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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Survival Food Series: 3 Ways To Naturally Make Yeast

Original Article

Where would we be without the discovery of yeast?   Fresh, puffy bread would be non-existent, and need I not mention the fact that beer, wine and alcohol products would cease to exist.  Of course, all yeasts were not created equal.  Some yeasts are made for making bread and baked goods, and some yeasts are made for distilling spirits.
Knowing ways of making this essential prep would be beneficial to anyone trying to live off of the food supply they have.  Grains, vegetables and fruits are three of the easiest ways to find yeast.  Some have even used herbs to get their yeast.
How Does It Work?
Did you know that yeast is actually alive on plants?  As long as it has warmth, moisture, and food to grow, it will stay alive.  Fruits, vegetables, herbs, and all edible sources have yeast living on it’s surface.  As a result, using different produce will add to the flavor of the bread you make.  Simply by soaking the produce in water, you can separate the yeast and use the water it is floating in.  The water and yeast actually start the fermentation process that when mixed with flours creates that desirable baked good we love so much.  This fermented concoction is also called a bread starter by some.
By using this method, however much water the recipe calls for is how much water to soak the fruit, vegetable, herb or grain in.  Those that have used this method rave about raisins as being one of the best fruits to use for acquiring yeast.
In the book, The Little House Cookbook, Ma Ingalls explains how she ferments her bread dough using what she has on hand,”You start it by putting some flour and warm water in a jar and letting it stand till it sours…”Then you use it, always a little.  And put in the scraps of biscuit dough…and add warm water, and cover it and just set it in a warm place.”
Because yeast is already present on grains, when combined with water, the yeast will separate from the grain.  As a result of the soaking process, the combination will begin to ferment.
 To create this starter you will need:
1 1/4 unbleached all-purpose white flour
1 cup of warm water
Glass jar with lid or piece of cheesecloth
Mix flour and water in the jar and let stand until the batter bubbles and rises.  This may take anywhere from overnight to a week! 
Source (p.77-78)
*Bonus* Here is another method you could use.
Wild yeast naturally lives on potatoes as well, making this a popular choice for making alchols, such as vodka.  According to the article,”Home Made Yeast: Making and Using Yeast For Bread,” the author states that using potatoes to make yeast starters dates back to 4,000 B.C.!
Yeast Starter 1
one medium potato (peeled)
4 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
Boil potato in the unsalted water until done. Drain, but save the water. Mash potato then add sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm, add enough potato water to make one quart of mixture. Cover and set in a warm place and let ferment. If you like, you can add a package of store bought yeast to speed up the process, but it will be just as good if allowed to ferment without the yeast. This recipe is about right for a large family requiring more than one loaf at a baking.
Yeast Starter 2
one potato (about the size of a large hen egg)
3/4 cup potato water
2 Tbsp. sugar
Boil potato, drain and save potato water (unsalted). Mash potato well, and then add potato water, sugar and enough flour to make a fairly stiff batter or soft dough. Keep in a warm place until well fermented. Then put in a wide mouth jar and cover loosely–never use a tight fitting lid. In about five or six days it should be ready.  Old-fashioned Light Bread from Everlasting Yeast Starter. In order to make bread from the starter first set the sponge. To do this, use the following ingredients:
Yeast Starter 3
1-1/2 cups potato water or sweet milk
1 Tbsp. sugar
Get a large bowl and put the starter, potato water or sweet milk (heated to a little more than lukewarm), sugar and enough flour to make a stiff batter.  Beat well, cover loosely and set over night in a warm place. The next morning the mixture should be nice and bubbly. If it isn’t, no use going any further. You’ll have a flop!
If the sponge is bubbly, take out of this mixture the starter you want to keep for the next time you make bread. Put it in a wide mouth jar and Put in refrigerator. You’ll probably want a lid on it because the odor will transfer to other foods but don’t put it on too tightly.
*Bonus* Here’s a quick and easy way to make a potato starter
Fruit Yeasts
Many fruits can be used to make yeast for bread.  Oranges, apples, grapefruits, grapes and even dried raisins all have traces of yeast on them.  Using yeasts from fruits will create different flavors to the breads that you make.  Skins of fruit can be used as well as cores of apples and even tomatoes.  The only fruits that should be avoided are kiwi, pineapple and papaya.  These fruits contain actinidin, an enzyme that breaks the dough down and it creates a sticky mess.
3-4 tbls. raisins (or any fresh or dried fruit)
bottled water
clean jar
Place raisins in clean jar and pour bottled water into the jar until it is 80% full.  Loosely cover the jar and leave at room temperature.  This process should take a few days.  You will notice small bubbles and “activity” occurring inside the jar.  At this point, all the raisins should be floating at the top.  The jar should smell like wine.  Once it is done, store in the refrigerator.
Tip: Adding 1-2 tbls. of honey or sugar to your mixture speeds up the fermenting process and leads to a better result.
Without yeast, our lives would be void of many of our day-to-day products.  Getting back to the basics and learning how to make yeast yourself will give you an invaluable skill to hold onto and share with others.  Using different produce such as oranges, potatoes, herbs and grains is not only a great science experiment, but a way for you to play around with the flavors of your favorite bread recipes.

Found something cool tonight by accident

Sterility guaranteed unless package is damaged...

Original Article

Ok, so those lil alcohol prep pads one uses prior to sticking self or others with needles.

I had one too close the stove burner that was on boiling some eggs for egg salad and the alcohol pad poofed up in flame.....I was mesmerized for a second...then the light bulb went off.... I immediately got out a few of the multitudes of sparking devices I have.

I laid one out in a pie plate and barely even though of sparking it and POOF it was on fire, so I timed it....5 minutes and 17 seconds.

So I tried more and with different other tinder to see if it will lite it....I was truly amazed...it stayed lit and set things on fire like a champ.... so now I had to try this outside on the wood burner.... wow, it lit the fatwood which lit the wood stacked in the burner.

I get sent 5000 of these each year and always have boxes left over. I now have a supply in the BOB. One cool thing, I had my GF use a sprayer like a misting of rain and BAM, with a mag bar, the dang thing lit while water was dropping down on it....and stayed lit.

So, if you have some around, try them, see if they work well for you. This was total accident on my part and was fun to fool around with.
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Guest Post: Firestorm Chapter 9a , by Christopher Young

Another rescue mission

Heather did answer the cell phone. What a Gomer. Finish a conversation, say nothing useful. Then, call back. Heather would text message "what's for dinner"? and Gomer would reply "food." Then, Gomer would remember something else, then HE would ring back. His usual. Good thing Heather checked his bug out bags. He usually forgot something important.

Gomer explained the situation to Heather. It had been a year or two since the old Buick had run, but she figured she could get the batery hooked up. Gomer told her that the keys were on the hook. Behind the door, in the upstairs study. Not sure the car will start, though. Gomer gave her the approximate location, and what the girls had said.

Heather pushed the end button, and thought for a while what might be needed. Knew that Faith travelled with nearly nothing in the mini van. So, her kids Bobbi and Savannah would be hungry. And thirsty, and scared. She started to make a mental list of all the things needed, to rescue Faith. Not that the two women really liked each other, but this was an emergency. and the two kids enjoyed playing with her kids. An so it was really a rescue mission for the kids, not for Faith. Faith could stay out in the woods and be eaten by a bear, for all Heather cared.

Heather told the kids they had best finish breakfast, and then go get dressed for ourdoors. The kids brightened. Play otudoors? Neat, that was the best part of the day. Run around the yards, and play on the swing set. Heather saw the kids brighten, and then had to tell them that they were going to help out Faiths kids. Going for a ride.

"Ride! Ride what!" Zach exclaimed. He knew the Gomer mobile wasn't going any where, and Chris wasn't here with the Blazer. Heather reminded him they had the old Buick in the garage. Zach's eyes registered the thought. Hmm. Well, wonder if that works. He wasn't sure. Heather wasn't sure, either. Sean looked up, and said "Ride in the car!" and then scratched his butt through his underwear, which was the only clothing he was wearing. Melissa was a proper princess, in pyjammas and fuzzy pink slippers. She knew that Zach didn't like to wear any clothes at all, but that was only for play time in the yard when he didn't think anyone was looking. Such a boy. Boys are so useless.

"EAT!!!" Heather exclaimed, and then reminded them to dress for outdoors. Heather went into the prep room, and grabbed a trauma bag, and a bug out bag. One in each hand. Set the bags by the door. Went into Gomer's study to get the Buick keys. They weren't on the hook. Heather looked in the desk drawer, and on the top of the file cabinet. Heather then began to search through the study. No Buick keys. Finally, Heather went into the kitchen, and looked through the "junk drawer". Still, no Buick keys. Finally, she said to herself "Hey, wait, that's MY car!! Where did I put MY key?" and remembered her car keys were in the dresser drawer, where she always put them. Got her own set of keys (Gomer's spare key to the buick was no where to be found). Started down the stairs to the car.

Down the stairs, so also went Connie. But in a different house. In a different state. She Went down the front stairs of the house, and out to the driveway. It was about a 15 minute walk to the OP, but she knew it had to be done. She got within a hundred feet or so, and called out. Usually Bill would look out the back door of the OP, and smile at her. She was usually bringing cookies or some other treat, and Bill enjoyed cookies. There was no answer. So, she walked some more. But very slowly. Didn't know what she would see, but knew she didn't want to see it.

Reaching the back of the OP, Connie looked in, and left and right. She finally looked down, and then closed her eyes. Several seconds later, she stepped back from the OP, and turned towards the house. Opened her eys, and walked towards the house wtih a blank look on her face. Arriving at the house, Madison saw her first. Jade was about to say something, but Madison hissed like a cat, briefly. Jade took the clue, and didn't say anything. The kids could tell by the look on Mom's face, that Bill was not going to come back again. No more hugs, no more bouncing on his knee, and no more bedtime stories. Just, simply, no more.

Connie's brain had totally shut down. She walked to the kitchen, and looked for her cigarettes, to calm her down. None to be found. And then she checked all the hiding places. Under the sink, behind the fridge. David had found all her hiding places, and had smoked them all up. Finally, she sat down at the kitchen table, and just stared blankly off into space. The two kids stared blankly also, but staring at their mother. Wishing she would give them some direction. What to do. How to think.

Faith was also looking a bit blank. She hadn't woken up, in the morning. By this time, both girls needed a morning potty. Mom wasn't looking like she would be much help. The girls looked at each other, and finally Savannah said remember, the time we were camping? Bobbi nodded. They looked down at the floor of the mini van, and found a couple paper napkins. The woods were only twenty feet away, it would be safe. They opened the side door of the mini van, and stepped out. Hand in hand, they walked determinedly towards the woods. A deer near the edge of the woods lifted its head, and gracefully walked into the woods. As though the deer was reassuring the girls there was no danger near by.

Some minutes later, the girls were busy arguing "No, you're not doing it right". Truth be told, there was more than one way to shit in the woods. The girls were being very resourceful, and were remembering a lot of camping wisdom that Gomer had taught them.

At Gomer's barn, Heather and Zach were pulling open the rolling door. Behind the door, there was the Buick that Heather had driven before they got married. It didn't seem practical to keep it licensed and on the road. The inspection and registration stickers had long since expired, but the vehicle was in good shape. Heather opened the door, and pulled the hood release. Zach reached under the front of the hood, looking for the hood release. He found it, but wasn't quite tall enough to lift the hood all the way up. Heather quietly put the battery clamp back on, and looked for a wrench to tighen it. Seems like with all the tools in the house, there should be a battery wrench some where. Heather looked around under the hood. Figured Gomer would take the clamp off, and leave the wrench laying there. No chance. Heather finally went out to the old Bronco, which had caught fire. Looked around the back of the Bronco, and found a blackened crescent wrench. heather said a quick prayer. Went back to the Buick and managed to make the sooty wrench work. She climbed into the car, and turned the key.

The starter growled, but didn't have enough energy to start the car. Hmm. Now what? Guess it needs a battery charger. Thought she'd seen one in the cellar of the main house. Heather sent Zack in to get the batery charger. And an extension cord. Zack came out several minutes later, holding a small air compressor, and a short extension cord. He's sweet, but a bit clueless. Heather went into the cellar, and turned on a light. Had to sort through a couple piles of stuff, but finally found a charger. She clipped the charger onto the battery, and a short extension cord onto the charger. Since the garage was on the same power as the house, the socket had power. The propane generator was supplying the electric. Heather switched the charger to "boost" and got back in. Turning the key again, the engine spun for two or three seconds, and then the motor started. Leaving the motor running, Heather went out to unplug the charger. And then wrap the wires, and set the charger on the shelf. Zach was doing the victory dance, and motioned for high five. First time in how ever long that Zach had high fived his Mom.

Zach said that it was time to go. Got to go rescue Faith and her girls. Well, Heather said, time for a few more things to do. She pulled the shift down into drive, and rolled the car out of the barn. No sense filling the barn with monoxide. She drove the car up to the underground fuel tank, and cranked some gasoline into the fuel tank. Only took a galon or two, Heather always tried to keep the gas tank full. And then she and Zach went into the house for last minute instructions.

At Sam's, they were discussing the morning. Sammy, the younger, wasn't looking very awake. There was a knock at the door, and everyone turned to look. Brenda got up from the table, and opened the front door. There, was an Ohio State Patrolman. His smokey the bear hat was straight, and his expression could not be determined, behind the mirorred sun glasses. His right hand was wearing a thin black leather glove. His hand was comfortably resting on his duty weapon.

Chris looked up, and Chris appeared puzzled. Gomer was pale, and looked like he'd rather be any where else. Sam, if his expression could be read, was "oh, no, not this again".

Brenda sweetly invited him in, and silently the Trooper stepped into the house. Sam broke the silence by speaking. "George, you old son of a bitch, come in and have a cup of coffee with us". The trooper lifted his gloved hand off his pistol, and reached up to take off his sun glasses. "Sam, glad to see you're OK. I saw the fire damage out back of your garage, and didn't know if you were OK. Figured you could take care of yourself. How the heck you been doing?"

George brought much needed news. He'd heard a lot about what was going on in the state, and in the nation. None of it was good. The Muslim extremists had been demanding control of the nation. That their Sharian law would be the law of the land, and the constitution would be suspended indefinitely. There had been a lot of fires in Ohio, more than the fire department could keep up. With commerce being shut down, many of the fire departments had run out of fuel. Fires were left to burn themselves out. Millions of people were homeless, and had been sent to FEMA camps. The last traces of government were just about out of resources, too. The military and the uN were about the only government remaining.

George said also, that law enforcement was nearly at a standstill. There was not enough jail space, and the courts were impotent to do much. The nation had been reduced to lawlessnes. There was a call for the return of government. But, not sure that would happen any time soon. George advised them to keep a watch all around the clock, and be careful who they invite into the house.

Brenda offered George a bit to eat. George replied he'd like that. From the way he chowed down, it was clear that he hadn't been fed in a while. No telling how long. After breakfast, George burped, and wiped his face. Thanked Brenda for the best breakfast he'd had all week. And on a personal note, asked Sam if he could spare some .40 S & W ammo. The department was out, and he was down to only the last five rounds in his pistol. Sam looked very surprised. Well, after all, it was George, who had been his friend for all these years. George had looked the other way a couple times when he could have written Sam a ticket. Sam got up from the table, and hobbled off to the back room of the house. Came back with a box of 50 rounds. Set it on the table in front of George, and told him to load up.

George smiled, and said he'd put out the word that the folks here are on our team. The police had unofficially figured out that some folks are loyal Americans, and so they watch over the loyal folks, help out any way the police can.

As Trooper George was loading up his two empty magazines, Sam decided to push his luck a bit. How to get rid of four bodies, out back of the lot. George said no problem, he'd have the Public Works truck stop by later today and pick em up. Just drag em out by the street. That kind of thing was common, now days.

George wrote down his cell number, and left that with Sam. In case they ever needed any more help. Put on his gloves, sunglasses, and trooper hat. Said he'd have to be leaving. Any thing we can do to help, just call. Then, he stepped out the door and was gone.

Sam looked across the table at his son. "You Okay? You look like you didn't sleep very well? Seems like after that long walk last night, you'd have enough fresh air, and been able to sleep pretty good. Sammy sqirmed a bit and said it was just a passing thing, and he'd be OK.

Brenda rescued the stalled conversation. Said she had heard from a couple of the neighbors. The one family was out of food, but FEMA was handing out rations. They just had to go and fill out the one page registrations. Some of the workers at the FEMA camp didn't speak very good American. Some folks were wondering if they were foreigners. FEMA came and searched the house, to make sure they weren't hoarding food. Says they did confiscate the one gun in the house, and old antique that hadn't fired in a hundred years or so. Sam, Chris, and Gomer. Eyes met across the table. So, the gun roundup has started?

Sammy got up from the table, and went to the pantry. Stuffed a couple granola bars, and some dried fruit in his pocket. Headed out the back door. For a guy who spends most of his time on the computer, it's good to see him outside, getting some exercise. Sam was pleased.

The fresh air was also doing Faith's kids some good. After their morning potty, they started to fill their time throwing rocks and sticks at the trees. Savannah had been on the T-ball league at school, and was very good both at throwing and batting. Zack was looking hardy. He was friends with both girls, and was sad when they left. Soon, they would be back together.