My teenaged son and I were talking about the crazy economic week the nation (world!) is having. I mentioned that the DOW had lost a fourth of its value in a weekend, and gold had gone from $1400/oz to $1800/oz. He stared at me, and said, "I told you we should have bought gold!"
Nah, I'm not interested in it- if I pooled all available resouces, I'd be able to buy about one handful of gold. Wheat, on the other hand, is two cents an ounce (already in a bucket for you at Macey's this week). And I can eat that. The line I've repeated to my older children over the last couple years is, "I can't afford gold, but I can afford wheat. And I can eat wheat."
Are you feeling concerned about the future? The Lord told us, "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." (D&C 38:30). More on that below. The biggest part is being prepared spiritually- living with faith and trust in the Lord. He will do what will help us become better, more righteous people. Trials are essential to that. Are you also prepared with food and supplies? I do not advocate rushing out and going into debt to get everything; I do encourage you to pinch and scrape this month to get the most value out of your money, before the value changes again. Buying the absolute basics- wheat, rice, oil, sugar, dry beans, salt, powdered milk- will stretch your money the most. Do you have an entertainment budget for the month? A budget for dates? Take that, just this month, and use it for food you can have on hand in your house. Wheat has doubled in price since 2009; talk about a great investment! I love eating at 2-years-ago prices.
Here in Utah we enjoy a phenomenon called The Case Lot Sale. As best I can tell, this is because of the high concentration of Mormons here and our unique buying habits; we have been taught since the church's early days (1800's) to have plenty of extra food and supplies at home. The case lot sales are when the stores offer great prices on many items, usually the lowest prices of the year, and sometimes with an extra discount if you buy an entire case of something. We enjoy the sales once or twice a year, depending on the store. They are a big part of my budget shopping, along with the price book idea- I buy nearly all of my groceries only when on sale. When canned green beans hit their best price, I buy enough for the coming year. Then I don't buy any more for the rest of the year, when they're at least twice the price. This makes for an expensive Case Lot month, but the months after are much cheaper as a result.
This week Macey's and Fresh Market both have case lot sales. See the Deals page for what the best prices are. All of the long-term-storage foods I've listed there are close to, or cheaper than, the Home Storage Center prices. The only exception is the Country Cream powdered milk, but it tastes better than the HSC's. It's still a good deal, too.
The following excerpts from an article are from Ezra Taft Benson, then an Apostle, published in the Ensign magazine, January 1974, entitled “Prepare Ye”. He repeats D&C 38:30 three times in it (“if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear”), and this talk has been extensively quoted. It contains at least 12 segments I’ve quoted or heard quoted. I recommend that you read through the whole talk, and see how many pieces of it you’ve heard before.Here are some excerpts:“In Matthew, chapter 24, we learn of “famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes. …” (Matt. 24:7.) The Lord declared that these and other calamities shall occur. These particular prophecies seem not to be conditional. The Lord, with his foreknowledge, knows that they will happen. Some will come about through man’s manipulations; others through the forces of nature and nature’s God, but that they will come seems certain. Prophecy is but history in reverse—a divine disclosure of future events.Yet, through all of this, the Lord Jesus Christ has said: “… if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30.)…At the April 1937 general conference of the Church [of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints], President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., of the First Presidency, asked: “What may we as a people and as individuals do for ourselves to prepare to meet this oncoming disaster, which God in his wisdom may not turn aside from us?” President Clark then set forth these inspired basic principles of the Church welfare program:“First, and above and beyond everything else, let us live righteously. … Let us avoid debt as we would avoid a plague; where we are now in debt, let us get out of debt; if not today, then tomorrow. Let us straitly and strictly live within our incomes, and save a little.“Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead. You of small means put your money in foodstuffs and wearing apparel, not in stocks and bonds; you of large means will think you know how to care for yourselves, but I may venture to suggest that you do not speculate. Let every head of every household aim to own his own home, free from mortgage. Let every man who has a garden spot, garden it; every man who owns a farm, farm it.” (Conference Report, April 1937, p. 26.)…There are blessings in being close to the soil, in raising your own food, even if it is only a garden in your yard and/or a fruit tree or two. Man’s material wealth basically springs from the land and other natural resources. Combined with his human energy and multiplied by his tools, this wealth is assured and expanded through freedom and righteousness. Those families will be fortunate who, in the last days, have an adequate supply of each of these particulars.”… “Healthful foods, proper rest, adequate exercise, and a clean conscience can prepare us to tackle the trials that lie ahead.”
Have you found good deals on strawberries? Or are your plants starting to produce them? We love to make and eat strawberry leather, though I often mix strawberry puree with applesauce or any other mashed fruit, to make the strawberries go farther. For a simple way to make fruit leather, see http://www.theprovidenthomemaker.com/1/post/2010/11/what-to-do-now-in-the-garden-fruit-leather.html___________________________ If you’re in the Salt Lake valley, I just learned about a lady who puts together group orders every month; she lives just a mile down the road from me. The prices are great, and the food is good quality. It comes from a Utah/Idaho farmers’ co-op; most of the items are even organic. Her website is http://www.organicemily.com ____________________________The following excerpts from an article are from Ezra Taft Benson, published in the Ensign magazine, January 1974, entitled “Prepare Ye”. He repeats D&C 38:30 three times in it (“if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear”), and this talk has been extensively quoted. It contains at least 12 segments I’ve quoted or heard quoted. Read through the talk, and see how many pieces of it you’ve heard before.Here are some excerpts:“In Matthew, chapter 24, we learn of “famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes. …” (Matt. 24:7.) The Lord declared that these and other calamities shall occur. These particular prophecies seem not to be conditional. The Lord, with his foreknowledge, knows that they will happen. Some will come about through man’s manipulations; others through the forces of nature and nature’s God, but that they will come seems certain. Prophecy is but history in reverse—a divine disclosure of future events.Yet, through all of this, the Lord Jesus Christ has said: “… if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30.)…At the April 1937 general conference of the Church [of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints], President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., of the First Presidency, asked: “What may we as a people and as individuals do for ourselves to prepare to meet this oncoming disaster, which God in his wisdom may not turn aside from us?” President Clark then set forth these inspired basic principles of the Church welfare program:“First, and above and beyond everything else, let us live righteously. … Let us avoid debt as we would avoid a plague; where we are now in debt, let us get out of debt; if not today, then tomorrow. Let us straitly and strictly live within our incomes, and save a little.“Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead. You of small means put your money in foodstuffs and wearing apparel, not in stocks and bonds; you of large means will think you know how to care for yourselves, but I may venture to suggest that you do not speculate. Let every head of every household aim to own his own home, free from mortgage. Let every man who has a garden spot, garden it; every man who owns a farm, farm it.” (Conference Report, April 1937, p. 26.)…There are blessings in being close to the soil, in raising your own food, even if it is only a garden in your yard and/or a fruit tree or two. Man’s material wealth basically springs from the land and other natural resources. Combined with his human energy and multiplied by his tools, this wealth is assured and expanded through freedom and righteousness. Those families will be fortunate who, in the last days, have an adequate supply of each of these particulars.”… “Healthful foods, proper rest, adequate exercise, and a clean conscience can prepare us to tackle the trials that lie ahead.”
Light, fluffy, and springy homemade marshmallows.
Two quotes have been on my mind lately, they are:“Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life, not a sudden, spectacular program." - Spencer W. Kimball * * * * * * *“ For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” -2 Timothy 1:7God is aware of us, and offers his love and power, as we keep trying to become the kind of person he intends us to be. Are we adjusting our way of life to become more self-reliant? I know he blesses us as we do.____________________________
This is a recipe my mom made every Easter; she made marshmallow eggs, dipped them in chocolate, and decorated them with a flower and our name. We made marshmallows other times of the year, too, in just a simple square shape. There are recipes available that use less gelatin; they are egg-white based. This recipe, however, is as simple and quick as you can get, and doesn’t require heating sugar syrup to soft-ball. These are also egg-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. There’s even a version that uses honey instead of table sugar. To get instructions for making marshmallow eggs or chicks (“Peeps”), seehere.
Mom’s Marshmallows2 c. sugar
3 envelopes (2 Tbsp.) unflavored gelatin
1 c. water
¼ tsp. salt, optional
1 tsp. vanilla
Powdered sugar and/or cornstarch for dustingCombine gelatin and sugar in a small pan, stir in water and salt, if using. Heat just until sugar is dissolved, then bring just to boiling. Remove from heat and cool about 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla, transfer to a large bowl. Beat at high speed about 10 minutes or until it looks like thick marshmallow cream. Pour into buttered 9x13 pan. Let set a couple hours. With clean scissors dipped in hot water or shortening, cut into squares. Roll in powdered sugar and/or cornstarch. Store airtight, unless you like them crunchy!Flavored marshmallows: Instead of the 2 c. sugar and the gelatin, use 1 c. sugar, 1 big (6-oz) box of flavored ‘Jello’, and 1 envelope (2- 2 ½ tsp.) unflavored gelatin.Naturally flavored marshmallows: Use fruit juice in place of water, and reduce sugar by 1-2 Tbsp. Use vanilla or any other complementary flavor. Almond extract is great with cherry juice; orange oil, zest, or extract is good with strawberry, lemon oil/zest/extract with raspberry, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon with apple juice…. Just don’t use oils in an egg white-based marshmallow recipe; it won’t whip. Jell-0 brand gelatin says that it won’t set if you use “fresh or frozen Pineapple, Kiwi, Gingerroot, Papaya, Figs, or Guava.” So be aware those might not make marshmallows, either.Chocolate marshmallows: Add 1/3 c. cocoa to the mixture before whipping. Use the optional salt.Toasted-Coconut marshmallows- toast 1 ½ cups of fine-flake coconut. Take any shape marshmallows, after they’ve set up, and spray them with a fine mist of water or roll them on a lightly wet surface. Roll them in the coconut. If you don’t have fine-flake coconut, put two cups of regular sweetened shredded coconut in a food processor. Pulse until the pieces are mostly under ¼” long.Honey marshmallows: use 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. honey instead of the 2 c. sugar. Reduce water to ¾ c. Or use a 2/3 batch: ¾ c. honey, ½ c. water, 2 packages unflavored gelatin. These would be good with a little lemon extract/oil, or 1 c. fine flake (macaroon) coconut stirred in at the end. Using a couple tbsp. of lemon juice in place of some of the water may work, but having a lot of Vitamin C prevents the gelatin from setting properly. I wouldn’t use fresh lemon for sure, only bottled. If it doesn’t set, you’ll know why. If it does set, I’d love to know!
This batch was made with tart cherry juice instead of water. Normally the mixture is off-white before beating.
After you combine the gelatin, sugar, and water, you only need to bring it to a boil. You don't need any particular temperature, just make sure the sugar and gelatin have dissolved.
Prepare your pan while the mixture cools a few minutes. For square marshmallows, just butter a 9x13 pan. For eggs, fill couple pans with a 1-inch-deep layer of flour. Make egg-shaped indentations to mold your marshmallow eggs. A clean egg from the fridge, or a big spoon for big eggs.
Pour gelatin mixture into a big bowl (a standing mixer is ideal), add vanilla, and start beating it on high speed.
This is mostly beaten. It will set up great at this point, but if you want puffier eggs or chicks, keep beating.
This is thick and fluffy, perfect. It holds its shape pretty well. Pour into your prepared pan, and let set up, at room temperature, for a couple hours, until firm.
Cutting square marshmallows is easiest with scissors. You can dip them in hot water or grease them. A quick way is to poke them down into a container of shortening or coconut oil. After snipping, roll them in more powdered sugar or cornstarch. Store tightly covered.
This is the yield of a whole batch of marshmallows. Well, almost a whole batch. We had to taste-test, you know...!
image courtesy photos8.com
Seasoned flour is fabulous to coat any meat before cooking. It's also delicious added to onion-ring batter. All you do is mix 1 cup pancake batter with 1 Tbsp. seasoned flour.
Slice an onion and separate it into rings. I like to leave the center tiny rings together. Dip into batter, and drop into 375-degree oil. It will take only 1-2 minutes per side to cook. Drain on paper towels.
One giant onion (18 ounces!) and a half-hour later, we have a giant pile of delicious onion rings.
This recipe is kind of a shake-and-bake thing, but cheaper and fresher. It is really delicious with any kind of meat- chicken, beef, pork, fish, you name it. Put ½ cup of this on a plate, then dredge (dip) raw meat in it, coating both sides. The mixture is pretty salty, so use serving-sized chunks of meat. If you’re going to coat chicken-nugget-sized pieces, combine mixture with an equal amount of cracker crumbs or flour, or the meat will be too salty. (Lesson learned the hard way.) Heat up 1-4 Tbsp. of oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat, then cook the meat until as done as you like. Any leftover (used) seasoned flour can be kept in the freezer until you need it, or mix it into a batch of biscuits, breadsticks, or cornbread. My new favorite use for seasoned flour is Onion Rings: make pancake batter (any recipe, don’t add oil or butter) but add 1 Tbsp. of Seasoned Flour to it for each cup of flour or pancake mix you used. Slice an onion and separate it into rings, dip them into the batter, and deep fry a few at a time until golden. NO restaurant onion ring in my memory can compare to this!
4 cups flour
3 Tbsp. seasoned salt
3 Tbsp. garlic salt
3 Tbsp. onion salt
3 Tbsp. pepper
3 Tbsp. salt
Mix together and store airtight in cupboard. Makes about 4 ½ cups.
If you don't have garlic salt or onion salt, use
4 cups flour
3 Tbsp. seasoned salt
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
3 Tbsp. pepper
1/4 c. salt
If you don't want to keep more than a quart jar's worth, give the extra 1/2 cup to a neighbor to try- they'll want the recipe too!
Have you heard this before? It’s a quote from Brigham Young (if you’re short on time, just read the bold):
“Were I to ask the question, how much wheat or anything else a man must have to justify him in letting it go to waste, it would be hard to answer; figures are inadequate to give the amount. Never let anything go to waste. Be prudent, save everything, and what you get more than you can take care of yourselves, ask your neighbors to help you. There are scores and hundreds of men in this house, if the question were asked them if they considered their grain a burden and a drudge to them, when they had plenty last year and the year before, that would answer in the affirmative, and were ready to part with it for next to nothing. How do they feel now, when their granaries are empty? If they had a few thousand bushels to spare now, would they not consider it a blessing? They would. Why? Because it would bring the gold and silver. But pause for a moment, and suppose you had millions of bushels to sell, and could sell it for twenty dollars per bushel, or for a million dollars per bushel, no matter what amount, so that you sell all your wheat, and transport it out of the country, and you are left with nothing morethan a pile of gold, what good would it do you? You could not eat it, drink it, wear it, or carry it off where you could have something to eat. The time will come that gold will hold no comparison in value to a bushel of wheat. Gold is not to be compared with it in value. Why would it be precious to you now? Simply because you could get gold for it? Gold is good for nothing, only as men value it. It is no better than a piece of iron, a piece of limestone, or a piece of sandstone, and it is not half so good as the soil from which we raise our wheat, and other necessaries of life. The children of men love it, they lust after it, are greedy for it, and are ready to destroy themselves, and those around them, over whom they have any influence, to gain it” (Journal of Discourses, 1:, p.250).
The onion rings and some hushpuppies. This was from a 2-cup batch of onion ring batter. Next time I'll use 1 cup and a normal-sized yellow onion.
If you have extra batter, you can add a little oil or melted butter (for tenderness), and stir in cornmeal and/or flour until it's thick enough to get round spoonfuls. Also nice with some dried parsley for color. Drop the spoonfuls into the hot oil, flip to the other side after a minute. Drain on paper towels, too.
How about another zucchini recipe? Any summer squash can be used in the recipe. Since I don’t have zucchini this year, (the seedlings were stepped on...) I’ve been making my lemon-zucchini bread with yellow summer squash, too. “Bisque” usually means a thick, creamy soup thickened by pureeing it, instead of by adding flour. We made some yesterday using an immature Hubbard squash (picked by an enthusiastic child…), and it was delicious. The recipe came from the Ukraine; my sister ate it- and loved it- there on her mission. In the bisque, the curry powder is great, but you can also try other spices you like- using basil or ground coriander to taste, or a half packet of ranch dressing mix powder (Remember dressing mix is salty, so leave out the salt in the recipe). The soup really shines when served with “Best Drop Biscuits” (archived under Quick Breads) or homemade French bread; something with some crunch to contrast with the silkiness of the soup. Here’s a video on YouTube about food storage, a lady from Arizona… this segment is “top 10 reasons for not starting food storage”: here if the link didn't work. The sound doesn't work really well, but it's still worth watching! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhGaTlwYs-s I thought it was pretty funny, but it makes you think. Just remember that when she says ‘year’s supply’, that you don’t worry about that part until you reach Step 4 from the All Is Safely Gathered In booklet on providentliving.org. How much you store, on that step, is up to you to study and pray about. Here are the four:
1. Gradually build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet until it is sufficient for three months.2. Store drinking water.3. Establish a financial reserve by setting aside a little money each week, and gradually increase it to a reasonable amount. 4. Once families have achieved the first three objectives, they are counseled to expand their efforts, as circumstances allow, into a supply of long-term basic foods such as grains, legumes, and other staples. Happy storing! -Rhonda Curried Zucchini Bisque2 Tbsp. butter2-4 tsp. curry powder- or use other spices you like1 medium onion, chopped ¼ tsp. black pepper3 c. chicken broth, or 3 c. water and 1 ½ tsp. chicken bouillon1 (7-8 oz.) potato, cut in ½” cubes1-1 ½ lbs. zucchini, trimmed and cubed½ tsp. salt1 ½ c. cream or evaporated milk (12 oz. can) or a 12-oz. can of coconut milk Combine butter, curry powder, onion, and pepper in a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat. Add broth, potato, zucchini, and salt. Simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender. Add cream and puree the soup until smooth. Serve garnished with croutons if you like. Cubed chicken is also good in this.
Hi,Remember this?"We encourage members world-wide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings.” “For longer-term needs….gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive” (from All is Safely Gathered In, First Presidency pamphlet)
Here is what a basic supply of food includes: it will provide about 2200 calories a day, which means you’ll probably get 1800 and your husband will get 2600. This is less than most people are used to, especially if you're suddenly living a 'more active' lifestyle, but it will keep you alive!300 lbs grains- includes Wheat, Rice, Rolled Oats, Dried Corn, Popcorn, Flour, Pasta Products, Dried Potatoes. Some lists say 400 lbs per person, but the current Church site says 300. Take your pick, according to what you can handle. Storage-wise or hunger-wise; that extra 100 lbs provides an extra 435 calories per day.16 lbs. powdered milk- this is just enough for cooking, about ¾ cup per day. You can store instant, regular powder, and canned milk. It takes about 5 (12-oz) cans to equal one pound of powdered milk 60 lbs sugar- this includes white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, honey, molasses, jam/jelly, corn syrup, fruit drink mix, gelatin. If you have honey that crystallizes, set the bottle in the sun on a warm day, or put it in a pan of water on lowest heat overnight. It will become liquid again. You will want more sugar than 60 lbs. if you can your own fruit.10 quarts cooking oil (2 ½ gallons)- yes, YOU NEED FAT. Your brain is made mostly of fat. Guess what happens if you don’t get any fat in your diet? Plus, it’s a lot of calories for very little storage space. The darker & cooler you keep it, the longer it lasts. Fats include shortening, cooking oil, butter/margarine, mayonnaise, peanut butter.8 lbs salt per person- this is the cheapest of them all! In addition to the round canisters, you can buy salt in 4-lb rectangular boxes; these stack together more efficiently. At Sams’ Club, these boxes are just under $1. Woo-hoo! Two bucks and you have your personal salt for the year!60 lbs. legumes, dried- includes soybeans, pinto beans, white beans, kidney beans, lima beans, anything that ends with ‘bean’ (unless it begins with ‘jelly’), black-eyed peas, split peas, and lentils. These are a great, inexpensive source of protein. Store the same as wheat- dry, clean, dark and cool if possible. It takes 4 ½ (15 oz) cans to equal one pound of dry beans.14 gallons water per person. This is just 2 weeks’ supply, for drinking and a tiny bit for washing; the minimum our church leaders have counseled. You may also want a way to purify water for longer-term use. To purify, you can boil water for 2 minutes, or use chlorine bleach (plain only, not scented!) If the water is clear, use ½ tsp. per 5 gallons of water. If the water is cloudy, use double; 1 tsp. per 5 gallons of water.Children do not need a full adult’s portion. For them, figure age 3 and under= 50%, ages 4-6= 70%, ages 7-10= 90%, ages 11 and up= 100%. Obviously, kids' ages are always changing, so when I calculate what to have on hand ( I inventory every Conference), I project out six months to a year. For instance, if someone is 6 years old, I count that child as 7 years. That way I'm not always slightly behind when it's time to replenish. * * * * *Recipes today are for a whole meal….Roast Chicken FromLiving On a Dime, Jan 2010.
Here is a very basic but yummy recipe. You can also put this in a crock pot to slow cook all day.1 (3 lb.) whole chickenSalt and pepper to taste1 Tsp. onion powder1/4 cup butter or margarine ( You may use lite margarine)1 stalk celery, leaves removedSeason the whole chicken inside and out with salt, pepper and onion powder. Place breast side down in pan placing margarine and celery into cavity. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until internal temperature is 180° (82° C). You can baste with juices or melted margarine once or twice. Remove from oven and cover with foil for 30 minutes and let it rest before cutting.You can easily adapt this recipe to your own likes and dislikes. For example, you might use garlic powder instead of the onion powder, you could slide slices of lemons or garlic cloves or even onion slices under the skin. Try other seasonings, too.The main thing that makes this recipe great is cooking it breast side down, which makes it extra juicy.Cheesy Peas and Rice2 1/4 cups rice, cooked 1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen peas, thawed1 (6 oz.) can of mushrooms, drained 6 oz. Velveeta, cubed*Combine all the ingredients in a greased 1 1/2 qt. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. I didn't used to buy Velveeta because it used to be more expensive than other cheeses, but it is the same price or less than cheddar now, so I buy it more often.Apple Butterscotch CrispThis recipe is good served with ice cream or, for something different, try a slice of cheese or a dollop of sour cream. 5 large (7 small) apples, sliced and peeled 1 tsp. cinnamon1 cup brown sugar, depending on your apples 1/2 cup flour1/2 cup quick cooking oatmeal 1/2 cup butter or margarine, cold 1 pkg. (3 1/2 oz.) cook and serve
butterscotch puddingPlace apples in a greased 9x13 pan. Mix everything else in a bowl, cutting in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.* Sprinkle over apples. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until apples are tender.*Whenever a recipe says to cut in something, that means to take a pastry cutter and mix the butter, margarine or shortening in with the dry ingredients until the mix gets crumbly looking. (I just use my fingers. It is easier for me to wash them than a pastry cutter.)Roast Chicken Leftovers:Chicken Spaghetti Bake- Make your favorite spaghetti, mixing noodles and sauce. Instead of adding hamburger to it or leaving it without meat, add some cubed leftover chicken. Put it in a 9x13 greased pan sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350° until heated through and cheese is melted.Make Chicken Soup with leftovers- see the recipe for turkey soup. Use ¼ the amount of water and spices for chicken because it’s so much smaller!Leftover Leftovers- If you have any of this soup left, thicken it with a little cornstarch or flour mixed in water. Make a batch of biscuits or use any leftover biscuits you have and pour the thickened soup (now like gravy) over it.
Make your own citrus flavoring by saving the peels, drying, and powdering them with some sugar. The marmalade recipe, below, is even faster.
From left to right: wet-canned candied orange peel, dried-first and then canned candied orange peel, orange marmalade. Baby food jars are a great size to fill and give away with a loaf of bread. I dress up the lid with a square of fabric, and secure with a ribbon or rubber band.
How is your 3-month supply coming? I know some of you are past that; another post lists quantities for a year’s supply. Once you have 3 months, remember it counts towards your full year, and long-term storage foods are the cheapest you can eat. It will cost you less to get that remaining 9 months than it did to get the 3 months’ worth.Now for this week’s information, the recipe is for something simple to do with all those wonderful oranges that are in season right now.President Benson said, “There are blessings in being close to the soil, in raising your own food even if it is only a garden in your yard and a fruit tree or two. Those families will be fortunate who, in the last days, have an adequate supply of food because of their foresight and ability to produce their own.” –October 1980 General Conference Between fall harvest and early spring is a perfect time to plan your garden. A lot of stores already have their seeds in stock by February, and many seed companies have discount coupons to their sites online.
I suggest starting small. If you’ve never grown anything, start with just 1-4 types of vegetables your first year. Some easy ones include lettuce, peas, radishes, beets, green beans, tomatoes, and pumpkins. If you don’t have a garden spot, try growing them in a flower bed. Or just tear out some grass. You’ll water the same amount, but get food out of the deal.The best resource around for Utah is the USU Extension office. Their website is http://extension.usu.edu/ For which varieties are known to produce well here, look at "Recommended Vegetable Varieties", http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/pub__5657148.pdfFor more gardening info, go to the Horticulture Fact Sheets (shortcut is http://extension.usu.edu/htm/publications/by=category/category=43 )There is all the other info you'd want on growing any particular vegetable- when to plant, how much to fertilize, how much food you can expect from each plant, etc. For when to put your seeds in the ground, here's "Suggested Vegetable Planting Dates for the Wasatch Front", http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/Horticulture_Garden_2009-01pr.pdf Nothing goes in the ground yet, unless you have a greenhouse.I highly recommend testing your soil. Last I checked, it was $15 per sample, going through the Extension Office. The linked article was from 1990, that's why it says the test is $10. They suggest testing yearly, but one year’s test will at least tell you what your soil needs to start with. This will save you headaches, using the wrong fertilizer, or too much/not enough fertilizer. Definitely worth it. You'll earn the cost of the test back in fertilizer! The article on this link is Testing Your Soil: http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/HG_H_05.pdf Typically I do 3-4 samples in my yard- front, back, side, and garden location. Yes, there have ALWAYS been significant differences.One more good article to read before you start; "Preparing and Improving Garden Soil" http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/pub__8066784.pdf For when to put your seeds in the ground, here's "Suggested Vegetable Planting Dates for the Wasatch Front", http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/Horticulture_Garden_2009-01pr.pdfHopefully this wasn't too big of a load to dump on you- just read what you can get to. The above is good, basic, start-from-scratch information. Do you have more specific questions? The USU extension site will probably have an answer...Good seed sources: http://miniag.com/?page_id=316 (family business in Colorado, most seeds are $1 per packet, which is very good) http://www.seedstrust.com (specializing in non-hybrid, high-elevation- short season-, and heirloom seeds- with the best selection of tomatoes I’ve ever seen!), http://gurneys.com (they also have a coupon for $25 off a $50 order. Most of my fruit trees have come from there), most grocery stores, Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot, local nurseries. IFA in Riverton (1926 W 12600 S) has bulk seeds- peas, corn, green beans. I got a half pound of peas for the same price as a less-than-one-ounce packet. It turns out that orange (or any citrus) peel is full of nutrition. According to Answers.com, “One may be surprised to find that there is 2,000% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C, 100% of the daily recommended value of Calcium, and 90% of the daily recommended value of vitamin A in any type of orange peel.” I certainly was surprised! The pith (white part, bitter) is also very high in pectin, which is why marmalade thickens so well. Pectin is a great fiber for your body and is a prebiotic. Prebiotics help the probiotics live happily inside you. Compounds in citrus peel has shown in studies to be as effective as statin drugs for lowering LDL cholesterol. Who knew? All this means that if you’ve been saving and storing your orange peel (dried and ground up, or otherwise), you’ve been stashing away a multivitamin!Homemade Orange Flavoring- preserving orange zest; this works for any citrus as well. Wash and dry 3-4 oranges. (or as many as you like)Use a vegetable peeler to peel all the orange off the outside. (eat the oranges!) Spread the peels on a plate, and let dry out for a couple days, until they’re thoroughly dry. Drop them in a blender or food processor, add 1 Tbsp sugar for each orange you had, and run on high until peel is very finely chopped. Store in an old spice jar, baby food jar, or a small jelly jar. Label it. 2 Tablespoons gives you the zest of one orange, enough to flavor a batch of about anything; muffins, cakes, cookies, pancakes, whatever. Use it in place of part of the recipe’s sugar. Also good as part of a spice rub for meats.You don’t really need to add sugar, but it seems to help the zest hold its flavor longer, and makes it easier to have enough in the blender for it to chop well. If you’re not using sugar, 1 Tbsp. is the zest of one orange.
Another way to preserve oranges is Easy Orange Marmalade1 orange, washed wellSugar or honeyCut the orange into quarters, and put it, peel and all, in a blender or food processor. Turn on and let it chop as fine or coarse as you like your marmalade. Look at how much puree you have, and use that same amount of sugar or honey. Put the puree and sugar in a saucepan and heat on high until it boils. Simmer for 5 minutes, until everything is translucent. You’re done. Makes 1- 1 ½ cups, depending on your orange. Or make a big batch, this will take more like 10 minutes of simmering. Pour into jars, seal if you want to store it for a year or more. I’ve kept it in unsealed jars in the refrigerator for 9-10 months before. They might have lasted longer, but we ate them first. Do you ever have oranges start to shrivel and dry out? Turn them into marmalade, even if the peels are hard as leather. It’s also delicious to make lemon or lime marmalade, or a mixture. The lemon is my favorite, especially using just a bit of salt and vanilla – 1/8 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. vanilla per cup of puree.You can use marmalade as the sweetener in recipes; a cup of it has about ¾ c. sugar. I love it in muffins.Candied Orange Peels (short version instructions): save peels from 5-8 oranges, boil them in 3 changes of water, drain, cut in strips with scissors, simmer til translucent in 2 c. sugar and ½ water. Roll in extra sugar while still warm.
I usually keep these in a container in the fridge, but I've sealed them in jars (10 minutes in a boiling-water bath) when still hot, and also dry-sealed them after letting them thoroughly dry out on top of the cupboards for a week or two.
This week has been an exciting one for our end of the Salt Lake valley, with the large fire in Herriman and the evacuations there. It really makes us stop and think about what we would do if a catastrophe occurred in our own homes. (Nice timing, September is National Preparedness Month.)
Could you grab all your important documents if you only had five minutes? Could you list, at the drop of a hat, what physical things are most important to you? I recommend spending some time making a list of what to grab if you only have a few minutes. What would you get if you had an hour or two? It’s better to figure it out ahead of time and never actually have that emergency, than to forget something in your rush.
I dropped in at the Red Cross evacuation center (an LDS stake center), and learned a couple things. When I was there on Tuesday, one family had been there since Sunday. They’d gone three days without a shower or a change of clothes, and the children were expected to be back in school. I rounded up clothes for the family (thanks to those who donated!), which they appreciated. The thing that really surprised me, though, was what I brought that they got EXCITED about…. The 8-yr-old was ecstatic about having pajamas to wear at bedtime, but the mom and 11-yr-old were happiest about Chapstick, fingernail clippers, and hair elastics. Those are such simple, inexpensive things.
Do you have extras of these in your home storage? Would you be ‘up a creek’ if you couldn’t get to a store? Think about what little things would make a difference to you, and store some. A great inventory list to help you expand your storage, if you’re at the year’s supply stage, is found in the back of the Church booklet, “Essentials of Home Production and Storage”. If you’re not that far yet, that’s okay, keep moving toward it.
“Maintain a year's supply. The Lord has urged that his people save for the rainy days, prepare for the difficult times, and put away for emergencies, a year's supply or more of bare necessities so that when comes the flood, the earthquake, the famine, the hurricane, the storms of life, our families can be sustained through the dark days. How many of us have complied with this? We strive with the Lord, finding many excuses: We do not have room for storage. The food spoils. We do not have the funds to do it. We do not like these common foods. It is not needed -- there will always be someone to help in trouble. The government will come to the rescue. And some intend to obey but procrastinate.” -The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.375
Now the recipes- dinner and dessert, all using zucchini. One of the beauties of zucchini is that it doesn’t really taste like anything. This means you can put it in recipes and taste the OTHER ingredients instead of the squash. The zucchini pizza may sound strange, but my mom (who invented this recipe) fed it to 150 college students recently, and all but one liked it a lot. Pretty good odds. My kids and husband liked it, too. The photos above show the finished pizza and the just-cooked crust before adding toppings. I used yellow squash in mine.
3 cups shredded zucchini or yellow squash
1 cup biscuit mix (or pancake mix or flour with 1 1/2 tsp baking powder mixed in)
1/4 cup of chopped onion (or more if you like onion a lot)
salt and pepper to taste-few sprinkles of each
Mix the biscuit mix into the shredded zucchini and chopped onion. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl with the salt and pepper, then mix into the zucchini. Spread batter onto a 12 inch pizza pan that has been sprayed with vegetable oil spray. Bake at 375 until edges are slightly brown and center is firm and springs back nicely. Spread about 8 ounces of pizza sauce on top, then top with favorite cheese and meat, just like any pizza. For pizza sauce, I use a can of tomato sauce and add a little each of: garlic, pepper, oregano, basil, and thyme.
It does still stick a bit to the pizza pan,unless you use a pizza stone or parchment, but it's allright if you use a pancake turner and are careful.
ZUCCHINI CREAM PIE
1 ½ cups peeled, seeded and grated zucchini (yellow squash works too)
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
¾ cup – 1 cup sugar (adjust to taste)
3 T. flour
1t. vanilla extract
1/8 t. salt
2-4 Tbsp. butter, optional.
1 unbaked 9 – 10" pie crust
½ t. ground cinnamon
½ t. ground nutmeg
Steam or microwave grated zucchini on a microwave safe dish until very soft,
about 2-3 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid and cool. Preheat the oven to 425
F. Place the evaporated milk, sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla and salt in a
blender and blend, adding the butter if you’re using it. Add the cooled zucchini and blend again until smooth. Pour custard into unbaked pie crust and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Place on
a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 F. and bake for
another 30 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Makes 8 servings.