Friday, 10 February 2017

10:00 – It was 21.2F (-6C) when I took Colin out this morning, but the temperature is gradually rising. No wind at the moment. We’re to top out today at around 45F (7C), and then warm up into the 60’s over the next few days. Barbara just left for the gym and supermarket.

It’s been three months since Trump was elected. I’m happy about some of the stuff he’s doing–notably his appointments, most of which are anything but business-as-usual–but not so happy about some of the things he says he intends to do. But on balance, my opinion hasn’t changed since the election. I’m afraid Trump is too little, too late.

He faces huge opposition, mostly from worthless progs, bureaucrats, public-employee unions, and other entrenched interests, but also from some good libertarians and conservatives. Indicative of this is the opposition to Trump’s appointments. Obama and Bush each made 30+ appointments that required Senate confirmation. Of those 60+ appointments, the Senate approved all but a handful overwhelmingly, by what amounted to a rubber stamp. Trump’s appointees have not been shown the same courtesy. They have so far faced extreme opposition, including from some Republicans, and that seems likely to continue with other appointees who are awaiting Senate approval. Obviously, the progs and lefties intend to do everything possible to make Trump’s administration permanent gridlock. The obviously senile prog/leftie Pelosi says she isn’t willing to work at all with President Bush.

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 Lori just showed up with an Amazon shipment that included a case of 24 small cans of mushrooms and one #10 can each of Augason Farms dried celery and carrots. The latter both have best-by dates in 2041.

Which brings up an interesting point. Like many preppers, I’m loathe to open those nice #10 cans because they’re already packaged for LTS. And in some cases, that’s fine. We have, for example, a couple hundred #10 cans of LTS bulk foods like rice, flour, sugar, potato flakes, macaroni, spaghetti, dry milk, etc. etc. We don’t need to open any of those. Rice is rice, so for day-to-day cooking we just use rice we’ve repackaged from 50-pound Costco bags. The same is true of the other bulk staples in #10 cans.

But some of the stuff we buy in #10 cans is not necessarily fungible. For example, we have #10 cans of Augason dried bell peppers, celery, carrots, cheese powder, etc. etc. Although I hate to open them, we need to learn to use them in day-to-day cooking. An open can is rated for a one-year shelf life versus 20 or 25 years on a sealed can. But opening a can doesn’t necessarily cut the shelf-life down to a year. We’ll simply repackage the contents immediately after opening the can. Put the contents into PET bottles, add an oxygen absorber, and we’re back up to a 20 or 25 year shelf life (and probably more).

And in some cases, we pay no penalty for buying LTS packaged food. I’ve mentioned before the Augason potato shreds, which we started substituting for the frozen Ore-Ida products. On a reconstituted weight basis, the AF dehydrated potatoes are actually less expensive than frozen. The same is true of things like onion flakes, which are actually cheaper to buy in #10 cans than they are in large jars at Costco.

In addition to the obvious benefit of eating regularly from LTS food, we’ve found that there’s another benefit to cooking from scratch with LTS foods. The results taste better. That was reinforced yesterday when we made sloppy joe sauce from scratch. Barbara announced a few days ago that she wasn’t buying any more of the canned Manwich sauce because she wanted to try making it from scratch. It’s cheaper to make it from scratch, we can do it from stuff in our deep pantry, and it tastes better. An all-around win.