Food Storage, Lessons Learned and Recommendations
If you want to track the BB month as well, you could always write the month on the year dot. Not quite as much of a visual impact as a second dot, but keeps you from having to keep track of multiple color-codes. I usually get the small dots, but if you got the dime or nickle sized ones you could easily see a month written in it. Donating to food banks/soup kitchens is an excellent idea, much better than letting stuff go to waste… we’re trying to get our local grocery store to leave the food bank donation box up all year round rather than only before the winter holidays.
We’re not out in the bush, just at the end of the road… so we’ll be able to use the truck for most of the year. However, I’m sure there are going to be times when we’ll have to jump on the mail plane from the nearby village to get into the city faster than driving four hours. I’d love to have my own bush plane, but I’d have to recertify for my pilot’s license and planes are expensive to own and maintain… maybe if I win the lottery Until we get our renewable energy system and satellite system up and running, we’ll likely be using the Internet connection at the village school, and blogging our adventures (won’t have as much time to scan the forums!) about once a week or so when we go in to pick up our snail mail. We’ll be leaving the end of July… the days are counting down quickly now!
Thanks for the welcome folks. The first thing I need to learn is how the heck I ended up finding this thread. Somehow I started finding a couple of links yesterday but today the only way I could find it again was that I saw somebody else commented and the topic showed up under the Recent Comments section. Maybe my problem is that I started looking for the thread before I logged in? Any help with navigating here would be great! What’s the trail of cookie crumbs?
Make sure you are logged into your account, then click "My Account" at the top of the page, then click on the "Track" tab, and you’ll see a list of the threads you have posted to.
Thanks Amanda; I think I’ve got it now.
For anyone who’s looking for something different from canned tuna fish as part of your protein food storage, I can recommend one we’ve been using for years. It’s the Bumble Bee brand of Alaska Red Sockeye Salmon; in our area the best price is at Walmart and it costs about $4 a can. The expiration date is always at least 4 years out. Don’t try to substitute something different if you use the recipe I’m giving below because it won’t be as good (DH’s advice). BTW, we have no connection whatsoever with the brand or wally world.
Grandma’s Simply Excellent Salmon Cakes
1 can red sockeye salmon, drained; you can remove the skin if you want to or leave it in for the added fish oil
1 large egg, beaten with a teaspoon of water (you could use powdered egg I suppose)
Using your hands, mix the 2 ingredients real well in a bowl; pinch any spine bones to disperse them into the mix (they’re very very soft and full of calcium). Divide into 4 patties like you would for hamburgers but a little bit thicker. In a medium size frying pan, heat a little of whatever oil that you like to use for frying foods. Put the patties in the pan and fry with a lid on using a medium heat and turning after a few minutes; if you try to turn them too soon they fall apart, and if you have your heat too high you’ll burn them. Turn a couple more times and cook thoroughly (because of the egg). Serve with fresh or bottled lemon juice. Note: we used to make these with cracker crumbs as a filler, but they’re better without a filler; also, you don’t need to add salt to this recipe.
We keep over 2 dozen cans on hand and keep rotating them because we use a couple every month. We had it tonight and that’s why I thought I’d share this with others who are doing food storage.
Grandma, thanks for that recipe, sound delicious!
I started a recipe thread. Please post your salmon cake recipe there too.
Recipes for food and drink, http://www.PeakProsperity.com/forum/recipes-food-and-drink/20155
Slowly but surely working our way through the food processing. Almost done – yippee! Will post pics soon; but here are some learning-curve handy tips that ya’ll might find useful:
- You should consider whether you want to make "monthly" buckets of several food items, or "yearly" buckets of a single food item BEFORE you start putting them into mylar & buckets. We’d processed about 10 buckets before we realized that it made more sense for us to go monthly rather than yearly
- Doing monthly buckets requires a lot of additional processing but does mean that there is less chance of losing a whole year of something if a bucket is breached. We portioned everything out into vac-bags by wieght or volume… this takes some significant time and a good stock of vac-bags. If you know you’re going to do it this way in advance, I would suggest buying the generic/industrial vac-bags in bulk from a place like Goodman’s and save yourself about $3 per roll of film. Rushing out to the nearest Wally-World or Target and clearing their shelves is time-consuming and expensive.
- For highly perishable items like powdered milk, cheese & eggs; or items that are major bug attractors like sugar; I highly recommend bagging into a zipper bag first (leave a tiny bit open) then putting that into the vac-bag. This seems like overkill because it essentially means that the food is in 3 bags (zipper, vac & mylar) inside the bucket… but these items are super hydrophilic (absorb water) and can go rancid pretty fast.
- Try to form the vac-bags into bucketable shapes while they are sucking… once they’re sucked tight and solid, you will have to pound, punch, stomp and kick them into a shape that will fit the bucket’s curves.
- For sticky/clumpy bulk items like brown sugar and dried eggs an ice cream scoop with a flipper-ejector-thingy works great.
- Using a widemouth canning funnel greatly expedites pouring clumpy powders (like milk & cheese) into quart-sized vac bags. (I only had to pour powedered cheese all over myself and the floor a few times to figure this one out… oh well, the cats were happy)
- Make a lanyard for your indelible marker and box/bag cutter or you will lose them and waste time and energy hunting around for them or going to get another one.
- If you don’t want or have the time or patience to portion and package food, I would suggest that you spend the extra money to get pre-packaged superpails or the #10 or #2.5 cans of prepackaged goods. We still came out ahead on the money, despite buying buckets and bags, but it did take a lot of time.
Here ya go — all (well most) of the food vac packed, mylar-ed and bucketed:
That’s 67 six-gallon buckets and several cases of #10 & #2.5 cans. We still have our cabbage coming (oops – wasn’t on the truck), and that will likely be another 2 buckets. And of course, the fruit… ah, the fruit that will cost me an arm & leg!
But at least it’s done and I can check it off my list. Of course… now we might not be able to transport it through Canada (don’t ask… stupid new regulations ).
Using the stats on Nutrional Data, I figured the above order (with the fruit & nuts we’ll be ordering) will provide 3000-4000 calories a day for my husband, 2000-2500 calories for me, 70-100g of protein a day for both of us, and an average ratio of 40% protein, 30% carbs & 20% fat. (Normally, our ideal ratio is 50, 20, 30… but we need the extra starchy carbs to combat the cold & exertion).
Wow! Thanks for sharing all the great information. One comment though. Wouldn’t you want to increase your macronutrient ratio of fat in a colder climate? For example, think of the Inuits who, before the adulteration of their diet by the white man, ate almost exclusively proteins and fats and thrived in their environment. Traditionally, people in polar and near polar climates have always consumed higher protein and fat levels whereas more equatorial people have consumed higher carbohydrate levels. Also, fats are more dense in energy, higher in their satiety factor, and fulfill a nutritional requirement for essential fatty acids (given that they are high quality fats).
Also, did I read correctly that you are NOT living in a house in Alaska? Just wondering how you’re protecting all this food from bears. Claymores? 😉
BTW, your degree of planning and forethought and the thoroughness of your prepardeness and thought processes is impressive. Kudos.
ao, Currently there is no form of shelter on the property.
So first thing, we’re renting a cottage about 3/4 mile from the property while we clear the building site, and get the Wall tent up. Then we build the Cache, which will likely later become a smoke house, so we have bear protection other than me with firearms or mining the food flush.
Then we start of the actual residential building, once that’s complete the food is stored in the house. Although I suspect for quite some time cooking will still be done outside, until it gets too damn cold.
You are to a degree right about protein/fat content on Inuit native diets, we will be augmenting what we have with what we can catch or shoot too, so that will increase fat contents. I’m also not sure whether Plickety mentioned this, but we also need a bunch of oils and fats, not just what we have, and the fruits.
Basically in AK you live like the Bears, put on weight during the summer for protection during the winter, in the winter then 4000 calories can go up to 10,000 calories easy to maintain body weight.
Quite an undertaking. Be careful with the outdoor cooking and the bears though. Also, how are you situated in case of a forest fire? I’m assuming you’ve read and/or seen the DVD, "One Man’s Wilderness" about Richard Proenneke in Alaska? If not, you’d really enjoy it. I love the northwoods and live in a similar area myself but the long stretches of darkness in the winter at your lattitude is a bit more than I want to deal with. Snow doesn’t bother me and the cold’s OK but below -30 F, it can wear on you day after day, especially as you get older. Make sure you load up on Vitamin D big time. You’re probably too far inland to make use of this food source but a highly experienced Norwegian arctic explorer said that one of the best foods for his men was raw seal meat (?). Never tried it myself but actually sounds interesting. Wish you much luck and good fortune.
Plickety – I have just now caught up on this thread – not having looked at it for quite some time.
I continue to be amazed and astonished at your wide range of talents (and a pilot to boot!). Either you’re a reincarnation of the original pioneer woman or you’re really triplets!
Based on Gungnir’s most recent post and your picture of the bucketed food, am I correct in deducing that DH is Gungnir and that it is he standing by the newly packed food?