Prepare Every Needful Thing

"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear"

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Cooking With Food Storage–January 2015

Egyptian Lentil Soup

Lentils2 Tablespoons dried onion

½ cup sliced dehydrated carrots

¼ cup diced dehydrated celery

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

1 Tablespoon olive oil

16 cups water

4 bouillon cubes (chicken or vegetable)

3 cups lentils

1 teaspoon salt

3 Tablespoons lemon juice


Rinse and pick over lentils. Place all ingredients in a large stock pot EXCEPT LEMON JUICE and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce the heat, partially cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the lentils are very tender and the broth is slightly thickened. Stir in the lemon juice.

Serves 10.



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Cooking With Food Storage–December 2014

Hamburger Buns in 60 Minutes

Hanburger BunsMix together and let sit for 30 minutes:

3 ½ cups warm (around 100F) water

¾ cup oil

¾ cup sugar or ½ cup honey

4 Tablespoons yeast

Stir in:

9-10 ½ cups white, wheat or mixed flour (add just until dough holds together)

1 Tablespoon salt


Turn out onto floured surface. Knead lightly and roll to ½” thickness. Cut out using a clean tuna can, drinking glass or biscuit cutter. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, not quite close enough to touch. Cover with a cloth and let rise 20 minutes. Bake in preheated 425F oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

*Can also be formed into dinner rolls or cinnamon rolls.*


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Cooking With Food Storage–November 2014

Making Baby Food from Food Storagebaby eating

Spoonable Baby Foods

  • Make fruit and vegetable purees from dried. Apples, bananas, peaches, apricots, peas, sweet and white potatoes and carrots can all be reconstituted with a little extra water. Traditionally dehydrated foods will then need to be run through a food mill (Nuk makes a baby food mill for about $12, or buy a full-size stainless steel version for around $30), but many freeze-dried foods are brittle enough that they could be crushed (such as in a plastic bag with a rolling pin) prior to rehydrating.
  • Quick or rolled oats can be pulverized in a blender or food processor (don’t go too long or you will turn it into flour). Mix ½ cup boiling water with about 2 Tablespoons oat cereal and whisk for about 30 seconds to blend.
  • Rice cereal can be made by pulverizing whole brown or white rice in a blender or spice grinder. Mix ½ cup boiling water with about 2 Tablespoons rice cereal and whisk for about 30 seconds to blend.

Emergency Baby Formula

This simple formula can be used in an emergency when other options are not available.

8 oz milk base, made from:

  • 1/3 cup sterile water and 2/3 cup boiled milk OR
  • ¾ cup + 1 Tablespoon sterile water and 3 Tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sterile water and ¼ cup powdered milk

Additional ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon sweetener (sugar or brown rice syrup, nothing artificial!), for carbohydrates
  • 2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses, for iron (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon nutritional yeast, for B vitamins (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon fish oil, for good fats and vitamins A & D (once a day, optional)

Shake or blend thoroughly. If baby is small, water can be pre-warmed on the stove or even inside your jacket. Aim for body temperature. Use formula within 1-2 hours or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Note: Goat milk is often tolerated better by dairy-sensitive individuals and is available both canned and dry.


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Cooking With Food Storage–October 2014

Homemade Tortillas

flour_tortillas3 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

3 Tablespoons oil

1 cup milk (reconstituted dry is fine)

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in oil and milk. Stir wet ingredients into dry, first using a spoon and then shifting to your hands as the flour is incorporated. Knead on a floured surface about 10 turns, until smooth. Divide into 16-18 balls and roll out into 6” diameter rounds. Cook on an ungreased griddle or frying pan until golden spots appear; turn and cook on the second side. Place inside a large folded dishtowel to keep from drying out. If they need to sit longer than just a few minutes, place cloth and tortillas inside a plastic bag. Serve fresh.


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Cooking With Food Storage–September 2014

Whole Wheat and Oatmeal Bread

bread3 cups very hot water

2 cups quick oats

2 Tablespoons salt

1 cup wrist-warm water

¾ cup oil

¾ cup honey

3 Tablespoons yeast

4 eggs (or reconstituted powdered egg)

2 cups wheat flour

3 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten

7 or more cups of wheat flour

 Stir together hot water, oats and salt and set aside to cool.

Stir together warm water, oil, honey and yeast and let sit for about 5-10 minutes for yeast to develop. Add eggs, first measure (2 cups) of flour and gluten and beat for about a minute. Knead in additional flour until dough is smooth and elastic. Return to bowl, cover and place in warm place until dough has risen to about double, around an hour. Deflate gently and let rise second time. Knead a couple more turns and form into loaves. Place in well-greased loaf pans and cover. In 30 minutes, turn on oven to 400F. When oven is hot, place loaves on middle shelf and bake for 10 minutes. Decrease oven temperature to 350F and bake an additional 25-30 minutes.

Makes 2 large loaves, or 2 medium and 1 small.



Cooking With Food Storage–August 2014

10-Minute Home-Made Ice Cream

vanilla-ice-creamThis is a great idea from:

 1 cup water
5 T. instant milk
3 T. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 gallon sized bag
1 quart sized bag
1 cup salt

Mix water, milk, sugar and vanilla in quart sized bag.  Seal well. Fill Gallon sized bag half way full with ice and sprinkle salt over it.  Place quart sized bag inside gallon bag.  Shake and turn bag (do a little dance if you want…we did!) for 5-7 minutes.  Open gallon sized bag and remove quart sized bag.  Quickly rinse it off with cold water.  Open and serve yourself some ice cream!  Enjoy!


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Cooking With Food Storage–July 2014

Cooking With Cast-Iron

cast-ironCast-iron can be an excellent choice for “preparedness” cookware. It can go from range to oven to fire to bean hole (see last month’s newsletter), it conducts and holds heat well and, with proper care, you will be able to pass it on to your grandchildren.

When selecting your cast-iron, consider how you will need to use it. Commonly purchased pans include dutch ovens, skillets and griddles. All are available in a variety of sizes to accommodate your household’s requirements.

Raw cast-iron is vulnerable to rust and requires oiling or enameling in order to protect it. Enameled pans are beautiful and durable, but also quite expensive and you would likely not wish to risk the finish by cooking over fire or coals. Oiling, or “seasoning” as the cooked-on oil coating is referred to, is likely preferable for our purposes.

Many pans are now available pre-seasoned. This can save a little time up front if you wish your pan to be seasoned prior to use, but make sure that the seasoning is in good shape and that you are comfortable eating whatever oil or wax was used.

To season your own cast-iron cookware you can:

  • Simply use it with plenty of high heat oil—see this chart and select oils for 350F and above. If you are consistent and careful in your cleaning methods, over time the oil will cook into a tough, non-stick coating.
  • Make popcorn in your pan! The combination of the oil, high heat and flying kernels of corn nicely spreads and cooks a thin coating of oil onto your pan. See here for details.
  • Use your oven (directions from this fabulous cast-iron article:

o    Put on a thin coat of oil/grease all over the cast iron skillet. Inside and outside.

o    Put foil under the skillet to catch any dripping oil.

o    Turn your fan on, because this is gonna smoke!

o    Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

o    Wipe out as much grease as you can with a paper towel.

o    Bake for another 45 minutes, then turn the oven off, leaving the door closed.

o    After an hour or more, remove from oven.

To clean cast-iron, use as little abrasion as necessary to remove leftover bits of food. You can use a paper towel, a nylon pan scraper or a dishcloth or, if something is badly stuck, you can add water to your pan and boil it loose. In the olden days, cast-iron would be scrubbed as necessary with dry salt. Typically, soap and harsh abrasives are not used as these can damage the seasoning. After water washing, dry thoroughly (a minute on a hot burner will do the trick), rub lightly with a little oil and store in a dry location.

Cast-iron has few downsides. You may not want to use it to cook acidic foods (although it will just strip off your seasoning and is unlikely to cause much damage to the pan itself) and also try to avoid dropping it. In addition to being extremely heavy and likely to cause damage to toes and flooring, cast iron is rather brittle and could actually shatter with a hard enough shock.


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Cooking With Food Storage–June 2014

Bean-Hole Beansbeans

When my wife was researching our family history, she told me about a unique cooking method her grandfather employed while working in the mines in Nevada.  He and his mining friends would fill a hole with hot coals and a covered pot of beans.  When they came home at night the beans were ready for dinner.  They called it bean-hole beans.  Having learned a little at Boy Scouts about dutch oven cooking (Thanks, Brother Patterson), I decided to see if I could repeat bean hole beans using a dutch oven but with a twist.  While living in Georgia I started making a variation on southern red beans and rice, which includes kidney beans, smoked sausage, a ham hock, and spices.  I put this into a dutch oven and then put it into a hole we’d prepared with coals and then covered with dirt.  That was Saturday at 8pm.  The next day after church we anxiously uncovered our dinner.  It turned out great, with one small exception.  In the process of uncovering the dutch oven, we had opened the lid a bit and some coals fell into the food.  I remembered the youtube video I had seen on bean hole beans and how they had wrapped their dutch ovens with aluminum foil before putting them into the ground.  That may be the way to go, or you might find another approach, but no matter what, find a way to keep that lid closed!

Here is the recipe I used:

First, soak 1 pound of red or kidney beans several hours and then drain and rinse.

Put them with the following ingredients into a dutch oven (or a crockpot if you don’t want to cook underground)

1 large onion, 1 green pepper, and several garlic cloves, sauteed

1 ham hock

1 smoked or Andouille sausage, cut into pieces

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon dried sage

1 tablespoon dried parsley

Additional salt to taste (sausage and ham hock can bring quite a bit of saltiness already)

If you do cook underground, you’ll need a lot of coals and a large hole.  The key here is to cook it for a long time so that the flavors from the sausage and ham hock can work their way into the beans.  If done right, it can be a really delicious, rich meal.  For more info, see some of the many instructional videos on “Bean Hole Beans” on


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Cooking With Food Storage–May 2014

Applesauce Bread

applesauce bread1 ¼ cups applesauce

1 cup sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

2 eggs (4 Tbsp Whole Egg Powder + 6 Tbsp water)

3 Tablespoons water

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, sugar, oil, eggs and milk; beat well. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt; stir until smooth. Fold in the pecans. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.

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Cooking With Food Storage–April 2014

Black Bean Burgers

blackbeanburger 0213-4 cups cooked black beans (2 15-oz cans)

8 oz aseptically packaged silken tofu

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1-2 Tablespoons dry chopped onion

3 Tablespoons dried parsley

4 teaspoons dried dill weed

¼ cup cider vinegar

4 teaspoons dry mustard

4 cups dry bread crumbs, cooked rice or quick oats


Place everything except last ingredient in food processor and puree. Transfer into a bowl and mix in your grain ingredient. Mixture will still be somewhat sticky and soft, but should form easily. Add more grain if necessary. Form into patties about 4” in diameter and ½” thick, using about ½ cup of mixture each. To cook, place in a greased skillet and cook 10 minutes per side, or place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 400F, ten minutes per side. Makes 12-16 burgers. These freeze well for a quick meal later!

(Note: The tofu is used as a binder. If you cannot eat soy you can use 4 eggs or an equivalent amount of powdered egg to be all shelf-stable.)