February 16, 2010

The beloved curse of the Chile Pepper

I've found myself in dreams of burning tongues and fiery sweat dripping down a heavy breathing face ever so good. I've become addicted to anything Chile. It's an addiction that has taken stronghold over my appetite that I can't resist. Whatever is put in front of me to be devoured I find it necessary to douse it in the beautiful flavors of habanero, cayenne, bolivian rainbow, reds, serrano, savinas or tabasco peppers. The citrus aroma of a habanero makes my taste buds tingle, and my glands flow like a waterfall.

I long for late summer days of ripening peppers in the yard, where the joy of harvest brings pain to my mouth. Homemade hot sauce, home ground chile pepper, chile breads, chile omelets, chile chili, pickled chile's, and sun dried chile's fill my thoughts. Oh, to live in a world surrounded by peppers.

I... am Chile Head.

February 14, 2010

Habanero Omelet

I made a pretty kickass omelet today. I usually just make my omelets with eggs and cheese which come out perfect every time. This time I decided to add a habanero, onion and red chile pepper.

Here's a quick recipe:

3 Eggs
1 Red chile
1 Habanero
1/4 medium onion
1/4 Cup shredded Cheese

In a small skillet, warm a tablespoon of olive oil. Place a large skillet on a large burner set just under your medium setting. Chop habanero and chile into tiny pieces, almost a mince. Cut onion into whatever size you feel. Saute all 3 in the olive oil.

Submerge 3 eggs in warm water for 5 minutes. Crack into a bowl and beat.

Take a tablespoon of butter and melt into large skillet. It should not smoke but sizzle vigorously at the right temperature.


If you get smoke, remove pan from heat and shake for 30 seconds to cool. Slightly turn down your temperature and place pan back on heat.

To make the perfect omelet, pour eggs into skillet and stir vigorously with a spatula for 5 seconds. Wait 30 seconds, then shake the pan to spread more liquid. Add cheese. take spatula and circle outside of pan to loosen omelet. Add onions, chile and habanero. After 1 minute, Fold edge of omelet over and roll onto a plate. The bottom should be browned just perfectly. Garnish with oregano and Cayenne pepper. (Or your favorite powdered chile).

The process is so quick I could not get photos after the butter stage. Maybe later, I'll have Melanie take the photos while I cook.

February 8, 2010

Where's all the snow?

Wow, what a winter in Michigan. At this point right now we have only received half the amount of snow that fell last year at this time. We actually had more snow fall than Anchorage AK last year. I am actually kind of glad that we had a mild winter.'

Spring couldn't come any faster. I am starting to prepare for garden season already. I ordered a vast amount of pepper seeds from pepperjoe.com and started germinating them indoors last week friday.

This year, I will be growing only peppers as we plan to buy a house in the middle of the summer. I can grow my peppers in containers and just bring them with me.

The peppers I chose to grow this year are Bhut Jolakia (The hottest pepper in the world) Which looks like this poking through:

Tabasco, Peter Pepper, Bolivian Rainbow, Turkish Cayenne, Fluorescent Purple, Hot Banana, Long Slim Red's, and Atomic Starfish. Yes, I know, this is a plethora of peppers. Just how I like it.

I will probably transplant 2 of each variety into 2 gallon containers except for cayenne and tabasco. I will grow 4 of each of those for hot sauce and cayenne pepper powder. I will choose the most vigorous of each and then just give the rest away.

I am quite disapointed that I can't have a larger garden this year but with my new house I will be able to have as big of garden as I choose which will be nice.

Bee season is also coming up. I gotta take a trip out to Saranac and check on the hives out there and supply feed as needed. The bees in my backyard did not survive the winter. They were a late swarm I took out of a tree and didn't have enough time to build up enough honey stores. I will clean out the hive in march and get it ready for new bees.

Look for more posts as spring gets busier and lots of photos as well!

January 18, 2010


So, I know I haven't posted in a while. Life has been very busy. I recently started school again and have that 3 nights a week. I am going back to school so I can get a degree in nursing and start working as an RN. I also started working back at Lasik Plus (Which is now called Keil Lasik Vision Center) part time, which is fridays and every other saturday.

Needless to say, I have been quite busy and I apologize for not posting.

We recently found out that we will be having a girl in May. The first ultrasound didn't show us much but this one was spot on. She behaved as we had hoped and didn't cover herself up this time!

I will be posting more survival and prepping blogs in the near future with also a focus on backpacking skills and cooking. So look forward to that.

December 7, 2009

First Snow

So the first snow of the year comes and I get in my first ever winter car accident (or first ever period I should say). I was being careful and driving significantly slower than other drivers. I was going north on the East Beltline just south of 3 mile in the right lane. I was going about 30mpg when the truck 5 car lengths in front of me decides to stop right in the middle of the highway. Well, they decided they were going to pick up whoever it was that was running down the shoulder. This lady had a huge Ford pickup on a lift with the biggest snow/mud tires I've ever seen. She was going 40mph and stopped on a dime, even in white out snow conditions. I, on the other hand, did not get so lucky. I braked and realized the ABS did not kick on. I started pumping as I was sliding but had no luck. I slowed down signficantly but ended up sliding into them at around 3mph. Since their truck was on a lift, the corner of their bumper slid right up my hood and right corner panel curling it in upon itself and smashing my headlight housing. Not a single scratch on the bumper of her truck though, go figure. And even though she stoppped without pulling over in the middle of a moving highway, it was my fault for rear ending her.

What luck.

December 1, 2009

Man it's Cold out

Michigan sure has a change of weather fast. I know I should have expected this being the end of November and all, however, I really have been a slacker at winterizing my house. I got MOST of the storm windows in but 4 of them broke last year and I have yet to take them in to get fixed. I also haven't even purchased the insulating plastic I normally hang on the windows in early November to save energy.

I am still doing good though. My gas usage was the lowest it's been in 4 years for November. This could only be because it has been so warm and we haven't seen an inkling of snow yet. I did install a new digital thermostat last year that is programmed to not go above 60 during the day (when we are at work) and 66 when we are home. It's chilly but comfortable with a hoody or sweatshirt on.

I have to lay out hay in the dog house as well and hang a new swinging door. He isn't out there 24/7 so don't freak out. The dog is only out there when we are at work. He has a covered insulated house with a floor 5 inches from the ground which is generously supplied with a thick layer of hay. It's inside a covered and wind protected kennel that has plenty of space. He wears a neoprene body suit that keeps him perfectly warm all day long. I have a thermometer in the dog house and even when it is below zero it is still a nice and balmy 45 degrees in the dog house.

Either way, I have a lot to do yet and I'd better hurry. Forecast calls for a snowy mix this weekend. I really have to get to it before there's a blanket of snow.

November 30, 2009

Winter's Coming...

If you are in a northern state, then expect snow. That means you should be checking and updating your Bug Out Bag. I usually take out my pairs of shorts and light clothing and add wool socks, a fleece, a thick windbreaker, 2 beanie caps, 2 pairs of gloves, and trash bags (water proofing my feet). I also add a few more space blankets as well. Hand warmers are a nice touch, too :)

You should check your bag at the least every season change. I inventory mine regularly because I am always adding and removing items.

Good luck.

November 17, 2009

Water Storage

Lamb over at droptheshoe.blogspot.com posted a great cheap way to store water. It was posted last January but I thought I'd share it now. It can be found here:


Anger and Patience

“Patience in one minute of anger can prevent 100 days of sorrow.”

This Chinese proverb has given me so much strength through periods of anger. It speaks the absolute truth. Anger is a dark, mangled energy that when released destroys happiness in one solid blow. Where does it come from? I seek the complicated answer to this complicated thought. It CAN be controlled. The mind is ever so powerful, one will never be able to fully understand the mechanism and power of this machine of tissue. It’s so small but yet so vast in it’s ability to create & interpret thought. Translating feeling to thought, thought to emotion, emotion to movement. It’s a super computer from the ancient times, yet it is a mere mass of fleshy matter that has evolved over millions of years.

Things to think about…

November 8, 2009

Preparation for the End of the World, Part 3: The Bug Out Bag

The Bug out Bag

Ahhh, the good old packed away bug out bag, or B.O.B for short. This is by far my favorite part of survival preparation. If you are feeling lost on what a bug out bag is, I don’t blame you. When I first heard the term it didn’t necessarily click right away as to what it actually was either. Quite simply, it is a bag that is packed away full of items to help you survive for 3+ days away from your home. When you need to go, you might not have a single second to pack. This bag allows you to just “Grab n Go”.

Why would I need a bag to survive on for three days you may ask. If you ever end up displaced from your house, do you know where you would go? Do you have a location picked out that you could safely get to on foot if the need arises? If you don’t, you should. If disease, invasion, anarchy, air assault warfare, ZOMBIES! etc…. happen, then you need a safe place to go.

Basically, if shit hits the fan (SHTF), you need a plan.

Your plan should include several routes to and from your location of choice, both for a vehicle and on foot. Cars break down, have tires that pop, and only last so long with a low supply of gasoline. (Did I mention to always keep your gas tank as close to full at all times?) Your location should be somewhere safe. I.e. Grandma’s Cottage, property you own, a church, etc… Just so long as it is somewhere far enough away from the city, and somewhere that you would consider safe.

Now let’s break it down.

A bug out bag container can be anything from a hiking backpack to a sack on a stick. Obviously, the latter will not work nearly as well as the former. I use a 5,000 Cubic inch hiking backpack. It allows me to pack gear for at least a week’s survival on foot. It should ride comfortable and also be easily removed from your back. Regardless of the container, it is what you put inside that counts. If you end up with a small container and no room for more items and you own a dog, always consider the dogs working ability as well. They sell numerous types of container’s for dogs. My dog will always carry his own food and water to save space and weight on my rig.

Clothes for AT LEAST 3 days

To start, you are going to need at least 3 day’s worth of clothes and twice that of socks and underwear. Feet can get very wet depending on the weather and having dry socks is a must to keep your feet working properly. I have packed 6 pairs of thick tube socks. These are socks I normally wouldn’t wear on a daily basis, but they are great for warmth and overall comfort. Having extra underwear is self explanatory. Also, you have no idea what type of weather or even what time of year it will be when you will need this bag, so always pack for the worst. I keep long underwear and warm clothes in mine as well as a pair of shorts and a t-shirt.

Rain Gear

You should also pack a good set of rain gear. This includes a top with some sort of a hood and a pair of rain pants. These can be the cheapos you can get at Meijer (Or Walmart for you non-midwest folks) for 9 bucks, or a nice set of Northface rain gear. Whatever you choose, make sure it is super light. Do not go out and buy a rain jacket with a super insulated thick liner in it. This will only cause you problems out in the field. It will weigh you down and take up a ton of space.

A good strong knife

If I was limited to just 1 item for outdoor survival, that item would be a knife. A knife has so many uses that it’s pointless to list them all. A knife can save your life, literally. I always carry a knife and most of the time I carry 2. I carry a sharp folding blade in my pocket and a self-defense Ka-Bar on my belt. I use my knife at least 3 times a day on average and sometimes more. Imagine how many times you would use it in a survival situation outside? Cutting limbs, rope, tape, self-defense, cutting your food, field-cleaning game, stripping bark, cutting fabric, etc..

There are so many types of knives to choose from. I mean, there are thousands of different shapes, sizes and styles. All you really are thinking for is something strong and sharp. Something that can withstand a beating and stays true to the actual function of having a blade is what you want. In my B.O.B. I have 3. My Ka-bar will always be on my belt so I would have 4 if the time came to bug out. I pack a nice sharp 3” auto assist folding blade, a long combat bowie blade with a thigh sheath, and a 4 inch long, very thick buck knife with a gut hook at the end.

In the world of purchasing a knife, your choices are endless. Everywhere from the mall to Walmart has them. I suggest going to a firearm’s dealer or sporting goods store. A gun and knife show can never hurt anyone as well. Plus, you will find killer deals at these shows. I got my 85 dollar Ka-bar with a sheath for 35 bucks at the Deltaplex Gun show.


All you need to know is pack a flashlight with a long straight white beam that has ready to go charged batteries. Surefire, Condor, Mag-lite, Eagle tac…. The list goes on. Pick your light of choice.

Rope/ 550 Cord

If you haven't heard of 550 cord (or parachute cord), here's a little snippet from wikipedia.org :

"Parachute cord (also paracord or 550 cord) is a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope originally used in the suspension lines of US parachutes during World War II. Once in the field, paratroopers found this cord useful for many other tasks. It is now used as a general purpose utility cord by both military personnel and civilians. This versatile cord was even used by astronauts during STS-82, the second Space Shuttle mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.[1]

The braided sheath has a high number of interwoven strands for its size, giving it a relatively smooth texture. The all nylon construction makes paracord fairly elastic; depending on the application this can be either an asset or a liability."

This being said. This cord is carried standard in the equipment of US Military personnel. 550 cord is STRONG, thin and reliable. It can be used for multiple applications when trying to survive. It can be woven to create a a multitude of tools. It can be used to set traps, repair equipment, and hang dry clothes. It is by far one of the most useful tools you will pack into your B.O.B.

Gas mask/ N45 filter mask

Now this is quite optional. I do NOT keep a gas mask in my B.O.B. but I do plan on purchasing a military grade hooded mask eventually. For now, I keep an N45 filter mask with replaceable cartridges. It is compact and lightweight and takes up little space in my bag. If there is ever a biological attack, this will not only save your life, but give you protection while you hoof it out of the gas radius. It will protect your lungs from gases, dust, odors, etc... When 9/11 happened, there was trillions of dust particles spread across almost all of Manhattan. People in their homes and in the street still suffer from lung problems from all the dust they breathed in that day.


You may find the need to camouflage yourself while on foot and camo paint is the best for this. Even a few darkened areas on your face can hide you at night time.


Now, land navigation is no joke, nor is it easy. In the military it took days to learn how to accurately navigate with a compass. There are many components involved but if you were without a compass then it is not possible to navigate correctly. You should pack a compass and a waterproof map to the safe area you have previously chosen to evacuate to.


Matches are pretty self explanatory but I will touch base slightly. Make sure you are packing strike anywhere matches and that you accurately waterproof them. An easy way to waterproof matches is to light a candle until you get a nice pool of wax around the wick. Take your matches and dip the sulfer tip end into the wax and then let them cool and harden on piece of wax paper. Then, seal them up in a waterproof container. If your waterproof container fails your wax will protect the sulfur head from being soaked with water.


Again, another self explanatory item. If you are evading an enemy, then being able to see at great distances will greatly improve your chances of evasion.


Another optional item. You will want a rechargeable crank radio with weather capabilities. We discussed this in a previous section as well.


I will keep stressing this throughout this series. BATTERIES, BATTERIES, BATTERIES. Batteries die, hands down. They drain more so in colder climates. Pack lots of batteries in waterproof containers.


Now I could write an entire section on weapons and ammo. What you carry, how you carry, and what you plan on bringing with you will all depend on the situation. Some situations a weapon may not even be necessary, however, keeping even a small pistol for self defense should be considered. My pistol will always be stored next to my bug out bag alongside my 12 gauge. IF the need arises, I will make a split second decision on what I would bring with me. You have to consider also how long you may be displaced. The need to hunt for your own food may arise, so even a nice rifle wouldn't hurt. You must also take into account the extra weight this will add to your rig.

Remember though, if ZOMBIES attack, you will want as much firepower and ammo as you can possibly grab. Not that that is a realistic expectation, but war and invasion certainly are. I plan on always standing ground and defending myself, my state and my country.

There are many other things that you should have in your bag. I will not describe them, but list them instead. Remember, your bag could be packed significantly different than someone else. Pick and choose for your area, weather, need, terrain, etc... Here's some other things you should consider:

COINS/PAPER MONEY (Pay phones, bartering, etc...)
FISHING KIT (Worms, Hooks, Weights, etc..)

In the end, just consider your needs and what you may need if the shit hits the fan. Whether you pack small and light, or large and heavy, just be smart about it.