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Ask yourself “do I really need pemmican?”

Sure, pemmican is great, for it’s nutritional value, it’s shelf life, and of course it’s portability. Even though it has always had these advantages it was usually the custom to NOT eat pemmican if and when anything else was available and save the pemmican for when you really needed it. It was so valuable for its portability that if you had other food on hand and time too cook then you’d always do that first. If you never really needed your pemmican then you would eat it after a few years anyway and restock with some that’s fresh. Although pemmican was reputed to last for decades I’d rather be safe than sorry, there are no guarantees with homemade pemmican.

Sun dried meat is a great thing to have on hand and it has many uses besides just making pemmican. You can make a great pasta sauce with it if you shred it and combine with fresh onion, carrot, sun dried tomatoes, celery salt, lard, olive oil, white wine, salt and black pepper (full recipe to come). A little dried meat is also great after a hard strength workout or as a way to add a little protein to any meal with fresh starches and vegetables.

Tallow is great for deep frying. Although I think that raw tallow it probably more nutritious you don’t have to fear good food that’s been fried in tallow that hasn’t been used too many times 😉 Green plantains are great this way and so are the ripe ones especially when they are very soft and the skin has turned all black. Hannah sweet potatoes come out really nicely if you slice them and soak them in salt water overnight and drain in the morning some hours before frying. Fry bread can also be a great treat, I use full-fat plain yogurt, water, salt and baking soda with whole wheat pastry flour to make a dough that I then form into something like a big doughnut and later slice and top with the rest of the yogurt and raw honey (recipe to come).

If you start making your own pemmican and have extra ingredients lying around you may find as I have that they are just as useful, if not more so, for many different situations including camping and emergencies. The only time you would really need pemmican is if you’re on the move and can’t stop long enough to find or prepare any other kind of food OR when that’s just all you have left. It would take a pretty massive amount of pemmican to feed any kind of family exclusively for a few years. I think the best preparedness solutions involve ways to produce and prepare food in situations with bare shelves and long lines at markets in addition to having some long shelf life provisions like pemmican, lard, tallow, etc. on hand to makes ends meet.

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