18 April 2013

Book Review: The Prepper's Cookbook By Tess Pennington

I recently received a copy of the new book The Prepper's Cookbook: 300 Recipes To Turn Your Emergency Food Into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals by Tess Pennington to review.

If you've begun to get into emergency preparedness, chances are you've taken a look at many of the long term storage foods and begun to fill up your pantry with a variety of different foods. Maybe you've bought some freeze dried #10 cans, maybe some of the MRE's, or maybe you've simply stocked up on a variety of canned and dried packaged goods that your family uses on a regular basis. But those foods can get pretty bland really fast if you don't have a variety of different recipes to prepare them. The Prepper's Cookbook contains 300 different recipes to help you keep up with your family's nutritional needs by prepping and storing jarred, canned and dried goods, along with your usual emergency staples like Spam. ;) There are recipes for every meal, desserts and breads, and even kid friendly snacks.

The beginning of the books covers an introduction to "prepping" as it's fondly called by many, as well as explaining the importance of what to store - from treating water and ensuring you have enough for your family, to how to make meals stretch - which is important for many of us on a budget who are also trying to "prep". There's even a fill in worksheet for meal planning, tips for building your pantry, and a look at the basics of canning. (If you're interested in canning, check out some of the videos available on YouTube and keep your eyes peeled for free classes in your area. Pressure canning is fun, but a lot of work - and there's a lot of safety involved too. Don't just jump right in without knowing what to do.) There is also plenty of tips and explanations for ingredients throughout the book, such as more on textured vegetable protein, or TVP as it's known to most of us.

As long term readers know, I'm big on being prepared for any emergency - not just the zombie apocalypse ;), but the little things like unexpected bills and bad weather. Once you get into the swing of being "prepared", the little things don't worry you so much. (Oh? The pipes are frozen again? Alrighty then - we have plenty of drinking and washing water, and I'm caught up on the laundry because I don't let it pile up. I've got paper plates so I don't have to worry about washing the dishes. No biggie!) A big part of my homemaking to-do plan is keeping our pantry full with a wide variety of food storage - from extra cans of veggies to the steps we've taken in longer term food storage. I'm always on the hunt for new ideas and recipes for the foods I store, so I really was looking forward to reading this book. For me, a lot of the information included in the beginning I was already well aware of, but I was in it more for the recipes. Most of the 300 recipes included are fairly basic and use a variety of food storage options that you should have on hand, such as rice, beans, and grains. I'd peg most of the recipes as being in the level of beginning to intermediate. Taking the time to try out these recipes NOW instead of waiting until the chaos of a disaster will show you any holes you might have in your preps, such as forgotten spices or ingredients, as well as get you used to cooking under possible different conditions. Cooking on cast iron, or using a dutch oven, can be a little harder to get used to than cooking on an electric stove with non-stick cookware. While most of these recipes will be made now on an electric stove, they are easy to adapt to cooking on a woodstove when the time comes if you're already used to using those cast iron pans.

If you're new on the preparedness journey, or wanting to introduce someone to the basics of preparedness, this is a great book to do it with. The author has plenty of basic information that will you using the food you are beginning to store. For those further on the journey, this might not be quite what they are looking for, but if you don't do a lot of scratch cooking, you'll probably get some use out of the recipes. I'm definitely thrilled to have added this book to my family's preparedness library.

The one thing I would have loved is some photos of some of the dishes, because I always am worried I'm not even close to making a dish right.

The Prepper's Cookbook: 300 Recipes To Turn Your Emergency Food Into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals by Tess Pennington is a paperback sustainable living cookbook published by Ulysses Press. It is 192 pages long. The suggested cover price is $16.95, but Amazon has it available for $9.11 as of this posting.

I received a copy of this book in order to read it and share my thoughts on it. All opinions are my own, and not that of the author(s) or publisher.

1 comment:

Noelle the dreamer said...

It sounds like a very good book to have on one's shelves! Thanks for sharing,