Saturday, February 13, 2010


Another chilly Saturday morning. But it IS Winter and I reckon we should be prepared for such things. And being prepared is what it is all about. It seems to me from reading the news that most Americans are NOT prepared for much of anything. When the collapse comes they will realize the error of their ways. When their families get hungry they will really realize the error of their ways. Those pictures of the empty supermarket when the East Coast blizzard was announced should have been warning enough to get people inoculated with some better sense. But hey, I have enough to do with 150 neighbors and friends in this Valley. And some of them don't think I am any too smart to get ready like I do but you know how changeable peoples opinions are. " I just didn't think it would happen this way." "Well, how did you think it would happen?" No answer.

But America has had a good life in the past and those born since 1950 seen to think it will just naturally go on forever. I hate to tell you this folks, but it ain't gonna happen thataway. The way I see it we are heading for a bit of a slow slide into the pit of poverty. It will be bearable for a lot of folks for quite a while, but you will notice that I used the word bearable. I am not saying it will be a lot of fun. And there will be people who suffer quite a bit and they will need our help. As much as we can give them. But that help has to be a trade off. All that gardening and canning and drying and storing needs many hands and that is what the people who get help will have to provide. We have had a good life as reasonable capitalists and pretty soon we will have to have what good we can manage as reasonable communal people. We have plenty of land across this broad country of America but it has to be tended to make it grow our sustenance. The scriptures say that with food and raiment we are to be content. And I believe that. But it did not say that with take-out food and McMansions we are to be content. No, we are to keep and tend the garden as per our instructions. The more people you have to feed the bigger that garden needs to be. And the more hands to tend it will be required. Simple math but very important.

And that brings me to a point in this post where I want to talk about bread and cheese. Bread has been a bargain in this country for decades. The big commercial bakeries developed batter breads that they could pour into bread pans and the loaves rolled off the assembly line like water over Niagara Falls. The delivery trucks and vans were parked right out back of the bakery and when the loaves of bread got into them they were off and running for the markets. Sometimes many miles from the bakery. And this will cease to be. Cheap oil is a thing of the past and cheap food depends on cheap oil. Those countries with lots of exportable oil have $150 a barrel appetites, not $10 a barrel appetites. Witness the craziness of the Burj Dubai and the man made islands and all of that stuff that the oil producers did to aggrandize themselves. They would have been better off just renting a billboard in downtown Nu Yawk Sity and announcing to the world that they were cool, maybe the coolest. What this boils down to is that Wheat is going to be expensive because it takes petroleum fuel to produce it and fertilize it. Forget about the cost of baking the stuff! But it will not be out of line to see $5 to $10 a loaf bread in the stores. Do you know how to plant Wheat and harvest it? Do you know how to get it free of all the wrappings it comes in? And if you can get that far do you know how to store it so the rats and mice don't get to eat all of it? Do you have the means to grind it into flour so that you can bake a loaf of bread? Have you ever baked a load of bread? I made a loaf of French farm bread a couple of years ago and it was a major undertaking. Worked my butt off and it took seven hours including all the resting and rising it had to do and then the baking time. It was delicious, but wow, what a job. And you may be facing this sort of labor in order to get a loaf of bread in the near future. Think about it.

The cheese thing is supposed to be coming up anytime soon. Pale Rider is supposed to go take a cheese making lesson from mmpaints and bring that knowledge back to southern Indiana. I have access to whole milk fresh from the cow with all the cream still in it and it should be excellent for making cheese. Can you make cheese? I can't. But I am willing to learn. A couple pieces of bread and a slab of cheese will take you through most of a day. And the nutrition will astound you. But most of us are a bunch of idiots when it comes to cheese making. Shame on us. We have the technology to save milk protein in the from of cheese and we don't do it. Talk about a bunch of panty waists! But that is how it is right now. The commercial made stuff is still available at a reasonable price and no one but the preppers cares about keeping the old ball rolling. So who is going to have the ability to make bread and cheese when the SHTF? A few preppers. So who will organize the next Kraft Foods or the next Wonder Bread? The answer is preppers, if they are smart. Stay alive.



Andrea said...

The party is over and we're about to get stuck with the clean up. That's the phrase that keeps going through my head over and over.

But to your questions: Yes, I DO know how to bake bread. I want to learn how to make sourdough loaves should there ever be a time that yeast isn't available. And a bread oven is on my list of outdoor projects for this year.

And Yes, I DO know how to make cheese. Go to and buy the 29.95 soft cheese making kit. It has everything you need to get started including the rennet, thermometer, strainer, cheesecloth, instructions. Mozzerella and ricotta cheeses are brain-dead easy. Hard cheese (cheddar) takes a lot more time, mostly in the form of patience while it ages. Finding good quality milk is the hardest part.

Have you ever heard of Leeners? They're out of Ohio and they have pretty much anything a DIY-er could want.

Tattoo Jim said...

We're pretty lucky there,,, the wife makes most of our bread from wheat that we grind, cannery bought wheat, but it has a helluva shelf life, and we've been buying cases of it for years.. The cheese thing is still beyond me, but we have been trying to read up on it...

chinasyndrome said...

Hey Michael you mentioned get a water filter a while back,thought you might be interested in this.