Monday, November 30, 2009

Volcano Stoves


Here is a picture of our Volcano II in action.  On a recent campout we used the Volcano Stove and dutch oven to cook a delicious spicy chili at night, and then in the morning we had a wonderful omlet.  Notice how this 12 inch 6 quart dutch oven fits perfectly inside of the stove?  Do you have a larger dutch oven?  NO Problem!  The dutch oven will sit on the rim of the stove.  Just below the dutch oven is a bed of charcoal supported by a heat plate.  Don't have a dutch oven?  Just raise the heat plate to the top and cook with a frying pan or pot.  We have even kept the heat plate in place and put a pan on the grill itself.  We have also used a Wok in the Volcano.  Our Wok nestled nicely down in the upper bowl of the Volcano.  The Volcano is incredibly efficient and draws the heat upward.  You can even put this stove on a plastic table and the table won't melt!

The next picture is of one of the part owners of the Volcano II Stove.  He loves the Volcano and looks for excuses to use it!  The Volcano II Collapsible Cook Stove is by far the most enjoyable and practical fuel based cooking stove that we have ever purchased.  It is our second favorite stove behind the Sun Oven.  We purchased the Volcano II Stove with the Propane Grill, but rarely use the propane attachment.  We enjoy using charcoal and feel better about storing charcoal than propane.  When you combine the Sun Oven and the Volcano Stove you can pretty much cook anything at anytime that you would normally cook in your kitchen.

We have taken our Volcano Stove out camping, to friends houses, to picnics, to Stake and Ward Preparedness Fairs and even on a Stake Youth Trek.  It is amazingly efficient.  When we lived in Utah we became acquainted with the first version of the Volcano Stove, which is now called the Volcano Sr.  One lady even talked about the stove in church!  I was amazed and found out that you could cook 1 meal a day for a year with 300 pounds of charcoal.  That sounds like a lot of charcoal, but it is really only equivalent to 15 of the 20 pound bags.

The way we see it, you could combine the Volcano with the Sun Oven to cook meals not only in an emergency, but on a daily basis as well!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Tracey's Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

Bread Recipe
Whole Wheat Bread
I've had a couple of people ask me for my bread recipe. This is a recipe adapted from The Enlightened Homemaker's Bread recipe. Early in our marriage while Troy and I were working on our food storage, I decided that I need to learn how to use what I was storing. One of the first things I decided to learn, was how to make bread using whole wheat. It was a disaster.
It took a lot of practice to get fairly decent bread. I think there are a couple of reasons my bread now works. One reason is the quality of the ingredients. I use the Wheat Montana Prarie Gold wheat, SAF Instant yeast and vital wheat gluten. I also give credit to my Bosch for all the kneading it does. I wasn't sure I was ever going to be successful at making wheat bread I wasn't ready to spend the money on a bosch universal mixer, so I bought a Bosch Compact. The Bosch Compact only makes 2-3 loves of bread, which was more then enough bread for a family of three.

2/3 cup vital wheat gluten
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup honey
5 cup hot water
5 cup whole wheat flour (Prairie Gold is best)
Mix the above ingredients then add:
3 Tbsp. yeast (SAF Instant is best)
3 cup whole wheat flour (Prairie Gold is Best)
1 Tbsp salt
Mix then add flour one cup at a time until dough pulls clean from sides, about 3 more cups total. Mix for 6 minutes in machine. Shape into loaves. Place loaves in cold oven then turn the oven on to 170. It will take about 20-25 minutes for bread to double in size. After bread has doubled, turn oven up to 350 and bake bread for 30-35 minutes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Out for a Hike

Out for a day hike our family outing?

Here are some essential items to take with you in your day pack:

Map of the area and compass

Emergency Blanket or Sleeping Bag

Rain Poncho


2 Liters of Water

Food bars, Granola Bars or other food

Waterproof Matches or Firestarter

Backpacking Water Filter

Small First Aid Kit

Multi-Tool or Knife

Parachute Cord or other rope

Signaling mirror or small mirror

Having these items in  your pack will help you deal with unexpected changes in the weather, with getting lost or with finding yourself out longer than expected.  Water and access to water are critical, thus having water (and the water conatiner), along with a water filter will help you stay hydrated.  A compass will do you little good for the most part without having a map.  Always tell others (who aren't on the trip with you) where you are going and when to expect you back.  If you get lost, stay put!  Lost individuals tend to head off in the wrong direction.