Bug-In With Romance Weekly Summary: Prepper Info

The Bug-In With Romance Blog Event had a few hiccups this week. One post didn't have the link to the one for the next day. Two authors didn't post at all. (Life and technical difficulties happen.) Check the previous posts because the contests are still open at many of them! So, here's this week in review for those who want to know about how to survive the end of the world...And a FREE CHRISTMAS GIFT for everyone!

Last Week's Weekly Summary Winner: Mel Bourn!!! Please email me at skhye@skhyemoncrief.com so I can have your prize shipped to you!

This week's posts to help you prepare to SURVIVE & THRIVE (and many of the contests are still open!):
It's time to slip into the right frame of mind for hidey-hole bug-in activities. Store a deck of cards, dominoes, and books away with food, water, and medicine. But don't forget to rethink everything. One hobby of mine for about 10 years has been Altered Books. To learn what you can do with an old boring hardback book grab this free e-zine ALTERED ARTS Christmas edition 2012. Like all those bug-out bag items and medicine kit contents you have crammed into your drawers, closets, and cabinets, the basic things you need to turn something old into a new treasured piece of altered art is right there in your house--right where you're going to bug-in. ;P

Week #2's TIPS

1. Gardening is your best bet for food production after TSHTF, especially if you live in a suburb. Again, the best book that I've run across that will tell you what you need to know is THE URBAN HOMESTEAD. And don't forget about all the foods that are around us--the foods we don't define as food because we aren't hungry enough to eat them...dandelions, milkweed, acorns, etc. (It pays to write post-apocalyptic fiction and have to research these things!) As for garden seeds...Most people are opting to purchase a seed bank of heirloom vegetables to grow. You must have heirloom seeds or the plants won't create viable seeds for the following year's garden. It takes about an acre-sized garden to feed a person for a year. Doesn't that put the future and planning into perspective? (Makes me tired just thinking about all that work!) 
FYI: Basic Food Info (everything but the kitchen sink)

2. WILD FERMENTATION is just a great read. I love the nutritional anthropology and global worldview. If you want multiple recipes for fermented drinks and vegetables that don't require heat to process/can them, buy this book. 

3. TV series to watch: SURVIVING DISASTER. I've only caught one episode about pandemics (truly a fluke in that I couldn't find anything else to watch). What did it have of value? 
  • Use sand bags made with garbage bags and pillow cases filled with dirt from your yard to build a 2-bag deep 4' high wall to hide behind when someone tries to break into your home. 
  • Mix about a tablespoon of cayenne pepper with rubbing alcohol (an inch over the spice). Strain off the spice. Store in a squirt bottle for instant pepper spray!
  • Cover windows with dark trashbags or blankets to prevent your home from being cased. And then block the windows with bookcases or furniture stood on end (tables/sofas). Shelves with dishes shake when someone tries to break into your home...Burglar alarm!
  • It takes 3-4 months to develop a vaccine. Then it takes 2 weeks for your body to build up an immunity to the microbe. So, don't mix and mingle until it's safe. 
  • People buried the dead in this episode--in their front yard. And the rule of thumb was: make it a 6' hole. I guess I need a backhoe on hand...
4. Old coins are great to have on hand because coinage used to be made from precious metals. And there's a reason we call those metals precious! They have melt value. Get to know which coins are worth more than face value. Value equates to the coin's age (year minted). Did you know...A sterling coin is good to keep inside your rain barrel? Pioneers threw one in a rain barrel for some magical reason (I can't recall other than it altered the water chemistry slightly). And having various coins (not just a silver dollar) means you can trade an old dime for $2 worth of goods and an old quarter for $12...But things like matches, cigarette lighters, small spice bottles filled with salt, etc. are going to be just as valuable as cash on hand. 

5. One lump or 2?: My friend who raises bees couldn't participate in the blog event. So, I'd like to note a few things about the pros to honey for sweetening. Honey doesn't go bad. THAT MEANS STORE HONEY. Sugar is another item that doesn't go bad. But raising sugar cane then processing it into sugar is a whole lot harder than setting up a hive. I spent two seasons in field school excavating at an old sugar plantation near Houston. That was hot work. I can't imagine raising and harvesting the cane then processing it in the huge HOT vats...In conclusion, buy buckets of honey and learn about bees. ;P

6. EMP blasts: won't knock out everything electrical. I've tried to read this God-awful (boring) book written for the electrician or computer guru (because I don't talk that talk), but you might enjoy it! But I'd like you all to know that experts say the power could be out 1-2 years in the event of such a disaster. So, you will need a seed bank if you are the least bit worried. With plenty of food storage to make it to the next planting season, you'll be ready! 

7. Composting: is where you replenish the nutrients in your soil. (Quick overview for composting) And, yes, some cultures compost human waste in various parts of the world. Read up on it if you are curious. I read the book! To recycle EVEN human waste, you will need a few handy tools to ensure you kill what's lurking in the compost pile!

8. WINTER GARDEN: You can plant many vegetables in September then harvest them a few months later. 

9. Dehydrating Vegetation: The fastest way to suck the water out of your vegetables you're wanting to store is by using one of our most favorite toys in a new way. A car. You know how sweltering hot it gets inside a car with the windows rolled up in summer! Just use cookie sheets to place your prepared veggies on the dash. Or hang bundles of herbs or greens from the visors. So what if you run out of gas for the car? The greenhouse effect is going to put that old monster to good use! 

10. No-Knead Bread (This is the perfect 5-minute recipe for someone with carpal tunnel--like moi! And if you have yeast handy, why not make this amazing bread? My family inhaled it and begged for more. It has the same gummy moist texture as the standard baguette you get with your soup or salad at Paneras.)

12. You can unravel the yarn from old sweaters or afghans to ball it up and make something new--recycle!


TODAY'S CONTEST HERE (through next Sunday!)...

Enter to win a paperback copy of WILD FERMENTATION (refer to #2 above). All you have to do to enter is tell me what kind of food you've made from scratch before by midnight CST Saturday Dec. 15. Seriously, think about it. What foods do you know how to make without a recipe card? I'll choose one winner from those who enter. ~Skhye


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  • 12/9/2012 8:26 AM Susan W wrote:
    Most of what I make is from scratch because I've changed to a gluten free diet for health reason. I'm learning to cook over again and I don't care for most of the packaged gluten free food. Plus I have to limit my sugar so I'm finding ways to use honey instead. Gumbo is my go to dish to just throw together. Thanks for the giveaway!

    ***I'm with you, Susan. Gumbo is the best! I use the LOUISIANA brand gumbo mix. It's $7.75 a pack over here in Perth. So, Mom mails me a handful for $1.60 each. ;P LOve the stuff. And it's so easy. You just saute the veggies, add water, mix warm water with the seasoning pouch (rue), add the rue to the pot, bring to a boil, and add fish/shrimp until the fish is cooked. TOO EASY!

    And I have never liked frozen anything. I can thaw out raw meat to cook it, but veggies ruined with ice crystal expansion are just gross! And I never liked canned biscuits (UCK). So, a few really good recipes to keep on hand in the event of a cataclysm are easy breads (soda versions). Since I'm into canning, I have had this need to make sauerkraut and have gotten into fermenting foods over the past year too. So, whew, one less thing to know because you can make yeast breads with that trick! LOL My inner scientist just loves how yeast floats around in the air! It's like magic. 

    For everyone who wants to make some bubbly...


    water + honey + air = mead

    Is that easy or what? ;P ~Skhye

    Reply to this
    1. 12/9/2012 8:35 PM Susan W wrote:
      My mom in law used to make her own sauerkraut and nothing tasted better. She doesn't cook much now that she's gotten older. The woman had the right touch when it came to canning!

      My husbands a home brewer and has talked about making mead. I'm going to have to encourage this. He's more into beer but maybe he'll try mead for me!

      ***I can't remember the ratio of water:honey. But it was something like 12:3 cups (water being the most). Very simple. You put a tea towel over the mixture and let it set for a week or two. When it bubbles, it's ready! 

      Mom canned a lot with her grandmother and mother. She's always helpful but doesn't can on her own. I tap into that knowledge base a lot. She always says you can scrape the mold off the top of jam/jelly and eat what's beneath it...That will definitely be and end-of-the-world scenario for me! LOL ~Skhye

      Reply to this
  • 12/14/2012 12:59 PM Brit wrote:
    I so want to learn to can for saurkraut if nothing else! My mom used to do it too, but I've let down the tradition. Maybe this summer I can redeem myself.

    ***Canning is a great scientific activity that appeals to the inner artist! ~Skhye

    Reply to this
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