Sat. July 11, 2020 – continuing to sweat, and work, and work, and work

Hot and humid again.  Same same.

Yesterday stayed hot hot hot all day.  And sweat through to your skin in 5 minutes humid.

So, while I didn’t get much done in the garage, given that it was more than 109F in there, I did yard work.  Cut the grass, pulled a couple of weeds.   Cleaned up the rest of the mess the heavy trash guys left.  Cut and stacked the free firewood.  (Used the electric chainsaw.)  Pushed dirt around the bottom of the pool.

Then did my auction pickup.   Helped load the old bedroom furniture into a lady’s truck (3 trips to fit it all).  Cooked dinner.  Put the kids to bed.  Read more Tales of Alvin Maker: Prentice Alvin to the oldest.  Watched some youtube.

Dinner was some super scraggly and thin asparagus from the last supply drop, and almost 2 pounds of sirloin steak from the freezer.  My 9yo ate the biggest hunk, half a pound at least, and more than I ate.  She is a vicious little carnivore.  Last year’s girl scout cookies for dessert.

Today I’m really really really trying to get the freezer into the garage.  I’ve got to get a ton of shirt out first, and it’s hot.  But I need to get it settled and start stocking it again.  I’ve also looked at freezer temperature alarms, and they are either cheap and poorly reviewed, or pretty dang pricey.  I’ve got normal digital thermometers on the fridge and the chest freezer.  They don’t alarm though, but you can see at a glance the actual temps.  I’m going to look some more before deciding what to get.  I sure don’t want to lose another freezer full.

Speaking of a freezer full, with additional space I’ll be able to store more frozen fruits and veg.  I don’t normally keep much besides meat and butter, with some bread products in the freezers.  My wife has a bag of fruit chunks for smoothies in the kitchen freezer.  One of the observations someone mentioned about the covid lockdowns so far was wishing they had more frozen fruit.  I hadn’t thought much about it, and I have canned fruit and fruit pie filling, but I don’t have much frozen.  I think I’ll add a shelf of frozen fruit to the pile.

Always something more to stack, keep at it.

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

52 thoughts on “Sat. July 11, 2020 – continuing to sweat, and work, and work, and work”

  1. re the “Here’s What 75 Preppers Learned During the Lockdown” from last night, their statements generally match what I found. Overall, we started out mostly good in terms of food and other stuff because I stacked as much as I could afford, could find room for, and could protect from my wife wasting, throwing away, or giving away. I’d been paying attention to the world, which is why I bought hundreds of dollars of food, toilet paper, and so on a couple days before the lockdown. (And which, even without shortages, would cost at least 30% more to buy today.) We eat more than I had based my calculations on, though that was in large part because we had no shortage; in a true catastrophe I’d have cut my consumption in half and kept my daughter eating full portions.

    I saw with my own eyes that “food fatigue” is a thing. The Brat started picking at her meals maybe a month in. I went shopping for the first time specifically to get PopTarts and crackers and chips and Rice-a-Roni and a few microwavable lunches to give her some variety. We still had calories to carry the five* of use for easily another three months, but they don’t do any good if they’re left on the plate. I haven’t figured out how to address this. Note that I, my wife, and her mother all experienced food shortages for at least part of our lives and consequently will eat whatever’s set in front of us. “Food fatigue” would never have entered our minds.

    * The fifth was the son of a friend of a friend who was attending college near us and needed a place to live when the college (and especially the dorms) were closed. With my sons moved out we had spare rooms so we took him for the “couple weeks” of the expected shutdown.** He just left a couple days ago, having finally managed to get a flight home. Not a problem. He was no bother and barely ate anything; he was barely bigger than my just-turned-thirteen daughter.

    ** As the saying goes, I’m so old that I remember when the shutdown was only for two weeks to flatten the curve.

  2. She is a vicious little carnivore.

    I approve!

    Yesterday The Brat had a Hungry Man microwavable dinner for lunch. (Which she picked out at the grocery store a couple nights ago; ref comment on food fatigue, above.) It’s a pound of food totalling 800 calories, per the label. I’d expected her to eat half for lunch and finish it off for dinner. Wrong! She gobbled it down for lunch. Conceded, she was feeling pretty full and ended up not eating supper.

    I’ve also looked at freezer temperature alarms, and they are either cheap and poorly reviewed, or pretty dang pricey.

    Pricier than a freezer full of meat?

  3. Re freezer alarms: If your freezer doesn’t have a built-in alarm, I’m honestly not sure it’s worth the effort. In my experience, the two most common reasons for freezer failure are (a) someone leaving the door open, or (2) a power outage.

    The first is easily avoided by setting the freezer at a slight tilt so that the door swings closed on its own. I’m assuming a standing freezer; a chest freezer should be less of a problem anyway. I also do this on our fridge.

    That leaves a power outage, either local or general. In either case, any alarm you have must be able to operate without power *and* get your attention without power, especially if the freezer is someplace out of the house (like in your garage). I’m just not seeing how that’s going to reliably happen.

    tl;dr: I think freezer failures get filed under “sh!t happens”. You can never completely eliminate risk, and your time and money are probably better invested elsewhere.

    Edit: I meant to ask, is the American press flipping out at Trump pardoning Roger Stone? What is y’all’s take on the situation?

  4. Edit: I meant to ask, is the American press flipping out at Trump pardoning Roger Stone? What is y’all’s take on the situation?

    Stone wasn’t pardoned. Trump commuted his sentence. There is a difference.

    As a long time Republican dirty tricks hired hand going back to Watergate, Roger Stone isn’t a choir boy, but the thinking on the Dem side was that Stone would cut a deal and spill everything he knew about Trump once faced with the possibility of serious prison time.

    Trump rightfully spared his friend prison time but didn’t erase the felony conviction, probably on the advice of Barr. No one wants a felony on their record, but, this way, if the Progs win in November, Stone can’t be brought up on charges based on the same set of evidence presented to the grand jury which resulted in the arrest, trial, and conviction. The FBI would have to start from scratch, this time without a Special Council budget, and, with Stone being 67, the return on any future investigation would probably be minimal given that the case would probably not see even an arrest warrant for 3-7 years, depending on when Trump leaves office.

    What the Dems really wanted was for Roger Stone to say that he arranged the DNC email hacking with Julian Assange, particularly the Gmail account of Hillary’s campaign chair, John Podesta. No one on that side wants to believe that Podesta replied to the wrong phishing email.

    In the US, depending on the prison, the sentence for a felony white collar crime can indirectly become regular forced anal rape … or worse, and the Dems wanted to use the fear of that possibility to get Roger Stone to spill what he knew — or lie, whatever works — to get Trump.

    Once again, I reference “Office Space”. In my group at GTE, we considered that flick a documentary.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBzvMLW0ii4
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tCzA0W_KJM

    Also, revisionist history floating around the Dem circles right now is that Lee Atwater, a Republican campaign strategist with whom Roger Stone was frequently associated, was the mastermind of the “Monkey Business” scandal which brought down Gary Hart, a theory mostly advanced by Hart himself these days and not challenged much because everyone who really knew the details is dead.

    No one in Dem circles wants to believe what was more likely the case — that the scandal was masterminded by the Dukakis campaign — because the same pranksters working for the Tank Commander easily took down Biden in 1987 on their way to the nomination.

    Go back 33 years ago, and Gary Hart, a moderate Dem, was the next JFK. Google “Hart Monkey Business” for the details of the scandal.

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  5. Bishop Mittens is already whining about Stone’s commutation. Not a word about Klinton and Obola. Ladies and Gentlemen, Father RINO Mittens.

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  6. From what little attention I paid to the whole drama, it seems like Stone’s commutation was what was needed. There are more to come.

    Remember too that obamma pardoned some nasty people, and the Clintonian pardon list was extensive. This is what presidents do.

    n

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  7. Bishop Mittens is already whining about Stone’s commutation. Not a word about Klinton and Obola. Ladies and Gentlemen, Father RINO Mittens.

    Mittens’ Daddy issues die hard. Nixon defeated George Romney for the Republican nomination in 1968, and Romney served a tumultuous four years as Nixon’s HUD Secretary.

    Stone’s “dirty tricks” antics for Nixon were minor league at best, but he’s forever associated with Nixon and Watergate in the minds of the press, Dems, and “Country Club” Republicans ever since.

    Plus, another Impeachment trial isn’t impossible if Trump wins reelection.

  8. Abbott is probably conferring with Shrub on how to be a RINO. Trillion $$ to keep businesses alive just to close them all again. I thought I’d be dead by the time CWII rolled around. I don’t want to carry a musket when I’m in my 70’s at this rate. Will there be a need for septuagenarian Black Hawk pilots during CWII. Might as well use my skills.


  9. freezer alarm

    My home security system alerts me (text/email/phone app) if the house power goes out.
    For the freezers specifically – just some ‘napkin scribbles’ here – (1) webcam pointed at the digital displays, can then check them via your phone, (2) shouldn’t(?) be a stretch to create a phone app to read the temperature image, compare it to known images of safe temp range, and set off an alarm on your phone if out of range. (My son does some Android development, I’ll run this past him and see if I’m totally off base here.)

  10. “… food fatigue … We still had calories to carry the five* of use for easily another three months, but they don’t do any good if they’re left on the plate. I haven’t figured out how to address this. “

    Going to read the article now…. I bet this was more of an issue for people than realized. Especially for people who go to restaurants or bring take-out home several times a week. I noticed on my FB feed that people were as upset about not having Mexican food as they were about no Charmin. One quick answer for those who have invested a lot in staples/calories is to add beaucoups of dry sauce mix packets in as many flavors and brands as you can find. There are excellent ones for *everything* now, so that one can easily flavor the rice or beans or pasta in any way you wish. They don’t take up much space, and can simply be added to the pot to make something that tastes good.

    My prepping is my daily pantry, it is just that there is enough of it to last us a year if necessary. And, I cook every meal we eat. So our diet did not change and I didn’t have to buy anything for months. What I did run short on was fresh vegetables: onions, celery, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage. I’ve bought some perennial “multiplying onions” to help us avoid ever being without again. And planted collards, which are biennial. Dehydrate celery and canned tomatoes.

    And we had been using cream/half and half in our coffee, and I didn’t have enough canned table cream on hand, so I had to switch us to powdered coffee creamer – which Paul decided he likes better. Canned milk and cream do not store well past their “best by” date, but powdered non-dairy creamer will last forever. And never turns yellow like powdered milk does.

    Otherwise, we’ve simply shopped the sales to be sure the freezer stays full. And after listening to ya’ll talk about coming shortages, I went ahead and bought more toilet paper and kleenex last week even though we didn’t need it yet.

    Edit to add: I am unfortunately about to run out of Brown Bottle Lysol, and it is out of stock everywhere. I had three bottles of concentrate when this started, and was careful I thought, but I guess I need to plan for 1 bottle per month for laundry and general disinfecting in plague-time. I do still have 2 cans of Lysol spray disinfectant but they aren’t interchangeable.

  11. ” Canned milk and cream do not store well past their “best by” date”

    –yup, I’ll second that. My nestle’ ‘media crema’ cans all turned to solids when past their BB dates. I wasn’t brave enough to try them and see if it was good cheese. I switched to powdered cream from a company that is just slammed right now* and isn’t producing powdered cream or butter, but their powdered cheddar is awesome.

    https://www.amazon.com/s?k=hoosier+hill+farm&crid=SYXE68W2WJEO&tag=ttgnet-20

    n

  12. “I’ve now upgraded all three exterior doors since we moved in, and both doors at my rent house. We changed all the interior doors here when we moved in- from flat hollow core to 6 panel hollow core. It’s not hard, the look was dramatically improved, and you get better at it with every one.”

    BTW, I installed a solid core interior door at the hallway to the daughters abode in the house. She is very sensitive to light and noise so it cuts the noise to her area from the general areas of the house.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Steves-Sons-32-in-x-80-in-6-Panel-Textured-Solid-Core-White-Primed-Composite-Single-Prehung-Interior-Door-N6C6WFCNLERH/204609636

  13. Edit to add: I am unfortunately about to run out of Brown Bottle Lysol, and it is out of stock everywhere. I had three bottles of concentrate when this started, and was careful I thought, but I guess I need to plan for 1 bottle per month for laundry and general disinfecting in plague-time. I do still have 2 cans of Lysol spray disinfectant but they aren’t interchangeable.

    Cleaning fluids are seriously arbitraged right now. You can try Amazon, but you will pay top dollar to a third party seller.

  14. I’ve been moving stuff around, both in the garage and my back porch “pantry” shelves. I’m going to take 8 buckets back to my secondary location, now that it doesn’t look like we’ll be locked in our houses under pain of death for a while. I put the newest flour and sugar into buckets with O2 absorbers and resealed them.

    FWIW, 25 pound bag of white flour fills a 5 gallon bucket to within 2 inches of the top. That’s a real nice fill. 35 pounds of sugar fills a 5 gallon bucket the same.

    My skillet breakfast from Mountain House, and powdered eggs from Augason Farms in #10 cans arrived promptly from amazon. No dents. While expensive, I believe there is a place for FD food in everyone’s preps.

    n

  15. Wife and #1 daughter are busy assembling the new desk. No damage, no missing pieces, half off retail. It’s typical KD furniture, maybe a step up from Ikea.

    n

  16. Interesting to note that all the spam to my flandrey email account now has unusual fonts and wingdings in the subject line. VERY easy to spot and delete.

    n

  17. Currently 109F in the sun in my driveway.

    This is the time of year when I’m glad I pay the arborist enough money to bring a *legal* crew out to take care of the 80+ year old Live Oak we have in our front yard.

    It looks like the Live Oaks I planted in FL a dozen years ago — the day before the Bat Guano neighbors passed a ban on the species in the HOA rules … cough — are starting to get big enough to make a difference in the morning sun for whoever owns the house now.

    https://goo.gl/maps/XXhUq3P6GzXjwhBq7

    While in Florida last week, I noticed that the UF Extension program to plant Perennial Peanut in the highway medians reached Crestview, usually the coldest point in FL in Winter. Do the garden centers in Houston have the plant?

  18. I have a huge oak of unknown variety in the front and 2 tall pines that do a good job of shading the whole front yard and the front of the house. In the back I’ve got a big pecan that shades part of the back of the house and most of the back yard. I get a lot of late sun in the back, an the mid-day sun straight down on the roof. The trees definitely make a difference in AC cost.

    n

  19. “Perennial Peanut”

    –I found one mention in the yard of some eco weenies.

    n

  20. From a FB friend:

    “South Korea sprays rioters with dye so they can be identified & arrested later. Should America do the same?”

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  21. Ah, a new cracker of our engineering software today:

    “ERROR: The password does not decode properly !!!
    Error message =
    Sent From: unknown host on 212.126.114.150
    This computer is located in: Kirkuk, 13, Iraq, ”

    I am continually amazed how many people want use our software without paying. No I’m not.

  22. 105 yesterday. 106 so far today. Toasty! If I had a pool I would be in it.

  23. Dinner was some super scraggly and thin asparagus from the last supply drop, and almost 2 pounds of sirloin steak from the freezer. My 9yo ate the biggest hunk, half a pound at least, and more than I ate. She is a vicious little carnivore. Last year’s girl scout cookies for dessert.

    You know, if you keep on feeding them they will continue to eat and grow up. Of course, feeding them will keep CPS away from your door.

  24. 105 yesterday. 106 so far today. Toasty! If I had a pool I would be in it.

    I owned a pool yesterday. Today, no pool. I do not miss it and the continuous expense and hassle.

    I do want a free standing spa though. And a mosquito netting enclosure to go around it.

  25. I am continually amazed how many people want use our software without paying. No I’m not.

    EBay usually has a dozen or so AT&T NetGate devices up for sale as McAfee firewall routers. I always get a laugh when I see those postings because the routers will brick themselves as out of service the moment they have an open Internet connection to use to “phone home”, but I imagine that doesn’t stop people from bidding/buying in the hope of scoring a bargain.

    McAfee was one of the hands through which the OEM company passed over the years. That is a long strange story. My co-workers at the Death Star working on the NetGate even had Intel permanent badges at one point — uber rare since Intel is loathe to hire permanent.

    Again, it is a strange story.

  26. Now 113F in the driveway and 82 in my office. It’s always warmer in my office due to the PCs and monitors, but not usually 82F-that even feels warm. I’mverysleepy.

    n


  27. Spray them with DNA

    First, eww.

    Second, No. That would probably only increase the payments to their OnlyFans channels and we don’t want that.

    I’d spray them with liquified pig shit. Oh, sure, kill the germs if you absolutely must, but don’t do anything to reduce the smell. We’ll know who got sprayed for several days no matter how many showers they take, and there’s next to no chance of BLM rioters being confused with working farmers.

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  28. I’d spray them with liquified pig shit. Oh, sure, kill the germs if you absolutely must, but don’t do anything to reduce the smell. We’ll know who got sprayed for several days no matter how many showers they take, and there’s next to no chance of BLM rioters being confused with working farmers.

    Spray whatever the active ingredient is in Critter Ridder. It did the job with my four legged rat problem; maybe it will work on the two legged variety.

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  29. The fat b@stard that used to harass hard working whale fishermen was fond of throwing around butyric acid… I think that would work just fine.

    n

  30. Regarding Lysol and other disinfectants, during the early times of this virus, I read that heat kills it. Try as I might, I could not get a specific time-temperature combination; folks speculated, but nothing specific. I even asked if one of those household steam cleaners, which might not actually make live steam (no experience,) would be useful. Crickets. Finally, I told a few sorta scientific friends that most organic solvents would probably work, but you had to be careful with damage and toxicity. No reaction. We just use one of the regular disinfectants in addition to chlorine bleach. Our area is not a hot spot, so I doubt any of this is much of a test.

  31. Plus, another Impeachment trial isn’t impossible if Trump wins reelection.

    Or five.

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  32. Well, vacuumed the pool. weeded and watered the garden. pulled another tub of stuff for the local auction. moved a few things in the garage, but honestly not much. SO FREAKING HOT.

    I have 12 buckets of staples ready to go back to my secondary. They will be in climate control there, and give me some redundancy. I brought them home when it looked like the lockdown might actually be a lockdown. Now that that has changed, so too should my plans.

    Daughter 1’s room is set up. I still need to do the repair on the dresser. I didn’t want to be working on top of them today. I’ll get to it tomorrow.

    Dinner is starting to smell good.

    n

    Chicken is cooking with baked potatoes for dinner.

  33. Regarding Lysol and other disinfectants, during the early times of this virus, I read that heat kills it. Try as I might, I could not get a specific time-temperature combination; folks speculated, but nothing specific. I even asked if one of those household steam cleaners, which might not actually make live steam (no experience,) would be useful. Crickets. Finally, I told a few sorta scientific friends that most organic solvents would probably work, but you had to be careful with damage and toxicity. No reaction. We just use one of the regular disinfectants in addition to chlorine bleach. Our area is not a hot spot, so I doubt any of this is much of a test.

    JimB, some [reasonably reliable] source told me that 10 minutes at 200F would kill the virus. The link may be on my other computer, I will look tomorrow. But I’ve been baking my mail every day since. It is such a habit now that in 10 years my grandchildren may finally think to wonder and ask “Mema why do you cook your letters?” LOL Parcels and mail with meltables get to stay on the porch – if I’m in a hurry I spray them with my precious Lysol Spray, if I’m not, I leave them outside or put them on the floor of the “studio” and turn them over daily for two or three days.

    Perennial Peanut

    @Greg Norton I’ve never heard of that but it looks wonderful. It gets too cold in winter and probably too dry in summer in my part of Texas.

    I am searching for a lawn-type ground cover that will grow in deep shade without needing the humidity that St Augustine needs. (We have “some” StA, but have never been able to get it to cover fully or reliably). Most of what I find are not something that can be walked through. We have both Vinca and Liriope, and while they are amazing and durable, neither makes a good flat lawn.

  34. Hopefully several somebodies are telling Abbott that another shutdown would be idiocy on a stick.

    The Lt. Governor and/or the Legislature could put the kibosh on Abbott’s plans at any point without his cooperation, but I think they’ve decided to let him take the hit for a short shutdown if the numbers next weekend look ugly two weeks out from the 4th.

  35. @Greg Norton I’ve never heard of that but it looks wonderful. It gets too cold in winter and probably too dry in summer in my part of Texas.

    UF Extension has been developing the plant for most of the last decade or more. Believe it or not, FL is frequently in drought conditions on the peninsula, and the water restrictions make keeping St. Augustine/Floritam alive a challenge.

    We’ve had luck with small leaf Jasmine as a ground cover in both FL and TX, but it isn’t a flat lawn.

  36. A question for the hive mind: Who is making the best motherboards for ordinary working computers? I’ve decided to build a new machine, and am looking for a solid business class set up. I’m not doing intense video work, or gaming. I’ve been using an ASUS, and it sure looks like they are exclusively making gamer oriented mobos.

  37. @Greg , I see that perennial peanut grows from seed…. could one simply reseed it annually if it were winter-killed, or is it too slow-growing for that? This past winter, for instance, was so warm we might as well have been in Pompano!

  38. @pcb_duffer, I haven’t built a machine from parts in over a decade so I’m no help. I can’t recommend a Dell from Costco, unless you are sure you will never want to expand it. Dell’s small business pcs are very solid though and IIRC the support is US based.

    n

  39. A question for the hive mind: Who is making the best motherboards for ordinary working computers? I’ve decided to build a new machine, and am looking for a solid business class set up. I’m not doing intense video work, or gaming. I’ve been using an ASUS, and it sure looks like they are exclusively making gamer oriented mobos.

    One of my programmers swears by MSI motherboards. He says that he has never had a bad one. I used to recommend Gigabyte motherboards but I have had a couple of bad ones lately so I have switched to MSI for my next machine.

    “MSI Z390-A PRO LGA1151 (Intel 8th and 9th Gen) M.2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 DDR4 HDMI DP CFX Dual Gigabit LAN ATX Z390 Gaming Motherboard”
    https://www.amazon.com/MSI-PRO-LGA1151-Gigabit-Motherboard/dp/B07J6Z9KJ2/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Make sure the motherboard cpu socket and your intended cpu match ! I am still an Intel guy but am thinking about AMD lately. To me, Intels tend to run little cooler than AMDs which means less cpu fan speed to me (quieter).

  40. Make sure the motherboard cpu socket and your intended cpu match ! I am still an Intel guy but am thinking about AMD lately. To me, Intels tend to run little cooler than AMDs which means less cpu fan speed to me (quieter).

    BTW, a lot of the cpus nowadays do not include heat sinks and cpu fans. Make sure that your cpu comes with a cpu fan or buy a cpu fan also. Be sure to check the height of the heat sink and fan also.


  41. One quick answer for those who have invested a lot in staples/calories is to add beaucoups of dry sauce mix packets in as many flavors and brands as you can find

    At the risk of sounding snarky, why not store spices? Sauce packets are nothing but spices combined with unmentionable stuff…

  42. Sure, store spices, but sauce packets are easy and quick. I use crock pot spice packets whenever I use it to cook. I have packets for stewed chicken, pulled pork, pot roast, carnitas, and stew that I use regularly. I use spice packets for taco night. I’ve got spice or sauce packets for thai and chinese dishes, as well as german and english. I have an extensive selection of gravy mixes too. Things get tight, gravy on rice or noodles is not a terrible dinner, and it’s cheap in time, effort, and energy to cook it. Gravy is good with a roast that wasn’t quite as tender or juicy as you’d hoped, and only takes an additional couple of minutes after you discover you should have trusted the recipe and removed it from the oven 20 minutes ago……*

    Spice or sauce packets are awesome for cuisine that takes small amounts of 10 different spices too, like chinese cooking. Saves keeping all those little jars and having them go off before you’ve used them up.

    I do have a fairly extensive normal spice cabinet, but I use my ‘go to’ spices most of the time. Only when working from a specific recipe will I have to go to the second row, or even the ‘other cabinet’ for the less frequently used varieties. And for staples, I’ve got the herb garden which usually has parsley, cilantro, basil, oregano, thyme, mint, chives, and rosemary. Garlic powder, onion powder, and dried basil I have in bulk quantities, along with black pepper and salt.

    For specific meals though, you can’t beat the convenience of the packet.

    n

    *just sayin’. Not that that happened to anyone I know….

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