Saturday, August 29, 2015

Self-Reliant Saturday-- Rotate That Food Storage!!

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I have been absent from the blog for a couple of weeks.  My mother was in a car accident two weeks ago and suffered a head trauma and was in a coma for a week before passing away.  I have been spending time with family for her funeral and then also taking the time to clean out her home.  It was a shock and I am still dealing with the reality of it all, but we had such a special time together as a family.  

My mom was always the one to be obedient and this showed in how she always had her food storage.  While cleaning out her kitchen we found many #10 cans of food from the LDS Cannery.  In fact, those dried apples from the cannery sustained us through many hours of cleaning.  But along with edible food storage that we found, there were many items that were long expired.  

Today's Self-Reliant Saturday tip is to ROTATE your food storage!  I am all for long-term food storage, but this is pushing it.  It is 40 years old. 
Anyone for some really old celery??
 But I love that she wrote the date on the can because there was no other date printed on it.  That is tip #2---write the date of purchase on your cans.  It makes rotating much easier :)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Self-Reliant Saturday-- Living Wills & Health Directives

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Being prepared isn't something that is always for some future event.  There are no guarantees that life will be smooth sailing.  Trials and accidents happen to all of us.  But are you prepared to deal with the trial when it happens to you?

From a tragic accident that happened this week in my family, I want everyone to know how important it is to have a Health Directive, "Living Will" Declaration filled out.  None of us want to think that this will happen to us, but life an instant. And there are so many decisions that need to be made beforehand.  If my mom did not have a health directive filled out with her health care wishes made known, it would've made a horrific situation even more stressful.  Please be prepared with your healthcare wishes known for those in your family who will be taking care of you in an emergency situation.  It is stressful enough to have to deal with an accident, but to not know how to treat someone medically according to their wishes, will be too much for even the strongest of us.  

Keep all vital records and paperwork together in a binder or file folder. Looking for paperwork is almost beyond mental ability when you are in shock from learning about an accident.  Have all information in one location to you can access it and also be able to grab and go in an evacuation type event.  Click here for a previous post on vital record storage.  

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Self-Reliant Saturday-- Food Storage Experts

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Water purification, Dutch oven cooking, solar cooking, how much wheat to store, gardening, living off the can all get a little intimidating and that leads to frustration.  Just keep slowly adding to your food storage and emergency preparedness. Pray to know what you need to work on for you and your family. There's no need to be stressed out over food storage :)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Self-Reliant Saturday-Healthy Meal In A Jar

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Many food storage fanatics love the meals in a jar concept.  They are simple to make, save time and money, and are a great option for cooking without having to plan an entire meal.  I came across a very healthy freeze-dried camping meal that makes a great meal-in-a-jar recipe.  (click here to see the original recipe) 

Healthy Chicken & Veggies with Couscous
1 C freeze dried chicken pieces*
1 C whole wheat couscous
3 t chia seeds
1 1/2 C freeze dried mixed vegetables
3 t dried onion flakes
1 T + 1 1/2 t bullion of choice (or 1 1/2t Shirley J bullion)
3/4 t EACH dried thyme, sage, parsley 
3/4 t garlic powder
1/2 t pepper
3/4 t salt (or less depending on your taste)

Layer all ingredients into a quart mason jar. (wide mouth is the easiest to make jarred meals in) Shake gently to allow settling so all ingredients fit in.  Place canning lid on and seal with a food saver jar attachment, or place an oxygen absorber in the jar and tighten with the canning lid and ring.  Serves 4-6 people. Shelf-stable for 3-5 years.

Reheating Instructions:
Make sure to label each jar with recipe name and cooking instructions.  Boil 4 1/2 cups of water in a pot.  Pour in jar ingredients and stir.  Turn off heat and allow to sit at least 10 minutes.  

*to make vegetarian use 1 C TVP or leave out the chicken all together.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Chicken Update--Our Broody Hen

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The chicken adventure has been going pretty smoothly.  We even went out of town for 2 weeks and the girls seemed just fine with their babysitter. But the day after I got home, one of the hens insisted on sitting in the nesting box and hogged all the eggs in there.  I looked it up online and it seems that Hawk Eye is broody.  She thinks she has to incubate her, or anyone else's egg.  We purchased our hens to be layers, so to have one hen that won't lay an egg because she wants to sit on them 24/7 was a problem.  Back to the internet I went, and searched for a solution.  The solution from several sites was to put Ms. broody Hawk Eye in chicken jail. 

 The goal is to keep her from sitting on comfy shavings.  She spent all of day one by herself, but we let her back in the coop for sleeping.  During the day we gave her some alone time in the backyard as well to encourage foraging for bugs, etc.  She was really freaked out and paced back and forth along the main coop at first, but we didn't cave in to her begging, and she calmed down and acted like a non-broody hen.  After her night in the coop she was again hogging the nesting box and so she is currently in jail again for today.  The main problem was all of our hens like to lay in one specific box and they were picking on Hawk Eye because she wouldn't move.  This also lead to less egg layers.  It's a whole chicken drama! Using the chicken jail remedy, Hawk Eye should be cured in a few days, but she might not lay an egg for a week or so after.  Kind of a bummer!  But even though there has been drama and we are learning by trial and error, they are so fun to have and my kids really enjoy taking care of them.  I am also glad that we are learning all about chickens now and not in a survival situation.  

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Self-Reliant Saturday-- I Can't Afford Food Storage

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It's all about PRIORITIES. As with most things in life that we can't seem to get to, or finish, it's all about how important it really is in our lives.  Maybe take a minute and reprioritize the things you feel are most important in your life, and see how to fit food storage in.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Prepare Today Homemade- Chickpea Nuggets

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This is a recipe re-post from 2011 and it is still one of my favorite ways to use Garbanzo beans!! Enjoy!

I know that title sounds a little weird, but go with me on this one!  They are really good!  For those that don't know I am a vegetarian and I am always looking for more ways to incorporate beans into my family's diet.  This recipe made great "chicken" nuggets for my kids and a great salad topper for me.  You have to try the honey mustard dipping sauce (or as a salad dressing, yummmmmy!!), from a previous post HERE, with your nuggets!  We have been dipping everything in this sauce, from these nuggets to sweet potato fries, and as a salad dressing.  (my next experiment is to make it with yogurt to try to cut the fat out)

Chickpea Nuggets 
(from  Makes 15-18 nuggets depending on how large you make them
1 can chickpea (garbanzo beans) rinsed and drained
1/2 onion
1 t parsley
1 clove garlic
1 egg
1 t cumin
1 t salt
dash pepper
1 t lemon juice
1 t baking powder
1 C bread crumbs
1 T oil
To be honest I threw it all in a food processor and gave it a whirl until it was smooth.  (my kids won't eat chunks of onion so it had to be pretty smooth)  

There are two ways to bake these:
Stove top:  heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan.  Shape the "dough" into nuggets shapes and pan fry until golden brown on each side. We cooked them this way and loved them!

Oven method:  Bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes, turning over half way through the baking time. I would have baked them this way, but my oven isn't working right now.  :)

My older kids ate them up, but my 3yo (being totally truthful here) gagged on them :D  She does not like the texture of beans and so I guess this was too much for her.  I whipped up a salad using greens from my garden, some craisins,strawberries, the honey mustard sauce, and the chickpea nuggets on top.  My kids asked for this two nights in a row for dinner!
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