While the grid is up and running, preppers are taking the time this fall processing food for long term storage. They’re canning, dehydrating, and filling the root cellar. It’s a daunting task and takes up a lot of time, even with electrically run kitchen appliances. Imagine how long it would take without the grid to slice, dice, shred, and chop all that food for preservation. Tools can help with that task, and here are some manual tools that can help.
A decent set of kitchen knives is a must. Investing in a set of quality knives will not only make the chores easier, but safer. Ignore sets that include steak knives, as they add cost and offer little in return in the way of food preparation. Stick to recognized quality brand names such as Henkel. The set should offer a good chef knife, a boning knife, a paring knife, and a vegetable knife. Often times, a couple of serrated blades will be included for bread and soft vegetables such as tomatoes. Here is a great example for consideration.
While a good set of knives is a big help, we often need kitchen tools that can do jobs faster. Large harvests will have you chopping and slicing for hours. Handle blisters after 3 days of cutting up fresh carrots for the canner are no fun. Trust me, I know first hand. A manual food processor helps with a lot of tasks, just like your electric one. Here is one example.
Often, we need to simply slice vegetables for canning, pickling or dehydrating. A mandoline does this task nicely. Many offer changeable blades that do fancier cutting, but that is just a matter of preference. Mandolines are notorious finger biters, so make sure you get one with a food holder or even better, a metal glove! Check out this one, handy for quickly slicing veggies or shredding cabbage!
Hunting will be a great way to supply your family with nutritious and delicious meat. Ground meat is versatile and easy to plan meals around. A good quality meat grinder will be essential. Forget about the plastic ones or small, clamp to table types. Personally, I use an older style grinder. It was handed down to us from my late father in law, who used it for decades and it’s still going strong. Don’t forget to order up some spare parts, just in case. This one includes a sausage stuffer, in case you can process casings from your game.
In addition to the suggestions above, we should also have a good supply of peelers and utility knives to pass to friends, family, or mag members. While good tools are helpful and can save time, working with others can speed things up even more. Don’t be afraid to join up with other local preppers that you trust to help out with the fall harvest tasks.