Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What did you do to prepare this week?

Sorry about the writer's block this week, but I did a few things to improve or at least practice my preparedness skills. Huh? Skills? Yup, skills are very important and practice helps. I have planted a few cold-tolerant vegies and nursed them to sprouts in preparation of planting outside in the near future. Even if we just eat the sprouts, they will be less expensive than buying fresh vegies. I've found that getting them outside during the day for sun and bringing them inside at night is proving difficult. I leave for work before it is really as warm as I'd prefer (above 40 degrees) and get home after dark. As a result, they are a little leggy. If you start your vegies early -- things like rutabagas, onions and broccoli that can take a little extra cold in the Spring -- remember to factor in the sunlight part of the equation!

I also made some Jerky with a different cut of beef. I am trying to work that optimization between cheap and good jerky. My most recent comparison began when my local Kroger affiliate grocer had a buy-one-get-one-free on slabs of beef. I bought a bottom round roast and a top round roast, one of which was 'free'. ( I tried to get them within half a pound of each other to optimize the deal, so it worked out to about $2/pound) I made the bottom round jerky a few weeks ago and am finishing up the top-round as I write. So far, my vote is for the bottom round. It was easier to slice, took the marinade better and has less fat to deal with. I've only tried one small piece of this batch, but I think the bottom round is less tough once jerked as well.

My last thing was a splurge. Northern Tool had a sale on portable indoor propane heaters (Mr Heater brand). The one I chose was about $40 less than the nearest competitor, so I bought one for less than $100 including the tank adapter and shipping. The loss of heat for 3 days may have been a fluke and may not happen again for years, but if it happens sooner I will not be caught without again! Who knows, next time we may lose the electric as well, so this should be fine. The description indicates that it can operate at around 4000 BTU's for a week on a 4 gallon propane tank. That should do.

Hope you had a great week and put just a little something by or developed a new skill that will serve you in tougher times.


  1. The heater sounds like a great idea. I have just started my seed;so no sprouts yet. What have I learned or done this week to prepare? Well;I am learning to bake my own bread,that's a good start don't you think? Blessings jane

  2. Jane! Great skill to build -- and you get great homemade bread as a reward! Soon the storebought won't taste like real bread to you anymore. You can also make a much more healthful loaf for less cost than the commercial loaves. Thank you so much for your comments. I really appreciate them and love reading your blog as well. You are really talented!