Monday, November 26, 2018

Monday Message

"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.

"Begin in a small way, . . . and gradually build toward a reasonable objective."

As we head into this season that makes us feel so busy and can be so expensive, try to slow down a bit. Do little things that can add up and are helpful.

I often will watch a podcast where they talk about a time when they do a low or even no spending at all as they prepare for a coming expense. They cook with what they have in the pantry and save the grocery funds. Of course, one cannot do this forever and the podcasts I watch only do it once or twice a year. This would be better than going into debt.

Of course, it makes one think of the commercial where mom puts supper on the table and the kids say tuna casserole again and she said she had to pay a bill. It would work better to have more than that in storage, right? - this is a gal I watch as my roots are from Norway. The part I wanted you to see is towards the end when she goes to the family cabin. I could sit and knit with her there.

I realized that hygge must be in my blood. I decided I would go read on it as I had some books in my kindle library and since I am still sick I could do this and rest.

I bring this up as we are now getting into the busiest season. It is just the thing we need like her at the cabin with hot cocoa and surrounded with things you love, a very cozy thing indeed.

The book I picked to read about this in my library is The Cozy Life by Pia Edberg. In it she talks about the Danes. She said they are a lot less materialistic and treasure time with family and friends over accumulating lots of stuff. That and slowing down, she talked about in the book. I think we all crave slowing down. Sometimes, I feel like life drags me along behind it or that I can’t find the off button on the hamster wheel. Hygge is about enjoying the moments. I thought now that everyone is hurrying about this would be peaceful to think about.

Our oldest daughter once said the things she remembered most about Christmas were the times we had together, those she remembered not so much on what she got as gifts…food for thought as we gear up for Christmas. - I love the first thing on here.

Try to find cheaper ways to celebrate Christmas this year... - this is inspiring for making gifts. - find new traditions as a family.

Look for ways to give, there is always someone who could use a care package.

Remember to keep working on your storage and your skills and being frugal.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Monday Message

Scroll down for links how to make your own pasta!

In Argentina, Relief Society leaders are trying to teach the importance of food storage. They wrote: "Unfortunately, most of the sisters [here] cannot afford to buy an extra kilo of sugar, or flour, or an extra liter of oil. However, they have been encouraged to save, even just a spoonful at a time.” (Elaine L. Jack)

This is a great example to us. We can only do what we CAN do so if we can only purchase a few cans of something that is what we should do. We can fit that much into our budget and remember rotate your storage. I have watched a YouTube video where the lady showed her storage but said they will put storage in the basement that they won’t use but save. It could have just been the way she came across but not meant that way at all…she might have meant long term storage but I still rotate everything as to have it not waste.

Check your store flyers as now is a great time to stock as there are lots of sales. Don’t go into debt and don’t over extend yourselves.  Sometimes even sale prices are too much.

I finally pushed through and made the jam from the raspberries I picked and froze this summer.

I have been under the weather for about two weeks with a cold type thing that has made getting things tended difficult.

Think basics… - any mixer will do as well as by hand. 

So that is pretty basic you would store molasses and white sugar.

It is good to find out things we can make from scratch or from basic storage. - a list of items to have on hand to help cooking for scratch.  - this has some scratch recipes. - recipes from scratch cooking. - this is another list of pantry items. - this has many scratch items in it as well and also talks about making noodles. - how to make pasta. - soup making is a great skill to have. - learn how to make muffins from scratch if you don’t already know. 

I really think we need to teach our boys and girls how to cook from scratch. I could have benefited from knowing how.

When I was a teenage girl my friend Shirley would have me come stay overnight. Her mom would bake bread and make homemade noodles. I would go home and tell my sister Terri all about this magical wonderfulness. We both were so excited. This was even a thing that to this day we both make these items. There is never a time I eat homemade bread toasted with peanut butter on it that I don’t remember being at Shirley’s. Thank you, Shirley, for having me over!

How are you coming on your skills? I have been under the weather but will show an update here…

I have finished the back of my sweater and am now working on the front.

I just have to finish the heel on the pink one. In this case I am doing an after-thought heel then this pair will be done and the green one pictured here is the start of another sock. I find that no-think knitting helps me to hear better at church and keeps me from being distracted.

Keep working on your skill building. As you stock up remember the opening quote, try to save "even just a spoonful at a time."

If you haven’t made a sick plan you may want to get that done as flu season is about to spread with the Holidays. I will keep trying to get over my cold.

Monday, November 12, 2018

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."

With winter on our doorstep we need to have food on hand to out-live blizzards and ice storms up here in the north.

It will also lessen the risk of getting germs as the flu season begins.  Thanksgiving time is when it spreads like crazy.

I have been continuing to work on gift-making. Our weather has been nice fall weather but will soon be leaving. - I thought this could make cute gifts. I have made jelly from juices before inexpensively.

I will be making jam pretty soon here. I thought having a wheat recipe would be a good idea as wheat is in our storage. I like how she describes how to move them on the pan before baking.

Do you store raisins??? I vacuum seal them in jars for long storage. I do the same with craisins as well. 

Other things I vacuum seal...

Chocolate chips
Vital wheat gluten
Nuts, i.e. almonds, walnuts, and pecans
Popcorn (unpopped)
Baking chocolate blocks
Chocolate bars
Herbs, i.e. oregano, basil, etc.
Dried spinach
Dried carrots
Dried potatoes
Dried tomatoes
Dried bananas
Cracked wheat
Poppy seeds
Sesame seeds
Other spices
Hot cereals
Seeds for sprouting
I have done cookie mixes, dry ingredients, and given them as gifts that way they don’t need to be used right away.

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 a jelly jar to a spaghetti sauce jar, just any jar that fits in the 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 the sealer and to the canister but I just leave the jar topper on the hose and store it in the canister. 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 towards the top where I list what you can vacuum seal 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 things 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 well for vacuum sealing.

So I put macaroni in the jar, make sure the rim is clear by running your finger around the rim. Check the lid to see that nothing is on the rubber. Put the lid on the jar and add the 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 the 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 hear 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 the rim and lid again and repeat. If you just can't get it to seal put the 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) and then 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.

I felt it was time to review how I use the canister so give it a try.

Speaking of jars, I think it would be fun to do gifts like these…

Jelly jar with a gift of money in
Chocolate bars in a jar
Treats in a jar
Put things in jar to make an apron i.e. pattern and fabric
Dry ingredients of cookie mix
Put a picture of grandparents in a jar

Here is a picture of my grandmother I keep in a jar with a slipper that she crocheted. Next to it is a picture of me as a little one with my sister. Jars are a great way to keep and display family memories!

You could also do a skein of yarn crochet hook and pattern in jar, or hair bows in jar. You get the idea. They will all wonder how did you get the items in a sealed jar?

Keep working on your storage and skills and being frugal and save those used canning lids for vacuum sealing!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Monday Message

Save money this year and make homemade gifts! Frugal and more a gift from the heart.

(W. Don Ladd, October 1994 General Conference)
“We all need to build a personal ark . . . And we shouldn’t wait until it starts raining, but prepare in advance. This has been the message of all the prophets in this dispensation . . . as well as the prophets of old.
“Unfortunately we don’t always heed the clear warnings of our prophets. We coast complacently along until calamity strikes, and then we panic.
“When it starts raining, it is too late to begin building the ark. However, we do need to listen to the Lord’s spokesmen. We need to calmly continue to move ahead and prepare for what will surely come. We need not panic or fear, for if we are prepared, spiritually and temporally, we and our families will survive any flood. Our arks will float on a sea of faith if our works have been steadily and surely preparing for the future.”

It is just prudent to have some supplies on hand. There are many pictures of our grandmothers and their shelves filled with canning jars full of food they canned.

I read a book a few years ago where the family said because they lived on a farm and put up their food the depression did not effect them as bad as others.

We may never go through what they did but we can learn from them. We can build our storage and supplies in time of plenty for times of scarcity. How is this a bad thing? It is kind of like my husband telling someone who played the lottery, you give me the money and I will give you half back, those are better odds…it just makes sense.

I have said it is better to learn your skills when you are not in the crisis. It is too hard to learn and deal with the crisis at the same time.

I have had to learn skills all my life and now it has helped so much to stretch our budget. Have I stopped learning? No, I continue to learn and always will.

I have been busy with making Christmas gifts. Have you been busy with that as well? The holidays are coming up fast. I like to get things tended and mailed before Thanksgiving so that I can just enjoy the season. - this says tailgating but I loved the idea, would be fun family gifts, I think pie tins painted would bring down price. - this said tailgating too but again I thought a great family gift.

I used to get a puzzle for our family gift and we would put it together as a family. So I thought these inexpensive ideas would be fun to do together, things are always fun done together.

More on how to make these angry birds HERE. - now I am not a coffee drinker nor alcohol either, just skip those if you are not as well but the other food gift ideas are great, they will inspire you. - have fun with your family. - great ideas here, I liked the pan with cookie dough balls ready for someone to bake. great ideas here.

I think we need to plan to watch our spending for the holiday. Look for ways to save. Give food storage or things like food sealers, canner pressure, canner, dehydrator, wheat grinder… things that will be helpful rather than glitzy, a gift to keep giving or will help the ones who receive.

Do not go into debt, no matter what!!

Look for ways to help those who are in need.

Keep working on your storage. Look for great deals for your storage in your store flyers. There should be great sales this time of year.

Keep cooking from scratch and saving money from this skill.

Do the best you can.

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