Wednesday, July 24, 2013

How to Cook a Whole Ear of Corn

Corn Recipes
Okay, I’ll admit that corn recipes are some of my biggest culinary weaknesses. I’ve had a love affair with corn for as long as I can remember. It’s something I really miss when I’m on a low carb diet. I can do without sweets and desserts fairly easily, but I crave corn. We always grew lots of corn in our gardens, so I learned how to cook corn a lot of different ways, and I don’t think I ever met a corn dish that I didn’t like. I like fried corn, creamed corn, corn casserole, corn fritters, corn relish, and niblets with butter and salt. I also add corn to soups, stews, salsas, salads, and dips. I sometimes use frozen corn, and I occasionally resort to canned corn, but they’re no match for fresh corn recipes. We grew an abundant supply of Silver Queen every year, and we staggered the plantings so that we’d have weeks and weeks of the delicious ears. I spent much of my summers cooking sweet corn. We often ate it every day, and I always froze a lot of it, too, so that we could enjoy corn recipes all year. I always froze some of the ears whole, too, as I love corn on the cob. If you’re not sure about how to cook a whole ear of corn, I’m going to provide you with some tips and ideas in this article!

Fresh Corn Recipes

Fresh corn recipes aren’t really much different than other recipes for corn. Personally, however, I don’t like for the wonderful flavor of the kernels to be “lost” in lots of other ingredients. As a result, in most of my fresh corn recipes, the ears or kernels are the main stars, so to speak. Unless I have a large supply of fresh corn, I’m not going to “waste” it in soups, stews, and such.
My favorite recipes for fresh corn are creamed corn, fried corn, black beans and corn, and boiled corn on the cob. For creamed corn, we scraped the kernels off the ears into a large metal casserole dish. We always added just a little water and baked the corn in the oven at 325 degrees for about twenty minutes or so. After that, I froze some of the corn and kept out enough for a “mess” to cook right then. To finish cooking the creamed corn, I poured it into a large pot and added butter, salt, and black pepper. I cooked it over medium-low heat on the stove for about twenty minutes, stirring frequently. Some cooks add milk, flour, and/or sugar to their creamed corn, but if you use corn that’s very sweet and very sweet, you won’t need to add such ingredients.
If you want my black beans and corn recipe, just click the link. It's a quick and easy recipe and is a wonderful concoction that serves as a great side dish for just about any type of meat, poultry, or fish. We especially like it with grilled and smoked pork, chicken, and beef.
For fried corn, I remove the silks and shucks from the ears and cut the kernels from the cob with a sharp knife. I then “pick through” the kernels to remove any missed silks. I heat some bacon drippings in my black iron skillet and sauté the corn over medium heat while stirring. Sometimes I add diced onion, garlic, spices, or fresh herbs. If the kernels need “tenderizing,” I cover the pan and reduce the heat for a few minutes.

How To Cook Corn

When it comes to how to cook sweet corn, you have lots of options. First, you’ll have to decide which form the dish will take. You can cut the kernels off the cob with a knife, or you can use a special scraper tool that punctures the kernels as it removes them from the cob. This results in a creamy, liquidy texture, or creamed corn. Of course, you can always leave the kernels on the cob and cook the whole ears, for corn on the cob.
When cooking sweet corn, timing is everything. As soon as corn is pulled, those sugars that make the corn so wonderfully sweet begin to turn into starches. Believe me – the very best sweet corn is accomplished when the ears go straight from the field or garden into the cooking pot. When we were growing our own corn, I got the pulled ears to cooking as fast as I possibly could.
Timing the cooking process is important, too. If you don’t cook the ears or kernels long enough, they’ll taste “raw,” and they won’t be very tender. On the other hand, if you cook corn for too long, the texture will be too soft, and in my opinion, the taste is somewhat affected, too. When you’re cooking corn, remember that the kernels will continue to cook a little, even after the cooking process is over, until the corn reaches room temperature. If you like your kernels to be crisp, I suggest you stop cooking just before your corn is super tender. Allow the corn to rest at room temperature for a few minutes to finish cooking completely. If you wrap the hot cooked ears in foil, they’ll remain moist and juicy because the steam rising from the corn will be trapped.

Ways To Cook Corn On The Cob

There are several ways to cook corn on the cob. Some methods are quick and easy, while others are a little more trouble and time consuming. If you want to cook a single ear of corn, I suggest using the microwave. For large amounts of corn on the cob, you can use a huge pot, or you can bake or roast the ears in the oven. If you’re doing some outdoor grilling and already have the grill cranked up, grilling corn on the cob is a great method.
Of course, there are other ways to cook corn on the cob, too. Sometimes I sauté whole ears of fresh sweet corn in my old iron skillet with some butter. Occasionally, I deep fry the silked and shucked ears in cooking oil. I’ve even batter-fried corn on the cob, with very tasty results. A couple of times, we’ve cooked corn on the cob on our meat smoker when we were smoking ribs or pork butts.
There’s no one best way to cook corn on the cob. If you’re a corn lover like I am, you most likely cook and eat the grain often, so you might want to try out a lot of different corn recipes. It probably won’t take you long to discover which are your and your family’s favorites!

Cooking Corn on the Cob

Cooking corn on the cob isn’t really all that difficult, but it can be somewhat confusing for cooks who don’t have much experience with cooking sweet corn. For one thing, corn usually absorbs other flavors readily, so it’s easy to overdo it when it comes to herbs and spices. If you ever eaten corn at a Low Country Boil, for example, you probably know what I’m talking about. Corn that’s cooked in the same pot with spicy shrimp boil will taste a lot like the spices used. It’s better to use a light hand when adding seasonings in the cooking corn process. If you find that you didn’t use enough seasonings while cooking, you can always sprinkle more on the cooked ears. Once the corn is over-seasoned, however, it’s pretty hard to reduce or eliminate the herbs and spices in order to make the ears more palatable. If you find that you used too much spice, salt, or herbs when cooking corn on the cob, boil the ears for one minute in plain water. That will help reduce some of the overpowering flavors.

How Long To Cook Corn on the Cob

How long to cook corn on the cob depends on several factors. One, of course, is the cooking method used. Another is whether you leave the shucks on or not. Still another is the size and age of the ears. Young, tender ears will cook more quickly, while older, more mature ears will usually require more cooking time in order to get tender. Another time factor with cooking corn on the cob is a matter of personal preference. Some people like the kernels to be crisp, some like for the corn to be a little chewy, and some people prefer their corn to be very soft – almost “mushy.” You might need a little cooking practice and some experimentation to find out exactly how you like your corn. I like mine to be a little crisp, while hubby likes his to be very soft, so I always have to cook his ears a little longer than I do mine.
As a general rule of thumb, the cooking time for boiling corn is about seven minutes. Grilled corn on the cob needs to cook for about twelve to fourteen minutes, provided the shucks have been removed. For cooking corn in the husk, grilling time will be a little longer, about fifteen minutes or so. If you want to steam the ears in a steamer basket, that will take up to eighteen or twenty minutes. Cooking corn in the microwave is often the quickest method for cooking corn on the cob, as one year takes only around five minutes. Remember, though – these suggested cooking times are only general guidelines. Depending on the ears you’re cooking and on your individual tastes, cooking times might need to be adjusted a little.

Boiling Corn

Boiling corn is probably the most used method for cooking corn on the cob. Most people remove the shucks first, along with the silks. If you notice a bad kernel or two, don’t discard the entire ear. Just cut out the bad kernels with a knife. Bring a large pot of water to a full rolling boil, then add the ears. Cover the pot with a heavy, tight fitting lid and continue boiling for around seven minutes. If you like, you can add some seasonings to the water, but be careful with the salt shaker. Adding too much salt to the cooking water can make the corn tough. It’s better to sprinkle the cooked ears with salt. Once the ears of corn have reached the desired tenderness, you might want to plunge them in cool water to halt the cooking process.

Microwave Corn

Cooking corn in the microwave is quick and easy, especially if you’re cooking just one ear. It’s a heck of a lot easier than dragging out a pot and waiting for it to come to a boil. For microwave corn, shuck and silk the ear and wrap it in a wet paper towel. Place the corn on a microwave-safe plate and cook on high for three minutes. Turn the ear of corn over and cook for another two minutes on high.

How To Cook Corn On The Grill

There’s more than one way for how to cook corn on the grill. You can wrap the ears in foil, or you can place the ears directly on the grilling grate. Be advised, however, that the texture of the kernels will be strongly affected by the method you choose, and they’ll be very different. The flavor will be a little different, too. The naked ears will have kernels that are much chewier, while the ones wrapped in foil will be more tender. Also, because the naked ears have had more exposure to the charcoal, they’ll have a smokier flavor.
One advantage to cooking ears of corn in foil, in addition to a softer texture, is that you can add your own seasonings to the ears. You can slather the ears with butter or olive oil, and sprinkle on herbs, spices, or other seasoning agents. I sometimes like spicy grilled corn with sort of a Mexican flair, so I often add butter, lime juice, and cayenne. When you wrap the ears in foil individually, you can custom season the ears to everyone’s liking, too.
For grilled corn on the cob, remove the shucks and silks from the ears. Once that preparation is done, I place each ear on a square of heavy aluminum foil and add the seasonings I wish to use. Next, roll each ear up tightly in the foil, and twist the ends of the foil square to close. Place the wrapped ears on a medium or medium-low grill and cook until desired tenderness. After five or six minutes, turn the ears over so the other side can cook. Check the ears after ten or twelve minutes. If they need to cook a little longer, be sure to reclose the foil tightly.

Cooking Corn In The Husk

Cooking corn in the husk is yet another way of cooking sweet corn. Some cooks swear by this method, as they say the husks or shucks add extra flavor to the kernels. You can cook corn in the shucks by boiling, baking, or roasting, but grilling is the preferred method for cooking corn in the husk. There are basically two ways to go about this. Some people leave on the entire shucks, top silks and all. I don’t really like that method. Instead, I like to cut the ends off the corn and shucks. I then remove at least one layer of the shucks. After that, I like to immerse the ears in cool water. The corn needs to remain completely under the water, so you’ll probably need some sort of weight to hold the ears down. A heavy plate or lid works well here. Leave the ears in the water for thirty minutes to an hour. When the grill is ready with medium coals, remove the corn from the water and pat the ears dry. Place the corn on the grill and cook for around fifteen minutes. Turn the ears during grilling to make sure they cook evenly.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cheap Meal Ideas - Cheap Dinners

Cheap Food
I’m a bargain shopper, and I often search for cheap food. And yes, it does exist. I don’t like the idea of spending a small fortune on groceries every week just for survival. Don’t get me wrong – I love good food, and we don’t always eat cheap food. Sometimes we splurge on lobster, crab, and high quality steaks. That’s not to say that the two terms are diametrically opposed. Cheap food can be good food if you shop wisely and have some good cheap meal ideas. I sometimes enjoy the challenge of creating cheap meals, especially cheap and easy meals, although this isn’t always a simple task. We love meat, and meat is usually the priciest part of most meals. Turning cheap meat into tender, delicious meat is actually one of my kitchen specialties. If you want more information on cheap food and cheap meals, along with some cheap meal ideas, read on!
Cheap Food – Where to Find It
Does cheap food seem like an oxymoron to you? If so, you’re not looking in the right places! I’ll give you a prime example. You know those big beautiful red bell peppers that often cost $1 each in supermarkets? Well, I needed several of them for making some chow-chow a while back, but I just couldn’t bring myself to plop down the money for them in the grocery store. Instead, I visited a local ethnic farmers’ market in order to check their prices. I got a large bag of the peppers for just a buck! No, they weren’t as large or as attractive as the pricier peppers, but they actually tasted better.
Pick-your-own produce farms is often another source of cheap food. Even when large tomatoes were selling for about $1 each in our supermarkets, a local pick-your-own farm was selling a five-gallon bucket of tomatoes for just $5. And believe me, those tomatoes had a lot more flavor than the ones in the grocery store. I froze some of the tomatoes to use in soups, stews, and sauces.
You can also find cheap food in grocery stores. Check the discount bins. Just be sure to check the expiration dates. When you find a good sale on canned goods, stock up. We turned one of our closets into a pantry so that we could take advantage of sales and discounts, and it’s helped us save a bundle on groceries. When I discover great sales on canned goods, sugar, cooking oil, and dried beans, I buy in bulk.
Cheap Meat
What about cheap meat? Some markets also have a discount meat section, where they sell meats, poultry, and fish that are soon reaching their expiration dates. If the meat hasn’t been previously frozen, you can buy it and store it safely in your freezer. Of course, if you’re going to cook it and eat it that day or the next, you don’t need to freeze it.
Cheap meat isn’t just about the expiration date – it’s also about the specific cuts of meat you choose. Too many consumers confuse price with nutrition. For example, is there really a lot of nutritional difference between chicken breasts and chicken thighs, even though breasts are much more expensive? The same generally holds true for cuts of beef and cuts of pork.
Cuts of Beef

When it comes to cuts of beef, some consumers are almost clueless. They might think that because prime Angus ribeye steaks are expensive, they provide the most nutritional value. Of course, that’s simply not true. In fact, cheap cuts of beef often have less fat or “marbling” than the leaner cuts have. With ground beef, it’s just the opposite. Lean and extra-lean ground beef contain less fat than regular ground beef, but does that make it a better value? Probably not. The leaner the ground beef, the more water it contains, so instead of paying for fat, you’re paying extra for more water. If I’m using crumbled ground beef in a recipe, I usually rinse the cooked meat with hot water to remove some of the fat. A pound or two of a cheap meat like hamburger can go a long way, especially when it’s used in dishes like soups, chili, and spaghetti.
For steaks, chuckeye steaks are cheaper than sirloin, ribeye, strips, T-bones, and Porterhouse. They can, however, be cooked successfully on the grill with a little work on your part. Flank steaks and skirt steaks are two more examples of inexpensive steaks for grilling. You just need to know how to tenderize meat.
Use some common sense when shopping for cuts of beef. For example, let’s say you want to make beef stew in the slow cooker. All meat stew beef is more expensive per pound than chuck roast at your market. Buy the roast, take it home, and cut it into cubes yourself. If you want country fried steak and discover that chuck steak is cheaper than cubed steak, buy the cheaper cut of meat and pound it with a meat mallet. If you want roast beef, choose a brisket or pot roast.
Cuts of Pork
Pork can be an example of cheap meat, too, but you need to be familiar with the different cuts of pork. The tenderloin is usually the most expensive, followed by the loin and its cuts. Cheap cuts of pork include sausage, neckbones, and cuts from the shoulder. Instead of cooking a loin roast, cook a Boston Butt. Instead of baking a ham, bake a picnic, which is a cured pork shoulder. Use pork shoulder steaks instead of pricey pork chops. Barbecue country-style ribs instead of baby back ribs. If you regularly substitute cheaper cuts of pork for more expensive ones, it won’t take long for the savings to rack up.
Cheap and Easy Meals
Cheap and easy meals are entirely possible. Most people eat a lot more meat than they actually need. Try making the largest portion of your meals focused on cheap food like pasta, rice, potatoes, and vegetables. Use the meat as sort of a “side dish.” Below are some cheap and easy meals I make:
Cheap and Easy Meals
·         Hamburger-vegetable soup
·         Chicken and dressing (1 can chicken, 1 can chicken broth, 1 box stuffing mix, chopped onion)
·         Sausage, red beans, and rice
·         Stir-fries
·         Slow cooker beef stew
·         Chili
·         Baked chicken leg quarters
·         Pork neckbones and rice
·         Chicken-broccoli casserole (from canned chicken)
·         Homemade chicken soup (from canned chicken)
·         Salmon croquets (from canned salmon)
·         Broiled/grilled tilapia (on my George Foreman grill)

Cheap Healthy Meals
Cheap healthy meals are sort of a no brainer. Generally speaking, the most expensive part of any meal is the protein, which is neither cheap nor healthy – if you eat too much of it. Add a few meatless meals to your menu. Instead of meat, try using dried beans, egg whites, small amounts of cheese, or fish. All of these are high in protein and are cheaper than meat.
I make many cheap and healthy meals from tilapia fillets. Most of the time, tilapia is the cheapest fish I can find in our supermarket, and it can be used in several ways. It only takes a few minutes to cook on my George Foreman. The fillets can also be baked, pan broiled, fried, stuffed, or used in seafood casseroles, fish tacos, and fish chowders.
Cheap healthy meals can also include chef salads and whole wheat pasta salads. Include some fresh veggies, low fat cheese, a little turkey or tuna, boiled eggs, fresh tomatoes, and low fat or fat-free dressing. You’ll fill up on the fiber and still have enough protein to keep you full for several hours.
Clear soups make cheap healthy meals, too. Use chicken broth, beef broth, fish broth, or vegetable broth as your base. Add lots of veggies, some brown or white rice, and plenty of herbs and spices for flavor. If you use legumes in the soup, you might not even need to add meat.
Cheap Meal Ideas
Unless you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, you probably want cheap meal ideas that include some type of flesh or other animal products. When you’re shopping for meat, don’t be swayed by the total price of the item. Instead, look at the price per pound and the price per serving. Take a ham, for instance. When they go on sale, they’re a good value. Because of their weight, the price might look expensive, but think how many cheap meals you can get from a single ham. Even if you don’t have the ham sliced by the butcher, you can stretch a ham a long way. Bake it, and slice the leftover ham. Place the slices into freezer bags for future meals. With what’s left, cut it into cubes for ham salad, casseroles, omelets, and for seasoning vegetables and legumes. Don’t toss out the bone! Boil it for delicious soup stock.
A whole turkey is another good example. When they go on sale, you get a lot of lean meat for your buck. Bake, roast, or fry the bird and eat on it for a couple of days. Freeze the leftovers for turkey sandwiches, turkey salad, casseroles, and other cheap meal ideas.
According to my husband, the best cheap meal ideas are based on dried beans. He loves pinto beans, lima beans, and great northern beans. These make cheap and healthy meals that are high in protein and fiber, while being low in fat.
Cheap Dinners
I’ve already provided you with several ideas for cheap dinners, but what if you don’t have time to cook? Can you get cheap dinners on the go? Consider this: one day a week, a local deli sells eight pieces of fried chicken for $3.99. I can warm up some green beans and make some instant mashed potatoes in just a few minutes to serve with the fried chicken.
Another day a week, a different deli sells their whole rotisserie chickens for $3.99 each, and I sometimes center cheap dinners around the roasted chicken. I can toss a couple of potatoes in the microwave and warm up some veggies, and we have a complete meal.
We also have a local pizzeria that sells medium pizzas for $5 each – enough to feed me, hubby, and the two grandkids. The pizzas are hot and ready at the drive-through. I usually toss a quick salad to go with the pizza, and I serve fruit juice to drink. With these cheap dinners, we get calcium, vitamin C, carbs, fiber, veggies, and protein.
Cheap Meals for Two
I make a lot of cheap meals for two. I feed two of my grandkids dinner three nights a week, but for the rest of the week, it’s just me and the old man. After rearing three kids, it was hard for me to adjust to cooking for just two people, but it’s easy for me now.
Several of my cheap meals for two are made with canned chicken. I use it in casseroles, pasta salads, and chicken salad. The same goes for canned tuna. I can make a big bowl of tuna salad from one small can of tuna, along with chopped eggs, celery, pickles, and chopped apple.
This might surprise you, but cheap meals for two can even include shrimp. I can get a small bag of shrimp for under $5. Yes, the shrimp are tiny, but they’re already peeled and deveined, and the tails have been removed. I sometimes make fried popcorn shrimp from them. They can also be used in stir-fries, shrimp fajitas, quesadillas, shrimp Creole, and shrimp salad.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Spicy Venison Sausage

If you simply enjoy deer hunting, or if you do it as a survival strategy, you’ll need some good venison recipes. Venison sausage recipes are great ways to use the hams, shoulders, and venison scraps, so that no part of the deer meat is wasted. You’ll also need to use extra non-deer fat in your sausage making. Some people like to add beef suet, and for venison burgers, I agree. For deer sausage, however, I prefer using fresh pork fat. And by the way, it’s best if you remove any visible fat from the venison before using the meat in a deer sausage recipe. The meat and fat will also need to be cold for sausage making recipes. In fact, the fat will need to be really cold – almost frozen.
Spicy venison sausage
5 pounds deer meat, cubed
2 pounds pork fat or beef suet, cubed
1 tablespoon rubbed sage
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce
1 tablespoon Liquid Smoke
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Directions: Feed chilled venison and almost-frozen pork fat into grinder. Combine ground meat and fat with remaining ingredients until very thoroughly mixed. Force sausage meat into casings. Freeze or refrigerate. Cook sausage links on the stove, grill, or smoker.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Make a Survival Foods Pantry

A few months ago, hubby and I decided that we needed to stock up on survival foods. Unfortunately we really didn’t have much kitchen cabinet space, so we had to make another plan. We had turned an unused bedroom into an office, and the room has a closet in it. Basically, we had been using the closet to store some holiday decorations and some winter coats and sweaters. We decided that survival plans were more important, so we went to work cleaning out the closet. The winter outerwear was squeezed into the closet in the master bedroom, and the decorations went to an outdoor storage building.
Once everything was out of the closet, hubby added storage shelves. He used five storage shelves, and he left an open space at the bottom of the closet for storing large items. As soon as the storage shelves were in place, we began filling them up. Every time I went to the grocery store, I’d always pick up an extra canned item or two for the survival food storage closet. I watched the papers for sales, and I’d take advantage of them, too. Our survival closet is almost full now.
The survival foods we have in the closet in the way of canned goods include beef stew, chicken, tuna, Beef-a-roni, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, corn, green beans, tomato sauce, black beans, chili beans, chili, Vienna sausages, green beans, okra, pineapple, peaches, fruit cocktail, evaporated milk, and lots of different types of soups. In addition to canned goods, we’ve included other types of survival food, too. We have sugar, salt, spices, peanut butter, jelly, ketchup, mustard, powdered drink mix, barbecue sauce, boxed stuffing mix, coffee, creamer, and dietary supplements. On the top shelf, we store dried beans and instant mashed potatoes in closed plastic containers. In the space at the bottom of the closet, we have large jugs of water and gallon containers of cooking oil. By the way, I store rice, flour, and cornmeal in my refrigerator.
We use the closet for more than just survival food, also. In it, we made room for plastic food storage bags, garbage bags, flash lights, batteries, candles, matches, soaps, paper towels, toilet paper, and feminine pads, which make great bandages. We keep most of the other first aid supplies in bathroom cabinets.
I’m telling you – just seeing all that survival food stacked neatly in the closet gives me a great sense of security! If some disaster occurred, or if we went for awhile without money, I know we’d be able to eat for a long time. It’s also made me more aware of sales, and since I now have the storage room, I can really take advantage of sales items. It’s also nice to be able to grab something from the survival closet when I run out of something in the kitchen. No more unplanned trips to the supermarket! Take my advice – clean out a closet, insert some storage shelves, and start buying your own stockpile of survival foods.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

High Protein Survival Foods

Protein is an extremely important element in the human diet, and it should be at the top of your list of survival foods. Proteins are necessary for practically every cellular activity in the body. Consisting of amino acids, proteins can’t always be synthesized by humans. Some amino acids must be obtained from the foods we eat and the liquids we drink. In times of famine, the amino acids in proteins are especially important because the body can turn them into glucose to be used for fuel. Otherwise, the body would start feeding on its own muscle tissue.
When you’re planning your stash of emergency foods and survival foods, be sure to include lots of foods that are rich in proteins. Of course, you might have a fair amount of meat in your freezer, but without electricity, the meat won’t last long. Keep plenty of high protein foods on hand that have a long shelf life.
High protein foods that store well without refrigeration
Canned chicken
Canned BBQ
Canned beef stew
Canned tuna
Canned salmon
Canned shrimp
Canned clams
Canned oysters
Canned crabmeat
Canned sardines
Canned chili
Canned Vienna sausages
Canned ham spread
Canned pork and beans
Canned black beans
Canned kidney beans
Canned pinto beans
Canned chili beans
Canned garbanzo beans
Canned milk
Powdered eggs
Potted meat
Dried beans
Dried peas
Summer sausage
Salt-cured country ham
Peanut butter
Beef sticks
Pepperoni sticks
Protein powder
Powdered milk

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Guide to Money-Saving Coupons

This article provides information about finding coupons and using coupons. It also provides tips for keeping your personal information safe and secure. Here's the link:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pine Trees and Survival

If you live in North America, you’re probably near pine trees, and they can be used in several ways for survival. For one thing, they supply a free source of survival food. You’ve heard of pine nuts, right? They’re seeds that come from pine trees. Of the more than 100 species of pines, only a few have large seeds, but the seeds of all pine trees are edible. Some just take a bit more work.
How to harvest pine nuts
The easiest way to harvest pine nuts is to gather the pinecones after they’ve opened, which is usually in the fall. Place the cones in an old pillowcase and hit them against a large tree, a brick wall, or some other hard, sturdy surface. This will force the seeds out. The seeds have to be shelled before eating and can be enjoyed raw or toasted in a skillet or in the oven. When dried and stored properly, pine nuts will keep for several months and are a good source of iron, protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, manganese, and magnesium.
Eating the phloem
You can also eat the phloem of pines. The phloem is the soft tissue inside the tree that transports glucose and other nutrients. The phloem from small twigs usually has a sweet taste, and it contains vitamin A and vitamin C. Native American tribes often ate pine phloem. It can be eaten as is, or it can be dried and pulverized. The resulting powder can be used to make bread or to thicken stews.
Pine needle tea
Have you ever tasted green pine needles? I don’t know why, but I used to like to chew on them as a kid. I always thought they had sort of a citrus taste. The young, tender needles make the best tea.  After harvesting a handful of needles, rinse them well in clean water. Break them up into small pieces and cover them with boiling water. Steep the tea for about fifteen or twenty minutes. Pine needle tea is a great source of vitamin C.

Pine trees have a thick, sticky resin that can be used as glue. Examine holes or splits in the trunk for the resin. If you can’t find enough resin, cut a notch in the tree and return later to collect the resin oozing from the cut. If the resin has already hardened, heating it will soften it.
Dental uses
Pine resin can also be used to fill cavities in teeth. Take a small bit of semi-soft resin and place it in the cavity to mold it into the perfect fit. Pull the resin out and allow it to harden. Return it to the tooth, with just a tiny dab of soft resin to hold it in place.
Pine resin makes a great fire starter, and you can burn dried pine cones, too. Of course, you can also burn dried pine logs, but they’re not good for cooking over. Pine fires do, however, provide a lot of quick heat.