Freeze Dried Pantry: Part 3 (Overview)

As I mentioned in Part One of this series Thrive, or, more accurately Thrive Life, markets their freeze dried foods as being more Convenient, Healthy, Cost Efficient, Tasty, Long Lasting, High Quality and Versatile.

To be honest, my primary interest, at least at first, was to find some long lasting additions to our food storage plans to supplement the staples of beans and rice and this is an excellent product for doing just that. It lasts a long time and is pretty tasty.

We also found value in these products from a daily perspective and use them on a daily basis. It is easy to have plenty of fruits, veggies and meats on hand that we don’t have to worry about spoiling if they are not used quickly. Re-hydrating the ingredients for a meal is quick and easy and reduces the amount of “prep time” for a home cooked meal. These products are also organic, non-GMO foods without additional additives or preservatives. By the way, did I say they were tasty?

So, what about cost…

These products are not cheap.

In fact, in some comparisons they are downright expensive.

Take chicken for example. The cost per serving of Thrive Life chicken is between $2.50 and $3.38 depending on the package size. By comparison, fresh chicken from the local grocery store is around $0.12 per serving. If you look at organic chicken from the same grocery store it comes out to about $0.56 per serving.

Note: Those prices are from a value priced grocery chain located in an area with one of the lowest cost of living indexes in the nation.

Go to a higher end market, especially in another part of the country and the differences could be a lot smaller. Factor in some food spoilage for a household like mine and it gets a little closer as well but the bottom line is that this is not a cheap option.

For us, the combination of convenience, quality and shelf life make this a reasonable choice. We can make a decent, home cooked meal using Thrive Life ingredients for around $10 or less. Grabbing takeout at McDonalds is almost double that. Your budget and consumption patterns may be different so do the math for yourself to see if it is worthwhile for you.

God bless

What Did You Prep This Week?

There not much point categorizing my efforts for this week. I just didn’t get that much done.

Our monthly order of Thrive dehydrated foods arrived. This month we added #10 cans of Seasoned Chicken Slices and Red Bell Peppers. We also ordered a pantry can of potato chunks to try out.

We also restocked our emergency pantry with canned and dried goods from the grocery store and rotated some items from the emergency pantry to the regular pantry.

I also bought some ammunition. Remington is offering a rebate of $5 per box of their CoreLokt brand of ammunition so I picked up a couple of boxes of 150 grain .308 ammunition. We’ll see how the little Ruger likes it as soon as I can get out to the range. I also picked up two boxes of 300 Blackout ammunition; one subsonic and the other supersonic to test out my new AR pistol…once I get it finished. That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this week. How about you? What did you Prep this week?

God Bless

Kimber Announces New Versions Of The K6

This is not new news, it was announced last month but I misplaced the link and thought I had already posted it.

Kimber announced two variants of their six-shot revolver platform. Two are (mostly) cosmetic variations of the original K6 and one is a longer barreled version of the snubbie.

The CDP is a (mostly) cosmetic two tone version of the K6 with wood grips. It does feature three dot night sights as standard.

Photo from Guns.com

The DC is also a (mostly) cosmetic variant featuring a solid black finish, matching G10 grip and night sights:

Also from Guns.com

I have to say that is definitely my favorite of the two but then again, anyone who has seen my collection of snubbies with black finishes shouldn’t be surprised by that. Unfortunately, with an MSRP of $1,155 It won’t be joining my collection anytime soon.

Kimber also announced a new version of the K6 with the same finish as the standard K6 bit with wood grips and (drumroll please) a three inch barrel called the K6 Stainless 3″.

No, I am not very original this is also from Guns.com

Despite my affinity for snubbies wearing black, this is the model I am most excited about. Sporting an MSRP of $899 I might actually be able to afford one. It also gives a bit of improvement in size and usability over a snubbie without going to a larger frame size. It seems to have many of the advantages of the SP101 (which I really like) but with an extra round in the cylinder, a little less weight and without the exposed hammer.

God bless

Freeze Dried Pantry: Part 2 (Taste Tests)

Last week I posted about why I decided to try Thrive Life freeze dried foods; convenience, long shelf life, nutritious, and heal (non-GMO, no additives, organic). This week I wanted to give my thoughts on the taste.

Now, please keep in mind that taste is very subjective. Some folks eat frozen dinners and think they are wonderful (some might actually be) and some people can’t stand them. Wonderful Wife loves Vienna Sausages…I leave the house until she is finished with them. So, your mileage may vary.

The first batch of Thrive Life foods I ordered was one of their starter packs which included a mixture of several smaller (pantry) sized cans of various items such as chicken, black beans, bell peppers, onion and even some seasonings. It also included recipe cards to help get started in using these items. The first recipe I tried was their tortilla soup. Now I make a pretty darn good tortilla soup from my own recipe and this was most definitely not it. Don’t get me wrong, it was…good. But, it was not mine. It tasted a lot like the canned tortilla soup from Progresso except that the chicken didn’t look or taste like simulated chicken as it does from the can.

The second night I chose another of their recipes, the Crunchy BBQ Ranch Chicken Wraps. We altered this recipe a bit leaving out the crunchy and the BBQ and they were really quite good. Good enough that Wonderful Wife brags on how good they are pretty regularly. She also keeps asking why I haven’t made them again…

The next night I decided to try the ultimate test, making a recipe handed down from my grandmother but with Thrive Life ingredients. I have to say, it turned out pretty darn well. I enjoyed the dish but I also enjoyed the fact that I was able to prepare it in about one quarter the time it would have taken with standard ingredients.

My kids initially made fun of us for our “crazy freeze dried foods” but I have made dinner for several of them using these ingredients without telling them and they had no complaints and enjoyed the food. I enjoyed telling them afterwards that it was prepared with freeze dried ingredients. 🙂

Overall, these freeze dried options from Thrive Life meet and pass our family’s taste tests. With one exception so far…

We are not that fond of the ground beef. The tiny little round meatballs taste fine but the texture and appearance are a little off-putting.

The only other item to be aware of is that they do seem to “cook down” more quickly than other foods. Simmering carrots for several hours in a soup still leaves carrots that are recognizable. Simmer freeze dried foods for several hours and all that remains is the flavor. The flip side of this is that there is no reason to simmer for so long because everything is ready to go in minutes instead of hours.

With the question of taste out of the way, next week I will wrap it all up with an overview.

God bless

What Did You Prep This Week?

Walk With God

Went to both Church and Sunday School this week. Although I skipped a few days at the beginning of the week I did pick up the pace and do a pretty good job with prayer time and studying the Bible towards the end of the week. Hopefully, with God’s help, I can maintain that into next week.

Self Defense/Hunting

No, I shouldn’t be spending the money but Primary Arms was having a pretty good sale on some parts I wanted so I splurged. I have been buying parts here and there when I saw them on sale for a while to build an AR pistol. All I was missing was the buffer assembly and these were on sale so I bought them. They also had a sale on the KAK Industries Shockwave brace. I have seen good reviews on these so I bought one of those too. My son raves about his 300 Blackout rifle so I was planning on buying or building an upper for the pistol in this caliber anyway…and they were on sale…so I picked that up as well. Yes, another caliber.

As I posted here, I got a little range time with the new (to me) Airweight .357 Magnum. It was good just to get out on the range even if it was just a few test shots with the new revolver. While I was there I also got to shoot a .44 Magnum revolver that was rented as part of the event. I was also able to assist a number of folks who were new to firearms or new to ARs, showing them the proper way to load and manipulate the firearms. Oh, and picked up a few potential prospects for my employer which was the actual point of the event.

Supplies/Gear

Refilled all my empty propane cylinders. This gives us quite a bit more fuel on hand should the lights go out for any extended period of time. It is something that has been on my list since the beginning of hurricane season but never made a priority.

One thing that I have been wanting to do for a while is to have an outlet put in that will allow me to plug my generator into that and feed power directly to the houses electrical system. One of the problems with a portable generator during an extended outage is the extension cords running through the house. Moving heavy appliances like the refrigerator and freezer to pull the power cords out, Being unable to properly close (and lock) doors or windows because of the extension cords, etc are all things I would rather not have to deal with. It also means I am less likely to do trial runs or use the generator during shorter outages. I started the ball rolling and contacted an electrician to get this (and a few other things done) in process.

Finances

We were able to put some money in savings this week from Wonderful Wife’s paycheck.

Fitness/Health

Like with my walk with God my exercise plans got off to a slow start and I skipped a number of days at the beginning of the week but I was able to get myself on track and be more consistent later in the week. Hopefully I can keep that ball rolling so to speak.

That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this week. How about you? What did you Prep this week?

God Bless

A Few Shots With The Hand Cannon

We had an event at a local gun range today and I was able to take a few shots with the new (to me) Hand Cannon.

I have to say that when loaded with .357 Magnum rounds this is a pretty exciting little gun. Now, I like shooting snub-nosed revolvers and I don’t mind recoil but this little guy raises the bar…a lot.

First thing I noticed is that the Crimson Trace laser grips are way off and I will have to spend some time at the range to sight it in (if I decide to leave them on). The second thing I noticed is that the trigger is fine. I had no issue with it probably because of all the dry fire practice with the Model 360. I didn’t have enough time to check night sights for accuracy as I only had a few minutes free between presenting and visiting with customers but I was able to keep my last group of .38 Specials within about a three inch spot on the target.

Now, let’s get back to the recoil…

This thing hits the hand hard when loaded with .357 Magnum rounds. It is not painful but it does sting. By comparison, I was able to shoot a nice .44 magnum with a six inch barrel side by side with the little hand cannon and while the recoil on the .44 was slightly more it didn’t snap or sting like this little guy did. Of course the .44 Magnum probably weighed in around two pounds heavier than the M&P 340.

With all that said, I had no issues keeping a good grip on the gun. I didn’t have to readjust between shots and it never wanted to jump out of my hand but like I said I like small revolvers, I practice with them a lot and enjoy the recoil. At the same time I will admit going through a box of 50 .357 Magnum rounds would be about all I could handle.

I let a co-worker try it out and based on the video evidence (since he denied it) he did have some issues with control; both of the firearm and the trigger:

He is a fairly experienced shooter (or claims to be anyway) but really only has experience with full sized, metal framed 9mm semi-autos. You be the judge.

Anyway, those are my first impressions. I hope to get out to the range again soon when I have time to send more than 15 or 20 rounds downrange.

God bless!