Winter STORM Lessons

WHAT is up with the Weather..the World…and all these natural disasters?
WHAT HAPPENS in NORTHERN UTAH…Brrr! Doesn’t stay in Northern UTAH!

The WONDERFUL WINDS in the North that turned the lights out …and brought a bunch of people who thought they were prepared, because they had food storage, to their wits end, with cold, and lack of hot food…when they realized they didn’t have a safe indoor way to cook all that food, was just one of their problems- and it was an eye opener! We got many calls and spoke to many people who had purchased a Solar Oven (we do recommend this) but who couldn’t use it during 100 mile an hour winds! Many who had their wonderful charcoal fuel efficient Dutch Ovens ready to go…. but didn’t want to stand outside and freeze to make a hot meal either. After four days they realized they needed help. So we found a supplier of “safe to use indoors” Butane Stoves and Butane FUEL…and even delivered them along with our Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cookers! So our customers could use their thermal cookers…and continue to conserve fuel even after the power went out! WHAT WE LEARNED: DURING an emergency having multiple options for cooking “Electric FREE” is so important…including having an option for indoor cooking…because sometimes the weather is so bad, that Going outside to cook anything, seems insane! We NOW permanently offer these butane stoves and butane fuel online at www.SaratogaJacks.com. (PS We also have butane in full cases available for a bigger discount that isn’t shown in the online store- so just call Jack for more info- 801-420-3900)

PS We also learned, people thought our company was named Kangaroo Jack when they frantically tried to recall who to call. Kangaroo Jacks is by the way, a great family movie, but not a Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker! ūüėČ We however have a kangaroo on our logo, because JACK’s extended family is from Australia, and Thermal Cookers are used in the outback where the fuel is limited. Just a Side Note. We are Saratoga Jacks. Jack and I (his amazing wife) live in Saratoga Springs, Utah. It just made sense to us! ūüôā As always, please keep us in the loop with any fabulous stories and IDEAS…. and have a Good Day, mate! (Smiling!)

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Saratoga Jacks Sourdough

Saratoga Jacks Sourdough Starter

Our Start (that can also be your start!)
….is our daily kitchen MIRACLE.
200 years and still…
the magic happens daily.

Gods gift of Better Bread.
It rises because we have air.
The healthy bacteria and enzymes
Were found in the air we breathe.

The stuff of goodness is all around us.

Natural Yeast…is Like LOVE.
Our Yeast came from the air.
Proof God cares.


The bread rises every time day without fail! Buy it once and it can multiple and replenish itself everytime you feed it grows.

Happiness.

Turns your home baked bread into lower glycemic(lower carb) heathy choice, and it lowers the gluten too.

Every Canister OF LIVE Saratoga Jacks Sourdough cultures,
Not only comes with EASY to follow instructions inside the can on how to feed and help your natural ancient yeast to grow and thrive but it comes with Jack’s Personal Recipe Card.

This ONE CARD: is a Master Key.
Not only has the original Saratoga Jacks Sourdough bread recipe-

but it will also tell HOW YOU CAN alter the recipe to make 1000s of different varieties of unique Artisan Breads.

It is the MASTER KEY …to all great bakeries bread making secrets.

Also TIP of the day!
Masterful Bakery Tip:

1 cup of water to 1 tsp of salt is the basic equation to starting a single loaf of bread or around 15 rolls.

So if I need 16 loaves of bread,
I need to start with 16 cups of water and 16 tsp of salt.

If I need 60 rolls I need
4 cups of water, and
4 tsp of salt.

Purchase your Starter here

Also, check out our Cinnamon Roll Recipe!

#bakery #masterkey #key #bakingtip #baking #rolls #bread #breadmaking
#SaratogaJacks
#sourdough #starter #share #love #lowgluten
#amazing #saratogajackssourdough #redefineeatingout #camping #ancient #grains #naturalyeast #originalrecipe #sourdoughrecipe #recipe @ Saratoga Springs, Utah

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Why Colostrum? for Healing the Gut…

 

This blog post was taken from a personal interview of Jack’s family.

It is about the VERY First Foods of Life and why this one product is personal for Jack and Amy, and why they keep it available on a Preparedness and Camping website like Saratoga Jacks?

One. Health is a part of preparedness. Once you lose your health your ability to take care of yourself and others becomes hindered. Twenty years ago, people they loved were struggling from medical issues and injuries.

Over 20 years ago the baby in the above picture, he had grown into a little boy who struggled and he needed help. Their little boy had his brain swell, called encephalopathy, after some routine ¬†vaccines and he developed leaky gut syndrome and regressive mild autism, was struggling to even smile. Their oldest daughter, she also as a little kindergartner had been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and IBS linked to her vaccines and was facing possible lifetime of issues. Also around that same time¬†Amy’s sister, a favorite Auntie, that worked in a hospital, was diagnoised with Multiple Sclerosis.

Jack and Amy began looking for answers… and they read in a book (they didn’t have the internet back then, they went to the public library)about the gut-health link. Now it is a very popular well understood idea, but back then many did not know about the immune system and response being tied to the gut.

Doctors were just connecting how important gut health is in over all mental and physical health…and they were suggesting you could heal a gut lining using probiotics, bone broth, fermented foods like homemade yogurt, kiefer, kombucha, and using all natural yeast, like Jack’s sourdough breads…and COLOSTRUM!

So then they went hunting for books about bovine colostrum, and she found this book:

Dr.Lance Wright wasthe author.

To help their kids heal, they started to change their lifestyle. They got all processed foods out of the house. Sugar and junk food had to go. Jack started making sour dough bread. Amy started making homemade yogurts and they both searched high and low for the best brand of colostrum to try. They were living in Seattle at the time and this was long before the internet. A friend put her in contact with a doctor 800 miles away in Utah named Dr. Anthony Kleinsmith who believed his product could help their family.


One of Saratoga Jacks first products a couple decades ago was Colostrum…and Saratoga Jacks has kept the price lower than the health food stores that carry it, for decades, so others could also get the best colostrum they had found, for less money.

Why?

Because within two weeks of their own kids chewing on the Immune-Tree 6 Strawberry moo chews, (Amy let them eat them for snacks, like they were a bowl of popcorn)...after just two weeks of eating it off and on all day…their little girl avoided colon surgery, the doctors could no longer find the ulcers, and their little boy that had lost his smile after a vaccine injury several years earlier, suddenly started smiling again. She felt like years of prayers had been answered, by the very product Nature gives to all mammals. PS. When the kids got bored with the strawberry chews she switched to the pineapple flavored ones.The kids loved them, and you can’t overdose on them anymore than a baby could overdose of breastmilk. They are technically a food! The manufacturing company calls their product Immune Tree 6…because they guarentee they only collect the bovine colostrum within 6 hours after the calf is birthed (when it is pure colostrum long before it starts to turn to milk.) And they always let the calf drink first until it is full and asleep, before they take any.

Their son smiled again…after a few weeks using the colostrum. After almost 7 years of not seeing him smile this picture became all they needed to keep trying to help their son get better.

The history about bovine colostrum was fascinating to research. Before modern antibiotics were discovered doctors used colostrum for infections, and the famous Dr. Saulk who made the first Polio vaccine found the antibodies to fight polio were naturally in a cows colostrum for her calf. There was a huge history of Scandinavian nations using it safely for decades by doctors and farmers to support the health.


She had also read in the book, colostrum could help regulate auto immune diseases by helping the thymus gland to not over react and to stop attacking the body. Her sister needed help controling her MS flare-ups and was able to minimize them using the colostrum too.

That was 20 years ago!

Fibromyalgia was barely a buzz word. People were just starting to even know what a “auto-immune disease” even was. But Dr. Kleinsmith was already using nature to try and turn around a growing epidemic of auto immune disorders.

Amy and Jack have both said they consider it a needed medical item in their long term health preparedness for more than 20 years. It is NOT the only thing they use or recommend for health preparedness or for a good first aid arsenol. But Colostrum is on their top 10 items to have on hand, because it is a food that ¬†supports the immune system, and it had slowly helped helped heal their children’s guts, and has helped her sister for more than 20 years…That is why they keep the prices lower than anywhere else… so others can afford to feed themselves with something that could start over their health.

They felt like their son just woke back up and connected and they got him more fully back.

She hit the reset and the kids went from struggling health to much better over the year. Enough that Bailey looked better and felt better again being able to eventually teach English overseas and be a missionary in Russia.…and enough that their son was eventually able to go to a regular classrom the next year for the first time in his life…a year earlier the teacher told Amy she was delussional for believing she could ever “recover” her son enough to be able to leave special education.and he eventually graduated from highschool with honors, served as a missionary in Africa, and is now a massage therapist, going to college for premed, someday wants to be a doctor, to help other kids like him.



They continue to be friends with Dr. ANTHONY Kleinsmith, since they also now moved to Utah, and have been proud to share the made in the USA Colostrum that has been double blind safety studied at a University with glowing reviews. It comes in powder (to add to smoothies)..and in encapsulated (number one bottle sold is the pill form) for people who can easily swallow pills.

Years later when their younger son got cancer, they used it again to support his immune system while he fought for his life too.

 

This product they say is a quiet personal favorite because it kept their family alive and healthy.


Side Note: Dr. Kleinsmith is on youtube and has a blog on both auto-immune issues, autism, and colitis and crones, and more…etc.

 

 

 

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*NEW* Amazing Locking Lids for Cookie Sheets

*NEW*

We are so excited about the new roomy Saratoga Jacks Cookie Sheet Pans and Locking Lids NOW Available at SaratogaJacks.com

Our New Saratoga Jacks Lids are

Made in the USA and right here in Utah!

START AT JUST $6.99

Great for Keeping Baked Goods Fresh!


Portable, Stackable, Roomy enough to allow rolls to rise, and the lids lock on the edge of any standard commercial rolled edge sheet pans.
Great for Storing and Transporting Baked Goods!
Lids Available Online CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE STORE:
Lids available Now for the Standard American HOME KITCHEN USE on your typical rolled edge 1/2 sheet pan (shown in pictures).
Lids also available for the smaller 1/4 sheet pan size online in our store as well. (Also commercial sizes are available along with pro commercial full sheet pans too, if you call Jack 801.420.3900 for a commercial sized special order.)Saratoga Jacks Lids Starting at just $6.99 Retail! Made and Shipped from Utah, USA!
Rolled Edge Sheet Pans Also Available at SaratogaJacks.com
They will start at $8.99
Saratoga Jack’s Lids available seperately or together with pans in sets.
Also NEW today… New Saratoga Jack’s Baking and Cooling Racks that can fit inside our sheet pans for $5.99

Also New and Now Available Washable and Reusable Silicone Baking Mats that fit into our Baking Sheets.
We have loved using the New Products with our Saratogs Jacks Sourdough bread recipes. We love letting our Artisan Sourdough Rolls rise in them.

We use them to make our wonderful natural yeast Saratoga Jacks Sweet Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls. We let them rise in the pans with the lids on tight to keep them fresh.


We take the lids off to bake, and after we Bake and Cool rolled edge cookie sheets; we spread our world famous Whipped Cream Frosting on top, and again use the locking lids to keep them from drying out and for transporting to events.
LIDS Available NOW starting TODAY!
Click Here to go to Our Store
COMING SOON! APRIL 2017
We are also getting ready to release the ability for anyone to buy our Saratoga Jacks Sourdough Start!

Like our Facebook Page to keep an Eye Out for that date!
Click Here for our FACEBOOK
BLOG BONUS: A Favorite Family Recipe
Using our Saratoga Jacks Sourdough Start
Follow our Basic Bread Recipe (on the left) to make:
We start the dough at night before bedtime and let it naturally rise over night using our Natural Sourdough Yeast start.
Natural Yeast is full of probiotics, and healthy enzymns and good bacteria to break down the gluten in the bread flours making it easier to digest.

Saratoga Jack’s Sweet Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
BASIC Bread Recipe:
Mix in Our Big 13 quart Stainless Steel Bowl:
4 cups of water
4tsp Redmond Real Salt

And flour in one cup at a time stirring until it is a nice soft stretchy dough ball that can be kneaded that is not too sticky. (Usually Somewhere between 13 to 15 cups All Natural Unbleached Flour.)
Knead the dough.
Place the ball of kneaded dough back in the large bowl. Cover with a huge clean new plastic garbage bag, to keep air out, and leave alone for a min of 12 hours.
When you take the plastic off around 12 hours later it should look like this, as it has risen to the top of the large bowl:

Punch it down. Knead a little more flour (1 to 2 cups) into your now sticky sour dough.
Flour a huge counter and rolling pin, and roll your ball of sour dough out to about 1/4 inch thick.
Spread generously 1/2 to 1 cup of softened room temp salted butter on top. Then Layer generously with cane sugar and cinnamon.

Roll and Cut

Place rolls on Sheet Pans that have been lined with parchment paper:


Let them rise again for 1 to 2 hours…under your Saratoga Jacks Locking Lids.
Preheat Oven to 350
Remove Lids.
Bake Rolls for 35 minutes or until the inside of the roll is 191 F degrees.
Remove. Let them Cool in the sheet.
Frost with Jack and Amy’s Famous Frosting: (which not only is light creamy and not too sweet, it pipes beautifully on Jello salads and other desserts.)


SARATOGA JACKS

WHIPPED CREAM/CREAM CHEESE FROSTING/TOPPING

Amy Blends it in our Blendtec Blender to stiff peaks:

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 tsp Real Vanilla

1 8 ounce package cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

 

 

 

 

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Hot Potato!

Our favorite quick and easy trick for making baked potatoes in our Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker aka Jack Pot!

Is so simple. The best little recipe to try on the go. Does not over cook them or make them mushy!

If you have not done this yet, make loaded baked potatoes now for tonight!

So simple watch this short video now:

Some Other Ideas with Potatoes:
Fourth of July: Potato Salad!
We boil our eggs (in the shells) and whole baby red potatoes at the same time. Boil 2 minutes only. Transfer into our thermal unit and walk away. Later when they are cooked and cooled, the boiled potatoes and hard boiled eggs are used to turn them into our famous Potato Salad!

At Thanksgiving: Mashed Potatoes!
After the potatoes are finished cooking, we drain the water off the pot of pealed potatoes (we had boiled smaller pealed potatoes for 3 minutes) and we put a hand mixer and some butter and lots if salt and pepper and a little milk to make our famous mashed potatoes! We keep them hot and ready until the Turkey and the rest of the dinner is done, back in a closed Saratoga Jacks thermal cooker after we are done mixing them. (PS we use another smaller 5 liter cooker to make the gravy early and perfect, and let that hold in our Jack Pot until dinner there too!)

St Patricks Day: Corned Beef, Baby Red Potatoes, Carrots and Cabbage
2 steps. In the morning: The Corned Beef gets covered in Water and the spices added. I boil that for 4 minutes. Transfer and shut into the Thermal Unit.
In the afternoon: 4 hours later I put it back on the stove. Add the baby red potatoes, and chopped carrots, and boil for 2 minutes more. In the last 30 seconds of the 2 minute boil… I add several quartered heads of cabbage on the very top (sitting slightly above the water line so it gets steamed.) Put on the lid. Transfer and close in the thermal pot for another 4 hours. Serve for dinner with our famous Saratoga Jacks Sour Dough bread.

Seafood Boil:
Throw everything in the pot. Boil 2 min. Transfer to the thermal unit. Eat anytime between 2 and 8 hours later.

Just Drain 20 minutes before you will eat. Transfer back into the pot to keep it warm while you spread your newspaper out and get ready your plates for the feast!
Pour it out on Newspaper. Cover in butter, salt, pepper, paprika, and a nice cajun seasoning. Have fresh cut lemon wedges nearby for squeezing on your seafood.

We love Potatoes!

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Secrets that Wedding Planners & Catering Companies do NOT want you to Know

Continue reading

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Let’s Make Sense of Thermal Cooking Cookbook

It is here and now available to purchase in our online store! The book just arrived in May 2015 and can be ordered here.

Let’s Make Sense of Thermal Cooking by Cindy Miller featuring the Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker!

Thermal cooking has been Cindy’s passion and for the past two years she has worked hard writing the first ever thermal cooking guide book, as she has also been busy working alongside us teaching thermal cooking, emergency preparedness, and representing our companies product line as an independent sales rep for Saratoga Jacks. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and her knowledge extensive. She is currently touring and teaching from her new book in homes, classrooms, and community centers this summer 2015.

This new cookbook really explores all the different ways you can use the thermal cooker. The photography is beautiful and it will help beginners to see the principles of using heat retention methods to save fuel and to be able to slow cook in a portable unit anywhere they go.

 

http://store.saratogajacks.com/lets-make-sense-of-thermal-cooking-cookbook/

 

 

To get Cindy’s class schedule or to schedule her to come teach at your location…you can reach Cindy at letsmakesenseof@gmail.com or at 801-979-3820.

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Jack’s Italian Pasta Salad

SUMMERTIME means… Our Famous Cooker sometimes is turned into our Famous Cooler.

We have often been known to show up to potlucks and picnics with TWO full Saratoga Jacks thermal cookers! One might have BBQ shredded pork, and baked beans cooking…and the other a cold salad, chilled, as a delicious side!

Try Jack’s Famous Easy Breezy summer side dish:

Jack’s Favorite Italian Pasta Salad

Prepare ahead of time: Place your LARGE THERMAL COOKER POT into the fridge to chill it.

Jack chops between 3/4 cup to 1 cup of each vegetable.

One medium Red Bell Pepper chopped

One medium Orange Bell Pepper chopped

One medium Green Bell Pepper chopped

One medium Yellow Bell Pepper chopped

3-5 green onions (including stems), chopped

One small red onion chopped

One small jar/can drained pickled baby corns

One can drained black olives

Set aside ready.

Now Prepare your PASTA; use 16 ounces (1 lb…about one box/pckg) of your favorite pasta! Jack prefers to use a combination of Barilla boxed pastas. He buys three different varieties, all with different colors and shapes, and uses ONLY about 1/3 of each box. His favorite to mix together is the Tri-colored Rotini, Farfalle, and the Tri-colored Penne.

 

Start a separate pot of 4-6 quarts of boiling water on the stove. Add Salt to taste.

Pour in your Pasta to the already HOT boiling water, and boil for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally for a nice “al dente” firm but cooked pasta. Drain immediately, and rinse using a strainer with cold water to cool.

Grab your chilled Large Saratoga Jacks Thermal Pot out of your fridge.

DUMP ALL THE RINSED COOL pasta, and the chopped vegetables into it.

 

Add the rest: Spices, keep it simple, include a full bottle of your favorite Italian dressing. 1-2 Tbsps of Montreal Steak Seasoning, 1 Tbsp of dill weed, and Do NOT forget a container of Fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

TOSS all together in your chilled Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker main cooking pot, and.

PUT the LID on it, and put it back into the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours. (Jack makes it often the night, so it is good and chilled overnight and ready before for the next day.)

When he is ready to go to the park, he pops the cold salad that is chilled out of the fridge, fills the upper pot with ice from the Freezer, and layers that on top to keep it cold while we are traveling and eating it at the park.

Other favorite cold dishes in the Saratoga Jacks Thermal COOKER (or maybe we should call it a COOLER too):

I have made many fresh green salads in the large pot(minus the dressing) and I have put the bottle of dressing laid in with the ice of the upper pot to take with for travel.

Chilled coleslaw on bottom, and Ice on top, is great.

I will buy those huge round ice cream containers and take out the thermal cooker pots and slide that into out thermal unit to keep it colder longer.

Another popular idea: ALREADY FROZEN Popsicles or ice cream sandwiches packed as full as possible in the bottom pot, ice packed in the upper pot to take down to the lake. I am one popular person when the kids from our marina see me coming. They think on hot days, I always have cold treats to share with them.

Everyone Loves our SARATOGA JACKS THERMAL COOKER!

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POWER! Our Epic Failure and what we learned about Generators!

 

WHY I searched for the perfect GENERATOR and found an awesome solution for others too!

Our own real journey to more peace of mind.

From a moms perspective:


This is how I felt when I started looking at equipment that could give my family back up power in an emergency, HELP!
Because Unlike Elsa (from Disney’s Frozen), in real life when the storms rage on, most women are not used to happily living like a princess in an ice castle, where “the cold doesn’t bother you anyway!”
When the power went out and the severe cold in the rocky mountains came to our home, and darkness too, it bothered us all. It was my job to keep my kids warm.

I was clueless about what kind of fuel generator to purchase much less about solar generators or solar panels, and don’t get me started on chemicals inside of batteries, I stunk at chemistry.

So many of these articles about energy off the grid are written by PhDs or someone trying to impress you with their science and math. Usually it is written by a guy, talking to other guys, in manspeak, about transformers, deep cycle, current restriction, circuits, etc, um WHAT!? Ugh! I am a girl…okay so I am going to be writing about my journey to Solar Generators from a GIRLS perspective. This stuff is overwhelming for some of us. We think guys should be handling the generators to keep our refrigerators going when the power goes out! I know that sounds incredibly sexist, but sometimes I am just NOT interested in getting another education in something I was hoping was easy, but probably is not. I already juggle twenty other hard things…do I need a chemical battery degree too? So I guess I thought a husband meant someone who could sweat in the sun mowing the lawn, and look sexy and strong starting the motor. HAHA. Yep, I am delusional.

So what got me involved? WELL, it started with THE EPIC Failure we had with our fuel generator.

I had finally took the dive and I just bought my husband a big unleaded gas generator I got him on sale for Christmas, I figured he could do the rest…right? I would have peace of mind now? LOL! We then found out our homeowners insurance, FIRE POLICY, did not cover us storing a bunch of gasoline in our garage. SO then I thought, well we can spend $1100 and just build a shed and store it in there, away from the house(because money grows on trees for everyone right?) and that is when I found out my neighborhood HOA covenants were against large amounts being stored anywhere on the property, as well as the City Ordinances. When you need like 20-40 gallons of fuel just for three days emergency use, that is expensive too, and now they are telling me possibly dangerous and illegal. A hotel in another town sounds like a cheaper, and a better plan, except in big emergencies fleeing isn’t always the best option. PLUS where we live, the year we were making these decisions our remote neighborhood lost power 50 times in one year! I could not have afforded 50 nights that year in a hotel to be comfortable! MY NEIGHBORS can verify living in the sticks has its own way of forcing a whole new education upon you. The funny thing is I know some neighbors who have shared with me, their entire preparedness plan is going to grandmas(who lives in the city!) because they think their mom is the one with food storage and fuel. Have they never considered, family and friends are thinking about fleeing the other direction towards you? Haha. That could be a problem. Haha!

I was teaching other preparedness measures. I teach food storage, clearly with the thermal cookers we KNOW how to cook without power! I mean I am the Saratoga Jacks GIRL! I am the preparedness guru. I could purify water from a sewer practically, why was this power thing so hard for me?

I had to admit it, I was out of my depth with the whole generator issues. My brain was starting to see the weaknesses of the system I had chosen. This was starting to tick me off, the money I thought I had saved on a good deal for a gift for peace of mind for my family was going to cost me more than planned. Plus, I am one for thinking in terms of weeks, not days. I had wanted to store enough fuel for at least a full week. If I was really honest I actually liked the idea of ninety day supply. If you know me that is a good target for living ahead of the curve. The reality hit me that large scale disasters are not usually a couple days only emergencies, and I was already having trouble with being allowed to store LEGALLY enough fuel for even three days, and it was annoying. BUT trying to be positive I thought, for short term… no problem still, we can just siphon our gas out of our two unleaded gas cars in an emergency. I thought I had been smart in choosing an UNLEADED gas generator since we drove unleaded gas cars. HAHA! Until I realized the new anti siphoning devices on the newer cars made that impossible. We could not get the GAS out! We actually ruined our fuel pump on our suburban trying. ARGH! I need more money trees. Right?

Then the wind storm hit,

it was subzero temps, and the power went out, and guess what? It started out good. My manly man fired up our fuel generator outside in our backyard where at least it was in a fenced yard, but we had some immediate issues. Running that thing all night during blackout conditions was not only stinky, the wind storm blew the fumes towards our house, you could smell it though our closed windows and walls, but worse, it was LOUD! I laid inside in my bed that night with blankets piled on top of us, watching a movie, keeping the kids happy, knowing my refrigerator and freezer were full of food the generator was saving, feeling somewhat successful, but I also was painfully aware all my neighbors around me, could hear our generator. I knew they had their kids that might be in freezing dark winter conditions, no lights and their fridges probably needed some help too, and although I would have welcomed them gladly in our home to let them get cozy with us, and gladly would have let them borrow the generator for spurts of time to save their food that day, my inner voice, the one that thinks about long term zombie apocalypse type conditions started to kick in.

What would happen to us, if this kind of thing went on for a long period of time and people knew we had power when others didn’t?

Not everyone is as nice as my neighbors. I began to think of the fight that broke out after Hurricane Sandy and the guy that was killed just standing in line waiting for a can of gas. I began to feel nervous that our resource for power was itself not only vulnerable to theft, being outside, it was perhaps making us vulnerable too! It was loud, drew attention, and we still relied on fuel, we could eventually run out of. I felt like we were too reliant on the system still.

So I started trying to read about portable solar generator systems. I was drawn to them for three reasons, they were quiet, we didn’t need to store fuel, and I could use them safely inside behind locked doors. I went and looked at them, with my husband. I am not talking about $20,000+ whole home systems. I am talking about portable systems that are $400-$2000. Not as cheap as the gas generators, but when you included NOT have to purchase and store fuel and the increased, profoundly cheaper. There was a couple things I learned quickly. First, most of the solar generator systems out there, the ones that have serious wattage or decent power, are HEAVY! I went to Costco and picked up one that was a 140 watt one meant for plugging in something smallish like a cell. It had only one plug in. The shape of it, sort of reminded me of a bowling pin/torpedo (we nicknamed it that, because when I drove around the thing rolled all over the back of my car, making a loud THUD on every turn.) and HELLO, the worse part, the thing weighed 22 pounds. That is like carrying around three infants to keep a cell phone or a laptop juiced. Can’t take that hiking! And if you wanted something really much bigger, for the appliances like my refrigerator,1200-3000watts minimum, they were close to 200 pounds. Now this may not be a big deal to some people, but that was a LOT of weight for me, a girl with a significant lack of upper body strength, to be hauling all over my house. The weight issue we encountered came from the fact that the solar energy stored as power, was stored in the internal batteries. The solar “generators” are simply put, are solar power stored in “batteries”. You charge them up from the sun(wall and car charges can also be used to keep them charged too when you still have power) and it is all stored inside the internal battery systems, which are enclosed in some sort of an outer case with plug outlets available on the pretty exterior where you can draw the power out again. THE WEIGHT was coming from the typical lead acid battery most companies use that is stored inside.

In girls terms that means, the typical solar system uses same types of batteries inside that are used in like RVs or cars or boats, in one varying degree or another, are on the inside.

That brought about the other problem. What happens to your car or boat or RV or other types of deep cycle batteries if you don’t drive your vehicles for months, like over the winter? Batteries Die. Sometimes unable to even take a charge again come spring, if you go too long. Even when we drive our cars every day, most of us have to replace our car batteries every 4-5 years. This led me to discover this ONE FACT, all solar systems, home or otherwise, the weakest part of their system, that will eventually need to be replaced, is the BATTERIES.

I met women and men who bought these types of back up solar power systems, who didn’t know they had to trickle charge them periodically. A car gets a charge while it is being driven. Their solar generators(batteries) they bought failed because they had just unknowingly put them in their garage or storage shed a couple years ago, and didn’t charge them up periodically. When they went to go get it, when the power finally went out. It was dead. But when they went to plug it in to their solar panel… it also no longer was able to be recharged even. They had left the lead acid battery sit too long uncharged and now it was dead forever. Wow I didn’t want that! I guess I needed a chemistry lesson after all. Which I secretly hated and avoided. So I steered away from making any more major purchases until I could figure out a better Plan B.

So I was discouraged,

and I went away for a couple years, but still keeping my eyes open, hoping I could find a system that made more sense to me. Then I meet a smart man that didn’t talk down to me or in the familiar ‘solar science brainiac language’. His name was James. He had lived overseas in remote locations and had out of necessity developed a battery system to store the energy from the sun, and he told me all about how he made a new solar generator system and he said it was lightweight. Light enough my kids could handle them.

He put the Saratoga Jacks label on it to tempt me, and he let me try it out. (He is a smart man, did I mention this?) This was honestly the first picture I took: A side by side comparing the unit he invented for me to try next to what I had already purchased from Costco.

The 200 watt JoeyPack200 was about 1/6 the weight of my previous purchase and had four times the amount of plug outlets. The new one weighed 3.5 lbs.

 

 

 

 

This is a picture I took in my home with my own Kiddo carrying the JOEY PACK200 around with her.

 

Without getting too technical the ones he was working on had a different kind of battery storage system within made with lithium ion. Basically, It was the same stuff in your new ipads, but LOTS more of it! Powerful, Lightweight, and THE BATTERY life is TWICE as many years as the typical lead acid battery. Plus he figured out how to keep them COOL. He wired them differently to keep them safer and cooler. (Laptops can get hot! It was awesome he had figured out how to keep that heat down!)

So even though I would eventually have to replace it. It wasn’t going to be every 4 to 5 years like the typical lead acid system. I didn’t need a PhD to do that math. Longer use means more bang for my buck. I was going to be replacing it around once a decade, and if we are lucky perpetual energy will be available some day as advancement in technology increases each passing decade. In the meantime, this is the best stuff!


Okay Got it! I saw the LIGHT!

The other cool thing, it doesn’t freak out when you set it on a shelf. It can take the abuse of not babying it as often. It has a forgiving memory. That means, it will take a charge again, when I needed it to. Even if I forgot to charge it all year. Just like if I left my ipad unplugged for months it would take a charge when I plugged it back in.

I am going to include some technical info below about lithium ion for the smarty pants readers, but this is what I learned, This is what mattered to me as a MOM:

I could get a 200 Watt solar generator (Joey Pack 200) that could run laptops and home video cameras and ipads and cells ,simultaneously, that weighed 3.5 pounds that would fit in a tote bag, and was portable. We took it everywhere! From Football Games, to ALL day ballroom dancing events, to hiking/camping, to the beach. AND THESE PICS BELOW ARE JUST A FEW OF FAMILY CELL PHOTOS that LATER became ADS:

 

As awesome as this fun smaller 200 watt JOEY was I was still worried about the higher wattage items we might need in an emergency like Jack’s cpap machine. So we were excited when James created a 500 Watt unit Safari Jack Pro500 that could run most small home medical device. It weighed 7 lbs.We have since found out pro camera news and film crews have used this unit to run their heavier camera equipment in the field. And in a Side by Side Comparison it was more the twice the power at around only twice the weight, and dimensionally it wasn’t that much bigger.

BUT I still WANTED something that could get my fridge cold again, and then run my 1200 watt WHEAT GRINDER!

So James developed the OUTBACK PRO3000 Lithium that could run my refrigerator, run my blender, and my low watt LED TV, plus we used a low watt electric blanket to pile my kids under to keep them warm and the Outback Pro only weighed 32pounds and came with big easy to move WHEELS and a retractable handle like a small piece of children’s luggage.

And no matter which unit I purchased, they all could be recharged by three different methods. Wall charger and car charger(included), or a solar panel- sold separately.


AND THAT WAS ALL I NEEDED TO KNOW! THEY WORKED! They were easy to use. I could move them. I was done looking. SOLD. Yes. I may not know how to string together a sentence about the chemicals in the battery storage units of the Saratoga Jacks Inergy Solar Generators when it comes to the science of them. Thankfully I leave that to the inventor James the Brain…. but as a mom at a sporting event that can keep a video camera going all day long. I am pretty certain I can say, THIS was awesome stuff!

I loved James inventions so much I convinced Jack to work with James, so Saratoga Jacks can help everyone get some serious peace of mind too!

That is not just the story of our own journey to solar generators, it is the story of how this new Saratoga Jacks Solar Generators came to be! James invented them, Jack agreed to sell them, and I am just the mom who was finally happy I found what my family needed. I would not want to be without them personally! Which is why the portable Saratoga Jacks Inergy Solar Generators are the POWERful tools Jack has made available for you and your family now too! I am also sure that with this alliance, every YEAR as we move forward we will only do MORE amazing things!

We have always learned from our own mistakes best. This time the failures led to eventual sweet success.

So when my little ones are belting out the song with Idina Menzel, I can also sing along too,

“Let the storm rage on, the cold never bothered me anyway!”

Sincerely,

Amy (The Original Saratoga Jacks Girl)


MORE INFO BELOW:

THE Generator Units below all come with wall and car chargers.

The solar panels and accessories are sold separately  

We can go anywhere now and keep power quietly supplying our families needs. I have put the solar panels, just leaning inside against my southern facing windows to trickle charge my units back up. I can keep it all safely locked inside in an emergency, and do it quietly!

Recently we have taken the lightweight flexible panels with us on several fun trips….on one of them we literally attached the 20 watt panel with bungee cords to the deck of our sailboat that we rented last Christmas day, when we decided to gift the kids a surprise sailing lesson instead of doing presents. Even when the wind was gone and the sails limp, our laptop was working playing a movie until the wind picked up again. We were truly off grid on that boat and the units performed perfectly.

Our current Solar Panel Options below(If using more then one, they all can hook together in a ‘Daisy¬†Chain’ to provide even more solar power supply then with only one at a time):

Side Note: People ask me all the time which solar panels we use for which units. I tell them I am about speed. A 20 watt solar panel by itself will take about 10 hours in full sun to charge a 200 watt unit. (20 times 10 is 200…the math is really that simple, but unfortunately the sun is not…it can be fickle…or in and out) So for my 200 watt unit I usually hook my 20 and 40 watt flexible panels together in a daisy chain to make 60 watts and I can get the 200 watt unit charged in 3-5 hours, depending on the amount of sun I can capture, that way. If I have a 500 watt unit I like using either 2 of our 40 watt flex panels daisy chained together (to make 80 watts) or one 90 or one 135 watt rigid panel. I am looking for a fast charge of that 500 watts. One 135 watt panel will take 4-6 hours in varying sun conditions of the 500 watt unit.

I personally always go up in watts…and my personal favorites for portability over all is the slightly flexible extremely thin and marine grade 20 and 40 watt panels. They weigh so little and are quite tough! I use them all the time….I love the grommet holes in the four corners..i have used carabiners and bungee cords to string them up. They are just my favorites. Other people might feel differently.

People ask me why I don’t recommend the folding panels a lot. I do. FOR hikers. They are easier to stow away in back packs… but I usually want at least two with me, and they are slightly heavier because of the amount of fabric.

More info about Accessories Here.

 

MORE ABOUT SARATOGA JACKS Inergy SOLAR GENERATORS:

Solar Diagram

Charge your Saratoga Jacks Inergy Solar Generator 3 convenient ways:

1. Wall charge: plug cigarette plug into any cigarette socket on front of unit

and plug charger into any wall outlet.

2. Solar charge: plug solar panel into the charge input on side of unit, red

indicator light will glow red.

3. Car charge: (use the double ended cigarette plug charger) plug one end

into any cigarette socket on front of unit, and plug the other end into

a designated cigarette socket in your vehicle.

 

 

More Technical Stuff For the Analytical Mind:

What is a lithium ion battery anyway?PIA0001000823A lithium-ion battery is a rechargeable battery used mostly for consumer electronics. Because it can be recharged, it is secondary battery. Lithium-ion batteries are not lithium batteries, which are primary, or not rechargeable, batteries. The lithium-ion battery is sometimes called “li-ion.” The battery gets its name from the lithium ion that moves between an anode and a cathode, two of the primary components of the battery. A third component, the electrolyte, completes the functional makeup of a lithium-ion battery. Depending on the materials used for these three components, the capacity and life of the battery changes drastically. Basically, a lithium ion moves back and forth between the anode and cathode during discharge and when charging.

Benefits of lithium ion

  1. Higher Energy Density

    • Research on lithium batteries’ instability during charging led to a lithium battery using lithium ions. Lithium-ion proved safer and has an energy density that is nearly double that of a nickel-cadmium battery. Their energy density is also higher than other rechargeable batteries, meaning they provide a lot of energy for their weight and size. They are lighter and smaller because they are made from lithium, the lightest metal, and carbon. A lithium-ion battery has between 500 to 1,000 charge cycles. It also has a low self-discharge rate. This allows battery packs that power small electronics to be designed using only one cell instead of three. Current research suggests that future lithium-ion batteries have potential for even higher energy capacities.

  2. Low Maintenance/Lengthy Charge Hold

    • Lithium-ion batteries are low-maintenance. No priming is necessary for a new battery. They retain their charge for a longer time than other rechargeable batteries. With lithium-ion batteries no memory effect occurs as in nickel cadmium rechargeable batteries. So, the user does not have to completely use up the battery before recharge. Their charge is retained even after a consumer stores the battery for months.

  3. Environmentally Friendly

    • Lithium-ion batteries are currently considered one of the most “green” batteries. Relatively few toxic metals are used to manufacture li-ions. They are recyclable, as are most rechargeable batteries, provided the consumer deposits them at a suitable recycling spot. Lithium-ions also use organic solvents, such as ether, to suspend the lithium ions.

  4. Uses

    • Lithium-ion batteries are currently used mainly for small electronics. This type of battery is popular with portable electronics, such as laptop computers, cell phones, iPods and digital cameras. Additionally, lithium-ion batteries are being considered for the automotive and aerospace industries.

  5. Future

    • The lithium-ion battery holds energy promise. With possible applications for defense, aerospace and the automotive industry’s environmentally friendly cars, the “li-ion” may be powering even more consumer products in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There are MORE RECIPE IDEAS for your Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker on Pinterest! Our Customers Post Great Ideas and Recipes There and share them! Example:Fall Sample Idea

Here is the LINK to our Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker Board:

Saratoga Jacks Thermal Cooker Ideas on Pinterest!

Thanks for Sharing your ideas with Everyone!

 

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Mexican Chicken Delight

Our Favorite Dinner! We can get this started and into our thermal unit in about 6 minutes of prep time. So easy! Watch the Demo and Instructions Below!

 

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