Unfortunately, I fear that this post today may be a sobering one. There is much going on in the world that points in certain directions, and I thought I would post about something that may possibly concern us all, tempered of course with some wisdom from the American Indian. I’ll also be giving away a copy of the book, BLACK EAGLE to some lucky blogger today, also.
This is a post about food. It really doesn’t take any great prediction to see that there could shortly be a problem with our food supply. If you’ve been paying attention, you probably know that there is a drought in the south (particularly in Texas). This could be a problem with our food supply. Then there’s the flooding of our “bread basket,” the mid-West. Not all of the land has been flooded, of course, but enough to realize there might be a problem. Then there’s the fact that although America used to have food reserves for approximately five years, these reserves (grain elevators, etc) have been drained, leaving maybe about 3 months reserves (this happened very gradually over several years).
Some of you may know your history and remember that Stalin starved his peasants/farmers who lived in the middle of the “bread basket” of Russia. Stalin was directly responsible for the genocide of as many as 60 million of his own people. Some were shot point blank, but in the “bread basket” of Russia, the people staved. Why?
In a sequence of acts against the people, the Stalinist government took the farmers’ stores of grain, selling it on the marketplace to show how “well” Russia was doing. I’ve seen old footage of the military stealing the food stores from the people. Of course this leaves the people without food for the harsh Russian winters. Thus, they starved. Quite deliberately on the part of the government under Stalin.
Okay, so what is the point of all this? The point is: Preparedness. Contrary to popular opinion, the American Indian was often prepared for what was to come. When going to war, they often took a medicine man in order for him to look into the future and prepare the others for what was ahead. Women and men from one coast to the other prepared for long winters. On the East coast, that meant stores of corn, beans and squash. On the Plains it meant dried meat and fruits, pemmican and any other store of food. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked into preparedness kits — freeze dried food, etc. I have and one thing I can say — it’s not cheap.
But it is somewhat cheap if you make dried meat (or jerky) yourself. And it’s easy to do. Thus, you could make your own “preparedness” kit. So taking a page from Native America, I thought I’d go over how to make your own jerky. My friends on the Blackfeet reservation first cut the meat (or have it cut) into thin slices. They then smoke the meat using a smoke house, green wood and lots of smoke. After the meat is smoked, it is hung up to dry. In the old days, the meat was hung in the open air outside. Nowadays, it’s often hung again in the smoke house.
Now, I don’t have a smokehouse and it’s unlikely I’ll be getting one anytime soon. So I have another method of jerking meat that is a little different from the traditional method, but it suits me. And again, it’s easy. Cut the meat into thin slices (or have it cut), marinade the meat in red wine for beef or buffalo and white wine for chicken, along with a little soy sauce and garlic. Let it sit in the refrigerator for about 1-2 days and then dehydrate it either in a dehydrator or very low oven. Dry it this way until the pieces of meat crack when bent, then store. Usually it takes me several days to get the meat to the “cracking point” when bent. I use glass jars. In the old days, they used deer or buffalo hide bags. I keep the dried meat in the refrigerator, also, although of course they didn’t in the long ago days. If you do this one batch at a time over several weeks, you’ll have a store of food in very little time (and cheaply also).
I realize it may seem odd to post about such a thing when we live in the land of “plenty.” But as a very wise man once said, always have a plan. We live in a world that’s very different than it was say…five years ago. And though it may seem odd, it never hurts to plan ahead. One can always eat the meat later if the worst never happens. And often, when one does plan — and ensures he/she has a plan for anything unforeseen, the worst often never happens. It’s to this hope that the worst never happens, that I make this blog today.
You’ll have to let me know what you think of this kind of blog — one that gives some preparedness skills directly (and indirectly) from the American Indian. Don’t forget, I’ll be giving away a copy of the book, BLACK EAGLE today. So come on in and leave a post for me.