Prep Genrl Weekly Prep Thread: February 21~27, 2021

Digger

Senior Member
Today got up to 74* and there was still snow in places and ice on the ponds. Crazy!

I spent the day prunings and spraying dormant oil on the fruit trees. I still have some pruning to do. I know there is some dead wood left. Our main concern was getting the spray on while we had the right weather to do it. I can keep prunings even up till Spring if it is just dead wood. I am pretty sure we lost one peach and an apple tree. Our 30 year old plum is cut back to one main branch. We need to see about getting a couple new trees. The trees are a lot of work, but the fruit is so good. On good years we can supply the kids and hubbys parents with fruit too. I have yet to get a good strawberry patch established. But that is something we need to work on.

My seeds are coming up in the cold frame. I had to open it yesterday to keep it from getting to hot.
 

SouthernBreeze

Veteran Member
It was 68*, yesterday, and it's going into the low 70's, today. Yesterday, on our way to town, we hit spots on the road where there was still snow and ice. It's all melted in our yard, except for the north side of our house which is always in the shade. That should be gone by this afternoon. Since the north side doesn't get much sun, all I can grow on that side are hostas. I have 5 huge pots lined up down that side of the house with hostas in them. They grow to monster size each year. With the prolonged freeze that we've had, I'm afraid they're all dead from freezing. I may have to start over with them this spring.

We're experiencing hot water heater issues this morning. One of the heating elements has gone out. Good thing Cary has had an extra one in storage. He'll be working on that, today. I heat a lot of our water on the wood heater and stove anyway. Every penny counts when it comes to lowering our electricity bill each month. I still like my hot showers, though.
 

SouthernBreeze

Veteran Member
I mentioned that Cary is replacing a heating element in our hot water heater. He has to drain the heater, first. There is only a very small trickle of water coming out, and he doesn't know why. Any of you have any ideas that would help? He like things to go smoothly, and is getting frustrated.
 

summerthyme

Administrator
_______________
Do you have hard water? They can build up a LOT of minerals on the bottom of the tank. I once used a wire coat hanger to gently break up the sludge blocking the drain outlet in our 90 gallon electric hot water heater. I'm not sure that's recommended, but it did work.

Summerthyme
 

SouthernBreeze

Veteran Member
Do you have hard water? They can build up a LOT of minerals on the bottom of the tank. I once used a wire coat hanger to gently break up the sludge blocking the drain outlet in our 90 gallon electric hot water heater. I'm not sure that's recommended, but it did work.

Summerthyme
Yes, we have very hard water. It's still draining, but is coming out in a trickle. Cary is just letting it drain while he eats lunch. He's going to try something else when he's finished. I'll mention what you said to him. He thought the bottom might be full of sand, but the water that is coming out is clear.

Thanks!
 

GingerN

Veteran Member
We were going to to a batch of freezer cooking this weekend, but the youngest daughter said she has to wait for next paycheck to do a big haul. Suits me fine, and gives me time to do a little more cleaning of the freezer and fridge. Hubby is going to clean gutters and get the camper out of the back yard so we can get it ready for its annual check up. I will inventory what we do and don't have in there, and make my lists for restocking it when we get it back. We want to be able to use it as a prep-mobile, lol. We already used it this winter when hubby was in quarantine. Also, I need to see about cleaning the garage so I can move my office and the kids school room down there. This is driving me crazy.
 

ReneeT

Veteran Member
I've got 15 ton of 1" rock coming for the driveways tomorrow; told the neighbor lady that I'd ordered some, so she got ahold of him to bring her a load tomorrow as well. I'm gonna see how far my first load goes - he may be busy tomorrow :lol:
 

SouthernBreeze

Veteran Member
Summerthyme! Thanks so much for your advice on the sludge buildup in the hot water heater. I told Cary, and that sure did help. There was a lot of mineral build up. There was a loose wire on the heating element, and that's what the heating problem was. He's got it all fixed now. So, thanks again!
 
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summerthyme

Administrator
_______________
Oh, good! Tell Cary that if possible, it would be best to drain it yearly, getting as much of the sludge out as possible. It will otherwise eventually build up around the heating element enough that it can't heat the water, and it will eventually burn out. Glad you got it going.

Summerthyme
 

SouthernBreeze

Veteran Member
Oh, good! Tell Cary that if possible, it would be best to drain it yearly, getting as much of the sludge out as possible. It will otherwise eventually build up around the heating element enough that it can't heat the water, and it will eventually burn out. Glad you got it going.

Summerthyme
I just told him. He says that he knew that, but hasn't been too responsible in getting it done regularly. His own fault. He thanks you for your help, too.
 

Digger

Senior Member
Hubby had an early morning dr appointment to check his blood work and an ear that has been bothering him. Ear is still red. I was going to make some mullin flower oil for his ear, but apparently I did not keep the flowers when I planted the seeds. I will be sure to make some with this years flowers.

We went to Neighborhood market. They very little bread. We have been looking for hubbys English muffins for weeks. He doesn't eat one each morning, only a couple times a week. We checked the canning supplies since we were there. Jackpot! They had a case of wide mouth lids, Ball brand. I put 4 boxes in the cart for me and hubby added 3 more for good measure. I called my good friend and she wanted some too. We both have Tattler lids too. Friend only has 4 dozen of each size. But I have a lot. But I won't give a jar of food away with a Tattler lid on it. That is why I use medal lids some also.

I almost forgot. Hubby said the dr has to ask everyone if they use marijuana now that it is legal for medical purposes. Hubby does not and does not plan to.
 

Illini Warrior

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I just told him. He says that he knew that, but hasn't been too responsible in getting it done regularly. His own fault. He thanks you for your help, too.
anybody in the home could actually help with that regular water heater drain routine - keep a hose connected and find a regular chore that a flush can be worked into ....

I washdown that section of my basement floor with my water heater hose - fill a cleaning bucket - add to the laundry soak sink - ect ect
 

SouthernBreeze

Veteran Member
We don't have a basement. The heater is in my laundry room beside my washing machine and dryer. Those three are closed off from the rest of the laundry room by double doors. Cary has to hook up the hose, and run it out the back door onto our deck. He hardly ever has a reason to go into that section of the laundry room, so he never thinks about doing it. I guess I'm gonna have to be the reminder, since I do all the laundry. :D
 

hiwall

Veteran Member
Yesterday we went to the closest town large enough to have a Walmart (75 miles) because wife had an eye doc appointment. Taking advantage of the trip we shopped for several hours and spent way too much money. She has those appointments every six months so that is usually how often we go there. There are many things we just cannot get shipped here or we just want to look at before buying. The first couple things my wife bought I just told her to buy extra, after that she did it on her own. Stores had many many outages.
 

paxsim2

Contributing Member
Heading out to pick up a Walmart order, I got everything I ordered, I was afraid I wouldn't because of snowmageddon 2021. We were fortunate not to lose power but we generally don't because we are on the same line as a nursing home. We get it fixed pretty fast.

I ordered the Mr. Heater/Buddy propane 1 burner cook stove, got a great deal on it at Academy online. Even with shipping it was 14.00 cheaper than other places with free shipping. That is my one weakness during a power outage in the winter especially this last artic blast. This will make it much easier and safer. I'm also headed out to Tractor Supply to get a filter and hose for our Mr. Buddy propane heater. Glad we didn't need it we didn't have this vital piece of equipment. :shk:

Have a great day everyone!
 

SouthernBreeze

Veteran Member
We finally got Cary's surgery scheduled a few minutes ago, Got the call. It will be March 10th. All of our prepping will be towards that end. It will be 6 weeks afterwards, before Cary will be able to do much, so he wants to gets as much done as he can before then. Now that our weather is warming up nicely, there are things outside he needs to get done.

I resealed my #10 can of dehydrated bell peppers that I opened into canning jars. One full qt. and one full pint.
 

nomifyle

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I have a small order coming from Walmart.com. I ordered several packages of the "Bear" Creek soups and from Amazon i ordered one of those assist things to help get some one up without killing your back. And some more hand warmers which we don't need now that spring has come to Louisiana. But I'll have a supply for next year and DH is finally a believer in them.

judy
 

SouthernBreeze

Veteran Member
As one of the preps, before Cary has surgery was filling up our 250 gal propane tank. He called and ordered that, today. We only use the small propane wall heater in emergencies. Since Cary won't be able to lift anything for awhile, he thought we could just use the propane heater, instead of firewood, until he is able. By then, we may not even need any heat, but he wants to be on the safe side. Our propane price was $2.49/gal. The tank was almost empty, but we don't have to fill it very often. The heater is the only use for propane.

I'm getting a Sam's Club order ready to send. Am making my list as I take inventory of my pantry. I'm thinking of making another Augason Farms order, too. When I was checking out their bell peppers, I saw a few more things I'd like to have, and their prices are reasonable. Another order to Walmart for canned BBQ pork. They don't have it in the store. I can't find it anywhere else any cheaper than Walmart.
 

Marseydoats

Senior Member
I haven't even been able to keep up with my regular chores with mandatory overtime and the weather kicking my butt. I finally got 2 1/2 weeks of trash hauled off today, we were running over. I can't put it outside because of the bears. Also re-filled all the kerosene cans. More heavy rain for next week and we are still flooded as it is.
 

20Gauge

Has No Life - Lives on TB
To those of you that use dehydrated onions and peppers, how do you use them? I have bought a few cans with the thought of maybe making homemade mixes but never got around to it. We use a lot of fresh onions and fresh and frozen peppers but I’m not sure how to replace those with dehydrated or freeze dried. For instance how to use them in fried potatoes and onions, could it be done and have an acceptable dish? I think I understand on adding them to something like sauces or soups.
The wife just mixes them in. She does account for a loss of water as they hydrate, but it is normally not much.
 

prudentwatcher

Veteran Member
Stopped by Aldi's to pick up some ground meat and found a couple of kinds of beans in 2 lbs bags at really good prices-under $1.50 each. Bought 2. Then bought 4 cream of chicken soup as I have a LOT of chicken and rice and decided I needed more soup to make my chicken and rice.

Last week I stopped by Walmart and picked up another three cans of roast beef (which I try to do every time I go in) and three cans of beef tamales. I had to transfer my proteins to another closet because I was getting so many, but I am happy to see them stacked up in there.
 

aviax2

Contributing Member
My Walmart order got split into 3 shipments SMH. I got the oxi clean, the water filters *should* be here tomorrow but were supposed to be here yesterday, the rest of the items seem to be in limbo on a fedex truck in transit to Humbolt TN like it has been for days.

DH went to pick up a few things from the store yesterday and he said it was really slim pickings! He managed to get a 5 lb bag of red potatoes and a 2 lb bag of carrots and some bananas. He said what little choice of veggies there was, was not in good shape. I‘ve used pretty much all of the fresh veggies and down to a few stalks of celery, part of a head of cabbage other than the potato and carrots, so I hope they get restocked soon.

Something we found funny, when DH was checking out yesterday the girl checking him out commented on “that’s a really big bag of carrots, do you have a horse”? He told her “no, we eat them”! I wonder what she would have thought if she knew we usually buy at least one of the 5lb bags, two if we’re low at Sam’s or Costco.
 

etdeb

Veteran Member
My Walmart order got split into 3 shipments SMH. I got the oxi clean, the water filters *should* be here tomorrow but were supposed to be here yesterday, the rest of the items seem to be in limbo on a fedex truck in transit to Humbolt TN like it has been for days.

DH went to pick up a few things from the store yesterday and he said it was really slim pickings! He managed to get a 5 lb bag of red potatoes and a 2 lb bag of carrots and some bananas. He said what little choice of veggies there was, was not in good shape. I‘ve used pretty much all of the fresh veggies and down to a few stalks of celery, part of a head of cabbage other than the potato and carrots, so I hope they get restocked soon.

Something we found funny, when DH was checking out yesterday the girl checking him out commented on “that’s a really big bag of carrots, do you have a horse”? He told her “no, we eat them”! I wonder what she would have thought if she knew we usually buy at least one of the 5lb bags, two if we’re low at Sam’s or Costco.
Hope the FEDEX truck with your shipment was not the one that became airborne missel in the 100 vehicle pile up in Texas last week.
 

hiwall

Veteran Member
Do they still sell to non members? Its been about 4 years since I ordered the basic items.
I have bought from the local food center but have never used the online store. At the food center they never mentioned the church at all. Great people there too.
 

mecoastie

Veteran Member
Hopefully the skidder gets delivered next week and the backside of the property gets cut. Been wanting to do it for a few years now and finally got caught up with the logger I wanted to use. He is pulling all the high quality red oak and pine out. Leaving me a pile of firewood logs and all the tops. Be nice to have the extra cash and have the back opened up for the young hardwoods.
 

SouthernBreeze

Veteran Member
Big mistake and loss! :( I've been taking flour and cornmeal out of my freezers, and sealing them up in 5 gal buckets with O2 absorbers. I took a few more bags out of each, let them lay , still in the freezer bags, in the laundry room for a few days. When I went to seal them up today in the new buckets, 6 bags of flour had molded. Had to throw them away. As each bag thawed out, moisture must have built up inside. First time this has happened. I'm not doing anymore this way for fear that I might lose more. The rest will just stay in the freezer. I don't know of anything I could have done differently.
 

Illini Warrior

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Big mistake and loss! :( I've been taking flour and cornmeal out of my freezers, and sealing them up in 5 gal buckets with O2 absorbers. I took a few more bags out of each, let them lay , still in the freezer bags, in the laundry room for a few days. When I went to seal them up today in the new buckets, 6 bags of flour had molded. Had to throw them away. As each bag thawed out, moisture must have built up inside. First time this has happened. I'm not doing anymore this way for fear that I might lose more. The rest will just stay in the freezer. I don't know of anything I could have done differently.
one of the dangers of screwing around with the freezer deal - adding a desiccant pack to any of your packings is never a bad idea - they don't advise a pack for sugar or salt because it supposedly will cause clumping/solidifying - it really makes no difference either way .....

if you add desiccant to a 02 absorber long term bucket pack - always separate as much as possible - the two combat and will effect the absorber ....
 

SouthernBreeze

Veteran Member
one of the dangers of screwing around with the freezer deal - adding a desiccant pack to any of your packings is never a bad idea - they don't advise a pack for sugar or salt because it supposedly will cause clumping/solidifying - it really makes no difference either way .....

if you add desiccant to a 02 absorber long term bucket pack - always separate as much as possible - the two combat and will effect the absorber ....
All of the flour and cornmeal gets emptied into freezer storage bags, before they are put in the freezer. Are you saying that when I take these bags out, I need to open them, and put in an O2 absorber, close them back up while they thaw out? That would seem to draw out any moisture that might accumulate inside.
 

hiwall

Veteran Member
All of the flour and cornmeal gets emptied into freezer storage bags, before they are put in the freezer. Are you saying that when I take these bags out, I need to open them, and put in an O2 absorber, close them back up while they thaw out? That would seem to draw out any moisture that might accumulate inside.
You could just open them up and leave open until they got to room temp. That should keep them dry. But if left open I suppose it could invite bugs to take up residence.

Do you freeze them to kill any bugs inside? If so maybe discontinue that practice. I used to freeze some a for couple days to kill bugs but I quit doing that many years ago.
 

SouthernBreeze

Veteran Member
You could just open them up and leave open until they got to room temp. That should keep them dry. But if left open I suppose it could invite bugs to take up residence.

Do you freeze them to kill any bugs inside? If so maybe discontinue that practice. I used to freeze some a for couple days to kill bugs but I quit doing that many years ago.
Yes, I put all flour and cornmeal in the freezer to kill off any eggs that may be in the sacks when I bring them home. I just keep them in the freezer for the duration for the same reason, no bugs. It keeps it all fresh while frozen, too, for a long time. I was happy to just leave it all in the freezers, until, I had to defrost one of them. I decided to take some of it out at that time, and put into 5 gal buckets with O2 absorbers. Worked fine on that round. Now, I wanted to do the same again, but after it had been out of the freezer for a few days, the flour molded. I still have about 20 lbs of each in the freezer, and don't want to mess it up, too.

All of the new flour and cornmeal I buy now goes directly into 1/2 gal canning jars with O2 absorbers.
 

aviax2

Contributing Member
All of the flour and cornmeal gets emptied into freezer storage bags, before they are put in the freezer. Are you saying that when I take these bags out, I need to open them, and put in an O2 absorber, close them back up while they thaw out? That would seem to draw out any moisture that might accumulate inside.
I always freeze flour in the bags they come in from the store, then before storing I take it out and leave it on the counter for a few days turning it over a few times when I think about it to get rid of any moisture. Bread and all purpose flours get poured right into buckets after freezing. Self rising flour and cornmeal stay in the freezer until I need to fill my canister in the kitchen. Past experience showed me that self rising flour will go flat long term and since we don’t use it as much I only store a few bags in the freezer. Cornmeal tends to get a little rancid and also flat so I also store it in the freezer even though we use more of that than SR flour. So sorry for the loss, been there, done that.
 

SouthernBreeze

Veteran Member
I always freeze flour in the bags they come in from the store, then before storing I take it out and leave it on the counter for a few days turning it over a few times when I think about it to get rid of any moisture. Bread and all purpose flours get poured right into buckets after freezing. Self rising flour and cornmeal stay in the freezer until I need to fill my canister in the kitchen. Past experience showed me that self rising flour will go flat long term and since we don’t use it as much I only store a few bags in the freezer. Cornmeal tends to get a little rancid and also flat so I also store it in the freezer even though we use more of that than SR flour. So sorry for the loss, been there, done that.
I use way more cornmeal than self rising flour. It was strange that none of the cornmeal molded. Just the flour. I'm so paranoid of bugs that when I take a bag out of the freezer for use, I keep it in the fridge, until it's used up. I've never had any cornmeal or flour go flat as long as I keep it stored in the freezer. I always add baking soda to my cornbread and biscuits anyway when making them.
 

aviax2

Contributing Member
I use way more cornmeal than self rising flour. It was strange that none of the cornmeal molded. Just the flour. I'm so paranoid of bugs that when I take a bag out of the freezer for use, I keep it in the fridge, until it's used up. I've never had any cornmeal or flour go flat as long as I keep it stored in the freezer. I always add baking soda to my cornbread and biscuits anyway when making them.
When I first started prepping in a bigger way, I filled a 5 gallon bucket nearly full of cornmeal but by the time we got down to less than half, we noticed the cornbread wasn’t rising very well and had started smelling a bit off. So I decided after that we would keep the majority in the freezer to keep it fresher. And that’s why I also keep the self rising flour in the freezer along with baking soda, baking powder and cream of tarter to extend their shelf life. LOL, I hear you on the bugs, they freak me out too!
 

SouthernBreeze

Veteran Member
When I first started prepping in a bigger way, I filled a 5 gallon bucket nearly full of cornmeal but by the time we got down to less than half, we noticed the cornbread wasn’t rising very well and had started smelling a bit off. So I decided after that we would keep the majority in the freezer to keep it fresher. And that’s why I also keep the self rising flour in the freezer along with baking soda, baking powder and cream of tarter to extend their shelf life. LOL, I hear you on the bugs, they freak me out too!
My mom used to keep her flour and cornmeal in 5 gal metal lard cans. The same would happen to her. It would go flat from time to time, but she never got bugs in it. She only filled up one can at a time. I started out doing it that way, but it didn't take long for me to realize that it would go either flat or rancid. That's when I began storing it all in the freezer. No bugs was a bonus.
 

hiwall

Veteran Member
I cannot eat any wheat products but I make cornbread often. I keep a large supply on-hand. I never freeze it and it takes a couple years to pass through normal rotation. Occasionally some gets missed and the oldest I ever used was stored about 5 years with no issues.
 

aviax2

Contributing Member
I cannot eat any wheat products but I make cornbread often. I keep a large supply on-hand. I never freeze it and it takes a couple years to pass through normal rotation. Occasionally some gets missed and the oldest I ever used was stored about 5 years with no issues.
Maybe it’s more of being in the south thing!? I know the pantry in the old house there was more of an issue with temp/humidity then what I have now.
 
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