Tag Archive: Cook


Challenge time!

Water is often used to cook foods such as noodles.

Water is often used to cook foods such as noodles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So you have started to prep, or you have been prepping for a while now, you have water, food, and some equipment put together, you are ready for whatever may come your way right? Wrong.

Now you must practice, and then practice, then you need to practice some more. I will be offering challenges from time to time, to encourage you to test your skills, talents, and determination. One of the main reasons for these challenges is that you can have everything planned out in your head and as soon as you really need to execute Mr. Murphy pops up his ugly head and your smooth plan falls apart. You can combat Mr. Murphy and his law by putting what we know into practice. By actually DOING you learn what to do and what not to do you learn that you might need other equipment or that your 3 cups of water for your rice should be 4.

So now for the challenge…

I want you (and I will do it too) to cook at least 1 major meal this week from your preps. It can be anything that you want, also cook it using an alternative method of cooking, in other words not on your stove. Use what would be available to you if there was a power outage in your home.

Then take a few minutes and let me know how it went.

So there you go good luck and God’s speed

Jeff

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Rice Diversity. Part of the image collection o...

Rice Diversity. Part of the image collection of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alright we know about the common bean what about rice? Rice is a serial grain, in the same category with corn and wheat, 1/5 of the calories eaten by humans in the world come from rice. Rice is harvested and then mulled (removing the husk) and separated from the chaff. What you have left is brown rice, the bran (the brown part) is then polished off and what you have left is white rice.

Brown Rice is nutritionally superior to white, having vitamin B1, B3, iron, magnesium, fatty acids, and a good portion of fiber that all are lost in the polishing process. Due to the oil in the bran brown rice has a much shorter shelf life:

Brown rice sealed in an oxygen starved environment (more on this later) at a constant 70 degrees will last from 1-2 years.

White rice stored the same way will last 8-10 years.

For now we will concern ourselves with white rice. There are hundred varieties of rice but they are classified into three main categories:

Long grain is long and slender, popular in America due to the fact that it will “fluff up” and not stick together popular varieties include Jasmine, Basmati and Carolina rice.

Medium Grain is shorter and stickier is used for risotto, paella, puddings, and sushi.

Short Grain shorter yet again and is also used for sushi and rice flower, due to the many varieties and “blends” between medium and short I consider these basically the same.

Rice is a staple of home storage without breaking the bank I still purchase a 25 lb bag for 20$ locally. Can you live off of ONLY rice? No! Would you want to if you could? No! Can you use rice as the backbone of a variety of dishes? Yes.

One thing I try to do is to store different varieties, a good risotto, is a long way away from prefect sticky sushi rice.

So there you have it, Jeff’s mini primer on rice hope it helps!

Diversity in dry common beans

Diversity in dry common beans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jeff, I am interested in starting to store food for “long Term”. “Great”, say I, you can start with beans and rice; in this article I will cover common beans.

The common bean background…

Beans have been harvested and cultivated as far back as you care to look into the history of such things.  There are several groups of “beans” Phasesolus vulgaris or the common bean is what I will be covering today.  Common beans include

Black Turtle Bean (Black Bean)

Pinto Beans (Brown Beans)

Kidney Bean (Chile Bean)

White Beans (Navy Beans)

Lima Bean

Beans are high in starch, protein, and dietary fiber, and are also a good source of folic acid, selenium, iron, potassium, thiamine, vitamin B6, magnesium, and zinc.

WOW Jeff that is awesome, but why beans? Well if stored in a cool dry place, dried beans will last basically forever! Woo Hoo!! They do on the other hand start to lose their nutritional values after a few years and the older they get the longer they will need to cook.

Speaking about cooking, you want to make sure that you boil your beans for at least 10 min during the cooking process. Common beans, especially red kidney beans, have a toxic compound called phytohaemagglutinin, in fact if you cook your beans in a slow cooker and they never reach a boil they will be up to 5 times more toxic. WHAT!?! You’re kidding me Jeff!! Nope! I was as amazed as you were.

One other thing before you run out and start storing beans (we will cover the storage in another post), get some and cook some! Make sure your family likes beans, get a variety of beans, cook a variety of beans a variety of ways, remember store what you eat and eat what you store.

So there ends my little post…”But wait Jeff, this is slapdash at best what about peas, garbanzos, lentils or fresh beans like green beans and snow peas?” Well those aren’t common beans and they are going to be the topic of another post…he he he

The Basics # 2

  Rice-a-roni

Food: What food do you want to store? Well the easiest answer to that question is what food do you eat now?

A great motto is to “store what you eat and eat what you store.” We are still working on at least a 1 week supply, just like we did for our water. The way I started was by purchasing an extra can of this and an extra bag of that each time I went shopping, in no time I have enough stock built up for breakfast lunch and dinner for a week.

I started out with canned and dry goods, just to make it simple for myself. Spaghetti sauce, pasta, oatmeal, boxes of breakfast cereals, rice a roni, canned tuna, and spaghetti o’s are a few examples of what I picked up.

I live in an apartment with limited space so I converted a downstairs coat closet into a pantry by adding some shelving. This is where organization pays off, newest product to the back of the shelves oldest to the front, keep rotating your stock and replacing what you use.

I will cover in later posts larger quantities of food and their storage; this is just to get that first week’s worth of supplies under your belt.

Prepping is a commitment to making lots of little changes over a period of time, building as you go! You’re doing great! Keep it up.