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Archive for March, 2009

Well, I finally ran out of the enchilada sauce I canned in October, and after paying $1.79 for one teeny tiny can at the store, I decided it was time for another batch.

I made spaghetti sauce yesterday and canned it today.  While I have the canner out,  it was now or never on the enchilada sauce.

I did adjust my basic recipe for the whole batch – cut back on the cumin and water.  After simmering for a couple of hours, it worked out perfectly divided between 9 pint jars.

Process at 10 pounds pressure for 15 minutes.  Voila!  😀

Here’s the mondo batch recipe:

1 – 106 oz can tomato sauce (Contadina is my favorite – Sam’s carries it)
2 to 3 onions (or one LARGE onion), chopped, sauteed in olive oil, and pureed in the blender
6 1/2 teaspoons oregano
9 Tablespoons chili powder
6 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
6 or 7 teaspoons ground cumin
several tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 tomato sauce can (#10) of water
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

You could also add cayenne pepper to taste. Adjust seasonings to your liking.

Enjoy!

We use this on chicken enchiladas, bean burritos, tacos, etc.

For easy bean burritos: take 1 pkg large flour tortillas, divide 1 can of refried beans between them – spread a hefty tablespoon (at least) down the center of each tortilla, then spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons enchilada sauce on each, and lastly top with cheddar cheese. Roll up into burritos, place in a 9×13 pan, and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes until they’re hot.

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This should be part of every family’s emergency plans – food ready to go at a moment’s notice along with all of your other provisions (you do have a bag with a change of clothes and a toothbrush at the very least, right?  😀 ).

If you have to evacuate your home in a hurry, it pays to have an assortment of food storage in a bucket or two so you can literally “grab and go” without trying to decide what to take with you.

I took two of the orange “homer buckets” and divided up a variety of foods between them.  I don’t know how long this food will last for our family, but I can say with some confidence that it is at *least* a weeks’ worth, probably longer if we had to stretch it.  I’m using this only as an example – what you store in yours may be totally different.

(I also put a list in the top of each bucket in addition to listing on the outside for easy reference later – also make a note of rotation date, such as “rotate by 12/2010”.)

In bucket number one, we have the following:

Emergency bucket #1

(2) pkgs lima beans – dry (all pkgs vacuum sealed unless otherwise noted)
(1) large pkg pinto beans (dry)
5# bag white flour
4# bag white sugar
box of matches
powdered milk (probably 3 cups or so)
1# box baking soda
1/2 box instant potatoes (with instructions cut off of the box and included in pkg)
1 can vegetable shortening (inside a gallon ziploc bag)
1 large pkg popcorn kernels
1 pkg macaroni and cheese (removed from box, cheese packet vacuum sealed along with macaroni)

In bucket #2:
emergency bucket #2

Vacuum sealed packet of dried onion / packet of chili powder
3 – pkgs macaroni and cheese
6 – pkgs ramen noodles
1# yeast
10 oz baking powder
1# salt
pepper
2 – DAK hams
1 – can tamales
2 – cans chili w/beans
1 – can rotel tomatoes
2 – 6oz cans tomato paste
4 – cans Spam
1 – LARGE bag of long grain white rice
1 – pkg of dehydrated mixed vegetables from a #10 can

From both of these buckets, you could make almost endless combinations of meals – everything from beans and rice, vegetable soup to bread, pancakes, biscuits, etc.

Hope this inspires you to get some “grab & go” food together for your family as well!  😀

UPDATE 4/12/09:  I also added 2 – 12.5 oz cans chicken breast and a ziploc bag of restaurant ketchup packets to the buckets.  There was a little bit of room left, and I wanted to make the most of it.   I’m estimating we could have at least one substantial meal a day for nearly two weeks from the contents of these two buckets.

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I’ve seen this question in various places on the internet, and thought I’d put my 2 cents’ worth in on the subject.

First – let’s talk about the bucket. If your bucket was previously used for food (icing from a bakery, pickles, etc.), then wash the bucket thoroughly, maybe even put some bleach in it and then let it air out for a couple of days to get any residual smell out.

If your bucket previously contained chemicals, DO NOT USE IT FOR FOOD STORAGE.

There is some debate on whether or not the orange “homer buckets” from Home Depot are suitable. Please note this is just MY opinion – everyone has to decide for themselves on this matter. I use metallized Mylar liners in any buckets we use for food storage, so the bucket is really there just to protect the liner – food never comes into direct contact with the bucket this way. Home Depot has stated the homer buckets are not food safe, but some people say the manufacturer said they are, but the dye used in the buckets is not. For myself, using a mylar liner, I don’t have a problem using the orange Home Depot buckets. That’s just me though.

Now – the liner. I think it’s necessary because buckets in and of themselves are NOT air-tight. With the mylar liners, you can choose to put in a few oxygen absorbers if you’d like. I personally do not use the oxygen absorbers along with my liners.  I think to an extent, the food storage people are having a field day selling supplies to folks. Again, this is another area everybody has to decide for themselves.  I buy liners from www.beprepared.com

From my own experience, a 5 gallon bucket will hold approximately 30 to 35 pounds of long grain rice, sugar, beans, etc.

An addendum to this:  I was browsing yesterday and ran across http://sevenunits.blogspot.com/2008/03/basic-food-storage-on-budget.html

The info on their site says that a 5 gallon bucket will hold 80 cups of whatever you are storing (by volume – not weight).   Their recommendation is to store (5) 5 gallon buckets per person of rice, flour, and beans annually.   When you tell someone to store a year’s worth of food, it’s sometimes hard to visualize.  This will give you a better idea of a starting point.

I have also read about some people putting more than one item into a bucket, and there is some wisdom in doing this.  You could choose to vacuum seal packages of flour, sugar, beans, rice, salt, seasonings, some canned goods, etc. and put into the mylar bag, then seal for some extra protection.  That way you can grab a bucket and know you have enough to make a complete meal from one pail.  This would also be helpful if you need to give a bucket of supplies to family, friends, or neighbors (or if you have to evacuate in an emergency – you can literally “grab and go”).

The important thing is to actually START on your food storage.  Make it a priority for yourself and your family.  IT IS THAT IMPORTANT. Hard times are coming, and you may need to rely on your food storage.  Since I started this blog last fall, things have continued to go downhill – they will not get better anytime soon.  Sorry – not trying to be “doom and gloom”, just a realist.   Farmers have been unable to get loans to plant crops, there are droughts occurring on the west coast, and a large percentage of our food supply is being shipped in from overseas.

Getcher buckets ready, folks!

UPDATE 4/8/09:  Be sure to check another post I made on this subject – having “Grab and Go” buckets ready for an emergency (includes pictures!):  https://arksoaper.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/emergency-buckets-grab-go-food/

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This makes a bunch and can be frozen.  Very versatile – use whatever you have in your pantry!

2 pounds ground hamburger meat, browned and drained
1 large onion, chopped and sauteed with the meat
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 envelope dry Ranch Dressing mix
2 cans tomatoes
1 can Rotel
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can sliced mushrooms
2 cans pinto beans
2 cans shoe peg corn
1 can yellow hominy

Combine and simmer over low heat for at least 30 minutes to an hour (or longer in the crockpot). Serve over chips (Fritos are good) topped with cheese.

VARIATIONS: I have omitted the mushrooms, pinto beans, and the shoe peg corn, then added a can of Ranch style beans (undrained), can of black beans (drained), one small can of V8 juice, can of beef broth, and sliced olives. I’ve also added a pound of Velveeta to the whole mix. You can do basically anything with this – be creative! 😀

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