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. 

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