Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dehyrdrated Meals in Jars and the Wonder Oven

This is the best food storage ever!  I am grateful to Anna and Miki for introducing me to the meals in jars and wonder oven. Together they make living on food storage fabulous!

I started with Chef Tess' online recipes (link is on left column).  They were very good, however we did cut way back on the black pepper she uses and the Italian seasoning.  Since it is just two of us, I cut her recipes in half and put them into pint size jars.  After I made all of her recipes, I went looking for more online and found, "Dinner is in the Jar" by Kathy Clark (link is on left column).  This wonderful book has 30 recipes that are easy to make.  Unlike Chef Tess' recipes which are complete with everything that is in the jar, Kathy adds occasional canned goods on the side.  I love every recipe!  Again, I have cut her recipes in half for the two of us.  She does list meat on the side, but I just add 1/2 a cup of TVP meat (this is made with soy and quite a bit cheaper) to the jar and it works great!

The wonder oven (see link on left column) was the greatest idea ever.  I use a dutch oven made for the stove top for my wonder oven.  Anything you would cook in a pot on the stove can go into the wonder oven.  Just get it to boil and set it into it.  Online, there is a recipe for making bread in the oven.  You use three 29 oz cans (much easier to use if you have a side cutting can opener) and it makes three loaves.  The slices are about the size of an english muffin and there is no crust.  I cook it for three hours and it is perfect. 

Now bring these ideas together and you have a perfect setup for a long term disaster.  If there was no power for two months, could you work with your food storage?  I figure I can use a propane stove only 10 minutes at a time to get my pot boiling and then move it to the wonder oven.  Your propane would last forever!

What about home use?  You can use the wonder oven to cook everyday.   You can cook beans, soups, spaghetti, chili, anything!  It would save on your power bill and not heat up the house.  You could move the wonder oven to the top of your dryer, in the garage or on the patio (if its not cold outside) to keep it out the way of children or pets. 

Here is the bread recipe I adapted.  This will all fit into one widemouth quart size canning jar (you'll have to tap the jar to get it to settle and all fit).  It makes one batch of the three cans.

White Bread
 (in jar)
3 cups white flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dehydrated butter

You will add later:
2 Tbsp dehydrated whole egg that you rehydrated with water.

Once in jar, add an oxygen packet and close tightly.  Once sealed, this will last 7 years.  We can get 10 slices per loaf, so this recipe will yield approximately 30 slices of bread.

To make the bread, soften 1 1/2 Tbsp of yeast in 1 1/4 cup hot water.  Sprinkle 1 Tbsp sugar on yeast.  Sit 3 minutes.  Slowly add jar ingredients and rehydrated egg.  Knead 5 minutes. You may need to add more flour if it seems too sticky.  Divide into 3 portions.  Spray three 29 oz cans with oil and drop each portion into the cans.  Cover with damp towel and let rise 45 minutes.  Spray dough with oil.  Do not punch down dough.  Cover each can with foil that has been sprayed with oil.  Put rubberband around rim so steam doesn't get inside.  Put cans in large 6 qt. pot and add 5 cups of water to the pot.  Bring water to boil, put on lid and transfer pot to wonder oven.  Cover with wonder oven lid and cook 3 hours. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wonder Oven

"In the depression when times called for conserving and stretching a budget, people came up with ways to save on cooking fuel costs.  By using an insulated hay box they were able to cut down on the cost of cooking and baking foods.  Food was brought up to a boil or to a certain temperature and then placed into the hay box.  The hay box was usually a wooden box and had lots of hay stuffed on all sides of the enclosed pan that maintained the temperature.   This process of cooking worked to allow the food to retain the heat by using insulation.
Today there is even a better option to the hay box.  The Wonder Oven uses two insulated cushions inside a plastic tub.  The cushions are filled with polystyrene beads that are great at maintaining a constant temperature.  This is how you can keep things hot or keep things cold."

Alright, so I heard about this "wonder oven" from Matt's aunt. From what I understand it is a plastic container, much like Mom uses for storing Christmas and Halloween decorations. In the container is a cushion of sorts filled with polystyrene beads. To use this oven you bring your food to a boil in a pot, then quickly wrap the pot with its lid on in the cushions and seal the lid of the container. Over the next few hours the insulated heat will continue to cook the food. Looking around I've found that there are Lots of recipes available. Another great use for the oven is to keep things cold. You can put ice cream and popsicles and all sorts of great stuff in it and the insulation will keep it just as cold as when you pulled it out the freezer even on the hottest of days. I thought it might be a great addition to our list of things to have on our way to preparedness.

Instructions (How to Make)
Buy Premade
Instructions (How to Use) + Recipes

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

O ye Gentiles

I found this in my scripture reading tonight and felt strongly that I should share it here, so here it is:

Ether 2:9-12
"And now, we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity.
For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.
And this cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God - that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done.
Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written."

We are so close to this it is scary. This is us. This is a warning to us. It's rather jarring to read this after reading "The Cleansing of America" and to realize how close we really are to being swept clean. Just a thought for the night.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Personal Hygiene

If we consider any natural or manmade disaster that could stop the semi trucks from delivering to our local stores, one of the first places we are going to be in trouble is personal hygiene. I have added links to several websites on making your own diapers, feminine pads and toilet paper. Even if you are not nuts about using them now, it would be an essential part of your preparedness to have them made and ready to go. Trying to store a year's supply of toilet paper for a large family could fill a room! Just a thought.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Start with Health

We decided that we needed to start with our health. If the economy collapses, there will be no finances or resources to recover from terrible diseases. The best option to me, is to get healthy and stay healthy. My mother connected me with a book, "Eat to Live" by Joel Fuhrman. It really makes you stop and look at what you are eating and what it is doing to your body. Brad and I started on this diet in October, 2011 and both lost 7 pounds in 8 weeks. More importantly, is how much better we feel eating real food.

I set up checkup appointments for both of us at our doctor. I plan to get eye doctor and dentist appointments set up too. I want to take care of any problems and prevent as many as possible.

Why a blog?

Around October, 2011 a friend let Brad borrow "The Cleansing of America" by W. Cleon Skousen. In it, he outlines through scriptures and prophesy what will happen to America and the world before the Second Coming. After he returned that book to its owner, he was given a second book to read, "Through the Window of Life" by Suzanne Freeman.

Where "The Cleansing of America" touches on what will happen mostly with the gathering to Zion, "Through the Window of Life" tells what will happen before the gathering. I found a third book, "There is No Death" by Sarah LaNelle Menet that is in agreement with both the other books. The last two books are visions given when these ladies died and then were sent back to earth.

I think what really hits me is the feeling that this time is very close. Suzanne talks a lot about having a charitable heart and following the commandments. She says you need to be prepared but not afraid. When we had a big storm hit here and we lost water one day and power another, I realized just how unprepared we really are. It was a wake up call.

My mind has been racing for the last two months as I am learning quickly the many different ways we can start preparing. If these books are totally wrong, there is still no harm in preparing. If they are right, everyone who take action will be ready and not afraid. I started rereading The Book of Mormon last month, this time with the thought that we are actually in the last days. It has completely changed how I read the scriptures, if you consider that this could be hitting us in one to five years.

I have been on my own personal debt payoff program and have decided to put the extra money into food storage and preparedness for a few months. The debt can survive for a while, but the need to be prepared cannot wait. I plan to find links to other websites, books, information, anything that could help someone trying to put this all together in this blog. Every one's needs are different and your priorities will be different. I will take you on my journey as Brad and I try to organize our home and get prepared.

Underlying all the temporal preparedness you must build a spiritual base. Without faith, prayer, scriptures, testimony and the words of modern prophets firmly planted in your heart, all of the preparation will be in vain. You cannot lose heart or forget the Lord when times get extremely difficult. Even if it is not a national or local disaster, there are many trials in your life that can test your faith in Heavenly Father. Build a strong spiritual base.

I would challenge each person to pray about this for themselves. Find the direction the Lord would send you and then accomplish your goals. Prophets have been telling us for years to get prepared, have a food storage, get out of debt and own your home. There is nothing new here. I think we live in prosperous times and forget the wise counsel of our leaders. Heavenly Father will guide you if you pray and ask Him.