Saturday, January 28, 2017

Italian Beef - Eating on the "Sout" Side

Created on the Sout Side of Chicago (that's right  -no "h" used in South), in the Italian enclaves around the now defunct Stockyards, the classic Chicago Italian Beef Sandwich (pronounced sangwitch) is a delicious, drippy, variation on the French Dip.

You will find it at hundreds of restaurants and food stands all over Chicagoland and at most hot dog stands.  The exact origins are a subject of debate, but it became popular in the early 1900s as more families moved out of poverty and beef roast replaced cheaper bits of ground meat.  Nobody knows for sure the inventor, but the recipe was popularized by Pasquale Scala, a South Side butcher and sausage maker. During the Depression, in the late 1920s, when food was scarce, Scala's thinly sliced roast beef on a bun with gravy and fried peppers was a huge hit.
Like the famous Gene and Jude red hots (a must stop if you're around O'Hare, and be prepared for a line - they are THAT popular) there's just something about the Italian beef sandwich that is unique to the area, and if you ever visit family or friends in the area, you need to try it.

Today, beef "sangwitches" are a staple at gatherings, both family and business, all over the city.  I work in the city - it's a bit of a commute for me, so I have lots of time to see all the many restaurants and little ma and pa places that advertise this specialty and it's not uncommon for a large order of from Al's showing up delivered to the security area in the front of my building for several employees who make a group order. (Why yes, I'll be carrying these sandwiches through the metal detector for you, and I just MIGHT stop at my office first).
It's traditionally made by slow roasting a lean cut of beef on a rack above a pan filled with seasoned beef stock.  Some folks up here call that "gravy", others just call it au jus ("juice" for short), although it is often made with bouillon, and that is not technically au juice, which normally refers to natural cooking juice  Pasquale Scala's  Italian Beef is made by slowly roasting lean beef on a rack above a pan filled with seasoned beef-based stock.

The meat which is normally cooked with a dry rub, is cut thin and served with some hot peppers mix on fluffy Italian bread loves.  You need some sturdy but fluffy white bread, because whether you call it "gravy" or "juice" you need bread that will soak it up without totally falling apart. Italian rolls are the way to go.
I wanted to make some for Partner in Grime, a native of Illinois (but from farm country down south), but it was a work day and I needed something I could do in a crock pot.  So HOTR "Italian Beef" was born.  It's not "classic" and the purists may take issue with it, but it was the best damn sandwich either of us have had at home in a long time.  He ate it three meals in a row, rather than putting some away for leftovers to freeze like we do everything else.
 Give me some of that beef or I'm calling my boyz

This may not be the traditional recipe but it couldn't be easier. The engineers that Partner teams with have a saying about some of the people they encounter in their work:  "if you gave him two hammers and an anvil, he'd lose one hammer and break the anvil".  This is a recipe you can NOT mess up.

The HOTR version of the beef sandwich starts with a jar of hot peppers known as "giardiniera".  In the Chicago area, where I picked some up at a store, they're commonly made "hot" with sport peppers or "mild" without, along with a (varied) assortment of bell peppers, celery, carrots, cauliflower, serrano peppers, gherkins and sometimes crushed red pepper flakes and banana peppers, steeped in a brine, then packed in an oil blend.

To make this I also needed a can of beer  (why look, I have beer!  WHAT a surprise!) and a small packet of dry Italian salad dressing mix.
And a roast.  A nice firm rump roast.  The roast goes into a crockpot, then the peppers (with liquid) are poured over all. The pepper jar is then filled almost to the top with a good beer (light ale style) and the Italian dressing seasoning is added and shaken, then poured over the meat and peppers.  Crock pot it on low 5-8 hours and serve on good bread with the "juice" placed in little bowls to dip your sandwich in.

The meat was so tender, I cut it extra thick to give the sandwich a nice "bite".  The "juice" has some heat from the peppers as well as a little sweet tang from the dressing mix and was the best part of the sandwich.  It may be a break from tradition, but it was a recipe I'm going to make again and again, if Partner in Grime has his say. It made six medium sized sandwiches with a nice little slice left to cut up and put in some leftover vegetable soup.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

What's in YOUR Range Bag?

I have 4 range bags. I own one purse. It's nothing designer or expensive, just a plain black 5.11 tactical pushpack that masquerades as my "purse",  I guess I'm not like some women.

Some women have the little evening bag.

I have this.

Some folks prefer brightly colored shopping bags.

My friends prefer brightly colored ammo cans.
There's bags for a trip.

Or trips that require more than one bag.
And there are times you just need the old standard, "not too big, not too small", black bag, full of odds and ends. Which is why I normally carry just a plain black purse. . .

And one good old black range bag.

Eyes, ears, extra plugs
A high quality multi-tool
Needle-nose pliers
a Pachmayer gunsmithing screwdriver set
an NRA chamber flag( for high power matches)
A chamber brush
Mauser stripper clips
A marker for making targets
Dove chocolate bites
an AR magazine
a snub nose .38
a speed strip of .38 HP,
two stack 'o ammo
Donald Duck Pez Dispenser (single action, 12 rounds)


Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday Night Football

Even at almost 97, Dad is still fairly sharp mentally.  My cousin and I who have joint POA on his stuff (she lost her parents during her college years, and he is very much a Dad to her) pay the bills as he got taken advantage one too many times by scammers, but he still enjoys card games and cribbage and usually wins. He also enjoys a lively debate on history as he is still an avid non-fiction reader.

But if he's had a rough night's sleep, he can be a little out of it the next day.

I call him every night at exactly the same time (yes, that can be a real pain sometimes, but it's important to him).

If he is watching a game the calls are brief (he loves his sports).

Last night, after our usual exchange about our day, our next visit, and the weather, he said (quite excitedly):

"Football is on!"

I asked:  "Who is Playing?"

He said:

"The Green Bay Packers



The Georgia Catheters!"

Parents - you can't make this stuff up.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Not My March

I just shook my head yesterday when I saw clips on the news of the woman's march on Washington, especially the irony of the pro-abortion crowd carrying signs that said "respect my existence". I know I have a daughter, given up in adoption, that is real happy  I respected HER existance when I got pregnant by accident in college.

Frankly, those women have no idea how lucky they are to be an American woman, where we can hold any job we are capable, we can get an education, we can walk freely, and our husbands aren't considered to "own us" as it is in much of the middle east.  We aren't subject to the incredible sexual assaults of Central America and India, aren't sold into slavery as in Africa and our relatives don't think it makes us more womanly to literally cut off our sexual organs while we are children, so there will be no pleasure, only intense pain when we have sex with the husband we don't chose, but are bartered for, hopefully after we are adults and not 7 or 8 years old.

So, all of you upper-middle-class ladies in the pussy hats marching on Washington, please tell me how American women have it so bad and having a sexual aggressor like Bill Clinton in office was so much better than a man whose highly intelligent wife and daughters clearly adore him.

I for one am proud to be an American woman, and especially a Home on the Range woman.

So with that, how to you know if are a HOTR woman?

1. Any salesman that ventures to your place while the garage is open can't help but notice the man sized target with 50 holes in the chest, head and groin area. For some reason, you don't get many sales calls any more.

2. The day after Christmas you go to the gun range just to see everyone's new toys.

3. You don't think camping involves a hairdryer or a portable TV.

4. You know the value of a dollar because you work hard to earn your own dollars.

5. You don't force your beliefs on others. If you don't want a gun, you don't buy one; you don't demand laws so that NO law abiding citizen can have one.

6. You'd rather watch Mythbusters or Top Gear than Dancing with the Stars.

7. Your dog has more emergency rations than 90% of the U.S. population.

8. Your property is more secure than Area 51.

9. You can fix a toilet, change the oil in your vehicle and put dinner on the table for a crowd without asking for help. If you find a spider the size of a Buick in the bathroom you will, however, immediately holler for backup.

10. You know that if you believe the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, you need a geography lesson, but a good pecan pie never hurts.

11. The checker at the local home improvement store knows you by name.

12. The local deli saves up their 5 gallon buckets for you.

13. "Girls Day Out" involves lead residue.

14. You've used a Gerber tool to cut a steak at a fine dining establishment.

15. If the power fails in the local movie theater you can show yourself out with your mini mag.

16. The books on your coffee table include two reloading manuals and a a zombie survival guide.

17. Your knife collection has its own footlocker.

18. You've laughed til it hurt through a Steven Seagal movie and found out afterward that it wasn't a comedy.

19, You avoid opening day of the stores after a holiday, but will journey for hundreds of miles to be at the start of an adventure.

21. Not only can you recognize the sound of a generator from a half mile away, but you also know the brand, horsepower and the kilowatts per hour that it is putting out.

22. You consider reloading equipment as "decorative furnishings".

23. If you need something, be it food, a car or health care, you go shopping for it, or choose a job that provides a means for it. You don't demand that the government pay for it with your neighbor's hard earned money.

24. You refuse to place the word "person" after mail, fire, congress, etc., and instead still use "man". You look at some female Congress members and you could definitely think of another word for them, but it's NOT congressperson. That just sounds silly.

25. When you come up against something tough you don't think "who can do this instead of me", you think "how can I handle this".

26. You've shot and field dressed your own dinner more than once.

27. You don't know anyone that put themselves through school working that voted for a Clinton.

28. If you see something that is a threat to you, you think about how to defeat it. You don't plan on how to surrender gracefully while still looking good.

29. People don't come to your house for "tofu croquettes".

30. As a woman, you realize that for some silly reason you are still considered a "minority". As such, you see yourself as someone capable through your own efforts, NOT as a victim in need of government protection, special laws, and favored hiring practices. You can't legislate respect, you must earn it.

31. You can stand on your own, but if you are blessed, there is a day you can look up into the eyes of one like yourself. Eyes the color of a winter morning, holding all the power and magic of the sky. In those eyes you will see the strong spirit of someone who still believes. Someone who still holds on to the hopes and the faith of past generations, when hard work meant something and craftsmanship was its own value, someone who believes that character counts and actions speak louder than promises. Someone that still dreams.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

To Walk in Freedom

If there is any advantage of getting up sometimes at 4 a.m.,  it's occasionally getting done in time to enjoy a little bit of last light, a short trek around the fields and trees that surround a friends home we were visiting. With a couple hours free before darkness drew a cape across the face of the moon, I had time for a long walk around the area, on some property of those friends. Time to gather my thoughts, ricocheting around inside my head with all that's going on in the world. Time, after travel and busy days, for stillness and quiet, out among the cold and a few trees.

At the base of one tree was the trunk of another felled during the recent wind storm and for a moment I could stop and sit and think, just taking in the winter landscape. Had it been warmer I could have taken a nap there, leaning against the tree. I've done that while pheasant hunting, where I would set my gun down and exhausted from miles of walking, simply lean against a tree with a patch of sun tattooing my skin and sleep. My black lab would drop to her haunches at my side, sniff the air for trouble, then doze himself, twitching to rabbity dreams.

As kids, my brother and I would sleep in the yard on many a starry night, dragging out the little pup tent, and setting it up under the canopy of the apple trees. We'd lie on our backs in our sleeping bags out on the grass, tracking satellites through the air and speculating on the nature of the heavens and why the plain Hershey bar was just better than the one with nuts in it. We were kids, and there were no worries, about death or taxes or bears or hydrophobic porcupines. We'd wake, ground cold and soggy with dew, and hike back those 10 yards to the house, blear eyed from lack of sleep yet energized with the joy of believing that we would live forever.

The woods still fascinate me.To be alone under a shelter of trees is divine. I know many that would not be so comfortable, not truly happy unless they are the center of attention, with lights and music and action. Not I. To drift alone in thought in the presence of the trees and the proximity of the earth is much of what I feel when I'm flying. In it I get a sense of the truly spiritual. Not in the traditional sense, but in the ablution that comes from placing ones self at the alter of the planet, and for just a moment picking out a little infinity from the perpetually crushing teeth of time.

Life is fleeting and beautiful, yet I will fight strong to hold onto it until the last dwindling dawn. I will quietly fight against others that would disparage me and my life. I will fight for those that wish to take the freedoms and liberty that those around me have worked so hard for. As these thoughts unbidden flit through my mind like the scattering of sun against a few remaining leaves, I pat the gun on my hip and am thankful that I am free to carry it on land that I own as a free citizen.

Perhaps why that is why I believe so strongly in the Second Amendment, a part of the U.S. Constitution that did not give us that right, but AFFIRMED it. Was it not the rights of those that planted these lands, and their fathers before them, to carry arms to protect and preserve these plots of ground? Ground that they labored until death to maintain and preserve for the next generation. The land is precious, as is the fruits of our hard work. As I walk through the woods, I rest my hand on the wood that makes up the grip of my weapon, feeling the cold power of its strength, that in turn flows through my arm, emboldening my step. I walk boldly, a woman alone in a vacant field, knowing well that my gun may not be needed but for the day a politician tries to take it from me.

As I turn to head back to home  the words of Benjamin Franklin come to me.

God Grant that not only the Love of Liberty, but a thorough Knowledge of the Rights of Man, may pervade all the Nations of the Earth, so that a Philosopher may set his foot anywhere on its Surface, and say, "This is my Country.".

This IS my country, and THIS is my land. I believe that as strongly as I believe that I have the right to protect it, to protect myself from those that would wish to take it from me to share the wealth with those whose days have not known such labors as I. Selfish? No. I am part of this land, and it is part of me. I have earned the right to be here, and I will rest my ashes in its ancient depths when I am gone, when all the light of freedom gathers in one fierce expiring inhalation, time to go home to glory.

We're almost home, a black Lab looking up at me from her enigmatic gaze as I move towards the door. Clouds move across the sun, water drips like blood but with no warmth, the lifeless chill which bears no kinship with the healing wet of holy waters.   I quietly walk across the leaves that blanket the earth's secret, carrying with me hope, history and the steel of eternal vigilence. I look up to the sky, thirsty roots sunk deep.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Inauguration Day

Four years ago, there was also an election - many of us beyond "less than thrilled" on the outcome. Some of us wrote of our fears, some like me, just had some humorous fun with it, but the day passed peacefully. And  now it's our then peaceful friends and peers that are labeled ignorant, violent, and racist. I won't comment further but it speaks volumes.  Just some Barkley memories for your tonight.

Mom  You're not smiling today.  You always smile in the morning.

Oh please, don't tell me. . . HE didn't win did he?

I feel a hairball coming on.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

How many licks. . .


To get to the Tootsie Roll Center?

 I still feel like death on a stick and need THIS

as a hat but I had to go back to work today.

Yes, that's a scorpion in the middle of that sucker.  My husband travels internationally a lot and on the longer trips, he sometimes brings me home a silly and often tacky gift from a local gift shop (as well as some really cool things).

But I thought of that sucker while my jaw thawed out from an emergency trip to the dentist today.

When you have to start the day in an expensive suit with heels, it can only go downhill.

I had some business that required serious suit-like adult clothing to testify in (hey, the black suit matches my lunch bag that looks like a battery!)  I even attempted something with a scarf, a subtle animal print, draped around my neck since the silk sheath under the suit jacket was a bit too low cut for the setting.  They make it look easy to do scarves like that in magazines.  I ended up looking like I had a marsupial attacking my throat and gave up and changed blouses.  Between that and wheezing and snorting throughout the entire process I probably had all the courtroom presence of a cross-dressing Barney Fife on Ambien, but duty called.
But despite the grown-up activities, I still snuck in my daily Tootsie Pop between, for lack of a better word, "events" (Grape). Of course, I bit it. I always do.  Only this time, I bit it a wee bit early, so instead of the chewy center I got a piece of enamel.

Which had previously been part of my left rear molar.

Recess!  (Revert to 3rd-grade mode)

Fortunately,  it was time to break for the day, so my dentist worked me in, as he had a cancellation.  It didn't hurt at all, but the sharp and rough areas were going to bug me over the next three days.

I did get some teasing about "how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop"  as the dentist and his assistant were of that age that they would remember that commercial.
Dr. E. fixed it with some resin that was the color of my teeth  (C1 and C2 were considered and we went with C1)  I told him "don't use C4, as if I bite another Tootsie Pop I might explode."

Never make bad jokes to a man with a drill in his hand.

As it was just one corner, he bonded the resin to what filling was in that tooth and the remaining tooth itself (after doing a bit of drill work), after building up a little shelf of some sort as a platform for the materials. He then shaped it and smoothed it so it looked and felt just like a tooth. It looked totally natural and cost 1/5 of the cost of a crown another Dentist may have likely tried to sell me. He said it won't last a lifetime, maybe 2- 5 years. With the expenses for Dad's nursing care, I'll take it for now.

This is a Dentist that makes sure there are some actually GOOD magazines out in the waiting room, NOT 15 copies of Sports Illustrated all from the 70's.  I knew he'd take care of me.
Seriously, I have the best dentist on the planet, and he entertained me with stories, while he worked away, about shooting a firearm long range, prone, with his wife and a Biathalon instructor on a vacation.  I could only mentally nod while offering such valuable shooting tips as. . .


With a tooth that looked better than it did waking up this morning, I was out in an hour; some gas for the Truck, then back to Secret Squirrel headquarters to drop off some papers while my lips unfroze (Slurpee--bad idea)

But home soon beckoned, quiet, the Zen of a peaceful Bungalow, a colorful throw rug, a loving, obedient dog who plays with her toys as gently as she does me.

Usually. The floor looked like the back of my truck tonight - filled with mounds of wadded up tissues.
Apparently, the Angry Bird Sound when she bit the Green Pig Angry Bird Toy unleashed something primal after weeks and weeks of  nuclear build up. Sorry Abby - you've lived with us for HOW many months without destroying a toy again, but no more unsupervised visits for you!

She feigned sleep when I came in but I caught her with an eye open.
I'm going to feed Abby, blow my nose (again) and have a glass of wine. Then I'll see if Partner in Grime can come up with a patent for that TP hat.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I have got the head cold to end all head colds (a gift from Partner in Grime), currently on day 3 of unending sniffles, aches, and sneezes.

At least it's no longer in the negative digits outside and the house is nice and warm.

I'll be back soon.

Update:  Slightly better on lunch while teleworking.  See you all tomorrow.

Monday, January 16, 2017

I had to get geek glasses, being in my late 50's now, putting them on mostly for close up work or when I'm really tired.  The glasses do tend to wander away, and it seems I'm forever cleaning all the smudges off of them.  I'm not sure how it happens, I clean them until they're pristine and 15 minutes later, they're  totally smudged. (and this is work mode picture which you would not have seen post going private, if you want to see the hair down makeup on, me, you'll have to buy my new book as there is actually a full-fledged photo on the cover (shameless book plug done).
Picture a morning in the kitchen while preparing breakfast

Partner in Grime:  I think I know how your glasses get so smudged.
Partner in Grime:  I just found them lens side down in the butter.

That might explain it.

So get out your glasses for a Monday morning recipe, sure to keep everyone nearby.
French Toast with Maple Bourbon Butter

For the french toast

Whisk two extra large eggs in a shallow dish or pan with 1/4 cup milk. Add in one capful (half teaspoon perhaps) of good quality pure Vanilla (or any good quality non-imitation vanilla) 3 dashes of good quality Cinnamon, and a couple of pinches of sugar (perhaps 1/2 teaspoon). Slice day old bread in 7-8 thick pieces and place in egg mixture, turning to let a little soak into it on both sides (but only for a few seconds, so it doesn't get soggy). Cook in a lightly greased fry pan over medium heat until lightly browned on both sides.

Serve with maple bourbon butter and bacon

Maple bourbon butter

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup good quality bourbon (avoid anything called "Monster Mash" and costing $7.99 for a gallon)
Pinch of salt

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat on the stove until just bubbling, stir in bourbon, maple syrup, and salt and bring to a full simmer, whisking constantly until golden colored and thick. About 5-6 minutes.

Serve over french toast, biscuits or pancakes. Excellent drizzled over any breakfast meat that goes with those.

There would be pictures of the bacon, but it seems to have disappeared.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Snow Flies Like Ash

The snow flies like ash
Death of water and fire
The sky's white remains
I'm always amazed, when there is a report of a snowstorm, ice storm, hurricane etc, how the stores all run out of basic supplies, because people decide only then to have extras on hand.

I've got food for six months for the family, including the dog.. It might be boring food but it will supply amino acids and protein.  It's portable, because if there were a major disaster, We would likely not be holing up in the big city, but moving everything to the bed of the truck and taking a little known service road along a canal out to a friends farm well West of here.

That being said, there are things that everyone should think about having on hand, for use, for bartering when things are bad for all. Face it, you may know someone  that has a safe harbor for you if there's a natural disaster bearing down on your neck of the woods,  but if you just show up with only an extra mouth or two  to feed, you're not likely to met with open arms unless it's family (who like you).
I have purposely not included firearms and ammo. That's not something most of you need to be reminded of.

How many of these items do YOU have in your preparedness stores (usable, in good condition and easy to get at in one central location) in addition to food and grains and water for several weeks or more and a well stocked first aid kit:

Ace bandages (extra from ones in first aid kit) with Velcro closure.  Elastic thigh strap (from here)  which can be used as a bandage tie or
Aluminum Foil  - many uses, not just barter and making that hat your neighbor thinks you wear
Antibiotics - medication isn't something you can easily or legally stock up on but there are are sources for antibiotics you can take advantage of now and have on hand, you know, for your animals
Antibacterial Wipes - will save water, if you have a little one, ad baby wipes as well
Bag it!  Garbage bags, and smaller zip lock type bags.And don't forget tie wraps, lots of them. Preferably don't throw in the cart with a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey, or folks will talk.
Backpack/Duffel Bags - use to store items, but also useful..  If it's the Apocalypse no one is going to laugh at your Hello Kitty Book Bag.
Batteries - lots of them, and like the matches, keep them dry,  don't forget solar batteries, and chargers.  Pick the furthest out sell by date you can find, even if it costs a bit more.
Bicycle - tire, tubes, pump, chain
Body Armor - don't laugh, if there is a societal collapse or major riot or you have to flee a high crime area, this might be a life saver with bullets from both friendly and unfriendly fire ricocheting off things.  Once you realize you need some Kevlar there won't be any available. Besides the vests make a great substitute for a sports bra if you're not built like a waif.
Candles - those four little scented things around your tub are going to last you about a day after the lights go out.  Try and find some good beeswax candles. Not only do they produce the brightest flame of any candle, they burn about 3 times longer than paraffin candles and do not give off smoke or soot like paraffin. Pure beeswas candles also give off negative ions that attach themselves to pullutants in the air, that then become heavy and fall to the ground, keeping the air cleaner. Beeswax is available in sheets, the family, kids included can make the candles, you simply cut, add a wick, roll the beeswax up and it's ready to use or you can purchase them online (see link under toiletries for beeswax products that I use in my home).
Can Opener - the hand kind.  You're going to feel pretty silly with that electric one, there in the dark. Also throw in a whisk, a ladle, spatula, etc.
Candy (hard), liquor, cigarettes,  tea, coffee.  And don't forget the Vodka  In addition to consumption, check out all of these other uses for Vodka.
Carbon Monoxide Alarm - battery powered
Care for a little fire scarecrow? - be prepared to build one, lighters, matches , have it, keep it dry.
Cast Iron Cookware and a Dutch Oven.
Chargers -  Yes, that Dodge one with the Hemi would be nice, but I was thinking battery powered for cell phone and other electronics
Clothes Pins/Lines/Hangars
Coleman's Pump Repair Kit

Condiments and Spices - Garlic, Old Bay, , Italian seasoning blend, salt and various peppers, balsamic and plain vinegars, and even an MRE is better with hot sauce
Condoms -unless you and your neighbor who barters want to name the next baby after the hurricane
Cookstove - propane, Coleman and kerosene
Disposable Razors and razor blades.
Drink Mix - makes the water less boring, and helps with any bleach taste from rough purification.
Electrical tape

Everyone is bored - card games,cribbage and other board games,  puzzle and other books to read including how-to books on skills you may need to hone
Eyeglass repair kit
Fire Extinguisher - plus a coffee can of  baking soda for the cook area.
Fishing Supplies (if you don't fish, a nice barter item)
First Aid extras (pain  and menstrual cramp relievers, cold/flu medicines, ointments, calamine lotion, etc).
Fuel - for anything you might be using and that includes seasoned firewood, books written by politicians and propane for small appliances ( and extra containers for your fuels.)
Garden Seeds  with garden tools and supplies including a good shovel
Generator(s) - you have to weigh the benefit versus fuel use and the draw of attention to where you are hunkered down, but get the best one you can for your  money if you make that choice
Gloves - for warmth and protection, including lightweight disposable types that come many to a box
Gortex -  and other warm clothes are your friend, especially those wool socks that I bet you only have two pairs of. Water resistant and water proof jackets and overcoats, boots, well made hiking shoes, and waterproofing chemicals and sprays to go with them. Don't just have them, know how to repair them.
Grain Grinder - non electric
Hand Warmers
Hand Sanitizer

Insect Repellent, and sprays for flying insect kills (and medication for bites for those with bad aim)
Insulated Ice Chest - to help preserve and store food
Knitting and crochet needles and yarn
Lantern Hangers
Let there be Light - flashlights, one is NOT enough. Lamp oil,  lamps, lanterns, wicks and lighters
Laundry Detergent
Long Shelf Life Food  (extra from grain, milk, bean and protein stores)- it won't take long for the locals to thin out Bambi.
Mantles - Aladdin, Coleman, long term light use more difficult without these
Mini Heater Head - (Propane) needed to heat a room
Matches - preferably "strike anywhere", the boxed wooden ones will be the first to go
Mousetraps, Rat Traps, and Roach Motels - it's about disease, folks
Mylar Blankets and tents
Paraffin Wax

Pet Food and Medications - extra newspaper and bags for waste and/or kitty litter  if stuck indoors
Plastic Containers - from small for leftovers to a couple garbage pails.
Plastic sheeting 
Plates/Cups/Utensils (include as much paper as you have room for as water may be at a premium).
Pointy! - knives, fixed blades, kitchen type, box cutters and Bandage scissors (the blunt-tipped kind that can cut through a dime or a fruitcake)
Portable Toilet  
Propane Cylinder Handle Holder - (small canister use without this is dangerous)
Reading glasses
Salt  - Prior to household refrigerators and freezers, salt was one of the main preservatives of meats, you can also make that circle of it if you forget the insect stuff and have to deal with Beelzebug.
Sewing and mending supplies, including extra safety pins, buttons, fasteners and good quality scissors and a pair of tweezers
Sharpening Tools  - file, stone, steel
Sleeping Bags and Blankets, Pillows, Mats
Spray and Squirt Bottles  (empty)
Super Glue
Thigh Bandage  - can also be used as tourniquet .  This is in addition to  what is in first aid kit.
Tools - the basics can save a life, bowsaw, axes, hatches, bolt cutters, vice grips, hammer, pliers, boards and nails, screws and bolts,  wedges, honing oil.
Toiletries, toothpaste, dental floss, SOAP, bleach, shampoo and sanitary supplies for the women and diapers for babies, anti fungal foot cream and powder (wet itchy feet would make this experience even more miserable)., fingernail clippers.  One of my favorite multi-purpose products for soap (for hair and skin) and thick beeswax cream to protect and heal and provide SFF15 protection from the beeswax is Morningsong Gardens.  Their products are antibacterial, and antifungal and are available in  small AND larger containers that will last many months. Clean is important, a bacterial infection in some circumstances could kill you instead of giving you an upset tummy.

Toilet Paper and other paper products like paper towels, but make sure you also have chemicals that cause human waste to quickly biodegrade if your bathroom is out of commission.
Vegetable Oil - for cooking without burning your precious food supplies
Vitamins - including  dried herbs that heal
Washboard, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry)
Water purification supplies, including  non scented bleach.  Even having some some simple water filters like LifeStraw or gravity fed systems like the PointONE could be very useful.
Water Containers - small clear food grade plastic only
Work boots - waterproof or a means to make them so
WD 40, Hoppes No. 9 and Lip Gloss - sorry, I can't live without them.
Writing paper, pencils, pens, journals, solar calculator

And lastly - Bacon  - It's the end of the world  (OK, maybe just snowcalypse) but a good club sandwich might perk you up.