Monday, August 11, 2008

On to the Finer Things

I realize that I've posted pretty much nothing but BO info since the beginning, probably because right now, in the event of a major emergency, this is what we as a family will be doing. It makes it sound though like I have no preps here. So not the case.

Right this moment, we have enough canned goods to get through 6 months comfortably without any wild crafting. Add in the wild edibles and we can certainly stretch that out a bit, at least a few months. Then you add the bounty of the parents' garden that has overflowed into an avalanche of zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and squash...well, let us just say that we are good with vegetables for quite some time.

I'm going to rattle on a bit about grains now. Please, please, please...for heaven's sake...if you do not know what to do with raw wheat DON'T buy 100lbs of it. You have to store it, grind it and then actually do something with it ya doesn't grind itself and it most certainly does not magically form into baked loaves of bread. The grain elves do not come and make everything bright and shiny (nod to Firefly)...there is actual physical labor and planning involved.

Where does the above come from, you this chick off her rocker? Nope, just a word of warning to pre-preppers (ahem, mother) that are jumping in with both feet firmly encased in cement. If you must buy some, buy only as much as you can store in your regular flour storage container...if you somehow manage to use it before you go totally insane, then buy more. The point is to actually know what to do with the stuff BEFORE you have to know what to do with it. TEOTWAWKI is not the time to take up the fun new skill of grain grinding.

And while we are at it...make sure you can grind it with a manual grinder (not electric, sans plug, no get the idea) before you go hog wild buying grain. Smack lotta good it will do you to have all that wheat and a prettyful electric grinder with all the bells and whistles when you have zero electric (unless of course you are already off grid, then you should notice no change to your daily schedule as the rest of the world wonders why the switch isn't working). All of those lovely gadgets are great, now. Should the inevitable happen, they will be good for...well, not much.

Okay, now that the main grain spill is over (main grain...snort) I can get to what I am currently using as a solution. Oh, and yes I do know WHAT to do with the grain and HOW to do it...I just don't have room for it here in the rental. Right this moment, I have 4 five gallon food grade buckets (big china mart $4 special in the paint department, already called and they're good) lined with mylar bags and filled with pre-ground flour. And an oxygen absorber (a la Riverwalker, check the "preppin' tips" section on the left). They are stacked in the utility room along with five gallon buckets of cornmeal, rice, pinto beans, rolled oats and sugar. Since I am a big proponent of use what you store, everything is rotated out and used on a regular basis. This also allows for me to keep track of what is left and make sure buggies stay out. Simple really, isn't it? Not for some people...not for my mother.

She is the bulk grain buyer with no idea of what to do. Yep, ain't I proud...sigh. I truly am the alien child, the weird one, in the family. Where the heck did I come from?

Alas, disregarding my flawed genetics, I have enough put by to get us through at least a few months of digging in at the rental. I've slowly been adding dehydrated meats and jerkies to our stash of canned meats and rotating them into our regular meals. Not even the hubby can tell much of a difference between "the real stuff" and the storage friendly (which may or may not mean that my cooking sucks). The littles think it's great fun for mommy to cook camping food a couple times a week. Of course, these are the same children who have not slept in an actual bed in over a month.

None of this is to say that I am even remotely completely prepared to have to dig in, not by any means. I've yet to finish fully prepping powdered milk, powdered eggs, butter and many other things. This just goes to say that if you intend on prepping something you can use, be sure you can use it before the time comes that it's your only option.

Use what you store!


Bustednuckles said...

Keep talking, I am listening.

riverwalker said...

Thanks for the link. If you see any other ideas you like help spread them around. That way everyone benefits.


Ozark Momma said...

Anytime, RW, have tons of goodies on there that just blow me away!

The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. --Edmund Burke