Preparedness-Blog Why? For what? How can we prepare?

September 28, 2010

Sourdough on the Go

Filed under: Sourdough — Connie Lacelle @ 13:11

Just a short note today, to post a link to a website that could possibly be very helpful as we make preparations for the future. I haven’t checked it out yet but the e-course looks very promising if the introductory video on the home page is any indication. Do check out what’s available for learning how to make and use sourdough.

When the children of Israel left Egypt they were in such a hurry they couldn’t let their bread rise, so they ate unleavened bread for awhile. This got me thinking. I bet in those days people didn’t have yeast like we keep in our refrigerators with which to make delectable breads and buns. If they had, they could have just brought it along and used it whenever they had a chance to rest a bit (assuming they also brought along some grains). I bet they used sourdough! We may have to depend on sourdough recipes if we want raised goods to eat at some point in the future, so this is an opportunity to get experience with sourdough and to collect recipes.

Speaking of unleavened bread, there are three collections of unleavened recipes on my website that you may wish to check out. I have not tried most of them, but really like the few I have–especially the Cheese Straws! If you try any of these recipes and would like to comment on them (particularly if they can be improved) please do so. I will be happy to edit those documents to make the recipes better. Also, if you have different unleavened recipes that you would like to add to the website, I will be glad to make a fourth collection and have it online before Passover.

I had no idea you could make sourdough chocolate cake…must check that out…

Connie

September 22, 2010

Urban Survival Guide — Can You Survive In Place?

Filed under: Prepping,Survival — Connie Lacelle @ 13:12

As a subscriber to the Off The Grid News e-letter, I received a link last night to an awesome resource that I know you will want to check out. Part of it is free and part of it is for purchase, of course; but the price is very low right now.

I don’t want to take the time to go into all the details because there are a lot to be had, so I will just let you know that I have just read and printed off the first of 12 lessons as well as one of the several bonus e-books that came with this special offer. Awesome stuff! And I am looking forward to receiving a lot more as time passes. I also registered for their forum and blog so I can learn from other preparedness-minded people and potentially hook up with some.

Here is what David Morris, the owner of Survive in Place, has to say about the offer: 

“The limited time offer is for the online course, audio course + the book.  The offer of the online and audio version of the course without the physical book is available at Survive in Place.  I can’t guarantee how long it will be available at this price, but it will remain available.”

 Please check this out. You won’t be sorry if you do and you might be sorry if you don’t!

 Connie

September 17, 2010

Relieving Stress with a Spoonk Rider Portable Acupressure Mat

Filed under: Stress — Connie Lacelle @ 12:20

When there are too many things to be prepared for, the stress can really build up. Here's a stress relieving idea that I just learned about.

I recently subscribed to a very informative blog called  Keeper of the Home: Naturally Inspired Living for the Christian Homemaker. This lady has a variety of interests, so I never know what's going to arrive in my in-box. Today it was an offer to win a Spoonk Rider Portable Acupressure Mat. I checked out the website and, you know, I think I want one of these things (or 2 or 3 or 4). So...I'm passing the offer on to you. This is what she says: 

I have one Spoonk Rider to give away, at a value of $69! 

Here's how to enter to win (please leave a separate comment for each entry):

1) Visit the Spoonk website and then leave a comment telling me why you'd like to win one, and which color you would choose.

2) Subscribe to Keeper of the Home, either by RSS or by email (or let me know if you already do).

3) Share about this giveaway on your blog, or through your favorite social media (you can find Keeper of the Home on both Facebook and Twitter). One extra entry per social media share.

Giveaway ends Tuesday, September 21 at 4:00 PM, PST.

If and when I get one of these Spoonk Mats I will let you know how it's working for me...or hubby...or daughter...or son. We may have mat wars around here for awhile. If you get one, please share!

 Connie Lacelle

September 13, 2010

Wild Food Foraging with Green Deane

Filed under: Wild Edibles — Connie Lacelle @ 15:56

Paul Nison has come through for me again! Today he posted a 13.5 minute YouTube video of a wild edible foraging class led by Green Deane (EatTheWeeds.com) in Florida. Check out the 800 articles about plants on Deane’s website and the 119 videos on his YouTube channel! Very educational!

 I suppose this is perfectly obvious when you think about it, but I was struck by Deane’s statement that wild plants tend to be much more nutritionally valuable because they are stronger than cultivated plants by virtue of their having to constantly fight for survival (while we baby our cultivated plants). Truer words were probably never spoken because you can’t keep a good weed down! At least in my garden…

Among the interesting things Deane told Paul was that about 55-60% of wild edibles are found pretty much everwhere. That’s good to know! Now I just need to find out which ones they are…

Here’s a great tip: Deane says it’s best to team up with someone for foraging–even if neither of you know anything about foraging–because you are not likely to both make the same mistake at the same time.

Well, enough of me trying to summarize this for you. Go catch the video for yourself!

Green Flour?

Filed under: Food Preservation,Garden,Health & Fitness,Juice Plus,Wild Edibles — Connie Lacelle @ 15:27

Well, as promised some time ago, I did plant my last few clover seeds in a patch of soil in my back yard that was not otherwise needed–because clover is both a great green manure (they say) and because it is edible. How can you lose with that combo? And I thought that the clover might be a good emergency food supply because most people would simply ignore it and leave my supply be.

The clover came up big and beautiful, pleasing me no end. Did you know that clover doesn’t just arrive in a 3-leaf format? I have several 4- and even 5-leaf clover plants! I harvested some a couple of times to hide in salads; however, my great plan for this summer was to harvest and dehydrate everything in sight so I didn’t take too much clover early on. I’ve pretty much kept my awesome Excalibur dehydrator going day and night (except for sabbath) preserving at any given time whatever most demanded to be harvested. The clover had to wait, but no matter–it kept growing big and beautiful, and from time to time I pulled whatever weeds were obvious in the clover patch. Obvious, I say, because I had also planted a number of  ground cherries throughout the clover patch without plotting them on a map (what was I thinking?) and couldn’t identify them for a long time. (Ground cherries are like tomatillos; ours are little yellow balls protected in a paperish husk. Quite tasty, actually.)

One week a big container of strawberries we had purchased from Costco pretty much all rotted and when I complained about the wasted money, my son reminded me that strawberries are just big masses of seeds so they should sprout if we plant them. Now we had an opportunity to try out that theory, so we stuck red craft sticks in the soil around one side of the clover and ground cherry patch and plopped a big red moldy strawberry below each one.

I diligently watered my clover and ground cherries and strawberries all spring and looked forward to the day when I could harvest and dehydrate the clover. Dehydrate the clover? Yep. Linda Runyon’s book “The Essential Wild Food Survival Guide” mentions “green flour” several times and I’ve seen “green flour” in many places on the internet as well. When I think “flour,” I think of wheat or rye–but one dictionary definition is “a fine soft powder.” The same definition also says that flour can be made from other materials, even fish! Fish flour? Hmmm… So this old brain is learning to think outside of the flour-bin, er, box and consider other options when the word “flour” is heard or read. I’ve been making almond flour this summer from the pulp left over from making almond milk. (I would really love some good recipes for using that, if you have any!)

So all spring and summer I’ve been dehydrating kale and beet greens and kohlrabi leaves and early jade chinese cabbage greens and radish greens and turnip greens and mustard greens and chard and even lettuce–and a lot more stuff! Did you know that you can eat broccoli and brussel sprout leaves, and even bean leaves? I haven’t tried the bean leaves yet, but I did decide to dehydrate broccoli and brussel sprout leaves to use in stir fry dishes and soups during the winter. Besides the leaves, I’ve also dehydrated the chopped stems of all these plants. (And, of course, “regular” produce like beans and tomatoes, as well.)

I left some of these leafy green things in their leaf or stem form but, for the sake of variety and space and most of all for winter green smoothies, I powdered quite a bit of it. That is to say, I made green flour. Lots of different kinds of green flour. I figure I could have green smoothies every day all winter and still not run out of green flour! In fact, the thought is niggling in the back of my mind that I really need to figure out or find some recipes for creamed name-the-green soup (made with nutmilk since we don’t use dairy or soy milk anymore).

I also need to experiment with substituting green flour for wheat flour in some baked recipes–so I can figure out just how far I can push the envelope ratio-wise. Of course, such recipes must be simple and cheap because I am thinking in preparedness mode here. All the stuff I’m dehydrating won’t do me a speck of good if I cannot turn them into healthy rations for my clan! If you have good recipes, bring them on! Or share websites that provide this specific type of recipe. If I come up with some unique recipes of my own I will be sure to post them in the Health=Wealth section of my website.

Okay, so baked goods aren’t always the best foods (it’s better to eat veggies and fruits raw) but when push comes to shove in the difficult days before us my family is going to eat whatever we can put together. Green biscuits, green pancakes, green soup, green drinks…

Here is something I never thought of that before! The stuff in the Juice Plus capsules is green flour! No wonder Juice Plus has been taking such good care of me all these years–the capsules are full of highly nutrient dense foods juiced, dehydrated, and powdered down so that a scant teaspoonful or two is all I need per day. But I digress…

Unfortunately, my clover never made it to the dehydrator! Just when I was getting ready to harvest it an ugly plant disease spread through my garden–white powdery mildew. The poor lilacs got coated with it! This scourge infects cucurbits–so I had to regularly cut white spotted leaves off my cucumbers, squashes and pumpkins for many weeks. In the later stages of its spread through my garden the powdery mildew infected my peas, too, so I had to discard even the sugar snap pods–though the peas themselves were still edible. Phew! Fortunately, one does not eat the leaves of these plants and the mildew does not affect the fruit.

But when I saw powdery mildew on my big beautiful clover, that was the last straw. I’m NOT eating leaves that have even the slightest chance of having powdery mildew spores on them, so the clover had to go. I started to hack off the clover and discard it through the city’s garbage system (instead of my compost) but harvesting clover turned out to be a more uncomfortable job than I thought, just because of the way I designed this bed and because clover is a small plant. Live and learn. A couple of insufferably hot days amongst the clover was all I could handle, so I just let the remaining clover grow up around the ground cherries (haven’t seen any strawberries yet) and actually it is a very pretty sight. Next year I’ll harvest my clover (if there is any) earlier–before the mildew arrives–so I can make clover-flour-whatevers the following winter.

And now I must go–kale is on the agenda today. Kale soup, anyone?

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