3 posts only and we have covered food for a year so what is next? WATER

July 17, 2012

Water: you can live only 3 days without good clean water to drink. This is a bugaboo of mine since doing my water test back in April. I did not have enough water and it took a lot more physical energy to move than I had anticipated! Actually I did have plenty of water for the week. Heck I didn’t even use all my camp jugs. But figuring 1 gallon per day, per person.  I was way over my ration for the week and all I was doing was a few dishes/pots and pans, 1 spit bath a day and cooking for 1 person.  No, for a week or so you need 3-5 gallons per person per day and that’s just your needs, garden, pets, farm  animals will need water as well as you. What about laundry?  have you stored water for a 5 gallon bucket worth of laundry every week per person?

When I was doing training in the Army down in lovely Death Valley at the National Training Center or NTC and going 2 weeks without a shower. You come back to the rear and you can smell the clean on people and become very aware you are  more than a little on the funky side even though you did take a spit bath everyday! There are stories from WWI of soldiers breaking down into tears simply because they were so filthy.

Do you have rain barrels hooked up and full? Can you collect and filter water?  I’m not dealing in hyperbole when I say your life may depend on it.  Do you think you will be the only one trying to hoist a 5 gallon bucket from your local creek, stream, pond or river?   How safe will it be to drink if folks just start dumping all waste at the curb? Gosh, I hate to say it but OWS showed folks will simply dump waste in sewers and run off grates and never think about water from a toilet is a bit different from rain runoff and needs to be treated!

I live in hi desert and on average we will get about 1 inch of ran per month for 6-8 months. Now on a 1000 square foot roof and 1 inch of rain you could collect about 500-600 gallons of water. Even in a bad year you could probably collect about 3000 gallons per year. Oh sure it would have to be filtered or treated but you would have water!  For 1 person that is over 9  gallons per day for a year! Just harvesting the rain water on a 1000 square foot roof.  Plus you don’t have to leave home to collect water so it will probably safer than driving around looking for water!

You will need water and that idea of a gallon a day is not realistic long term. Simply because while your body may need only a gallon to survive your home, your cooking and you keeping clean takes a bit more water. Got a baby? shave, laundry. Trust me a gallon a day of water may keep you from dying but it is no way to live!

I just found a cool little collapsible 50 gallon rain barrel at Amazon.com  for about $37.00 counting shipping


I know I want to get a couple of these as they would be terrific in a bugout situation or around the house collecting rain and it looks like you could daisy chain a few together and expand your storage.

Check your local farm store and if you have a bottling plant nearby you might get used food safe barrels for a great price. I’ll ask my beer lady where she is getting the 15 gallon water barrel for such a low price. Or you could call/send and e-mail to her as she’s in my Blog links under shopping,   Nampa Brewers

My storage philosophy on pretty much everything. The things that will make life better

July 16, 2012

Oils and fat, you will need about 20 pounds per person per year.  Our own USDA/FDA have convinced us that fat is evil but it’s  needed by our bodies to work. I try to stay with the natural stuff like Olive oil, lard,  butter but I’ll grab a vegetable shortening like Crisco for deep fat frying.  I’ve heard raves about peanut oil but I’ve never used it.  I’ve canned butter and know folks that can lard and I figure about 5  years isn’t to  unreasonable for most fats stored properly.  Figure about 1 gallon of most liquid veggie oils will weigh about 8 pounds, or 2.5 gallons per person. Now different types of oils have different smoke points or when heat starts to break down the oils structure so have different types of fat is a good idea.  Add in flavored oils or make your own. I have a little pepper oil and sesame oil that is great for kicking up the flavor on meals.

Sweets: both sugar and honey have incredible storage times. They have found honey in the tombs of the pharaohs that was perfectly edible. Honey also has anti- bacterial properties which makes it great for colds and first aid as well as preserving food.  If you have allergies using local honey seems to help reduce the symptoms.  Always make sure you get real honey! A lot of stuff that says honey is actually flavored  syrup so always look at the ingredient label. It costs a bit more but it you get all the good stuff that honey does for you. If you have sugar you can make candies or caramels.  Plus all baking usually require a bit of sugar either for taste or to create a chemical reaction.

Sugar about 50-100 pounds in all forms. I have what I call my candy bucket and after the holidays when I can get stuff cheap I’ll grab those “Fun Size” candy bars and just dump them into the bucket. But you can add whatever your favorite is to your bucket.  I don’t have a sweet tooth but I like having  one of the little candy bars and my sweet tooth is satisfied.  Get some powdered cocoa, chocolate chips, Dark chocolate bars, marshmallow and real vanilla(Latino/Hispanic) aisle usually has real vanilla for a great price. You will be able to make you own cakes and sweets with a little practice!

Vinegar: Five gallons per person.  Get the real stuff and not the flavored kind and get several flavors. #1 this is a great source of vitamin C, Pickling fresh veggies and flavoring everything from salads to sweet and sour pork!  Vinegar can also be used as a cleaner for windows and other stuff so it’s a great multi-tasker!

Meat:  Americans tend to eat a meat heavy diet compared to most of the world.  From my research I figure you can stay healthy eating about 1.5 pounds of meat a week, or about 80 pounds per year per person. If you buy canned meats it can get kind of expensive on a per pound cost, but salmon, tuna, clams, sardines, turkey, ham, beef and chicken  are available in cans from 5 oz. to 2 pounds for a whole chicken.  A pressure canner and jars really shine here because after the initial cost,  canning your own meat is very cheap.  You can also use smoke, salt, sugar to preserve meats. Get a good book  like “Putting Food By” that shows a lot a different ways to preserve food. It’s one of the most comprehensive books I have found and it is easy to use.

Leavening or baking soda, powder and yeast: Baking soda is another great multi-tasker as a cleaning supply, 1st aid to making your own baking powder ( you can make your own baking powder if you have baking soda and cream of tartar. Simply mix two parts cream of tartar with one part baking soda.)  Yeast buy in bulk 1-3 pound packages and store in the freezer and it should last up to 5 years. Those little 3 packs of yeast are a very expensive way to buy yeast.  You can also make your own yeast via sourdough.  Lots of recipes on the net!

Salt:  Recommended salt stored is 10 pounds per person of Iodized salt. But you don’t want to use iodized salt when salting meats or pickling. They do have a pickling salt that is very fine and dissolves in cold water that is great to use for brines. Or you can buy non-iodized salt at your local restaurant store for $6.00 or less per 50 pounds.  Salt is super cheap to buy right now and if you live inland away from the coast and can’t replace salt you will be hurting. I’d say two pounds of iodized salt for your salt shaker and get some pickling as well as bulk salt in a big bag. There is a product called Redmond salt that is  full of other minerals that folks swear by and I think would be great for replacing electrolytes of folks that are sick or doing physical labor in the heat.

Spices and herbs: Buy whole spices and grind them yourself. Those little coffee grinders are great for that and fairly cheap so you can have 2 or more.  If you are using just 1 grinder throw a tablespoon of white rice in the grinder run for a bit and it will soak up the oils of your spices and you can still grind your coffee.  Grow and dry fresh herbs as much as possible.

Don’t forget the pets buy food in bulk, have a little basic first aid, comb, brushes as well as leashes and collars.  Keep the shot records up to date and have copies.

This post is getting a bit long but I will move towards the storage of other needed items I have stored in the next few day and we will cover everything that I can think of for most disasters.

Prepping interupted for tooth ache!

July 16, 2012

I’m not telling you to avoid the dentist when you have an infection or sore tooth. In fact,  get all that stuff taken care of now while they are available. I know in the Army before any deployment we had to have our dental records updated and take care of anything that may cause a problem from a cleaning, a cavity to a root canal. For the very good reason that a bad toothache can stop you in your tracks!

Anyway back to me! LOL  I had a little tooth infection blowup almost over night on a Friday evening.  I have no dental insurance and there isn’t a 24/7 dental emergency room, so I figured I better try and do a little self treatment to get me through the week end!  It felt like it was just the gum that got inflamed and not a broken tooth or anything severe like that but any infection of the mouth can turn ugly quick so you will want to be pro-active. Plus with all the nerves you have in your head it will hurt like “HELL!”

  1. Give you mouth a good salt water rinse and see if that won’t help clean the area that hurts. Stay away from rinses like Scope for your breath and try to keep your cleaning mild.  A gentle scrub with a little baking soda of the gums and teeth. Baking soda is usually less abrasive than most commercial toothpastes. 3 times a day and immediately after every meal so you don’t introduce any new debris to the infection.
  2. Have teething gel, Adult oral pain relief and or oil of cloves. The store bought gels use  benzocaine in 7.5%-20% strength as the active ingredient. Oil of cloves is a multi-tasker for flavoring in the kitchen but will work for reducing the pain of a tooth ache.
  3. Take aspirin, if you can, as it will reduce the swelling and can assist with thinning the blood a bit and get those blood vessels working to help kill the infection.  A crushed up tablet or some thing like BC powders you can place directly on the area of pain will speed up reducing the pain and swelling. It will taste terrible but it does help a lot.
  4. Hold or gargle with a bit of  vodka to reduce pain in adults. I doubt any kids will be able to do this without swallowing  or spitting it out.
  5. Rinse your mouth with a little Hydrogen peroxide. Yes the bubbles will feel odd bit it does a great job on cleaning infections.
  6. A little icepack over the general area along the cheekbone or jawbone  can also reduce the pain and swelling. Remember with ice packs never place directly on the skin, wrap it in a cloth and time ice as 10 minutes on and 20 minutes off.  You don’t want to cause an additional injury to your skin.

DISCLAIMER NOTICE:  I’m not a doctor or a nurse!  This is info that you use at your own risk and to get you by, until you can see trained medical personnel. Do not take any anti-viral or anti-bacterial drugs  unless under the care of a doctor.

My storage philosophy on pretty much everything. Focus on Beans and veggies

July 15, 2012

My last post covered both rice and beans that tends to be the meal of choice for long term preppers to start with because when rice and beans are mixed the form a complete protein. If you look at the staples in most diets around the world. Beans and rice combo of some sort is very common base for most meals. The recommended amount of stored vegetables is 150 pounds per year per person and in the last post I recommend at least 75 pounds of that be dried beans.  Pick whatever beans you like and try new ones.  While pinto beans tend to be the cheapest around here, but  I store white, red, black beans as well as a 16 bean mix that I love and get from my local grocery store.  Add some split peas and lentils which are very high in protein you will have a good variety to combat “food fatigue”.  I think having several good cookbooks on hand will help you to be creative with your meals.  Especially if you get ethnic cook books because while you start with the basics making an Indian curry and oriental stir fry or south American dish all you really need is different spices and some practice.

Get a pressure cooker for doing beans and quick meals. You can buy them new for about $20.00 and they will save you time and energy when cooking dried goods like beans.

Now for the rest of your veggies you need to finish up your 150 pound total. I do recommend a garden and using the farmer’s markets for your fresh veggies but I never count on them for storage.  The garden veggies  is basically a bonus for me and not something I can depend on for survival. That means you need to store at least 75 pounds of canned, frozen and dried veggies  for each person.  For planning you can use these numbers:

  1. A case of canned vegetables (12 cans of 14.5 oz each = 10.5 pounds per case)
  2. A #10 can of diced tomatoes = 6 pounds, If you have many to feed the #10 cans might work better and be cheaper than veggies is smaller cans.  I get these either in single cans or a case of 6. A case of #10 cans is about 35 pounds total.
  3. I buy a #10 can of potato flakes that has about 160 servings.  Mashed potatoes and they make a nice break from rice in your meals and can be versatile if you use your imagination and a cookbook.  Think potato pancakes and Shepard’s pie. I like this because as long as the can is closed up it won’t spoil.  Some coffee can plastic lids work great for covering #10 cans after they are opened.
  4. Buy frozen veggies in bulk and dehydrate them yourself. All the blanching and cutting up is already done, they dry in 24-48 hours  then you seal them up with a food saver in jars or the bags.

It doesn’t have to cost a ton of money to get your veggies stored if you buy on sales and get the latest expiration date those cases of veggies can last several years and give you time to save up for a pressure canner of your own,  eat fresh veggies in season and  the canned stuff for in between harvests.

A lot of what is true about canned veggies is about the same for canned fruits and you will want to store a min. of 100 pounds per person. If you don’t have a basement or pantry you can easily store 7 case of fruit and veggies under every person’s bed.  We keep adding more and more variety to our basic diet of rice, beans and grains. No one is saying the power has to go out so we still have our meats or you can go canned for that as well. The next post will cover meats and add on stuff like oils and spices.

Most of your dried beans, seeds and grains will sprout. You don’t need sunlight,  just a glass jar, cheese cloth, water and air.  Even if you don’t have a garden you can have some fresh greens year round!

My storage philosophy on pretty much everything. Focus on grains

July 14, 2012

A few questions came up on the last post about adding more stored  food because of the drought and getting more before the costs hit the supply chain.  Kellene had a post at preparednesspro.com on having 7 years of food on hand in case of famine or a long emergency. Greece has had a recession for over 5 years before the complete collapse started within the last 6 months. Heck even here in the USA we can say the recession started at the end of 2007 beginning of 2008 and has been going on for nearly 5 years in spite of what the talking heads saying we are in a recovery!  I’ve read about folks that have prepared but lost a job or had an emergency and have already used up a lot of their preps and are a little scared about how they will replace them in the future.  So having several years worth of long term storage items is certainly a goal to work towards and as long as you buy long term items and store them properly it is an achievable goal.

How I plan my food storage is a combination of total pounds and servings per pound and then meals. For example the second most used stored food is probably rice and beans right after grains. This will make up most of your long therm meals and it is really simple to figure how much you need as you will get 8-10 servings per pound. For 2 meals a day you will need about 75 pounds each of beans and rice. (365 days x 2 meals a day =730 meals then divide by 10= 73 pounds) but I round up to 75 pounds cause it’s nice number and gives me a little room for error.  Of course you won’t want to eat rice and beans every day for a year but you will know you do have food on hand.  Most food storage calculators recommend 60-100 pounds per person per year.

If you are store grains or flour I think about loaves of bread and one, 1 1/2 pound loaf of homemade bread per person per week.  So figure about 75 pounds of your grain will go for making bread. Then you start adding variety such as pancake mix (8 servings per pound),  oatmeal (16 servings per pound),  or grits (16 servings per pound)  for break fast. If you add 15 pounds of each breakfast item you will have about 45 pounds total to add the grain portion of your food storage.  We have only covered a few items but we are starting to build in some variety for breakfast and we can start adding variety to lunch and dinner. This is almost 200 pounds of grains and a very bland diet so I use the last 100 pound to start adding some variety,  easy to make meals and snacks.

Some other foods I store as part of  the Grains bulk goods:

  1. Barley can be used for both breakfast and dinner so having 25 pounds will add variety
  2. Pasta of all types about 4-6 servings per pound dried or make your own pasta by storing semolina flour.
  3.  Dent Corn, corn meal and  Masa harina, More variety and if buy and bulk you can get popcorn and grind it up for corn meal.
  4. Crackers

I did a 2 month test of living almost exclusivly on what I had stored. I had a good bit of meat and frozen veggies stored so my diet had plenty of variety but I really missed having some crackers and stuff for snacks. Once I paid off the big bill that caused me live on preps I went down and bought 12 pounds of popcorn and I buy saltine and Ritz  crackers on sale for snacks on hand.

I’ll do another post focus will be on beans and vegatables for storage and the choices I have made for the long term and why I picked up all kinds of beans and veggies!

Feeling nervous again/still….

July 12, 2012

I’m not feeling all warm and fuzzy about this year’s harvest.  The USDA just declared a disaster 26 states because of  drought and they are never ahead of the power curve but always playing catch up.  I have quite a few folks on my blogroll that had a terrible time of it last year just getting feed for the critters.  Driving 500-1000 miles just get some hay if they could afford the gas or putting down animals early to prevent any suffering.

Idaho is having a problem with a new disease that is making out taters unattractive but not affecting the taste or food quality. But this state sells most taters for french fries, hash browns and potato chips and most folks won’t pay or eat potatoes with black or brown spots on them.  Still a small problem but it does have folks concerned.  The heat is lasting a bit longer than is good for our wheat crop so we may see a fall off in production.  I ‘ve not heard of any problems with the fruit orchards and I know my own little apple tree looks to be doing well and my walnut tree is growing like mad and has nice size nuts already formed.  The grapes are growing like mad and I have plenty of leaves but we still have a while to see how the fruit turns out.

I think it is a good time to lay in a few more long term food supplies. I’m doing good on rice but I feel a need for more flour, beans, sugar, oils/fats and yeast. I’m looking at getting some more whole grains because I think with my little power pak I’ll get next week,  I will be able to grind using power and not muscle energy.

I’ve seen some great buys on meat and I’d like to add some more to the freezer. You don’t often see wild caught salmon for only $2.00 a pound at Albertson’s grocery stores. I found out my local Winco stores honey is actually local honey from here in the valley. While there seems to have been a quality drop in my local Winco’s meat and produce,  they still have good value on bulk goods.  I’m cheap,  but I’d rather go without or pay extra for good quality meats and fresh veggies.

I focused on getting some junk silver this last month. But this month it feels like food should be the focus!  I’m still getting  the little water barrel and power pak.  I’m still going to get the little backup propane water heater next month as well as some tanks.  Perhaps because the food prices have come down quite a bit since earlier and it seems to me the best place to get the most bang for your buck.

I wish I could explain it better or that it’s more than “women’s intuition” but I can’t really say it’s more than a gut feeling like my 4 month gut check.  So far even if I’m wrong it usually works out for getting the best price on stuff as well as getting food stashed away for the long term.

Use logic on what you store but also trust your gut feeling!  You know where you are at for prepping and if you feel something is lacking and it is bothering you I think it’s your brain has put lots of different data together that you are not logically aware of, but your gut knows.

Getting a new water jug next week.

July 11, 2012

This will be a 15 gallon blue barrel and I’m getting it from the Beer Lady for $25.00. Close to the same water barrel at emergency essentials that costs $47.00 but with no shipping costs.  This is a compromise on being able to move a good amount of water fairly easily with my little dolly and I can put it in my RV to fill up for an extended stay out and about.  I have six 5 gallon camp jugs  for around the house, my big Igloo drink cooler for my modified hot water tank and my big 60 gallon barrels I got at D&B our local farm store as well as the rain barrels.

I feel this gives me a little more flexibility in the water storage area since no one can tell what will happen in the future.  Ever since the water test I have wanted to get about 500 gallons total water stored, split between drinking water and the rain barrels.  I can fit all the drinking water on a normal size pallet (3 big barrels and several camp jugs) These 15 gallon barrels have a slightly larger footprint than a 5 gallon camp jug though taller,  about hip high to me (I’m 5′”6″) so you could store them in a closet fairly easily by taking some boxes or shoes off the floor and put those on the barrel.  These barrels save you a ton of floor/storage space compared to the soda bottle method.

Of course I have a several food safe buckets that I’ll use to collect additional rain water. I do need to get some additional bungie cords for attaching a tarp to the fence to direct more water into the buckets. Bungie cords will make for a quicker setup and take down compared to tying the tarps off with rope.  It is amazing the amount of water you can collect during a rain if you just get enough surface area working for you.  One inch of rain falling on a 1000 square foot roof could theoretically be 600 gallons if you can collect and store it.

I became very aware of how much water I used when I did all the work carrying, heating and disposing of water.  I always thought I was good at conserving water but after my little test  I’m just a piker at conservation. To this day I’m better at saving water because of that water test compared to all the Helpful hints  I saw on the internet.  Heck I saved and conserved water just to save doing any physical labor!  Necessity is the mother of invention is a lie,  it’s laziness!

I saw some little free standing misters for the patio that would be great for staying cool,  if I can figure out fixing up a pump  that runs on solar power. No battery needed as I’d only use the pump during the day.  I read about a person in Texas that used a soaker hoses to help cool his roof.  The evaporation process cooled his home almost 10 degrees.  You would loose a bit of water to evaporation but what a great way to use any extra rain water you have stored as most of the water would run back into the barrels.  Might help protect your home if you live in an area prone to wild fires!

Hot temps this week

July 10, 2012

Monday was  108 F.  We have a week of fairly warm temps here in the valley.  Not to unusual though it sucks having the thunder clouds move in in the evening and it prevents thing cooling off at night.  So mindful of all I’m learning I got my little power pack charged up. I can run my little 12 volt fan for a couple of days and go to the basement and stay cool.

I got the house all cleaned up when I read about some blackouts here in the valley. The have been short term so no injuries to report. Idaho doesn’t have to much problem with mass shootings and violence as quite a few folks here are more than willing to shoot back to protect themselves.

Going to work in the basement getting stuff organized and move around just in case. plus it’s a good place to work when it’s a 100+ outside.

Planning ahead as a prepper

July 9, 2012

First off I want to thank riverrider for all the info and updates of him going through the 10 days without power to how he and his family handled the heat.  Darn good test of his preps and while he may feel he cheated a bit going for a drive or grabbing a snack,  he had gas for it and was ready if he needed to go scrounging for stuff to barter and trade or for getting to a market to sell his barter goods so I think it was a realistic test!

If you are like me you have watched the wild fires and this storm and not only thought about what you would do but have looked at what you actually done to survive and or make it an easier transition going without electricity or going to the store.  I, myself need to get some extra oil for the generators and run a good test under load to see how they will do supporting the household appliances.

I’m sure some folks that read this blog are what is called the procrastinating prepper.  You hit the websites and you got a pretty good idea of what you and your family needs to have on hand but you just haven’t gotten around to getting most of the stuff yet.  Life always comes up with things that eat the money you plan on spending on preparing.  Heck, you feel pretty darn good just keeping the gas tank filled when it gets down to 1/2 a tank.

Did you hear anything on the DHS or FEMA going to help folks 10 days without power during a heat wave. Just like the winter storm FEMA did not update it’s website for several days. I heard a few politicians posturing but did they call out the Nat. Guard to help clear roads?  Some of the city officials did open up offices and cooling stations but at a state and federal level nothing much happened. You and your neighbors are on your own for at least 2-3 weeks the government ain’t coming to help for at least that long. That’s 20 gallons of water, 5 pounds of rice and 5 pounds of beans plus oatmeal, grits and or 5 pounds of pancake mix for breakfast per person. That will give you 3 meals a day for 3 weeks. Even buying bottled water that’s less than $40.00 to be ready for 3 weeks per person.  I don’t know your family but that seems  pretty cheap to ensure you and your family eats and drinks safe water!

Things in the economy don’t look like they are going to get better for awhile cost and job wise.  With the drought and heat the corn crop is looking a little iffy right now which may mean higher meat prices later this year. August means kids going back to school and they will need clothes, classroom supplies and maybe stuff for band or athletics that will cost money.  So July is a good time to get a little food, water  and other basics bought cause you won’t have cash for it later this year.  September and October are good stocking up months as well but by November you are paying for heat and or the holiday season and you really won’t have any extra money to spend.

Summer sausage for survival

July 9, 2012

Okay I’ll state right off I’m not one of those preppers that is all organic or even whole wheat. I like white bread and I like using white flour to bake and cook.  I like some junk food and I store it and use it as I go.  Okay I don’t drink as much soda as some, a 2 liter will last me 2-3 weeks and I’m more into crackers rather than potato chips. But if you like something store it and use it. Heck I buy those little fun size candy bars. A package of 8 for dollar and I dump them into a candy bucket. Now I don’t eat much sweets but a couple of those little candy bars every couple of weeks or a month can satisfy my sweet tooth and be  ready for every halloween as well as a barter item.

Anyway back to the summer sausage I got out of storage a 24 oz. summer sausage I had stored and I know it was at least 6 months past it best use by date. Probaly up to 12 months but I did not check the date before using it I just test with the old sniffer and ate some and no casualties to report.  What I love about the summer sausage is they usually go on sale in the fall and after the first of the year. It’s also already to store in a cool dark spot and costs only about $3.00-$6.00 per pound. That might sound a little high but all the work is already done so it saves you hours and energy costs processing the meat yourself.

Summer sausage taste great hot or cold and I love making up a tray full of dips, crackers, cheese and add in a few veggies and you can grab a quick snack, make a little sandwich that covers all the basic food groups and in the summer heat you will want to eat lite and these little trays are great for that inner snacker!

I’m looking for a french loaf pan to make those nice looking french bread loves but until I do I’ll settle on doing “Itialian loaves” or 5 minute artisan bread.  I love getting some dry salami, leaf lettuce , fresh tomatoes and provolone cheese and making my own Sandwich loaf.

Slice the bread loaf in half lengthwise and cut/scoop out just enough bread for your fixings to be cradled by the bread. Make croutons from the bread you scoop/cut out!

Spread some of your favorite Italian dressing or an nice vinaigrette on the bread then add meats, veggies and cheese that you like. A pinch of  Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper then put all back together and wrap in saran/plastic wrap and refrigerate 4-24 hours. Slice as needed for sandwiches.  Go crazy with what you like from sprouts to olives.  The sandwich get’s better after it sits for a while and all the flavors start to meld together. I’m not sure how long one of these sandwich loaves will last as they have never made it past 48 hours me alone or when my niece and her 2 boys lived 24 hours tops.  Also a great summer meal as there is no cooking so you don’t heat the house!