I have the HARDEST time finding bouillon that doesn't contain MSG.  Here's a solution:  no MSG, no fillers, no preservatives.  Only what you choose to put in it.

This recipe was adapted from Traci's Transformational Health Principles by Traci J. Sellers

Vegetable Broth Powder     (makes about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup Nutritional Yeast (to make your own, see here)
1/4 cup RealSalt (or Himalayan salt; something with those trace minerals)
1 Tbsp. onion powder (see how to make your own, here)
1 1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried dill weed
1 tsp. marjoram or oregano, optional
1 tsp. dried lemon peel, optional
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. dry basil
1/2 tsp. ground thyme 

 Put everything except parsley in a blender or food processor, in the order given.  Blend until
 powdered.  Add parsley, pulse just enough to chop it a little bit (you're aiming for small bits).  Store in an airtight container indefinitely.  

To use, add a heaping 1/2 tsp. per cup of water, or 1 Tbsp. of powder  for every quart of water.

 
 
They are the bane of some people's existence, the best friend of others.  Some people turn them into casseroles, but they often turn into soup at my house.

What are they?

Leftovers.

Yup, love 'em or hate 'em, we often have 'em sitting in the fridge or pantry.  That last half-cup of gravy, a lonely bowl of chili, a stack of day-old (OK, maybe several-day-old) corn tortillas...

They call out to be useful.  To be loved.  To be eaten.  Maybe disguised first.

Dinner tonight was Tortilla Soup, sort of a Mexican twist on chicken noodle soup.  So how does this tie into using leftovers?  Those dry tortillas got cut into strips, then toasted in the oven while the soup cooked.  The soup itself was made using water, some Mexican-type fat free salad dressing (like a watery lime-cilantro salsa, a great flavor base), a cup of leftover meatless chili (for fiber, heartiness, and deeper flavor), that aforementioned 1/2 cup of gravy (providing a little body and more chicken flavor), a package of frozen cooked turkey from just after last Christmas, and a can of corn (sweetness, saltiness from the 'juice', and a pleasant 'pop').  The tortilla strips were stirred in at the last minute because they disintegrate if you cook them much.  If I had any fresh cilantro or sour cream it would have gone on top as a garnish.  Cheese would be delicious there, too. 

Take a look in your fridge and see- what can you do to give those leftovers another shot at life?

Leftover Tortilla Soup  the way I made it.  Feel free to improvise; that's what this is!

10-12 corn tortillas, cut in 1/2" wide strips
1 quart water
1 (14 oz.) can whole kernel corn, WITH the juices
10-16 oz. salsa or similar
1 cup of chili or 1 (14 oz.) can of beans
2 cups cooked diced chicken or turkey

Spread tortilla strips on a baking sheet, put them in the oven about 8" under the broiler, just long enough to toast them a bit, about 2-8 minutes, depending.  (The idea is that if they're toasted, they might not disintegrate as quickly in the soup.  I might be wrong.  They at least have a better flavor when toasted.)

Combine the water, corn, salsa, beans/chili and chicken/turkey in a 3-quart or larger pan.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes to combine flavors.  Remove from heat and stir in tortilla strips.  Taste, then add salt and pepper if needed.  If it needs more flavor, a little lime juice, chopped cilantro, chicken bouillon, or chili powder would taste good.

Have fun!






 
 
Picture
What better meal for a chilly, rainy, end-of-the-garden kind of day?

Picture warm, smooth, bright-flavored cream of tomato soup; tender, flavorful bacon and cheese biscuits with a crispy exterior.

The recipes are simple, and definitely beat store-bought for flavor and aroma!  I'll be teaching a class on this, with variations, next week (see Classes), and the recipes and variations come from my cookbook, The Chameleon Cook.

Cream of Tomato Soup
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 medium onion
1/2 one carrot
1/2 one celery stalk
1-2 Tbsp. flour
1 lb. fresh, or 14 oz. can stewed, tomatoes
2 sprigs fresh parsley, 1 Tbsp. fresh basil, or 1 tsp. dried basil
1 c. chicken broth, or 1 c. water and 1 bouillon cube
1 c. evaporated milk, half-and-half, or cream
salt and pepper to taste

Cheesy Biscuits
1 cube butter, melted and cooled
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup cold buttermilk or sour milk
1/2 -1 cup shredded cheese
2 slices bacon, crumbled (optional)

Picture
If you're making both, start by turning on your oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Chop half a medium onion, half a carrot (or 3-4 baby carrots), and half of one celery stalk. Cook over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon butter or oil.  Stir once in a while, until the vegetables are tender, about ten minutes (depending on the

Picture
While the vegetables are cooking, start the biscuits.  Melt one stick of butter; set it aside to cool.  In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. sugar. 

Stir one cup of very cold (right out of the fridge) buttermilk or sour milk into the butter.  As you stir, the butter should start to form clumps.  This is good; it gives you the same effect as "cutting in" the butter with the flour, but much quicker.   Pour all but about a tablespoon of it into the flour mixture, add 1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese (the milder the cheese, the more you need), and a couple tablespoons cooked & crumbled bacon (optional).  If you like, you can also add 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper and/or 1/2 tsp. mustard to accent the cheese flavor.  Stir just until combined.

Picture
Put big spoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet.  If you want a more structured biscuit shape, use a greased 1/4 c. measuring cup as a scoop. 

Dip a pastry brush into that last little bit of milk/butter; dab some on the tops of all the biscuits.  Put them into the oven to bake, then check on your vegetables.  These will take about 12-14 minutes to cook- you want the tops crusty golden, and the insides just set.

Picture
When the vegetables are tender, add 1-2 tablespoons of flour depending on how thick you want your soup. Cook and stir for one minute, to brown the flour a little. 

Picture
Put 1 pound of fresh tomatoes (or use one 14-oz. can of stewed tomatoes) in the blender or food processor.  Add the vegetables, one cup of chicken broth (or water and bouillon), and blend until smooth. 

Picture
Pour back into the saucepan.  To catch any little lumps or bits of tomato skin, set a fine-mesh sieve over the pan as you pour. (optional)  Add a couple sprigs of fresh parsley, a tablespoon of fresh basil, or a tespoon of dried basil.  Simmer for 10-20 minutes, to blend the flavors.

Picture
Stir in one cup of half-and-half, cream, or evaporated milk.  Add salt and pepper to taste; about 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. 
Serve hot, with those biscuits to dunk in it!

Now let that wind blow and rain patter against the windows!

 
 
Picture
Rice and more...

Picture
Barbecue Sauce.  Make it quickly using tomato sauce as the main ingredient.

Picture
White Sauce- simple to make, and the base for several recipes.

Main Dishes card 3  Recipes for pureed (any)vegetable soup, simple pasta sauce (starting with a can of diced tomatoes or tomato sauce, rice- basics, fried rice, Spanish rice, and rice pudding (which is breakfast food around here).

Main Dishes card 4 covers how to roast meat, methods of tenderizing it, simple soup, and white sauce with instructions to make it thin, medium, and thick.  Includes options for making it gluten-free.

 
 
 (originally from 4/25/10)
This great list was sent to me by one of my sisters-  enjoy!  It is written specifically for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; the information is good for everyone.

-Rhonda

Top 10 Food Storage Myths BustedBy Danielle Ellis, Desert Saints Magazine

A quick glance through any grocery store reveals that the average American food supply has come from far and wide. Produce from around the globe, grains from hundreds or thousands of miles away, canned goods from who-knows-where. A single calamity, whether man-made or an act of God, would leave those shelves empty, without much hope of a new supply.  For this reason, and many more, Latter-day Saints have long been counseled to have a year’s supply of food and basic supplies in their homes. Yet research has shown that never more than a small percentage of saints have complied with this vital instruction. We’ll bust some of the myths surrounding food storage that may be holding you back. Then make your plan and complete your year’s supply!

10  I Don’t Need Food Storage“There aren’t enough of us; my parents have mine; I don’t think I’ll ever need it.”  These are all ways of saying that you, for some reason, are exempt from prophetic counsel. You’re not. We have been told that our food storage will be as vital to us as boarding the ark was to Noah’s family. You need food storage!

9 There’s Food In The Bishop’s Storehouse“If something happens, I’ll go to the bishop’s storehouse.” Estimates are the bishop’s storehouse would be cleaned out in a matter of minutes. As President Monson advised over twenty years ago, “The best storehouse system that the Church could devise would be for every family to store a year’s supply of needed food, clothing, and, where possible, the other necessities of life.” Be your own storehouse.

8 I Don’t Have A Place To Store FoodIf you knew the lives of your family members depended on the food in your home, would you find a way to store it? Clear out some of your baggage (clutter) to provide for the future. You can find many places for storage. Make it a priority.

7 I Don’t Know What To Store Visit providentliving.org. If that’s too daunting, consider this: the Church advises storing 300 pounds of grains and 60 pounds of beans per adult per year. Break that up into breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and find some recipes. You know what you eat: store it.

6  I Don’t Know How To Store It If you’re confused by oxygen absorbers and gamma seals, don’t be. Get basic foods in your home and begin using them. Once you know how to use them, figure out how to store them for longer periods. You should be using and rotating your foods in an orderly plan, not keeping them for generations.

5  I Have Food Allergies You’re eating something now to stay alive. Figure out how to get a supply of that. If you want to store grains, try millet and oats. Millet is the least allergenic of all grains and oats contain no gluten. Quinoa is a totally different type of grain than wheat and is a nutritional powerhouse. Those with special dietary needs especially need food storage.

4  I Don’t Know How To Prepare It Brigham Young once said, “we need not ask God to feed us, nor follow us round with a loaf of bread begging of us to eat it. He will not do it….” It is our job, and nobody else’s, to figure out how to feed ourselves. There are many cookbooks created to use food storage ingredients. Find some and start using them.

3 The Food Will Go Bad The food will only go bad if you buy short-life products, then stick them under the bed and wait for “d-day.” Buy whole-food products, store them properly, use and rotate them and you’ll be in great shape.

2  I Hate Wheat Then find grains you like, or new recipes, or find different ways to use wheat. Sprouting wheat provides a new dimension of possibilities, as well as additional nutritional benefits- enzymes, extra vitamins and minerals. Try barley, buckwheat, bulgur, couscous, millet, oats, quinoa, rye. Or durum wheat for pasta. Whole grains have the longest storage life and great nutrition.

1It’s Too Expensive If you buy food you never use, you will never find “extra” money to purchase food storage or ways to use and enjoy it. I recently made a large purchase of grains. Including the cost of shipping them to my door, the grains ended up costing LESS THAN 35 CENTS/LB! Look at anything you buy from the grocery store- you are paying much more. Incorporating simpler, whole foods into your diet will improve your health and ease your pocketbook. Priceless.

* * * * * * *         

Menu suggestion- serve this soup with crunchy apple slices and 'Best Drop Biscuits'.  Turn on the oven first; it will be hot enough by the time you get the soup in the pot and the dough mixed.

Chicken Vegetable Noodle Soup 

2  ½   c.  water    (or use broth and omit the bouillon)
1 (8-oz). can  tomato sauce   
10-16 oz bag frozen mixed vegetables (or 2-3 cups fresh)   
A handful of noodles  or other pasta 
2   tsp. or 2 cubes  chicken bouillon   
2   c. cooked chicken (or turkey),  cut up

Combine water, noodles, sauce and veggies.  Bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.  Stir in chicken.  Bring to a boil, then simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Makes about 6 cups. 
I frequently make this my clean-out-the-freezer soup; instead of adding a bag of mixed vegetables, I add all my frozen odds and ends

        

 
 
 
Picture
Eggs, flour, and water make delicious homemade noodles.

Picture
Do you have most of a turkey left over? Or do you have a rotisserie or roasted chicken?  Or even some fried chicken that's nothing but bones now?   It's perfect for making soup.  Really good soup.  It's simple and easy.  There are a lot of herbs and vegetables listed in the broth recipe, which may seem intimidating, but keep in mind the old story of Stone Soup..... each ingredient makes it a little better, but if you don't have something, the soup will still be good.  You make the broth a few hours ahead of time, then add the noodles right before serving- fresh pasta takes only about 3 minutes to cook.  This makes a lot of broth- it freezes well.  Save some for another day. 

Turkey Broth- for chicken, use half as much of everything

The bones from your turkey (with a little meat on still) -   
Water to cover
1 big handful of parsley
1 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf
2 carrots, cut in 1" chunks
2 stalks of celery with leaves, chopped
2 onions, quartered
5-10 peppercorns
5 whole cloves
1 Tbsp. salt to start with

I like to add a little cayenne pepper to the soup if someone is feeling  under the weather.
Picture
The perfect ratio of bone-to-meat is 50/50, but anything will give you broth.  Combine everything in a stock pot, large Dutch oven, or crockpot.  Let simmer or bake, mostly covered, for at least one hour but preferably 4+ hours, until the broth is brown and any remaining meat is fall-off-the-bone tender.  Less time will still give you soup, just not as flavorful.  If you leave the lid off, it will steam up your kitchen windows but will reduce and concentrate the flavor.  A happy medium is to have the lid mostly-on.

Picture
Once you decide the broth is done, pour into a colander over a large bowl.  Pour the broth back into your stock pot, and start sorting through to get the bits of meat.  Try to get every little bit and you may be surprised how much meat was left on a bird you thought was picked clean.
Plan on this taking about 30 minutes; less for a chicken but often more for a large turkey.

Picture
I now have two bowls from the contents of the colander- meat on the left, parts I'm discarding on the right.  If you don't have any tiny bones mixed in with the well-cooked vegetables (I call them 'dead vegetables' at this point!), you can put the veggies in a blender and use it as a base for gravy or soup.

Picture
Beautiful, rich brown broth.  A sign of a good broth, or stock, is that it will gel when cooled.  That's because the bones, with long cooking, release natural gelatin; it adds body and nutrition.

Picture
Skim off fat.  You can save it for cooking with later.  
If you have time, it's easiest to remove when you've chilled the broth overnight to let the fat solidify on top. To make the chicken noodle soup, put it in a big pot and bring to a boil while you're making the noodles.  I usually add in a couple diced carrots and a rib of chopped celery, too.  Taste to see if it needs more salt.

Picture
Freeze and label any leftover broth. I like to use 1-quart-sized freezer ziptop bags; the broth on the right was frozen in muffin cups, for the times I just need a little broth. It will be good at least 3-6 months in the freezer.  I've kept it longer, it hasn't ever gone bad, but may pick up a little funny flavor from whatever else is in the freezer after too long.

Homemade Noodles  -double or triple for a bigger family- my family will eat a 3-cup batch of noodles in soup in one sitting)

1  c. flour
1 egg
2-3 Tbsp. water

Put flour and salt in a bowl or on the counter, stir, and make a deep well in the middle of it.  Put the egg in the well, beat the egg lightly with a fork, add water, and stir to make a stiff dough.  Turn out onto floured counter and knead until smooth, about 3-4 minutes.   Let rest 10 minutes.  (You don't have to do this, but it rolls out more easily if you do.)  Roll out into a rectangle, very thin, about 1/8" thick or less, on a floured counter.  Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut into long strips 1/4-1/2 inch wide.  Cut crosswise so each noodle is only 2-3 inches long.  Lift off the counter using a pancake turner, dump into the boiling broth.   They'll be done in only three minutes, when they float.


Here's a quote for today:


Ezra Taft Benson

"I would respectfully urge you to live by the fundamental principles of work, thrift, and self-reliance, and to teach your children by your example.  It was never intended in God's divine plan that man should live off the labor of someone else.  Live within your own earnings.  Put a portion of those earnings regularly into savings.  Avoid unnecessary debt.  Be wise by not trying to expand too rapidly.  Learn to manage well what you have before you think of expanding further.  This is the kind of advice I would give my own, and is, in my opinion, the key to sound home, business, and government management.

"I would further counsel you to pay your honest tithes and contribute generously to the support of the poor and needy through the fast offerings.  Then store at least a year's supply of basic food, clothing, and fuel.  Then you will find these blessings will accrue: You will not be confronted with the danger of losing all you have because of inflation or depression.  You will have security that no government can provide---savings and supplies for emergencies" (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 262-263).

 
 
 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 Bisque
2 Tbsp. butter
2-4 tsp. curry powder- or use other spices you like
1 medium onion, chopped
¼ tsp. black pepper
3 c. chicken broth, or 3 c. water and 1 ½ tsp. chicken bouillon
1 (7-8 oz.) potato, cut in ½” cubes
1-1 ½ lbs. zucchini, trimmed and cubed
½ tsp. salt
1 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. 

 
 
 
Picture
This is all you'll need to make this easy, flavorful, hearty soup.

This week I’ll start off with the recipe.  It’s a GREAT 3-month supply recipe, because everything in it is canned.  I grew up on it; my mom called it “Mexican Mix-up”, but eventually we just called it “Tamale Soup”.  Canned tamales can be hard to find (and $2 a can!), but Big Lots has them for $1.35.

Tamale Soup

1 (14-15 oz.) can beans (we usually used pinto, but whatever you prefer)-           or cook your own (1 cup dry)
1 (14-15 oz.) can corn
1 (14-15 oz.) can tomatoes- sliced, diced, or whole
1 (14-15 oz.) can tamales, unwrapped and sliced/chopped

 Dump everything in a pot.  Simmer together for 15-20 minutes.  Makes about 8 cups (2 qts.); 4-6 servings

 You don’t need to drain any of the cans, unless you’re trying to reduce salt.  If you are, add water equal to what you drained. You’ll lose flavor, though. 
We usually serve this with carrot sticks and a can of peaches or an apple salad- something colorful, a little sweet, crunchy, and light.


This week’s info is part of a General Conference talk years ago by Vaughn J. Featherstone, “Food Storage”:  He has some great ideas on where the money can come from.


(1)Start by taking an inventory—take a physical count of all of your reserves. This would be a great family home evening project if you’re prepared. If not, it may be terribly embarrassing to you in front of your family. Imagine how the powerful testimony you bear concerning a living prophet must sound to your children, who know that as a family head you have been counseled for years to have a year’s reserve of food on hand. We need to know where we are. Every family should take an inventory—get all the facts.

(2)     Decide what is needed to bring your present reserve levels to a year’s supply (or 3 month supply, if that’s what you’re working on). Then make a list and prepare a plan. Buy them from your monthly food budget allowance. The Church discourages going into debt to buy for storage.

(3)     Now that you know where you are and where you need to be, the third step is to work out a time schedule for when you will reach your goal. I suggest that one year from today we ought to have a year’s supply of food in all active—and many inactive—members’ homes in the Church. Do all you can within the laws of your community, and the Lord will bless you when the time of need comes.

Follow the prophet. He has counseled us to plant a garden and fruit trees. This year don’t just think about it—do it. Grow all the food you possibly can. Also remember to buy a year’s supply of garden seeds so that, in case of a shortage, you will have them for the following spring. I’m going to tell you where to get the money for all the things I’m going to suggest.

Store enough water for each member of your family to last for at least two weeks.

Now you ask, “Where do I get the money for these things? I agree we need them, but I’m having a hard time making ends meet.”

Here is how you do it. Use any one or all of these suggestions, some of which may not be applicable in your country:

1. Decide as a family this year that 25 or 50 percent of your Christmas will be spent on a year’s supply. Many families in the Church spend considerable sums of money for Christmas. Half or part of these Christmas monies will go a long way toward purchasing the basics. I recall the Scotsman who went to the doctor and had an X-ray taken of his chest. Then he had the X-ray gift-wrapped and gave it to his wife for their anniversary. He couldn’t afford a gift, but he wanted her to know his heart was in the right place. Brethren, give your wife a year’s supply of wheat for Christmas, and she’ll know your heart is in the right place. (side note- for 2009/10 prices, that’s $94.40 for a YEAR of wheat for one person… about the cheapest food there is!  I spend that much per person per MONTH for our regular food.)

2. When you desire new clothes, don’t buy them. Repair and mend and make your present wardrobe last a few months longer. Use that money for the food basics. Make all of your nonfood necessities that you feasibly can, such as furniture and clothing.

3. Cut the amount of money you spend on recreation by 50 percent. Do fun things that do not require money outlay but make more lasting impressions on your children.

4. 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.

5. If you haven’t a year’s supply yet and you do have boats, snowmobiles, campers, or other luxury possessions, sell or trade one or two or more of them and get your year’s supply.

6. Watch advertised specials in the grocery stores and pick up extra supplies of those items that are of exceptional value.

7. Change the mix in your family’s diet. Get your protein from sources less expensive than meat. The grocery bill is one bill that can be cut. Every time you enter the store and feel tempted by effective and honest merchandising to buy cookies, candy, ice cream, non-food items, or magazines—don’t! Think carefully; buy only the essentials. Then figure what you have saved and spend it on powdered milk, sugar, honey, salt, or grain (or what you need for your 3-month supply of food.)

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 by (a year from now). 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, and next April we will have our storage areas filled. 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.

Now regarding home production: Raise animals where means and local laws permit. Plant fruit trees, grapevines, berry bushes, and vegetables. You will provide food for your family, much of which can be eaten fresh. Other food you grow can be preserved and included as part of your home storage. Wherever possible, produce your nonfood necessities of life. Sew and mend your own clothing. Make or build needed items. I might also add, beautify, repair, and maintain all of your property.

Home production of food and nonfood items is a way to stretch your income and to increase your skills and talents. It is a way to teach your family to be self-sufficient. Our children are provided with much needed opportunities to learn the fundamentals of work, industry, and thrift. President Romney has said, “We will see the day when we will live on what we produce.” (Conference Reports, April 1975, p. 165.)

I should like to address a few remarks to those who ask, “Do I share with my neighbors who have not followed the counsel? And what about the nonmembers who do not have a year’s supply? Do we have to share with them?” No, we don’t have to share—we get to share! Let us not be concerned about silly thoughts of whether we would share or not. Of course we would share! What would Jesus do? I could not possibly eat food and see my neighbors starving. And if you starve to death after sharing, “greater love hath no man than this …” (John 15:13.)

Now what about those who would plunder and break in and take that which we have stored for our families’ needs? Don’t give this one more idle thought. There is a God in heaven whom we have obeyed. Do you suppose he would abandon those who have kept his commandments? He said, “If ye are prepared, ye need not fear.” (D&C 38:30.) Prepare, O men of Zion, and fear not. Let Zion put on her beautiful garments. Let us put on the full armor of God. Let us be pure in heart, love mercy, be just, and stand in holy places. Commit to have a year’s supply of food by (a year from now).

For the whole talk, go to:

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=dfa0fd758096b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

I know his counsel is sound, and we will be wise, and blessed, as we follow it.

-Rhonda

 
 
Picture
Homemade onion powder.  The dried onions cost $2.50/lb at the LDS Church's Home Storage Center.
See the Home Storage Center order form.
What other seasoning (other than salt!) can you get for that much per POUND? 

When you grind up the onions, they reduce in volume by about half; the custard cup had been full before powdering.

Here’s something  from Providentliving.org:

“Three-Month Supply

Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet. One way to do this is to purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply of food. Then you can gradually increase your supply until it is sufficient for three months. These items should be rotated regularly to avoid spoilage.”

 
            I guarantee that if I didn’t have a bunch of spices in the cupboard and in storage, I wouldn’t have a “normal, daily diet”!   The holidays are a great time to stock up on spices and other baking supplies, as they go on sale a lot between November and the end of December.  Sometimes there's a 'Buy One, Get One Free' sale.   Two suggestions there:  either get double and be set for the next few years on that spice/extract, OR talk to  friends/neighbors and see who'd like to split with you.   I tend to think that neighbors helping each other that way helps build Zion anyway.  

            Now- how long are your spices good for?  Spice companies tell us to throw out herbs (leaves) after they are one year old, whole spices and seeds after 4 years, ground spices after 3 years,  as they lose potency, BUT- I'd rather have 6-year-old cinnamon than none at all!  I've had older, too, and found them to be fine.  Maybe not gourmet level, but still flavorful.   You can usually tell by smelling in the jar.  If there's not quite enough flavor when I cook, I just add a little more.  No problem.   The cooler and darker your storage area, the better they’ll keep their flavor.   It helps if they are good quality.  I’ve had a brand or two of cinnamon that tasted a bit like dirty bark to begin with. And you can’t always tell by price.   Sometimes I find good quality spices at the dollar store or Big Lots.  I’ve even been able to find almond extract, lemon, etc, there.

            The spices I use most  I buy in BIG containers (like 16 oz. or so)-  cinnamon, garlic powder, parsley flakes, and ginger- the big containers stay in the basement and are used to refill my little ones in the spice cupboard.  The big containers come from Sam’s Club or Macey’s, or whoever has a good price.  Smith’s sells spices in bulk over by their ‘natural foods’ section.  You get whatever quantity you want in a little baggie.  It’s usually a lot cheaper than in the little jars.  And if you like onion powder, you can make it yourself much more inexpensively with the dried onions from the DryPack Cannery- $2 a pound! That’s dirt-cheap for spice. See below with the other recipe.

 
                Spice Things Up! 

from The Wooden Spoon Cooking School, taught for a short time at the LDS Church's Welfare Square.
 
    Basic food storage can be pretty drab.  If the idea of living off of basic ingredients for a substantial amount of time already makes you want to turn green, then you quickly need to add to the basics you already have.  Seasonings and spices will add variety and store nicely!

    Beef, chicken, or ham bouillon granules are excellent secondary storage items.  Wheat and rice, either brown or white, cooked in bouillon, take on wonderful new flavors, as does barley.  In fact, bouillon is an excellent base for many soups, sauces, and casseroles.

    Soy sauce, with its Oriental flavor, is another excellent seasoning.  Fried wheat or rice with fresh vegetables and sprouts is enhanced with soy.  It also adds good flavor to a stir-fry or even to some stews, chicken, or fish dishes.

    Legumes respond well to seasoning salts and spice blends like chili powder, curry powder, poultry seasoning and celery, garlic, and onion salts.

    It is important to keep some sweet spices on hand, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice.  Simple rice pudding, for example, is dependent on such spices for its unique flavor.  The simplest cookies and cakes are enhanced with their use.

    Dried parsley, basil, oregano, marjoram, and rosemary are great to keep in supply.  They can be added to any dish for “Italian” flavors, or added to a simple stew to compliment the natural flavors of the other ingredients. 

    Cocoa, sweet cocoa mix, or a cereal drink like Ovaltine is a good supplementary item to store along with the basic nonfat dry milk.  Punch powder is a welcome flavor in lean times.  Nor should we forget vanilla, almond, maple, and lemon extracts.  All of these items store well.

    Many of these items can be bought in bulk at warehouse retailers (Sam’s or Costco), and can be stored for a great length of time.  As with all food storage items, these should be rotated regularly.  A year’s supply of flavorings could make the big difference between stark or satisfying eating.  

 * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Here's a simply way to get some inexpensive seasoning:
Homemade Onion Powder


2 cups dried onions
1 8-ounce jar with lid (label it!!!)

 
Put the dried onions in a blender and food processor, chop until powdery.  Pour into your jar.   Done.  

 
What else I like to know about it: 2 Tbsp. of onion powder is equal to about 4 Tbsp. (1/4 c.)  dried onions, which is about 1 medium onion.  SO- when your chicken noodle soup, or whatever, calls for 1 medium onion, dump in 2 Tbsp. of onion powder, and your (my!) kids won’t complain about onions in the soup.   Some of my children THINK they don’t like onions- but they say the soup “doesn’t taste right” the times I’ve left them out.  So now I’m sneaky.  I guess they just don’t like the texture.

 

Easy Creamy Turkey Soup     

Ready In: 35 min.    Yield: 4 ½ -5 cups

1   Tbsp.   dried minced onion, or 1 ½  tsp. onion   powder
1   stalk   celery, sliced in 1/4" pieces   
1   can   (10-3/4 oz.) cream of celery soup ( or cream of chicken, or mushroom)     
1/4   tsp.   thyme     or rosemary
1-1/2   cups   cubed cooked turkey   
3   large   carrots, cut in 1/4" pieces   
1/2   to 1 cup   milk   
1   cup   frozen peas    


            Mix together onion, celery, soup, thyme, turkey, and carrots.  Stir in enough milk to make the consistency you like.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Stir in peas and remove from heat.  As the peas heat through, they’ll cool your soup enough to eat it.

 

To make this faster, you can microwave the celery and carrots, covered and with 1 Tbsp. of water, for 5-10 minutes or until tender. Then just heat the soup until the peas have thawed through.  This will reduce your total cooking time by about 15 more minutes. 

 
This is also good using leftover Christmas ham instead of leftover Christmas turkey, though I’d substitute a couple cubed potatoes or a can of green beans for the carrots.  

 
-Rhonda

 
Here's some great info-

If you click on no other link, check out the spice chart (#3)

 
(1)The dozen "most essential" spices

http://www.spiceadvice.com/newsa/usage/staple_spices.html

 
(2)how, when, and how much spice to add:

http://www.spiceadvice.com/newsa/usage/adding.html

 
(3)quick reference spice chart: what different herbs and spices taste good with:

GREAT for printing out and taping on the inside of your spice cupboard!

http://www.spiceadvice.com/newsa/usage/chart.html

 
(4)details on each spice: the spice encyclopedia

http://www.spiceadvice.com/encyclopedia/index.html

 
(5)antioxidants in spices:    remember hearing how awesome pomegranates and blueberries are for containing antioxidants?   1 tsp. of cinnamon has more than a whole cup of pomegranate juice or a half cup of blueberries.  Several other spices are also high.

http://www.mccormick.com/~/media/Images/ORACChart.ashx

 
 
 
Picture
Do you know how to get the longest life out of your vegetables?  The pioneers used to store fresh fruits and vegetables all winter long, with no jars, cans, or freezers.  You can do the same, even without  a nice root cellar.  The trick is to know what temperatures to store at, and what places in your house may be the right temperature.  For instance, my garage is great.  Some areas in my garage froze during February, but anything kept off the floor didn't freeze.  So I kept potatoes and onions in my garage all winter.  Other places to check are basement rooms (especially unfinished areas, or utility rooms), and sheds. Different parts and heights in a room will even have different humidity and temperatures.  You can buy a simple thermometer for about a dollar.  Refrigerators are great if you have enough room, though they obviously use up energy.  The closer to the "ideal" temperature and humidity you can provide, the longer the food  will last. You can store things in less than perfect conditions, just don't plan on them lasting as long.  Below is a link to a pdf for storing vegetables.  Here's information on some of the most common things to store.  The link has info on many more. For right at, not below, freezing temperature, with high humidity, Beets (will store 1-3 months), Cabbage (3-4 months), Carrots (4-6 months), Celery (2-3 months), Garlic (6-7 months), Onions (5-8 months)

For about 40 degrees, high humidity- Potatoes (5-8 months)

50 degrees, med-high humidity- Pumpkins (2-3 months), hard Winter Squash (banana squash, butternut, acorn squash, Hubbard, etc- 3-6 months)

The link has info on many more. One note- if a food stores best in high humidity, some ways to provide that are: (1) store the food in moist, not wet, sand, peatmoss, or sawdust.  Keep in bins or boxes with loose-fitting lids, or cover loosely with a cloth or towel.  (2) Store in a room with a bare cement or bare dirt floor.  Sprinkle water on the floor every few days. (3) Store in a pile, on top of straw or similar, outside in your garden- cover with a layer of grass clippings, leaves, or straw.  Cover it all with a 4-6" layer of dirt. (4) Mini root cellar- dig a big deep hole, drop in a food-grade plastic barrel, put a layer of grass clippings, leaves, or straw in the bottom, put in a layer or two of vegetables, another layer of clippings, repeat until full.  Put a lid or board over the top, cover with a layer of clipping, then a 6" layer of dirt.

http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/store/wisc_vegetables.pdf
Happy storing!
-Rhonda

Bacon Potato Soup


6 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
5 cups water
2 cups chopped onions, about 2 medium
4 chicken bouillon cubes or 4 tsp. instant chicken bouillon granules can be substituted
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk, or 1 1/2 c. half-and-half, or plain milk if that's what you have
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

 Combine potatoes, water, onion, and bouillon cubes in greased 5 to 7 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 6-8 hours or until potatoes are tender. OR simmer in a large covered saucepan about 30 minutes, until tender.  Stir in crumbled bacon, milk, and grated cheese. Cover and cook an additional 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Makes 10-12 servings. 

 Serve with hot biscuits and garnish soup with fresh chopped parsley. 

 Variation: Add 1/2 cup diced celery and 1/2 cup chopped carrots with potatoes at the beginning of cook time.