The Survival Buzz #175: Hunker Down to Relax and Bake Bread

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 1, 2019
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Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

The end of June has arrived with an even longer LOSTD (List of Stuff To Do) and more missed deadlines.  What the heck, this is something we need to take in stride, right?  We are prepper-types after all.

I don’t know whether it is age or something else, but the time it takes to recover following a trip seems to be getting longer and longer.  Given that my recent trip was chore-related and not a vacation, seems to have added to the recovery process.  The takeaway from this experience is that I have once again confirmed that I am a “nester”.  I like to stay at home and my guess is that most of you are homebodies as well.

Hunker Down to Relax and Bake Bread - Backdoor Survival

The term “hunker down in place” is one I use often within the context of surviving a disruptive event, but as this recent trip has taught me, if we do have to leave the comforts of our home, the process is going to be arduous and stressful.  So why do I mention it?  We need to remember that getting into prime physical shape is one of the best things we can do to ensure long term survival.  Eat real food, cut back on sugar and artificial sweeteners, and mostly, get regular exercise.

Speaking of artificial sweeteners, Truvia, which we all though was a natural alternative, is a big scam.  Stuff like this makes me crazy.  You might want to read Truvia’s Sweet Scam: Highly Processed, GMO, and Contains Hardly Any Stevia.

So what did I do to prep this week?  I hunkered down and made bread.  Lots and lots of bread.

After baking up some lethal weapons aka “door stops” a few weeks back, I started to get a bit gun shy relative to my bread baking skills.  For years I have had success baking hand formed artisan breads and pizza (from the Artisan Bread in Five series) as well as breads from an automatic bread machine.  So why was I having so many problems all of a sudden?

I don’t have an answer other than I may have over-kneaded the dough in my WonderMix.  Those baseball bat loafs were kneaded about ten minutes. More is better, right?  Wrong.  Apparently I overworked the gluten or something.

This week I wanted to bake bread for both skill-building and relaxation purposes.  Getting over my fear of door stops, I took an ABM recipe, doubled it to use in the WonderMix, and made some gorgeous loaves of bread that were absolutely perfect.  I am redeemed.

And so went my week.  I had a few items arrive including a Sawyer Mini Walter Filter and a dozen all cotton dish towels that I plan to wash and dry by hand to assess their usefulness post-disaster.

That about covers it for me this week.  Now for some announcements.

Backdoor Survival Mail Bag

Back in April when I mentioned being worried about this and that, BDS reader Joyce wrote:

You mentioned learning coping skills and giving yourself the ‘ok’ to worry. Some time ago my sister gave me some Guatemalan worry dolls. Only God knows where she found them. Anyway, she must have figured I needed them.

What you do is whisper one worry to each doll before you go to bed, and in the morning the dolls will have taken the worry away. The “dolls” are tiny stick figures placed inside a tiny bag. I laugh every time I picture myself whispering to them, and if I’m having a bad day, just the idea of me being that ridiculous makes me forget whatever I’m stressing about.

So, you can always make yourself some worry dolls to help you cope!

Worry aka Trouble Dolls - Backdoor Survival

Something rang a bell, and after searching through boxes of stuff in my garage, I found my Guatemalan “trouble dolls”.  My parents bought these for me 20 years ago and I had them hidden away.  Given these uncertain times, I am going to leave them out where I can talk to them when I am having a bad day.

The Final Word

I recognize that we are all busy with our gardens this week as well as with Independence Day preps.  So once again, I will keep things short.

Over to you.  What did you do to prep this week?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

PS:  Do you like the new banner at the top of the page?

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The ALMOST FREE Department

It is time for a Survival Buzz “Almost Free” item. Shelly found these on sale recently. It is a great deal given that the match holders alone are worth the cost.

Trying to Drown Matches in Salt Water - Backdoor Survival

Wind & Waterproof Survival Matches: 2 Packs of 20 + Holder

When I tested these matches last summer, I tried to drown them in salt water first; both inside and outside the waterproof plastic case. They really are waterproof!  As of this writing, $2.29 with free shipping.

Here are the items mentioned today as well as some other favorites.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking: At an average cost of 50 cents a loaf, this bread is easy, delicious and inexpensive to make.  Making your own bread is a skill everyone should have.

WonderMix Deluxe Kitchen Mixer (with Blender & Cookie Whips): Here it is; my beautiful dough making machine.  Of course it will do a lot more such as whip up cakes, cookies, and, with the included blender, smoothies, salad dressings, and margaritas.

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System: Fans of the Sawyer water filtration systems are evangelistic in their praise.  Did you know they only weight 2 ounces and fit in the palm of your hand?  This is definitely on my bucket list. Give or take the price is right.  Be sure to also check out the Family Color Coded Gift Pack which looks nice.

Cotton Craft 12 Pack Professional Grade Kitchen & Dish Towels:  This is the second pack of cotton dish towels I have purchased in the last month.  We are not starting to use them exclusively for hand drying.  They are extremely absorbent (more than microfiber or terry) and appear to dry quickly.  I want to hand wash and dry and see how they fare.  My guess is that they will be perfect for a sustained grid down period.

Worry Dolls in a Bag:  The idea is that you whisper your troubles and woes to these worry dolls at night and you will sleep better.  They are also called “Trouble Dolls”.

Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad:  Has anyone tried one of these?  I just ordered one for testing.  Presumably, when wet, it becomes considerably cooler than the outside air, and can provide cooling relief.  I know that a wet bandana will work but this will not try out as quickly.  I am excited to give it a try.

Tac Force TF-705BK Tactical Assisted Opening Folding Knife 4.5-Inch Closed: This is a newcomer to the list. It is ranked the #1 best seller in hunting knives.  The reviews raved about this knife so I bought one and can recommend it. See my review:  The Inexpensive Tac-Force Speedster Outdoor Knife.

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Updated Jul 1, 2019

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16 Responses to “The Survival Buzz #175: Hunker Down to Relax and Bake Bread”

  1. Re: Frogg Toggs Chillie Pad

    I have a similar product to this. They do work. However, you have to be in an area of low humidity. Here on the Gulf Coast of Texas they don’t work that well, in Arazona, they would work quite well.

  2. I like the new banner, especially the “prepping with optimism”. My fave though was way back when you had the dock picture. It was very calming and peaceful. Love making bread as well and think it is a skill we all need to master, especially with different cooking methods should our relied upon stoves are not functional. But bread is dangerous!! You can never have just a nibble or one slice!! Too good!!

    • The dock picture goes way back – you have a good memory. I am going to dig up the original; it was taken on Gatun Lake in Panama. If I can find it, I will post it for old times sake.

    • Thanks for resharing it! Only us old timers have seen it, now everyone will get a chance!

  3. Good for you! Stick-to-it-ness is the key! I can tell you’re not a quitter… You’re a great encouragement! From one bread baker to another, high five!

    • Most assuredly we will not let those door stops hit us in the fanny! Next is baking bread in the Sun Oven.

  4. I just had to say that instead of talking to little dolls who can do nothing for you…why not talk to the Creator Yahweh/Jesus Christ who can do all things for you? I love your blog and have been subbed for quite awhile now. When the poop hits the fan we need to be as close to Jesus as we can get because He will be our ONLY true help in it all. No matter how much we try to prepare for what is coming ourselves we will never be completely ready or safe without His covering. God bless sister.

    • Right on Sharon. That is exactly what I was thinking when I read about the dolls.

    • Me, too! Amen to that sis!

  5. You can grow stevia easily. While you can’t bake with it as easily in leaf form you can put it in the pot with your tea leaves. Wish I had some of your fresh baked bread. Yum! For grid down situations I was remembering my southern mother making fried cornbread in the summer so she didn’t have to turn on the oven. I’m going to have to play with that & see if I can re-create it. For prepping I’ve been making blueberry syrup from last year’s berries still in the freezer. Got to make space for this year’s fruit.

  6. I enjoyed your article. I look for old sheets at garage sale, wash them and place then in my “sheet” box. These will be great bandages, slings, ect.
    Thanks and keep up the good work!!

    • Old sheets made into bandages, yes I have many of those in my many first aid kits. I use the corners from old fitted sheets as slings. 😉

  7. I love the new banner. We got to do a little practice in KC after our big storm hit the other night. My daughter was amazed at the quiet and how many families took time to be together. It was wonderful to live without electricity for a day- I could do that more often.

  8. Use the sun oven for your bread, you will love it. Also makes wonderful banana and zucchini breads!

  9. I’m so happy when someone does something I can’t do. Even with professional bakers by my side, I make those pavers instead of bread. lol So I do quick breads and have learned how to do variations on flatbreads. You wouldn’t believe how much stress you can relieve by using a cast iron griddle or skillet to pound a ball of bread into something flat to cook. 😉 I used to have a breadmaker. When it went belly up, I didn’t buy a new one. Just figured it was GOD’s way of saying learning something else. lol

  10. I’m going to use my ice cream maker to churn fresh butter. Would go great with your bread!


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