Here is some more information that I wanted to make sure I gave you about some of our purchases yesterday.
Stove Tec Rocket Stove: We purchased this stove because it can cook with very little charcoal. We’ve also been told that you can feed pieces of wood pallets or very small wood pieces into it for fuel. It comes with a rack that the pieces can rest on as its fed into the stove. Here is a link to a video showing the Stove Tec being used to boil water. You can also see more videos by searching for Stove Tec on YouTube.
Non-Hybrid Seeds: I’ve been doing some research on gardens and a term I kept hearing on TV… Non-Hybrid seeds. I’ve discovered that if you plant vegetables using non-hybrid seeds you can save seeds from the produce for use year after year after year. You can’t do this with seeds/seedlings/plants that you buy from your local hardware store. I won’t be planting any of the seeds we bought yesterday until the fall. This will give me some time to research how to save the seeds from produce harvested. And if I can’t get to it this fall, I’m happy to report that there is a label on the can that states they can be used up to four years if kept in a cool, dry, dark place. I’ve put the can in the refrigerator because the summer is coming soon and the temperature in our house is reaching 80 degrees on a daily basis.
Pricing: I’ll get into details about food storage pricing and what I’ve found are the best prices in a later post. I’ve actually started a spreadsheet with the best prices I’ve paid for items. I’m going to keep it updated and hopefully get it up on my blog soon. But for now, I will tell you that the prices at Walmart for Augason Farms items were less than the prices you would pay if you ordered it online. Granted we did have to drive quite a way to get them, but since Augason Farms currently has a 30 day backlog on quite a few of their products, Walmart is a great alternative. I also noticed that the prices at YFSM was also better than Augason Farms website pricing.
Dehydrated vs Freeze-Dried: There is a difference from what I can see and taste. Freeze-dried food tends to look more like it did in its orginal form. And it’s flavor is much more intense. The dehydrated banana slices that we tasted were bland and the freeze-dried had a much more banana taste to them. Dehydrated foods may look completely different as in the case of the green beans we bought… they look nothing like green beans. But we bought them because I want to try them and I think they will be fine once they’ve been cooked in a meal. I’m going to first try them in my Hamburger Pie recipe.
Freeze-dried cauliflower: With this ingredient I come closer to being able to keep Hamburger Pie on our dinner recipes list. I had mentioned earlier that I substituted mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes in my Hamburger Pie many years ago. I was having a hard time finding any time of food storage cauliflower. But since we picked up a can of it yesterday, I can’t wait to try it and see how well it works in the recipe. I’m hoping to have some time next week to test some of my recipes now that I have the ingredients I need in food storage.
Homemade Yogurt: Next week I’m going to be trying to make yogurt again in the crockpot using the powdered milk that we bought. I tried it last Friday but it didn’t work. I was supposed to keep the crockpot under a heavy blanket or towel for eight hours. I thought it would work in the insulated travel carrier that came with the crockpot. But it has holes for the handles and the heat escaped. I’ve come up with something that might be better. If you want to get preview of what I’ll be doing, head over to Crystal’s YouTube channel (everdayfoodstorage) and watch her videos on making yogurt. Oh, and the powdered milk I bought at my local Walmart was almost $4 less than the one in St. George and much less than the one I bought at Smith’s down the street.
Freeze-dried Strawberries: On Friday when I was attempting to make homemade yogurt I had a thought about how I could use the freeze-dried strawberries with the yogurt. So I took about 1/2 a cup of the strawberries, put them in a snack sized zipper bag and smashed them with the palms of my hands. It was mostly powder with some small chunks when I finished. I then mixed that and a small amount of honey in some store-bought yogurt I had in the refrigerator. Yummy!!! It was so good. I will definitely be adding this to our breakfast menu and it’s another great use of food storage!
Black Beans: I recently read that black beans can be substituted for oil in baking. This is something else I wanted to test. I have so so much to do and so little time. I wish I didn’t have to sleep 🙂 .
Spray Bottle: I didn’t mention it in my last post, and I didn’t take a picture of it, but I did buy a small spray bottle yesterday. In my post “Garden Surprises!”, I mentioned that I’d found some weird white stuff on the stalks of my pepper plants. Kendal (my mother’s friend) left me a comment saying that it was probably white flies and I could get rid of it by spraying them with water and Ivory soap. I followed her instructions this morning and… by this afternoon… I saw a noticeable difference!!! Thank you Kendal!!! Now if the wind would just stop shredding the leaves…. go away wind!!!!