Monday, August 26, 2019

Monday Message

"The counsel to have a year’s supply of basic food, clothing, and commodities was given fifty years ago and has been repeated many times since. Every father and mother are the family’s storekeepers. They should store whatever their own family would like to have in the case of an emergency … [and] God will sustain us through our trials." (James E. Faust) 

Well I have been in canning mode here. In the picture above you can see the pizza sauce I made out of tomatoes that were given to me with jars clean and ready for the next thing which will be salsa.

I also have some oatmeal that I have been vacuum sealing. If you look closely you will see it ready to be put in jars and then vacuum sealed.

Whatever comes my way I put it up one way or another either by canning, freezing, or dehydrating. I try to do the best I can with what I have been blessed with.

I have been blessed to find this equipment. Used dehydrators (yes plural) I got for three dollars and added trays as I could. 

The steamer canner I bought at a yard sale for three dollars, it wasn't even unboxed. 

The pressure canner I got from a friend for ten dollars. 

I found the vacuum sealer at a yard sale for ten dollars. 

These were all gotten at different times but I felt so strongly about getting them that I gave up other things so I could purchase them. I have used them so much over the years and they have been a huge blessing to us. 

So if you keep looking you will find them used but if you cannot then ask around. I put up a sign on the town board that I was looking for free jars and just lately I noticed someone post they had jars free so I was able to get those and feel blessed. So if you are willing to hunt or ask around it may be of help to you.

This is the right time of the year to be putting up food as food in gardens are getting ripe.

Yes, home production is hard work but oh so worth it...

Tip for canning rings - take a wire hanger and undo it then use it like a giant safety pin and slide the rings on it and close it as you can. I hang it on a nail, it helps to keep them handy for canning or vacuum sealing which I do year round.

Do what you can, be willing to work hard and live frugally but most of all be kind to others.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Monday Message

“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 may affect any of us. We have a great welfare program with facilities for such things as grain storage in various areas. It is important that we do this. But the best place to have some food set aside is within our homes, together with a little money in savings. The best welfare program is our own welfare program. Five or six cans of wheat in the home are better than a bushel in the welfare granary.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley) 

This makes me think of during the depression people would ask to hunt In people's barns for pigeons for food. They made pot pies and would give one to the owner of the barn to insure they could hunt again.

How well would you do if you had to hunt for pigeons and then cook them?

Can you make a pot pie from scratch, not those frozen ones? - making pot pie from scratch is very frugal. - this will help you learn to make pie crust. - this is my favorite recipe for homemade hamburger helper. Store the ingredients so you can make them when you want. Watch for pasta sales and stock up. I put a couple of bay leaves in with the pasta, this is how I keep any bugs out of any of my grains.

I like to keep a stock of spices on hand plus dried onion and dried garlic.

It has been a good thing to keep dried onion and dried garlic, I also keep dried celery. I always store these so I can always make soup as needed.

Knowing how to cook from scratch has been a great skill that has helped me stretch my budget. I wish I had known when we first got married what I know now, life would have been smoother but then I needed to learn.

Here is the progress so far with the weird yarn, it is spinning up very nicely. I wondered if any other spinners thought to try it.  

As produce becomes available dry it or can it or freeze it.

I think if you can find a food sealer at yard sales or thrift stores you should try to get it.  

I have gotten two bags recently of white cornmeal each were five lbs. The packages had a small tear in the packaging so they were 99 cents. I vacuum sealed these in quart jars that I have clean and dry. I pour the cornmeal in the jars then I cut a piece of paper towel or a coffee filter, whatever I have on hand, and lay this over the top of the fine dry ingredients. This is a must to keep the finer particles from going into the machine and ruining it.

Vacuum sealing saves us so much because the air is taken out of the jar to keep things fresh lots longer.

I vacuum seal using a canister which means I can use any jar with a lid as long as there is rubber in the lid. So next time you use a jar of spaghetti sauce save the jar and lid, wash it well and let dry. I fill with product like dehydrated mushrooms, wipe the rim and put on the lid hand tight then back it off and place in the canister then vacuum seal it.  

So any size jar will work though I find not baby food jars, save those for nails and screws.

You can vacuum seal chocolate bars, jelly beans...they all stay fresh.

So this is my top pick: a vacuum sealer,
then canning equipment and canners, then dehydrators.

Summer is a great time to find them, these all add to my ability to do. Tis the way to save.

Don't forget jars. I asked for free canning jars around and people are excited to give them to you. These are all reusable except the lids, I get those and I pick up a box or two at the store. Once I use them in canning, I save these lids and use them for vacuum sealing. No waste!

Try first to acquire things frugally. If you are unable then when you can. Consider giving gifts in vac sealed jars.

Keep working on these things as you can.

Monday, August 12, 2019

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)  

I think this is something to ponder. We don't like to think anything bad could happen and that everything will go along just as it is, that we can always go to the market as we always have but part of being prepared is thinking ahead and asking what if??

Would it be so bad to know some skills? What could it hurt to learn them? What could it hurt to have some food stored??

Just something to ponder about.

Mary Ann shared this site with us... Thanks for sharing with us all!

It goes right into knowing how to cook from scratch. This is an easy skill to learn. Teach it to your children then you can rest assured they will be able to cook for themselves.

I have been working on my spinning skill...

So when I saw this weird yarn on clearance I wondered if I could spin it??

The answer is yes, I can, as you see here. So I am building this skill and on the cheap with this stuff for sure.

Do I NEED to know how to spin? No...but I want to enhance this skill. I may never HAVE to ever use this skill but I can tell you it is so calming and relaxes me, I enjoy it. Yes, I can spin the yarn I need to make a scarf so that is a good thing. We should do things that bring us joy as opposed to doing things that don't bring us joy.

I think to be constantly learning is a very good thing.

I do think there are basic skills that if we build them they would improve our lives and the lives of others.

I do think there are skills that could save us money. Knowing how to do them could be a blessing.

Learning how to live within our means and being content are two great things one can work on.

Knowing how to darn a hole in a sock or to mend clothing is big.

The more we know how to do for ourselves the better off we are.  We all don't have to know everything but know the important few can make a huge difference.

I know we are busy. These days seem so much busier than the "good old days" we hear about. It makes me wish for less busy days. But maybe the skill here is how to slow up a little and catch our breath. Not a skill I have mastered yet. I will keep working on it.

I do think having hard times for me has taught me so much more than I could have learned any other way.

Sometimes what we think maybe wasn't a blessing ends up being a huge blessing.  

What things can you learn this week?

Share with us what you are working on, we would love to hear!

Monday, August 5, 2019

Monday Message

"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 think this is a wonderful blessing.  

I picked up this stitchery a yard sale framed for one dollar twenty years or more ago. Someone labored lovingly over this, only fitting it should be on display.

Prepare for every needful thing is all encompassing and we can get easily overwhelmed but remember slow and steady. I cannot state it enough - do not go into debt for your storage!

I had three empty buckets I had cleaned and waiting. I thought about what to put in them and decided on flour. I dump the flour in and then I put three bay leaves on top of the flour and put on the lid, then I write the date and label it and put it into rotation.

I did some vacuum sealing too. I had gotten white cornmeal out of the damage cart. They had a bit torn on the package of a five pound bag for 99 cents. I got two packages a week apart. So pick up a little here and there it does add up. So for $1.98 I got ten lbs of white cornmeal.

This week I harvested my herbs and will be doing so again as they grow more. If you saw a few blogs back, the activity day girls and their leader and family built and made us a wonderful herb garden and delivered it to us. It had cute painted rocks and was just perfect. Here are those herbs...

Remember to work on your skill building...

This is the best recipe for bread! My friend Liza has tweaked it and said we could share with all of you this little cookbook she made using one recipe with many variations. It is my favorite! Once I made a loaf in the machine and did one by hand and they turned out just the same. So if you do not have a bread machine, you can still do it by hand. 

(Don't forget you can click on images to make them bigger!)

Thank you Liza for sharing with us all!!
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