Showing posts with label dehydrator. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dehydrator. Show all posts

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Day in the Life

Today was kind of a busy day for us. This afternoon I went and picked up a bunch of used 2T clothes for Walker for $25 that Wifey found on the interwebz. He will still need some more pajama's but the bulk of the shopping is done. The lady tossed in some 3T stuff also. We washed and folded it so everything is ready for when the stuff is needed in a couple months.
Walker is currently wearing 18 month clothes and we have already got his 24 month stuff. We have bought almost all of it used for great deals. Buying stuff used often takes time, especially when you want something specific and are cheap. It is sort of like that saying about construction "you can have fast, right or cheap but only get to pick two." We could get him a bunch of  clothes that he needs tomorrow but we would be paying a lot more. On the other hand if we anticipate our needs a few months in advance we can wait for the right deal to come along.

I found a bunch of toys in a bag by a dumpster. Needless to say I grabbed it up. Wifey went through it all and decided what to keep. We got a ton of new stuff for Walker. Also I found a toddler bed that somebody had thrown away. We will have to put it together and check it out but it appears servicable. We cleaned and sterilized everything (though it seemed clean but you never know) and it is ready for Walker. He really likes the fire truck and having another ball to carry around.

Dumpster diving is one of my favorite things to do. I just love finding free stuff.

Later Wifey decided to figure out how to make some snacks. First she made wheat crackers. The recipe came from Frugal and Simple and they resemble wheat thins. The first picture is before. The dough is rolled out then cut with a pizza cutter before baking.

The second picture is from after baking. The white stuff is a bit of flour that helps minimize stickiness. It is the only white flour used in the recipe.

After that she made dehydrated yogurt bites in the dehydrator. Walker loves these things but they are like $3 for a tiny package! He gets them when we travel and we keep some around for various reasons but they are too expensive to feed to him all the time.

If it wasn't obvious almost all of this stuff except the dumpster diving was Wifey. She does all sorts of things like haunting used stuff boards and cooking snacks to stretch my earnings as far as possible. Also feeding the kid healthy stuff is important to her. It is also worth noting that she can do these things because she has time. If Wifey was working at a full time job she would not be able to do these things.

Anyway that is what we did today.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Years Resolutions Concluded

Well the year isn't quite over yet but it seemed like a good time to see how I have done on my goals. Lined through are completed.


My goals for this year.

Personal:

1. Pay more attention to my wife. This one is continual but I think it went OK.
2. Travel a lot. We did pretty good at this one. Went to Croatia, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic and Paris.
Personal Stuff:

3. We can use a few smaller things like a new TV and another laptop. The main push however is to get a reliable second car which we pay cash for.
Financial:

4. Stash some more Euro's. Say E400 or so. Didn't quite get to 400 but I am calling it close enough.
5. Contribute 10% of our total take home to retirement.

6. Stash at least a half an ounce of gold and 40 ounces of silver. Didn't get too far on
the silver. Sorta misestimated what we were capable of. Also prices going up did not help.

7. Continue to not make stupid choices.

Skills:

8. Take an automotive class. They offer them on base and I need to know more about car repair.

This one got replaced by brewing some beer which I did.

9. Be able to setup and trouble shoot a small solar setup. Sorta mute since I went with a solar charger and a bunch of eneloop batteries.

Preparedness Stuff :

10. A good radio that can pick up everything. Probably a Grundig.

11. Maybe a Berkey water filter and maybe some spare elements for it and the portable filter.

12. A basic solar setup.

Gun Stuff:

12. Buy a full case of .223

13. Buy a full case of 9mm.
14. Glock 9mm mags. At least 10 and ideally closer to 20.

15. Some M1a mags. At least 10 and ideally closer to 20.

16. A few more spare parts and at least one AR15 full bolt carrier group.

Also picked up a full case of 7.62x39 and another 10 mags for that gun.

Food Rotation:

17. Get a pressure canning setup and can something.

This one just didn'thappen. We can't get any of the stuff locally and paying shipping negates any financial benefits. I am willing to do it just for the sake of the skill but not with that hassle.

18. Get a dehydrator and dehydrate something. Did this.
And Just To Get To An Even 20......

19. Get a subscription to Backwoods Home Magazine and otherwise work on my self sufficiency/ preparedness library.

20. Join a gun rights organization.

Time for discussion. Things went pretty well. All the more expensive goals have been met. A couple goals just didn't pan out. I never got around to more spare parts because I ended up getting other stuff. On the whole I am happy with this years accomplishments.

Oh yeah and click on my advertisers links and buy lots of their stuff.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Oregon Trail series #4 Hunting

Oregon Trail teaches two significant lessons about hunting. First you might, for whatever reason, not be able to do it very often so planning on it as a primary food source is foolish. Second and probably more significantly there is no point in shooting it unless you can eat it. We've all shot 10 buffalo's, an elk and 5 deer and been able to carry a half a deer back to the wagon. In real life there is no point in shooting a deer if all you can use (before it spoils) is a rabbit or a chicken.

If you plan to shoot big game then plan to preserve it without a freezer. In the far north maybe shooting an animal just after the first freeze and eating it over the winter will work. Everywhere and every other time you will need salt and or a dehydrator or the ability to can the meat. Might be that you have big game desires and small game capabilities.

Monday, June 28, 2010

New Years Resolutions IPR #2

 Lined through are completed.

My goals for this year.

Personal:
1. Pay more attention to my wife.
2. Travel a lot.

Personal Stuff:
3. We can use a few smaller things like a new TV and another laptop. The main push however is to get a reliable second car which we pay cash for. The first car is still plugging along but I think when we get a better second one and it is relegated exclusively taking me to work and back its life would be greatly extended.

Financial:
4. Stash some more Euro's. Say E400 or so.
5. Contribute 10% of our total take home to retirement.
6. Stash at least a half an ounce of gold  and 40 ounces of silver.
7. Continue to not make stupid choices.
+I do not have any direct goals when it comes to saving money aside from those above. Depending on how Wifey's job goes (how many hours she gets) saving for the much needed reliable car might take 2-3 months or as much as 8 months. If the car gets purchased earlier we will be able to save more, in part because it means we would be making more.

Skills:
8. Take an automotive class.  They offer them on base and I need to know more about car repair. 
This one got replaced by brewing some beer.
9. Be able to setup and trouble shoot a small solar setup.    Sorta mute since I went with a solar charger and a bunch of eneloop batteries.

Preparedness Stuff :
10. A good radio that can pick up everything. Probably a Grundig.
11. Maybe a Berkey water filter and maybe some spare elements for it and the portable filter.
12. A basic solar setup. 

Gun Stuff:
12. Buy a full case of .223
13. Buy a full case of 9mm. (I am going to call this complete because it is funded)
14. Glock 9mm mags. At least 10 and ideally closer to 20.
15. Some M1a mags. At least 10 and ideally closer to 20.
16. A few more spare parts and at least one AR15 full bolt carrier group.

Food Rotation:
17. Get a pressure canning setup and can something. In reality we will almost certainly can more than one thing but it is a very clear is you is or is you ain't goal all the same.

18. Get a dehydrator and dehydrate something. Jerky is good and so are banana slices.

And Just To Get To An Even 20......
19. Get a subscription to Backwoods Home Magazine and otherwise work on my self sufficiency/ preparedness library.
20. Join a gun rights organization.

I would say my goals start at the top in terms of priority and work more or less downward from there. I put more small stuff on here than last time. I tried to outline everything I would like to purchase which costs over a couple hundred bucks. That is mostly because I am trying to purchase stuff in a more dispassionate manner and plan ahead.




Time for discussion. Things are going pretty well. All the more expensive goals have been met. I don't think the canning is going to happen. We would have to order everything including jars and have it shipped here. That really takes any cost benefit out of the thing and would in fact make it cost us money. Not something I am willing to do in that situation.

 The brewing kit is here I am just at an awkward busy time so won't be able to brew for about a month. Really wish I could do it this weekend but putting it into a secondary ferment and then bottling has a pretty specific time line. Some spare parts and the silver should be easy enough. Given that gold might have officially gone insane I'm just going to buy silver anyway.

Our big push right now is paying off my student loan. I don't think it is quite going to happen this year but it will be close. Also I have some other ideas and am working some stuff. A IIIA bullet proof vest and maybe some sort of an optic might be my future.

Oh yeah and click on my advertisers links and  buy lots of their stuff.


Thoughts?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Inflation and Food Dehydrators

I got a couple questions recently. Saddle Tramp asked me a very complicated question which I will address this afternoon or tomorrow. In order to address Saddle Tramp's question I think it is worthwhile to talk a little bit about inflation. Chris from AK asked how the dehydrator is turning out as he is in the market for one.

It took me a long time to really understand inflation. I of course understood that when stuff costs more it is inflation and when it costs less it is deflation. On a very individual Joe everyday trying to pay bills, save and generally live that is enough. However what about the rest of the story.

Two truths shape my beliefs in inflation as they are now. First is that it is a hidden tax. How is it a hidden tax you ask? Simply because the government (ours or some other one) prints money and spends it. This money makes the value of the money in circulation lower. Politicians like this because they get the benefit of spending more without having to raise taxes or decrease spending neither of which voters like. There is no need to take money out of peoples paychecks or extract it from them annually when they can reach into our pockets and just decrease the value.

Lets say you keep a few hundred dollars in cash at home because well that is what you do if you are smart. If we have 5% inflation the money in your sock drawer or gun safe is able to buy 5% less stuff. No guy who was too low in his accounting class to get a lucrative private job and thus has a big chip on his shoulder is going to show up at your house backed by the implicit threat of force. They just print more and it decreases the value of what you have.

The second is a bit more conceptual. Dave Duffy said it best "Inflation isn't so much that prices go up—because that would imply that groceries and stuff like that have somehow become more valuable. Inflation is when money becomes less valuable so it takes more money to buy a sack of potatoes, a gallon of gas, or hire a babysitter. It's a distinction most people don't seem to get.". 


Inflation isn't stuff becoming worth more through companies adding features to something, having increased costs or God forbid deciding to just make a little bit more profit. Inflation is the value of money going down. 

 Anyway I felt like revisiting those foundations is important for what I will talk about later. 

Not too long ago I purchased a 4 tray Excalibur dehydrator.  There were two features I initially wanted, the ability to set the temperature and a timer. Because of cost considerations I decided to get one without a timer. As Angela pointed out you can just plug it into one of those Christmas tree timers. 

I am really enjoying the dehydrator. If we had a bigger family I would have purchased a bigger one but since we don't the smaller and cheaper model is just fine.  Not having a timer is a bit of an annoyance but I just time it so I will be around when the stuff should be done. The trays just get tossed into the dish washer and come out clean. There is no need to rotate trays as with some models. 

I found it well worth the roughly $100 it cost. Hope that helps.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Work was pretty nuts for me but that is life sometimes. Monday I dehydrated some apple slices for Wifey. Stashed some Euro's because instead of going out for dinner we just grabbed a pizza and stayed home on Saturday. Had some fun with the shortwave radio last night. I cleaned out the paperwork cabinet getting rid of unnecessary or outdated stuff and excessive copies. While doing that I took all the real essential stuff which isn't in our wallets and put it into one of those plastic paperwork envelope things. Passports, birth certificates, marriage certificate, car title and an extra checkbook. The stuff we would really want if leaving in a hurry and packing light. I had been meaning to do that for awhile. We picked up some extra ketchup at the store today because it was on a good sale.

All things being equal it was a pretty productive week. 

What did you do to prepare this week?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Well a case of .223 ammo alone made this a good week for me. I also dehydrated some pineapple. It is pretty good though I need to really figure out the exact right amount of time. I did a lot of cooking this week in the crock pot. Since Wifey is working these days our dinner choices seem to be crock pot, quick pasta or meat and taters kind of stuff and occasionally some sort of cheater meal. For a little while there we were slipping from eating real food as a general rule. We started eating out a bit more and then when our cheapness made up knock that off moved to easier stuff. Not that there is anything wrong with some good processed Americana like hot dogs now and then but too often just isn't good for you. This week we were better which is good. Today I made barley casserole which is pretty darn good.

We put away some more Euro's which is good.  Folks occasionally question that. Some of them likely weren't tracking that I am in Europe right now. I keep some Euro's around because that is what spends here. If I was in Japan I would have Yen and if I was in Canada I would have Canadian Dollars. Other folks don't seem to see the point in keeping cash on hand and favor silver or something. The thing is that you need cash. Yesterday I counted up our random change and took it to the bank to exchange for a fiver. One of the interesting parts of having one and two euro coins instead of bills is that having too many of them gets bulky and heavy fast. We do keep some onesies, twosies and change around for small purchases. Stashing a 10 or a 20 every week seems to be working pretty well. It isn't particularly likely that we will need them but like the case of ammo, when you need it you really need it!

 The next several weeks are going to see little to nothing getting done but that is life. Tonight or tomorrow night I will fiddle with the Shortwave Radio which is getting more entertaining as I can hear stuff now. Will write about that later.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Making Jerky

So New Years Resolution #18. Get a dehydrator and dehydrate something is complete. A week ago we got some meat at the store. Went for a small batch since it was the initial test run so it was only about a pound and a half. I made a brine by combining teriaki, soy, a touch of salt, Worcestershire and a good sized clump of brown sugar.  It seems like the point of brine is to help preserve (salt) and just make it taste good. I then sliced the meat about as uniformly as I could 1/4 inch thick or so. The meat went into the brine and soaked for almost a week getting stirred as often as I remembered. You stir the brine so it stays uniform and all the meat gets it soaked in, you know it is soaked in when there are no more red parts in the meat.

Yesterday before dinner I tossed it into our 4 tray Excalibur Dehydrator.  Ours doesn't have a timer but for almost half the price it made getting one of these great dehydrators affordable for us. It is easy enough to just use the oven timer to keep track of time. If you want to start the dehydrator and have the timer turn it off there is a solution. Angela gave me the great advice to just plug the dehydrator into one of those Christmas Tree timers.

After about 6 hours the jerky seemed done to us. Tossed it into a bag and went to bed. This morning I tried a piece and it was definitely jerky. Tasted good and I look forward to eating some more. Next time I will try a bigger piece of meat in order to make a larger batch. Going to make a bunch of it for when I go to play in the woods. Speaking of that you should all be comforted to know that I have scheduled posts for that period of time. Not quite every day but more than every other day. There are some lighter days with quotes or pictures but hey, writing 7 weeks of posts in advance is hard.

I am going to cook breakfast now. Hammy eggs and toast here I come.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

New Years Resolutions: IPR

 Lined through are completed.

My goals for this year.

Personal:
1. Pay more attention to my wife.
2. Travel a lot.

Personal Stuff:
3. We can use a few smaller things like a new TV and another laptop. The main push however is to get a reliable second car which we pay cash for. The first car is still plugging along but I think when we get a better second one and it is relegated exclusively taking me to work and back its life would be greatly extended.

Financial:
4. Stash some more Euro's. Say E400 or so.
5. Contribute 10% of our total take home to retirement.
6. Stash at least a half an ounce of gold  and 40 ounces of silver. If things go well 1.5 times that could be possible but this is a minimum.
7. Continue to not make stupid choices.
+I do not have any direct goals when it comes to saving money aside from those above. Depending on how Wifey's job goes (how many hours she gets) saving for the much needed reliable car might take 2-3 months or as much as 8 months. If the car gets purchased earlier we will be able to save more, in part because it means we would be making more.

Skills:
8. Take an automotive class.  They offer them on base and I need to know more about car repair. 
This one got replaced by brewing some beer.
9. Be able to setup and trouble shoot a small solar setup.    Sorta mute since I went with a solar charger and a bunch of eneloop batteries.

Preparedness Stuff :
10. A good radio that can pick up everything. Probably a Grundig.
11. Maybe a Berkey water filter and maybe some spare elements for it and the portable filter.
12. A basic solar setup. 

Gun Stuff:
12. Buy a full case of .223
13. Half cases each of 7.62x39, 9mm and just maybe .38. Full ones if I am feeling rich.
14. Glock 9mm mags. At least 10 and ideally closer to 20.
15. Some M1a mags. At least 10 and ideally closer to 20.
16. A few more spare parts and at least one AR15 full bolt carrier group.


Food Rotation:
17. Get a pressure canning setup and can something. In reality we will almost certainly can more than one thing but it is a very clear is you is or is you ain't goal all the same.

18. Get a dehydrator and dehydrate something. Jerky is good and so are banana slices.

And Just To Get To An Even 20......
19. Get a subscription to Backwoods Home Magazine and otherwise work on my self sufficiency/ preparedness library.
20. Join a gun rights organization.

I would say my goals start at the top in terms of priority and work more or less downward from there. I put more small stuff on here than last time. I tried to outline everything I would like to purchase which costs over a couple hundred bucks. That is mostly because I am trying to purchase stuff in a more dispassionate manner and plan ahead.

Thoughts?

TOR adds: Wifey pointed out I started with more than 20 resolutions because I doubled up on number 12. 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

It was a good week for preparedness here. I was finally able to make time to go to the bank here and get my card fixed (for the secondary account).That let me clear up a log jam of stuff. Ordered a 4 tray Excalibur dehydrator. Excalibur seems like the company to go with and this one cost about $100 so wasn't too much more expensive than most of the competition. Also got a bunch of those eneloop batteries, a normal charger and a solar charger. A few books also.

Read a pretty long and interesting article. Got some good stuff out of it.

Went through the primary first aid kit. Replaced everything that was expired and added a few more items like neosporin, crazy glue and an Israeli bandage. I mentally added going through the medicine cabinet (actually its a closet) to my list of stuff to get around to. I need to organize what we have, tossing long expired stuff and filling any gaps that become apparent. 

Next week I am going to be away for a few days. Posts are scheduled so there will be no interruptions for you folks. I don't think much is going to happen in terms of preps but that is just fine. Some weeks you do a ton and some little to nothing.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Got Dehydrator?

I am looking to order a food dehydrator in the near future. Do you have one that you like? Any general features you think are important?
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