Wednesday, November 30, 2011
But as I puttered through my morning routine I was mulling over the information that this man had presented in his video. As much as I dearly love my American cousins and best friends, I do believe that Americans in general can be rather excitable. They get all up in arms and in a twist over things that Canadians tend to ignore. For instance, the pepper-spray incident to get at a good deal on Black Friday. I can't really see a Canadian shopper doing something along that line. It has been said that Canadians are like Vichyssoise...cold, half french and hard to stir.
This can be a good thing...or a bad thing. In this particular case, I'm going to say that our politeness and lack of excitability is going to prove a downfall. As many of us are aware, our illustrious government is more or less UP the *@! of the US government. What goes on in the south, does tend to spill over by way of convenient legislation into our backyards whether we like it or not.
Based on the definitions used in the current piece of legislation noted in the video, every farmer that's ever lost a finger to an auger is a potential threat. Every housewife with an impressive storage room - potential threat. Every hunter smart enough to weather protect his ammunition - potential threat. All of which could be arrested and detained without cause, trial or due process.
Take a few minutes (nine, to be exact), watch the video and then post your thoughts...I would dearly love to hear everyone's take on this little bit of news that is quietly avoiding the mainstream media.
Terrorist Preppers, Total Police State, All of America Declared a Battlefield
Thoughts would be appreciated!
Rational, Positive, Creative
Monday, November 28, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
If you may be interested, or know of someone who may be, please let me know using the email link below, and I can give you their contact details.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Preppers, survivalists, nut-jobs, call us what you will...there really is much to be said on the topic of knowledge, skills, tips and tricks and so forth. However, this all having been said, and having spent too many hours surfing around here and there looking for unique ideas on what to write about it all comes down to one thing. Can you DO it? This in turn brought me to the notion of "oh hell, I have no clue".
I was reading through an article this morning on cob ovens. Wow, I thought, what a cool idea! Then I glanced out the window at our rapidly settling (and world famous) Saskatchewan winter and thought - wow! That would really SUCK! I would really hate to try baking bread outdoors at -40.
Some of the cob ovens that I looked at were simply amazing works of art! Some were sculpted into fantastical creatures, others were simple bake ovens. This particular one caught my attention! Untold hours of tile setting went into this one. It's quite beautiful.
Items such as these would only really be applicable if your SHTF plans happen to include bugging out to a predetermined location with supplies and shelter waiting. To my mind, having the "location B" in place is simply logical. Having an oven such as this on-site would be a really good idea, for at least three seasons anyway.
Back to the original problem of winter. Winter survival is rather an issue in climates such as ours. Temperatures can hit -40 in the blink of an eye and the Girl Guides will still go door to door selling cookies. If one had to get by in a slightly more remote (or rural) location, then combining the notion of cooking as well as central heat may just be a REALLY good idea.
So, alternatives, anyone?
I surfed and dug and could NOT find anything that looked even remotely suitable. I found a few photos of cob-style ovens installed in houses, but for the most part they were small and yuppie-like devices.
Does anyone know where we could find a more practical option??
Ideally, the device would have a cooking grill or flat iron surface on which to use pots and other standard cooking items as well as the oven itself.
I found a number of large "outdoor kitchen" type of installations. Wildwood Ovens http://www.wildwoodovens.com has a nifty selection of kit-like ovens. But they appear to be more of an outdoor installation or a smaller novelty type of oven. I doubt they would really suffice for a heating/cooking option during the LONG winters around here.
I would be VERY interested to see if anyone out there: 1) actually reads some of my silly ramblings or 2) knows of, or knows who, uses a cob style of oven for heat AND cooking.
I think it would be a really good idea to add a little of this type of building to my skillz portfolio!
Rational, positive, creative - pizza is no exception!
Saturday, November 19, 2011
So what happens when SHTF and you run out of yeast? Well there is yeast in the air we breathe all around us as well as in the flour we use to bake bread. All you need to do is set out a bowl of food to capture and grow it. This is called sourdough. To make sourdough bread, you need a sourdough starter.
Here is what you will need...
A glass bowl to keep it in...clear glass with a lid will be best as you can use this to keep your starter in.
Yup, that’s it.
In your bowl, mix
· ½ cup flour
· ½ cup water
Combine the flour and water in the container until all the flour has been absorbed and there are no more dry particles. It will look like a sticky, thick dough. Scrape down the sides and cover. Put the container somewhere with a consistent room temperature (like the top of the refrigerator) and let sit for 24 hours.
· ½ cup flour
· ½ cup water
Your starter should be fairly thick and soupy. You may see a few small bubbles here and there. This is good! The bubbles mean that wild yeast from the air and the flour itself have started making themselves at home in your starter. They will eat the sugars in the the flour and release carbon dioxide (the bubbles) and alcohol. They will also increase the acidity of the mixture, preventing other "bad" microbes from growing.
Add the fresh water and flour. Stir vigorously to combine everything and incorporate more oxygen into the mixture. Scrape down the sides, cover, and let it sit for 24 hours.
· ½ cup flour
· ½ cup water
By day three, your starter should be getting nice and bubbly (see below), be the consistency of pancake batter, and have roughly doubled in size. If you taste a little (Go on! Try it!), the mixture should make your mouth pucker with sour and vinegar flavors. It will also smell musty and fermented, a bit like grain alcohol.
Go ahead and mix in the fresh ingredients as with Day 2, cover, and let sit for 24-hours.
Repeat day 3.
By day 5 (or even day 4) your starter will be ripe and ready to use. The surface will look frothy and fermented (see below), and if you've been using a clear container, you can see an intricate network of bubbles when you hold it up. It will smell and taste very pungent and tangy like, well, concentrated sourdough!
At this point, your sourdough is ready to be used, or you can cover and store it in the fridge for up to one week. After a week, you'll need to refresh the starter by taking out a cup or so of starter (to use or discard) and then "feeding" it with 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of filtered water. Likewise, after using some of your starter in a recipe, you can replenish what's left with equal parts flour and water.
Starter will keep indefinitely as long as you feed it every week or so. Treat it like a household plant that needs to be watered and fertilized regularly. It's very hardy and will even perk back up with a few daily feedings if you've neglected it too long. If a clear liquid forms on the top, just stir it in (this is actually alcohol from the wild yeast). The only time you should throw away the starter completely is if that liquid has a pinkish hue, which indicates that the starter has spoiled.
To use your starter, simply replace ½ cup flour and ½ cup water in your favorite recipe for 1 cup of starter and forget about the yeast. Then, replace the used starter with ½ cup four and ½ cup water to keep it up.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Self-discipline is remembering what you really want. That was the mindset that got us from the city to the country - we had a goal in mind and we kept working towards it - little by little every day. We have been preppers for 8 or 9 years now - slowly coming to the conclusion that life as we knew it was perhaps not even the life we wanted. It sure didn't have much in the way of security. If the power went out I figured we had about 6 hours in the winter and we'd be forced to leave our home. Never mind the lack of lights and the freezer defrosting. We came up with ways to avoid most of those issues temporarily but the longing remained to have a place to call our own where we could live more self sufficiently. It was many small decisions and steps that got us from that place to this place and there's many steps to go before this place is all that we dream it can be.
I live with my family on a small farm surrounded by conservation lands. We raise chickens, ducks for meat and eggs and sheep. We also have a donkey, 6 barn cats and a spoiled city dog.
Life here is an amazing adventure of FINALLYS. We finally had room for a huge garden - that had lots of weeds in it this summer but actually produced quite well. We could finally have more animals than the 6 urban chickens of our city life. We could finally sit in our "backyard" and hear - silence... We could finally run out of the house in our pjs to feed the cats or get the mail! Well - it doesn't take much to make me happy!
I hope to share some of my adventures with you in the coming weeks. From food storage and canning to backyard chickens and beyond. I'm not an expert - just someone who loves to learn and happily lives on a farm.