As promised, this is the first installment of "Stored Food Night" recipes. One thing that you have to take into account when cooking and baking with stored foods is the amount of time needed to prepare them. Unlike the majority of food we are used to eating, stored foods take time to prepare properly. And truthfully, it is not that stored foods take a long time to prepare, it is that preparing "real" food takes time, just ask your Grandma.
For dinner this evening, I made Chinese Savory Beef (although it was actually canned venison), Sheepherders rolls, long grained rice, canned green beans and canned peaches.
I started with grinding the wheat to make the Sheepherders Bread and Rolls. This is an old recipe that was given to me by my wonderful friend, Lady Titus II. Her dad used to make this bread all of the time in a dutch oven over an open fire. I used Hard Red Winter Wheat, as it has a sufficient gluten content to produce wonderful yeast bread. This bread recipe is perfect for a stored foods supply because it uses no fresh ingredients!
I ground some of the grain in our Diamont hand grinder (with help), although, most of the wheat went through our electric Nutrimill grinder. We can grind the grains by hand if we have to, but I am very thankful to have an electric grinder! By the way, always grind your grain right before you want to use it. Wheat begins to lose its nutritional value within 24 hours after you grind it.
|Miss Calamity and the Diamont|
(It would take about an hour and a half to grind
18 cups of flour grinding continually)
|Freshly ground flour in the Nutrimill hopper|
|Dough after first rising|
|Rolls, fresh from the wood cookstove|
|Sheepherders Bread, crusty from the wood heat|
Sheepherders Bread (Rolls)
6 C. Warm Water
1 C. Vegetable Oil
1 C. Honey
4 tsp. Salt
4 Tbl. Yeast
18 C. Flour (freshly ground wheat)
Combine the water, oil, honey, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes (sponge) to proof the yeast. Add 15 cups of flour. Turn out onto floured surface and knead. Add flour as needed (dough gets very sticky). Knead for 10 minutes (by hand - if you have a Bosch or other mixture, knead for 8 minutes). Put dough into a greased bowl to rise. Cover with a clean towel. Let rise until double. Punch dough down. Let rise until almost double. Punch down again. Form into loaves or rolls. Let rise until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until tests done. (For raisin bread, I add 2 T Cinnamon and 1 C. raisins).
Bread takes practice. The amount of flour that you use in any bread recipe depends on the amount of humidity in the air. I always start with less flour than the recipe calls for and continue to add flour until the dough "feels" right. It should be soft and pliable, slightly sticky but not sticky enough to stick to your fingers. It is hard to explain, it is more of a feel thing, but with practice, you will learn the "feel".
After making bread dough, I put the jars of peaches in the snow to cool. My family much prefers chilled fruit to room temperature fruit.
Later in the afternoon, I put the Chinese Savory Beef on to simmer. I used canned venison rather than fresh meat, which requires very little cooking time.
|Draining the liquid from the canned venison|
|Putting the meat into my Dutch oven|
|Putting in dried garlic and onion|
|Pouring the soy sauce|
|Pouring in the cornstarch (for thickener)|
|And here you have it!|
Chinese Savory Beef (More with Less Cookbook)
Heat in heavy skillet or Dutch oven:
2 T. oil or minced fat from beef
Add and quick-fry until brown: (I didn't have to do this using canned meat)
2 lb. lean beef, cut in 1 1/2" squares (may use very tough meat)
Add and quick-fry a few minutes:
3 scallions, chopped OR 1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
(I used dried onions and garlic from storage)
1 C. soy sauce
1/8 tsp. pepper
6 C. water
(I double the original amounts of liquid called for - I have already doubled it in this recipe)
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 3 hours (I simmered mine for about 1 hour due to the meat being canned). Add more liquid if needed. Just before serving thicken with small amount of cornstarch stirred into water. Serve over rice or noodles.
When fresh vegetable are in season, I love to put fresh cut broccoli in the Chinese Savory Beef at the last minute.
We made long grain white rice to go along with our Chinese Savory Beef. It makes a wonderful accompaniment and most people have a supply in their stored foods. We don't measure anything when we make rice. We pour the appropriate amount of rice into a pot (generally about 3/4 C. per person) and fill the pot with cold water. We wash the rice about 3 or 4 times, or until the water we pour off comes clean. We then put water in the rice so that it measures one knuckle (on your index finger) over the top of the rice. When we cook long grained rice, we fill the water to about 1 1/2 knuckles. Put the rice on high (uncovered) and bring it to a slow boil. When the rice boils, stir, cover with a tight fitting lid and scooch over to low. Let the rice cook for 20 minutes (25 for long grained) undisturbed. After 20 minutes, your rice will be cooked to perfection!
|Measuring the water level with a "knuckle"|
|Stirring as the rice reaches boiling point|