Thanks to Leon Pantenburg over at SurvivalCommonsense.com for running my Jambalaya Recipe!  

Survival recipe: Heatherly’s jambalayaPosted on February 24th, 2013 by Leon in Leon's Blog

Try this simple, tasty southern rice dish that can be cooked outside in a cast iron Dutch oven

by John A. Heatherly

(Editor’s note: I find that many survival types are also good campfire cooks! (See John’s bio below) It makes sense – whatever food you have available during an emergency should be tasty, or food monotony could set in. For those of you unfamiliar with jambalaya, the dish apparently originated in the deep south, in Louisiana.  Jambalaya is considered by most Louisianans to be a filling, but simple-to-prepare rice dish. The recipe is a suggested guideline – I’ve had jambalaya made with just about anything you could imagine. Talk about a comfort food… Click here to see the full article...

Part of my new backyard survival project is on display over at The Survival Mom's site.  Easy, fun, and practical...

By John A. Heatherly, Author of The Survival Template and The Cave and The Sea

Last weekend I had the urge to try a new project and wanted it to be one that was inexpensive and simple. Having seen Leon’s Brick Rocket Stove over at SurvivalCommonsense a while back, I decided that my back yard needed one.  One trip to the hardware store and about $20 later, here is what happened:

Using Leon’s instructions, the 16-brick stove was easily constructed.  I chose to add a Dutch Oven lid stand so that I could cook breakfast for my little boy.  The stove surprised me by producing a large amount of heat using tiny pieces of fuel.  Click here to read the full article...

                  Thanks to Neil Strauss and his team for posting this excerpt and article from:
                                                    THE CAVE AND THE SEA, A NOVEL                                                       

                                                 SNAKES: REPTILES ARE FOOD, TOO!

The following two-part article considers the procurement of reptiles, in this case snakes, for sustenance. First is an excerpt from THE CAVE AND THE SEA, A NOVEL, by John A. Heatherly, followed by the most outstanding resource information we could find. Enjoy the story and please do not miss the reference material at the end!”

                                                  CHAPTER 75: HEAT AND RATTLESNAKE

The afternoon heat found them, even as they reclined in the shade of their temporary camp. They continued to doze but rose often to fill their wooden cups from the water hole. Occasionally a slight breeze would flow around the embankment and into the shade, and by the afternoon they were having trouble sleeping.

“It is time to finish your moccasins,” Aayoni said, while examining her supply of buckskin.

“This evening I am going to hunt for rattlesnakes,” Hawk commented, “maybe a couple of hours before dark.”

“The Song predicts a vast mesa just beyond and above the stony outcropping in the south, with water to the southeast. We should be fine, thanks to Hawk’s water hole, but will be thirsty by the time we cross the mesa.” Aayoni cut into the buckskin pants to make a gaiter while speaking. “Make sure you wear your moccasins when hunting the rattlesnakes!”

Hawk laughed. “Thank you. I will.”

A few hours passed before Hawk ventured into the evening sun with his spear. Coe and Aayoni laughed as he slapped at the sage bushes and stopped laughing when they saw him leap into the air. Coe jogged over to Hawk’s location just as he trapped a large rattlesnake’s head to the ground with the speartip. Hawk placed his foot on the snake’s neck, allowing Coe to kneel down and carefully cut off the head. They buried the snake head in the sand as it reflexively continued to bite, then carried the long carcass back to Aayoni.

“Good hunting, Hawk,” Coe told him. “I will gather sage and grass to lump into bundles for firewood. I have not eaten rattlesnake in a long time!”

Coe tied the slender pieces of grass into bundled logs then did the same with the dead sage sticks he had been able to gather.

“These will not burn for a long time but will last longer than just unbundled, individual pieces.”

They dined on rattlesnake and continued to drink water as dusk arrived; just before dark they started walking. The desert travel was tough; but they were healthy, and they trusted Aayoni’s plan. Occasionally during the night each of them would look back to see the Truth Star above and behind them. They moved with speed, faster than they would have predicted, soon to enter territory that was completely new to all of them.

A Little How-To and Lessons Learned:

Reptiles can make for fast and easy survival sustenance, and are often easy to procure. I recommend the use of a “snake stick.” A golfer’s putter, or a stick shaped like one, works the best. Here is one technique that I have used on Western Rattlesnakes:

1 Trap the snake’s head with the putter
2 Immobilize the snake by stepping on its neck
3 Cut off the head with a knife
4 Dispose of the head immediately, as it will continue to “bite” out of reflex. Also, someone could inadvertently step on it. I recommend burying the head.
5 Especially when dealing with poisonous snakes, be aware that the dead adult snake may be carrying live babies; with caution and awareness they can be avoided while skinning the adult

Here is a great Instructable on how to skin a snake.

Anyone have experience with hunting, killing, and eating snakes?

BONUS MATERIAL: If in an area that does not provide large firewood, bundle blades of dead grass and small twigs into larger “logs” – they will burn much longer and allow you to cook. It worked for the characters in the story, and it has worked for me!

The following are described as "The Big Four" edible plants by Tom Brown Jr of The Trackerschool:

Acorns - after being shelled and leached in water (normally boiled) they are a valuable food source
Grasses - seeds can be dried, parched, and winnowed, and the kernels can be eaten
Pine - cones can be roasted by a fire to allow the pine nuts to be removed; the inner-bark cambium layer is edible; pine needles can be boiled as a tea that is high in Vitamin C
Cattails - new shoots, less than one foot tall, can be eaten like asparagus; the head can be extracted before it emerges and cooked like corn on the cob; the root can be mashed in cold water to separate the starches and can be eaten once the fiber is removed; the pollen can be used as flour; the corms growing along the root can be eaten raw

Always use caution in studying edible plants, and have the plants identified by an experienced authority before consuming them.

"Adirondacks" is based on an old Iroquois word meaning "they eat trees."  It refers to those who eat the inner cambium layer of pine trees as part of their diet.  Cambium is scraped from slabs of removed bark and has a sweet taste.

Caution: do not eat anything in the wild that has not been properly identified and approved by an experienced authority.
    Order THE CAVE AND THE SEA in Paperback or for Kindle.


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