Rational Preparedness

Day 1 of the Month Without a Fridge and Canning Beef

In my last post, I said I was going to write about microgreens, in the next post.  My microgreens are almost ready for me to write about them.  I want to wait until I have harvested and eaten them before I post about them.

So, what would the first day without a fridge look like?  It depends on the scenario but if it’s a power outage, usually it means, there is lots of food in the freezer or fridge and it needs to be processed or eaten.  So, that’s what I did for the first day.  I processed frozen food for long term storage, then grilled pork steak and asparagus.  With that as my meal, eating on the first day wasn’t that much different from other days.  Neither was the next day’s lunch.  There is enough ice and cold in the freezer to keep my leftovers cold for one day.

Canning Beef


My last post was about canning pork.  It was an detailed post about the process of doing it, so I’m not going to get into detail here.  The pork was awesome and I recommend you can some yourself.   I’m just going to say a few things about the process, that were different than what I did with the pork.  If you want to know about the whole process, read the previous post.

I had 4 chuck roasts in my freezer.  If you remember from the canning pork post, I mentioned that chuck has properties that would make it good for canning.  It’s durable meat, that requires lots of cooking to be tender and delicious.  Pressure canning does exactly that.  So, when the “power went down,” it was time to get to work.  I cut up the chuck, while it was still partly frozen.  This made the cutting easier.

Chuck roasts have enough fat to render, like pork shoulders do, but there isn’t really a thick layer on a whole side of the roast.  To get the fat, I had to cut pieces off as I cut up the roast.  You can see it in the small bowl, above. After that, the process of frying the meat in the fat was the same as the pork. I didn’t get a picture of them, but the cracklins I got from rendering the fat, were not as good as those from the pork.  I only ate a couple of them and tossed the rest.  In a real SHTF scenario, it would be best not to waste anything, even if you don’t like them so much.

Making Broth

I did not have leftover beef broth from braising chuck roasts, so made my broth.  I used a method of making both that I got from making au jus. after sauteing meat.  I emptied the entire skillet, of browned beef, after each batch.  Then I heated the skillet until the dried juices turned golden brown.






Then I poured in some water.  That instantly pulls the browned juices off of the pan, into the liquid.  At this point, I have a weak au jus.  If I were making au jus, I would pour the liquid into a tiny sauce pan, and concentrate it.  I did the opposite to make broth.






Here you can see the richness of the au jus.  It’s not as weak as I thought it was.  I think beef au jus might be stronger than the pork au jus, I usually make for pork chops.  At this stage, I also poured off the juice that was in the bottom of the roasting pan, I was using as a container to store the browned beef.






I added about 3 quarts of water to the au jus, to make broth.  It was surprisingly rich.







When I heated the broth to boiling temperature, I got a protein scum on top.  I scooped it off with a spoon because it doesn’t look like a good presentation.







I chose to only put salt and pepper on the meat, leaving it open to be seasoned later.  For the results of my canned beef, stay tuned for the next post, when I eat some. 



Preserving Eggs


If you are reading this from outside the united states, the idea of preserving eggs might seem foreign to you.  In Europe, it is illegal to wash an egg.  In the US, it’s illegal to not wash an egg, for sale at the grocery store.  When you wash an egg, it removes a protective coating from them and forces you to store them below 50 degrees, Fahrenheit. This means they need to be refrigerated to be kept fresh.  I’ve heard that coating the eggs with mineral oil, has the effect of replacing the protective coating.  This allows them to be stored at warmer temperatures, for extended times. So, that’s what I did with the eggs I have.

Mineral oil is mostly commonly used by women to remove make up, as baby oil,  or is an ingredient in lotion.  These forms of the oil are scented and I would not put them on my eggs.  In the pharmacy, you can buy pure mineral oil, as a drug.  That’s what I put on my eggs.  The bottle had been around for a long time and it had an expiration date of 07/2011.  I bought it for coating seashells I display under my fish tank.

Here you can see I have an egg dipped in the oil.



I eventually discovered it was faster to just rub the oil on the eggs, with my hand.  I could have saved a lot of oil if I had started out doing it this way.  I did not want to pour the oil, I had dipped eggs into, back into the bottle. Stay tuned to find out how well they store.  I put them in my garage, which is in the upper 50s, or lower 60s in temperature.  I suspect they will be fine for longer than a month, like that.




My Meal for the Night


As I said in the introduction, my meal was kind of like any other meal on any other day.  It consisted of pork steak, I had in the freezer, and fresh asparagus.

Even though, I am not going full power down, for this month, I thought I could at least do something grid down, for this meal.  I cooked both parts on the grill, as people might, in a power outage.





So, there is the meal.  Oh, and look at that–The microgreens made an appearance, after all.  Those are broccoli sprouts.  They were’t quit ready for harvest but I cut some as a garnish.  WOW, did they pack a massive amount of flavor.  I’m looking forward to full harvest time.

Next Up

I am already 3 days into my life with no fridge.  I can tell you, it’s not going exactly as I had predicted in the lead up articles, I wrote.  I will be talking about this.

Articles In This Series

I’m Going To Live With No Fridge For a Month My thoughts about what I expected to come and how I planned to live.

Canning Pork – An Awesome Preparation for a Month Without Refrigeration  This was a great experience and I highly recommend it.

Day 1 of the Month Without a Fridge and Canning Beef  My initial actions on day one.  I store fresh foods to make out out of the fridge for a month.

My First Week without a Fridge — In Delicious Pictures  I’m taken by surprise by how well everything is going

My Last Three Weeks Without a Fridge –In Delicious Pictures Pt. 1.  Everything is going great and I learn some new things.

The End of My Month Without a Fridge – Spouting Beans.  I had a SHTF Feast! More deliciousness to share and more to say about preparing SHTF food.

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