I recently had a bit of extra money.

Okay, so it wasn’t “extra” I wanted to spend it on food storage but I didnt decide until I was thinking about pressure canning a little over a week ago. My father in law gave me a couple of pressure canners about a year ago. I have been putting off using them because they are old, and the guages are daunting. I was afraid that they would be off, and they way that my pressure canner gauges is different than my smaller new one (or any of the others I see online, except the ones that are antiques like mine.)

For several months my father-in-law, then my guy told me that they would get me pressure gauges but they never seemed to get around to it. Recently one of my prepper friends told me that I should just test my All American Pressure Canner, because they are very reliable and accurate. I also found out that they sell everything to replace all the parts on their website.

So I test it, although I have to adjust the temp often and tap the gauge occasionally to ensure its accurately telling me the pressure it seemed to be working very well.

After I tested it, when I made the chili, I didn’t have to adjust the temp on the stove as often, I think it may be a matter of getting used to it, finding what works with your stove, and with your gear.

I digress.

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My daughter came home today from having spent the night at a friends house. Her friend with whom she stayed, sleeps over often (the previous night included, actually) She is one of only 2 of my daughters friends who are allowed in the house per their parents because of what my Hub does (Gun Smithing, run from home, which means there are plenty of (unloaded guns, mostly in pieces all over the house) Parents who don’t allow their children over don’t understand guns, and therefore, in their ignorance think our home is unsafe. Only carry guns in our home are loaded (only my carry gun is ot, being a revolver) and those hand guns in our room where children are not allowed are actually loaded (but not hot)

I digress.

My daughters friend, lets call her Jenny comes over often, asks questions about my prepping and then I assume she passes this information on to her parents.

Well last night her daughter was supposed to sleep over a second night but she wanted her daughter to watch a meteor shower from her house (which they ended up not being able to view) so she invited Katelynn to come along. The reason she wanted them there is she doesnt trust that if she asked me to have them watch it, that I actually would. I get it, a little bit (or a lot) of distrust is healthy.

Anyhow, my daughter informs me that Jenny’s mom is starting to prep.  She has thus far begun with nursing and contagion equipment. They think this will happen within our life times just as I do, but not nearly as soon as I do, in feeling this way her and her husband have yet to start any form of food storage and in being very well off have decided more than likely to purchase multiple years of pre put together packages of dried, dehydrated and long term staples.

I need to remind you that this is all second hand. But they do own guns and have had multiple conversations with my man about his expertise and abilities.  My daughter mentions to me this afternoon that they are planning multiple friends and families to get together to a “yet to be decided” place and they plan to create a compound.  She gave me more details that I won’t pass on because its to much information for you and I don’t like sharing others prepping choices to that extent.

The thing that really caught me off guard was that they have decided that they would like to ask several families if they would like to join them in this endeavor and that they are strongly considering asking my guy and I if we would like to join them. They are only considering friends and family who will be able to offer something to the group. Apparently my prepping skills, my library and my decent food storage (already in place) gives reason and the fact that no one other than my man that they know has ANY hunting skills and he is a gun smith. (I will mention now that my man is off hunting for elk now as I type this, and in a few weeks after that he will be going up to Nebraska to hunt deer.)

Its very flattering in one way. I wasnt aware they were even considering prepping, but I am happy that they are considering being prepared for the worse even if it doesnt come anytime soon. But on the other hand…. I am a little  put off to have my pros and cons be tossed about my people who doesnt know my business my true skills and the extent of anything n my home beyond their daughter Jenny.

In the end, You never know who knows, who is taking notice and who would like to include you, you need friends, you may want to pool resources, OP-SEC is hugely important, its hard to do it all on your own. Try to prep more than you need. Even if its to give and send them on their way. If you can’t… Well don’t.

We wouldnt be leaving our home unless we absolutely had to. Our plans for the next year are goats, sheep, chickens and maybe start considering rabbits. This is for meat, eggs, and dairy. This isnt something that can be just uprooted. I would only consider relocating to another state, near more water, on some land with space. We have one couple of friends with that idea, with the land they own. Its a matter of building the houses we need with everything off the grid. It is a plan, but who knows if we will have time to make this happen, most people including us, don’t have the endless funds to make this kind of thing happen on demand. Cross your fingers we will have the time, if not we are preparing our home here and planning to dig in.

 

How do you feel about charity? I mean really?

You’ve spent time researching, collecting, finding the right things to store, spending every last extra dime you have on the future of the just in case…. Then the shit actually hits the fan.

Who would you allow to share in your stores? Who would be with you in your home. I’m not talking about a preset list of people who may have given you money, time, or resources to assist you in your prepping endeavors. I’m not talking about family that you are prepping for to begin with either.

I’m talking about those who know you prep and think that they will come to YOUR house or bug out retreat if anything happens? Or those who know they can count on you to help them out.

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I haven’t liked ground beef in a really long time, as long as I can remember actually, maybe 15 years atleast.

I will eat it though, I will eat a burger from time to time, especially if they are made at home. I will make tatter tot casserole and even meat loaf.

Recently in the last 6 months or so (I got a meat grinder (actually I got 2, a manual and an electric one, YAY!) I stopped buying ground beef at costco and started buying bulk meat (they sell 3 packs of eye of round roasts and rump roasts and such) so I get the eye of round roasts. Then I get them home and grind them before I freeze it.

In the last year there has been a scare over pink slime. Even when I make something like meat loaf or burgers if I post pictures on facebook (which I do a lot, and D makes fun of me for doing it) I almost always get comments like, I can’t believe you would eat that, don’t know know what pink slime is, how gross how could you even consider eatting anything made out of ground beef.

First of all, after watching a bunch of Penn and Teller Bullshit about hippies who want to inflict their idea of organic and fresh food on the world has skewed my views. America as a whole is VERY spoiled and can afford to be because there are grocery stores everywhere, there are so many safety standards and before these things were made public MANY of these same people at the very things they are crying out about now, probably because they liked them so much.

In the end. I know what pink slime is, it is beef (or another type of meat but in this instance we will say beef) thecuts of beef that are not wanted or the left over bits and they are run through a centrifuge and then the meat bits are seperated from the fat and the meat it then cleaned with ammonia and water (I don’t know they recipe of that mix or how long they are mixed or soaked for and then they are ground either into what looks like ground beef or ground into finer bits and then ground into regular hamburger, in this country up to 70% of the ground beef in our country contains up to 15% of pink slime. They don’t have to tell you or even mention that there is ammonia in the beef that your purchasing.

Honestly, I don’t think it will kill anyone, if anything it makes it more affordable and doesnt really taste very different.

The thing is, for me, I don’t like the texture of ground beef and I believe that this was before they even started adding pink slime to regular grocery store ground beef. When I order from fast food, I always get fish or chicken. Yes I have see the videos about cod and about chicken nuggets, I am an adult. I don’t need the lecture.

In the end I prefer to grind my own beef because the texture is very different to me and I like it a lot better. I cut it into manageable chunks and then I grind it, fat and all, I grind the fat because I think its important to have fat content in ground meat, it holds up better and tastes better, but since I use eye of round roast, there isnt a lot of fat to begin with.

I will post a bunch of pictures, after the jump.

I am also going to post a picture of a baby shaped meat loaf. I am going to do this because it was freaking funny, and I got a lot of jokes that will really offend a lot of people but my friend posted a picture similar several months before and he messaged me and asked me to make it for him for his b-day as his present and instead of a cake, so I did it. I figure it will be the only one I will ever make and I think it is the only one I will ever make. I am an alternative type person and I thought it was funny. I did grind the meat for that as well.

By the way, grinding your own meat (good, lean meat) is not much more expensive that buying it and the cost of a grinder is under $100 and if you don’t have the money for that, find the cut of beef you like (even at Wally World) and ask the butcher (unless its super late at night, pretty much any normal sized grocery store has a butcher)  to grind if for you, it doesnt cost any more to have it ground, it will still be the same price as it was in the roast shape. Only small groceries or specialty butchers will charge you to grind meat, and even then, not often. I have even asked the butcher at the chinese food grocer to grind pork or chicken and they do it for no more than the cost of the meats weight.

Sorry if your offended by the meat loaf shaped like a baby…. It really was hilarious, men do love their meat.

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Its AMAZING! Its like being able to share all of my inside information, everything from HUNDREDS of hours of reading books and internet research and youtube videos can actually be given to someone who has a very personal connection to me.

My sister manages a gun store, she is very conservative and shockingly we now have a lot of the same views. I never really saw that coming.

Growing up, when we were quite a bit younger there were times of not enough to eat for dinner, or very little to nothing in the kitchen, later in our childhoods we always had a plentiful pantry. While with our mothers and then later when we were older.

She watches the same news I do, sees the same things coming that I do and came to the same conclusion and honestly makes more money (between her husband and herself vs me and mine) and if she’d been able to, she would be done with it by now, but she started later and frankly doesnt have the space I do, so she’s looking for tips, and basic information, she calls often and asks me if something is a good tip or what have I learned about this or that.

Its AMAZING to have someone to tap into, to ask about “glassing eggs” or “waxing cheese” both of which have been recent research endeavors and I will get into them in more depth in the next few days.

My sister lives about 500 miles away from me, so I can’t be there to help but we are close so its really nice to have something additional in common to be able to talk about and share resources.

Organizing my spice/staple pantry became really important because I don’t have a large kitchen, we have a large house but the kitchen isnt definitely not the reason that the house was chosen.

So any how. The reason I needed better organization in my pantry was that I always had to move stuff to find what I was looking for.

I wish that I had a before picture, but I wasn’t thinking about that when I started.

since I took this picture I have been back to Ikea and actually purchased MORE organizational “stuff”  but as you can see in this picture, I have 3 double level lazy susan’s for spices and on the shelf above that there are 3 three tiered can organizers (they look like little steps) It makes it SO much easier to find things.

When you are storing food, its really important to keep track of everything, knowing what you have on hand and what you have opened.

I also really like the door unit, it doesnt pit the smaller sized door so from here on out we will have to close that door first, which to me is just not that big a deal. The door shelving makes it a lot easier to put boxed goods. Its like having a complete additional shelf that I don’t have to push things out of the way to find.

Also if you look at the top shelf you can see some cereal containers, I’ve bought several more of those for cereal and other dry goods such as dry milk. I just wont eat those things if they are stale (not unless I had to) so I like to put things in containers once they have been opened. I also love labels and today I spent my day making lists of what labels were needed, making those labels and putting them where they were needed, storing food doesnt have to make your house a mess, or disorganization.

I while ago I was watching some Youtube videos and I stumbled across one that showed a families food storage pantry room and they had these cardboard can organizers. I looked around for them, but I have always been awful at “Key word”
or what phrase to use in the search angine to find what I am looking for, even when you would think it would be easy, I will miss it. *sometimes at least*

Then a friend of mine contacts me about 2 weeks later and links me to this site and asks if I wanted to get some “with” her to share on the shipping costs. So we got a bunch (I got 20 and she got a dozen)

They are amazing, Here is a snippet of my food storage before and after:

Before:

After:

I really would LOVE to afford Shelf Reliance shelving units but I just can’t afford that right now. Even if I get one or two (which I probably will eventualy) I will probably keep them for larger cans that just won’t fit into the can organizers.  I was so excited with the turn out that I actually emailed the company and told them how amazing I thought it was.

With having children who are constantly running down to the food torage (in the basement) and getting this or that that I need, sometimes things are taken out of order even when it takes me ages to keep them in FIFO (First In Forst Out) order. So this takes the guess work out of it.

I should start by saying that I apologize, my personal blog has become the home of everything and I have stayed on top of the comments there.

I talk a lot about my food prep on my facebook and on my personal blog. I’ve considered and will talk more about possibly tarting a food Storage page on facebook or doing an internet radio show.

As far as the comments here, there were more than 4,000 almost 5. I just couldn’t wade through them all to find the couple hundred that were valid to approve them and let them through. I will stay on top of them in the future.

Food storage is important to me. I live it, it encompasses a large part of my life. I just havent been blogging about the latest finds and recipes as I should be.

I installed a plugin for filtering comments that don’t belong on my page, so it should be easier to wade through it.

You are also about to email me at info@prepperjew.com, if you would like and I would be happy to get back to you. Questions are totally welcome.

So this is a question I posed to myself about 6 months ago. I don’t like regular prepackaged salsa and the salsa you buy in the store always tastes… not so fresh.

I’m known for my salsa. Well its not mine. I will explain where I got my amazing recipe, even though I will not share it here (I’ll give it to you if you email me) My friend Inez made it for me, all the time, Whenever we had a get together. One year for my birthday, she brought a grocery bag with the ingredients in it, rather than the salsa and she proceeded to show me how to make it, for my present. :)

Inez learned how to make it from her ex-husbands mother (from central Mexico) her son loved it so much that she wanted  to make sure her son could have it all the time, so she taught Inez. Yay for me… right?

I’ve since tweaked the recipe – made it my own.  Not that I didn’t love Inez’s salsa, I just like more garlic,  and a little more cilantro is all.

So now, whenever we have a game night, or a BBQ, or any get together I make salsa. When I don’t I am asked why I didn’t. I normally make a big batch and keep it in the fridge.

Sometimes I am busy though. tomatoes are better late spring/early summer. What if I didn’t have all the fresh ingredients I needed. And now, I worry about the shit hitting the fan….I refuse to store prepackaged salsa, like I said before, its gross and over cooked to me.

I spent sometime online researching my question. I found a few recipes, but the salsa was so heavily cooked it almost ended up being pasta sauce instead of salsa, and to me, that’s just not what I think of when I think of good salsa. I like the fresh taste.

So D recommended that I speak to one of is friends about it and he said that with the amount of acid from the tomatoes and the lemon juice you can just heat the salsa just to the point of boiling, pack it, and place in the water bath for 12-15 minutes and there ya go.

So I tried it out. It IS a little different from my fresh salsa – but FAR superior to any prepackaged salsa I’ve ever had. You should consider canning your own salsa…. If you haven’t made your own salsa, its not as hard as you might think and fresh is fabulous!!!