Skip to comments.Is Recession Preparing a New Breed of Survivalist? [Survival Today - an On going Thread #2]
Posted on 02/09/2009 12:36:11 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny
Yahoo ran an interesting article this morning indicating a rise in the number of survivalist communities cropping up around the country. I have been wondering myself how much of the recent energy crisis is causing people to do things like stockpile food and water, grow their own vegetables, etc. Could it be that there are many people out there stockpiling and their increased buying has caused food prices to increase? Its an interesting theory, but I believe increased food prices have more to do with rising fuel prices as cost-to-market costs have increased and grocers are simply passing those increases along to the consumer. A recent stroll through the camping section of Wal-Mart did give me pause - what kinds of things are prudent to have on hand in the event of a worldwide shortage of food and/or fuel? Survivalist in Training
Ive been interested in survival stories since I was a kid, which is funny considering I grew up in a city. Maybe thats why the idea of living off the land appealed to me. My grandfather and I frequently took camping trips along the Blue Ridge Parkway and around the Smoky Mountains. Looking back, some of the best times we had were when we stayed at campgrounds without electricity hookups, because it forced us to use what we had to get by. My grandfather was well-prepared with a camp stove and lanterns (which ran off propane), and when the sun went to bed we usually did along with it. We played cards for entertainment, and in the absence of televisions, games, etc. we shared many great conversations. Survivalist in the Neighborhood
That’s real life!
We were dirt poor when I grew up, and I ate my share of dandelions and crawdads.
And the gummint cheese...
But the gummint gave away all the cheese.
Highly prolific, in most parts of the world, it’s a weed.<<<
And it does not grow here, I tried to do so.
Those seed spikes, makes it a good plant to plant in other ‘areas’.
We are grateful to God it wasn’t worse than it was.
Next time around, who knows...
These threads are great. Always best to help FReepers remember to keep on their toes. I am in debt to God and the FReepers who made this info available over the years. <<<
I am thankful you were spared.
It is good to share what you have learned and I hope you will keep reading/posting here, we will have lots of links in time, it is now shake down time for the thread.
I don’t own a tv, so am always busy at something, even if it is only reading.
Excellent tag line.
Thanks for the links, I will check them out for more learning.
Hope you will return and share your knowledge with us.
Might be your soil. The soil here in the PNW is quite acidic, and the plantains grow all over.
So acidic that I have to put out alot of dolomite if I want decent tomatoes and such. Most plants prefer soil that’s a bit alkaline, maybe plantain is different.
Many of the folks who’ve moved here to be “ranchers” since the just before and after 1900 haven’t seen fit to try fertilizing and growing good hay to hold the soil together (mostly movie stars, moguls and heirs). They have to keep that “overgrazing” canard going. Over about 70 years ago, though, much larger numbers of people grew all kinds of vegetables up here.<<<
That is such a waste.
Soon they will wish they were growing vegetables again.
We have so much to re-learn and set right again.
I still think that’s one good reason for teflon.
That way, in times of need, you don’t have to worry that you are out of woodchuck fat that you need to cook your eggs...
Thanks for the link, I will need to read it later, have so much open now, the computer is complaining.
I do not remember eating cheese as a child, guess we couldn’t afford it.
Cast iron skillets are my normal cooking pans anyway though. <<<<
I love campfire coffee and keep a pot for making it in the front yard, or camping.
Glad that you came to read the thread, I have other articles to post, when I get caught up.
We hope you will continue to share your thoughts with us.
In the past, I have been asked about Dutch Oven cooking and I have not done that much of it, maybe you will share your experiences?
If you simply wanted to argue, then there was no use replying.
If the SHTF, the least productive people will be those who insist on going on and on about who’s to blame and why ain’t the electric on and what do we do to get gas and do you think we can get to McDonalds...
Whiners are expendable.
It is alkaline soil and water here.
And this lot has poor soil on it, the wind blows any thing you add to it away.
:-) I keep a small crock full of bacon grease. Also, if your iron skillets are cured properly they are pretty much no stick.
I live in the back hills of Tennessee and we were taught how to survive from birth. :-) No city girl here.
Bacon grease is good. I save mine. Also, you can buy bricks of lard, the big advantage being it lasts almost forever, even near room temps.
I’m a rookie survivalist so I have some teflon set aside!
I had a look around and didn’t find much more than a lot of hints: berms (ridges built up from the ground), man-made shade, rows of wind-foiling tougher plants, containers of various kinds, more mulching, more roots and low spots. ...might be a hint or two in the following, but I reckon that you’ve already done much research.
Wind and Heat in Desert Gardens
When I moved into my current house in the country, I got a propane cook stove, was thinking about what would happen if the power was out more than a couple of days. Sure enough it happened, and I was able to cook, and heat my stored water for bathing. It is also a little bit of light, and heat in colder weather. I just have to make sure I have plenty of propane, and be frugal about using it.
Bread Baking for the Clueless but Curious
Contributed by Susan Gendreau
Sunday, 22 January 2006
by Susan Gendreau
Lets assume you would like to bake bread. But it sounds like a lot of trouble, so you havent tried. Or youve tried and gotten a brick, not a loaf. The books those gorgeous specialty cookbooks call for equipment you dont have and dont want, and if you tried to follow their recipes nothing happened the way the page said it should. Bread seems so complicated. How do you know when its kneaded enough? How do you know when its risen enough? Uh, why didnt it rise? You figure that if you arent a professional baker, youre out of luck. But still youd like to bake bread if its not too much trouble.
Well. Bread baking can be a lot of trouble if you want it to be. It can become an obsession. Some people (me, for instance) actually enjoy debating brands of flour or cake yeast versus dry yeast. Those same people buy the fancy equipment because it helps us make fancier bread. But people have baked yeasted bread for probably four thousand years and KitchenAid mixers have been around for only fifty. You dont need one. You dont need Calphalon loaf pans, a proofing box, the muscles of a linebacker or split-second timing. You dont need to be an expert on kneading or rising to produce bread thats much better than supermarket. And you dont need to set aside a day to do it, either.
Here is what you do need: a one-cup measure, a loaf pan (supermarket Ecko is fine), flour, water, and yeast. Everything else is optional. The first time you bake, choose a day when youll be home a lot, so you can get a feel for the doughs progress. But dont be a slave to it; do your shopping, run your errands. Bread is not rocket science.
In the recipe below, almost anything not specified can be varied without wrecking the result — so relax.
Back to Basics Bread
First, wash your hands. Youll need them.
3 cups flour
1 cup clean water at room temperature
2 teaspoons (most of one sealed foil packet) Fleischmanns active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon salt, if you like (most Americans will prefer this)
Check the expiration date on the yeast and make sure its still OK. It is? Good. Mix the yeast thoroughly with the flour (and salt, if any) in a largish mixing bowl. Dissolve the honey in the water. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the water into it. With your fingers, or a wooden spoon, stir the water so that the flour washes off the sides of the hole into the water mixture without lumping up; if you get lumps anyway, dont worry; well fix them in a moment. When the waters not really liquid anymore, get aggressive and mix in the rest of the flour.
Hold the bowl with one hand. With the other, mix the dough for several minutes, working around the bowl and from the bowls rim toward the center, until it gets smoother and cleans off the bowls sides. Sort of peel the outer edge of the dough toward the center and flatten it down hard, then repeat with part of the new edge. (Thats kneading, and its that simple.) If your dough has lumps, squeeze them to break them up. Make sure you work every part of the dough. Exactly how you do this, and how long, really dont matter much. (Really.) Find a position thats comfortable for you (I like to kneel on the floor and grip the bowl between my knees) and work the dough until you start to get tired.
Pat the dough into a fat cigar shape, put it in the loaf pan, and cover the pan with a clean towel thats wet but wrung out. Put the covered pan somewhere out of drafts (I use the microwave oven) and leave it there to rise. That will take a minimum of a couple of hours and maybe longer, depending on several things (see the FAQ below). Check on it now and then as you go about your business.
When the dough has risen to just below the top of your loaf pan, and the center of it is just reaching the top, put it in a preheated 450 oven for 35-40 minutes. Slip it (cautiously its hot) out of its pan and let it cool on a rack for at least half an hour before slicing it with a serrated knife. (Dont cool it in the pan, slice it hot, or try to slice it with a regular knife trust me.) Slap on the butter or eat it plain; it will taste that good.
Now youve made bread. This recipe produces a loaf that doesnt rise all that much, but has a thick, chewy crust and a wonderfully tender interior. Yum.
Q: My dough didnt rise.
A: Not at all? Did you add the yeast? (Really. People forget.) If you did, and the dough didnt rise at all, then either your yeast was dead when you started or you somehow killed it probably by using water that was too hot. How hot is too hot? Most bread recipes call for proofing the yeast dissolving the yeast in warm water before adding it to the dough. For a beginner thats tricky, because yeast dies above 110F. Water that only feels warm to you can easily be hot enough to kill your yeast. And as long as your yeast is alive you dont need to dissolve it in the water; it will dissolve in your dough and do its job just fine. Fleischmanns Active Dry is very reliable if you use a sealed packet thats inside the use-by date.
If youre curious, or you have an old packet, you can test to see if your yeast is alive by adding a half teaspoon to a half cup of tepid water with a teaspoon of sugar. Mix to dissolve the sugar and let the mixture sit for fifteen minutes. If it isnt bubbly and frothy, your yeast has expired (or your waters too hot). If its OK, theres still two teaspoons in the packet for your bread.
Q: My dough took a very long time to rise.
Be patient; in a cool kitchen the rise can take hours. If you added salt, the dough will rise more slowly as well. If it goes all day, it will taste all the better for it. The warmer the dough, from the water or a warm rising place, the faster it will rise. But stick to room temperature for your first loaves; if the yeast is too hot it will die, and if its just short of too hot your bread will rise quickly but taste like cardboard. Slow-rise bread is tastier and less tricky to make; it just takes longer. If you let it rise at room temperature and by the time you have to go out it isnt up to the top of the pan, leave it rising until you can get back to it. The bread will probably be fine. Dont let it intimidate you.
Also, the more yeast you add, the faster the rise. But too much yeast will produce a distinct yeasty taste. I usually only use one teaspoon per loaf and let the dough rise all day, or start in the evening and let it rise overnight. Tastes much better.
Q: can I use Fleischmanns Quick-Rising Yeast instead, or bread machine yeast? Or a bread machine?
Sure, if you like cardboard bread. The quicker the rise, the blander the taste. You dont bake quality bread in 90 minutes. As for bread machines, any real bread baker will tell you theyre the spawn of the One Down Below. They produce lousy bread and theyre expensive. If you want to spend that kind of money, forget baking your bread and just buy from an artisan bakery.
Q: whats the difference between white flour and wheat?
Wheat bread is better for you a lot better but white flour is easier for a beginner to work with; it needs a reliable one cup water to three cups flour and gives lighter bread than wheat with less work. Different batches of wheat flour need varying amounts of water, and you may have to tinker with quantities to get dough that feels right though you will learn what feels right very quickly. Experiment with brands of wheat flour, too; their taste varies. You can also add oatmeal, rye, and other flours to the mix. The Laurels Kitchen Bread Book contains a lot of useful information on whole grain bread baking.
Q: where do I go from here?
Anywhere you want! Was there something about your bread that could be better its lightness, taste, texture? Bake this recipe a few times; experiment with the effects of small changes. Most ovens don’t heat evenly; try different places in yours. More kneading will make your bread finer-textured and might raise it more; a little more or less flour can make a surprising difference. Most Americans are used to the taste of salt in their bread, but try leaving it out; you might like it. Your bread will be distinctly tastier if you use bottled or filtered water. You can try taking the dough out of the pan after it rises, kneading it a few times, and raising the dough a second time; that will produce finer-textured bread. You can experiment with things to add or leave out my signature bread, the one everyone asks me to bring to parties, includes potatoes, eggs, milk and butter; its not health food but it tastes awesome.
Of course you can try those cookbooks now; youve got the basics. Some of my favorite recipes are in The Laurels Kitchen Bread Book. They use only whole-grain recipes no white flour and the book includes very detailed directions on every aspect of baking light, tasty whole-grain bread; its a good place for a beginner to go next. Pssst the recipes work just fine with some white flour added to them, too. And of course there are many other books as well. Have fun! Copyright@Susan Gendreau 2006.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.