Thursday, 11 August 2016

09:09 – I opened the test can of Augason Farms Potato Shreds for dinner last night. I weighed out 100 grams of them and rehydrated them in boiling water. After I removed as much of the water as possible by draining and pressing them, they weighed 530 grams, which was a bit more than I expected. So, one $8.24 #10 can of the potato shreds does indeed reconstitute to the equivalent of 6.5+ pounds of raw potatoes, at a price per pound lower than buying the frozen Ore-Ida hash browns.

Barbara fried them up in lard. We both concluded that they were indistinguishable from the Ore-Ida hash browns, which we have frequently as a side dish with dinners. Tastes at least as good, 25-year shelf life, doesn’t require any freezer space, and cheaper to boot. What’s not to like? I plan to order six or eight cans to keep in the pantry. From now on, instead of reconstituting them in boiling water, we’ll just soak them in water overnight, so that we can just drain them and fry them without further ado.

Eric from Blue Ridge Electric Co-op showed up yesterday to give us a quote on installing a propane tank and lines. As it turns out, he’s a prepper who’s just starting out. He just bought a Colt AR-15 and a thousand rounds for himself, and he’s having his father-in-law, a retired gunsmith, build a second AR for his wife, using an 80% lower. They just put their house on the market yesterday. It’s in a typical development, with small lots and homes close together. He wants to build a home on some acreage, where they’ll have some separation from neighbors and room to grow some crops. As a young married couple, their problem is money. He and his wife both see bad things coming and want to get prepared as best they can. He said if they could afford it, he’d build a bunker for them. I told him he didn’t need a bunker. What he needs to do is assure a water supply and get a lot of LTS food stored in their pantry. I’m sure I’ll be talking with Eric again.

My advice to any beginning prepper is the same. Don’t focus on one thing; cover all the bases equally and incrementally. Too many beginning preppers have tunnel vision. I frequently exchange email with people who have a slew of guns and ammunition but no food or water put by, and the converse. As I tell them, one can’t eat or drink guns and ammo, and one can’t defend oneself very well by throwing cans of vegetables. The trick is to buy some of each thing you need when starting out, and then gradually expand all categories until you’re where you want to be.