Friday, October 22, 2010

The comments trump the post....

Again... :) Thanks to kind readers, I now have more information about gluten. Without further comment from me, here are responses I got to my last post:

From Catherine:

"We've had to do as-gluten-free-as-possible storage (my daughter ad I both react to gluten). The only mix I have to buy is Pamela's Pancake/baking mix. It's kinda like Bisquick. We use it for pancakes and pot pie crust.

Store lots of potatoes, and learn to use the potato starch to thicken dishes instead of flour. For example, when making scalloped potatoes, if you slice your potatoes ahead of time into the milk you are going to use in the recipe and let them soak for a few minutes, the starch in the potatoes will leach into the milk and thicken the sauce while it cooks. Voila, gluten-free scalloped potatoes.

Other than that, we eat lots of slow-cooker/solar-cooker meals: Minestrone with either rice pasta or just rice, chicken soup, chicken pot pie, chicken enchiladas (all from one chicken, I might add), risotto, polenta, cassoulet (a bean and pork/lamb/goat/whatever-meat-is-available stew), frittata, latkes (potato pancakes), Cuban beans, lot of squash dishes, posole, and lots of vegetable dishes.

When cooking gluten free, you pretty much have to ignore the standard American diet, because almost everything in it has gluten/HFCS/coal-tar-based colors (red40/yellow5&6/blue1)/other nasties. Think ethic foods and you'll do fine. Mexican food (minus the flour tortillas)is almost totally gluten-free.

Our food storage consists of lots of beans and rice, but it is also heavy on the potatoes. We stock lots of corn in several forms (corn on the cob for fresh, corn off the cob for soup, hulled and dried for hominy, ground for polenta). We have goats, so we use milk in many of our meals. We use eggs as our "meat dish" frequently. We eat 1 chicken per week (which I stretch to cover at least 4 meals) and use about a pound of bacon each week for flavoring.

Hope that helps."

From Jenn:

"This is my life -- I started a blog to detail this - Hopefully, I'll find some free time to update it again someday. Still plenty of good info, though."

(You can press on the address to link to the blog.)

From Vlad:

"I tried millet, amaranth, quinoa and oatmeal in my chili.
Oatmeal taste good, is very nutritious and a lot cheaper.
BTW I cannot find anyone who knows
if cleaned whole oats (oat groats) at the feed store are ok
for human consumption. (From what I read a lot of foods from
China n the grocery store are not suitable for human consumption)
Whole oats 50 lb $9.95 = 20 cents a lb.
Oatmeal 42 oz $2.49 = 95 cents a lb.

2 lb ground beef chuck
2 cups oatmeal (crimped oats)
15 oz can Ranch Style Beans
two tablespoons
one tablespoon
chili powder
yellow curry
two teaspoons

boil meat and oatmeal until done
add beans
put spices in half cup water,
shake well and stir into chili"

Thank you so much, Catherine, Jenn, and Vlad! Gotta love when you not only get information, but practical ways to use that information...

Friday, October 15, 2010

What about needing to go gluten-free?

On one of my posts quite a while ago (I think it was on my other blog, if memory serves) about rice and beans recipes, a comment was left about a commenter's family member needing to eat food that is gluten-free, and finding storage to meet that need. Lately I have been encountering a lot of people that need to have gluten-free diets, and thinking about what I would need to know/do if I needed to supply gluten-free food on a regular basis from my food storage.

Um, yeah. Unfortunately, right now, other than the rice and beans mentioned, I have next to no idea.

Thing is, from what I understand, needing to go gluten-free can happen at any time, and doesn't happen at any particular time. This could be a major problem if you are about 100 lbs. into your 400 lbs. of wheat in your food storage, and have stored little else. I don't claim to know a lot about this, (so please don't be unkind in the comments--I'm not purposely messing this up) but I can imagine that it would be difficult to cope with a total change in diet anytime, and even worse if there were other factors like a long-term emergency. So my question is, what do you store in your food storage in case something like this happens (or if you find yourself responsible for someone who can't eat gluten)? I have asked some people if they have recipes for the gluten-free food they have made, but mostly, if not all of the time, I have heard that they made the food from mixes. I would imagine that would be expensive, but I have not looked into it fully.

So, now the search begins. I imagine there are sites out on the internet that are full of gluten-free recipes, but I need the same kind of recipes that I look for even when gluten isn't a factor--pretty easy, (cuts down on emergency stress) fewer rather than more ingredients, and hey, hopefully, pretty tasty. If anyone has recipes/information to share, please do. Just another factor that might be a consideration when it comes to emergency food storage...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Coupons can be good...

I love coupons if they're for something that I'd buy anyway. Got this link in my e-mail that leads to a page for coupons for Campbell's products, like canned soup, which is one of my favorite food storage items, so I thought I'd post it. And seeing as how I use soup normally anyway, it's a win-win. No, neither I nor anyone I know of is directly connected to Campbell's, but we like their soup around here, so I will probably be printing some of these out soon...

Oh, and after I wrote the post on emergency lists, I saw this post over at iPrepared. Each family is going to have a very personalized list, but the more ideas that are out there, the more people will be prepared for emergencies, I hope. I love getting more information...

For some reason, my account is being difficult today, so I was unable to post responses to the comments left on my last post. There were some interesting links left about growing food all year round, and I always appreciate it when people take the time to comment--as for the terrariums, the way that I put them together (food container with lid + potting soil) couldn't get any easier, so if anyone tries it, let me know how it works out for you. Thanks Vlad and Book Lady!

I sent one of the children out to count the pumpkins, and it looks like we have seven likely usable candidates for Halloween, pumpkin seeds, etc. Gotta love growing your own... :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Corn grand total: 1

That's right--we got a total of one edible ear of corn from our garden this year. Frankly, it's one more than I was expecting, so I was glad to get the one. In other garden news, we have picked our first carrot, and the pumpkins look promising, so things are looking up...

In other "growing things" news, I recently did a project with some children, and they made terrariums. I researched it on the internet, and tried to find the least expensive (read: absolute cheapest) way to put together a terrarium, and after reading about cutting up soda bottles and using pebbles and other materials, I headed to the dollar store.

Granted, you can buy soda, and it's not that expensive, but my family doesn't drink that much soda, and given the number of terrariums that needed to be made, the amount of soda that would need consuming would be unhealthy by anyone's estimate. Soooo, I bought clear food containers with clear lids at $1.00 a piece, and headed to the local national chainstore for some potting soil.

My conscience was eased somewhat by the fact that the ingredient list on the potting soil was quite lengthy and included at least one of the materials that was needed in the directions for the more complicated terrariums I had researched. I had also done some good old- fashioned research by visiting the expert in the gardening section of a home improvement store, so by the time I purchased the barest minimum of supplies, I was pretty sure that there was a reasonable expectation that things might work out for our terrariums (I know, how could it fail when I was so certain about its success? :). I took the food containers, the potting soil, and some left-over bean seeds from our garden, and headed to the activity. (Note to self (and anyone who may be reading) : Don't expect the home improvement store to have any seeds if you wait to do terrariums until after the typical planting season....)

So, a good time was had by all, and the seeds were planted, the soil slightly dampened with a few drops of water, and the containers sealed. I told them not to put the plants in direct sunlight, but only in indirect sunlight. They went home, and I stopped thinking about it.

Well, last week, some of them told me that their plants were thriving, and that they had outgrown their containers pretty quickly. If memory serves, it was mentioned that one of the plants had to be transplanted. Sooooo----it worked!!!! Yeah, the joy is there. So now, I'm thinking, what could I plant this winter? Would there be enough sunlight in the Idaho winter to have plants actually produce food? Hey, I still have some potting soil left, and if I got just one ear of corn out of it.... :)

Ok, I'm kidding about the corn--but not about the rest of it. In any case, I could start some of my plants in terrariums next spring if we have weather like we did last spring, which delayed planting. Something to think about, anyway....