Helpful Ideas. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Honey, when it turns to criystal, Just put the jar into hot water and the honey will get soft again. --- Storeing water in 2 liter coke bottles, Put 2 drops of clorid bleach {make sure there is no cleaners added}just bleach. 2tba per 10gal --- Your hot water tank can hold about 75 to 100 gal of water .there's a plug at the bottom of all tanks and can be open by hand or with a wrench.{make sure water is cool befor opening.Good to know in a pinch. ---

Washing by hand:Take a 5gal plastic bucket/w lid,and a new or clean toilet plunger.cut hole in center of lid,A little larger than handel of plunger. put clothing to be washed into bucket + small amount of soap then fill with water.Put toilet plunger handel through lid,neex snap lid on and work like old time butter churn.Make 3 of theys and wash in one and rines in other two. --- Shower with out elec... need a 2-1/2 gal compressed-air can Get them at the lawn & garden store or at a hardware store.fill 3/4 way with water then pump it up.And shower.For warm water.fill can and let stand in sunlight . --- Drying your own foods. This can be done in your oven. #1.Oven should be set at lowest setting or warm. {between 125% and 140% F} leave oven door open to 1/2in to 1in . #2.Cover oven racks with a nylon net or screen,Get at hardwear store.I make a pillow case typ screen cover.If you can.Pick up 1 or 2 extra oven rack's. #3.You can use fresh food,or as I do frozen vegetables,If you use fresh ,cut them about 1/4 to 1/2 in then steam them till cooked . #4.lay the vegetables in one layer,not on top of each other,. on the oven racks .Rotate racks 3 or 4hr ,top racks on bottom and bottom racks on top.drying time 6 to 8 hr. #5.Storage:After food cools.Put into a zip lock bag,start to seal bag at both ends and work to middle,When you reach the middle make a pucker in the zip lock,Then put your mouth at the opening in the bag and suck all the air out.seal bag while your still sucking last of air out of in cool dry place. Vegetables that can be dryed. carots celery corn peas green beans beets garlic mushrooms onions potapoes tomatoes ---- FRUIT'S bananas oranges strawberries pineapple blueberries apples peaches pears

----- Useing the Sun.: *In the sporting & camping department of wall-mart is a soler shower holds 5gal .It is a black thick plastic bag that holds the sun's heat and warms the water.If this bag is held to a window it will heat very well or in the windsheiled of a car.cost $6.98 plus tax. *Thick garbage bages with 2 or 3 gal of water,will heat niceley if left in the sun . *Take a metal 5gal can,Paint it black.fill with water and let stand in the sun.will give you warm water.


Just how long will a canned meat product stay fresh? Vegetable product? I will do my best to answer. First, individual companies make up their own codes to be stamped on the tops of cans and jars. Carnation Foods was one and deciphered their evaporated milk stamps--example: 4145MC 202S. The only thing important to us lies in the first four digits. The 4 stands for 1994, the year the milk was packed. The 14 represents the 14th day of...the 5, the 5th month, May of the year. This can was packed May 14, 1994, well past their recommended shelf life. The rest of the letters and digits represent plant and lot numbers as I recall.

Now let's make things more confusing: A can of store brand cranberry sauce is stamped NOV 98 MO 652. This firm stamps the pull date, or date after which they can't guarantee top quality. Much more direct for our purposes. A jar of mustard, another company: 696270 Packed June of 96 and should have a shelf life of at least 2 years if packed in a cool dark place. Remember this is a glass jar, not an acid-sensitive tin can. More on that in a minute. A jar of tomato sauce, not a can: OCT98 1003....etc. Bless them, too, an easily read code that suggests it's at top condition until Oct. of '98 if kept in good storage conditions.

In a nutshell, my observations have been that more and more mfrs. are beginning to use more user-friendly codes, but the funny business still persists for many. On such cans, like the evap. milk, read the can label carefully to locate a consumer hotline or customer service no. Call it and ask for a translation and then register your dissatisfaction with their coding system. Tell them you and your food storing friends won't be able to buy their products if you are to be kept in the dark concerning expiration dates, etc. They WILL listen. BTW, my discussions with Carnation disclosed that the grocery store, a large, reputable chain, had sold me evap. milk two years beyond the recommended storage date! Carnation called the store to tell them to pull it off the shelves and then sent me two coupons for free cans for the ones bought past date...

Captain Dave's Editorial Note: Be especially careful when buying sale items. Sometimes stores will hold a sale when foods are getting near their expiration date. Also, check dates on infant formula! Several leading chain stores were caught by a TV investigative program with old formula on their shelves. ----

---- Eating freash small game:Even in the city's there are lots of pigions.And there are many ways to get them. *the old box and stick & string.trap *a rattrap with some bread on it. *BB gun. *A sling shot. (my favorit}I take #4or#6 finsh nails .And put 7or 8 nails in the sling.I use finish nails for bird. And I use 5or6 - #6 cut nails (concret nails}for rabbit. I allso tie tht naild together into little bundles with thread. When I place this bundle of nails into the leather sling I rool them back and forth. This breaks the thread up so the nails will scader like a shotgun. Three things attract birds: food, shelter, and water. Bird feeders, nest boxes and birdbaths. ----

Construction of the Pallet Root Cellar is very simple and can be made and put into use in a weekend. Here's how:

Collect six pallets from outside stores and garbage pick up points or the local furniture movers. Measure your pallets (usually 4'x4') and dig a hole several inches bigger all round than the pallets. Be sure to allow enough depth for the top pallet to be below ground by 6" when it is put on.

The Root Cellar hole, larger than pallets.

Line the hole with a sheet of good thick plastic, the plastic should loosely drape in the hole.

Hole lined with plastic.

Place one pallet flat on the bottom for a "Floor." Be careful not to tear the plastic liner.

The floor installed.

Standing on the floor pallet in the hole place the other pallets around the sides to make "Walls." You will find that the pallets do not support each other because they are all the same size.

Walls installed.

Cut 2 pieces of 2'x4' the same width as the floor pallet and attach it to the top of the end pallets or side pallets (it does not matter which) using bailing wire or thick string. Now the pallets will not cave in.

2x4s installed to hold walls.

Secure the four corners of the pallets to each other with wire or string and you will have a sturdy box to work with. Pull the plastic inside the box and, as you stand inside, pull loose dirt down around the sides of the box taking up the space between the outside walls of the box and the sides of the unit. Pack the dirt down and "firm up" the box before you get out. Then, from topside, walk around the box tamping down the dirt with your feet. When finished pull the plastic back out of the box and roll it up.

Now you are ready to stock the box with food. I use 30 gal plastic trash bins as containers and fill these first. Once food is placed in the storage unit, the top pallet should be put on. Pull the rolled plastic over the top to keep the inside cool.

You may decide to put hinges on the "lid," as well as make shelves or other improvements to my basic design.

As soon as the unit is full, cover the lid with a good 3" of newspaper, pull the plastic liner back in place and cover with a good strong plastic tarp. Then put rocks, bricks, or soil over the tarp to keep it in place.

That's it. You are now the proud owner of your own "Root cellar" full of food. If you are careful in packing the items, you should have many months of food down there. This item is good for most natural disasters (except, obviously, floods) and as can be readily appreciated. Even if the house is flat, your food is still there waiting to be used. I am sure many of you have already envisioned many "Root cellars" all over the yard, some with food, some water, or clothes or?

Good luck! And, as always, please Think Survival!

Ted Wright.



TOPIC: Staples

REFERENCE: Cupboard Storage Chart - Michigan State University

STAPLES RECOMMENDED STORAGE HANDLING HINTS AT 70F. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Baking Powder 18 mon. or expir. Keep dry and covered Baking soda 2 years " " " " Cereals unopened 6 - 12 mon. Refold package liner tightly after opening opened 2 - 3 mon. cooked 6 mon. Chocolate semi-sweet 2 years Keep cool unsweetened 18 mon. " " Cocoa mixes 8 mon. Cover tightly Chocolate syrup unopened 2 years " " Chocolate syrup opened 6 mon. Refr. after opening Coffee cans-unopened 2 yrs. cans-opened 2 wks. Refr. after opening instant-unopened 1 - 2 yrs. instant-opened 2 wks. Cornmeal 18 mon. Keep tightly closed Cornstarch 6 - 8 mon. " " " Flour white 6 - 8 mon. Keep in air tight cont. whole wheat 6 - 8 mon. Keep refr. Store air tight Honey 12 mon. Cover tightly. Refr. after opening to extend life Molasses unopened 12 mon. Keep tightly closed opened 6 mon. Refr. to extend life Marshmallows 2 - 3 mon. Keep air tight Mayonnaise unopened 2 - 3 mon. Refr. after opening Milk condensed or evaporated 12 mon. Once opened, store in non-fat dry - unopened 6 mon. air tight containers - opened 3 mon. Pasta 2 yrs. Once opened, store air tight Salad dressings bottled - unopened 10-12 mon. Refr. after opening - opened 3 mon. made from mix 2 wks. Salad oils unopened 6 mon. Refr. after opening opened 1-3 mon. " " " Shortenings -solid 8 mon. Refr. not needed Sugar brown 4 mon. Airtight containers confectioners 18 mon. " " granulated 2 yrs. Cover tightly Vinegar opened 1 yr. " "

TOPIC: Mixes and Packaged Foods

REFERENCE: Cupboard Storage Chart - Michigan State University

MIXES AND RECOMMENDED STORAGE HANDLING HINTS PACKAGED FOODS AT 70F. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Biscuit, brownie, & muffin 9 mon. Keep cool and dry Cake mixes 9 mon. " " " " angel food 1 yr. Casseroles complete or add own meat 9 - 12 mon. " " " " Cookies homemade 2 - 3 wks. Airtight containers packaged 2 mon. Keep box tightly closed Crackers 8 mon. " " " " Frosting canned 3 mon. Ref. leftovers mix 8 mon. Hot roll mix 18 mon. Airtight container Pancake mix 6 - 9 mon. " " Pie crust mix 8 mon. Keep cool and dry Potatoes instant 6 - 12 mon. " " " " Pudding mixes 12 mon. " " " " Sauce and gravy mixes 6 - 12 mon. " " " " Soup mixes 12 mon. " " " "

TOPIC: Canned and Dried Foods

Canned and RECOMMENDED STORAGE HANDLING HINTS Dried Foods AT 70F. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Canned foods, unopened 12 mon. Keep cool Canned foods, opened baby food 2 - 3 days Refr. after opening* fish and seafood 2 days fruit 1 wk. meats 2 days pickles, olives 5 days vegetables 3 days Fruits - dried 6 mon. Keep cool, air tight Canned fruit juices 9 mon. " " Vegetables - dried 1 yr. " " " " *The FDA is concerned about storing foods in opened cans because of cans using lead solder. FDA now recommends acid foods like fruits and tomatoes once opened should be transferred to glass or plastic

TOPIC: Spices, Herbs, Condiments and Extracts

REFERENCE: Cupboard Storage Chart, Michigan State University

SPICES, HERBS, RECOMMENDED STORAGE HANDLING HINTS & CONDIMENTS AT 70F --------------------------------------------------------------------- Catsup, chili sauce unopened 12 mon. opened 1 mon. Mustard, prepared yellow unopened 2 yrs. opened 6-8 mons. May be refrigerated Spices and herbs whole 1-2 mons. Store airtight, dry, ground 6 mon. away from sunlight and herbs 6 mon. heat herb/spice blend 6 mon. Vanilla - unopened 2 yrs. Keep tightly closed opened 1 yr. " " " Other extracts opened 1 yr. " " "

Utah State Extension Service --- First Aid kit:buy a larg tackel box.put on the outsied of the box a white cross,with tape or paint,Then write in the cross "First Aid" so all will know what the box is.I take our first aid box on trip's where ever we go.What to put into your first aid box? Think of what you might need if you went on a week trip!Here is what I come up with over the years. *First aid guide.{ask your pharmacy for one it's free}It.s a what to do guide. *Aspirin *Neosporin (first aid cream} *Benadryl {itch relief cream} *Anbesol {toothache,coldsores,canker sores,} *Hydrogen peroxide {put into a small bottle} *Alcohol {put into a small bottle} *Solarcaine with Aloe {sunburn relief} *Betadine solution {very good antiseptic} *Insect repellent *after bite {treatment for insect bites & stings} *Xeroform petrolatum dressing {for 2 & 3 dagre burns} *Ammonia inhalan {if someone pass out} *Instant ice compress *Instant heat *Alka-seltzer *Rolaids or Tums *Cough & sore throats drops {I take pills out of box if there individual wrapped for space} *Laxative *Anti-Diarrhea *Antihistabs (head cold & allergy medicine} *Night & Day Quiel *Murine plus {eye drop} *First aid tape *Finger splint *Bandnet {streach net to hold dressing in place without tape} *2 -8in x 71/2in dressing {surgipad} *3-4in x 4in gauze pad *6-2in x 2in gauze pad *1-rool of gauze * 20-Flexible band aids { I keep 4 band aids in my billfold} *2-pair latex surgeon's gloves *Tweazers *Thermoter *scissors *matches *lightstick {break it and it glows} *scapel *needle & thread {theys two are optional} *If you have small children remmber things they will need. ----- Dont forget rain water: Put gutters up if you dont have them.Drain gutter into a 55gal can.Cover top of can with wire screen.{this is to keep bugs cats and other things out.}Keep screen clean of leaves. If you build a platform 6 or 7 foot off the ground ,you could put a faucet at the bottem side of the can then put a water hose to it and let gravity work for you.If you build this next to your bathroom .And put a soler water heater next to it. you could have warm water in your bathroom. {For plans on ,how to build a soler water heater ,E-mail me at <> } *Catching Rain water: Open a large sheet of visqueen ,put poles around the edge ,like you were makeing a big top tent but with no center poles.put a hole in the center of visqueen ,about the size of a golf ball ,then put a 5or6gal bucket under the have just made a large funnle.To catch rain water. If you dont get much rain where you live then this will do you no good. ---

-- (, July 09, 1999


Enjoyed the "pallet root cellar" idea. Thanks!

I have questions about temperature of stuff stored below ground.

I am wondering if stuff stored in a basement (or in a root cellar -- "pallet" or otherwise) is susceptible to freezing. I am in Michigan; we have serious winters, but not as bad as (e.g.) Minnesota; comments that apply to variously severe winter weather would be appreciated. I would like to store a bunch of canned and other food in my basement, but some of it is sensitive to freezing. All of this assumes that the basement and the rest of the residence may not be heated for... who knows? Could be days, weeks, months...?

I know that there exists a "frost line" below which things will not freeze, but I do not know if this idea applies to basements, or whether it has something to do with the insulation value of dirt above said "frost line". I would appreciate any comments from experienced people.

-- alan (, July 09, 1999.

Alan.Im sorry that I do not speak from Experienced.As I have lived in Florida all my life.I have tryed root cellar here in north Fl.And have found that the ground here gets no colder than about 72% year round.This is why our springs here are 72% year round.In the summer it's cold in the winter it's warm.But it's allways 72%.If I lived up north I would have a root cellar.My father was from the state of Washington ,and had a root cellar all his life.I do love to read and have read about root cellar's up north.And years back befor we had ice box.people used root cellar's.This info comes from. "Back to Basics" by readers digest.Storage unit must maintain temperatures of 30 to 40%f.[your ice box is this cold] A unheated basemebt is an ideal spot for a root cellar.A northwest corner is best.[you can construct from wood & insulation a 8x8 room.If your basement is heated.] If you use a out door root cellar have no less than 2foot of dirt around it.and have a geavel floor.Keep can goods off the floor of all root cellar's.My dad would tell me,that in the summer the rool cellar was cool.And in the winter it was warm. I hape this helps!

-- home dad (, July 09, 1999.


Yes, as you get down below the frost line the temperature of the soil is an amazingly constant temperature of 55-58 degrees. You may have to go about 6 feet down where you live, but at 3 feet things shouldn't freeze, and that's all you're really interest in.

It isn't a function of insulation really. There is a great big thermal sink down there that really won't let normal things like the temperature of the air change it's temperature too rapidly. By the time things begin to get cold it's spring and they warm up.

-- de (, July 09, 1999.


However, in a basement, you aren't tied to that heat sink......frezing is governed by the air temperature, and it will get cold. If you want to protect it, bury it.

-- de (, July 09, 1999.

Be especially careful when shopping at Winn Dixie. I have often found foods on their shelves that are past the sell-by date.

-- Pearlie Sweetcake (, July 10, 1999.

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