You may not think of yourself as a forager, but if you would like a place to start, I invite you to just step out your front door! There are so many plants that grow wild in our front yards, and even from the cracks in the sidewalk, that have medicinal properties and edible qualities to them.
Today we look at the Wild Plantain. No, this is nothing like the cousin of the Banana that you may think of when you hear it’s title. This is a highly nutritious “weed” that is common in a couple of varieties throughout North America. Today we just discuss the English plantain, or Narrowleaf plantain (Plantago lanceolata) which has elongated lance-shaped leaves.
Every part is edible! Roots, stems, leaves, flowering head… Plantain is High in Iron and several other important Vitamins and Minerals. As a tea it can be used to open up your lungs and works as a mild expectorant. It’s antibacterial properties make it perfect for chewing or wadding up and placing over any kind of skin lesion, sting or bite out in the wild. Secure it with some cloth or twine until you can get to a medical facility.
KNOW YOUR PLANTS! Don’t take my word for any of this, but do the research and seek out experts who can show you in person the wonderful plants to forage for in your area! Let us know what you find in your area, or how you use and enjoy Wild Plantain!
There is certainly a great deal more information we could cover regarding electromagnetic pulses and the use of a Faraday cage to protect your electronics, but this is just for those who have not been aware of the threat….or the solutions available. If you would like to learn more, check out the Wikipedia links below to get started:
LEARN ABOUT EMPs:
LEARN ABOUT FARADAY CAGES:
I am including the links to several products from AMAZON below. I cannot highly recommend any of them that you don’t test for yourself. In my own experience, NONE of them are fool proof, but with some doubling up and careful placement, they seemed to do their job. I hope this info helps you.
Another video will be posted soon on how to make your own Faraday Cage. I like my homemade version better, but these are wonderful as a backup and for are great for traveling!
QUICK DISCLOSURE: If you happen to use any of the links to buy something on Amazon, they actually give a tiny bit back to Prepsteaders, so in a small way you are supporting our ministry. Thank you in advance!
What You will Need:
Milk — whole or 2% are best, but skim can also be used (As much as you want)
Yogurt — Plain, Whole Milk yogurt with live, active cultures (about 2 Tbsp per Qt of Milk)
All you need to make homemade yogurt is fresh Whole or 2% milk (preferably not ultra-pasteurized). You can use skim milk if you like, but it will make a thinner, runnier yogurt. Then you will want a little bit of “Starter” yogurt, it is best to start with plain, unflavored yogurts, however, any yogurt that has “Live Active Yogurt Cultures” listed in the ingredients will work. (That is a non-negotiable, since this is what makes yogurt what it is!)
The more cultures listed the better! Different strains of bacteria have different health benefits. A few of them are L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus, L. Casei.
Large Stainless Steel or Cast-Iron Sauce Pan with flat bottom
Metal or Wood Stirring Spoon
Candy Thermometer (with a clip to attach to the pan)
8 oz Measuring Cup
Small glass or metal mixing bowl
8 Oz Wide Mouth Jars…or whatever jars you have on hand!
Really, we are so good at over complicating things. Some people like to use a Dutch oven, or a food dehydrator, or a fancy yogurt maker. All those are fine. I just use Grandma’s old Revere Ware Sauce Pan and either an oven or a microwave to incubate the yogurt over night. I don’t recommend using a Teflon coated pan, or any plastic to stir or store the yogurt. Call me silly if you like, but all plastic is best avoided in my opinion.
How it’s Done:
- Heat the milk. Set the stove burner on medium heat. Pour the milk into the sauce pan in the amount desired. Slowly warm the milk to between 160° and 175°F (give or take…but NOT to boiling). Stir the milk periodically to make certain it doesn’t boil or scorch. (I usually set the timer to 8 minutes and it is pretty close to being ready by then).
- Let the Milk Cool. Take the pan of milk off the burner to rest until the temperature lowers to between, 110°F and 115°F. A thin skin usually forms on the surface of the milk. I just skim it off before the next step. Some people like to hurry up the process by placing the pan in an ice water bath and swirling the milk a bit. I just set the timer for about 20-30 minutes and check the thermometer. Patience. 🙂 (When I take the milk off of the burner and set the timer, that is my cue to make sure the “Starter” yogurt has been taken out of the refrigerator to warm up a smidgen out on the counter for the next 20-30 minutes.)
- Whisk the Starter into the milk. In a small mixing bowl, place one cup of the warm milk and whisk into it, about 2 TBSP of yogurt starter for each quart of Milk in the total amount you are making. (No scientific measurement needed.) Make sure it is whisked until there are no lumps large or small.
- Stir this into the Pan of Milk. Pour the whisked starter yogurt and cup of milk back into the sauce pan with the milk and stir well so it all incorporates together. This gets the yogurt cultures evenly distributed throughout.
- Pour into individual Jars. Pour steralized jars about 3/4 full (leaving room for the goodies and additives you might want in the finished product) and cover with the jar lids. n the oven light or wrap the pot in towels to keep the milk warm as it sets (ideally around 110°F, though some variance is fine). You can also make the yogurt in a dehydrator left at 110°F or using a yogurt maker.
- Place Jars in your homemade Incubator to Set Up. Set jars with about an inch of space between them into an oven that has been warmed to the lowest temperature and then turned off, with just the oven light left on to keep the warmth OR set jars about an inch apart in the overhead microwave with the under microwave light left on for the night to heat the space OR set in a food dehydrator on a setting around 100°F and turn on for the duration of 8 to 10 to 12 to 15 hours! The yogurt needs to set for at least 8 hours — The longer it sets, the more tart and thick it generally becomes. Cultures vary, so if your first batch or 2 are not just the level of thickness and tartness you like, keep trying…it will still be delicious! As much as you are tempted, do not open and check on the yogurt or stir it until it has been at least 8 hours.
- Store your fresh Yogurt. When morning has arrived or at least 8 hours have past, remove the yogurt from your little incubator and gently check one of them to make sure it has set up pretty well. If there is a smidgen of watery whey on top, just pour it off to use in something else, or stir it in for a creamier, thinner yogurt. Place all the jars in the refrigerator. They should keep up to 2 weeks if you don’t gobble them down too fast.
* Another version of the homemade incubator some people like to use is a picnic cooler with a hot water bottle or quart jar of hot water placed in the bottom. I have not tried this personally, but am certain it could work just as well.
** Another way some people thicken their homemade yogurt is to whisk a little Fruit Pectin Powder into Step 3 with the Starter Yogurt and Milk, or they strain it through a Cotton Cheesecloth after it has set overnight so that it is more “Greek” style it it’s consistency.
Now it’s Your Turn!
Do you have a recipe variation to share? Please do! Now go enjoy some Yogurt!
Some call them Crock Pots. Some call the Slow Cookers. I call them the most wonderful invention ever! If you want to feel domestic while still running off to your day job, this wonderful contraption lets you collect all kinds of points with your spouse or family! In anywhere from 3 hours to 10 hours of being gone, the crock pot is forgiving and efficient at producing something hearty and edible. What have you tried? Any simple, favorite recipes you would like to share? We want to hear from you!
The beauty of this recipe is that it really hasn’t any! Whatever fresh meats and vegetables you have available can be used. (The only veggies I am careful to consider before adding would be those like tomatoes, okra, asparagus, or any other fragile vegetable that has a bit of a slime factor. Everything else is fair game!) And what herbs do you have available? Are there a few out in pots you may have forgotten about? Is your yard full of Chives and Wild Garlic like mine? Grab them and throw them in!
Now it’s your turn! Before we graduate to a Dutch Oven, let’s enjoy experimenting. What’s your favorite story with a Crock Pot?
Try this once and you will be easily hooked! Ghee has a nutty, buttery richness to it that you won’t taste in fresh butter. If you haven’t tried it, the recipe is simple. One ingredient simple! So if you can find a candy thermometer and a good sauce pan, give this a shot. Let us know how it goes and what you think.
This has quickly become one of my favorite things…and the fact that it is shelf stable is pretty wonderful. In parts of Europe, folks used to make Bog Butter by burying a big ole batch of fresh butter down in the bog to keep it for later. I think Ghee is a much better option, but that’s a personal opinion I suppose.
So here is the general recipe:
Take 1 pound of your favorite Unsalted Butter and place it in a Saucepan over medium heat to melt.
Once melted, stir over medium heat until butter starts to foam and boil, about 8 minutes. Butter will develop a foam on the surface. Push the foam to the side to monitor the clarity of the liquid, without stirring all the way to the bottom. Allow butter to continue to boil on the low side of medium heat for as much as 8 more minutes. Monitor closely until a second foamy/bubble layer reforms on the surface, and the liquid below becomes clear and bright, and well, golden. (If left too long and butter turns brown, you will need to start over as it will be too late to save this batch.)
Remove pan from heat and cool for 1-2 minutes.
Pour butter through a cheesecloth lined, fine-mesh strainer to remove foam and particles into a glass container. Leave the lid off as it cools for about 30 minutes. Ghee will thicken and turn slightly translucent. Store in refrigerator for longest life, or on in the cupboard for always-soft, delicious Ghee.
Here are the ingredients available on Amazon: