Thursday, November 16, 2017


Keystone Ground Beef for food storage? Sounds good to me! I think...

We're about to find out as I'm pulling a slick one on my family tonight. Without them knowing, I opened a can of the Keystone Ground beef, tore off the label, and trashed the evidence. I'm making my family's favorite dish tonight - BEEF & POTATO CASSEROLE

They won't discover that they were guinea pigs until they've eaten! Wouldn't you agree that this is the BEST way to get an unbiased review? 

So, lets examine the ingredients first...

This can holds 1 pound of ground beef

This is the main reason why I'm considering this for my food storage  -- ONLY 2 ingredients - beef and salt. 

Lean meat, nothing artificial..

Upon opening, I pinched off a taste... Not bad!

 Smell, taste, and texture is exactly what I would expect from canned ground beef. In other words, if I had to eat this straight from the can, it's do-able. 

Fat drained

This is an example of what my own pressure canned ground beef looks like in comparison--same texture, fat rises to the top, and stored in its broth. The Keystone brand says their beef is minimally processed, which I presume it was canned the same way I do - raw packed, and cooked during the canning process. 

okay back to my science lab and my unsuspecting family.... 

For this review, I did no prodding and my family was completely unsuspecting. 

My daughter cleaned her plate and went back for seconds. After my husband finished his second helping, I asked if everyone was done eating -- so I could put away the leftovers. 

HUSBAND stood with empty plate, "that was good! That was real good!" (he rubbed his belly)

Daughter nodded in agreement. 

I replied "Well good! Ya'll ate canned ground beef from our food storage!"

Husband responded, "In that case, I will puke!" (he was joking)

Daughter grunted, "I could have gone my whole life without knowing that!"

I asked my husband again, "So do you like this ground beef, and would you like more for our food storage?"

He nodded, "Yes, it was very good. I couldn't tell the difference! Could you?"

I couldn't agree more. Other than maybe a texture - (it's creamier) due to the fact that it was pressure cooked, that was the only difference. If anything, it tasted better than some "fresh" ground beef I've cooked in the past (ever noticed that liver taste?) 

So, the score for the KEYSTONE GROUND BEEF, I would give it an 8-or 9. I doubt I would score any cooked beef a 10, as mentally you always think fresh is best.

For purchase, I found the Keystone Ground beef online at WALMART.  (It's not carried locally on our shelves) Currently $6.28 for the 1 lb can. Free shipping for orders over $35.  This isn't a bad deal as fresh ground beef locally costs between $3-$6 a pound. I also think it's well worth it to have some in storage as this doesn't require refrigeration, and it is perfect as a back-up meal for power outages, camping, and even stocking an RV. And lets face it--- inflation hits, economy dives, meat prices are going to go UP. 

"Expiration" says, BEST BY 2022 - which is 5 years from now.

This doesn't mean it's expired, but that it is best to eat within 5 years. Food can last for YEARS (beyond expiration dates) if properly canned and stored. So think of all the circumstances that can arise between now and then ---and the importance of having emergency food reserves for a rainy day... 

Of course, the reason I'm doing the review is to make sure this meat IS edible so that we can be confident before buying more. 


So a hearty thumbs up! 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Homemade Carpet Deodorizer. Freshener. Pest Control

This is one of those blog posts that is worth repeating!

Only 2 ingredients needed

*essential oil for scent - but not mandatory*

For 1 cup of Deodorizer, mix 1/2 cup of Borax, and 1/2 cup of Baking Soda  

Just 10 drops of essential oil to each cup - with lid on jar, shake the 3 ingredients together vigorously. That's it!

Since I like adding essential oils, I choose scents that I normally would diffuse for my room - Lavender, Orange, Rose, Peppermint... 

And of course, this recipe is excellent for flea and pest control. I've been using this remedy for years and it works! With 3 dogs in the home, it is one of my all time favorite go-to remedies. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

SOLO STOVE TITAN - off grid cooking REVIEW

Last year I had purchased the SOLO STOVE TITAN from Amazon. This is a wood burning camper's stove that is lightweight, and designed to cook fast, efficient, and with less smoke.

My first experiment perculating coffee

The link I provided with Amazon goes over the specifics of this camper's stove, but I wanted to post a review on how a person could use this for an off grid situation.

The Solo Stove Titan that I had purchased (pictured) is for 2-4 people. I paid extra for the larger size as I wanted this as a serious back-up method to cook for my family in an off grid scenario.

My goal was to cook that didn't require fuel of any kind. After all, how long will propane, gas, or charcoal last? But collecting small twigs and branches, offers an unlimited possibility. Even better, an easier and safer way for those who live in the city and are faced with a lack of space and restrictions.

My next project was boiling water with a Turkish pot. This mini pot was smaller than my perculating coffee pot, so I added a small grate to the top to balance.

Due to the engineering of this stove ---- it heats up fast. I was able to make instant coffee within minutes. Since I burn wood in my fireplace frequently, I start the fire in this stove the same way --- stacking tiny pieces of wood in the shape of a pyramid, and pieces of newspaper to feed the fire (Save those mail flyers!)

The small cast iron I switched to fit perfectly over the stove, so I removed the grate. But the fire was too strong for frying an egg. I should have waited for the fire to die down, but one of the good things about cast iron is that once it heats up, it can maintain its temperature to continue cooking.

I successfully scrambled the egg, and switched to hotcakes.

If I needed to heat the stove more, I just fed it more sticks 

My impression of this stove is that it does EXACTLY what I envisioned. It allowed me to cook using resources from my front yard, and the neighbors didn't think my house was on fire. Even better, my fire was contained, and the engineering of this stove allowed me to cook rapidly.  

Here are some ideas that I think would be perfect for this stove 


For cookware, I choose cast iron, and camping pots and pans meant for outdoor cooking. No teflon! 

The only challenge that I see with this stove is keeping it maintained for cooking. Also, of course, no temperature dials to turn, so it really requires paying attention to either feed, or stop feeding the fire. 

Also, collecting supplies and sticks in advance will make cooking easier, as all of your attention can be kept on safely maintaining the fire.

As pictured, I used a metal table so that I could sit and cook eye level. 

Stay tuned for further reviews with the stove! This Solo Stove Titan is a *****5 star success. I would give it a 6 but it doesn't collect the wood for me... but that's okay. I found it fun.