Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday Musings

It's Monday, but just barely. This week I've had to keep a running list of things to share with you, which is great. That means there are many of us living the principles of preparedness daily and sharing what we learn and do.

First, some findings on oxygen absorbers. If you've been to the cannery you are familiar with the little white squares we drop into cans right before they are sealed. These magic packets ensure the shelf life of foods and it takes two or three of them per #10 can. Contrary to what I'd been taught, it takes 12 of them when you are filling 5 gallon buckets with food. 12 - wow!

Sorbent Systems is a company that sells oxygen absorbers and their site details the math behind the science of absorbing oxygen. This site is a great resource to have on hand. Print their page and put it with your preserving supplies. For your reference, 1 ml = 1 cc and the absorbers we purchase at the Church Cannery are 1500 ml each. (Disclaimer: Always double check my math.)

It's good to remember too that some foods, due to their shape and size, will allow for more oxygen to remain in a container. Think of rice and oats. There's plenty of room between pieces, unlike flour, for instance. Make sure you use adequate oxygen absorbers for your product and your packaging.

Second, I've noticed a couple of things lately in the grocery store that are worth sharing. Maybe they are common knowledge to everyone else, but just in case you live like I do (several things on your plate...) I'll share. As a result of my coupon clipping experiment this year I have noticed that grocery stores have good sales in the first and third weeks of the month - when most people get paid. However, on the second and fourth weeks, when you don't have as much money, they lure you in with sales on things you absolutely must have. Milk and cereal are usually on sale the second and fourth weeks. You go in for milk and wham! You have a cart full of stuff you didn't plan on, for more than you wanted to spend.

The other thing I've noticed is that containers are getting smaller while prices are rising. In doing our food storage inventory I was counting quarts of mayo and Miracle Whip. Kraft has reduced those jars to 30 ounces, when they used to be 32. The store brands I've checked remain 32 oz jars. Every penny counts so you really have to watch these guys!

Third, there was a little discussion this week about Home Depot buckets and lids. A few of us needed lids to fit our food grade buckets and they were found at HD. These are not food grade plastic because HD doesn't deal in food. (By not dealing in food, they avoid a relationship with the FDA.) They will always tell you their goods are not food grade. They are correct. Will we die from using them? I have no idea. I hope not. The only reason I bring this up is to encourage you to use wisdom in storing your foods. Any container can be lined with a food grade Mylar bag to alleviate any concern you might have.

Finally, I happened upon a phenomenal opportunity this week. I needed a new filter for my wheat grinder and called the company to order it. Something made me ask if they might have a group deal on grinders? Yes, they do! This is the mill I purchased from BlendTec six years ago. I love it. I have no complaints and no problems to report. Here are the details on a group purchase:
1-4 Grinders $159.95 each
5-9 Grinders $149.95 each
10 or more Grinders $139.95 each
There is an $18 per mill shipping charge and a one time $4 residential delivery fee for the entire order. All mills must be purchased in a single transaction with one credit card and delivered to a single address.
Idea: If you need a grain mill, why don't you take 6 months to save up and we'll buy them next year? A grain mill is an investment. No one needs to break the bank to buy one, but if you store grains it's a must-have in your home. If you are interested, let me know. You are welcome to come over and see mine at work. I grind up a bucket of grain every few weeks so just call me. I am happy to facilitate this just like we do all the other group deals.

The pressure cooker with quarts of chicken has just finished processing in my kitchen so I'm off to bed now. Whew - finished my musings before Tuesday this week.


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