If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. Anne Bradstreet

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Ether 12:27

Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season therof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul. And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion. D&C 59:18-20

Monday, March 23, 2015

Recycling No. 10 cans

Many preppers buy dry foods in No. 10 cans.  They are excellent for long-term storage, especially for smaller families or individuals.  But then we have the question:  What do we do with the empty cans?

I've experimented with reusing them to store more dry foods.  I packed the food in a clean can, added an oxygen absorber, put a piece of mylar on top large enough to form a lid, and then the plastic lid.  I wrapped several rounds of duct tape to secure the lid and to (hopefully) make an air-proof seal.  I did some a couple of months ago and the product has kept good, but this is not "long-term" by any means.

Then the other night I saw a youtube video by technician55 on his method of storing dry foods in 5 gallon buckets.  He used another bucket with a mylar bag to form a round receptacle that fits much better into the 5 gallon bucket.  He takes the bucket and inserts it into the mylar bag as far as it will go down.  He then folds over the ends of the bottom and tapes them down, and then pulls the bucket out of the mylar bag.  If this doesn't make sense, you can watch his video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ1Cum6lkhs.  He then puts his pre-formed mylar bag into another bucket and fills it.

I thought I'd try to make my own pre-formed mylar bag insert for an empty #10 can.  Some of the PETE bottles that my neighbors save for me are rectangular gallon-size water bottles.  One just barefy fits into a gallon mylar bag and I pushed it down as far as it would go.  I folded the bottom flaps over and secured them with a single piece of tape.  I was able to pull my plastic water bottle out of the mylar bag without any difficulty, so I'm not going to bother putting holes in the bottom like technician55 did.  Then I put the pre-formed mylar bag into a #10 can and filled it with the instant potato flakes that I had packaged a couple months ago in another used #10 can.  I was able to compress the flakes and get them all in.  I don't have any oxygen absorbers on hand, so I didn't seal the bag up, but there's plenty of room for a seal using a hair iron.  Fold the top corners over, and then put the plastic lid on.

I'm having difficulty uploading photos so I'll try again later.

I'm very pleased that #10 cans can be reused for long-term storage of dry foods.


Monday, March 2, 2015

Dehydrated home-cooked meal results

I'm still learning how to reconstitute dehydrated foods.  I'm not interested in dehydrating for snack foods, but to use foods in recipes or meals that just have to be reconstituted.

On January 9, 2015, I made a Chicken Helper Fried Rice recipe, using ground turkey instead.  I dehydrated one serving for experimental purposes.  Because it was a bit oily, I put the dehydrated product into a Ziploc bag and into one of the drawers in my refrigerator.  I thought it might go rancid if I just packed it into a jar and vacuum sealed it.

Today, March 2, 2015, I reconstituted the serving and had it for lunch.  I first just added hot water to bring it to the 1 cup mark, because it was a 1-cup serving that I dehydrated.  I put that in the microwave for 5 minutes.  It had absorbed all of the water, but wasn't fully hydrated, so I added about 1/4 cup of water, and put it back in for 3 minutes.  Still didn't seem wholly hydrated, so added about another 1/4 cup of hot water and just let it set for about 10-15 minutes, then ate it for lunch.  It had very good flavor.  the vegetables and the rice seemed fully hydrated, but I think the turkey wasn't as plump as it could have been, but still tasty.

I'm quite pleased.

Last Friday I made some of my 4-can chili, and on Saturday I dehydrated a little more than 2 cups of it.  I did vacuum pack that into a quart jar and put it into my pantry.  I'll wait a while to check it out. 

During the process of dehydrating, I measured out 1 cup of chili and put that on its own tray in the dehydrator, so I could weigh how much 1 cup of dehydrated chili weighs.  I used parchment paper on my trays.  Now, to make one cup, I weigh out the right amount and rehydrate. 

My objective is to get away from so much freezer storage of homemade meals and put some of it in dehydrated meals and also pressure-canned.  I'm seriously thinking of getting a pressure canner this spring.