Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Good to Know, Bits and Bobs!

Today I am sharing some thoughts.  These are not subjects for a whole blog just bits and pieces and odd ideas that have crossed my mind.  

Cooking Utensils

      Bar B Que equipment is long handled for a reason.  Cooking utensils for the fireplace or campfire are long handled with non heat conductive material, like wood, often having a loop or hole from which you can hang the tool out of the fire and off the ground.  Bar B Que tools are seasonal and go on drastic reduction at the end of season so you can stock up.     
      Utensils include measuring spoons and cups as well as mixing bowls.  Everything used near a fire should be fireproof.  Setting a glass bowl on the rock that rings a fire allows the bowl to heat through the rock, but only on one side which can cause an explosion.

     Cooking ingredients that naturally store long term

      Salt, Sugar, Whole brown sugar, Cinnamon, Whole Nutmeg, Seasoned Salts, Pepper corns, Pepper,  100% Honey, Cocoa powder, Bakers Chocolate, Dried Fruits, Sun dried tomatoes, Raisins, Currants,  Pastas, Rice, Beans, Lentils, dehydrated onions, dehydrated peppers and flakes, vinegar, dehydrated soups that do not contain flour as a thickener, and tea.

Not all Bargains are...

     Grocers that claim to sell ‘bulk’ items do not always sport budget prices.  You have to do the math.  I found a #10 can of baked beans for a family picnic priced 50% higher than the equal amount in smaller cans of the same name brand. 

     Not all Wal-Mart stores are priced the same.  I have looked over a ‘super’ Wal-Mart, a small Wal-Mart in a higher scale economic area with a grocery area roughly the size of a 7-11, and a Wal-Mart neighborhood market.  These three stores form a triangle whose sides are 5 to six miles long in my area.  The highest priced grocery items are in the lowest income neighborhood, with a Winn Dixie 1.5 miles down the road!  I have compared a shampoo, aspirin, and hamburger, among ten other items and found different prices in each  

Big Lots            

     Across the country Big Lots has received a shipment of Reynolds (the aluminum foil people) vacuum storage devices.  They are hand held battery operated vacuum sealers that take the air out of reusable zip top bags with a vacuum nipple for $3.  The three dollar pack comes with three bags to get you started.  The Food Saver Company sells these bags nationwide at Wal-Mart.  Their sealing vacuums are about $17. 

Solar cooker

     Available across the country at any department store or grocer are the Rubbermaid containers that have a steam vent in the lid.  These are great for use in solar ovens. 

Hygiene and dual purpose

     Dental floss for sewing--        I prefer the waxed dental floss for sewing on the stray button or a ripped garment, it threads easier and is more water resistant.  Stored in the container purchased in, it virtually lasts forever.  
     Be sure to pack a sharp knife in your bug out bag.  I know for a fact, the dental floss cutter will rust when exposed to water.       


     www.whoknewbooks .com currently offers five books for around $30 and shipping.  These are books with household hints and tips most of which I was raised on but can fill in some of the gaps in your knowledge base.  They could be useful reference books for someone whom I might call city born and mall raised!  It’s easy to go buy a cleaning chemical now but, when TSHTF you may want to know how to clean with vinegar and baking soda.  It’s just a thought.
How To Survive The End Of The World As We Know It  
     Major Surplus offers James Wesley Rawles’   “How to survive The End of the World as We Know It”, for $21.95.  Good to know, Good to have!



     When the stuff hits the fan and there are no more lids to be had for your canning and preserving, paraffin wax is a reusable seal.  Stock plenty.   Melt the wax in a double boiler method.  Prep your fruits, jams and jellies, set in preserving bath and when at proper temperature pour the wax into the jars.  Allow to cool just enough to make it safe to remove jars.  Before wax is set, apply lid but do not screw to its tightest until wax is opaque.  When ready to use, remove lid, remove wax as a whole piece. Rinse and store until next use!  
     This method is what we used all my childhood life.  It is now considered obsolete and not as safe as vacuum sealing.  Use your best judgement.

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