Guest Post: Simple yet delicious meals to make when the SHTF

by Phil Tabakaru

First off I’m not a chef, however, I do like to eat and I do appreciate great tasting food made simple.

I’m a firm believer in frugality, by that I mean not wasting anything. I’ve learned that at a very early age.

I’m not going to be discussing where you get your supplies, but more so what to do with them once you have them.

What I’m going to write about is simple easy to make meals that can be easily adapted to dehydrated foods, fresh garden vegetables, game, or your own livestock.


      Canned Venison (old School)

Note: I know people are going to say that you need to use a pressure canner, but old school means just that “OLD SCHOOL” a time before there was pressure canners readily available. This recipe is an old family recipe and we never had a pressure canner.  Just use your best judgment and adapt the recipe to pressure canning cook time.

Things you will need

Large canner or stock pot

Quart size canning jars

New Lids (you can’t reuse old lids)

Lid rings

Canning tongs

Venison or any other lean meat

Here is what you do

  1. Wash the jars lids and lid rings then boil for 10 minutes to sterilize all items need to be sterilized.
  2.  Remove with tongs allow to air dry on a rack…Note do not touch any surface that will be making contact with canned contents.
  3. Cut Meat into bite size chunks
  4. Pack meat in jars tightly until 1/2” from top of jar.
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of “Pickling Salt” or “Kosher Salt”
  6. Put lids and rings on until tension is just felt on the ring.
  7. Place in canner
  8. Fill canner with water until 1 ½” from top of jars (do not cover jars)
  9. Boil for 4 hours.
  10. Tighten lids and let them cool.

Warning!!! Do not eat if the lid is not sealed, when opening the jar the lid should have a distinctive pop, if you do not have that then best to be safe and not eat it. If the venison goes bad you will know it in a hurry (rancid meat smells god awful).

Looks can be deceiving sometimes the contents in the jar will have a brown film this is from the cooking process when the meat is canned and is perfectly normal. I’ve eaten some canned venison that was over 5 years old, if it is kept in a dark cool space and everything was sterilized there should be no reason why it wouldn’t last that long canned or even longer. (But that’s my opinion)

This canned venison will have a stringy texture much like pulled pork it can be mixed into a salad spread with mayonnaise, warmed up with BBQ sauce, or eaten straight from the jar. The possibilities are endless.   Enjoy!!!

Recipe # 2

      Cocoa Mix

Note: Sometimes we all need a treat, this is really delicious.

Things you will need

1 Cup powdered milk

½ Cup sugar

¼ Cup Cocoa powder (unsweetened)

Here is what you do

  1. Mix all together in a covered container.
  2. To serve add 2 Table Spoons to a cup of hot or boiling water, or coffee if you like.

Recipe #3

Beer batter (for deep frying)

      Here is what you do

  1. Mix equal parts of beer and flour
  2. Let stand for 1-2 hours before using
  3. Dip your favorite veggies, onions, zucchini, shrimp, clams oysters…you name it.
  4. Deep fry until golden brown.

Note:  Deep frying can make a skunk taste good

Recipe #4

Refrigerator pickles

A great one for a quick weekend feast. You can put your cucumbers to good use. Plus it will work with other vegetables as well, and or boiled eggs, etc. add more garlic if you like make it your own have fun. Kids love this one.

    Things you will need

2 empty pickle jars with lids or 2 canning jars with lids

1 tablespoon Dill

1 tablespoon Pickling or Kosher Salt

1 teaspoon mustard seed

3 medium sized cucumbers

1 cup white vinegar

2 cups water

1 whole clove garlic

6 whole peppercorns

Here is what you do

  1. Wash the cucumbers and cut each one in half, crosswise. Cut each half lengthwise into four pieces.
  2. Put the cut cucumbers in a large bowl and sprinkle the Salt and dill over them. Use your hands and mix well so they are evenly coated.
  3. Let the Cucumbers sit for ½ an hour.
  4. Put the cucumbers into the two jars evenly. Add 3 peppercorns, and ½ teaspoon mustard seed into each jar.
  5. Peel the garlic clove and cut it in half. Use a garlic press, squeeze on half into each jar.
  6. Stir the water and vinegar together in a large measuring cup or bowl. Pour half into each jar.
  7. Screw the lids on tightly. Shake each jar to be sure everything is well mixed.
  8. Place the jars into the fridge, overnight. Ready to eat the next day

Note: These will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge, but they are so good they will probably get eaten the first week.

And last but not least one just for fun. I found this one hand written in the back of my mother’s favorite cookbook, I do not know if she wrote it or if it’s someone else’s work.


Elephant Stew

Things you will need

1 Elephant

2 Rabbits (optional)

Brown gravy

Salt and Pepper to taste

Here is what you do

  1. Cut elephant into small bite-size pieces. (this should take about 2 months)
  2. Add brown gravy to cover.
  3. Cook over kerosene fire at 465deg for about 4 weeks until done.

To serve more: 2 rabbits may be added. Do this only if absolutely necessary as most people don’t like hare in their stew.

Yield: 3800 servings

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