Thursday, April 28, 2011

Provident Living Newsletter: May 2011


If you have friends/family who would like to receive this newsletter via email, please send me a message (laura.s.cherry@gmail.com) with their address. Thanks!

Upcoming Events:

5/8   Dry-Pack Sign-Up Deadline (red wheat, white wheat, and apple slices)
5/12   Dry-Pack Canning Session 6pm @ the Thurston Grange - 6590 Thurston Road (If you would like to order for this, see info below)
5/24   Provident Living Class: Gardening by Ross Penhallegon – “It’s May – what do we do now?”  7pm @ the LDS Building - 525 66th Street in Springfield

Group Buy - Each month, Emergency Essentials offers food/supplies for a discounted price if you meet a minimum amount as a group. These items include freeze-dried foods, first-aid supplies, survival supplies, etc. If you would like more information on this, visit the "Group Buys" post on the blog. Each month I will provide the list of items, and if you would like any of them, just shoot me an email. The best part about this is that we get FREE SHIPPING on all Group Buy orders. That's HUGE!! It's a great way to increase your supply and save money at the same time!!

Dry-Pack Canning - Each month, we borrow the dry-pack canner from the Bishop's Storehouse. With this canner, we can seal foods/supplies in Number 10 cans, making them ready for long-term storage. We offer 3 items each month (i.e. this month we're canning dry milk, granulated sugar, and white rice) or you can bring anything you purchase on your own to the grange, and - working together - we'll put it into cans. I purchased gold fish and animal crackers this month so I can have some on hand for my son as he grows, so I'm going to be bringing those bags to the grange to put into cans. It's amazing what you can put in Number 10 cans!!

If you'd like to purchase one of the 3 items offered this month, you just need to let me know how many cans of each you would like. (Side Note: 6 cans fit into 1 cardboard carrying box)

MAY ITEMS:
 

***Prices have been updated to reflect the Storehouse price increase on 4-1-2011***
 
Hard Red Wheat              $3.87/can
Hard White Wheat           $3.87/can
Apple Slices (dehydrated) $7.05/can

***Prices include one the item, 1 oxygen absorber, 1 metal can, and 1 metal lid. If you would like a box and/or plastic lids, you will need to purchase them.

PURCHASING EMPTY CANS:
If you are bringing your own items to can, you will need to purchase empty cans. We sell them by the case, and even if you can give me an estimate on how many cans you will need, we'll be able to change the amount at the Grange, once you know how many you actually used. (For a reference: 25 lb bags of sugar, salt, etc. usually fit into 5-6 cans)

A case of cans costs $7.15 and it includes the following:

-6 cans
-6 metal lids for sealing
-6 oxygen absorbers (if you don't need oxygen absorbers, we will adjust the price for you)
-2 plastic reusable lids (to be used after opening the cans)
-1 cardboard box

Again, if you would like to sign up for any of these items, email me.

The ORDER DEADLINE FOR MAY IS SUNDAY, MAY 8th!

Provident Living Classes -
Provident Living Classes will be held monthly for the rest of the year. If you have suggestions for classes you would like to see, feel free to email me with your ideas. All classes, unless otherwise specified, will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building on 66th Street in Springfield. These classes are open to church members, community members, youth, etc. All are welcome! We will update you on upcoming classes as soon as we have them finalized!

Upcoming Provident Living Classes:
5/24          Gardening with Ross Penhallegon – OSU Extension Agent
6/14          Retirement with Wade Bell – CPA with Bell&Morgan
7/19          Cooking without Electricity

Self-Reliance Blog -

Don't forget to check out the Self-Reliance Blog. If I can get my rear in gear, you will be able to see the following themed posts, as well as other informational posts several times a week!

Ethleen's Eat of the Week - Learn how to use your food storage in delicious recipes your entire family will love! It's not enough to keep the food, we must rotate and replace! Ethleen's Recipes are a great way to do that!
Danae's Deal of the Week - Our savvy-super-saver-shopper Danae will be providing us with some of the best deals for grocers in our area! We will also be posting links to online coupons in this section.
52 Weeks to Family Preparedness - The 52-Week Plan is designed to help families become better prepared in just 52 weeks! At the end of this course, you will have a year's supply of food, 72-Hour Kits for the entire family, Car Emergency Kits, and your family will be better prepared physically, emotional, and spiritually. They are listed by week. If you have any troubles viewing them, let me know.



As always, if you have ideas, questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to let me know!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

DOWNLOAD: Shelf Stable Recipe Book from FoodStorageMadeEasy.net


Straight from the Food Storage Made Easy Website:

"Remember back in January when we asked for your help to get 100 shelf stable recipes for our Shelf Stable Saturday project? Well…we reached our goal. Actually we doubled our goal! Initially we had planned to combine all the recipes in a document, and add it as another bonus to our eBook Binder, in addition to giving the document to anyone who submitted a recipe as a way of saying THANK YOU. We figured our readers would still have access to them each Saturday as we post them weekly.

In the spirit of giving, and in order to end the April Surprise party with a party favor for EVERYONE, we’re making the document available to all of you! We wanted to do a giveaway where EVERYONE gets something. In fact, we’re calling this the REVERSE giveaway, where not only do you get something, but we encourage you to turn around and give it to all your friends."

FOLLOW THIS LINK TO DOWNLOAD THE 58-PAGE RECIPE BOOK:  

THE SHELF STABLE RECIPE BOOK

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Web Spotlight: LDSPreppers.com

Here is an excellent resource for Latter-day Saints Preppers!! Thank you Netta for this great find!! One recent forum post is titled, "Culinary Herbs and Spice Home Remedies" - I like them already!

Take a look at the "10 Ways to Get Involved With LDS Preppers" for some start-up suggestions!

Or Register to become a member.

Here's the Homepage: http://ldspreppers.com

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Provident Living Class: Herbs/Meats/Dehydrating/Cheese

What a title, eh? I'll make this post as simplified as possible without lessening the information given at the class. It was a fantastic night!! And a special thank you to Bev Hansen for her spot-on note-taking!!!

Herbs – Kate Penhallagon

Kate's Favorite books: Eyewitness Book “Herbs”, copyright 1994 (out of print); “Medicinal Herbal” by PenelopeOdy; “Herbs for the Home” by McVicar; “Herbs of the Pacific Northwest” by Ross Penhallagon (available through OSU Extension $8).

Kate's General Advice/Knowledge: 
-Most herbs need a soil temp of at least 65 degrees to grow. Cold, wet spring will delay perennial herbs emergence.

-Epazote’ – Herb used in Mexican cooking. It’s what we taste in refried beans served in restaurants and what’s missing when we try fixing refried beans at home. Place some in water with beans when soaking. Drain water and cook, adding more epazote’. Can use leaves or seeds.

-Don’t plant herbs together that you would not combine in cooking/baking.

-When cooking with fresh herbs, don’t add until the last 15 minutes or so.

-Her favorite variety of peppermint is Mentha

-Horseradish – a little goes a long ways. Just break off a small piece of root and toss in the ground. You will have lots of horseradish. Wasabi is very similar. Likes a cool, shady spot.

-The best bay for culinary purposes is not a myrtle, it is lauris nobelus. Grown from a corm.

-Make your own bouquet garnis – blend of oregano, thyme, lavender, rosemary?

-Most woody stemmed herbs have a lifespan of about 5 years but can be attractive longer if you diligently harvest and/or prune on them. If you don’t, they become leggy and woody.

-Dried herbs have about a 3 year shelf life; will last a little longer in the freezer.

Last Notes: Kate does not have a Medicinal Herbology License, which means she's not going to give advice on using herbs medicinally. What she can say, however, is that if you are interested in using herbs medicinally, find a book/website and use them at your own risk. 

Take a look at the following websites (though remember we are in no way responsible for your using these herbs medicinally) - 



Dehydrating Frozen Fruits/Vegetables – Laura Cherry

For information regarding dehydrating frozen vegetables, see this previous post.


Canning Meats – Laura Cherry

Click here to view a previous post about canning chicken. 
PRESSURE CANNING MEAT

Pressure canning is the ONLY SAFE METHOD for canning meat.

All meat should be handled carefully to avoid contamination from the time of slaughtering until the products are canned. Animals should be correctly slaughtered, canned promptly or kept under refrigeration until processed. If you slaughter your own meat, contact your local county agricultural agent for complete information on slaughtering, chilling, and aging the meat.

Keep meat as cool as possible during preparation for canning, handle rapidly, and process meat as soon as it is packed. Most meats need only be wiped with a damp cloth. Use lean meat for canning; remove most of the fat. Cut off gristle and remove large bones. Cut into pieces convenient for canning.
Add boiling beef or chicken broth to jars packed with meat or poultry.
Meat should not be browned with flour nor should flour be used in the broth to make gravy for pouring over the packed meat. Pack hot meat loosely, leaving 1-inch headspace in Mason jars.
Meats may be processed with or without salt. If salt is desired, use only pure canning salt. Table salt contains a filler which may cause cloudiness in bottom of jar. Use 1/2 teaspoon salt to each pint, 1 teaspoon to each quart. More or less salt may be added to suit individual taste.
Follow step-by-step directions for your pressure canner. Process meats according to the following recipes.
When canning food in regions less than 2,000 feet altitude (dial gauge canner) or 1,000 feet altitude (weighted gauge canner), process according to specific recipe. When canning food in regions above 2,000 feet altitude (dial gauge canner) or 1,000 feet altitude (weighted gauge canner), process according to the following chart.
ALTITUDE CHART FOR CANNING MEAT AND POULTRY
ALTITUDE
DIAL GAUGE CANNER
Pints and Quarts
WEIGHTED GAUGE CANNER
Pints and Quarts
1,001 – 2,000 ft.
11 lbs.
15 lbs.
2,001 – 4,000 ft.
12 lbs.
15 lbs.
4,001 – 6,000 ft.
13 lbs.
15 lbs.
6,001 – 8,000 ft.
14 lbs.
15 lbs.
Processing time is the same at all altitudes.

CUT-UP MEAT (strips, cubes, or chunks) Bear, Beef, Pork, Lamb, Veal, and Venison
Remove excess fat. Soak strong-flavored wild meats for 1 hour in brine water containing 1 tablespoon of salt per quart of water. Rinse. Remove large bones and cut into desired pieces.

Raw Pack—Fill jars with raw meat pieces, leaving 1-inch headspace. DO NOT ADD LIQUID. Adjust jar lids.
Hot Pack—Precook meat until rare by broiling, boiling, or frying. Pack hot meat loosely in clean, hot Mason jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Cover meat with boiling broth, water, or tomato juice (especially with wild game) leaving 1-inch headspace. Adjust jar lids.
Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 11 pounds pressure - Pints 75 minutes and Quarts 90 minutes. For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.
Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 10 pounds pressure - Pints 75 minutes and Quarts 90 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

GROUND MEAT – Bear, Beef, Pork, Lamb, Veal, and Venison
With venison, add one part high quality pork fat to three or four parts venison before grinding. Use freshly made sausage, seasoned with salt and cayenne pepper (sage may cause a bitter off-flavor). Add 1 teaspoon salt to each pound of ground meat, if desired. Mix well. Shape meat into patties or balls, or cut cased sausage into 3- to 4-inch links. Cook until lightly browned. Ground meat may be sauteed without shaping. Remove excess fat. Fill jars with pieces, leaving 1-inch headspace. Cover meat with boiling broth or water, leaving 1-inch headspace. Adjust jar lids.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 11 pounds pressure - Pints 75 minutes and Quarts 90 minutes. For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.
Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 10 pounds pressure - Pints 75 minutes and Quarts 90 minutes. For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

PRESSURE CANNING POULTRY
Pressure canning is the ONLY SAFE METHOD for canning poultry.

Cut poultry into convenient pieces for packing and precook until medium done or until pieces, when cut, show almost no pink color at the bone.
Precook by boiling in water or in a concentrated broth for more flavor. Make broth from bones and bony pieces, neck, back, and wing tips. Pack hot meat in clean, hot Mason jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Do not pack food tightly.
Poultry may be processed with or without salt. If salt is desired, use only pure canning salt. Table salt contains a filler which may cause cloudiness in bottom of jar. Use 1/2 teaspoon salt to each pint, 1 teaspoon to each quart.
Follow step-by-step directions for your pressure canner. Process poultry according to the following recipes.

CUT-UP POULTRY
Cut poultry into serving size pieces. If desired, remove bone. Boil, steam, or bake poultry slowly to medium done. Poultry is medium done when pink color in center is almost gone. Pack hot poultry loosely in clean, hot Mason jars, leaving 1 1/4-inch headspace. Cover poultry with boiling broth or water, leaving 1 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust jar lids.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 11 pounds pressure.
With Bone – Pints 65 minutes and Quarts 75 minutes.
Without Bone – Pints 75 minutes and Quarts 90 minutes.
For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 10 pounds pressure.
With Bone – Pints 65 minutes and Quarts for 75 minutes.
Without Bone – Pints 75 minutes and Quarts for 90 minutes.
For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.


RABBIT
Soak dressed rabbits 1 hour in water containing 1 tablespoon of salt per quart. Rinse and remove excess fat. Cut into serving size pieces. Boil, steam, or bake to medium done. Rabbit is medium done when pink color in center is almost gone. Pack hot rabbit loosely in clean, hot Mason jars, leaving 1 1/4-inch headspace. Cover rabbit with boiling broth or water leaving 1 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust jar lids.

Dial Gauge Canner—Process at 11 pounds pressure.
With Bone – Pints 65 minutes and Quarts for 75 minutes.
Without Bone – Pints 75 minutes and Quarts for 90 minutes.
For processing above 2,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.

Weighted Gauge Canner—Process at 10 pounds pressure.
With Bone – Pints 65 minutes and Quarts for 75 minutes.
Without Bone – Pints 75 minutes and Quarts for 90 minutes.
For processing above 1,000 feet altitude, see chart for recommended pounds of pressure.


**This handout attributed to Presto Pressure Canners: http://www.gopresto.com

Cheese –Susan Oakley

Preserving Cheese
Waxing Considerations:
  • Part of the cheese wax controversy comes with the problem of using the wrong kind of wax. When it comes to the science of waxing your cheese, I can’t say it strongly enough. The only wax you should use is cheese wax. Please do not use paraffin wax. While the cheese wax actually melts at lower temperatures than paraffin, it can ultimately (and safely) reach a higher temperature than paraffin. You want this in order to prevent any bacteria from growing on the outside. So be sure your wax is hot enough. Germs are killed at 180 degrees, so heat up your wax to 200 degrees so that when the temperature is dropped when you put it on the cheese, you still are applying wax that is 180 degrees or more. (Don’t heat the wax hotter than 210 degrees F. After heating my wax sufficiently, I turn off the heat source completely.)
  • Cheese wax is also more pliable than paraffin. Whatever position you put your cheese in when you store it, gravity will come into play and readjust it a bit. Thus you want a wax that will move with it. Paraffin wax will not do that. Cheese wax also dries faster than paraffin, making your task less time consuming and giving less opportunity for moisture to develop during the waxing process. 
  • In view of the gravity issue I’ve already mentioned, it’s also smart to wax smaller sections of cheese instead of heavy ones in which the weight will cause a greater shift in the position of the cheese. (Since most of my recipes call for 1 to 2 cups of shredded cheese, I like to wax nothing bigger than 16 ounces of cheese.)
  • Use food handling gloves on your hands when you wax the cheese. The oils from your hands will affect how the wax adheres to the cheese. With your bare hands it’s also easy to add germs to your cheese.
Next, the color of wax doesn’t matter. (Some crazy visually impaired person must have started that particular cheese wax controversy ) The color of the wax is really only symbolic to the commercial cheese industry in terms of how long a cheese has aged. However, I prefer to always use the red or the black wax since it will allow less light into the cheese.
  • Prior to putting your cheese in the wax, or brushing it, be sure to pat the cheese completely dry. You don’t want to see any moisture on it at all. This is part of the reason why I’m adamantly against folks freezing their cheese before or after waxing it. If you freeze it and then put hot wax on it, you are forcing an expansion and condensation process. The same happens if you freeze it after waxing it. You don’t want any expansion going on. Let it sit out to get to room temperature prior to waxing it.
  • If you have trouble getting your wax to adhere to the cheese, then consider wrapping the cheese first in real cheesecloth material. I apply just a little bit of wax with the brush in order to keep the cheesecloth in place prior to dipping it. (For applying wax on your cheese, I don’t recommend using cheap cheesecloth from the grocery store. It barely qualifies as cheesecloth. What you want is a bit thicker, more muslin type. I recommend getting the cheesecloth from a dairy farmer, or a cheesemaking supply retailer on the internet.)


  • Use several thin coats of wax instead of a couple of thick ones. I have adapted to dipping my cheese in the wax 3 separate times and then I brush on the last coat, for a total of 4 coats. It’s key to use the boar’s hair brush, because that will give you the most even and smooth coat of wax. You can brush all of your coats of wax on if you’d like, but it takes longer and it requires more wax. (The good news is though that you can reuse your cheese wax. Just peel it, clean it with soap and water, and then you can re-melt it and use it again. I even save my “Bonne Bell” cheese wax and use it.)
  • When you dip the cheese in the wax, hold the piece above the wax for a full 90 seconds to dry after you’ve dipped it; before dipping in another portion of the cheese. If you lay it down to cool/dry, then you run the risk of a crack or crevice to be created while the wax is cooling. So yes, my arms get tired sometimes, but I’d rather be sure that I’ve done the waxing process right. Also, don’t allow the cheese to sit in the wax when you dip it for longer than 5 seconds. You will run the risk of melting the cheese if you expose it to that heat for that long. (Yes, this is a bit of a tricky dance sometimes.)
Storing Considerations:
The whole point of waxing your cheese is so you don’t have to take up valuable refrigeration space, and so you can still have REAL cheese in the event of a prolonged power outage scenario. It’s no secret that cheese has been around a LONG time—a lot longer than refrigeration. I assure you cheese was not discovered during the Ice Age. In the Roman Empire, cheese had become a major import/export business by 400 B.C. It doesn’t take a paleontologist to confirm that there wasn’t any refrigeration available back then. The Dutch actually created waxing and brining (salting) in order to extend the shelf-life of hard cheeses.  http://www.publichealthmdc.com/environmental/food/documents/cheese.pdf
Nothing much has changed since then when it comes to storing cheese safely. The key lies in the light permeation and the temperature of your cheese. A non-clear wax used on your cheese can take care of the light issue. Storing your cheese out of direct sunlight, away from heat, and in a cool area takes care of the temperature issue. In fact, when cheese is aged by professional cheesemakers, it’s kept in temperatures ranging between 55-70 degrees F. In the Balkans, for instance, where the climate is warmer, the cheese is stored regularly at 70 degrees F. The storing of cheese at these temperatures occurs for several weeks or months during the aging process, depending on the type of cheese being made. If you don’t have a home which permits you to store your cheese regularly at this temperature range, then I don’t recommend that you try this route of cheese preservation.  You can use a second refrigerator that is set to 55 degrees.
New England Cheesemaking Supply Company
54B Whately Rd, South Deerfield, MA 01373
E-mail info@cheesemaking.com



Vacuum sealing cheese:
Start by thoroughly cleaning the surface on which you'll be working. Cut cheese-about the amount that you'd use up in two to three days-into reasonably sized chunks. Count how many chunks you have. Now count how many inches of cheesecloth you have. Divide the latter by the former. That's how much cheesecloth you get for each chunk, so cut up your cheesecloth accordingly. Don't worry if you run out of cheesecloth; your onboard medical kit should be full of sterile gauze bandages, and these work marvelously as a substitute. Spritz each chunk of cheese lightly with white vinegar. This inhibits mold growth and won't affect the flavor. Wrap the cheese in cheesecloth and vacuum-seal it. VoilĂ ! You now have a full supply of cheese that can be kept unrefrigerated-even in the tropics-for up to a year             

Canning cheese:
Cheese is a pretty cool thing to can, because you can see when it molds. Because cheese is made from bacteria, green mold forms on the bad part (usually the section exposed to air) and can be scooped off (in the case of cream cheese) or cut off in the case of harder cheese. Truthfully, I haven't read any FDA approved methods of canning cheese or butter, however, because it is being canned commercially successfully there is an FDA approved method.

Spiritual Preparedness: Hands-On Holy Week

 Easter is just around the corner. May I suggest you take some time out this week to discuss "Holy Week" with your little ones? So much happened in the week leading up to Jesus Christ's Atoning Sacrifice. Make it easier for your children to follow the time line with a few of the following suggestions:

Go over the Plan of Salvation. 

Make a donkey out of a paper bag and talk about the significance of Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem.

Hold a Passover meal, or one similar to it.

Wash your children's feet in a basin of warm water, and talk to them about the account of the Savior washing the feet of His disciples.

Make every Sunday Easter with these tips.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

*Fail-Safe Bread*


Years ago I attended a 'Super Saturday' in Salem with my sister. The Stake President's wife was there teaching a bread class. The lady was hilarious. She has such a large family that the art of bread-baking for her had become an all-out war. She combines her recipes in a 5-gallon bucket and incorporates them with a square plaster mixer attached to a cordless drill. No. Joke. 

Her bread was d-i-v-i-n-e. I took the packet home and decided to try my hand at her white bread. Simple. Easy. A recipe I couldn't screw up. Well... I screwed it up. But in a good way!! To make a long story short, I added baking powder to the recipe (because the recipe called for sugar twice and I couldn't figure out what else would be in bread but baking powder - though  my mom later told me that baking powder isn't usually found in basic bread recipes... I was clueless!) and what I ended up with was a wonderful, moist, yeasty bread that needed VERY little kneading and did most of it's rising in the oven while baking. Weird. 

What I've noticed most about this bread, however, is the fact that even those who feel they're "hopeless" when it comes to bread-baking haven't been able to mess this recipe up! 

This recipe is for master bread bakers and novices alike!! 


 What You'll Need:

7-8 cups of flour
2 T yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 T baking powder
1 T salt
1 egg
2 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup oil


First things first, mix together your milk and your oil. Put it in the microwave for around 2.5 minutes. You want the liquid to be on the hot side of warm.

Mix together ONLY 2 CUPS flour (I use a mixture of wheat flour, white flour, and sometimes ground flax for fun but it does well with any combination or even JUST white flour), the yeast, the baking powder, and the sugar. NOTE: You'll add the salt in a few minutes after the yeast and the sugar come back from their honeymoon.

Return to your liquid, give a good mixing aaaannnnd...

Add it to your dry ingredients.

 
Stir this mixture for about 2 minutes (as you can tell, I make my bread by hand. I have a Kitchen Aid, but I rather enjoy making bread by hand, so there.) Next, ADD THE SALT and mix again. Please don't forget the salt. This bread is pretty bland without the salt.

Add 1 egg...

 And mix again!!

 Okay, here's where the fun begins... add 2 cups of flour to your liquid mixture, and stir.

Add 2 more cups of flour, and at this point I clean the whisk and mix by hand - which means the rings come off ladies. I cannot COUNT the number of times I've had to pick dried dough out of my wedding ring.

This is the only kneading this bread will get... even though I'm left-handed, I use my right hand to knead. I knead for a minute, I add a little flour, I knead, I add. You may use all 8 cups of flour, but I HAVE NEVER HAD TO. I use 7 cups (2 in the beginning, 5 later) every time. You want your bread dough to be soft, but not sticky. Having said that, know that I have put a loaf of bread in the oven that WAS sticky, and it was fine. Don't stress over this.

Here's how the kneading is done:

 Scoop your hand under the edge of the bread...

 Fold it over, and press down with your palm.

Repeat. 

Continue to knead the bread until the flour is incorporated.

At this point, you should have a ball of dough that looks something like this.

Place it in an oiled bowl, cover it, and let it rise for about 30-40 minutes.

 If your house is cold in the winter like mine, set your oven to 200 degrees (or your "warm" setting) and place the bread inside.

 DON'T FORGET TO TURN OFF THE OVEN AFTER A FEW MINUTES. YOU WANT A WARM ENVIRONMENT, BUT YOU DON'T WANT TO COOK THE BREAD... YET!

 Sometimes my bread doubles in size, sometimes it doesn't rise AT ALL. Don't give it another thought! It will be just fine. : )

 Pinch your dough into two pieces...

 Like so!

 Form it into two loaves... I usually roll my on the countertop to get the cracks out of it. Sometimes, however, I chuck it right into the bread pan and give a good slap. It's not a science. I promise.

 Place your dough into GREASED pans.

 Mmmmmmm....

 Let your dough rise in the pans (covered) for another 20 minutes or so. You'll notice that one loaf is a lot bigger than the other. Do not ask me why. It seems to happen every time. I've just accepted it. I'm not here to make uniform bread. Pppfff.

Oh and this is the point where you'll want to preheat your oven. 350, please and thank you!


 Bake at 350 degrees F for uuuhhh... uummmmmm... around 20 minutes? Just bake it until the tops are golden brown. Sometimes my bread bakes longer than others... because I forget about it. I'm very busy. ; p


Sometimes it looks like this... golden brown and slightly unruly... Mmmmmm... every crumbly piece is heaven.

 Sometimes it looks like this... straight, smooth, boring. Still tastes lovely!

The best part about this recipe is the fact that it makes 2 loves.

I mean loaves.

I love bread. : )

Moving on... it makes 2 loaves, which we all know is vital because 1 loaf will be g-o-n-e in 60 seconds if your family is anything like mine.

 We like ours with homemade plum jam.... *drool*

And sometimes with honey... THIS is the only reason I can handle working our bees. They still scare me to death, but when the world goes to pot, I refuse to live life without the golden deliciousness.


The most important thing to remember about this bread is that, really, you'd have to try EXTREMELY HARD to mess this recipe up. I have made literally hundreds of loaves with this recipe, and have never thrown one away. So have fun! Here's to breader beginnings!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

52 Weeks to Family Preparedness: Week 16

Download Week 16 here.

Guest Post: Frugal Plan for Frugal Living

 
Frugal Plan for Frugal Living
 An Armature's Guide to Spending Wisely
By Stacy Landen



A coupon here, bulk-buy there, a "buy-one-one-get-one" sale here... how much are we actually saving?

Dear Audience,
I'm encountering a newly-appointed (Yes, appointed!! Can you believe someone has actually trusted me with an official task?!) adventure to pursue the essence of what makes a frugal (and much less expensive) life. I have been chosen to fill one of five positions as a member of the Frugal Living Committee, organized by the church. 

My Mission: To find ways to be a thrifty, nifty, savvy shopper.
Sounds like a CHALLENGE!!! :D Which means I will find every extreme way of saving money as best as I possibly can. (I always over do every task I'm given - so let’s see what level I can take this to!)

Here's what I already do at home:
Bulk-buys!!
I love buying bulk! Flour, sugar, spices, cereal, dog treats, - there is an amazing selection when it comes to bulk foods and items out there, people!!

Here’s what I do (Or am working up to!)

1. Buy bulk spices. I bought individual spices, all in their own little jars at the spice rack section of my local grocery store, just for my husband and I to realize later that all that individual spending really ate up our wallet! After our spice jars were all empty, we kept them and decided that buying the spices from the bulk section and re-filling the jars would be a much more economical way spicing things up in our kitchen! Even our salt and pepper shakers joined in!

2. Buying bulk ingredients. It is most often cheaper with most items you cook with, buying cheap items this way, like sugar, flour and cereal is a great way to go.

3. Buying bulk water. Instead of buying dozens and dozens of 24-packs of bottled water, consider trading for reusable water bottles and either the fill-it-yourself 1 gallon or 10 gallon jugs at the grocery store, then refill those nifty reusable bottles. Or! If you’re savvy like my momma, instead of throwing those empty water disposable/recyclable water bottles in the recycling bin, fill ‘em back up!! (Make sure they are nice and clean though! We like to run them through the dish washer!) Get creative! Refill those bad boys with your favorite flavored drink! Yum!

Some quick Tips in Frugality:

· Be a Savvy Shopper! Look in your weekly ads for coupons and sales!

· Buy per unit price not the comparison item on the shelf that is marker at a cheaper price - look for cheaper price by comparing price per weight. The more you get for your dollar is what counts, even if the overall price is slightly higher than the rest. It might just be me, but 15.8 cents per unit (weight) sure sounds like a better deal that 26.3 cents per unit, don’t you think?

· Make a goal for your spending every time you enter the store. Tell yourself “I’m not leaving this store with more than $$ in my basket.”

· Take a calculator with you to the grocery store! If you don’t already use one when you go shopping just to keep track of you accumulating spending, take one anyway! You never know when you’ll find a discount that needs calculating or a price comparison (this works great with figuring out which price per unit [weight] is the best deal). Heck! If your calculator is basic and doesn’t have a duel calculating function for adding up those totals and figuring out a discount… bring two!! ;)

Baby

Baby can be expensive, we all know that. But there are a lot of ways you can save money and provide all the necessities for your bundle of joy.

Baby Food
· Baby is easy to feed when he's still getting his meals from the mom factory (or as my husband calls it, "The Dairy", but for those of you who use formula, it can get expensive -and fast!
· I recently learned that a local 2nd-hand/consignment store in my area sells unopened, unexpired containers of baby formula for half the price you would find it at the grocery store! Who knew?

· MAKE YOUR OWN BABY FOOD! You can find kits and How-to books on how to make your own baby food! Chances are, you can probably find it cheaper, and in as-good-as-new condition, at a 2nd-hand or consignment store, too! ;)

2nd-Hand and Consignment Stores and Baby
THE THOUGHT of SECOND-HAND SHOPPING!!!!!! It used to make me quiver and send a nasty shiver down my spine! "Eewww!! Who would buy someone's used garabage??" My previous way of thinking has significantly changed, that is, under a few circumstances:
I only buy second-hand items that you can't tell that they are second hand - yes! These items DO exist!!! I recently bought a second-hand up-right baby swing, one that would have been somewhere around $150-200 new on the shelf for just $50! (This price choice was mine for 4 other possible choice - in this case, I chose the more expensive choice because I felt that of the 5 possible choices for a second-hand swing, this swing was newer, in better shape, all around, and worked the best for my needs, as well as longevity. No way I would spend less just because it costs me less now, when I know the thing is going to die on me in a week and be forced to buy another one - that kind of spending racks up the $$$ fast!
Bottom line: Look for items that are unstained, undamaged – because 2nd hand store rarely, if ever, have a return policy, good-working condition, safe and hygienic – be smart people, use your common sense ;)
Think outside the box! Bet you never thought of looking at a consignment store for much more than baby clothing at a 2nd hand store! You can buy used (no, not gross or disgustingly stained – no self-respecting store would accept or sell those-) cloth diapers there, too! You can buy them at half the price you’d find them new!
Ask if you can work for credit. Some privately owned consignment stores may consider letting you work for credit to buy stuff in the store
Trade and exchange! That’s what they’re here for! Trade in your baby’s and kid’s out-grown clothing for clothes that fit!!
If at first you don’t succeed! Shop, shop again!!!!
Practice patience, it may take time to find the deals and save the money.
Discipline. Practice it. If you resist the urge to buy whatever, whenever and whatever price you happen to find it, you thank yourself later!
These are the personalities of a frugal shopper.
Keep a few extra bucks hand y for the opportunistic buy! Sales and deals are always popping up – you never you when or where you’re going to find those savings!!

Save Money on Diapers!!!
Our family uses cloth diapers. You might be thinking of the folded cloth and safety pin your mother used with you if you’re not familiar with the cloth diapers of the 21st century. Cloth diaper, today, have vastly improved fro their fore-runners, with highly more absorbent materials, leak protection, a vast array of styles to suit your personal preferences and need, you wallet and even your fashion sense.

MAKE EVERYTHING YOU EAT FROM SCRATCH!!
No, I don;t mean scratch yourself then open a box-dinner!
Learn to cook from scratch! Not only is cooking from scratch healthier, that is, it can be if you choose to cook as so, it is CHEAPER!!!!!!!!!!! Save you money and eat a home-cooked meal!!!


This feels like a good place to end, for today, that is! There is more to come!



DISCLAIMER: All information is merely observation through personal practice and experiences. Please note that your experiences and outcomes of any attempt to model your shopping habits are 1. At your own will, I am not responsible for your personal shopping habits, nor do I claim to change them in any way, or improve your financial status or financial management, or financial standing in any way, 2. Have, here by, been advised you may experience a different outcome based on your geographical location, local economy, and resources and time available to you, the individual, and 3. Personal preferences of chosen brand of any and all item, shopping location and stores and all other variables, thereafter.

REMINDER: Provident Living Class - HERBS/CHEESE/MEAT/VEGGIES


DON'T FORGET!!!!!
We will be holding a Provident Living Class tonight at the church!

Kate Penhallegon will be talking to us about common herbs - how to preserve them and use them!
Laura Cherry will be teaching us how to can meat and how to dehydrate cheap frozen veggies!
Susan Oakley will be teaching us how to wax cheese!
The class will run from 7:00pm - 8:00pm at the 66th Street Chapel for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 525 66th Street Springfield, OR 97478

This class will be held in the multi-purpose room (next to the kitchen) on the south side of the building.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

52 Weeks to Family Preparedness: Week 15

Download Week 15 here.

REMINDER: Emergency Essentials Group Buy and an ANNOUNCEMENT!!




Grrrrrrreat news!!!! For those of you ordering food/supplies via the EE Group Buy, you can now pay online with PayPal!! No PayPal Account is necessary. Just click on the donate button below, and remember - there is a fee when paying with PayPal, so please check the chart below and add the correct amount to your original total when paying. Questions? Email me - laura.s.cherry@gmail.com

PayPal Fee Chart:
$1 - $50 =       $1.50 fee
$51 - $100 =   $3.00 fee
$100 - $200 = $6.00 fee
$201+ =          $10.00 fee




Congratulations!!

Congratulations on increasing your Food Storage! Your Emergency Essentials should be here within the next 2 weeks. Laura Cherry will contact you as soon as it arrives. Questions? Email Laura -  laura.s.cherry@gmail.com

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Self-Reliance 101: SPROUTS

 

Visit this website - SproutPeople.org for information on sprouts! If you've never grown them yourself, now is the time. They're extremely nutritious, they pack a lot of punch (as far as survival foods go) in a small quantity, and they're CHEAP! You get a lot of bang for your buck! 

Also, here's a must-see video on growing sprouts from SouthernPrepper1 - a no-nonsense prepper who has proven himself to be an invaluable resource to the prepping community! I've talked about him before. 

Enjoy!! 




Group Buy: Emergency Essentials (April)



Emergency Essentials has released their Group Buy items for April.
 
Here's an overview if you'd rather not view the site. Orders need to be made by April 15th. If minimums are met at that time I'll keep ordering open til the 20th.

APRIL ITEMS:

1-Day MRE (a full 24 hours worth of MRE's for one person) - $10.00 (for 12 or more)
Whole Egg Powder - $14.00 (for 12 or more)
Freeze-Dried Strawberries - $20.00 (for 12 or more)
161-Piece First-Aid Kit - $15.00 (for 6 or more)
Freeze-Dried Bananas - $16.00 (for 12 or more) <------- THIS IS A FANTASTIC DEAL!!


If you would like any of these items, you can let me know in one of 4 ways:

1. Call/Text me @ 541-285-1606
2. Email me - laura.s.cherry@gmail.com
3. Send me a message on Facebook
4. Let me know via comment on this blog

 
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Monday, April 4, 2011

Words of the Prophets: Video Edition

Bishop's Storehouse Price Increase



I would just like to start off with: there's no need to panic.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has implemented a Bishop's Storehouse price increase effective now.


You can see the price list here.

Now, these are somewhat large price increases. But as I said before, there is no need to panic. We can do this!!

Here's an overview of the kinds of changes you'll see:

Wheat is now $11.45 (up from $7.65) for a 25# bag.

There has been a price increase of 19.1% in the past 22 months on the 20 most-purchased foods. That's almost a 1% increase per month. No panicking, however prices are just going to go up from here. If you have been putting off heeding the call to food storage, now would be a good time to stop.

We'll see the biggest increase in:

Sugar @ 26%
Regular Oats @ 29.6%
White Wheat @ 31.9%
Macaroni @ 36.4%
Potato Flakes @ 39.2%

Rice and beans increased very little during the same period.

You guys are great!! Keep your prayers up and your tempers down. We have known for a long times that the last days are here. The time for rationalization has passed. The time to ignore the Prophet's warning voice has come and gone. We must band together and find strength in our relationship with our Father in Heaven through prayer. Much of the world is in trouble. It will reach our shores one day. We know this. Price increases like this will become ever-more frequent as we grow nearer and nearer to the Lord's Second Coming.

Time to get busy!!