FREE food for storage : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

For those of us stretching our already elastic dollars to include food storage, thought I'd pass along my experience this weekend. At the grocery store, buying for 2 wks (my regular habit) PLUS a few things for the pantry, when I happened upon 20 lbs of potatoes for $1.99. "Hey!" says I, "That's the same price as for 10 lbs, I think." Checked - it was the same price, so I bought it - 10 lbs free!! Then I checked elsewhere and found that in the produce section of even my retail grocery store, I also found carrots and peaches at about the same cost if I was willing to buy more than one could reasonable consume in sa short period of time. Brought them home, peeled 10 lbs of potatoes today and stuck them in my dehydrator, feeling pretty smug at having 10 lbs of "free" potatoes. Taking a break from the carrots and peaches right now, on the computer, but those kinds of deals were something I hadn't thought of before. Hope they help someone else.

By the way, I bought my dehydrator for $20 at Wal-Mart. Nothing heavy duty about it but I use it 3-4 times a week. I can, too, but dehydrating is so much easier, and even busy working people can do that. Even for a novice like me, it's pretty easy. Then I end up storing them in glass jars with a dessicant pack.

-- Melissa (, September 20, 1998


A dehydrator for $20 bucks? I saw one at Sam's for $90 bucks today and had to pass. Can you do dried fruits with it? What else? Thanks, Blondie

-- Blondie Marie (, September 20, 1998.

Yep - $20. Kind of a "weenie" one, I suspect, but works for me, as I learn more. I have done banana chips and a strawberry fruit leather so far, but the kids have eaten all the experiments. Hint - if you do dry fruits the kids like, hide them, or they will be opening the container and consider you anal if you jump their cookies about not closing the container properly.

-- Melissa (, September 21, 1998.

Melissa, do you do anything special to your potatoes - mine turned brown on me - I have dried watermelon, honeydew, canteloupe, strawberrries, tomatoes as well as most veggies. Great way to store. Am going to get another dehydrator soon as my 10 racks are not enough.

-- Laurane (, September 21, 1998.

About dehydrating, you can dry almost everything without pre cooking, but foods with a high starch content-notably potatoes and corn-need to be boiled or steamed at least briefly first, or they will turn black, and/or rot. The black potatoes (I hear) are still edible, but are distinctly unappetizing looking! Also, have you tried drying meat? The companies will try to sell you fancy spices, etc. but you dont need that stuff. Season if you wish with soy sauce, but it doesnt really need it. If you get a special on meat, buy extra and cut it into thin (@ 1/2 inch)strips, and dry it until it is of 'jerky' consistency. It tastes great, and can be rehydrated in the beans and rice for a bit more flavor.

-- Damian Solorzano (, September 21, 1998.

I blanched the potatoes in boiling water for 5 mins - they came out just like what you see in the boxes of "Scalloped Potatoes" in the store. Amazing! I have read recently that the govt people don't recommend drying meat anymore - e.g. for jerky - because the drying temps aren't high enough to kill the super-bugs. Any thoughts? Also, do you dry ANY kind of tomatoes - just sliced and dried? I made some tomato paste and dried it like fruit leather, rolled it into balls and have tomato paste balls, which we throw in the pot for stews, soups, spaghetti sauce, chili, etc. Also created a tomato volcano that day. Riddle: How many boiling hot tomatoes can you put into a blender and turn out without it exploding all over your kitchen? Answer: Not very dang many!!! Learning...learning...

-- Melissa (, September 21, 1998.

Regarding drying beef - in "Home Food Systems" put out by Rodale Press in 1981 (back to the granola days, huh!)...they say to cut the beef into strips, parboil until the meat changes color. Then marinate, if desired, and THEN dry. According to them, it is not safe to dry raw pork or raw poultry.

This book - found in a flea market type store - has the most incredible information, not just on food, mills, juicers, etc., but even on raising animals!!! If you find one, buy it.


-- BJ (, September 21, 1998.

I am trying not to worry too much,and my dehydration efforts in the past have not been good, long term. So, when I go shopping I buy one extra package of pasta, or $2 of canned goods, beans. I've made a list of things that will last. I figure if nothing happens,my family will just go on eating spagetti for years. If you look at the food groups, you could eat even without refrigeration. We do already have a generator, a propane cooker, and will buy several 5 gallon collapsible water containers. If it lasts years we're probably SOL, but we probably would be anyway

-- HE (LASER475@AOL.COM), September 25, 1998.

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