So you forgot to prepare. Or you didn’t believe it would ever come to this.

But Nukes flew and one landed on a city nearby. Worse, there was an EMP. Now you have no power…EVER.

You never bought storable food. You did not get one of those expensive hand wheat grain grinders either.

You don’t even have a mortar and pestle. But hunger pangs have arrived. Its looking very grim.

Damn, damn, damn, dammit to hell you shout in terror!!!..WHAT NOW?


Well pay attention. These few short videos are your primer into grinding grain the traditional way. I mean the REAL traditional way that anyone can do. The process is stone age and yet its still practiced by millions of people across Africa who live in areas without electrification. The women or their young daughters normally do the grinding and preparation to feed the family. It is hard work but an hour of this process can make enough flour to feed a small family. All you need is a pair of stones and some dried grains. If you are near the country you will be able to forage for wheat, oats, barley, corn etcetera and collect enough to keep yourself going for months. Any dry edible seeds will work though. You are trying to stay alive remember, not produce French Cuisine.

Ethiopian Ladies Grinding Maize


Here is another short take that’s just 20 seconds long. Notice the stones? The bottom is large and slightly bowed or curved. The smaller stone is always the one handled for the grinding. It has a fairly smooth bottom that matches the curve of the bottom stone. Both are typically granite or similar hard material although sandstone is sometimes used (except your bread ends up full of powdered silica pieces from the sandstone which damages your teeth over time). See how the grain is slowly fed between the stones and the husk is broken producing the wheat flour.

You are ready to make bread now!

Want a cup of coffee? How about making black pepper, ground table salt or other common spices? Then this video is for you. The technique is pretty simple. You need a deep wooden or steel bowl and a solid metal rod to crush the dry grains or seeds. This is not the same as the mortar and pestle method that Pharmacists use to crush tablets. This process is really a workout and you will note how violently the lady approaches the task. So those cute marble mortar and pestle sets are useless. You need something much more rugged. You see this done every day in Ethiopia in both city and country. After the nuke you may be preparing your food exactly the same way.

Last video. What these guys are doing is mashing sorghum or maize perhaps. This is a process for making either animal feed or for grinding moist grains and mixes. Africans use these large wooden tree trunk bases that are made from a hollowed tree to process foods. This video is actually a bit comical because its men doing the job. That is not very common in traditional African homes and these guys are clearly hamming it up. But what you are looking at is an old fashioned food processor. They work brilliantly and really make you sweat if you are the one doing the work. There are no other practical ways to process quantities of foods for large groups. This tried and true traditional method has stood the test of time and proven to be the family kitchen workhorse for thousands of years. Wish I could have found one with a Mama doing the job to show the best technique. But this will do as an example.

So there you go. Now you are ready to survive a year or two of electrical blackout if you can commit these to memory. Like I mentioned already, these methods are in daily use by millions upon millions of people right now today (not in some distant past). If others can master the methods then you can too. On your first try if necessary. All you need is enough energy to find a hollow tree stump, a stiff wooden pole and mixed grains or whatever edible plants are at hand. And then process your next dinner the old fashion way.