Thursday, December 18, 2008

Taste testing MRE's & a GIVEAWAY!

A little while back we had an emergency FHE. I told the fam that they had 3 minutes to grab everything they would need for a long trip because we had to leave our house immediately. I set the timer and we all went to work. After the buzzer went off, we rushed into the car and took off to our designated family meeting place. It was interesting to see what the kids brought (a bucket, a stuffed animal, a pair of shorts and underwear). It was more interesting to see what we had in our 72 hour kits to survive on. What an eye opener! While I had done a really great job on packing clothes, food, blankets, tents, etc. I had failed to pack many other things that would help our family in an emergency. For instance, we had no water (I managed to find only 1 bottle in the diaper bag) and I forgot to pack any formula for the baby. We were also missing a shovel, matches, a water purifier and the list goes on. We were able to cook a decent meal from what I packed and we had a fun time testing the MRE's. It was so helpful to us to see how our 72 kits would work and better yet what wouldn't work. We made a list then and there of things that we would need and added them to our kits.

I added this information for two reasons. First as a reminder to try out your kits and secondly to do a little plug for MRE's. Now MRE's aren't glamorous and all, but they're very lightweight, last a looooooong time and most of them are really good (some of the meals already come with heating elements-how great is that?). I also like them because they're ready to eat. If you're in an emergency, the last thing you want to do is think about what to make. You need something fast and nutritious. Now, I wouldn't go all crazy and only have MRE's in your food storage, but it's a nice add on.

Now for the fun part-test tasting. I purchased 3 MRE desserts from Emergency essentials (I think they were $1 each).

The first was a Chocolate Chunk Brownie-very good, definitely a keeper.
The second was a Filled French Toast- Like a little cake, kind of dry, has a syrup in the middle, pretty good. Nice for a snack.
The third was the Almond Poppy Seed Pound Cake-Really great lemon & poppy seed favor. A little dry and crumbly. But probably a close tie with the Chocolate Chunk for yummy goodness. I wonder if it might be too crumbly for a kit though. Our kits are always squished in the back of the car.

And a little F.Y.I. On my Yardsalemonkey site I'm doing a giveaway. You can enter up until midnight tonight. Click HERE to go directly there.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Get your food storage on! Thursday, January 8th.

I've got another class in the works at Macey's. I'll be teaching you how to start the day and New Year's on the right foot. I've got recipes for granola, power muffins (also known as peanut butter and jelly muffins), blender wheat pancakes and breakfast cookies. The class will be on Thursday, January 8th at 6:30, so mark your calendars.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Goldfish and raisins and candy-OH MY!

One of the many reasons I think lots of people don't get into food storage is it's lack of variety. The food storage basics are wonderful for many reasons, but they're meant to be the backbone of your storage; not the whole enchilada. What if you could have more than just wheat, milk, beans and rice? What if you could add cookies, raisins, chocolate chips, crackers, etc.. and the list goes on and on? And I'm talking about storing these items for as long as your wheat does. And I'm talking about storing these items inexpensively. Wanna know the trick? It's easy.

Did you know that by using a vacuum sealer, you can seal pretty much anything in an air-tight Mason jar and have it last for years and years to come? Basically, you use a vacuum sealer (you need one with an attachment port), sterilize some jars and lids and plop your items into a jar (one note, jar usage is for dry, shelf stable items, never perishable or powdery). Cover your jar with just a lid and pop your jar attachment over the top. Instructions may vary according to which type you have, but you'll need to vacuum seal until you hear the "plink" (or the lid being sucked in; you've pretty much heard the same thing when you've opened a jar before). And voila, you're done! If you want to know the nitty-gritty on the process, then you'll need to visit Wendy DeWitt's blog, scroll down half-way to the bottom and under Food Storage tips you can get the details of what to do. Fabulous, fabulous ideas!

Also, my friend Mrs. 101 listed a deal on her site for a vacuum sealer, it looks like a good one too. You can click HERE for the link. Please email me at if you have any questions.