Tag Archives: prepping

Quiche for My Prepping,

I have a bunch of frozen food from my pre COVID stock up on groceries in my freezers. I am trying to rotate out the foods I put in the freezer so they get used up and next trip to the grocery store I’ll replace them. Every other nook and cranny of my freezer is full of veggies like frozen zucchini and green and yellow beans. I mean the freezers are bursting. I have to rearrange things to get the doors closed. I had to pick all the tomatoes off the vines and they are ripening rapidly in my basement faster than we can eat them. So I was searching for a meal that would help me tackle all of that bounty.

I have never tried making a quiche. Most quiches I have tried are clunky and yucky. Far too many of them have come loaded with cooked spinach. I am not a fan of cooked spinach. However I decided I might try this anyway. Maybe a quiche without spinach might taste good. This quiche recipe requires five eggs and would help use up some of those 15 dozen I purchased earlier. It also called for two cups of vegetables or meat. There was a warning that it could get mushy with too much liquid so be prepared to have it take longer to bake. Right away that appealed to me. I had a plan.

Why would mushy appeal? Last spring when the whole COVID thing hit I stocked up on far too many fresh mushrooms, assorted fresh coloured sweet peppers, turnips and celery. When they started to turn, I hauled out my food dehydrator and dried the excess. Then over the summer I dried lots more. My pantry is almost as full of dried foods as my freezers are with frozen. I decided to try using some of the dehydrated and frozen veggies I have in a quiche. The recipe ended up like this.

5 fresh eggs from my too many eggs from the 15 dozen case I bought from the Hutterites

1/2 cup frozen thawed milk (Milk freezes reasonably well, even more so with the lactose free stuff I use but I do need to rotate the milk as nine months is about the maximum it comes out tasting normal.)

1/2 cup frozen thawed cheese (I have been pleasantly surprised how well cheeses freeze. You almost can’t tell if it has been frozen.) I grated marble cheddar for the quiche.

1 of my extremely large over ripe bush beefsteak tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup of my dehydrated mixed sweet peppers

1/4 cup dehydrated mushrooms

2 tablespoon of frozen parsley

Freshly ground black pepper

just the tiniest dash of salt to avoid upsetting Hubby Dearests’ blood pressure

I made up the balance of the two cups of veggies with frozen chopped yellow zucchini from my summer bounty

Due to my intolerance for wheat, I made the crust with coconut oil and white rice flour. It ended up needing almost an hour of baking but the result was positively heavenly. The top was crusty golden and delicious from the cheese. The zucchini was soft and sweet. The mushroom flavour came through loud and clear. The green peppers were delicious. The eggs/cheese/milk was light and fluffy. The crust, meh, white rice flour is grainy but edible. I don’t intend to buy white rice flour anymore because brown rice flour is so much better but I did use up a cup and half of that.

Hubby dearest pronounced the meal a delicious success and he ate with gusto.

So another dish for my prepper pantry list. Quiche is a great way to use up excess fresh, dehydrated and previously frozen items from the freezer.

I read in the news a few months ago of a woman who had $20,000 worth of food in her basement when she passed away. Most of it had to be thrown out because it was out of date or had gone bad. She was a not a prepper. She was a hoarder. I intend to never throw out any of my food preps and I intend to eat them all. If you only buy and store food you will eat, and rotate your food and use it, prepping ends up costing very little after the initial stocking up. Quiche is a great addition to my recipe list.

Advertisement

Covid 19 Update

It’s been pretty grim watching the news about this viral outbreak. Places like Iran and Italy have been hit hard. In England they are gearing up for a major outbreak that will strain the health care system. In Washington state USA everyday we hear of another death among the elderly patients of that nursing home. I have heard it said you know when a virus is loose in the system when the most vulnerable start dying off. That seems to be the case on the west coast now.

Wash your hands.

Here in my home things are lovely. The air has a hint of spring to it, though we know March is also the season we get lots of blizzards. The sun is finally around for long enough to actually feel warmth through the windows in the afternoon. My neighbours are rural folks and mostly up on prepping and self reliance anyway. However there is no sign of battening the hatches or going into isolation here yet. Casual discussion around the coffee table at the local grocery is that it will come, we will have to go into isolation soon, but it’s too soon now. Enjoy life while you can.

Wash your hands.

The only cases in Canada at the moment are all cases in Ontario and British Columbia and one case in Montreal which is far away from us.  All recent cases have direct connections to travel from Iran, or Egypt. No one is saying if we are testing others. That worries me a bit because I worry that we won’t start testing others until we have our own version of the Washington State epidemic. We will not know if the virus is running loose in our area until old frail people start dying unless the government changes that policy of only testing those who have a travel history or contact with those with a travel history. I am only worrying a little bit because there is no point worrying over what you have no control over. I have no say in who the government is testing or not testing.

I am washing my hands a lot. Today I added bleach to my cleaning routine for the bathroom sink where I wash my hands.

Signs of panic are happening in those big city places in Canada. Long lines in the grocery stores and empty shelves have become common pictures on social media. About 10% of people seem to have masks on in the pictures of the mobs at the stores. Personally, I can think of no better way to spread this germ than to crowd into stores with hundreds of other people and scramble to get everything you can off empty shelves. And what’s with the toilet paper thing? For some unknown reason people seem to think stocking up on two years worth of toilet paper is a good idea in a pandemic. (?????) Panic is what creates this nonsense. Those of us who stayed calm and added a few extra groceries we will eventually use anyway during each trip ahead of time have an advantage.

So be sure to wash your hands before and after you go shopping.

My advice is do not panic. Get ready, yes, but do not panic and do not buy tons of toilet paper. The experts in Britain are predicting a long slow increase in infections over a three month period, a peak of cases and then a long slow decrease in infections for three months after that. That’s probably a good guess for Canada too. So leave some toilet paper for someone else. It’s going to be a long season.

And don’t forget to wash your hands.

Educate yourself. My favourite source for “How To” information is Dr. John Campbell.

He has this really great video on how to wash your hands. I discovered I was doing it only half right so I think it’s worth a look.

Other good sources are John Hopkins and Coronavirus Update

If you are from outside of Canada and care to share what’s going on where you are, I would love to hear it. Stay healthy.

Don’t forget to wash your hands.

Manitoba Storm

We knew the storm was coming. We knew it was going to be a bad one. We thought we were prepared. It was far worse than anyone thought it would be. I took a video from inside my front door once the storm started. I thought it was bad then. We were soon dealing with 100km/hr wind gusts (62mi/hr) and 100mm (4 inches) of water, mostly in the form of heavy wet snow. It was like a tropical storm with snow instead of rain. Being near to Lake Manitoba certainly didn’t help. Lake effect snow dramatically increased the amount of snow we saw. The flat open lake also meant those north winds came through unabated. It was brutal. We later learned that almost every power pole near the open water was knocked down.

At first it was kind of exciting and fun. When the very solid little house began making a heavy thump noise with the wind blasts, it stopped being fun. The power soon began flickering. It would go off and then come back on over and over again. We could tell the power would soon be going off for real soon so we got ready. I braved the blasting wind and got the generator out and set it up on the porch. Dick is not supposed to lift anything over 9 kilos (20 pounds) so meanwhile he went around unplugging appliances and moving as many things as possible onto one of three back up battery power systems with surge protectors. We fell asleep Friday night to the sound of the wind howling, and snow hitting the window.

IMG_8086

Dick woke me just before 7:00am. The power had gone off at 5:24am. The basement was filling with water. We have a home low on the water table and for a few months each year we live with the sump pump kicking in as often as every hour or so to once or twice a week. During this long dry summer our basement dried out completely. Once the heavy fall rains hit with their multi day/multi inch soaking, the pump started going about every two hours. It was so wet that the Red River Floodway was opened for the first time in fall since they built it in the 60s and that was before the storm. Now with snow falling and temperatures running about freezing, the ground already saturated and more melting adding water each minute we had water was coming in at a steady trickle. We fired up the generator and the pump went to work. We had to keep the pump running at least once every hour or face basement flooding. Our sump pump system is dual pumps. If one broke down we had a back up. I took comfort from that but I worried about what would happen if the generator stopped working. Even as I thought that the generator died. It took me a while to figure out the cap has to be set to “open” so some air can get in to allow gas to drain down. I knew that but not having used the generator since the 2018 tornado I had to figure it out all over again.

IMG_8056

Good thing we had our generator! (Note the chain and lock which turned out to be a good thing to have!) It worked just fine sitting on the deck by the back door. We made one mistake though. I thought we had about three days worth of fuel. I was wrong. We had only about 24 hours of steady running time. We began to worry about running out of gas and we cut down our time to once every two hours. We would empty the sump pit, let the fridge and freezer run until they stopped, run the space heater and make sure my cell phone and Dick’s iPad were charged up and then run the sump again and then shut down. This kept the house temperature at about 14C (57F) and the basement dry. We dressed in several layers and most important, our hats on. You lose the most heat from your head so a hat is an absolute necessity if you are trying to stay warm.

IMG_8058

Initially we had internet but soon that was cut off. The local tower has propane back up for twelve hours but after that, the tower shuts down. Cell service vanished and then the land line was gone. It was scary. The roads were closed all over the province, travel not recommended and my truck was stuck in the garage. I worried a lot about what it would mean if Dick’s artery decided to blow during the storm. There was no way to call for help and no way to drive out. Fortunately he was perfectly fine. Even so, I went outside and shovelled off the front and back steps three times to keep them open. I wouldn’t let him do any shovelling. He did not endear himself to me by pointing out that I am also of an age to have a heart attack shovelling snow. Note to husbands, not something to say, ever! I did heed his words and took only small shovelfuls of the stuff.

IMG_8076

By Saturday midday the worst was over. By evening the snowplow made it through opening the highway. Shortly after that the two front end loaders that clean the town and work for the RM arrived to finish the job in the town proper. We took a walk to look for damage and we saw trees down. We watched the snow removal crews. The snow was so deep even the big front end loaders were getting stuck and having to rock their out of the deep stuff. We checked on our neighbours and they checked on us. Everyone was safe and had a way to keep warm. The snow had the strangest bluish tint to it. I have only seen that color in glaciers before. It was lovely and eery at the same time.

IMG_8084

While we were out walking some strangers drove into town behind the plow. I saw a stranger go into our yard and stop and check out our deck. Good thing the generator was chained up! I had Misty with me so we raced home and the stranger saw me returning with the dog and he took off. I found out later that someone had stolen gas from a neighbour in town. Yes, it was an emergency. Yes, people needed help. However it is not right to just steal from your better prepared neighbours. I was glad I had my dog. She’s a sweet girl but she can look very intimidating. It seems when things go bad, bad people come out as well as the good ones. Was he up to no good or was he just curious? I’ll never know for sure.

IMG_8092

That evening, we settled in happier because the snow had just about stopped even if the wind was still blasting us. I felt frustrated with the lack of power, cell phone service and land lines. We wondered what was going on in the rest of the world. I think Misty picked up on our concerns because she was both much more alert and much more demanding of our affection. Between puppy hugs, I got to finish a novel. I started on the crewel embroidery picture I bought over the summer to have something to do with my hands just in case we had a storm. The cat was also unusually grumpy and demanding. The house was cold so that night he slept under the covers in my bed snuggled up against my backside.

IMG_8080.jpg

Sunday morning we got up to find we still had no power. Even in the tornado of 2018 we had not gone without power for as long. Through the night we had taken turns starting up the generator and running the sump pump. The house was cold when we got up and we felt miserable because we hadn’t showered in two days. With the generator we were able to have a hot breakfast with hot tea and coffee and that helped a lot. We then went out to join our neighbours as they started the clean up. Was there a lot of clean up!

IMG_8087

IMG_8100

First thing was to get the truck out. It was Canadian Thanksgiving and I was supposed to meet my children and grandchildren at one of my sons’ homes and bring the turkey. My husband said we wouldn’t make it. I got my little electric snow blower to work off the generator and I cleared the drive. The Snow Joe is a brand new toy I had only got on the  previous Friday. I was very happy with how well it worked. Just before we left, we gave the last of our gas to our neighbours who had run out.

IMG_8099

We left for Neepawa and we had our Thanksgiving dinner. We also showered and got cleaned up while the turkey roasted. We bought two 20L jugs for gas and refilled our four 5L jugs and all the jugs the neighbours sent with us. As it turned out, the gas refills could have waited. The power came on just before we got home. Life is returning to normal now. The power is on. The house is warm. Cell phone service (which was never great to start with) is back to its semi reliable state. My landline makes a comforting dial tone when I pick up the handset. A few hours after that, the internet came back. As of this writing, some 18,271 homes are still without power. Crews from Saskatchewan, Ontario and our American neighbours in Minnesota are pitching in to help with the reconnection. 145 homes in the Rural Municipality of Alonsa, my neighbours, are still in the black.

IMG_8097

I learned some important lessons getting through this storm. Mostly we did very well but we did learn of a few holes in our survival plans. We need a lot more gas than I estimated. We weren’t the only ones who got caught without enough gas. Our little space heater is just enough in around freezing weather. For anything colder we will need to have that wood stove burning. We will be bringing in some wood and kindling and collecting newspaper and have the stove cleared and ready to be reattached and start burning now, not before we need it. We ran out of water and if the sump hole hadn’t been filling would have had a problem. As it was, we had no lack of water for the toilet but in winter the water doesn’t run. We also have to be wary of strangers. Some are up to no good. However most people are good. And the real heroes are the people who run the snowplows and get out there to fix those downed utility lines and clear the highways in terrible storms. There are crews of them who are being fed at our town’s senior centre with the kitchen. I have volunteered to help feed these heroes tomorrow. It’s the least I can do.

Update: In spite of the apparent ferocity of this particular storm it turned out to not be a record breaker for our area. Storms with higher winds and more snow have occurred in 1947 and three times in the 1960s. There have probably been other more severe storms prior to that that didn’t make it into the weather records because Manitoba was not really settled by White record keepers until the 1900s. This makes it all the more important to be prepared for extreme weather events because Manitoba is a place of extreme weather, especially extreme winter weather.