Monday, June 27, 2022

Monday Message

"Let us be in a position so we are able to not only feed ourselves through the home production and storage, but others as well." (President Ezra Taft Benson)

"A cardinal principle of the gospel is to prepare for the day of scarcity. Work, industry, frugality are part of the royal order of life." (Bishop Keith B. McMullin)

We are in this very hot weather spell so I work in the mornings on the garden, then inside when it is too hot outside.

One night early on we lost power towards evening for two hours. It was very much a flashback of the derecho - hot and getting too dark to work on anything or read.

It is to even be hotter next week. So that has me thinking of what to do for meals... - this is the first thing that comes to mind for cooking on top of the stove. - another idea. - I so hate adding heat to an already hot day so great ideas here. - this would be a good thing for sure. I use this same recipe in the oven but the crockpot would be great in the summer.

If you have a heads-up that you are in for a hot spell, plan easy, cool meals. The instapot is helpful as well if you have one. I got an off-brand of one from a thrift store right before the pandemic. I have not yet had time to do much in it. - these sisters offer a lot of recipes for using in the instapot.

Don't rule out using mixes, they help at this time as well.

I try to do any baking early in the morning. I also try to do more than one meal so it will help the next day.

One thing I have done lately was to print out a couple of free clothing patterns. - I did the patterns for the pocket shirt and the loungewear set.

And always remember - you can trace off a pattern from something you already have that you know fits well.

Building our skills is very important in helping our family and budgets.

I have been doing some organizing this week when I am inside. One of the things I have been wanting to further learn is my Toyota knitting machine, building on what I already know. So I have been organizing the tools, books and planning where my machine should go. So this is a skill I will be working on.

Chocolate Nice Cream! (This is so like chocolate ice cream - yum!)

You cut three good size bananas in less than half inch coins and freeze.

To make up, you pull out your bag of frozen bananas and put them in your blender.

Add a half a cup of milk to start with, you can add more as you go to get the thickness you would like.

Add two tablespoons baking cocoa.

Blend and add milk as needed.

Oh this is soooo good! Just what you need on a very hot day.

Missy wants to remind you to keep working on building your storage as it looks like harder times are coming and we should get ready.

Gus says to pick some skills that you already have and build on them and if there are some you don't have, learn them as we will need them.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Monday Message

"Be prepared in all things against the day when tribulations and desolations are sent forth upon the wicked" (Doctrine and Covenants 29:8)

"We encourage you to follow this counsel with the assurance that a people prepared through obedience to the commandments of God need not fear." (First Presidency letter, 24 June 1988).

I feel it will be so necessary to have storage. Times look to be getting rough ahead. As one who knows, you have to work more when money is tight. They just seem to go to together hand in hand. We have to stretch food and other stored items. More thrifty measures have to be taken, like making bread items from scratch instead of buying them. What if you cannot just go purchase those items but HAD to make them instead? Could you do it with what you have on hand?

From this recipe above I can change it by shaping it or adding a few ingredients to it (click pic to make it bigger).

I make about ten quart jars at a time, making a mix of it with all ingredients except water. When I want to make one, I put 1 1/4 cup of water in the bread machine and dump in one of these quart jar mixes. I stocked up on a couple of used bread machines from thrift stores or yard sales, paying from three to five dollars each.

If you don't have a bread machine, do not fret. This recipe is a bread recipe from way before bread machines were ever thought of. Just put your water in a bowl and dump the "jar mix" in, stir, give a little knead, only adding some flour on your hands to knead, then cover with a damp towel for an hour, then shape it and place in a greased bread pan or whatever shapes you want. 

When doing bread, I spray and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise fifteen minutes and start preheating your oven, continuing to let the bread rise. I like it one inch above the rim of the pan. Uncover and bake. When you bake it for as long as the recipe above says, I remove it from the pan and let it cool on a cooling rack. Then I use an electric knife when the bread is cool and slice the entire loaf up at once and store in a plastic bag. If I don't think we can use it fast enough in the summer months, I'll put half of the loaf in the freezer. - if you look at this past post, you can see I make hamburger buns or a platz for breakfast or bread sticks or seed bread with it. I haven't even scratched the surface of what you can do with it. Here's some other ideas and tips...

I don't like to bake the bread in the machine. It seems to dry it out more, I just like to put it in till it is ready to shape.

I think with things going the way that they are, we need to be learning this skill. Get everyone used to homemade bread and be storing everything it takes to make it. If you wait till you have to then it might be harder than learning gradually.

The same with introducing everyone to more frugal meals. For example, saying we are having chili instead of chicken nuggets may draw frowns from everyone (except me) :p but if you say chili with cinnamon rolls now even you want to eat that, am I right? So start introducing some yummy frugal meals like soup with popovers, yum! Add some homemade raspberry jam to the popovers and it is a whole new game.

It all means more work but it's very frugal. - this is true and makes us sit up and take notice.

Another podcaster said to grab canning lids as you see them. They will be in even shorter supply this year. It does seem to already be the case. Just wait till everyone is canning. If you find yourself with produce and no lids to can, remember you can dehydrate it or freeze it.

I have even dried green beans by threading them on a string before I had dehydrators. When they are dry, just pull out the string. They look funny like stringing beads, just go through one end of each bean.

I have dried celery. Just leave it on a plate on the counter. I have done the same with orange or lemon zest.

You can do oregano or basil or parsley all just on a plate but if you have a lot, I like to tie a bouquet of oregano and one of parsley and one of basil or one of dill or thyme or rosemary or sage or mint and just hang them upside down from a nail or hook or coat rack or back of kitchen chair or two chairs and a dowel rod or broom across the backs, then you can hang them from the handle or rod.

We just really have to think outside the box

We need to learn all we can now.

Keep working on those skills

I have learned to weed whack while my husband had a pinched nerve in his back. Do I love this skill? Nope, but I like it better then pulling weeds. We have 9/10's of an acre and nature wants to reclaim it.

I was able to finish the test knit with two days to spare...

We all just have to keep working hard at storage and skill building. If it never gets worse, we are not out anything by doing that. We can eat and rotate our food storage and we have learned great skills. You never know when you might need them, like I had to do with the weed whacker.

Missy says that we all need to be actively engaged and keep an eye on things.

Gus says will we make it through the hard times coming? YES, we will! Those who have gone before us made it and showed us the way.

They both say it is a must to have catnip in your storage plan.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Monday Message

"Decide as a family that there will be no vacation or holiday next year unless you have your year’s supply. Many Church members could buy a full year’s supply of the basics from what they would save by not taking a vacation. Take the vacation time and work on a family garden. Be together, and it can be just as much fun." (Vaughn J. Featherston)

This probably won't be so hard with the price of gas. Try to find free activities and things you can do close to home.

Our last vehicle fill was $57. I am very thankful we don't do a lot of driving. We should prepare for it to go higher. What would your budget look like if it does continue to climb?

With everything going higher we all need to make a plan.

Every family is different, their needs are not the same.

Here are a few things I am doing...

It is not too late to put some seeds in the ground and if you cannot then build a salad pot for your porch. I have a large pot with leaf lettuce in half and radishes on the other half. I need to thin the radishes. Either you can sit and eat what you pull or you could put them in scrambled eggs - delicious.

Try to grow what you can, waste nothing, that is our plan and cook from scratch everything we can. We had potatoes that were wrinkly and had eyes so I planted them. I have a bowl full yet that I could plant and will.

Here are potatoes that were no longer any good. I planted them and now they look really good. We need to not waste anything. Find creative uses for things.

Every year I have a hard time reaching the raspberries to pick so this year I learned a skill that was new to me. I learned how to use the weed whacker. It is hard, heavy work but I push on. I don't have the strength the younger ones do. I made a clear path behind the raspberries to help better pick. I can stand on the deck to pick and then go on the path picking from behind. Plus birds started another patch north of the house.

I planted two plum trees, two apple trees, three seedless grapes. I put leftover landscaping fabric down around to keep weeds down.

I had an asparagus garden already going and put more in another area. I already had rhubarb but planted more. We also put strawberries in this year.

I put green beans in a whole new spot. I put a wire fence piece we had leftover to help them grow up the fence and up onto the porch posts. The seed I used for these I saved from last year from the green beans I grew. I plan to do the same this year.

This is just a sampling of what I am doing

I plan to divide hostas and move them around the yard.

I planted purple pansies so the neighbor when she washes dishes has something pretty to look at.

But mostly I want our yard to feed us.

We mostly have things planted that comes back every year.

And my favorite plant I got for Mother's Day...

A bleeding heart is my very favorite of all flowers.

My plan is to water as little as possible.

I have this in a page protector so that I can write with dry erase marker to plan meals. After the sweater is finished I will have time to build a binder all on meal planning.

One thing I do is I freeze two eggs, I crack them in freezer bags and freeze. I do this with what eggs I have leftover after the month that makes room for the new ones and this way if eggs go as high as they are predicting, we will have some frozen. Now I need to tell you on frozen eggs, they turn a nasty orange color but if you let's say scramble them, they cook just as yellow and fluffy as if not frozen.

Today I picked off blossoms from the tomato plants, always makes me feel like Morticia Adams but by doing this the growth will go into the plants instead of stopping to grow the tomatoes too soon, that would give less tomatoes.

Freereadfeed is great with free books, lots are on gardening and canning and dehydrating.

I had to go in to look for arthritis Tylenol at Walmart. I am always masked up but when I got there the shelves were wiped out. Amazing. We have extra strength Tylenol but I was going to get more. Nope, there was none to get. I am thankful for what I have. So you need to think of other needs to be stocking up on.

What things do you have planned if you have to tighten your budgets more than they already are?? - here is a jumping off idea.

Of course, give each their own little spot to plant and care for it.

I think reading a book series would be a good thing to do. Take turns reading out loud.

Google and learn all you can on canning and freezing and drying.

Involve the kids in gardening and canning.

Here is the progress on the sweater I am test knitting...

I am halfway done with the sleeves. There will be ribbing on them and then I'll block it and sew on buttons.

Missy said it is very very important to learn skills.

Gus said you better buckle up, it is going to be a bumpy ride.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Monday Message

"We encourage members worldwide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings. We ask that you be wise, and do not go to extremes. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve." (All is Safely Gathered In)

Adversities in life - we seem to be all having those now on top of what adversities we had before. We need to be working harder than we were on everything. So roll up those sleeves, we are in for a bumpy ride.

Here is the bag my sister made after weaving the fabric. It holds the test knit sweater I am working on. I am working on the button band then the sleeves.

Doing this between all the gardening is making it go much slower but I am building on my knitting skills.

Did you put any seeds in the ground? It is hard at this end to see the fruits but they will come.

The raspberries look to be a bumper crop. What I do is pick, wash, and freeze them. Then when things cool off in the fall, I make raspberry jam.

I picked enough rhubarb to make a rhubarb cake - yum! Here's the recipe...

This is from a really old cookbook. It was one of those church type cookbooks that everyone put their favorites in. They always have the best recipes in them. So if you run across them, grab them up.

We need to find uses for everything. - this is making a rug from plastic bags without crocheting. a rug from plastic bags using crocheting.

This rug my sister wove on her loom from plastic bags.

I thought you would like to see these three ways you could make rugs from plastic grocery bags.

Our ancestors used everything. So we need to think outside the box. When we think we will be tossing something out, we need to ask ourselves can we use it in some other way?

If we don't know how to do something, we can learn. With YouTube we can search how to do a lot of things...remember we did that to fix our dryer.

There are classes on just about anything you can think of for free. The sweater I am making has a video to watch for an area that is tricky to do that helps explain it to you. She did not have PUK in the abbreviations section of the pattern but a quick Google search showed me what it meant pick up and knit.

I taught myself to tat by watching YouTube. - this gal is so cute, if you shouldn't do something she wags her finger at you :p

I am planning to learn more on bobbin lace and these pictures I was gifted from my sister is the inspiration to encourage me to learn.

When the Olympics were in Oslo they had a segment of knitters making sweaters and talking about them. I taped it as they said it was coming up - this was way back then with VCR tapes, remember those? I played it over and over until I could learn that way (continental) of knitting. That was before YouTube. Now you can type in how to knit continental style knitting. - just like that you have an instant teacher.

Remember I told you I would pick up buttons that I would see on the ground and built a collection of them. They have been useful to me over the years. When we have an article of clothing no longer useful to wear, I first cut off the buttons and add them to my button collection, the rest of it is cut up to be cleaning rags since my husband paints pictures. You can see his artwork here - 

So think on how you can use it up, wear it out, make do or do without as the saying goes.

When you are feeling way too busy, know it won't always be the case.

Gus says learning new skills is interesting and fun, especially if he gets to help.

Missy says the more we learn the more we save.

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