Vacuum Sealing & Preserving without Electricity

24 Jan Vacuum Sealing post


Vacuum Sealing post

I’ve recently come across a couple of good ideas that can be “thought forward” to emergency preps.  They share a similar theme, so I decided it was worth a post to combine them.  Today’s idea is preserving fresh items (or pantry items opened prematurely) in the event you’re without electricity.  Some might think this is a funny thing to prepare for, but if the lights go “out” my belief is that they won’t be coming back “on” all too quickly, so we’d better be ready to adapt.

Fresh Foods in Food Storage?

In addition to all the shelf stable food items we store, preparing a plan to grow fresh foods by learning to garden and sprout (so long as conditions allow it) is extremely important to consider.   Nutritionally as well as for so many other reasons, having a bit of fresh food to eat, even in small amounts, would be (and I use this adjective most sincerely) *awesome*. The problem is, we’d likely have times in growing food where there’s a surplus;  we can’t use it up fast enough and don’t want it to go to waste.  Well, there are a couple of ideas I’ve come across to help in this area that I’d like to share.

Idea #1:  Brake Bleeder

Thanks goes out to Survivor Jane for this first idea.  She shared it on facebook a couple weeks ago.  Here’s a pop quiz:  on your honor, how many of you already knew about this repurposed tool?  Well, to me, this was a new one.

what is it


Apparently, this is a brake bleeder tool who’s original intended use is to bleed car brakes (as if I have any idea what that means).   But…(and this is the cool part)…it uses a non-electric vaccuum sealing mechanism to do it’s job.  According to Jane, it can also be used (thinking forward to preparedness) as a non-electric vacuum sealer by being attached to a foodsaver lid adaptor/ vacuum tube where it can seal food in mason jars.  What a great repurposed item! She says it can be purchased directly from Harbor Freight (and like stores, I’d imagine), but additionally I found it here on Amazon (59% discounted) for $30.

Idea #2:  Handheld Vacuum Pump Technique

Ziploc Vacuum1

A second non-electric vacuum sealing idea I found is surprisingly inexpensive.  Using a $5  handheld vacuum pump, a thumbtack and a piece of electrical tape, you can seal a glass jar.  And what’s great about this idea is that it works with *any* jar you have so long as you have a lid that screws on;  it doesn’t necessarily need to be a canning jar.  As I think about all the jars I have in my storage, it would be great to be able to re-purpose the smaller sized jars to preserve smaller food amounts if needed.  This video demonstrates what I’m talking about.  Think it forward to how valuable knowing this (and having this tool on hand) could be if/when fresh foods are hard to come by and you don’t want yours to go to waste!

The original article can be read here. (Oh, and btw, if you’re reading by email you’ll need to visit this post on the blog itself to be able to see the video.)


Idea #3:  Zeer Pot (aka Pot in Pot Refrigeration)

So, now you’re wondering “what about refrigeration”?  Fresh foods (most anyway) need to be kept cool, right?  Ideally, yes.  My line of thinking here is simply to have a way to keep foods good longer than they usually could be kept without doing anything.

So, my answer to refrigeration without electricity are Zeer pots.  Again, here’s a video explanation.  This project is on my list of things to study out this year to see how far it can be utilized, which size is best (if there’s a difference in temperature retention), etc.  And as a side note, for anyone who needs to keep refrigerated medications, you (especially) need to check this out!  Zeer pots have been tested and used for years in underdeveloped countries, so I trust this idea enough to post about it.

Well, I hope I’ve given you some good ideas to consider.   It’s great to know you do have options in preserving food without electricity.




Book Review: Beyond Basics With Natural Yeast

3 Dec Beyond Basics Yeast (6)

So, hello again!  It’s been a while. Don’t worry though, I’m still here, I’ve just been buzzing around lately getting used to a new family schedule at home.  Let me fill you in just a little on what I’ve been up to (and no, I’m not even close to quitting blogging)…

{Personal} Update Time…

Before starting the blog, my husband and I homeschooled three of our kids for more than five years.  After a big move across the country, we felt much more comfortable with our new area’s public schools so we enrolled the kids in school.  Lucky for me, this window of time allowed the opportunity I needed to post recipes here in earnest and get the ball rolling, which I’m very grateful for.

Well, a couple months ago the winds changed and my husband and I realized a lot of good for our specific kids’ needs would be met if we returned to homeschooling again.  We went with it and that’s where I’ve been spending a great majority of time lately.  Although it’s been a busy adjustment, I’ve been sincerely loving it and life is very good.

This doesn’t mean I won’t continue to post, but my posts in the near future will, of necessity need to come together drop by drop rather than in one fell swoop, which ofcourse will take longer.  Be patient with me, I sure hope you’ll keep visiting!  Another place we can connect is via Facebook where I post small bits and pieces nearly daily.  If you’re ever wanting to find me to see what I’ve been up to, that would be a good place to “like” up.  Also, just so you Twitter fans know, one of my blogging goals for 2015 is to give Twitter a better effort.  I don’t know what to say on that, other than Twitter and I have some relationship issues.  Working on that…

Wonder Ovens

Personal life updates aside, I’ve been excited for all the recent interest in Wonder Ovens.  I was invited to contribute a power packed introduction post all about them for Backdoor Survival’s Blog recently.  Additionally, there continues to be lots of interest from emails I’ve gotten both asking for wonder oven paper patterns and hearing back from readers who’ve finished making them for themselves.  I love being a part of it!

Just so you know, my last batch of paper patterns went out in the mail just last week and I’m planning my next batch to go out in February.  If you’re interested, yes, I’m still sending them out!  Email me at along with a physical mailing address to send it to.  If you’re living in the US, I’ve started asking for a return of $2 to cover the shipping.  You can just mail it back to me using my return address or I can send you an invoice through Paypal.

Book Review (!)

So, on to today’s business.  I was so excited to get to be a part of a blog tour for a wonderful new book that’s come out on sour dough/ natural yeast cooking.

Authored by Melissa Richardson, her second book “Beyond Basics with Natural Yeast”, builds on principles taught in her first book “The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast”.  Since I was gifted my first start over the summer by a generous reader, I was particularly interested to find out the publishing company for this book was looking for blogs to review it.  They needed reviewers and I needed instructions.  Since I’m such a beginner when it comes to baking with natural yeast this book absolutely thrilled me for all the options which were discovered!

Beyond Basics Yeast (6)

This is my fun start container, btw.  And now, I’ve found a great book to boot! Continue reading

New Wonder Oven Retailer + Give Away!

24 Oct

Exciting news!  For those who’ve been wanting to buy a wonder oven pre-made, Joyce from Prepared in Every (who’s blogged, authored and been involved with preparedness podcasting for many years) has now begun making and selling Wonder Ovens full time.  I’m so excited that she’s decided to take this project on for all the rest of us!  You can find her at My Wonder (love that name, btw!) and she’s offering them at a very reasonable price:  $47.50 + shipping.

To kick off this new adventure, she’s giving away this very cute October “pumpkin” of a Wonder Oven!  Details are given below.

**This giveaway is now CLOSED, however please continue to utilize this post for information on where to go to BUY a Wonder Oven** Continue reading

Two Weeks of Big Giveaways!

16 Oct

This week and next, there are two product giveaways going on with a collaborate of preparedness bloggers that I know just about any of you would love to win!  I’ve never participated in group giveaways like this in the past (mostly because I’ve had other things I’ve been focusing on), but with two products in a row being given away this month which would ideally suit my goals on this blog, I decided to join in.  If you’re a My Food Storage Cookbook Facebook fan (which I hope you are), you’ll already have entries awaiting for you in the drawing.   You’ll need to be sure to *follow each of the links below* to get to the entry pages in order to participate.  Also, to clarify, these are TWO separate giveaways which are going on, each with different links given below; one is for this week and the other is for next week.  Woo Hoo!

**These giveaways are now CLOSED** Continue reading

Wonder Oven ONE Day Give Away!

29 Sep Comment to win Wonder Oven

Wrapping up National Preparedness Month, I’d like to give away this super cute wonder oven to help at least one more person get more prepared!  For those who’ve been wanting one for a while, here’s your chance!

**This giveaway is now CLOSED** Continue reading

A Prepared Cook’s Guide To Creating An Ideal Kitchen Space

22 Sep Keep Calm1

There are patterns and principles, long since tested, that can make anyone more effective in whatever kitchen space they find themselves in.  This post is a collection of rules you should know as well as the best shortcuts and re-purposed items I’ve found that have made a difference in the way I’m able to effectively work in my kitchen.

These ideas, while they’ll do tremendous things for the way you feel about your kitchen today, are also something I’ve come to appreciate as an added layer to my food preparedness too.  Not only does an organized kitchen make you want to cook more, (encouraging you to get better at the skills themselves) but in an extreme circumstance, it’s benefits could even include a much faster and smoother transition if relocation to a new space was necessary.  There are lots of reasons to put thought into both your kitchen space as well as the tools/ ingredients  you use most to find the path of “least work” for the “greatest return”. Continue reading

Even Easier Homemade Spaetzle

1 Jul spaetzle

Wow, it’s been a while!  I didn’t intend to break from blogging so much in June but it just flew away!  For those who have followed over the past couple summers, you know summer time for me is pretty much “off season” for the blog.  While I’d love to keep playing and keep connected to all you folks all year long I’m (for sanity reasons) a seasonal blogger/ facebooker, etc.  Maybe one of these days I’ll figure out how to balance more while the kids are home all day, but I haven’t gotten to that point yet.  So now, with the entrance of summer, my time has officially been handed over to my little people…and my medium sized people, as my teens are becoming not so little anymore.  (Btw, for those who are new here, my kids are 15, almost 13, 11, almost 7 and almost 2.  And to add one more little tidbit to our summer’s craziness, three of these kids’s birthdays — plus their dad’s birthday — land in the month of July, if you can imagine the odds.  We celebrate some of the birthdays in June –so it’s been party central here lately– this because each July we take off on a massive road trip lasting 4-6 weeks to visit family in ID, WA and UT.  Every year I begin this road trip asking myself “why drive three days with kids like this??” and every year I come back home with a satisfied answer for myself.)

For those who asked about classes:  our travel calendar this year didn’t end up allowing enough spare time for the classes to happen {sadly}.  Sorry about that, maybe next year (?)  Or, perhaps one of these days I’ll get moving on some other way to bring classes instead to your computer screen, that’d work too!  Ideas or suggestions on that?  Feel free to pass them along!

All this said, there’s a bright spot.  I couldn’t leave you hanging all summer without posting this wonderful tutorial my friend Eva offered us.  Eva is another friend of mine who moved here from outside the US having gained wonderful real life training growing up on how to cook with basics ingredients — this time in the Baltic region of the world.  I’ll tell you more about her in just a minute, but first a little about the recipe…

If you’ve tried making homemade spaetzle — or homemade noodles at all — in the past this recipe is probably the fastest one there is.  You’re going to love it!!  For anyone who’s never made spaetzle before, you now have the easiest way to do it at your finger tips!  For our purposes, this post is going up to emphasize the *method* of making the spaetzle, the recipe is included here as well, but it’s Eva’s everyday recipe including fresh eggs.  Definitely use it if you have fresh eggs on hand, but if you’re looking for a storeable recipe, check out my post for Hungarian Goulash with Spaetzle from a few years ago.  Again, it’s a great 100% pantry ingredient recipe from Shari Haag’s “The Everyday Gourmet” cookbook and we’ve loved it!  The great thing is, from now on I won’t be taking forever cutting noodles into a pot! Continue reading


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