5 Survival Foods Your Grandmother Used To Make

Fergus Mason
By Fergus Mason November 2, 2018 08:37

5 Survival Foods Your Grandmother Used To Make

Thanks to modern food processing technology, building up a stock of survival rations is easier than it’s ever been. From cheap tinned goods to tasty dehydrated meals that let you eat well even when you’re living out of a rucksack, modern survival foods make prepping easy.

Even your freezer is a powerful survival tool (as long as you can keep it working).

What do you do if you can’t benefit from all these modern options, though?

Maybe you’re pretty much self-sufficient in food, don’t want to buy what you can grow yourself, but can’t afford a full-scale food processing factory to turn out your own Mountain House meals?

Or what if the crisis has already hit and you’re trying to build up a reserve to get you through the next winter?

There are plenty ways you could find yourself trying to put together a survival food reserve without the benefits of modern foods, but the good news is it’s easier than you might expect. After all, just a few generations ago our ancestors were building up food stores without most of the foods we rely on today.

They weren’t doing it as a precaution against a possible crisis, either; it was a vital part of survival from one year to the next. If you lived on the old western frontier, or anywhere rural until the early 20th century, you better have a good supply of preserved food laid up by the time the first snow fell or your chances of making it through to spring weren’t that good.

Considering that, it’s no surprise that previous generations had their own ways of putting up food that would last a long time. As recently as our grandparents’ generation most people knew how to preserve their own food.

Those skills are just as useful for modern preppers as they were for our predecessors, so let’s look at some of the survival foods your grandmother would have made.


5 Survival Foods Your Grandmother Used To Make KielbasaHam is one way to preserve pork; sausages are another. Many of our ancestors came to the USA from central and eastern Europe, where pork sausages are a major part of the diet. There were two reasons for that. One is that sausages could be made from scraps and poorer cuts of meat; the other is that, properly cured and air-dried, they can be stored for months in a cool, dark place.

While the hams were soaking in brine, pounds of pork would be forced through my grandmother’s mincing machine, seasoned, then packed into sausage skins. Then the strings of sausages were smoked and hung up to cure.

Once they were dry they would last through the winter and well into the next year; grilled, or cut up and cooked in stews or soups, they were a tasty and versatile source of storable protein.

The truth is, our grandparents and great-grandparents grew up in a world where home refrigeration was a luxury. They needed food that could be stored for the long term, because crops and livestock were mostly available for processing on an annual basis.

That meant pretty much anything they canned, cured or otherwise preserved was good for at least a year. So, if you have your grandmother’s old recipe books around the house, dig them out and take a look; there could be a lot of great survival food ideas in there.

Related: How to Make And Can Vienna Sausages (2 Years Shelf Life)

Head Cheese

5 Survival Foods Your Grandmother Used To Make Head CheeseDon’t be misled by the name – this old delicacy isn’t a dairy product (although it does usually have bits of head in it). Originally from Europe, it was popular for generations in the USA, too. In fact it’s still popular in some areas, mostly in Cajun and Pennsylvania Dutch country.

In the mid-20th century almost every rural family would lay up a stock of it after the slaughtering was done. One great thing about head cheese is it can be made from almost any animal; a calf or pig is the usual choice, but cows, sheep and deer work fine too.

Head cheese is a great way of not only using up tricky cuts, but also of preserving meat for long-term storage. It’s made by taking the head of an animal, removing the brain, eyes and ears, then slowly simmering what’s left in a pan of seasoned water. This process doesn’t just cook the meat; it extracts natural gelatin from the head.

After a few hours, depending on the size of the head, the meat is stripped off and chopped into small pieces.

The gelatin-rich stock is simmered a bit more to reduce it, then the meat is put in a mold or jar and the stock is poured over it. When it’s cooled you’re left with a meat jelly that can be eaten cold. For long-term storage it was made in jars, then canned while the stock was still hot. That way it would last in the root cellar for months.

Related: 7 Super Cheap Foods To Stockpile That People Usually Throw Away


Ham’s one of those things we pick up in the grocery store and the label says “Once opened use within 3 days”. Ham isn’t so delicate, though. In fact it originated as a way of storing meat through the winter – and sometimes well into the next year, until a new batch of hogs were ready for slaughter.

When my grandparents butchered their hogs, that was the cue for ham curing to start. Some hams would be buried in salt then pressed to get the blood out, washed, and hung in the root cellar to dry.

Others would be soaked in brine for a week or two, then hung up. The brined ones were ready to eat as soon as they’d dried; the others developed a richer flavor, but had to be left to cure for months.


How To Stockpile Lard, The Calorie Rich Survival Food Of The Great DepressionIf there’s one thing this site seems to love as much as articles about surviving an EMP attack, it’s articles about lard. That makes perfect sense to me, because lard is a great survival food. It’s healthier than a lot of modern spreads, and even butter.

It’s versatile, and can be used for frying, baking and general cooking, as well as an ingredient in some delicious baked goods. It can be used to preserve meat. It’s rich in calories and also has plenty of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins. Best of all, it’s easy to make and stores for a long time.

My grandmother made her own lard every fall when the hogs were slaughtered. Butcher a well-fed hog and you’ll end up with plenty of fat. To the horror of today’s health-conscious foodies this wasn’t thrown away.

It was cut into small cubes, put in a pan with a little water, then slowly rendered down over a low to medium heat. After a couple of hours she was left with a basket of delicious pork cracklins and pints of lard. Poured into jars, pressure canned and stored in the root cellar, that lard would last a year or more.

Related: How To Make Delicious Lard With 2 Years Shelf-Life (+ 5 Tasty Recipes)

Maple Syrup

5 Survival Foods Your Grandmother Used To MakeNutritionists might hate sugar, but it’s a great survival food. Easy to digest, packed with calories and useful for preserving other foods, sugar is something we all stockpile.

Our reserves won’t last forever, though, and what do we do once the last spoonful of sugar is gone?

Not many of us want to go through the hassle of growing, then cutting, sugar cane and building a press to extract the juice. Luckily there’s an alternative sweetener that’s much easier to produce.

My grandfather used to tap a couple dozen maple trees for their sap every spring. Once he’d filled enough buckets with sap my grandma would slowly boil and skim it until it was reduced to a thick, sweet syrup. We ate that on pancakes, but it’s also a great all-round sweetener.


Fermented cabbage isn’t to everyone’s taste, but if you can’t get your hands on fresh greens for a while you’ll be grateful for a source of essential vitamins. Sauerkraut was developed as a way of preserving cabbage for long-term storage, and it used to be a regular item in the fall canning season.

If your food reserves are based around dry goods and canned meat, digging out your grandmother’s old sauerkraut recipe will let you add some much-appreciated vegetables to your diet.

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Fergus Mason
By Fergus Mason November 2, 2018 08:37
Write a comment


  1. PB dave November 2, 14:49

    Survival ?
    That was an everyday mentality , serve 3 squares a day and waste nothing.

    Reply to this comment
  2. wan November 2, 15:57

    Great survival food

    Reply to this comment
  3. Wannabe November 2, 16:21

    One thing I learned from my grandma is she was a spoiled brat who didn’t do any of these things. She even gave up cooking at a certain age because she was just too old to do it. Kudos to those out there who had grandmas who were like this. My wife’s grandma was a trooper and made meals until she replaced the sugar content with salt. Not good for cobblers that’s for sure. She always made great brisquette though even well into her eighties. Wish my daughters were interested in this stuff, they would learn a lot but all they care about are sports, electronics and ask all the time, hey dad, what’s for supper?

    Reply to this comment
    • Doodle Bug November 5, 04:24

      I have a WWII cookbook my aunt gave me. It has a section on wild game, if I wanted to cook possum I could. My aunt tought me to skin a rabbit and make fried rabbit ,gravy and butter milk biscuits. I can make deer hash and squriaI stew. Thanks to her. She also worked third shift in a cotton mill. Thats not even half of what she did.

      Reply to this comment
    • Clergylady November 5, 17:08

      You should require they at least help with some meals. They do need to learn.

      Reply to this comment
      • red August 29, 22:35

        Get them to make dessert as a start. That’s always a good way to begin kids and adults, to make them interested in cooking. niio

        Reply to this comment
    • Toby August 29, 18:20

      All I’ve got to say…Wannabe must be very young and awfully naive!

      Reply to this comment
    • Umpqua Doc August 29, 19:23

      Suggestion to Dad, Leave a Easy Cookbook on the Counter, when asked, Answer is: You guys pick one out and make it for dinner tonight. IT works, and is a great once a week family get together time. Casseroles are a great start point, everyone has something to do to help make it and selections are endless + leftovers. ;}
      An old foster parent.

      Reply to this comment
    • Graywolf12 September 26, 14:28

      Answer. What ever you cook. Help if needed, but do NOT do it for them. Hunger is a great motivator.

      Reply to this comment
    • Gort October 7, 14:00

      My response would be to the daughters: ” I don’t know what are you making?”

      Reply to this comment
  4. Linda November 2, 17:09

    How come no one mentions scrapple? It’s everything left over from the pig except the squeal with cornmeal and spices. It’s easy to make and stores for a long time. Just slice it, fry it, smother with Apple butter. Yummy.

    Reply to this comment
    • lraude November 3, 01:44

      You can also use honey, jam, ketchup, or what ever you had for scrapple. I grew up on it and now living in the deep South am able to get it made by Jones co. To me served with eggs sunny side up is Heaven.

      Reply to this comment
    • Lindylou November 5, 05:03

      I’d never heard of scrapple!

      Reply to this comment
      • Doodle Bug November 5, 14:38

        My mama called it Hog Head Cheese.

        Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck May 16, 23:18

        Lindylou: Obviously you didn’t come from the Pennsylvania Dutch area otherwise you would have been able to buy scrapple in every grocery store and at farmer’s markets. It was a favorite breakfast food in that area of the country and I suspect every where the plain folks have inhabited.

        Reply to this comment
    • sawyer45306 November 5, 13:06

      There other names for basically the same thing in differing regions of the USA. Some know of it as Goetta, and I grew up calling it Gritz, with a Z, not an S as the corn meal is spelled. We used pin oats or buck wheat instead of the cornmeal to bind it.

      Reply to this comment
      • Rick Fortune November 6, 18:02

        Another great product of like composition is from a company in Milwaukee, WI named Glorious Malones. A family owned company who has built a home kitchen business into a proud business that employees local folks ansd contributes to it’s neighborhood.

        Reply to this comment
  5. Ben November 2, 19:07

    This was a way of life back then.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Big Dave November 3, 02:18

    Deceased friend of mine told that he lived with his grand parents as a boy. In the fall they butcherd hogs and he helped his grandad fry porkchops and steaks which were then layered in a large stone crock and covered in hot lard, layer by layer. The crock was then stored in the cold cellar by the spring, Each morning Grandad would dig ot a couple chops and finish frying them with sliced potatoes for breakfast.
    Another use for lard.

    Reply to this comment
  7. hilly7 November 3, 03:52

    We didn’t have Maple Syrup, we had Molasses.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Clergylady November 3, 14:27

    Mom, born 1904 in Bucks County Pennsylvania, learned to do most of those thing and more.
    Good article.
    I grew up drying food on screenes and canning fruits and vegetables. I still love good fresh food the best. That means a garden or farmers market is a “must have” part of my meal planning.
    I live by three groups of Indiginous people here. They make a lot of jerkey. Most is raw, unseasoned, elk, venison, or beef. They eat it by enjoying a piece to nibble on frequently or as a basis for stews at other times of the year. A favorite medicine, or in tiny bits for seasoning, is the needles from juniper bushes that dot our high mountain desert area. The flavor is much like rosemary. They get salt crystals from a salt lake. A bowl of broken up crystals sits on the table so you can add your own salt to taste. Most native dishes weren’t cooked with any salt or just a tiny bit. There is a tiny wild celery here and wild onions. Those are eaten in season and dried for later.
    Most food preservation here involved drying foods for future use. Wild fruits, native dent corns, plants for seasoning or medicine were used fresh or dried.
    They grow a sort of blue gray Hubbard winter squash. Kept cool, it will keep till spring. It can also be thinly sliced and sun dried for adding to stews. I love it’s thick richness in the broth of stews. Corn was dried raw for grinding into meal or roasted in the outdoor ovens then hung up to dry for adding to stews. The blue corn was ground for tortillas after becoming a sort of hominy made with ashes then dried. It was also dried and ground raw to make a winter time hot gruel that was drunk with a pinch of salt. I like it with a pinch of sugar and butter. Very not traditional.
    The native communities have gardens near streams or springs. Corn fields are usually dependant on summer monsoons. Many groups have a communal area near a stream where they grow wild seedling fruits.
    Fruits were sun or shade dried. Without our modern methods and products the fruits all browned but they are still tasty to nibble or stew for the off season.
    Last frost is usually in mid April- early May while first frost is usually in September with snow falling in October or November. That leaves a 4-6 month growing season with Mostly cool nights. Food preservation was survival. Many families with older members still practice that way of life but sadly many young people are growing up without that knowledge or experience.
    Most still gather and dry a wild plant used for tea. It full of vitamins and minerals so it’s important for survival and pleasure. Its good hot or cold, so it’s used year around. It is gathered in August. Enough to last a year must be gathered in the few weeks it is available. It is made into little bundles that are hung up indoors to dry.
    Preparing for the year was essential to the survival of every family. There was a time of year for each hunt except deer that were taken whenever possible. Birds from quail and doves to ducks and turkies were also hunted for food.
    Here in the harsh climate of high mountain desert a mix of Hunter/Gatherer and Gardening were essential. I would think it’s still a good mix in most places. I add canning in glass jars and fruit fresh sprinkled on fruits before drying.
    It used to be the way of life for everyone. I don’t so much mind things in metal cans or frozen but I like the process of growing then canning. A freezer is ok. Handy in fact. But I’ve taken my home solar, off grid, and the power for a freezer would have to be a future addition. 4, 330 w panels and 8, 220 ah batteries will run my home and a refrigerator. A microwave now and then for convenience is handy but used wisely. A washing machine is only used on sunny days to leave plenty stored in the batteries for night or low light days. My backup heat source may be my primary one in reality. It is a rocket stove with optional pellet hamper. I can burn sticks or pellets or the chips from my chipper. The secondary chamber is 16″ across and gets very hot very quickly. I kept 3 gal of water hot and cooked on that flat top area. I figure on doing the same here. My newer home is under 900 sq ft and better insulated. It should be quite comfortable with just using the rocket stove.
    I’ll still have the propane water heater, forced air heater, and cook stove and a 250 gal tank of propane. That is required for code. Hot running water for a shower will be an appreciated luxury. I won’t plan on propane as a primary heat source.
    Planning ahead is necessary for my sense of security. I grew up that ways and still live that way. If SHTF and we can stay put… Were fine for quite a while. When it snows I don’t need to get out except for church. I’m the pastor.
    When we clean up the brush and cut the elms we save everything to burn later in the rocket stove or fruit woods in the smokehouse or my BBQ. I buy a ton of pellets once a year. I don’t cut or split traditional firewood anymore. I’m about to have my 72nd birthday this winter and my husband at 80 with a pacemaker doesn’t need to be doing that. The rocket stove took care of that for us.
    I sold my old electric driven pellet stove and the fireplace insert we used to heat with. I have another insert and a fireplace sitting out in the yard. I’m thinking I might incorporate them into the outdoor kitchen I’ve planned to build next year. I’ll just use whatever is too big for the rocket stove in them. I can cut the 3-4″ stuff to length with the chainsaw. Forget splitting. I aim to cut down the elms every year. That leaves a lot of sticks and twigs. Perfect for the rocket stove or to run through the chipper. Elm isn’t a particularly hot wood but in the rocket stove mixed with pellets it boils water or frys a pan of potatoes nicely. That’s good for me. My newer chainsaw is electric. Almost $40 at Harbor Freight. The solar array has two outlets to plug into. So free power to cut up the limbs or for the chipper to handle the twigs and smaller branches.
    My next solar project is for a smaller 12v pump in my second well. That should be plenty for the newer home. Then an array and inverter to put power into the shed where my sewing and crafts will go. I need to buy the pump and submersable wire. I have most of what I need gathered up to do those projects when we get a break in the cold weather. Also I’m still moving into our home-slowly. Just what we need for now. I’ll see what we really want this way.

    Reply to this comment
    • Doodle Bug November 5, 14:49

      Your life sounds great.

      Reply to this comment
      • Clergylady November 5, 17:06

        🙂 sometimes tough but yes good. I love rural life and choose to live mostly in small communities or on rural land. I’m blessed to have 3 acres in a tiny community too small for anything but a post office and some small churches around.
        I found the repo mobil home and had it moved in from an hour away. Quite happy with it. Just three years old and in good shape. I repainted most of it to make it lighter and brighter while getting rid of blah beige. It’s insulated for zone 2. There are built in storm windows. So far very easy to heat with a camp propane stove. The rocket stove when it’s installed here will be lovely. It kept us warm last winter in a drafty 1970 doublewide with holes in the floors and walls. Coming back here feels like home but my old doublewide was badly vandalized while I was away.
        An injured arm from a fall in the spring has made work slow this year and I finally gave in and had surgery on it a few weeks ago. Now I’m even slower but that will pass. Camping in here and working a bit at a time is ok. Not in a hurry except I want my pellet stove soon. Being in the space gives me a better feel for what I can do and what will fit.
        Sort of living in both places at once right now.
        Also planing next years raised beds for the new garden.

        Reply to this comment
    • Punkie January 17, 21:48

      To Clergylady …Wow! That all is very impressive. As soon as you mentioned Bucks County and Lancaster I knew exactly where you were. My parents used to live in Doylestown. I was born in Pittsburgh and have visited family in Philadelphia but have mostly lived in North Carolina as I do today. I’m getting ready to turn 60 and wish to blazes I had your skill-set. That’s a lost art. Please pass it on to others…. don’t let it die!

      Reply to this comment
      • Clergylady January 18, 06:21

        Hi punkie; I have cousins in most of New England but I live in the west in high mountain desert.
        I do teach at every opportunity. I also watch for real cookbooks old enough to teach scratch cooking. Those and old first aid and scouting books become presents for interested young people. I’m wanting to put together some small model “Homes” for those that are interested. Up on the mountain above us are pit houses and old log Navajo hogans. There are even walled in caves that made homes for folks 1200 years ago. There are examples of early incised cook pots and crude cups as well as the beautiful collectable bi or tri colored pottery that still occasionally turn up in caves or old dwelling ruins. .
        Clay here is dug, ground to a powder, mixed with water, kneaded, and slightly soured. The hand coil pottery is made, smoothed, painted, and fired with dried cow dung. Glad to see a lot of the old crafts still being practiced. Its pottery you can cook in, store in, drink from, and eat on. Pretty practical stuff. I have 4 different pressure canners and cookers for my use and teaching. I do encourage teens to get the newest canning books. I’d like to teach teens here to use a straw box cooker. A sort of early slow cooker that also saved heating fuel. Grandma used one mostly during the
        depression. Scratch cooking, canning and survival skills are things I try to pass on to others. I’ve been helping a couple that live close and help me. I found a pressure canner and jars for her. They helped me tear down an old mobile home and haul off a lot of the materials. We saved some materials to use. Cookbooks for a granddaughter and a grandsons girl friend. Camping equipment for the older grandsons a slide from my old school for the two little grand kids.
        He’s been carting in my groceries and heating pellets. The surgery is healing well but it will be a while until my arm is of much use. That’s what I love about rural life. Trades and helping. He’ll drive us to see our Dr. Monday. Others come now and then to help and learn. Mostly summertime guests. Wish someone were here to help build raised garden beds and follow through to harvest and canning time this year. Wild foraging is good to learn but places with a longer growing season are better for variety. Still I love teaching what we have here. Teaching the old ways of living. Teaching how to use the wild teas, seasonings, how to use prickly pear cactus pads and fruit. Pinion nuts in the fall and juniper berries for seasoning to medicine. There is abundant lambs quarters and amaranth where ever there is disturbed soil.
        Yes I’m a teacher at heart.
        I think that is why I enjoy the articles and wonderful replys. I really enjoy reading what others are doing or have learned.

        Reply to this comment
    • Umpqua Doc September 3, 19:02

      For that Luxury Shower, Black water line coiled on the roof wil give you more than enough and you can make a Pre- heater for your water system easily too. All you need is a hack saw, line fittings and clamps and a screwdriver and perhaps a crescent wrench. Lots of ideas on line now for these addons on the Cheap!

      Reply to this comment
      • Gort October 7, 14:06

        Umpqua Doc are you from the Umpqua River area? I am in the Rogue River area!

        Reply to this comment
        • Doc October 7, 16:54

          Gort, I live between Elkton and Scottsburg on the river. I lived in RR for 35 years til 9 years ago. Still have a storage unit in Wimer. lol mrdoc2345@yahoo.com will reach me. My last friend passed away Dec 10 down there, buried way too many of them. Last Man Standing of 14 now, it Sucks. Give me a shout.

          Reply to this comment
  9. sedley November 3, 17:12

    Wow. It looks like you copied my grandparents and my parents recipe book! All the items described (excluding ham) I prepare with my parents each fall when we have hog’s slaughtering season. It is a tradition when family and closest neighbors reunite and give help with these food items preparation. Some hog’s meat is eaten immediately and accompanied with tens of litres of beer or with a plum brandy (which we call slivovitze – another great survival item 🙂 ). Even if we can buy all the items in a supermarket now in our village everyone prefers to prepare his own ones. I am from near Pilsen (Czech republic in Central Europe).

    Reply to this comment
  10. Mad Fab November 4, 07:11

    Good article, but would love a few recipes to go along with them. Ahoy, Sedley. Knew u were Czech when u said slivicitz. My family is from Praha.🤣

    Reply to this comment
  11. Doodle Bug November 5, 04:26

    I have a WWII cookbook my aunt gave me. It has a section on wild game, if I wanted to cook possum I could. My aunt tought me to skin a rabbit and make fried rabbit ,gravy and butter milk biscuits. I can make deer hash and squriaI stew. Thanks to her. She also worked third shift in a cotton mill. Thats not even half of what she did.

    Reply to this comment
    • Clergylady January 19, 23:40

      My grandma made squirrel frikasee(?). Skin and Clean 1 squirrel, cut apart at major joints. Split back into two pieces. Bread it like good fried chicken. Brown the prices in oil, then put on a lid and cook turning a time or two till well done. Re. Recrisp frying quickly without the lid. Drain and set aside.
      Bake some good buttermilk biscuits.
      Pour off most of the frying grease but save all the crispy crumbs in the oil. Stir in seasoned flour, 1 tbsp per 1 tbsp oil. That will thicken 1 cup liquid. I’d suggest 4 tbsp flour, 4 tbsp oil and cook just long enough to lightly brown the flour. Stir in 1/2 cup cold water and 1/2 cup evaporated milk or cream for each tbsp of flour. So if you’re doing 4 tbsp oil and flour add 2 cups cream or evaporated milk and 2 cups cold water. Stir quickly with a whisk so it doesn’t make thick lumps. Bring to a simmer and cook till thickened. It its too thick add water as needed to thin it..taste for seasoning. If you used the seasoned flour you fried the squirrel in it should be close to ok. You might want a bit more salt or pepper. Sometimes I used seasoned salt as the only seasoning. Put the squirrel into the gravey and simmer 15- 20 minutes. Serve with biscuits to go with that rich gravy. Side dish was always something green. Green beans, a salad, spinach, wilted dandelion greens…. Whatever you prefer.

      Reply to this comment
  12. Gman November 20, 18:58

    My Grandma always made “pon-hause”( I am sure this is not spelled right”) Grandma would take the hogs head and boil it until all the meat fell off and mix it with lots of black pepper and sage alone with all the juice, white corn meal and pour it into bread pans to set up. Then it would go into the frig. to set up . She was Pennsylvania dutch. Fry-ed in bacon grease about a 1/4 or 3/8 thick it is great for breakfast or sandwich.
    The last hog I butchered last fall the butcher wouldn’t give me the head because he shot it with a 22 and the EPA said it was contaminated with lead. Good lord what is this world coming too? Gods blessings to you all.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck May 16, 23:14

      There was a big hullabaloo a couple of years ago about deer being shot with OH HORRORS !!! lead bullets. Some dentist wrote a bogus paper with no scientific support whatsoever about hunters’ children all suffering from symptoms of lead poisoning due to the fragments of lead in the meat.

      There was the usual snowflake push to ban ALL lead bullets ala the PDRK but saner heads prevailed and he was significantly discredited.

      The feds via the EPA would like to ban all lead bullets so that shooting becomes more expensive. With no new lead supplies being mined in the U.S. and all of our imported lead coming from our BFFs, Mexico and China, they may well get their wish.

      Reply to this comment
  13. Ben September 26, 15:25

    It’s proper to help someone who is in need. But this lazy generation would expect the working class to take care of them. When a SHTF, it’s going to be tough on good people.

    Reply to this comment
    • red September 27, 03:47

      In any event, family comes first. I’ve seen lazy, shiftless people come to life during an emergency, and most stayed with life afterwards. Right now, even in a very conservative community like mine, most do not understand what’s coming. They believe it’s possible, AKA Hunger Games, but it seems too distant to bother with. Yet, more and more are prepping. I share up what I have, including wivian (wild) tobacco seed. Looks good in the flower beds and none the wiser. Canna lily roots are being shared: every part of the plant is eatable. A friend roots creeping rosemary twigs, which is very medicinal. One gives away handfuls of chiltepins from a bush in his yard that has to have survived 5 or more winters without dying back. More food is being grown in flowerbeds than fancy weeds. People are doing small things, but it’s beginning to tell. Sometimes it takes a tough experience to wake up the adult in us. Good post, good advice. An old saying goes, friends you can find anywhere. Family will get you killed. niio

      Reply to this comment
  14. Hillbilly September 26, 15:38

    A SHTF situation will test the populous as it did during the Civil War days. NOW is the time for all of us to start preparing for hard times. Learn how to cook (outdoors as well as indoors). Learn how to build a fire for warmth and for cooking. Grow a backbone to help deal with the everyday realities that come with a SHTF. There are so many other things to learn that will come in handy during a SHTF.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Leigh October 4, 16:24

    Amazing that our grandparents did everyday, what is now considered “prepping”. I am greatful to have have learned many skills from them, but more so for the attitude they instilled in me and out of the box thinking to solve problems! We need to teach these things to others at any opportunity!

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  16. JC October 27, 21:22

    been prepping for quite some time. Just a note of interest, I have found that a table spoon of concentrated tomato into a venison goulash or stew or even a gravy from the meat for cutlets does wonders. Takes away the gamy taste. Better than veal. I also keep the deer meat in the freezer for about a month, makes it safer, sweeter and much more tender. I’ve even dehydrated it and kept it in mylar bags for extended times especially if I’ve had it awhile and might loose it to power outages. After “Sandy” we bought a house with a fireplace and I’ve gotten a few (you might say) accessories for it. A high campfire grilling top and recently a pellet holder. I had read that 2 40 lb bags will last about 24 hours. And best of all I have a Lodge hibachi that can also use the pellets as well as small pieces of wood so if need be I can cook inside without killing myself and others. I also have a number of camping gadgets that can be used on top of my elec. stove and I’ve been gathering, over a long period of time, camping showers, freeze dried foods and water barrels, large & small. I’m not finished accumulating & still learning which all the suggestions were great and will be applied. Thanks to those in the know and shared.

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    • red October 28, 05:08

      Sounds great. When’s dinner? 🙂

      A brother-in-law ruined two pellet burners using those fire starters made for them. He tried to blame the first on me because I refused to use them. Instead, I made a ring of newspaper and started the fire that way. One sister, thanks to constant power outages, found a good coal-fired kitchen range, cheap up her way. She sold the pellet burner and uses the range, and a furnace that burns rice coal. Hook up with Clergylady on pellet burners. She’s been heating for a while with one,.niio

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  17. Savagelee January 3, 06:14

    One of my favorite cookbooks is Seems Like I Done It This A-Way by Cleo Stiles Bryan. She passed in 2001 and copies of her book are getting hard to find, but worth it. She sold them at craft fairs after she retired as a County Extension Home Economist. The recipes and anecdotes are authentic and amazing. I hope someone will keep it in print. Just saying. Look it up.

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