(LDS Church Handbook 2, Section 6.1.1)
“Church members are responsible for their own spiritual and temporal well-being.....To help care for themselves and their families, members should build a three-month supply of food that is part of their normal diet. Where local laws and circumstances permit, they should gradually build a longer-term supply of basic foods that will sustain life. They should also store drinking water in case the water supply becomes polluted or disrupted."
With winter on our doorstep we need to have food on hand to out-live blizzards and ice storms up here in the north.
It will also lessen the risk of getting germs as the flu season begins. Thanksgiving time is when it spreads like crazy.
I have been continuing to work on gift-making. Our weather has been nice fall weather but will soon be leaving.
http://www.simplyprepared.com/kool-aid_jelly.htm - I thought this could make cute gifts. I have made jelly from juices before inexpensively.
I will be making jam pretty soon here.
http://www.simplyprepared.com/whole_wheat_raisin_scones.htm I thought having a wheat recipe would be a good idea as wheat is in our storage. I like how she describes how to move them on the pan before baking.
Do you store raisins??? I vacuum seal them in jars for long storage. I do the same with craisins as well.
Other things I vacuum seal...
Vital wheat gluten
Nuts, i.e. almonds, walnuts, and pecans
Baking chocolate blocks
Herbs, i.e. oregano, basil, etc.
Seeds for sprouting
I have done cookie mixes, dry ingredients, and given them as gifts that way they don’t need to be used right away.
I want to review using the method I like for vacuum sealing. This is my yard sale found food saver...
You can see the top of the canister. The picture towards the top where I list what you can vacuum seal 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 things 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 well for vacuum sealing.
So I put macaroni in the jar, make sure the rim is clear by running your finger around the rim. Check the lid to see that nothing is on the rubber. Put the lid on the jar and add the 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 the 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 hear 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 the rim and lid again and repeat. If you just can't get it to seal put the 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) and then 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.
I felt it was time to review how I use the canister so give it a try.
Speaking of jars, I think it would be fun to do gifts like these…
Jelly jar with a gift of money in
Chocolate bars in a jar
Treats in a jar
Put things in jar to make an apron i.e. pattern and fabric
Dry ingredients of cookie mix
Put a picture of grandparents in a jar
Here is a picture of my grandmother I keep in a jar with a slipper that she crocheted. Next to it is a picture of me as a little one with my sister. Jars are a great way to keep and display family memories!
You could also do a skein of yarn crochet hook and pattern in jar, or hair bows in jar. You get the idea. They will all wonder how did you get the items in a sealed jar?
Keep working on your storage and skills and being frugal and save those used canning lids for vacuum sealing!