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Thursday, December 30, 2010

North Carolina Economy Moves From Textiles to Tech

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Terrorist may poison the food supply (but the food companies already have)

Always on the terror streak, the mainstream media is now warning Americans that terrorists may strike the food supply by dumping poison into restaurant salad bars and buffets, for example. CBS News broke the story, quoting anonymous "intelligence" sources who insist that terrorists might use ricin or cyanide to poison foods in salad bars.

I have news for CBS, the federal government, and the terrorists: If you really want to poison the U.S. food supply, just use aspartame. It causes neurological disorders and yet remains perfectly legal to dump into foods such as diet sodas and children's medicines. You don't even have to dump it into the food supply in secret, either: You can do it right out in full view of the public. Heck, you can even list this chemical right on the ingredients label!

Or get into the MSG business. MSG, which is often hidden on "natural" foods under an ingredient called yeast extract, is a potent neurotoxin that promotes obesity and even cancer, according to some experts. Feed people enough MSG and they'll probably die of cancer sooner or later, and that counts toward the goal of terrorism too, doesn't it?

If you really want to get nasty and up the body count, start a hot dog company and dump sodium nitrite into your processed meat like all the other hot dog companies do. Sodium nitrite promotes aggressive cancers -- even in children -- and yet the USDA and FDA allow its use in the food supply (http://www.naturalnews.com/007133.html).

Better yet, feed the population genetically modified corn and then wait for the mutations to kick in. GMOs might actually be called a biological weapon because they cause so much harm to humans and the environment. (http://www.naturalnews.com/GMO.html)

Why be a terrorist when you can do so much more damage as a processed food company?

If you're a terrorist looking to poison the U.S. food supply, get in line, buddy! The food companies have beat you to it!

In the U.S. food supply right now, you can find toxic mercury, BPA, acrylamides, petrochemicals, dangerous preservatives, synthetic chemicals like aspartame, pesticide residues and artificial colors that alter brain function. The FDA doesn't seem to care about any of this, of course: All these poisons in the food supply are legal!

So here's a message to Al-Qaeda and all the other terrorists trying to kill Americans: Don't bother with bombs and missiles... just get into the processed food business!

Or, heck, if you really want to kill Americans with poison, get into the cancer industry! The "Al-Qaeda Cancer Clinic" could really rack up some body bags by doing what all the other cancer clinics do: Inject patients with chemotherapy and watch them die (http://www.naturalnews.com/029996_c...).

Seriously, if you want to kill Americans, all you really need to do is keep supporting conventional medicine and the FDA with its do-nothing position on dangerous chemicals that threaten the health of Americans right now. FDA-approved drugs kill well over 100,000 Americans each year -- a statistic that dwarfs the body count of any terrorist group.

Come to think of it, how do we know the FDA isn't already being run by terrorists? Their actions, which blatantly endanger American lives, are entirely consistent with the aims of a terrorist organization. (http://www.naturalnews.com/001894.html)

By the way, this is all depicted in a CounterThink cartoon I created in 2006 called The Food Terrorists: http://www.counterthink.com/The_Foo...

This cartoon anticipated today's terror news alerts by four years. That's because when it comes to the U.S. government's rhetoric on terrorism, it's not that difficult to see where they're taking it.

Want to know what the next four years will bring us? I'll soon be publishing a list of predictions for 2011 and beyond. Watch NaturalNews.com for that announcement.

In the mean time, you might want to steer clear of FDA-approved foods and drugs, because you just never know what's really in them.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/030811_terrorists_food_supply.html#ixzz199Q1RS78

Sources for this story include:

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Sing the health praises of parsley and sage

Those of us who go back a few years likely remember the line about parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme in the huge Simon and Garfunkel hit song about two ill-fated lovers, "Are You Going to Scarborough Fair". Many have speculated that the reference to the four popular herbs was due to their use in Medieval Europe to help cleanse the air and ward off the infamous black plague. Others have thought that the reference to the four herbs was because the combination may have been used as a love potion. Whatever the reason for their inclusion in the popular song, the many health benefits of parsley and sage are worth loving and singing praises about in their own rights.


Parsley is an amazing medicinal herb with a world of health benefits. The root contains calcium, B-complex vitamins, and iron, which nourish the glands that help regulate the uptake of calcium. It is a source of magnesium, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin K.

Among the many benefits reported for parsley are:

*It is a diuretic which helps the body produce more urine to keep the urinary system operating smoothly and which helps prevent problems such as kidney stones and bladder infections.

*It is wonderful for removing toxins from the body, such as heavy metals.

*It is an effective breath freshener. It is believed that the practice of including parsley on a dinner plate began due to its breath freshening abilities and not merely for its decorative effect.

*The root and leaves are good for the liver and spleen.

*It helps relieve bloating during menstruation.

*It provides relief for edema, often helping when other remedies have failed

*Parsley root and seeds help relax stiff joints, often making stiff and unmanageable fingers work again.

*It helps remove gallstones when used properly by taking a pint of the tea daily.

*It is beneficial for the adrenal glands.

*It is a powerful therapeutic aid for the optic nerves, brain and sympathetic nervous system.

*Parsley juice is an excellent tonic for the blood vessels.

Note: It is best to avoid large amounts of parsley if you are pregnant, especially the use of the volatile essential oil.


Like rosemary, its sister herb in the mint (Labiatae) family, sage contains a variety of volatile oils, flavonoids and phenolic acids, including rosmarinic acid. The oils found in sage are both antiseptic and antibiotic, helping it fight infections.

Besides the antioxidant and other properties shared with Rosemary, sage`s other health benefits include:

*It is effective for symptoms of menopause, night sweats and hot flashes because of its estrogenic action and because its tannins help dry up perspiration.

*Sage helps provide better brain function and has been used in the treatment of cerebrovascular disease for over a thousand years. It helps provide better recall and research has suggested that it may be an effective option to help treat Alzheimer`s.

*There`s also compelling evidence that sage may be of value to people with diabetes for whom the hormone insulin does not work as efficiently as it should. Lab studies indicate that sage may boost insulin`s action.

* The ability of sage to protect oils from oxidation has also led some companies to experiment with sage as a natural antioxidant additive for cooking oils that can extend shelf life and help avoid rancidity.

In an upcoming article, we will also sing the praises of the other two herbs mentioned in the popular song - rosemary and thyme.

Sources included:


About the author

Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for baby boomers and others wishing to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year.
Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near San Antonio and Austin to give lectures in health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs - featuring Luella May" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup" and he serves as a consultant to the "Utopia Silver Supplement Company".

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/030824_parsley_sage.html#ixzz199MCeUCU

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Found a great Ammo Company with Awesome Prices

Posted by: Maverick9110e

Hey guys, Been meaning to post this for a few weeks now. Finally got some free time to do it. While at the gun show here in Raleigh i needed to pick up some ammo, .38 special and .45 acp. Well long story short i stumbled upon this company Sillman Cartridge Company. Turns out their actually located out in western NC. They have Factory New and Factory Loaded ammo. I've run through about 500 rounds or more of the .45 acp both FMJ and JHP and about 300 rounds of the .38 special JHP. No major complaints at all with the ammo, actually fairly clean, at least much cleaner then the cheap Remington UMC garbage i was shooting before. But i have to say my biggest turn on to these guys aside from being made here in the USA (my home state nonetheless) was the price. I mean $16 a box for .45acp 230 grain FMJ ammo at $16 a box is a steal! the cheapest i found around here was $25 a box for the Remmy UMC stuff i mentioned earlier. Even online i haven't found much else close price wise. Now let me also say i in no way shape or form work for these guys or get anything out of this. I've had some contact with the owner (Carl) through a few emails and he is top notch in his customer service and anything you need from him. They also have a warranty on their ammo as will if any issues come up within 6 months of purchase. So anyway, i just wanted to share these guys with you and hope it might help some of you out there with your next ammo purchase, i know i'll definitely be buying more from these guys for sure!

Here's their website:


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Saturday, November 27, 2010

North Carolina Preppers Roll Call

The North Carolina Preppers Network is conducting a Roll Call on our forum.  If you are a prepper please check in.

* Here is a link to the Roll Call:

You have to be registered to check in.  If you aren't registered please join here:

* If you are a HAM Radio Operator check in here:

* If you are an A.N.T.S. member please check in here:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Member

Welcome our new members:


Hi guys, I go by Crutch. I am a Home steader/survivalist that just today came across you guys. I think it's awesome to have a prepper group for here in NC.

I would consider myself more of a survivalist then a Prepper. I host a group that focuses on meetups where we teach many of the lost skills in order to take those who are prepping and lead them into being self sufficient.

Like the NCrangers.org guys, we don't just meet to hang out. We meet to accomplish goals. There is way to much to go over and we take this seriously.

Meetups are important because many skills can't be learned unless they are physically done. It's like reading a book on how to ride a bike. Unless you train yourself by riding it, the day you need to ride it, you wont be able to.

If the mods allow it, I will leave my web site. I am not here to steal members, but to offer anyone serious about prepping a chance to take it even further. If you want to learn by hands on, for free, then come check us out. In turn I will let my guys know about your forum.

It is equally important to network. I would probably be more willing to assist other preppers then sheeple. (no offense intended.) I believe it is more likely that our disasters in NC will be man made, and financial.


Come check us out some time.

Welcome our new member by following the link below:


Greetings all:

My name is David and I live in North Carolina. I am very new to the (dicipline...for lack of a better term) of self reliance. I do however, think that because of the way our economy is going that one must be prepared to weather what could be a very long storm. Time is rapidly running out and I have a lot of catching up to do. I know I have quite a task ahead of me but as they say, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. That is where I am. I look forward to learning from you all. God bless you all and God bless the United States of America.

Welcome our new member by following the link below:


I'm new here, just dropping in to check this out and see what I can learn from everyone here. I listened to a podcast of Twisted Radio w/ Erin Dakins and while doing a search for her blog came upon the NC preppers site. My wife and I have been homesteading and prepping for about 2 years now. We have learned a lot but there is so much knowledge you can learn from others. That's why I'm here.


Welcome our new member by following the link below:


I am new to this site but have many years of prepping experience. I have posted on the main forum in the new member section and guess this would be appropriate to post here in the NC section as well.
I am currently living in Durham, I am a General Contractor and the President of the Carolina Reloaders Club, for you NC guys you may have known us as Carolina Gun Trader. The gun trader site shut down and our club has taken its place. We are not just about reloading we have many members from every side of the sport from hunters to competition shooters, from the new guy to Dept of Justice instructors.
Any how, I love to meet some new guys here and get some new ideas to pass along to our club members, meet some new friends and maybe even bump into some old ones.
You can find us on Facebook , search Carolina Reloaders Club and your welcome to join the club at

Thanks again and look forward to being part of your the community

Welcome our new member by following the link below:

T Ruble

Just joined this network. I have prepping since the late nineties, took a break away for a while and have in "full" mode for about 20 months now. My interest in preparing myself and family is primary, however, I am also concerned and am drawn to be a defender of our Republic. I have found it difficult at times to open the eyes of others while they are in the land of rainbows and butterflys, and my attempts to locate others has been difficult. Even though I am associated with the NC Ranger Corps www.ncrangercorps.org, our attempts to make people aware of the threats has not brought me any closer to meeting like minded individuals. I hope to find those people here.

Welcome our new member by following the link below:

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Monday, September 27, 2010

New Member

North Carolina Preppers Network welcomes our newest member wheezie. To post your welcome please follow this link:

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How To Join The North Carolina Preppers Network

Come learn survival, preparedness and sustainable living with us!

The Preppers networks are all about volunteering our knowledge and skills with each other. We share ideas, tips and basically network with each other to survive any type of disaster whether natural, man made, or economic. Information that you learn and share with others will help everyone learn how to find "Freedom Through Teaching Others Self Reliance."

Joining the North Carolina Preppers Network is simple, and most of all, it's Free! To join, just follow these few steps.

1) Register to become a member of the American Preppers Network www.AmericanPreppersNetwork.net The registration page is here: http://americanpreppersnetwork.net/ucp.php?mode=register

2) Once you have your account, go to the index page of the forum and do your first post by introducing yourself in the new members area. http://americanpreppersnetwork.net/index.php

3) Once you know how to do posts, visit the North Carolina forum and introduce yourself. The North Carolina forum can be found by scrolling to the lower section of the index page where you will find a list of states, or you can go directly by following this URL: www.North CarolinaPreppersNetwork.net

4) After you've visited the North Carolina forum, follow this link to learn how to join the North Carolina Preppers Network group:

APN's success depends on your contributions. If you would like to donate to our organization by becoming a Gold Member you can join the APN Gold Members club by following this link:
Gold Membership is only $5 per month. For a list of Gold Member benefits go here

Thank you for your support!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Grow A Garden in Winter--Book Recommendation

Last fall my husband planted onions, kale, and collards as a cool weather crop. We ate them through the fall and starting again in the early spring. This week we finally dug up the last of those onions, and we are still eating the kale. (The collards became a treat for some of the wild critters who ate them after the first snow last year.) The success of this planting led us to research what else we could raise in cold weather.

We are interested in this for two reasons:
  1. We enjoy eating fresh food from our garden for taste, saving money, and to eat healthier foods.
  2. If self-sufficiency ever becomes a necessity versus a lifestyle choice, the ability to grow food year-round could be life-saving.
We found a book that we will be using this year as a guide in creating a winter garden, The Winter Harvest Handbook, by Eliot Coleman. The subtitle, "Year-Round Vegetable Production Using Deep-Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses," describes it pretty well.

Although written by a small commercial farmer, the instructions are easily adaptable to the home gardener. Here is the Table of Contents.
  1. The Winter Harvest
  2. Historical Inspiration
  3. Getting Started
  4. The Yearly Schedule
  5. Sunlight
  6. The "Cold" Greenhouse
  7. The "Cool" Greenhouse
  8. Winter Crops
  9. Summer Crops
  10. Greenhouse Design
  11. Year-Round Intensive Cropping
  12. Soil Preparation
  13. Sowing
  14. Weed Control
  15. Harvesting in Winter
  16. Marketing and Economics
  17. Pests
  18. Insects and Diseases
  19. Tools for the Small Farm
  20. Deep-Organic Farming and the Small Farm
The book is full of detailed, specific information that you can actually use. There are three components to his system:
  • Cold-hearty vegetables
  • Succession-planting
  • Protected cultivation
Some of the vegetables like carrots, spinach, and turnips taste even better as a winter crop.

As one reviewer on Amazon noted,
You'll also learn about vertical production of tomatoes and how to create your own cold frame with quick hoops made of electrical conduit and 10-foot-wide spun-bonded row cover held down by sandbags. These hoops can cover the same area as a 22 by 48 foot greenhouse at 5% of the cost.
Out of 40 ratings, 34 are "5 stars", and 5 are "4 stars." We give it 5 stars for it's practical, easy-to-read content and illustrations.

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Monday, July 5, 2010

The Best of Alaska Rose--Making Soap From Scratch

When I was growing up, we always made soap starting with the fat when we butchered. We used homemade lye from hardwood ashes or used store-bought lye. You can add other stuff if you want it. It's not a super gentle soap, but it works well. Make bars if it turns out firm enough, or use it with some water added to make soft soap for doing laundry with.

You can use any fats to make soap, from used cooking fat, as long as it isn't burned, to the trim from butchering. Animal and vegetable fats together make a superior soap. You can clean cooking fat or used oils by adding an equal amount of water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stir, and add cold water. (1 quart to each gallon of hot liquid.) The clean fat should float to the top. You can skim it off or wait until it is firm and carefully peel it off. If it has an "off" odor, add 5 cups water and 1 cup vinegar to 6 cups of fat. Boil for 15 minutes, cool, skim clean fat.

Pure lye purchased from a store makes the most uniform soap, but you can make your own lye by placing a barrel or tub a few feet above ground on a rock or platform. Bore some small holes in the bottom of the tub. Cover the holes with small rocks to slow drainage. Fill the tub with hardwood ashes. (Hardwood trees lose their leaves in winter.) Pour hot water over the ashes, catching the runoff in a bucket. Add more ashes as the ashes settle, and pour the drained water over the ashes a second or even a third time, the longer the water takes to soak through and drain out, the stronger the lye will be. It should be strong enough to float a fresh raw egg.

You should use soft or rain water to make soap with, so no other minerals or contaminants get into your soap. Heat the lye water you have just made. In another container, glass or graniteware, melt the fat you are making into soap. Slowly add lye water until the mixture is completely combined, not too hot, or you will have a mess while doing this.

It is best to set up and make soap outdoors. Use a wood or graniteware spoon to stir slowly while mixing in one direction. The whole mass should be clear, when you have added enough lye water. To test, place a small amount from the center of the kettle on a piece of glass and allow to cool. If soap continues to be clear, it is ready. Add scent if you must. Soap should remain clear and may be too soft to hold bar shape. You may try placing in molds for bars, or store in glass jar crock or plastic container. It will not lather like detergent, but will clean well.

Editor's Note: Lye is very caustic and can cause burns and eye injuries. Whenever using lye, take precautions like using rubber gloves and safety goggles. Other precautions can be found at: http://certified-lye.com/safety.html and http://www.millennium-ark.net/News_Files/Soap/Lye_Safety.html.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Protect Your Rights When Confronted By Police

Adapted from a post on Survival.blog.com

Police Comments and Graphics for MySpace, Tagged, Facebook
Comments and Graphics - Layouts - Photobucket

As Preppers, we may be aware of our rights against search and seizure without just cause and/or warrants, right to an attorney, etc. Shoot, we have spent years watching Law and Order and CSI!

Today I read a post on another website about a homeowner who maced two young men (fraternity brothers) who were trespassing on his property. Apparently, this trespassing had happened before since a fraternity house was next door and the students would use his unfenced property as a shortcut. Calls to the police were not successful. This time he went into his dark yard and maced the two men. They brought charges against him, and he is being prosecuted by a zealous D.A. http://www.survivalblog.com/2010/06/you_versus_the_perps_their_law.html

I have no interest in discussing whether he had the right to do what he did, or the wisdom of his actions. What was interesting were the posts in reply to his story, particularly how he dealt with the police after the event.

He did what I suspect many of us would do--try to be cooperative and reasonable since you obviously did nothing wrong and have nothing to hide.
The cop was bright eyed but young. I was friendly, let him in. Explained it like I am now, minus the edge. My demeanor probably kept me from jail....In the meantime off to court I go.

I'm trying to stay okay with cops. The D.A. will be harder not to hate. The officer asked for a voluntary statement which I gave the next day, said pretty much the same as I had during the initial interview. No lies or distortions; Joe Friday's "just the facts." The Assistant D.A. used it against me! Later, my attorney said that giving the statement showed I "had no understanding whatsoever about how the criminal justice system works."

Many Preppers have concealed carry permits and weapons, and the liability that goes along with that. Some of us have guns and ammunition for hunting as well as protection, knives, pepper spray, training in hand-to-hand combat, etc. But what happens if you actually find yourself in a situation where you have to defend yourself. I will assume you are NOT the aggressor or law breaker who deserves to be arrested and convicted.

Imagine that you have finally had to take a violent action to protect yourself, family, or property. The adrenaline will be flowing, you will feel like the other party deserved what they got, and any reasonable person would agree that you were justified in taking the action you did. Why would you not want to talk to the police to give them your side. You really want them to understand. And besides, only guilty people ask for an attorney, right? Once they know what really happened, you won't have to get an attorney and can save all that money, right? Wrong.

Some of the responses to the above post are from an 18 year police veteran and a 20 year firearms instructor who gave some wise advice. The Police Officer acknowledged that police officers will say whatever it takes to get information from you, get access to your property with your approval (no warrant), and may talk like they are your best friend and agree that you were in a tough situation, had no choice, etc. He also emphasized that they do not care about your best interests--only their own. http://www.survivalblog.com/2010/06/seven_letters_re_you_versus_th.html

Here's what the firearms instructor advises you to do and say:

"I think I'm in shock and need to go to the hospital." Often more true than you might think.

"I want to talk to my attorney."

He who calls 911 first is the "victim". Prior to the point where you will be using force against one or more opponents, you should call 911 and keep the line open. The call is recorded and can be used in your defense. If things happen too quickly to call first, call immediately after the incident and ask for help. This way you get to tell the story first.

Be absolutely sure of the laws involving force (lethal or non-lethal) in your state. For instance, here in Ohio lethal force may not be used to protect property, but in Texas things are much different. Know your laws.

The Police veteran wrote the following:

As a police officer I can give you the following advice:

1) Don't let me in your house unless I have a warrant. If I have a warrant, don't resist my entry.

2) Do not consent, in writing or verbally, to a search of your person, vehicle or residence. No matter what I promise, no matter what I threaten. If I had probable cause for a search, I'd be doing it. If I am asking for your consent, it's because I am on a fishing expedition or because I don't have probable cause yet.

3) Don't try to explain. If the police are there, something has gone wrong or something bad has happened. If something has gone wrong or something bad has happened, then you probably need a lawyer.

4) There are hundreds of petty laws I can arrest you for, If you aren't in handcuffs, don't give me a reason to put them on you. Once I arrest you, my ability to search you and your property generally increases.

5) If you are having problems with trespassers or something similar, document it. Call the police and record the time and result. Keep calling. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Contact your elected representatives (local/municipal/county etc). Find others who are having the same problem and attend community meetings. Request an appointment with the police commander or tour chief responsible for your area. Address your concerns in a professional, calm manner.

6) Even if the police are wrong and you are being victimized by them, do not make matters worse by resisting/fighting etc etc.

7) Video and audio recording devices are cheap, small and getting cheaper and smaller all the time. They come in handy.

8) The police are not your friend. The police are doing a job. The police want to go home at night. The police will do what benefits the police, not what benefits you.

9) Know the law. Know your rights. Know your lawyer's phone number. Just remember, one thing police really, really dislike is being lectured by someone claiming to know their rights, claiming to know the law. More often than not, someone who is screaming "I know my rights!" is wrong. - Tom M.

How can you prep for this? Take Tom's advice and have a lawyer's name and number available, and learn your state laws right now. I would add, make sure you are well-trained in the use of any weapons or self-defense tools you have in your possession.
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Thursday, June 24, 2010


I am 67 years old and have been canning most of my life. I grew up out in the hills with no electricity and still live that way. I can a variety of meats prepared in any way that strikes my fancy at the time.

There is a difference in the safety of pressure canned over water bath canning on meat and vegetables. For fruit, sauerkraut, pickles and jam, water bath is the best way to go. I don't recommend that you take the chance of water bath canning meat or vegetables because of the high incidence of botulism poisoning and assorted other health issues. The internal temperature of the food in the can or jar must reach a certain temperature for a set amount of time to kill these organisms in the food which isn't easy to do using the water bath method.

I grew up only using water bath method, and we even canned meat and fish, but now I hesitate to even mention times and methods of doing so. It can be deadly. Every year here in Alaska, there are deaths attributed to improper canning or food storage.

For myself, I prefer a pressure canner using no rubber gaskets at all, only metal to metal seal, with screw down toggles. To me it is the safest canner made. I personally love the All-American pressure canner. No rubber gaskets to worry about and with the screw down toggle closure, it is the safest canner on the market, as far as I know. There may be other canners made in the same style, but I have 3 different sizes of the All-American, all various ages, all still work very well. It is an All-American Pressure Cooker, made by Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry, Inc. in Manitowoc, Wisconsin 54220. At least that is where they were located waaaay back when I got mine.

I make mini meatloaves and can in brown gravy, or fix the meat in any manner you want the finished product to taste like, only go lightly on the spices as some do not handle the extreme heat and pressure without changing, and some become bitter. If canning anything that is extremely solid pack or has added starch of any type, it is best to hot pack the jars, and then continue with canning never letting them cool before processing. You really want the center of the pack to reach the appropriate temperature during processing.

BARE BONES BASIC MEAT CANNING: You can just raw pack the meat, trimmed and cut into cubes, with a smidgeon of salt per jar (scant half teaspoon per pint jar), no water added. Cut meat into small chunks or cubes, trimming off anything you would not eat if fixing any other way. If you don't like fat on your meat, trim it off. Leave about an inch of empty space at the top of the jar, wipe the rim of the jar well, and make sure no nicks or cracks, put the lid on firmly but not tightly. The single most important thing in any type of canning is to keep everything extremely clean.

Pack the cut meat chunks into the jars not extremely tight, but not really loose, either. Do not add other liquids if doing a raw pack of meat, it will form juices as it cooks. If you want a firmer gelatin in the cooled jar, add a teaspoon of plain gelatin in the bottom of each jar before adding the meat. Wipe the rims clean and place clean sterile lids and rings on the jar, closing firmly. Think average woman firmly, not he-man firmly.

Have your pressure canner on the stove, but not heating up yet with raw pack. Make sure the trivet is in the bottom of the canner and enough water to not boil dry while venting steam, usually at least 2 inches of water. Fill the canner with the filled closed jars of meat. If you have the room in the canner to place another layer of the jars in an upright position without touching the lid of the canner, place another trivet evenly on top the first layer of jars, and add a second layer of filled jars with lids. If you don't have enough jars to fill a layer, add empty jars with just water in them, no lids on them, to help keep jars from possible tipping over during processing.

Place the lid on the canner, and gently tighten all the toggles around the lid, doing the 2 opposing ones only to touching, all the way around the lid, then gently tighten 2 at a time, opposite each other, so you are applying even pressure on the lid all the way around. These canners are made of aluminum, and it is soft. The lid has an arrow on it that needs to be pointed at a mark on the side, every time, as the lid will seat correctly doing this.

Remember to exhaust the steam from the canner first, before starting to build pressure, so you have a more accurate pressure reading. County Extension Service usually has temperature/pressure charts available if you have one in your area.

Bring the canner to a boil, letting the steam exhaust for about 10 minutes through the open petcock valve. Then flip it down, so pressure will start to build in the canner, watch the gauge. When it reaches 10 pounds pressure at sea level, you will have to adjust for higher elevations, then you turn the heat down to maintain that pressure, neither rising nor falling, for 1 hour, 30 minutes for pint jars. When the time is up, turn off the heat and let the pressure drop by itself, do not open or raise the petcock until the gauge is at zero. If the pressure falls below 10 pounds of pressure during the cooking interval, restart your timing after you get back to 10 pounds pressure. Turn off the canner after the time is up and allow it to lose pressure on its own. Do nothing to speed the drop in pressure.

Once it is back to zero, open the petcock, and then unscrew the toggles and remove the lid slowly, away from you so you don't manage to scald yourself a bit with the steam. Remove the jars carefully from the canner, placing on a heatproof surface and out of any drafts, lightly cover if you worry about drafts hitting and breaking the jars. I cover mine with a large towel. Empty and clean the canner.

The jars should all seal within a short time. Do not remove rings until you make sure the jars are cold. I usually wait a couple of days, and recheck the seals before putting the jars away in a cool, dry storage area. It is also helpful to label the jars when they are cool, as no matter how good your memory is, a year or two down the road, you might not remember exactly what it is, in that jar.

Canned meat can be used as any cooked meat. HOWEVER, there are so many other ways to can meat, you will seldom do this after you get going on it.

I can meat patties made from hamburger or sausage, and browned burger, canned dry pack to use as any browned burger in any recipe. A pint is about a pound of browned burger. Meatballs can be cooked and either dry packed hot or canned in any sauce you choose. Try not to use too heavy a gravy in home canned meats; the starch can slow the amount of heat reaching the center of the jar for the required amount of time needed. Mini meatloaves in light brown gravy are delicious. Sliced roasted turkey or any roasted meat in light gravy or au jjus is very nice. Want a tender French Dip sandwich? Open a jar of sliced roast beef or venison in au jus, heat place on a roll and dip.

If you want to experiment a bit, add a few drops of liquid smoke in the bottom of the jar, before adding meat. It gives it a nice smoky flavor for making sandwiches later.

Canned meat is really good to grind after opening. Mix with chopped onion, pickle, what have you, and add mayonnaise or sour cream and mustard as a sandwich spread or dip.

I use a small single burner camp propane burner that is really cheap to do outdoor cooking and canning in the summer. I also have a huge All-American canner too big to lift easily on a stove that has been fitted into the upside down metal trash can with the bottom cut out, and vent holes for air cut around the bottom. Then a weedburner unit was cut and angled so it faces up onto the bottom of the huge pressure canner, so it can be hauled to the river or ocean to can super fresh fish on site.

(Editor's Note: Please check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for safe canning techniques and recommendations for your area and elevation. The "Ball Blue Book of Preserving" includes instructions for canning a variety of meat which is consistent with Alaska Rose's advice.)

Recipes for home-canned meat, chicken, and seafood: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can5_meat.html

Videos of the canning process and using a pressure cooker: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/multimedia.html#video
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Prepper Friends versus Security

Last weekend my husband and I participated in the first NC Forum meet-up. Pictures and comments are posted on the forum: http://www.americanpreppersnetwork.net/viewtopic.php?f=157&t=3222

Planning the camp-out and attending such an event required that I examine my feelings about remaining anonymous as a prepper which conflicts with my desire to share, learn, and even socialize with like-minded people. I also support the premise that in a serious situation it is better to be part of a group of reliable people than try to survive alone. But how do you do that without putting yourself and your family at risk?

My husband and I have not been in North Carolina very long and do not have any family close. Our home is fairly isolated, and we rarely see our neighbors. So where do I find this support group of preppers who I may be trusting with my life?

First, we do not casually share our prepping. My daughter and son-in-law know, and that is about it. Some others know we have a garden and have gotten into making soap. There are friends and family I have tried to help become "aware" who believe we are at the best weird, and at the worst nuts. One old friend that I discussed this with by email only on the most superficial terms, kind of gave me an electronic pat on the head, and said something like, "That's nice, but just don't get all twitchy on me." Too late. She doesn't have a clue about my real preps. So where are these people who I should count on to help defend against the Zombies?

I have learned that you need to be very careful about information you share online. In public forums, people are not always what they seem, and anyone can read information you put in your profile or write in your posts. Put it together and your anonymity can be at risk. I wonder, who might find out who I am and stake us out for what they may perceive I have of value? Could someone in the government use the information if they decide to confiscate weapons or stockpiles of food to redistribute? Paranoia? Maybe, but I also believe in caution.

The first time I talked about my prepping to people I didn't know well was at a Whole Grain Baking Retreat sponsored by the Millers Grain House. My intent in going was to meet some other women with whom I might become friends and who share some of my beliefs. It worked! Donna and Lynnette are now on this forum and another friend's husband, pnutcrushr, joined. I have to tell you, it was a great feeling to find friends like them who I can talk to openly. It is also unifying to have something so important in common. We never run out of stuff to talk about! Unfortunately, they do not live in my neighborhood.

Before this weekend, we pondered about the wisdom of putting ourselves out there and exposing ourselves to people we didn't know except online. We talked about it in camp, and everyone else had similar thoughts. It seemed like a reasonable risk, especially since I already knew Pnutcrushr's wife, and Whisper and Maustypsu have been active, supportive forum members for quite awhile. We don't regret it for a moment. These preppers are fun, smart, interesting people! There were no hidden agendas or manipulative behavior. I am happy to call them friends and look forward to enlarging our circle.

But, alas, they do not live in my neighborhood, either. But I feel that I could count on any of these folks, and that we will have each others' back. We are already starting to plan our next get together. Trust takes time. I am willing to invest that time.

A month ago I only had cyber friends who are preppers. Right now I have six real people prepper friends and feel pretty darned lucky. Now I have to start working on my neighbors.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

THE BEST OF ALASKA ROSE: Butchering Large Game

Alaska Rose (right) and her mother with a moose.

I have made some sketches of how to skin and gut and clean any large game animal without getting up to your shoulders in the body cavity. I can butcher out a moose, skinned and quartered without having anything more than the wrist of my plastic gloves smudged with blood. I just dropped my Registered Hunting Guide license after several years of enjoying getting paid for what I love to do, so I do know about butchering large game. Those (latex) gloves are worth it, to pack in, no matter how light you want your pack to be.

I don't have running water, so I like to stay as neat as possible. If you skin out the critter, and leave it on the hide, remove the top legs before attempting to gut it. Here (in Alaska), as soon as the gut cavity is opened, we have bears, and they are not interested in who got there first. So since I am usually doing a moose by myself and cannot turn one by myself, I remove all 4 legs and the back-straps, cut the head off, and THEN cut along the edge of the ribs to open the entire gut cavity, keeping the flesh over the gut as one large piece.

In the 2 sketches, the first shows an alternate way to gut an animal without getting in up to your shoulders and working blind with a sharp knife. That has never been high on my list of things I really want to do, LOL. Cut back along the ribs to the back, down to the pelvic bone and across. The gut will roll out fairly easily. If you are working on an elk, this is almost a necessity for gutting, as they have sheets of muscle hanging down inside, to hold the intestines in place, since they are jumpers. This large flap of flesh should be used for burger or make rolled stuffed roasts out of it, cook long and slow to tenderize and you will have a nice meal that is usually wasted meat. You can cut any connective tissue, as elk have hanging to hold the loops of gut in place, without reaching up to your armpits and having your head halfway in when the bear shows up. Cut the ribs loose from the backbone and section the backbone and pelvic bone into chunks you can carry and leave the gut pile in short order.

The second sketch is a standard skinning, gutting diagram, showing where most folks cut, skinning and gutting and removing the lower leg sections.

One other small tip, use a utility knife with quick change blade, to skin and section out your large critter. No stopping to sharpen a dull blade, the blade is sharp enough to skin a tough hided moose in short order, and you can get back to camp as soon as possible for another cappuccino. Oh yeah, we eat really well in any camp I am in.

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