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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Product of the Day

MIDLAND WR300 Weather Radio

Technical Details

  • Receives All NOAA Weather Channels
  • S.A.M.E. Technology
  • AM/FM Radio with Clock and Alarm
  • Memory system for 30 Counties
  • Ability to Add & Remove Alerts

Audio Podcast: Why You Must Store Food

icon for podpress Episode-127- Why You Must Store Food [45:36m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

I read a great post today from the Down In The Hills Survival Blog called, Running out of food. He pointed out that “See if you got food, it’s easy to get more food. Being out of food and trying to get enough food to survive on ain’t so easy”. That is a simple but astute observation and prompted me to do today’s show about various sources of food for storage beyond the store front.

Tune in today to hear…

  • A bit about why getting food is a easier if you already have what you need on hand for the near future
  • Why “a country boy can survive” mentality is both valid and invalid in some ways
  • Considering crops that produce large yields in your garden and storage methods for them
  • Using food steamers to blanch vegetables such as green beans and snap peas
  • How adding some low cost highly storables such as pasta, rice and dry beans can extend your gardens ability to feed you
  • A cool recipe for a vegetable soup with beans and rice
  • How rice and beans combine for complete protein when you don’t have fresh meat around
  • Lessons learned in my garden last year
  • Thoughts on local foraging with plants like blackberries, blueberries and wild strawberries
  • Thoughts about fishing and adding meat to the freezer or smoker
  • Learning about editable plants in your area and a great YouTube channel called “Eat the Weeds”
  • Making wines, juices and jellies with wild berries
  • Thoughts on wild sources of nuts such as black walnuts and acorns and others
  • How hunting provides food but also has some major limitations in many areas
  • The reality that the State of California, New Jersey and others may soon go bankrupt, what it means and why you need to get serious now about survival living
  • Why in spite of all the negative news, likelihood of societal collapse, etc I remain such an optimist
Original: http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/episode-127-why-you-must-store-food

Second Half - Finances

This is the second half of the blog about finances. You will find videos/podcasts, instructions, and other information about the subject for this week.


Monty Python - The Money Programme

Pink Floyd - Money


Other Information:

Buying Gold and Silver
As you prepare, some people will tell you to buy gold and silver. I disagree, for the family just beginning to prepare. I say this for many different reasons.

One, you can't eat silver and gold.

Silver and gold will offer no nourishment for your family's hunger, only food will do that.

Two, you can't defend yourself with silver and gold.

Silver and gold will offer no protection against the rapist, looters, and robbers, only guns and ammo will do that.

Three, you can't drink silver and gold.

Silver and gold will offer no quenching of your thirst, only water that you have stored or treated will do that.

Lastly, why should I, or any other person, sell you food, water, guns, or the other necessities of life if all I have to do is wait for you to die and then take you silver and gold.

With all that said, a family that has enough food, guns/ammo, medical supplies, power generation equipment, ... and is preparing for a financical emergency might want to buy some silver and gold.

Over at Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest, the guys and gals have some excellent advice/thoughts on silver and gold.

September 14th, 2008 - 10 Commandments for Buying Gold and Silver

September 25th, 2008 - How Much Silver and Gold will Really Make a Difference

September 22nd, 2008 - Coin Shop Versus Online Dealers

September 16th, 2008 - Purchasing Precious Metals at a Coin Show

Original: http://gsiep.blogspot.com/2009/01/second-half-finances.html

Grandma’s Canned Sausage

By Joseph Parish

During the canning season I can often recall that my grandmother used to take and can sausage patties. She would take fresh made patties and stack them neatly inside a wide mouth jar and then fill the container full of hot sausage grease. She would then place the lids securely on them, turn them upside down to seal and she was done. How I remember going to the food closet and seeing dozens upon dozens of jars carefully stacked upside down. It seems that in those days it was customary to place the jars upside down to ensure a good seal.

Over the years as I grew up and investigated the art of canning on my own I discovered there are two major ways to can sausage. You can form and bake the patties until they are firm similar to the way my grandmother did it or you can fry the sausage up and let it crumble and then fill your jars up.

With the second way you would fry some of the sausage until it started to separate into small pieces and then can these pieces for use in gravies or casseroles. Here are some tips to follow when attempting this on your own.

You should omit any use of sage from your recipe if you decide to mix your own sausage. When canning your sausage the sage will tend to make it taste bitter. I generally use very little herbs and spices in my mix and that also includes the use of my favorites such as garlic or onions as they will actually become stronger tasting when your product is canned. Instead you could use a little bit of hot red pepper, salt, black pepper, some thyme or perhaps a bit of marjoram to season the sausage that you plan to can.

When selecting the meat make certain to choose 2/3 of lean meat to about 1/3 fat in order to make the best canned sausage that you can. You would can your sausage in the same manner as you would ground meat except that you will make small patties and cook it until it’s very well done.

Unlike ground beef you can use the fat from cooking the sausage to actual can it in. Be certain not to fill the jar too full, 2/3 full is plenty enough for it. Pour the grease in and make sure that it covers the sausages. You may wish to melt some extra lard to use for covering the sausages in the jar. Keep the lard or grease very hot while it is waiting to be poured into the jar.

Lastly, you will want to adjust the lids onto the jars and place then into a pressure canner set for 10 pounds of pressure. For pint jars cook for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes.

Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish


Build a groundhog snare

By Allen Easterly

The groundhog, otherwise known as the woodchuck, can waste a lot of your hard-earned garden bounty in a matter of hours. They’ll nibble a little bit on one melon and then move to the next one for a few bites. Then they’ll hit the squash, and whatever else tempts their taste buds, taking a few sample bites from each veggie. Every day each groundhog will consume about 3 pounds of fruits, vegetables, grasses, and clover. You can’t fence them out because they are excellent diggers and will just tunnel under the fence.

Their many holes and extensive tunnel system can put your livestock in danger of breaking a leg. The tunnels are usually about four feet deep with one main entrance and multiple escape tunnels. Some of these exits are as much as 40 feet from the main entrance. Within their tunnel system is a grass-lined chamber that serves as a bedroom, a nursery, and a hibernation chamber. The groundhog also digs a separate chamber to use as a toilet. The first time one of your prized animals has to be put down because of a leg broken in a groundhog hole, you’ll want to declare all-out war on these nuisance tunnel rats. You can shoot them if it’s safe enough to do so and you have the time to wait for them to show themselves.

In just a few minutes your completed snare is ready to put an end to your groundhog woes. A snare set vertically is very effective catching groundhogs with tunnel entrances under buildings.
In just a few minutes your completed snare is ready to put an end to your groundhog woes. A snare set vertically is very effective catching groundhogs with tunnel entrances under buildings.

They often undermine the very foundation of your home and outbuildings, causing extensive damage and costly repairs. When they do you’ll be ready to take a lesson from the movie Caddy Shack and bring out the dynamite.

But there is another way. For just a few dollars in materials you can make a simple and very effective snare to catch these critters before they do much damage. Your local hardware store will probably have all the supplies you need to get started. The self-sufficient nature in us usually won’t allow us to throw anything away that we might have a future use for. So you might already have a lot of the necessary materials on hand. I have been making these snares for many years myself and assist farmers and suburbanites to control their groundhog damage. The snares are also strong enough to use for beaver, coyote, fox, opossum, raccoon, and similar-sized animals that are causing problems. Though I don’t live in an area where gophers or prairie dogs are common, I suppose these snares would work equally well on them, too.

One of the advantages of this type of animal trap is that it rarely causes any significant harm to the trapped animal as long as there is no other object nearby they may become entangled in. The snare closes in snugly enough to hold the animal until you arrive to dispatch or release it. This allows you to use an effective trap in an area where it will cause relatively little harm (compared to other traps) to children, livestock, or pets that may accidentally become entrapped. Another benefit is that no baits or attractants are required. For groundhogs, you don’t even have to don the typical trapper attire of rubber gloves and boots.

Material list

5 feet 7x7x3/32-inch cable
2 1/2-inch nuts
1 dime diameter flat washer
6 inches #9 gauge wire
1 penny diameter flat washer
2 to 3 inches #12 gauge wire
3 feet #11 gauge wire
1/2-inch #12 or #14 gauge wire
2 feet 1/2-inch rebar stake

Snare assembly

1. Create a cable end stop by slipping one of the nuts over one end of the cable and smash it flat with a heavy hammer. The threads of the nut grip the cable preventing other parts of the snare from sliding off the cable.

2. Slide the dime washer from the open end of the cable to the stop. This washer will allow the cable to rotate freely and help prevent kinks and twists and allow more freedom of movement for the trapped animal.

These are the only parts you need to build your own groundhog snare. From the top: cable, end nut, dime washer, completed swivel, completed snare lock, drilled penny washer, end nut, snare restrictor, snare support, rebar stake.
These are the only parts you need to build your own groundhog snare. From the top: cable, end nut, dime washer, completed swivel, completed snare lock, drilled penny washer, end nut, snare restrictor, snare support, rebar stake.

3. Place a screwdriver handle or similar item at least 3/4" diameter in the middle of a 6" piece of #9 wire. On the opposite side of the screwdriver handle, hold the base of a 1/4" drill bit or similar diameter metal rod perpendicular to the handle. Pull both wire ends around the handle until they meet the drill bit. Twist the ends of the wire around the bit to create a swivel as shown in the picture. Thread the swivel, loop-end first, through the cable until it rests against the dime washer. The loop should extend beyond the cable end.

4. Make a snare support connector by temporarily placing the #11 wire against a portion of the cable. Wrap the long piece of #12 wire around both the #11 and cable five or six times, keeping each loop tight against the other. Remove the #11 wire, leaving the connector on the cable.

5. The next step is to make a snare lock that will allow the cable to close tight around an animal yet not loosen without your assistance. Lay the penny washer flat and drill a 1/8" hole in the side. Place the washer in a vise, leaving the half with the drilled hole facing up. Bend the washer over to a 90-degree angle. Remove the washer from the vise, and hold it in your right hand with the drilled hole up and the outside of the bend facing left. With the left hand, pass the end of the cable through the drilled hole about a foot. Bring the end of the cable back through the center hole of the washer about six inches. Apply the second nut to this end of the cable as in step 1 to create another stop. With a pair of pliers, bend the cable at the stop to a 90-degree angle.

6. If you have goats, deer, or other animals that might accidentally get a leg tangled in a snare, a snare restrictor should be applied. With the snare loop open, pinch the 1/2" of #12 or #14 wire around the cable at a point where it will stop the loop from tightening around the animal’s hoof or foot. Large-hoofed animals such as horses and cattle should be separated from the trapping area since a restrictor set for those animals would provide a closed loop too large to hold a groundhog.

7. The last item you will need to make is a support for your snare. With a pair of pliers, hold the #11 wire about an inch from the end and tight against an object 5/8" in diameter. Wrap the wire around the object a couple times, remove it, and you’re done. The whole process to make a complete snare set-up takes only 5-10 minutes.

Set-up and placement

Groundhogs are fairly easy to catch, giving you several opportunities each day as they enter and exit their burrows to feed on your veggie and flower gardens. They usually have several burrow entrances that they use at various times and for a variety of reasons. You may need to set snares on more than one hole if you want to catch them quickly.

To set up a snare, slip the snare support over the rebar stake with the one-inch end pointing down. Next, attach the snare by sliding the swivel end over the stake. Stretch the long end of the support wire horizontally so it just reaches the edge of the groundhog hole. Drive the stake in the ground making sure you’re not driving it into the burrow tunnel. With the long end of the support wire pointed at the burrow entrance, push the one-inch end into the ground to stabilize it.

To set your snare horizontally, open your snare loop until the loop is a half inch smaller in diameter than the hole. Slide the support connector to the base of your loop and slide the end of the support wire into the connector. Lay the loop flat and center it just inside or over the hole.

Set a snare horizontally over each tunnel entrance, and you can’t miss.
Set a snare horizontally over each tunnel entrance, and you can’t miss.

For a vertical set, stake your set-up so the long end of the snare support crosses the hole. Open the loop to a six-inch diameter. I have found it much easier to determine the right diameter by using an indelible magic marker to mark the cable during assembly. After the first cable stop is attached, measure from the opposite end of the cable and mark it at 20 inches. When your assembly is complete, opening the snare to this mark will give you a six-inch diameter loop. Set your loop vertically outside the hole or where the critter is coming from under a building. The bottom of the loop should be two inches from the ground.

Checking traps and follow-up

Now that you’ve got your snares set, you can go about other chores or relax under a nice shade tree while the snare does all the work and waits for the groundhog to show itself. It’s a good idea to check your snares at least daily. Sometimes an animal will not pass through the center of the loop and will push the set aside. Other times you might find the loop closed because the animal passed through it too quickly as the loop closed. Just reset it. If this happens too often, reduce the size of the loop when you set it.

A good deal of caution is in order as you approach to check your trap. Whatever is in it probably won’t be happy to see you. If you arrive at a trap and find the groundhog has been caught but reentered its hole, you set your stake too close to the hole. You’ll need nothing short of a tractor to get the groundhog out. I’ve even had to cut them loose to catch another day. The best method to euthanize your captured groundhog is a .22 short round in the head. Then you can simply open the loop to remove the groundhog. If the cable doesn’t have any kinks in it, you can reuse it to catch another. Otherwise, just replace the cable, recycling as many of the parts as possible. Once your snare has gone undisturbed for several days, you’ve probably caught all the groundhogs from that area.

Now that you have a freshly caught groundhog, there is no reason to waste the meat. They are perfectly edible and taste similar to squirrel. It’s no wonder, since they are a member of the squirrel family. The older ones can be tough and are best prepared with the use of a crock pot or left to simmer several hours.

After catching a few you can claim to be experienced at groundhog snaring, and start making a few extra dollars to help cover the cost of your snares and add a little something to the family budget. About 8 years ago, I started snaring free for other folks to gain more experience. Soon the word spread, and I had more requests to save yards and gardens from total destruction than I could fill. My costs for transportation and materials started to eat a hole in my pocket. I finally had to start charging a small fee to cover my additional expenses. The demand still grew until I decided to try making a dollar or two from each job or barter for things I needed. Customers needed help with other problem critters, too, so I finally expanded to snaring beaver, coyote, fox, opossum, skunk, and raccoon. Often customers are at their wits end with critter damage and don’t know how to take care of it themselves or just don’t want to deal with it. As a hobby, I have built a nice nuisance wildlife control supplemental income in my spare time. The additional money helps a lot with little extras around the homestead, and I get great satisfaction from helping others. The extra meat is also welcome at the dinner table.

Crock pot groundhog

1 cut-up groundhog (fat removed)
1 beef bouillon cube
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. sage
salt and pepper to taste
prepared rice or noodles

Put all ingredients in crock pot (except rice or noodles) with enough water to cover. Cook on low 6-8 hours or until meat falls from bone. Remove groundhog. Pour liquid into a separate pan and heat to boiling. As the liquid heats remove groundhog meat from bone and return meat to pot. Mix 1/4 cup cold water and 1/4 cup flour. Pour mix into boiling liquid and stir until thick gravy is formed. Salt gravy to taste and pour over groundhog meat. Stir and serve over rice or your favorite noodles. Serves 4-6.

Groundhog cacciatore

1 medium sliced onion
1 cut-up groundhog (fat removed)
8 oz. tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup red table wine
prepared spaghetti

Put all ingredients in crock pot and mix together. Cook on low heat 8 hours or until meat falls from bone. Remove bones. Thicken sauce with 1 or 2 Tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in equal amount of cold water. Serve over hot spaghetti. Serves 4-6.

Original At: http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/easterly98.html

Emergency Drinking Water Storage

Emergency Water Storage DeviceI came across a really cool invention for survivalists today called the WaterBOB. The waterBOB is a water Storage system that holds up to 100 gallons of fresh drinking water in you bathtub in case of an emergency.

The WaterBOB is made with heavy duty food grade plastic, and is meant to keep your water fresh and clean. It protects your emergency water supplies from dirt, bacteria and debris, and is far better than just filling your tub and hoping for the best.

This is great for people who are vulnerable to hurricanes or other disasters that can disrupt the water supply.

Check out the Waterbob Emergency Drinking Water Storage

Original: http://offgridsurvival.com/bathtubwaterstorage/


Insure everyone has a coat, hat, and gloves warm enough for this winter.

Clothing is very important. It protects us from the extremes of this planet and outerspace. Yes, outerspace.

Think about the effort that the various space programs take to protect an astronaut, cosmonaut, or taikonaut. Extreme cold, heat, and the almost absolute vacuum of space.

Lucky for you, you are only preparing for an emergency on this planet, but that is still a big challenge.

Depending on where you live will depend on the clothing you will need for your emergency preparations. The Pacific Northwest will require an entirely different set of clothing preparations then in the American Southwest. This also goes for the urban, suburban, or rural resident.

Let's look at some of the similarities for all of these locations.

A hat.

Everybody needs a hat. I suggest a wide brim hat that has a brim about 3 inches wide all the way around the hat. The full brim will protect your ears, neck and face from the sun's harsh rays. The hat will also reduce the amount of body heat escaping from you in the cold.

If it is really cold, you will need a second hat.

A US military pile cap, a close fitting cap with flaps that cover the ears; a wool watch cap/beanie; or a towel wrapper around your head will help retain some of your body heat.

A scarf.

Yes, a scarf even for the desert, but a different kind of material. In the winter/cold areas of the the world, you will want a wool scarf. Make sure, the scarf is long enough to wrap around your face to protect your face from the wind. If you/a family member is allergic to wool, acrylic scarves work pretty well. You also might want to check out merino wool items. I hear they don't get scratchy like regular wool.

Back to the scarf for the desert. This scarf should be long enough to warp around your head to protect your neck, face, and eyes from the intense sunlight found in the desert. The Bedouins call them kufiyya; theirs are made out of wool. I suggest a cotton one; additionally, a cotton scarf can hold an ice cube at the base of your neck to help keep you cool in the summer.

A shirt.

You will want a long sleeve shirt. The long sleeves will protect you from various dangers such as sun, wind, and biting insects. Depending on the climate, you can layer the shirt with a t-shirt under the shirt and a sweater over the shirt.

Most people will tell you to avoid using cotton in your emergency preparedness preparations. I agree, for the most part. Cotton is a poor fabric for survival. Cotton will hold moisture, doesn't dry fast, and it doesn't retain your body heat as well as wool and the synthetic fabrics, like polypropylene, when wet. If you can avoid getting wet, say when you are indoors, cotton makes an inexpensive clothing fabric.

I own a few cotton sweaters that I wear during the winter to keep the chill off while in the house. I even wear a cotton sweater when I travel around town in the winter. But I keep a wool or performance fabric, such as thermax, shirt handy if I go out into the wild for more than a few minutes.

Long Pants.

You need long pants not shorts. Just like long sleeves, long pants protect you from the sun and flying stuff if you use a chainsaw or string trimmer.

Now don't get me wrong, shorts are cool, (Yes, the pun was intended.) but you are trying to prevent injuries during an emergency. Just like shirts, wool in the winter and cotton in the summer is OK, but avoid getting the cotton items wet.

Undies or no undies that is the question.

From my understanding, undergarments where originally intended to reduce the need to wash your outer clothing. Our sweat and body oils would soil the underwear instead of the outer cloths. The outer clothes could be worn many times before needing to be cleaned. I do this when I am working outside in the summer. I will wear the same jeans and t-shirt for 3 to 5 days before washing them.

I wear wool socks with my boots all year long. I will add a polypro (polypropylene) or nylon sock liner in the winter to keep my feet warm.

During the summer, I wear sandals. You can also wear sandals in the cold, if you wear socks or other insulating material around your feet.

You will need gloves for every climate. Warm ones for winter/the cold, tough ones for when you work in the garden or heavy labor, and specialty gloves for those specialty tasks such as welding, painting, or operating on someone.

The last similarity is the need for sandals, shoes, and boots. I suggest getting the best footwear you can afford. If all transportation stops, similar to 9/11/01 in New York, you may have to walk home.

I get my emergency clothing from discount stores, charity stores, department stores, military surplus stores, and specialty stores.

I buy my cotton undergarments and cotton socks, colored t-shirts, and inexpensive boots at discount stores. At department stores, I get my jeans and collared shirts.

I visit charity stores every once in awhile. I buy my used clothes in the "earth tones," green, brown, and black.

Military surplus stores provide a lot of my emergency preparedness clothing. Most surplus foreign military clothing is wool or cotton. The United States military surplus has polypro long johns, gortex jackets, and other more modern fabrics. Former military clothing seems to be more rugged; plus it is in the earth tone colors.

At specialty stores, I buy my expensive boots/shoes, welding gloves, safety glasses, and other hard to find items.

Before I go on, I would like to write about the levels of clothing technology in the US military.

In the 1940s-1950s, the US military used wool and cotton in their field gear/clothing. An example is the arctic parka. It had a cotton shell, a wool liner, and an animal fur hood. This level of technology has its limitation, but all of the gear still works. Be careful, some of this equipment is becoming collectible, so prices are increasing.

In the 1960s - 1970s, the US military was changing to synthetic material for their liners for their clothing. The shells such as field jackets and field pants were still made out of cotton, but the liners would be nylon with a polyester core.

From the 1980s onward, the US military had embraced the synthetic fabrics. Rain jackets are now made out of gortex. Uniforms are a combination of nylon and cotton, and liners are polypropylene. You still see wool and cotton, but it is slowly disappearing.

So what do these last three paragraphs have to do with emergency preparedness? They have to deal with technology levels and how to stretch your limited dollars.

Yes, gortex is great, but you may not be able to afford it. So you buy nylon rain jackets. Can't afford polypro long johns, buy military surplus wool long johns. If you can't afford surplus wool long johns, save your money and buy them. The cotton long johns will not protect you from the cold if they get wet.

Need more rugged inexpensive coats with liners, buy surplus foreign military coats. Need more leather boots, buy used military boots.

So, how much clothing do you need? You will have to decide. I have 7 uniforms for work, one clean uniform for each day of the week and a spare at work and home. When I say uniform, I mean an actual uniform. For some people, such as office workers, your uniform may be a tie, button down shirt, dress pants, and underwear.

I have 3 coats with liners for everyone in the family. A nice coat for everyday wear and two coats that are surplus foreign military. The two coats are split between the family cars. As we add cars, we will purchase more coats for emergency boxes stored in the truck of each car. (More about that in a few weeks).

I keep many, many pairs of socks on hand. There is nothing like having cold wet feet and changing into a clean pair of dry socks.

In footwear, we have three pairs of work shoes/boots, a few pairs of sandals, and surplus military boots in storage.

From looking at third-world countries and other disasters, I believe that clothing will be available, but comfortable and properly fitting footwear will be in short supply. Don't forget a spare pair of arch supports if you need arch support and shoe laces too.

This is a lot of clothing and footwear. To save money, we buy clothes when they are on sale. I also search the military surplus stores/sites for bargains on boots and surplus clothing. For gloves, hats, and scarfs, we buy at the end of the season when these items are deeply discounted.

I also stock spare clothing for expected guests. I mentioned this in a previous post. The ladies are asked to send gently used bras. The clothing goes in metal drums for secure storage. We had a mouse problem that is the reason for the metal drums.

In my research, I have found two differing opinions on storing bedding, blankets, and clothing. The United States military throws their clothing in a pile. They say this method prevents wear spots that would develop, if the clothing was folded.

Others say that folding allows more items to be placed in the same amount of space when compared to unfolded items. These folks also say the wear spots only develop, if the item is repeatedly folded. You decide.

Original at: http://gsiep.blogspot.com/2009/01/week-nine-clothing.html

Link of the Day

Lightweight Hiking & Backpacking

Commercial site, lots of useful information, especially for those with weight or volume restrictions. Good links.

Inventory Check: Rubber Bands

Today's inventory check is for rubber bands. Huh? Yep, rubber bands. All shapes, thicknesses and sizes. These can come in handy for all number of uses, from keeping q-tips together to using as a slingshot to entertainment for bored kids (with parental supervision, of course!).

The following link has some great ideas about what you can use your extra rubber bands for:

Are you stocked up on rubber bands?

Original: http://survival-cooking.blogspot.com/2009/01/inventory-check-rubber-bands.html

Watermelon Rind Pickles

By Joseph Parish

A recent visit by my friend and fellow survivalist Wayne on Sunday eventually got to the subject of canning. Wayne expressed an interest in a particular type of pickle recipes for watermelon rind. I knew that I had a recipe for it in my notes and was determined to find it for him.

Now as it was my wife and I had formally tried to can and pickle watermelon rind many years ago when we were first learning the skill of canning. Neither of us became extremely fond of the product however we made it and gave it to my wife’s father who enjoyed it immensely.

The great idea behind the pickled watermelon rind is that after you have enjoyed the watermelon itself you can put the rind to a practical purpose. Merely trim off all of the pink and green portions from the rind and you should end up with all green sections. Proceed to cut this green section up into one inch cubes and then soak these cubes for 10 hours in a solution of 1 gallon of water to which has been added 8 tablespoons of salt.

Upon the conclusion of the 10 hour soaking drain the rind and cook it until just before it gets tender. Next you will need to make syrup consisting of 4 cups of sugar, 2 cups of white vinegar, 5 teaspoons of clove, 6 cinnamon sticks, and a dash of mustard seed. You can use some scrape cloth to tie all the spices in. You would not want to leave the spices in the syrup because they would tend to darken it.

Heat the syrup to the point where it is just about ready to boil and then let it cool for 15 minutes. At this time add the watermelon rind and cook until is appears transparent. Now you can pack the watermelon mixture in sterilized jars and caps. If you would like you can add a slice of lemon, ginger root or any of your favorite spices to the mix when you prepare to jar it.

I hope that this recipe fills the missing gap for Wayne.

Original: http://survival-training.info/articles7/WatermelonRindPickles.htm

Simple Food Storage Items - Chocolate

Having comfort foods in your food storage can play an important part in your survival. Knowing the shelf life of the different kinds of chocolate will help you meet your goals for the storage of comfort foods. Disaster situations and emergencies can be very stressful and having a supply of comfort food items will help to eliminate or reduce this stress.

Chocolate - Long Term Storage Types

1.) Chocolate Brownie Mix has a shelf life of approximately 1 year.

2.) Semi-sweet Chocolate has a shelf life of approximately 1 year and depending on storage conditions it can be useful for up to 2 years.

3.) Chocolate Syrup has an approximate shelf life of 2 years. It will need to be refrigerated after opening.

4.) Unsweetened Chocolate has a shelf life of approximately 18 months.

5.) Cocoa (powdered) has an indefinite shelf life as long as it remains unopened. Cocoa that has been opened has a shelf life of approximately 1 year.

Most commercially prepared chocolate, such as candy bars, have a very short shelf life of 90 days or less. They are also highly susceptible to damage from high temperatures. They also do not keep well in the refrigerator. Discoloration and quality of taste will suffer. In all cases you will need to use proper storage conditions to avoid changes caused by excessive temperatures, undue exposure to light sources and excess humidity.

Got chocolate?

Staying above the water line!


Original: http://stealthsurvival.blogspot.com/2008/11/simple-food-storage-items-chocolate.html