Thursday, 18 August 2016

09:38 – We had another monsoon yesterday afternoon. It dropped more than an inch (2.5 cm) of rain on us in about 20 minutes, accompanied by very high winds and lots of lightning where there was only a fraction of a second gap between the flash and the boom. Colin was beyond terrified. He’s a high-attention dog all the time, but heavy rain, high winds, and lightning/thunder scare the hell out of him. I finally went back and stretched out on the bed, where he went into four-paw drive and climbed up on top of me. I went out to my desk. He hid under the desk for about 30 seconds and then forced his way up between my legs and climbed up into my lap. I wouldn’t mind so much, except that he also claws me the whole time, demanding that I do something about the problem. After the rain, wind, and thunder slacked off, the sirens started. I suspect there was some significant property damage, and maybe some injuries. Every time he hears a siren, Colin heads for the front door or windows to bark at it. If it’s particularly close, he does synchronized howling.

Some people are unaware that one can actually starve to death even with an unlimited supply of wheat, rice, and corn or foods made from those grains. The problem is that the amino acid profile of grains is low in some essential amino acids (those that the human body cannot synthesize from other amino acids). The same is true of beans, but the essential amino acids that beans are short of are present in abundance in grains, and vice versa. That’s why all cultures, going back to prehistory, have eaten grains and beans in combination. Together, they provide complete protein.

Meats, eggs, milk, and other animal-based foods include complete protein, and may be used to “fill out” the protein profile of beans or, more commonly, grains. We store a lot of canned meats, but in a long-term emergency additional meat will be harder to come by than beans. Also, obviously, animal-based proteins are much more costly and difficult to store than are vegetable-based proteins.

The problem is that most citizens of the first world are used to getting their complete protein by combining grains and meat. Beans generally play a relatively minor role in our diets. People generally prefer to eat what they’re used to eating, so few people would regard a combination of grains and beans to be appetizing.

I mentioned this issue in passing to Jen, and told her that we aren’t storing any dry beans, although we have about 100 cans of Bush’s Best Baked Beans. We don’t store dry beans, because neither Barbara nor I knows how to make a bean-based dish appetizing. I got email from Jen yesterday with a recipe she suggested we try. She and her family felt much the same about eating beans as we do, but she said this recipe turned out extremely well. She says the herbs and spices are what makes this dish worth eating. This recipe makes enough to feed four to six people. We’ll probably halve it for our first test run.

Bean Gloppita (Feeds four to six)

2 cans (15-ounce each) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups long-grain white rice, uncooked
6 cups of water
2 Tbsp of olive oil
1 cup of fresh chopped onion (or equivalent rehydrated dry onion)
1 cup of fresh bell peppers (or equivalent rehydrated dry bell peppers)
3 cloves of garlic, chopped (or equivalent rehydrated dry garlic flakes)
2 tsp of chili powder
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of dried oregano
½ tsp of dried coriander
½ tsp of ground red pepper
¼ cup of shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

1. Bring five cups of water to a boil. Stir in rice, return to a boil, turn down heat, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until water is absorbed.

2. Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add fresh or rehydrated bell peppers and onion. Cook until tender, about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another minute or two. Add the remaining one cup of water and all of the remaining ingredients other than the cheese. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, or until rice is ready.

Serve bean gloppita over hot rice and sprinkle cheddar on top.

FedEx showed up yesterday with three more #10 cans of Augason Farms dehydrated potato shreds from Walmart. Those three cans are equivalent to about 10.4 30-ounce packages of the Ore-Ida frozen shredded hashbrowns, but at a total cost of $24.72 plus tax, versus $31.10 for 10.4 packages of the Ore-Ida frozen shreds. (Walmart has since increased the price from $8.24/can a week ago to $9.77 now; they bounce prices up and down regularly.)

38 thoughts on “Thursday, 18 August 2016”

  1. I am not keen on dried bean dishes either, though I do believe that Heinz tomato-baked beans are an essential part of a proper Irish breakfast.

    However, I do like Greek “gigantes” beans (giant butterbeans), which are usually baked in a garlic and tomato sauce, then served tepid or cold as an appetiser or “meze”. There is a slew of recipes for “Gigantes” and “Gigantes plaki” to be found online – definitely worth a try, even if you don’t think you like beans.

  2. Many native American farmed beans, corn (maize), and squash. These are often referred to as the “three sisters”. While this diet was supplemented by game, they provide reasonable nutrition by themselves.

  3. Yep, and the squash isn’t really necessary for calories, although it does provide some vitamins and minerals that are lacking in the corn/bean combo.

  4. Do lentils also have the same essential amino acids found in beans? Somehow we got a couple of filled mason jars as a gift. One was all the dry ingredients for cookies and another was the basics of a soup. It had noodles, one or two types of lentils and a chicken bouillon cube or two. We finally got around to eating it after it sat in the pantry for a year or two. I think we added chicken and maybe some fresh veggies. I don’t remember if there were seasonings in it besides the bouillon cube(s).

    Prior to this, I thought lentils were some icky thing for vegetarians, like tofu. I was surprised that I actually liked them. I’m pretty sure whoever gave us this is not a prepper, but I think this might be a more subtle way of prepping or at least a litmus test for finding other preppers. Give it to a non-prepper and they’ll just look at it as a little strange, and not think you are weirdo with an AR-15 buried in your back yard. Give it to a prepper, and they might start to wonder if you are one of them.

    Just add water and heat, and you have something that can serve as a meal or a start for one in a pinch. Think of it as stone soup, where you can eat the stone.

    I think lentils might be like dried beans without the complicated prepping steps. The two problems I see are fussy eaters like me, and that I haven’t found a source for lentils in bulk.

    The thing I’m looking for is mason jar recipes that don’t use lots of dehydrated food or foods that aren’t shelf stable long term. The choices seem to be either rice and lentil soups or pasta and lentil soups. The pasta and lentil soups obviously will have more air space than the rice and noodle soups.

    These won’t store as long as the constituent ingredients might with oxygen absorbers, but they are complete meals with much less prep involved than pulling the dry ingredients from storage. Think of it as a prepper convenience food. If you have a three quart thermos, they could probably be cooked in that thermos.

  5. Unfortunately, the woman who wrote that book has no clue about canning safety. See the top reviews on Amazon for an explanation. Both of the top reviews are one-star, and for good reason. The second one is particularly on-point.

    There’s nothing wrong with storing pre-made baking mixes and other dry items in canning jars (or foil-laminate Mylar bags). The idea of DIY processing of wet foods in retort pouches is enough to make anyone who understands the issues shudder.

  6. Yes. I used “beans” as shorthand for legumes, which class include beans, peas, peanuts, lentils, etc.

    So that’s why Mormons supposedly store lots of peanut butter. Also, that would probably make some variant of the peanut butter sandwich a good kid friendly prepper meal.

    Here are a bunch of meal in a jar recipes.

    Update: The link I posted above is probably not the best source. I’m not sure what some of the recipes have to do with meals in a jar, which should be two separate recipes. Recipe one should be what you do with the jar, and recipe two should be what you do with the jar.

  7. Try lentils, regular rice, non-quick barley, and split peas…
    in equal proportions.
    They all cook at about the same rate. Just boil until tender.
    Ingredients can be stored together or separately.
    Cost about $1 per dry pound (or less in bulk).
    Note different types (colors, at least) of each ingredient, for
    variety. Add spices. Probably should cook onion, garlic,
    and peppers separately, add when the main stuff is nearly done.

  8. If you Google “mason jar recipes” you will get 1,690,000 results, no shortage of information.

    Amazon is a better source for Mother Earth News books; cheaper, most current revision, and Kindle when available. Here is a link for the book @OFD mentioned:

    This is a web site I have used in the past and revisit to see what’s new:

    And to top off the day, this link from Countryside Network has a good prepper list:

    Sorry, I’m too lazy today to do fancy links.

  9. This is outrageous.

    In particular because the article managed to avoid mentioning the most pertinent details. I’ve often said that a teacher who has sex with a student who’s at least the legal age of consent should be fired and never allowed to teach again, but not face criminal charges.

    Well, in this case, both of the students were 16 years old when she had sex with them. That’s legal age in the state of Kentucky. And she was NOT a teacher when she had sex with these boys. She had resigned her job before they had sex. She was a FORMER substitute teacher. The DA elected to prosecute her on the very shaky legal reasoning that she had met these boys when she was still employed as a teacher. No one argues that she was a teacher when the supposed offenses occurred. The authorities claim that the fact that she had earlier met the boys put her in a “position of authority” over them, which is the whole legal basis of prosecuting teachers. But no reasonable person could argue that she was in a POA when the alleged offense occurred. This one should be a slam-dunk for the defense.

  10. Cool, a list. Preppers like lists.

    This list is a bit messed up though.

    NOT ONE defensive item?? Not a mention of knives? Fire?
    –get defensive tools, learn to use them.

    Alright, I’m gonna do a whole post on this list. Too much stuff for a comment.


  11. @nick: “NOT ONE defensive item?? Not a mention of knives? Fire?”

    One thing I have found to be prevailing on most so-called self-sufficient living and prepper web sites these days is that they are too politically correct. When things get tough, these people are going to be ripe for the picking.

  12. Yeah, my reaction was that this was one of the worst lists I’d ever seen. Someone who accumulated all the stuff on that list wouldn’t be much better prepared than when they started. Particularly since their specific recommendations sucked.

  13. “… they are too politically correct….”

    This attitude and behavior is now utterly pervasive throughout the culture, including corporate culture. I first saw it in action during my grad skool years in the late 80s and early 90s and it’s MUCH worse now; I felt like I was walking on eggshells any time I set foot on those campuses and now I feel like that almost everywhere I go. This sorta chit won’t end well, as Mr. DadCooks sez above.

  14. They mention reloading supplies, but nothing that uses the reloaded ammunition. They recommend potassium iodate, not potassium iodide. They think citric acid contains vitamin C. Some of the stuff might belong on a real 50 item survival list, but most of it doesn’t. A better title might be 50 things you might want to consider after you bought the 50 things that you really need. Some of the stuff wouldn’t even belong on that list.

    Not to mention that if you’re going to survive long enough to plant and grow crops, on dates, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, cocoa nibs and MREs you’re going to need a ton of MREs. One vendor will sell you a year’s supply of MREs for one person for $4199. You could buy enough rice and beans or flour and peanut butter to feed a family of four for a year with that money and still have enough money to buy other stuff you really need.

  15. Yep, as I said, this is a terrible list, apparently written by someone who knows nothing about the subject.

  16. Yup, just put up my post.

    That list is foul if anyone took it seriously.


  17. I’d make one change to the recipe. Don’t drain and rinse the beans, cut the water in the second step.

    Lentils are really good. Lentil soup is one of my favorites. I also have a recipe for a lentil “salad” – warm cooked lentils with pancetta or bacon, onion or shallots, Dijon mustard, and vinegar, and some fresh herbs stirred in just before serving. Great with salmon.

  18. Try lentils, regular rice, non-quick barley, and split peas…

    In a “thermos” jar !!

  19. Regarding that list that y’all detonated pretty well there; I figure ya cain’t go fah wrong if ya just stick to the basic human needs; shelter, heat, water, food, lights, defense, meds and commo/intel. Yeah I guess I could class the latter under Defense.

    We need to beef up the alternative pump thing for our well and get more stored water anyway (looking at solar pump solutions but worried about longevity of parts, etc.) ; stock up on more food; organize our existing lights and batteries and lanterns and associated materials; get both of us to varying skill levels of firearms defense; and accelerate our use of commo and intel for this AO, ditto meatspace, which I’m working on.

    Contractor was just here for the estimate on installing windows for Mrs. OFD’s studio out back and we got contact established with a reputable electrician to come out at some point; both of these projects will probably get underway before the snow flies.

    And I have to immediately beef up the home and vehicle security; it’s now on the front burner. Why is that, Mr. OFD, you ask. Well, pilgrims, we’ve been having a minor crime wave in the ‘hood lately. Local yoots are breaking into vehicles and stealing chit and roaming around said ‘hood in the wee hours. They’ve pounded on our front door twice between 22:00 and 24:00 and run off; the quick look I got was of three teens around 13-16. And they’ve been seen running back through our yard when the cops are called, back to the town park. Last night they rummaged through the vehicles across the street and also wife’s Saab glove box. My car was locked up but I fear they’ll just smash the glass. So I’ve accelerated putting in the rear fence and web cams, along with more solar-powered motion-detector floods.

    And had a mini-conference just now with four of the closest neighbors, at least one of whom I figure is probably heeled. And he knows I am. We will be keeping an eye out and calling the local huckleberries for whatever. Two of them pointed out that they themselves are out in the wee hours playing the Pokemon Go chit, so I told them don’t get into it; just get descriptions and call the cops. If that doesn’t work, then maybe some of us will have to “get into it.” Nip this shit in the bud.

  20. I always think of my milspec training of “beans, bullets, bandages” for prepping. If you think about each one, it covers everything to survive.

  21. Like OFD, my house is very close to the road…
    with a significant difference…
    Traffic count station down the road shows 8000 vehicles per day,
    average, and station up the road has 4000.
    Cross “street” nearby count is 55000 per day.

    Uh, yeah, I’m trying real hard to find a place to move!

  22. [snip] I always think of my milspec training of “beans, bullets, bandages” for prepping. [snip]

    I always heard that as the four Bs of Army logistics, the fourth being boots. And nowadays there’s a fifth B, batteries.

  23. Have you noticed the MSM/libturd silence on Obola/FEMA in Louisiana? After Katrina, Buuuush was called a fukstik by every MSM outlet and libturd in the World. Watta country!

  24. Yes, yuuuugggge opportunity for Trump. Course, he’d be accused of ‘politicizing’ the tragedy….


  25. Yes, he was busy on the Vineyard golf course, while music star Taylor Swift donated a million bucks to Louisiana flood victims.

    As for cheeto-head, he needs to have others do his fisticuffs and black-jacking, and tell Murkans how he plans to at least TRY to solve our most serious problems and GTFO of all the damn useless wars. As Pat Buchanan points out, We Like Ike had Tricky Dicky doing that gig for him, and Dicky had Spiro Agnew on that job,who was pretty good at it, thanks, much of the time, to speeches written by Patrick and the late Bill Safire.

    The lying polls have them within a percentage point today, but I don’t believe any of that chit, either. Still, cheeto-head needs to get very busy in Ohio, PA and Floriduh.

    But whatevuh; what really matters to us here are the highway department garage move and their new salt shed, plus the recent minor crime wave in this village, which pisses a bunch of us off. I really need to start going to selectboard, development and planning board meetings, so they get used to the Visigoth hanging around and listening. Ditto more range time.

    On the back fence and lights details tomorrow; meanwhile I’ve set up a couple of tricky trip lines for fleeing miscreants.

  26. @Dave Hardy: regarding ‘trip lines’.

    Seems there might be an insurance risk there. What it the ‘derp’ claims ‘intentional harm via traps’? (Lawyers, etc.)

    So perhaps disguise the trip lines by putting them in a garden-type area. Just some strong string (paracord?) with strong anchors. You can claim they are a ‘planting guide’.

    I’d advise against punji sticks, though.

  27. “So perhaps disguise the trip lines by putting them in a garden-type area. Just some strong string (paracord?) with strong anchors.”

    Hey, I dint even know it was there; just some old fence wire left over in the shrubs and ground cover from when there was a farm fence through there decades ago. Plus the signage advising No Fucking Trespassing and regular wire garden fence along there that yes, I did put in, thanks to constant low-level crime waves here and perps running through our yard and causing us untold stress, heartache, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc.

    “I’d advise against punji sticks, though.”

    Why, you’re no fun at all!

  28. I was once running full tilt thru a suburban area, across yards, at night, and hit a waist high chain link fence. I flipped completely over it, was a bit stunned to find myself stopped and on the ground, but got up and continued running.

    You could just lay some 2x4s or landscape ‘peeler’ logs at random across the yard. Hey, it’s not your fault you didn’t clean up the yard…..

    Or lay some 4″ welded wire roll fencing on the ground. I bet that’s trippy as hell….


    Or a couple of rows of this silt fence….

  29. @ofd, that shooting vid was a bit surprising. The doors stopped a lot more than I expected. Still wouldn’t mind a ballistic plate though…


  30. Stop messing around and put up some razor wire. Not that small milspec stuff. That industrial prison grade stuff you can shave with. Spritz it with Komodo Dragon spit, too.

  31. “You could just lay some 2x4s or landscape ‘peeler’ logs at random across the yard. Hey, it’s not your fault you didn’t clean up the yard…..”

    Easily done, along with some crappy old scrap lumber I’ve got stacked out back, left over from previous owner. That silt fencing looked good, too; not available at our “home store,” though, down in lovely Williston, VT, 30 miles south.

    “The doors stopped a lot more than I expected. Still wouldn’t mind a ballistic plate though…”

    Depends on the door materials and the ammo, mostly; should be relatively inexpensive options for cheap ballistic plates to slide in there, though. With ballistic film on all the glass. This is all for taking fire unexpectedly as you roll into it or through it; if you can’t get away, you need to at least GTFO of the vehicle and work around it for defensive purposes. It sucks to have to fight it out from a sitting duck position in the driver’s seat or any seat, when anyone aiming at you is pretty much aiming for the core vulnerabilities of you, i.e., your noggin and upper torso.

    “Stop messing around and put up some razor wire. Not that small milspec stuff. That industrial prison grade stuff you can shave with. Spritz it with Komodo Dragon spit, too.”

    Yo, hermano, I like the way you think! Giant razor-blade wire, coated with cyanide and with electricity running through it.

  32. I usually buy prepackaged soup mixes. The usual mixture of barley, beans, peas and lentils. To this I add dried vegetable flakes and TVP (textured vegetable protein). Provides good basic nutrition and the ingredients can be stored almost indefinitely. Instead of using the normal bouillon cubes which I find too salty, I use the Knorr bouillon concentrates. They come in packages of four, each one making 900ml of bouillon, the same as the 900ml packs of ready to use. Takes up much less space and costs about half a much as buying the ready to use bouillon.

  33. disguise the trip lines by putting them in a garden-type area

    Would using razor wire as garden lines be going over the top?

    What it the ‘derp’ claims ‘intentional harm via traps’?

    Hard to do when the derp has bleed out. Of course his mammy and 8 possible fathers could probably still file a lawsuit.

    I’d advise against punji sticks, though.

    Would a couple of claymores be an acceptable substitute?

    lay some 2x4s or landscape ‘peeler’ logs at random across the yard

    With nails left in and pointing up.

  34. I did not see anything about making fire in the prepper lists:
    I made this up as a Christmas gift.
    Be prepared
    Fire starter Kit cotton balls, pine lighter, matches, magnesium, plastic bags, paper, manual,
    Emergency fire only
    Signal fire
    Warmth fire
    Cooking fire
    Medical fire
    Be careful
    This kit should start a fire in most any condition. You will have to gather the main combustible material on site. Make preparations for gradually building up the fire from the fire starting materials before attempting to start fire.
    Several ways are included.
    The matches (strike on box (old)) are only usable as tinder.
    The cotton balls are loaded with Vaseline.
    The candle is good for transferring fire
    Scrape the magnesium fragments onto a spread out cotton ball.
    Ignite by striking the flint.
    Use the cigarette paper as little balls.
    Use the pine lighter fragments to aid the fire starting.
    Husband the fire starting material by having plenty of on site material prepared for the expected desired needs.

    Magnesium is a highly flammable metal, but, while it is easy to ignite when powdered or shaved into thin strips, it is difficult to ignite in mass or bulk. Once ignited, it is difficult to extinguish, being able to burn in nitrogen (forming magnesium nitride), carbon dioxide (forming magnesium oxide, and carbon) and water (forming magnesium oxide and hydrogen). This property was used in incendiary weapons used in the firebombing of cities in World War II, the only practical civil defense being to smother a burning flare under dry sand to exclude the atmosphere. On burning in air, magnesium produces a brilliant-white light that includes strong ultraviolet. Thus, magnesium powder (flash powder) was used as a source of illumination in the early days of photography. Later, magnesium ribbon was used in electrically ignited flashbulbs. Magnesium powder is used in the manufacture of fireworks and marine flares where a brilliant white light is required. Flame temperatures of magnesium and magnesium alloys can reach 3,100 °C (3,370 K; 5,610 °F),[7] although flame height above the burning metal is usually less than 300 mm (12 in).[8] Magnesium may be used as an ignition source for thermite, a mixture of aluminum and iron oxide powder that is otherwise difficult to ignite.

    Magnesium compounds are typically white crystals. Most are soluble in water, providing the sour-tasting magnesium ion Mg2+. Small amounts of dissolved magnesium ion contribute to the tartness and taste of natural waters. Magnesium ion in large amounts is an ionic laxative, and magnesium sulfate (common name: Epsom salt) is sometimes used for this purpose. So-called “milk of magnesia” is a water suspension of one of the few insoluble magnesium compounds, magnesium hydroxide. The undissolved particles give rise to its appearance and name. Milk of magnesia is a mild base commonly used as an antacid, which has some laxative side-effect.
    Safety precautions for THE magnesium metal

    Magnesium metal and its alloys are explosive hazards; they are highly flammable in their pure form when molten or in powder or ribbon form. Burning or molten magnesium metal reacts violently with water. When working with powdered magnesium, safety glasses with welding eye protection are employed, because the bright-white light produced by burning magnesium contains ultraviolet light that can permanently damage the retinas of the eyes.

    Magnesium is capable of reducing water to highly flammable hydrogen gas: Magnesium is generally safe and stable at temperatures up to its melting point unless it is present in a finely divided form. During cutting, roughing and medium cuts will produce large chips, which are difficult to ignite. However, fine finishing cuts will produce fine chips which will result in a fire hazard. At any point during cutting, the tool or tool holder should not be allowed to idle and run on the work . This would lead to the production of extremely fine chips and the frictional heat generated maybe enough to cause ignition. Furthermore, when cutting is completed it is important to maintain the same safe practice and not allow the feed to stop and the tool to dwell upon disengagement. For the same reasons as those discussed above, the cutting tool must be kept sharp and the tool surfaces must be smooth or polished . When in its finely divided form, magnesium is readily ignitable in the presence of water or cutting fluids containing fatty acids. This may lead to the release of hydrogen and will create an explosion hazard. If the dust is allowed to accumulate in the air, it will readily burn once it reaches a critical air-dust ratio. Therefore, no smoking, use of open flame, or electrical welding where the magnesium is machined, sawed, or ground.

    This may be overly cautious, even paranoid, but we’re talking Fire.

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