Thursday, February 24, 2011

It's All About the Know-How

I ran into one of my friends the other day. I’d just recently told her about this blog. She told me that she had read most of it from start to finish. Her most surprising comment to me was, “I can’t believe you live that way!”

When I asked what she meant, she said that she would never make things from scratch when she could buy them. And if there was something that she wanted she would buy it instead of making it herself or going without. She mentioned the homemade laundry soap and asked why I don’t just buy it? I make it because I can and I love using it. Every time a scoop some into my machine I think about the fact that I would never have to go to the store for laundry soap again.

We had a good discussion and we both see things differently and always will. That is okay, it’s why we are friends. We discussed this for awhile and then we agreed to disagree on a couple of different points.

First of all she has good food storage. Lots of wheat and the basics. She always says, “I could feed a hundred people on my storage!” However, as for me, I would have a hard time living on just the basics. I want the good stuff too. Not that the basics aren’t good, they are just…basic.

Our biggest point of disagreement is that she strongly believes that she will never have to use her food storage. She said she only has “all this stuff” because her husband insisted. I guess that is as good a reason as any. I believe that at some point, we will be using our storage. In fact, I try to do that now. I tried my best to make her see that I believe it isn’t just for some time in the future, but it is a way of life.

I told her after we talked that I was going to have to blog about our conversation and she is okay with that. Her only comment was, “As long as my husband doesn’t read about it!” I laughed at that but I think she was serious.

Here is my theory. I believe it is “All about the know-how!” For many years I have clipped and copied different recipes for different ways to store and use everything. I’ve saved articles and collected cook books and survival information. I sure hope I never have to “survive” like some of those books describe but it would certainly beat the alternative. I want to “Know How” to make the best bread from wheat as well as how to make wheat meat – even if I never have to. I want to know how to live on what I have if I CAN’T go to the store.

I want to be able to raise a garden and preserve every bit of it that I can and then know what to do with it after I get it in the bottles. I want to know how to make storage food not only attractive but delicious.

I especially want to keep warm. I want to know how to heat and cook without electricity. I want to know about alternative methods of getting water other than just turning on the tap. I really don’t want to live on bottled pasta sauce and spaghetti noodles for a year.

As I was writing this, I remembered an experience I had a few years ago. A group of us had gone to the cannery to can chicken. While we were there, one of our friends who was with us made a comment that really hurt my feelings at the time. He said,” So I bet you have so much food storage that you can’t even get it all in your house. You probably need an extra building just to store it all.” Looking back I think he might have been making a joke but I didn’t think it was funny. I was hurt and embarrassed because he said it in front of everyone else. I understand now that he just didn’t know any better. Many people mistakenly believe that to have a good food storage, you have to have tons of food put away and I don’t. You just have to have the “know-how” to use what you do have to provide nutritional and filling meals for your family.

So I guess the biggest thing I can say to anyone who is interested in food storage and preparedness is that even if you can’t get all the storage you want to right now, you can afford to gather the “know-how” and study it so that you can be mentally prepared as you prepare physically.

I don’t ever want to wake up and realize that I don’t know how to cope with an emergency because I don’t have the know-how. That explains the several binders of handouts I’ve saved over the years and the papers I’ve copied from other’s information. I guess the biggest thing on my mind is I NEVER want to have to depend on someone else to take care of me because I didn’t prepare to take care of myself.


Sassy Sarah said...

I know you don't know me, but I've been reading your blog for a while (ever since your relative, Natalie Conine showed it to me). I wanted to thank you for the time you take to share all of these tips! I feel like I really learn a lot from reading them and I appreciate that you practice what you preach. One day we'll have to use our food storage and emergency preparedness skills... You'll be ready to go because you've already been using them! :)

Kids and Canning Jars said...

Just wanted to stop in .Haven't seen you over at my blog. Mean friend. Most of the time I find people are just curious about stockpiler's. Do what you need and who cares what others think. Know how is super important.