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!


  1. Dear Becky, I really like your post and info on how you run your pantry.
    I have been building up my pantry and preparedness all year. I started last December. I am in Australia.
    Love your blog! With love,

  2. i love your blog too annabel good job on working on you pantry


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