Monday, September 9, 2019

Monday Message

"Can or bottle fruit and vegetables from your gardens and orchards. Learn how to preserve food through drying and possibly freezing. Make your storage a part of your budget. Store seeds and have sufficient tools on hand to do the job." (President Ezra Taft Benson) 

So today I did nine pints of salsa - yum! 

To do this I had to wash the tomatoes, blanch the tomatoes, remove and save the skins to dry them...

When the skins are dry, I will pulverize them and use as tomato powder.

Then the water I used to blanch with I put two tablespoons in the bathroom sink drain and the tub drain followed with vinegar (about the same amount) then the blanch water followed that because the drains were a little slow and this is how I clear them (only boiling water) but that was what the blanch water was...whew.

We had some really ripe bananas...

I made them into banana bread, two loaves and a cake.


1 3/4 c. Flour
1 1/4 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Baking soda
3/4 tsp. Salt
1/3 c. Shortening
2/3 c. Sugar
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 c. Mashed bananas
Optional: I put in chopped walnuts

Mix the sugar and shortening together. When creamed, add the eggs and bananas. Mix well then add the dry ingredients. Once mixed I throw in walnuts, you don't have to though some put in chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees. Start checking after thirty-five minutes by poking with toothpick. When it comes out clean it is done.

My tip: let the bread stay in the pan for five minutes then remove it, comes out way easier.

So this was a peek in at my morning.

It was a busy one for sure but the rewards for all that hard work are well worth it.

Little by little the things add up. We will enjoy that salsa in the winter but we will enjoy the banana yummies tonight with loaf is slated for giving away.

Keep working on your storage and on your skill building. This recipe today is from scratch so make it and there you go a yummy skill building homework and frugal too.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Monday Message

"Included in the year’s supply of basic foods should be life-sustaining foods that store well for a long time: grains (wheat, rice, corn, or other of the cereal grains); dried milk, dried fish or protein vegetables such as beans and peas and other fresh, canned, dried, or pickled fruit or vegetables; sugar or a sugar substitute such as honey; some form of fats; salt; and water. Fresh taro or sweet potato, and live pigs, chickens, or fish might be considered as a supply in some areas of the world where it is difficult to store food. Remember that regular use of whole grains is important in building a digestive tolerance for roughage." (Barbara B. Smith)

The herbs in the jars at the top are the herbs from my herb garden that was gifted to us by the activity day girls and I can't thank them enough!

I think hard times for me has taught me to put in a few extra items when I can.

It has taught me to learn skills like cooking from scratch, canning and dehydration, sewing, knitting, crocheting, baking bread and making do with what you have, stretching things...this list could keep on going.

You may not be in a place where you can have animals, or in some places you cannot have a garden, in other places you cannot even hang out laundry, but wherever you live you can learn.

You can learn how to cook from scratch or...

How to use powdered milk. I use a lot of powdered milk. My favorite way to use it is to make hot cocoa mix...

Liza's Hot Cocoa
3 c. powdered milk
1 ½ c. cocoa powder
1 c. powdered sugar
2 c. Walmart cheap brand of coffee creamer powdered

-Mix & adjust to your taste with less or more cocoa powdered or powdered sugar

I use powdered milk in cooking all the time in anything that calls for milk. I keep a jar of it on the counter, it is automatic to grab it and use it. - here is wonderful info on powdered milk, I love this gal.

You could learn ways to use oats.... this explains the different oats. - great ideas. - how to fix the perfect rice. - how to cook dry beans.

So these are a few basic things to have in storage. Having food in your storage means knowing how to fix it. - I love this gal's site, much to learn here. - this will be helpful to start.

Remember to beautify your home along the way. The red rocker and rag doll in the picture above, I both got at different yard sales, both were ten cents each. Keeping things frugal is good too.

Skills are huge too... -  interesting - much info here

There is a right and wrong way to hang a shirt, both will dry but if upside down it won't be as wrinkled.

Find ways to use what you have, here is a yarn storage idea.  

Some of the stitcheries on the wall are from pictures our daughters drew when they were little. I embroidered using floss the colors they used then I tea stained them by...

Covering a cookie sheet with tinfoil. Laying my finished work on top of the tinfoil. I would heat a cup of water and then put two cheap tea bags in and steep till dark water. I actually use the tea bags to dab the water on the project till it is wet all over then I put the cookie sheet and project in the oven on the lowest setting until it's dry. Check in ten minutes or so till it's dry. Take it out, let it cool and then frame it. I would pick up frames at yard sales.

This is how I am progressing on the weird yarn I got on clearance for $1.99 that I wanted to see if I could take apart and spin it. It is coming along nicely.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Monday Message

"The counsel to have a year’s supply of basic food, clothing, and commodities was given fifty years ago and has been repeated many times since. Every father and mother are the family’s storekeepers. They should store whatever their own family would like to have in the case of an emergency … [and] God will sustain us through our trials." (James E. Faust) 

Well I have been in canning mode here. In the picture above you can see the pizza sauce I made out of tomatoes that were given to me with jars clean and ready for the next thing which will be salsa.

I also have some oatmeal that I have been vacuum sealing. If you look closely you will see it ready to be put in jars and then vacuum sealed.

Whatever comes my way I put it up one way or another either by canning, freezing, or dehydrating. I try to do the best I can with what I have been blessed with.

I have been blessed to find this equipment. Used dehydrators (yes plural) I got for three dollars and added trays as I could. 

The steamer canner I bought at a yard sale for three dollars, it wasn't even unboxed. 

The pressure canner I got from a friend for ten dollars. 

I found the vacuum sealer at a yard sale for ten dollars. 

These were all gotten at different times but I felt so strongly about getting them that I gave up other things so I could purchase them. I have used them so much over the years and they have been a huge blessing to us. 

So if you keep looking you will find them used but if you cannot then ask around. I put up a sign on the town board that I was looking for free jars and just lately I noticed someone post they had jars free so I was able to get those and feel blessed. So if you are willing to hunt or ask around it may be of help to you.

This is the right time of the year to be putting up food as food in gardens are getting ripe.

Yes, home production is hard work but oh so worth it...

Tip for canning rings - take a wire hanger and undo it then use it like a giant safety pin and slide the rings on it and close it as you can. I hang it on a nail, it helps to keep them handy for canning or vacuum sealing which I do year round.

Do what you can, be willing to work hard and live frugally but most of all be kind to others.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Monday Message

“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) 

This makes me think of during the depression people would ask to hunt In people's barns for pigeons for food. They made pot pies and would give one to the owner of the barn to insure they could hunt again.

How well would you do if you had to hunt for pigeons and then cook them?

Can you make a pot pie from scratch, not those frozen ones? - making pot pie from scratch is very frugal. - this will help you learn to make pie crust. - this is my favorite recipe for homemade hamburger helper. Store the ingredients so you can make them when you want. Watch for pasta sales and stock up. I put a couple of bay leaves in with the pasta, this is how I keep any bugs out of any of my grains.

I like to keep a stock of spices on hand plus dried onion and dried garlic.

It has been a good thing to keep dried onion and dried garlic, I also keep dried celery. I always store these so I can always make soup as needed.

Knowing how to cook from scratch has been a great skill that has helped me stretch my budget. I wish I had known when we first got married what I know now, life would have been smoother but then I needed to learn.

Here is the progress so far with the weird yarn, it is spinning up very nicely. I wondered if any other spinners thought to try it.  

As produce becomes available dry it or can it or freeze it.

I think if you can find a food sealer at yard sales or thrift stores you should try to get it.  

I have gotten two bags recently of white cornmeal each were five lbs. The packages had a small tear in the packaging so they were 99 cents. I vacuum sealed these in quart jars that I have clean and dry. I pour the cornmeal in the jars then I cut a piece of paper towel or a coffee filter, whatever I have on hand, and lay this over the top of the fine dry ingredients. This is a must to keep the finer particles from going into the machine and ruining it.

Vacuum sealing saves us so much because the air is taken out of the jar to keep things fresh lots longer.

I vacuum seal using a canister which means I can use any jar with a lid as long as there is rubber in the lid. So next time you use a jar of spaghetti sauce save the jar and lid, wash it well and let dry. I fill with product like dehydrated mushrooms, wipe the rim and put on the lid hand tight then back it off and place in the canister then vacuum seal it.  

So any size jar will work though I find not baby food jars, save those for nails and screws.

You can vacuum seal chocolate bars, jelly beans...they all stay fresh.

So this is my top pick: a vacuum sealer,
then canning equipment and canners, then dehydrators.

Summer is a great time to find them, these all add to my ability to do. Tis the way to save.

Don't forget jars. I asked for free canning jars around and people are excited to give them to you. These are all reusable except the lids, I get those and I pick up a box or two at the store. Once I use them in canning, I save these lids and use them for vacuum sealing. No waste!

Try first to acquire things frugally. If you are unable then when you can. Consider giving gifts in vac sealed jars.

Keep working on these things as you can.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Monday Message

"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)  

I think this is something to ponder. We don't like to think anything bad could happen and that everything will go along just as it is, that we can always go to the market as we always have but part of being prepared is thinking ahead and asking what if??

Would it be so bad to know some skills? What could it hurt to learn them? What could it hurt to have some food stored??

Just something to ponder about.

Mary Ann shared this site with us... Thanks for sharing with us all!

It goes right into knowing how to cook from scratch. This is an easy skill to learn. Teach it to your children then you can rest assured they will be able to cook for themselves.

I have been working on my spinning skill...

So when I saw this weird yarn on clearance I wondered if I could spin it??

The answer is yes, I can, as you see here. So I am building this skill and on the cheap with this stuff for sure.

Do I NEED to know how to spin? No...but I want to enhance this skill. I may never HAVE to ever use this skill but I can tell you it is so calming and relaxes me, I enjoy it. Yes, I can spin the yarn I need to make a scarf so that is a good thing. We should do things that bring us joy as opposed to doing things that don't bring us joy.

I think to be constantly learning is a very good thing.

I do think there are basic skills that if we build them they would improve our lives and the lives of others.

I do think there are skills that could save us money. Knowing how to do them could be a blessing.

Learning how to live within our means and being content are two great things one can work on.

Knowing how to darn a hole in a sock or to mend clothing is big.

The more we know how to do for ourselves the better off we are.  We all don't have to know everything but know the important few can make a huge difference.

I know we are busy. These days seem so much busier than the "good old days" we hear about. It makes me wish for less busy days. But maybe the skill here is how to slow up a little and catch our breath. Not a skill I have mastered yet. I will keep working on it.

I do think having hard times for me has taught me so much more than I could have learned any other way.

Sometimes what we think maybe wasn't a blessing ends up being a huge blessing.  

What things can you learn this week?

Share with us what you are working on, we would love to hear!

Monday, August 5, 2019

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) 

I think this is a wonderful blessing.  

I picked up this stitchery a yard sale framed for one dollar twenty years or more ago. Someone labored lovingly over this, only fitting it should be on display.

Prepare for every needful thing is all encompassing and we can get easily overwhelmed but remember slow and steady. I cannot state it enough - do not go into debt for your storage!

I had three empty buckets I had cleaned and waiting. I thought about what to put in them and decided on flour. I dump the flour in and then I put three bay leaves on top of the flour and put on the lid, then I write the date and label it and put it into rotation.

I did some vacuum sealing too. I had gotten white cornmeal out of the damage cart. They had a bit torn on the package of a five pound bag for 99 cents. I got two packages a week apart. So pick up a little here and there it does add up. So for $1.98 I got ten lbs of white cornmeal.

This week I harvested my herbs and will be doing so again as they grow more. If you saw a few blogs back, the activity day girls and their leader and family built and made us a wonderful herb garden and delivered it to us. It had cute painted rocks and was just perfect. Here are those herbs...

Remember to work on your skill building...

This is the best recipe for bread! My friend Liza has tweaked it and said we could share with all of you this little cookbook she made using one recipe with many variations. It is my favorite! Once I made a loaf in the machine and did one by hand and they turned out just the same. So if you do not have a bread machine, you can still do it by hand. 

(Don't forget you can click on images to make them bigger!)

Thank you Liza for sharing with us all!!
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