Monday, August 28, 2017

Monday Message

"Home storage should consist of a year’s supply of basic food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel. After this goal is reached, emergency and expanded storage is desirable.” (Barbara B. Smith)

"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)

Do you know how to can? Do you have canning supplies? Did you know in Iowa and Minnesota there is a homemaking number you can get information on it? Actually on any homemaking question but they are so helpful with pounds of pressure and times, here is the number: 1-800-262-3804 put this number on your fridge if you live in these two states.

Tools needed for canning:

Elbow grease and a willingness to put some hard work into this skill.

Water bath or steamer canner

Jar lifter

Pressure canner - be sure gauge is accurate and if it has a rubber gasket make sure it is fresh not hard.

A lid lifter is a very cheap but much loved tool it i.e. a plastic stick with magnet on the end of it, it isn’t necessary but it helps you not burn your fingers.

Canning jars, rings, new lids -- yes NEW lids -- you cannot use used lids when canning but don’t throw them away as you can use them for vacuum sealing. You can ask around for free jars to help you keep costs down. - nothing tastes better than canned beef. It must be done in pressure cooker. Here you see the one I have I can get 20 to 21 pints in it at once. - canning chicken to me is the easiest to can. Having canned meat on hand is so wonderful. It tastes so much more yummier than the tin can kind. The hardest part of canning your meat is not using it for every meal because it is so convenient. You have it ready to make chicken salad, a casserole is ready in minutes, it's fantastic in gravy, or just open and dump it in a pan and heat. The meats I have canned are cheaper than now as they were on sale ingredients, chicken or beef or pork, no other ingredients. When you can meats you must use a pressure canner.

Can your own veggies. You have no chemicals and on these I will take off ring and lid and microwave the jar. Pretty easy. Of course, you can always dump it in a pan and heat if you wanted to. Veggies most call for pressure canning

I use a steamer canner for pizza sauce and jams

I would say having the canning skill is right up there with baking bread and sewing and cooking from scratch.

Did you know that you can can dried beans to have them on hand for fast fix meals? You can also can soups.

The Ball blue book is what I use. They put them out every year I think. You can find them next to canning supplies or in bookstores or online. Count it as part of your supplies. It has a freezing section in it too.

Canning saves money.

Home production has saved us much money over the years.  I cannot stress enough that you need to follow current directions and if you have questions call that number above or your own state’s extension number be sure to ask what the times and pressure for your area my times and pressure is different then a town seventeen miles away due to our elevation and they say Iowa is flat ha!

Don’t rule out vac sealing dry items to keep longer….

Remember, it is very easy to dehydrate your veggies and fruits too.

This is the time as your garden is putting out produce or you can find it at a cheaper price.

This is the time of year we keep our gadgets and tools busy in home production.

Our grandmothers canned. My own grandmother had six kids and after working all day at the family saw mill she would glean corn in a field and then can it for her family. These dear ones set an example for us.

President Spencer W. Kimball - "The little gardens and a few trees are very valuable. I remember when the sisters used to say, `well, but we could buy it at the store a lot cheaper than we could put it up.' But that isn't quite the answer, is it, Sister Spafford?
Because there will become a time when there isn't a store." General Conference April 1974.

This quote speaks volumes. See why learning these skills is so very important? We have the ability to learn anything we want by turning on our computers. Are we going to not build the skills because of the ease of learning or procrastination? Some day it won’t be as easy to learn. It is better to learn now when your need might not be so urgent.

"Brethren, 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... I do not predict any impending disaster ... yet prudence should govern our lives ... We can begin with a one week food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. I am speaking now of food to cover basic needs. ... I fear that so many feel that a long-term supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all.  Begin in a small way... gradually build toward a reasonable objective." Gordon B. Hinckley, Priesthood Session, October 2002.

Do the best you can, even a little adds up in time. Continue to learn. We are never too old, too busy, too rich to learn. Life is one of our dear teachers.

Be kind to others. Always do the best you can.

Monday, August 21, 2017

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)

"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)

 I have mentioned before that 39 years ago or there about we lived in South Dakota and there was a truckers strike and everything came in by trucking. Back then stores stored more than they do now. If a big emergency happened now the stores only have 24 hours of food.

I know (really I do) when times are tight it is hard to work on getting in storage but even if you can pick up one thing at a time it will add up.

Building our skills help our family…

For example, my making our bread saves about seven dollars a month. Actually, that is not counting gas. I know, how many times have you said, "seven dollars, no big deal." But if you take that for the whole year you are saving roughly $84. Now I can think of a lot of storage I could get for that amount of money, but even if you could only stretch your budget that helps. Little savings add up to the ability to make do. Really, who can pass up these?

Cooking from scratch saves us money and allows us to make do. In tight times we might not be able to stick much away but it is taking what income we have and making it work. It helps smooth rough times.

Yard sales and buying used has really helped us over the years with school clothes and winter gear and clothes for us, dehydrators, food savers - yes, plural - and most are like new. One food saver was still in its package. We have gotten oil lamps, toys, blenders, mixers, popcorn poppers, crockpots, furniture, serger, sewing machines, knitting machine, sewing and knitting notions, even basket making supplies, and many other things that have made us able to make it through tough times. Was it hard to go to yard sales? Yes, physically, but it was well worth it. Was it hard with kids? Yes, but those kids are now thrifty shoppers as well, a skill passed on to them.

When I went to yard sales I was armed with a list. I also had in my mind things that would help us put up food, sew or mend, notions to be able to knit warm sweaters, scarves, etc. Here again, little by little I built up things that have helped us and yet continue to help us. For example, I got these knitting needles for a dime. Look at the very old price at the top. Can’t find them for that price new any longer.

So when you are thinking to get something new, think used and look around.

I know I push skills, especially sewing. Many times I had been asked to mend for pay. It was a blessing that helped us to stretch our funds, always paying tithing on it seemed to make it all the more helpful. - there are many great ideas in here.

Freecycle and yardsales and destashings helps with sewing fabrics and notions.

I think she has great ideas. There are lots of refashioning and re-purposing. I know of someone who makes underwear from found t-shirts. Just picture a girl's t-shirt with polka dots. How cute? Believe me when I tell you they are so easy to make. I will ever be grateful to a sewing teacher who taught me. I made my girlies panties but back then, never thought of t-shirts for the fabric. - don’t let her title throw you off, scroll down to see underwear she made from t-shirts. I love the crochet flower then go ahead and read about the zucchini flowers, identifies male and female blossoms, who knew! - I was lucky to have a landlady who showed me. - did you know cooking in cast iron helps with your iron level? Doctors recommend using them. - I know I said this before but these are items you will be looking for. - I know I keep bringing this up but every little thing adds up to bigger things, learn to patch everything. - this works great, I have got a free huge Quiesenart pan because it was slightly burned, sparkles like new now.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday Message

Scroll down for a GREAT recipe for waffles/pancakes.
"Our bishops storehouses are not intended to stock enough commodities to care for all the members of the Church. Storehouses are only established to care for the poor and the needy. For this reason, members of the Church have been instructed to personally store a year’s supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel. By following this counsel, most members will be prepared and able to care for themselves and their family members, and be able to share with others as may be needed.” (President Ezra Taft Benson)

"Start now to create a plan if you don’t already have one, or update your present plan. Watch for best buys that will fit into your year’s supply. We are not in a situation that requires panic buying, but we do need to be careful in purchasing and rotating the storage that we’re putting away. The instability in the world today makes it imperative that we take heed of the counsel and prepare for the future.” (L. Tom Perry)

What is your plan??? Yesterday I was listening to the news while doing a chore and this grabbed my attention…. they were talking about what is happening in Venezuela. They were talking to a carpenter, which is a good job, he showed his rib cage then opened his refrigerator and there was very little in it. He eats two meals a day if he can and tries to space it out. He said he used to have his refrigerator full of meat and vegetables but no more. They talked to a woman holding a plantain, which I looked up is a cooking banana. She held it up and said it cost what her house did twenty years ago. They showed many many people lined up to get a loaf of bread. They showed the sellers don’t even bother to count the money instead they weigh it cause it is so much to purchase. There was a man standing in line to buy something and in just the time it took to talk to the reporter the price increased. They use their retirement to find anything to eat.

This is their reality at this time. I am sure they might at one time have said that it couldn’t happen to them. We never know what could happen. No one can know the future. I guess that is why we need to be prepared and the best time to prepare is before something happens.

Our fortunes can change in a second. Then you will need to rely on the skills you developed as well. How are you coming on your skill building?

This pic shows the tube I made and learned dying when my sister was here.

This shows what it looks like rolled up and ready to use.

I used an old Barbie knitter I bought for .75 at a yard sale.  You can see I am using the tube that I made and dyed as a sock blank I am knitting directly from the tube.

Here you can see I am knitting a heel trying to master a different kind heel.

Success in completing the heel.

Finished the sock. It is on a sock blocker I got for a dime at a yard sale.

This is what I have been working on. I also am getting faster, not only from learning the continental method but the more I do the faster I am getting.

I would love to hear what skills you are learning.

I have a new favorite waffle and pancake recipe. I got this recipe from a friend who said it originally came from a cookbook by Tasha Tudor by her grandson Winslow Tudor.  My friend made a change to it that makes it faster to fix. You can do this with one you might have as a favorite recipe. She puts all the dry ingredients in jars ahead so you have this on shelf waiting when you are ready.

Here I am making jars of this waffle/pancake mix up to have ready.

I made small waffles and cooked all the batter. I made and froze the little waffles so I could pop them in the toaster.

Waffle & Pancake Mix (this is just one pint, for larger families double this and put in a quart jar)

1 1/2c flour
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar

This goes into the jar. I just made up six pints this time but how handy is this?

To make…

1 ½ c milk
4 tbsp melted butter
2 eggs

Mix and drop in contents of jar.

This was very good!

I like the idea of having the jars up ahead of time. Also like having the little waffles for toaster and pancakes if one wished.

How are you coming on building your storage? We had a sale on mushrooms at our Aldi’s store for .69 per 8 oz container I picked up ten.

I put the sliced mushrooms in the dehydrator. I washed the mushrooms and used an egg slicer I had purchased at a yard sale long ago.

This shows what the mushroom looks after slicing

Ten packages filled my dehydrator totally up.

Next to the on sale mushrooms were the same but already sliced they where 1.69 for same size containers. So by slicing my own I saved ten dollars, wow that was so amazing!!  It took me less then half an hour to wash, slice, and load the dehydrator. We love mushrooms. This is a good and easy storage item costing $6.90 and by doing my own slicing it did not cost $16.90. So consider the mark up for items you purchase as a money saving option.

So many things we can add to our cutting costs and putting in storage. I would have still had to wash the already sliced kind and would still have had to spread them out on the trays. The only thing I did extra was cut them with an egg slicer which by the way was fun, any child would have loved that job.

What do I do with my dried mushrooms? I put them in pasta sauces, in gravies, and in soups. You don’t want a slice of mushroom you can blend in your blender to be a powder, they just give a richer taste and we love them. - I wanted to pass this along I love the title on the bucket luggable loo, I thought all very good ideas. - I also saw this gal who has some ideas if your budget is tight these could be helpful. - very good idea here as well for a skill building idea. - here she does a very good visual on money priorities, kind of neat.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday Message

"Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life, not a sudden, spectacular program. We could refer to all the components of personal and family preparedness, not in relation to holocaust or disaster, but in cultivating a life-style that is on a day-to-day basis its own reward.” (President Spencer W. Kimball)

I would add when it is a way of life it is a good thing, you are eating what you store and replacing what you don’t have to “get use to your storage.” And you won’t feel deprived as you stored the things you like. Also having skills you can fall back on in tight times, it is all good no matter how hard the hard times are. - part one - part two. I thought she has done a fabulous job of presenting this. I do have fibromyalgia and I know most of you do not but I feel what she talks about applies to all. And if you are gluten free you might want to watch her videos as she cooks gluten free. Life is challenging for everyone, we don’t need to feel like we need to do everything I think you will feel uplifted watching these.

I am still working on knitting socks I think I have the heel finally mastered now regular heels no problem but this new one has me cranking down to learn.

We stopped by the library when we were in town and I got a few magazines. I guess I don’t pay attention to the prices I was startled to see one was 10.99 for a magazine. Wow! I am thankful for free magazines at the library, you might check out yours.

How are you coming on building your storage? How about building a skill? Life is busy but we must always keep learning, never stop.

Are you tired of heat yet?? If you are having a hard time coming up with something to fix without heating up the house I think this will help

I do pint jar cakes too. I mix a package of a one step angel food cake mix and any flavor of regular cake mix together and store in a canning jar. To use, I do a wide mouth pint, add four tbsp. water then three tbsp. of the mix together and microwave for one minute. I like lemon also cherry chip. We put just a bit of pie filling or fruit on top, you could use whip topping on top too. I love having blueberries in the freezer to throw in muffins or pancakes, really very easy. - I think this lady has great info. - what have you got in your pantry?? - we can learn lots from the past. - one time I learned how to fix a leaky faucet in Relief Society homemaking meeting (it was homemaking for women at church, I learned so much from these meetings). It was only one method but not long after my husband and I visited my sister. She had just had her dishwasher replaced she said but her water pressure was low and she was worried about running the dishwasher. She turned on the water and there wasn't very much. I reached over and unscrewed the screen at the end of the faucet. It was full of stuff from when they replaced the dishwasher. I guess they didn’t look. I dumped it in the garbage and put it back. The water was as it should be and the look on their faces was priceless. So there, you too can amaze and stun with your knowledge. everyone needs to know how to hem pants. Yes, put the stapler away, this is easier. even if you have the best mixer in the world I think it is very important to learn to knead bread by hand. - I think you need to know this. I had to learn this on my own but I found this for you. okay, I know there are clothes out there that need this after the horrid heat we have had. armed with this you are now powerful.

I know I gave you quite a ride but all is useful information. The more you are able to do for yourself and your family, the easier you can wade through tight times.
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