Saturday, January 30, 2010

Survival Books: FREE E-book Its The End of the World as We Know it... and I feel Fine.

Just thought I would post this for you guys. M.D. Creekmore, the owner of The Survivalist Blog put out his own urban survival e-book for free called "Its The End of the World as We Know it... and I feel Fine." This book is a very basic, no frills sort of survival book. It covers a lot of topics like Food and Water perserving and storing, BOBs, basic medical information and protection. Overall it is a really good all around book.

What I like best is this book has a chart of how long dried food stores last in reasonable conditions and covers everything from fruit and veggies to powdered drinks and spices. He even has recommendations on gear and grain mills. Personally I added this to my growing information files on food storage. Best of all, it is FREE!

Download it from here if you want: M.D. Creekmore's Book

This is a re-post from Today's Survival forums here.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Survival Food: Adventures in Dehydrating, Apple Fruit Leather... Results!


...And about 6 hours later....

Fruit leather made from apple sauce! I was right, I had to go thinner. The recipe worked out, and it is yummy! They really taste like fruit roll ups like you get in the store. Except it is much cheaper, very simple to make, and if you make your own apple sauce, MUCH healthier. I will definatly make more. This makes really nice treats for when you are on the go. Something that is a good food to carry that does not take up much space in a lunch box or backpack. I will look into more recipes on working with this.

PERSONAL NOTE: other than what I explained earlier, it is also best to spread it pretty evenly, otherwise some parts of the leather will get done faster than others. Again, another lesson learned.

If you have kids, they might like making this.

Thanks to The Survival Mom for the recipe.

Survival Food: Adventures in Dehydrating, Apple Fruit Leather... oops..

Just a small update here... I made some leather... but I ate it, but for a good reason! I made a mistake. What I did wrong was I spread it out too thick. Took a bit too long to dry. When in doubt, go thinner and dry it longer. Otherwise, it has potential, just that the mistake was my own. That is what I am learning here, but I thought I would mention it on here. I started a new batch today, so I will post my results as soon as they get done. Also, next week I will have some new articles on survival books, skills and other items. Stay tuned!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Survival Food: Adventures in Dehydrating, Apple Fruit Leather!


Got another article for you guys. Again, I am playing with my dehydrator. This time I am going to try and make a yummy inexpensive treat! Apple fruit leather. I got this idea from The Survival Mom. A while back she had an article on Simple Secrets of Food Dehydration and in that article she talks about making fruit leather with apple sauce. Since I am rotating out some old apple sauce, I might as well try this! I had gotten some Musselman's on sale a while back pretty cheap at around $4 for two 46oz jars (from what I remember). Always look out for a good deal on food. I really did forget that I had those stored away, almost going out an buying some had it not been for me rotating my can storage. Now I thought I would put them to good use. The recipe in it self is really easy.


My dehydrator comes with a solid flat round tray insert ring that you can add to a regular tray. Then just pour in the apple sauce and spread it around till the tray is covered and it is about 3/8ths of an inch thick. I used about half the bottle, which might be a bit too much, but we will see. As you can see I have already done that in the picture. Then I set the temp at about 135F and I will let it go for about 6 hours. I will post the results at the end of the drying time.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Survival Food: Adventures in Dehydrating Part 4, Microwave Results


Well, here are the results of blanching from a microwave. There was some difference in some of the chips in colors, maybe a dark reddish color, and black of course like the first round. This might be due to different factors and could be anything from the process of blanching, to the types of potatoes. Total drying time was a bit longer than I expected at about 17 hours or so. These may not look pretty, but when you are on a VERY tight budget, or in a emergency situation, food is food. Plus these are a bit healthier than the boxed stuff, which is why I did all of this. Now, for storing them, you have several different options.

You can...

1. Leave them as they are and store them properly for later use, which I am learning to do right now.

2. Grind them till they are flaked and package them again in baggies if you are going to use them in the coming future. Or...

3. Get creative and make your own dry "instant" soups! Take other dried veggies and herbs and combining them with the potatoes. Make your own family creations! Of course if I do the same thing, then I will show you what I did.

So there you go, 10 pounds of potatoes that lost a lot of water weight. The actual amount after drying is probably all of a pound of weight. If you guys did something similar, please make a comment about it on here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Survival Food: Adventures in Dehydrating Part 3, The Microwave!


Ok, finally got around to doing those potatoes. This time I did blanch them using the microwave, but I did them all. Reason being is that I do not have a proper steamer, and getting one is not in the budget at this time. If I can devise another way to do it, I will though, and I will put it up on here of course! But with these potatoes, I do not want them to go to waste. Waste not, want not!

Just basically what I did was clean them using a scrubber and water. Then put them in the microwave for for about 3 minutes. That kind of softened them right up. Good thing about it was it made them easier to cut up the same way I did them the first time. Took no more than about 30 minutes prep time in total and I filled up all 5 racks on the dryer. Again, set them at the recommended temp, and I am guessing at about 8 hours drying time. When they are done, I will post up the results.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Survival Food Storage: Re-useable containers!


Ok, yeah I know that I had promised you that I would have Episode 3 of Adventures in Dehydrating up, but things got a little busy here at my den the past few days. Been dealing with some personal things. Hopefully I will have something up in the next couple of days if not by tuesday of next week if I dont have things up by friday. So that is the plan.

Right now though I thought I would post something up that was a little different. As this site is about living off a survival budget and being a survivalist means being able to re-use things when needed. I again thought I would start basic. There are a lot of things that I use and re-use around here. I know that "being green" is popular, but for me it saves cash. One of the most basic things that I do re-use is containers. Both glass and plastic ware, preferably containers that once held food. I mean, you spend anywhere from $3 to $9 dollars, and most of that is for the packaging. Why not get some extra use out of them? It will save you money from buying extra storage containers. When I can I try to buy lots of food that is stored in glass. I use tomato sauce jars, jelly jars, mayo jars and salsa jars. It is fairly safe, and easy to clean. I store a lot of dry goods stuff in glass and keeps out bugs pretty well. Just make sure that it is very dried out if you wash it. Also an extra note, do not put sugar in a glass jar that has held tomato sauce, your sugar will taste and smell like tomatoes (If anyone knows how to get that out, please let me know)! That was my personal mistake. Other than that use them for what you will.

With plastic though, I try to keep the food grade plastic with numbers 1 and 2 (from what I understand they are the best, but let me know if I am wrong). I know there is some debate as to weather if some "food grade plastics" are truly safe or not, but I try to keep to the safe numbers that I can remember. I like re-using Cool Whip bowls, Ice Cream containers and butter containers. They come in handy. Mostly I use them for storing frozen foods, soups and chili. Reason being is it is easier to get the food out when brought out of the freezer.

Personally, out of the two storage containers, I perfer glass. Though it is easily breakable.

I know that Jeff Foxworthy made the joke "you might be a redneck if all your salad bowls say Cool Whip on the side." I wonder would that be the same for frozen chili?

ADDED NOTE: You can follow The Den! Just click on "Follow" at the bottom right side and follow me!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Survival Food: Adventures in Dehydrating Part 2, The Results!

food storage

Here are the results of my first experiment. This is just cutting up the potatoes and putting them directly into the dehydrator. To me they have the look and feel of wood chips or dried mushrooms really. The reason why the look so odd is because of the oxidization that causes the dark grayish look to them, so NO, it is NOT MOLD! Total Drying Time: 6 hours. Yes, a lot shorter than I thought, but that is why I kept an eye on it. But there you go, first experiment done.

Next up is Blanching. Here is what my book says about blanching:

Most vegatables must be blanched, either steaming over boiling water or in the microwave oven to slow the enzyme action which will continue during drying and storage.

NOTE: Blanching softens the cell structure, allowing moisture to escape more easily and also allows the vegetables to rehydrate faster.

The steam blanching might be a bit harder for me to do since I do not have a steamer, but I might be able to rig one up. I have a metal strainer that I can use. The easiest will be the microwave, just because I have one. (DUH!) Again, I will post the processes on doing this.

Coming up... Dehydrated Microwaved Potatoes!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Survival Food: Adventures in Dehydrating Part 1


Hey guys, back with another article. Last fall I happened to spend a little bit of cash and bought myself a dehydrator (It was on sale and I got a good bargain on it). I am looking to save food as much as I can while on a budget. Finally today I am starting to get some use out of it. Best way to save money is how to save, preserve and re-use food. Well here, I am going to learn how to dehydrate food and re-use it. Then post what I am learning. So far, I am just taking the baby steps as starting easy. So for my first try, I am doing...


Potatoes! They work well dried for soups and mashed potatoes. I found a 10 pound bag of Russets at my local grocery store for cheap. Right now I just did only two racks to start with and with a some advice from a friend, got myself started. The type that I bought is a NESCO Professional Food and Jerky Dehydrator, my family has had good luck with NESCO products, so I think this one would work well. Simple to work as this has a temperature control dial, and to turn it on, all you need to do is just plug it in.

When starting it helps to read the instruction manual for the care and use of the machine. READ EVERYTHING THAT COMES WITH IT! Just wanted to say that as a disclaimer... Then what I did was washed the potatoes and cut them pretty thin, The thinner they are the faster they dry. Usually the drying time is about a day to a day and a half, or so I am told. These should be done in about a day or less. I was told that to test them just take one and break it in half. If it snaps like a potato chip, they are done. If not, or if they seem soft, then they need to dry a bit longer. At the end of the drying time, I will show you the end results. I am just doing two racks as a test because there are several different ways to prepareing the the food. One way is just cleaning and cutting them up. Another is several different ways of blanching, which I will try out too. Maybe you can learn from what I am doing.

Coming up, part 2 of my first batch of dehydrated potatoes.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Survival Books: The Modern Survival Manual by Ferfal

I am working on some new topics for this year right now that are not finished, but I thought I would put up something that I posted here. I will do some Survival book recommendations from time to time.


The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving The Economic Collapse" by Fernando "FerFAL" Aguirre

Just thought I would do a little bit of a report on "The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving The Economic Collapse" by Fernando "FerFAL" Aguirre. I know that Bob has mentioned in his podcast (Today's Survival Show) about this book and I checked out ferfal's blog Surviving in Argentina. (EXCELLENT blog BTW.) So I took the leap and bought the book. Even though I am a bit of a newbie still in learning about this survival stuff, I found his information quite useful. He covers the basics on a lot of topics ranging from food storage, survival kits, day packs and vehicles, to protecting the home and yourself. Most of his advice is very practical, and that is what I like about this. He is very straight to the point when it comes to presenting his information. He even gives his opinions on BOLs (bug out locations) and staying home.

That said, there is one thing that sets this book apart from other survival manuals. This information does seem to come from someone who has gone through a MAJOR economic collapse, and he talks a bit about the social and governmental changes in everyday life before, during and after the collapse. I don't think this is something that is not in many of your survival books, (though I have not read too many other books on this subject, if there is let me know). The best part is the way he describes the way the banks behaved just days before the meltdown. It was quite interesting to read. The very minor downside is that it is in a 'raw' format and there are some minor grammatical errors. I personally kinda like this form, being from a self published book. I think I will let Ferfal explain things in his own words.

"No, In this case you are not getting a good looking book. It's self-edited and proof-read so there's going to be many mistakes for sure.

If it's quality literature you want, this is not it.

But you are getting an honest first-hand account of something you'll soon go through and how to deal with it. That's pretty unique information." -- FERfal

Other than that, the book is excellent.

I do recommend this as an all around urban survival book for starters, but the more experienced might be pleased with it too.


If you have any suggestions for any good books, please put them in the comments area, I will be sure to check them out!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone... Just got a few resolutions this year.

1. Prep More!
2. Organize my preps!
3. Get more exercise.

It is good to set goals.... These should be easy.