Our discussion about stockpiling has been interesting and will continue. There is no end to items that would be nice to have in quantity (or with back ups and duplicates) during a transition period. Likewise, there’s lots of equipment that could make life easier. Here’s some of the stuff (for food storage and preparation) we’ve found very useful:
1. Food Saver: used to vacuum seal food. We have one something like this. Food keeps a lot longer without oxidation. You can buy bag material in rolls and make your own bags to size.
2. Knives: good kitchen knifes are invaluable. Other cutting implements like the lowly potato peeler are a necessity. You can spend a fortune on knives but there are some good, inexpensive ones. I put Rada Knives into the “amazing” category. At the least, get their potato peeler.
3. Roma Food Strainer for making jelly, sauces, puree. This thing is a snap to use and works like a charm. You can have blackberry jelly instead of jam (unless you enjoy picking the seeds out of your teeth).
4. Dehydrator. We have one of these left over from our raw food days. It once was on for a whole year. (Raw foodists claim that dehydrated food is raw if the temp doesn’t exceed 115 degrees. It’s all about the enzymes and keeping them alive). You can make all manner of things like fruit leather, crackers, cookies and bread using raw food recipes. Or, you can just dry apples, herbs, veggies, etc.
5. Juicer. Sometimes there is an excess of stuff from the garden and you can juice it. You may even grow certain plants specifically to juice. We’ve had a Champion juicer but several years ago moved up to a Green Star which will juice just about anything including wheatgrass and probably even pine needles (you could make some of that famous Willows pine needle ice cream). You can easily make ice cream (sorbet) by running frozen fruit through the juicer. An expensive item but it lasts forever.
7. Cast iron cookware. We don’t like no stick stuff. Cast iron lasts forever (we can track the history of our fry pan back to at least 1928), comes in all shapes an sizes, isn’t that hard to clean. Puts a little iron in your diet which is normally not a problem unless you have a rare ailment called hemochromatosis.
9. Pickle press. A Japanese pickle press is a plastic bowl with a screw-on lid that presses the vegetables to the bottom of the bowl and quickens the pickling process. You can make “pickles” or pressed salad overnight with a selection of veggies like cabbage, radish, carrot, onion and a bit of vinegar (typically brown rice vinegar).
10. Pressure cooker. Scares a lot of people but the modern ones aren’t dangerous and it’s a healthy way to cook food. Often faster, as well.
Let’s hope the power stays on for a long time.
I’m interested to know what others find invaluable.