Food storage challenge of the week:

Take inventory of what you have.   Include your fridge,  freezer,  pantry,  basement, ... wherever you have food on hand.

Years ago,  Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone suggested three steps to building your food storage:
1- Inventory what you have

2- decide what you will need to bring levels to where they should be.  That gets broken into a couple steps because now the Church recommends having a 3- month supply of your everyday food,  in addition to the long - term storage foods for a year's supply.   More on that later.

3- Work out a time schedule for when you'll have that 3- month and/or year of food.   I'll send more on how to afford that,  next week.

Then,  of course,  begin.   Or, rather,  continue: you already have begun if you have even one can or box of food on hand! 

- Rhonda

"The Lord will make it possible, if we make a firm commitment, for every Latter-day Saint family to have a year’s supply of food reserves…. All we have to do is to decide, commit to do it, and then keep the commitment. Miracles will take place; the way will be opened… We will prove through our actions our willingness to follow our beloved prophet and the Brethren, which will bring security to us and our families.” 
-Vaughn J. Featherstone

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1976/04/food-storage?lang=eng

 
 
Week 2's challenge is to determine how much water YOU should store, and begin working towards that.

Recommended water storage quantity
:  14 gallons per person.  This is enough to meet basic needs for two weeks:  1 gallon per person per day.  Read more about that here.

Free water storage options:  use 2- or 3-liter soda bottles, 2-qt juice bottles, or any other food-grade plastic container that says PETE on the bottom and has a tight-fitting lid. Do not use milk jugs; they eventually weaken and leak.
Other options: You can often find 35- and 55-gallon blue water storage barrels for sale on the local online classified ads; in Utah they’re also at Macey’s grocery store, Industrial Container, emergency supply stores, and sometimes at Walmart. Used barrels are usually sold for one of two reasons:  someone is moving or just tired of storing the barrels, or they’re being sold by a business after having syrup or other liquid in them.  They are the containers soda companies have their syrup in when it comes to them.  Clean them out and they’re great.  There are also larger size containers you can find—100 gallons or more--, either new or used. 
When purchasing new containers, typically count on $.75-1.50 per gallon capacity, i.e. 55-gallon barrel may cost about $50-75.  You can find them cheaper if you watch sales and ads, or sometimes if you join a group buy.                

 -Rhonda

 
 
This is my new favorite cookie.  It is for this week, anyway.  My kids and I invented cookies for a bake-off at the state fair, and this is one of the results.  One of the others we made took first place, but this one is my personal favorite.    
Contests are funny things anyway:  you'd think the best-tasting item wins, but that's not necessarily the case.  First of all, "best taste" always depends on who's doing the tasting. Or the judging, in this case.  Secondly, cookies are given a score, and in this contest, only 40% of it is from how the cookie tastes.  30% is how attractive it ('and its surroundings) are, and 30% here was 'creativity', which, like taste, is very subjective.  

This cookie was dreamed up by a daughter who loves key lime pie, and wanted a cookie that tasted like it.  You'll have extra frosting; you can make a half batch, or it can be frozen, or used to frost cupcakes, or spread on graham crackers... or eaten on a spoon!
My friend who dislikes frosting, likes this  frosting.
Creamy Lime Pie Cookies 
Makes 2- 2 ½ dozen

Graham Cracker Sugar Cookie:

¾ c. granulated sugar 
½ c. butter or shortening or coconut oil
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 sleeve graham cracker, finely crushed (about 1 ½ c.)
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1 c. flour
¼ c. limeade concentrate, thawed.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cream shortening and sugar, add egg and vanilla.  Add cracker crumbs, salt, and baking soda; beat well. Mix in flour. Drop by heaping spoonful on lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake 7-8 minutes.  Let cookies cool two minutes, then brush with the limeade concentrate.  All of it should be gone once all cookies are brushed.  Cool completely before frosting generously with Creamy Lime Frosting.


Creamy Lime Frosting

1 cube butter
2 c. powdered sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
1/16 tsp. salt
4 drops green food color, optional
¼ c. limeade concentrate, mostly thawed
8 oz. cream cheese, still cool, cut in 1” cubes

In a medium bowl, combine butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and green food color.  Beat until fluffy.  Add limeade concentrate and whip the mixture.  Add cream cheese, a couple cubes at a time, and beat until mixed thoroughly.  Beat on high until light and fluffy, but don’t overbeat or it will go runny.



 
 
September is National Preparedness Month.  Each week this month I'll post a weekly challenge of something simple you can do, with no money at all if that's where you are.

We should be prepared for what?
Emergencies. Job loss.  "Eventualities"... like that earthquake we've been told to expect someday.  Illness.  Unavailability of water because somebody broke a water main.  Power outages, long or short.  You name it.
Life.  

Here's a quick overview of some good recommendations for Personal or Family Emergency Planning

Items to consider may include:
•Three-month supply of food that is part of your normal daily diet.
•Drinking water.
•Financial reserves.
•Longer-term supply of basic food items.
•Medication and first aid supplies.
•Clothing and bedding.
•Important documents.
•Ways to communicate with family following a disaster
.

See providentliving.org for more information.

WEEK 1 CHALLENGE:
Create a family emergency contact plan and share it with your immediate family so everyone knows what to do, where/who to call or text, who will be your out-of-state contact, what are the emergency plans at your kids' schools, workplace, how to get people back home... 

The link below has a simple form you can use, and the second page of it has cards to fill out with the info you need, for you or your children to carry.

http://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/Family_Emegency_Plan.pdf

Will you accept the challenge?  I'd love to hear what you did.