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