Monday, August 6, 2012

Life On The Ponderosa

Yoo Hoo...It's me...your neighbor Cindy

Remember me?
I'm the gal who lives in a house on wheels
and gardens constantly.
I'm beginning to feel like dirt is always going to be under my nails
and dragging water hoses....will never end!
Then I come in and sit down...and I see them....
The jars filled with garden goodies!
Our food ...grown by us, nurtured by us
and picked and canned by us.
And I breathe a sigh of relief...we have food.

I want to thank Sandy and Debbie for checking on me.
It meant a lot!!

I have popped into some of your homes....and I have tried to keep up
with what is going on...but I seem to be struggling in this area.
Those that have followed me for the last 2 years...know I took this community seriously.
I have cried, prayed, laughed...and worried a lot about my blogging friends.
To the point I was in a world not here...but out in the "Blogville World".

There has been a sweet peace not attached to the computer.
I have actually concentrated on Me....lol
Now don't laugh but I have never been the gal to take care of herself.
No beauty appointments for me...I cut my own hair.
My nails never have nail polish on them...and the newest styles...
nope not me!
My weight had crept...ran...climbed until I thought I would bust open!!

I had to think of me...and use the time I sat at the computer for me...to lose weight.
I started a new way of living and eating 5 weeks ago.
15 pounds gone...5 inches off the waist and 1inch off  the big ole thighs!!

Praise God!
 I know it will be a long struggle...but I am now seeing
results and I am determined to live better for me, my husband, my kids , my
grandchildren and yes for you my friends.

No pictures today.
I have been canning and canning.
We have new animals on the farm.
Spring and Summer gardens are gone.
Late Summer plants have been planted...early fall seedlings will be
started soon.

We have some decisions to be made soon on his work.
Prayers would be appreciated that we do the right thing.
I am trying to live quietly and calmly as things seems to be getting worse
with the economy and the cost of living.

I pray for y'all all the time.
That you have been preparing for the future.
I am here...just an email away if you need to ask any questions.

I will get pictures up soon...and some more tips on frugal living.

Thanks for reading this...I do miss y'all!

By for now...canning apron on...carrots here we go!!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Garden Bonanza

Garden Bonanza on the Ponderosa

I know I haven't been around much this week.
This is what has been keeping me busy.

Cucumbers!



Yep...we are picking about 20-30 every other day.
I have made 16 quarts of sweet pickles.
(Recipe is on my side bar under Finger Licking Good Recipes)








I am going to tackle some dill pickles next...this will be new for me to try.

Cucumber plants


 

Next on the busy list is the Zucchini.
I have put up 16 quarts in the freezer with my food sealer.
And dehydrated a few for chips.
And we have given a ton away...and eat them with about
every meal.




 
The okra is coming along fine...and there should be okra
in the next week or so.

We have 5 types of beans planted. I saw a few blossoms this morning.




We planted 104 tomato plants. Salsa anyone?...lol
They are still green and some have just started blooming.









 
The hens have been enjoying the scraps of the garden.
And one hen...well she is celebrating .
She has been sitting for 21 days...and it has paid off.

I saw a little face yesterday...peeking out...I am a Chicken Nana....lol
There were 9 eggs there...we will see how many hatch. I am so excited!!!





 
Now for some garden humor....
 
We planted golden yellow zucchini...and green zucchini
and there was some visiting going on after dark in my garden....lol
 
 
 
 
What happens in the garden stays in the garden!!....smiles
 
I haven't forgotten our Chat around the table.
Remember our chat on buckets and their usages.
I have been using mine for soaking the pickles in lime.
For carrying the goodies from the garden.
For storing the canning stuff in the RV.
Keep collecting those buckets!!
 
I hope you are enjoying your gardens...and I wished y'all
lived closer....I have plenty of squash to share...lol
 
Hugs and squeezes....Cindy

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Thirsty for Water...Around the Kitchen Table





"Momma I am thirsty."
"My hands are so dirty and there is no water."
"How do I cook this without water?"
"What do you mean there is no water to flush the toilet?"
"How do we give the animals water?"
"I NEED a shower!!"
"My throat is so dry!!"

Girls these are sentences we never want  to hear!
Much less experience.
But why would we you ask?

"I live in town, we will always have water."
"In an emergency the government will give us water...won't they?"
My well is how deep...(Shock) you mean I can't take the water holder off of it
and drop a bucket into it...for water?

Well girls here is the skinny on water.





If you live in town..or a large city...you probably get your household
water from a city water source...which pumps it to your
house via electricity...with a few back up generators of course.
These usually will give power for 72 hours...and you will have limited water pressure.
Why would you worry about no power? Storms, area disasters, chemical disasters,
solar storms that rendered electricity null and void.

If you live with a well...electricity is used to pump the water up.
There are shallow wells and extremely deep wells. Most of us don't have generators
 to back our pumps up.

FEMA and Red Cross and all emergency centers say you need to have 1gallon
 of water per person per day for at least 72 hours. Now this is for drinking water only.
Not water to flush, bathe or cook with.

There are websites for every kind of water storage unit you can imagine.
You can surf the web to find them.

72 hr. Prep
So not to get you all worked up and panicky....lol
Lets start with the 72 hr. storage.
Remember those plastic food grade bottles from juice and soda
 we talked about in our food storage chat?
They are considered food grade safe.
Those can be filled up and stored. Bottle water can be bought also.
The bottle water containers...really don't last long. They are now made to
disintegrate for landfill purpose. If you use them just rotate them about every 6 months.
Mark your calender. And always mark on your containers the date filled.
Store water in a cool dark place.

Now that you have gotten the 72 hour drinking water settled in your mind...
You will need toilet and cooking water during this time also.
We all have hot water tanks in our homes...there is water in them.
Drain them for flushing or for cooking.
If you have had notice of pending shortage of water...you can fill your tubs...sinks
and any container you can.
There is actually a bathtub liner you can buy that you fill up in your tub
and it has a hose off it for draining. It gives you 100 gallons of drinking water.
You can go to www.waterbob.com or Amazon
You can also put ice chest, Rubbermaid's or any container under the eves of your
house to gather water...if it is raining.
If any of this is to used for drinking it needs to be boiled
or you can buy drinking water tablets for it. Or bleach needs to be added to it.

Longer Water Storage

Now lets say you are wanting to have more than 72 hrs of water on hand.
Water is heavy...8 pounds per gallon.
You have to be careful where you store it...Your downstairs neighbor
might not like your bottles in his lap....lol





You can store water in the blue 55 gallon barrels. They are sold on Craig's List
or you can get them from Cola companies and Commercial Soap companies.
They just have to be washed out really well.
You will need a hand pump to pump the water out...or you can take
the time and put spigots in them.
If you live near a stream, pond, river or lake...you can drink that water
as long as the emergency has not poisoned the water. There are all
 kinds of filters you can buy that will let you drink the water without making you ill.



There are even straws like filters that will get you through 1000 gallons of water
 for drinking. I saw them on the web. They go by LifeStraws.
They were used in third world countries to drink
from puddles and streams.
...and recently at Wal-Mart in the camping dept. I saw a similar item
in their camping isle.
I will be getting some of these for sure!






For those of us with wells...you need to know how deep your well is.
There are some hand pumps out there for the really shallow wells.
There is solar pumps for wells...and deeper hand pumps.
I love to visit Lehman's.com. They are a catalog company in Amish country.
Most of your well companies can sell you pumps also. Remember it must run
without electricity. Again the Web is your friend for research.


I hope in some of this You have seen the importance of storing water.
We can't live without water.
It is so easy to store and relatively cheap...lol
But it is so #1 in your storage preps.

Now remember the cast iron chat...having something to heat water in
is a big plus also.

Now here is your Homework.

Look around your home...and pretend.
You will have NO water for days...what will YOU store water in?
How many tubs do you have...Hot Water Heaters?
Do you have something to boil water in outside...remember no electricity.
Do you have some bleach for disinfecting the water from your tanks.
What alternative way could you clean yourself up with...instead
of wasting water...(hint..hint...baby wipes) How would you sanitize
 your cooking area or even clean your dishes
(hint hint Clorox wipes) (spray bottles with vinegar in them).
You need to go the potty...and it uses a lot of water for flushing......


Yep you guessed it...next week we discuss
Poo-pee-and potties....lol
Oh yes we are!!!!!

Hugs to you all and you don't need to be thirsty!
Drink up and store up.
Cindy



Monday, April 30, 2012

Cast Iron-Around the Kitchen Table



Are you ready for a hot and heavy topic?
Something that sizzles...that can make you want more.....?

Okay did I get your attention....lol
Of course I am talking CAST IRON COOKWARE!!!
The stuff your great-grandparents wagged all over America.
From steam boats to wagon trains.
Sold exclusively in all general stores.

Today they have been handed down...we can find them at garage sales
in thrift stores...and most of your big stores carry at least one or two
of the very shiny black skillets.

What is the great love affair we have with skillets? They LAST.
They cook GREAT.....and there is something special about
using your grandparents cookware. And most are made in the U.S.A.

Now how does cast iron help during an emergency?
Not only could it be used to bash an assailant...haha
You can cook with this cookware on a BBQ pit...a open fire, solar oven
 and of course still
use them in your home kitchen.

Now some of you have a fear that iron will leach into your food while cooking....
Versus the toxins off of the non-stick type cookware??? Really??

The main maker for them here in the U.S. is LODGE. There are some older, vintage
makers (Griswold) that you will inherit or find. Never buy the old ones with cracks running
through them....but rust....no problem. I know it is icky...but so correctable!


Take some steel wool and give it a good rub down.
Then you put the cast iron that is covered with rust in the coals of
a really hot fire...and let it cook...then you can get it out and just let it set till it cools off.
Dust it off....grease it with Lard...and bake it in your oven for about 30 min on 350.
This is called Seasoning your cast iron. Rust is something...if not stored through the years
correctly....will be a big problem for cast iron. Soap is a big enemy for cast iron also.
What???? How do I clean it?
Soap is only used for brand new ones...if they say too.
Because it stays so hot after you get your food out of it...we put water in it
to loosen anything that might of stuck. Easy Peasy..it comes right out.
Then we dry it really well...by sitting it back on the stove top or in a warm oven.
Then if used daily you can spray it with Pam. If only used weekly or once a month
I would season it (rub down with oil or lard) after you use it. The
shinier the skillet the better seasoned it is.


A pretty elaborate back yard set up.
I have all different styles of cast iron. From skillets to Dutch ovens to
griddles.




I have two types of dutch ovens...one with legs one without.
Legs are primarily used for cooking outside. Coals under and on the lid.
Yes I said the lid...most have a lip around the edge to hold the coals. When cooking
this way...anything you can cook in an oven you can cook with this type of cooker.
The more coals the hotter the Dutch Oven.
When you read recipes they some will say 7 coals on top 12 under... this
could be cooking at 350. See like a oven! You can also cook with them stacked
the heat is awesome for cooking.

Without legs...inside on your stove top...outside hanging over a fire...or on a grate.

Some helps on cooking in these two kind of Dutch ovens. Cake pans will fit in the larger
 ovens and so will bundt cake pans. Get pie pans that
will fit in your Dutch Oven. I have cooked rice in a vintage mold pans...rice in pan...pan sitting
on round cake rack....pour some water in the oven and cover the rice with water...wala
cooked rice without sticking to the pot. You can cook with extra heavy
aluminum foil for easy cleanup.



Skillets are made in all different sizes. Let me tell you
the bigger they get the HEAVIER they are to move around.
At Wendy's we have cooked anything in them that I can cook at home in my cookware.
My 16 inch skillet will feed a crowd. I use my12 inch the most.

My favorite for making homemade biscuits!!
I love to make cornbread and biscuits in the griddles and the cornbread molds.
Butter and grease are your friends when cooking these items...lol




Cast Iron accesories
Long handle Spoons ...I got mine at a Kitchen supply house.
Lid lifters....remember these lids will have coals on them. I have seen
a crow bar used before...lol
You will need a well built sturdy lid lifter...Academy  and Cabella's has them. Fire proof
oven mitts or gloves or a must. And a place to set you lid down when checking
your food....remember lids will have coals on them.
You need to store your cast iron carefully. In your home you can store it in your closet
or cabinets normally...after seasoning them...place paper towels in them for storage.
We have had to keep most of ours in our RV's. I made pot covers out of old pillowcases.
Remember we have been cooking on a fire...there will be some soot left on them.
I hope to find a truck tool chest to keep out by our fire pit. I am on the hunt for this.

Some NEVERS.
Never try to pick up a cast iron anything....without hotpads. These
items stay hot for a long time after you are thru cooking. Some use the pot handle holders. I don't
I use extra heavy duty pot holders...not your thin ones!!
Never just set the hot cast iron on your counter....I don't care what kind of counter
you have...a really hot cast iron will scorch or even a leave a ring
on most counters. I took old phone books covered them with heavy
duty material...and then I could set it on my Marble counters.
I have a large wooden lazy susan I use also. Make sure whatever you use
it can take the heat and the weight.
I have heard mix reviews on what utensils to use ...wooden spoons vs. metal
kitchen tools. You really don't want to put little nicks all in it...not that it is easy to do.
I use both and I have not seen any problems.

Solar Cooking
In future chats we will discuss cooking in solar ovens.
The main cooking utensil you use is Cast Iron. It is black and retains
heat 100%...so it is a must for this type of cooking.


Money
If you don't have any cast iron....what do you need? I would purchase or find
a medium size skillet....you can cook with this in your home kitchen, on a BBQ pit and on a grate
in a fire pit. You can cook a casserole, cornbread, biscuits, meat, dessert etc...You can wag
it with you if you had to leave your home in an emergency.
The second thing I would get is a  medium sized dutch oven.
You can cook in it anything a skillet will do plus you can make
stews, soups, heat water for drinking, and in an emergency you could wash clothes
in it....lol....yeah not my choice to do either....lol


Research
Here is a website that I have used many, many times.

www.idos.com
IDOS...International Dutch Oven Society...yes there is one...lol
You can get any questioned answered...recipes...and find some interesting
and fun places to get to go watch the cook offs.

You can google Dutch oven cooking, Cast iron cooking, Chuck Wagon Cooking
for more information. And of course the Lodge website.
www.lodgemfg.com
Try to go go see someone cooking on a open campfire...like at a Dutch Oven
Cooking contest...or a Chuck Wagon cook off. There you will see all different ways to
set up your fire pit area. We will discuss fire pits in a future chat.

All in all Cast Iron cookware has always been in our history and it seems
that some of us are using it now and it should be in our future.


Next week.....Water!
Homework.
Do you know where your water comes from? In a huge emergency
and you had no electricity...all systems down....would you still get water
from your source? If you had notice of an impending disaster...could you store up some water and in where would you put it? And if you had to scrounge for your own water, could you purify it for drinking?
I know it is a lot of homework...but this one could be the most important assignment you tackle.

Thanks for chatting around the table....now to get the cornbread out of the oven
......yummmmmm.....
Hugs Cindy



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Food-Shopping-Around the Kitchen Table







For as long as man has existed, there have been 3 key things to his survival.
Water, Food and Shelter

Today we will talk about FOOD.


Did you do your homework from last week?
You were suppose to make a list of what foods YOUR family eats.

You see I could TELL you what to store up on. But what good would it do
if your family wouldn't eat it....or you didn't know how to cook it.

Most websites tell you to stock up on pounds and pounds of
rice, beans and wheat.
Now I am not dumb....if I was truly starving...I would use these
three items to survive. But goodness me...why do I have to
have so much of these...why not stock up on what I know
my family will appreciate and love to eat.
For me food is for enjoyment also.

When were going to be Insurance Adjusters
for hurricanes. They advised us to have a full 6 weeks
worth of food on us. Water, Food...and all supplies.

I knew we could cook with electricity and on our grill.
So I made my list. What could we eat and how could I spread it out
to go 8 weeks are longer...just in case. Rice and beans were not
the only ingredients....lol




I made my menu for a week.
This would be my breakfast list.
Breakfast...pancakes, breakfast tacos, oatmeal
Supply list.
Pancakes... need water, oil,syrup, butter
Breakfast tacos....tortilla and tortilla mix, eggs fresh and dehydrated. Sausage I could can.
Oatmeal...water, sugar, butter, milk fresh and powdered.
Then I multiplied everything by 6 weeks.

You see how you do it.
You take your menu and break it down...to all the items you need to make each dish.

Because we were tight on funds I set a goal for 10 weeks to furnish
our 6 week stockpile.
I would buy normal groceries without any frills...no chips..treats etc.
And each week I would buy the extra I needed for the stocking up.
Week 1.  all the vegetable canned goods.
2. soup and spaghetti sauce and tea
3. pancake mix, cornmeal, oatmeal, peanut butter and jelly
4. noodles, rice, tortilla mix, cornmeal, beans
5. spices and condiments and oil, cake mixes and honey
6. chili, salmon, hot sauce
7. toilet paper and paper towels and foil
8. personal supplies like toothpaste etc.
9. cleaning supplies
10. First aid supplies
And every week I would throw in 2 cans of fruit.


All these items along with some meat in the freezer and some
fresh vegetables would of gotten us through about 8 weeks of eating.








This is just a sample of what you can do on a tight budget
and not get overwhelmed. Planning will help keep you from buying
the items that you don't need. If I remember it was between 35-40 dollars a week
I allowed for the extra.
Then You can start over with the next trip to the store with the week 1 items.

If you are going to store flour, cornmeal, oatmeal...I put it in the freezer
for 2-3 days to kill any little bugs. Oh yes they are there!!!! Then you can
store it in buckets...or jars.

Now remember most of this type of prepping is to stock up
for minor problems, small glitches in life and job loss
or sickness.
We would all have our standard way to cook, broil and bake.

A Major disaster...where there was no electricity...you wouldn't be baking casseroles.
So remember to make those kind of adjustments in your food storing.

I now hope to save money...and so can you...by having the garden.
My vegetables will come from it. I will either can or dehydrate them.
I shop the dollar stores for spices...let me tell you I opened a cinnamon
(the last of my Y2k supplies...and it was from Big Lots.) That was 12 yrs ago.
It smelled and tasted just fine.
I'm going to can my meat in canning jars.
We canned chicken, pork loin and hamburger meat up at Wendy's.
And we started eating from it...
yummy and so easy.
I will be making all my own
cleaning supplies. Vinegar is the main ingredient.
My flour will come from the whole wheat I have stored.

I didn't mention bread or chips.
I plan to make some sourdough starter...a project I have been wanting to do!
And the chips...well growing up..when we wanted chips
my Mema sliced potatoes really thin...and fried them up. Potato Chips....lol
When we do the recipes I have found some middle eastern bread called
Naan. I tried it recently from our store...you could use it for pizza's
or roll food up in it. It was really good and does not call for yeast.

There are also MRE's (meals ready to eat) that you can order.
There are websites to buy Large #10 cans of dehydrated food.
You can buy your dry goods in bulk. I will be doing this one.
I have always bought my oatmeal from an AZURE STANDARD
 co-op in Oklahoma.
I can now order it here from a Azure co-op in Texas.
Now... I can highly recommend this company.
They deliver to almost every state.
it is www.azurestandard.com

I can't recommend any one website for ordering food...because I haven't used them.
Do your research...see if there our any food co-ops in your area.
Or start one. Buy in bulk and then divide it up.

If you can't garden for food...buy in bulk and put it up.

In the "Olden Days"  if they were lucky they had eggs
and meat and biscuits for breakfast. Not so lucky...gruel.

Soups were cooked all day...eaten and more water added to it for the next meal.
Eaten the next day and more water added to it...then it was really
watered down. But edible. Do I want to eat like this
NO WAY!! But I could if I needed to. Could you?
I prefer to buy for my family and I will stretch what we have.
I hope not to eat watery soup!!

Remember last weeks topic storage? Well after you buy your stuff
you need to organize it. Some take sharpies and mark on the cans
what it is and the use by date. They do this cause labels can come off.
Did you know that most canned goods will last 3-5 yrs. Look at the use by date.
Some thrifty markets buy older canned goods...so always notice the date!!
Never buy dented cans. Once you have your first cycle of shopping done.
You can start shopping from your pantry...and use the store as your
replenishing stockpile...it helps for rotating the food.

I know I didn't have any magic answers here.
Each family is different...and each family member has different
taste and needs. Only you the Homemaker
can make the decisions for your family. Or to know how many
people could be living with you in a disaster.

Please leave more ideas in the comment section. Or if you write a post
on Prepping...let me know and I will give you a shout out.
I will keep the series on my sidebar.

Homework.....keep looking for storage items. Make your meal list
and start shopping. And for next week....look at all your cooking items.
Could you cook with your cookware on an open fire?
Do you have plenty of heavy duty pot holders...and oven mitts
for working around fire?

Next topic....Cast Iron Cooking and Open Fire Cooking


I hope these topics are getting you to chat with your
love ones at home. I never mean to panic or to upset anyone.
I just know I care for my girlfriends and I want them to be comfortable.

Hugs and Blessings.... Cindy






Thursday, April 19, 2012

Foos Storage-Around the Kitchen Table

Around the Kitchen Table



This week we are going to chat about Storage Containers for Food.

Now most of us have a pantry of some kind.
Some have basements...some have root cellars
and most have garages.

We all have bedrooms and closets scattered in our homes.
Some large, some small.

It is what we store in those places that will determine
our survival. And what we store the food in.

In the weeks to come we will talk about stocking up on food.
But it does you No good...if you don't have the proper storage.

If you live in the country you know how destructive mice and rats can be.
You put a bag of rice on a shelf...you might as well say come on and eat to the mice...lol
So storage is important. Lack of moisture is a plus
 and of course the cooler the better.

The WHAT to store in.

Glass jars will always be great.
 There is the typical canning jar
used mainly for canning. But all glass jars can be used for storage.
I try to grab all the large glass pickle jars I can.
I put box cereal and chips in them.
I am a sucker for the older smaller jars...they have such cute glass designs on them.
And throw in a metal lid to boot....and you will see me swoon!...lol
If you dehydrate food...(Yes, you are going to learn how to)
you can store in glass jars also.
I save jelly jars for dehydrated spices or smaller items dehydrated.
You can find jars at sales, flea markets, Craig's list and our local
radio station has a give away or barter site.
If you are going to buy old canning jars...NEVER buy them with chips
on them. They can cause breakage when canning.

The down side to glass....well.... breakage!!
Recently some in the Oklahoma area experienced earthquakes for the first time.
Many lost canning goods when they fell off the open shelves.
With research we found out you can tie cute 1 inch wide
ribbon across your cabinets. It acts as a barrier for the jars not to fall.
Be creative...dowel rods painted cute...colorful ribbon, even strips of Plexiglas.
Your local hardware store will cut them for you.

If you put them into cabinets with doors...and you are afraid of earthquake shakes
(and believe me an earthquake can and will throw open those doors.)
tie the doors together with cute ribbon. I know what you are thinking...is
she serious...ribbon where people can see it. Start a new trend...at least you
will have kept your canning jars safe.

Plastic buckets for storage.
Now in these you can store larger amounts of dry food.
They rarely break and they are stackable. Rodents can't
chew through them!!
You can order buckets all over the web.
You can also get them from Lowes and Home Depot.
Yes they are food grade safe.
They will have their logos on them...oh well.
All the above will cost you a little cash.

I have seen buckets with the chalkboard paint on the side
and the "what"  that is in the bucket written on it.
Most write on the bucket with a sharpie. And some write
on paper and tape it on with packing tape.
There is a company that make durable reusable lids.
I have several and they are very colorful.
You can buy these GAMMA SEAL LIDS from all over the web.
They have a ring that fits on top of the bucket. Then there is an inner
top lid that screws on and off. I use them for my outside
chicken feed buckets....love them.
Wendy and I shared a order along with some other women to keep the cost low.

Me the cheapy that I am...or is it frugal? Hmmmm
Well I find buckets that are FREE! I picked up 4 yesterday.
Your local bakeries, BBQ places (here in the South) they are everywhere...lol
Any restaurant will have them. Just use your voice
and get some nerve and ask for them.
 I have read stories how some of you will dumpster dive for free furniture.
Or how some of you will about knock someone over
...just kidding....to get to the sale item at Goodwill. These buckets are NOW
worth something....your peace of mind that your food will be safe
from the elements and rodents. Some are free,
some charge 1.00. If they are dirty you can wash them out
at.... are you ready....the car wash...lol...cuts through the grease in
the icing buckets. If not wash them in your bathtub just scrape as much icing out
in the trash first.

Now I am sure by this point you are thinking
what am I going to be putting in the buckets?

When you do normal grocery store buying...you bring it home and put it in the pantry.
If you want to stockpile (I hate that word)...and you don't have room in the house
you can store the extra food in the buckets. One example.
During the Y2k scare...I bought up lots of food...but I didn't
want to fill just one bucket with all noodles and another with all rice and another with
all flour...so I got creative and made buckets with multiple items in it.
This way I could open a bucket and there were multiple meals to be made in it.
Instead of a lot buckets needing to be opened for meals.
 I could open just one per week.

Meal bucket...
I had spaghetti noodles, and canned tomato sauce, can salmon ,crackers in a Ziploc bag
and cornmeal.
Canned chili, rice in a bag, canned soup with extra canned vegetables more rice,
A canning jar of meat and more cans of veggies. There was 5 meals right there.

Baking bucket...
In jars or Ziplocs I put in flour and cornmeal
baking ingredients, powdered milks,spices and decorations.

Breakfast bucket....
pancake mixes,syrups, oatmeal in jars, powdered milk, muffin mixes
( I would hope to have eggs from my girls)

Snack buckets....
Applesauce's, fruit cups, protein bars, dehydrated fruit rolls
popcorn, etc....

First aid buckets, baby items bucket, gardening bucket.
Anymore ideas?
You see a bucket holds a lot!
Now buckets are used for many other uses also.
( go ahead and put them on your too find list)
They are used for hauling water, use them as toilets
plant plants in them...etc. We will discuss these at a later date.

Now re-usable items for storage. Maybe you don't have room for many
large bucket items...but you do have room (under your bed) for smaller plastic containers.
Fruit Juice bottles, Tea from (Arizona) has sturdy containers we use
for everything around here. Even soda liter bottles work. If you don't drink any of the above
call some children nurseries around you...they just throw the juice containers away.
I noticed at our baseball park they were serving sodas from the liter containers.
I will be hitting them up next week....lo

Clean them and let them dry really well inside.
Get you a funnel and wa-la they hold dry beans, rice, cornmeal,
flour, sugar etc. and the larger opening  ones will hold macaroni.
One lady washes all her 16 oz soda bottles that she drinks from.
And loads them up with mixture makings....rice and beans..the dry ingredients for a cake
or cookies. She crumbles crackers into them for meatloaf and salmon patties.
These bottles will last a few years if kept out of the sun.
You just have to put your thinking cap on!!

Now there are other things you can store food in...look around your
home...what do you see. Rubbermaids, vintage metal canisters
old suitcases etc..


We all hope that if something happened we could stay in our homes and ride it out.
But if you couldn't...what would it take for you and yours to survive?
Shirley over at Zetta's Aprons
has written a blog this week on the 72 hr. kit that you will need.
It is a must too read!!!!
You can read it here...Provident Living

Do your Homework ....oh yeah there is homework....
after all we all need to share and to learn something from each other.
...start collecting buckets and save the bottles. Please leave a comment
on here if you have any ideas for storage. Or if you write something on this topic
send me a holler (e-mail) and I will give you a shout out on the next go around.

This has been done on the "Cheapy-Frugal-Tightwad" theory
If you research you will find lots of ways to spend your money. I prefer to
save mine for stocking up on food...and of course those
marvelous thrift store finds.

Next week......Gathering the food you will need and want.
Homework...
Really look at what your family eats that could be grown on your property
and what really you could do without. Make a protien, comfort food meal plan for a week.
Now remember this is to survive on ...not gain weight....lol



Work apron on.... time to hit the garden.
A big Texas hug to all...Cindy









Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Welcome-Around the Kitchen Table


Around the Kitchen Table



Boy this brings back sweet memories.
The ladies preparing supper.
Table legs sitting in kerosene...to keep the sugar ants at bay.
Big stoneware bowls..some with a stripe around the top
others that were colorful.
Tablecloths that were slick (oilcloth) and with bright prints.
Aprons tied around more than ample waist lines...lol
Some tied around the neck.
Women wearing dresses that touched their calves...dresses of cotton and tiny prints.

Swishing back in forth to the stove to the table. Some washing
dishes and some drying. Testing of the food by all the cooks.

And after the meal and the kitchen was all cleaned up
it really began...the chatting...the sharing...the laughter
the complaining...the comparing of the gardens being grown.




This is what I would love to do.
Have all of you around a big kitchen table.
Us wearing our aprons and bringing our notebooks.
Why notebooks?
Because it is time for us to share...to learn from each other.
Times have been hard for a lot of us...some haven't had a blimp in their lives
others have been on a roller coaster.
Food is going sky high, many don't know how to can much less grow a
garden that will provide food for their families. It is
time to learn...to step out of your comfort zone.
Knowledge is important to survival.
You need to know what grows in YOUR area...not mine.
You need to know what YOUR family will eat not what
others are putting into storage.
You need to know what disasters are normal in your area and how
to truly prep for them.

It is time...I don't know what is around the corner
but it is time to gather around the kitchen table...and share.

Starting next week I will be sharing....what little I know
and some websites that I think you would love to read.

Do I do all that is out there for prepping?...No I just dream about some of it...lol
 But I read and I learn. And sometimes I get to do it.
I have confidence I COULD do some of what will be needed of me.
I do what I can...what that voice inside me says to do.
What we have money for.
I don't want this to be scary. I want this to be fun...creative.
I pray you hang in there with me...and join in.

It is time for me to do this. I have been afraid to open up and to share.
But the writing is on the wall...America is  hurting financially...homes are struggling
and women are feeling the burden to take care of their family from the homemaker
point of few.

Some scenarios....disaster in your area...power grid goes down
pandemic...economic downfall...solar flares rendering electricity null and void.
How about job loss...or prices so high....any of these could happen.
What would you really do...
with no electricity for weeks....could you cook meals for your family.
Could you wash clothes? Could you keep your family from panicking.
Could you live outdoors if need be? Does your cookware cook on a open fire?
Where do you go to the bathroom at?
Would you have food if you couldn't run to the grocery store?

There are so many things being talked about out there that could happen.
I choose not to label "The What" and know that something will happen.
And to keep my eyes and ears on God.

4 years ago you could not tell me I would be living in an RV
and that work would of been so hard to find for my Husband who can build anything.
That Texas along with half the nation would suffer a SEVERE DROUGHT.
That prices I pay today for normal things has doubled in 4 short years.

Fast forward 4 years...where will you be...what will be happening out there?

It is time to sit around the table and to learn...to share...to pray... to be strong women.



Come join me This Thursday.
I don't have all the answers...but I can sure open discussion and give you
something to study and think about....lol
And boy do I need your sharing back to me..I need to learn from y'all.

Come sit with me around the Kitchen Table!
This Thursday we will start with FOOD STORAGE IDEAS.

So grab your favorite apron and your notebook.
Hugs to all.... Cindy

PS..My daughter Wendy survived all the bad weather. The tornado's went NW of us!
I am home...with car problems that took me two days to get the car home. But we did!
Thank you for your prayers


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