Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday Message

"We can begin ever so modestly. We can begin with a one week’s food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. I am speaking now of food to cover basic needs. . .I fear that so many feel that a long-term food supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all. . .Begin in a small way, … and gradually build toward a reasonable objective." (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

I want you to begin working on your storage. It is so important to have on hand. We have had snow storms of late and knowing that I have storage and won't have to run to a store for anything is sooooo helpful. There have been huge multi car pile-ups about fifteen miles from us on the interstate - a huge reminder to brush up on winter driving skills and to have your winter car kit in your vehicles.

We must be prepared for needful things as best we can. Disasters will only keep coming we need to be able to not only care for our own families but those around us as well as far away.

Be sure you know how to fix what you store. Also store what you and your family like. It will do no good if you store things no one will eat.

I love knowing how to use our food storage items. Even if I have my food storage binder full of our favorites I still like to find more ideas. - great recipe video using food storage.  - since we talked about dry apples last week this has my favorite recipe for applesauce. - we all have our ways of using carrots here are some for using dehydrated carrots. - meals oatmeal is a great food storage item.

Don't forget you have free food storage you can get simply by taking advantage of what you already have on hand, like making your own orange peel for baking and etc. by zesting oranges you already have and just drying them on a plate. Free! - bean recipes - rice is great for your storage as well. - this is well worth looking at recipe-wise.

Now I have given you lots to look at so try and see if your family would like the recipes in your binder.

Look through your recipe file and see if you can adapt it for your storage.

For example, I will show you a great recipe we have stored around.

Green Bean Casserole

1 lb browned hamburger (could also use your canned hamburger)
2 cans or pints of drained green beans 
2 cans of tomato soup
1 tbsp  dried onion

Mix this all together and pour into a 9x13 pan then you top with mashed potatoes.

Bake in a 350 degree oven.

Now we like this recipe. We can use leftover taco meat in place of the hamburger.

So you take your recipe and see what you would need to store. We have all items in our storage to make this any time. I store potato pearls from the LDS  home storage center. You just add water and everything is in there already I love this method. So if we had this recipe two times a month I would need to do the math. She tells you how to do it so read her method to figure out how much of these items you need. I would need to make this two times a month for a year.

Also she has terrific recipes so if you are planning to stock up read her method. I have it printed and in my binder. She also has videos on YouTube... I think if you did nothing but watch this you will have great information

Keep working on storage and keep learning skills.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Monday Message

Get a recipe for versatile homemade bread HERE!

"I wish to urge again the importance of self-reliance on the part of every individual Church member and family. None of us knows when a catastrophe might strike. Sickness, injury, unemployment may affect any of us. We have a great welfare program with facilities for such things as grain storage in various areas. It is important that we do this. But the best place to have some food set aside is within our homes, together with a little money in savings. The best welfare program is our own welfare program. Five or six cans of wheat in the home are better than a bushel in the welfare granary." (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

I want to encourage you to continue your storage and if you haven’t yet started to get started. Everyone starts somewhere.

It's just as important to learn basic skills. I think if you know how to make bread it is one of the biggest helps. It takes a little learning but in our times we can learn so easily on the computer by just typing in how to make bread. YouTube videos shows you how to make so many breads. - bread secrets - amish white bread, makes two loaves. Get white bread down first then move to grains. - amish sweet white bread

My favorite tip….one tsp of vital wheat gluten to one cup of flour  equals one cup of bread flour.

My tip….I let my bread cool for an hour then I use an electric knife and slice the whole loaf. This is just what I do. I could use a bread knife if no electricity but I like the look of using the electric knife. I pick them up at yard sales. I bag and freeze my sliced bread if I make more than one loaf.

I know you might be saying you already know how. That is great! Are you making it to get your family use to homemade bread? You might be saying, "someday I will." I am here to say someday things seldom come. We need to push ourselves to learn the things we want to learn. The same thing can be said of "I have no time." We need to find the time. Think through what you are doing. Sometimes we are too busy but we are not meant to be that busy all the time. Our bodies and minds need to rest to learn as well.

When we were first married my mother-in-law made bread. My best friend Shirley’s mom made bread. I was going to make bread. So I got a recipe for bread from my mother-in-law as there were no computers back then. I gathered everything I would need. I was working at the time so I needed to pick a day I wasn’t working. 

The day was finally there and I had everything. So I set out in the morning to make two loaves of bread. I set it to raise. After the time allotted I divided the dough in two loaves. Of course, had I known that my bread was supposed to have risen I would have known there was a problem. So in the pans went the dough. It did not rise, not even by two hours or three, no different at four hours. I thought perhaps I should put both into one pan and bake so I did. By supper I pulled it out… was so heavy. I went to slice it to have with supper and couldn't even cut it. I had baked a brick. So we laughed and buried it out in the backyard. I later learned I had the water too hot and killed the yeast.  

I kept trying and that is what it takes. But now you all have mini classes any time you want on your computer. A blessing for sure. Learn all you can and never stop learning! 

Years later I was talking to a doctor and she said that if more people made bread we would have less mental disease, that was back in the seventies….something to think about.

I can make bread by hand just as well as any machine in my kitchen.

That was my goal. As time goes on I have gotten fibro then I discovered the machines I have can do it just as good as I can by hand. I learned using bread machines to do everything except baking was just as good and helped me. So when money permitted I got a mixer that could do many loaves at one time.

So what I am trying to say is don’t turn your nose up at machines that can help. You look at thrift stores and you can find them for such a savings but remember that if you cannot get any of the machines you have the skill to make by hand…so no matter where you are you can learn this skill. 

Now I just picked bread making as one of the skills that would be good to know. If you are gluten free it is just as important to learn how to make bread using what you can for that and to store the ingredients because one thing is for sure - we all eat. - this is fantastic whether or not you are gluten-free. She gives you both recipes this is so handy to have on hand.

There are other skills that help us as well so think what skills you want to learn. Let us know what skill you are working on and how you plan to learn, if it's on the computer or using the library or from a friend, let us know.

If you have a request on a skill, let me know :)

Monday, February 5, 2018

Monday Message

"Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food . . . and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year's supply of debt and are food-free." - President Thomas S. Monson

As many of you know president Monson just recently passed away so I thought it would be a good thing to use his quote. - this video shows how to use several food storage items. I love this gal. Tip: use one tsp vital wheat gluten to one cup all purpose flour to make one cup of bread flour, I do this all the time.

I have these apples in storage and also have my own apples that I dried I use them just the same with same results so if you dry apples and haven’t tried them this way you are in for a treat. - this is good info on your storage as well. - this is a wonderful way to show how to use your canned meat. It is very easy to can meat I love having my canned meat. When I can it I do it exactly as directed for my area and the up to date canning instruction. Isn’t this a wonderful way to fix a meal when you are tired? - here is the recipe she has for the video above. She says under thirty minutes to make. I think after church this would be a good thing to make if you don’t make it on Saturday. I often love leftovers on Sundays.

If you are in Iowa or Minnesota you can call 1-800-262-3804 they will give you any up to date info on canning and actually answer any homemaking questions you might have.

I cannot tell you how nice it is to have canned meat on hand with my chicken. I can just open and make chicken salad sandwiches and also a lot more recipes I have using cooked chicken. Roast? Yes, I have canned cubed roast. My favorite is to use it for making beef gravy for noodles or mashed potatoes or rice. I have hamburger and some pork from uncooked type ham.

Meat is easy to can easier than any other canned item I can. One more thing, my canned meats cost me less than I can get on any sale currently because prices went up since their canning. - here is the recipe page they have. Now looking at these recipes, do you still think food storage is icky food? I should think not. okay, I know I have a lot of their site on here but really I love these no-nonsense gals. Tap on this chart, this is a helpful chart on how to get in storage every month. Totally doable, don’t you think? - here is a great recipe and using food storage. She also shows you the link for the LDS home storage centers which is what she shows in the monthly chart in the site before this one.

Now I don’t often buy food storage books but their books are fantastic. If you were wondering if they were good - yes, they are.  I have been following these gals since I started this blog. I suggest you look around their site and go way back.

It is helpful to try the recipes that they share and apply your recipes to a way like they do to use your storage.

If you plan to can your meat (and I highly recommend it), you will need a pressure canner that has a good gauge and have it checked.  

You will need jars. I particularly like pint jars for us and I use wide and regular mouth jars together. I can get twenty in my all American pressure canner. If I just use wide mouth I cannot get that many jars in, just a tip there.  

You will need new lids. Never use the used lids to can but I save the used lids to vacuum seal my dry foods. Since I write on the lids the date and contents I know which are used lids. Plus, I keep the new ones in their packages even if I only have a few lids left - a safety measure for me.  

You will also need rings. Now, if you need both you can buy new lids with rings, so there is that. But if you ask for rings from people getting out of canning they will gladly help you out. I keep my rings on wire hangers that I took apart and use like a giant safety pin. They slide on and off and are kept together.

Of course, you will need meat so look for sales.

I also will keep my freezers rotated by canning the meat to make room for new meat. This is why I can all year round.

So look up information on how to can and gather things together you will need.

On a separate note, Rachel Martinez reached out to offer us this great information on saving money on disaster preparation, so a big thank you for sharing!

Keep working on your storage. Watch your sales and set money aside to take advantage of them.

If you know you will have extra money coming in, set some aside to stock up.

Do the best you can!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Bathroom Mirror Re-do

We stopped into the Salvation Army recently and my husband came across an ugly as sin mirror, that thing was right out of the 70's with big clunky octagon shaped spindles. I didn't have the vision for it that he did but I'm glad he picked it up because the end result is really pretty. 

The light fixture is from his studio. The light gave off the wrong light for working on paintings so he never used it. He moved it into the bathroom and integrated it into this project.

So I guess my overall advice is to go into the thrift stores and be open to the potential of ugly things! :p

End result is now a beautiful mirror! Well done, Dick!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Monday Message

Diner-style pancakes from scratch. Recipe HERE.

"More than ever before, we need to learn and apply the principles of economic self-reliance. We do not know when the crisis involving sickness or unemployment may affect our own circumstances. We do know that the Lord has decreed global calamities for the future and has warned and forewarned us to be prepared." (President Ezra Taft Benson)

I think there are so many calamities going on all over that maybe we should heed this statement by President Benson. Living within our means is so important especially now. There is more need. Are you in a position to help those in need?

I continue to suggest picking up something for your storage every time you go into a store.  If you cannot afford to do this try to do more budget meals and using what you save to build your storage.

Please do not go into further debt, instead work hard getting out of debt.

Try to learn to be content with what you have. Also, learn to stretch what you have. One always thinks when they retire life will be easy, not so! You will be living on a fixed income in an unfixed world.

Here are a few things that help me - I buy in bulk when I can which means 25 lb bags of flour. If you are not doing this you might consider it. Here is how I do it… I get buckets from the bakery in my local grocery store. I get them free. I wash them well and then dry them very well. Then I let the bucket air dry overnight to be sure they are totally dry. Then I pour the 25 lb bag of flour in and on top I place two bay leaves. Then I label and date the lid. The bay leaves keep from getting bugs in the flour. The label tells me what it is and the date which makes it easy to rotate using the oldest one first.

I make bread and rolls and cookies and cakes, muffins, coffee cakes, pancakes and waffles... I think you see if you make from scratch you use flour a lot. I also store whole wheat berries the same way as the flour. I only grind the wheat when I need, it is the only difference.

I glean apples every year I can.

I also can everything I get my hands on - this saves lots of money.

I dehydrate fruits and veggies. When I have one or two pieces of celery or a handful of carrots I dehydrate them. This drying things has saved us a lot.

This brings me to vacuum sealing. This is huge at saving us money. I vacuum seal things I dehydrate. I vacuum seal chocolate chips to last years. I use it so much I keep it on the counter ready to go all the time. I vacuum seal nuts to make them last. Dry things not wet things.

The key thing is when you do things yourself it saves money. So it may take elbow grease and skill building but they're good skills to have.

We had a used dresser given to us that was not in great shape. We cut it down which meant taking a lot of it apart. Then we made it into this bathroom sink. We used front of drawers to open into a cupboard door but closed it looks like drawers.

Being frugal means spending less it serves us well.  Sometimes we have to be really frugal we use what we put up if we are blessed with a little more we stock things needed ahead like two bags of flour etc this helps to smooth the harder times.

So what skills you learn now will help you all your life. this might give you some ideas for teaching your kids. here are a few things you might want to pick from to work on this has ideas to help you with a budget has maybe some thing you never thought of - more ideas here.

Sometimes we think we cannot manage without ___?  But I have found out you can really live without whatever thing you thought you couldn't before. We really can…

Cooking from scratch really is a huge thing. I know I keep saying it but I wouldn’t if it wasn’t. - has some good things here. - this gal has a terrific site with frugal ideas in the kitchen.

What frugal things are you doing?

Monday, January 22, 2018

Monday Message

Jar mixes for one pot spaghetti hamburger helper, recipe HERE.

"Today, I emphasize a most basic principle: home production and storage. Have you ever paused to realize what would happen to your community or nation if transportation were paralyzed or if we had a war or depression? How would you and your neighbors obtain food? How long would the corner grocery store—or supermarket—sustain the needs of the community?" (President Ezra Taft Benson)

Now the holidays are over and cold reality sets in brrrrrr. We have had very cold weather and dangerous wind chills.  I hope you had storage to fall back on and stayed in and kept warm.

We had a local gas station chain ran out of gas as it was so cold their trucks would not start as they run on diesel which won’t work in these really cold temps. One thing is definitely certain and that is things are constantly changing. Being prepared is essential.

I hope you were able to take advantage of the sales over the holidays and build up your storage.

I received a food storage gift of the hugest bag of chocolate chips. What a wonderful gift! I will pour into jars and vacuum seal them.

That is a great idea for your gift giving. Who wouldn’t love that gift?

As winter wears on cabin fever sets in…. 

Guess who is winning? :p

If you aren’t up to a riveting game of chess here are some fun ideas to battle cabin fever…

With spring still not here and the dull days of winter still with us, get a fresh flower to bring a reminder that spring is coming.

Taking a good long bath can help your mood…..

But seriously this is the time to work on learning new skills….

You can read a good book or two. My favorite kind are cozy mysteries. Or you could read a book on the skill you're building or maybe some cookbooks…

Don’t forget your mending and teach it to your kids as well, the more the merrier.

I am a great believer in random acts of kindness. Look for people who could use a kind act. That leaves it wide open as who wouldn’t feel happy to be at both ends of that?

Keep working on your storage, every little thing adds up.

Do the best you can!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Monday Message

"Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to ‘prepare every needful thing’ (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors, and support bishops as they care for others." (All is Safely Gathered In pamphlet)

We have been given all this for our needs. We need to manage it wisely. We need to live frugally and not waste it.

There is a saying… the woman shovels out the back door more than her husband brings in the front door. Don’t be like that woman. Be frugal.

Remember to add to your list making up your mixes ahead to have them on hand.

We talked in the last blog post about meal planning and how that helps us be frugal. When we are thinking and not guessing, our money goes further. Once you build the habit you can go on to the next thing on your list.

Once you have your plan, you should be able to also have a grocery list. - frugal ideas - there are some great ideas on here as well. - great ideas

On the news they say we are in for a rough flu season, are you ready? They said the best thing is chicken soup so next time you make it, double it and freeze it in smaller containers just in case… - ideas

I will say stick to your list but check your sales and be flexible. If there is an in-store sale be ready to adapt your list. - great ideas here too.

We have covered a few ideas here to get you going. Find frugal recipes, not just easy ones, but frugal as well. And start a binder. Mine is divided like for your recipe files to help you find the recipe easier. This binder also serves as inspiration for meal planning and grocery shopping. - it is nice to have some freezer meals at the ready to save you from going out to eat or if you get sick or to take to someone else who is sick. - these could inspire you. - I love this gal, she is so helpful. - these really are to inspire you.

It is good to find easy and frugal recipes. - you can use whatever store you like or have in your area. - watch this video if you don’t get to anything else...

This will get you to thinking frugal and doing stuff ahead which helps us very much as we all have to eat.

Keep working on your storage, it really saves in the long run!
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