Got a couple of loaves just about ready to come out of the oven. Talk about your aroma therapy, something about the smell of bread baking is just good for the soul. Got some red beans soaking and a small chunk of pork thawed and ready to marinate over night for a Southwestern style beans and rice dish. Using the left over heat from the oven to season my favorite cast iron skillet. Use lard if you are able, too season your skillets it work by far and away the best compared to other food oils.
Speaking of food oils have you stored enough? Good fats are a little hard to store long term and are critical to stay healthy. 16 pounds per person of fat/oils a year is what most sites recommend and I’m good with that amount. Sixteen pounds equals about 2 gallons of liquid oils and I have had my olive oil last a lot longer than the recommended 2 year shelf life. Lard also has a long shelf life but I don’t have a good measure that I can say it’s good for more than 2 years. This is one item you can afford to splurge on as a little bit of fat can go a long way. One thing great about oil is if they smell good they are good. Rancid oil smell will keep you from wanting or trying to use it. So don’t forget to rotate your fats.
If you are getting a good on your bulk goods storage and feel confident. This is a good time to add some spices (especially imported spices) and get your kitchen herb garden started in some small pots inside the house. I know here in Idaho we are finally getting enough hours of sunlight to start at least a few small planters of my favorite herbs like basil and I’ll order the hops next week. If you haven’t done it yet get out the seed book and get to thinking about what you want in your garden this year. I think a garden is going to be very important this year. I so glad I got the rototiller last year it is going to make the plant beds a lot easier to put in. It seems even my dogs were suffering from spring fever as they have spent most of the last two days outside!
I got my stockpots all setup for brewing a batch of amber ale that I hope I can trade to the neighbors for a little yard work. They are great people and have brewed some beer but after working all day, getting up the energy to start a batch of beer is kind of difficult, plus they really seem to like my beer so it’s an easy trade for me. They would do it for free if I just asked as they helped me the yard last year. Plus those stock pots add some humidity to the air.
I have the plan all setup for getting the 175 pounds of beans next week, add the metal drum on the first of March and then go to work on the whole wheat drum on the 3rd week of March. I should be able to get all 300 pounds of wheat and the drum for about $100.00 and that will just leave the rice drum to finish up the pallet of food in April. I’m quite surprised how quickly I have been able to get this food project done and add a few items from the 2013 goals list. I need to have the rain barrels set up to catch the spring rains if I want to have a good stockpile of water for the garden and lawn as well as a backup water source. But that will be done by the end of March so I should be in good shape with over 600 gallons “stored”. Building the Ice house/shack is getting moved toward the later part of the year. Since I missed the hard freeze this year I’m okay with delaying the project for a few months.
Last but not least it’s time to start your yard/garage sale shopping list and stashing away some cash for those items. Don’t forget to set the price you want to pay so you don’t go over your budget. If you are a prepper like me, it is all to easy to go over budget as I tend to think about all I don’t have on hand. Keep focusing on your goals as well as the difference between “Need to have” rather than the “Want to have”.