Backdoor Survival: The SHTF Emergency Coffee and Tea Kit

I like coffee. I also like tea. While I could live without both, they add comfort to daily life. Additionally, being able to make teas is useful for many herbal remedies. Sure, you can do either with any sort of container than can make water hot, but some tools are better than others. Here’s Samantha Biggers at Backdoor Survival, talking about The SHTF Emergency Coffee and Tea Kit. The excerpt below may contain affiliate links for Backdoor Survival.

Coffee and tea are both things that should be in your food stockpile. A short to long emergency can be hard enough without being forced to do without something you are used to having. Consider that coffee and tea are also excellent for trade if you are looking for barter items to put back.

Perculator

I had been considering adding a quality peculator to our preps. While we have a French Press, that is not the same thing. We have found that French presses take more coffee to get the same flavor. Stanley recently had a sale that allowed me to pick up one of their quality percolators for almost half the price it normally sells for. I trust Stanley products so it was just too good to pass up.

The percolator is 1.1 liters so it makes enough coffee for several adults to have a few cups. I like that my Stanley is stainless steel and not aluminum like a lot of percolators out there.

French Press

As I said, I don’t want to rely on a french press for my coffee but they are worth mentioning. For more info on making coffee with a french press, check out this article.

Secura French Press Coffee Maker, 50-Ounce, 18/10 Stainless Steel Insulated Coffee Press with Extra Screen

This is a french press that actually may change my opinion of them. While writing this post I actually found a larger stainless steel french press. The 51 oz capacity is much better than the 34 oz of most and it is stainless steel rather than fancy plastic or glass. If you do want a french press, this is the one I would recommend getting for household use.

Coffee Options

Matt and I have been buying green coffee beans and roasting our own for many years now. It saves a lot of money over buying quality coffee at the grocery store and we get to roast it to a precise level we like rather than having to settle for beans that are often too dark. It seems like a lot of coffee brands have decided to go with a darker roast even if the bag says it is a medium roast.

Buying green coffee beans allows one to experience greater variety. Coffee has a lot of complex flavors. The region and variety of coffee as well as the harvesting and packaging process of the green beans all have an impact on the final flavor.

For green or roasted coffee beans, I recommend Coffee Bean Corral or Fresh Roasted Coffee. Coffee Bean Corral just sells green coffee beans while Fresh Roasted Coffee sells both roasted and green coffee beans. If you are unsure of what types of coffee you want to put back, Coffee Bean Corral has some very affordable sampler packs.

Whole Bean Roasted

Getting beans that are roasted but not ground is another option for those that want some coffee that doesn’t go stale in the bag as fast as ground coffees.

Ground Coffee

While this is very convenient, it doesn’t have the flavor and the shelf life of whole bean coffee. At the same time, I think ground coffee that is sealed in #10 cans is not a bad thing to have as part of your stockpile. It is inexpensive and does the trick.

Green coffee beans lose up to 20% of their weight when roasted. It is usually lower but it does vary based on the variety of coffee and how dark you like to roast it. This is important to keep in mind when buying green beans and calculating how many you need to put back to meet your long term food storage goals.

Deals On Coffee In Cans and Sealed Bags

I am going to include a few options here that my Dad likes. While we roast coffee and take it to him, he gets nostalgic for some brands. I have not tried these brands myself but I trust his opinion on this one. I do have to say he likes coffee with chicory in it sometimes. It is a bit of a French and Southern thing so I won’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of chicory coffee.

French Market Coffee, Coffee & Chicory, Medium-Dark Roast Ground Coffee, 12 Ounce Metal Can (Pack of 6)

You get 6 sealed 12 oz cans of this coffee at a bargain price. My Dad just had me order some for him. The roast is a true medium-dark roast from what he has told me.

Community Coffee

This is another old Southern brand of coffee that is a bargain and a lot of people seem to like. You can get big cans of it online at Wal Mart. There are many roast styles and blends available so you may want to try out a few before you stock up. The Wal-Mart cans I just linked to are really inexpensive. You get 2 cans at 37 oz each for just $20 at the time of this writing.

Let’s talk about tea for a minute.

A Kettle or Two

A good teapot is important. While I like an electric kettle, a good stainless steel tea kettle or a cast-iron kettle that is lined with ceramic is a better option for an SHTF situation. If you have the space then I don’t blame you for having both.

Chef’sChoice 681 Cordless Electric Kettle Handsomely Crafted in Brushed Stainless Steel

While us preppers talk a lot about situations where the grid is down, the truth is that plenty of bug in situations and emergencies happen and the lights stay on. If you have some backup power like a Jackery you can also run some things a few times a day.

My mother in law gave me this exact electric kettle because it was a spare she had. She actually bought it used too. This is a real workhorse. I have used this kettle so much because it heats water up fast. When we were unsure about our supply of propane, I used it to get water boiling before using it for cooking foods on our electric hotplate.

I also use it to get water to boiling to pour over dry beans that I want to cook in our crockpot slow cooker. It gets the bean cooking process going a lot faster and is great for when you forget to put the beans on soon enough or want to give soup a headstart.

Cast Iron Tea Kettle With Strainer

This is the tea kettle I am after. I like it because it can double as a steamer for our wood stove and it comes with a built-in strainer so using bulk teas is really easy. This pot is cast iron. Some cast-iron kettles are just designed to add humidity when using a wood stove. They don’t make great tasting tea. We were given a kettle that was just cast iron and it always seemed to give off an odor. It was labeled as not suitable for water used for consumption You can get cast iron and ceramic lined kettles in many different sizes too if you prefer something that is tough but not just metal.

Ceramic Lined Cast Iron

This teapot is very similar to the one above but is much larger at 101 oz and it has a ceramic lining that many people find appealing. You can get the same style in a smaller version through the link above as well. These are really pretty and functional teapots that will last for many years.

Tea Ball or Strainer

These devices allow you to buy bulk teas. Buying tea by the pound is so inexpensive compared to tea bags. It is actually shocking how little tea is in a box of 20 or 100 bags. A lb of organic green tea on Amazon from Davidson’s Tea is under $10. To get that same amount of product in a premade tea bag, you would need to spend more than $50. While there is nothing wrong with having some tea bags on hand especially if you just have some that you like to drink occasionally and not regularly, for SHTF tea stashes, most of your tea stash should be bulk tea if you plan on drinking it with any regularity during the course of a long emergency…(continues)

Backdoor Survival: What Can Prepper Groups Do To Support Each Other During Quarantine

This article comes from Samantha Biggers at Backdoor Survival – What Can Prepper Groups Do To Support Each Other During Quarantine. You may not be able to have physical meetups, but what can you do?

A lot of people have been members of preparedness groups for quite some time. While some groups may have been just casual meetups once in a while, others were seriously training and getting together on a regular basis.

pandemic is not necessarily the event that most groups considered likely. This is not an event where people can all feel good about gathering together to ride this thing out.

But that doesn’t mean that prepper groups cannot offer a ton of support and help to one another. This article is going to talk about what prepper groups can do to support one another during this time of social distancing.

Learn skills via video

Prepper groups often have people with a huge variety of skills and knowledge. If each person takes a turn offering an online webinar, then everyone can use this time to learn and come through this even more prepared than ever. Some of these classes could even be added to your homeschool curriculum where appropriate.

Have some classes that are designed to help entertain and offer constructive activities for the teens and kids of those in the group.

While kids are going to have some homework to do, I know from my own homeschool experience that doesn’t take up anywhere near the entire day. Kids are going to need things to do and if you don’t want them to spend all that time watching television or playing video games, then you are going to need to give them some other constructive options.

Check-in on each other. Sometimes it is nice to just know that others are thinking about you.

The pandemic is making it so that people are suffering from extreme stress and anxiety. For many, there is a lot of uncertainty. Regardless of where you get your news, there has been an overwhelming amount of information and some of that info changes faster than you can keep up. There has also been planting of conflicting information.

When people don’t know what is true and a lot of promises are being made that it is impossible for any human being or government to be able to guarantee them, it can feel scary and lead to extreme stress. Poor mental health can affect your body and immunity.

Talking to others through this hard time, especially friends can help. Isolation can be very hard on some people that are older or those that live alone. I would not be doing so well with isolation if I did not have my husband right here with me and my father very nearby.

Share recipes

For many people, this is the first time they have had to cook with at least some basic foods or be responsible for all the meals consumed. If you get takeout or deli food 5-7 times a week, it is a big change to suddenly have to take care of that yourself and plan your day so that you have time for it.

Getting creative with all those prepper foods you have stashed back can make eating a more enjoyable experience. Variety helps more than you might realize. There are ways to make comfort foods from very basic things with just a few skills and some knowledge.

Practice Communications

Some prepping groups have communications procedures and codes in place. Now is a good time to practice those skills. Some people are getting more into shortwave radios and learning how to operate a HAM radio…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Backdoor Survival.

Backdoor Survival: Getting the Most Out of Your Food Supply

Samantha Biggers of Backdoor Survival has an article up addressing how to stretch your food supplies, whether it be during a quarantine or a long emergency.

Something that a lot of us don’t always pay the most attention to is getting the most out of meals and supplies. Sometimes it doesn’t seem worth our time and from a financial perspective, there are times when this actually has a ring of truth to it.

With the current state of affairs, a lot of us may need to start thinking of ways to be more frugal and less wasteful with the supplies we have on hand, especially when it comes down to food.

Although we have tried to develop good habits over the years, Matt and I have found ourselves being even more careful about using up leftovers and being creative with cooking.

We have chickens, cats, and dogs so even if something drops to the floor or there is a small amount of waste, we usually can use it to supplement the diet of our animals. In the case of chickens, they can recycle that potentially wasted food and parts that you don’t typically eat such as carrot tops and fruit cores, into delicious eggs, and hopefully in the spring, baby chicks.

Cook something delicious and basic and use the leftovers for other meals.

Some people really don’t like leftovers. Part of the reason for this is that some foods truly are better if they are eaten right after cooking. The key is to plan out meals so that you don’t have to experience this as much.

One example I can think of is soups and stews that have noodles in them. How many of us have cooked a big pot of minestrone soup or similar and went back and reheated it the next day to find that the noodles had disintegrated or at least became very mushy?

Twice Baked Potatoes

(Note: At the end of the recipe I have a casserole version of this recipe that uses boxed mashed potato flakes in case that is what you have on hand or you run out of potatoes from your pantry.)

This is a recipe that is inexpensive and delicious at the same time. My husband learned this recipe from his Mom and he cooked it for me and still does so regularly. It is also a great way to make use of leftover baked potatoes. Sometimes we will just cook a whole baking tray full of potatoes to use for many different dishes throughout the week. It saves on cooking fuel and makes it easy to cook a lot of wonderful meals.

To make twice baked potatoes you need the following:

Medium To Large Potatoes

The ingredients below can be added in any combination, depending on what you have on hand. If you have some leftover meat from another meal, then this is an excellent dish to make use of that!

Meat (Optional but adding it makes this dish a meal in itself)

Cheese

Onions (This can be dried onions like chives or dehydrated onions or you can fry them up with meat)

Mushrooms

A little milk, yogurt, or broth to cream some potato filling

To bake the potatoes, first, wash them well and place them on a baking sheet. Spritz or rub with oil. I like to use grapeseed oil for this. Salt the outside. Poke a few holes in the top of each with a knife or fork. Bake in a preheated oven at 325 F for 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the potato. Stick a toothpick, fork or similar into them to make sure they are soft in the middle.

Allow to cool enough to handle. Scoop out the inside as much as possible and put it in a stockpot or other small cooking pot. You want enough room to mix in any of the additional ingredients listed in the recipe above. You can also use a mixer if desired. That may be the way to go if you are doing these for a crowd.

Mash the scooped out potatoes or use a mixer to whip them with enough milk, yogurt, or broth to get them a consistency that you can scoop into potato skins. Add in any meat, cheese, veggies, etc. We usually shred cheese. You can also use powdered cheeses if that is what you have on hand.

Spoon your filling into the potato skins. Top with cheese if desired. Parmesan works well but you can also use any other type you would like.

Bake in a 350 F oven until the cheese starts to brown. Serve with sour cream, green onions, bacon, salsa or any other additional toppings you desire.

This is a very versatile recipe as you can see. There are countless combinations you can use for fillings and toppings. Think about what leftover veggies or meats you have and use them first.

Baked Potato Casserole Alternative If You Don’t Have Baking Potatoes

Make mashed potatoes from the dry boxed variety. Mix in any of the ingredients just as you would for the baked potato method above. Butter or oil a pan and spread mixture into it. Top with shredded cheese or dry Parmesan. You can sprinkle bacon crumbles on top too if you have them. Bake until cheese is as golden as you like it.

Put out smaller portions on plates. People can always go back for more. If you serve dinner in a serve-yourself manner, then have a discussion with everyone about this and encourage good habits.

Putting too much food on each person’s plate can result in waste. After all, no one is going to want to put what is left off of everyone’s plate back into the pot. If someone has a lot of leftovers on their plate then perhaps using a Tupperware and labeling it with their name so they can eat it for lunch the next day is a good idea? Just a few thoughts to prevent the age-old problem of too much on the plate sometimes… (continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Backdoor Survival.

Backdoor Survival: What the Iran Conflict Means for Preparedness

Iran protesters burn a U.S. flag.

What The Iran Conflict Means For Preparedness is written by Samantha Biggers over at Backdoor Survival. While the article was written before the results of the missile attacks on US bases in Iraq was widely known, that isn’t really relevant for the article. Some people breathed a sigh of relief when Iran essentially said “We’re done. Take that USA.” But we don’t really know that Iran’s response is over, and it probably isn’t. The explosion/crash of Boeing 737 in Iran shortly after Iran’s statement is suspicious and could be an attempt by Iran to make a larger impact on the US economy as well as well-known US corporation. There were secondary missile attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad by Iran-backed Iraqi militias last night. Cyber threats from Iran continue. So the conflict is not over, and could heat up even more over uranium enrichment.

The conflict with Iran has many people very fearful. To be honest the whole thing has made me do a lot of thinking. I don’t want to go over the politics of the situation with you because guess what: there are a lot of things that all people have in common if they want to stay safe and protect their families from hardship on all levels.

A lot of the things I am going to talk about are things that you may already have covered and honestly should be prepared for anyway. One of the beautiful things about well planned prepping is that you can use a lot of the things that you put back even if you are lucky enough to never experience any major event. As the old saying goes, better safer than sorry…

Click here to read the entire article at Backdoor Survival.