Monday, February 27, 2017

Monday Message

President J. Reuben Clark (Church News, 1953) –
“When we really get into hard times, where food is scarce or there is none at all, and so with clothing and shelter, money may be no good for there may be nothing to buy, and you cannot eat money, you cannot get enough of it together to burn to keep warm, and you cannot wear it.  You can’t eat money, but you can eat your three-month supply of food – IF YOU HAVE IT AND KNOW HOW TO USE IT."

I think it is hard to think of times like that. Dick’s grandma said the next depression will be different; it will take a wheel barrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread…scary, isn’t it?

So, I want everyone to learn to make bread, even if you are gluten intolerant. Learn to make bread out of what you can use, gluten free and the rest use what flours you want and then store the flours, salt, sugar, shortening, yeast, and even vital wheat gluten to use with the wheat you have stored.

Then, if what she said ever happens, you will just be able to make bread.

If you don’t, you could be looking back and wondering why you didn’t while prices were still good.

 As you all know I have been trying to get our storage up on a very tight budget.

 I have been vacuum sealing everything I can find on my shelves, feeling like I need to extend the life of items I don’t normally think about. 

Like today I had several boxes of hot cereals that I put in quart jars and cut off the directions and shoved them down inside. 

A reminder here on fine powders - I cut a coffee filter the size of the jar lid and lay it inside on top of the product. Then I wipe the jar top and put on a used canning lid and ring and then vacuum seal it. I hadn’t thought of doing these that are in my using cupboard but I did today. Plus, someone gave me three bags of rice when they moved and I vacuum sealed those as well.

I want to do some popcorn and more rice this coming few weeks.

If you have not gotten a vacuum sealer yet, I encourage you to try look at thrift stores and on freecycle or craigslist, lastly if all else fails, get it new.

I encourage you to get a tall canister from online to be used in tandem with the sealer. If you do this, you can use any jar that fits in the canister, like a spaghetti sauce jar. Make sure it is cleaned and dry before putting in your product. But if you only have jar attachments, use those on canning jars and used lids. - this shows how to use the canisters, use only dry products. It does not just have to be freeze dried as she shows but you can dry your own foods. - I have done her pin poke method for vital wheat gluten.

These will get you familiar with vacuum sealing.

You should consider these things as part of your storage…

Vacuum sealer
Water bath canner
Pressure canner
Steamer canner
Canning jars, lids, rings
Apple peeler corer slicer
Wheat grinder

They will help you with your food storage. We need these tools to do our basic things.  You don’t have to get them all at once, just like your food storage. Just slowly accumulate. 

Since we have thrift stores and such, haunt those and with freecycle you can request. I even put up a sign that I was looking for free canning jars at the board in our town and I did get responses. So be on the look out. Ask relatives to look as well. They might even have an item on your list. Ask for Mother’s Day, birthdays, Christmas, even your anniversary. When asked this sacrifice to get these instead will help you and your family for years to come.

While everyone is looking, start checking on YouTube how to use them like the above shows you how to vacuum seal. - I love this gal.

Dehydrating -

These are the best, so watch all. You will agree with me this is great.

Apple peeler corer slicer - - I have the kind that clamps to a table. If you cut in half you get pie size. What she doesn’t show is if you only cut through one one side instead of both sides you get rings. My girls used to love eating the long rind, real fruit by the foot. - look for canning groups in your neck of the woods, this is a central Iowa group - know how to grind wheat.

So, these are skills to definitely have. Just as easy as can be to watch these.

Doing your own saves soooo much money.

Until you have collected the equipment, still work on your storage. It is amazing, even getting a little at a time adds up over time.

I urge you to gain these skills. Have your children learn with you. Put these to work in your home, they will be a huge blessing.

Do the best you can.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


As you know I had the flu, lasted one month then I thought it was gone. I even felt normal for one day then got whapped again harder then the first time. The doctor said it's an ear infection and flu, she said it never left so here I am feeling lousy with two yet frozen casseroles in freezer…

So this morning I did a loaf of bread and four burger buns.

I cooked extra hamburger and froze six baggies of cooked hamburger to make meals down the road.

The sloppy joes I put in crockpot.

Sloppy Joes

Cooked hamburger 1 lb.
1 c. ketchup
2 tsp. mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp onion powder
1/2tsp garlic powder

I stir this together in my small crockpot and keep it on low all day.

This will be two meals of sloppy joes and what is left I turn into spaghetti sauce.

I made lemon biscotti, saving what was left of the lemons to make lemon water.

 So this will help get me to a better feeling day, I hope.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday Message

(Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, Oct 2002 and quoted again in April 2007)
"The best place to have some food set aside is within our homes...
"We can begin ever so modestly. We can begin with a one week's food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. . . . I fear that so many feel that a long-term food supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all.

I think we do feel overwhelmed by it all, especially now with prices so high and going higher.

I cannot get much to add when I get groceries but I try to at least get one thing. This time I got yeast at Sam’s Club, two packages which are two packages that are wrapped together as one. I got two of these. 

Did I need yeast? Nope, I have some already but I don’t like to wait until I am out. What I like to do is keep the amount I like to have on hand. When I use from freezer to user jar (which I keep in the refrigerator) then I like to replace yeast in the freezer, keeping it in rotation. I have never had yeast in the freezer or jar in the refrigerator go bad. To me, getting yeast like this is so inexpensive compared to what it does for my storage.  

It is important for you to store it in the freezer. The jar I keep in the refrigerator is a quart size jar which holds one of the packages of yeast, the other bags went to the freezer.

The other item for storage I got was a few jars of peanut butter.

So my grocery budget is very tight and sometimes I can only get replacements of something I used, but try to get something every time you get groceries.

I know every time I go to get groceries the prices are higher and it means I get less but if you have a flexible grocery budget you may not be watching the prices as closely.  I went to price something at the meat counter and saw someone I knew, we were visiting and I looked at the price I went to see about fell over. I said to my friend, wow the prices are pretty high. She said, really, I hadn’t noticed. She said she never looks.

So I guess I am saying be price aware, be aware of what your budget is and how you are spending it. 

With prices going up, we need to maybe find more frugal meals to prepare. I am not saying my way is the only way or the best way. It is what works for me at the moment, which is ever changing. I would love to hear how you do your grocery shopping. If we all share our tips we can all use them.

Because I have a food storage that is like a big pantry it makes it easier for me in the tighter times to have things to make meals with. 

Watch the clip. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been counseled to store food for times of adversity. It is not a one time purchase thing, like going to the store to get groceries is not a one time thing. - online store, click on home storage. I think there are good ideas here that can at least inspire.

I have a dear friend who puts her week’s meals on the refrigerator so she can see, like if she has to chop onion or cook meat, she can see at a glance and chop extra or cook extra meat then other meals will be easier.

Since being sick I have been cooking double meals and freezing one of them. - some ideas here. - note in here she talks about being flexible. these guys have great recipes. - here are more of their ideas. - how cheap is this? because using what you store is important. I think making your own mixes are so helpful. I like that when you have extra time, make mixes for when you don’t.

I know some say it is cheaper to just buy. Well every little bit helps and when you are in a tight budget time, it is good to have ideas on what you can make.

So you want to store things like powdered milk, if only to cook with. I love being able to do many things from powdered milk.

I make yogurt, you can put in recipes that call for milk. I just mix dry milk powder in with dry ingredients, how easy is that? I can make puddings, custards, puff pancake... just anything that calls for milk, even white sauce and gravies.

I encourage you to start stocking up. Can you think if you spend fifty bucks eating out what that would get you in storage?  All I can say is you will be able to handle the hard things a bit easier.

Keep working on your storage. Remember, that lots of storage can be built in your regular stores. Plan menus and the savings will pay for storage.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Orange Marmalade

Who said you don’t can in the winter? I leave my canner up all year long!

If there is a sale on meat or if you want to can dry beans for when you are in a hurry, they are all good to have on hand. But today I made orange marmalade - my favorite on English Muffin Bread.

I purchased the oranges on sale three weeks ago, $1.88 for a four pound bag. I love oranges, so stocked up so I could and did munch on oranges, it was hard but I saved enough to make two batches total of jelly jars and a slice of toast worth leftover.

I used the sure jell recipe. I picked up the lemons on the last trip to the store, enough for the two batches and two extra to make lemon biscotti next week with. They were on sale too.

There are many things to can in winter... potatoes and soups. A pressure canner is one of our much needed tools but on these I used the steamer canner.

Keep trying to find the tools that help us save money and build our storage too. Haunt those thrift stores. If you find something you have already, let others know so they too can fill their list.

Do the best you can.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday Message

Build on your sewing skills, scroll down for a link on how to make potholders.

(James E. Faust, April 1986 General Conference)
“It is . . . necessary that each home and family do what they can to assume the responsibility for their own hour of need. If we do not have the resources to acquire a year’s supply then we can strive to begin with having one month’s supply.”

How are you doing on your storage and skills?

Think of how many times you went to the store this week…

This is a great video, also a reminder to freeze your yeast, do not put it on your shelf. I keep a user jar in the refrigerator and all other yeast in the freezer.

Do not store your buckets of food directly on concrete, they will suck moisture from concrete into your food product and ruin your stored food.

Also, store flour in buckets by dumping flour in buckets, put two bay leaves on top of the flour and put lid on the bucket and write the date on it. I get my buckets at bakeries for free or for a small charge. I wash and make sure they are completely dry before loading.

If you keep the flour in bags and stored together, if one bag gets infested they all get infested. I have never had a bucket get infested.

But you need to rotate. Use your bucket, clean, fill, write the new date on it and put it back in storage. Use it in three years. I have found and used five years out but I like to be sure and rotate in three years.

I make our food from scratch - saves tons of money or, in our case, stretches our money. We average a bucket a month depending on how much wheat is used but I am saying we average, so knowing this helps me know what to store. There are two of us now so if you have four then double this if you mainly cook from scratch. I like her suggestions. Yes, the green onion works and meal planning does save money and puts your mind at ease. You are not thinking what's for supper, which just is hard to think when things are going nuts all around you. So I always thank my past self for doing this for my current self. It is like giving myself a gift but it helps with our budgets as well. - scroll down and watch her video. - it is inspiring to see other food storage rooms. - ideas - so I hope you are inspired buy these women, I know I am. must do homework for you - watch her presentation. someone asked me about making potholders, so this has many patterns and is great for those wanting to build sewing skills.

I hope you got inspired by this to get your storage in and build a skill.

And once you get it in, keep up with it as best you can. I haven’t been able money wise to fill my flour buckets so I had four empties. When we could, I got the four 25 lb bags from Sam’s and the next day filled the buckets. Oh how I ache from that but a good feeling to know they are not empty.

Sometimes if the money isn’t available, this happens. If you put it off just thinking that you have some and you'll get more later, then the putting it off gets away from you and it becomes hard to catch up. It's easier to keep up if you can. Did I have more than these buckets of flour? Yes, but I don’t like to get low. I know the bags were $5.98 each but living within your means sometimes means you wait.

These newly filled buckets are now re-dated and go into rotation so they don't get old.

Keep watching for sales, build as you go. 

Work on skill building. Sometimes that means adding to skills you have learned to help your family, like you know how to sew a potholder but do you know how to make your own bias tape?? - since we were talking potholders. - helpful

So get busy, you can do it!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Monday Message

(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."

Let's talk about this quote… we are responsible for our own spiritual and temporal well being.

We are responsible. I know we go to church and read scriptures as a family, daily and personal scriptures, keep journals, have family home evening, family prayers and personal prayers and we work on our callings and do visiting and home teaching.… these are what we all strive for and more, but we all do the best we can.

If you were visiting us during family scripture reading you would get a hoot. I have Fibromyalgia so when I read sometimes I can make up new words or even say backwards in a second. It would keep you in stitches. It would mean you really need to be following closely, but seriously we are responsible for our own spiritual well being. We too are responsible to help our children as well.

Also, our temporal well being means taking care of our families, we need to feed and clothe and shelter our families.

I will be the first to say things happen. Loss of job, health and all manner of unexpected things. Sometimes we need help from others and by no means does that make us less.

But while you may not be in that case, now you need to prepare for things as well. As much as is in your power to do so you need to be anxiously engaged in this. You may have funds to be putting in storage, you may have lots of funds or low in funds like we are. 

Plan wisely… how can you? 

Let us think - you have ten dollars, how can you use this amount to the best that you can? Eating out, while it's tempting, think to yourself... two hamburgers, well you could have bought hamburger and buns and still more. You could still have two hamburgers but you would still have hamburger leftover that you could make into a soup or spaghetti or another casserole.

Basically, you pay others to fix your meal. So if you look at it like this you would maybe think differently about spending your money that way. So think before you spend. I know you might think, how could that little bit make a difference? How could you spend that money to build storage? Hmmm, you could get 25 lbs flour or two cans shortening, how many cans of veggies or canned fruit, four jars of peanut butter, you see what I mean? So while you have more or less funds, be working on this. Your family is counting on you. I will throw in to this that prayer can help you to be able to stock your storage.

I say store what you like. Just be sure you rotate and watch for sales. Ask someone you know who has a good storage for them, plan any questions you have.

I knew someone who loved a blueberry bakery type muffin mixes they would buy them by cases for their storage nothing wrong with that so long as you rotate but I would say most people might not be able to do that but instead have learned to make muffins from scratch and have favorite recipes. This would be skill building. If the mix purchaser loses income they may think, well that is a needed item what will they do as it is now unsustainable? If they know how to make from scratch muffins and stored ingredients in their storage, they can make the muffins.

Just to get you thinking… If you lost your job then ran out of the mixes would you wish you had collected favorite muffin recipes and stored the ingredients??? Would you?

This is why I stress skill building, staying in budget, and building storage.

If you had no income and your clothes that need mending, how would you do this? Do you mend them now? Do you know how? Do you have the tools to do so? I know I have used her stuff a lot but she has it figured out and if you think only old people do these things, look at her picture she is wise but not old. While we already don’t spend on coffee you are already one step ahead.

I know many will say, but I am way too busy to learn or cook from scratch then I would say busy with what? Write it down, look the list over and see what you can cut. If busy tending your wee ones all day, get them to help you fix food. To them it will be a game. Take time to teach them, it is harder to slow up to have them measure but it will help them when they leave home, like a basic skill account you are building.

Same if you go to the thrift store, you might find a fun bauble and there might be sewing tools. You have to train yourself to think before you spend, play the what if game ….what if we had no money and your church dress loses a button?

Do the spending freeze put that money aside that you don’t spend and when the month is over use that to build storage. It really is about thinking before you blow the funds, like the mother at Aldi’s that saw my list and she said she just gets whatever and gets hollered at later… really, does that promote harmony??

Plan plan plan your grocery list, your menus, your time and prepare.

At the time of writing this for you I am sick with cold flu. While I could use a bucket of chicken and a dump truck of chocolate, our budget doesn’t allow for this. I knew I was getting sick so each day in the morning I feel slightly better than in the afternoon knowing I will only get worse before better. I would mix our easier meals, doubled and put half in freezer and the other half for supper so each day I have done this to give myself the gift of a meal. When I feel worse boo, I hate being sick. What is your sick plan? When I am well I plan to continue to do this for awhile. So if I catch something else I will be ready. Do I feel up to it?  No, I am pushing through it, doing the best I can.

Besides doing this, while too sick for other things, I am taking this time I am to be resting and learn things I am wanting to do better at or just plain learn. I like to learn what I can.

I know I have been way wordy on this but I had lots I wanted to say. Take what I have had to learn the hard way, learn to do and you might not have to learn the hard way. It may be a blessing to you, as life is always full of challenges.

Do the best you can and always look around you to be of help to others as we can make another’s burden lighter.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Versatile Bread Mix

I keep my favorite (very versatile) bread recipe on the refrigerator as it is my go-to recipe. This week I added half cup oats to the recipe and put all in a quart jar as my bread mix. I do up about twelve quarts when I still have three or so mixes left.

Either I make regular bread, cinnamon rolls, rolls, or hamburger buns. The sky is the limit with what you can do. But today I made cinnamon swirl bread. 

I can do bread by hand but this time I used the bread machine. I put one and a fourth cup of water and put it in the bread machine bucket then I dump in my jar contents and set the bread machine on the dough setting.

When it is kneading, I check for flour in the corners of the machine and carefully use a rubber spatula to scrape. Once the sides are cleaned I let it go and walk away.

It takes about two hours in a colder kitchen and one and a half hours when the kitchen is warm. 

I let it rise near the bucket top and take it out. I spray my work surface slightly and spread the dough the length of the bread and about ten inches in the other direction. Then I spray or spread butter on the dough and sprinkle with sugar then heavier with cinnamon and I put raisins on. 

I start at the short end and roll, stretch, roll, stretch the dough until I get to the other end, the stretching gives me more of a swirl. Then I spray the bread pan and top of the loaf then cover with plastic wrap to let rise until the loaf is about an inch over the side of the pan. Takes thirty to forty minutes, depending on how cold the kitchen is.

Preheat the oven during that time to 350 degrees. Bake for forty minutes, remove from the pan and let cool. I throw a cotton dish towel over it as it cools. Once cooled, I slice it using an electric knife that I only use for slicing bread. 


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