Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Country My Ass - the mp3

Here's a pretty good song I heard on a local radio show. There should be a "clean" version and an "x-rated" version which isn't that bad imo. He says the f word...once. Oh my. The production value isn't phenomenal but the content makes up for it in my opinion. Anyway, check it out if you've got a second. Here's a crappy youtube video:

You can also download it here.

My Country My Ass | Peter Boyles - TalkRadio 630 K-HOW#article_comments

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Terrorist attack" on my turf

Some "bombs" went off at a local mall today. My wife was actually in the mall. She's fine and wasn't in any danger. Apparently, a couple of knuckle heads went into Borders and set off a couple of worthless, homemade explosives. It was taken very seriously and the bomb squad, the FBI and homeland security all showed up. You can read the sad attempt at a full story here. Here's the statement from the FBI:

"The two small crude devices partially functioned in a nominal manner causing no damage to the Mall and only minimal damage to a small area of the interior of the Borders Bookstore."

Who knows where this story will go. I'll be watching next week. I'm sure that it will catch a few headlines. It might even get a lot of attention. I wouldn't be surprised if it just gets swept under the rug, though. No one got hurt. Damage was minimal. Should the msm make a big deal about it when someone lights a firecracker? The initial shock value is high but when you step back and think about it I don't think that it's that big of a deal. If you've got enough bomb on your person to do some serious damage then it will be blatantly obvious. If you can walk into a shopping mall unnoticed then it's not enough to concern me. If you know what to look for and to avod then you shouldn't have to worry about it. Even if you are totally oblivious and could care less about opsec the chances of you being affected by an explosive device in this country is next to infintisimal.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A few simple storage food recipes using TVP

I've been playing with TVP quite a bit lately. I've found it to be very versatile and one of the cheapest shelf stable alternatives to meat out there. You can buy #10 cans of freeze dried ground beef for $60 a can (if you can actually find someone who isn't backordered by 3 months) or you can get TVP for a fraction of that and not have to worry about getting put on a waiting list. Before you go all out and buy a 10 year supply on Amazon I encourage you to find a store in your area that sells the 10 oz bags of Bob's Red Mill just so that you can try it out. You may not like it. Anyway, onto the recipes.

Red Chili:

1 cup TVP
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can pinto beans
2 tbsp dried onions
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp red chili flakes
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano

This is a pretty basic chili recipe. Just dump everything into a pot, bring it to a boil then let it simmer for a couple of hours. You can tweak this recipe quite a bit with fresh ingredients and it will taste a lot better. If you're getting deep into your larder, though, then you probably won't have many fresh ingredients left.

Pasta Sauce:

15 oz can tomato sauce
1 6 oz can mushrooms
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp dried onions
1/2 cup tvp

Once again, dump everything into a pot, bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for an hour or two. Boil up a pound of pasta of your choice and you've got a good family meal. Are you noticing a trend yet? Using TVP and canned/dried ingredients eliminates most of the prep and precooking involved in recipes using raw ingredients. Making things from scratch with fresh ingredients definitely tastes a lot better but it may not be feasible in an emergency situation.

"Beef" and bean burritos:

1 cup chicken stock (or water with a bullion cube)
1 6 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup TVP
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 15 oz can pinto beans

Combine everything but the pinto beans, bring it to a boil and then let it simmer. Add some flour a little bit at a time while simmering until you get a thick consistency. Once your "meat" filling is finished put 1/4 cup of pinto beans onto a tortilla. Cover the pinto beans with the "meat" filling and then roll up your burrito. Obviously, you'll need to know how to make tortillas to use this recipe in an emergency but that's for a future post.

So as you can see working with TVP isn't rocket science. If you can boil water then you can use it in all kinds of recipes. I'm still working on burgers, meatballs, meatloaf and a few other recipes. Once I get those down I'll share them. I've even seen people doing things like fried chicken nuggets. That could be interesting.

Monday, June 13, 2011

TVP - Textured Vegetable Protein

If you've done much research on any of the long term, freeze dried, canned storage foods besides Mountain House that are being heavily marketed then you probably already know what TVP is. Otherwise, you'd have to be a pretty hard core health nut/vegan to know what it is. For those of you who don't know what it is it's a high protein meat substitute made from soybeans.

Soybean oil is separated from the soybean flour. Then the soybean flour is superheated and shot through a nozzle to create the desired size "nugget". When the "nuggets" cool they're completely dry, can store for years and, by adding some boiling water, you have a product that's the equivalent of ground beef. Is it a replacement for real meat? I don't think so. Is it a viable alternative when real meat isn't available? Yes it is.

Like I mentioned before, if you're buying a long term, canned storage food solution that isn't produced by Mountain House then it's probably made with TVP rather than real meat. Obviously, as evidenced by the severe shortage that Mountain House is experiencing right now, it's not as easy to make long term storage food out of meat as it is to make it from TVP. I'm not aware of anyone else who's experiencing severe backups in their filling of orders. Maybe it's because people would rather wait for the real thing rather than settling on a lesser product. More likely, the companies using TVP as their "meat substitute" just have very little problems getting the product that they need to fill all of their orders. Then again, maybe the government is just buying all of the Mountain House and letting us little people buy as much TVP as we want.

To be honest, I don't really care about the long term, freeze dried, canned storage items. I have a can of this and a can of that that I've acquired over the years but the bulk of my food storage consists of some bulk basics (beans, rice, sugar, wheat, etc) and the extra stuff that I buy every time I go grocery shopping (canned food, boxes of pasta, etc). After playing with TVP I've added it to my "extra stuff list".

Here's why I like TVP. The flavor is best described as neutral. If you cook up a batch with nothing but water then it will have no flavor. In my opinion that's a good trait. Because every little TVP nugget is like a sponge it soaks up flavor wonderfully. It picks up the flavor of whatever you reconstitute it in. Different stocks and spices can make it extremely versatile. Reconstitute it in chicken stock? It's like ground chicken. Use beef stock? It tastes like ground beef. Use something like hotsauce or wine? Now you've got some applications.

So what's bad about it? It does have a bit of a "fake" flavor no matter what you do to it. I think that the texture has a lot to do with it. While it's close to the texture of cooked meat it's not quite spot on. It's almost artificially chewy and rubbery. Just cook it like rice. It will pick up whatever flavor you cook it with.

I like it. Some people don't. It's a good substitute when the real deal isn't available. It's easy to prepare and it's very versatile. It's also really cheap. If you can find it in a store then you'll probably find Bob's Red Mill brand (which is pretty expensive compared to other brands). A bag of that is a few bucks. It reconstitutes to the equivalent of a few pounds of meat. Once reconstituted it's also a lot cheaper than real meat. I've tried several recipes and have yet to be horribly disappointed. It's not a replacement for the real deal but if it's all you've got you'll be extremely happy that you've got it handy. If you're local store doesn't sell it then you can always buy it in bulk on Amazon or from other online sources. I encourage you to play around with it if you haven't already. You'll probably add it to your list of "bulk necessities" pretty fast.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bank of America Gets Pad Locked After Homeowner Forecloses On It

Bank of America Gets Pad Locked After Homeowner Forecloses On It

We need to see more of this. Go ahead big banks.... Keep trying to sweep people under the rug.