Thursday, February 28, 2013

An Unusual Item for Extended Long Term Storage

Row and I went to a cub scout "Go See'em" event last week at a historical restoration site. It was an old homestead from the 1800's that had been preserved and is used as a living history museum. One of the living history guides went on a tangent about tea and the time period. During this time, tea was often sold as bricks and displayed in a shadow box as a subtle reminder that "this house was wealthy". The guide also spoke that the Boston Tea Party threw bricks into the water rather than loose tea as commonly depicted. Interestingly enough, this same guide had purchased 10 of these 1 kilogram bricks before he left Vietnam in the 70's and had been steadily using them for over 40+ years. He said that he is down to his last brick.

This got me to thinking that this would make an excellent way to have tea in a very long term bad situation. The process of making this hot tea is very easy and requires very few items.

  • Grate a tsp into a teapot.
  • Pour the boiling water into the teapot.
  • Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea).
  • Optional: add in sugar and milk as desired 
A small grater for the tea brick, a teapot, and a strainer. I have seen some teapots that include a strainer within the spout which would make it even easier to prepare.


Tea bricks were first produced in the 9th century for the spice trade routes of the Far East. In an effort to make them more portable, tea producers compacted the tea into bricks for space savings and maximum profit. Due to the high value of tea in many parts of Asia, tea bricks were used as a form of currency throughout China, Tibet, and Central Asia. Even as recently as World War II, the tea bricks were used as a form of currency throughout Siberia. Imagine the value that would be placed on these tea bricks once again if any form of long term collapse happened. Just as salt was used as currency, these tea bricks could also serve as an excellent barter item. The bricks are portable, hard to be produce locally, and a luxury item. The extra ordinary shelf life of these bricks which can last for 40+ years with just moisture protection is also a great asset.

The tea bricks are usually adorned with intricate detail as shown below:

The tea bricks are also available in green and black tea. I have included a link to my Amazon store for the tea bricks. I do receive a small referral fee of 4% for any orders placed through Amazon, and the proceeds are going towards more reviews, both food and gear for the long term solution.

Keep Right On Prepping - K


My 500 gram black tea brick arrived today from the USPS. The order took 3 days to arrive and it was placed in the evening. The package was well prepared for travel, with the tea brick being wrapped in a thin tissue paper, then another thicker paper, and finally bubble wrapped. The space between the packaging and the box was very minimal and the brick arrived in excellent condition. It also included a tea sample, but I'm not sure if it is the same type of tea as the tea brick. Here is my picture below...

Oh yeah, it smells wonderful too! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

MRE Monday - Biscuit

This will be a quick one today.

Nutritional Information:

Serving Size: 2.25 oz.
Calories: 250
Calories from fat: 90
Total Fat: 9g or 14% DV
Cholesterol: 0mg or 0% DV
Sodium: 510mg or 21% DV
Total Carbohydrates: 31g or 10% DV
Dietary Fiber: 1g or 4% DV
Sugars: 3g
Protein: 3g
Vitamin A: 0% DV
Vitamin C: 0% DV
Calcium:  8% DV
Iron: 10%


I was anticipating a mix between a Bisquick biscuit and the canned variety.


Row, the resident seven year old and new Tiger Cub Scout, thought that it tasted good. For full disclosure, we did add olive oil margarine to the biscuit. He does still prefer the Grand butter tasting biscuits the best though, and he gave about half to his brother.

Ant, the four year old, took one look at the biscuit and declared that "I love biscuits!" And again for full disclosure, he does love butter. I asked him if he wanted Row's biscuits and he nodded yes and wanted me to "put more butter on it too".

Sweetheart thought it was slightly sweet with a dense texture. She would eat it again.

I thought it was really moist for a packaged biscuit, and it had a nice aroma after opening it. The biscuit had a good texture, very similar to a compact heavy bread that hasn't quite risen enough. We did warm the packaged biscuit in a pan of boiling water, and it had a nice out-of-the-oven feel to it. It's not as good as a freshly baked biscuit, but it was a very acceptable substitute.

Final Thoughts:

It would go good with several MRE meals that we have sampled in the past. The overall quality of the biscuit is very acceptable considering it is an MRE and packaged for a long term shelf life.

Stars: * * * * (4)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Personal Update

Well, the added time at the library and study time at the kitchen table have been paying off for me. I have gotten an A on every test ( all 3 ) these last two weeks. I'll keep up the current amount of studying, so that the finals won't be as stressful. In April, there are two Fridays with three tests on one day and I'm not looking forward to them.

I've been flushing out some new posts, as I've tried to be more content driven with year. I have toyed with the idea of submitting an article for the survival blog on one of the posts about tea.

I'll also be celebrating my birthday this week with 44 candles on a strawberry cake with strawberry icing. I'll be posting Monday with a new MRE review. I'll have to do some advance reviews for the blog, since I failed last weeks review.

Keep Right On Prepping - K ( even a small amount at a steady pace adds up )

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ruger 30 Round Magazine Update

 I placed two orders on 12-21-12 for five 30 round MAGPUL magazines each. I got this by email today.

 "Thank you for ordering from Ruger Sportswear & Accessories. Your sportswear order placed on 12/21/12 12:00:00 AM has shipped."

It has only taken 61 days for the order to be manufactured and produced. Considering that the last article that I read mentioned that they are about a million units behind in firearms alone, I'm quite happy to take delivery.

Ruger has also zeroed out the cost of the 30rd magazine which indicates to me that no new orders are being accepted. 

Keep Right On Prepping (slow and steady wins the race) - K

A Reason to Keep A Variety of Kool-aid on Hand

K: What kind of Kool-aid do you boys want with dinner?

Row: You pick, because I love you.

What other reason could you possibly need?

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Monday, February 18, 2013


Sorry for the lack of posting, but school has really been taking a toll on the free time. I have a few ideas on new posts that I have been mulling over in the brain. One was discovered on a Cub Scout "Go See'em event" last Saturday. Thankfully, I'm still able to lurk around on the blogs between study stints...

The Orange Jeep Dad posted a link to my ammo poll, and of course I had to write a short update. I was able to visit a few gun shops today with Sweetheart.

Keep Right On Prepping & Take Care - K

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Seven Types...

...of propaganda.

I had an excellent teacher in the ninth grade that taught her classes one of the most important lessons that they would unknowingly learn that year. It was how to distinguish propaganda through advertising, media, and governmental campaigns.

ONE: Bandwagon - To convince the audience to do or believe something because everyone else is doing it.
Subtype: Winning Crowd: desire to associate with winners

Subtype: The "In" Crowd: desire to be part of an elite group

Subtype: Being Left Out: plays on your desire to belong/peer pressure.

Subtype: Bad Traits:  Pepsi used this quite well, don't be old because old is bad.

TWO: Glittering (Glowing) Generality - Using words so strongly positive in emotional content that just hearing them makes you feel good. The words express a positive meaning without actually giving a guarantee. Politics uses a lot of this technique.

It means " Builds youth hostels and homes" from Google translator

THREE: Name Calling - Using harsh/kind words to make a point effective

FOUR: Plain Folks - Suggesting something is practical and a good value for ordinary people.

FIVE: Repetition - Using the product name, keyword, or phrase over and over. Ever see the same ad during a TV program again and again?

 SIX: Testimonial - Using a famous person to endorse the product.

Hanes and Michael Jordan

SEVEN: Transfer - Transferring good looks, feelings, or ideas to the person who the propaganda is meant to influence. Suggests the positive qualities to be associated with the product and the user.

There are endless combinations of the types and many subtypes of each type of propaganda.

Use these propaganda techniques to help you distinguish between facts and feelings.  I wonder how many of these were used last night for the State of the Union address?

My thoughts are that the worse that it gets, the more propaganda will be used. Learn to tell when they are being used on you!

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Monday, February 11, 2013

MRE Monday - Oatmeal Cookie

 Nutritional Information:

Serving Size: 1 cookie (57g)
Calories: 280
Calories from fat: 140
Total Fat: 15g or 23% DV
Cholesterol: 15mg or 5% DV
Sodium: 125mg or 5% DV
Total Carbohydrates: 34g or 11% DV
Dietary Fiber: 1g or 4% DV
Sugars: 18g
Protein: 3g
Vitamin A: 0% DV
Vitamin C: 0% DV
Calcium:  2% DV
Iron: 8%


The cookies have been on the dry side and I haven't been too keen on them as a dessert option.


Row took a small bite but didn't want a second one. He said that he didn't like it, and really didn't come up with his own reason. We'll get to this later...

Ant, the four year old, on the other hand was excited by the word "cookie". While his mouth was still full, he said, " I like it!!!".

Mother-in-law thought that by looking at the layering of the cookie, she know she would like it. After a bite she loved it. I should have taken a picture of the layering, but the cookie didn't survive that long. MIL also mentioned that the taste was "Nice and crispy while still being light". She would also buy this cookie over national brands...she thought it was that good.

Sweetheart, picked up on the strong spice flavor that Row didn't like as Allspice. She liked it and mentioned that the texture was excellent too. Her thoughts were that it was Crispy crunchy without being a tooth breaker. She thought that it would make an excellent field topping for an apple cobbler.

Okay, I was surprised by the excellent texture. The oatmeal flakes are not an overwhelming texture like some homemade cookies, which I thought was a nice touch. The cookie also had no rasins for those were wondering. This was probably one of the best cookies that we have tried to date. The cookie had a light oatmeal flavor towards the end which was also nice. The cookie almost seemed to melt in the mouth too. All in all, I was very happy.

Final Thoughts:

The cookie is a little on the high side ($1.25) for an everyday item, but seriously...who eats MREs everyday. This would make a good addition to any dessert menu in a SHTF scenario. The cookies are quite large and have an excellent taste. They will be moving onto our A-list for oredering.

Stars: * * * (3)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Theory Based Scenario #1

The debate about global warming has been an on going one, and I am of the mind that humans have greatly impacted our environment. Let's get real here, the Earth is a closed system. Seven point seven billion people is a huge number (7,700,000,000) and we are a having an impact on Mother Earth.

I'm not of the hippie mindset, even though in my youth, I looked up to their idealistic folly, but that is another post for another day.

(I deleted a reference to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth and his forecasts) Well, the trouble with projections is that the future can't be predicted. The probability can be calculated, but not predicted. I digress, the global warming is happening and the weather is becoming more extreme. This year - hottest year on record, record number of new record high temperatures, once in a century hurricane in New England (Sandy), North Easter Nemo is dumping record amounts of snow, etc... I need to go back and watch the movie again, but somewhere in the movie he talks about the global warming will result in an increase in weather extremes. This is what I believe that we are seeing.

What happens when the agriculture starts to really fail? Last year's drought will continue if things don't change. When food prices rise past most people's ability to put food on the table for their kids, society will break down.

Perhaps this is the reason for the billion dollar food stores purchase by the government from Mountain House last year. Why do all the alphabet agencies need  nearly 2 billion rounds of forty caliber hollow point bullets? DHS has bought 1.6 billion in the last 10 months. (links one two three )

Looks like the government is preparing for a storm - shouldn't you? Or do you think that the government would tell you the truth?

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"Austerity is good for you"

"Austerity is good for you", will become a common slogan for the further decline of the United States.  For those that haven't heard, the USPS will stop Saturday deliveries this summer. The Postmaster General, who makes about $400,000 a year,  will surely feel the effects of his decision. Let me make myself crystal clear, I'm glad to see him making an awesome wage, but this isn't the main point.

The common man will see a future where we are dealt more taxation, fees, and product shrinkage. In conjunction with these creative ways to part us from our money, will be see our real earnings decrease through inflation and less work hours.

The media will churn out the Austerity propaganda in all it's forms such as this: "When the Post Office is in the red, we use green to put us in the black!" Oh, I can hear it now about how it is good for the environment. The carbon emissions from the idled postal vehicles,coupled with the workers cars should be enough for China to build another coal factory! 

Here is my main point : Get prepared and don't be caught off guard. Your masters, in their ivory towers, will make decisions that affect you. Mitigate their decisions by preparing for the hard times at this very moment. Get yourself squared away for lean times and cut the fat out of your budget.

Gather the resources for the coming storm.

Keep Right On Prepping - K

Monday, February 4, 2013

MRE Monday - Marinara Sauce And Meatballs

 It's a little later than usual, but I got it done.

Nutritional Information:

Serving Size: 8.1 ounces (227g)
Calories: 280
Calories from fat: 180
Total Fat: 20g or 31% DV
Cholesterol: 45mg or 15% DV
Sodium: 930mg or 39% DV
Total Carbohydrates: 14g or 5% DV
Dietary Fiber: 5g or 20% DV
Sugars: 8g
Protein: 12g
Vitamin A: 15% DV
Vitamin C: 20% DV
Calcium:  10% DV
Iron: 20%


From my past experience, Chef Boy-a-dee usually comes to mind.


Row thought it was good. He likes our regular meatballs, so this wasn't too far of a stretch for him.

Red Ant, the four year old, didn't like the sauce on the meatballs, which really wasn't a big surprise. He was practically forced to eat 1/2 a meatball, and shook his head no when we tried to get him to eat the other half.

Mother-in-law loved the marinara sauce. She thought it was better than the canned variety, and said that it would be good for a hiking trip. "A bit of a touch above the canned ones" was her exact words. She also thought that the sauce would make an excellent sauce.

Sweetheart said that the meatballs had a good texture, and was kinda surprised since it came out of a pouch. "The sauce was better than Chef-boy-r-dee" and agreed that it would be good over pasta.

I thought that the sauce was very good too. The texture of the meatballs was actually pretty good, and almost had that homemade taste. I'll stress almost, the meat texture slightly less than homemade, and had a good taste.

Final Thoughts:

The price of these are a little high, and I would consider ordering some more for a cache, if the price was a little lower. After all, you are paying for the convenience and long term packaging, and the taste and texture is good quality.

Stars: * * * ( 3 )

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Click Here.

Let's see if we can make it a million emails to our representatives.

Total 1-13....138,199 people
         1-16....439,282 people
         1-24.... 725,441 people
          1-25.... 772,158 people
          2-2....903,803 people

Keep Right On Prepping - K