7 Essential Herbs and Spices for Every Kitchen

Depending solely on salt and pepper for food flavoring is boring. There is a wide range of herbs and spices available to consumers, enough to make every meal unique. A little extra tang is not all you are missing out on. Many aromatic additives are beneficial to our health. Think about that the next time you are visiting your supermarket.

Seasoning makes a meal complete. Most spices are inexpensive, and many can be grown at home. Even if you do not have a garden, small containers can often find a safe spot on a sunny windowsill. Are you wondering which herbs and spices to try first?

7 Essential Herbs and Spices


  • Basil is a culinary herb with round, often pointed leaves. There are numerous kinds to choose from. The deep rich taste works well with tomato-based sauces, juices, and dressings. French chefs are quite fond of basil.


  • Cinnamon is a versatile spice generally used to enhance savory and sweet dishes. It is a bit pricey, but worth the expense when doing a lot of baking. It also enhances warm drinks like tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and cider.


  • Curry is used mostly in Southern Asian cuisine. The composition of curry powder varies widely because it is a blend of spices. Tastes range from sweet and mild to extremely hot. For that reason, try a little before buying large amounts. Use it to flavor vegetables, rice, meat, and fish.


  • Ginger is a flavorful spice widely used in Asian cooking. The roots can be purchased fresh or ground. Tastes vary. You can grow your own ginger in the garden or in a plastic tub. Ginger root stays fresh for several weeks in the fridge.


  • Nutmeg has an earthy, nutty taste and comes from a species of evergreen tree. It is available as a nut or in powder form. Nutmeg is often used in mutton and lamb recipes, stews, and tomato sauce. Europeans use it in processed meat, mashed potatoes, pies, and soups.


  • Paprika has an intoxicating flavor. The bright, red powder is often used in soups, stews, meat dishes, and tomato sauces.

Red Pepper Flakes

  • Red Pepper Flakes give pizza and Italian-style dishes that extra zing. Not all crushed red pepper flakes are equally hot. Buy smaller amounts when trying out a new kind.

Honorable Mention
Although garlic is technically neither a spice nor herb, it should be used in every kitchen. Garlic can be purchased fresh, pre-packed frozen or minced, and in powder.


Irida Sangemino is an accomplished permaculture adviser, homesteading expert, and instructor. Follow her and her husband Joe’s adventures at the Stony Creek Permaculture Farm at http://www.stonycreekpermaculture.com. Your sustainable lifestyle starts here. Contact her at: info@stonycreekpermaculture.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

The Best Rabbit Food for a Healthy Diet

The right diet keeps rabbits healthy, whether you are raising house pets or breeders. While this is true, the type of rabbit food to provide depends on the animal’s life stage. In general, rabbits thrive on a 16 percent protein diet. Nursing mothers and their kits need at least 18 percent protein.

The effects of a constant, non-balanced diet are easy to recognize. The coat is dull. The rabbits have a weak immune system, and they often experience digestive problems. Baby rabbits grow slower.

Rabbit Food Suggestions

  1. Timothy Grass Hay – Always have a decent supply of this type of hay on hand to ensure that your rabbits get enough fiber. Without hay, your cottontails could be plagued by hairballs and suffer from diarrhea. The animals will likely become obese.
  2. Alfalfa Hay – This should be given to just the adults if that is the only hay type you can find in your area. Quantities should be limited. This hay has high protein content, too much calcium, and far too many calories for rabbits.
  3. Manufactured Rabbit Pellets – The bite-sized rabbit pellets that are available in stores are made from ground hay, vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients that are good for a bunny’s digestive system. Expert breeders suggest two daily feedings. Give rabbits one-eighth to one-fourth of a standard cup per five pounds of a rabbit’s body weight. Stay away from colored pellets or feed that is old and moldy.
  4. Fresh Vegetables and Fruits – Green-leaf veggies like romaine, parsley, endive, arugula, chervil, dandelion greens, and collard greens are excellent choices. Iceberg lettuce should not be on your list of rabbit food. Its nutritional value is limited. Do not feed vegetables and fruits to baby bunnies if you want to prevent enteritis (inflammation of the small intestine). Slowly introduce these new foods to your young rabbits, and monitor their progress.
  5. Treats – Carrots are starchy and should only be given sparingly as a treat. Introduce your rabbits slowly to fruits like cored apples, pears, strawberries, plums, peaches, bananas, and melon. The rabbits should be at least six months old before introducing these types of rabbit food.


Water is essential to a rabbit’s diet. It regulates the animal’s body temperature during hot summer days. Change the water daily, no matter which type of watering system you use.


Irida Sangemino is an accomplished permaculture adviser, homesteading expert, and instructor. Follow her and her husband Joe’s adventures at the Stony Creek Permaculture Farm at http://www.stonycreekpermaculture.com. Your sustainable lifestyle starts here. Contact her at: info@stonycreekpermaculture.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is known to be a natural remedy for many ailments, a cleaning agent, and a tangy ingredient in many dishes, which is why it’s worth trying to make at home at least once! If you haven’t made your own apple vinegar before, try this simple technique.

What You’ll Need

  • 3 medium sized apples
  • 5 tsp raw sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • a sterilized jar
  • cloth for cover (cheesecloth or dishcloths work great)

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar

  1. Chop the apples into medium sized pieces and place the pieces, including the core and peel but no the stem, into the sterilized jar. Keep the chunks fairly sizable, – one inch cubed pieces work fine.
  2. Mix the sugar with the water and pour over the apples.
  3. Cover the jar with a cloth and secure with a rubber band.
  4. Set aside in a shaded area on your counter or cupboard for two weeks and gently stir as needed.
  5. Strain out the liquid and throw out the apple pieces.
  6. Return the liquid to the jar and store like before, covered with a secured cloth.
  7. Stir the liquid as needed, and taste the liquid after three weeks. Keep storing, stirring, and tasting from this point on until it achieves the taste you desire.
  8. Once it has achieved a taste you like, store in a bottle in your refrigerator.

Apple cider doesn’t go bad so you don’t have to worry about that as long as you started with a sterile jar. you can keep the vinegar in a pantry once it has achieved the desired taste, but I prefer to refrigerate mine to keep it at the taste I like longer.

Cider Making: Five Incredible American Cider Apples

apples-in-basketCider was America’s first beverage. Not the apple juice we call cider, but real cider… hard cider. In colonial times water was not clean enough to drink. The fermentation process that juice must go through before it becomes hard cider kills most pathogenic bacteria. As a result, in those times there was nothing safer to drink than hard cider. Orchards became a fixture of American farms and most contained apples that were unique to that farm.

Thanks to John Chapman and many others who planted apple seeds in the colonies and all across the country, apple trees of American origin came into existence. The ability for apples to create many very different combinations of genes contributed to the apples success in the new world. Each apple seed is as unique as a snowflake, which gave rise to limitless new apple varieties. Most of these seedling apples would eventually go the way of the buffalo. However, a small number of these chance seedlings would have just the right combination of genes that would go on to make great apples. These varieties were selected for and propagated by farmers and orchardists throughout the country. Of all the apples of American origin, only a handful are truly suited to making great cider, the kind our forefathers drank morning, noon and night. These apples form the backbone of the list of American cider apples.

Try Homemade Warm Spiced Apple Cider for a Delicious Fall Treat

Try Homemade Warm Spiced Apple Cider for a Delicious Fall Treat


Many cider apples were named after the farmer who found them or the place in which they came from. This is the case with the Campfield apple as it was named after a family who lived in Eastern New Jersey. According to historical writings, a 50/50 blend of Campfield and Harrison made a cider of “superior quality”. It was also said that Campfield made a great single variety cider.

Hewe’s Crab

Also known as Virginia Crab, this variety was favored by some of the founding fathers including Thomas Jefferson. In fact, a large planting of Hewe’s crab can still be found at Monticello. Hewe’s crab makes a very high flavored dry cider. It is unknown when the first Hewe’s crab tree came into existence, but writings from 1817 describe trees of this variety that were already about one hundred years old.

Newtown Pippin

The Newtown Pippin is perhaps the oldest American apple, or at least the oldest of record. A single Newtown Pippin tree was found in Queens, New York in 1730. Classified as a mild bittersweet and I would add very mild, the Newtown Pippin will make a wonderful light bodied cider in its own right and is also well suited to contributing to a blend. The Newtown Pippin apple is also a top-notch eating apple that ripens in November and doesn’t hit its peak of flavor until resting in storage for about a month.


Of all the American apples, the story of the Harrison is my favorite. It was discovered around 1770 in New Jersey, and at one time was thought to be extinct, forever lost from this earth. It was rediscovered in 1976, with just enough time to take scions from the tree before it was cut down. After careful examination and consultation with historical descriptions of the Harrison apple… over the course of 17 years, Tom Burford, a renowned apple expert determined that it was in fact the lost apple. Fortunately for us, Harrison trees were propagated and can be found through a number of sources.

Wickson Crab

Unlike the varieties listed above, the Wickson crab apple was a product of an intentional breeding program. Bred by Albert Etter by crossing two crab apples and named for his friend and famed U.C. Davis pomologist E.J. Wickson, this apple can make a cider of vintage quality. Wickson apples are bittersharps and tend to have loads of sugar and acid so depending on the year they may be best used to balance out a low acid cider.

Where you live will determine how easy it is to find the apples above, either for eating or hard cider. But if you have the chance, definitely give them a try. Your taste buds will thank you for it.


Galen Williams is the co-founder and cidermaker at Bull Run Cider in Forest Grove Oregon. If you are ever in the area please drop in and try some of our hard cider.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

10 Reasons to Add Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Diet

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Many people have a bottle of apple cider vinegar (ACV) somewhere in the kitchen. Chefs add it sparingly to enhance the flavor of certain dishes or as a salad dressing. They may start using it a bit more if they knew how beneficial this sour-tasting liquid actually is.

Apple cider vinegar has been used as a folk remedy to cure everything from warts to the flu. Although many claims remain unproven, medical professionals are convinced that adding a splash to your diet may be quite healthy. Experts suggest drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with water or juice every day. Here are 10 reasons why.

  1. This liquid, which contains acetic acid, has antibiotic properties, which you need when suffering from diarrhea caused by a bacterial infection.
  2. The pectin in apple cider vinegar can help control intestinal spasms and indigestion.
  3. Do you have a sore throat? Gargle infections and nasty germs away with a concoction of a quarter cup of warm water and a quarter cup of your special vinegar. The acid will kill the germs.
  4. Scientists believe, after completing studies on animals, that your newly discovered sour mixture is also capable of lowering cholesterol in humans. More tests are needed.
  5. Are you often plagued by a stuffy nose or nasal congestion? The potassium in raw apple cider vinegar can thin mucus.
  6. Acetic acid can suppress a person’s food cravings, reduce water retention, and increase metabolism. Consuming fewer calories equal weight loss.
  7. Nobody wants dandruff. Mix a quarter cup of water and a quarter cup of this unique type of vinegar in a spray bottle. Spritz it on your scalp before washing your hair. Wrap a towel around your head for 15 minutes. This routine should be done at least twice a week. Your hair will also be shinier.
  8. Need a boost of energy? You now know what to drink to beat fatigue!
  9. Individuals with eczema problems can clear up their skin and prevent outbreaks by ingesting ACV diluted in water.
  10. Stop bothersome nighttime leg cramps through the potassium found in apple cider vinegar. Make your new home remedy a little sweeter by adding a teaspoon of honey.

Irida Sangemino is an accomplished permaculture adviser, homesteading expert, and instructor. Follow her and her husband Joe’s adventures at the Stony Creek Permaculture Farm at http://www.stonycreekpermaculture.com. Your sustainable lifestyle starts here. Contact her at: info@stonycreekpermaculture.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

3 Most Overlooked Fire-Starting Methods

campfire on the beachThough people are eager to learn and adopt different fire-starting methods, there are always some fire-starting techniques most learners overlook. Ideally, these overlooked fire-starting methods are extremely important. Think of a situation where you do not have a readily available kit of cotton balls or commercial/military developed tinder, but you have to create fire to stave off the chills or scare away wild animals. It can be hell on earth, right? The good news is most of these overlooked fire-starting methods require none of those.

The Most Overlooked Fire-Starting Methods

These include:

  • Flick the Bic Lighter
  • Fire Piston and Char Cloth
  • Fire Striker and a Piece of Char Cloth
  1. Flick the Bic Lighter

More than a few people might be opposed to the idea that this method is actually on the top of the list, but honestly speaking, we all know that this method requires nearly no effort or too much thinking. It is the most overlooked fire-starting method yet it is essential, especially for survival purposes. It is not glamorous, neither is it crafty nor ancient, but let us adopt it. Apart from being easy, flicking the bic would cost you not more than two bucks at the local mart. Bic lighters are just everywhere (from grocery stores to reputable retailers). You can learn this method before departing for a camping trip where there is likelihood of fire piston being low on lube or steel stickers failing to work accordingly.

  1. Fire Piston and Char Cloth

If you are unfamiliar with how to make char cloth, it is basically just a small sheet of cotton, which has been “charred” by being placed in a steel container or vented tin and heat in a fire. Though you should allow the char cloth to “burn”, it should not be consumed by fire during the process. You can actually do this with a piece of, say, a bandana or a cotton tee shirt and an Altoids tin. With these, be sure to make an effective char cloth that has an incredibly low combustion temperature, and can form embers from the steel striker’s mere sparks. It is vital to have char cloth because the fire piston technique cannot work without it. Because the 25:1 compression ratio would make your char cloth flash, the fire piston technique applies physics to handle the hard part. You can design a fire piston by yourself. Fire pistons have been around for almost two centuries, and similar to steel strikers, you can find a classy-looking fire piston, which could add a brilliant touch to your archaic fire kit.

  1. Fire Striker and a Piece of Char Cloth

Apart from bow drill method, fire striker and a piece of char cloth is arguably the oldest fire-making technique in human history. Maybe this explains why the method has been overlooked from generation to generation. The fire striker and char cloth technique uses the trusty flint and steel kit to make fire. As a result, it is commonly referred to as the “ye olde tinderbox” and flint striker. Some people also refer to it as the “percussion fire-making method”, a method that began during the Iron Age period. Despite its long-term existence, most people have overlooked it.

Unlike the first two methods, this method does require a rich knowledge and skills, just like the bow drill method, where you have to learn how to make precisions. Nevertheless, it is better than the bow drill, and you do not have to kill your arms while using it. Here is how this method is done:

  • Have the needed materials on hand. Such should include a steel striker, char cloth and flint or chert.
  • With a steel striker in one hand and flint or chert on the other, strike the steel striker against the rock. Striking the steel striker against the rock will make the falling sparks land on the char cloth below. You should be able to notice the formation of embers after just a few strikes.
  • Put the smoldering char cloth on the tinder bundle, and wait for a few minutes.

Bottom Line

It is crucial to have the knowledge and skill of starting fire, especially if you are planning to have a lengthy time in the wilderness or forest. Fire is highly important. Aside from keeping that eerie nighttime psychological Sasquatch at bay, fire has the ability to offer life-sustaining access to heat; thus, can stave off chills when temperatures hit below the zero mark. Fire can also be essential in a survival-type situation. It is one of the greatest ways for making sure your presence is noticed by anyone who happens to be searching for you. Because of these, it is necessary that you learn various fire-starting methods without overlooking others, as they can sometimes be of great benefit.


Jeffrey Howie is a hunter and survivalist with a fanatic interest in survival gears and wilderness survival techniques. He regularly publishes articles on his blog: http://www.survivalcrib.com. Survival Crib is the ultimate resource for anyone looking for survival tips and techniques. To learn more, visit Survival Crib (survivalcrib.com).

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

10 Most Important Survival Skills for Wilderness Living

WildernessNature is one of the greatest gifts our planet has to offer the human race. Not only is the natural world full of beauty and possibilities for adventure, studies have proven that exposure to nature improves our physical and mental health. However, when it comes to embracing the great outdoors, there is a huge difference between enjoyment and survival. It is one thing to embark on a weekend long camping trip, and another thing altogether to survive in the wild when all goes amiss. Would you be able to survive if you became stranded on your next casual outdoor exhibition? What would you eat? How would you gather water? Would you have the skills you need in order to ensure your safety and sustenance?

We have drawn up a list of the 10 most important survival skills a human requires in order to champion life in the wild. Read on to learn if you have got what it takes to survive in the great outdoors.

10 Most Important Survival Skills for Wilderness Living

1. Food: Your body requires nutritional sustenance in order to survive. Food provides your body with the water, energy, and focus it needs in order to properly function. How can this be accomplished? Being aware of edible plants and insects is a great start. A general rule when it comes to wilderness plant cultivation is to avoid munching on plants that appear milky, hairy, bulbous, or have three leaves, or pink spurs – these are sure signs that the plant is poisonous. Wild plants like clovers, dandelion, and sorrel are common and edible. However, your body will not survive on greens alone. You require protein and fat in order to thrive. Nearly all common insects are edible – from ants, to grasshoppers, to worms, to even bees, insects are your go-to source for protein in the wilderness. Or, try your hand at survival hunting. A simple snare requires just a noose, which can be crafted from rope or wire. Simply tie the noose to a tree near an animal’s den, and wait for your next meal.

2. Water: It is impossible for a human to survive without water. In order to survive in the wilderness, you must know how to collect and purify water. This can be done in a number of ways. One way is to collect rainwater in tarps or pots. Another way water can be obtained is by digging a foot deep hole in a muddy area, and waiting for water to surface. Once you’ve collected your water, you must purify it. You can do so by boiling your water over a fire in a tin or aluminum can, a glass jar, or a plastic bottle.

3. First Aid: Learning first aid is a simple way to help ensure your survival in the wild. Knowing how to properly dress wounds and fashion splints and slings could be the difference between life and death in the wilderness.

4. How to Start and Maintain a Fire: Fire is essential for warmth and water purification. Therefore, knowing how to get a fire going and keep it going in both wet and dry environments is one of the most important survival skills you require in order to survive in the wild.

5. Self Defense: When forced into wilderness survival, it is likely that you will find yourself in a situation in which you are required to defend yourself or lose your life. Taking the time to learn self defense and remembering to pack a pocket-knife when leaving on an adventure are two ways that can help you protect yourself in the wilderness.

6. Learn How to Repair Your Clothes: Clothing repair may seem an outdated skill to master, but when it comes to surviving in the wild, maintaining your clothes can offer you much needed protection and warmth.

7. Grooming: Keeping yourself clean may be the last thing you think of when you think of wilderness survival, but basic grooming skills can help maintain your health and keep you alive.

8. Expect the Unexpected: Train your mind to expect the unexpected, and accept the unexpected. Your mental outlook greatly affects your morale, and your morale greatly affects your ability to survive.

9. Worldly Awareness: Be aware of your surroundings, and the dangers and advantages they have to offer. Awareness can help you to be a more proficient and successful survivor.

10. Practice Makes Perfect: At the end of the day, no matter how many precautions you take, preparations you make, or intelligence you cultivate, surviving in the wild poses an undeniable challenge. Continue to cultivate a survivalist mentality – see the possibilities objects in nature offer you, learn the art of scrounging, and develop your resourcefulness. Push on, no matter the direness of the circumstances, and you will be well on your way to being a true survivalist.


Jeffrey Howie is a hunter and survivalist with a fanatic interest in survival gears and wilderness survival techniques. He regularly publishes articles on his blog: http://www.survivalcrib.com. Survival Crib is the ultimate resource for anyone looking for survival tips and techniques. To learn more, visit Survival Crib (survivalcrib.com).

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

7 Recipes for Campfire Cooking

Campfire Cooking

Campfire Cooking

What would you do if you were ever in a survival situation? Would you know what to do? Would you know how to keep you and your family nourished?

Most of us have roasted s’mores, maybe even cooked a hot dog or two, on a campfire. While this is a fun pastime for many when camping with friends or family, it takes significantly more skill to cook an actual meal on an open flame. This skill, in particular, is very handy during times when our survival is on the line.

In a disaster, one of the first things that go away is electricity and if you have an electric stove top, it won’t be much help. In fact, the only thing you’ll probably be able to use it for is extra shelving. Your Foreman grill, microwave oven, or any other electric devices used to prepare foods will be rendered moot as well. Patio grills, on the other hand, are great in an emergency situation and so are camp stoves – if you are stocked up on fuel.

Aluminum foil is also a great item to have on hand during survival situations. This is because the meals you can cook using this method can be very satisfying and tasty if they are done right. Thankfully, aluminum foil makes cooking relatively easy, simply take your favorite ingredients, wrap them in foil, and place them on your grill to cook for about ten minutes or so. They require no pots, pans, plates, or clean up – all you need is a heat source and a fork. But, it is important to note that you must be careful when handling the hot packets.

Now that you’ve gotten how to cook out of the way, the next thing you must worry about is what to cook. Thankfully there are plenty of campfire cooking recipes that can be used to make delicious and healthy meals for you and your loved ones. And, if you have a sweet tooth, there are savory desserts that can be made as well. Want to know more? Check out these 7 campfire recipes for some inspiration:

** Grilled Fish

What You Will Need:

  • Your favorite type of fish
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon slices
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Aluminum foil

What You Must Do

  • Heat up the grill to medium heat
  • Place the fish on a square piece of aluminum foil
  • Season the fish lightly with salt and pepper
  • Pour the lemon juice over the fish
  • Sprinkle olive oil on the fish
  • Place lemon slices on top of the fish
  • Wrap the fish in the foil and place on the grill.
  • Cook each side for about five minutes

** Ramen Noodles with Chicken or Beef

What You Will Need

  • 1 3 oz package of Ramen soup mix
  • ½ chopped onion
  • Olive oil
  • Chicken or beef
  • Canned peas or other vegetable
  • Powdered cheese
  • Your favorite spices

What To Do

  • Cook the ramen noodles on the stove top as per the instructions on the package but don’t use the flavor packet. If you are using frozen vegetables, cook them with the ramen.
  • Saute the onion on a skillet over medium heat for a full minute.
  • Add the chicken/beef, the peas/vegetables, and the flavor packet to the skillet. Mix well and cook for about five more minutes.
  • Sprinkle the dish with your favorite spices and serve

** Hummus

What You Will Need

  • 24 oz of chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 6 tbsp of tahini
  • 4 pieces of garlic
  • 3 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp of water (optional)

What To Do

  • Mash the chickpeas with a fork until they are nicely pureed
  • Ad the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
  • If the mixture is too thick, add the water and mix well.

** Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

What You Will Need

  • 2 cups of Macaroni
  • 1 package of cheese powdered soup
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes

What To Do:

  • Cook the macaroni over the stove top on medium heat
  • When the macaroni is al dente, drain all but half of the water and place the stove top on low heat.
  • Add the tomatoes and the cheese soup. Let simmer for about 7 minutes.
  • Add water is necessary

** Beans and rice

What You Will Need

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 can of white bans
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ¼ sliced onion
  • 2 pieces of crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp of Olive oil

What to Do:

  • Place water in a pan on the stove top, add olive oil, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil and add the rice. Cook until it’s edible.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and bring the stove top down to a simmer. Keep it on the heat until the rice is thoroughly cooked.

** No Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

What You Will Need:

  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of margarine
  • 3 tbsp of powdered milk
  • 4 tbsp of water
  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • 1 cup of peanut butter
  • ½ cup of your favorite nuts
  • ½ tsp of vanilla
  • ¼ cup of chocolate chips

What To Do

  • Mix water, powdered milk, margarine, and sugar in a pan over the stove top on medium-high heat Bring to a boil
  • Reduce to medium heat and boil for 3 more minutes, stirring constantly
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and add chocolate chips, vanilla, nuts, peanut butter, and oatmeal
  • Use a spoon to portion and drop each spoonful on a flat surface, a pan lid will suffice. Let sit for about ten minutes

** Chicken fajitas

  • 2 cups of freeze dried chicken
  • 2 tsp of chicken soup base
  • ½ cup of tomato flakes, freeze dried or dehydrated work well
  • ½ cup mixed peppers, freeze dried or dehydrated work well
  • 1 tsp of fajita seasoning
  • ¼ cup of salsa
  • ½ cups of cheddar cheese, freeze dried or dehydrated cheese powder work well
  • 1 tsp of vinegar
  • 1 tsp of brown sugar
  • 2 tsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of garlic granules
  • 1 package of flour tortillas

What to Do

  • Rehydrate peppers on the stove top using one cup of water, cook until tender. This will take anywhere from 3-5 minutes
  • In another pan, add 1 cup of water, meat chunks, and the chicken soup base. Cook on low heat until the meat is tender and all the moisture is absorbed.
  • Add 1 cup of water, peppers, salsa, fajita season, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar to the chicken mixture Simmer until the sauce has thickened.
  • Add the cheddar cheese.
  • Serve in flour tortillas.

Important Considerations

As you can see, survival meals don’t have to be relegated to fruit bars, beef jerky, and other unappetizing foods. In fact, these meals can be quite delicious, and if you get your family to help you prepare them, it can be quite a bonding experience. Plus, if you do your research, there are plenty of other survival meals to be found on the internet, which will provide you with plenty of new and exciting foods to cook on the grill or stove top.

It is important to note that all of the above recipes can be changed dependent on the types of food (freeze-dried, fresh, canned) that you have on hand. In fact, when in a pinch it’s highly unlikely you will have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe on hand. Don’t be afraid to experiment, doing so may reveal more about your personal tastes than you’ve ever imagined. Overall, it’s not about the specific recipes but rather using creativity to figure out which ingredients can be used as effective substitutes for those that you don’t have or that will combine well with the ones you do. Plus, this type of experimentation is inexpensive, nutritious and delicious.

In Conclusion

In a survival situation, it is important to be prepared, especially when it comes to your meals. You must figure out how to prepare your meal, what you can eat, and how it can be more appealing than it would normally be. In this way, you and your loved ones can gain some much-needed nourishment to keep hunger at bay until help arrives.


Jeffrey Howie is a hunter and survivalist with a fanatic interest in survival gears and wilderness survival techniques. He regularly publishes articles on his blog: http://www.survivalcrib.com. Survival Crib is the ultimate resource for anyone looking for survival tips and techniques. To learn more, visit Survival Crib (survivalcrib.com).

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

How to Build a Campfire for Cooking

CampfireA fire is needed in almost any backpacking, hiking, or camping survival situation. It may seem like a simple task building a campfire, but most people struggle building one. Furthermore, it can be more difficult to build a campfire if you run out of matches. Whether it is a campfire for cooking or for providing heat during cold nights, it is essential that you know the proper way to build a campfire, with or without matches, when camping.

No matter how fascinating the scenery, campfire meals are always the highlight of the camper’s day. Nothing beats the appeal and taste of meals cooked over the campfire. The freedom to cook over an open fire today is a privilege due to restricted areas of camping and declining firewood stocks in many campgrounds. This calls for utmost caution and respect.

Requirements for Building a Campfire for Cooking

  • Fire location

Pay attention to the ground where the fire is going to be lit before starting to prepare the fire place. It is recommended you build the fire over a rock. In case it is not possible on a rock, you should ensure that the base of the fire is on a bare mineral soil. The fire will be burning all evening, thus will have lots of time to burn through the organic layer of the soil. When the time comes to put out the fire, a simple bucket of water won’t do-have a fire extinguishing mechanism in place. First, look out for previously established pits, if any, before scarring the area with more fire pits.

  • Wood

Campfire for cooking needs to be clean, and burning hot. You will achieve this only with a dry, seasoned wood. Getting green wood from trees won’t bear fruit as its fire burn poorly and create unnecessary smoke. You can pack in dry wood to carry along in case it won’t be available. Call ahead to see what’s available as many public campgrounds supply firewood.

  • Wind Shelter

Strong winds are hazardous in cooking. And can cause sparks getting away, which can ignite forest fire. Strong winds reduce firewood quickly and provide much less cooking time. Therefore, a wind shelter is necessary to daunt significant winds from interfering with your cooking.

  • Tinder

These are small materials that ignite easily and quickly with a spark. They include dry grasses, fungus, mosses or shredded dry bark. The material need to be as dry and finely shredded as possible.

  • Kindling

Medium-sized materials that would catch fire from tinder, quickly. Kindling may include small twigs, dry leaves, larger pieces of barks, or sticks. Kindling material must be dry, small items in order to catch fire.

Building a Campfire for Cooking

When building a campfire for cooking, the objective is to have all the wood turn to coal at the same time. This would produce an even fire with no flames going up to the food or blackening your cookware. This also builds the longest cooking time from the fire produced.

  • Site preparation

The fire site should be located at least 8″ from bushes or any combustibles. Ensure no tree branches hang around the site. Use green logs or large rocks to make a U-shaped perimeter around the fire place. If using logs for the perimeter, have them wetted down from time to time. In case of a breeze, have back end of fire place face the wind. Create some form of chimney; you can have a large flat rock put at the rear of the fire place, to help direct the smoke up and away.

  • Laying the Kindling

Spread the fire area with tinder. Place kindling material over the tinder in layers, interchanging direction with each layer. You can employ use of thin splits of wood or small dead branches. Do not place kindling materials the “teepee style”. Cover the whole fire area with the kindling stack. Have a bucket of water near the fire area. To start the fire, light the tinder material.

  • Blazing the Fire and Grading the Coals

When the kindling material is ablaze, add firewood. The wood should have the same size, as much as possible. You can use hardwood or hardwood branches. Spread wood evenly over the fire bed. When flames start to die down leaving mostly white coals, remove the white coals by pushing them at the lower level at the front and back end at a higher level. This would level the remaining coal to your liking. Set rocks or wetted green logs around the fire for setting the cookware or grill for cooking.

Best Method of Building a Campfire for Cooking

There are three popular methods of building a campfire for cooking; the log cabin, the platform, and the tepee. Although the tepee method is more popular, the log cabin method is the best for cooking.

  • Log Cabin Method

First, you build a small tepee of tinder and kindling in the center of your fireplace. Then stack wood logs a foot or less apart in an interchanging pattern around the tepee in the shape of a square. The space between logs allows for air circulation from bottom to top of the fireplace. Build the wood logs as large as you’d like. Light the kindling in the middle. You can blow into the tepee if the fire struggles to set ablaze or dig small air holes beneath the base logs. Keep the fire at a reasonable and safe size.

  • The Platform

This is achieved by building a solid log cabin, with the largest logs at the base and something about the size of your wrist on top. The platform is for those who want a nice bed of coals to cook on. Light fire on the top and let it burn down through the logs, which will create a big, thick bed of hot coals. You don’t have to wait for all of it to burn down before you start cooking. You can use a cast iron cookware, placing it directly on the hot coals as soon as that first layer of logs is burning solidly.

The platform method is known as “upside down” fire when bigger logs are used. It is upheld for its ability to burn for a long time, unattended. Remember to put the biggest logs on the bottom and scale up to smaller stuff at the top. Light fire at the top. As you practice, you’ll figure out the right size of wood needed to create fire that burns on its own, all night.

It can be a little bit difficult learning how to create campfire using platform method. The trick is to create a large enough teepee on top so as to create a bed of coals that will be capable of burning down through the first layer, igniting it, building a larger bed of coals etc.

  • The Tepee Method

Compact the tinder into a ball formation, about 4″ in diameter. Then place it in the middle of the fire place. Stack the kindling material into a corn formation, around the tinder. Lean wood logs on the kindling. Leave an opening in the teepee for lighting the pile of tinder from the bottom with matches. The fire spreads to the kindling and logs when the tinder lights; giving you a great campfire. You can blow softly on the fire to get it spread to the kindling and wood. In case the fire goes out, add more tinder or kindling. Once the blaze is going, keep adding logs in the tepee pattern.

Never build your campfire closer than 6 feet from your shelter, near low-hanging branches, or vegetation.


There are a bunch of ways to build campfire, but the key here is to practice, find the method that most suits your cooking and you are comfortable with. You can even customize the fire to your unique needs on a given night, Practicing the hard way, with Ferro rod, knife and tinder, and leaning to prepare your own wood with limited tools helps develop key skills for survival.


Jeffrey Howie is a hunter and survivalist with a fanatic interest in survival gears and wilderness survival techniques. He regularly publishes articles on his blog: http://www.survivalcrib.com. Survival Crib is the ultimate resource for anyone looking for survival tips and techniques. To learn more, visit Survival Crib (survivalcrib.com).

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

How to Make Crawfish Traps From Plastic Bottles

Red Boiled Crawfish

Red Boiled Crawfish

You can call them crayfish, crawdads, or mudbugs; crawfish happen to taste great. This is reason enough to get out and catch some craws. You can just use your set of hands, a piece of raw fish head, and an inexpensive trap. Many styles and sizes of traps are employed in trapping crawfish. Making crawfish traps from plastic bottles is an inexpensive, simple, and yet effective way to trap crawfish. If you have a waterway or water body near you, make a crawfish trap from plastic bottles and see if you can catch some. Plastic bottles perform very well and are easy to store. You can try to make your own trap out of a two liter soda bottle. You just cut off the pouring end, put some bait inside the bottle, and then invert the top end back into the bottle. You staple in and you are good to go. Actually, there are many variety of plastic bottle traps for trapping crawfish. But, we’ll get into that in detail later on.

Where can you Catch Crawfish?

You can catch crawfish in just about any lake, river, stream, creek, or pond, in urban or rural areas. For example, on a fairly weedy lake with a rocky shore, you can catch all of your crawfish in the shallow water along the shore. Crawfish like to hide in the rocks that line the shore. Crawfish are most active at night, therefore, you can set up your trap in the evening, and check them in the morning. By putting the trap in the water in the evening, the bait will be at its most potent as this is the time crawfish are most active.

A general rule of thumb for time of catching crawfish is night time. Night time gives crawfish a huge advantage of catching fish. A crawfish can catch and eat a trout up to 6 inches in length. They are adept hunters even during the daylight; striking from above, pouncing like coyotes, and stalking like cats.

Some places may be filled with crawfish, while other places may have a lower population. Part of the fun of catching crawfish is finding a place with the highest population. Look for areas that provide cover for crawfish, such as roots, rocks etc. these areas not only provide cover for them but are also prone spots for algae, which is also food for crawfish. Such areas also provide a good place for crawfish to hide while hunting. The area provides a cover from the different predators and is also a feeding ground for crawfish themselves.

The best places have lots of rocks; where rocks have been used to shore up the river or lake banks. They provide massive areas of deep cover and have high population of crawfish. Heavy grass is also a great cover for crawfish, but tend to hold low numbers. Ponds that don’t contain fish can host large numbers.

Crawfish population is growing at an alarming rate, posing a threat to game fish in rivers and lakes. So, most states encourage harvesting of crawfish. Look into areas that may provide cover for crawfish, such as roots, rocks etc.

Baits to Use

Bait is very important as it makes all the difference in the world whether you are going to catch 2-3 pounds per catching or 15-20 pounds per catching. The kind of water body also plays a factor. Some water bodies have a large population of crawfish, so, you’ll end catching more with the correct bait. Bait boxes are a must during the prime time of crawfish. Don’t confuse a bait box with a bait jar since they are not the same. A bait box allows crawfish to feed and send a broadband of scent throughout the water body for a longer period of time. Also with bait boxes, it is easier to freeze bait, which fit nicely into gallon freezer bags.

Fish heads, chicken carcasses, and bacon are some of the baits you can use to trap crawfish. A slightly unusual bait is a tin of cat food with a few holes punched in. Cat food bait is advantageous over the others as crawfish can’t actually get to it through the can, so it should last the night. Using bullhead; slicing them in half will attract plenty of crayfish. You can freeze them to use them later.

Actually, baiting crawfish comes down to personal experience as people use all sorts of weird and wonderful things as bait. But, crawfish are choosy eaters, so baiting with something known to work would help. But choosing a fresh bait is the key; fish based is preferred. Take into account when baiting your trap that crawfish are big eaters. Therefore, in prime season, get more bait food.

  • But Fish Makes the Most Enticing Bait

Even though you have variety of baits you can use, fish makes the most enticing bait that surpasses all other baits. Conventionally, crawfish in most regions are baited with fish. A commercial craw fisherman can bait with salmon heads and other oily fish.

Things You’ll Need

  • Soda bottle
  • Bait
  • Razorblade or scalpel
  • Thin rope
  • Bread bag twist ties
  • Awl (optional)

Cut the top off one soda bottle beneath the cap using a razor blade. Try to make the opening a couple inches in diameter. When using the razor blade, be careful as the soda bottle is a little slick, so the razor can easily slip through. Below the cut you just made; a few inches away, cut through the bottle again to produce a funnel form.

Holding the soda bottle, place the funnel into it, with the small part of the funnel inside the soda bottle and the wide opening of the funnel even with the cut edge of the soda bottle. It should look like you pushed the top of the soda bottle inside itself.

Make some holes through the bottle and right through the funnel, spaced about ¼ inch from the cut edge. Use an awl to make these holes, if you have one. Or you can use a razor blade but ensure you don’t cut a slit pointing towards the cut edge-this may keep ripping the plastic bottle and the hole may rip often. Cut horizontally if using a razor blade.

Cover through the holes in the soda bottle and funnel with the bread bag twist, making sure it keeps the two pieces together. This will be the part for opening and closing when putting in the bait and when getting the crawfish out.

Take your bait, undo the twist and set the bait inside, then close the trap back up. Go to the source of your crawfish; lake, river, pond etc. and look for a shallow area, a few feet deep or less, which does not experience a lot of current. Think where crawfish would hide and set the trap there. Hide the trap from crawfish in water weeds or rocks.

Tie a rope around the trap and set it into the water, making sure the inside of the bottle fills with water. The opening allows water in, which equalizes the pressure. But you still need to hold the bottle down in the water until it fills in. Once the trap is filled in with water and set at the bottom of the stream, tie on the other end of the rope to something nearby to prevent the trap being washed away.

You can leave the trap in the water for some hours or even overnight. It is recommended you leave it overnight as crawfish come out mainly in the evenings and night. Pull the trap up after your scheduled time out to see if you have managed to trap some crawfish. If not, move the trap to another area or try a different bait until you get the hang of it.


Jeffrey Howie is a hunter and survivalist with a fanatic interest in survival gears and wilderness survival techniques. He regularly publishes articles on his blog: http://www.survivalcrib.com. Survival Crib is the ultimate resource for anyone looking for survival tips and techniques. To learn more, visit Survival Crib (survivalcrib.com).

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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