Food Boredom and Survival Cooking
BY CHRIS RAY
In this last section I want to give some information that didn’t really fit anywhere else. I will also list some items related to food storage that you should store.
I have read that there are people that get so tired of eating the same thing that they refuse to eat at all. This is part of the reason to have variety in your stored foods. Herbs and spices can also be used to enhance and modify recipes. As I mentioned in “Food Storage Part Three”, the storage length of herbs and spices varies, but the same food storage rules apply to them.
Storing a variety of things to enhance or flavor water is also a good idea. Dry powder mixes such as Kool-Aid or lemonade are good. Keep in mind that sugar might be needed in some of these. Gatorade mix can be used as well and is a great way to get electrolytes into the body. Tea bags or mixes are good for hot or cold teas. Hot cocoa mix and instant coffee are good as well.
I have done minimal research into coffee storage but here is what I have found; coffee grounds by themselves can be stored for six months to a year, while whole coffee beans will store longer. Whole beans can be stored in Mylar to lengthen storage time. This will mean you will need to have a coffee grinder; having one that can grind the beans without electricity would be a good idea, in case there is loss of power. I have seen green coffee beans available but you would need to know how to roast them as well as have the implements to do so stored.
Pop, Soda, Coke, Cola, whatever you call it where you live.
Diet pop will not store for any length of time, stick to the date on the can. Regular pop will in most cases store just fine, though you should rotate this like anything else.
Power Loss/Black Out
The following are a few tips for the times you may lose power. This tip is a good idea at any time; the fuller a freezer is, the less energy it takes to keep the temperature constant. If you have unused space, you can add a 2 liter bottle of water to take up that space. This will keep the freezer cooler longer in times of power loss. You should also make a list of the entire contents of the fridge and freezer and stick it to the outside. This way people can just look at the list instead of browsing for something to eat.
Have an alternative way to cook and a way to fuel it. The following are a few examples.
There are a few things to keep in mind about cooking over an open fire. Firewood takes 6-12 months to season. If this is going to be your fallback cooking method, you’ll want to have the wood ready well before hand and plenty of it.
Many people have a barbecue to cook on when the weather is nice. If you go this route, have a few bags of charcoal or extra propane tanks stored safely. Propane never goes bad and will store indefinitely.
Backpack and Camp Stoves
These are stoves that have one or two (possibly more) burners. The ones that have one burner are often used for backpacking, as they can be very light. These stoves utilize a variety of fuel, propane and butane among the most popular.
The reason I am bringing up the next two are because they are very efficient at burning and use very little wood, they are also things you could build yourself.
A Hobo Stove utilizes two metal containers, a larger one and a smaller one. The larger one has a large hole in the bottom for putting small pieces of wood in. There are also many holes throughout for letting oxygen in. Near the top there is a metal brace that the smaller metal can rests on. You place your food or water in the smaller can, which is heated by the flame in the larger can. The video below was found on you tube. There are many others. Just search for “hobo stove”.
A Rocket Stove can be used for heating a building or scaled down and used for cooking. Here is a link that explains the Principles of the Rocket Stove. The top video is a coffee can Rocket Stove and the bottom video is a large scale stove that could be used for heating a building. Here is an excellent article on Rocket Stoves with a better explanation then I can give as well as many more videos.
Here is a means of cooking I’m not very familiar with, that I was clued into from Jimmy a reader of the blog. It uses sunlight as a heat source, this could be a very good way to cook in an off grid situation. Wikipedia has a good write up on a Solar Cooker.
Cooking with Cast Iron and a Dutch Oven
Here are a few articles that give a wealth of information on cooking with Cast Iron and a Dutch Oven.
The Irreplaceable Cast Iron Pans , Using a cast iron skillet ain’t so hard!
Seven secrets of Dutch oven cooking , Dutch Oven Cooking
Random items to stock up on that are related to Food Storage, this is not a comprehensive list, let me know what I may have missed and I will add it.
Manual can opener.
Manual coffee grinder
Percolating coffee pot
Wine corkscrew (Don’t look at me like that, this is for Communion )
Paper plates, bowls, towel, napkins.
Plastic or paper cups
Plastic bags of various sizes (this includes sandwich bags, garbage bags, Ziploc storage, etc.)
Fire extinguisher. (know how to use it)
Cast Iron Cook wear