Saturday, November 1, 2008

Weekend Roundup--Q and A #3

Each Saturday we will post some questions that readers have asked with some (hopefully) good answers. Please be patient as we try to answer all your questions and still be able to shower once or twice a week. More questions? Email us!

Previous Question and Answer Posts:
Question and Answer #1
Question and Answer #2

Other Informative Posts:
All About Oats
All About Beans
Let's Talk About Wheat

Do you know how to safely store charcoal?
After some discussion with several people, we decided that probably the best way to store charcoal is to vacuum seal it in groups of 9-10 charcoals (or however many you normally use, if you use it regularly). This way, it's safe from water and other elements that would break it down. Personally, I plan on vacuum sealing my charcoal in groups of 9 and 10 (this would give me 360 or 400 degrees in my cardboard box oven). I will store all these charcoal pouches in a 5 gallon bucket for extra protection and organization.
No matter how you store your charcoal, keep it separate from your food and away from the heat.

Can you use dehydrated onions in recipes in the same way that you would use fresh or frozen onion? Or is there a way to reconstitute them?
Barbara G. Salsbury wrote a little gem about dehydrated foods called: "Just Add Water" that I borrowed from a lady I visit teach. It's in a workbook type format with a plastic binding which I find quite charming. But looking on amazon, looks like you can buy a new edition like this. This quote is directly from her book regarding the use of onions:

"Rinse. Cover with water (1/2 c. onions to 1-1/2 c. water) and allow to stand 10-15 minutes. Onions will expand to about 1 full cup. If onions are to be used in skillet dish or cooked, just add dry onion to mixture."

Have you ever made/thought about using canned pears, peaches, or other canned fruit in the Baked Oatmeal? Do you think it could be done?
I think that because the baked oatmeal cooks for quite a while, the canned fruit would go mushy in the process. But you could add the canned fruit to individual bowls right before serving and I bet it would be delicious.

I copied out the recipe for breakfast tomorrow and I noticed the cinnamon in the second picture and caption, but the recipe itself doesn't include cinnamon. HELP!! How much cinnamon should I put (or have put) in?
Wow, how incredibly embarrassing that I left that out. Not that I'm surprised. It should be 1 tsp. of cinnamon. I've updated the recipe here. Thanks for the heads up!

How about setting the baked oatmeal in your crockpot before bed to awaken to breakfast ready to go?
I've never tried it and I'm guessing you would have to make some liquid adjustments to get it to work. But here is a recipe for Crockpot Oatmeal.

I've heard some websites say to store beef jerky in 72-hour kits, and others say not to. Why the difference?
My personal guess why folks say not to store beef jerky in your kits is because it's so salty and could increase your water consumption. But on the other hand, beef jerky is packed full of calories and protein and is light and easy to carry in your pack.

I have beef jerky in my packs. I also have lots of suckers and hard candy that I could suck on in place of water. My opinion. Plus Mountain Man LOVES jerky.

I always wondered what the steel cut oats were because I've never been able to find them. It seems my grocery stores only have regular and instant. Where do you get them from?
We got this answer from another reader: Many grocery stores sell steel cut oats in the health section, with the pasta and the gluten-free foods. You can also find them at health food stores. A small bag from either place runs about $2.50-$2.69.

Abs: My mother-in-law gets hers from here.

We only eat steel-cut oats these days, but you have me thinking... I wonder if rolled-oats would be a good thing to add to my eating/storage plan. Do they last longer? They are probably cheaper?
I couldn't find anything on the shelf life, so I'm guessing that it will be about the same. But I would encourage you to try the rolled oats just because they cook a little bit quicker and would use less fuel if you were in that type of a situation. But above all else: store what you eat!

I did a quick price comparison. A 70 oz can (4.37 lbs) of rolled oats sells at Honeyville Grain for $9.99 and a 2.7 lb can of regular rolled oats at the LDS cannery sells for $2.20, so yes, rolled oats are less expensive unless you can find a better source for steel-cut oats.

I was reading your post about bread and wondered if you had considered how you would bake bread if the power/gas was out? I would love tips on that....Our stake president's wife let us know about an oven that runs on a small bottle of propane for 4 hours, but it was pretty pricey $150 or so... Any tips?
Bake it in a cardboard box oven! You can make one of these now and store it with your food storage, so it will be ready to go when you need it!

Using dutch ovens is another option. We hope to do some dutch oven tutorials in a little bit. So stay tuned for those.

So how do you budget for food?
We would need another blog and a few hours to explain this one. Check out some frugal living blogs like MoneySavingMom for great budgeting ideas.

Has anyone tried the Cool Couscous with Fruit recipe using that fruit drink mix that can be purchased through the LDS cannery, in place of the frozen concentrate orange juice?
I haven't tried it, but I bet it would be great. The orange juice is there just to give the couscous a fruity flavor. I think that even using just water would be fine too.