Posts Tagged ‘classico’

Success!!! I am absolutely giddy!

pasta sauce

This is what the jar of pureed sauce looked like when I started yesterday. As it dried, the fact that the tomato is a fruit and the sauce is on the sugary side created a fruit leather consistency initially.

But I pressed on, and discovered that I am not fond of this Gardenmaster dehydrator! I’m looking forward to finding an Excalibur I can relieve someone of. Anybody have one they don’t want?

No, really. Seriously. Please? 🙂

Anyhow… Eventually, almost 24 hours later, the sauce dried out enough that I could peel it from the fruit leather tray and place it on the drying rack.

It finally was crispy enough this morning to tear it into about 1″ size pieces and put them into the bowl of my Ninja mixer (which I adore).

And then…the massacre:

It worked!!!!!!!!!!!! Holy moly, it worked!!!!!

A big jar of sauce like the one on the left had become these perfect little chunks and crystals of tomato sauce. Amazing. 🙂

Dinner for 6. 🙂 That’s about 2/3 of a box of Quick Cook (3 minute pasta), an entire bag of frozen peas, and a whole jar of pasta sauce. My theory behind using the Quick Cook is that if I use the right amount of water, the whole thing will cook up at once, thus reducing our need for fuel.

Here’s a picture of the three original states for comparison of size! My storage space requirement has substantially dropped!

Sweet! 🙂

We’re going to cook it using the rocket stove that Adam made to test out how functional it is in an emergency situation.

I’m really looking forward to that!


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One of my new favorite blogs, Food Storage Made Easy, issued a challenge today for their readers to submit some new 72-hour kit ideas. Two of the types of kits they’re looking for are Healthy Options and Kid Friendly.

Got it. That fits us to a T!

The silver lining here is that it gave me the kick in the you-know-where that I needed to do some experiments I’ve been meaning to try.

72 Hour Kit contents for my 8-year-old and 1-year-old

I like the idea of using backpacks. Especially for kids. They are really not good at carrying things without whining every five feet unless it’s their favorite toy that they are actively playing with.

Their three days worth of water are in the cloth grocery bags on the right and left. I also include a favorite book to read, a small toy, a coloring book and crayons, an emergency whistle, a toothbrush, and a small bag of baby wipes. Also in the bags will be a metal fork and knife. I like the idea of being able to keep them and reuse them for other meals. Also, stirring hot food with a plastic spoon is just gross. Each backpack will also have a metal camping mug for drinking and eating. The emergency stoves, can openers, matches or lighters, and fuel tablets will be in the grown-ups’ backpacks.

And don’t forget vitamins! We have a few bottles of Berry Garden Gummies in our food storage for the kids (we have multis for us grown-ups). Three days’ worth can easily be sealed in a Foodsaver bag.

We try to be as careful as possible about consuming foods that contain artificial additives, so everything here is about as healthy as possible for emergency food.

toddler backpack

big kid backpack

Caroline’s backpack contains much of the same food that her brother and sister would have, with a few exceptions.


  • 3 packets of instant oatmeal (none of those colored frankenmeal ones – just maple, cinnamon, or organic varieties)
  • 1 sealed foodsaver bag of 3 days’ worth of dehydrated apple chips (with an oxygen absorber to extend shelf life)


  • 1 can of Bush’s baked beans, 8 oz. pop top (This is used as a cooking vessel to heat other foods – wash and save this can after use.)
  • (toddler backpack) 3 pouches of “squeezy fruit” baby food (Plum Organics, Ella’s Kitchen, or Happy Baby – found online, Target, or Babies/Toys R Us)
  • (big kid backpack) 3 pouches of big kid squeezable applesauce
  • 1 can of chunk light tuna in water (This fish contains much less mercury than the white or albacore.
  • 2-3 foil packets of mayonnaise and relish (to make an impromptu tuna salad)
  • 1 can of Shelton’s Chili (Delicious and additive-free! Two kids can share a can.)


  • 3 Cascadian Farms kid size peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars
  • 1 small resealable bag of dried fruit or 3 large raisin boxes
  • 6  Yummy Earth lollipops and/or a small bag of Surf Sweets gummies
  • 3 small lunchbox size packs of crackers such as Late July
  • 1 wheel of Laughing Cow cheese wedges (8 wedges – the kids can share these. They do not require refrigeration.)


  • 3 2-liters of reverse osmosis filtered water, each with a small rock of Himalayan pink salt added in order to re-mineralize the water.
  • 1 bottle of Honest Tea (save it! This is good for further water storage.)
  • 2 packets of Crystal Light Pure (sweetened with stevia and sugar, all natural flavors and colors)
  • 1 packet of Emergen-C

Note: It is not recommended that water be stored in cars. The heat that builds up in parked cars can cause the plastic to leach into the water. Gross does not even begin to describe it. If you’re concerned about not having water in your car in an emergency, consider adding empty Katadyn bottles, purification tablets (I LOVE that store, btw – campingsurvival.com), and/or a SteriPen UV purifier to your kits.


  • 3 Foodsaver packets (with oxygen absorbers) of Ronzoni Quick Cook macaroni style pasta with dehydrated tomato sauce powder and dehydrated peas (or other veggie)
  • 1 can of chicken (This can be divided amongst the kids and added to their pasta.)

This is where my experiment comes in. One of my pet peeves is the ridiculous abuse of MSG by the food manufacturing industry. It is darn near impossible to find processed foods that don’t contain some form of it. I try to keep this at an absolute minimum in our diet, and only in the form of occasional yeast extract way at the bottom of the ingredient list.

My experiment involved finely pureeing a can of Muir Glen split pea soup and a jar of Classico pasta sauce and attempting to dehydrate them at home. The dehydrated soup and sauce would be further pulverized into a powder in my Ninja blender. I would then make a blend of the soup and some mashed potato flakes and seal it into individual servings in Foodsaver bags with oxygen absorbers. The tomato sauce would go into individual serving packets with some dehydrated peas and Quick Serve pasta, also with oxygen absorbers.

peas - frozen! straight from the bag

pasta sauce

split pea soup

I’ll keep you posted about how my experiment turns out and will post more about the further adventures of our 72-hour backpacks as they unfold. Stay tuned! 😉

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