Make Perfect Stove Popped Popcorn

We are big stove popped popcorn eaters around here.  I pretty much pop a pan a day.  My kids grew up on it.  Cheap and whole grain healthy, with a long term storage life and the added bonus of being quick and easy to make, popcorn is a food storage mainstay.

Making stove popped popcorn in oil is easy. It's a favorite snack for movie nights. It's a perfect long term storage item for your food storage too!

Which Pot Should You Choose?

Your choice of pot to pop popcorn in is very important.  It needs to have a heavy bottom so the corn doesn’t stick and burn easily.  It’s got to have a lid for…..well, you can figure that one out for yourself.

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I really love this little beauty from Cooks Standard.  All the required elements listed above, and a price tag that is very affordable. Bonus! You can watch your corn pop through the glass lid!

PRO TIP:   In case you find yourself with a burnt batch of stove popped popcorn, or any other brunt on blech, grab some Barkeeper’s friend and you’ll have your pot shining again in NO time.  Grab some NOW!
You can come back and thank me for this life changing wonderment later.

Ingredients for Stove Popped Pop Corn

My family prefers a light olive oil.  Or if I’m feeling rich, I use macadamia nut oil.  Grape seed oil works well.  I’ve also used avocado oil and love it.  Since I always have olive oil on hand, it’s usually what gets used.  Some people like to use coconut oil for their stove popped popcorn, but the taste wasn’t a hit at our house.

4 Tablespoons of oil.
1 Cup Popcorn
Sea Salt

Making stove popped popcorn in oil is easy. It's a favorite snack for movie nights. It's a perfect long term storage item for your food storage too!

How To Make Stove Popped Popcorn

Pour 4 Tablespoons of oil into a cold pan.

Next pour in 1 cup of popcorn.

Make sure each kernel is covered in oil. Shake the pan a bit to get so the corn and oil is evenly distributed over the bottom of your pan. Remember, you don’t want your popcorn to be drowning in oil. The oil line shouldn’t be above your popcorn.

I then put the top on my pan, turn up the heat to about a 7, or medium high, and let ‘er rip!

Making stove popped popcorn in oil is easy. It's a favorite snack for movie nights. It's a perfect long term storage item for your food storage too!

To Shake or Not to Shake (The pan that is……)

I use to shake my pan back and forth. But if your heat is high enough and your oil is hot enough all those little pieces of popcorn will pop up without any extra help.

However, if shaking helps you from burning your popcorn, by all means SHAKE! Just keep sliding the pot back and forth over the heat until all of those kernels have turned themselves inside out!

When the popping slows down to just a few pops at a time, it’s done!  Remove it from the burner.

Making stove popped popcorn in oil is easy. It's a favorite snack for movie nights. It's a perfect long term storage item for your food storage too!

 

Salt

Add salt while the popcorn is still very warm. It sticks to the popcorn much better this way.  I use sea salt. Unless I’m out. Then I’m stuck with table salt. That always make me a little bit sad.

Here’s the secret to adding salt to your popcorn. STIR/TOSS IT UP. More stirring/tossing than salt. Add a few shakes, stir the bejeebers out of it, taste it to see if you need more salt and repeat IF necessary. There is nothing worse than too much salt on the top of the popcorn and not enough on the bottom.

Viola. That’s it! That’s right, I don’t even add butter. Seriously. It’s divine just the way it is. Food of the gods. I always have people tell me how good it is.  As a matter of fact, people often leave my home with a big plastic cup of the stuff to take on the road with them.

It’s really that good.

Making stove popped popcorn in oil is easy. It's a favorite snack for movie nights. It's a perfect long term storage item for your food storage too!

Toppings for Stove Popped Popcorn

Every Sunday night is popcorn night at our house. It’s been a tradition since my kids were little. As a matter of fact, my married kids keep the tradition alive in their own homes now.

Over the years, we’ve come up with a few ideas to make our humble pots of stove popped popcorn a little more festive. Heck, we’ve been known to jazz up a pot of corn, serve it with a side of carrot sticks and fruit and call it dinner. (ahem)

Here are some of our favorites:

Lightly buttered with freshly grated Asiago cheese.

Lightly drizzled with white truffle oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Tossed with salt and dry Ranch seasoning.

Lightly buttered with both sea salt and black pepper.

Sprinkled with Thrive’s Dry Cheese Blend.  (Item #22445)

What is your favorite popcorn topping?

I’m secretly hoping that once you’ve tried making your own stove popped popcorn,  you’ll never go back to the microwaved stuff again.  Try it out for yourself, then come back and tell me what you think!

Surviving Winter Storms: A How To Guide

Snowy and cold has been the forecast for my state this year, with the Northern part of Utah digging out from under 28 inches of the greatest snow on earth,  even as I type.  We are at about 150% of average snow fall here, with more on the way.  This is a big change from the last several years of drought,  prompting me to compile a list of the best posts on Simply Preparing on the topic of  Surviving Winter Storms.

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Surviving Winter Storms Safely

Clothing

I always have to grin when recent transplants from warm weather states realize that they are actually going to need a warm coat to survive winter storms with below zero temperatures.

1.  Learning how to dress in layers for winter weather is a must.

2. Don’t let your body heat escape into thin air.   These behind the head earmuffs are my favorite and don’t make me feel like a five year old when I’m out in the winter weather.    But you may be more of a beanie sort of person.

3.Gloves  You’ll need winter gloves that are warm,  water proof, moisture wicking and will allow you to work out doors too.

4. Winter Boots   I have a pair of KEENS that I adore.  They give my feet the support they need, while keeping them warm too.

5.  Insulated snow pants.  Maybe a pair of thermals to go underneath.

6.  Wool Socks  I remember first thinking that wool socks would be so uncomfortable.  The first thing I think of when I think of wool is rough and scratchy.  Plus, who wants to hand wash wool socks.  Then I found Smartwool.  Soft.  Warm.  Machine washable.  Your goal of surviving winter storms will be much more comfortable when your feet are dry and warm.

The Ultimate Guide To Surving Winter Storms

Surviving Winter Storms Without Electricity.

1. Your chances of losing power during a winter storm are pretty high.  Having a Propane Space Heater will allow you to heat the inside of your home safely.

2.  Firewood.  If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove,  make sure you keep an extra cord of wood available to burn.  You’ll also need a good axe for splitting wood and chopping kindling.

3.  Wool Blankets.   Far superior to cotton or fleece at keeping you warm, wool blankets are a must have for surviving winter storms without electricity.

4. Hand Warmers.  I buy these by the box and stash them everywhere.  Little bits of bliss, I’ll tell ya.

Food

Surviving winter storms requires  you having a stock of non-perishable food items to last for a while.  Granola bars and shelf stable milk for breakfast.  Peanut butter and whole grain crackers.  A can of black beans mixed with a jar of salsa scooped up with tortilla chips.

If you heat with a fire or a wood stove you can heat up canned soups and stews.  In a real pinch, you can even eat these foods straight out of the can.  Just make sure you have a good can opener on hand!

You can also purchase MREs (Meals Ready To Eat) that come with their own single meal use heaters.

Don’t forget the bottled water.  The rule of thumb is one gallon of water per person per day.

Sanitation

At the first sign of a winter storm, fill the bathtub up with water to use for flushing toilets. Add the water to the tank so that, if necessary, you can flush.

Another option is to get a box of the black contractor grade garbage bags. Place a bag in your drained toilet. Sprinkle some kitty litter into the bottom of the bag. Every time someone makes a ‘deposit’ into the black bag, add another scoop of kitty litter. You’ll be able to tie the bag securely and then store it outside until your services are restored.

A Guide To Surviving Winter Storms

Let There Be Light

The last thing you want is to be caught in the dark while surviving winter storm. Fortunately there are a lot of lighting options to choose from.

Camping Lanterns

Flashlights    At the price of this top rated Outlite A100, you can afford for each member of your family to have their own light source!

Candles   Don’t forget the matches!

Staying Safe Outside

1.  I’ve seen many people trying to remove snow from their roofs after a snow storm.  Make the job easier and safer with a roof rake.

2.  Ice Melt  Used for porches and sidewalks to keep them free from ice.

3.  Kitty Litter.  Yup.  Plain old non-clumping, non-scoopable, gravel kitty litter will help provide traction under your car’s wheels and down those front steps.  Can’t find this type of kitty litter?  Grab a couple of bags of sand.

4.  Snow Shovel/Pusher.

5.  Snow Scraper with Brush

 

Preparing for any possibility during a winter storm is simple common sense.  Don’t be part of the herd racing out to the grocery store in hopes of grabbing a loaf of bread and a carton of milk before the flurry flies.   Take the fear of of winter storms by being prepared before hand.

What things to you to do to prepare to survive winter storms?

 

Don’t forget to review Simply Preparing’s List of 11 Things To Do Before A Winter Storm!

 

Plan on traveling during the winter months?  We’ve got you covered. Check out our post on   Last Minute Winter Emergency Road Trip List

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How To Make A SHTF Financial Survival Plan

Are you concerned about your personal economic situation?   Worried about how you’ll survive if things continue to go downhill?   Do you work in an industry that is shutting doors at an alarming rate?   Inching closer to retirement?   You need a financial survival plan.

Why A Financial Survival Plan?

There are huge issues brewing for those looking to retire on pensions.  This is where my husband and I find ourselves.   A projected FY17 $1.8 trillion dollar deficit is nervous making for Baby Boomers wanting to retire.  Take, for example, the Dallas cops who chose to take their pensions in one lump sum, fearing the money will soon be gone.

You may be facing a job loss, or another situation where your monthly income will be drastically cut.  Regardless of the reason, now is the time to prepare for your family’s  financial survival.

Create a Financial Survival Plan Before The Next Crisis

 

Know What You Have Coming In. Know What Is Going Out.

Begin with a resolution to cut your expenses to an all time low.   This not only saves money, but insures that when there is less coming in, you’ll still meet your needs.

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Your first step will be to write down how much money  you have coming in each month.  Next write down how much money is going out each month.   This gives you not only something concrete to refer to, but also a way to track your progress.   On her website, and in her book, Survival Mom, Lisa Bedford offers an excellent and non-intimidating worksheet to help you create a financial survival plan.

Once you understand where your money is going you can begin to create your unique blueprint for financial survival.

 

Cut Expenses

Do you still need that premium cable package?  Downgrade your cable plan. (Hello Netflix!)

Don’t use all your phone minutes?  Go with a less expensive plan.  Life was  good even before smart phones.

What are you paying for that you no longer use?  The gym membership?   An online service that you could easily go without?

Change out those light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs.

Trade in your gas guzzling SUV for something that costs much less to get you where you’re going.  And remember to batch your errands!

One of the best resources I’ve ever found on cutting expenses and preparing for a strong financial future costs less than a fast food dinner out.  Take a look.

Create a Stock Pile

I’m a firm believer that having at least a 3 month supply of what you use on a daily basis.  Purchased in bulk, on sale and with coupons, it’s the same as money in the bank.   How nice to have the knowledge that in an emergency you won’t need to worry about going to the store for at least 3 months?

 

Sell It!

Look around your home.  What do you have that you don’t use?

Sell it!

Have a garage sale.  List it on a Facebook yard sale page.  Simply type in the name of your city and ‘yard sale’ into the Facebook search bar, and you’ll find several pages to sell on, without having to ship or pay for ads.

Be brutal.  If you don’t use it on a regular basis, make some money off of it.

Find A Side Gig

Sometimes, there simply isn’t enough coming in to meet the bills, much less to create a successful financial survival plan.  This is when a totally new stream of revenue needs to be found.

What your skills and passions?   I’ve always had a heart for emergency preparedness and self sufficiency.  So it’s natural for me to blog about it with a goal to turn my knowledge into a work at home job.

Thrive Freeze Dried Foods

Food storage is a big part of being prepared for an emergency.   Because of my desire to have a deep pantry, I became a consultant for Thrive Life.   I’m not a host a party kind of girl, I do everything online.    It’s a win-win for me, and might be just what you’ve been looking for.

 

A Financial Survival Plan To Become Debt Free

Do You Have Skills Others Don’t?

Do you sew?  Quilt?  (Totally jealous if you do!)  How about selling via craft shows and local expos?

A neighbor with mad cake making and decorating skills creates and sells her master pieces from home.  Her work beats the socks off anything I’ve seen in the bakery.

Are you a gardener?  Are you great at fixing stuff?   You could start a new business using those skills.

Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, Or Do Without

One of the biggest hurdles in creating a financial survival plan is the idea that more is always better.  Assigning meaning to stuff, at the cost of our self worth, or our health, vastly limits our ability to prepare for an uncertain future.  It’s time to change our perspective.

What are you doing as part of your financial survival plan?

Mason Jar Match Holders: DIY Gifts

I’ve been thinking about what I could give for neighbor gifts this holiday season that would be something people would actually have a use for.  Mason Jar Match Holders are inexpensive and useful.  Perfect!

A quick and easy hack for your matches!

These match holders provide a sturdier way to store matches, protecting them from the humidity that can make lighting a match harder.   Bonus, no more having a box of matches spilling out all over the place when you take them camping!

*this post contains affiliate links

 

 

Mason Jar Match Holders are so easy to make!

Materials For Making Mason Jar Match Holders

Half Pint Mason Jars

Strike On The Box Matches

Hole Punch

Glue Gun

Pencil

Small Piece of Cardboard

What you need to make a mason jar match holder

How To Make Mason Jar Match Holders

Fill a mason jar with matches.   One box of 300 hundred matches will easily give you enough matches to fill two jars.

Lay the top of the match box out flat, with the striker area facing up, then place a jar ring over the flattened box top and use a pencil to draw a circle to fit under the jar lid.  Cut that out.

You’ll take your cut out circle from the match box and use that as a template for your cardboard cutout.  The piece of cardboard adds stability to the strike zone for when you go to light the match.

Making Mason Jar Match Holders
Use the hole punch to cut holes through both the match box layer and the cardboard layer.  A few dabs of hot glue will help keep it all in place.

Pour your matches into the jar, screw on the lid, and viola’!   Your Mason Jar Match Holder is ready to give in all of it’s warmth and light.  See what I did there?  Warmth?  Light?    Fear not!  I’ll be here all week folks!

But maybe you might like to add a little somethin’ – somethin’ to your handmade goodness. ……..

 

A super easy way to store matches!

Looking To Give The Perfect Gift For A Friend NEW To Prepping?

Perhaps you’d like to pair your mason jar match holder with the perfect gift for someone newly into preparedness.

We’ve got you covered!

This UCO Collapsible Lantern offers warm, natural light.  It’s Easy-slide glass chimney creates a windproof environment for the candle; includes 9 hour candle .

This lantern is perfect for camping, emergencies or simply for a sweet Hygee effect.

Lookee there!  The perfect gift for everyone on your list! 

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