Monthly Archives: March 2012

Regrowing Your Celery

The next time you’re working with celery, don’t throw out the little bit at the end. If you save the end piece, you can regrow the celery and have another whole stalk for free. I’ve been doing this personally only for a few months but I have very impressed with the results, I’m sure you will be too.

Cut off the end of your celery stalk and place the bottom piece in a container. I usually use a bowl or a little Tupper with a wet napkin or paper towel. Place the bowl in a sunny spot, like a window sill and leave it there. Make sure the napkin or paper towel stays moist. The outer pieces of the celery will brown and rot but the middle pieces will shoot up.

When you have about an inch or so of growth, stick the celery piece (which should now have a little bit of roots) into some good potting soil and watch it grow! When you need some celery, cut it off of this plant but leave the plant in the ground, it will continue regrowing as long as you take care of it.

I love this idea because I like to dehydrate celery; it works so well and is a great flavor to add to many recipes. So having free celery instead of paying over $1 each time is awesome.

I have also used green onions the same way, cooking onions, leeks and garlic. Experiment with it! Have fun!

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Dehydrating Broccoli and Using It

To dehydrate broccoli, first cut it into bite sized pieces and blanch for about a minute in boiling water. This will help to maintain the green color (otherwise it goes a nasty brown).  Plunge the hot broccoli into some cold or iced water to stop the cooking process. Drain to get as much water off as possible. I then spray with a bit of lemon juice (also helps the green color). Place on your dehydrator trays (not touching otherwise you get damp spots). It usually takes my dehydrator about 6 to 8 hours to dehydrate broccoli. Store as you would other dehydrated foods.

To use your broccoli, here’s a simple but tasty broccoli soup recipe using things that are probably already in your food storage.

Broccoli Soup

3 cups chicken broth (approx 2 cans. You can also use water or water with bouillon cubes)

5 cups rehydrated (or fresh) broccoli (approx 2.5 cups dehydrated)

1.5 cups fresh (or rehydrated) onions (approx 3/4 cups dehydrated)

2 bay leaves

6 tbsp butter (can also use canned butter or butter powder)

7 tbsp flour

3 cups milk (can use reconstituted powdered milk)

Bring chicken brother (or water etc) to a boil. Add broccoli, onions and bay leaves. Reduce heat and simmer until broccoli is tender. Remember to remove your bay leaves.

In a separate saucepan melt butter and stir in your flour to make a roux (paste). Slowly stir in the milk and incorporate it into the roux. Cook until thickened. Add your broccoli mix slowly. Heat and stir until thick.

If you have no butter and flour to make a roux you can also thicken your soup with cornstarch (make sure it boils to cook out the cornstarch) or potato flakes.

Home Made MRE’s

Have you ever opened an MRE (Military ration) and thought half the stuff was gross? Or been allergic to some of it? What about people with gluten allergies or dairy allergies? That stuff is loaded with wheat, soy and milk products. And honestly, a lot of people are just plain picky.

So I made my own MRE. I took apart some of my MRE’s that I got through the army and also searched through my cupboards. Here’s my example:

Freeze dried Chili Mac (made by Wise Company – thanks to TF for sending it!!)

Instant Vegetable Couscous (from a MRE you can make your own, just throw couscous in a bag)

Tomato Basil Rice (from a MRE but you can make your own)

Vegetable Beef Cup of Soup (grocery store)

Bread (from MRE – limited shelf life but I have seen people use vacuum packed tortillas)

Orange sport drink powder (from a MRE but you can get individual sizes at grocery stores)

Peanut Butter and Jam (from MRE but can get from restaurants)

Oatmeal (grocery store)

LaraBar energy bar (grocery store)

Salt, pepper, tea and sugar (available at almost any restaurant… well, buy your own individually wrapped tea bags)

Once you have everything you want, throw it in a bag and vacuum seal it. Or put it in a ziploc and use a straw to suck out the extra air. I’ve seen people do their own MRE’s with ramen noodles and dehydrated vegetables, macaroni and cheese (out of the box), packets of tuna, soup mixes, anything really. It is easy to go to the grocery store and buy shelf stable items. Just pick something you like and that you’ll eat and throw it all together! Later on, I’ll give you some ideas for the little ones in your survival group

Reusable Crocheted Bandages

Reusable Crocheted Bandages

I’d like to start out by saying this is not my pattern, I lay no claim to it. I got it from @yycbusymom and she got it somewhere else. If it’s your pattern, let me know.

So anyways, the idea is to make a bandage that is durable and reusable in a SHTF scenario. These bandages are easily made and can be boiled or bleached or washed to use again. Obviously there is a concern about blood borne diseases but I wouldn’t be reusing one unless I knew who it was on and what they have/don’t have. So family yes, strangers no, you can keep it, it’s really ok.

To make these bandages you need a 2mm sized crochet hook and #10 cotton crochet thread (both available at Wal-Mart or any craft store).

To start, chain 26 stitches. Turn and single crochet into your last stitch (there by making your bandage 25 stitches long.) Single crochet across your row. At the end, chain one, turn and single crochet into the first stitch.

Continue to single crochet the bandage until the desired length is reached. (You can do several, some 3′, some more. Yycbusymom was going to do some 10′ in case of a chest wound etc.)

When you’re done, tie off like you normally would, roll the bandage and put it into a plastic bag to protect it. (If you’re like me, you’ll have to wash it first, too much stuff gets on it while you’re making it).