Preparedness Paid Off

When many people think of “preppers”, they think of those people with their caves in the woods and supplies buried where they think no one can find them  . . we’ve talked about that before. My idea of preparedness is being prepared for whatever may come my way and we can each determine what “things” we think could be coming our way.

Saturday we had big plans all day. We were leaving fairly early on Saturday morning so we could get a little shopping in before meeting our friends in Brady for lunch. Those plans all changed when I woke up during the middle of the night with a kidney stone. 

Several friends called to see if I needed anything . . no, didn’t need a thing. We had plenty of food, cooked and not cooked. A neighbor was going to the grocery store and she asked . . don’t you need anything? Nope, nothing! I had just made yogurt so we had fresh yogurt, we had all the meals in the jars that I had canned. We had leftovers from the chicken and rice I had made, we had leftover buffalo burgers so we were able to that and then I cooked a pot of rice one night and we had that with beef tips from a jar, for lunch today we’re having leftover rice with pork salsa verde from a jar. No mess, no meal planning . . just popping open jars and heating their contents and when I didn’t feel like cooking, we still had good home cooked meals.

Food for the Week

Food for the Week

This is how I cook!  On Monday, I go to one of the big freezers and pull out everything we need for the week.  The big freezers are manual defrost so the less I open them, the less I have to defrost so if I can open them once a week instead of 2 or 3 or 4 times a week, that helps with the defrosting.

In the vacuum sealed bag is a pre-made meatloaf. I will bake that in the Nesco outside, serve it with baked potatoes, also baked in the Nesco or in the solar oven and we’re having fried eggplant also. That’s for tonight. There will be enough leftover that I will slice it, dip the slices in Panko and fry them and we will have fried meatloaf sandwiches for lunch one day this week.

There’s a flank steak there. I’ll put it on to marinate today and we’ll grill it tomorrow. We will have grilled zucchini and stuffed jalapeno peppers with it, and baked sweet potatoes, also done in either the Nesco outside or the solar oven.

There’s a pork roast from the hog we bought from the youth fair. That will go into the crockpot and we’ll have that Wednesday night. I have a 4:00 p.m. appointment with the eye doctor so dinner will be ready when we get home. I’ll open a jar of canned sweet potatoes that I canned when they were on sale, and heat up a jar of okra and tomatoes that I canned from last year’s garden.

Thursday night we’ll have tacos and enchiladas made with ground antelope. I’ll make borracho beans. Love those!

There will be leftover flank steak, pork roast and enchiladas for Friday, Saturday and Sunday so you can see that I’m not going to be doing a whole lot of cooking this week but we will be eating good meals at home. It’s all seems so easy with just a little planning ahead.

Chicken & Rice One Pot Meal

This is one of those recipes that all you need is the bare bones and  you can take it from there. It’s so easy and you can use whatever you have in the house that your family likes.

You will need:

Meat – As much as you want or as much as you have on hand. I usually use enough meat to make two meals. I’ve used round steak, venison, chicken, pork chops, shrimp, ground beef — you name it and it will probably work.

Rice – I use 1-1/2 cups but you can use any amount you want to use and you will need to adjust the amount of liquid you add if you’re adding more or less rice.

Liquid – Chicken broth, tomatoes with a lot of liquid, vegetable broth, even water with a bouillon cube or two.

Veggies – I often use green peas but you can use green beans, peas and carrots, kale or a combination of whatever you like.

Here’s what I did when I made it the other day:

I had chicken thighs in the freezer so I used those. I seasoned them with Slap Ya Mama and browned them in olive oil . . using a cast iron Dutch oven . . any heavy pot with a lid will work.

Chicken

Chicken

I took the chicken thighs out, and browned an onion, several jalapeno peppers, and some garlic in the same oil that was left from browning the chicken.

Onions, Garlic and Jalapeno

Onions, Garlic and Jalapeno

Then I added 1-1/2 cups rice. I also added 2 T. butter to help brown the rice a bit.

Rice

Rice

Then I poured in about 2 cups of peas, 2 cups of chicken broth and a small jar of mushrooms that I had dehydrated recently.

Peas and Mushrooms

Peas and Mushrooms

Then I added seasoning. There’s already enough salt from the other seasonings and the broth and there’s enough peppery spice from the Slap Ya Mama and the jalapenos so I didn’t add salt or pepper.  I added a bit of oregano and a little thyme.

The chicken was placed on top.

Ready to Cook

Ready to Cook

Bring it all to a boil, then turn the fire down to low. I moved it to the weakest burner and kept it on low there. Put the lid on it and simmer for about 25 minutes.

Dinner!

Dinner!

It is done!  This dish can easily sit on the stove, with the lid on and the fire turned off, for 15 or 20 minutes and still be fine.

We had it with fermented coleslaw and fresh tomatoes from the garden.

Dinner

Dinner

So good!  And, there are leftovers for another meal and only one pot to clean up.

Homemade Hamburger Buns

Since we’re not eating nearly as much bread as we once did, I rarely make bread any more. This time of year, with fresh tomatoes, we end up eating a bit more bread – tuna salad sandwiches with fresh tomato slices, BLTs, and grilled burgers with home grown tomatoes just can’t be beat. 

Storebought hamburger buns just aren’t good enough for a grilled elk burger with a home grown tomato so yesterday I made buns to go with our burgers.

Hamburger Buns

Hamburger Buns

There are, no doubt, better homemade buns out there, but this recipe truly takes about 40 minutes start to finish. I use a good bit less sugar than the recipe calls for and the recipe says it makes 12 buns but I make 8.  The best part is that you can make the buns any size/shape you want them to be. Mine are 4 oz. each and because our burgers are thinner and a bit bigger, that’s how I make the buns. Also, by the time I get tomatoes, onions, pickles, lettuce, and whatever else, on my burger, it’s fat enough so I like my buns just thick enough to hold together and not real big and puffy.

Hamburger Buns

Hamburger Buns

What happens around here is that Vince usually eats 2 burgers and I eat 1 and then he’ll have another one for lunch the next day so we only eat 4 of the 8 buns. The leftovers get sliced into strips (almost like thick French fries) and they make wonderful French toast and amazing croutons! Or, I can open a jar of BBQ pulled pork and we can have pulled pork sandwiches on another day!