Soup of the Week – Week 3

Our Soup of the Week is “survival soup”.  It is a very easy soup to make if you have the ingredients on hand.  This one can be made if the power is out, you are camping, you are busy running the kids to and from football practice all day, or you just don’t feel like cooking.  It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s still a healthy soup.

 

Ingredients we used:

Provident Pantry Freeze Dried White Chicken

Provident Pantry Freeze Dried White Turkey

Provident Pantry Freeze Dried Super Sweet Corn

Sweet Peas

Mushrooms

Onions

Egg Noodles

Water

salt and pepper to taste

Fill large pot about halfway full and add about 2 cups chicken, turkey, or some of both, about 2 cups or so of corn, 2 cans of drained peas, 2 cans of mushrooms and bring to a boil.  This will also re-hydrate your freeze dried meats and vegetables so you might need to add more water.  When the water comes to a rolling boil, add noodles and cook as per manufactures directions (in our case, we went about 8 minutes).  Add any salt or pepper to taste. (This will feed a large family with leftovers so adjust your amounts accordingly)

Once the noodles are cooked, serve up and eat a steamy bowl of soup that is still healthy, hearty, and very quick to make.

Again, this is great if the power is out as long as you can heat water (which you can do outside using an Eco-Zoom stove like I showed here.  It’s quick and easy for those times when life is running you ragged but you still need a quick meal for the family.  Or, even if you are not feeling well and still need to get dinner on the table.  Honestly, I think it took longer for us to photograph everything then it took for us to cook the meal.  Enjoy.

Oh, here’s a quick look at the freeze dried corn and chicken before adding to the soup:

And then after a few minutes in water:

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Reviews:

  • 7 thumbs up from the family
  • warm and good on a cold and chilly night
  • filling
  • easy to make

 

 

 

The Night The Lights Went Out…

We quickly discovered that winter here means loss of power.  We lost power several times last winter and while prepared, we weren’t as prepared as we could have been.  We don’t have a generator to plug the house into like our neighbors do, but then again, I guess we don’t have the insatiable need for power either.  Yes, lights are good, yes warmth is good, yes being able to cook is good.  But then again, we had flashlights, extra blankets along with other heat sources, and the ability to cook outside.  But, I took it an extra step this week and got some oil lamps.  I will be purchasing a few more in the weeks to come.

As the days are growing shorter at a rapid clip, dinner time is now at sunset.  The past couple of nights we’ve lit the lamps and used that as our source of internal light.  It’s been cozy.

It’s also been amazing how peaceful the house has feels in the glow of the steady light.  Youngest daughter says it’s just like “Little House on the Prairie” and as long we don’t start making them trek to an outhouse she is just fine with it.  Funny….one of the houses we are interested in perhaps buying someday has an outhouse.

 Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm…makes me wonder.

Grilling Bread?

The other day while “Mr. Kimbersglen” and I were cooking on the EcoZoom, we were thinking of other ways to cook “normal” foods out doors.  With Hurricane Irene hitting family and friends on the east coast, we were thinking of creative ways to still go about our normal meal cooking without a traditional stove. Some of our friends had already been without power for several hours with several more to go.  It’s also nice to say, that it was probably our hottest weekend yet (a whopping 85 degrees…sorry my friends in the midwest) and we had yet to turn on our air conditioning (again, another apology to the midwest region) and I didn’t want to heat the house with the stove.  Saturday night we cooked frozen pizzas on the barbecue grill.  It worked wonderfully.   Then I got to thinking of what could be really difficult to make on the grill. Bread was my thought.  Since everything can still be mixed up without power, that was too easy.  But cooking it would be another thing.

So Monday, the experiment began.  After my bread rose a 2nd time:

I took it out to the grill and placed it on the top rack:

Closed the lid and took advantage of the much cooler temperatures and spun up some alpaca.  I wanted to stay outside to keep track of the temperature of the grill.  I did need to make a few minor tweaks to keep the temp constant.

Thirty minutes later, the bread was done.  After it cooled I removed it from the pan like normal and we enjoyed wonderful fresh homemade wheat bread with dinner.

While I don’t always plan on making bread this way, it’s nice to know I can.  It would also be easy to throw a loaf on the grill while cooking a roast or some other meal and still not have to use the oven.

~~Kimber’s Whole Wheat Bread Recipe~~

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup honey

1 cup water

1 1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup olive oil

2 1/4 tsp yeast

Knead together until dough forms a ball.  Add extra flour if needed.  If using a mixer, use bread hooks.  Place in oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until double in size.  Punch down and knead slightly placing in bread pan.  Let rise again.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, remove from pan, and cool completely.  Slice, eat, and enjoy.

 

EcoZoom Stove

After reading a post over at Survival Mom,  “Mr. Kimbersglen” decided to order an EcoZoom Versa Stove.  I gotta say…while it was cute, I had my doubts that it would effectively help me cook a meal for our family of 7.  Boy was I wrong!

“Mr. Kimbersglen” fired up the EcoZoom and tried boiling a pot of water to test how long that would take.  Since he didn’t use the pot skirt, the flames licked up the sides of the pot and took longer for the water to heat up.  Due to the construction of the stove, he and I both decided that a wok would be perfect for this little stove and agreed that a stir fry dinner was in order.

More wood was added to the stove.

A bit of oil was added to the wok to coat it and onto the flame it went:

After the wok was heated, the meat was added.  It hit the pan with a very gratifying sizzle and the immediate smell of cooking beef.


Lots of fresh vegetables were added when the meat was browned.

The lid put on and allowed to steam for about 20 minutes (with an occassional stir).

Dinner was ready in a short amount of time.  I couldn’t believe how quickly and efficiently it all cooked up.

Who says, while camping  or (just cooking on your back deck) you can’t eat in style?

I give our EcoZoom two thumbs up and look forward to using it again soon.

Dryer Lint, TP Tubes, and Cotton Balls

So, we have found out that dryer lint (and believe me we have a lot of that), empty toilet paper tubes (we have LOTS of those too), and cotton balls make excellent fire starters.  Of course, we took it one step further and coated them in candle wax as well.

 

First the cotton balls, coat them in a little bit of petroleum jelly:

Why petroleum jelly?  It  helps them burn.  Then they got a quick dip in melted candle wax.

Then we took they dryer lint and TP tubes:

 

stuffed them and coated them in wax.

The whole idea of coating them in the candle wax is to help make them water proof.  (As a side benefit we learned they burn a bit longer as well).  Since it was raining, the finished projects were thrown out on the back porch to see if indeed they would be water proof.  Success!  When the rain stopped, a few wet pine branches were collected, and the fire experiments began.

The coated cotton balls were cracked open and ignited.  They burned steady.  More pine branches were added and the TP tube, and we had a nice steady fire going for a while.

All in all, a sure-fire success and we will be making more fire starters in the very near future.

 

Spahgetti Sauce

This is approximately 12 quarts of yummy spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove (how’s that for alliteration?)

I will can the sauce this afternoon and put it away for use later. I have so enjoyed getting back into the kitchen preparing foods for my family and stocking up things.  I don’t know about you, but with the ever increasing gas prices and the outlook on the wholesale food market, I think it’s a priority to stock up on essentials (and maybe even some non essentials) before the prices get too high.  I am already seeing an increase on some basics.  I am even seeing an alarming trend of downsizing but keeping the price the same.  Cereal for example, is packaged in the same size box, with less in there, but at the same price.  The consumer is fooled into thinking the price hasn’t increased until they get home and open the box and realize that what was maybe 6 bowls of cereal is now just 3 or 4.  With a large family (or any sized family, really) it adds up quickly.  I encourage you all to be prepared.

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Found a pattern I was really interested in knitting so I think I will cast on after the kids are finished with their school work.  Something to keep me busy tonight too after they go to bed.  Knitting is one way to keep me busy and to keep me sane.