Monday, January 13, 2020
"The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah." (President Ezra Taft Benson)
I have stressed on here to learn skills, never ever stop learning. Don't put off learning new skills.
For a year I have been trying to learn the sock machine. It is simple, it is basic, so why then did it take me a year??
I have two ebooks and two physical books and a manual. Why did it take a year??? All were gifts. I watched videos on YouTube...
Some of the videos showed new sock machines, lovingly called CSM for circular sock machine. Some were antique like mine and some were really different kinds. I even caught a snippet on our public TV channel, it was neat to see but didn't show but how they seemed to do them with ease.
I learned how to take it apart, clean, and oil it. Was it scary? You bet. I took notes, one video showed doing this and even though her machine was way different it gave me the courage to do it. It helped but still I could not get it to work. I traded out all the needles, it helped but still nope. I used yarn that was in the box with it. They had wound it into a ball. When I used it things were bad. I had no idea how long the yarn had been in that ball so it had lost it's elasticity. I pitched it and used something I had. Did it help? Yes, but it still wasn't working like everyone showed in videos...so I kept working.
Recently I got this cold flu that I still have and didn't feel up to reading so I rested and decided to find more YouTube videos on the CSM, so I found things I hadn't before found. From two different ones I learned two key things (to me anyway). I knew the tension eluded me and I had been trying to find info on it.
This one video she said it so fast I almost did not get it and had to watch it again. She said to make sure you have good tension to and to make sure that the space between rows was no thicker than the yarn is wide... Aha! Something finally mentioned that I could use.
The other was also said in passing, I almost didn't get it at all. In that one she said to make sure your latches were oiled...nothing ever was mentioned on this. I had cleaned and oiled every part except the latches. It never ever would have occurred to me that they would be something one could oil.
So armed with these two bits of further info, I did them. Still I had two needles drop every round so I put two other needles in their stead and oiled the two latches before putting them in by the way. And it works wonderfully no dropped stitches anywhere and runs very smoothly.
This had taken a year to learn...
This all to say if you don't get on with a skill at first keep trying. I did so much repeating that all I have learned is now well ingrained in my brain.
Now I can move on to another skill. I knew this Lady who would choose a skill like making bread. She would spend a whole year to learn to make bread then move on to another skill.
I would like you to sit and make a list of important skills to learn.
Here is a list of the important ones I would make....
1. Learn to make bread by hand first then use machines. Once you learn by hand that knowledge never leaves you. Equal to this is storing flour (all purpose), vital wheat gluten to go with, then wheat berries (this is when you make sure you have a wheat grinder), and also the bread pans.
My pans of choice are not the the big meatloaf pans. If the pan is very wide the loaf does not go as high. If you only have those then make two small loaves and put them in the pan like this = for more normal-size looking bread. Yes, you can get new bread pans but haunt thrift stores while you can. Talk to relatives to see if they have any. Having extra pans is good too. My favorite pans I got at yard sales for 10 cents each. I even found a Pullman pan at a thrift store that makes bread like you find in the store with flat sides. If this is what it takes to get your kids to eat it then go for it.
I also find that as soon as it is cool, I slice the whole thing. Best is to use an electric knife but if all you have is a bread knife then slice it all at once. This keeps the bread from future crumbling when you try to cut it. In summer months I freeze half the slices as there are just the two of us.
1a. Store all purpose flour in bulk, one five gallon bucket a month if you bake all your needs and wants a month. I put flour in the bucket and put three bay leaves on top of the flour, put the lid on and date it, then rotate it oldest first used.
What you need...
vital wheat gluten in bulk
oil and shortening
sugar, honey, molasses and salt
wheat berries in bulk
oats in bulk
yeast (get it like at a Sam's club) get no less then eight, freeze these but one can go in jar in refrigerator
Then store stuff for on it... jams and jellies, peanut butter, butter,
cinnamon, raisins and nuts.
This would be my first to work on.
2. Learn to cook from scratch, that means most everything, this has some items in number one but you will need sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, honey and molasses.
Easy enough, now you can even make your own powdered sugar by putting in the blender. Brown sugar can be made by mixing sugar and molasses a little at a time till it's where you like it.
Baking cocoa, raisins, chocolate chips, baking soda, baking powder, salt... these are items that would be in number one
2a. Learn to make cakes, cookies and bar cookies and pies with the above ingredients. Here you would need cookie sheets, cake pans, pie tins.
3. Meal cooking from scratch. Some pans can be used from one and two but you want a frying pan, dutch oven type pan, and sauce pans, you can also find cast iron pans from thrift stores.
While the newest flash in a pan item is out there you can buy used,
I would add a crockpot to this list plus utensils needed to cook from scratch. You probably have all you need in this department
3a. Physical cookbooks, plus I believe we need a good library of lots of books, books for light reading and how-to books are great to have on hand.
3b. Now is where your recipe file comes in. Look at the foods you eat a lot of, hamburger, for instance. I suggest canning some and freezing some. I will give you an idea. For example, you have spaghetti one time a week which takes one lb spaghetti noodles and one can of spaghetti sauce and one package hamburger you would need at least 52 packages of noodles and 52 jars of spaghetti sauce...this is the formula.
http://igetready.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/EVERYTHING-UNDER-THE-SUN.pdf - if you can print this it is getting very hard to find but is the best thing out on this.
Storing the basic ingredients lets you do so much more.
Remember spices, you can find them in bulk.
You already know storage items to have on hand...
Pressure canner, water bath canner, and jar lifter.
vacuum sealer with large canister and jar toppers, keep used canning lids for use in vacuum sealing
bread machine, used but not to bake and you need to know how by hand
Learn how to use them
get a sewing machine and supplies
learn to grow food
These are skills and equipment to get... find them used if you can
Skills can also be broke down, like making noodles from scratch.
Make pizza dough from scratch then learn how to make the sauce and then can it.
Canning meats is easy and so helpful.
Learn to make gravy without a packet.
Learn to make mac and cheese without the box.
Learn to grow herbs then learn how to dry them.
We need to be frugal...use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.
So haunt the thrift stores for things I have mentioned and knitting supplies, crochet supplies, sewing supplies, also garden tools, just start collecting.
I am sure I have left out stuff but this is to give you ideas.
When I hunt at thrift stores (it doesn't happen much any more) but I had always done it with an idea of what I needed. One day I was looking for needed items and found a manual pasta maker could be useful. In my cart it went so be flexible. If you see an oil lamp which might not have been on your list, put it in your cart. Be on the lookout for a dehydrator, pressure canner, vacuum sealer, bread machine, so this is the challenge for 2020.
You can do these things just don't let the shiny things distract you because you have goals and are on a mission. Tell us what things you have found and what skills you are learning in the comments.