Friday, May 15, 2009
I tried a fun new bread recipe today that uses granola. I’ll get the picture posted soon so you can get a visual, if not a taste, of this hearty bread. The recipe says to use granola without raisins, but I actually think I would like it with raisins or even chopped dried cherries. I love this recipe. It’s a great way to use the end of a box of granola (if your family loses interest in it) to create a wholesome batch of moist homemade bread. I’ll be posting some recipes for homemade granola next week.
GRANOLA WHEAT BREAD
3 cups warm water
4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2 1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. nonfat dry milk powder
2 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/4 cups granola without raisins
6 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
3 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
In stand mixer, combine yeast and warm water; allow to foam. Stir in applesauce, brown sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon, dry milk powder, granola, and about 4 cups of flour. Mix well. Continue adding flour until dough pulls away from the side of the mixing bowl. Dough should still be somewhat sticky, not dry. Allow mixer to knead dough for about 8 minutes. Remove dough from mixer and shape into 4 loaves in bread pans. Allow loaves to rise and double in size. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
Bottled meat is practical...not pretty!
Since we purchased our pressure canner last year, we’ve wanted to try canning meat. We love the idea of being able to store meat from the cuts that we like to reduce fat and mystery meat. And, we can buy meat in bulk when it’s on sale and have a way to store it long-term outside of our freezer. It’s a win-win. Canned meat will store for 3 years if it is kept in a cool dark room.
We bottled super lean (93% / 7%) ground beef and chicken breasts in pint and quart jars. Here is the step-by-step process we used:
1. Start with clean bottles in new condition (no chips or cracks).
2. Ready a large pot of hot water to fill jars, or create a vegetable stock like we did. Combine water, celery, carrots, onion and herbs (if desired) in a large pot on a back burner of your stove to create a vegetable stock that will season the meat in the jars. We liked adding this stock to the meat. It is subtle enough that the meat can still be used in any recipe, but just adds a little flavor.
3. Meats need to be lean for canning. Fatty meats may not can well because the fat can interfere with the seal of the jar. Use ground beef that is 90% lean or leaner. For chicken, cut raw chicken breasts into large pieces and place raw meat into jars. We got about 1 lb. of meat per pint jar. For ground beef, brown the meat until it is almost cooked through before loading it into the jars. Fill the jars with meat up to 1/2″ from the rim. Some sites online say to add 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. of salt to each pint jar at this point. We had read that with pressure canning, the salt is only added for seasoning rather than preserving, so we left it out to reduce sodium. I don’t know there is an official rule on this.
4. Using a canning funnel, pour water or stock over the meat up to within 1/2″ of the rim to fill in around the meat. Use a butter knife or canning wand to poke into the jars and release any air bubbles in the jars.
5. Wipe jar rims clean of any grease or meat pieces. Place lids on jars (it is good to place the lids in hot water for about 2 minutes to soften the rubber seal). Tighten on rings, but don’t twist them on hard or you may cause your jars to crack during cooking.
6. Put the rack into the pressure canner (Remember this process does not work correctly in a pressure cooker. You need a pressure canner.) and add 2-3 inches of water (refer to the instruction manual for your canner) and about 1/4 c. white vinegar (this will keep your jars free from hard water marks during processing). Place filled jars onto rack. Attach the canner lid and secure it on. Leave the weight off of the vent port. Turn the burner to high heat and “exhaust” the canner–wait until a steady flow of steam is leaving the open vent port. Let this column of steam flow continuously for 10 minutes. After exhausting the canner for 10 minutes, put the weight on. Watch for the gauge to get up to pressure. For our elevation, we canned at 15 lbs. pressure. Once the canner reaches the appropriate pressure, reduce the heat to maintain the poundage. Closely monitor this at first to assure that the gauge is staying where it needs to, and adjust burner as necessary.
7. Once the pressure is where you want it, begin timing. Pints: 75 minutes. Quarts: 90 minutes. If you are canning fish, add an extra 15 minutes.
8. Continue checking on the canner to monitor pressure. Never leave the canner unattended.
9. When the cooking time has ended, turn the burner off and allow the pressure to fall slowly on its own. When the pressure is down to zero, remove the weight (or release the pressure valve, if that is how your canner is equipped), take off the canner lid, remove the jars with a hot pad or canning tongs and allow the jars to cool on the counter away from drastic temperature changes. DON’T TRY TO RUSH THIS PROCESS. If you try to remove the canner lid before the pressure returns to zero, your jars may break. The jar lids should start making a plinking sound as they seal, and should all be sealed within about an hour. If any of the jars don’t seal, you can refrigerate the meat to use right away or reprocess it using a new lid.
10. After the jars have sealed and cooled down, wipe the jars clean, remove the rings and place them on your pantry shelves.
The meat is surprisingly delicious prepared this way. The chicken ends up moist and just falls apart the same way as it does after cooking in a crock pot. It’s great used in any recipe calling for shredded chicken like soup, enchiladas, etc. Once you’ve tried canning meat, you’ll see how simple the process is, and you’ll enjoy all the fast and tasty week-night meals you can create. If you want, you can customize the recipe as your canning by adding peppers, onion or celery to the ground beef…or even a tomato base to make jars of sloppy joe that are ready to go!
5-gallon Bucket #1 -
List of items in bucket
Bucket lid (not Gamma lid)
Large flashlight or solar flashlight (put near top)
Batteries for flashlight
Family-sized First Aid Kit (update every 6 months. Could be used to help others. Put near top)
Radio, battery (put near top)
Batteries for radio (replace every 6 months)
Travel wet wipes
40 Waterproof matches
50 Purification tablets
Water filtration bottle
12-Function Army Knife w/scissors
Large 30 gallon trash bags
13 gal. plastic trash bags (to line your bucket as a toilet)
2 Mess kits
Paper plates, paper bowls, paper cups, plastic utensils
Paper towels, small roll
Small bottle of dish soap or camp soap
Small bottle of disinfectant
American Red Cross brochures
5-gallon Bucket #2 -
Leather work gloves (put near top)
50 ft. nylon cord
Small folding cook stove with fuel
Small hand broom
Pliers and wrench
Family tent (in its own bag)
Cases of bottled water (*what you can't put in your backpacks)
Water container to refill at evacuation shelter: tote, bucket above, or jug with spout
Battery powered TV
Chainsaw w/extra blade
Extra fuel 5-gallon gas cans
PDF or Excel spreadsheets of Emergency Supplies for Disasters to help you with your own planning.
This post is part of a series of posts about 72-Hour Kits and supplies. Check the sidebar of my blog.
I wasn't always this way. As a matter of fact, it was only about a year and a half ago that I laughed at the idea of storing a year worth of food. While I’ve always believed that things could change for the worst and change fast, I now don’t just think that it could happen, but I believe that it will happen. For me it is not a matter of if, but of when and how bad.
I’d like to share a series of reasons why I believe our life as Americans and the entire lifestyle of the modern world is going to change. This is an ongoing study as the world is constantly changing and I’m continuously learning. What follows are just a few ideas that have been moving me lately.
There are multiple things happening in the world today which could bring about massive and possibly destructive change. Any one of these things could be serious, but the reality is that multiple devastating events could happen together. Some of these things are intrinsically connected while others may not be connected, but seem to be happening simultaneously.
1) National or worldwide financial collapse could bring about conditions which destroy or drastically change life as we know it.
Anyone who doesn’t live in a zoo can tell that we have financial problems. The real dilemma is in agreeing upon a solution. The solution is extremely difficult to devise because the problem itself is so complex.
Let me qualify that last statement. At the very core I don’t think the problem is that complex because it essentially boils down to two differing philosophies of life. On the one side are those who think the government is the solution to everything, and that it should tax the pants off anyone who has something, and then give it to everyone else. This of course has drastic side effects for our entire system – economic, social, and political.
The other side consists of those independent conservative types who want lower taxes, fewer laws, and the government to stay out of their lives. If a person or company is about to go bankrupt, good! Let another company or individual succeed in the void. I myself qualify for a number of free government programs, everything from WIC (Women, Infants, and Children – a free food program), to CHIP (stands for Children’s Heath in Pennsylvania or something like that ), to free windows put in my house. When they call my house trying to get me to sign up for all these programs, I tell them NO WAY! I’m a healthy man and I can take care of my own family and you should too.
While these two views are clearly at the core of our differences as Americans, another serious problem exists, and that is the complexity of our financial system. Most people, and I include congressmen and political leaders, probably don’t fully understand what makes our economy tic. I don’t fully understand it either, trust me! But I’ve tried to figure out some things over the years and have just recently come across something that is extremely helpful, at least for me.
Chris Martenson as a web site dedicated to explaining how our economy works and why we are headed for serious trouble. He has a free three hour video series called the “Crash Course”. See it here.
In the Crash Course he explains why the world cannot continue for more than twenty years as it is now. He discusses things like peek oil, inflation, money creation, exponential growth of population, and other related topics. While I didn’t agree with every word, everything he said made me stop and think. Everyone you know NEEDS to watch this video. It will inform you about how money is created from thin air, the problem of hyper inflation, and other very important topics. You should watch it now! Go here to see it!
OK now that you are back I’ll continue.
Basically, a financial collapse could cause destructive change to all of our lives. There will probably be hyper inflation, unemployment that makes the great depression look like a weekend at Disney, movement to a world currency creating a serious loss of American buying power, and then U.N. control over many national matters.
When the unemployment and hyper inflation hit, we could easily have social unrest in the form of rioting, looting, attacks upon innocent people, and attacks upon government people and buildings. This all could lead to severe government crackdowns which look very much like martial law. This web article has some interesting information about FEMA and the martial type powers granted to them during a national crisis.
At the very least, if a financial crisis occurs, we and many of our loved ones may lose our homes and possessions. In the worst case scenario many will lose their lives to violence, and our entire system of freedom could be loss in the subsequent restructuring of the national government. If you watch the Martenson videos you will understand that our financial system cannot continue as it is and massive change is coming!
2) An attack from without or from within could cripple our nation and cause destructive change.
There has not been an attack on American soil in almost eight years; at least not that has been reported. This fortunate situation could only exist for one of two reasons. First, because of the mercy of God, He has protected us. I do believe this to be partially the case. Second, because for reasons not known to me, terrorists have decided not to attack us yet.
A few things seem clear to me. There are many people in this world who hate America and many of these people are willing to die in order to damage America. Also, it is very simple to get into this nation through our open borders. Yet we have not had one suicide bomber attack a mall, school, or football game. Our government may be good at surveillance and counter-terrorism, but they are not that good.
It is entirely possible that there are dozens or hundreds or even thousands of terror cells working independently toward a single attack which would create damage and destruction in hundreds of locations all at once. Working in small independent cells has multiple advantages and they know it.
While attacking large buildings or taking out large numbers of people does have a grave effect upon the mood and emotion of the nation, it really does little to damage the nation for the long term. However, there are very simple ways that terrorists could do long term, serious damage which would effectually shut down the nation indefinitely.
What might these methods be? Well an obvious thing would be to poison water and food supplies, but this could be difficult to do. They could use nuclear bombs, but again this could be very difficult without the support of a nuclear power. (I’ll discuss this as a separate point later). They could fly airplanes into buildings, but they know that doing so will not permanently shut down the nation. There must be other simple things.
I think that the most effective way to shut down the nation would be by destroying bridges on major freeways, train trestles, and bringing down key power lines. If enough bridges were destroyed, the bulk of the food and goods going into major cities could be stopped. This would also seriously hinder the ability of co-generation plants running on coal to receive their fuel, thus crippling the power grid. Throw in a few explosions of gas lines and the nation is effectively shut down.
The result of all this could easily be chaos and rioting. People would be hungry, thirsty (water won’t flow in cities without power), and scared - a recipe for disaster. Don’t worry, FEMA will be on the way.
The impact of all this upon an already unstable and crippled economy would be overwhelming. It could cause a complete shutdown. Don’t worry; the U.N. will be on its way.
This post is getting too long. There are at least two more very likely scenarios which could or will change our lives. I’ll post them soon and then I plan to work on a post describing what I am doing to prepare.
Thanks for reading,
This is an updated version of a show I originally did back on July 24th, 2008 this time I have expanded it to be even more in depth. Today as we go over 10 crops and 10 lessons that we can teach kids with a garden that are priceless beyond words. Tune in today to learn…
- How Radishes and Greens teach that what we do now matters
- How to use beans and peas to teach kids how plants “help” each other
- How Tomatoes, Squash and Peppers can build a community and teach sharing
- How Potatoes and Carrots teach that what you don’t see matters
- How Pumpkins teach us to create our own entertainment
With Gardening in General we talk about…
- How gardening teaches kids that food does not come from a store
- That the life in a seed applies to the entire world
- How the earth should be seen as a provider not a “resource”
- That hard work pays off
- That you can take care of yourself and others
We need to realize that survival preparedness is best done by blending it with life on a day to day basis. To survive we need to also ensure the survival of the next generations. Today we will discover how a garden can build a new generation of Americans that value hard work, seek self sufficiency, have planning and know what they do matters.