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Preparedness Nuggets 10

A Cyberbook of Practical Wisdom for Daily Living

gathered from internet discussion groups and edited for web publication by

Mrs. Julianne Wiley .

Part the Tenth


Anchor your RV

Banana bread in a jar

Building an outside bread oven

Canning a great zucchini salsa

Cash withdrawals

Corn cob jelly

Crank radio

Dried tomatoes

Egg storage

Free kombucha starter culture

Home remedy: Black walnut salve

No fail shortening soap recipe

Non-electric food dehydrator

One year food storage for family of 8

Pallets for fire wood

Buy food now

Solar dehydrator

Storing eggs with waterglass

Store what you eat and eat what you store

Storing wheat

Storing brown rice


I think combining home remedies and typical, American medical practice is a great idea for teotwaki. Something great I got from an Amish friend was Black Walnut salve for infections. My son had an infection that was deep in his foot (rusty nail) that antibiotics(including IV antibiotics) were not clearing up. The salve work: drew the infection right out. You could actually see a dark spot come up to the skin until the top of the wound's skin actually peeled away. This only took three days, 3 times a day after the intensive antibiotics hadn't worked. I don't know how to make it, but if you know of an herbalist or other traditional medicine type person, ask them. The salve has lasted several years and I hope to talk to a local herbalist and get a fresh supply before teotwaki.



A great site on cash withdrawals and Fed reporting requirements:



The food types and amounts are what is recommended for 3 females over the age of 12, 1 female age 7 to 12, 3 males age 0 to 6 and 1 male over the age of 12. This is the shopping plan our family has adopted, with extras being added as well. All of these foods are being purchased locally through discount grocers as well as co-ops (our initial plan had been to go directly through Walton's, but we found a local distributor of some of their grains and now we do not have to pay the exorbitant shipping, nor wait extended periods for delivery and can purchase as we can afford, which is more feasible for us) I will only list individual storage suggestions, not cost, but can tell you that the total for one year's food for 8 is $1625.00. This does not include our home canned veggies from the garden, nor the little extras like cocoa and coffee (we have a rotating stock already) nor does it include personal care products or OTC medications. Here goes:

Wheat 1088 lbs.

Flour (enriched) 101 lbs.

Cornmeal 247 lbs.

Oats (rolled) 247 lbs.

Rice (white) 491 lbs.

Pearled Barley 22 lbs.

Pastas 247 lbs.

Dr. Beans(variety) 272 lbs.

Mayo 8 qts.

Veg. Oil 16 gals.

Shortening 32 lbs.

Peanut Butter 32 lbs.

Non-fat dry milk 112 lbs.

Evap. milk 96 cans

Sugar-white 320 lbs.

Sugar-brown 24 lbs.

Molasses 8 lbs.

Honey 24 lbs.

Corn Syrup 24 lbs.

Jams/Jellies 24 lbs.

Dry yeast 4 lbs.

Soda 8 lbs.

Baking Powder 8 lbs.

Vinegar 4 gals.

Salt 64 lbs.

Bleach 8 gals.

Extras we will also use are: tuna, country ham, canned ham, canned chicken, raisins, home dehydrated fruits and veggies, home canned fruits and veggies, tea, coffee, Kool-aid, lemon juice, cocoa, condiments, corn starch, every spice we can possibly think of, hard candies.

Personal Care items and amounts needed:

Shampoo 24 bottles (cheap stuff!)

Soap 30 bars

Deodorant 24 sticks

Toothpaste 12 tubes

Fem. Products 36 packs

Toilet Paper 12 - 24 packs

Total Cost: $285.00


Tylenol (adult) 500 tabs

Sinus Med. 6 packs

Cough Syrup 4 bottles

Vitamins 16 bottles

Band-Aids 10 boxes

Peroxide 12 bottles

Alcohol 12 bottles

Pepto 2 bottles

Tums 100 tabs

Tylenol (children's) 2 bottles

Total Cost: $140.00

Total of food, personal care and medical: **$2050.00**

May I suggest with the OTC meds adding several tubes of antibiotic ointment, anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, and in case of GI upset from bad water or food - anti-emetics and anti-diarrheals. Also, for families such as yours with children, something to deal with dehydration from GI problems.

We've acquired initial amounts of all of these items, being sure to date food items with a permanent marker to aid rotation. I keep a printed inventory, so I know how much I need, how much I have, and what I've budgeted for that week. Equipment needs are: Katadyn TRK Filter system, grain mill, Dutch oven, 5 oil lamps (I have several already!), lamp oil, water storage unit, small generator (for freezer only). Total cost: $1000.00. Hubby and I have made sure that everything we plan to purchase now are things we would use under any emergency circumstance.

Last year we had a terrible snow storm, roads were impassable, power outages lasted for days and we were not prepared. We've also been through the experience of busted water mains and boil water advisories. Total preparations are a little over $3000.00. For a family of 8 for one year, I don't think that is too bad! Sorry this post is so long, but I hope this is helpful to anyone with a large family who doesn't know where to start (been there, done that :-D!!)



Hubby opted to use granite rather than brick in the construction, and was able to get as much as he wants for FREE from the local monument works (they have a pile of broken stone). He unloaded it in the backyard and I'm just sure the neighbors must think we are constructing a mausoleum :-D



We ordered 350# of golden wheat from Emergency Essentials. It is vacuum packed in metallized bags and in 5 gal. "super pals." It will last indefinitely. However, your best bet may be to borrow a canning device from a Mormon cannery near you, buy their cans and oxygen ABS packets and do it yourself...especially if you can buy your own wheat. The Mormons will also allow you to bring items like wheat, sugar, flour etc. to their operation and can on their premises. This is great if you prefer whole wheat flour to their white flour, or have bags of lentils or say barley from Walton's. I know folks who have found a deal on an item, loaded up and spent the day at an L.D.S. cannery. They have been great in helping out "the gentiles" as they refer to us.

I have seen the 5 gal. mylar bags for sale at E.E. or one of the other preparedness companies. Of course, you can get buckets and gamma seals from many places. It depends on how much wheat you will be using whether you use #10 cans, or 5 gal pails. As long as you use the ABS packs, your wheat should last many years



If you're going to be in an RV, you might want to pour a concrete pad to park it on and sink some metal loops into it to tie your RV down with. I've been in a 26' long 1981 Itasca RV during a serious storm in South OK/north TX, and the thing was rocking like a cradle, and we were fully loaded with 76 gallons of gas, two LP tanks, and a good sized water tank. The rain actually blew UP through the evaporation channels in the windows in the back.

Another reason you might want a poured pad is that air will leak out of those tires over time, and I remember how much fun you can have on the older RVs getting them level so the LP will run the fridge / heater. On the newer ones, I think you punch a button, and it auto-levels. Sure beats running around one of the things in the rain, and putting a block under one wheel, trying again, etc., but that might not work post teotwaki, either.



Check out the web site at

There are instructions to make a Solar Dehydrator



Waterglass (liquid sodium silicate) has several uses, one of them is for storing fresh eggs for extended periods of time. Here is a quote from Lehman's ad:

"Preserve eggs for months with Waterglass. Mix one part Waterglass with ten parts cooled, boiled water and pour into a large, stone crock. Wipe off fresh eggs with a flannel cloth and place in solution (eggs should be covered with 2"). Cover crock and store in a cool, dry place. (From "The Boston Cooking School Cook Book" by Fannie Farmer, c. 1886) Waterglass (liquid sodium silicate) - One gallon bucket will preserve 50 dozen eggs. Non hazardous; fumeless. $21.95"




From BALL BLUE BOOK (1985): "Wash, dip in boiling water for 30 seconds, then cold water to remove the skins. Core. Cut into slices l/4 inch thick. Dry at 145F until crisp. Use in soups, sauces or combined with other vegetables for flavor. Can be powdered and used in making tomato sauces, paste or catsup".

From PUTTING FOOD BY (4th ed 1991): "The newest commercial put-by food to reach celebrity status at this writing is the imported sun-dried tomato -- a dark-red morsel usually salted, tough, and expensive. Almost always from Italy, where it is used much as North American cooks use their home-canned tomatoes, it is the plum/pasta/Roma type, the chunky little oblong without much juice but mighty in flavor. Since the mid-eighties it has superseded the classic "canner" in our catalogs.

"To reconstitute unpeeled salted halves: cover with hot water, let stand until soft and plumped. If the water is not too salty, cook them in it for sauces and soups, etc. To hold for snipping -- used like pimientos or olives for a garnish -- remove from soak water, rinse if you like, pat dry, and put in a storage jar with olive oil to cover.

"Italian Style, unpeeled: Wash well, halve lengthwise; remove stem base and heavy midrib. Salt to remove moisture from tissues: spread flattened halves on a platter, cut side up, sprinkle 1 tsp. canning salt for each 2 pound of tomatoes; stack several layers, weight with a plate for an hour. Steam blanch 4 minutes.

May be sun dried or done in a drier. "Dry test: pliable but not soft. Store bought ones are quite tough, but they have traveled far."

For years, we simply cut tomatoes and dried them -- the machine drying gives us a better product in our humid climate. For the past season, we cut, then salted the tomatoes --...didn't cut out ribs, seeds, or peel them. The flavor was much superior with the little salting we did, plus the color was darker and more attractive.

BTW, cherry tomatoes, cut in half and salted, then dried to crispness, make very nice, bite-sized "raisins" that can be reconstituted and added to pasta salads for color and intense flavor!



It is likely that radio stations would have alternative power during a crisis, e.g. during a hurricane, etc. So I bought a crank radio from C. Crane, the importer, it is $109 for the am/fm/sw "Freeplay" style. You can also get a sw antenna and a solar battery charger converted to plug into the radio and then you don't have to crank, but you have to invest in a couple of nicads. You can order it safely on-line at . I think it is probably worth the money and is the only pricey thing we are getting.

You can get one of those small radios at the following web site:

It sells for $24.97 and is solar powered for day time and has a hand crank for night use (40 cranks/20 minutes) Also uses two AA batteries. This is an AM/FM radio only. No short wave.



The survival food market is overwhelmed by the demand. There in Utah, the Mormons are used to stocking up on food, since their religion mandates having a one-year supply. There are several dried food and bulk food dealers in the intermountain region. None of them are able to meet the demand. People in large numbers are becoming aware of the implications of teotwaki, and are taking action NOW. One dealer had people flying out to Utah with their life savings, renting U-Hauls, and showing up at the door, demanding that they fill their trucks! The guy said that people are writing checks for $50,000 worth of food! I could be all wet, but it seems to me that if you stock up on 50 pound bags of dried beans, flour, oil, rice and pasta, and add lots of canned goods, a family could get by pretty well while helping their neighbors. I can't imagine being happy knowing I had thousands of dollars worth of food squirreled away while my neighbors and friends went without. So we're putting away some basics and storing water. I haven't heard of any runs on the grocery stores yet, so as long as you can buy canned goods by the case, the corner grocery will still be a viable food source. Some of the bulk vendors are already so back ordered that they're saying they won't be able to ship before 1/1/00, so they've stopped taking new orders. Public awareness is going to peak pretty soon, which is good, because the more people who have stores put back, the less serious the crisis will be for everybody.



This is the number one rule of food storage. Imagine spending a wad of cash on weird dehydrated space shuttle food, then being stuck with it for the next year, or two or three, till you choked it all down! I have noticed no price increases for basic stuff like rice, beans, and pasta. Prices for these primary products should be going DOWN since wheat is at its lowest price since the depression -- around $2 a bushel, which is 60 pounds and which makes 60 pounds of flour. There is a lot of food around, what is short is the ability of the food storage industry to process and package.

Buy flour and bake your own bread; if what we are concerned about happens in January 2000, you'll have to do this now anyway, and now is the time to make your mistakes, not in January 2000. besides, home baked bread is better for you, and the process of making bread is a very healing thing to do. if I am angry and depressed about something, such feelings never survive baking bread. I always say the Lord's prayer and Hail Mary as I knead the dough, and I highly recommend this as a spiritual practice. Not to mention the good eating.

Another way of preserving food cheaply is to buy produce directly from farmers and dry it yourself in a less-than-$20 dehydrator you can get at Waltons. I have bags of shredded carrots and zucchini, all ready to go into tomato sauce.

Regarding public awareness, The Weekly World News, a tabloid, has a front page article on its issue of 9-15. the headlines read: "January 1, 2000: the day the earth will stand still! All banks will fail! Food supplies will be depleted! Electricity will be cut off! The stock market will crash! Vehicles using computer chips will stop dead! Telephones will cease to function! Domino effect will cause a worldwide depression!"

So of course I bought it, immediately. IF nothing else, it will be a magnificent souvenir. the article itself basically reports the worst-case Road Warrior TEOTWAKI scenario.




I was thinking about how to dehydrate foods without using electricity. I finally decided to take two of my trays from my(electric) Excaliber and load them with squash and put them in my gas oven. I'd heard you can dehydrate by pilot light. It's working wonderfully. It usually takes a day and a half to dry a tray but the nice thing is that it's not costing me anything extra: the pilot light would be on regardless.

Now my husband wants to have our gas stove changed over to propane (they can do thus by altering the burners ) because if there's a SERIOUS electric breakdown in teotwaki, the gas won't be pumping through the pipes for awhile either, but we could still cook a long time on 250 gallons of propane. I'm wondering, does propane use a pilot light?

To answer your question about what the Excaliber trays are like. They are a basic square with a plastic screen on them. Easily duplicated like the other post that was on today's list. I also know that we tend to have shear curtains hanging around for some great purpose in the future. I would think they would work too. I've used them for cheesemaking as well. The oven pilot keeps the oven about 150 degrees at all times. I'm actually really enjoying dehydrating this way after having used my electric dehydrator for years. No buzz of the fan to bug me! doesn't put all that heat into the house for the summer. I do like the outdoor dehydrator as well.

I have two friends in TN that have built outdoor dehydrators they both work well. However, they built them so large that it takes a lot of food to fill them up. I like this method of a little at a time. It's no sweat to chop or grate up two trays full and set them into my oven...every other day. Plus when I need to bake, it's no big deal to find a place to set two trays while I need the oven. However, I would caution you about putting the trays back in the oven too soon....(smile)...I kind of warped one of my Excaliber trays not meaning too! It still fits in the electric dehydrator thankfully!

We also knew some folks that dehydrated in the window of their car all the time. I have also used old clean sheer curtains over the top of my food that is dehydrating outdoors. It works great. They can usually be purchased from Goodwill for a $1 or so.



2-2/3 c. white sugar 3-1/2 c. white flour

2/3 c. veg. shortening 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

4 eggs 1 tsp. cinnamon

2/3 c. buttermilk 2 tsp. baking soda

2c. mashed ripe bananas 1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla 1 tsp. salt

Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs-mix well. Add buttermilk and vanilla-mix well. place dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add creamed ingredients to the dry and mix. Stir in bananas. Prepare seven one-pint wide-mouth canning jars with vegetable shortening. Place one cup of batter in each jar.( do not use more than one cup or batter will overflow and jar will not seal) Place jars evenly spaced on a cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Working quickly, wipe rim, place lid and ring on jar and secure. Jars will seal quickly. Repeat with remaining jars. When ready to serve, bread will side out. A properly sealed quick bread will stay fresh for one year.



I know the folks say that brown rice will go rancid but I bought some brown rice in a 50 lb bag and it took us over a year to eat it. I had filled up my Tupperware container full of rice and then put the rest in a 50 lb bucket. That bucket inadvertently got mixed up with my storage buckets of wheat. We discovered the half full rice bucket 2 years later. I've now used all that rice and it sure didn't taste "off" in any way. However, we did notice that it required more water to cook it for some reason



I store eggs with Sodium Silicate. It's the same stuff you get at the auto parts store or pharmacy. I found mine by the quart jar (much cheaper this way) for about $6 at the local pharmacy. We bought it to seal the engine of an old truck....and by the worked great. The couple that we gave the truck too are still driving it a year after we did that seal thing with the sodium silicate. They've had no problems!

P.S. I have a friend that got the WalMart pharmacy to special order her some...also they special ordered her citric acid for cheese making and it was much cheaper than anywhere we could find it!



I have a most wonderful salsa recipe. It's main ingredient is zucchini of all things. It is sooo good. Everyone who has ever tasted it wanted the recipe. Here it is, hope you enjoy it.

Maria's Zucchini Salsa

10 - 15 cups grated unpeeled zucchini ( about 3 - 5 medium zucchinis )

8 oz. jalapenos ( the first time I used canned jalapenos and it was mild,

then I used about 3 jalapenos and it was a little spicier -- you can add up

to 16 oz. but that's too spicy for me )

3 - 5 cups chopped onion ( about 4 medium onions )

Mix and refrigerate overnight. Use plastic gloves when handling jalapenos. (I didn't and suffered -- real hot, red hands all night long ) Rinse and drain the next day.

5 - 10 cups chopped tomatoes

5 cloves garlic

2 cups vinegar

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 gallon tomato sauce

1 tsp. cumin

1 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. dry mustard

1 TBSP chili powder

1 TBSP corn starch

2 TBSP cilantro ( coriander )

Simmer above ingredients together with the chilled mixture for 1/2 hour. Process pints for 20 minutes or quarts for 45 minutes ( water bath ). Pressure canning, process pints at 10 lbs. for 15 minutes. Makes about 17 pints.



Kombucha is a refreshing, healthy tea made from a fungus (!) which you can grow very easily from a starter culture. I have been on a Kombucha newsletter but I can't remember how to subscribe to it If you email to Bev she can give you the info, as she runs the list. There are plenty of people giving the Kombucha away for free or for mailing costs that are on the list, and people are asking for them, and usually they can hook up with someone close, or someone will mail them one. There are different strains of Kombucha available



If you can get pallets cheap or free, they make adequate firewood. However, you have to watch for nails when you burn them. The nails are those spiral kind and they are hard to remove. Be sure to clean the nails out of your woodstove quite often, 2 or 3 times a day I would suggest. If the stove has grates in they will begin to warp out of shape because of the nails. I'm not much on science so I can't tell you why the grates do that and what effect the nails have other than causing them to warp, but I do have the practical experience of having to replace the grating before finding out why it was warping.



This jelly is very similar in flavor and color to apple jelly, with a honey overtone. During the depression...families might sell their apples, if they had any, and since corncobs were plentiful, after the kernels were used...this recipe was developed. No waste!!!


12 sweet corn cobs 4 c. water 4 c. sugar

l box fruit pectin

Bring water with cobs, to a boil; boil for l0 mins. Measure 3 c. liquid & strain through a cheesecloth. Put strained fluid into a large saucepan, add pectin. Bring to rolling boil. Add sugar; bring mixture back to a boil. Simmer for 3 mins., then skim. Add food coloring, if desired. Pour into scalded jars & seal. Jelly will be clear & taste like apple-honey.



No Fail (and no weigh) Soap Recipe

2 cans (3 lb) veggie shortening

1 can (12 0z) lye

2 cups water

Mix lye and water in enamel pan, OUTSIDE, set aside to cool. Melt shortening, set aside to cool. When both are hot to the touch (on the outside of the pan) pour lye into shortening. Stir until consistency of mashed potatoes. Pour into prepared mold and let set 24 hours, covered. Uncover, poke it and see if it's firm. If it is, turn it out on newspapers and cut it into bars. Put them someplace safe and let cure for 2-3 weeks, minimum. If its not firm, cover and let sit for another 24 hours, then turn out and cut. Use butter tubs or glass cakes pans as molds.

For much greater detail about my plans for adapting my "urban homestead" to meet the looming challenges of peak oil, climate instability, and economic irrationality, see Gatewood Urban Homestead, the permaculture design for my home.