Powerless Cooking Adventures

Summertime is the PERFECT opportunity to practice your powerless cooking skills. In fact, we even shared a post with 10 Ways to Practice Powerless Cooking This Summer several years ago. We always like to come up with fun events to incentivize force ourselves to actually practice what we preach. So this summer we are bringing back our Powerless Cooking Adventures but with an added community aspect to it which we are totally excited about!

powerless-cooking

Here’s how the adventures will work:

  • We commit to cooking AT LEAST once a week using one of our powerless cooking options which we will list below.
  • We will share our adventures via all our social media channels so make sure you are subscribed wherever you prefer to follow us:
    – Instagram
    – Facebook page
    – YouTube
  • YOU can join in the fun by posting YOUR powerless cooking adventures over on our Facebook group. There MAY even be prizes involved along the way.
  • We will also post lots of educational content throughout the month so make sure to keep checking the blog and also sign up for our newsletter list so you don’t miss anything!

Powerless Cooking Options

All-American Sun Oven – Cook with the power of the sun
Volcano Grill – Perfect for dutch oven or using a variety of fuels
HERC Tea Light Candle Oven – Cook indoors just like a regular oven
Helius Rocket Stove – Heavy duty rocket stove for major cooking or outdoor canning
Camping Stoves – Any small camp stove will be good to practice on
Butane Stove – We like this option for cooking on a stovetop indoors
Barbecue Grills – This should be an easy one to practice, so no excuses!
Cardboard Box Oven – Make this using household materials and cook with charcoal
Pizza Box Sun Oven – Cook slowly or re-heat foods in this simple little oven
#10 Can Grill – Perfect for roasting hot dogs and fun to make
#10 Can Stove – Uses any number of fuels and boil water or heat up foods


Making Potato Salad in a Sun Oven

sunoven-potato-salad

Last week we hosted a Sun Oven Cooking Essentials Webinar (you can still access the free class through Wednesday, May 4th at midnight). Paul Munsen, president of Sun Ovens International always shares so many great tips on actually USING your Sun Oven to save time and money in the kitchen and I learn something new every time I listen to him speak.

This class was no different. I got it in my head that I really wanted to try the hard-boiled egg trick and Sunday dinner was a perfect opportunity. I somehow ended up hosting my entire family for a dinner and there were 24 people coming to my house for a barbecue. I was scrambling to make a bunch of side dishes and decided this would be a great time-saver to throw my eggs and potatoes in the Sun Oven to cook while I worked on other food items (I was also making this amazing pasta salad using tons of my food storage foods, it was a good preparedness day over here).

I wrapped up my potatoes in aluminum foil after washing them off. I didn’t poke holes in them or peel them or anything. I laid them out on the Sun Oven tray with space in between each one. Then I stuck six eggs in there on top of the potatoes and closed the lid.

After about 90 minutes I went to check on things. I hadn’t repositioned the Sun Oven so the temperature dropped a bit. The potatoes were close to done but still a little firm in the middle. The eggs were more like a soft-boil consistency but the whites were still a bit goopy too. I got the Sun Oven a bit hotter and left them in to keep cooking. In the meantime my family arrived and I sort of forgot about making the potato salad in all the chaos. After about two more hours I checked on them again. Oopsies.

Surprise surprise, it still worked! The potatoes were PERFECT. They did not get too soft or mushy by being overcooked. The eggs took on a strange orangish-yellowish tinge (I believe because I overcooked them) but I tasted them and they were just fine and the consistency was great.

After everyone left I chopped everything up (left the peels on the potatoes and everything). It took me literally five minutes to throw together a complete potato salad. I now have a full bowl just to myself since I missed having it ready for the family, but it was delicious and I’m not complaining!

This is definitely something I want to try again. I loved not having to heat up my oven for 45 minutes to bake potatoes or peel and chop and boil on my stove which always seems to make a huge mess. Don’t forget you can still grab your special Sun Oven Webinar Package until Wednesday if you don’t already have your own. We really do love them not only for emergencies but for every day use!


How to Make a Pizza Box Solar Oven

We are going to be holding a FREE Sun Oven Cooking Essentials webinar next Wednesday (April 27th) and we want to invite you to join in! We’ve been thinking about solar cooking a lot as the weather is starting to warm up and we are lucky enough to have Paul Munsen from Sun Oven International speak to all of our readers about the benefits of cooking with the sun and how to use Sun Oven’s in particular. We hope that you will join us for this great class (there will be a special offer on Sun Oven’s at the end for those who listen in too). Click here to register now and get reminders as it gets closer to the event as well as a replay link if you miss it!

For those who don’t have the budget for a heavy duty solar oven right now, you can still join in the fun! We put together a little solar “oven” using a simple pizza box and other basic materials you should already have hanging around the house. So take a few minutes, grab a few helpers, and make yourself a little solar oven and start practicing up! Obviously this little project won’t cook as hot or as quickly as a real Sun Oven and the capacity is much smaller, but it can definitely be used in an emergency. So we hope you will listen in to the webinar, and either make one of these fun Pizza Box Ovens or grab your own Sun Oven in our awesome webinar package.

pizzaboxsunoven

Materials Needed:
– One empty pizza box (the bigger the better)
– Aluminum foil
– Plastic wrap
– Black construction paper
– Scotch tape
– Ruler
– Pencil
– Knife or razor blade

Step 1:
Measure and draw a straight line about 1 1/2 inches from the outside of the box.

IMG_9734

Step 2:
Use a knife or razor blade and cut three edges along the drawn line (leave the top edge uncut to act as a hinge)

IMG_9740

Step 3:
Cover the inside of the top flap with aluminum foil. Also cover the inside edges of the pizza box with the foil. Tape it all down securely.

IMG_9746

Step 4:
Cover the open area of the lid with plastic wrap to help retain heat and keep bugs, dirt, and moisture out. Do two layers of plastic and tape it down very well.

IMG_9747

Step 5:
Tape black paper in the middle of the box bottom to absorb the heat from the sun which will be reflecting in.

IMG_9764 (1)

Step 6:
Prop the lid open with a pencil or ruler and aim the box into direct sunlight to start cooking!

IMG_9766 (1)

Optional: You can roll up newspaper rolls and stuff them in the sides to add insulation. You can also use a thermometer inside to test your temperatures.

Hopefully you can have a little fun making your own solar cooker. It’s a fun activity to do with the little ones. It didn’t get super hot and I had to hold the box down with a crowbar because it’s so windy in my area. But it definitely got hot enough to melt cheese so there are a few things we could use it for in an emergency!

Don’t forget to register for the Sun Oven webinar to learn more about solar cooking and the higher quality Sun Ovens if that’s something you are interested in! Here is a little more information about the webinar:

Sun Oven Cooking Essentials Seminar

Want to know more about how to cook with the power of the sun? The Sun Ovens Cooking Essentials Seminar will show you the fundamental sun cooking and baking techniques to help you warm up to the idea of cooking with the sun to save money now and be better prepared for emergencies. Whether you have a Sun Oven and want to learn more or you know nothing about solar cooking you will find this seminar beneficial.

Date: Wednesday April 27
Time: 6 pm Mountain Time 7 p.m. Central Time
Click Here to Register: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/food-storage-made-easy-sun-oven-essentials-seminar-tickets-24270332217


7 Day Challenge 2015: DAY 7 (TUESDAY)

Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. Today is the FINAL DAY! Did you survive? For 7 days, we have been testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days (unless we say otherwise)! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.

7DAY7

You have run into some hard times financially but have felt the need to get better prepared. An anonymous donor has offered to give you a Food Storage and Preparedness Makeover and foot the bill for it. Today your task is to inventory your food storage and emergency preparedness items and come up with a wish list for your makeover. Reorganize your room to fit the new supplies you will be getting and make it better organized.

Goal: Organize your food storage and make a future shopping list for yourself

Today’s Tasks:

  • Revisit your three month supply plan. Are you fully stocked on everything? Are all of your three month supply items stored together? What is your rotation plan?
  • Update your long term food storage calculator with your current inventory levels.
  • Determine if your current food storage plan works with your regular diet. Do you need to make adjustments to what you are storing?
  • Arrange like items with like items on your shelves
  • Make a list of the items you still need to buy to complete your three month and one year supplies
  • Look over your emergency preparedness items and re-arrange them as necessary
  • Make a list of emergency preparedness items you may need to purchase
  • Take a before and after picture of your “makeover”
  • FILL OUT YOUR MASTER WORKSHEET TODAY – Doing it as you practice each day will help you remember what you want to include.

fbSHARING TIME: Visit today’s Facebook thread and share a picture or description of your food storage makeover!

Today’s Limitations:

  • Once your makeover is complete the challenge is OVER! Go and buy a donut or a diet coke or whatever it is you’ve been missing this week 🙂

Advanced Tasks:

  • Go and purchase everything on your shopping list and add it to your newly reorganized food storage area

Helpful Posts on This Topic:

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dailyworksheet

Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 8.51.13 PMWe put together a master worksheet for you to fill out each day of the challenge. There is a separate page to list the things you need to buy, do, and learn after each day of the challenge. Include a due date of when you’d like to accomplish the task and check it off when you do it! Fill it out at the end of each day while your memory is fresh.

REMEMBER, TOMORROW’S CHALLENGE WILL BE DIFFERENT
Check your email first thing in the morning!


7 Day Challenge 2015: DAY 6 (MONDAY)

Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days (unless we say otherwise)! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.

7day6

Your older children are learning are at the age where they are able to babysit younger siblings or other people. While they are home alone an emergency situation arises. Have your kids go through several scenarios and practice first aid and safety skills. If you have only younger kids or no children at home you can practice this with grandkids, neighbors, etc.

Goal: Help your children understand potential emergencies and be ready for them

Today’s Tasks:

  • Brainstorm medical emergencies that are likely to happen
  • Make a “cheat sheet” for what to do for each medical emergency scenario
  • Practice the first aid skills required for each scenario
  • Make a list of first aid supplies you may need to get
  • Brainstorm other emergencies that may occur (fire, flood, earthquake, burglar)
  • Make a cheat sheet and practice what to do for each of the non-medical emergencies that may occur
  • FILL OUT YOUR MASTER WORKSHEET TODAY – Doing it as you practice each day will help you remember what you want to include.

fbSHARING TIME: Visit today’s Facebook thread and share your experiences with day 6. We’d love to see your cheat sheets or hear how your kids felt about going over these scenarios.

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
  • No other limitations today

Advanced Tasks:

  • Don’t tell your kids and do a trial run with some kind of emergency (maybe set off a fire alarm) and see how well they do under pressure
  • Discuss the test with them afterwards and go over what they did well and what they could do better next time

dailyworksheet

Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 8.51.13 PMWe put together a master worksheet for you to fill out each day of the challenge. There is a separate page to list the things you need to buy, do, and learn after each day of the challenge. Include a due date of when you’d like to accomplish the task and check it off when you do it! Fill it out at the end of each day while your memory is fresh.

REMEMBER, TOMORROW’S CHALLENGE WILL BE DIFFERENT
Check your email first thing in the morning!


7 Day Challenge 2015: DAY 5 (SUNDAY)

Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days (unless we say otherwise)! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.

7day5

There have been severe shortages of milk and egg products worldwide. You can’t get any at the store and your fresh supplies ran out several weeks ago.

Goal: Cook all of your meals without using fresh milk or eggs

Today’s Tasks:

  • Cook breakfast without using any dairy products or eggs
  • Cook lunch without using any dairy products or eggs
  • Cook a fancy Sunday dinner for your family without using any dairy products or eggs
  • Research possible substitutions for cow’s milk and egg products. You never know when a shortage or a possible allergy may arise and it’s good to have substitutions available as opposed to just powdered versions of the products
  • FILL OUT YOUR MASTER WORKSHEET TODAY – Doing it as you practice each day will help you remember what you want to include.

fbSHARING TIME: Visit today’s Facebook thread and share a picture of something you are cooking today!.

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
  • Do not use any products containing cow’s milk or eggs today

Advanced Tasks:

  • Someone in your family is allergic to milk and eggs so you can’t use powdered milk or powdered eggs in your cooking
  • Make a meal plan for 7 days using only what is in your storage using no milk or eggs

dailyworksheet

Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 8.51.13 PMWe put together a master worksheet for you to fill out each day of the challenge. There is a separate page to list the things you need to buy, do, and learn after each day of the challenge. Include a due date of when you’d like to accomplish the task and check it off when you do it! Fill it out at the end of each day while your memory is fresh.

REMEMBER, TOMORROW’S CHALLENGE WILL BE DIFFERENT
Check your email first thing in the morning!


7 Day Challenge 2015: DAY 4 (SATURDAY)

Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days (unless we say otherwise)! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.

7day4

A sewage plant leak has caused all of your household water to become contaminated. The city has shut off the water supply to avoid anyone drinking the contaminated water. Go about your regular household business without using running water today.
Goal: Practice carrying on with your daily life with no running water

Today’s Tasks:

  • Go and shut off your main water line in case it is not purified when services are restored (review this post if you don’t know how)
  • If you have any empty water containers … you have ONE HOUR from the time you read this to go and fill them all up, then you can use them as a resource for today
  • Prepare all your meals without running water
  • Clean all of your dishes using only stored water (practice water conservation tricks)
  • You must find a way for you (and your family if applicable) to bathe or shower today
  • Find the nearest source of fresh water to your home, bring some home and purify it to conserve some of the water you have stored
  • Do a load of laundry … without running water!
  • Calculate how much water you used today, how long can you live on what you have stored?
  • FILL OUT YOUR MASTER WORKSHEET TODAY – Doing it as you practice each day will help you remember what you want to include.

fbSHARING TIME: Visit today’s Facebook thread and share a picture or details of your water adventures today.

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
  • Do not use running water at all, make sure to do task #1 to keep from accidentally turning it on.
  • You can’t flush toilets unless you use up your precious stored water.

Advanced Tasks:

  • Assume the water has been contaminated for an extended period of time, you have already used up all of the stored water in your home
  • Your car is in the shop and you must go collect water without a vehicle

resources

Helpful Posts on This Topic:

Helpful Products for This Topic:

dailyworksheet

Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 8.51.13 PMWe put together a master worksheet for you to fill out each day of the challenge. There is a separate page to list the things you need to buy, do, and learn after each day of the challenge. Include a due date of when you’d like to accomplish the task and check it off when you do it! Fill it out at the end of each day while your memory is fresh.

REMEMBER, TOMORROW’S CHALLENGE WILL BE DIFFERENT
Check your email first thing in the morning!


7 Day Challenge 2015: DAY 3 (FRIDAY)

Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days (unless we say otherwise)! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.

7day3

There are widespread riots and much civil unrest in your state. The governor has declared a state of Marshall Law. You are concerned for your family’s safety and individual rights. Make sure you have your defense plans in place first. Things get so bad that you plan to gather with a group of like-minded individuals in a community out in the country. You will stay in your tent for tonight through tomorrow morning.
Goal: Evaluate your “home defense” plans and prepare for a long-term evacuation

Today’s Tasks:

  • Educate yourself on various ways to defend your home. What are your beliefs on self-defense? Have you discussed this with your family? Here is a post we did that covers lots of options.
  • Inventory anything in your home that you may use as a weapon to protect your family from the riots. Is it in good condition? Have you used it recently?
  • If you have guns, inventory all of your ammunition. Do you know where it is? Do you have enough for an extended period of time?
  • Review gun and knife safety with your children.
  • A neighboring community was overrun by a large mob forcing everyone to leave their homes. Your community has learned that the mob is coming to your area next. As a group you decided leaving would be a safer option and have agreed to band together and move to the country and live in tents. Pack up everything you would want to bring for an extended stay there and see how it fits in your vehicles. How much could you bring? How would you prioritize your space?
  • Take your family out and stay in a tent starting after school/work and through tomorrow morning. No running water, no electricity, and eating only items that you brought with you.
  • FILL OUT YOUR MASTER WORKSHEET TODAY – Doing it as you practice each day will help you remember what you want to include.

fbSHARING TIME: Visit today’s Facebook thread and share what you learned about during today’s challenge.

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
  • Do not use running water or electricity while you are “camping”, even if you only camp in your backyard.

Advanced Tasks:

  • Go out for some target practice with your guns if you have them.
  • Research concealed weapons permits and sign up for a class (if you don’t already have yours)
  • Stay in your tent long enough to cook at least three complete meals.
  • Pretend you have used up your fuel supply and use only fuel you gather from your campsite.

dailyworksheet

Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 8.51.13 PMWe put together a master worksheet for you to fill out each day of the challenge. There is a separate page to list the things you need to buy, do, and learn after each day of the challenge. Include a due date of when you’d like to accomplish the task and check it off when you do it! Fill it out at the end of each day while your memory is fresh.

REMEMBER, TOMORROW’S CHALLENGE WILL BE DIFFERENT
Check your email first thing in the morning!


7 Day Challenge 2015: DAY 2 (THURSDAY)

Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days (unless we say otherwise)! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.

7day2

Scientists are reporting that a solar flare is going to be erupting in the next few days. You may lose power for an extended period of time. Today your task is to inventory all of your powerless cooking supplies and practice using each one so you are confident in your ability to use it!
Goal: Practice cooking without power and assess your fuel supplies

Today’s Tasks:

  • Pull out every stove/oven option you have for powerless cooking. Make sure you know where they are and have all the accessories located for them.
  • Inventory all of your fuel supplies.
  • Calculate how many meals can you cook based on the fuel that you currently have. Use our fuels handout for a guideline on calculating.
  • Practice cooking at least ONE THING using each of your cooking tools (this can be as simple as boiling water or baking cookies)
  • Don’t forget to add more fuel to your daily worksheet list if you don’t have a big enough supply to meet your needs.
  • FILL OUT YOUR MASTER WORKSHEET TODAY – Doing it as you practice each day will help you remember what you want to include.

fbSHARING TIME: Visit today’s Facebook thread and share a picture of you cooking something without electricity. How prepared do you feel you would be to face this type of emergency?

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
  • Do not use any of your regular kitchen appliances today (no gas or electric stoves). We want to practice practice practice.
  • Do not use electricity to “prep” any meals (no wheat grinders, food processors, etc.) We want to see what it will really be like when the solar flare hits.

Advanced Tasks:

resources

Helpful Posts on This Topic:

Helpful Products for This Topic:

dailyworksheet

Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 8.51.13 PMWe put together a master worksheet for you to fill out each day of the challenge. There is a separate page to list the things you need to buy, do, and learn after each day of the challenge. Include a due date of when you’d like to accomplish the task and check it off when you do it! Fill it out at the end of each day while your memory is fresh.

REMEMBER, TOMORROW’S CHALLENGE WILL BE DIFFERENT
Check your email first thing in the morning!


7 Day Challenge 2015: DAY 1 (WEDNESDAY)

Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days (unless we say otherwise)! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.

7day1

A fire erupts in your house and blocks your regular exits/stairwells. You must evacuate your family and pets using alternative exits. Your garage/carport collapsed and damaged your vehicles. All of your household items including your purse/wallet were lost in the fire.
Goal: Practice exit strategies and test your insurance/inventory preparedness levels

Today’s Tasks:

  • Practice evacuating from each bedroom in your home. If you have upstairs bedrooms do you have an escape ladder? Can you open the windows and remove the screens? Do your children know how to do this?
  • You have 15 minutes to get your family out and grab any “supplies” or “keepsakes” from your bedrooms. Take them outside as your evacuate.
  • All of your belongings and vehicles were destroyed. Did you have your important insurance documents stored in a safe or offsite somewhere?
  • Make a list of everything that was in your purse and wallet that you will need to replace. Do you have contact information for all your credit cards?
  • Do you have a home furnishings inventory? You will have to file an insurance claim and will need to document all of your belongings in order for them to be replaced.
  • Were your computers destroyed? Did you have an online backup setup? What about your family photo albums and scrapbooks? Make a list of everything you would hate to lose and make a copy to store offsite or get a digital copy uploaded somewhere!
  • FILL OUT YOUR MASTER WORKSHEET TODAY – Doing it as you practice each day will help you remember what you want to include.

fbSHARING TIME: Visit today’s Facebook thread and share your experiences with your evacuation. How hard was it for you and your family to escape? Were your insurance papers accessible and in order? Bonus points for posting a picture!

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants.
  • Do not “evacuate” through any of your exits. If your bedrooms are upstairs this means crawling out windows!
  • No running downstairs or to your main living areas to grab ANYTHING for the evacuation

Advanced Tasks:

  • Stay away from home for 4 hours using only what you grabbed to evacuate with
  • Make a plan for different scenarios of evacuation, who will help who. What if you can’t reach other? Which room is the best to evacuate from if you can’t get to a door? WRITE IT DOWN
  • Make a grab and go list of items you could take from your bedrooms if you couldn’t access your doors. Post this near your escape window.
  • Test your smoke detectors and replace batteries if necessary.

resources
Helpful Posts on This Topic:

Helpful Products for This Topic:

dailyworksheet

Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 8.51.13 PMWe put together a master worksheet for you to fill out each day of the challenge. There is a separate page to list the things you need to buy, do, and learn after each day of the challenge. Include a due date of when you’d like to accomplish the task and check it off when you do it! Fill it out at the end of each day while your memory is fresh.

REMEMBER, TOMORROW’S CHALLENGE WILL BE DIFFERENT
Check your email first thing in the morning!