made by allowing whey to drain from yogurt solids. Start with yogurt. Warm it to room temperature. Then hang it in cheesecloth 6-8 hours to drain.

 

Cream cheese uses whole milk and cream, ½ cup buttermilk (per gallon)(optional), warm to 60-65 deg.F, add rennet (dissolve ¼ rennet tablet in 2 tablespoons water, and add to milk). Custard forms after 12 hours, do not cut. Drain in cheesecloth-lined colander, then hang overnight.

 

RECIPES IMPROVISING AND/OR USING STORAGE FOODS

 

Cream Of Chicken Soup

Here's a way to make cream of chicken soup from beans.

1 Cup Navy Bean Flour (Lima beans or Garbanzo beans will also work.)
4 Cups Water or Milk
1 Tablespoon Chicken Bouillon
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup dehydrated onions or 1 small onion optional

Grind the dry beans in a wheat grinder. Usually, 3/4 cup of beans will make 1 cup of flour. Add the other dry ingredients to the bean flour. Stir 1/2 cup of water or milk into the bean flour until it is mixed then add the rest of the water or milk and heat it in a medium sized sauce pan, constantly stirring. As it reaches the boiling point it will thicken. Boil it for about a minute. If it gets too thick add a bit more water/milk until your soup thins down to what cream of chicken soup should be. If it lacks flavor, add a bit more chicken bouillon. Garnish with dry parsley flakes.
Serves 4.

 

 

Potatoes and Ham (Dried Foods)

1 ½ c. dehydrated potatoes

2 c. milk

¼ c. margarine

¼ c. flour

½ c. dehydrated cheese

1 MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) ham slice or ½ c. ham TVP

Salt and pepper to taste

Reconstitute potatoes. Combine milk, flour, margarine, salt and pepper. Simmer until thickened. Layer

potatoes, ham and cheese. Pour sauce over top. Make at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

- from "Cookin with Home Storage" by Peggy Layton and Vicki Tate ISBN: 1893519015

 

 

 

Deviled Ham Stuffed Peaches

1 can (4-1/2 ounces) deviled ham

1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 can (29 ounces) peach halves, well drained

Mix together deviled ham and mustard. Spoon the mixture into the cavity of each peach half. Serve with soup or toast for lunch or supper.

-          from "Pantry Cooking: Unlocking Your Pantry's Potential" by Cheryl F. Driggs ISBN: 0965890929

 

 

Simple Salmon Patties

2 cans salmon

Breadcrumbs

Oatmeal

2-3 eggs

Onion salt

Mix well. Form patties and coat with flour. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fry on griddle until browned.

"Cookin with Home Storage" by Peggy Layton and Vicki Tate ISBN: 1893519015

 

 

Dutch Oven Biscuits

2 c. Flour

1/2 tsp. Salt

3 tsp. Baking powder

4 Tbs. Solid shortening

1 c. Milk (diluted canned ok)

Blend flour, salt, baking powder and mash in the shortening with a fork until crumbly. Add milk and stir until the dough sags down into trough left by spoon as it moves around the bowl. Turn dough out on a floured surface; knead for 30 seconds, pat out gently until it is 1/2 inch thick. Cut with a round cutter or pinch off pieces of dough and form by hand. Put biscuits into a greased Dutch Oven, cover, and bury in bright coals for 5 or 10 minutes or until golden brown.

- from Just Recipes http://www.melborponsti.com/index.htm

 

 

Cheese Sauce

1 ½ Tbs. Dry butter powder or margarine

½ c. powdered milk

1 ½ c. water

½ c. powdered cheddar cheese powder

1 ½ Tbs. Flour

¼ tsp. Salt

¼ tsp. Paprika

Mix all dry ingredients together except cheese powder. Add water gradually, stirring until blended.

Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes. Add powdered cheese and stir until smooth.

Combine your favorite cooked vegetable with the sauce and pour over rice or macaroni. This makes a

good macaroni & cheese dinner.

- from “Cookin’ with Powdered Milk” by Peggy Layton ISBN: 1893519023

 

 

Macaroni & Cheese Casserole

2/3 c. macaroni

2 c. boiling water

½ tsp. Salt

2 Tbs. Dried parsley

1 tsp. Dried onion

1 Tbs. Dried green pepper

¼ c. dried cheese

1/3 c. dry whole egg

3 Tbs. Dried milk

1 c. warm water

Cook the macaroni in the boiling salted water until tender. Drain and combine the macaroni, green

pepper, parsley and onion. Mix together cheese, egg, milk, and warm water, blend well. Pour over the

macaroni mixture. Place in a greased pan, bake at 350 degrees F. for 50 minutes. This recipe makes 2

servings.

- from "Cookin' with Dried Eggs" by Peggy D. Layton ISBN: 1893519031

 

 

Injun Corn Casserole (Dried Foods)

1 c. dehydrated sweet corn

¼ c. dehydrated onions

1 c. tomato powder

3 Tbs. Dehydrated green peppers

1 c. dry breadcrumbs

-2 Tbs. Dehydrated cheese

1 Tbs. Shortening or margarine

Reconstitute vegetables. Add seasonings. Place in casserole dish. Dot with margarine or shortening.

Sprinkle with cheese and crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

--from "Cookin with Home Storage" by Peggy Layton and Vicki Tate ISBN: 1893519015

 

 

HOW TO MAKE PEANUT BUTTER

1 cup roasted peanuts

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

 

Place peanuts and oil in a blender. Process on medium to high speed, scraping down sides of container as necessary. Blend until smooth. Store tightly covered in a cool place. Yields 1 cup.

 

Variations: Cashew butter, sesame seed butter, sunflower seed butter, just substitute these nuts instead.

 

 

A NOTE ABOUT PROTEIN:

 

“Protein is essential for growth and development. It provides the body with energy, and is needed for the

manufacture of hormones, antibodies, enzymes, and tissues. It also helps maintain the proper acid-alkali

balance in the body.”

To make a complete protein, combine BEANS with any one of the following:

Brown Rice; Corn; Nuts; Seeds; OR Wheat.

 

OR To make a complete protein, combine BROWN RICE with any one of the following:

Beans; Nuts; Seeds; OR Wheat.

 

- from "Prescription for Nutritional Healing: A Practical A-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using

Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and Food Supplements" by James F. Balch and Phyllis A. Balch

ISBN: 0895297272

 

 

 

 

ANOTHER GOOD BOOK TO HAVE:

Rodale’s Basic Natural Foods Cookbook

© 1984