When Was The Last Time Your Cooked A Meal From Scratch?

Cooking From Scratch,
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A while back–over Easter, I think–we had a conversation with my kids about cooking food, in part because the topic came up, but also because my oldest is growing up and needs to realize that making meals is more than just opening a can of soup and calling it good.

Honestly, he actually is interested in learning to cook which is a good thing because he certainly likes to eat, lol.

Back to our conversation… my wife and I began to explain how easy it is to make meals these days. For instance, he loves something called “green bean casserole” which is little more than some green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and shredded cheese combined and cooked in the oven.

Anyway, we tried to explain that making a meal “back in the day” (before modern canning, for example) consisted of way more than just opening a few cans to make your meals. It took a lot of work! Which is probably why women stayed home… it was a full time job. No doubt we’re spoiled in modern society if for no other reason than modern canning.

Just trying to make this green bean casserole from scratch would have been a big ordeal. For instance, the green beans would had to have been picked, snapped, washed, cooked, and then maybe cut into smaller pieces.

I’ve never attempted to make homemade cream of mushroom soup but it’s obvious that mushrooms would had to have been picked, washed, sliced and cooked. It appears that onions and garlic and involved too, along with some more cooking, as well as chicken broth, and flour. Heck, just making bread from scratch is bad enough (here’s a great recipe I’ve used many times).

All that work and we’re not even done yet! The shredded cheese involves a lot more planning as this article points out and far more work than I would be willing to give it, not to mention the waiting involved for the cheese to form. Honestly, I would have just skipped the cheese by now. 🙂

Granted, I know it wouldn’t have been quite this hard. Our ancestors would have canned foods and planned well in advance but, if we’re talking about making a meal from absolute scratch, it’s a lot of work to be sure.

Ultimately, that example was just one side dish. We didn’t even mention the mashed potatoes made from “scratch” (meaning we had to cut and cook the potatoes rather than making the boxed version), or the meat that somebody else had processed–that is, killed, plucked, and cleaned)–or the bread which was already made… you get the idea.

Like I said above: our modern society has us spoiled. I’m not complaining, I’m just worried that when the canned foods run out nobody will know what to do… me included, lol. Seems you and I had best stock up on our canned goods or learn how to cook and eat very, very differently.

Simple Solar Water Distilling – Easy DIY (video)

I’ve never had much luck distilling water with DIY ideas like this but maybe there’s hope yet. The one change I’d like to see is the collection bottles angled downward to collect more water but then this idea won’t work quite as easily, plus I don’t see why you can’t just tape the lids together to save yourself time…

Can You Really Freeze Dry Food At Home Without A Machine? (link)

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I love freeze dried food. It’s nutritious, tasty, super lightweight… it just can’t be beat. But, it’s expensive to purchase in most cases and if you want to freeze dry at home, well, you’ll have to buy an expensive machine which is one big reason why I buy my freeze dried foods from commercial manufacturers.

Apparently, however, it’s possible to “freeze dry” food at home and without an expensive machine. To be honest, I am wondering if the method in the following article is a little suspect because freeze dried foods aren’t just frozen to really cold temperatures, they’re then placed in a vacuum and subject to low heat in order to induce sublimation, after which they undergo further drying to eliminate as much moisture as possible.

With that in mind, the two methods outlined in the following article don’t take the freeze-drying process quite that far but I do wonder if either method is more viable that dehydrating, or if they can be combined with dehydrating? There’s only one way to find out, guess I’ll have to give it a shot…

“Learning how to freeze dry food is something that’s gaining popularity.

It doesn’t come as a surprise to us, because many preppers are now simply discovering the “long forgotten” art of freeze drying their foods at home.

In truth, freeze drying has been in constant commercial use for generations. Applying it in your home is quit easy, with or without a special machine.

When you freeze dry food, the water content and moisture are eliminated. It’s a lot like drying food on drying racks, but you’re also adding the freezing process.

Freeze drying food is useful in situations like long camping trips, or long term food storage for an emergency or disaster…”

Read the full article here

Next Level Water Purification: GRAYL Ultralight Bottle (video)

Want a whole other level of water purification? Then apparently this Grayl ultralight water filter bottle is it!

Perhaps one of the easiest of backpacking water filters to use, it’s not without potential drawbacks. For example, like he says near the end there may be some concern for contamination after purification due to design but if you’re careful that shouldn’t be an issue.

On the other hand, it works fast and according to their specifications does a wonderful job purifying all sorts of contaminants…

Food Dehydrating By Pilot Light (link)

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Got an old stove with a pilot light? Why not make use of it by dehydrating food. Apparently it’s actually possible…

“I have a really old oven that that has a pilot light flame rather than an electric ignition. I wanted to see if the oven was hot enough to dehydrate food with just the heat from the pilot light. Since the pilot light is lit and burning all the time, if this works I will be able to dehydrate food for free and also not have the expense of buying a dehydrator…”

Read the full article here

7 Rainwater Harvesting Mistakes And How To Fix Them (link)

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If you haven’t started rainwater harvesting because you’re afraid to get it wrong these seven suggestions will help you for sure! The author talks about saving money, getting the flow right, keeping the bugs out, and more.

Finally, I couldn’t agree more with his rationality for choosing to collect rainwater, after all, water is among the most critical needs we have and is, in my opinion, among the most overlooked of resources most folks do nothing about until it’s too late…

“Harvesting rain water should be a priority for any serious prepper or gardener.

Did you ever go on a long hike, then find yourself parched with thirst? The need for water catches up with you quickly.

If the city water or your well shut down for a week, would you be able to survive or would your house become unlivable? Stockpiling guns, gold and food is a good idea – but having a way to hold on to water is of paramount importance.

Fortunately – in most climates – God gives us a ready supply from above if we can just figure out how to capture it. I’ve been harvesting rainwater on a budget for years and have figured out what works and what doesn’t.

Today I’ll share my top 7 mistakes to avoid when harvesting rain water…”

Read the full article here