The Preparedness Papers
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In the days after the "DAY", gathering, preparing or cooking your own food will be an important part of your daily grind. Of course, most survivalists have been busy learning how to find edible plants, sighting in their weapons and other things of the sort, but what about bread and other baked goods?
Most survival books such as "Passport to Survival", "Famine and Survival in America", "Bad Times Primer" and even "How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years" have you storing various amounts of different grains, beans and other suitable foods. In some cases they even talk about baking, but most only skim over it, as in "we use our grains everyday for baking and cooking, etc." Normally that's about it, but what if you can't go down to the store and buy flour, yeast, baking soda and so forth? What then?
Well, first of all, there are sourdoughs and other baked goods that can be made with homemade starters. Note I said "and other baked goods" as sourdough and other homemade starters can be made into cakes, cookies, pancakes, brownies, muffins and more.
My first sourdough starter was a "starter Kit" bought from the now defunct Herter's, Inc. The starter came in a little crock jar that worked just fine until I left it in the refrigerator too long and it turned "bad", although if I had known, it could have been saved. To make your own sourdough starter, which is very easy to do, most recipes are about the same and generally run as follows:
In large bowl mix:
3 cups flour1 package dry yeast2 ½ cups warm to lukewarm water
Mix until there are no lumps, and let stand overnight in warm area (between 75 to 85 °F).
1 cup flour½ package yeast1 cup water
Let it set in a warm place overnight.
In the morning take the starter and put 1 cup in a clean jar and put it in the refrigerator. This will be your starter and is used to make more sourdough each time.
To make bread, pancakes or any other sourdough food, mix flour and water with the starter and let stand overnight in a warm place. In the morning take 1 cup and put it back in the refrigerator; this is your starter to be used next time. Never add anything to your sourdough starter other than flour and water! Milk, baking soda or other baking type items will kill off the starter.
A homemade starter that is very close to some of the sourdough recipes is the raw potato starter from "Breads and Coffee Cakes with Homemade Starters" by Ada Lou Roberts. The recipe is as follows:
1 cup water1 ½ cups white flour1 tsp. salt1 tsp. sugar1 grated medium sized raw potato
The rest is pretty much the same as the sourdough starter...add:
1 ½ cups flour1 ½ cups water
Let it stand overnight, store 2 cups in the refrigerator for the next time.
As to sourdough cook books, there are several that should be available at books stores or the library. For those who are old enough to remember Herter's, Inc., you might try looking for "European and American Professional Sourdough Cooking and Recipes" by George and Berths Herter in the used book stores or at gun shows. If you haven't heard of Herter's, or haven't read any of their hyperbole, you are in for a real treat! ...Now for books of a less esoteric nature.
"Jake 0'Shaughnessey's Sourdough Book" by Timothy Firnstahl (San Francisco Book Co., 1376, 132 pages, 6 1/4" x 9 1/4") is first. This oddly shaped book is written for "men" (as opposed to "women's" cookbooks) and is used as a cookbook in the "Jake 0'Shaughnessey" eatery. While many of the recipes are a little more involved than most survivalists will be able to handle "after the day", this is a good book. The chapters here are Fact and Fancy of Sourdough, The Starter, Sundry Sourdough Sustenance which covers griddlecakes, griddlecake garnishes, quick breads, desserts, sour bread, troubleshooting and glossary. For most "he-men" who don't know how to cook, the troubleshooting and glossary of cooking jargon mould be most welcome.
"Rita Davenport's Sourdough Cookery" by Rita Davenport (H.P. Books, 1977, 176 pages, 8 1/2" x 11) is another sourdough cookbook that you might like to read. Here again, some of the recipes are a little more involved than most survivalist would be able to whip up if the supermarkets close. However, there are a number of basic straight forward breads, biscuits, pancakes, etc., for those who don't feel like something fancy. Chapters here are Sourdough Today, The Ingredients, Techniques, Starters, Sourdough Breads, Quick Breads, Rolls and Twist, Biscuits and Muffins, Pancakes and Waffles, Cookies and Brownies, Cakes, Main Dishes, Health Foods, Conversion Tables (metric), Spice Chart and Index.
"Breads and Coffee Cakes with Homemade Starters from Rose Lane Farm" by Ada Lou Roberts (Hearthside Press, 1967, 192 pages, 5 3/4" x 8 1/2") is a little different than the books listed above, as it isn't a sourdough book per se. The raw potato starter listed above is very close to a potato sourdough starter listed in "Rita Davenport's Sourdough Cookery", so this isn't too different from the others. The chapters here are Breads Then and Now, The Craft of Bread Baking, Grated Raw Potato Starter and 51 Recipes, Cooked Potato Starter in Home Baking, Interchangeable Starters and Ways to Use Them, Baking with Buttermilk Yeast, Breads in Main Dishes, Savories and Desserts, Unusual Ingredients and Sources of Supply. As you might surmise, any book that has to list unusual ingredients and sources of supply has some recipes that might be out of the ordinary, but this is a good book to have on the shelf too.
A few other books you might like to look for are "The Alaskan Cookbook" (ALASKA magazine giveaway, Alaska Publishing) which has a short sourdough chapter. "The Alaskan Camp Cook" (Alaska Northwest Publishing, 1963, 83 pages, 6" x 9", $4.95) also has a "sourdough chapter although it doesn't have as many recipes, it does include several sourdough starters. Mel Marshall's "Complete book of Outdoor Cookery" (Outdoor Life Books, 1383, 384 pages, 7 3/4" x 9 1/2") has several sourdough and other baked goods recipes too.
Discounts on ammunition purchases can sometimes be obtained in three different ways. Dealers (FFL or sporting business), can obtain varying discounts of between 15% to 25% (depending upon the brand name, distributor, etc). Usually a minimum dollar amount is required for the order. Your survival group should establish 1 or 2 individuals as dealers (letterhead, business card, etc.) for the purpose of purchasing equipment. An FFL is NOT required for ammunition. On commercial reloads, because you are dealing with a small business (such as yourself), discounts can be negotiated for bulk orders (5-10,000 rounds) and sometimes for "blemished" or "stained" ammunition.
When purchasing military ammunition you will almost always be purchasing copper jacketed "ball" ammunition. You will sometimes see the initials "FMJ" meaning "Full Metal Jacket". This is the least expensive. Other initials such as "SP" (soft point) or "HP" (hollow point) are available, but are much more expensive. In addition, hollow point pistol ammunition is known for its failure to feed, especially in the .45 Government pistol. "AP" ammunition is "Armor Piercing" and is designed to penetrate various thicknesses of steel plate. Most available AP ammunition is considered "collectors items" and can only be obtained at gun shows for upwards of $1.00 per round. The closest most people can come to "AP" ordnance is the new SS109 "Penetrator" round now in use by the military. It is a 62 grain bullet containing a steel alloy "penetrator" and is very useful for thick skinned predators (2 and 4 footed). The least expensive military SS109 available is late 1980's manufacture Canadian and is available for $165 per thousand from: Golden State Distributors, 630 Mary Ann Drive, Redondo Beach, CA 90278.
For long term storage, nothing beats the .30 cal military ammo can available at gun shows for about $2.00 for $5.00. Never pay more that $3.00 for an ammo can. Make sure the SEAL is new. The inside of the can should smell like fresh paint. Store your ammunition in plastic zip lock bags of 50 -100 rounds. Always use a moisture absorbing desiccant inside the can to keep everything dry.
To become an expert at ammunition and weapon storage, send $5.00 to the gentlemen at S.Y.G. Company. Their storage techniques are centuries ahead of most other "experts". S.Y.G. Company, (Catalog $5.00), P.O. Box 689, Ashland City, TN 37015.
Remember: INVEST IN LEAD ... While you still can.