One Second After: Food Preparation

This is the fourth topic for our Group Book Discussion of the novel One Second After. To return to the main discussion page click here.

In the story, the people were forced to eat all sorts of food like squirrels, rabbits etc. They made soups with grass and dandelions. They used up, and wasted a lot of the freezer foods in the first few days. Two big concerns were how to have enough to last through the winter, and how to save enough for spring planting, etc.

QUESTIONS TO PONDER

  • How would you cook your food?
  • How would you make your food stores last longer if the situation lasted for a very long time?
  • How would you create, or replenish your food stores with new food?
  • Do you have gardening seeds, do you know how to garden, can, preserve, dehydrate etc?
  • How would you catch and prepare small animals?
  • Do you have necessary ingredients to actually make something with your long term storage items
  • Do you have a healthy balance of proteins, fats, and carbs in your storage/
  • WOULD YOU SHARE YOUR FOOD?

DISCUSS

In our comments section below, ask questions, discuss your thoughts on this topic, and these questions. We will be covering a lot of the other issues over the next three days, so to keep it organized please stick with this topic.


We encourage everyone who participates to do so in a very respectful manner. As we read the novel, we soon became very aware that the discussions around this book could become very political, and personal. Such topics have a tendency to bring out strong opinions. Please share your opinions in a kind, and mature way. We reserve the right to, and will delete any comments that may be considered offensive or encourage illegal or unethical activities.

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  • TK

    Fishing, Hunting, Trapping… In the long term all will be prepared on a fire or by smoking to dry it for jerky. Having a garden and dehydrating fruits, veggies and herbs hopefully trading for fruits and nuts. If I can figure out how to pressure cook over the fire then canning will continue.

    • Brchbell

      Learn now how to build a controlled fire using very little wood. making a rocket stove is a good system. having a controlled fire will allow you control to can with. also look into salting food. It’s a very old system our ancestors used that most don’t even consider anymore.

      • TK

        @ Brchbell – I suppose it would take a brick and mortar rocket stove to hold a canner full of jars. That with a grid large enough to scoot the pot over to regulate the temperature. Need to look up salting food too. Thanks for replying. 🙂

        • Traci A.

           When we lived in MO we had no stove for cooking on and used a rocket stove very regularly. I canned 2 x’s on it. It was difficult, but do-able. My dh made a brick w/o mortar stove. The brick housing was 2 times as wide as the pop corn tin we used for the stove. We added rock inside the empty – non-stove side. Mortared brick might have been better long term, but it was great practice! Excellent way to heat water in your canners for dishes as well!!

           I used a camping grill which fit perfect across the width (side to side.)

  • Anita

    Reminder…

    There has been little mentioned about water catch systems, etc… on here. Please remember this is essential. Anyone who is in a city is probably reliant on electricity to pump the water to them.

  • Anita

    Do you think it is realistic that so many people would be dying of starvation in just 60 days? It seemed to me that people in that area would have a few more supplies on hand. Yet, I live in a rural area and have been aware of scarcity, well, since I was born, so three months+ of food is typical. This did drive home the increased strain on others and the lengths they could go to for survival. It is a great “fiction” book for us all to ponder what we need to do now, yet, it is also important not to live in a panicked state. Prepared and forewarned gives a big of solice.

  • Anita

    Do you think it is realistic that so many people would be dying of starvation in just 60 days? It seemed to me that people in that area would have a few more supplies on hand. Yet, I live in a rural area and have been aware of scarcity, well, since I was born, so three months+ of food is typical. This did drive home the increased strain on others and the lengths they could go to for survival. It is a great “fiction” book for us all to ponder what we need to do now, yet, it is also important not to live in a panicked state. Prepared and forewarned gives a big of solice.

    • Brchbell

      More and more people are going to get food daily and don’t store anything up at all. I too live in a very rural area and as i teach my prep classes have been shocked and dismayed at how many don;t even have a weeks worth on hand anymore.

      • Traci A.

        It is amazing to me what people would think should this become a reality. When we moved 2 years ago I had a non-prep friend tell me that if the world goes south she is coming to my house to eat She was helping move buckets.  In the first place, she wouldn’t live long with her turning up her nose at my beans, rice and lentils! Secondly, I am not sure she would know how to help cook it if she did decide to eat!

    • Truckinbutton

      As strange as it is to me, I know people that just buy groceries each day as they need them, and do not stock ANYTHING! I have asked them what if something should happen and they say they will cross that bridge when they get there. Needless to say, I have not breathed a word to them about my preparations. Those people’s way of crossing that bridge, may include crossing your threshold to take what they know you have if you blab too much.

  • For cooking, we have BBQ grill, and a built-in fire pit (need to get plants out of it! :o)), am looking to get a Weber-type grill, and looking into how to convert into a solar oven – without damaging it, so can use it both ways. We also have a Coleman 2 burner camping stove, with portable propane tanks stocked up (can always use more). A backyard and beyond full of trees, so wood would not be a problem. Have also been working on our adding to our charcoal collection.

    – – Have to say, I’ve been reading a book – free from Amazon, via Kindle – you can get it for your PC, or phones, etc. – that is called: Everyday Foods in War Time, by Mary Swartz Rose, that is enlightening as to how things were done back in WWI. The book talks about different substitutions to use for a nutritionally balanced diet, since one of the US war posters stated: “FOOD IS FUEL FOR FIGHTERS. Do not waste it. Save WHEAT, MEAT, SUGARS AND FATS. Send more to our Soldiers, Sailors and Allies”. It is not a long book, but worth a read.

    Have a small garden plus containers that we grow veggies in, the fruit trees that we had, well the ones that the freezes didn’t kill, the deer ate them. They were still kinda small, so, will be trying again. Have seeds, plus more seeds that are sealed up tight for use later if needed.

    I also can and dehydrate now, so that wouldn’t really change, just maybe how I do might change. Adapt.

    I have to think about the animals – since there are other substitutes to be eaten that give same or more nutrients. I do know how to use bow and arrow though, thanks to my Grandma! :o)

    Would I share: Yes. And go on the faith and belief that doing so will be rewarded.

  • Cherlynn

    well food and water is what I’ve concentrated on the most. We grow most of our own food and know how to save seed on 83% of it. Really want to figure out the broccoli seed thing and hasn’t clicked in my head yet!

    We got a plain no electric Amish type gas range a couple years ago. That will last until the propane tank dries up. the gas and charcoal grills and the Camp Chef Oven has enough fuel to burn 1 1/2 years so far. Lots of trees so can cook over open fires. got the sunoven when we have sun we could cook in that. got enough chafing fuel to cook about 6 month’s. Will save that for those days we really don’t want to go out if we can at all help it! Same with propane cooking range in kitchen.

    We have a huge gardening area and already grow most of our own food. Really want a milk cow so we have our own milk, cheese and butter. Have chickens and horses right now.

    We have 2 huge ponds and smaller one which are well stocked so plenty of fish, turtles and water! We have hundreds of nut trees (hickory, pecan and black walnut) tons of wild blackberries and wild plum trees. tons of wild roses- great food source! Lots of natural plants we can eat or use as medicine!

    Traps for small animals are easy to make. go online and find instructions and print them out so you can know how to trap small animals.

    I am currently working to teach my neighbors (anyone in our 5 county area) about storing food and getting long term drinking water and heating. The ministers I work with call this our creating the City of Enoch project. That we may create a safe zone and there be no poor among us.

    I hope I have a couple more years to finish everything up but I know that I am more ready than most to handle what ever happens.

    • I’m coming to your house! :o) Big garden and wild plums… Woohoo! Haven’t seen wild plums here in Florida in too many years. I LOVE wild plum jelly and jam. No comparison.

    • I’m coming to your house! :o) Big garden and wild plums… Woohoo! Haven’t seen wild plums here in Florida in too many years. I LOVE wild plum jelly and jam. No comparison.

  • CoffeeHeidi

    * How would you cook your food?
    1950’s and 1940’s gas stoves (unless the gas stops flowing, They work when the power is out.) Coleman stove, fold-able portable small stove with Heat Cells (canned heat,) homemade campfire pit from the cinder blocks that make up our Asphalt Garden, “heater/cooker” from a coffee can, and eventually both a small propane and charcoal grill. Making a solar cooker is also an option, but our house doesn’t get much sun.

    * How would you make your food stores last longer if the situation lasted for a very long time?
    Rationing, assuming we could catch them – eating the animals around our property (squirrels, rabbits, ground hogs, and the rare deer,) home garden, fishing if we evacuated to an area where we could catch them.

    * How would you create, or replenish your food stores with new food?
    home garden, catch what we can on our tiny property, move on to a better area with more hunting and gardening opportunities, loot abandoned houses, offices, stores, & cars (never from live people or from occupied buildings unless absolutely desperate & then we’d try to barter)

    * Do you have gardening seeds, do you know how to garden, can, preserve, dehydrate etc?
    Yes to all though we need to replenish our seed supply and a pressure cooker is on my wish list. (I already own the supplies for boiling water canning.)

    * How would you catch and prepare small animals?
    This is going to sound silly, but as we currently don’t have guns (have plans to learn & acquire,) we’re getting a small animal trap and stocking up on puppy biscuits. We got the idea from the in-laws who were trapping squirrels that were getting in their attic. We know from leaving puppy biscuits out for Santa’s reindeer (son’s doing) that the local squirrels will eat them. We’d kill them with a knife, sharpened stick, or baseball bat. Sounds cruel now, but if desperate for food, right now that’s what we have.

    * Do you have necessary ingredients to actually make something with your long term storage items
    Many including a ton of spices, gravy, salt, condiments, and years of experience and memorized recipes for making bread (flat and regular) by hand, never machine.

    * Do you have a healthy balance of proteins, fats, and carbs in your storage/
    Yes. We’re lacking fruits, veggies, and enough Gatoraide and water though.

    * WOULD YOU SHARE YOUR FOOD?
    If friends were over and they couldn’t get home, then yes. However we’re not going to advertise to our neighbors, whom we don’t know except for the occasional wave or glare (long story.) We would participate in a “what can you bring to the stone soup” pot or give a can or two to someone really desperate as long as we didn’t think it would lead to everyone thinking that we were the house with food.

  • Prepared Teacher

    * How would you cook your food? BBQ, open fire pit, our fire place and if we still have natural gas ( our stove top). Hopefully making a solar oven for the summer time ( cost to buy one not in budget).

    * How would you make your food stores last longer if the situation lasted for a very long time? use up fridge first, freezer and then food storage. We eat three meals ( no snacking ( or limit to once a week treat) unless we are working hard and need the energy), PREPARED for at 3 month supply ( of pantry items/meals) 6 months would be better and a year the best
    .
    * How would you create, or replenish your food stores with new food? Grow as much as we can, hunt for game, barter for what we need ( get, if any, assistance from the government), or if the world is really bad and there is a huge population wipe out you can scavenge other places/stores and houses but must be careful for mean and violent people and this should be last resort).

    * Do you have gardening seeds, do you know how to garden, can, preserve, dehydrate etc? I do canning ( using BBQ, or gas range) I can garden ( but i am only beginning), need to get a supply of garden seeds of stuff we will eat and what will grow here at our location ( has anyone tried those # 10 cans with the seeds in them to see if they grow?) Dehydrating with oven, microwave or hanging herbs ( but haven’t done it yet but have read about it, so I need to try it).

    * How would you catch and prepare small animals? snares ( must get more snare wire), cat traps, ( however it may catch smaller animals and you have to give up a little of your food) know where animals/fish are located for hunting. have a book and knives that will help you to prepare the animal.

    * Do you have necessary ingredients to actually make something with your long term storage items? I have made a pantry only menu for 14 day dinners. I need to work on a lunch and breakfast menu for the pantry only. If we have the fridge and freezer foods i can make meals because i do have the necessities.

    * Do you have a healthy balance of proteins, fats, and carbs in your storage? I think so, i have fruit, veggies, wheat and pastas, beans, plus sauces and cans of things, i can also make goodies (fats). But i need to get information on this topic, what is a good balance of these? does cooking or storing them specific ways change their proteins, fats or carbs ( i know that potatoes in the fridge make the starch to sugar)…

    * WOULD YOU SHARE YOUR FOOD? with family such as my grandmother and mother and my husband parents, i am not sure i would with my brother and sister in laws because not only is it too many but it would cause problems with my immediate family’s survival. with strangers not likely ( i know its not nice but i have to think of my family first and it took a lot of time and money from our small budget to get what we need to survive) now if things were worse ( such as world flu pandemic and population has gotten very low then we would find people and work together to make a larger family and farm etc)

  • Anonymous

    i wanted to add one more tidbit. take a look now at the food guide pyramid. you will find that for our sedentary lifestyle we do not need as much fat in our diet. likewise, our caloric intake is less. however, if we were forced to work as hard as our grandparents and great grandparents you will find that our caloric intake will be greater! the fat content might even be higher. fat is what helps our brain tell our body that we are full. when i started menu planning i thought of the 7 piece menu plan: 1. protein, 2. grains, 3 vegetables, 4. fruits, 5. dairy, 6. fats/oils, 7. desserts. eventually i simply added 8. water, 9. pre-mixes, and 10. soups. but if i were to prepare a meal with these items in advance i’d be better off. i may not eat it all, but it’s better to have than not have!

    don’t forget to buy dry mixes of gatorade. they last longer! jell-o singles of pudding mixes are great as well. just add milk. don’t have cow’s milk? buy dry milk, add water. mix in flavoring as well.

    • JULIE- Food Storage Made Easy

      I like that you’ve focused on having a balanced diet. These are good tips.

  • •How would you cook your food? We have a gas BBQ grill and a couple extra gas bombs for it. We also have a fire ring in the yard that we sometimes cook on in the summer. I also have something like 20 cans of sterno that someone gave me. I would like to stock up on more charcaol (we have a couple bags). Solar wont work here in the wet rainy forests of the northwest.
    •How would you make your food stores last longer if the situation lasted for a very long time? Well, we would be rationing from day one, trying to fish or trap small game to supplement and depending on the time of year, there is wild forage around, mostly berries of all sorts.
    •How would you create, or replenish your food stores with new food?I have a couple raised garden beds and just bought a green house, now I need to fill it. Also this past year, I planted 7 fruit trees, yes they have to mature, but in the future, that could help out.
    •Do you have gardening seeds, do you know how to garden, can, preserve, dehydrate etc? I have some seeds, but definitely need more. Last year we grew potatoes in a trash can, this year we want to do that again.
    •How would you catch and prepare small animals?we have a rifle, fishing rods and a hunting bow.,
    •Do you have necessary ingredients to actually make something with your long term storage items? Yes,we even have lots of spices to help with appetite fatigue.
    •Do you have a healthy balance of proteins, fats, and carbs in your storage? I believe so, while we may be short on meats, we do have alot of beans and rice which make a complete protien. We also have Quinoa, Millet, Sorghum and lots of canned tunafish and chicken. We have fruits and also grow blue/black/rasp berries and have wild salmon & thimble berries and Salal. Veggies – should be enough and I garden can and dehydrate them.
    •WOULD YOU SHARE YOUR FOOD? Yes, I am planning to share with a couple poeple who can also be of help to us. One thing would be homestead security. My DH can’t do it all alone, so my Ex- and his wife would be welcome or one of our neighbors who is an engineer and has alot of knowledge which would come in handy.

  • Hntersmom

    1.we have a big grill for wood or charcoal, plus a gas grill and even a little butane burner(guess I need to stock up on fuel for the last 2!). I would really like a solar cooker!

    2. definitely rationing. Ill put a lock on the basement door if i have to!

    3..thankfully, our city just passed a chicken ordinance and we are getting or 6 in the spring(of course, with an emp i dont think anyone would complain if you had more than 6!). Gardening would be my new pasttime. we actually have wild strawberries that grow in our yard. im not above eating pets if it ever came down to it. (although id hope ubby would start with any strays)

    4.. i have a few garden seeds. hopefully there’s enough that we could barter with someone else for what we dont have. i stink at gardening(that is a skill hubby has)

    5.hunting is not my skill, hubby does have a bow and arrows and firearms. im sure he could rid a trap too

    6.im sure i could put something together(spam and beans anyone?)

    7. i definitely need grains and more protein. hubby consumes a massive amount of protein when he works

  • J – newbie

    Since I’m just at the beginning of ‘becoming prepared’, we don’t have enough of anything, and certainly not for ongoing balanced nutrition. Working on it, but definitely will take some time. Did start printing out recipes each time I add to stores, but will become much more conscious of ensuring *all* ingredients on-hand when I do.

    Cooking would be hibachi – with minimal briquettes supply at present. Like others, have a couple of small alcohol stoves and one of the little wing stoves – again, with inadequate fuel supplies for the long term. Lots of driftwood on beaches 3-5 blocks away, although probably would be snapped up by those who live closer, plus a large 1/2-wooded park 3 blocks the other way, so a better source of wood. No wood unless in a group, though … too much possibility of encountering ‘questionable’ people.

    Park I mentioned also has small petting zoo, so neighbourhood would need to quickly put in place a way to guard stock (including a bunch of goats and ‘exotic’ chickens) re the long-term + limited access to eggs/milk/cheese. Neighbourhood guard duty &/or animal care = share of the “profits”.

    Gardening is covered a bit better: lots of know-how including simple remedies for bugs, etc. Current seed supply of the basics is adequate for short term, so allowing some of the harvest to go to seed would be crucial for long-term. Our city doesn’t use or allow [toxic] weed killers, so any ‘wild greens’ growing in lawns/parks would be relatively safe to eat!

    Total wimp with zero know-how when it comes to food on the hoof (or fin – can’t even kill fish I catch, which is really embarrassing!) … figure I’ll get over that darn quick once belly started to rumble. Here’s something you might find darkly amusing: local university grounds are **over-run** with rabbits to the point of real danger on a couple of the athletic fields because of burrows. If the university even hints at doing something about it (especially trapping for use by food bank, etc), +50% of people are up in arms & ready to hang the faculty. Wonder how long that would last in a real emergency, LOL.

    Replenishment & game would have to be by barter (my chocolate stash!) and ‘co-op’ concept with others who have hunting or other skills but perhaps didn’t put by enough of the usual stuff or don’t garden or who want to borrow my bow (that’s not yet purchased)!

    IMHO, decreasing daily nutrition is an absolute last resort. As mentioned in the book: the more active, the more calories needed; if not, work capacity – and thought/reaction time – suffers; plus much more likely to let illness get started because immune system couldn’t fight off germs. ADD to list – bigger stash of vitamins.

    Very strongly believe in the idea that “we can all hang together or each of us alone” so would help out and share – *after* family’s basic needs are met (and not my barter chocolate stash, LOL). As said, though, it would under the co-op model of putting in (products, knowledge, work, skills) = share of what’s taken out.

    Thanks for great questions that really expand my thought process … and everyone’s input is sure upping my knowledge in a variety of areas as well as keeping me busy adding to my ‘must get’ list! 🙂

  • J – newbie

    Since I’m just at the beginning of ‘becoming prepared’, we don’t have enough of anything, and certainly not for ongoing balanced nutrition. Working on it, but definitely will take some time. Did start printing out recipes each time I add to stores, but will become much more conscious of ensuring *all* ingredients on-hand when I do.

    Cooking would be hibachi – with minimal briquettes supply at present. Like others, have a couple of small alcohol stoves and one of the little wing stoves – again, with inadequate fuel supplies for the long term. Lots of driftwood on beaches 3-5 blocks away, although probably would be snapped up by those who live closer, plus a large 1/2-wooded park 3 blocks the other way, so a better source of wood. No wood unless in a group, though … too much possibility of encountering ‘questionable’ people.

    Park I mentioned also has small petting zoo, so neighbourhood would need to quickly put in place a way to guard stock (including a bunch of goats and ‘exotic’ chickens) re the long-term + limited access to eggs/milk/cheese. Neighbourhood guard duty &/or animal care = share of the “profits”.

    Gardening is covered a bit better: lots of know-how including simple remedies for bugs, etc. Current seed supply of the basics is adequate for short term, so allowing some of the harvest to go to seed would be crucial for long-term. Our city doesn’t use or allow [toxic] weed killers, so any ‘wild greens’ growing in lawns/parks would be relatively safe to eat!

    Total wimp with zero know-how when it comes to food on the hoof (or fin – can’t even kill fish I catch, which is really embarrassing!) … figure I’ll get over that darn quick once belly started to rumble. Here’s something you might find darkly amusing: local university grounds are **over-run** with rabbits to the point of real danger on a couple of the athletic fields because of burrows. If the university even hints at doing something about it (especially trapping for use by food bank, etc), +50% of people are up in arms & ready to hang the faculty. Wonder how long that would last in a real emergency, LOL.

    Replenishment & game would have to be by barter (my chocolate stash!) and ‘co-op’ concept with others who have hunting or other skills but perhaps didn’t put by enough of the usual stuff or don’t garden or who want to borrow my bow (that’s not yet purchased)!

    IMHO, decreasing daily nutrition is an absolute last resort. As mentioned in the book: the more active, the more calories needed; if not, work capacity – and thought/reaction time – suffers; plus much more likely to let illness get started because immune system couldn’t fight off germs. ADD to list – bigger stash of vitamins.

    Very strongly believe in the idea that “we can all hang together or each of us alone” so would help out and share – *after* family’s basic needs are met (and not my barter chocolate stash, LOL). As said, though, it would under the co-op model of putting in (products, knowledge, work, skills) = share of what’s taken out.

    Thanks for great questions that really expand my thought process … and everyone’s input is sure upping my knowledge in a variety of areas as well as keeping me busy adding to my ‘must get’ list! 🙂

  • Bonnie

    Being a hiker, I have several small alcohol stoves (with extra alcohol) that I could use for cooking. Also a BBQ grill, a fire pit and lots of woods for firewood.
    The first thing I think that should be done is start rationing food as you don’t know how long it will be until you could get more. As long as your food is stable (dried, canned, etc.) you can stretch it out a little longer by making sure you eat enough to survive but not gorging.
    I container garden mostly, so I have lots of plant pots and soil to start some indoors even, if I had to. I have quite a few heirloom seeds but need to get lots more.
    I need more protein in my food storage so that is now a priority.
    As far as sharing my food, I guess it would have to be the circumstance and the people I am being asked to share with. My family? Definately! My neighbors? Maybe. Strangers? Maybe

  • We can garden year round here but water can become an issue because we can go long stretches without rain. We also can use our solar cooker 200-250 days of the year. I am trying hard to replenish our food storage beacuse we have used it with dh out of work for the past year and a half.

  • Sharongriggs

    After an emp you could keep frozen food frozen or you could freeze some food that is in your refrigeraor if you take any regular ice (if you can’t get dry ice) and mix the regular ice with salt as you do when adding salt to ice in a crank ice cream maker. The mixture is cold enough to freeze food. Then put food in ziplock bags and the salt ice mixture in a camping ice chest and place the smaller ice chest inside a larger ice chest with crumpled newspaper in the empty space between the two chests making a double walled ice chest. This will keep food much longer than plain ice inside one ice chest. I have heard that the salt ice mixture is used to freeze fresh fish.

    For cooking I have a wood stove that I heat with all winter long and in the summer there is enough downed small wood from the trees on our farm to make small hot fires. I can break up the small branches by hand. We have a fire ring and have used it. We could also use downed wood to make charcol and then cook with charcol. We have several old cars for parts and they get hot enough in the summer to bake in or to at least dehydrate food in. We also have a propane camp stove that we use when camping or for power outages. As long as I have propane or wood I can cook food till it is hot and then finish cooking it in a thermos or a hay box. Hay is insullation around a pan with a lid containing the hot food.

    • J – newbie

      Sharon, thanks so much for the info about retaining ice longer & insulating properly – and using dry use! Had forgotten all about hay boxes too, so thank you again!

  • I have enough food to share or barter with for now with a few people… but I would need help in catching and cleaning animals .. never hunted before and neither has my hubby.

    We live in suburbs and unfortunately do not have much sun here due to too many large trees to have a good garden, although I had a huge garden at my last home so I know how to garden as long as there are no bad bugs, disease etc. I did some container gardening this year in my front yard and got lots of cukes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. I know that our season is very short and even a container garden is better than none. I do have some heirloom seeds stored just in case. My neighbor who is a friend is a master gardener and we could share if needbe

    I know how to cook my food stock for the most part. I have a hand grinder and some wheat and will be trying that out soon. I have made my own bread before but not ground my own wheat yet.

    I have purchased a Volcano II cooker. Can someone suggest a Dutch Oven to use on it who already has one of these??

    I also know how to dehydrate and can fruits and vegetables. I have a pressure cooker and a regular canner. I have not yet tried canning meats, however.

    A major problem right now is how I would heat the house if my generator fails. I live in the Northeast and it gets pretty cold up here. We have a wood fireplace in my living room which I suppose I could fire up and block off the room from the rest of the home and sleep in there. We typically don’t use that fireplace because of the mess of wood in the living room and we have a gas fireplace in our den. (I wanted a wood stove insert but unfortunately the floating wall design would not allow it)

    No matter how hard one prepares, can one really be fully prepared?

    We will never really know how much we miss something until we are unable to get it.

    • A 12″ Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven (7 Quart) is quality manufacturing and a good fit.

      http://www.lodgemfg.com

      You can use either a 6, 7, or 8 Quart Dutch Oven so long as it is 12″ in diameter.

    • Prepared Teacher

      Get the lodgic brand dutch oven pre-seasoned! and you need plenty of charcoal and the ovens come in many different sizes pick one that is the best for your family and each size requires different amounts of charcoal and the temp food need to be at also determines how many charcoals. If there is a women in the outdoors (usually in may) from the national turkey federation in your area ( you can go to http://www.womenintheoutdoors.org/wito/events.html and click on your area to see if one exists ( its once a year and for 2 days) FUN FUN! get into it, they teach you many skills and one of them is cooking with a dutch oven and you get great handouts with all the information. ( once I find it 🙁 i packed it away with is no help right now I will try to email it to the ladies and they can post it)

    • Stephanie

      We successfully closed off and kept our living room warm with just a fireplace during a five day power outage a few years ago. I used those silver emergency blankets. They are so light that thumb tacks keep them in place even when attached only to the ceiling in some places. I now keep a large supply of them since I think they would eventually get torn with people moving around them. They are not quite long enough to go all the way to the floor but we moved the couch into the most open space. You might also be able to tape them together but I keep looking for larger sizes.

  • melissa

    Question…has anyone tried this milk that is advertised on this forum? Country Cream 100% Real Milk. They make it sound good. Just wondering. I’m considering getting some but is it really better than other powdered milk? thanks!

  • mgariley

    watch wendy dewitt on http://www.youtube.com she has a 9 part series on this. check out the solar cooking episode.

  • Anonymous

    thermos cooking will help you cook your food without releasing the delicious smells!!! camping stove is good for on the go. having a generator is noisy and grabs a lot of attention. having a bbq in the backyard is typical.
    boil the water. put the food in the thermos and let cook. no one outside of the home knows you are cooking. try it. i’ve done it with oatmeals, soups and stews.—mercedes

  • Npp1966

    1. cooking food- trying to incorporate several forms of cooking. have propane grill, a little bit of charcoal working on stocking, also have plans to try and build 1 -2 rocket stoves (wood/branches), soda can stove (denatured alcohol) maybe even try my hand at a solar oven. time, time, time, so short
    2 extend food storage by cutting rations. serve big meal at around 2 -3 p.m and then have light supper of bread and jam or a sandwhich of some type
    3./4. replenishing food over the long term would be difficult. have a few seeds put away and one raised garden bed. room to put in at least 1 more and then there’s the front yard. Can can but this to me seems like it would use a lot of fuel and h2o so wouldn’t be the most feasible form of preserving any harvests, can dehydrate using the sun either on tables or in cars. someone had mentioned salting as a means to preserve might need to look into this form of preserving. Remember my dad salting whole hams then cover with newspaper and a flour sack to hand in the smokehouse in back yard to cure.
    5. small animals- don’t see a lot in town squirrels few and far between, a few raccoons, and possum every now and then. Lots of lizards and frogs.
    6. as my food storage increases so will my meal options. trying to work towards more of a menu based meal storage (wendy dewitt) so that I will have all the ingredients I need somewhere in the house.
    7. protein, bean, can chicken and beef so far
    fats not too many
    carbs rice, oats, some flour, pasta, working on saving up to make a nice wheat purchase
    8 sharing food– undecided about sharing with community. fear that the majority no matter how much you give will think they deserve more and or that you have more to give and it’s theirs to have. this would make them possibly be violent towards my family. would share with immediate family in our area. have 2 family members i’d be leery of sharing too much with as 1 is into drugs and 1 can’t keep mouth shut and would blab to every person coming and going.
    totally unrelated but flipped on dr laurie today and lady was upset that inlaws give money in their family name to charities during the holiday instead of giving gifts directly. the lady was upset that they could really use the money as they were experiencing some dire financial problems and some of the charities they did not really support. dr laura advice “it’s not their (in laws) responsibility to provide for you and your family, you don’t like the charities they pick give them a list of charities you do support and let it go” I’m of the same mind most of the time ” I do not have the responsibility of providing for everyone in my community”. I’ll help were I can but, my family will come first.

  • Clcans

    Would solar panels work for heating and cooking?

    • Solar will not provide enough electrical current without having a full-blown setup designed for the house or mobile home.

      Both configurations run quite a bit of money, but there are solutions out there if you have the money to spend.

      For portable solar, you can run a hot plate or something smaller, but a kitchen range is too much for the average setup.

      The heating part of your question is much, much more complex and could be a thread in itself. Hybrid systems are most likely what you are looking for: Geothermal and Solar Heating.

      This is why these technologies aren’t taking off. It takes more than one to accomplish what people are wanting.

    • Anonymous

      they sure would. copper metals will help to heat up the water.

  • Cooking Food – There is a great portable, collapsible stove called a Volcano II. It will cook with Propane, Wood, or Charcoal. The key to sustainability in a situation like this is having multiple options and this provides that.

    Making Food Last Longer – Sadly, rationing would have to occur first and foremost. I’m certain my wife and I would lose weight, and we would try to replenish with what is available given the situation so as not to be completely depleted. Bartering, trading, savaging, hunting, all options are open for obtaining more food in this scenario.

    Gardening and Seeds – Indoor plants and hydroponics are topics that would be useful in this scenario so as to not attract too much attention. Tons of material and resources out there on this.

    Hunting & Trapping – There are a variety of ways to capture small game without the use of a gun. Ammo is critical for possible trade or bartering. Trapping, use of ropes, snares, etc. would all come into play right away to keep food levels up.

    Diet and Meal Balance – We are not 100% on this and it is a work in progress always. Canning Meats this winter is a focus as will be growing plants indoors to learn. Regardless of any possible scenario, we’re wanting to grow our own fruits and vegetables up to the point of moving out to some acreage in a year or two.

    Sharing – The Christian and right thing to do is, of course, to share. Now, how this is done so not to put anyone at risk is a completely different discussion. Feelings might be hurt and rumors could fly for how much food one family has compared to others. Not good, so this is where I would error to the cautious side and not share unless an emergency or dire situation.

  • Ipreach4god

    as far as cooking…easy for me..i bought the volcano stove w/ propane attachment and 20 15lb bags of charcoal…so i got at least one meal a day for year…

    not really sure about how to make it last longer…i have a child with cystic fibrosis…and am working making my food store as large as possible…for many reasons…

    as far as creating, replenishing….we garden ad rotate the stock of food stores…plus we use one buy 2 as often as possible…and we learned how to can this year…

    gardening seeds…yes and we only buy heirloom…so we are not only buying and saving more seeds…we are growing our own…now…this is also only the second year for us to garden…so i need to learn a lot about soil care and nutrition…we have only just begun on composting…but that at least is the one thing i know i feel great about..

    as far as game…i am very well covered on this…between my weapons..both long range and defensive, archery, and trapping skills i feel that this will last me until we are hunted out…but along with this i also have 5 goats, 16 chickens, and 10 rabbits…nice to live in the country…as far as preparing my animals…i learned how to butcher over the last 2 years by working for free in the evening at a local butcher shop…it was a great way to learn and make a good friend if things go wrong…i may not make the best cuts in meat…but i also have learned how not to waste any…

    my long term not only includes the simple things like soup, ramen noodles, and spam…but also includes red and white wheat…rice, and beans…also…the one purchase that i made this year that i think was a real bonus was a hand mill…so electric may go, but i will still be able to make flour…also, this is something that is on my wish list…a meat grinder…also, hand crank…

    a healthy balance…probably not…..

    food sharing…this is a hard thing..right now i would want to say yes…and i am sure to some extent i will…but i also know that it will be hard for me to actually give up something that i know my children need to an adult that didn’t think to prep…

  • melissa

    I would probably on my BBQ pit with fire wood. I also have a small, old, leaky wood burning stove that is just there for decoration. I would probably set it up outside somewhere so that it would at least give me a good flat service too cook on.

    We would fish, hunt and trap to add to our supplies

    I will be buying some storage seeds for future gardens

    I do know some about gardening. I still have a lot to learn but I do have a small one growing now. I just bought a couple of books on canning and will be buying a pressure canner soon. I have a dehydrator but that won’t do me good in the future.

    Another thing on my list is a small animal trap…well a few of them. My old neighbor knows how to make them. I might have to get him to teach me.

    I have no long term food storage. Still working on short term.
    No, I don’t have a healthy balance of proteins. Well for short term, I do but that would run out quickly.

    I hope that I would share my food. I would share what I could but will really be hoping to be able to trade/share. Since I live on a bayou, I would definitely be sure that I would keep a constant supply of good drinking water to share. It will be hard to see children that are hungry especially mine.

    • I’ve heard, don’t know if true, that you can dehydrate in the back window of a car, if need be. Something to look up and learn more about. :o)

  • Jane

    A wood stove and a supply of seasoned wood is very important to food prep (as well as for heating a home). In a pinch a fireplace, outdoor fire pit or grill can also be used. You can also build a wood fired clay oven and use a simple solar oven made from a cardboard box and tinfoil if you live in a climate with enough sun.

    We have chickens and mini-dairy goats (Nigerian Dwarfs) a small orchard and garden space that is being switched over to the Square Foot gardening method this coming year. And hopefully we will be adding a small green house as well.

    Food would be shared with family & a few close friends including the elderly couple next door. We already share with each other so that would be nothing new.

  • I at least feel like I can manage in the food department. As long as we don’t robbed or something. The hard part will be planning ahead for future years and having enough room to grow crops.

    • Ipreach4god

      don’t you all use a wonder mill…just thinking a lot of your storage food will not be usable without a hand grinder…

      • I’ve got both an electric and a manual grinder. Although I’m not looking forward to hand grinding, blech. There are also lots of ways to eat wheat and legumes without grinding it. We’ve done research on that to help people who may not be able to afford a grinder yet.