Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Working on my food options as I live on my stored emergency foods...

Been trying to get to this blog and post some of my new food discoveries as I try to use up my stored supplies, downsizing for a possible move.  I haven't been food shopping since last month... so this is getting to be quite a huge challenge.

I ran out of bread, then ran out of yeast, then started making a small biscuit recipe I found, and now I am heading into corn (masa) tortillas.  I am thinking of making my own pasta now.

I began sprouting seeds when I ran out of fresh produce.  It's a big change.  I discovered an article with a list of seeds you can either sprout in a jar or grow in dirt as microgreens.  

I have been trying to get to growing microgreens for a long time.  This forced goal is pushing me into that space.  I watched more videos on YouTube to help me remember how to grow microgreens.  I discovered an article or ebook with info on sprouting and microgreen growing... they had a great chart to use as a reference.

I started sprouting some green lentils and some buckwheat I had before I realized the buckwheat needed to grow in dirt as a microgreen.  Today I planted them in some dirt, but only after trying to spout them for several days...to see what they would do as sprouts.  They barely looked like they were trying to make some little root shoots, but the water was always cloudy.  

I bought some planting soil back in April for my efforts to grow food this year, so I have a small bag of dirt that should work for microgreens.  The video I watched (Epic Gardening) showed the dirt gets filled with roots and becomes compost material by the time you harvest.  So... you don't want to use much. You have to replace it every time you grow a new batch.  

I asked the video person what brand you can buy that is "micro-fine" soil, but haven't found out yet. I have Miracle Grow Potting Soil that you can buy in the stores... The man I watched in the video (Epic Gardening) said that the other bag dirt (general soil) isn't good for microgreens... I tend to buy that to mix in with my other soils from wherever I find them.  I won't do that for my microgreen efforts.  :-)

I'm not sure how to eat microgreens, other than adding them to salads, but I'm looking for ways to use what I am able to grow.  Microgreens are a year-round food supply option for FRESH produce. I am thinking about what kinds of microgreens I want to spend time and money on, and how to use them in my everyday foods, and how to store them if that is possible.

I live on Government Food Benefits these days... still... and that means trying to stretch my food dollars and create an emergency pantry for unexpected hard times.  People in poverty don't have a lot of emergency options.  I have eaten at all the resources in varous communities in my lifetime, so having an emergency pantry is important to me.

I also do these projects for my goals with Working Together. Making communities means food supplies for everyone.  How will we find out (know) we have enough?  How can we store it for the longest time? 

I have been collecting tidbits of information along my lifetime to help build communities for Christians.  Things like how many chickens do you need for eggs... two per person for the year.  How many acres do you need to naturally graze livestock so you don't need added hay?  That differs by animal... cows, sheep, horses, goats, etc.  I decided we need to seed the land for more food for the livestock, build it up to take care of our food needs.

I hope I get to use these bits of information before I die... I never thought it would take so long to get nowhere.  :-( 

Back to my sprouting adventures...

I made a huge amount of mung sprouts first.  I had to transfer them from a quart jar to a half-gallon jar!  I am adjusting for my new batch... down to a teaspoon of seeds in a smaller jar. I think I used a tablespoon for the first batch.

I tried green lentils as a new sprouting adventure with my first effort... The sprouting sheets I found told me they sprout in jars.  I watched them grow and decided to use them mixed in my rice and stir-fry meal with frozen veggies I had left.  I have been trying to use lentils more so this is a great way to get them in my diet.

I have made lentil burgers (veggie burgers) with them in the past.  I am going to try mixing them in rice one day to see if they both cook together well.  I got the idea when I had a rice cooker.  They both take about the same time to cook, so I thought that would work.  

I haven't been able to try my theory out yet. I plan to try cooking them together, and cooking lentils by themselves. I can make mushy lentils very well :-) -- I am searching for the way to make perfect lentils, to put in salads!

I have only had them come out perfect ONCE !! I cooked them on the stove and don't remember what I did to get them perfect.

I'm trying to use up my stored dry beans along this path, too... My last dry bean to cook and use was the black-eyed pea.  I have always liked them.  Now that I am making more bean dishes like dips and spreads and taco fillings, any bean is an option!  :-)  

I am making chili in small amounts, too.  It works much better for me as one person.  I freeze some of what I make for later.

Soups are an ongoing challenge as well... My latest formula is 2 cups of veggies to four cups of water, plus some grain like barley or rice, or pasta.  It turns out different every time because I use up leftovers or things that have to get eaten or they will be compost (lost money).

I see I can keep going with my food adventures... 
I will try to save some for another post.

Survival eating is something the poor do every day.  It is why I wanted to start the  RECIPE  EXCHANGE  --  so we could share our survival foods with each other, and you could try to make some income from your efforts.  It's still the goal...

In Christ,
Deborah Martin
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