Spring 2014 Book Festival: The Prepper’s Cookbook

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: June 28, 2019
Spring 2014 Book Festival: The Prepper’s Cookbook

Today I share the next author interview and giveaway in the current Backdoor Survival Spring 2014 Book Festival.  Today I welcome Tess Pennington, the author of The Prepper’s Cookbook.

As we do each week, Tess is joining us for an interview and is also providing one lucky reader with a free copy of her book.  And what a good one this is!  Although it is billed as a cookbook, it is much more than that.  There are chapters on building your pantry, water storage, preserving your food and one of my favorite chapters, alternative ingredients.

The Preppers Cookbook Backdoor Survival

Enjoy the interview and be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.

An Interview with Tess Pennington

Tell me about your book, The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. What is it about?

The Prepper’s Cookbook is an all-encompassing resource for the new and more seasoned prepper that will help them make the most of their preparedness pantry. What I set out to do was create a book that provided short and longer term solutions for users to be able to make use of the available ingredients that we all have in our pantries and refrigerators. As I was writing it, I realized that many of the ingredients were ones that my ancestors used in the days of the pioneer, so this book was also a way for me to pay homage to my family.

The book answers those questions of what to prepare, how much to prepare and for that matter what types of food we would need during a disaster. Above all, the focus is on versatility. One of my largest concerns for those who are dealing with a disasters of any kind is food fatigue. We are going to get tired of eating the same thing over and over again. Your emergency pantry goal should be versatile, adaptable and nutritious. This versatility is what will keep things moving.

Also, within the book I had suggested tools to readers such as dehydrators, alternative cooking sources, sprouters, etc. to help them on their preparedness journey. In my opinion, it isn’t only about the food and the recipes. Being prepared requires a layering approach where you have your food, your cooking tools, and your skills.

In chapter 3 of the book, I talk about food preserving. My intention is to show the reader that you can use the contents of your refrigerator to preserve and can food for living in a shelf stable environment. Moreover, the more you begin to can and preserve your own food sources, the less dependent you are on store bought foods. Imagine, canning your own vegetables and fruits and pulling it from the shelf 6 months later to make a delicious pie. Or having shelf stable soups and stews that you can use on a moment’s notice. Many of the recipes can be utilized using your own canned goods or store bought goods. This was the best way I knew to show preppers of all walks of life that this book is a good investment.

I tried to keep in mind that we all have different ideas about what should be stored in an emergency pantry. So there are recipes using dehydrated foods, pantry foods, foods that are normally find around the home like potatoes and some long-term preparedness foods

What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?

I really tried to keep the most popular shelf stable pantry foods in mind and base the recipes around most of those.

Luckily, a bulk of my book writing took place in the summer when I had access to lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. I had lots of fun playing around with family recipes and tweaking them to suit. Many of the dehydrated recipes I wrote I had come up years ago when I started taking steps to become more self-reliant.

My kids thoroughly enjoyed being the official taste testers for the recipes. There is a chapter on Kid Approved Recipes, and those were all approved by my kids.

How long did it take to write?

It took me about 6 months to research and write the book, and another 3 months to go through the editing process.

Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals?

In all honesty, I want my message to be one of hope. I am not one to gravitate towards being a doomer. My goal is to give readers the tools, information and skills they need to keep their family safe during and following a disaster.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

As much as I am a geek about preparedness, before that I am a mom, a sister and friend. My family lives on a small organic farm in the Northwest and we are taking steps to be more self reliant. I love gardening and taking care of our livestock. Teaching others about living a preparedness lifestyle has become a passion for me and I am so thankful that I can do it. I am an eternal optimist and try to keep a positive outlook on the crazy world we are living in.

As an author in the survival, prepping and/or homesteading niche, what are you personally preparing for?

When I first began prepping, it was because we were living in an area prone to hurricanes and we needed to get prepared for those naturally occurring disasters. In 2007, when the real estate bubble popped, we started noticing a lot of issues with our economy and preparing for economic degradation became our #1 priority.

We saw that as a country we are dealing with an epidemic of unemployment. Millions of families around the country are struggling to make ends meet and even more are depending on food stamps to put food on the table. It was becoming quite clear that an economic recovery was nowhere in sight.

As a whole (congress included), we need to take some drastic measures to control our spending habits, to cut corners and get out of debt. Many believe that this country is teetering on the edge of collapse, and I have to say that I tend to agree with them. So, we started budgeting better and eliminating debt and began using any extra money more wisely. We invested in a preparedness pantry, emergency supplies and learning new skills.

At that time, we were still living in suburbia and realized that we wanted to take things to the next level, so that is when we decided to move to an area more suitable to the homesteading lifestyle that we are trying to achieve.

Do you have plans for another book?

Yes, I am on the verge of publishing a book based on my popular 52 Weeks to Preparedness series.

After finishing the series last year, many of the readers asked me to put it in a pdf or more printable version. I decided to do the next best thing and put it in book form. I added more information, tips and how-to’s to make it a complete preparedness guide. The book focuses on layering your preparedness efforts to prepare for short term events and then continuing to add more preps and skills to prepare for a longer term event. Chapters range from adding two weeks of food and water to long term security efforts. The guide is a great resource for those who are starting prepping and for those who are more seasoned and want to double check their preparedness efforts and skills.

The book is now called The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide to Help You Prepare for Any Disaster and should be available on Amazon soon.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Living in this day and age takes a lot of courage. There are so many issues to worry about – world issues, economic problems, governmental issues, personal issues, and it’s hard juggling everything. I am thankful for the preparedness community who I have found to be a source of comfort and a great group of people who are like minded and I can bounce ideas off of.

I invite all of you to visit my website, www.ReadyNutrition.com and be an active part of the preparedness community. The more we teach others to live a more preparedness life, the better off our country will be. I hope that you will check out The Prepper’s Cookbook and my upcoming book, The Prepper’s Blueprint.

Gaye, thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of your amazing Book Festival and for your hard work on making Backdoor Survival a resource for others to learn from.

Thanks everyone!

The Book Giveaway

A copy of The Prepper’s Cookbook has been reserved for one lucky reader.  I have another poll questions for you today.

Which best describes you?

A.  I am a food storage newbie
B.  I have started my food storage pantry but have a way to go
C.  I am a food storage guru
D.  Other (describe)

To enter the giveaway, you need to answer this question by responding in the comments area at the end of this article. The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Thursday with the winner notified by email and announced in the Sunday Survival Buzz on June 8th.  You will have 48 hours to claim the winning book.

Note: If you are reading this article in your email client, you must go to the Backdoor Survival website to enter this giveaway in the comments area at the bottom of the article.

The Final Word

I have read more food storage cookbooks than you can imagine.  The thing is that many, although well-intentioned, miss the mark by focusing on obscure ingredients and complicated techniques.  Who has time for that when you are in survival mode?

Tess’s book is a welcome breath of air.  It is easy to read and and it is easy to see that The Prepper’s Cookbook has been written by a committed prepper who is walking the walk.  I hope you will enter the giveaway to win your own copy of this fabulous cookbook!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Click Here To Vote For Me at Top Prepper Websites!  Did you know that you can vote once a day?

If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Facebook which is updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or link to a free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.  You can also follow Backdoor Survival on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ and purchase my book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage from Amazon.

In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Spotlight Item:  The Prepper’s Cookbook: 365 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals

Stock your pantry to survive any disaster!  When a catastrophic collapse cripples society, grocery store shelves will empty within days. But if you follow this book’s plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply, your family will have plenty to eat for weeks, months or even years, with meals such as:

• French Toast
• Black Bean Soup
• Chicken Pot Pie
• Beef Stroganoff
• Fish Tacos
• Potatoes Croquette
• Asian Ramen Salad
• Quinoa Tabouli
• Rice Pilaf
• Buttermilk Biscuits
• Peach Cobbler

Packed with tips for off-grid cooking, canning charts for over 20 fruits and vegetables, and checklists for the best emergency pantry items, The Prepper’s Cookbook will have you turning shelf-stable, freeze-dried and dehydrated foods into delicious, nutritious dishes your family will love eating.


Bargain Bin:  Today is all about books.  Listed below are all of the books in the current Backdoor Survival Book Festival. There are both fiction and non-fiction titles and a bit of something for everyone.

And if not, at the very least pick up the free Kindle app so that you can read Kindle books on your PC or favorite electronic device.

Spring 2014 Book Festival #5 – Fiction
Brushfire Plague: Reckoning
Through Many Fires: Strengthen What Remains
Flight of the Bowyer
The Jakarta Pandemic
The Perseid Collapse
Leaving The Trees
Fury of the Fifth Angel
Fugitives from Northwoods
Phoenix Island: A Tale of Disaster, Survival, and Rebirth

Spring 2014 Book Festival #5 – Non-Fiction
The Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Readiness: Life-Saving Skills, Supplies, Tactics and Plans
Simply Canning: Survival Guide to Safe Home Canning
The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster
The Prepper’s Cookbook: 365 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals
Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure: A Prepper’s Book for Kids
The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months


Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

Mountain House Sale
While supplies last or until the end of May.


I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here.

The Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from Amazon.com

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


No list of books would be complete without my own e-book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.

The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage is a book about food: What to store, how to store it and best practices. It is a roadmap for showing ordinary citizens that long-term food storage is not something that will overwhelm or burden the family budget.   It is based on my own tried and true experience as someone who has learned to live the preparedness lifestyle by approaching emergency preparedness and planning in a systematic, step-by-step manner.

Whether you simply want to prepare for natural disasters or whether you believe the world is headed toward a major food crisis, this book is for you. It covers basic tips and techniques you can use to stock your food storage pantry so that you can be assured that your family will have food to eat, no matter what.

Aff | Emergency Survival Blanket

[DEAL] Emergency Survival Blanket

Pocket-size survival blanket could save a life - throw in your bag or car.

Get Cheap Security
Aff | Tactical Pen
[DEAL] Ultimate Concealed Weapon Stay Protected

120 Responses to “Spring 2014 Book Festival: The Prepper’s Cookbook”

  1. I am a “b” I have been working for years. But it seems that there are always ways to improve and new
    gadgets that come on the market that make things better, like instructional material or HERC ovens!

  2. I have to go with B. However, even if I had a years food and water stored, I would still feel that I had a ways tho go.

  3. I would fall in the B group. We have started but have a long ways to go.
    That is for the great article and keep them coming.

  4. i am prepping but have a ways to go i do can and dehydrate and try to keep extra of what we like water is something i have to work on have some but need more

  5. Although not a newbie, there is a long way to go on the journey. My wife and I could go thirty days plus. However, there will likely be a couple other family members where obligation will overcome my “Let the eat cake.” impulse.

  6. I’m a “B”, off to a good start but there is room for improvement and diversification of my emergency rations.

  7. (B) I don’t think I will ever feel fully prepared. There’s always something new to think about and research. For example: Store water or purchase a hand pump for our well? Or both?

    • Both but hand pump first… also rain barrels to catch run off from the roof…

    • Could you suggest some sites that offer reliable products at reasonable prices for rain barrels and and hand pumps? I’ve read articles with some great ideas on collecting rainwater I’d like to implement, but the containers are pretty expensive. As for a hand pump, all I have to do to “access” my well (I think) is remove the cap on the pipe sticking up out of the ground in the back yard… but then what? Any advice is appreciated.

  8. i guess that i dont really fit into the first three and go for the “other”. reason being is that i am not ready in any means for a long term situation and i try to keep reading any and all articles on prepping long term and short term food storage and stocking. and i will always find one or two items that have gone interely by me and then ill go out on payday and get some of that item. i guess short term im ok, but still getting water, propane, flour, salt, spices, and trying to get into canning. i would say i guess my outlook is good and i am a in progress person me and wife. tks

  9. I would consider myself between B and C. We have a good start on our food storage, but I would like to be more organized and intentional about it.

  10. B – less than a year on our 8 acre “farm” and so much to do! But making progress – slowly as time and finances allow!

  11. I would have to choose – “B. I have started my food storage pantry but have a way to go” Most of what we store is stuff we use on a regular basis. But I would like to expand it more, increasing the quantity (as you can never have to much) and adding in more long term basic items as well.

  12. I also am a “B”. I have a good start, but the “Prepper” of the family is no help so goes to me to do it. Bur I keep sluggin on.

  13. I would choose B-I have started my food storage pantry but have a way to go. I am pretty good with short term but working towards long term storage. There is always room to improve and learn.

  14. I’m a B.I garden and can most of it.Also deer hunt and can up that. Would like to know more about storing and using grains and dried legumes.It’s a long learning curve but I’m slowly getting there.

  15. I guess I qualify as other. I have a pantry which I rotate thru regularly, but don’t know how transportable it would be if I had to live “away from my pantry.” I usually only have about 20 gallons of water in storage at a time.

  16. I am “B” but I’ve been doing this for several years now. It’s just you always keep moving forward. There is always more to do!

  17. Gaye, Nice work. I would classify myself as between A and B. I have some food stored but not nearly enough. Just got some mylar bags and want to start bagging individual servings of dehydrated hashbrowns. Also want to learn about canning as I have a good garden started.
    This sounds like a great book to assist me.

  18. I am a “d”. I am an OCYOFSH. (An obsessive compulsive yet organized food storage hoarder) I have a nice stash going but am always on the look out for new recipes that I can make using my extended pantry supplies. I have used some of your recipes to great praise from my 11 kids. Thank you!

  19. Thanks to all the great information I’ve learned here on this site – thanks Gaye! – I am a C, a food storage guru. I’m doing something, learning something or adding something every day.

  20. I’m somewhere between b and c. I have a fairly good storage but need to diverse a little and get some of the less used but still nice to have items.

  21. I would say I am a B+. I have been storing for awhile, but don’t have all the back-ups I would like.

  22. I have to say I totally love this book, it was one of the first purchases I made when I started prepping. I highly recommend it to everyone!

  23. I’m a relative newbie to food storage and prepping in general. There’s SO much to research, purchase, do (and sometimes re-do), it makes my head spin! Between being a full-time single parent and working full-time, I find myself over-thinking and over-researching just about everything – ain’t nobody got time for that! 🙂

    • I totally get it, try not to overthink things, it’s easy to get overwhelmed if you get caught up in the ‘I need to do this now’ feeling.
      Start with the basics. I started with buying 1-2 extra canned goods when I went to the store. Within a couple months I had a nice stockpile. Don’t try and do everything at once and don’t go out and buy things because it’s on a list. For example, no one else in my house eats beans, so I don’t keeps tons of them like everyone says you should.

      The 2 best places I used when starting were:
      1) here & Gaye’s ‘Month of Prepping Series’
      2) Tess’s site with her 52 weeks to preparedness & the cook book. I even tested some of the recipes out on my kids without them knowing so I could figure out if they’d be good choices for us when we needed to use food storage.

    • Thanks for the advice and pep talk – I needed it! I’ve been following Gaye’s website for about a year now and will check out the series you mentioned. Have only recently become aware of Tess’ site, but by all accounts it’s a winner, as well; that’s why I want her book so badly – what to store, how to store it, and most importantly, how to prepare it (I’m not the most creative of cooks… 🙂 ). Thanks again, Andrea!

  24. B. I have started my food storage pantry but have a way to go. My family could probably live for about 3 months on what we have, but we would be so bored with eating the same things over and over that it would not be a very enjoyable 3 months.

  25. I think I am between B and C. I have a pretty good pantry but there is always room for improvement.

  26. B. I have started my food storage pantry but have a way to go. I have enough around for the 2 of us, but I know that my kids will make their ways here, so I am in the process to adding more items to my long term storage. One thing that I have learned, is that, it is a never ending process. Store what you eat and eat what you store, but remember to replenish and replace.

  27. B. I have started my food storage pantry but have a way to go. I’ll currently trying to reconfigure some space to better accommodate my goods. I’ve run out of under bed, etc space.

  28. Being retired and money restrictions keeps me from accumulating very much. I wish we could put back much more but we do what we can. I really enjoy your articles and interviews. Thank you.

  29. I am a B girl. If I would fix a few weak links in my preparations, we would be set for probably six months. The problem is I am a little intimidated by the preparations needed. For example, I have known about canning butter for a couple of years now, but can’t seem to pull the trigger and try it. We could do without many items in my kitchen, but butter just ain’t one of them!

  30. B. I have a very long way to go but I have the basic knowledge of how to get there. This book looks like it would be a big help.

  31. Put me in group B.
    I could feed my husband and self for two months,
    but son and family are temporarily living with us.

  32. I would say B. I have started but I still have a ways to go. My preps have been hampered by financial limitations.

  33. I have been canning and preserving for years, but I am trying to make a well rounded prepper pantry.

  34. I’ll go with B at the moment. Keep a well stocked pantry but renting at the moment and no room for storage. Just learning to pressure can with a borrowed canner.

  35. Been at it for a couple of years, and relearning how to can… Would love a copy of that book though…

  36. C) Food Storage Guru. I regularly pressure can (All American 15qt) and a five tray excalibur dehydrator

  37. B. I have started my food storage pantry but have a way to go. The goal is to have diverse foods to support good nutritional health. The types of things stored will be some MREs, for the short term quick meal. Prepackaged canned and dry goods ranging from meats, fruit, nuts, rice, and beans. We do this a little at a time and expand our stored goods by purchasing items in larger quantities we might when they are on sale. For example when the season’s change, now is a good time to stock up on hot chocolate mix. You might not use it now but stores want to clear their shelves for traditional spring / summer drinks. Just an example.

  38. Gime a C. I am eating canned dehydrated food from the 70’s, so I think I have been at it for some time now.

  39. I would fit into the “B”. We have started storing food, and am increasing the garden size. I have learned to can fruit and hope to can vegetables this year. Learning to cook and rotate all the different types of food is the challenge for me. My husband likes simple meals and is not one for trying many different recipes.

  40. I have started my food storage pantry but have a way to go. I have enough stored for a month, working on the second month now. It can be difficult because my husband is hypoglycemic and I have to make sure that all the preps fit his diet, he has to eat every two or three hours. That is a lot of food, at least the way he does it.

  41. Definitely B. I’ve started but still have a long way to go. My long-term goal is to not have to go to the store for anything for a year. Thanks for the opportunity to win this great book. Good luck everyone.

  42. I’m a B I have started a couple of months ago,I’m on a very tight budget and don’t have much but at least I started. The is so much to get. I want to start canning but it scares me a little. Did I just a little I mean a whole lot.Thank you for all that you do Gayle has helped me out a lot.

  43. I would have to say B, I have about 3-4 weeks worth of food. I have a long, long way to go. however my 3-4 weeks of beans, rice and pasta have no variety.

  44. I have a decent pantry and have begun to look at more long term ideas. There is so much to learn-maintenance skills, organization, budgets, gardening, real cooking, herbs/oils, canning and more. Looks like it’ll take a lifetime and become a lifestyle to get to the guru stage. Thanks for the helpful ideas along the path.

  45. #B for me. I’ve started your 12 month program and am only just beginning to build up my food supplies. Thank you for your dedication to helping all of us get better prepared.

  46. Got a start so in b category but over the weekend I visited someone who was a few steps ahead of me, and that inspired me to pursue more knowledge, equipment, and focus . . .

  47. A. I am a food storage newbie. I would greatly appreciate winning “The Preppers Cookbook”. Thank you. I enjoy your site.

  48. I guess I’m a B but I still have a ways to go. I really want to start a garden but Arizona, so far, has stymied me in getting anything to grow and produce a good crop. I’m reading more and hope I can learn how to do it better. Too late for this year but I will be trying to prepare for next year by getting some things set up in the fall. Maybe even try to grow some “winter” vegetables.

  49. “B” with a ways to go. Going to trying canning this year to store some of the grains, beans, baking essentials, etc.

  50. I would say “B”, but we still have a long, long way to go. Trying every week to be better prepared. Would love to own this great book. Thank you!

  51. B, though due to the fact that I just gained a new family, I have lots more planning & storing to do.

  52. B. I have started but still have a way to go. I am considering a dehydrator, but I have not tried cooking with dehydrated vegetables or meats. The cookbook would come in handy for getting me off to a good start.

  53. D. Other
    I have no problem with canning and canning rotation. My problem is the cans from the store and boxed items to keep in rotation for better shelf life. Canning is the best way to go to get only the items in the jar you want and not all the chemical. Taste is individualized.

  54. B. I am not a newbie, but I definitely have a ways to go.
    This cook book sounds like a great resource to own – I hope I win! I need all the help I can get!

  55. B. I have a long ways to go. The book looks interesting, would like to see how the recipes fit into my current plans and if I should change directions on what I’m doing.

  56. Food storage newbie. I have a couple of things stashed away, but it is more of a “keep the kids happy” for a short term situation. I have too many plans and not enough actual storage!

  57. B. We’ve got a good start, but do have a ways to go. I’ve learned some things recently that made me realize I was missing a lot of things that I just never thought about and really should have. Hmmm – maybe more of a newbie than I thought!

  58. “B”……I think I’m doing ok, and better then some, but then, I think of something else/s that is a must-have! The more expensive items will eventually happen, or a good alternative…..I hope.

  59. B. I have a ways to go. I have a list that I constantly add to. I tell my family that I am prepping for my personal financial disaster (retirement).

  60. We’ve started our survival pantry, have a way to go yet, and definitely need to start trying to cook with some of the items to see what we think of them.

  61. I am going to call myself a “d”. I am quite experienced in preparing but there seems to always be more to
    Learn and do.

  62. A. I am a food storage newbie I’ve started a prepping closet, so far it is very minimal, basically to get me through a short power outage. Flashlights, candles, sterno and ravioli. A long long way to go. I need all the help I can get with direction and cooperation from dear hubby….lol

  63. A. I am a newby and fully aware of it. We could take care of ourselves if needed but we are far from prepared.

Leave a Reply