Monday, October 19, 2009

Mountain House Freeze Dried Food on Sale at Emergency Essentials

I got an e-mail from Emergency Essentials (  They're having a 25% off sale on all Mountain House meals in #10 cans. 

According to the e-mail, the Chicken A La King & Noodles is $26.62 (it's normally $35.49).  Their Turkey Tetrazzini is $26.99 (it's usually $35.99).  I've had both of these in the 2-person pouches, and they were very good.  There are similar price savings on the other meals.

The sale goes from Oct. 16th through the 30th.  So if you've been thinking of stocking up on MH meals, now might be a good time.  You might also want to add your e-mail address to their e-mail list so you can get these notices, too.

Now I have to go check my budget to see whether I can squeeze in a couple more cans of food this month.

This Month's Food Storage Purchase

I'm late reporting on my food storage purchase for this month.  It's a tight month financially, so my purchase was smaller than normal.  I got a #10 can of Provident Pantry (R) Freeze Dried Banana Slices, a #10 can of Mountain House (R) Freeze Dried Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, and a #10 can of Scrambled Egg Mix.

I've gone though 1 can of the Scrambled Egg Mix already, so I know I'll eat this.  I know I like the scrambled eggs.  But one of these days I'm going to have to try making french bread with it.  And it should also be good for dipping sliced green tomatoes into before dredging them in the seasoned flour I use when I make fried green tomatoes.  I've been eating lots of those lately.

The freeze-dried bananas are very good.  They have a nice, crispy crunch.  And they taste just like bananas (who would have thought?).  I'm sure I could re-hydrate them and make an excellent banana cream pie.  And they would be good to take on a bike ride--they wouldn't squish like fresh bananas.  Personally, I like the freeze-dried peaches better, but that's because I like peaches better.  Firenzi also gives his stamp of approval.

I've eaten a lot of Mountain House Freeze Dried Spaghetti with Meat Sauce the last three winters when the power's been out for days.  OK, it isn't as good as fresh-made spaghetti.  But it's still very good.  And it's easier to fix. I've always had it in the 2-person pouch before, so it's nice to get it in the #10 can so I can re-hydrate just as much as I want**.

I scooped some of the spaghetti into quart-size freezer bags and wrote directions on the bag for re-hydrating.  I'll be able to re-hydrate them just like a freezer-bag meal:  dump in the almost-boiling water, put in a cozy for 10 minutes, and supper's ready!  These are going into my BOB.  I'll get some MREs for my BOB, too.  It's nice to have a variety of things.  And I'll put a couple bags of spaghetti in my desk at work for those days when I forget to bring a lunch (it happens occasionally).  A bag of freeze-dried spaghetti will be cheaper than going to Subway for a sandwich.  And I won't be hungry a half hour later.  Hmmm, I wonder whether I could make some homemade texas toast and dehydrate it.  It would be good with the spaghetti.

Oh, I almost forgot.  The last thing I got this month is a metallized liner, like for using in food-storage buckets.  You can seal these with an iron (you know...for ironing clothes, which almost no one does any more).  I thought I could cut it up and make individual packets of seasonings for freezer-bag meals.  You can put the seasonings into a zip-lock snack bag, but that seems like overkill for, say, a tablespoon of Mrs. Dash and a teaspoon of Johnny's Seasoning Salt.  If I make packets out of the metallized liners, I can then seal them with my iron.  It should work.

**The web page says that after you open the #10 can of the Mountain House freeze-dried meals, you should eat it within a couple weeks.  I could never understand that.  Most freeze-dried foods last longer than that if you seal them back up again.  It prevented me from bying MH freeze-dried foods in a can, because I knew I wouldn't be able to eat the whole can in a couple weeks.  So I e-mailed Emergency Essentials and asked them why the MH food would last only a couple weeks.  They said that estimate was based on the assumption that someone was taking the food hiking, so it would be in a backpack in the blazing sun and subject to moisture.  They said it should last as long as any other freeze-dried food if stored properly in a cool dark place.  So that's really good to know.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Another Way to Store Cheese

While browsing around the web the other day I discovered that there's another way to store cheese.  You can buy big chunks of cheese and cut it up into portions that you'd use in a couple days.  Then you can dip it in melted cheese wax (or brush on the cheese wax) and store it in a reasonably cool place.

The wax seals the surface so it won't get moldy.

You do this with the hard cheeses:  cheddar, parmesan, etc.  Soft cheese has too much water and might go bad.

You can get cheese wax on the Internet.  Just Google "cheese wax" and you'll be amazed what you find.

Here's a website that tells you more about waxing cheese:

There are other websites that talk about how to do it.  Again, just Google "cheese wax".

Pretty cool, huh?

Quesadillas made with Freeze Dried Cheddar Cheese

This morning I made a quesadilla with my freeze-dried cheddar cheese, and it was really good.

Here's how I did it:

First, I measured out 1/2 cup freeze-dried cheddar cheese.  I put it in a 2-cup measuring cup, covered it with warm water, and set it to soak for 5 minutes.

Then I heated my griddle.  It goes over two burners on my stove, so I have room to cook 2 tortillas at the same time.  I lightly oiled the griddle and put on the 2 tortillas.

When the timer went off I drained the cheddar cheese and left it draining until I needed it.

The half of the griddle that sits on the big burner always gets hotter than the half that sits on the little burner.  But that's good because the tortilla on that half of the griddle cooks faster.

When the tortilla over the big burner started to get brown, I turned it over and plopped the drained cheese on it.  I spread the cheese evenly over the tortilla, to within 1/2 inch of the edges. 

By then the other tortilla was ready, so I put it over the cheese, cooked side towards the cheese.

By the time that was done, the bottom of the first tortilla was ready, and the cheese was partly melted--enough to stick to the top tortilla--so I turned the quesadilla over. 

I let it sit for a minute or so until the bottom was brown, then took it off the griddle.  Let cool for a minute, then cut into six pieces with a pizza cutter.

That's it.  Easy peasy quesadilla with freeze-dried cheddar cheese.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Adding to Prepper Blogs

I just went to Prepper Blogs ( and added Food Storage in Vernonia.  We're now listed in the "Homesteading and Sustainable Living" section.  Yeah us!

Do you know about the "Preppers" blogs?  There's an American Preppers Network, and Canadian Preppers, and lots of State Preppers (including Oregon Preppers Network ( .  And Prepper Blogs is a place you can go to find all the links to them, and to other people's preparedness blogs. 

So if you're looking for more information on food storage and other preparedness topic, check them out.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Whole Egg Powder for Breakfast

I found a way to use the Whole Egg Powder with my Hash Brown Potatoes for breakfast.  Instead of making scrambled eggs with the Whole Egg Powder, I mixed it with water and just dumped it over the top of the hash browns about 30 seconds before they were done cooking.  Then stirred it in to cook.

I reconstituted some dehydrated onion and freeze-dried green peppers and celery along with the hash browns, so I had some veggies in there too.

I really liked it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Food Storage Spaghetti

OK, I'll admit it.  The hamburger wasn't from my food storage.  I could have used freeze-dried hamburger, or home-dehydrated hamburger.  But I thawed some hamburger I had in the freezer.  So this isn't entirely food-storage spaghetti.

Before crumbling and cooking the hamburger, I set about 1/2 cup mixed freeze-dried green peppers, freeze-dried celery, and dehydrated onion to soaking.  I browned and crumbled the hamburger (seasoned with 3-4 shakes of Johnny's Seasoning Salt) and dumped in the soaked veggies.  Then I added 4 cups of water, 1 cup tomato powder, and 1/2 cup Spaghetti Seasoning (from Emergency Essentials).  As I whisked in the tomato powder, the sauce thickened more than I wanted, so I dumped in more water until I liked the consistency--about 1/2 cup.  I simmered for 15 minutes, and it was done.

I really liked the spaghetti.  OK, it wasn't Preggo, but it was tasty.  I didn't notice that acidy taste I've found when using tomato powder before, so either the cooking or the seasonings got rid of it.

I just dumped the tomato powder right into the water in the pan.  It seemed to dissolve fine, with no clumping.  I just whisked it in with a wire whisk. 

The label on the tomato powder can says to mix a 2:1 ratio of water and powder for tomato sauce.  But remember that when you use tomato sauce from a can, you also add water.  So you really need a 4:1 or so ratio of water to tomato powder for your spaghetti sauce.

It's nice to know that if I have to eat entirely from my food storage I can still have tasty spaghetti.  It'll be even better once I get some food-storage hamburger.