When The Patriot Dad and I first got married, we had just about every gadget a growing family would ever need and didn’t need. As the years went by, we made a few cross-country moves, loaned some of these gadgets to family and friends, so some of our favorite gadgets broke or just wore out. This year, I made a list of all the gadgets I used to love so much and the gadgets I’d love to have now. All of these are nifty things that I have personally used myself or have come highly recommended from family and friends.
Maybe one day I’ll be in a position to give all these things away to my loyal readers, but unfortunately, today that isn’t the case. In the meantime, I’ve put together a little gift guide for all of you!
The 2016 Preparedness Gift Guide
I love to grow my own herbs and not to toot my own horn, I’m pretty good at it too! While an electric food processor or chopper will do the trick and probably make your life easier, which trust me, with 7 kiddos, I am all about life being easier! But, having a backup that isn’t connected to your power system is something to think about! This handy alternative was recommended to me from my friend over on Back 2 Simple Life Farmstead!
Years ago I owned a food processor and it was the best thing next to sliced bread! If you like to make your own homemade butter, yogurt, turn cookies into crumbs, mayo, or any of those fun things, than you need to have a food processor in your kitchen! This in on the top of my wish list and I’m hoping to find one Christmas morning!
When I was a kid, all my nana cooked with was her cast iron skillets. I don’t know what happened to most of them, but last year I was given my great-nana’s cast iron skillet and it is the favorite of our home. It is the only pan my husband will use to make bacon and eggs, my 15-year-old refuses to eat grilled cheese out of any other pan and is totally confused about how to cook with a regular fry pan. To me, that is a huge score! Everyone who is serious about getting prepared should have at least one cast iron skillet. They are perfect for cooking over an open fire!
I was doing a little surfing around. I love to make homemade butter, but I wanted to find something a little old fashion, something that could be passed to my kiddos later in life. I was looking for something that would be unique and that if we should ever find ourselves without power would still be useful to me. I came across this and I’m super excited to add this to my kitchen collection!
Back in October, Shaye, over at The Elliot Homestead released her second cookbook, Family Table. I was lucky enough that The Patriot Dad bought it for me for my birthday present! It has become a much-loved cookbook here. I struggle with getting out of the habit of making the same old dishes all the time and this cookbook has helped me offer my family many different types of dishes that are all very healthy!
Last year I made the mistake of going to the dollar store for my garden seeds. Most of them never even sprouted and the ones that did, didn’t produce anything for me. I ended up having to go buy plants that were already started in order to be sure that I had a garden that would feed my family. This year, I’m going to be planting only heirloom seeds. I wanted to be sure that my garden was only producing non-GMO, organic fruits and veggies. I came across this company and in comparison to other companies that sell heirloom seeds, they have the best price!
The Patriot Dad has been saying for years that he wants to make his own sauerkraut. I don’t blame him, growing up, it’s all I ever ate and trust me, kraut that you can buy in a store, has no taste compared to homemade sauerkraut. As much as I’d like to say this is on my wish list, it’s not, it’s on Patriot Dad’s and he’s going to be surprised when he finds that this is for him!
I love, love, love to home-can my own food! There is something completely satisfying about spending the day preparing, and cooking homemade food. Pouring it into those beautiful mason jars, processing them and then hearing each lid ping. You can hear excited announcements like, “Another jar sealed Mom!” or “Hun! They all sealed!” coming from my kitchen. The whole family gets excited and they are all eager to try the next jar of whatever it is I’m making. But I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without my pressure canner. It has served me well and is another item I hope to pass down to my kiddos one day!
Okay! I’ll admit, I’m a bit nostalgic. I love having things that were part of my years growing up around me. I love electric products as much as the next gal or guy….with a big family, I’m always looking for things that make my life easier. Up until a few years ago, the only way I ever had potato cakes were when my mom or aunt would use my nana’s old fashion meat grinder to shred up the potatoes. It was the perfect little gadget to get the job done, even if it meant your arm got tired and sore afterward. But, it truly was a rewarding meal when it was all your hard work that went into it from beginning to end!
The Patriot Dad bought me a dehydrator last year. The poor thing sat in the box because I had no clue what to even do with it. When I finally decided to break it out and play with it, I found that my kiddos loved the dehydrated banana chips and The Patriot Dad loved making beef jerky with it. Making fruit leathers was super easy and I now want to make my own garlic and onion powder.