Category: cooking with LTS food

Tues. May 6 (or 7), 2024 – hopefully the rain has passed, for a bit anyway…

Warmish, still damp, and possibly clearing to a nice day. Yesterday was a mixed bag, but I didn’t get any more rain during the day. Some other places might have.

As I was driving around I did see that the local bayous are at higher than normal levels. I crossed the San Jac river in the middle of the bridge and couldn’t see down to see what it looked like though. Google gave me flood warnings when I navigated to my auction pickup in Kingwood (north and east, where all the flooding starts to show up as you head out of Houston proper.) I didn’t see many signs of flooding though.

One of my auctioneers did show me a picture of his car flooded to the door handles in Porter.

I did my two pickups, and headed home.

Before and after that I did a bit of stuff around the house. Some more poking at the All in One PC. I ordered more RAM because it was a cheap upgrade and it should be usable for basic tasks. It’s less responsive now that windows had a chance to update, win10 has a LOT of bloat over the years, but it’s still very usable for web and normal tasks. If it had a touch screen it would be perfect for a media center/ music steaming GUI in the garage or dockhouse. Or I might put it on the shelf with the 3D printers to manage those machines, if they need a handy computer nearby…or I could plug my SDR radio dongle into it and have that running in my office. I could still clone the drive to an SSD to get better performance too. That is probably the single best and cheapest way to extend the life of an old machine that is feeling slow.

There is a lot of life left in old, cheap machines. And I like the idea of one machine per task.

Today I’ve got a couple more pickups to do. Kid has an ortho appointment in the morning, and that will get me out and about, while disrupting my routine at the same time. Other kid doesn’t have sports team practice this week, so I’m on deck to do an early pickup for her. Lots of poking at things around the house to do too. Even if the weather is nice, I bet I don’t get out in it much.

On the plus side, my back and neck have been better this week and last. Small mercies.

Oh, almost forgot. Data point. Dinner last night included boxed potatoes (betty crocker au gratin in various flavors) with a best by of 2021 and 2022. I had to open 8 boxes to find two that didn’t have little black bugs INSIDE the sealed plastic bag with the potato slices. Those bugs must have been there the whole time, but only get numerous enough to see in a few years?? The two I made that were “sans bugs” were still tasty and the powdered cheese in the foil pouch was still good. Wife and kids both commented that they liked the potato casserole dish (I did add a few tablespoons of bacon crumbles). Main meat was a sirloin cap roast (picanha roast) from 2021 or ’22. Even a two pounder is thin enough to defrost quickly and cook in less than an hour. That gave me time to cook the potatoes and some instant ‘tube’ biscuits too.

My storage conditions are the suxx, and I expect the ‘breakage’. I’m actually surprised I don’t lose more stored food.

Which is where the stacking comes in. You never really know when you’ll be stuck with what you’ve got. I’d rather have too much, than too little and I’m willing to lose a bit to ensure that. You may feel differently- preferring a more precise FIFO plan, with an exact amount of stored food, and a strict rotation to keep it fresh. That’s cool if it works for you. Whatever you do, stack SOMETHING.. and keep stacking as you use it.


Read the comments: 96 Comments

Mon. Dec. 25, 2023 – Christmas Day

Merry Christmas to all…

May the blessings of this season find you and yours.

Thank you all for continuing to stop by, and making this place great.

Enjoy the day, make some memories, live your life, and celebrate His.


Read the comments: 69 Comments

Tues. May 23, 2023 – 052323 – sorta cool… out of the office today

Slightly cooler but sure to get hot later.  Mainly because I’m going to need to work in the attic.   National forecast has us in the clear so that sun will heat everything up.  It stayed cool in the shade yesterday but it was moist and hot in the sunlight, even with a light overcast.

I did one pickup, mostly home goods, but included 2 kindle paperwhites.   D1 cracked her screen a while ago.  I made her pay half for the replacement kindle.   I think I spent $30 each so it wasn’t a hardship, but bad decisions shouldn’t be rewarded.  Got a UV flashlight too.   Should come in handy.  It was $3, so I expect it to be less than pro level.

Went by the bins since I was in that part of town, didn’t find much of interest.   Some days it’s like that.   Nice pair of like new Vans,  if they fit D2 and she likes them, that will have made the stop worth while.  Spent some time at my storage unit going through stuff and sorting for the eventual auction. That’s where the late afternoon sun was beating down on me, even through the overcast.   Came home soaked in sweat.

Dinner was boxed Beef Stroganoff, one of the cheesy hamburger helper style meals.   Beef was in the freezer for over a year, in a vac bag.   Box meal was on the shelf for a year past its best by.   Milk was UHT shelf stable opened last week.   All was good.  No leftovers.(and I use 1 1/3 pounds of meat, instead of just a pound.)   Eat what you store, store what you eat.


Did some searching through surveillance video.   Fish is there at dusk on Saturday but never seen again.   That night a big tabby cat does come sniffing around, but walks off.   The rain started soon after that, and went on for 12 hours, so I don’t have great video, and I can’t see any time when the pond was disturbed at all.   Can’t figure out what got Mr Fish, but he’s gone daddy gone and has been for a week.   That’s kinda the worst part, that we didn’t notice for a few days and didn’t investigate for a few more (we feed him daily.)  I just figured he was hiding in the deep end.  So much for my situational awareness.


Today I’m headed to my client’s house to do the rest of the install.   The NVR came in, and I can get the rest of what I need on my way.   That’ll be later in the morning though.   I should still be able to waste time on the internet with my friends.  You know, get the day started right.

And then I should be able to  invoice and stack up the result.  ‘Cuz sometimes the best stacks are greenbacks.


Read the comments: 62 Comments

Mon. May 8, 2023 – another week closer to the end of the school year…

Cool and damp.  Got some rain yesterday, expect we’ll get a bit more today.   Wasn’t hot, but wasn’t cool either.   I have tried a bunch of things to get my weather station reporting again, but nothing seems to work.   I’ve tried changing the outdoor unit 2x, and I have two different indoor units showing different things.   A third couldn’t find the outdoor unit either.   Something is interfering with the signal is all I can think.  Probably a cheap USB charger, but I can’t correlate the malfunction with any particular changes.  I’ll have to go on a hunt, so that’s farther down the list for now.

Did some sorting and cleaning up for the return of my bride…   got some of it done.   Pack is once again united.   Girl Scouts had a nice weekend.  I got some minor stuff done.   Rain put a damper on any outdoor stuff for me.  On the other hand, I didn’t have to do any more sprinkler work.

Today I’ve got a couple of pickups I can do, and a couple of things that are weather dependent.   We’ll see what we can get to.  I’ve got a bunch of stuff to go through for my  non-prepping hobby quarterly swapmeet/sale next weekend.  Don’t know if any of it will sell, but won’t find out unless I try.

Might have purchased some needful things in an auction.   I won, but this auctioneer will often pass items that don’t bring enough money.   Since I’m a bottom feeder, and need to get stuff cheap, I might not actually get it at my low bid.  They passed on a bunch of other stuff.   People waited too long to empty their safes and prices have come back down.  No one is buying Del-ton for what they had listed as a starting bid, but consignors haven’t realized that apparently.  I’m actually surprised any of my bids held up, let alone three.   I’ll have to find some cash somewhere if they DON’T pass on my bids.   Winning at a low price hasn’t been an issue for me for some time.  I feel a bit like Commander Zero this week.

There are always opportunities during times of trouble for the person with preparations and resources.   Keep your eyes open, there are bargains out there.

And you want to add to your stacks.


Read the comments: 69 Comments

Wed. Apr. 26, 2023 – sometimes I wonder what I’mma gonna do….

Cool and clear?  Maybe clear.  Maybe not.  It did clear yesterday, in places.   Typical Houston, with threatening skies but no rain where I was.   I could see rain in the distance…

So I used the Expedition for my  errands.  Didn’t want to get rained on in the pickup.  Dropped stuff off at one auctioneer.   Picked stuff up at two others.   Some was resale, but most was actually sprinkler system parts.   I’ve got a lot of work to do on sprinklers at the BOL.

Today should be working here at home.  I found more exploded cans and they leaked all over.   That led to other cans being nasty.  I’ve got to do some sorting and triage.  And cleaning up.   Of course there are ten things to do first to make room and time for that…  it’s fractal.

But I’ve been putting it off for a while, so it’s time to deal with it.   Unless it’s raining.   Then I’ll have to find other stuff to do.  That shouldn’t be an issue.   😉

Stuff needs maintenance and that takes time.  But the proverb about ‘a stitch in time’ will prove itself out one hundred fold if you ignore it.  Don’t be like me, stay on top of important stuff.

Anything spoiled will have to be replaced, and that will take away from your stacking.

And what do we say about stacking?   Stack it up!


Read the comments: 56 Comments

Thur. Mar. 23, 2023 – 03232023 – fun with nonsense…

Warm and damp.   Possibility of rain.  Likely rain…    So some things won’t get done today. We got scattered sprinkles yesterday, with some places getting more than that.   I could see the rain and clouds in the distance, but it was clear for me.   Houston is like that.  Someone gets the rain, but not necessarily you.  And then they say “It rained in Houston today.”

Did some auction stuff.   Dropped off and picked up… and I’ll do more of that today.   Plus, it’s time to start planning for what work I want to get done at the BOL this weekend.   Of course, I didn’t get all the stuff done here that I wanted to get done.   Never do…

Had some rice with dinner last night.   It went into the bucket in 2014.   Sat undisturbed until last year or maybe even before that.   Then the bucket was opened but closed up with a gamma seal lid.  Cooked up just fine.   No problems, no changes, just rice.    (we don’t eat a lot of rice, but I stack a lot because it’s cheap and versatile.   We’re eating more lately, but I’ve been using the Minute Rice, or the heat and serve packs to save time.)   I didn’t do anything special when it was stored either.   YMMV, but buy quality rice, fill the bucket, leave it sealed.   It will last a long time.

Keep stacking food.   Everybody needs to eat.


Read the comments: 71 Comments

Wed. Aug. 24, 2022 – moar stuff needs doin’

Hot hot hot, and humid, like a hot sweaty thing…  Houston in summer.

Went to do some of my pickups.   Hit the goodwill  outlet on the way home.  Bins were mostly full of clothes, which don’t usually interest me.  One vintage  made in USA work boot, but no pair.  Some vintage electronics but nothing worth enough to grab.   I did grab a FoodSaver unit as backup to the ones I use all the time.   I’ll test it and if it’s working, just clean it.  If not, it’ll go in the parts bin.  Most of the FoodSavers have very similar parts with cosmetic changes.  It’s a  recent, higher end unit.

I grabbed a nice sturdy folding keyboard stand for D2, like new, with tags.  I’m working on setting up a music workstation for her.  She’s been writing lyrics with a friend from school, and wants to play around with making music and recording.  I’ve got almost all the pieces of a decent workstation, just need to find the time to get it all together.

Not much lego, only a couple of hot wheels, and a handful of Pokemon cards….  really a very slow day at the bins.

Dinner was an experiment.   I have leftover chicken breast from a whole Costco chicken, and none of us really like the white meat, so while I was grocery shopping I picked up a “skillet meal” pouch of sauce.   I’ve had good luck with the other HEB sauces, so I thought I’d give cilantro and lime chicken over rice a go.   Meh.  Glad I only bought one pouch.  If we’d liked it, I’d  use it with the Costco canned chicken too.   I’m always looking for ways to use the canned chicken, it’s my primary long term protein.   I was careful to add enough rice to the pot this time and it came out as expected.   I can learn…

My trip to the grocery store earlier in the day had only one surprise, chicken gizzards are $2.68 a pound.   Freaking breasts don’t cost that much, legs are $1.o9 and thighs are $1.39.  Chicken was limit 2.  Why would the dang offal be more than the breast?  No hearts either, but plenty of feet.   (Oddly, they are usually labeled chicken “paws” on the package.)   There were bare spots throughout the store.  Everyone was complaining about high prices.   A bag of chips was $5, that I used to buy for $2.50 on sale.  A pleasant surprise was prime top sirloin steaks for only $5.99/pound.   I bought the limit.   Temporary decrease in beef prices due to culling herds, or just my local store shedding excess inventory as usual?   Don’t know, wish I could have bought more.

Good hamburger, 93/7 % was over $5, while cheap 70/30 was about $3.49.  False economy though, you pour the 30% fat in the trash, even though you’ve paid for it.  And for a dollar a pound more, I’d rather eat steak.   Granted that hamburger is more versatile…   The bacon I buy was unchanged, that’s going on months now without a price fluctuation.  Weird that.  Bought some.

There were a lot of unfamiliar brands filling out the shelves.  The cookie aisle was very noticeable.   Given that we’re in Texas, a lot of  the brands were mexican with spanish names, and might just be catering to the buyers.   HEB has their own spanish label house brand, and that is gaining prominence on the shelves too.  I think that it’s more about supply issues than stocking for a demographic though.   If it continues, I’ll notice.

Today I’ve got another pickup, and I need to start pulling stuff together for my show/swapmeet.   I have bins full of stuff, scattered across 3 or 4 locations.   And load in is Friday morning.   I better get busy.

Stack all the things!  Learn all the things!   Know all the beings!


Read the comments: 68 Comments

Tues. Aug. 16, 2022 – and away we go!

Hot, humid, chance of rain… and all that noise.   It was a bit cooler yesterday than it has been, so maybe summer is winding down.  On the other hand, it was still 82F at midnight.

Got the kids off to school, kinda.   Turns out the bus drives by, then picks up some other kids, and returns to pick up mine.  As it was 20 minutes late when it passed the first time,  we didn’t wait.   Kids had a good first day.

I did some auction stuff then went shopping.   Dropped a bunch of money at Lowes on plumbing stuff for the BOL, then hit up Costco.   Dropped a bunch of money there, but got a bunch of meat too.  Freezers are full again, until I move more to the lake.

Today I’ve got auction pickups, home and rent house maintenance, and some other errands to run, but first D1 needs to have her braces checked.   That takes up most of the morning, by the time I’m back home. Oh well. Poor planning to schedule the appointment during the school week, when we could have done it last week, but we are getting near the end of her treatment.  ‘Bout time to get D2 started.

One of the auction items I picked up last week was a solar inverter.   Solar for the BOL is moving up the list.  I just have to figure out how all the pieces work together, and find the time to assemble what I have.   Seems like it should be more straightforward than most people online make it out to be.   Hmm.  Lotta things like that.


The other thing I have to do is some auction listings.   I’ve got some high value stuff just sitting here, getting older, without being listed.   Keeping up with listings is probably the hardest part of reselling, but there isn’t any “selling” without listing.   Seems like there is always something more important to do though.

Dinner yesterday was all from stores.   Sesame chicken “simmering sauce” from HEB, costco chicken from cans, and instant rice.   Came together pretty quickly and tasted good.  Every bit got eaten, and my wife said she’d eat it again…  Starting with the packaged food cuts prep time considerably, reduces cook time dramatically, and makes it easier.  All of those are good things in a disaster, or just when you can’t be bothered to cook from complete scratch.   All of the elements of the meal store for a long time too.

Bulk ingredients are great, and are an integral part of any long term plan, but consider some meals that use less time and energy for the times when you are short of both.

Then stack it up!


Read the comments: 70 Comments

Tues. May 3, 2022 – about to get even busier…

Forecast says “clear” for the next two days at least.   Monday started out very gusty, with spatters of rain while I was putting the kids in the car, but it soon cleared up.   Today should be clear all day, but I’m sure it will be humid and hot.

Because I’ll be doing some work in the attic.   HVAC guy came yesterday and did whatever poking around he needed to do to get the job actually started.  I’ve got a feeling it will be about 80% of what we want, it’s costing more than the luxury system quote from two years ago, and I think the work will be pretty haphazard.   BUT, he got the unit we needed, and the approved ductwork, and the system has been patched and babied along for two extra years past its failure point.   I NEED to get new stuff installed.  And for that to happen, I need to clear space in the attic for them to work.   That will be … difficult and a pain in my sweaty backside.

On top of that, I have the normal weekly stuff to do, and I am supposed to be taking stuff to auction today and tomorrow.   Which probably will not happen if I’m in the attic all day.

I did get a few things done yesterday.  Did a billable half day of work for my client.  AT&T has pushed all the conduit to his property, they just need to get fiber in it, and make the final several hundred foot push to the house.   It looks like they  hope to light up the rest of his neighbors too at some point.   There are lots of drops along the way to his house.

More food got put away.   The $2/pound pork loin got turned into three roasts, and one got eaten for dinner.  The others joined their piggy friends in freezer camp.   I opened a can of cajun style lima beans as a side, didn’t tell anyone what they were besides “beans” and not only did they get eaten, my wife actually called them good.   It must have been the butter and bacon crumbles.

Also got 40 pounds of flour into buckets.  20 pounds per 5 gallon bucket, a paper plate, and a couple of hand warmers to eat the O2.   Those buckets will go to the BOL.  My wife notably didn’t say anything about the 40 pounds of flour sitting in the living room until I could pack it.   I think she’s coming around to the idea of shortages.  It would be hard not to given the news and predictions from every direction.  Yet there will be people crying that ‘nobody told us’.   I’M telling you, there will be shortages, and some people are going to be very hungry, both here, and pretty much everywhere else.   Dust Bowl, Great Depression, soup kitchen levels of hungry, only without the civility of a homogeneous society.  That last point should be top of your mind too.

Ammo prices have come down slightly and availability has increased.  I’m even seeing sales on large quantities.  Some places have complete uppers for sale again too.  If you’ve been waiting, this is as good a time as any.

ATF has new rules ready to go into effect.   We may be facing whatever comes with what we’ve got.   And something bad, really bad, is coming.   The DHS created a department to police thought and word.   That’s how far we’ve come, and the direction we’re going.  They didn’t ‘float a trial balloon.’  They created it and staffed it.  Just like that.  With no lead up or indication ahead of time.  Once we’re on a war footing, even the token resistance from conservatives will be stifled in the name of the war effort.  It’s all happened before, it can happen again.

So stack it high. And hide it well.  You’ll need it.




Read the comments: 55 Comments

Thur. Apr. 28, 2022 – so we’re a quarter of the way through the year…

Clear and nice for the next two days according to the national forecast.   We’ll see what our local microclimate actually does, but it certainly was nice yesterday.

Too bad I spent most of the afternoon literally pretending to be a shade tree mechanic.   And laying on my back in the shade under a filthy truck.   The result of a few hours spent is ruling out the alternator and the starter/solenoid.  Most of that time was driving from store to store to get the parts checked.    My next possibility is the corroded cable at the battery clamp.  I found a 2 volt drop in the first inch  of the cable.   The weird thing is that the problem appeared suddenly.  Damage from corrosion is usually a slow and gradual problem.  JEP said “it’s almost always the cable” and he may have been right in this case too.

I spent the morning getting dinner ready (crock pot pot roast) and packing the bulk meat I bought.  Should have done it sooner, but it was still fine.   Did I mention that Costco has standing rib pork loin roasts for less than $2/pound?  I forgot that it was Easter time, and that they carried my favorite pork cut at Easter.  Cut up as pork chops, or cooked as a roast, you can’t  beat the flavor.  The pot roast is a family favorite, and couldn’t be easier.  Just add whatever sturdy veg you have in the fridge, I used turnips, carrots, potatoes, and onion, the meat (seared in cast iron first) and the Betty Crocker pot roast slow cooker seasoning packet.  6-8 hours later, add a fresh baked (shelf stable) loaf of sourdough bread to the table, and you have a feast.   Stew in the slow cooker is pretty much the same, except the meat is cubed first, and I use the “beef stew” packet…

Plan for today is more exploration and hopefully a resolution to my truck issue.  I need the truck  to do about 80% of the stuff on my list.  If I get it fixed, I’ve got all the other stuff that didn’t get done this week stacked up.   If I don’t, that stuff will slip even more.

I guess I better get moving.

And btw, the head of Goya foods is warning about famine too.

It’s real and it’s coming.   Stack it up.


Read the comments: 77 Comments
// ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- // end of file archive.php // -------------------------------------------------------------------------------