Meal Planning and Food Storage

by Gayle from Gainesville

Formulating a workable food storage plan seems such a daunting task. We have all seen the online food storage calculators—that we should all have X amount of wheat, X amount of rice, X amount of beans, and X amount of dried milk per person.

But what can you really make from these staples? Bead, well yes. Beans and rice, well, yes. But this seems so bland. And the recommendation to store spices is a great idea, but spices can only do so much. None of this is enough.

Beans and rice with homemade bread is good eating, but not for every meal. I want to go beyond the minimal recommendations suggested by the food storage calculators. And it is important to emphasize that the food storage calculators represent a basic minimum for survival. I don’t want my family just to survive. I want them to flourish. I want them to sit down for dinner and feel satisfied.

What I have been searching for is a systematic approach to meal planning using shelf stable foods. I don’t just want a year’s supply of wheat for my family, a year’s supply of rice, a year’s supply of beans. I want enough supplies on hand that I can prepare meals for an entire year. One solution would be to purchase a year’s supply of freeze-dried food. But the price tag for this option is prohibitively expensive and the nutrition questionable. So I needed an alternate strategy.

This week I read an interesting tidbit—that the average American family eats the same dozen or so meals over and over again, month after month. I thought this was odd but when I made a list of the dinners I fix most often, the list wasn’t that long. So that’s when it hit me. Instead of just storing staples, I should be storing ingredients for the meals I prepare most frequently.

The difference might seem trivial at least at first glance. But it’s actually very important. I want to be secure in the knowledge that my family can sit down to dinner and have something good to eat each night and that I don’t have to feed them the same thing over and over again. Eating the same thing every night would lead to food boredom, and as I am sure you all have read, during WWII people throughout Europe, especially France, starved to death while they had plenty of grains in their barns.

So my plan is to come up with at least ten meals I can prepare from shelf stable foods, and then to acquire enough of these foods to last for a year. I plan on interspersing these meals with dinners prepared using fresh foods. So one night we can have steak, sweet potato and salads; the next night we can have beef stroganoff made from shelf-stable foods.

Here is a list of meals that can be fixed from shelf stable foods. Some of these, like chili and cornbread, I prepare regularly using shelf-stable foods. Others, like beef stroganoff, will need a bit of testing to make them from shelf-stable foods. So here’s my list:

  • Beef Stroganoff
  • Turkey Pot Pie
  • Chili with Cornbread
  • Chicken Soup
  • Red Beans and Rice
  • Chicken Burritos with Refried Beans
  • Tuna Casserole
  • Ham and Scalloped Potato Casserole
  • Shepherds Pie
  • Pasta e Fagioli

My plan is to make a list of ingredients for each meal, and then multiply each ingredient for each recipe by 30. I figure that will give me roughly 300 meals. Since we eat off many of these dishes for several days, I will have a year’s worth of dinners.

To break this strategy down further, here is the ingredients list for Pasta e Fragioli:

  • 1 cup red beans
  • 1 cup white beans
  • 1 pint canned ground beef
  • 1 quart spaghetti sauce
  • 1 pint stewed tomatoes
  • ½ cup dehydrated onion
  • ¾ cup dehydrated carrots
  • ¾ cup dehydrated celery
  • 2 cubes beef bullion
  • dash of oregano
  • dash of garlic
  • 1 ½ cup elbow macaroni

So given this ingredient list, I can determine a one-years supply of this soup by multiplying each ingredient by 30. Once I do the same for the other meals, I will be well on my way to having a year’s supply of dinners for my family.

I aspire to have a year’s supply of dinners by the end of the year. (Once I am finished here, I will work on the breakfast menu. Right now, I have a six-month supply of cold cereal, oatmeal and pancakes. I will worry about lunch after that. But since dinner is the main meal of the day, that’s where I am starting.)

To implement this plan fully, I need ten good recipes. I consider the above as a rough draft. I would like to see what kinds of meals you all plan to prepare using shelf-stable foods.

Please post your recipe. I bet the Wolf Pack could come up with a great list of recipes. We could even publish a book, Cooking with the Wolf Pack. And M.D. could keep the royalties as payment for keeping this site up and running.

Much thanks M.D. Your service is appreciated.

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. robert in mid michigan says:

    i have been trying to work on this same approach. my problem is that on average we eat 16 differant meals, but thier are another 10-12 we cook only seasonally such as chilli never in the summer but once a month in the cool months.

    great idea and working towards the same thing. keep prepping.

  2. Mother Earth says:

    Perfect Gayle! I am doing just about the same thing! I don’t buy pre-packaged foods in huge quantity due to expiration dates and can’t afford freeze-dried foods either. Also dont want to depend on either. So after much research and thought, I too decided to have basic ingredients on hand to create meals. By canning, dehydrating and freezing…I have the ability to create several meals. With basic ingredients like flour (hard wheat), honey, dry milk powder or water and an egg, I can make breads, pasta, tortillas and more as an example. While not totally where I need to be yet, at least I have a plan on how I want to get there. And thanks to MD and this site, I get great info to keep doing more. Looking forward to your book next week!

  3. Nice post!

    I thought the similar thing: I don’t want my family living on rice and beans! So I did a quick & dirty calculation on my blog about a year’s worth of food storage from supermarket foods. Based on a VERY rationed diet, for a year a family of four (2 adults and 2 young kids) needs 730 cans of protein (tuna, salmon, canned meats, canned beans, etc.), 365 cans of vegetables, 365 cans of fruit, 183 pounds of rice and 183 pounds of pasta, plus extra goodies like brownie mix, baking supplies and pudding. (

    As for favorite food storage recipes, I have to say that mine are very simple. I’m a lousy cook. Some things I make include:

    – Spaghetti (no meat)
    – Chili mac (no meat)
    – Just about any type of casserole with either cream of mushroom soup or Magic Mix made from dry milk (Casseroles are easy: meat + starch + veggie + “soup”)
    – Pancakes with gravy
    – Black bean soup
    – Split pea soup
    – Pasta with Alfredo (made from Magic Mix)
    – Chipped beef gravy over toast
    – Basic sandwiches like tuna salad or PB&J
    – Ham & bean soup
    – Ham, potatoes and green beans
    – Chicken pot pie topped with biscuits

    I can make a ton of things with Magic Mix, so I use it a lot. I prefer it over cream of crap soup simply because it doesn’t have the preservatives and additives. Also, it’s a great way for me to rotate through dry milk, since my family won’t drink powdered milk straight up. I use Magic Mix for pudding, cream sauces, mac n cheese, etc. I would definitely recommend it as a recipe for any type of food storage cookbook!

    • STL Grandma says:

      What’s magic mix?

      • Yeah what is magic mix?

        • Vienna (Soggy prepper) says:

          The magic mix pudding is Awesome! My husband hates chocolate (yea, he’s weird) but Loves the magic mix chocolate.
          The Magic Mix I use is= 3 cups dry milk, 1 cup all-purpose flour and 2 sticks butter. Mix all together with a mixer till the consistency of a soft, corn mealy texture and refrigerate. I use it within a couple months. For white cream sauce = 2/3 cup magic mix and 1 cup water. Whisk over med heat till bubbly.
          For Magic mix chocolate pudding = 1/2 c sugar, 1c magic mix, 2-3 Tbs cocoa, 1ts vanilla. Combine all but vanilla over medium heat- whisking till bubbly. Add vanilla, mix then pour into serving dishes and refrigerate. (one of my kids likes it hot). You can also take that chocolate pudding recipe add 1/2 cup milk mixed in then freeze and you have fudgesicles.
          Food Storage Made Easy has more Magic Mix recipes also.

  4. Hello Bitsy. What is Magic Mix please? Sounds useful.

    • The Mormons have a majic mix that is used in a lot of recipes to use in place of canned soup. Actually I have two different recipes.

      Magic Mix
      4 cups powdered milk
      1 cup flour
      1 cup margarine (or powdered butter)

      This mix makes a good cream of broccoli soup and also makes a delicious fudge cake.

      Second Magic Mix to replace condensed canned soup:
      1/3 cup powdered milk
      1/4 cup flour
      1 TBS chicken boullion
      1TBS dry onion flakes
      1 Bay leaf
      1 tsp Mrs. Dash seasoning
      For mushroom soup, add 2 TBS freeze dried mushrooms.

      • Kate,

        I really like the idea of being able to replace the canned soup. But where does the liquid come in? How do you use magic mix? This sounds like such a useful idea.

        • Sorry, I forgot to include that part! Add 1 cup of milk or water. This is in addition to the 1/3 cup powdered listed above.

          • Wisk it all together and you can substitute in recipes for the canned soup. I prefer to add liquid milk and not water. I think it tastes creamier.

      • Good information , thank you .

  5. Uncle Donnie says:

    I Love This Post!!!!
    This is a perfect example of “the collective mind” helping each other.
    Such a simple idea, yet so very practical.
    I will be following this idea and modifyng it to fit my needs.
    Keep up the good work.

    I have a question for Bitsy-
    What is Magic Mix, where would I find it? Or how would I make it?

  6. Nice post, Gayle. This week I’ve been working on mylar-bagged meals that I’ve assembled from the recipes in the Dinner In A Jar book. I have a goal of 2 dozen bagged meals that can be used when time and/or energy is short. I love to cook and always cook from scratch, but sometimes emergencies crop up so it would be nice to have extra mylar-bagged meals to go along with some pressure-canned ‘ready meals’, too. I’ve already made up 6 meals so doing 2 more dozen would give me 30 bagged meals.

    After reading this post, though, I’m gonna give some serious thought to doing more — not as extensive as you are setting goals for because I have less ‘repeat’ in my meals and cook based on homegrown garden veggies, “by the season,” than anything else. I do see the value to having a list of regular bagged meals so I’ll probably give this a try on a lesser scale…. maybe increasing the quantity to at least once a week for a year. That translates to a total of 52 mylar-bagged meals and I’m already half-way there! lol

    We’re beyond the 2-year mark in dry food storage (grains, legumes, etc), but only have enough canned foods for about 18 months. And of course, this is for 2 people (our current situation) and we need to plan for other possibilities.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • We also do a lot of seasonal garden vegetable based recipes. That brings up a question I have for the group. Many of the things from the garden from eggplant and green tomatoes to squash and onions can be sliced, dipped in fresh egg, and coated with a flour, cornmeal, and herb mixture before being fried or baked. Although we are planning on chickens next year and hope to have fresh eggs available, does anyone have a proven recipe that can be used as a batter for preparing and cooking these types of foods without using fresh eggs?

      • Jo (Georgia) says:

        if your wanting to do basically the same thing, mayonnaise works as a substitute for the egg layer. I use it for quickie fried green tomatoes.

      • I know. I know. You could use freeze-dried eggs. LOL.

      • OP
        You can substitute two tablespoons of ground flax seed per egg. Flax has lots of oil that could go rancid so you may want to keep the seeds in the freezer or maybe a root cellar.
        There are other seeds that work also, but I have only tried flax.

      • OhioPrepper,

        I came across an answer to your question.

        You can use 1 tsp unflavored gelatin plus 3 Tbsp. cold water plus 2 1/2 Tbsp. boiling water to replace one egg.

        You can use 1 Tbsp. dehydrated eggs plus 2 Tbsp. cold water to replace one egg.

        You can use 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise to replace one egg.

        You can use 1 heaping Tbsp. flaxseed meal plus 1/4 cup cold water (beat 2-3 minutes) to replace one egg.

  7. STL Grandma says:

    Great article, Gayle. I did the exact same thing for my food storage, only I choose the top 30 meals I make. Many take similiar ingredients so it was really easy. I also couldn’t believe folks thought we could live on such a bland diet.

    • Vienna (Soggy prepper) says:

      Wendy Dewitt has food storage videos on you tube. You can also access them by the website
      Her videos are at the bottom of the page. She also talks about the menu rotation starting with a months worth to build up your food storage from the grocery store. Such as when you go to buy stuff for spaghetti, buy a weeks worth of supplies. Their you now have 7 full meals stored. She also talks about using the food saver with jars for things such as chocolate chips.

  8. This is very similar to how I created my food plan. I also noticed that my family pretty much consumes the same dozen or so dishes repeatedly each month so I built my food plan around that. After planning a full ten-day menu suitable as an emergency food supply (with lots of variety) I simply repeated it twice more to arrive at a total for a months’ supply. All of this can fit into an extra large Rubbermade tub too. I included a printout of the menu inside the tub so everyone would know how to make it last one full month just as I planned.

  9. This is exactly how the Mormon’s approach food storage. And if a year’s worth seems out of reach, try for 3 months first. I have a bunch of recipes that only require water.

    Two of my favorites are gingerbread pancakes with carmel sauce and beef stroganoff. I will post them below in another posting.

    • Here is the first:

      Beef Stroganoff

      1 lb. freezed dried or canned ground beef
      2 cups milk (use reconstituted powdered milk)
      1/3 cup cream cheese (I use homemade but you can use 1/3 cup sour cream powder)
      1 cup water
      2 cups elbow macaronni
      1/4 cups dried mushroom (optional – I don’t add this because my husband hates mushrooms)
      1/2 cup skillet mix (recipe below)

      Reconstitute the freezed dried beef, if necessary. Place meat in skillet and heat. When meat is ready, add the stroganoff mix, noodles, water and milk. Simmer 8 – 10 minutes covered. Stir once or twice during this time but always replace cover. When noodles are tender, add the cream cheese or reconstituted sour cream. Stir until smooth.

      Stroganoff mix:
      1 cup powdered milk
      1 cup flour
      1/2 cup minced onions
      1 TBS onion powder
      1 TBS garlic powder
      1 TBS parsley
      1 tsp thyme
      2 TBS salt (I don’t add this much)
      1/2 tsp nutmeg (this makes such a difference!)

      This mix will make about seven skillet dinners. I store mine in a vacuum sealed canning jar but you could put the entire strognoff dinner in a canning jar for a “meal in a jar”.

      I cannot take credit for this recipe. This comes from Stephanie Petersen, “Chef Tess”. She has a cooking segment on the local Fox morning show in Phenix and has a wonderful blog. I follow her blog. (She is a Mormon and talks about her faith on the blog on the weekend postings.) All of her recipes are wonderful!

      This recipe comes from the ’52 meals in a jar’ posting. For the rest of the meals in a jar recipes, please see her blog.

    • Here is the second.

      Whole Wheat Gingerbread Pancakes with carmel sauce

      2 cups whole wheat flour
      4 TBS powdered eggs (2 whole eggs)
      1 1/2 tsp baking soda
      1 1/2 tsp ground ginger (I only use 1 tsp.)
      1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
      1/2 tsp salt
      1/4 tsp ground cloves (I only add 1/8 tsp)
      3 cups apple juice
      1/4 cup vegetable oil

      Mix dry ingredients together. Add apple juice, whisking until blended. Add vegetable oil. Wisk again. Cook one side until bubbles on the surface just begin to pop. Then turn.

      Carmel Sauce

      1/2 cup butter powder
      1 1/2 cups sugar
      2 TBS corn syrup
      2 tsp vanilla
      3/4 cup buttermilk (used powdered – then reconstitute.)

      I also add a bit extra water to get the correct consistency. However, if you reconstitute the butter powder that won’t be necessary. I never bother to reconstitue anything anymore, I just use extra water if necessary.

      Place all ingredients except vanilla in an extra large saucepan. (This will create a LOT of foam so be sure to use a big pan.) Bring to a boil and cook for 7 minutes. Stir constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.

      This sauce is also wonderful over ice cream or pound cake. It is wonderful! You really should try it. (I must admit the pancakes are also excellent without the carmel sauce.) We make this year round at my house.

      I can’t take credit for this recipe either. This one comes from Liesa Card. (She writes another Mormon blog I follow. She also talks about her faith on her blog.) Her blog is called “I Dare You to Eat It” and it is dedicated to making tasty meals using your food storage. She also has some wonderful recipes. Click on the recipe link to see them all.

  10. Magic Mix is a combo of powdered milk, flour and butter. It stores in the fridge for a long time. The recipe I have is 2 1/3 cup powdered milk, 1 cup flour and 1 cup chilled butter/margarine. Combine in a large bowl (I use a mixer). Mix until it looks like cornmeal. Store in airtight container in fridge.

    To make cream of chicken soup, mix together 1 cup Magic Mix, 3/4 cup chicken broth, and spices/herbs (I use garlic powder, onion powder and parsley). Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches the consistency you desire. Note: This is CONDENSED soup. You will need to add more milk/water to make it an actual soup.

    To make condensed cream of mushroom soup, mix together 1 cup Magic Mix, the juice from a can of mushrooms + enough water to total 3/4 cup liquid. Add seasonings, cook as explained above. Add canned mushrooms to soup.

    I imagine you could do the same with celery soaked in water to make cream of celery soup.

    I have seen different types of recipes for Magic Mix. Some call for vegetable oil instead of butter. I would imagine powdered butter would work, too, for better long term storage. Also, there is a different ratio of powdered milk to butter/flour depending on whether or not you’re using instant dry milk. I think with the instant milk you need almost twice as much (I guess because it’s less dense?).

    If you google Magic Mix, you’ll find tons of recipes.

    Here’s a link to my blog post about it, where I link to a Magic Mix recipe:

    • Bitsy,

      Thank you for this information. I have cut and pasted it into my folder. I have often wondered how people cooked back in the 1800s when folks made just about everything from scratch. Now I know how they made cream of mushroom soup before Campbells.

  11. i googled “magic mix” and found a website (everydayfoodstorage). Looks like magic mix is a blend of powdered milk, flour and butter.

    2 1/3 C. Powdered Milk
    1 C. All Purpose Flour (Yes, use All Purpose)
    1 C. (2 sticks) Margarine (***HAS TO BE REAL MARGARINE, NOT SPREAD***) or Butter, at room temperature

  12. Great planning for your family. I however have a different problem. My Wife is on a health kick, has been for several years now. We ONLY eat FRESH and WHOLE foods. Egg whites (she throws away 12 egg yolks a day), fresh spinach, ground lean (96%) beef and turkey, fresh fish, boneless skinless chicken breasts, fresh veggies, fruits etc. NO beans, very little brown rice, cous cous, ONLY 100% STONE GROUND WHOLE WHEAT bread (only one brand at the store fits the bill).

    So, how do you “store what you eat” when this is your diet?

    • TexasScout,
      For starters, you grind your own wheat and bake your own fresh bread, and then move on from there.

    • Hey Texas Scout, first, I have to ask, is this HER diet or the family diet? Are you on this diet? If not, assert yourself!

      If your wife is on “a health kick”, I would seriously question what she’s doing because beans, brown rice, etc are very healthy foods. We eat healthy organic foods and I cook what the current fad-folks call “slow foods”, but I know from experience that there are days when cooking from scratch is difficult. When salad fixings are ready to pick in the garden, I can make a large salad for dinner but there is always Winter…..Most states don’t have “fresh” that is homegrown or local, it must be trucked in. Question how she’ll support that health-habit if/when the grid goes down. Better to have stored fruits and veggies than none.

      And if you want, question the reason behind purchasing store-bought “stone ground whole wheat” when sitting on a shelf and having the probability of preservatives means she’s eating lesser quality bread than if your household made the WW bread. This leads to wheat berries and a grinder to process your own FRESH wheat flour.

      • “Her” diet becomes my diet if I want to eat. The “kick” she is on is the “caveman” or paleo diet. Beans (legumes of all types), rice, most breads are verboten. I can’t argue with the results. Her body fat % has dropped noticeably.

        I don’t agree with it and she does make concessions to me, but the problem remains that she won’t eat any foods that will store well.

        • I’m surprised she doesn’t eat egg yokes, that doesn’t seem Primal at all. But,…

          “Primal and paleo are often used interchangeably by various whole food enthusiasts, but there are major differences between strict primal or strict paleo”

          Perhaps you should get your wife to check out this Primal approach, “In Sisson’s view, vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, fowl, and eggs should sit at the bottom portion of the food pyramid.” – from, Healthy, Moving, Modern Humans — Not Cavemen

          Here’s another article that might prove helpful, it has some examples of foods that are Primal and have a long shelf life:

          Food Storage Program for Paleo Dieters

          I like this part of the article, “We can also devote some resources to providing cold storage such as a good, old fashioned root cellar”

          I thought there would have been some mention of pumpkin or squash on this thread, the things keep for like 6 months in a basement, maybe longer?

          My recipe contribution to this thread:
          Squash (and cabbage) with some onion, maybe some chicken, all cooked in a skillet.

          Also, I’ve heard there’s an almond bread recipe that is Primal – uses no wheat or flour, just almonds. Sorry I don’t have a link.

          And, I’ve had plenty of soda breads that taste good after being frozen, you could always ask her to make you some? ~ 2 Cents.

          I wonder if bread can be canned?

          • Quick, or soda breads may be canned, but it’s not approved by any canning experts. It only keeps up to 4 mo.

            Heat wide mouthed jars and lids. Heavily grease jars. Fill half-full of quick bread batter (Banana bread, date bread, etc.). Set filled jars in baking pan (at least 3 inches deep) on oven rack. Fill pan 3/4 full of boiling water. Bake at 375 for 45 mins. or until toothpick inserted in bread comes out clean.

            If any bread has risen above rim, cut off with bread knife at jar top. Clean jar rims of any grease or crumbs. While jar is still very hot, affix lids and rings. Let cool.

            Like I said, this is REALLY unapproved, but plenty of Grandmas used to do this. Your main risk is the jars breaking. They aren’t made to heat this way. Second risk is this isn’t hot enough to completely kill anaerobic spores.

        • The paleo diet is getting discredited mainly because we DON’T live the same way humans did tens of thousands of years ago – not unless you’re a hunter/gatherer nomad that is, in a semi-ice age geographical location, and are on the go from sun-up until sun-down. (burning as many calories as a professional athlete does – every day) Most of these ‘fad’ diets do burn off the weight, and as soon as the shine wears off, the weight comes back on. Hang in there Tex … and learn how to cook your own food, and store it too.

          • Really, Will?

            Have you read about Primal and Paleo diets? Or is this just an off the cuff remark?

            I don’t think it has anything to do with burning calories like a professional athlete does.

            Human bodies are the same today as they were 10,000 years ago.

            From what I’ve seen so far, once the weight comes off, it stays off.

            I was reading this article,


            and I thought, hmm, just one more reason to prep.

            Also, in the comments was a link to an article about food I thought you all might find informative, or at least interesting.

            Eskimos Prove An All Meat Diet
            Provides Excellent Health

            “This web site will prove that eating red meat and natural animal fats while restricting carbohydrates is not only healthy but will prevent and cure many diseases.”


        • Texas Scout, Thanks for explaining.

          Sounds like the 2 of you are one of those couples who are on two different levels when it comes to food and also preparedness. If you would like to work around her “diet”, the style of prepared foods, and the lifestyle more towards preparedness, I would strongly suggest that you become more proactive with goals that are important to you. Your common sense and understanding of how TSHTF effect will be very limiting can be your guide. At a minimum, prepare for your own needs. Hunger has a strange way of humbling a person and once she has no ability or source to get those fresh foods (unless homegrown), she’ll change her mind, I’m sure.

    • Judy(another one) says:

      I take it she hasn’t read the latest research on eating egg whites alone. Not a good idea. I have also read 30 minutes after wheat is ground it is already losing nutrients and the fats are going rancid, so if it is setting on a shelf at some store?! Maybe you need to do some research on this diet, get some facts together, and have a chit-chat with her about your concerns. There maybe more going on than just her wanting to be healthy if you get my drift.

      • You can grind it an put it in the freezer (until teotwawki). That is what I do with mine if I grind more than I need at the moment.

    • TexasScout,
      I know exactly where your wife is coming from, but she needs to realize that she needs to make some concessions if TSHTF. I prefer fresh foods too but am not too strict about it. I know how to cook many different varieties of stir-fry which is a great healthy alternative if you are doing the cooking. The great thing about stir-fry is that you can vary the ingredients to just about anything including wild edibles. As far as having veggies in the winter for her, I would have her look into sprouting. But you do need to get her in the mindset that if the worst happens, changes to her diet will occur, even if it is changing from brown rice to white rice since white rice stores better.

    • We can’t all afford to throw out those expensive 12 egg yolks a day. Really, they’re harmless. Do the homework and find out the minerals, vitamins, and very little fat in them.

      And fresh only is expensive out of season. Really, the best food for you is to get down on all four and graze, but that won’t work in winter.

      In an emergency, she’ll find fresh veggies hard to come by and be miserable. she’s not eating healthy, she’s eating fashionable.

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        midge, when you live in California as I do, the last thing a straight fella wants to do is get down on all fours. Trust me on that. How about if I became a browser instead of a grazer?

      • Jo (Georgia) says:

        Do you know how much ice cream you can make with twelve yolks?

      • Look into sprouts, they are the freshest of foods. Many things good for long term storage can be sprouted. There is a very good article on wheat sprouts in the latest issue of the Survivalist magazine [#3] Sprouts roasted, ground and added to bread can even be found in the bible [Ezekiel 4:9] this bread can sometimes be found in the freezer section of stores. Sprouting increases low glycemic index sugars, and vitamins [C in perticuler] in seeds. Wheat, alfalfa, beans, lentils, and many more are ideal both for long term storage, and sprouting. In his book The Green Pharmacy, James A Duke, Ph.D reccomends Fava bean sprouts, for treating a variety of disorders because of it’s high content of L-dopa, sprouts contain 10 times more than plain beans.
        Not only are sprouts good food but the rinse water used in starting the process is high in minerals and vitamins.

    • Texas, truth of it is this. In a SHTF situation and you are starving and need to stay alive? Folks eat whatever they can find. Kind of like cavemen. And that my dear is the true paleo diet. Storing what stores well is essential here. Beyond that add what you can for comfort. The anasazi lived on beans, corn and squash as their primary food sources, adding meat as it was found. They grew these things because they were easy and hardy and they could store them by building a mud room, stuffing the food inside and sealing it up with more mud bricks.. We can take lessons from simpler cultures………..just sayin”

  13. Gayle….
    Good job Gayle. Thought provoking in an area I need work on.

    Thanks for the post!

  14. How simple, yet brilliant. I’ve been buying ingredients without a real rhyme and reason. I’m going to reassess my stores and go with your plan!

    Black Bean Soup:

    1 cup of dried black beans
    1 large can of diced tomatoes
    2 tablespoons of chili powder
    1 can of corn
    1/4 cup of dehydrated bell pepper
    1/4 cup dehydrated onion
    salt and garlic powder to taste
    6 cups of water

    Mix all ingredients except corn into a large pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer, with a lid on, for about 4-6 hours. Add corn during the last hour so it stays firm. We eat this with corn bread or corn tortillas.

    I dehydrate a lot of veggies, which is why I am using them in this recipe . Using Gayle’s method, I checked my pantry, and I can make this soup 12 times with the ingredients I have on hand.

    Thanks Gayle!

    • Daisey,

      You are welcome. I make a very similar recipe except I add chicken and serve it over rice. The rice makes the meal a complete protein.

      • I am concerned about fuel consumption if the Sh*t REALLY hits the fan (like EMP/solar flare that takes out the grid for a LONG time). If for some reason I no longer have natural gas at the house, I will have a (limited) amount of propane for the grill and a (limited) amount of gas/white gas for a Coleman stove. I would also need the gas for a lawn mower generator (although I have solar panels to help charge batteries to extend the gas as long as possible).

        A lot of the recipes I see call for long simmer times (like the delicious sounding recipe above). A grill is good for quick heat but I would think not an efficient use of fuel for long cooking.

        During the winter I could simmer on my woodstove, which will be going any way to heat the house. I am thinking a solar box cooker for the summer is also a good TEOTWAWKI investment/DIY project. However, if I have to bug out those are no longer options, so I am thinking of something that could also work if I have to go mobile.

        A crockpot run off an inverter on the car 12v power supply is one thought, but seems like it would be prone to accidents. I have also started looking into “thermal cooking”- however the commercial stainless steel products such as the”Shuttle Chef” seem to be pretty expensive (although there’s nothing to break, so one should last a REALLY long time). Anyone have experience with one? Any other ideas?

        • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

          Arwen in NJ, have you thought about using a cast iron dutch oven? You can slow cook, make biscuits, pies, cook chops, do a steak on the inverted lid, etc. There is a learning curve, but once you get the hang of them, you can have great meals. You will use fewer charcoal briquettes with a dutch oven than with a grill (Weber type) and you can also use wood coals, right from the campfire ring. They are heavy, so mobility could be a problem if you have to move on foot or bicycle.

        • Hunker-Down says:


          Have you looked at the Volcano stove? It accepts 3 different fuels and is sold at Emergency Essentials, Amazon and other vendors.

        • Jo (Georgia) says:

          Root Simple built a portable folding solar cooker, might be a good idea for your bob. Here’s the link

        • Thermal cooking, and Haybox cooking have been covered here. Basicly a thermos or insulation is used to cook foods with boiling water in a preheated container. Once added the heat is contained to slow cook over the space of a day. The romans used a teracota pot [Romatoph] to slow roast poultry in much the same fashion. The key is to get the most of what heat you produce.

        • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

          Arwen, one of the regular posters here is bctruck, and he has done some neat videos on thermal cooking, go to youtube and search for bctruck. He’s cooked rice, beans, and noodles in a thermos, some successful, some not.

        • Arwen, get a pressure cooker. You can cook dried beans in 15 minutes instead of 4-6 hrs, thus saving fuel.

  15. Jo (Georgia) says:

    Great article Gayle, I’d also love to see/contribute to a group cookbook.
    And don’t forget stuff to drink! Water gets reeeeel boring after a while.

  16. I too appreciate this post a lot. I have tons of recipes collected using shelf safe ingreds. but are not yet tested. I have seen that a lot of the Pack like Dak hams. One suggestion I have for canned hams is to open 2-3 of them; cut into 2-3 large chunks after lightly scoring them; soaking for 2 days in your favorite marinade; and finally let sit in a smoker for 3 hours with soaked wood chips. These can be put in the freezer and used with split pea soups, scalloped potato caseroles and of course ham and eggs. To me it beats the heck out of a plain canned ham!

  17. I googled Magic Mix
    But Gayle can tell us if hers is different.
    This plan is good, and I think that if you have some basic recipes that you could do what my mother said “doctor them up” to change them a little.
    I need recipe books like the “365 ways to fix Hamburger” for beans, chicken, salmon.
    Seems that we tend to do faux Mexican foods. Mostly beans and hamburger and tortilla’s.
    Yike’s this means if I implement this I have some work cut out for me.
    Oh! and beans are not bland. They are yummy. I love mine straight out of the pot. But remember mom and dad eating just raw onion with them and all varieties of chutney on top of them. So you can sure eat beans a lot.
    Oh! I have to mention that my granddaughter thought a dish up the other day, on the fly, while we were at Wally World. Well her mother and her got the ingredients and man I think she was brilliant. They put a picture of it up on her facebook page and I swear it looked like a picture out of a recipe book. It was bow tie noodles with sausage and a sauce of somekind and sweet peppers. I think she would make a good chef if her health wasn’t so ify.

  18. gayle, great post, i really enjoyed it. my problem is my d.h. he is a meat and bread person. when i ask him what he would like to eat, it’s always just meat and bread. ( i very seldom eat meat) so i just mostly cook what he wants and i stick to soups or a salad. do you have any ideas how to make veggies look like meat? he does not eat anything with gravy,tomato sauce or any kind of soup. i’ve canned hundreds of quarts of veggies this summer and they will probably sit on the shelf until you know what freezes over. any ideas?

    • Have a talk with him and see if he won’t try one day out of the week some other meals besides meat and bread. Tell him that it concerns you that he doesn’t have a more well balanced and varied diet.
      And he has to honestly try and eat it all and be honest if he likes it enough to eat that certain meal say twice a month.
      You may be able to work it to where you will have more choices to fill a months worth of a menu’s. And remember to not fix meat (alone) or have bread handy for those meals.
      I am the picky eater in my family. I don’t like veggies (well I like green beans and corn) and I am not happy with tomato-ie stuff. But let me tell you I can eat spagetti if my guts are giving me fits.
      Sorry to say it but he will be the most unhappy camper if there is no meat in his future.

      • Forgot also ask him to try side dishes with his meat and bread and he has to do the same eat it all and be honest. Try baked potato’s like those twice baked and add some other things.

        • thanks ellen, i’ll try the twice baked. i dread the day if he has no meat on the table.

          • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

            pam s, I am a meat & potatoes guy. Without some meat in 2 out of 3 meals a day, I am not a happy camper. That’s why I have canned hams, canned beef chunks, Spam, canned double-stuffed beef raviolis (but they have a tomato sauce on them), canned tomales (also with tomato sauce), canned pork, canned chili w/beans, and Mountain House beef stroganoff in my food stores. You can get some good canned meats from Keystone Meats

            Of course, since you are a canner, you can start canning up meats from the grocery store when they go on sale.

            If your DH is a fresh meat man, is he willing to raise chickens and rabbits?

    • Cook veggies until able to puree them.
      Mix puree into a gravy and serve over meat.

      Puree is a great way to hide things.

      My daughter would not eat cauliflower when she was small. I started telling her it was white broccoli and the rest is history.

      • fpam- i would try the puree but he doesn’t eat gravy. i’ll tell my neighbor about the “white broccoli” her little grandkids won’t eat cauliflower.

    • Wow, Pam. I wish I had some ideas for you. I grew up in a family where if you didn’t like what was cooked for dinner, you could go hungry. When I met my husband, he was eating cold fried chicken, cereal and sandwiches–the extent of his cooking knowledge. (He has improved considerably.) So he likes everything I make. (Except the time that I got on a beans soup kick and made very large batches of soup every week for a month. LOL)

      • My husband was a picky-only-meat-and-potatoes from the supermarket eater when I met him, I tried to cook that way for about 7 years…it made me feel sick all the time. One day I started cooking the way I liked and told him he could buy his own food and cook his way if he didn’t like it…needless to say my husband of 35 years eats what I fix him…and he’s learned to love it. I garden, can, bake from scratch, make cheese, grind wheat, raise chickens for meat and eggs, buy grass fed beef and lamb and raise a couple hogs…poor man, he’s never been healthier!

      • since i eat a lot of soup, bean soup sounds great. i really liked your post. i think all the posts are very informative, some are breaking new ground and this site should be number one.

    • Pam S – I cook lentils, mash them a bit, then mix with hamburger. I started with about 1/3 cup per pound of meat. Now I use about 1/2 cup per pound of meat. The lentils are hidden a bit, and nobody in my family has noticed – picky teenager in this house.

  19. I planned out a week’s worth of food that my son and I normally eat. Breakfasts – oatmeal’s (the little flavored packages) quick grits, cereal, Lunches – Top Raman, Cup-o-soups, Peanut butter, Jelly, etc
    Dinners – Rice-a-Roni type meals, Mac-N-Cheese, Tuna, Spam, etc
    Drink mixes like Hi-c Kool-Aid, coffee, tea
    Small candies for desert like lollypops, life savers etc
    As much as I can I unpackaged everything and reseal all of the contents of the box into a vacuum seal bag and seal them up, this takes less room.
    Then I take the week’s worth of food and pack it all into a 5 gallon bucket and seal that up with a Oxy absorber.
    I also have the “Big items” large quantities of rice beans, salt, sugar, powered milk etc, but I like my week to week buckets makes me feel more secure that I want necessarily have to “create” new meals on the fly.

    • Single Dad – I was trying to figure out something similar in case we had to bug out. Thanks for posting this, I’m going to try the repackaging.

  20. blindshooter says:

    Question for the cooks, do you think that food texture is as much a factor in getting tired of the same meals over and over? I found that if I prepared the same stuff but in different ways so instead of mushy over and over I had mushy stuff one day and then the same basic ingredients except prepared in a way that you get some crunch or chewy texture. Like saving boiled potatoes and mashing some fish into them and frying the cakes the next day.
    I’m not a very inventive cook and maybe my example is not good but what do y’all think?

    • Mother Earth says:

      I think you are right on Blindshooter. I can roast a whole chicken for one meal and with the leftovers I can do chicken salad and a pot pie. DH doesn’t really notice he had chicken 3 times in a week. I think creativity is a huge deal when cooking now and especially when shtf.

    • Absolutely !!!!! textures in food are very important . Another psychological factor that is a must is sharing the cooking . By alternating the cooking duties , this takes the burden part out of the equation . Food that you didnt have to prepare yourself day in and day out is more appealing . You can enjoy eating instead of looking at it as work . Long term , its important . My girl is a far better cook than I am , and when it is my turn to cook she knows it wont be up to the same level as hers , but she doesn’t seem to mind lol .

    • Yes. Red beans & rice is different than fried rice is different that risotto. Potato soup is different than mashed potatoes is different than baked potatoes. Cole slaw is different that cooked cabbage is … well, you get the idea.

    • blindshooter says:

      I forgot to compliment Gayle on a great article, this is very informative. I need all the help I can get when it comes to cooking. Thanks to all for the new ideas.

  21. I have one concern…I dried sliced carrots last year. 5# of carrots dried down to just over 1 cup of dried. Your recipe mentioned called for 3/4 cup of dried onion, carrots, celery. Wow. Is that right?? Are you actually saying reconstituted veggies? Or are you actually using that much DRIED veggies per recipe?? I would think a few tablespoons of dried would be more than enough. Help me please!

    • Judy(another one) says:

      Go to this site and wonder around: She explains the ins-n-outs of cooking with dehydrated foods as well as lots of how tos.

      And yes you are right in the case of carrots a few Tbsps will give you a cup of vegetables.

    • This BTW is why I buy my dehydrated onions and carrots from the LDS cannery. It saves a lot of work and in the long run is relatively inexpensive.

      • Agreed. Until I get a solar dehydrator it is not worth the electricity to dry some things when they are available commercially cheaper.

        • Well when you get one , you will like it . If you like to go camping or backpacking , being able to make your own soup and stew mixes will make the whole experience that much more enjoyable . The problem with commercially dehydrated mixes is the fact that they dont amount to much more than food flavored Salt .

    • Encourager,

      To tell you the truth, I don’t usually measure things. If 3/4 cup seems like a lot, cut it down. Recipes are suggestions. (The only time I follow recipes exactly and use measuring cups is when I am canning.)

  22. templar knight says:

    Great article, Gayle. I can definitely get some ideas from looking at your plan, as opposed to mine. Right now, my plan is heavy on freeze-dried, as I wanted the ability to move quickly if deterioration occurred due to economic collapse. I have not made a specific recipe-oriented plan at this time. I need to.

    • Templar Knight,

      I got into prepping via couponing. When I started couponing, if I could find pasta for 40 cents, I bought 40 boxes (of each type). After a while I realized that I had a bunch of random ingredients. And with random ingredients, there’s no way to tell how many months worth of food you have. By counting a single dinner as a unit, and connecting necessary ingredients under that unit, I can easily count how many meals I can prepare, given the ingredients on hand. I can also see what I need to add to increase the number of that meal.

  23. This is easy for us. I will eat any leftovers from dinner for breakfast if I am hungry. We really don’t eat breakfast food since the kids are gone. I generally eat one huge meal a day of 2000-2500 calories. As an example, I have eaten rice and red beans for a meal 7 times since I fixed them for my wife when she got back from a trip on 9/8. Today they are gone, none wasted. I will eat leftovers for days before I waste it. Kind of like a dog. Throw it in a bowl for days and I’ll eat it till it makes me ill.

    You can also can meat that will keep for 3-5 years. One of our prep friends is doing it now and feeding us the proper methods and needed info to do our own. (1/2 gal wide mouth jars)

    This winter when it finally cools off down here, we are going to try some salt curing and salt/smoking combos to see how that works as well. Water is plentiful here so salted stuff won’t hurt us in hunker down mode.( backyard lake, front yard canal, 40,000 gal pool and a well with pitcher pump)

    I wonder if you could cook meat in a Foodsaver bag, boiled , and then pack it in jars with an oxygen absorber, if that would keep?

    We finally got word on our Walton Feed truck. It will be here 9/24 with over $9k in food for 3 households. I expect the unloading and sorting will be a hoot. Any takers for the unloading duty?

    • Prep Now,
      Not sure exactly what you want to do with the Foodsaver bags, but the following has been tested and works with fresh corn. Blanch the corn and either cut it from the cob or cut the cob into short pieces. Vacuum pack in the Foodsaver boilable bags with some butter. Freeze until ready to eat. Remove from freezer and place bag and all in boiling water until cooked. Zip open and dump into bowl. Salt to taste. Nothing like fresh corn (on the cob or not) in the dead of winter.

      • I have done this for years…………..great surprise when it shows up on the Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner table depending on my mood of the moment 🙂

      • OP, I have a question about heating the Foodsaver bags — since they’re plastic, are they BPA-free? If not, the food would be tainted with the BPA toxin, as it is heat that breaks down the plastic compound. Do you know anything about the “safety” of the bags? I’ve only used them for vacuum-sealed storage.

    • Prep now you sound like me. My kids love my bologna salad but they dont like it when I make several pounds of it because thats all we eat until its gone.
      Oh and I put just a dash of sugar in my bologna salad, it makes it taste more like ham salad.

    • Prep Now,

      I like to make a huge batch of something and then eat off of it for a while. One trick I’ve learned is to freeze the stuff. (If you make cajun style beans, it freezes well and then all you have to do is make the rice.) Soups freeze well as does spaghetti sauce.

      I just got an All American pressure caner. I have a question for you guys: the book said that I have to boil the lids but said nothing about sterilizing the jars. Is sterilizing the jars not a step in using a pressure caner? Presumably because the high temperatures kill everything in the jar–as opposed to water bath canning. ??

      • That is correct Gayle, you do not have to sterilize the jars. Just make sure you use clean ones. If mine have sat too long in the cabinet- I will hand wash again.

        • Kate,

          Thank. I have been researching my mind away trying to find an answer to this question. Tomorrow I pressure can chili.

      • Gayle
        Been canning for a number of years, I always sterilize my jars, always.

        • Texas Nana,

          Do you have your water bath caner out to sterilize the jars and then use the pressure caner to can them? I am wondering if I can just wash the jars in soapy bleach water.

          • The number one reason I sterilize my jars is to insure that there is no bacteria in the jars. Caning is hot and hard work, and my family depends on this food, it’s not worth the risk to skip this step. You need to have your jars hot to put your hot food into, so why not spend a few extra minutes sterilizing the jars.
            How I do it is I use my water bath caner to sterilized and keep my jars hot if I’m going to water bath can. If I’m pressure caning, I use the pressure caner to sterilize the jars, remember steam will sterilize your jars, in other words you don’t have to have them covered in water.
            If I’m caning a large batch, once I sterilize the first batch of jars I place them in a large pan in the oven to keep them hot. I have read where folks use their dishwasher, but I don’t have one, therefore I don’t know how that works.
            During the summer I use an outside kitchen, once I’ve sterilized my jars I place them in a large ice chest in which I have place a towel then I pour boiling hot water on the towel. This will keep your jars plenty hot.

            • I am with you Texas Nana, the more precautions you take the better the outcome. It is my family I am feeding, I want the best for them!

          • The canning process is your sterilization. NO need to sterilize anything beforehand. Wash in hot soapy water like you would any dishes to remove the spider webs and dust from storing jars, then proceed with the loading and canning. The whole point of water bathing or pressure canning is to kill the germs that will spoil the food or harm you. No need to kill them twice.

        • I do too, Texas Nana. But I do not put the metal lids into boiling water because of the BPA problem. Kind of a moot point with canning though since food that would touch the rubber inside rim is possible during canning.

          Personally, I can’t wait until I switch over to the Tattler reusable lids which will be after Christmas. Do you use Tattler lids?

          • Who uses Tattler lids? I would love to hear more about them. I have read that they are made in the U.S. and have a lifetime warranty. You never have to purchase new lids. Taller website lists three dozen for $20. I would like some reviews from the Wolf Pack before purchasing.

            • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

              Gayle, I use tattler lids. Like em. The literature says can be reused a lot, just examine for damage to the seal. Comes with self explanatory “how to use” info, they’re a little thicker than ordinary lids so the ring will not fit as tightly down as on metal lids. Good product, would give it a 5 out of 5 wolves.

            • AZ,

              Thanks for the recommendation. I think I’ll order some or better yet I think I’ll let the dh get them for me for my birthday.

            • I have used them and I like them! amazon has them if nothing else

      • Gayle,
        I think the main reason to boil the lids and keep them in the hot water until you apply them to the jar is to soften the gasket material so it makes a better initial fit. You also do this when water bath canning.

  24. Gayle, What a great article! More to think about, but realistically, it can be done very easily with a little pre-planning. I also liked single dad’s comment about storing a week’s worth of meals together. Would be great to grab a bucket and know you had exactly what you needed in each bucket to feed your family for a week. I’ve gotta get more buckets! Love this site!

  25. I think the great part about this approach is it forces you to think through all the ingredients you need, or suitable substitutions. For example, at one point I had a lot of flour and wheat stored, but then did a similar thing as what you describe. After planning out specific meals, I knew how much baking powder, dried egg, etc. I needed for pancakes, breads, or other things I would make from the wheat. I also knew what spices I’d like to have in larger quantities, and which ones I should add to my garden. People can survive on whatever slop I might come up with, but a familiar meal will help people to want to survive.

  26. I absolutely do not want to detract from Gayle’s article but ran into a situation that needs to be mentioned before it escapes my mind.
    Ferile animals:
    I went to put my dog out today and there was a black mama cat with the prettiest siamese looking kitten. They were both vicious. The kitten didn’t seem to be that old and I tell you it wanted to scratch my eyes out. The mama cat in protecting her killer kitten turned into a panther and she would have struck at a moments notice.
    I had to grab my dog and get back in the house.
    If they can get wild and have the killer instinct in good times we sure can look forward to some rough times in the future.
    So just wanted you to know that in worse times the instincts of domestic animals may be worse than this cat and kitten was. And we have to think if the SHTF of all the animals that are not domestic getting worse and what about all those zoo animals?
    Sorry Gayle, hope you forgive me, cause I really like your take on food and fixin’s.

    • Ellen,

      No problem. But I think this is pretty easy–in a SHTF scenario, that cat would be dinner–you could probably skin it as easy as a rabbit.

      Speaking of rabbits, in that book we talked about a few weeks back–The Worst Hard Times–there was quite a bit about folks during the Great Depression rounding up and clubbing rabbits–not to eat them but to take their frustrations out. Can anyone explain this?

      • Jo (Georgia) says:

        Is it wrong that this made me laugh? Thats just not nice running around clubbing bunnies, at the same time I can totally see this when they are eating the last of your victory garden.

        • Jo,

          Your response suggests a deep-seated aggression toward bunnies–probably the result of a traumatic Easter Bunny interaction. I recommend several years of hypnotherapy to fully uncover and disperse this bunny-aggression that has clearly been latent in your character. It may take years to transcend this abnormal bunny reaction, but with time and hard work you can do it. I have faith in you.

          • jo (Georgia ) says:

            We had a farm when I was little my first gun was a 22 I called it the bunny killer. Bunnies used to eat our food. I may still need therapy but at least I know why, 😉

      • Clubing bunnies was a dust bowl related thing. The ill advised growing of wheat on the praries lead to a loss of top soil then the bunnies out grew the few predators that farmers had killed most of. The explosion of bunnies ate the last of the ground cover making top soil loss even worse. The roundups were an effort to get some ground cover back to stop the erosion. [most were black tail hares not really bunnies]

        • There you go! I knew there had to be a logical explanation for all the bunny clubbing. People don’t just club bunnies for the fun of it, you know.

      • The depression years were also the Dust Bowl years. Catastrophic drought was destroying much of the central west. Those who had working wells spent a lot of labor hauling water to keep gardens alive. Wild rabbits and hares are drought tolerant more than we normally think. Their populations boomed during the dust bowl. Organized rabbit hunts relieved the predation on crops and gardens. Killing these pests wasn’t out of frustration, it was to save what little there was left to eat

    • Man is the most dangerous animal by far, and Ellen, if the S really HTF, both mamma and kitten might just be in a stewpot. We’re bigger, weigh more, and have an vicious oversized frontal cortex that is hell to be reckoned with. I’m pretty sure that other than packs of dogs, who will have a fighting chance, the number of feral animals will go DOWN in urban areas. As we speak, I’ve got my eyes on some nuisance ducks and geese that seem a little too relaxed for their own good…

      • i’ve said i don’t know what my d.h. would do if we ran out of meat. he always says the dogs and cats are so fat they’d make someone a tasty meal if times get hard. (he better be joking) but, i’ve warned kitty to sleep with one eye open.

    • Gayle I was thinking more along the lines of them lying in way to attack. I know they are smaller but the old panther instinct may cause them to do damage even if they are smaller.
      Mike M well who knows alley cats may become the new prides of the SHTF situation.

      • Ellen,

        My kitten is four months old now. We took him to the vet to get his rabies shot, and he went feral on the vet. He went from nice lovey-dovey to completely insane. (He didn’t like the needle.) So even “tame” animals can turn real ugly if they feel threatened.

        • Gayle….
          I’ve always wondered if cats are ever really “tame”.
          Thus terms like “herding cats” to describe their wild normal self?
          Never cared much for them myself…sort of like snakes, I guess. But both have their place, don’t they? Keeping the rodent population down and: rodents are the real enemy. Are rodents any good for anything….maybe killing insects, huh?

          • Jo (Georgia) says:

            just found a neighborhood feral cat sleeping in my compost pile to get warm. Mental note check to make sure no one is in there before dumping in more material. That was on p o’d kitty.

    • Hunker-Down says:


      When my dad was selling the farm because of his age we moved to the city. During the period that it was for sale he and I would go back there once a month for inspections. While we lived there, there were 2-3 cats that we fed occasionally because they (and the snakes) helped to keep the rodent population down. On one of those trips, one of the cats ran up to me and started rubbing my leg, a natural response from a pet cat. She had a new litter of kittens, about 2 months old. The kittens had never seen a human before that day. They were terrified of me, and when I attempted to pick up one of them I got bit. Feral kitten, domesticated mom.

    • Ellen, Cats won’t be the only animal that goes feral….consider what hungry, desperate humans will turn into. Know how freaked out you were with that cat and kitten? What would happen if you opened your door and a vicious person was there or was hiding behind a bush and lunged out at you?

      • Lynn,
        SImple answer to your question. Bang, Bang, . . . Bang.
        NOT LOL.

        • OP, I know — I got it. The point was to emphasize always being at-the-ready and not everyone is. How many of us would be super-watchful/wary if we were right outside our door or on our own property?

          • Lynn,

            Anyone with a dog would be weary. My dog gets upset when people strangers down the street or walk on the sidewalk across the street. I don’t know how, but dogs can tell if it’s a neighbor or a stranger walking down the street (without looking out the window and with all doors and windows closed).

            My dog Max had a rough day yesterday. He’s a GSD but not the brightest in the pack. I was pressure canning. Every time the pressure weight rattled, he thought someone was knocking at the door–LOL. He was hyper vigilant all day.

      • Lynn…..
        Interesting comparison…..desperate humans and cats, that is. What do you bet that the cat will survive longer than the average “desperate human”?

  27. Good points , you can never store away too many spices . This will allow you to make whatever you are putting away more interesting and help avoid what you mentioned . I travel quite a lot because of my job . We always have weekends off , and they put us up in an apartment if its for a project lasting more than 2 weeks . I have been doing this for over 15 years and as you mentioned , the foods I get and ingredient list isnt very big . I cook for the whole week and eat the same thing by in large every night . This is not a problem as they are things I really like a lot . Again spices and in my case hot sauces make it more interesting and that helps keep my weight up where it needs to be until I get home again . I’m one of these people that dont get fat . I maintain my ideal weight through eating heavily in combination with a strong work out and heavy exersise .

  28. How long will Rum keep unopened,, or how about cigars. Think I ought to get a bag of tobacco seeds for home rolled and barter, and a 500 gal tank of Rum for , uh, ah, the same purpose?

    My son did make his first batch of pickles last month. They already taste great. I am soaking some carrot sticks in left over hot pepper juice right now. So far , so good.

    • If its tightly bottled , decades ! Cigars have a much shorter life span and must be kept in a humidor , even if they are packaged or they will dry out . I brought back SEVERAL bottles of limited production , local distillery rum and hand made , hand rolled cigars from Puerto Rico . I dont think keeping rum or any spirit outside a glass bottle or a wooden barrel would work very well . It would certainly alter its flavor and quality , turning it into rot gut I would think . Growing your own tobacco is a great idea . People wont be such Weenies about tobacco after TSHTF . Tobacco bad for you ? yes , BUT it is a well known stress reliever and appetite suppressant . I like my chew and a good cigar now and then . If I can find the site I will give you the link, they sell tobacco seeds and give you a good breakdown on the different plants and what they are primarily used for . You might also find out how to flavor the tobacco also , flavored cigars and pipe mixes may bring in a higher trade value , loose chew as well .

      • Little bit of booze trivia . A few years ago , this guy bought a 100 year old bottle of rye whiskey on ebay . The man selling it didnt know what he had and sold it pretty cheap . The guy that bought it DID know what he was buying and invited a few close friends over for a taste test . The whiskey was fine ! apparently , once it is taken out of the barrel and bottled , its flavor and strength is no longer affected ( provided the sealing method holds )

        • Re: barter items. I am going to be stocking up on green coffee beans. I roast my own coffee these days anyway- it’s fresher, better and cheaper than store bought.

          Coffee starts going stale about 7 days after it’s roasted, but green coffee beans will keep for years if stored properly. Coffee can be roasted, ground and brewed without electricity.

          A year after the SHTF when the stores shelves have long been empty, how much would you give for a hot cup of freshly roasted coffee? 😉

          • Arwen,

            Where do you get green coffee beans? Can you plant a green coffee bean and have a coffee plant? It would be interesting to see if you can grow your own coffee.

            • Gayle-
              There are quite a few places online where you can buy green beans. I am very fortunate in that one vendor is in a town 15 minutes from me. When I order he puts it in his mail box- I just pick it up on my way home from work. No $ for shipping!

              There are some great how-to resources on the ‘Net as well as far as roasting, including how to roast in a skillet over a fire, roasting in a popcorn popper, and how to build your own roaster. Check out Sweet Maria’s at
              this is a great place to start. Half the fun for me has been learning about the different varieties of coffee and sampling them to see what I like. It’s a lot like learning about wine. I have discovered I am not fond of Indonesian coffees, but I really like the chocolate finish of Mexican. 🙂

              Unfortunately, I think the coffee bush is kind of particular about climate and soil, which is why Hawaii is the only coffee producing region of the US that I know of.

            • The best known [and costly] Hawian Coffee comes from the island of Maui, I prefer the beans from Molokai, the east end of the island faces the open ocean and trade winds thus picks up more rain making a micro climate that is perfect for coffee. On Maui the micro climate is located at a higher, and slightly cooler elavation. Getting more rain from the mountain [volcano] effect on clouds. The cooler Maui beans, to me, are slightly more bitter. IMHO YMMV

            • I think I would like to try my hand at growing coffee. Back during Pangea times, Florida was a part of Africa. I wonder if coffee would grow here. I seem to have a lot of luck in this area. I cut the top off a pineapple and stuck it in the ground to see if it would grow. And lo and behold I have a pineapple plant. It hasn’t fruited yet. But it is growing wild.

            • The mexican ones are good , if you get a chance try some of the Puerto Rican ones as well , particularly El Coqui if you like a chocolate finnish .

          • If your in an area that you can grow coffee , then you can also grow cocoa beans 🙂 that also will be in demand .

      • Alcohol ageing in a wooden cask ebbs flows into the wood as tempratures change. Over many seasons this gives flavor and character to the spirit. Some however gets lost to evaporation through the wood. In days of yor this loss of volume and increase in flavor was explained as the angels portion, in exchange for a wee nip the angels blessed the brew. In shtf days loss of any kind will need to be curtailed, short version glass or crock to keep it in.

        • Agreed , the problem he will have is long term storage . If he uses a plastic tank designed for long term drinking water storage , he might be ok , if he uses a metal tank he just ruined the spirit . 500 gal is A LOT of booze . He might be better off with several smaller tanks , each with a different type of spirit . I like Rum , but other people may not . My girl will drink a glass of wine once in awhile but prefers vodka over anything else , I dont like vodka lol .

  29. I am going to tell my daughter about this magic mix. It would help her with her gluten free diet she is on. She loves gravies and cream soups and all the stuff in the stores have something in them that she can’t have.
    How long can you store this? And where?

    • Ellen,
      If you make the magic mix that Gayle was talking about you must store it in the refridgerator. I am not sure how long it will store there for.

    • ummmm — unless I’m mistaken, the flour in the magic mix has gluten — yes?

      • Try mesquite flour it is not only gluten free, but the starches and sugars in it digest slowly, making it perfect for diabetes control.

        • Ya mesquite flour is a ” Super food ” .worth the effort and time to harvest . There is an outfit in Tucson that will process your harvested bean pods into flour for you if you dont have the equipment to do it yourself . I think the yield is something like 2lbs of flour to every 5lbs of pods .

  30. what a great idea…way to go…nicely written article too…you have my vote this week…hmmm will have to submit a recipe or two..

  31. Great idea and article. All these recipes are a bonus. I love this magic mix idea. Can’t wait to go home and try it as I use a lot of cream soups in my cooking and wanted ways to cut back on them as they are getting expensive. blindshooter, take that mushy stuff and add something solid or crunchy to it. Pastas, Rice, chunks of potatoes or any fresh vegtables then add some cubes of meat (any meat will work even sliced hot dogs) and put it in casserole dish, top with crushed chips of any kind or crackers and bake for 40 min on 375 and you will have a new way to eat that mush. 8D

  32. Hunker-Down says:

    Thanks for identifying the cyclic trend of our eating habits. An awareness of it will make our long term food storage a simpler and cheaper task to complete. Each of us will have a different mix of meals but probably cycle through them periodically.

    I reject around 95% of the recipes I find when they contain ingredients I feel we can’t acquire and store for more than 2 years.

    Shelf stable foods take on a higher importance when faced with ever increasing cost. I wish we had begun our food storage program two years ago. The cost of food increased 1.1% in August, or 13.2% on an annual basis.

    I second the motion that the Wolf Pack develop a cook book. I’m interested in recipes that don’t need an operating grocery store or freezer or kitchen stove to prepare a meal.

    I wish I had a recipe to contribute today but I’m new to both prepping and cooking.

    M.D., when you get rich off this book, don’t abandon us!

  33. Blindshooter, I think that is a very good idea. I think not only texture would be different but the flavor of the fish or whatever meat you use would work well. I too would love to see a cook book. I need non complicated meals also will few ingredients. My husband is pretty much meat and potatoes also where I like everything. I love this site! Thanks so much M.D. for hosting it. I am so looking forward to your book coming out next week.

  34. Judy(another one) says:

    I used the outline of this spreadsheet:
    Which is to say I copied and pasted the spreadsheet into my Excel program. Then I customized it to fit my lifestyle. I have a sheet for each meal, side dishes, breads, sweets, and canning. Then I have a master sheet where all the numbers are transferred to for the totals. You could do a summer spreadsheet and a winter one if that is the way you cook.

    What I found was the ‘food storage calculators’ don’t reflect what we eat. Even when I broke down foods like egg noodles to their base ingredients (1 egg, 1-cup flour, 1/2-tsp. salt, 1 to 2 Tbsp. Water), we do not eat those amounts of grains or beans.

    My biggest issue in food storage is replacing the fresh produce with different types of preserved vegetables and still enjoy a tasty variety. That has taken some research. I have found this search engine: quite handy in plugging in ingredients and getting several different recipes using the same base ingredients but using different spicing and cooking methods to add the variety I was looking for.

  35. Gayle, I think your ideas are a very positive approach. It helps us to envision how we actually use all of the stored items. I have collected and used a number of recipes that use the things I have. As a Southern lady, I will use far more rice than wheat.

    My big question: We are very likely to be without refrigeration by the time we are well into our long-term storage. I, too, usually cook once and our small family eats it two or three times. But without a way to keep food cold, that may not be possible. Anyone have thoughts or ideas?

    • Winnabird,

      The only solution I can see is to cook smaller amounts but cook them every day.

      • I pressure can a lot of our leftovers. Stew, soups, chili, beans, etc. You can dehydrate sauces, beans, chili, re-fried beans and mac and cheese.

      • For a short term hold on any left overs, the pioneers use to keep the pot hot on the back of the wood stove. Like a slow simmer. Then they would eat it at the next meal.

        Short of that your only option is what Gayle said – cook small amounts that avoid leftovers.

        However, if you have a fridge hooked up to solar power then you have no worries.

        • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

          Kate in GA, that is where the old nursery rhyme “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old” comes from…..

          • AZRP thats Pease Pottage, or porridge. Made with split yellow or Carlin peas. Not at all like the green peas typically found in the states.

            • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

              azyogi, interesting info. I had not heard that part of it before, just had read a long time ago that folks had continued to add various vegetables/meats to a pot that they kept simmering for quite a while (days at a time) and that is where the nursery rhyme had come from. Thanks for the “rest of the story”.

    • I think we could try making an evaporative food cooler as described in the LDS book “Basic Physical Health with Limited Resources.” You can download it in PDF format for free.
      I’ve read claims that these cool to 40 degrees when it’s 90 degrees outside.

      Supplementary Material: Food Storage
      Making a Food Cooler
      An evaporative cooler will keep meats, fruits, vegetables, milk, and butter cool. It costs very little to build and nothing to operate. The following directions will provide a general outline of how to make it.
      Use local knowledge and materials to make the refrigerator useful for your area. Please note, however, that it will not cool effectively in a humid environment and in such circumstances may encourage the growth of mold, germs, and mosquitoes in the containers of water.
      Make a wooden frame, approximately 140 centimeters high by 30 centimeters wide by 35 centimeters deep. Cover it with screen wire or hardware cloth, preferably the kind that will not rust. If you cannot get such wire, you can use woven grasses or branches. The top of the frame should be covered with wire, but the bottom may be solid.
      Make a door for one side and mount it on hinges or leather thongs.
      Fasten it with a wooden button or latch.
      You can make adjustable shelves out of light wooden frames covered with poultry wire mesh or woven grass or other plant material.
      Put these shelves on side braces.
      Paint the woodwork and the shelves. If this is not possible, oil the wooden parts with linseed oil, coconut oil, or cooking oil, and let them dry for a few days before using.
      Make a cover of flannel, burlap, or other heavy, coarse, waterabsorbent cloth to fit the frame. Put the smooth side of the fabric on the outside. Button the cover around the top of the frame and down the side on which the door opens. Use buggy hooks and eyes or large-headed tacks and eyelets, or simply lace cord through worked eyelets.
      Place a pan 10 centimeters deep or a shallow bucket on top of the
      frame (❶). Put the frame in a larger container of water (❷). Both containers should be painted. The bottom of the cover (❸) should extend down into the lower pan. Sew four doubled strips of cloth (❹), 20 to 25 centimeters wide, to the upper part of the cover. These strips form wicks that dip over into the upper pan.
      The operation of this refrigerator is simple. Keep it in a shady place where the wind can blow over it. Keep the upper pan filled with water.
      The water is drawn through the wicks, and it saturates the cover.
      Cooling starts more quickly when the cover is dampened by dipping it in water or throwing water on it. The greater the evaporation, the lower the temperature inside the refrigerator.
      Regularly clean the refrigerator and put it in the sun. It is a good idea to have two covers so that a fresh one can be used each week while the soiled one is washed and put in the sun to be dried and sanitized.

  36. sistaprepper says:

    Great article! Keep the recipes coming please. We are going to get a stock of freeze dried #10 cans to last a year, but I’ve been adding canned vegetables and things we like to eat alot. We have been cooking with the dehydrated and powdered things to see if we could incorporate those into our meals and they are really good.

    This article was helpful to make a huge task not seem so huge. Thanks!

    • Sistaprepper,

      You can get freeze-dried ingredients (veggies, in particular) and then use store bought pasta (Sam’s Club) and home-canned meats. And that’s an entire meal–for a lot less money than purchasing freeze-dried meals.

  37. Gayle – love the cookbook idea!
    Here’s a recipe that is trail-tested and kid-approved (my boys love this stuff).

    Backpacker Beans
    1 lb mixed beans, soaked overnight or at least 8 hours
    any dehydrated or leftover meat (spiced jerkey, pepperoni, summer sausage, bacon or sandwich ham at the end of the week works well here… I’ve even used leftover hot dogs)
    2T curry or other salty/spice, to taste

    Combine in a pot with lid, add enough water to cover beans. Simmer over a low flame (camp stove or open fire works, too) covered for an hour or so until beans are tender. Tastes great with pita bread or cornbread, and very filling! With only three ingredients (can supplement with vegetables or wild forage when in season), it is easy to make and plan for – just add all the leftover meats at the end of the week, and nothing gets wasted.

    I am in the process of rebuilding my supplies after losing the majority of them a few weeks ago, and am very glad Gayle chose to post this today. It comes at a good time, and I can be more organized about my plans this time around. My old stores were an assortment of freeze-dried meals accumulated over most of a decade. They were perhaps not ideal, but were what I had. This time I will do better, both by choosing a more secure location and providing better nutritional planning. Also, I don’t have a decade to recoup my supplies. I suspect we may be seeing bad things just a year or two down the pike, so the sooner, the better off my family will be.

    Thank you all for your creative ideas, support, and general good sense. I love this site!


    • Hunker-Down says:


      Backpacker Beans fits the golden standard for my cook book!
      Each of the ingredients can be stored long term.
      Three ingredients, add water and heat. Love it!

      • I make this a lot. I like to add celery, onion and carrots. I will use fresh when I have it. But if I don’t, I’ll use the freeze-dried stuff. After two or three days of eating this, I like to change things up and put in a bit of salsa and serve it with tortillas. It’s also good put into a pan and then baked with cornbread over it.

        • If you are short on time, and have the water 8 hrs of soaking can be replaced with blanching. Cover beans with water and bring to a boil, rinse and repeat twice. Not as good as a long soak but in a pinch it’ll do.

  38. some other good ideas for flavor sources…you can get bulk dried dressing mixes and other flavorings from cash and carry and other restaurant supply places. King Arthur’s flour company used to also carry a pesto mix…this will last a few years and is great in either bread or used on pastas

  39. Gayle, nice article. What a great idea for M.D. to put together a cookbook!
    My favorite recipe from storage is a Beef, Rice & Bean, and Cheese Burrito.
    I use a large can of Lehmans Beef
    2 pkgs of Nueva Cochina Chipolte Taco Spice
    1 lg onion from garden
    handful of Cilantro from container garden
    Freeze dried or fresh cheese
    1 can of Eden Organic Mexican flavor Brown Rice and Beans
    Remove the fat from can of beef . Add everything but Rice and Beans to saucepan and simmer. Warm the Rice and Beans separate.
    You can make either flour or corn tortillas. Your preference. Put it together as a burrito or eat it alone with bread or corn bread.
    A side note. The line of Eden Organic Rice and Beans has a great date on them. My last case was late 2014. The spice is only out about a year but I have used it way past the date and it has been fine.
    I forgot to say add a little water to saucepan.
    Pretty tasty little meal from storage if I do say so myself. Enjoy!

  40. Jennifer (Prepping Wife) says:

    This is a wonderful article! I am going to do this right away! MD – I hope this one wins something. Love it!

  41. The LDS folks have a good basic recipe book for cooking with long term storage. It is called “Deseret Recipes” and is available from Amazon or the LDS store.
    As for a Wolfpack Recipes book, I’d also be interested, especially if also available in a computer readable form like a pdf.

    • Many individual wards also publish their own cookbooks for cooking with food storage. Let me see if I can find some links to some and I will post here if I can.

    • Because we have such a diverse population regionally on this site , a section devoted to wild edibles may be a good thing to add to the cook book region by by region .

      • TR,

        That is really interesting. I know absolutely nothing about wild edibles. I think this would make an excellent guest post. What part of the country do you live in?

        • I live in the southwest , there are not as many as there would be for somebody who lived in say Tennessee or Maine but I did get a very good book on the plants and trees we do have . Mesquite bean flour is a Super Food for example , It is high in natural sugars that can be safely eaten by diabetics . downside is that its more difficult to harvest and takes more time to prepare for milling . Many people on here supplement their food storage with wild edibles when they can . Like you said , it would be helpful to know whats around your region .

        • Judy(another one) says:

          Have you heard of ‘Green Dean’? He is located in Florida and has a wonderful web site and you-tube site on wild edibles.

      • Hi TR
        I wonder how many people are skilled in this area? I started learning about wild greens and herbs from my grandmother, who lived through the Depression of the 30s, but my childhood spent in the woods of the Pocono mountains, far away from technological distractions led me to learn as much about the plants around me as my local library and ancient issues of National Geographic would teach me. As I got older, I learned to ask elderly neighbors what they knew, impressing them with what I’d learned on my own. They were often quite happy to find someone to teach. Now, walking through a field any time except perhaps deep winter, I can easily spot far more edible (and some very tasty!) foods than my family could eat in a week, even if we ate something foraged with every meal. Recent world events have led me to wonder how many other people in my immediate area know what I know, and I walk a little more quickly, hoping no one notices what I am looking at. In the last decade or so, I have been careful to only teach my children, and my youngest seems to have a knack for it. But I’ve instilled in them that this is something you don’t just teach anybody. If everybody knew, that yummy plant might not be there when we need it, and other people might not follow the same rules that our family does when we collect. (we never take all the plants from one spot… but leave something to reproduce for next year)
        Long story short… I wouldn’t mind sharing what I know with people here on this site… but it’s not something I want the world to know. Does that sound incredibly selfish? I’m not planning on writing a book on the subject any time soon!

        • Cat,

          I am not too sure I would worry about this too much-anyone dumb enough to take all the plants (preventing them from reproducing in that spot) will probably pick the wrong thing, get poisoned and die. Survival of the more intelligent.

          • When I lived in Maine , I was amazed at how many things grew wild there . We went berry collecting every summer . Blueberries , blackberries , raspberries , strawberries , spearmint , rose-hips , fiddle heads , on and on , we didnt touch any mushrooms , because unless you really , really know what your doing , better to leave them be . If your near the ocean , thats an added bonus to your diet , they harvest sea weed up there also .

        • Alikaat ,
          You made some very good points and observations . The old ways and knowledge are becoming lost for many reasons . I also had a grandmother that was in her twenties going through the depression . Her mother was a midwife and holistic doctor for the ranchers and rural people . She was by all accounts a godsend but her knowledge is lost as my grandmother did not take the time to ask or practice what she knew . They are important things to know as we may be in a worse case situation that it is all thats available reliably . my knowledge is strictly from books on the subject , thats all I have to go on in my region . I’m lucky tho , my girl is from what was the rural Soviet Union , She is an encyclopedia of holistic knowledge . The reason for this is because their system didnt work , and altho the people were entitled to medical care , the reality was that it was so inefficient and convoluted that the people went back to the old ways of home remedies in order to avoid the system and get treatment in a timely manor . In a way it also made them tougher people . The biggest problem with trying to preserve the old ways are the young generation . Hate to say it ( well….no I dont ) but they are lazy on so many levels and generally dont give a crap about anything they cant plug in . So it goes back to those that do know writing good detailed how to books on the subject in order to preserve what they know . Its out there , but until the interest or necessity dictate more publications , you do have to do some digging to find it . I would love all the native American tribes to write down what they know about each region .

        • Alikaat, Good to meet another forager here! I’m a 4th generation forager and was taught by my mother. She not only taught me about the numerous greens, roots, bark, etc in the woods and fields but foods from the rivers, Chesapeake Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean. I love gathering wild edibles — it’s like a treasure hunt to me. lol

          I have taught my sons some basic foraging and it is my second son who has been most interested in foraging and in gardening. I can’t wait until I can begin teaching my 5-year old granddaughter who has serious interest in the gardens, the woods, and our homestead. You are right about guarding the knowledge so that the plants can be protected from abusive collection.

      • The plant that comes to mind right away for my area of the SouthWest is Napolitos or Edible Cactus. You can eat the leaves and the flower bulbs. My Mexican neighbor slices the leaves like string beans and cooks them like that. They don’t taste bad and have a lot of nutrition. I don’t mind sharing this knowledge because everyone around me has Edible Cactus growing in their yard.
        Also one of the best secret plants to grow is Jerusalem Artichokes. I wouldn’t think many of the sheeple know what that is.

        • P.S. There is also a weed that I have spent 11 years trying to find out what it is. It grows rampant wherever you water and a girl I met from deep Mexico uses it as a green vegetable.
          But it has to be leeched ist or something. I am not big on eating what i can’t identify but in a pinch I would eat it.
          also my beautiful organically grown dandelions.

        • Judith, Good point! Sunchokes (aka Jerusalem Artichokes) are an excellent perennial/permaculture plant to cultivate! I wonder who else grows this tuber besides us? I will forego most of the harvest this year and will increase what we have by creating more plantings. Here in Zone 6b/7a, it can be left in the ground until after a few frosts — say November. People will look at the stalks or flowers and think that’s what it is, not that it is an edible root. Their loss….lol

          • Hi Lynn-
            I grown Sunchokes (they are really winter hardy, well into the Canadian countryside), too. They are yummy! My very lovely flower garden hides a whole lot of food in plain sight… daylilies of all different colors are quite edible, and wild roses provide a good source of vitamin C in their rose hips. The rugosa roses aren’t all that pretty, but their hips get as big as plums and taste a bit like them when you let them ripen enough! Also, flowering crabapple trees are a common ornamental tree, and most people don’t know that their fruits can be harvested and make a great jelly (a favorite of mine from childhood). Add in some echinacea (a trendy purple flower used in many commercial plantings), some beebalm or monardia, and you have a well-stocked emergency food (and some medicine) supply that can be relied on to be there when you need it. If you have any swampy land, plant cattails. In the spring, the shoots and young stems of the flower are tasty greens that taste like slightly salty cucumber. The pollen of the flower (the ‘hotdog’ on top of the stalk) can be harvested and used as a flour substitute. Pancakes made with this stuff are sweet and don’t need syrup. The tubers pulled out of the mud (if you aren’t worried about destroying the plants) taste like a cross between a turnip and a potato and can be prepared like either one. The older root can be harvested in late summer and fall and the starch pounded out with a potato masher in a half cup or so of water and used to thicken stews or gravies. These are some of the easiest plants to use by newbies because they can’t be mixed up with anything poisonous and are easy to keep on hand because they are so common.

        • The cholla, or jumping cactus buds are edible too. Get the young buds at the tip and singe off all the needles, roasting the bud at the same time. Open and eat the tender inside discarding the husk. Tastes a lot like artichoke hearts. Yucca blossoms make an interesting addition to salads, or eaten alone.

  42. I make bread every week. All of these ingredients can be kept in long-term storage.

    Whole Wheat Bread

    Yield: 4 loaves- 5”x9” pans
    Grind 10 cups of whole wheat into flour. I use some white wheat and some red wheat, but it doesn’t matter. This will make approximately 16 cups of flour.
    Put 6 cups very warm water into your mixer. (I use a Bosch.) Add 6 cups freshly ground flour. Make sure dough hook is in place. Mix briefly then stop. Add 2 T. salt, 2 heaping T. Saf active dry yeast, 1/3 cup gluten flour, 2/3 cup canola oil, 2/3 cup honey, and 2 T dough enhancer. While mixer is on low speed (I use speed 2 or 3 on my mixer) gradually add about 10 more cups wheat flour. Dough will slowly begin to pull away from sides of bowl. Allow mixer to knead the dough for approx. 10 minutes. With oil on hands, remove kneaded dough from mixing bowl. The dough should be elastic. Place on oiled surface, cut in to four even sections, form into loaves and place in pans.
    Let rise in warm place until double in size. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 mins. Remove immediately from pans and place on cooling racks. Enjoy!!
    Note: If you’re using a solar oven it takes quite a bit longer to bake, maybe 90 mins., but still turns out great! I’ve also baked this in a propane powered camp stove with good results.

    Variation: Cinnamon-Raisin wheat bread
    I usually make one or two loaves out of each batch into cinnamon-raisin bread. After dividing the dough, roll one section out into a rectangle. Sprinkle with cinnamon so it covers the dough. Add some sugar and then raisins. Using the rolling pin, roll the raisins into the dough a little so that they stick. Roll up the dough into a loaf and place in pan. Bake like regular wheat bread.

    • UTmom,

      If you make four loaves at a time, how do you keep them fresh? I make one loaf and it gets hard the next day–even if wrapped in a dishcloth, placed in a ziplock bag and refrigerated.

      • Hi, Gayle!
        This bread is really moist and I’ve never had a problem with it getting stale and hard. I suppose it depends on where you live. I just keep it in bread bags (that I buy at the Bosch store) and on the counter. In the summer I have to keep it in the fridge or it will mold in a couple of days. The extra loaves get frozen as soon as they cool.

      • Ladies, I’m sorry but the “how do you keep them fresh” question brought a smile…on baking day at our house, my Mom had a hard time making 4 loaves last long enough to cool off…none of it ever got close to stale!!! Thank you for bringing back that happy childhood memory!

      • Put it in the microw wave, works very well.

    • Hunker-Down says:


      Thanks! It’s already printed and in our survival binder.

      • No, problem, Hunker-Down! I also have quite a few dinner recipes I can post for pantry-ready meals that my family likes.

        • UTmom,

          Please post them. I think I need more diversity in the meals I plan. I am thinking of bumping the number of recipes up to 15 or more.

          • Gayle-
            Most of them are from the cookbook Pantry Cooking by Laura Robins. Do I have to get special permission to post them here, I wonder?
            At any rate, I bought the book on Amazon and have been really happy wit it.

            • UTmom,

              If you have altered the recipe in any way it becomes a new recipe, and so you do not need permission. You need permission if you reprint material verbatim from a copyrighted source.

            • UTmom,
              IANAL, but that being said I think “fair use” would allow you to put a few of them here, with proper attrivution, as examples; however, posting the entire book or a large fraction thereof would not be kosher.

            • Adapted From Pantry Cooking by Laura Robins page 87
              Fettuccini with Capers, Olives & Tomatoes
              1 T olive oil
              ¾ T minced dried garlic
              2 T dried onion
              2 cans (14.5 each) stewed tomatoes
              2 T capers
              1 can (15 oz) black olives, drained and halved
              1 T Italian seasoning
              ½ T dried oregano
              ½ t red pepper flakes
              ½ t salt
              12 cups boiling water
              8 ounces fettuccini (or more)
              ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
              Heat oil in a pot. Add garlic & onion, sauté for 1 minute. Lower heat to medium and add tomatoes (with their juice,) capers, olives, seasoning, red pepper, salt and oregano. Simmer for 30 minutes.
              In another large pot, boil salted water, add fettuccini and cook al dente. Drain. Add fettuccini to sauce and mix well. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Makes 4-5 seasonings. Spicy and good!

            • UTmom,

              It’s in the book.

  43. I wonder if it is possible to pressure can burrito filling–a mixture of beef, onion, hot pepper and mushed beans. Does anyone have any suggestions here?

    • I don’t think that you would be able to safely can this at home. I believe the mixture is too thick to ensure that it achieves high enough heat. Just as it is not recommended to can pumpkin puree it home. Home canning needs about 50% liquid for safe canning.

    • I do it with ground turkey. I buy a few extra turkeys at thanksgiving when they are cheap. Can with extra water, then allow the water to boil off while reheating. With all the spices and tomato sauce turkey is hard to tell from beef in tacos or burrito filling. Last turkeys I bought were $0.39 a pound.

    • Gayle, I pressure-can chili which has those ingredients — I just don’t have “mushed” beans, they’re whole, cooked beans. You could always can the beef, onion and peppers in one jar and beans in another jar (do full canner loads of each, though). When ready to use, just fork-mush the beans and you’re there.

  44. Schatzie Ohio says:

    I bought Jackie Clay’s Pantry Cookbook and 100 Day Pantry cookbook by Jan Jackson. They both have a lot of ideas for cooking with stored food. The 100 Day Pantry book uses the same method that this posting puts forward and they use no additional water to cook.

    With just 2 in our household I have decided that when I make soup, etc that I will not can it in quart jars any more but use smaller jars (jelly jars or pints). I hope that way I wont have to deal with leftovers when there is no electricity.

    • I can’t believe Cookin’ with Home Storage by Peggy Layton hasn’t been mentioned yet. I bought it after reading a review here. Great book with many extras e.g. drinks, meat substitutes, spices, desserts, reconstituting, grandma’s remedies, sprouts, household cleaners.

  45. SrvivlSally says:

    Gayle, you presented a very good way to knowing how much to have, each and every month, not to mention that I like your ideas as well as everyone who shared theirs. Boxed mac n’ cheese with small chunks of canned ham, and a little bit of browned sauteed onion added in, is always good for the soul of the stomach. The cheese powder can be added to other foods and the macaroni can be used for other dishes. Home-canned hamburger is a must when things get boring because it can be added to a pot of thick potato soup which will spice up the menu, or even dried and added to a panful of fried spuds and onions, making for a warm and satisfying meal. Corn meal will keep when refrigerated and to put a little spicy chili or bean soup over top of corn bread, or bake a corn meal paste over chili would be wonderful. Sprinkling a little low-fat cheddar cheese over the chili dishes would be welcome even to children. My mother has a few blocks of cheddar in a freezer which have been frozen for quite a few years and, to this date, they are still in very good condition. My favorite recipe is to cube five or six brown baking potatoes, unpeeled, dice a medium to large onion and fry them together until the potatoes have turned a light to golden brown. After draining off any excess oil, top the potatoes with heated creamed corn. With free spuds and either free or purchased creamed corn, it makes a very inexpensive meal and one that will not become tiring to the taste buds too soon. I used to make my own homemade chocolate pudding by placing 1/4 heaping cup corn starch, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup baking cocoa powder into a six-quart sauce pan or a pot, mixing them together, and then adding in 2 teaspoons imitation vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon margarine, and stirring in 2 cups 1%, or greater, milk and two cups water. On a medium to medium-high heat, the mixture is constantly stirred, preferably by whisk, until it has thickened during a one-minute boiling. If it does not come out as thick as preferred, mix up a little more corn starch with some water and stir it into the mixture in small increments until it has reached a chosen consistency. Children can get bored very easily and when they want something chocolate but with a different flavor, one of the teaspoons of vanilla can be swapped for orange, almond or cherry. One day, my niece had come for a visit and I decided to make her favorite semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies. Everything was alright until I discovered that I had forgotten to purchase a bottle of vanilla after I had run out. Survival foods are off limits so I could not take anything from there. Looking through several extracts, I came across a bottle of Mapleine and decided that I would give it a try. When we tried the cookies, they tasted very good and we have never gone back to the regular recipe ever since. I do not like sweets that are too sweet and when making a pancake syrup with Mapleine, sugar and water, I decrease the sugar content to half. Cutting the amount of sugar has saved quite a few cups and left my wallet with a few extra dollars in it. Before my mother had to have a stent placed in one of her heart’s veins, she used to like to fry up slices of SPAM and eat them with pancakes topped with overeasy eggs. She would also use fried SPAM between two slices of bread which had a light spreading of mustard added to them. I like to make spaghetti sauce a little better by browning half a diced medium onion, three cloves of finely chopped garlic and one pound of low-fat ground beef before adding in one jar of spaghetti sauce, half to three-quarters of a can of tomato paste, a good large squirt of catsup, around a teaspoon or so of white sugar, a bit of salt and pepper and up to a cup of water. The sugar, salt and pepper can be adjusted as desired. After bringing the sauce to a gentle boil, it will cook for twenty to sixty minutes which will give it time to thicken up and allow all of the flavors to blend. When the sauce has been removed from the heat, if it becomes too thick it can be thinned by adding and stirring in small amounts of water.

  46. Well all of you peeps went and made me hungry and because a lot of it seemed to have mexican attitude? I am off to my local fav Mex food restaurant for some dinner!

  47. Here is my plan for 2 weeks, repeat for a month of meals:
    Spaghetti & Marinara Sauce
    Chicken & Rice
    Linguine & White Clam Sauce
    Chicken Fried Rice
    Fettuccini with Tuna
    Cuban Rice with Chicken
    Pasta with Pesta
    Mexican Rice
    Tuna Casserole
    Lemon-Dill Rice
    Orzo with Tuna
    Zesty Chicken Rice
    Penne with Tomatoes, Olives & Capers
    Pasta with Beans

    Sub-Totals per month
    Chicken 9X
    Clams 3X
    Tuna 4X
    Rice 13X
    Spaghetti 2-3X
    Linguine 2-3X
    Fettuccine 2X
    Pasta, other 4X
    Noodles 2X
    Orzo 2X
    Penne 2X

    For us (2 adults) that is 9# pasta / month
    Rice 8-10# / month

    I have a recipes for over 60 meals that I am willing to share, if I can figure out how. I call them “Suppers in the Bag.” I put these together for gifts for friends who don’t like to cook. I give them 10-12 bags with everything in them for supper.
    As an Example:
    Orzo with Tuna
    1 C orzo
    1/16 t Marrakesh Zu’atar (Mediterranean blend)
    1/4 t basil
    1/8 t lemon pepper
    1 T extra virgin olive oil
    2 (4 oz) Lemon & cracked pepper Albacore

    Bring salted water to boil. Add orzo. Cook 7 minutes or until al dente.
    Meanwhile mix spices with 1 T EVOO.
    When pasta is done, toss with spice/oil mixture.
    Serve with Albacore tuna
    Serves 2

    • Veee,

      I would love to see your recipes, especially for Cuban Rice with Chicken. I was down in Miami last year and had this–yum.

      • Gayle,
        This is an easy one.
        1 C rice
        2 C water
        Cook rice 15 minutes in boiling water.

        Mix in
        1 can red beans or 1 pint home canned
        1 1/2 tsp Pulled Pork spice mix
        1 can Mexican corn, drained
        2 cans Chicken, drained

        Heat and eat. serves 2

        Pulled Pork Spice Mix
        1 T pepper
        2 T chilli powder
        2 T cumin
        2 T brown sugar
        1 T oregano
        4 T paprika
        2 T salt
        1 T sugar
        1 T white pepper
        1 T garlic powder
        1 T onion powder
        optional 1 T cayenne pepper

    • matterhorn says:

      i would love to get my hands on your meals in a bag. i am completely new ant this was the first post i was sent from a friend. send me an email if you can hook me up.

  48. Good article. Glad to hear others are doing something similar to what my wife and I do. We love a wide variety of foods and would not be satisfied for long with only bread, beans and rice. My wife developed her own list of food items for us to store. We have always prepped, but generally for shorter periods of time than now. We still have a ways to go to reach our goal.

  49. Awesome post! Getting a food storage plan together is so important right now. I get really great food from eFoods Global. It’s healthy, inexpensive, and lasts for 15-25 years. Check out this site…and don’t forget to order your free samples!

  50. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    Gayle, a great guest post. I can see your INTJ brain has been working hard on this project. 🙂

    My simple ISTJ brain just tells me to buy 365 cans of various meats, 365 cans of various veggies (including canned potatoes), 365 lbs. of rice/beans/split peas combined, a whole bunch of bagged-up tortillas to replace bread, and 30 lbs. of oatmeal. Then some powdered milk, powdered whole eggs, honey, salt, spices, and oils.

    Thankfully, my taste buds don’t get bored easily.

    I like the idea of a simple stored food recipe book. That would be a great group project and MD could reap the profits with a hat tip to the Wolf Pack. Of course, each recipe submitted could include the byline of the individual wolf pack member via his/her screen name. For example: “Road Kill Dark Lord Stew from the pantry of Lint Picker.”

    Gayle, please keep these big brain articles coming. 😉 xoxoxox

    • Thanks for that Jim, I can never have too many Mexican recipes.

      • Lint my computer just loves you. It put my comment to Jim on your comment.
        I don’t have a bean counter brain either. I just do it and worry about it later. I know how to throw a meal together from whatever and how to cook it and make it taste pretty good.
        I figure I don’t need to know anything else. Besides I like being surprised by all the wonderful things I have in storage that i forgot I had.

    • templar knight says:

      “Road Kill Dark Lord Stew…”

      We could be so lucky. And besides, that recipe would make a buzzard puke! LMAO!

    • Lint,

      It never occurred to me to have 365 cans meat, 365 veggies, . . . LOL

  51. AZ Rookie Prepper says:

    I do a lot with ramen noodles. I use the Korean “Shin” ramen, its more expensive but is also larger and has a better taste, especially the hot spice packet. From my storage foods, I add reconstituted egg (fix it ahead of time and add while cooking the ramen), dried peppers, dried mushrooms, a small can of chicken and that makes a very large meal. You could substitute spam or beef or shrimp too. DH carrots could go in also. If you want to you can also add cheese, dried onion, garlic, DH peas, pretty much anything goes with ramen. Good stuff.

  52. Thank You Gayle, This will help get me out of my rice-and-beans rut. Food is the weak link in my preps, and it just got a little better..

  53. Here’s my favorite recipe for homemade summersausage.

    Mix together 2 lbs. ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, venison, etc. (or a combination ) with 1 cup water, 3 Tablespoons Morton tender quickcure salt, 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed, 1/4 cup uncooked instant rice and 1 Tablespoon liquid smoke.

    Mix all ingredients well by hand, form into 3 rolls size of a Ritz cracker, wrap in heavuy duty aluminum foil and refrigerate for 24 hoours. Place in a big enough cooking pot, cover with water and boil 1 hour. Remove from water, cut several slits in foil to allow liquid to drain. Let cool. Remove foil and discard. Rewrap in fresh foil and either refrigerate or freeze. Keeps quite a long time in freezer (unless the kids find it.) This is a great snack with crackers.

  54. Rice, Beans, and Corn:

    Cook one cup of rice. Meanwhile, heat one can of black beans (or prepare 1/2 cup dried beans) and 1 can of corn together. Add 1-2 tsp of cumin. Add corn/bean mixture to rice. Also can add cilantro/lemon juice to adjust taste. Eat as a main dish, side dish, as a salsa (just add some fresh tomatos/canned tomatoes to the mix), or on tacos. Serves about 3-4. Can easily double/triple recipe depending on need/family size

    About the easiest meal you can make with your staples and one of the tastiest, and also includes about all the vitamins/minerals/calories you could ask for.

  55. Tom the Tinker says:

    Jim (ohio): That much cumin make it all that ‘hot’ in a spicy way on a scale of 1 to 10?

    Anybody: Anyone have a ‘simple’… easy… as in for the none baker/cook.. recipe for flour tortillas???? and Pizza dough???

    Gayle… Oh Rah Ma-am. Another hole in my preps plugged… or as soom as I do the math and adjust………..

    • Tom,

      Check out this link.

    • One teaspoon doesnt make it spicy at all (if you’ve ever eaten at Chipotle, it tastes like that). If you use two tsp its a lot more flavorful but doesn’t really add any spice. I suppose if you wanted it spicy you could substitute the cumin for chili powder and add a couple jalapeno’s. my digestive tract isn’t as kind to me as it used to be though, so i’ve shyed away from spicy things for the most part.

    • Whole Wheat Tortillas
      3 cups whole wheat flour
      1 Tablespoon baking powder
      1/3 cup solid shortening
      1 teaspoon salt
      1 cup warm water
      Mix flour, baking powder, shortening and salt together in a bowl. Rub the mixture together with your fingers until it forms small crumbs. Add the warm water gradually and mix with a fork. Add some additional flour and knead by hand for a few minutes until the dough is smooth. Divide the dough into 12 balls, set them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
      On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball with rolling pin into a thin circle. Bake on a very hot, ungreased griddle until lightly freckled, about 30 seconds per side.
      These can be a good substitute for bread. You can also sprinkle with coarse salt before cooking, cook them longer until they are crunchy and use as crackers.

      • Hunker-Down says:


        Another one for our survival manual. Thanks.

        If making crackers, could it be scored while it is cooking, with a pizza cutter to about the size of ‘store bought’ crackers?

    • Easiest Flour Tortillas Ever:
      3 cups flour
      1 tsp. salt
      1/3 cup vegetable oil
      1 cup warm water

      Mix all ingredients into dough. No need to knead.
      Roll into balls slightly bigger than a golf ball.
      Flatten and roll into circle with rolling pin.
      Cook in hot dry iron skillet about 30-45 seconds each side.
      Store in plastic bag in fridge, or eat fresh.

      I have been on a burrito kick lately, I have been eating these homemade tortillas with homemade blackbean filling.
      Cook black beans in pressure cooker.
      Drain. Put beans in food processor with taco seasoning mix. Blend. Add water if it is too thick.
      open a jar of salsa and enjoy!

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        Christine, thanks for the easy flour tortilla recipe. When I run out of the store-bought ones, I can try my luck with your recipe. Muchas gracias, senorita. (I’m learning spanish since it will undoubtedly be the primary language of California someday soon.)

        I’ll try UTMom’s as well. But it would be so much easier if bread grew on trees. 🙂

  56. MD
    I think this blog shines a light on an opportunity for another book …. a cook book!!! I know you time is limited with the book deals but since you can get all the recipes from us, you could compile the list with the help of one or two of us and provide the e book for free on your website or for a small fee like your CD.

    Just thinking out loud, no need to post this.

  57. Lynda from MA says:

    Okay, since there are now two Lyndas here, I’ve chosen my avatar and am the original Lynda from Massachusetts. The ISTJ one.

  58. Thanks for an awesome article! I am just getting started on my food storage and was a little overwhelmed as to where to start… it makes sense to plan the meals first and then buy from there, rather than buying tons of food and trying to make meals from it! LOL!

    I am planning two types of storage- just add water, heat’n eat to have in the BOB/BOV (freeze-dried, dehydrated, etc.), and ingredients to make “real meals” at home. I don’t know how to can (yet). 🙁

    One I will mention I haven’t seen yet- don’t underestimate the importance of fresh GREEN things in the diet. Hard to manage in a SHTF situation, but seeds that can be sprouted for sprouts, and salad greens are a good idea. Sprouts are easy, and hydroponics can be done indoors for fresh baby salad greens…

  59. Great article Gayle and great recipes everyone! Definitely should be collected and published.
    But for me, most of it is simply too complicated. Let me explain – I’m 61, 6’5’’, 220lbs and work as a timber feller which means I handle heavy equipment and must carry it over steep terrain.

    Breakfast – pancakes, eggs, fruit juice, coffee
    Morning break – butter & jam rolled in a pancake, coffee
    Dinner – cheese, bread, fruit, and wine
    Afternoon break – butter & jam sandwich, water
    Supper – beans & rice or vegetable soups or pastas with bread, salad and wine
    Snack – cookies, cake or pie and coffee

    Bread is baked every night and pots of beans or soups are simply left on the back of the stove until finished.
    This has been my diet for a long, long time now. It’s simple, doesn’t take a lot of time to put together and all ingredients are cheap, easily stored and most I produce right here at home.

  60. KansasProud says:

    Great article. I really enjoyed it and I think I will look over my supplies with this in mind. My problem is that I need to prep for my DD and her family. The children (my grandkids) eat mainly fast food and I am not sure how to prepare for them.

    • KansasProud,

      If I were prepping for kids, I would definitely have some canned chicken chunks and stuff to make mac & cheese. Kids like tacos too. You could prep some taco soup. I think potatoes–diced or mashed would work well.

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      KansasProud, I would prep the foods that are going to keep you alive. When the kids get hungry enough, they’ll eat what you put in front of them. Dont let their current poor diets stop you from doing what needs to be done.

      • Poor diets aside, I buy chocolate covered peanuts from MRE Depot packed with oxygen absorbers for longer term storage.
        Taste great by the way. They also have chocolate chips and a lot of different name brand cereals that kids like.

      • KansasProud says:

        Thanks Gayle and AZ. I think you are right that I need to just prep what keeps us alive because Gayle even though the items you mentioned are good kid items, my grandkids wouldn’t eat them. Well, the mashed potatoes they will. I have never seen anything like it. I love them dearly but I sure don’t like trying to feed them. A long story but it is what it is.

        I”m sorry it took so long to respond. I have very limited computer access. Hope to change that soon. A new company is coming to town that hopefully will offer service to our humble home. Would love to have cable but they are not in the country yet. So….Such is the life in small town America.

        • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

          KansasProud, I am amazed that parents these days let kids get away with being picky eaters. When I was young, I ate what was put in front of me. No choice. Eat it or go hungry. Was told that this was not a matter of choice. I even gagged down beets, although to this day I wont eat them unless its a survival issue. Like I said, if the kids get hungry enough, they’ll eat whats put in front of them, unless some adult takes pity on them and caves in to their demands….

        • No problem. I think once you put your grandkids to work, once they put in a full day’s work in the garden, they will get hungry and then they will eat.

          • I’d be very careful about making that assumption.
            I’ve read a couple of reports that have shown many people, and especially children, cannot make that transition to unfamiliar foods in times of stress even if they are hungry. They will loose weight and quickly loose the desire to eat anything at all and you will not be able to “force” them to eat.
            The stress alone after TSHTF, will be extremely difficult to deal with – don’t compound it with an immediate change of diet! Start now implementing minor changes and, where possible, store what you, and the kids, normally eat.

            • I keep an Ensure like generic drink [5 cases] in my preps. The grands don’t think of it as food unless it’s in a paper bag with a toy.

  61. Hi All,

    Here’s the outlines of our book thus far–not bad for two days. Please make sure I’ve given you proper credit for your recipe. Feel free to suggest recipes, volunteer for a “need recipe”, or whatever. We are the Wolf Pack.

    Cooking With the Wolf Pack

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: Equivalents

    How to mill flour and make all purpose flour, cake flour, bread flour, etc.

    Chapter 2: Breads

    Tortilla, Corn (Need Recipe)

    Tortilla, Wheat (UT Mom)

    Pancakes (Kate in Ga)

    Pancakes with Carmel Sauce (Kate in Ga)

    Whole Wheat Bread (UT Mom)

    Cinnamon Raison Wheat Bread (UT Mom)

    Chapter 3: Soups

    Magic Mix (Bitsy)

    Chicken Soup (Gayle)

    Black Bean Soup (Daisey)

    Mixed Bean Soup (Gayle)

    Split Pea Soup (Cat)

    Chili (Lynn)

    Potato Soup (Need Recipe)

    Chapter 4: Caning Meat

    Chicken (Need Recipe)

    Hamburger (Need Recipe)

    Hamburger and Adnouille Sausage (Need Recipe)

    Turkey (Azyogi)

    Chapter 5: Dinner

    Red Beans and Rice (Gayle)

    Backpacker Beans (Alikatt)

    Beef, Rice & Bean, and Cheese Burrito (Judith)

    Cuban Rice and Chicken (Veee)

    Chicken Fried Rice (Veee)

    Linguine & White Clam Sauce (Veee)

    Tuna Casserole (Veee)

    Tuna Rotini with Italian Dressing (Gayle)

    Mac & Cheese with Ham (SrvivlSally)

    Shepherd’s Pie (Gayle)

    Beef Stroganoff (Kate in Ga)

    Korean Shin (AZ Rookie Prepper)

    Chili Mac (Need Recipe)

    Turkey Pot Pie (Need Recipe)

    Chapter Six: Dissert

    Oatmeal Cookies (Need Recipe)

    Chocolate Chip Cookies (Need Recipe)

    Brownies (Gayle)

    Pineapple Upside Down Cake (Need Recipe)

    Peach Cobbler (Gayle)

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      I’ll submit a recipe for Hearty Egg Drop Soup too, give me some time to run through my INTJ mind so I get it right.

      • I’ve added it to the list.

        • KansasProud says:

          Hey, I ‘ve a receipe too. I’m at work right now but I will try to post it Monday. It is super good according to various family members.

      • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

        Ok, Hearty Egg Drop Soup using nothing but stored ingredients. Ahead of time, rehydrate 1/2 cup of DH corn. I mix up enough DH egg for the equivalent of 4 regular eggs. Boil enough water for 2 cups of broth made from chicken bouillion. Add 2 teaspoons soy sauce. Slowly pour liquid egg mixture into the boiling broth. Add 2 teaspoons of corn starch to 2 – 3 tablespoons water and stir until cornstarch is dissolved, add that to boiling soup mixture. Put in rehydrated corn. Turn off heat. For a heartier dish, add canned chicken. Season with black pepper, chives or dried green onion, and salt to taste.

    • Hunker-Down says:


      Data about each recipe that would be invaluable is; 1) how to store the finished recipe, and, 2) shelf life. Most are intended to be eaten immediately, but those that can be canned or sealed in some manner for a few months or more would be key to survival. Imparting that knowledge to dorks like me could save lives.

      My contribution is in the comfort food category; I am not a chocolate addict, I can quit anytime I want, I did once.

      5 minute fudge-candy bars

      1 lb. almond bark
      12 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
      1 c. or more of planter peanuts, or the nut of your choice.

      Combine almond bark and chocolate chips in a crock pot. As soon as possible, stir in the nuts. We prefer to keep pouring in as many nuts as possible, as long as they are coated with the chocolate. Do not allow the heat to get high enough to crystallize the sugar. Drop tablespoon size portions on waxed paper to chill.

      We use the microwave instead of a crock pot, it’s much faster. Microwave the almond bark and chocolate chips on high for 3 minutes. Do not exceed 3 minutes or the sugar will crystallize. Remove from microwave and stir in the nuts. Drop tablespoon size portions on waxed paper to chill.

      Storage method: Vacuum seal and place in freezer.

      Storage time: Both the almond bark and chocolate chip makers have a use by date of 18 months. We add one year to that number to offset the manufactures need to obsolete their product ASAP. We add another year because we store
      the bars in the freezer. It would be great if storage life was 5-10 years but we limit our estimated expiration date to 3.5 years because of the oil present in every ingredient. Our 3.5 year estimate has not been tested.

      • Gayle I use the corn tortilla recipe on
        It helps if you buy a cast iron tortilla press. Easy to make.

    • I will get my strawberry/raspberry/blackberry and other berry vinaigrette out tomorrow …………..lasts forever once it is water bathed. 🙂

    • Here are the recipes that I owe you. If you need anything else let me know.

      Oriental Chicken Fried Rice
      1/4 C oil or shortening
      2 C cooked rice, cooled
      1/2 c rehydrated dry onions (1-2 T dry)
      1 C rehydrated shredded carrots (6-8 T dry)
      1/2 C chopped chicken or 2 small cans drained
      1 T peanutbutter
      1/4 c rehydrated peas, (1 T FD or dry)
      2 T soy sauce
      2 eggs (equivalent rehydrated powder)
      spices to taste; including garlic, turmeric, hot pepper.
      In large heavy frying pan, heat oil. Add rice, onion, chicken, and carrots. Stir frequently with spatual until rice begins to lightly brown. Add peanut butter (no it doesn’t taste “weird”), soy sauce, peas, and spices. Continue stirring while flavors mix. As rice mixture appears to be done, quickly add beaten egg mixture and continue stirring until egg is cooked. Serve at once with soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or hot mustad sauce.
      Serves 2

      Linguine with Creamy Clam Sauce
      1/2 lbs linguine or other ribbon pasta
      For Sauce:
      1 Can Whole Clams, drained, reserve liquid
      1/4 C milk
      3/4 C water
      1 T butter or oil
      1 T AP flour
      1 t dried chopped onion
      1/4 t garlic powder
      1/2 t dried basil, crushed
      1/2 t dried oregano, crushed
      1/2 t dried parsley
      1/8 t salt
      1/8 t pepper
      2 T dry white wine
      2 T grated Parmesan cheese
      Cook Pasta:
      Boil salted water. Cook pasta uncovered for 8-12 minutes, or until al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain.
      For Sauce:
      Drain clams, reserving liquid. Add instant milk and water to reserved liquid to make 3/4 cup.
      In medium saucepan, melt butter or oil. Stir in the flour, chopped onion, spices. Add milk micture all at once. Cook and stil ’till thickend and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Stir in the wine and clams. Heat through.
      Serve sauce over hot pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
      Serves 2.

      Tuna Shells with Capers in White Wine Sauce
      1 C mini shells pasta
      1 T oil
      1-1/2 t onion flakes
      1 pinch red chili pepper flakes
      1 Can white chunk tuna, drained
      1 T capers, drained or 1 t dried and rehydrated
      1/4 t salt
      1 T dried parsley
      1/4 c white wine or chicken stock or water
      Cook pasta al dente, 8019 minutes. Drain
      While the pasta is cooking, prepare the rest of the recipe. In a saute pan, heat oil on medium heat. Add dried chopped onion, pepper flakes, tuna, capers, salt, and parsley. Add wine, bring to simmer then lower heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes or longer, while the pasta cooks. If the mixture begins to dry out, add a little more wine or pasta water.
      Add pasta to pan with tuna. Toss to mix. Add a few grinds of black pepper to taste.
      Serves 2

      Linguine with Tuna, Walnutes, Lemon, and Herbs
      1/2 lbs linguine
      3 T walnuts, chopped
      1 T oil
      1 can tuna
      2 t lemon peel, dried
      1/4 t salt
      1/4 t pepper
      1/4 t garlic powder
      1 t dried parsley
      1/8 t thyme
      1/4 t dried chives
      1 t lemon juice

      Cook pasta until just done, about 12 minutes. Drain
      In small frying pan, toast the walnuts over moderately LOW heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Or toast them in a 350 over for 5-10 minutes.

      Meanwhile, in large frying pan, heat oil over moderate heat. Add lemon peel and all other spices. Cook stirring for 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in the tuna and break up the tuna with a fork. Remove from the heat. Toss the linguine with the tuna mixture, lemon juice, and the toasted walnuts.
      Serves 2

      • Veee,

        I added specific measurements for spices. Does this look okay?

        Oriental Chicken Fried Rice (Veee)


        1/4 cup oil

        2 cup cooked rice, cooled

        1/2 cup rehydrated dry onions (1-2 T dry)

        1 cup rehydrated shredded carrots (6-8 T dry)

        1/2 cup chopped chicken or 2 small cans drained

        1 Tbs. peanut butter

        1/4 cup rehydrated peas, (1 T FD or dry)

        2 Tbs. soy sauce

        2 eggs (equivalent rehydrated powder)

        ½ tsp. garlic

        ¼ tsp. tumeric

        ½ tsp. cayenne or chili powder


        In large heavy frying pan, heat oil. Add rice, onion, chicken, and carrots. Stir frequently until rice begins to lightly brown. Add peanut butter, soy sauce, peas, and spices. Continue stirring while flavors mix. As rice mixture appears to be done, quickly add beaten egg mixture and continue stirring until egg is cooked. Serve at once with soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or hot mustard sauce.

      • Veee,

        These recipes are great. If you have any other recipes that you cook regularly using shelf stable foods, feel free to post them.

        Are you a chef?

        • Too funny! No, I’m just a cook who was into prepping back in my Mother Earth Days in the ’70s. Then more out of necessity than any other reason.

          For my taste, I’d cut the spices in half. So 1/4 t garlic, 1/8 t turmeric, 1/8-1/4 t if using cayenne or 1/4 – 1/2 t chili powder.

  62. Ugg. I forgot these from Bitsy.

    – Pasta with Alfredo (made from Magic Mix)
    – Chipped beef gravy over toast
    – Ham & bean soup
    – Chicken pot pie topped with biscuits

    • Gayle……
      -Chipped beef gravy over toast…….
      We had another name for that, in the service.
      Frankly, I liked it.

      • S.O.S. We were poor growing up (at least when I was young) and we had that once or twice a week. I haven’t eaten it since. Yuck.

        • I had almost forgotten about SOS. We were middle class but still ate it at least a few times a month. I actually like it. The good thing about it is that you can buy the chipped beef with a pretty heavy salt content which helps it keep well, kind of like jerky. You can soak it in a few changes of water to leach out some of the salt before preparing it, and it provides a good bit of nutrition.

      • My Mom called it Shit on a Shingle. Very appetizing, eh/

  63. I think it would be interesting to include things like peach syrup, sugar cane syrup and maple syrup. And strawberry and grape and peach jelly.

    Who was talking about making peach everything a week or two back?

    Who was talking about making their own maple syrup–that maple syrup and cane syrup were very similar in terms of how to make them?

    I think someone was also talking about making a lot of jam.

    And I would love to include the recipe for apple cider vinegar. Who was talking about this?

    Think about what you make on a regular basis and consider contributing it to Cooking with the Wolf Pack.

  64. Can I throw in a couple of dessert recipes? This “cake with fruit” is easy and quick. Rehydrate 1 cup of fruit. Put 1 stick of melted butter or margarine or equivalent butter powder mixed into a 9×9 cake dish. Mix 1 cup of self rising flour, a cup of sugar and three- fourths of a cup of reconstituted dry milk or fresh milk . Pour it in the baking dish over the top of the melted butter, dump the fruit including any juice over the top of the batter in the baking dish. Bake at 350* for 35 to 40 minutes.

    The second is oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. 1 cup shortening, butter or margarine. ! cup sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 1 and a half teaspoons salt, 2 cups of flour and 2 cups of oatmeal and 1 cup of chocolate chips. Mix it all together and bake at 350* for 8 to 10 minutes. It works great as drop cookies, bar cookies or as a giant cookie baked on a pizza pan. You can add 1 cup of raisins, 1 cup of coconut, 1 cup of nuts, 1 cup of chocolate covered raisins, 1 cup of m&m’s or any other munchie bits or add a combination of the munchie bits for a trail mix type of cookie. You can add cinnamon or cloves with the raisins if you want oatmeal raisin cookies.

  65. When I buy extra turkeys to can, [Thanksgiving] some I grind to make Taco filling, Spaghetti/Lasagna/Baked Ziti, and Sage sausage [for biscuits and gravy], Some of them I will boil, debone, and dice. Canned in its own broth, this Turkey base is mainly just meat, spices and broth. From the Turkey base I make Turkey Pot Pie, just add veggies, Rue and bake in crust. [Rue is basically magic mix] Turkey Noodle Soup, Turkey and Dumplings, Turkey Stew, Turkey Stroganoff, Turkey Chili, Turkey Curry. I’m sure I’ve done more with Turkey Base but you get the idea, the meat can be many things depending on what’s available to add to it. For me alone 1/2 pints or even jelly jars is enough to make a meal. For larger groups these ground or diced bases can be put up in larger jars. The breast of one, or three turkeys gets jerked, pepper, smoked, or teriyaki style then hid under the gun safe, where it evaporates whenever the kids or grands come within ten yards of it. When I find my camp cook box with recipe cards I will post my Haybox Frijoles Canarios Soupa. [Peruvian Yellow Bean, Fenugreek sprout soup cooked in a crock thermal style]

  66. Here’s one from Cooking with Honey from the folks at Honey Acres Ashippun WI
    Honey Strawberry Jam/topping
    6 cups [about 5 baskets] sliced strawberrries
    2 boxes [1- 3/4 ounces] powdered pectin
    1-3/4 cups mild flavored honey
    2 tbs. fresh lemon juice {bottled would work azy}
    In a 5 -quart saucepan, combine strawberrries and pectin, mashing or crushing berries to blend completly. Bring mixture to a boil. Boil hard for one min. stirring constantly. Add honey and lemon juice. Return to full rolling boil and continue boiling for 5 min. stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off foam. Ladle into hot sterilized jars. Seal. {water bath as per ball blue book azy} Makes eight 1/2- pint jars.

  67. Raspberry Jam [any fruit e.g. peaches, pluits, sweet cherries]
    4 cups crushed berries
    1 box [1-3/4 oz] powdered pectin
    2 cups mild flavored honey
    2 tbs. lemon juice
    Prepare same as strawberry jam
    makes five 1/2 pints

  68. Getting fuzzy eyed and careless, new meds have upset circadian rhythm tomorrow night I take melatonin to reset body’s clock. Forgot in last recipe Agave Nectar [light grade A] can be substituted for honey, gives jam a lower glycemic index better for diabetics, better but not a license to get crazy with it. Agave nectar can also stand in for pancake syrup. Caveat Emptor; there are some faked honey and agave out there, is gussied up HFCS and not the real thing. Buyer beware!

  69. mountain lady says:

    Great post here, Gayle. I am going to copy a bunch of recipes, even though a book is probably in the works. I am a not a good cook. I have no imagination when it comes to cooking, so I have to use every one elses recipes. Thank you.

  70. I had the same dilemma with the food boredom. I found that if I buy most meats from bulk stores like Sams Club or Costco I can stock up on things like chicken and beef for the month without emptying my bank account. Also I watch for stores having awesome sales on different meats. When I go to put them away in the freezer I first separate the meat into the portions I will use in the coming days for meals (example: 4 chicken legs in one package since there are 4 of us in my family). It has saved me a lot of money and the freezer always has at least a months worth of meats for meals.

  71. Hey, will someone post a recipe for pinto beans? I feel silly admitting that I have 100 lbs of pinto beans in #10 cans and not much of an idea of what to do with them–other than bean soup and refried beans.

    • Hunker-Down says:


      I am SO disappointed. Such a gross planning failure demeans all Wolf Pack INTJ’s.

    • Pintos are great as extenders to make other foods last longer. Cook 1lb (2dry cups) beans every week then take cooked beans and mash up to add to meat loaf, spagetti sauce, stews. About a cup cooked beans to each dish adjust as needed. I use about 1.5 cups per lb meat.

      Make meat & bean gravies (bisto mix is your friend)over rice, mashed potatoes, noodles (switch flavors – meaty,spicey,oriental bbq etc.).

      Make paste mixed with condiments (mustard ketchup bbq sauce) spread on bread with somekinda meat – spam is excellent or cheese.

      • LurkerBob,

        Thanks for the information on pinto beans. I like the idea of meat and bean gravy. How do you make it? I think that would go great in our cookbook. Bean Gravy and Biscuits. A bean and spam recipe sounds good too. Please share your recipes.

        I suspect that most of us have a few very simple meals, like SOS, that we would never think of including in a cookbook. But I think these are just the sort of meals that are needed–ones that you grew up eating because they were inexpensive and easy to fix from shelf stable foods.

        • meat&bean gravy over stuff
          1) brown 1lb hburger or somekinda chopped meat (beef/chicken/pork all work good). leave some *drippings or add back saved drippings if using chopped meat about 2 tablespoons.
          put in 1 cup (or more-1.5) cooked mashed pintos (fast mash with potato masher or fork some lumps ok -for me adds texture)
          add gravy and onion/vegies stir constantly until lite boil, simmer 20 mins while rice/potatoes/noodles/biscuits/toast (pick one) cook.

          2) Gravy – 2 tblspoons flour, 1 tblspoon corn starch 1.5 cups COLD water.
          Mix in bowl add to meat (also can use bisto gravy mix for hburger/beef/pork)

          3) Add chopped onion and veggies peas/Green beans/carrots/corn/mixed veg (pick one) if available or serve as side dish

          note to cooks: like this will make “meaty flavor” to change add bbq /soy/tomato sauce for different flavors. Also spices like garlic/salt/pepper in different quantities.
          *A word about drippings(FAT): In a long term survival situation fat is essential to life. SAVE ALL cooking FATS -and use them back. Also this is pure energy and flavoring. If working hard physical days to stay alive and are not eating any processed food -YOU NEED FATS.

          A word about SPAM: this is probably one of the most versital and valuable stored foods you can have. Six servings per can (about $2.50). Good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It helped win WWII. In TEOLAWKI, it will be worth more than gold for eating or trading. Keep at least 2 cases in stock at all times if possible. regular/and smoked flavor.
          recipes: note 1 serving is 2 slices about 1/4 inch thick
          Quick fry 1 serving till brown on both sides add:
          two eggs and grits or fried potatos, toast
          OR 1 scrambled egg , mustard on fresh bread slices
          OR Porknbeans and fried potatoes
          Quick fry 1 serving till brown on both sides add
          mashed pintos, mustard server on bread.
          Cube can spam add to prepared box Mac&cheese add 1.5 cup cooked pintos not mashed. might need to add a little water.

          • LurkerBob,

            I changed your recipe around a little bit. I wanted to post it to make sure I got it right. Please advise.

            Meat and Bean Gravy (LurkerBob)


            1lb hamburger (or any other chopped meat)

            1 cup of mashed pinto beans

            2 Tbs. dehydrated onions

            1 can veggies (corn, carrots, mixed veggies, green beans)

            Reconstitute the freeze dried beef (chicken or pork), if necessary. Place meat in skillet and heat. If using canned beef, reserve 2 tsp. liquid. If using fresh meat, reserve 2 tsp. drippings. Add one cup cooked mashed pinto beans. (This may be increased to 1 ½ cups to extend the meat.)

            Gravy recipe

            2 Tbs. flour

            1 Tbs. cornstarch

            1 ½ cup cold water

            2 Tbs. drippings (if using fresh meats)

            Add gravy. Recipe below. Add onions and the can of veggies. Stirring constantly, bring pan to a slow boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.

            Serve over a starch (potatoes, noodles or rice).

            • That looks good, real professional. Im not a real cook just trying to survive my own personal TEOLAWKI. While available I use fresh stuff and as long as there is electricity use frozen meat that I buy or hunt. When the global crash happens I hope to be off-grid and have my own meat supply and bulk food storage. Problem now is I keep eating it an its hard to get to my goal of 1year storage. Your article here has helped me in that I will begin trying to do home canning (thanks pack). Also looking into sausage making (dried/smoked) as a form of storage. Would like to get 2 of these for meat storage an refrigeration:

              My thanks to MD Creekmore for this blog – you are saving America -well some of it at least.

            • LurkerBob,

              Adding meat to my food storage is a priority for me. I would love to learn how to smoke meat, how to make jerky, and the rest of the old time food preservation methods. I know how to can meat and that’s a start. My brother makes deer jerky and has a smoke house. That’s a skill I would like to learn as well. I think making sausage would be essential, as well–I mean how folks made sausage before they had refrigeration. That would make an excellent book–old time food preservation methods.

  72. Schatzie Ohio says:

    Gayle here is my storage foods menu:
    Popovers – filled
    Pie crust – for meat pies (pasties or pot pies)
    Rice, meat & veggie casseroles
    Fried Rice with chicken or hamburger
    Rice & Beans
    Baked beans – ham or bacon
    Pea soup – ham or bacon
    Rice with sour cream , corn, peppers & cheese
    Hot potato salad – bacon
    Spaghetti – hamburger or meat sauce
    Mac & cheese
    Lasagna – hamburger or meat sauce
    Chili – meat sauce & beans
    Swiss ham & potato casserole
    Spanish rice – hamburger & beans
    Stew – beef chunks
    Potato or rice au gratin – ham or spam
    Shepherds pie – hamburger, beef chunks or meat sauce
    Quiche – ham or bacon
    Salmon or tuna patties
    Hamburger & refried bean burritos
    Tuna rice casserole
    Omelets – ham or bacon
    Chicken & stuffing & gravy
    Swiss steak – beef chunks
    Pizza – pepperoni, chicken & artichokes or bacon & onion
    Corn beef, cabbage & potatoes
    Corn beef hash
    Biscuits & gravy
    Tuna salad
    Chicken salad
    Enchiladas – chicken or hamburger
    Sweet & Sour Ham
    Asian Beef Noodles

    • Schatzie Ohio,

      We could really use recipes for the following:

      Popovers – filled
      Rice, meat & veggie casseroles
      Fried Rice with chicken or hamburger
      Spaghetti – hamburger or meat sauce
      Mac & cheese
      Lasagna – hamburger or meat sauce
      Swiss ham & potato casserole
      Stew – beef chunks
      Potato or rice au gratin – ham or spam
      Quiche – ham or bacon
      Chicken & stuffing & gravy
      Swiss steak – beef chunks
      Pizza – pepperoni, chicken & artichokes or bacon & onion
      Corn beef, cabbage & potatoes
      Corn beef hash
      Biscuits & gravy
      Enchiladas – chicken or hamburger
      Sweet & Sour Ham
      Asian Beef Noodles

      • Here are a couple of more that might go into the rice catagory.
        Coconut Curry Chicken
        1-1/2 C rice
        2 t curry poder
        1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
        1 can chicken 2 t five-spice powder
        1 T oil

        To cook rice in 3 cups water. Drizzle in a little oil . When water level boils down to the level of the rice, turn off heat and cover. Let sit for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
        Add oil to skillet. Add curry powder and cook for one minute. Add cocnut milk and cook until reduced by half, about 7 minutes. Drain chicken and add to a bowl with the 5-spice
        . Coat cheken. Add chicken to frying pan with warm oil and saute for a few minutes. Add chichen to the sauce and stir to combine. Serve over rice.

        Risotto with peas, Lemon Zest, and Tarragon
        1-1/2 t oil
        1 C Arborio rice (or short grained rice)
        1/4 C dry white wine
        1 T dried onion
        1/8 t lemon peel, dried
        1/4 t tarragon, crushed
        2 C water
        2 t chicken bouillon
        3/4 rehydrated peas
        1/4 c grated Parmesan
        1/8 t salt
        1/16 t pepper

        Heat oil over medium heat. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirrun grequently, until the liquid is absorbed.
        Add the onion and other spices. Stir in the water and bouillon and cook, stirring occasionally. It should take about 25 minutes for all the broth to be absorbed.
        Remove from heat and stir in the peas, Parm, salt and pepper.
        Serves 2

        • Veee,

          I just wanted to double check that I got the curry recipe right.

          Coconut Curry Chicken (Veee)


          1 1/2 cup rice

          1 Tbs. oil

          2 tsp. curry powder

          1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk

          1 can chicken

          2 tsp. five-spice powder


          Prepare rice according to package directions. Warm oil in skillet. Add curry powder and cook for one minute. Add coconut milk and cook until reduced by half (about 7 minutes). Drain chicken and add to a bowl with the 5-spice. (See Chapter 8 for spice mix recipe.) Coat chicken. Add chicken to skillet and sauté for a few minutes. Serve over rice.

  73. Hi All,

    Here’s our list of recipes for the chapter on breads. We don’t have any recipes for muffins. Can anyone provide a recipe for whole wheat muffins? Perhaps also with variations for cranberry muffins and blueberry muffins. Feel free to recommend other bread stuff. Maybe a recipe for crackers as well. What do you all think?

    Whole Wheat Biscuits
    Whole Wheat Bread
    Whole Wheat Cinnamon-Raisin Bread
    Whole Wheat Tortillas
    Whole Wheat Pancakes
    Whole Wheat Gingerbread Pancakes with Carmel Sauce

  74. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    Gayle, just wanted to say Thank You for taking on the cookbook project. That’s mighty nice of you. I may have to rethink my opinion of INTJs. hehehehe, nah!

    Seriously, though, thank you for doing this.

  75. Hi All,

    Here’s what we have so far in terms of dinner recipes. (I have listed biscuits and gravy but we still need a recipe for this.) Please feel free to post a recipe. We need all the help we can get.

    Beef Stroganoff

    Shepherd’s Pie

    Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

    Cajun Red Beans and Rice

    Beef, Rice & Bean, and Cheese Burrito

    Cuban Rice and Chicken

    Chili Mac

    Chicken Pot Pie Topped with Biscuits

    Biscuits and Gravy

    Tuna Rotini

    Tuna Casserole

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:


      Here is a fried rice recipe.

      Cook 2 cups rice as you normally would. Prepare ahead of time the following: 1 cup canned ground beef or canned chicken. Rehydrate dh peas (1/4 cup), dh carrots (1/4 cup), dh onion (1/8 cup). Heat large skillet with some cooking oil. Put in beef (or chicken), put in rice, add 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce (or more if you like), plenty of black pepper, salt to taste, 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice seasoning. Constantly stir. Add vegetables last, heat to readiness….eat, enjoy.

      • AZ,

        I’ve made a couple changes to this recipe as well. Is this okay?

        Fried Rice (AZ Rookie Prepper)


        1 cup canned meat (hamburger, chicken or ham)

        2 tsp. oil

        ¼ cup dehydrated peas

        ¼ cup dehydrated carrots

        1 Tbs. dehydrated onion

        ½ tsp. Chinese 5 Spice Seasoning

        Salt and pepper to taste

        1-2 tsp. soy sauce

        1 cup rice

        Substitute for Chinese 5 Spice Seasoning

        2 tsp. of Szechuan ground peppercorns

        8 star anise, ground

        ½ tsp ground cloves

        1 Tbs. ground cinnamon

        1 Tbs. ground fennel seeds


        Prepare rice according to package directions. Sauté meat in skillet with oil. Add rehydrated veggies, rice, soy sauce and spices. If using any fresh veggies, add last, heat to readiness and enjoy.

  76. Awesome post Gayle!!. Just an FYI you can cook fish with lemon juice no heat needed. Work with a chemical reaction between the fish and juice. But will only work on fish.

    • Jo (Georgia) says:

      Excellent point Dave! Really any citric acid will work this way, orange juice and lime juice too. And it does work on other meats but its best if they are sliced thin because it takes a lot longer. Rather than so much cooking the meat the acid tenderizes the meat and the acidity kills the bacteria. But either way you slice it its delicious. Had a guy at work that used to cook all his lunch meats this way. He’d throw some sliced meats in a zip lock bag with the juice, in the morning and by lunch it was “cooked” We were on a construction site, no electricity.

  77. I remember when I was a child we seemed to be a lot more frugal with food so we wasted a minimum which menat the fridge was very important! Either for left overs of for keeping food that Mum had prepared fo the next day. Even today we keep left overs but I fear the only thing that gets eaten is the saved salad in the crispy bin the dog gets the other!

  78. And for when the stored food runs out:

    Refugee stew:
    In large caldron bring water to boil
    take 3 refugees cleaned and sectioned…

  79. Hey, I have an idea for a shelf-stable recipe and what to see if anyone makes anything like this. The recipe is for a shelf stable taco. First make tortillas using UTmom’s recipe. Then take a pint of beef canned in onion soup and add cooked, mushed pinto beans. (The extra liquid from the onion soup should be absorbed by the pinto beans.) Place meat mixture on tortillas with freeze dried cheese. Top with salsa, reconstituted sour cream and sprouts

    I hope this isn’t too weird for you all. I thought of it because it uses pinto beans and sprouts–two ingredients most of us have stocked to the teeth.

  80. Dehydrating lots makes my larder an interesting place. Please forgive that I offer measurements as “some” because that’s how I cook.

    “Gumbo” Veggie Soup

    some dehydrated onion
    some dehydrated celery
    some dehydrated green pepper
    a bit of oil
    a can of condensed tomato soup or some tomato juice
    some dehydrated okra (mine was powdered)
    Rehydrate the first three veggies in boiling water, then saute lightly in oil. Add the soup, the rehydrating water and more if needed. Stir a bit of okra powder into boiling water. Add to soup, mx and simmer until ready to serve.

    Asian-inspired Chicken Pot Pie

    frozen chicken breast filets, thawed and diced or canned chicken
    some dehydrated onion
    some dehydrated celery
    some dehydrated carrots
    some frozen (homegrown) edible-podded peas
    some green onion from near back door, sliced
    a can of bamboo shoots or ? or ?
    1/3 c. Cream of ____ Soup Mix
    tamari or soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos to taste
    a pastry crust (homemade from stores)
    water, milk, or egg for wash to make seeds stick
    sesame seeds, enough to sprinkle on crust

    Sautee chicken if raw. Rehydrate veggies in boiling water and add to chicken. Add other veggies. Add soup mix, water from veggies, more if needed, and seasoning, and simmer until suitably thickened. Pour into pie plate and cover with crust. Slit crust to release steam and wash before sprinkling with sesame seeds. Bake at 350 – 400 degrees F. until golden

  81. Schatzie Ohio says:

    Sweet & Sour Ham – this can be made with a small canned ham or chunked chicken or spam. In a little oil saute some onion, some fresh or rehydrated dry green pepper add the chunked ham and a can of drained pineapple tidbits . To make the sweet & sour sauce mix equal portions of pineapple apricot jam and ketchup (this can also be made with grape jelly and ketchup) about 1/2 cup of each. Stir the sweet & sour sauce into the ham and pineapple mix and heat through. Serve with rice.

    • Schatzie Ohio,

      This is a perfect recipe–just odd enough to alleviate food boredom but easy enough that anyone could make it. I love it.

  82. Schatzie Ohio says:

    Asian Beef Noodles – I got this recipe from a magazine over 20 years ago. I think it was the Beef Board/council ? recipe.
    1 pound beef round tip steaks, 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick
    1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1 package (3 oz) beef flavor instant ramen noodles
    1/4 cup steak sauce (A 1)
    1 medium carrot , shredded
    2 tablespoons chopped green onion
    1/4 cup chopped peanuts (I use the dry roasted ones in the jar)

    Stack the steaks and cut into 1/3 inch strips. In a medium bowl c0mbine the beef, jalapeno pepper & oil; toss to coat. Break noodles into 4 pieces; reserve seasoning packet. Cook noodles as package directs; drain. Heat large skillet over medium high heat until hot; stir fry beef until no longer pink. Do not over cook. Remove beef and keep warm. In same skillet combine noodles, steak sauce, carrot, onion and reserved seasoning. Cook over medium heat until hot stirring occasionally. Return beef to skillet ; mix lightly . Serve with peanuts sprinkled on top.

    • Schatzie Ohio,

      I have made just a few changes to your recipe–so that it’s made wit shelf stable ingredients. How does this look?

      Asian Beef Noodles (Schatzie Ohio)

      1 lb. canned beef tips
      1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
      1 Tbs. oil
      1 package (3 oz) beef flavor instant ramen noodles
      1/4 cup steak sauce (A1)
      1 Tbs. shredded carrot, reconstituted
      2 Tbs. chopped green onion, reconstituted
      1/4 cup chopped peanuts

      Cook noodles according to package directions and drain; reserve seasoning packet. Combine jalapeno pepper, carrot, green onions in skillet and cook on medium heat. Add steak sauce, seasoning packet and beef tips. Cook on medium until contents have warmed. Do not overcook. Serve with peanuts sprinkled on top.

  83. Hi, again!
    I love Costco canned chicken and beef and, in fact, have devoted nearly an entire shelf just to those items in my food storage room. So most of my dinner recipes use one or the other.
    This is another recipe adapted from Pantry Cooking by Laura Robins:
    BBQ Beef Sandwich

    2 T dried onion
    1 can beef chunks, (12-15 oz) liquid reserved
    2 t olive oil
    ½ cup ketchup
    2 T brown sugar
    ¼ cup water
    2 t dried mustard
    ½ t Worcestershire sauce
    ½ t red wine vinegar
    Whole wheat rolls
    Rehydrate the onions in a bowl or cup with the reserved beef liquid for 15 mins. Drain.
    Heat oil in pan and sauté onions 2 mins. Add all ingredients except the beef and rolls. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer 15 mins. Shred the beef chunks and add to the sauce. Cook 5 mins. more. Serve on rolls. Makes 4 sandwiches.

    • UTmom,

      This is excellent. We will need a recipe for rolls. (Or is it possible to adapt the bread recipe into rolls?) Or shall we just say, “serve on bread?”

      • Gayle-
        I have made my bread into rolls before so I think that would work for this recipe. One loaf equals about 6 rolls, I guess!

        • UTmom,

          Does this work?

          Whole Wheat Bread (UTmom)
          Yield: 4 loaves
          6 cups very warm water 1/3 cup gluten flour
          16 cups whole wheat flour 2/3 cup canola oil
          2 Tbs. salt 2/3 cup honey
          2 Tbs. dry active yeast 2 Tbs. dough enhancer
          Grind 10 cups of whole wheat into flour. I use some white wheat and some red wheat, but it doesn’t matter. This will make approximately 16 cups of flour. Put 6 cups very warm water into your mixer. Add 6 cups freshly ground flour. Make sure dough hook is in place. Mix briefly then stop. Add 2 T. salt, 2 heaping T. Saf active dry yeast, 1/3 cup gluten flour, 2/3 cup canola oil, 2/3 cup honey, and 2 T dough enhancer. While mixer is on low speed (I use speed 2 or 3 on my mixer) gradually add about 10 more cups wheat flour. Dough will slowly begin to pull away from sides of bowl. Allow mixer to knead the dough for approx. 10 minutes. With oil on hands, remove kneaded dough from mixing bowl. The dough should be elastic. Place on oiled surface, cut in to four even sections, form into loaves and place in pans. Note: One of the four sections may be used to make 6 dinner rolls.

          Let rise in warm place until double in size. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove immediately from pans and place on cooling racks.
          Variation: Cinnamon Raisin Wheat Bread

          I usually make one or two loaves out of each batch into cinnamon-raisin bread. After dividing the dough, roll one section out into a rectangle. Sprinkle with cinnamon so it covers the dough. Add some sugar and then raisins. Using the rolling pin, roll the raisins into the dough a little so that they stick. Roll up the dough into a loaf and place in pan. Bake like regular wheat bread.

  84. Green Chile & Chicken Enchiladas (adapted from Pantry Cooking by Laura Robins)

    1 T dried onion
    ½ cup water
    ½ can (4 oz) diced green chiles (I freeze the remainder and use it next time.)
    1 can (14.5 oz) green chile enchilada sauce
    2 cans (12-15 oz) chicken chunks, drained
    12 whole wheat tortillas (I posted this recipe earlier)
    Cheese Whiz, Velveeta or dried cheese sauce mix
    1 can (28 oz) green chili enchilada sauce
    1/2 cup dried cheese sauce mix
    1 cup dried sour cream, reconstituted
    Black olives
    Rehydrate onions in water for 15 min. then drain. Place in a large bowl with green chilis, green chili sauce (smaller can) and chicken chunks. Mix well. Spread each tortilla with cheese and 1/12 of the filling. Roll up burrito style.
    Pour half of the 28 oz can of green chili sauce in bottom of 9×13 baking dish and place the rolled up tortillas on top in a single layer. Pour the remaining green chili sauce on top of the tortillas and sprinkle with ½ cup dried cheese sauce mix. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 mins. Top each serving with sour cream, olives, etc.

  85. Okay, guys. Unless anyone has a brilliant recipe for something awesome, here’s our final dinner recipe list. I will post the final list of recipes for the other chapters soon. At this point, the soup chapter looks great as does the chapter on breads. The chapter on desserts is a bit thin. I am thinking of deleting the chapter on canning as that area has not generated very many recipes and a mere chapter could not improve on the Ball Book. What do you all think?

    Beef Stroganoff

    Shepherd’s Pie

    Smothered Chicken

    Asian Beef Noodles

    Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

    Chicken Penne

    Cajun Red Beans and Rice

    Shrimp Etouffee

    Green Chile & Chicken Enchiladas

    Beef, Rice & Bean, and Cheese Burrito

    Bean Burrito Smothered in Chicken Chili Sauce

    E-Z Chicken Casserole

    Cuban Rice and Chicken

    Macaroni and Cheese with Ham

    Fried Rice

    Chicken Alfredo

    Santa Fe Bake

    Basic Rice, Beans and Corn

    BBQ Beef Sandwich

    Chili Mac

    Beef Macaroni Skillet

    Corned Beef Hash

    Sweet and Sour Ham

    Chicken Pot Pie Topped with Biscuits

    Chipped Beef with Gravy

    Biscuits and Gravy

    Hot German Potato Salad

    Quinoa Salad

    Tuna Rotini

    Fettuccini with Capers, Olives and Tomatoes

    Tuna Casserole

    Linguine with Clam Sauce

  86. Here is a recipe for Whole Wheat Biscuits. It isn’t mine and don’t remember where I got it.

    1 C AP flour
    1 C whole wheat flour
    4 t baking powder
    1 T sugar
    3/4 t salt
    1/4 C butter
    1 C milk (make from dry)

    Mix dry ingredients together. Add butter. Cream together until crumbly. Stir in milk with fork.
    The mixture is thinner than normal bicuits, so just do them “drop” style. They may not be the prettiest biscuits, but they are light, flouffy, and nutritious. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

  87. I don’t know if this recipe counts but it is tried and true and really good. Take any firm fish (I prefer salmon) either leave whole or cut into chunks (I cut into chunks) and marinate with any Italian dressing on the counter or fridge for a couple of hours and fry. Really tasty. Good for those who live in good fishing areas.

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