I’m SO excited to announce to you that from Febrary 5th until April 30th I’m hosting a fantastic contest I’m calling “The Biggest Prepper Challenge”!! I definitely want YOU to be a part of it! All the details on how to play and the prizes you can earn are contained in this post, so read carefully before you start.
By participating, you’re sure to gain invaluable skills and information for yourself in building your own family’s food storage meal plan while ALSO winning some of my favorite things to help you in expanding that preparedness.
Due to a host of extremely generous vendors, this challenge — and the chance to win some of the best tools and food storage supplies on the market — you have a great opportunity here to create a base of recipes for your own family’s plan while earning prizes. Your success is completely up to you and the work you’re willing to put into it. This is NOT a random selection win giveaway or a joint blog collaboration. It’s exclusive to My Food Storage Cookbook and will be judged entirely by me, your author.
Due to current shipping prices (which are expected to be rising in the near future), this challenge is open only to those living in the US lower 48. I’m sorry if this excludes anyone, I’d really love to offer it to the whole wide world, but it’s the best I could do to be able to offer an amazing contest to the greatest number of people.
So go ahead and watch the video below as I explain my personal “what’s, why’s & how’s” of doing this, read the details here in the post and get ready to join in! I’m sure in the end I’ve probably missed answering some question you might have, so if I did (or if you’re just totally excited and want to tell me about it) leave me a comment and I’ll be sure to get your questions answered.
Who knows, YOU could be our Biggest Food Storage Prepper!!
How It Works:
The contest will be run by way of weekly “check-in’s” by email. I’ve set up an email account just for this contest. The address is:
Details on how to submit an email to me are explained below, but for right now I’m just going to skim over the basics. First off, you’re welcome to join in at any time during the contest. You may only want to participate a few weeks of the challenge — maybe during a few of the weekly prize contests you’ve been watching for. On the other hand, you may want to go for the overall prizes by participating in as many of the weeks (or all of them) from beginning to end. It’s totally up to you! You can win weekly prizes in addition to being an overall winner, all points earned weekly will simply be added upon themselves to create your overall score.
Weekly “check-in” emails must be received by 8pm Central Time each Wednesday night of the challenge. Also on Wednesdays, the weekly prize for the next upcoming week will be posted on the My Food Storage Cookbook facebook page. So if you haven’t already “LIKED” the page there, you’ll want to do that so you can see what’s coming up as far as prizes week by week.
Finally, each Saturday you can look forward to a post from me where I’ll give the details of the past week’s race and participants, highlights of what they’ve made, and name the winner of the weekly prize. In addition to a weekly run down, you’ll also see your score as well as other participant’s for the overall competition. I’ll also be featuring a “getting to know” minute on the overall prizes being offered and why they’re quality products I recommend.
On Swimming and Cooking with Food Storage
Five years ago I was completely new at all of this just like everyone else. Before jumping into the contest itself I want you to know where I came from, so you can see that the jump from beginning (not knowing anything about cooking with food storage) to the end (feeling confident you’d honestly be able to feed your family with what you have stored) really isn’t such a big hard thing.
This is what I remember from my own experience in doing exactly what I’m asking you to do here. Crazy? Maybe. However trying these things yourself is the only way you’ll personally gain the preparedness skills you’ll need when the time calls.
I’ve been where you are now and I know how it feels to be “cooking with the unknown” (…seriously, what am I doing…the grocery store with fresh produce, meat, milk, eggs and butter is just down the street!), using completely foreign ingredients (…so THAT’s what’s inside this can!) and praying extra hard over the food at dinner time that it would honestly be “good”. I remember the weeks leading up in finding the time (and working up the courage) to actually try a food storage recipe for the first time. After searching long and hard for recipes that might work, my heart was about as timid as this boy here on the high dive wondering if we’d all survive such a thing.
After a while, I got over it and did it anyway.
The first recipe I chose was Red Chicken Enchiladas with homemade flour tortillas. I thought it had a good chance of succeeding with my family and I was really interested in seeing what it was like to make my own tortillas. I remember rolling out the tortillas for the first time, each one individually. It was a lot more work than I was expecting but in the end the enchiladas actually tasted pretty good and the meal went over well with my group.
Most importantly though, I felt extremely proud of myself. I’d actually done it! I had a recipe which I knew I could make from scratch (that my family would eat) and I felt significantly more prepared –even after just ONE try — having triumphed over the unknown (including discovering the contents of some of those mysterious #10 cans).
In thinking about the steps it took me to actually get to the point of cooking, I’ve come up with a series of preliminary steps which I’ve merged into the contest for one of the weekly prizes. These are the “thinking before doing” steps that will bring this “high dive” of a task down to a manageable level for anyone who feels overwhelmed at jumping straight into the deep end.
- Define YOUR purpose. Why do YOU feel doing this is important? Disregarding anything that anyone else (or I) have told you, why do you *for yourself * believe that learning to cook with your food storage is high on your self-reliance priority list? Clarify WHY you have a desire to learn these skills in the first place before moving on to anything else.
- Envision your GOAL for a successful outcome. At the end of any given week (or at the conclusion of the contest), what would equal “success” to you in this project? What would it be like/ look like/ feel like if it were totally successful? Would you walk away with 10, 20 or 30 recipes you knew your family would eat? Would you have learned the skills required to use food storage to make everyday basic items your family is already accustomed to eating?
- Thinking it Through — How it’ll get done. This step involves choosing recipes, evaluating what ingredients and tools you have to work with, buying any missing ingredients and planning ahead. One note on this: I’d suggest focusing yourself on feeling gratitude for all the wonderful resources, tools and ingredients available to us rather than seeing the limitations of the foods/tools themselves or the work it takes to make the recipes. We truly have the world at our fingertips, so much is ours to learn. And I hate to break it to you, but the conveniences we enjoy hour to hour in our modern lives — 5 minute microwavable meals, fast food drive throughs and the like– are not a true representation of “life” as most people have known it, or as many living in other countries presently know it. To be prepared to feed a family without all of these conveniences requires work, and the truth is: work is life. What better way to utilize all that we do have than to fill our hours today preparing for a “a less than sunny day” in the future. We should be grateful for the opportunity to do so.
In my experience, once you have the recipe(s) decided, the ingredients ready and a time set to cook, everything runs much more easily. I believe it’s actually all the thinking that wears you out more than anything. Once you’ve made a plan and everything is gathered, honestly half the game is already won and you’re sure to follow through to get the cooking done because you’ve set yourself up ahead of time!
Hopefully these ideas will help you “test out the water” more easily. If you’re not ready to cook the very same week you’ve gotten your “pre-work” done, you’ll still earn points for the week toward that week’s random drawing and then maybe you can do the cooking the following week. And if you’re not to the point of even getting near the water, I have some point options for you in the Rafflecopter weekly give away just for sharing the posts with your friends and spreading the word!
Our weekly “pre-work” drawing is for a weekly water purification kit compliments of Water Pure Technologies. Points earned for this portion of the contest are separate, resetting themselves for participants every week and are not counted as part of the overall contest. Overall points for weekly and finalist prizes are earned by submitting completed recipes (details for that are coming up next), but the exciting aspect about this opportunity is that you’re being given a chance to win a great weekly prize just for getting the ball rolling. And even if you’re not ready to do anything, you can earn points toward this drawing by simply supporting the contest by way of comments or on social media.
This water treatment kit is something I know everyone will appreciate, since we all need clean water to drink! Let me tell you about it…
Water Pure Technologies is a chemical engineering company who’s focus has been developing safe, healthy and effective solutions in water purification. After nearly 15 years of product development and scientific testing, their patented copper – silver ion solution has just recently become available on the market and has been shown to drastically improve water quality for an extended amount of time. Here are a few facts on the product you should know:
- 1 drop – treats 1 quart/liter of water
- 4 drops – treats 1 gallon of water
- 1/3 oz 10 mL – treats 55 gallons
- 1 bottle of H2O ResQ (60 mL) – treats 330 gallons of water.
Scientific studies have demonstrated that 99% of bacteria do not actually live in the water but rather in the bio-film (a living environment and culture medium for bacteria). This bio-film can be identified as a slimy feeling substance that typically gathers on the side-walls of water storage tanks, on the spigots, seals, and on the lids, plumbing and side walls of water storage containers. H2O ResQ uses copper-silver ions to combat the growth and regrowth of biofilms.
The following video features this $40.00 water treatment kit.
Rafflecopter is a simple way to monitor and track this portion of the contest, all you have to do is enter (by following the link) and decide what you’ll do!
Here’s a list of the available points you’ll find:
- 2 pts Leave a Blog Post Comment about the past week’s winner/submissions.
Answer either (or both) of the following questions: If you could choose one recipe from the winner’s recipes this week, which could you see yourself making? What impressed you the most about our weekly winner’s submission?
- 10 pts Leave a Blog Post Comment
Think through your purpose and goals, spend time planning it out and tell me which FOUR recipes you’re getting ready to make!
- 10 pts. (This is on your honor- check it off once you’ve completed it.)
I have collected all the ingredients and tools I’ll need to make the four recipes I previously posted about.
- 1 pts Tweet about the Giveaway
Tweet “Biggest Prepper GO!” This option may be repeated once a day if desired.
3 pts Like My-food-storage-cookbook on Facebook
3 pts Pin an Image on Pinterest (image is given to you)
Here’s the link to join this (current week’s) contest:
So, you’ve done your prep work done and you’re ready to cook. It’s time to earn some weekly and overall points! Here’s the run down…
So, as I mentioned in the video, Rule #1 is no repeating recipes! The exception to this are what I’ve decided to call “skill recipes”. These are any recipe that falls under the category (noted above as a “3 point” recipe) of something that involves a skill that is NEW to you. This can be anything you’re not doing in your usual cooking and haven’t mastered yet — from making bread from scratch, to practicing making homemade pasta, to making tortillas, yogurt, really anything that requires a SKILL or technique that needs to be practiced in order to be mastered.
To keep everything running clean (so I know you really made what you’re telling me you made), photos are required to earn overall points. All photos MUST be labeled according to the guidelines I have listed below. You’ll attach the photos in an email to me along with your weekly recipe submission explaining what you made. You can combine the photos into a collage (per recipe) to save space or compress them into a zip file.
Weekly contests will run Thursday – Wednesday and submissions are due Wednesday nights at 8pm CT. However, if you need more time just send me a note that you’re working on it. Midnight on Wednesday nights is the very last I’ll be able to take them. Also, there will be no past week submissions accepted, so be sure if you’ve done the work that week that you turn it in to get the points!
Let’s go over the requirements on the photos themselves…
Labeling Your Photos
I have to have some requirements for labeling the photos I get so I’m able to track everything that’s sent in. Each photo should be labeled like this:
Last Name, First Name _Recipe Name_Date (month/day)
So, as an example, a photo submitted by Mary Jones when she made bread on February 23rd would look like this:
This will help me greatly in tracking your photos and judging the contest! Also, as far as pictures go, I’m not looking for perfection by any means, just a picture that tells me “yep, they did it.” Additionally, if any photos are found to have been copied from past submissions, or taken from other participant’s work, I reserve the right to deny further participation to whoever submitted it.
Email Submissions: How to Submit What You’ve Done and Earn POINTS!
Once a week you’ll submit your work to me for review. I’ll have an automatic reply turned onto the email service itself just so you can see a confirmation that I’ve received it. Also, unless you had a question for me in the submission I probably won’t be replying back to your email since I’ll be busy putting together everyone’s numbers. If there’s a question I’ll email you back, but if you don’t hear from me it means the points you were counting on were accepted and you’re good.
As you can imagine, I’m going to really need your help to make it feasible for me to go through all of these submissions. I’m excited to do it, but I’ll need your help to make it happen. For this reason, I’m laying out a format for the emails where you’ll calculate your own points and explain to me how/why you think you earned those points based on the rules you’ve been given. I’ve drafted an example to demonstrate what I’ll be looking for.
Your weekly “check-in” email should look like this:
[Subject Line: Week #: First and Last Name] Week 1: Mary Jones
3 pts. — I made bread, 3 photos attached [1)Ingredients, 2)mid-way through making it, 3) finished product. If an alternative tool was used for bonus points--such as if you chose to grind your wheat with a hand grain mill-- you would have an additional photo mid way through the process of milling the wheat.]
5pts. — I made Soft Shelled Tacos made with Homemade Tortillas, 3 photos attached [1) Ingredients, 2) making the tortillas mid way through the process, 3) finished product. This is a 5 point recipe because it required the making of a "skill" recipe on top of the finished recipe itself.]
4 pts – I made Roasted Red Pepper Soup (for 2 pts) using a hand food mill to puree the red peppers (1 pt.). I also posted that I made this on Facebook using the hashtags (1 pt.). I have 3 photos attached [1) Ingredients, 2)pureeing the red peppers with the food mill, 3)finished product]
2 pts – I made Quick Pantry Clam Chowder [this recipe – if made according to the recipe as I've blogged it, requires chopping the potatoes. So even though it’s fast and easy it gets 2 pts.], 3 photos attached [1) Ingredients 2) chopped canned potatoes 3) finished product. If you were rehydrating veggies in a similar recipe I’d want to see a picture of the veggies all done rehydrating and ready to go into the meal.]
4 pts. — I decided to make the Mexican Tortilla Lasagna but I didn’t feel like making the tortillas from scratch, I wanted to see if my family liked it first before doing that. I did make it in a wonder oven though (2 pts.) 4 pictures attached [For this Mary was correct that she gets 2 points for the recipe. Trying it w/ store bought tortillas is fine, but it’s point value is decreased to equal a 2 pt. recipe since she made it using already prepared tortillas. Photos included would be 1) Ingredients 2) freeze dried veggies rehydrated 3) cooking it in the wonder oven 4) finished product.]
You can print yourself a copy of the point system and photo rules by clicking on these two images:
Weekly and Overall Finalist Prizes!
The bell has rung and we’re off!! If you’re up for the challenge, this contest has some great preparedness prizes for you in addition to the skills and knowledge you’ll gain trying out recipes. Beginning today and extending through April 30th your challenge is to try as many 100% food storage recipes as you can, get points for what you do and win prizes which will help you become even more prepared! You can join in at any time during the 12 week challenge, but the more you do — and the earlier you start –the more you’ll WIN!
Here, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to all of the prizes throughout the course of the 12 weeks. I hope you’ll choose to visit and support the wonderful sponsors who have made such a fantastic prize base possible.
Each Wednesday I’ll post on facebook which weekly prize you can look forward to racing toward for the upcoming week. If you haven’t already “LIKED” my facebook page you’ll want to do that so you can keep up with what’s up for grabs each week. In no particular order, here are the prizes which will be offered along with the vendors who have donated them.
Watch for each weekly prize to be announced on my facebook page on Wednesdays for the upcoming week! Here they are in no particular order:
Emergency Essentials has donated THREE weekly prize packs containing some of my very favorite things:
1 #10 can of Provident Pantry’s Freeze Dried Onion Flakes
1 #10 can of Shortening Powder
1 (12 oz.) can of Red Feather Canned Butter
1 Swing-a-Way Crank Turn Handle can opener
If you haven’t tried one or some of these products, trust me, you can’t go wrong with them. This is a great line up of products and best of all, you’ll see this weekly prize three times during the contest!!
A distributor of Goal Zero’s easy-to-use portable solar power products, the website powerinapinch.com has generously donated Goal Zero’s newest lantern, the $79.00 Lighthouse 250, as one of our a weekly prizes. If you’re looking to go solar, whether it be panels, power packs or tools for lighting, powerinapinch.com offers a wide variety of products to choose from. Watch a video highlighting what they can offer you HERE.
Lantern and USB power hub in one. This bright lantern has 250 Lumens and three brightness levels and hand crank. Recharge through USB or solar. Also gives you the ability to recharge all your small USB devices right from the lantern. Integrated USB cord to recharge your phone twice, camera, gps, Guide 10, or give a boost to a larger device like an iPad.
- Lumens: 250
- Run Time: 48 – 2.5 Hours
- Power Output: USB
- Recharge from: USB, Solar
- Battery: Li-NMC
- Weight: 1.1 lbs (498 g)
Two very generous weekly prizes have been contributed by my favorite powdered milk company: Grandma’s Country Foods.
The first prize pack (above) includes:
1 #10 can Country Cream Milk
1 #10 can Dutch Milk Chocolate Drink
1 #10 can Everest Mountain Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup and
1 #10 can of Orange Gelatin
In total, this prize pack is worth $94.00!
The second prize package they’ve donated (pictured below) includes:
1 #10 can Country Cream Milk
1 #10 can Egg Mix Powder and
1 #10 can of Everest Mountain’s Beef and Sour Cream with Pasta
This prize pack is valued at $92.00!
Brought to us by the preparedness supplier The Prepared Hour, are some DoTerra Essential Oils. These, in addition to many other uses, may also be used in cooking!
You can visit them for any of your Essential Oil needs HERE.
The first weekly prize they’ve donated includes a 15 ml bottles of Lime, Ginger and Lemon Essential oils. Together these oils currently retail for $69.00.
In their second weekly prize combination, The Prepared Hour has offered Wild Orange, Clove and Peppermint Essential oils to be awarded. This selection of oils currently retails for $60.00.
In addition to Essential Oils, The Prepared Hour also offers a preparedness product website (please visit them HERE) where they distribute for Berkey water filters, as well as many other leading quality brands. From their preparedness products and tools shop, they’ve offered a third weekly prize to our contest, two Berkey Sport Bottles, a $69.00 prize value.
These 22 Oz Sport Berkey Portable Water Purifiers are durable, made from safe non-leaching plastic that is BPA-Free, and offer a convenient and portable filtration system. As the Sport Berkey bottle is pressed, the source water is forced through the filter. These are perfect to add to a 72 hour kit or “grab and go” bag.
Representing Thrive, we have two product representatives (slash My Food Storage Cookbook readers) who will be donating weekly prize packages during the contest. The first is Martine Anthony, who’s contributing for us three pantry sized cans (my favorite sized can as you know) including three excellent products:
(your choice of either) Mozarella or Cheddar Freeze Dried Cheese
Freeze Dried Ground Beef.
The value on this package is $48.00! You can visit her shopping site HERE!
The second Thrive benefactor in our contest is Amanda Schulz. Her package for you includes a pantry sized can of each of the following:
Freeze Dried Sausage Crumbles
Instant Black Beans and
Freeze Dried Sweet Potatoes
Also, in addition to donating a weekly prize, you’ll be interested to know that Amanda is gearing up to BLOG as she herself participates in the Biggest Prepper Challenge!! You can follow her progress, blogging a week behind as she cooks by visiting HER BLOG HERE. Also, you can visit her Thrive shopping site by following the link HERE.
One of my favorite food storage products EVER has been donated to the contest!! Honeyville Grain is donating a can of their Ova Easy Eggs (for $36.99)! If you haven’t tried this product, now is your chance to win it!
To add to that, (I suppose we’ll be calling it “Egg Week”) Preparedness Plus Products, LLC has donated a can of Rainy Day Whole Egg Powder, the egg powder you’ve seen me use in many of my recipes, which sells for $22.99. Combined, this prize package adds up to be a $60 weekly prize!
And that makes 12! Let’s hear it for our weekly prize line up!!
To get things started in the OVERALL points earned (which you’ll be adding upon with your score each week) I’ve got some gifts and goodies of my own to give away to you…
For those of you who are new to the idea of Wonder Ovens and what they are, they’re one of my favorite tools in cooking with food storage. They retain heat in already hot foods and can then keep foods cooking for many hours on end without any additional fuel. You can listen to an online radio interview I did all about Wonder Ovens by visiting this link. As you’ll see, I cook with them all the time here on the blog, so it’s easy to find a demonstration on how they work if you look around at some of the posts. Just visit the Wonder Oven recipe archive to see everything I’ve used them for.
If you already have a wonder oven set, having a second set is fantastic for so many reasons. For one thing, you can have two items cooking simultaneously, which we all know would be really useful if the power was out. Not to mention, in keeping things cold, you might actually be able to save most of what’s in your freezer if your freezer cut out and you had two wonder ovens to move your frozen food to.
Also, remember my absolute favorite containers for Making Muffins in a Wonder Oven?? If you missed it, it was a while back when I discovered them after already posting the original Wonder Oven “how-to”. I even gave some away here. The good news is that I’m currently working w/the distributor of this currently “Texas only” product in order to make it available to everyone, but for this contest the TOP 5 Finalists will receive a set of 4 “Muffin Tins” (which just happened to have been salt and pepper shakers in their past life) as well as a 3.5 quart Bain Marie Pot to use in making bread in their Wonder Ovens. This is a gift from me, just because I want to show my appreciation to those participants who’ve truly gone the distance of the contest. How better to do that than by sharing some of my love for Wonder Oven cooking!!
So, in addition to MY GIFT, let’s see the other finalist prizes…
4th Place Overall Finalist
Our Fourth Place Finalist will receive a gift package from Kelly Kettle USA which includes their best selling Stainless Steel Base Camp Kettle, valued at $90 as well as their AquaPail Lil’Pail water filter (which filters up to 400 gallons of contaminated water) retailing for $100.00. Also, just in case Kelly Kettles are new to you, I’ve included a quick 2 1/2 minute video demonstrating what they are and how they work.
Combined, this prize values at $190.00!!
3rd Place Overall Finalist
From Preparedness Plus Products, LLC, our Third Place Finalist will receive a Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker. This thermal retention tool works very similar to a Wonder Oven in theory, retaining heat for up to 8 hours. The advantage of a Saratoga Jacks, however, is it’s smaller size and portability. It’s a great tool to take “on the go” while also minimizing the amount of fuel energy needed to keep foods cooking! This prize retails for $139.00.
Additionally, our 3rd place finalist will also receive a best seller at preparednessplus.net, their exclusive Mix-A-Meal Powdered Flavorings Kit. This kit will give it’s winner plenty of options when making pantry stable recipes. (Seriously, how much fun could you have with this!) Twelve flavors including almond, banana, butterscotch, chocolate cream, cinnamon, coconut, lemon, maple, orange, pineapple, strawberry and vanilla. All easy to measure and won’t bake out when heated. This product retails for $69.00.
Combined, both of these prizes make a $208.00 3rd place prize!
2nd Place Overall Finalist
The 2nd place finisher, compliments of the WonderMill company, will receive the BEST hand grain mill on the market (IMO), the WonderMill Junior Deluxe Hand Mill. You’ve watched me use this grain mill in many of my recipes here, since it’s the one I have for myself and I’m so thrilled WonderMill has jumped on board with us to offer it to our 2nd place winner. With it you’ll be able to grind anything from nuts to grains to seeds. This prize currently retails for $220.00.
1st Place Overall Winner
So, what do you get for three months of hard work in learning to cook with food storage if you’ve out-cooked them all and stuck with it ’til the end??
In addition to receiving the above Wonder Oven finalist prizes from me, Sun Oven International has donated our grand prize for the contest, their newest modeled Sun Oven, The All-American Sun Oven. This model features an even larger interior cooking area than the model you’ve seen me use here on the blog (the Global Sun Oven), as well as many other wonderful upgrades. It’s the best of the best!! Thank you to Sun Oven International for joining up with me to make this prize possible. This prize currently retails for $349.oo.