Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday Message

Scroll down for a link on how to make your own homemade noodles! - it is important!

Are we an ant or a grasshopper?? 

I have been thinking this week about making your own mixes. I always think of them this time of year as the weather starts cooling down finally. I start to think about getting ready for winter. I start feeling like a squirrel, they work very hard burying the walnuts. Are they setting the example for us?? I think it is a feeling of all is safely gathered in. When a winter storm was on the way as long as everyone was home and safe it mattered not how many inches came.

I saw this and thought that we all would benefit by having this recipe, I also think now that we have it why buy it again?

Make your own pudding mixes to have as an after school snack or on snow days which were always family party days

This is handy for making fast your pie crust - make a rice mix - if you wish to try a dough enhancer this is a good place to start.

With the ever sky rocketing price of cereal...

I used to love having these on hand - - very versatile mix - this would save time to have on hand, an easy dessert!

This is a wonderful one with 44 variations of muffins from one mix

Tip: I like to have my dry ingredients measured the night before on muffins or coffee cakes or pancakes or waffles, it makes a morning meal not so hectic. This link takes you to the best collection I have seen of provident living info. Warning! - if you intend to print it is like a ream of paper but the info is so valuable. Joanna E. Banks was the stake provident living specialist at the time she has another calling now but this info is good to have.  I love these croutons - make your own noodles

Dry your herbs...

Frugal idea - - this has a good list and some inspiring info

How are you coming on you food storage challenge (which is it be actively working on your storage)? Do as much as you can by year's end. We have had plenty of ideas on how even with low budgets one can work on this goal. I love hearing what you have done. Try to do more prudent things. Live on less then you make and be actively gathering storage. President Hinckley said do the best you can. Would you be willing to eat in more and the money saved use on storage? Just a thought.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday Message

Vacuum sealing can help extend the shelf life of some of your favorite dry goods! Scroll down for more tips on vacuum sealing.

A reminder: We are working on a food storage challenge to be actively working on our food storage, to do as much as we can by year's end… you are doing great so far!

        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)
        Those families will be fortunate who, in the last days, have an adequate supply of food because of their foresight and ability to produce their own” (Ezra Taft Benson)
        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)
I will remind you that a grocery store carries three days of normal shopping but only 24 hours if there was an emergency. We have all seen what happens here when a snow storm is predicted. Three days out everyone is complacent. Two days out a few people go get things that will be needed. One day out a few more people. The day of the storm swarms head to the store and do weird things like buy eight gallons of milk and ten loaves of bread. Then as the storm intensifies lots now decide "wow, I need some groceries" and go out in the middle of a storm risking themselves and others. I liken this to being prepared. Which camp are you in??

If the store has no bread would you know how to make it? Would you have stuff to put on it? If the electricity went out could you still fix supper? Could you find the recipe? Is your recipe file only on the computer?

We don’t know what hardships we will have to pass through. Being complacent is the worse thing as far as getting prepared. Yes, I know we can’t prepare for everything but that should not stop you from preparing. Also, the trap of "I have a great job, what could happen to us? We don’t need to worry." Hmmmmm... not good to think that way. Instead you should be thinking "we have a good job, I think now is the time we should be preparing." Forgo that brand new thing till after you are stocked up then go for it.

Remember The Prophets have not been warning us to put in storage for no reason, there is a reason and we either listen or don’t. The choice is your's but when something happens and you did not store it will be a lot harder to do so in a crisis 

Hmmm, what crisis?? Your car could break down, all kids need dental work, unexpected hospital bills, today you have a job, tomorrow you don’t or you are 45 or heaven forbid older and you can't find a job or your health takes a turn exercise or not. These are personal crisis, now widen that out to a catastrophe in your area.

Brother Shook’s grandma said the next depression will be different. You will need a wheel barrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread, now that is scary.

When my husband was going to Iowa State he had a part time job as security at a plant. He came home one night and said they only want full time workers and he was going to school and could not so basically that was the end of that job. I tried to make a pineapple upside down cake to cheer us up, well I did not have any eggs and by the way they were cheap back then... but we had traded a piece of Dick’s artwork for some canned things in number ten cans, so I opened the powdered eggs and went to work. Well when it was done it fell apart in a really strange way and tasted soooooo awful. All I could do was cry that I had wasted other needed ingredients on something we could not even choke down....that is the great learning, never did I ever want to be in that situation again. Through the years I have learned so many things from Relief Society, things that not only would have really helped us then but continue to help us now.

So what you learn is also part of your storage, soooo....

do you know how to grind wheat???? do have a grinder??
do you know how to make bread?
do you know how to make a cake from scratch?
can you cook totally from scratch?????
can you make what you need????
do you know how to effectively budget, garage sale and thrift buying?
do you know how to shop for groceries effectively?
do you know how to darn socks??
do you know how to knit socks????
do you know how to knit mittens, hats, scarves????
can you refashion your clothes without spending money????
can you make the worlds best cookies?
can you make pancakes from scratch?
can you make syrup for said pancakes?
can you make jam?
can you you can or pressure can or dehydrate?
can you make flour tortillas?
can you sew, can you mend?
can you grow a garden?
can you make yogurt?
can you grow herbs? do you know how to use them?
can you manage not going grocery shopping for a month, two, three or four months? you should see how long you can and see what you are short of though use the grocery funds to get storage while you do this exercise.

This list is much longer and varies with each of you.

Learning to live more providently is a skill that everyone should learn no matter how good a job you have.

Learn the things now while it is running smooth is not so stressful. 

For the gluten free a few recipes... if this is how you have to eat then be stocking up on these ingredients so life could remain normal as it can be in a stressful situation. I have a friend with food allergies and she has trouble finding food she can eat. this is so good, if you think that being frugal means out of date and ugly, think again! Check out the Ana White website that is highlighted, these are adorable. What? You can’t use power tools? Yes, you can. If I can build an addition and shingle, you can too. Maybe it can be a family activity. I loved how she used scraps. Many times you can get scraps from the lumber yard. Most of the frugal sites I find are younger, half my age, so it means that this is not old fashioned at all.

I want to review using the method I like for vacuum sealing. This is my yard sale found food saver...

The method I like is the canister method. In the picture above you can see the canister is black and you can see the hose hooked to a jar sealer. I have two sizes of these and they are for wide mouth jars and regular jars. But the canister can be any jar from jelly jar, spaghetti sauce jar and any jar that fits in canister…you don’t have to have the jar attachments but I use them on half gallon jars that won’t fit in the canister. You can just hook the hose to sealer and to canister but I just leave the jar topper on the hose and store it in the canister. 

Now the canister has to be for sealers. I have found my seal a meal canister works on the food saver and are interchangeable.

You can see the top of the canister. The picture at the top of the page just happens to be a canning jar but it could be any other as long as you save its lid. I save my used canning lids for vacuum sealing. You cannot use them in canning again but you want to use them here. I can tell my used ones as I write on them like "pizza sauce 2014." When I use the sauce I wash the jar and the lid then I know it is used, plus, I keep new ones in their boxes but new lids don't work good for vacuum sealing.

So I put macaroni in the jar, make sure the rim is clear by running your finger around the rim. Check lid to see that nothing is on the rubber. Put lid on jar and add screw band but don’t crank it down hard. If you were using another jar you would just use its lid. Then set it in the canister

You plug hose into machine and here you just set the jar attachment over the stuff on the lid of the canister. Go ahead and vacuum seal. This machine shows a green light when it is done.

Remove the jar attachment from the top of the canister and then you push the air release button on the top, you will here a whoooosh.

Then open the canister and check your jar. For a sealed jar as in this picture there will be no give in the lid. Every now and again you get a stubborn jar, just check rim and lid again and repeat. If you just can't get it to seal put food in another jar or switch lids.

Absolutely never do powder stuff like flour without cutting a coffee filter the size of the lid and then lay it inside the jar on top of the flour, not on the rim, then proceed.

I purchase vital wheat gluten. It comes in a box. I take it out of the box, it is in a plastic sealed bag, I poke the bag with a pin then put it in the jar and seal the jar.

Why vacuum seal? It helps your food to stay fresh longer as there is no air in the jar.

Never think you can do this with things that need canning....only dry things like nuts, raisins, craisins, dry pastas, chocolate chips, seeds for breads, your dry herbs, it helps their shelf life.

Keep working on your storage!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Message

This might better help you understand food storage...

You might find fruit trees at mark down. We must try to plant if we have a yard where we can plant. It is such a savings later on.

Two years ago when we were having drought conditions and I was carrying water out to the fruit trees, my sister-in-law told me Kmart had some fruit trees marked down. We could only get two, they were ten dollars a piece. It looked doubtful as to whether I could keep them alive, then if I did could they make it through the winter being so late.  

I picked a ginger apple and a plum. It was limited as to what they had left. As we carried them to the vehicle I looked at the trees and thought they were like the Charlie Brown tree…had I made a wrong choice? I could have spent that twenty dollars so many ways on things we needed. They are still alive, too young yet to give me a harvest but down the road they will bless us. Want or need, we need to determine our wants from our needs…..and a huge don’t waste.  

The fruit we have in our yard was planted long ago but helps us now. I wanted fruit to plant instead of flowers on Mother’s Day and birthdays. The flowers would have died in a week but the fruit keeps coming.

I cannot tell you the joy it brings me to see so many of you canning. It will bless you so much that you took the time to learn and there is a bit of a learning curve and learning is a wonderful thing. Having the equipment for canning is something that is very needed in your storage, knowing how to use it invaluable.

I was vacuum sealing this week and my sealer just stopped. I was so sad but I pondered it then instead of throwing it away I opened it, found the problem and we fixed it up and on I go doing the dry harvest goods. So take the time to at least look, maybe it cannot be fixed and yet maybe it can... use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!

I have enjoyed hearing what you all are doing to actively get your storage in for my food storage challenge... I am soooo proud of you. did you even think of popcorn as a food storage item? Not the microwave type, the real stuff. When was the last time you had some? We would read the Little House books to our kids before bed. In one of them their friends move out from the East and when they got there the lady brought in popcorn and they all had fun. Well she said her husband said they had no room in the wagon to bring the popcorn, it would have to be left behind. So unknown to him she sat on it all the way there so it was such a surprise to him too. It is a good healthy snack and inexpensive.

I always read the Long Winter as the first snow is falling. It will encourage you to stock up like no other thing will. Things happen that you cannot even imagine. In this case they got only a small harvest from their garden. When they were warned by an Indian that the winter would be very long, they moved to town for the winter. They thought at least living in town they would have food but it ended up the trains could not make it through till late spring. It was hard very hard. They ground the wheat with a coffee mill. It had to be grinding all day by somebody to have enough to make each day's bread. How that little mill held up is a true miracle. Half way through they ran out of wood to burn. They twisted hay into logs. The family worked hard together to make it through. I encourage you to read it. You will want to have wheat in your storage for sure.…not to mention a whole lot of things.

Why wheat? We store wheat because of it’s long shelf life. A miracle food. When you grind it the flour goes bad in a few months unless you freeze it. But the wheat berries do not go bad they make the best storage food. It helps you to be healthy unless you cannot eat it….in which case you need to be gathering what you need in place of it. because you can do things like this

Gluten free if you have to eat gluten free be stocking up for it…as well as any other special needs.

gluten free I have had this in before if you did not read, do so. If you did read it, do it again.

I have diced zucchini after saving seed for next year then dried the zucchini in dices to use in soup. I also picked dried pea pods off the now dead pea plants to use for seed, also have a few beans that are going to be seed.

Try to think what can you do to build a storage with limited funds. Think what you can do to increase your storage when times are tough and you live mainly from storage.

Are you trying recipes that call for things that you have in storage? Like one of mine is green bean casserole which calls for cooked hamburger (or you can leave it out), a can of tomato soup, a drained can of green beans, a tbsp of dried onion, mix together and top with mashed potatoes. If we have cheese you can top with that. What? You don’t have hamburger canned or chicken or roast or pork turkey?  This is the time to watch for meat to go on sale. Also when you are rotating meat in the freezer, can the stuff that is the oldest. It is still good and canned meat on the shelf as well as in the freezer is huge. I saw Amish sell it by the pint at our little market in town for $7.95. So I guess if you wished to purchase it you could do that or cheaper still you can put up your own. But having it on hand in your storage is golden, means more recipes you can make like what you already cook. Also, as a bonus, it makes meal time a jiffy thing to put together...think about it.

If you get chicken breast for .99 a lb boneless it takes about that to can a pint, compared to the $7.95  that makes it 8 pints to one, provided you already have your supplies to can.

What would you have wished you had stored if you had to live off of your storage??

Do you have needle and thread and the know how to use it? The story of a general authority visiting a war torn area... they would hand out oranges which is something they never got. When one woman went up to get her orange she spied the sewing kit in the suit case and asked if she might have that instead and they gave it to her and going back to her seat others said they expected her to share with them... Can you imagine life that hard? Can you be so hungry that upon seeing the sewing kit you put that need above food? Something to ponder…

So keep working actively on getting in your storage. Do as much as you can to see what you get done by the end of the year. This is our food storage challenge. If you already have it in, fantastic! Look for gaps you might need to address or enhance it or start on your children’s storage as they are going to need to set up life after home. You can always look around you, there is someone you could bless with a case of veggies or fruit or wheat or powdered milk... there is always need.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Monday Message

“When we really get into hard times, where food is scarce or there is none at all, and so with clothing and shelter, money may be no good for there may be nothing to buy, and you cannot eat money, you cannot get enough of it together to burn to keep warm, and you cannot wear it.  You can’t eat money, but you can eat your three-month supply of food – IF YOU HAVE IT AND KNOW HOW TO USE IT." - President J. Reuben Clark (Church News, 1953)

Just having wheat does not help if you don’t know how to use it or are not used to eating it. - using wheat in what you do weekly can be comfort to you when needed.

Learn all you can while you are not in a bad situation because there is a learning curve to everything. When you want for bread is not the time for you to experiment. It takes time to learn to make a loaf that is accepted by your family. if you only have time to read one this is it. Change the dates referred to and put in ours and nothing has changed.  this is good gluten free info research this site research this page too helpful tips here shows pdf for order form from the church

I have been hearing back from some working actively on their food storage and I am soooooo happy to see this. I am proud of you. - this is a good read on food storage

I am throwing out food storage helps to help you work on your food storage goals.

I am often asked where do I get my buckets? I get mine from bakeries and grocery stores that have bakeries. I wash them out really well and I set them after drying so they air dry overnight. I set the lids on and stack them till I have food for the buckets. That way they are clean and ready to go when I am. - this is a great idea for drying your garlic for those who grow it.

I would say that cooking from scratch is a huge part of storage… try making pudding from scratch

If you like make up homemade mixes I have my favorite mixes made up in gallon glass jars.

This is one I always have on hand  here is what I did, this recipe first came out in a Women's magazine. I put the recipe for the mix on the first page and each recipe variation on each page after. This makes a nice little book I keep right by the mix jar. I also keep a jar of the make a mix snack cake mix in another jar with the same set up. This saves me from having to look it up each time. Now back when this came there were snack cakes on the market you mixed it all in it’s cardboard box and baked it. You can do the same with this but you use a baking pan mix and bake in pan, no mess.

I like both make a mix cook books and baker’s flower, check out your library.

Besides the snack cake mix I love the brownie mix it is from make a mix.

When I know I am making scones or muffins in the morning I will measure dry ingredients the night before helps in the morning.

So work on cooking from scratch and your food storage challenge which is if you just joined us is to be actively getting in your storage.

Keep working and the difference from cooking from scratch put into your food storage.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


 I'm working up apples off of our apple tree. If you don't have a tree, look around your town and if you see a tree with apples, knock on the door and ask if they plan on using them. If they say yes, as a thank you, clean up under the tree of apples that may have dropped before you got there. Throw them in a garbage bag, either put it in your compost or put in your garbage this way you make them feel happy for letting you pick. 

These apples are from our tree. When I get through all that I have picked it will be two bushels. I like to put up five or six bushels since the trees do well only every other year.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday Message

"Recent surveys of Church members have shown a serious erosion in the number of families who have a year’s supply of life’s necessities. Most members plan to do it. Too few have begun. . . . It is our sacred duty to care for our families, including our extended families" (Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, Sept. 1986, 4; emphasis in original). 

"Let us be in a position so we are able to not only feed ourselves through home production and storage, but others as well" (Ezra Taft Benson, in Conference Report, Oct. 1980, 48; or Ensign, Nov. 1980, 34). 

"Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year’s supply of food and clothing 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" (Thomas S. Monson, "That Noble Gift—Love at Home," Church News, 12 May 2001, 7). 

Grow Food When Possible 

"We encourage you to grow all the food that you feasiblly can on your own property. Berry bushes, grapevines, fruit trees—plant them if your climate is right for their growth. Grow vegetables and eat them from your own yard" (Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, Apr. 1976, 171; or Ensign, May 1976, 124). 

"Those families will be fortunate who, in the last days, have an adequate supply of food because of their foresight and ability to produce their own" (Ezra Taft Benson, in Conference Report, Oct. 1980, 47; or Ensign, Nov. 1980, 33). I think we all should be learning how to manage how to substitute things for eggs in cooking and baking. I hope you have been printing all the ones I have been putting in the messages and have them in your binders. - many ideas now that the zucchini is coming on quickly. Plus if you have too many, share with others. Besides these ideas you can dehydrate it and freeze it.

How are you doing working on your storage?? I would like to hear what you are doing and what you accomplished this week.

Remember, we have a challenge to beef up our storage by the end of the year! Do the best you can. You know what you have and what you need. Every little thing you can do adds up. - if you need to get started, time to not put it off any longer.

If you did not watch the Wendy DeWitt clips last week you need to do it very soon. It is the best thing on food storage ever! how many of the things mentioned in this article do you do now? Wasting nothing was what they did then, could you do it now?

I was thinking while picking dried pea pods off their dried parent plants, as I would drop in my bucket with a plunk each time I wondered if any of my neighbors were wondering what I was gathering off of the dead plants and if they knew I was saving pea seed for my next year's garden in hopes it would be a better year for gardens and making up what this year gave me.

This year has been lots of work for very little but I am thankful for it and canning it up anyway to stretch things. I was wondering is this really any difference? Did we learn from those who were before us? Can we still learn? It is hard work but when winter winds drive the snow, a bottle of good produce is like canned sunshine.

If they were here they would willingly teach you skills that you will need. What skill could you stretch yourself this week or month?

I have a friend who volunteered at a historic building in her town. She was giving a tour through a room with bridal gowns of the past. She said she got close up looks and they were hand sewn. She looked inside to see the construction, she said that one was amazing and that it turned out how it was in weird ways. I imagine the bride used every scrap of the fabric to make the dress. Could we do that? - ideas here to help you understand. When I was a teen I worked as a waitress. Part of our job was to tip the ketchup bottles upside down to top off others, a good money saving thing. Do you just toss it? Did you know when you have just a little left in you can put a homemade dressing in and shake to get every drop? This is what being frugal is all about... - it is good reads.

I think we should do some taking notes on how you do things.

Don’t throw out a way big dress, refashion it to fit like I did. It wanted to fight me at every turn but now it works.

Please work on storage items. Don’t forget pads for the girls and toilet paper and other things.

I think doing things like cutting you child's hair and that would save twenty dollars. Use it to get that big bag of wheat from Walmart. Fix your lunch instead of eating out even though you really wanted to and stock up on peanutbutter. Hit your needs first and fill in the gaps.

You all can do this and knowing you are following the Prophet and you will be blessed to be able to continue to find ways and opportunities to gather your storage.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Summertime baking

We had a couple of cool mornings this week so I took advantage of it. I ground wheat and made bread and cinnamon rolls. 

Everything turned out delicious and I was able to get it all done before the afternoon summer heat!

I used THIS RECIPE for both the rolls and the bread. I cannot tell you how much I love it!

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