Monthly Archives: January 2012

Basic Bread

I wanted to share with you a simple bread recipe. I use this recipe all the time at home and it is really easy to make with things that most people have in their long term food storage.

The recipe:

1 lb flour (regular, all purpose flour or whole wheat)

2 tsp of yeast (we keep our yeast in the fridge but you can also cultivate wild yeast in a SHTF situation, I’ll cover that later)

1 tbsp salt

1.5 cups of warm water (not hot)

Mix your ingredients to form a dough and knead for about 10 minutes.

Place your dough in a greased bowl (I use olive oil to lightly coat the inside of a mixing bowl). Cover the bowl with a towel and put it in a warm place for about an hour to let the dough rise.

After the dough has risen and roughly doubled in size, preheat the oven to 500* F.

Punch down the dough and shape it. (It doesn’t have to be pretty. I’ve down round loaves, baguettes, regular loaves and buns with this recipe.)

Place in the oven and turn it down to 450*F. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest for at least 20-30 minutes before cutting. It is still cooking during this resting period.

Cut and enjoy. Bread may not be glamorous but in a SHTF situation, it can keep you alive and stretch out any sort of stew or soup you may be eating.

Mini Apology

Before I get to today’s real post, I’d like to offer an apology for my absence. On Jan 8, 2012 a very close friend of mine passed away suddenly. I had talked to her just a few days before and I did not take the death very well.

I’m doing a lot better, coping with some other personal stuff but that’s not the purpose of this blog.

Thank you for your patience, I know that no one was waiting with bated breath but some people have asked me to continue with my work.

Again, my sincere apologies for the delay.

Simple Jar Candles

There are a lot of ways to make candles. This is only one of them and it is fairly simple. You can get fancier if you want, but this is survival and preparedness, not a dinner party. As such, I have not included instructions for colorants or scents.

Needed:

A jar … you can use anything from baby food jars to pickle jars and mason jars are great, I’ve used small jars that I got at a dollar store, but I’ll use a small mason jar to show you. I like jars because they have lids and can be kept dry but feel free to use anything such as a milk carton, a tea cup or an old washed apple juice tin.

Wax: beeswax, paraffin, old used candles anything!  I’ll show you how to use recycled wax since it’s easy and cheap. Paraffin is easily found at a grocery store with the canning supplies (it’s not usually used for candle making but will do in a pinch. It has a lower melting point than candle paraffin that’s all) Pictured: old candles about to be chopped.

Wick: I buy these from a wholesaler but you can get them at craft shops or make them with string but the string doesn’t work as well as a proper wick. The easiest thing is to use a wick that has the metal piece at the bottom.

Pot and bowl: I usually use a container specifically for melting wax but most people will be fine with using a bowl over a pot of very warm water. You don’t want the water to be boiling over and you don’t want to heat the wax directly over a heat source because the wax can ignite at a very low temperature.

Safety Notice: Hot wax can burn! If you get it on yourself, run cold water over it and then peel off the hardened wax. If your wax catches fire while on the stove (never happened to me but you never know…) DO NOT USE WATER to put out the flames! Turn off your heat source and smother the flames with a pot lid or fire blanket etc. I shouldn’t have to say this but I am not responsible for what you do! If you hurt yourself during this project, you are on your own and I am not liable.

Put a pot of water on the stove at a medium heat. Put bowl over the pot. Cut wax into smaller pieces to allow quicker melting. Do not allow your wax to get past 170 degrees Fahrenheit.  While the wax is melting, heat up your jars a bit. I usually use another pot of water to do this. You want the jars to be warm when the wax goes in to prevent the glass from cracking and to let the wax set nicely; otherwise it pulls away from the jar as it dries.

When wax is melted, use a ladle or something similar to pour the wax slowly and gently into the warmed jars (make sure you dry them off inside first). Let them sit until hardened. (probably a few hours for all of the wax to be completely set.

Pictured: my finished product… smells vaguely cinnamony (due to old candles being scented).

Welcome to 2012

Happy New Year readers! I’d like to start off by thanking each and every one of you that has read my blog, it is greatly appreciated! I would also like to thank the people that have subscribed and commented, you cannot believe my shock as I got the emails that people have actually paid attention, I was , and am, flattered.

I have gotten some great reviews on my knitting post, and have had several requests for hats. I’d like to thank you, again, for the compliments.

 As we enter a new year, I think it’s a great time to review and improve our preps. While I do not believe in the Mayan 2012 theory, I feel a sense of urgency to get prepared. Maybe it’s the rash of weird weather, maybe it’s the political atmosphere and the condition of the global economy but something is bugging me and I just can’t prep fast enough. I am trying to do something every day to prep. Whether it’s reading a book or a website for more information, watching how to videos via the wonderful creation of YouTube or whatever, I would like to do something each day. This isn’t a new year’s resolution because no one ever keeps those, but rather a serious intention.

Yesterday (January 1, 2012), I took inventory of what I have (and found it lacking of course). My DH and I decided which foods we would like to dehydrate and have on hand, wrote a list and now we know what we’d like to grow in our gardens and what to watch for in the sales at the grocery stores and farmers markets.

I get a little bit of income from online survey sites and the like and will be using this income to purchase prep things, since I can be paid out in PayPal or Amazon gift cards. (Before I would always just get them to send me a cheque, but without a credit card, PayPal and Amazon would be convenient for buying online).

Today is a day of lists. I have made a list of things that I would like to buy tomorrow for my preps (a lot of stores still closed today), I have finalized my list of things to grow in the garden, I have made a wish list of gear I would like to have and organized it in order of priority. (I do not expect to be able to get anything of these things, but it gives me a goal to work towards and I am very goal driven).

On top of my lists, I have been knitting today as I have arranged a few trades with other preppers. I’m making them hats (the same ones from my previous knitting post) and some of them are sending me prep things that are a bit harder to come across where I live or are cheaper in the United States.

Another list I have made is a list of things I’d like to purchase in the United States. While I normally try to buy local and support independent businesses (as an independent business owner, I feel this is extremely important) but there are just some things that I can get at a ridiculously better price on the other side of the border and these days, my budget isn’t exactly huge.

Oh, and before I forget, I have also arranged to get some venison with which I will be making jerky and pemmican!! I will blog about the whole process as soon as I get my hands on that meat! (Shout out to my friend JW who is providing the deer).

I hope 2012 is a great year for everyone, but please, be prepared, and I hope I can help you learn something over the year. Cheers!