I just received this book and sat down for several hours checking the entire book. The beginning has a concise description of water bath and pressure canning. Even if you''d never done it before, you could learn it from this section. I can say this with confidence because...
I just received this book and sat down for several hours checking the entire book. The beginning has a concise description of water bath and pressure canning. Even if you''d never done it before, you could learn it from this section. I can say this with confidence because I''ve been canning for more than 30 years and know what a beginner would need.
This book is aimed at people who already have an interest in stocking up so it uses items commonly found in a prepper''s stash. It''s a well-known truism that you should rotate your food storage. So, if you''ve been afraid to try it, this book should motivate you to actually make soups, stews, meat dishes from your stores. I especially liked the section on making your own dried soup mixes! I have food allergies and most commercial dried soups contain things I can''t have. This book solves that problem and expands my possibilities. The recipes for dehydrated beef jerky and fruit leathers look good. I would have liked some information on what to do about dehydrating without power, just as she included information on canning outside on an open fire.But this is a small complaint compared to all that this book does contain.
There is also a section on substitutes that would help a cook any time there''s something missing in the pantry. Don''t have butter? Recipe calls for buttermilk and you don''t have it? Don''t have whipped cream for a dessert topping? There are instructions on how to make your own substitutes. I tried the whipped topping already. Not bad! Actually, pretty good. It''s made from dried milk, something most preppers store. There is a wonderful section on creating your own herbal mixtures for different recipes. What if you couldn''t get your favorite McCormick Spice blend? Check this section.
The book is arranged logically, with sections for breakfast, lunch, dinner, beverages and snacks. There are recipes for homemade saltines, homemade vanilla wafers, and directions on how to turn quinoa into a really tasty sounding breakfast cereal. There''s a recipe for homemade corn flakes! There are directions for pressure canning meats. Only one recipe concerns me. The meat loaf recipe has bread crumbs in it and the USDA has stated that putting wheat products in pressure canned recipes increases the chance for botulism. I would like to know if this recipe the author included really is safe because based on what I know, canning a solid chunk of meat loaf like this may not be. Still, I could be wrong. There are also instructions for canning hot dogs.
I am an experienced cook, canner, and prepper and this book had plenty of new ideas for me. Finally, I am impressed with the author''s credentials. She worked with the American Red Cross specializing in the Armed Forces Emergency Services center and was trained in disaster management. With personal experience in helping manage aid for families after 9/11, the author says that and seeing families struggle during hard economic times has convinced her of the need to share her expertise in helping others prepare for emergencies. If I hadn''t been convinced of the need already, this book would have convinced me.
This book is common sense. It''s not screaming doomsday. It''s teaching survival, but it also teaches frugality, how to stretch your food to feed more people, what to do if you run out of certain things. This book is hope, but more than that, it''s a tool useful to anyone who wants to do more with their food storage. After all, we aren''t creating a food museum in our pantries. Also, who says you have to eat boring or bland food during a crisis? With this book in hand, you can practice now what might save your family later. (I''ve been through a fourteen day power outage after a horrible ice storm here and have personally used many of the ideas in this book--but I still wish I had this book sooner! It would have saved me some trial and error.) So five stars for this comprehensive, jam-packed little powerhouse of a cookbook. In these difficult times, learning how to do more with less is a good thing.