Tuesday, 23 August 2016

09:16 – At Costco Sunday, we picked up a Costco-size pack of eggs, three dozen of them shrink-wrapped in one package. Barbara wondered why I was buying so many eggs, since we use only maybe a dozen every couple weeks. I told her it was for another of my science experiments.

My mother’s mother was born in 1885. I remember her telling me about how they used to preserve fresh eggs by dipping them in water-glass (sodium silicate) solution and then storing them in the cold cellar. They kept for a couple months or longer. Actually, they probably kept for at least a couple weeks sitting on the shelf even without water-glass treatment, because back then they were using eggs straight from the chicken, which still had the air-proof coating that had been applied by the chicken itself.

Actually, it’s still like that in most of the world outside the US and Canada, where, for no good reason, eggs are power-washed before being sold to consumers. That removes the air-proof natural seal and means they then need to be kept refrigerated. In the rest of the world, including Europe, eggs in supermarkets haven’t been washed and are simply shelved without refrigeration.

But any food-safe oil can be used to coat washed eggs, again air-proofing them and making them a lot more shelf-stable. Back in the day, people who didn’t have water-glass used mineral oil, lard, or whatever oil/fat they had available. I suspect that vegetable oil will also work, although it might well go rancid sitting out exposed to air. No matter, because the rancidity would be only on the outer surface of the shell.

So I’m going to test by coating eggs with vegetable oil. I’ll coat 18 of the eggs, one carton, with oil and store them at room temperature. The other carton, I’ll coat with oil and store in the refrigerator, where I suspect they remain good for several months. After a week, I’ll pull three of the room-temperature eggs, float-test them, crack them and examine the appearance and odor, if any, and cook any that seem okay. The next batch of three gets tested after a two weeks, then three more each at three weeks, one month, and two months, and the final three after three months. Of course, the experiment ends when I encounter the first bad egg, whether it’s at one week or two months.


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81 Responses to Tuesday, 23 August 2016

  1. DadCooks says:

    Back in the day the cases of eggs we loaded on the submarine were labeled as being coated with water-glass (sodium silicate) solution. I can attest that they lasted many months. However, eggs absorb odors even when coated, so it doesn’t take long until there is the subtle nuanced flavor of hydraulic oil and other smells associated with more than 100 men being sealed in a steel tube. Our air was “pure” but that does not mean odor free 😉

  2. nick says:

    @rbt, wrt some earlier comments about storing pasta…

    You can leave it in original packaging, if it’s not just in cardboard. My usage shows that many dry foods are stored loose in a cardboard box, (often with BHT added to the packaging material as a preservative). After only a few months, the taste will change due to moisture or other things in the air getting thru the cardboard and being absorbed by the pasta.

    Still ok to eat, but not tasty. I see this style of packaging more often on cheaper or house brands. Most of the bigger brands will put it in a plastic or wax bag inside the box.

    To combat this, I thought I might seal the boxes inside a big ‘space bag’. I’ve got the bags, but didn’t try the experiment yet.

    Or, you could only stock pasta and meal kits that include the plastic bag….

    nick

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Barilla pasta is certainly a name brand, but IIRC their cardboard boxes do not have a plastic or wax paper liner. The pasta is just loose in the box.

    I’ve been doing prepping-related testing on stuff since the 1970’s. Sticking 50 pounds or so of Barilla pasta on the shelf is part of that. The oldest stuff we bought at Costco in the summer of 2014, and it’s been in the original box since. Barbara just made some of it the other night and said it tasted the same as always to her. She’s very, very picky about flavors, staleness, etc., so I use her as my canary.

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I expect they kept the eggs refrigerated on the sub, but it’s a useful data point that they lasted many months that way. I want to test how long they’ll last without refrigeration. The 18 that I refrigerate are for normal daily use, but I wanted to oil them to keep them good as long as possible.

  5. Ed says:

    Long distance sailors have been trying to preserve eggs for hundreds of years. Wax coating and turning them over seems to be the agreed-upon procedure, as much as anything is agreed-upon in sailing.

    Typical discussion:
    http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f91/eggs-168667-2.html

  6. Paul says:

    We regularly keep eggs for 3-4 weeks or more untreated in our refrigerator with rare ill effects. The biggest problem we have is that untreated in a frost-free refrigerator they dry out some and shrink inside to the point of floating even when still good otherwise.

  7. nick says:

    well, the kids don’t notice the stale flavor on the 2 yo pasta because of the sauce, but I test it for done-ness and I can definitely taste the difference.

    As I’ve said many times, my storage is less than ideal. It’s hot, and it’s humid.

    n

  8. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Ah, yes. Your storing stuff at an elevated temperature probably cuts the real shelf life in half or even a quarter. Our storage is in the basement, which is normally 10F cooler than it is on the main floor. I doubt it gets much over 70 down there, and it’s usually in the mid-60’s. Frances and Al have commented about how much cooler it is down there. They sleep down there because both of our spare bedrooms are downstairs.

  9. Dave says:

    On August 6th, Bob wrote this:

    I just read an interesting article a couple weeks ago about the reliability of our electric power grid, or lack thereof. The powers that be define a major power outage as one that affects 20,000 or more homes. A dozen or so years ago, the US as a whole experienced less than one such outage per week, something like 45 major outages in 2004. Since then, the frequency has increased every year. In 2015, the US as a whole experienced nearly one major outage per DAY. That is not a good trend line. Our electric power infrastructure is obviously being degraded every year.

    It would be a great help to me if you could cite a source for things like this. I’m not saying I don’t trust Bob, because I do, but because I would like to share the source article with others. For example if my in laws think I’m crazy for buying a generator I could share the link to the source to explain my reasoning.

    Here are two links to recent articles about grid reliability that are useful, but probably too old to be the one Bob mentioned:

    http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/08/24/berkeley-lab-releases-most-comprehensive-analysis-of-electricity-reliability-trends/

    http://insideenergy.org/2014/08/18/power-outages-on-the-rise-across-the-u-s/

  10. Dave says:

    I stumbled across this list of power outages in the US so far this year. The most troubling thing I found on the list was three reported “fuel supply emergencies” in 2016. From what I’ve heard there is an abundance of oil and natural gas in the US. Also the current administration has been doing everything it can to make coal a dirty word, which should be decreasing prices and increasing supplies. So how can there be three fuel shortages which rise to the level of emergency in the current marketplace?

  11. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    That insideenergy.org looks like a reasonable departure point.

    The problem is, I read literally dozens of articles every evening on my Fire while Barbara watches TV. My Fire is pretty useless for inputting data, although I have lately started copying URLs and emailing them to myself.

  12. Clayton W. says:

    On the Trident subs we kept eggs and root vegetables in the bilges. Figure 40-50 degrees F. Toward the end of our 90 day patrols we were loosing eggs to spoilage, mostly because of cracks in the shell. We cracked them in bowls and threw out the black ones. But we had ‘fresh’ eggs all patrol.

    Milk and salad only lasted a few days. Frozen meat and canned veggies, supplemented by coleslaw, potatoes, and carrots. The less said of white death, the better.

  13. Dave says:

    I am still looking for a local source for lentils, preferably red and green, in bulk. The local grocery carries one pound bags, but I am guessing it would take about four 16 ounce bags to fill a two liter bottle. So I would be lucky to be able to go to the store and buy enough of either to fill a two liter bottle.

    I thought I’d found the the answer, because Bob’s Red Mill sells lentils in 25 pound bags and offers free shipping for orders over $50. That doesn’t apply to bulk items. I am reluctant to pay $3 per pound for lentils. I may have to just get over it. It seems to me that cans of Costco chicken might be a better source of the essential amino acids missing in rice.

  14. lynn says:

    They shoot old programmers, don’t they ? I may be ready based on our ten software releases over the last three weeks.

  15. MrAtoz says:

    They shoot old programmers, don’t they ?

    Wouldn’t that take out half the people that post here?

  16. Ray Thompson says:

    Wouldn’t that take out half the people that post here?

    I would be spared as I am no longer slinging code. Not so sure I like the transition as I am still adjusting.

  17. Miles_Teg says:

    I haven’t written a line of code since 2013. Damn, but I miss it (but not the management I worked for.)

  18. lynn says:

    I stumbled across this list of power outages in the US so far this year. The most troubling thing I found on the list was three reported “fuel supply emergencies” in 2016. From what I’ve heard there is an abundance of oil and natural gas in the US. Also the current administration has been doing everything it can to make coal a dirty word, which should be decreasing prices and increasing supplies. So how can there be three fuel shortages which rise to the level of emergency in the current marketplace?

    I am amazed that there is not a “fuel supply emergency” somewhere in the USA every day. Most people do not realize that 1/4 of the energy used in the USA each day is used to produce electricity. The fossil fuel units (natural gas, refined oil (#1, #2, and #6), crude oil, coal, lignite) are especially sensitive to curtailments. So are the hydroelectric units.

    I used to work at a power plant, Martin Lake Steam Electric Station, that burned 5,000 tons of lignite PER HOUR. I ran the lignite pile down to ten ??? hours one day running some wide open tests and the plant manager came looking for me. Didn’t find me, I was safely back at the hotel by then. But he lit a fire under my boss who took it to the plant managers boss who said tough. They also burn 20,000+ ??? gallons of #2 diesel fuel at that plant each day for furnace stabilization and running 100 ton lignite trucks from the mine to the plant.

    Fuel management is a hourly, daily, weekly, and yearly management task at any utility. We would not build any new power plants without a guaranteed twenty YEAR supply.

  19. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Sam’s will ship you a 40-pound pail packaged for LTS for $65 with free shipping.

  20. Spook says:

    “”I am still looking for a local source for lentils, preferably red and green, in bulk. The local grocery carries one pound bags, but I am guessing it would take about four 16 ounce bags to fill a two liter bottle. So I would be lucky to be able to go to the store and buy enough of either to fill a two liter bottle.””

    Walmart here had a shelf label for Goya lentils, one pound bag, for $1.08 …
    but none in stock! Store brand lentils were $1.50+ and Kroger wants even
    more than that per pound (still small bags)…

  21. Dave says:

    Sam’s will ship you a 40-pound pail packaged for LTS for $65 with free shipping.

    I know they will. Those are plain lentils, which I haven’t tried yet. I have tried red and green lentils, which I have tried, and are what most of the recipes I have found call for.

    I’m thinking of buying the 40 pound pail, but first I want to find some recipes that call for them and try at least one first. I have had the red and green lentils, and like them, and I have seen recipes that I would eat. I don’t want to buy a $65 dollar bucket of something without knowing whether I like it or not.

    Also it may just be in my mind, but the number 10 can shouts prepper to me, and the 6 gallon pail screams it. I have family members who can’t see the risk of coming turmoil and don’t see why one should prep. I don’t want to do all my prepping at once. I could buy everything I want to be comfortable within a week, but I’m going to try to spread it out over the next 8 weeks before the election, just to pick an arbitrary day.

  22. Dave says:

    Walmart here had a shelf label for Goya lentils, one pound bag, for $1.08 …
    but none in stock! Store brand lentils were $1.50+ and Kroger wants even
    more than that per pound (still small bags)…

    I suspect the situation is similar here, although I haven’t gone to Kroger to check prices.

  23. Spook says:

    I tried some red lentils (with rice, split peas, and pearled barley) and I’d call
    the red milder and less earthy than typical brown lentils. The red color faded
    out, which was a little disappointing but not a big deal.

  24. Dave says:

    I am amazed that there is not a “fuel supply emergency” somewhere in the USA every day.

    I am more surprised that there were three such emergencies reported. At least the popular candidate who proposed shutting down all nuclear power plants and banning fracking is out of the race. When 20% of our electricity comes from nuclear and 33% comes from natural gas, that one policy would have reduced the US to being a third world country. Either that or made West Virginia the richest state in the country.

  25. Chad says:

    I tried some red lentils (with rice, split peas, and pearled barley) and I’d call the red milder and less earthy than typical brown lentils. The red color faded out, which was a little disappointing but not a big deal.

    Make yourself some Ezekiel 4:9 bread: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+4%3A9&version=KJ21

  26. Jenny says:

    Try black Beluga lentils. Higher protein level, smaller size so cook fast.
    Expensive in Alaska, but then so is everything.
    I like them very much on their own with some peas or corn. If I’m feeling decadent I’ll crumble in a tiny bit of leftover bacon (what?!? Leftover bacon?)

    Good cold or hot.

    Not necessarily great from a prepping outlook as I suspect they are too much more expensive than their colorful counterparts.

  27. Dave says:

    The reason I’m looking for lentils is to make recipes like this one. Both to have it in jar form, and have the bulk ingredients to make more.

  28. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Dave, I think you’re doing too much analysis and too little acquisition. I may be wrong, and if so I apologize. How much water and LTS food do you currently have in your pantry? If it’s not at least three months’ worth, you need to get moving on it. Not this weekend. Not tomorrow. This evening.

  29. Dave says:

    Dave, I think you’re doing too much analysis and too little acquisition.

    You are correct. Thanks for pointing it out.

  30. Spook says:

    “” Dave, I think you’re doing too much analysis and too little acquisition.

    You are correct. Thanks for pointing it out. “”

    Pile up a pound each of lentils, rice, pearled barley, and split peas.
    Even if you don’t re-package, you can put them in a plastic tub with a lid and
    be ‘way ahead of the game with that; call it some 32 servings. Will have to have
    some salt (and of course water) but it ain’t bad without spices or bullion or bacon.

  31. Spook says:

    Black beluga lentils sound good. Too pricey except maybe to impress some guests.
    Black rice is tasty, and not proportionately so expensive, versus plain rice. It’s fun
    since it tends to stain things purple.

  32. ech says:

    Look for an Indian grocery for bulk and/or cheaper lentils.

  33. Spook says:

    “” Make yourself some Ezekiel 4:9 bread… “”

    The translations on that page helped.
    “Fitches” is apparently spelt, an old kind of wheat.
    I think some sort of recipe woulda been more useful,
    instead of telling you how many days to eat it.
    The concept of beans of some sort in bread is, uh,
    interesting.
    (I got excited when I first read it as “finches” which are
    likely tasty, like sparrows and other little seed-eating birds.)

  34. Spook says:

    “”Look for an Indian grocery for bulk and/or cheaper lentils.””

    Ah… “dal” (or dahl) means split lentils, for quicker cooking, too!
    Dal is also the soup or stew, apparently.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dal

    I think Dave just needs to get a quick pound of lentils, boil up
    a handful, and decide whether he (and family) can eat ’em!

  35. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    +100

  36. nick says:

    @jenny, “leftover bacon”!!!!

    I use the shelf stable bacon crumbles from Costco for almost everything but bacon strips. They are real bacon, (refrigerate after opening), and I have a bag open all the time.

    I add crumbles to the pan before adding my fried egg in the morning, or sprinkle them into waffles (right into the mix in the maker). I add them to canned collard greens, other canned veg, saute’d brussel sprouts, soup, mashed potatoes, just about anything is better with bacon(R).

    In fact most mornings I don’t make strip bacon any more because it’s easier to just add the crumbles to the eggs….

    nick

  37. Spook says:

    I actually enjoy the various gruel items, moderately often… but ask
    me again, come February, say. Spices and alliums and odd additions
    like, say quinoa… or a little MEAT… gotta help. It’s not difficult to
    make the basic mix into a chili or something, with some salsa-like
    additions, note.

    Still, the base-line of beans (repeat: small ones save fuel; some even
    suggest crushing before soaking and/or cooking) and grains are the
    desperate but effective answer to the horrible questions.

    And, Dave, my distant friend: I do like the jar soup idea, a lot.
    Use clean jars, of course, and probably some oxygen and moisture
    absorbers. You don’t have to mix ingredients in the first place;
    it might be better if some one ingredient fails somehow that you
    don’t contaminate all of the ingredients. It might also be more
    tasty, shtf, if you switch up the recipes. I store my lentil/rice/
    barley/split pea stuff mixed, but I don’t add spices and such to that.
    Get busy!

  38. Spook says:

    @ Nick …

    “”@jenny, “leftover bacon”!!!!

    I use the shelf stable bacon crumbles from Costco for almost everything but bacon strips. They are real bacon, (refrigerate after opening), and I have a bag open all the time. “”

    How do the bacon crumbles hold up unopened? I looked once at them and
    they had short expiration dates [yeah, I know] that meant that my occasional
    use might turn out expensive. Even jars (Hormel?) didn’t seem worth it.
    I’m not a big fatty meat eater, but, wow, assorted greens and such can be made
    totally different with a little rendered hog!

  39. dkreck says:

    Quinoa – blahhhhhhhhh…..

  40. Spook says:

    “” Quinoa – blahhhhhhhhh….. “”

    Some tastes like soap (not that I’ve eaten much soap)
    if you don’t RINSE it good!

  41. nick says:

    @spook, I don’t actually store them on the shelf, I store them in the freezer.

    I DO store the shelf stable bacon STRIPS on the shelf. Long term the strips (which are great for some cooking but too thin for daily breakfast use) seem to get greasier the longer they are on the shelf.

    The crumbles are fine for a reasonably long time stored in the self zippered bag, in the fridge. I use a lot of bacon so they don’t sit for many weeks, and I expect yours wouldn’t either. It’s just too easy and too tasty to add them to dishes when cooking.

    That said, I have no problem with the opened bag in the fridge for 2-3 weeks before it’s used up. I am careful not to introduce anything into the bag (or jar or any other stored item), which helps with longevity. They’re cooked and preserved pretty well to start with.

    Naan bread in the freezer and a bag of bacon crumbles have changed the way I cook meals.

    nick

  42. nick says:

    Quinoa – blahhhhhhhhh…..

    Not only tasteless at best, the little ‘popping’ feeling in my mouth disgusts me.

    b

  43. dkreck says:

    My wife and daughter have fixed it several ways. They keep thinking it’s healthy. Not me. The Italian in the boy wants pasta, risoto and polenta. The other half wants potatoes.

  44. Spook says:

    Yep for polenta (or grits) and naan !!

  45. Spook says:

    “Quinoa – blahhhhhhhhh…..
    Not only tasteless at best, the little ‘popping’ feeling in my mouth disgusts me.Quinoa – blahhhhhhhhh…..
    Not only tasteless at best, the little ‘popping’ feeling in my mouth disgusts me.”””

    You mean, uh, it’s crunchy?

    I mix it with polenta, with about the same cooking rate.
    Maize and quinoa, rather local!

    One catch with quinoa is that allegedly it has gotten too
    expensive for the people who have eaten it for centuries.
    May your gods protect you from fads!

  46. Spook says:

    “”Naan bread in the freezer and a bag of bacon crumbles have changed the way I cook meals.

    nick””

    Where do you get yer naan?
    Build one o’ them tandoor ovens out of big clay flower pots??

  47. Spook says:

    I hesitate to “recommend” this, but I tried it and it was pretty good
    (not for the price, I guess, except possibly for time and fuel savings)…

    Barilla has this new Pronto branded pasta…
    Put it in a pan of cold water, set burner on high, and ten minutes
    later stir in your sauce!
    I actually drained some water off before adding sauce (probably
    because I didn’t measure the water).

    Get it while there are coupons and sale prices. Might be good to
    have. I added bags to the packaging, figuring it’ll be handy for
    some emergency meal some day.

  48. Spook says:

    “”I am careful not to introduce anything into the bag (or jar or any other stored item), which helps with longevity.””

    This is such a basic rule for food safety and quality, and simple survival,
    and it drives me crazy that anybody would stick a spoon with a bit of some
    other ingredient (or contamination) into a food container.
    Occasionally the cooking TV shows will explain that they didn’t reach into
    the main stash of salt, say, after handling raw chicken, say, but too often
    even the pros don’t separate potential contaminants.

  49. Spook says:

    “”I am careful not to introduce anything into the bag (or jar or any other stored item), which helps with longevity.””

    Saw a rant somewhere about shaking spice, for example, out of the main
    container over a steaming pot. That bit of moisture getting into the main
    stash of spice can do no good at all.
    Pour a little into your hand or a spoon or something, and so on…

  50. Spook says:

    And, while I’m fussing…
    Good laboratory technique taught me to be careful how I lay down
    a stopper or lid. Either hold it (there’s a lab thing, and ground glass
    stoppers, in particular, fit this nicely) or lay it down with the surface
    exposed to the product NOT on the table surface. Duh.

  51. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Contamination is why I eat very, very few raw foods. Cooking/baking destroys all live microorganisms and all toxins except many mycotoxins, which are truly scary things.

  52. Dave Hardy says:

    “My Fire is pretty useless for inputting data…”

    I have an external Bluetooth keyboard for mine, and there are various word and text apps for it as well. And I have a couple of different stands for it. Plus a Bluetooth speaker, which is pretty good.

    You can actually do quite a lot with the Fire and it’s easier to haul around when traveling than a laptop, much like the iPad, I guess. I took it with me to NJ last summer and ran Pandora classical on it and did the usual web and email stuff on it.

    Add my thanks for the reminders to get hopping on acquisitions; for here it’ll be stored wotta, more food, and AMMO. My ammo priorities right now are 9mm, 10mm and 7.62×39.

  53. Spook says:

    “”Add my thanks to the reminders to get hopping on acquisitions; for here it’ll be stored wotta, more food, and AMMO. My ammo priorities right now are 9mm, 10mm and 7.62×39.””

    Got no ammo here, other than a handful of marbles for the slingshot.
    And I lost the slingshot somewhere in the swamp…

    Hard to find even a small knife. Cutting up meat with a butter knife sucks.

  54. Spook says:

    “”Contamination is why I eat very, very few raw foods. Cooking/baking destroys all live microorganisms and all toxins except many mycotoxins, which are truly scary things.””

    There is so much wrong with our food supplies…
    I used to enjoy assorted raw foods, but I seem to need to skip all that, too.

  55. Spook says:

    “”“My Fire is pretty useless for inputting data…”

    I have an external Bluetooth keyboard for mine, and there are various word and text apps for it as well. And I have a couple of different stands for it. Plus a Bluetooth speaker, which is pretty good.

    You can actually do quite a lot with the Fire and it’s easier to haul around when traveling than a laptop, much like the iPad, I guess. I took it with me to NJ last summer and ran Pandora classical on it and did the usual web and email stuff on it. “”

    I only have this 286 running FreeDOS…

  56. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I figure that if TSHTF, 1,000 rounds is probably a lifetime supply for me, one way or another. I wasn’t kidding that my plan is to be so valuable that people will feed and protect me.

    If things got desperate, the first thing I’d do is walk into the county manager’s office and say, “I’m set up to make insulin, several different antibiotics, chlorine bleach by the barrel, and a couple dozen other useful items. I can also do coliform tests on water and a bunch of common medical tests. Here’s what I’ll need from the community.”

  57. DadCooks says:

    “There is so much wrong with our food supplies…”

    Many of you may recall the recent huge E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes contamination that hit the majority of the fresh and frozen vegetables distributed nationally for the grocery, food, and commercial industry. These originated at a processor here in Pasco WA (CRF Frozen Foods LLC). This reference only tells part of the story: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/05/problems-found-at-frozen-food-plant-linked-to-outbreak/#.V7z4w6072TI

  58. Spook says:

    @ DadCooks …

    Thanks for the Escherichia & Listeria info.

    Not gonna think about it tonight.
    Guess it’ll cheer me up in the morning…

  59. nick says:

    I buy my naan in the grocery store. It was one of the things we used to buy at Costco, but they dropped it in favor of some house brand. The house brands wasn’t really naan, just a flat bread (naan is a bit stretchy.)

    The brand is Stonewheat or Stonefire or something like that. Now I have to get it at our big grocery store. I freeze it, and to reheat you spritz it with water and put on grill (or under broiler) for 2 minutes on a side, and viola, hot, delicious, slightly stretchy naan bread. Comes in garlic too. I love it because normal bread really doesn’t freeze or reheat well. It’s especially nice when grilling, because the fire is already on.

    Like a lot of ‘prepping’ food I buy, you might have to look a bit harder in your grocery store. We tend to get in a hurry, scan for what we want, and we don’t even see the other stuff. I recommend taking a very unhurried stroll thru every aisle in the store and really LOOK at the shelves. Look at the lower shelves for bulk and commodity items, and the eye level shelves for premium and national brand items. Just below or above eye level there are a lot of new and unusual items that you probably just skim past normally. Take an especially long look at the ‘ethnic food’ aisle. Lots of long term, and shelf stable items there, and a lot of unusual fruits and veg to store to combat ‘taste fatigue.’

    Look hard in the grilling or outdoor aisle. Some prepper items: wooden matches, some long, some maybe even ‘strike anywhere.’ All are good as tinder. Speaking of tinder- firestarter sticks! Lots of choices from natural fatwood split logs to sealed bars of chemical starter. Someone I read suggested fatwood for a GHB that is still airplane safe. You can say it’s for whittling if anyone asks. Our store even carries Colman fuel in cans, and little propane bottles for the stove or lantern. Heavy duty grill tools are good for cooking over a campfire or any improvised heat source. Heavy gloves are in the BBQ section too. I could probably do a whole post on prepping in the grocery aisle that never even includes food 😉

    nick

  60. nick says:

    @spook

    “Barilla has this new Pronto branded pasta…
    Put it in a pan of cold water, set burner on high, and ten minutes
    later stir in your sauce!”

    I guess this is the ‘minute rice’ of the pasta world??

    Everyone should have some! I stock minute rice as well as normal rice, and the convenience “instant rice” cups and pouches. In a disaster, short term and regional, you want foods that take a minimal amount of fuel to cook. Rice is cheap, but not if you have to boil water for 30 minutes and you don’t have much fuel. Instant or minute rice fills in nicely here. Still pretty cheap, still a great meal extender, still stores forever, but uses MUCH less fuel to cook. (I know there are other ways to save fuel and I’ll use them too, but this is just a variation of how people cook everyday. Easy, no stress….)

    nick

  61. Dave Hardy says:

    “If things got desperate, the first thing I’d do is walk into the county manager’s office and say…”

    That ain’t a bad plan at all. Of course then you run the risk of various factions going in and out of power and fighting over you and then you getting smoked in the crossfire during some otherwise innocuous making of chlorine bleach or insulin.

    Then there’s me, utterly useless: I pop into the county mangler’s or town mangler’s office and tell them “I’m set up to talk about medieval literature, history and philosophy and also genuine Murkan history. Not only that, I can whip up some awesome stick-to-yer-ribs meals, and teach noobs about IT chit (if we have juice, that is) and firearms. In a pinch I can fill in for very local guard and patrol duties. And that’s about it, now here’s what I need, etc., which isn’t much, really, not at my advanced age of senility and decrepitude. But I’d be big on cross-training with other fields.”

  62. nick says:

    @dave H, managing anything with a computer is better than without a computer. I bet during the transitional phase of real SHTF, getting some lappys up on battery with some networking would be pretty useful. After all, the pros roll out with flight cases full of lappys and spools of cat5….

    n

  63. nick says:

    If you were looking for an iron clad skill set, other than medical, power systems and diesel engine repair would be the stuff…

    n

    (I know a bit about temp power from my event days, but diesel engines are a mystery.)

  64. Dave Hardy says:

    Excellent use of on-site radio intel:

    https://brushbeater.wordpress.com/2016/08/24/a-sigint-report-from-the-rnc/

    And from the Sounds of Silence Department:

    https://adaptivecurmudgeon.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/thoughs-on-z-blogs-on-being-revolting-in-the-modern-age/

    I think he’s onto something here. When it eventually blows, it’s gonna be a history-making fummamucker. As one of the commenters said, no one’s ever tried to murder 100 million armed people before. Meaning, of course, one’s own gummint, not a major world war. Mao and Stalin gave it a good try but failed to come close.

  65. Dave Hardy says:

    “I bet during the transitional phase of real SHTF, getting some lappys up on battery with some networking would be pretty useful.”

    True, dat. I have the lappys and tablets and Cat5 and Cat6; I should tool up with spare batteries and a means to charge ’em up and keep ’em charged. Also have a Toughbook on my short-term wish list, on which I’d load open-sauce radio stuff. And I’ve got some encrypted-six-ways-from-Sunday USB sticks.

    “If you were looking for an iron clad skill set, other than medical, power systems and diesel engine repair would be the stuff…”

    For medical I’ve got the Red Cross first responder/first aid/CPR cert; I’d do the EMT stuff assuming time and scheduling availability.

    Power systems would be kinda ironic; my late dad was a mechanical and power systems engineer and later a supervising boiler and machinery engineer and insurance inspector, without finishing high skool (signed up for the Good War at 17). I used to travel with him sometimes, as a kid, to his sites around central and southeastern MA and Road-Eye-Lun. I’d look at his various manuals and documentation and be bored to effin tears. Nowadays, though, I’d try to figure it out.

    His power gen days were those of steam, mainly, but he also went around to a couple of the nuke plants. And trips to Toronto and Chile, the latter right after the coup where Pinochet’s forces machine-gunned Allende at the palace. He told us he saw troops and armor all over the streets for days. At the exact same time, I’d just arrived in Thailand right after an attempted coup, and similarly, bases closed off and troops all over the place.

    It’s crossed my mind more than once that steam power might make a comeback in a transitional SHTF scenario, esp. up here in Nova Anglia, with all its streams, rivers and dams over the past few centuries.

  66. nick says:

    That’s a new benchmark for prepping, when you’ve got your own steam powered electrical generation.

    Dave, you should check out the Festival of Steam week in the lakes area of northern NY.

    http://www.pageantofsteam.org/pageant-of-steam/

    It’s awesome! In the true meaning of the word. I was only there for a few hours a couple of years ago and I’ve wanted to go back ever since. They’ve got a steam driven power station up and running. Super cool. The smell of ozone, steam, hot oil, and the quiet ‘shuff’ing is just … well, awesome!

    nick

  67. Dave Hardy says:

    “Dave, you should check out the Festival of Steam week in the lakes area of northern NY.”

    Haha, “northern NY,” haha. It’s at roughly the same latitude as the Capital District and Manchester, in southern NH.

    But yeah, I’d check that out; maybe next year, since this year’s has come and gone, earlier this month. About a six-hour drive from here, through the Adirondacks.

    One of the good things about steam, of course, is that it’s renewable energy, unlike the fossil fuels, which are also required to run the nuke plants.

  68. pcb_duffer says:

    [snip] I figure that if TSHTF, 1,000 rounds is probably a lifetime supply for me, one way or another [snip]

    In the meantime, it would be a reasonable amount to use up in training. I don’t know how many rounds the typical non-infrantry US Army dogface fires during boot camp and yearly training, but staying halfway sharp with aiming, adjusting, magazine changes, and quick field maintenance is a very good thing.

  69. Dave says:

    Bob,

    Recently you said you got your first Augason Farms shipment that came from Walmart instead of being direct shipped from Augason Farms. You didn’t say anything else about the shipment. I’m assuming that if it were damaged, you would have said something. But given it’s from Walmart, I would have thought their first time delivering a shipment to you undamaged would be mentioned.

  70. Spook says:

    “”Someone I read suggested fatwood for a GHB that is still airplane safe. You can say it’s for whittling if anyone asks.””

    Yeah, with the little knife they are sure to let you keep if you say it is for whittling.

    But, for sure, fatwood is amazing stuff. I think a short piece, whittled smooth,
    with a hole and a string, is a good thing to have in your pocket.

  71. nick says:

    So I went thru the bags o stuff I bought last week at the estate auction. One lot had a pile of desert camo stuff, and was labeled ‘army vest’. I bought it for $25.

    Turns out it was a pretty good score.

    There were three sets of gear, one each in dirty used condition, ok used condition, and barely used. Each set was one load bearing fighting vest, one waist pack, 2 grenade pouches, 2 canteen pouches, 4 m16 mag holders, one 3 pouch m16 mag bandolier, one groin armor flap, one neck and shoulder armor, one throat armor flap. One set also had an entrenching tool cover.

    I laundered everything but the one clean vest. I know, now someone can see me with night vision, but I don’t plan to wear the gear sneaking around in the dark against NV equipped foes. If it comes to that, I’m F’d anyway. With it clean, I can store and use it.

    The groin protector pads are actually a good size, about the size of a strike plate, but shaped more like a triangle than a shield. They would work in my kids book bags, but I think they’d be too small to use as chest plates for an adult. I don’t think you could easily re-purpose the neck and throat armor.

    All USGI and manf in 2004.

    There is weird and useful stuff out there, but you’ll never find it if you aren’t looking 🙂

    nick

  72. nick says:

    Some good news:

    “Concealed pistol license holder, 91, shoots suspect trying to rob him in the neck near Rite Aid store after repeatedly warning his wannabe attacker he had a gun

    Apparent attacker approached the elderly man on Monday morning
    Police say the 91-year-old told the suspect that he had a gun on him
    But the suspect kept coming and pointed an unknown object at him
    The elderly man shot him and he fled before he was caught by officers
    Shooting is being investigated as self-defense during an attempted armed robbery, authorities say

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3754666/91-year-old-man-shoots-man-trying-rob-neck.html

  73. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Re: Augason Farms stuff direct from Walmart

    I haven’t had any damage in any recent shipments from Walmart, including the latest one that included AF #10 cans. I cringed the first time I ordered stuff packed in glass from Walmart, but they always wrap individual glass jars in heavy corrugated paper. The last time, I was confident enough to order 12 or 15 jars of Bertolli alfredo sauce, which all arrived undamaged. However, Walmart still does a spectacularly incompetent packing job with ordinary canned goods, which are usually just thrown into the shipping box with almost no padding. Those frequently arrive dented.

  74. Dave says:

    In the last 24 hours I ordered some food from Walmart and Amazon totaling just over $100. I’m still short on food, but I feel a bit less unprepared than I was yesterday. I think my top prepping priority is now a handful of thing to make the house a little more secure. Then my next two things to do are make a run to the LDS Home Storage Center and do my first wash, dry and fill of two liter bottles with my current inventory.

    If I don’t make it to the LDS Home Storage Center by the end of the month, I’m going to go ahead and order some stuff from them online. I haven’t done that yet because it appears to cost almost double what it costs to get it locally.

  75. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yep. LDS HSC stuff you pick up locally is basically sold at their cost, which is why it’s so much cheaper than any other source. If you have them ship it, it costs much, much more.

    Congratulations on actually doing something last night. Doing anything at all is better by far than just sitting around thinking about doing something. I get lots of email from people who are trying to get started prepping. The usual reasons/excuses for not doing do.

    1. My wife/husband thinks I’m nuts.

    2. I’m afraid I’ll buy the wrong thing (or pay too much).

    3. I don’t have anywhere to store stuff.

    And, in far distant fourth place, even it today’s economy:

    4. I can’t afford to prepare.

    My answers:

    1. Tell your wife/husband that even the government recommends preparing. Also, that it’s the man’s/woman’s job to make sure that your family can drink/eat, so that’s what you’re doing. Also, that you’ve decided that collecting shelf-stable food will be your new hobby, and that your spouse is lucky you didn’t decide to buy a boat.

    2. So what if you buy the wrong food or pay too much? This isn’t rocket surgery, and you’re not buying $10,000 worth of stuff on this outing. Buy bulk food at Costco/Sam’s/Walmart/supermarket. If it goes on sale next week, so what? Your purchase costs will even out over the coming weeks/months. And it’s hard to buy the wrong thing if you stick to canned goods and bulk dry foods like sugar, flour, rice, etc. that you know your family will eat.

    3. You’re not looking hard enough for storage space. It doesn’t have to be very accessible. Under beds is a favorite storage space, as is the back of closets, behind furniture, etc. Just about anyone can find enough storage space for a one-year supply of foods, even if they’re living in a tiny house or apartment.

    4. Sure, you may be in a situation where you’re living paycheck to paycheck, if you’re fortunate enough to have a paycheck. But just about anyone can free up enough money to buy a few extra cans of food at the supermarket. You can also cut back on luxuries. Cut back your cable TV to just basic or install an antenna. Cut back on your cell phone plan, eating out, vacations, etc. etc. When it comes right down to it, most of us waste a lot of money on expensive non-essentials.

  76. Dave Hardy says:

    “Tell your wife/husband that even the government recommends preparing. Also, that it’s the man’s/woman’s job to make sure that your family can drink/eat, so that’s what you’re doing. Also, that you’ve decided that collecting shelf-stable food will be your new hobby, and that your spouse is lucky you didn’t decide to buy a boat.”

    Yes, she thinks I’m nuts. (that’s OK; I think SHE’s nuts.)

    The “man’s job” thing may or may not work, but it has potential.

    Buying a boat would be OK with her.

    In any case, I can get more food and water into the cellar storage to the point where when she does finally notice it, it’s a done deal. Ditto with the armory stuff. Radios here don’t even show up on her “radar.”

    Meanwhile I lobby for replacing the doors and locks and getting a generator.

  77. Dave says:

    Also some prepping is very normal. One item that I would like to accomplish from a prepping standpoint is to get both of our cars off the driveway and into the garage. That’s the biggest single task on my mental prepping list, but it’s much less urgent than other items. The biggest security vulnerability is that the cars have garage door openers. I could take them out or lock the door so that the opener doesn’t work, but putting the cars in the garage would be the best solution.

    So I’m just going to work my way down my list and try to check something off every day. Each individual step is not a big deal, but together they add up. The trick is to make a list and start crossing the easy and important things off the list.

  78. nick says:

    one step at a time!

    You will make progress. It’s very expensive to do it all at once, and very stressful. Making steady progress has it’s own rewards.

    Taking that first step is often the hardest part. In order to take it, or to support a spouse taking it, you have to admit to yourself that not only can things go horribly wrong, but they can go wrong for YOU personally. That is a hard realization and a major psychological hurdle for a lot of people. The thing to remember is that while they can go wrong, you are taking action to keep them from being so horrible. In other words, I think there is comfort in taking control of your future by prepping.

    I hear other people talk about the peace of mind they get, knowing that if x,y, and z happen, they’ll still be able to feed their family, and live securely.

    nick

  79. Dave says:

    The thing to remember is that while they can go wrong, you are taking action to keep them from being so horrible. In other words, I think there is comfort in taking control of your future by prepping.

    Yes, there is comfort in being prepared. But being prepared requires paying attention to the world around us so we can know what to prepare for. An undesirable side effect of this is that we realize how clueless some of the people around us are.

  80. I read about 1910 Ireland and “Buttered eggs” being a regular item of commerce in street markets.

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