So far not many items as I’m waiting for a couple of ads that come out late Tuesday or on Wednesday. Cash & Carry has the 40 pound bag of Mesquite chunk charcoal for $11.49. I like the flavor of Mesquite and it seems easy to maintain a constant temp. with this charcoal. I have used this charcoal cooking a 10-13 pound turkey and maintaining 300-325 degrees is very doable even if it is about 30-40 degrees F. in November. If you plan on using a BBQ as your a backup cooker this is a great buy. I’d also recommend getting a “chimney starter” for $10.00-$15.00 rather than stocking up on lighter fluid. It will quickly pay for itself and you can even cook on it if you need to. Cash & Carry has a 50 pound bag of rice for $18.99 I want to add a couple of bags to to my rice barrel. I need to top off all the barrels but it’s not going to take much longer before they are all done. After this addition I only need about 50 pounds for two of the barrels and 2-3 bags for the rice barrel. That will finish up the long term storage of bulk foods.
Fred Meyers has a pack of three 16.4 oz. bottles of propane for $8.99. This a good price and if you have propane lanterns or stoves that are for camping or backups for lighting and heating build you fuel stock up now while it is still fairly cheap. You might have read stories about this last winter and propane shortages in areas of the USA and how the price skyrocketed. This is the year the EPA starts shutting down coal plants and with the “polar vortex” of last winter using the older plants just barely kept up with all the home heating needed. This winter looks like it won’t keep pace, heating prices will go up a lot or both. If you don’t have a backup heat plan I would recommend getting a Mr. Buddy type heater if you can’t afford a wood stove or wood for that matter. These are fairly safe and do a very good job putting out heat. I’d get one with the fan if you can afford the extra cost. I did a couple of tests of the Mr. Buddy heaters and I was impressed how well they could heat an area especially when used with a fan. I used a 12 volt fan with one of those power pack used to jump batteries. One of the small one pound propane bottles would last 4-6 hours depending on temp. settings and how cold it was outside. A 20 pound tank lasted about 5 days but I always turned it off at night when sleeping.
Speaking of energy and fuel if your backup gas cans need topped off this would be a good week to get that done. With all that is happening in the Middle East you might want to start just driving on the top 1/4 or 1/2 of your tank so you always have some fuel in your vehicle. If you haven’t already started filling up that way. It’s also a great time to rotate your fuel and get some fresh gasoline, Don’t forget the Sta-bil or other additive to keep it fresh. If you used a generator during the winter don’t forget to do your basic maint. so it will be ready to go and do your tests if you haven’t done one this year.
Odds & ends: Mom gave me a bunch of lawn clippings for the compost pile. Got a couple of little blossoms on the watermelon and cantaloupe plants. The celery seems to be hitting it’s growth spurt now but it seemed that it would never get past the stage of looking like pale parsley. I have some little buds on the pepper plants and the tomatoes are at the height to get cages. The Arkansas Traveler tomato Mom gave me is beginning to look like it might be the lone survivor from Mom seed starts. This tomato is in the new raised bed and I think I did a good job on getting the soil just right. The potatoes are growing like crazy in the buckets. I think where I tried to grow them before got to much sun and heat and I started them late. I did a much better job on starting them early and the buckets are under a cherry tree and don’t get a full days sun.
I got the Amber lager started and it looks really good so far. I was very anal retentive about the sanitation after the scare with the black ale! I think I’m sort of getting on top of having different brews available at all times. I have to say so far beer has made a wonderful barter item trading for both work and stuff.