Monday, June 1, 2015

Monday Message

This message is a lot about storing wheat/flour. Above is a picture of my favorite wheat bread, you can get the recipe HERE.

"In words of revelation the Lord has said, "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing" (D&C 109:8). Our people for three-quarters of a century have been counseled and encouraged to make such preparations as will assure survival should a calamity come. We can set aside some water, basic food, medicine, and clothing to keep us warm.  We ought to have a little money laid aside in case of a rainy day." Gordon B. Hinckley - this site has very helpful ideas and substitutes for eggs. Even if you are not gluten free this is a wealth of info. - summer is coming.

Why is it important to learn to make your bread? It is one of those skills that is so very helpful to your family, never goes out of style, and is life sustaining.

Dick’s grandma once said to us “the next depression will be different, it will take a wheel barrow of money to buy a loaf of bread.” That always sticks in my mind.

So I say then, knowing how to make bread and storing supplies to do so are worth more than the wheel barrow of money.

I still store buckets of flour. Rotating, I get three to four years storing time, five sometimes, but I really want you to rotate.

At this time of my life I make all our bread, hamburger buns and rolls. And I say we use about 25 lbs a flour a month. I rounded that up. So how many buckets of flour do the Shooks need to store for one year?? Yep, 12 buckets. These buckets are five gallon buckets they hold a 25 lb bag of flour which I open and dump into my bucket (you do not want to store flour in their bags as this can carry bugs plus they can contaminate the rest wiping out your flour supply). 

Lay two bay leaves on top of the flour, place the lid on and DATE and LABEL. The bay leaves keep bugs out. This has always worked. No, the bay leaves do not flavor the flour, but I use two that I lay on top of the flour so when I go to open the bucket I know I am looking for two bay leaves. I rake the top with my fingers to find and remove them, so when I have two I know I got them all.  I then dump flour in my using can. If you miss one I am sure it won’t taste good in pancakes. I then put 25 lbs flour on my list to get. To replace, use two more bay leaves and change date.

I never stored wheat. I am not a fan of red wheat and it is hard on my system. I figured I would have to make up for it by storing flour.

Then I went to a class at Donna Jo Smith’s house. They showed how to grind wheat. I had just gotten a recipe for a wheat bread that I wanted to try. I asked Sister Morris who brought a 25lb bag of wheat to grind (it was fantastic to watch the wheat berries grind into flour). I asked Sis Morris if I could have just enough wheat flour to try the recipe… I made the recipe, loved the bread and told my sister all about the class. I gave her a slice of bread and she liked it too. They showed us white wheat, I had never known any but the red so this changed everything.

I started getting in this magical white wheat... a week or so later the UPS guy came with a wheat grinder my sister ordered me one, she is so good to me

Now armed with a grinder (p.s. I have a manual one from Brother Kruger so if I ever had to, but it makes great cracked wheat) I went to work gathering white wheat, doing the same... two bay leaves on top, placing the lid on and so forth. But the bucket life is way longer 25 years plus. Again with rotation. If anyone has had a loaf of bread from freshly ground white wheat you would never ask why would you store wheat. Wheat berries - 25 years or longer shelf life making FRESH flour when ever you need it. Compare to buying wheat flour it has a very very short life, you should freeze the flour within a week shelf life. This is why storing wheat berries is so important.

I would go to the church cannery and buy bags of this marvelous wheat. The man working there said are you making bread with this? I nodded to the affirmative, he said to be sure to store wheat gluten. I had not thought of this, I had used this in the special bread recipe so I set at once to store this too. If I pin poke a hole in the bag of gluten that comes in a box (by the way if i poke the bag once i can get two bags in a qt jar then i can vac seal the jar) this bag is okay to keep in the jar. By doing this method I don’t have to cut a coffee filter to set on the powdered gluten which I would have to do to protect my sealer.

If you have what it takes to make bread for a year that is a huge boost to your storage. I store many bags of yeast in the freezer. When I open one to put the yeast in a quart jar with a lid, I store this in refrigerator. Then it grows. If you have a slice of bread what do you want on it? Peanut butter and jelly and jam and honey and the fixins for chicken salad? See where this goes?

The neat thing about the white wheat is the color is very close to white bread if kids turn up their nose at the color of wheat bread.

The other thing I do is slice the bread with an electric knife. I do the whole loaf at once. It looks like a loaf you would get from a bakery.  So be watching for electric knives while yardsaling as well... good info more on wheat look at these terrific recipes yum.

Here is the garden update...   

Pictured above are the raspberry bushes. See those baby berries? 

The garden is growing fast as I imagine that yours is. The weeds are keeping me busy.

Last week at church I showed vacuum sealing things like chocolate chips, dried spinach and dried celery leaves, nuts, raisins, craisins, pasta and more. If you missed me teaching go ahead and drop me an email I would be happy to tell you about it!

Keep working on home storage, you're doing a great job!

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