Preparedness Tip Wednesday: Endless Hot Water without Electricity

This engineer shows you how to build a water heater out of used parts and used a Stovetec Rocket stove (similar to a Kelly Kettle) to start the thermo siphoning process. Remember you need to have enough water stored to have excess water aside from drinking. 
What do you have in your emergency preparedness supplies for heating water?
The Sun Oven is a great source for boiling smaller amounts of water for cooking and cleaning and personal use.


Foodie Friday: Using Canned Powdered Milk

In this post I wanted to share how to use powdered milk in your recipes.

Can I substitute powdered milk for regular?
In any recipe calling for milk, simply add the powdered milk to the other dry ingredients. Sift to blend, then add water for the milk called for in the recipe.

Whipped Evaporated Milk
1 cup water
2/3 cup Country Cream Milk
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Thoroughly chill evaporated milk. Add lemon juice and whip until staff. Sweeten and flavor as desired.

Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup Country Cream Milk
1 cup sugar

Blend thoroughly in blender. Can be stored in refrigerator or frozen.

Buttermilk or Sour Milk
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice
1/3 cup Country Cream Milk


Foodie Friday: So why Country Cream Milk?

My Family Prepared did a post a few years back that I found where she gives a review of Country Cream Milk that I wanted to share with our readers. You can find the whole article here. Don't forget we are doing orders for Country Cream Milk in the month of November!

Country Cream Powdered Milk is my brand of choice

It uses the least amount of powder,
which results in easier mixing (less foam),
and in my opinion tastes better than the other brand.

So how about Nutrition Comparison:
Country Cream Powdered Milk to Skim Milk:

1 c. Country Cream Powdered Milk:               1 c. Skim Milk:
Total Fat: 0g                                                     Total Fat: 0g
Saturated Fat: 0g                                              Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 5 mg                                             Cholesterol: 5 mg
Sodium: 110 mg                                               Sodium: 130 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 12g                                 Total Carbohydrates: 13g
Dietary Fiber: 0g                                              Dietary Fiber: 0g
 Sugars: 12g                                                      Sugars: 12g
Protein: 8g                                                        Protein: 8g
                                                                          Potassium: 410mg

They are almost identical - excpet that Skim Milk contains potassium, and powdered milk does not.

So... lets go over some of the basics: 
(Following text taken directly from can):
DIRECTIONS: Mixes instantly with a spoon.  Just add the desired amount of water and stir.  2 2/3 c. powder + 1 gallon of water = 1 gallon liquid.  2/3 c. powder + 1 quart water = 1 quart liquid.
For cream like consistency, mix one part powder to two parts water.  Best when chilled over night.
INGREDIENTS: 100% real instant nonfat milk, Vitamins A& D.

How about a Quality Check:
Smell: powder and liquid hardly have any smell at all
Taste: Taste is similar to skim milk, but you can tell a difference (depending on the person).  My nefew thinks it is 'sweeter' than regular milk
Texture: Just like water - no powdery residue
Looks: Just like skim milk
How long does it last once made?: I wouldn't go longer than 5-7 days

What about Shelf Life?
There is nothing written on the actual milk container.
The following information was retrieved from my own personal research regarding nonfat milk (regular or instant) - I belive I found it at the UofU food extension site, but I can't remember.

Temperature Stored At:
50 degrees F or below = 52 months
70 degrees F = 24-36 months
90 degrees F = 3 months

Is it worth it? 
In my mind, absolutely.  It would be awful to be without milk in an emergency.  
However, it has a shelf life of just over 4 years (at best), so as always, I recommend that you start using it if you are going to store it.
I always have a can opened in my pantry, ready to be used, so I can rotate through my supply.

And by 'ready to be used' I don't mean that we drink it.  Powdered milk can be substituted for regular milk in any recipe, which is a good way to rotate slowly through your powdered milk supply, without having to actually drink powdered milk.  
Which in turn means you aren't wasting anything!
To substitue powdered milk for regular milk in recipes, simply add the powder to the dry ingredients.  When adding the wet ingredients, include the water.

This was a comment left on My Family Prepared Blog:

I bought a lot of this milk in Y2K Dec. 1999 and have it stored in an unheated room in my basement under my front porch. I was wondering if it was still good, so I called Country Cream. They said if you store it in a cool dry place, that it will keep for 20 yrs., so I opened a can of my 13 year old Country Cream dry milk and tried it. Tasted great! Country Cream said that the milk won't make you sick regardless of how old it is, it just won't taste very good and may have lost some of it's nutrients. They recommend keeping it in at least 70 degrees or below temperatures, not in your garage where it gets hot in summers. This milk does have one of those stay fresh packets in it when you open it up. We store Nestle's Quik for those in our family who don't like the dry milk taste. You cannot tell it's dry milk at all with the Nestle's Quik in it. Just thought you'd like to know...


Preparedness Tip Wednesday: Winter 2014

Unless you are new to the DFW area or the United States you are sure to remember "Icemageddon 2013" last winter. It was pretty bad a nightmare!! Amazon and other businesses couldn't get their packages shipped on time and the semi-trucks couldn't get into the cities to deliver there supplies to stores. 
Well, guess what?! They are predicting that this winter is going to be WORSE!
"The National Weather Service models are predicting a 99% chance that this coming winter will start sooner and be harsher than any we have seen, possibly in this century. Weather science experts are saying the amount of snow we can expect could be many times what we normally get, in most areas. The northeast and midwest states will probably be hardest hit, but the expected harsh winter weather could affect the entire continental United States."

If you know of a local farm you can buy eggs from them and keep them unwashed and they will stay shelf stable for most of the winter.  When you can afford it, take advantage of bulk buying or buying extra of your favorite items to add to a food storage so you can have the supplies you need if you are unable to get to outside food sources (which by that time they won't have anything available anyways).

We also recommend buying a solar oven. We like the SUN OVENs the best! We will be doing orders next month for freeze dried food in mylar bags which taste great and are a great addition to your food storage. Also stock up on water and fuel!
Here are a few other tips: 

This type of severe weather goes far beyond mere inconvenience, it is life threatening.  A greater amount of snow than normal could shut down major cities and cause lengthy power outages.  The combination of no heat and probable food shortages is a recipe for disaster.  The time to prepare for this is now, as the weather could turn as soon as the beginning of October.
What should you do?  How can you protect your family from the hazards that this winter will present?  Prepare for it now!  Better you should start stocking up for the upcoming emergency now than try to run out and buy what you need when the snow is knee deep and everyone else is also trying to do the same thing.  Prices will be inflated, shelves may be empty, people could panic and you could be hurt or worse if you are caught out in those conditions. 
What should you start stocking up on? Some of these things I am sure you probably know, but others you may not think of.  Start with the basics.
Heat – if you lose power and your heat does not work without it, the first thing you will need is an alternative source of heat.  Mr Heater portable propane powered heater was my choice.  Whichever heater you decide on, make sure that it is approved for indoor use, and even then you may want to slightly crack a window.  Make sure to buy a lot of propane tanks, so you do not run out.  Never NEVER use outdoor BBQ grills, kerosene heaters, or any other type of heater that is for outdoor use only.  You can be overcome by fumes from them. 

Video Tutorial – How to Use Mr Heater Portable Buddy Heater

Heavy Clothing – the best would be snowsuits such as what you wear for skiing or winter hiking, but you can also use thermal underwear, wool socks and insulated boots and parka.  Don’t forget the hat and gloves.  You may also want to invest in some hand warmers.
Food – when a food shortage hits, and it will when the delivery trucks cannot get to the stores, the first thing to go is the staples.  Milk, bread, eggs and such will be gone almost immediately.   To avoid this situation, buy good quality powdered milk (Country Cream is what we love) and store it in a cool dry place.  Kept moisture free, powdered milk stays good for 2 to 10 years, so don’t be afraid to buy a lot.  Loaves of bread should also be on your list.  Bread can be frozen with no major damage to it, and if you lose power, you can always keep it outside where it will stay frozen.  Eggs can also be frozen, not in their shell, but first crack and beat them and then pour them into ice cube trays.  When they are frozen, pop them out and put them in freezer bags.  Can goods, pasta, rice, beans are all things that you can stock up on that will last a long time.  How much food to store will be determined by how many people in your household.  Don’t forget to also buy the means to cook your food.  A small propane stove is best, but you can use an outdoor grill if you want to cook outside, but beware, the smell of cooking food may bring unwanted guests for dinner!
Radio – a portable radio that runs on batteries is essential to keep up on what is going on outside your home.  Battery operated or solar chargers for your cellphone, tablet or laptop is also a good idea.  Being able to communicate with others during a weather emergency is important
Light – stocking up on candles, flashlights and batteries is a good idea, but if you have a lengthy power outage, oil lamps are a much better and cheaper choice.  They give off more light and burn a very long time on very little oil.  You can buy oil lamps(about $10) a Walmart along with lamp oil ($6) and extra wicks.($2)
It may seem a bit overwhelming, but the better you prepare, the safer and happier you will feel.  But remember, it is much better not to tell anyone about the preparations you have made for the coming winter, or  you may find desperate people showing up on your doorstep when their food runs out and their houses have no heat.

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