A bag and a bowl of Valley Food Storage Mango Habanero Chili

January Freeze Dried Food Experiment

In Sports & Outdoors by Consumer Files0 CommentsLast Updated: April 28th, 2019

Can you believe it?  We’re near to the half way point already!

January was a long slog of a month but I feel as though I’ve really found the rhythm that will carry me through for the remainder of the year.  In some ways, it was a “coasting” month.  That’s not a bad thing, it’s just that, compared to months (like last month) where there were big, game changing events afoot, this one might seem a bit underwhelming.

That’s okay by me.  Not every month can (or should!) be epic.  In any case, let’s see how the month of January unfolded.

Daily Food Dairy for January 2019

Tues, 01.01.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

More pie, of course! (see last month’s entry for why I am suddenly swimming in pie)

400

Lunch

1 Serving of Mango Habanero Chili and Chops

540

Dinner

2 Servings of Mango Habanero Chili

1080

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2170

Aha! As everyone reading these reports knows, a gourmet chef, I am not, but I did hit upon a better way to make DoomSketti (see the first of these reports for the recipe). Basically, I’ll use slightly more water than is necessary to make a batch of Mango Habanero Chili, and then reserve two servings of it as “sauce” for DoomSketti later on.

Aside from playing in the kitchen, I did manage to get some writing done, but it was maximum effort for minimal progress. The Muse is still being uncooperative.

Wed, 01.02.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Consolation pie

400

Lunch

1 Serving of DoomSketti

540

Dinner

2 Servings of DoomSketti

1080

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2170

And…I got nothing.  Again.  The words just aren’t there.  That’s bad.  That’s very bad.  At least there’s pie.  I’ll console myself with pie.

Fulfilled my trading duties for the month and took delivery of my milk, eggs, and venison.  I don’t need any more venison at this point, but can’t think of anything I want in its place so, venison it is!

Thurs, 01.03.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Consolation pie

400

Lunch

PB&J

230

Dinner

2 Servings of DoomSketti

1080

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1860

Okay, it’s officially time to panic. THERE ARE NO WORDS. I sit down. I stare at a blank word document and…nothing. I’ve tried just about everything I can think of to coax them back. I don’t know what to do.

Fri, 01.04.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Last of the pie

400

Lunch

Can of Split pea soup

300

Dinner

2 Servings of DoomSketti

1080

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1930

Oh, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU GOD. The words are back with a vengeance. I woke up in the middle of the night with a thousand-watt light blazing in my head.

No idea where the Muse went, or why it decided late December was a good time for a vacation, but holy cow am I glad she came back, even if she interrupted a perfectly good night’s sleep to announce her return. Game on. I was compelled to get up at butt o’clock in the morning and start writing. The words literally couldn’t get out of my head fast enough.

Glad you’re back, you sexy, intangible Muse beast. Whew.

Sat, 01.05.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

1 servings of multi-grain cereal

180

Lunch

PB&J

230

Dinner

Pancake Experiment

600

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1160

Nonstop writing. Muse, don’t do that to me again, okay? Please? That was terrifying.

Tried my hand at making pancakes today. It was…meh. I added some of that godawful strawberry cream of wheat to the mix. That didn’t go well. They were edible, but I won’t be doing that again. Still, at least I’m slowly grinding through that stuff. I’ll be glad when it’s gone.

Sun, 01.06.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of apple oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of chicken noodle soup

520

Dinner

Can of tomato soup and a grilled cheese

430

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1460

Cold, gray day, but I don’t care. Must. Write. Still feeling like the words aren’t getting out of my head fast enough. Sticking to basic freeze dried food meals that’s quick and easy to prepare. Quesadilla maker is GREAT for whipping out grilled cheese sammiches in a hurry.

Mon, 01.07.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of strawberry oatmeal

360

Lunch

2 Rigatoni Boxed Dinners

540

Dinner

2 lasagna boxed dinners

540

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1590

Another dreary day on the mountain. Wind picking up again. We’re in for some blistering cold days ahead. Nose down, firmly planted on grindstone. If the power fails, I wanna get as much done as possible.

Beginning to run low on the boxed dinners. I’m amazed they lasted as long as they have. I miss pop tarts. How long as it been since I had a freakin’ pop tart. The strawberry ones. Ohhhh, and those S’mores ones too…dang. I think I might be losing my mind a little. LOL

Tues, 01.08.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of multi-grain cereal

360

Lunch

Can of split pea soup

340

Dinner

Can of chicken noodle soup

540

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1390

If I thought the wind was picking up some yesterday, then today it has been full-on howling. Cats are freaking out. Odd Thomas has been with us for a couple days now and refuses to so much as stick his nose out the door.

I can’t say I blame him. Sounds like a T-Rex breathing right up against the door. Ominous. Power still holding tho, so that’s a good thing.

Wed, 01.09.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of apple oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of chicken noodle soup

500

Dinner

Can of chicken noodle soup

500

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1510

Too cold to do anything but write, and too windy to even go sit on the porch. Had to turn the stove on to provide an emergency level of heat, but keeping the cold at bay.  Both heaters full-tilt, and I left the electric blanket turned on so the cats could make a nest. 

In an odd display of feline solidarity, the members of my Pride even allowed Thomas a spot on the bed.  All are curled up, toasting their squish beans on the “magic blankie,” waiting for me to join them.  Which I’ll do as soon as I complete this entry and save.

Thurs, 01.10.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 serving of multi-grain cereal

360

Lunch

2 boxed dinners – Rigatoni

540

Dinner

2 boxed dinners – Lasagna

540

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1590

A third straight day of fierce winds. According to the thermometer I’ve got outside, it’s three. Three degrees. I hate to even imagine what the wind chill factor is, but hella cold. I’m not setting foot out in it.

Fri, 01.11.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

1 serving of apple oatmeal

180

Lunch

Can of tomato soup and grilled cheese

430

Dinner

Can of chicken noodle soup

540

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1300

Finally, a reprieve from the wind! I have to say, after three days of such howling, it was beginning to wear on my nerves. If you’ve ever seen the movie “The Martian,” where Matt Damon is sitting in the Hab module with the wind howling outside…yeah. It was a lot like that. Glad that’s over and done with.

Ventured outside and collected my porch furniture, which had blown into the yard. Picked up the trash can, which I keep at the back of the house – also blown into the yard, and discovered that the wind blew so hard and so continuously that it blew a piece off of my car!

There’s a plastic…I don’t know what to call it, but it’s like a rain guard that hangs over the windows so you can crack them when it rains without getting soaked. Yeah, tore the one on the passenger’s side completely off. Glad the cats didn’t try to go out in that. Glad I didn’t either, come to think of it.

Sat, 01.12.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of multi-grain cereal

360

Lunch

Can of split pea soup

340

Dinner

Last two boxed lasagnas

540

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1390

Slowed things down a bit today and traded two cans of mini-ravioli to Mike’s kids for another half dozen eggs. Their chickens have been working overtime and I’ve been having a growing craving for eggs, so…I picked up some spares. Will use them in the nearish future.

Ran myself out of boxed lasagna today. Another hole in my initial food stocks. Not that it matters, given the supplies I picked up in the last report, but an interesting thing to make a note of.

Sun, 01.13.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of brown sugar and maple oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of chili

640

Dinner

Can of mini ravioli

600

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1750

Yesterday’s trade of ravioli prompted me to experiment with another can for myself (dinner). Can’t say it’ll ever be my favorite, but I’ve got so much of the stuff, it’d be a shame not to eat a few cans. Good trading stock tho. I won’t hit it too hard.

Mon, 01.14.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Nothing

0

Lunch

2 Servings of Franken Chili

1080

Dinner

2 Servings of Franken Chili

1080

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2310

Another relatively slow writing day.  Took a day to do household chores and spend some time playing in the kitchen. Cooked up some chops and made a big batch of “FrankenChili” - When I make FrankenChili, I use a bag of the freeze dried white bean and lime chili, mixed with two cans of chili, which gives me a total of seven servings, instead of the usual five I get out of a bag of freeze dried food alone.

Tues, 01.15.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Can of chicken noodle soup

500

Lunch

1 serving of Franken Chili

540

Dinner

Finished off the Franken Chili (2 servings)

1080

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2270

Okay – as soon as I finish the last of this FrankenChili, I’ve gotta have some eggs. It’s turned into a genuine craving at this point. Maybe I’m pregnant? Heh – wouldn’t that be a hoot…fifty-year-old male preggers. Could sell the movie rights and get my farm immediately.

No, it’s not that, but the craving sure is strong. Okay – back to writing, slog through this chili and then…EGGS! Must. Have. Eggs.

Wed, 01.16.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Fried egg sandwich and pancakes

970

Lunch

Bowl of Tomato Soup

120

Dinner

Grilled Cheese

230

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1470

Yay! Eggs. And pancakes. They turned out much better this time. I don’t want to give myself too much credit here – I will never be an Ace in the kitchen, but I am slowly starting to get the hang of pancakes, at least. Delicious.

Rest of the day was just banging on the keys. Going to knock off early tonight and read a little before bed. Tired, but with a full stomach.

Thurs, 01.17.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of maple and brown sugar oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of tomato soup and a grilled cheese

540

Dinner

Can of ravioli

600

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1650

Today was basically a repeat of yesterday, minus the eggs and pancakes. Ended the evening writing session a little early and remembered to turn the electric blanket on about an hour ago, so I'ma go crawl under some warm covers. Can’t say today was an epic writing day, but some progress is better than no progress, and way better than writer’s block!

Fri, 01.18.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of strawberry oatmeal

360

Lunch

Fried egg sandwich and part of a canned ham

530

Dinner

The rest of the canned ham and steamed veggies

550

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1590

So, I just reviewed my journal entries for the month.  Shocking how little I have in the way of human contact. Even more shocking is how little I’m missing it these days. I regard this as being an accurate reflection of what a real SHTF situation would be like.  Survivors mostly sheltering in place, doing the best they can. Good to know that, after an adjustment period, I’m basically okay with being on my own for extended periods and having only limited human interaction. Even so, I have to confess that I do miss Sharon, who has gone full on crazy again. We haven’t been in touch in…I dunno how long it’s been.

More eggs for lunch! Mmmm. Eggs. And I broke open one of the mini canned hams I had been saving. They’re not great. Donated some to the cats. They seemed to enjoy it.

Sat, 01.19.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Can of chicken noodle soup

500

Lunch

Omelet (using the last of the eggs and veggies)

900

Dinner

Can of chili

640

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2190

Today, I found myself missing Myrtle Beach. It happens sometimes. I don’t miss living there, but I do miss the vibe. The feel of the place. The non-stop party atmosphere. Laid back party, but still.

Beach music is needed.

Beach music is blaring, and I’m writing with a smile on my face, thinking of Pawley’s Island hammocks and drinks with little umbrellas in them. Ahhh, Myrtle Beach. Good times. Still not as good as the mountain though, but a lovely change of pace once in a while.

Cooked up a huge omelet for lunch, using up the last of my eggs for the month. I could trade for more, obviously, but I’m good. I think I got it out of my system. For now. 

Sun, 01.20.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of multi-grain cereal

360

Lunch

Can of chicken noodle soup

540

Dinner

Last of the boxed Rigatoni Dinners

540

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1590

Got an alert on my phone in the middle of the night. More severe weather headed our way. We’re in for some nasty cold, possibly more snow and definitely high winds. Made a quick check to be sure all felines were in, closed the cat drawbridge and battened down the hatches.

Sunday proper (after going back to sleep) was basically a nothingburger, but the temperature dropped all day, so it’s coming.

The last of the boxed dinners are now gone. Another category of my initial stocks of freeze dried food products fully depleted.

Mon, 01.21.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of strawberry oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of split pea soup

340

Dinner

Canned ham and mustard

800

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

800

So windy last night that it woke me up. Snow on the ground, but not a lot of it. Just enough to turn into black ice by tomorrow. Good thing I’m not making trips into town very often any more. Although…I am low on heart meds again. Will wait till the weather turns and go grab some more from the pharmacy. Got enough to get me by for now though, so all is well. Medium productivity writing day. Stayed at it late, just…slow goings.

More canned ham, with more donated to the cats. Glad they like it. I’ll be glad when it’s gone. Two down, two to go.

Tues, 01.22.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of apple oatmeal

360

Lunch

2 servings of multi-grain cereal

360

Dinner

Can of ravioli

600

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1470

Wind. Cold. Gray.

That was basically the day.

Too cold to write much. Hands numb, even with both heaters and the oven on. Yuck.

Wed, 01.23.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of maple and brown sugar oatmeal

360

Lunch

2 servings of multi-grain cereal

360

Dinner

Can of beef stew

650

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1520

Cold continuing unabated. I can’t really feel my fingers or my nose. Not happy, but at least the power’s still on. Still pumping some warmth into the house, though not enough to keep the chill at bay. No idea what the wind chill temperature is. According to the thermometer outside, the baseline temp is -17 (F). Too. Freaking. Cold. Spring. I can’t wait for spring.

Thurs, 01.24.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

PB&J

230

Lunch

Can of beef stew

650

Dinner

Can of chili

640

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1670

I think yesterday was the high water mark for the cold. I have some feeling on the tip of my nose again, so it’s not as insanely cold as yesterday. Still left the oven on all day though, with the door cracked. By the time I was done with the day’s writing, it was actually fairly warm. Should see me through the night.

Fri, 01.25.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pancakes

600

Lunch

Can of chicken soup

540

Dinner

Can of split pea soup

340

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1630

Getting up was almost painful this morning. Joints protesting the cold. Still, I can tell that it’s notably warmer than yesterday, so maybe it’s just the change that’s causing the joint pain. Whatever the case, it’s time to put nose to grindstone and get back to it. The last few days have been nothing really, in terms of bill paying writing progress. I need to get some traction.

Yeah, not much traction today. Hard to write with screaming, arthritic fingers. But – minimal progress, at least. I’ll take it. Going back to bed.

Sat, 01.26.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pancakes

600

Lunch

1 Serving of Mango Habanero Chili and chops

540

Dinner

Venison and veggies

900

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2190

Ohhhh so much better! I actually enjoyed making pancakes this morning. Can’t say I enjoyed the process yesterday, but today is better. Warmer. And the Mango Habanero Chili helps. Dang that stuff is the bomb. I’m gonna get so much of that when I replenish my stocks of freeze dried food pouches. I love it. And it makes good DoomSketti sauce, so it’s versatile too. Treating myself to a steak dinner. Pan frying the venison. Not setting foot on the porch to use the grill.

Sun, 01.27.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of multi-grain cereal

360

Lunch

2 servings of Mango Habanero Chili

1080

Dinner

Venison and veggies

900

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2490

A decent writing day, and lots of B-horror movies playing in the background, which are some of my favorites. No plot, really, so I don’t get sucked in, and they’re fun in a goofy, campy kind of way. Another steak dinner tonight – eating like a BOSS!

Mon, 01.28.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pancakes

600

Lunch

Can of chicken soup

500

Dinner

Pork chops and veggies

850

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2100

More pancakes for breakfast and it’s official. I can actually, consistently make decent pancakes now. Still not as good as IHOP, but delicious, and I don’t have to drive anywhere. It’s a win.

Writing is a bit better today. Finally got my hands working properly again. Still a little stiff and sore, but improving steadily now. I’ll take it.

Tues, 01.29.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

Pancakes

600

Lunch

Can of Split Pea Soup

340

Dinner

2 servings of Chicken a la King

1080

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

2170

I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite between Mango Habanero Chili and Chicken a la King. Love them both for different reasons, but don’t have much of the Chicken stuff. Only one bag left, so will save it for a special occasion. Still – it’s great comfort food and just what the doctor ordered today. Between that and another batch of fluffy, delicious pancakes, I’m still feeling like I’m eating like a King. A chicken a la King, apparently. HA! Okay, the isolation may be affecting my brain a little…sorry.

Wed, 01.30.2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of apple oatmeal

360

Lunch

PB&J

260

Dinner

Can of chicken noodle soup

540

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1310

Back to firing on all cylinders, and turned in an epic writing day. Haven’t had many of those this month, so it was good to see. Feeling like I made good progress.

Got some unfortunate news though.

Mike has found a new home for Odd Thomas.

A family in one of the neighboring hollers has some kids and they wanted a cat. Mike has three or four and offered Thomas to them if they wanted to adopt. They agreed, so tonight when he got off work, Mike came to collect Odd Thomas. We said goodbye and you know – that cat was annoying at times, but I think I'ma miss him. He was starting to fit in and be less obnoxious.

Farewell, Odd Thomas – I hope you enjoy your new home!

Thurs, 01.31, 2019

Meal

Food Eaten

Calories

Breakfast

2 servings of strawberry oatmeal

360

Lunch

Can of tomato soup and grilled cheese

440

Dinner

Venison and veggies

900

Others

Half Coffee

150

Total Calories

1850

End of the month ended with a whimper, rather than a bang. I can’t say this was an outright disaster of a month – I basically held the line, but I didn’t make any progress toward my larger goals, which is disappointing. Oh well…just have to resign myself to the fact that not every month will go like gangbusters, and this one sure didn’t. I did hear from Sharon today. She sounds a bit sniffly, like she’s coming down with a cold, but it was good to hear her voice all the same. That was the highlight of the day.

End of Month Summary

The month began in stark terror on account of the writer’s block, but once I broke through that, it was pretty smooth sailing.  No major incidents or accidents to report.  The ship is steady and on course.  I know I’m not covering financial stuff here, but it is worth mentioning that the writer’s block this month basically stalled my long-term plans to get my little mini farm (pivotal to my self-sufficiency and general preparation plans).  Unfortunate, but not every month can be an epic one.

No major trades to report this month.  After last month’s windfall, I’m sitting pretty.  The only real difference being the swap for a few more eggs, but again, given last month’s windfall, I’ve certainly got surplus stock of freeze dried food bags to trade from!

Month End Stats


Weight: 326
BP: 134/87

BP is unaccountably edging higher this month and I’m not really sure why.  Could be the stress of the writer’s block early on, but that seems to have passed.  May have just slightly overdone it on the freeze dried foods, but in any event, I’ll keep a close watch on it and if there’s trouble brewing on that front, I’ll get it taken care of.

Until next month!


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January Freeze Dried Food Experiment was last modified: April 28th, 2019 by Consumer Files