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Mosby’s German Brown Bread Receipt

Mosby’s German Brown Bread Receipt

One of my long-time pasttimes, when haunting used bookstores, flea markets, and yard sales, has been collecting cookbooks and receipt books from the 18th and 19th centuries. One of them that I’ve had on my shelves for 20+ years, is a reprint of a cookbook from Old Colonial Williamsburg. This recipe is a modification of one I took out of there.

Heat 3 cups of whole milk and pour them in a large mixing bowl along with ¾ cup of raw sugar, two teaspoons of salt, and one teaspoonful of butter (seriously, use butter…NOT margarine!). Cool, and add two heaping teaspoons of yeast, dissolved in one half-cup of warm water.

Sift in 3 quarts of the following mix of flours:

50% whole wheat flour—unbleached

40% barley flour

10% rye flour

(seriously though, I mix my flour mix by guess and by golly….it’s close to those proportions, but it’s never exactly the same).

Knead the absolute minimum necessary, adding as little extra flour as needed to achieve a smooth, tender ball of dough. Set, covered, in a warm place to rise.

If you want good, filling, heavy bread…bread that makes a meal in itself, with a slab of butter or cream cheese on it…once it has rised to twice it’s size, break it into two halves, form into balls, and toss each ball into the center of a lightly buttered 10” cast iron skillet. Bake at 325F…ish…until you can thump the top and hear the hollow sound. At that point, I generally smear some butter on the top, turn the oven off, and let it sit in the warm oven for 5 minutes to brown the top.

Ideally, you should let it sit on a cooling rack, and sit for an hour or two. Mine generally sit for two minutes, before I’m ripping a chunk off and devouring it, while cursing my own stupidity over scalded fingers.

If you want a lighter, fluffier loaf, after it rises to double it’s size, punch it down in the center, and let it rise to double it’s size again.

The biggest mistake I’ve seen most people make when baking bread is kneading it too much. I get the idea of trying to spread the yeast out to consume more of the sugars, and get more rise, but usually it ends up fucking up the bread.

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Have a Very SF Day!

I received the following email, when I logged on today, to let about 200 people know that their orders had processed and been shipped this morning…I am offering both the email, and my response. I may even create a tab for it, so future readers can learn a little more about the Mountain Guerrilla Blog…
If the author had actually done due diligence, he’d have quickly discovered that ANY “good faith contract” with Warhammer Six Press books includes the very real clause that I don’t get online very gods-be-damned often, and that I put my family and clan before perfect strangers in a commercial exchange.
Well, ok John, it is now the evening of 12/3 – having given you the benefit of the doubt and waiting until tonight to call you out, I have yet to receive any type of shipping notice from the United States Post Office. Based on your personal email to me, I’m going to have to conclude that you have failed miserably and are not a man of your word.
Now, let’s briefly speak of this ‘blog’ were you say all is explained. I have been all over your order website and there is indeed a ‘blog’ tab, however, when one clicks on that tab all that happens is it takes you to the ‘Welcome to our online store’ page where you blow sunshine up everyone’s skirt about how you and your staff (?, what staff) value us as customers and how well you’ll take care of us. Honestly John, that page almost has me laughing as I write this – it’s one hell of a joke. 
And one final thing John, I honestly don’t give a flying rats butt about your personal life or the problems it creates for your ‘side business’. What I do care about is that I entered into a good faith contract with you and that you have failed to hold up your end of the bargain. I ran my own construction company for thirty five years and never, not once, did I ever whine to a client about why I couldn’t get done what they contracted with me to do, even if that required me to eat some costs.
If you have anything you want to say in rebuttal, you know where you can reach me.  “
My response:”
I was going to ignore this, since I knew your order was going out in the mail this morning, and you’d get an email notification about it, but it’s been bugging the fuck out of me all day.

Are you the guy that goes to KFC for the very first time, orders a cheeseburger, and then gets pissed, because they don’t sell them?
You ordered a book from a company, and a person you’ve never even heard of?
I’ve written four books. They’ve received accolades from fellow SF veterans, Federal Law Enforcement, non-SF US military, and preppers around the blogosphere. I’ve written and managed a blog for damned near a decade, on the topic of preparedness security, that has thousands of followers. I’ve taught classes through the blog, for almost as long as the blog has existed. There are literally millions of words, over hundreds of articles, available for free. It’s located at mountainguerrilla.wordpress.com. You should probably check it out.
On the BLOG…which the store site mentions, multiple times…I very clearly, and very repeatedly, in numerous articles and updates, have stated, a) I don’t give two fucks if nobody ever orders my books. I wrote them because people WHO HAD READ THE FUCKING BLOG, asked me to, repeatedly. I’ve made considerably more money from those books than I ever expected to. I’ve NEVER done ANY targeted marketing of my books. I seldom even mention the books on the blog. There’s one little tab on the blog, that leads to the store site, indirectly.
I don’t give a fuck if you don’t care about my family life. I do, and I’m not about to let a bunch of fucking people I don’t know, and have never met, steal time from me that I could–and should–be spending with my children and wife.
Lots of motherfuckers talk a game about preparedness. Lots of motherfuckers read–and write–books about preparing for WTSHTF. Unlike most of those people, I actually LIVE what I talk about. That means, dealing with the books–which loyal readers ASKED ME TO WRITE–gets shoved way back into the little bit of remnant time I can wrangle here and there, after my wife and kids are in bed, and I don’t have more pressing responsibilities to address.
You want to accuse me of not being a man of my word? You don’t know a fucking thing about my word. You’ve never even read my fucking words. When you’ve read 1/20th of the articles I’ve written for the blog–that are FREE–or the book I put in the mail to you today, THEN you can start talking about me not being a man of my word.
Happy Holidays, and have a very SF Day!
John

Book Orders Update

I’ve tried to avoid doing this. I’ve enjoyed being in complete control of the book-publishing venture known as Warhammer Six Press. Unfortunately, because of the demands of a day job, raising three kids, spending time with a wife, and running a farm, I’ve not been able to—nor have I been interested in—getting online every single week, let alone every single day.

Rather than talking about preparedness and self-reliance, I’ve been focused on doing it. I realized the other day, it had been damned near two years since I’d posted any articles of substance on this blog (although, in my defense, there’s a LOT of reading material on this blog, and I HAVE managed to write and publish four books of which I am extremely proud, over the last several years).

I’ve gotten tired of, every time I DO manage to find time to get online, having to respond to emails from people bitching about not getting a shipped notice within 24 hours of placing their order. I get it. We’re living in an Amazon world. Unfortunately—well, fortunately, actually—I’m not Jeff Fucking Bezos.

What I have decided to do is outsource the book-handling. All of my books are now available directly from Lulu.com. They should ship considerably more rapidly than I am able to do so, and if they don’t, you can bitch at Lulu, rather than me. It’ll keep my blood pressure down, and all of you folks can rest assured that you’ll get your books much sooner.

Additionally, this means in between working on the farm, dealing with my family, doing PT, and being at my day job, I can use what little free time there is left to write articles for the blog, and work on the Carbine Book and other smaller projects, instead of on handling and packaging books and driving them to a post office to deliver.

All current orders on the 3dCart store are being processed right now, and will ship today or tomorrow. The store will remain up, but all links for the books, here on the blog, and on the FB page for the blog, will be routed to the Lulu.com links for the books.

The Reluctant Partisan, Vol One: The Guerrilla

The Reluctant Partisan, Vol Two: The Underground

Forging the Hero: Who Does More Is Worth More

Guerrilla Gunfighter: Clandestine Carry Pistol

John

Be Like Mike. Just Do It.

I saw a comment, on my personal Facebook page, responding to one of my posts, about how the friend in question hoped to be “living like you do as soon as possible, probably in a couple of years.”

I’m not gonna lie, we have a pretty awesome life. I don’t have an electric bill, because I built our solar power system myself, from components. We don’t have a house payment, because we built our house by hand, as we went. I have a land payment, but we pay so much extra on it, that the 15 year note will be completely paid off in 6 years total. We don’t have much of a grocery bill, because we raise and/or hunt so much of our own food.

I get to shoot—and teach—weekly, because we have a core group of guys who show up every weekend for training. We have a core group of 10 or so families that socialize together, party together, babysit each others’ kids, etc (Yes, we even identify, communally, as a “clan.”).

So, yeah, life is pretty damned good, even as we watch the social structures we’re accustomed to collapse around us.

Here’s the catch though…It didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t happen all at once. We’re still in the process of becoming communally self-reliant, for lack of a better term.

How then, does someone like my friend—maybe someone like you—start today, instead of waiting until the stars align properly?

Start small. Bake a loaf of bread from scratch (I have an amazing German brown bread recipe that I’ll post one of these days). It takes me twenty minutes of work, spread over several hours (to let the dough rise), to bake two big, round loaves of the bread. Even with two young kids that love to eat it (and my predilection for eating quarter loaf chunks ripped off the still steaming loaf…), two loaves of this bread will last us two or three days. It’s not hard. It’s not expensive (it’s probably pricier than buying loaves of “bread” in the grocery store, but it’s also go a fuckton more health benefits, and it lets you learn how to use all that stored wheat you have in your preps!

One of the common refrains in the preparedness community is the importance of having stored wheat berries, and a good Country Living grain mill. While I’m sure that a Country Living Grain Mill really is a splendid piece of equipment, it’s also ridiculously expensive. So, what if you can’t afford several hundred dollars for a grain mill that you may never use?

The answer is two-fold:

1) Don’t be like too many preppers, and stockpile a bunch of shit that you never use. Use your wheat grinder to grind grain to make your own bread.

2) Think about who uses their grain grinder, EVERY SINGLE DAY…I’ll give you a hint…it’s not 99% of “preppers” or even “homesteaders.” You know who uses her grain grinder EVERY SINGLE DAY? The little ol’ abuela, making corn tortillas to feed her family. You know where she buys…bought…her grain grinder? At the Hispanic grocery down the street (ours was a Salvadoran grocery, and it cost $70 for the grinder), probably for less than $100.

Build a small rabbit hutch in your backyard or on your apartment balcony, and buy a breeding pair of rabbits, and start breeding them occasionally. A pair of rabbits (and really, a trio of one buck and two does is better) will provide a LOT of meat, for stews, ground meat, and even roasts and fried, for a small family, and you’ll probably quickly have extra to gift, trade, or sell. Best part of rabbits, aside from edible meat and useful fur (we don’t actually use the hides yet) is multi-faceted:

1) they’re super quiet, so even if your HOA doesn’t allow them, you can probably sneak them in “guerrilla gardening” style.

2) their shit makes the perfect fertilizer for a small garden of raised beds (or buckets, if you’re still in an apartment).

3) they’re relatively inexpensive to feed, even if you decide to buy feed at the feed store, but it’s even better, because you can feed lawn clippings, garden scraps, and even vegetable table scraps. We buy a 50# bag of rabbit feed and it will last us for months, and months, and months, even with two breeding trios, because we feed lawn clippings (admittedly, our “lawn” isn’t a monoculture grass lawn, but has lots of forbs and other weeds as well, by design. When I have a bare spot, instead of throwing down grass seed, I throw down a clover-based “deer feed plot” mix), and garden scraps that don’t go to the chickens or pigs.

4) Rabbits are possibly the simplest, easiest livestock animal to keep, raise, and breed. Fucking schoolkids keep rabbits for pets! Don’t let it scare the shit out of you. Just Do It!

If you are concerned about EMP or other power outages—and you should be—look into building (not buying) a “solar generator.”

Our farm runs on solar, with a small 5KW gas generator for running power tools that draw too much for the inverter. We run a large, flat screen television, DVD player, a couple of laptops, a Ninja Blender, a chest freezer, and charge cell phones, as well as other stuff. I’ve never done an actual energy audit, like all the websites and books on solar tell you to. I just built the system I could afford. We located our PV panels on Craigslist, ordered an inexpensive DC-to-AC inverter that was recommended by a local solar expert, and bought the batteries he recommended, at Sam’s Club.

Here’s the thing: there are a couple of local companies that do solar installs. One does only grid-tie installs, the other does only stand-alone systems. Both are reasonably affordable, but by doing it myself—and I’m about as far from an engineer as you can be—I learned how to troubleshoot and fix it, in the process.

A couple months ago, we had a zinger of a storm. Several tornadoes in the area, and our farm got hit with 100+ MPH straight-line winds. All of the neighbors, both on our mountain and around our mountain, lost power for several days, while the power company focused on the urban areas first, and worked outward from there. Mine went out for exactly 45 seconds, because when it blinked, I realized the line from the battery bank to the inverter must have been overcharged by a nearby lightning strike, and the inverter shut off to protect itself. I walked over, flipped the switch, and the lights and freezer came back on.

New PV solar panels run about $1/watt online. If you look on Craigslist, you can buy them for closer to $0.50/watt, or less. So, a 210W panel (which we used when we were building our house. It ran a television, DVD player, and lots of lights, as well as keeping laptops and cellphones charged), can be got for right at $100.

A good deep cycle battery at Sam’s Club—the WalMart ones work okay, but don’t last as long—is a 105 amp hour battery, and runs about $180. For a small-scale system like a generator, that you’re not relying on constantly, a simple PWM charge controller will probably be adequate, but you can still get into a small 20-30 amp MPPT charge controller for under $100 (and the MPPT will both help your batteries charge more efficiently, as well as save them from overcharge damage better). An inexpensive car-based inverter, like you stick in your truck, is about $50 at WalMart, in the Automotive section (we used a 1000W one in our temporary housing while building the house).

So now, we’re looking at right around $400. Call it $450 when you factor in incidentals like wire, connections, and some scrap lumber to build a frame for the generator. That’s significantly less than my gas generator cost me, and the solar generator offers several advantages:

1) It’s quiet. Even in a grid-down scenario, with some blackout curtains, you’ll actually be able to use electric lights, without letting the neighbors know that you’re the only house with juice.

2) It’s free, after the initial investment, at least for several years. I’ve gotten two years of daily deep discharge (occasionally well below the recommended 50% depth-of-discharge limit) out of the cheapest WalMart deep-cycle Marine/RV batteries, and we’ve gotten several years out of better quality batteries. In a pinch, while they’re far from ideal, you could salvage used car batteries and get months of use out of them before they completely shit the bed. You don’t have to pay for gas, or store surplus gasoline, hoping and praying it doesn’t gum up or turn into water-logged shit. Solar panels—and batteries—will last fundamentally forever, if they’re not being overused and abused.

3) You’re learning to build, use, and maintain a solar PV system. Upsizing is simple, once you understand the basic techniques.

4) A gas or diesel or propane generator is a BIG investment, and it pretty much has to be paid for at one time. The solar generator can be bought in parts, and put together when you finally have all the parts.

While there are thousands of books out there, and millions of websites, describing the science and theory of solar PV power, it’s really not that complicated. Don’t overthink it. Don’t let it scare the shit out of you. Just Do It.

Worried about security, and feel like you need to shoot more, and have good quality training drills to shoot? Concerned that none of your friends/prepper buddies are going to be worth much help in a gunfight? Worried that some of them are a little too hefty to shoot-move-communicate effectively in a fight? Do what I did?

Just start shooting, once a week. Invite one of your friends that IS enthusiastic, and one of your friends that is less enthusiastic. Use some of the drills outlined in my books, or available from my annual drill subscription, and teach them how to improve a little bit. Every single improvement they see and recognize will result in them becoming more enthusiastic, and they will work to convince others to participate. Start incorporating some physical challenges that are difficult, but achievable, into the shooting drills. Make sure you can perform the drill to standard, and beyond, so they see that there is room for improvement, even if they “pass” the drill.

When we started our farm, I started a Saturday Morning Shooting Club. We started with two dudes, besides me. A couple years later, we have seven regulars, and a handful of occasionals. So, I’ve got basically a light infantry squad of trained rifleman, who can shoot significantly better than the average US Army infantryman (and several that can outshoot the average Marine Corps grunt), with further tactical knowledge, and all of whom have undertaken PT programs and diets to get into better shape, as a direct result of their experiences at the range. So I now have a core cadre to train up others, when the need arises. I can hand them a print-out of the Rifle or Pistol POI, straight out of The Reluctant Partisan books, and they can go to work. It’s called “force multiplier,” or “train-the-trainer.” It’s sort of what SF does…

It doesn’t require attendance at JFKSWC either. It just requires understanding the how and why of shooting, and being able to demonstrate the techniques. I’ve already given you the POI to follow. It’s damned near brainless at that point… Don’t let it intimidate you. This method—activity—works a lot better at building a trusted group of like-minded folks, than sitting around at your local “prepper meeting” every week, talking about shit. Just Do It.

Seriously…

If you’re really concerned about the events you see unfolding around you, quit talking, and start doing. As I tell my kids, “less talkee-talkee. More do-ee, do-ee.”

Be like Mike. Just Do It.

Catching Up

A large number of readers got emails today that their copies of The Guerrilla Gunfighter: Clandestine Carry Pistol, had shipped. They went out yesterday.

The remaining outstanding orders (this is you, if you didn’t get a notice today, and have an outstanding order more than three days old), will be shipping the first of next week. Of course, me being me, by “first” of next week, I mean some time between Monday and Wednesday…

To be forthright, I really never expected book sales to be anywhere near as successful as they have been. While I’m not making the NYT Bestsellers List any time soon, I genuinely believed, when I wrote the first Reluctant Partisan book, that I might sell 50 or 60 copies. Each succeeding book has only slightly raised those expectations. So, finding myself in a position where there are orders for a book that are two-plus months overdue is mind-numbing and more than a little bewildering as well.

My books are reasonably expensive, because of the amount of content, but until you’ve read them, you don’t know that. It is simply a matter of sticker shock. I get that. We certainly don’t lose money on the books, but we don’t make a particularly grand amount off each book either, especially when you factor in the cost of printing, shipping, my time handling them and packaging them, and then shipping them to you, the reader.

I could probably have them drop-shipped from a printer, but that doesn’t work for me. When an issue arises with shipping–lost orders, missing orders, hang-ups at Customs, etc–I am responsible. Drop shipping them, or having someone else do the handling for them, as we did when Sam over at Forward Observer was taking care of that for us, meant that when something went wrong, I sort of had to either hand if off to him, or go, “Well, gee….I don’t know what happened…Sorry, I guess?”

Now, although it sort of complicates things a little bit, I, and I alone, am responsible. I can take that responsibility, knowing that ultimately, I really am at fault.

If you have an outstanding order that you feel is overdue, please email me directly. I don’t get to my email as frequently as most of you, but I WILL get to it eventually, I promise.

We’ve had more than a little difficulty with overseas shipping. To send books to Europe, for example, actually costs me more for shipping than you pay for the books. Now, I will do that, but…I need to know to expect it, and we probably need to work something out to take some of the bite out of that (generally, I offer a barter arrangement instead of you paying for the books).

We’ve had books disappear in the mays of international shipping. As a general thing, I don’t know if that is because they are getting confiscated at your nation’s Customs, or if the fucking air mail plane went down somewhere over the Bermuda Triangle (in at least two cases I can recall, the order disappeared under the seat of my truck on the way to the Post Office, to be found weeks or months later…). If you have an overseas order and it hasn’t reached you, email me. I will figure it out and we will make it right, somehow.

If you have a stateside order, and it hasn’t been shipped, or it has been shipped, and you haven’t received it yet, email me. We will figure it out. It may take me a while, but I WILL get it sorted out. I’m old, slow, broken, and have been hit in the head a lot, and been too close to too many breaching charges. I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I’m a pretty fair ax. I’ll get you taken care of, somehow.

Do us both a favor though? Don’t send me hate email. I will generally ignore it, if the tone is rude. Foul language I can–obviously–deal with. A rude tone just pisses me off. If I don’t ignore it, I will use that age-old Southern tool of sarcasm, and be super polite, just so you know you were being a douche canoe. But….I will still do everything in my power to make it right. So, email me. We’ll figure it out.

 

 

 

Again, if you have an outstanding order, more than three days old, it should be shipping sometime the first of next week. Thank you for your patience, and again, I apologize for any inconveniences because of the delays.

 

In the meantime, here’s a review from somebody who has started reading their copy of The Guerrilla Gunfighter: Clandestine Carry Pistol:

A Brief Statement about the new book….

Assuming I get the orders out on time next week, as planned, there are a couple of articles half-written that will be posted right after that happens.

The Guerrilla Gunfighter: Clandestine Carry Pistol book

Folks, I announced it on the MG Facebook page a week or two ago, but haven’t been online since, to announce it here. The new book IS finally shipping. For those that pre-ordered, thanks for your faith and patience.

I am getting them out as quickly as I can get them from the printer, get them packaged, and then to the post office. (For the record, other books are also going out as fast as possible)

————————–

 

Since it was brought to my attention, on the FB page, that at least some blog readers are unaware of it, yes, I have written a book. In fact, I’ve written FOUR of them. Ordering information can be found at the top of the page, under the “Warhammer Six Press Books” tab.

 

As a word of caution though, I will repeat what I put there: this is a side thing for us. I have a day job, three kids, a wife who is in school, and a farm to run. I’m busier than the proverbial one-legged man in the ass-kicking contest. I don’t even get online more than once or twice a month, most of the time. We don’t have Internet at home, and using my phone for it is a pain in the ass, because we are pretty rural and service is shoddy. I WILL get your orders out, and you will get them. I promise. Just don’t expect it to be as fast as Amazon. 🙂 I sat on the living room floor last night, after the kids went to bed, and packaged orders to send out today.

If you get a shipped notice, for your orders: the Post Office has been taking between one and two weeks to actually deliver them. If it’s been three-plus weeks from a shipping notice, and you haven’t received them, by all means, email me and cuss me. Any less than that, and you’ll probably just get a “they’re on the way, I promise,” response.

I do not normally send out tracking numbers. That’s because I drop off a bundle of packages at the Post Office, on my lunch, and they give me a long receipt with the order on them. They have tracking numbers, but only the city/state where they were sent to. Sorry for any inconvenience.

 

——————-

 

I did an email interview with a reader for his blog, apparently. I haven’t got a link to where he is posting the responses yet, but one of the questions he asked was about the focus on this blog, towards Security issues, and if I thought other things were important also, and would I consider writing on some of those. I’ve also had students in classes who have heard stories and seen pictures of our farm, ask the same question.

Since the new book is done finally, I can hopefully, after I get caught up more on shipping books, start doing some articles on those topics, helping to dispel–like I’ve tried to do for security-related issues–some of the bullshit prevalent in the “Prepper/Survival” community regarding living off-grid and prepping for a disruption of “normal” services.

 

John

 

Update

The new book, Guerrilla Gunfighter, Volume One: Clandestine Carry Pistol, was supposed to start shipping 1SEP18. For those that pre-ordered the book, please accept my apologies, it has been delayed. My editorial readers got it back to me later than anticipated, with a few more suggested changes than I expected. It should be at the printers this week though, so shipping by end of next week (in my defense….I did say it might end up delayed a week or two…and according to one editorial reader: “Dude, they won’t mind. This is going to be worth the wait.”)

I’ve been making the necessary changes, but I will admit, I did take the weekend off from it to spend with the family and clan.

 

Also, I’ve been off the Internet for most of the last two months, because of family stuff. If you sent me an email and I didn’t respond, I am sorting through them. It just takes awhile, because I have a lot of emails, and even more so, a lot more important things to deal with that take precedence over strangers from the Internet. If you ordered books and they haven’t arrived, rest assured, they’re on their way. If they’re a month or two behind, it’s not because I didn’t ship them. It’s because they got lost in transit. Get ahold of me–by email–and I will remedy the situation. Don’t freak the fuck out though if it takes a while for me to get back to you. Under normal circumstances, because I actually LIVE this stuff, I only get online once a week or so. Under some circumstances, it may be longer than that.

 

Thanks for your understanding.