Saturday, August 2, 2008

One Or Two Preparedness Questions and Answers

Sometimes when we are wrapped up in our little corner of the world and have questions about our preparedness program, we might think we are the only one with questions. Or we might think that what we have to ask is dumb (printed in a whisper). So to put your mind at ease and to catch up on mail (method to my madness) I thought I would answer one or two questions in the blog, then everybody could benefit. (At least that is what I hope.) And just as an after thought, I would like to receive your questions. And if I might say so, I would suggest that in this wide, wide bunch of blog readers you are not the only one wondering the same thing. Ask away.

S.T. of Orem, UT asks – How do I make food storage foods palatable when the family is used to sugary, instant foods?

The first rule of thumb to follow, unless you are planning on using the food as an inheritance for your grandchildren, it should be in your pantry, but NOT stored! The best way to grow accustomed to the taste of food storage items is to consistently work the food into your daily meals. Oh No! She means Eat It. Isn’t there some other way? Not unless you are in the hospital on an IV, and that really is not a good option.)

For many people, one of the most commonly stored foods is wheat. If you and/or your family are unaccustomed to eating wheat, you can experience allergic reactions and sickness,if all of a sudden the menu is wheat and not chips and Twinkies.

You can get your family used to it by keeping a container of soaked wheat in the refrigerator. Then use it! For example, when a recipe calls for ground beef, add several tablespoons of wheat to the mix. You can also add small amounts to recipes that call for rice. Of course if you are making any recipe with flour begin by adding a few tablespoons of wheat flour. That means using real whole-wheat flour not caramelized white flour. Then add ¼ C and then ½ C and so on, continuing to replace the white flour by that amount of whole-wheat flour. Pretty soon you can get brave and use a whole cup. If your recipe is for regular flour you may have to make other adjustments such as the liquid, because whole-wheat flour is heavier. Be brave and try anyway.

Always make sure when you are using grains and beans that you cook them with the spices and flavors your family enjoys. Individuals are much more likely to eat something when it tastes familiar.

Try to introduce the food that you are calling “food storage” into your daily menus one or two items at a time. Don’t overwhelm everyone with large amounts of new textures and tastes all at once or you will lose the campaign. Continue to use them in a variety of familiar recipes until the family gets used to them. (And even likes them, surprise!) Then the next rule is to add more and different items to the old standby recipes. Chocolate chip cookies are a good place to start.

Question from S.C., Dallas, TX - Someone convinced us to store water in a 55-gallon water drum. It’s way too heavy for me to tip. How do I get the water out of it?

You are right. A full 55-gallon barrel will weigh several hundred pounds. Go to a local hardware store, a well-equipped supermarket, or to a company that sells the water barrels (you can find them in the yellow pages or google them) and ask for a manual siphon-hose. It should cost about ten dollars. Most water barrels are created with a fitting on top to attach a siphon-hose.

Stay tuned to this blog for more question and answer sessions.

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