Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cold Weather Preparedness

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As we head into winter weather, I thought that we should all take inventory of our winter necessities.

Living in Utah means living in cold weather territory and with that comes snow, ice, and sometimes power outages. We need to be prepared for many situations in our homes, cars, and even our workplace for an emergency situation. Think of how many hours of the day you are not home. I know that I run errands almost everyday and am gone from my home for several hours at a time. An emergency is not going to happen conveniently when we are all in our homes so I found some ideas to help us all be ready.

  • Everyone needs to have a car kit of some kind
  • Click HERE to view a great list of items for a kit
  • Keep water and granola bars if nothing else
  • Keep an extra blanket in winter along with gloves
  • Always travel with your coat and proper winter shoes
  • (I personally have been stuck at the bottom of Hilltop Rd and had to walk with 3 little children in the snow and none of us were wearing snow shoes and I didn't have a coat. I never leave home without a coat now)
  • Keep your car at least half filled with gas at all times. (No electricity means no gas pumps)
  • Have a kit like your car kit at your place of work
  • Emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime

I read several accounts from families that were affected by the ice storms in the Midwest last winter and had no power for over a week. Their biggest advice was to be prepared with a generator, batteries, flashlights, candles and meals ready to eat. Many of them tried to go to the store only to find empty shelves. They had to rely on family to help them out. We need to figure out how to react in situations like this and be prepared before they happen.

If you are feeling adventurous plan out 2 weeks worth of easy meals with crackers, canned goods and simple to prepare items like soup or chili. Keep these items along with flashlights and batteries in a Rubbermaid container for power outage situations. Click HERE to view some ideas on meals that won't need to be cooked before eating.  To help plan even further, see how long you could go without using any electricity. It is amazing how much we depend on it. Especially for heating our homes!

Hopefully we will never have to go through a major power outage, but being prepared for one is all the more important as we head into winter. As you get out your winter coats, make sure everyone has coats, hats, gloves/mittens, scarves, long underwear, and boots that fit and are great at keeping them warm. This Christmas I am asking for sleeping bags (good ones) that would keep my family warm if we had no heat. 

For your next family home evening have everyone think of situations and emergency's and try to make a plan of how to get the family reunited. If the children were at school and mom and dad are at work, where and how would you all get back together? Being prepared temporally will allow us to grow spiritually.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Adequate Nutrition During an Emergency

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Did any of you notice the article in the random sampler of the October 2009 Ensign? It is titled "Adequate Nutrition During an Emergency" and is written by a registered dietitian, Miriam Blackham Een. It caught my attention because I don't have a large amount of protein in my 72-Hour kits.

Miriam suggests that we include items in our 72-Hour kits like dried fruit, peanut butter, crackers, drinking water, and meal replacements like protein shakes. Instant breakfast drinks, powdered milk and energy bars are also included in her pack.

"During perilous times, your body would especially need adequate nutrition." Think of how hard it would be to walk with your pack and your children in tow. We would definitely need extra protein and calories to help us get through the challenge.

Think through your 72-hour kits and the food that you have chosen. I know I am going to be looking for protein bars to go on sale. Emergency Essentials has individual peanut butter packs that we use in our kits. They are about 2 T of peanut butter and go great with crackers or the individual packs of wheat bread that they sell too.

"A sample meal for one person for 3 days would include 9 meal replacements plus 1 1/2 cups or a 12-oz bag of dried fruit, peanut butter to provide at least 6 two-tablespoon servings, and about 40 saltine crackers or another cracker equivalent."

Click HERE if you would like to read the full article from the Church website.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

"The Staff of Life"~Week 5

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"The time will come that gold will hold no comparison in value to a bushel of wheat."

-Brigham Young

Wheat-so much can be said about this amazing grain. A large part of your food storage will be made of grains and 100lbs of that is wheat. Wheat comes in hard and soft, red and white. I love hard white wheat for its mild flavor and for ease in making bread. It is up to you and your family's taste to what wheat you prefer.

Wheat that is stored properly will last 30+ years. Storing properly means in a #10 can away from light, heat and moisture. Food grade poly buckets also work. I have mine sealed with gamma lids that screw off and on. If you haven't stored wheat and have decided to take the October challenge and purchase 50lbs of wheat, just remember that a wheat grinder is a must. If your budget doesn't allow a grinder right now, don't worry, there are so many ways to use wheat.

Defining Wheat (from

  1. Berries: Wheat is boiled to resemble rice. It is also the name of the uncooked kernel.
  2. Bulgar: Wheat has been parboiled, dried, debranned and ground to make it cook fast.
  3. Cracked: Wheat that is milled at a very coarse setting or is just "cracked". This is good for use in hot cereals.
  4. Flakes: Wheat that is rolled.
  5. Gluten: The protein found in wheat. You can buy/make gluten.
  6. Ground: Wheat is processed in a grinder to make flour.
  7. Sprouts: When wheat is planted and watered as seeds.
So you see that there are ways to be using your wheat without a grinder. One way is to roast the kernels.

Roasted Wheat Kernels
1/4 C. wheat berries (whole kernel)
1/ T. oil
1/3 T salt
Heat oil in a skillet and add wheat. Pop like popcorn. Swirl around so they don't burn-sprinkle with salt while they are still hot. They don't get puffed up like popcorn but do become a little puffy wheat kernels.
Remember to introduce wheat slowly to your family's diet. Your tummies will thank you for it. Also 1 in 100 people are allergic to gluten so don't put off trying your wheat until there is an emergency because if your family is allergic an emergency is not the time to find out!

Sprouting is also a wonderful way to use your wheat. Read the post HERE that goes through sprouting wheat. (Wheat turns into a vegetable when sprouted?!)

Self-Reliant Challenge:
  1. 50lbs of wheat in October.
  2. Purchase extra items on your 3-month menu plan list.
  3. Adding sunscreen, scriptures, extra set of keys to your 72-hour kit.
  4. Keep gathering water until you have at least 14 gallons per person.
Sources for purchasing Grains in the Salt Lake Area:
Dry Pack Cannery- 730 W. 800 S. 801-240-7370
Emergency Essentials-3300 S. 110 W. 801-994-1055
Macey's Food and Drug -7850 S. 1300 E.
Honeyville Grain- 635 N. Billy Mitchell Rd. 801-972-2168
Lehi Mills- 1-800-660-4346
Bosch Kitchen Center- 6265 S. Highland Dr. 801-272-4932

Friday, October 16, 2009

Emergency Essentials Food Analyzer

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Have you ever wondered how much inventory you have in #10 cans, and storage pails? I found a great way to calculate your numbers. Emergecy Essentials has come up with a food calculator to help us with this. I like that I can calculate the cans that I already have and see how many days this would feed my family. There are 12 categories to choose from; cereals and grains, Meat/TVP, Desserts, Mountain House freeze dried foods,MRE's, even grocery store items. There is also a tab for entering your own item.

It is simple to do and easy to input the numbers, the caluculator does all the work for you. I could feed my family for 139.45 days with just the canned goods and storage pails that I have right now. There is an instruction tab if you need some help. Plus it gives you ideas of items that maybe you didn't think to have in your home storage such as spelt flour, mangos and popcorn.

I realized that I need quite a bit more fruits and vegetables in my storage (although my children would argue that point). And if you feel so inclined there is ordering information available right on the spot, and nutrition information. I don't know if I really think of the nutrition of the items that I am storing, I think of if my family will eat it. It was an eye opener to see the areas of nutrition that I was lacking. I really like Emergency Essentials for a lot of my food storage needs. They have fun items like sour cream powder and celery (I know you may not think that is fun, but I do :)

Click on the link below to try it out for yourself. It was fun to try! Be careful though, you could be using this a lot to keep track of your storage. :)

Click HERE to read more information on the food storage analyzer.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Interchangeable Pantry~Part 2

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This is part 2 of the interchangeable pantry. Check out the first post HERE. I had so much information that I decided to break it all up into two posts. This post will focus on baking substitutions and then a list of ideas that you could make if you only had certain ingredients on hand in your long term storage. 

 Remember to keep buying at least one extra of the items on your shopping list this week. You should have a list of ingredients that form your 3 month supply. 
  (remember all the dinners that you put together and wrote out and made an ingredient list with, good, I thought you remembered. If you didn't do that, then you have some homework to do :)  

Then I am sharing a few recipes that we enjoy at our dinner table. They are not gourmet dinners, but keep us from starving and usually everyone will eat it. 

Basic baking supplies are a must if you want your food supply to feed anyone. You will be able to make bread, tortillas, English muffins (recipe to follow), pizza dough, biscuits, pita pockets, and many more. Without yeast, salt, baking soda, and baking powder your breads will be a disaster. I have been short on ingredients before and there are substitutions that are out there to save you in a bind.

Baking Supply Substitutions
(information from Betty Crocker cookbook and

Baking powder 1 teaspoon=1/2 t cream of tartar plus a 1/4 t baking soda

Broth 1 cup=1 t or 1 cube instant bouillon plus 1 C water

Buttermilk 1 C=1 T lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 C, let stand 5 min. or use 1 C plain yogurt

Chocolate sweet baking 4 oz=1/4 C cocoa powder + 1/3 white sugar

Cornstarch 1 T (for thickening)= 2 T all-purpose flour

Corn Syrup 1 C=1 C white sugar + 1/4 C water

Egg 1=1 T egg powder + 2 T water or 1 t gelatin (non flavored) +3 T cold water+ 3 T hot water= 1 egg

Lemon juice 1 t=1/2 t vinegar

Evaporated milk 1 12oz can= 1 1/2 C water +1/2 C + 1 T dry powder milk blended very well in blender

Milk whole 1 C=1/2 C evaporated milk plus 1/2 C water or 1 C water plus 1/3 C nonfat dry milk powder

Molasses 1 C= 1 C honey

Powdered sugar 1 C= 1 C white sugar in blender on high for 3 min. + 1 T cornstarch

Sour Cream 1 C= 1 C plain yogurt

Sugar white 1 C= 1/2 C packed brown sugar or 2 cups sifted powdered sugar

Sweetened condensed milk 1 14oz can= 1/2 C hot water+1 C dry powder milk+1 C sugar+ 1 T butter, blend all WELL in blender

Tomato juice 1 C= 1/2 C tomato sauce + 1/2 C water

Tomato Sauce 2 C=3/4 C tomato paste + 1 C water

Did you know.............(FROM FOODSTORAGEMADEEASY.NET)






I promised some recipes from the interchangeable ingredients. Here they are, and keep in mind they aren't gourmet, just family friendly.

Stuffed Pasta Shells
1 box of stuffing (60z) cooked
2 C diced cooked chicken (or 1 can chicken)
1/2 C peas (frozen, canned, dehydrated)
1/2 C mayo
18 jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
2/3 C water
Combine the stuffing, chicken, peas & mayo in a bowl. Spoon into shells and place in 13x9 pan. Combine soup and water and pour over shells. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with dried parsley and serve. Makes 6 servings. Serve with fruit (fresh or
canned) and a green salad.

Black Bean Flautas

1 15 oz black beans undrained
1 C broth
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t chili powder

Boil all ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and mash with potato masher until as smooth as desired. (we like it kind of chunky)
ADD to bean mixture:
1/3 C fresh cilantro (can used dry, 1 T)
1 lime, juiced (I use bottled, 1 T)
Place 2 T of mixture onto one tortilla (makes 12 tortillas)
Sprinkle with:
cheddar cheese (3 C shredded)
tomato (2 large diced)
green onion (6 cut)

Roll up and place in 13x9 pan. Cook at 450 for 10 minutes.
Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Homemade English Muffins

1 C hot water
1/2 C water+half of 1/3 C powdered milk
2 t honey
2 t salt
4 C flour (2 c white+2 C wheat)
2 t instant yeast
2 T oil

Add water, powdered milk mixture, honey, salt to a mixing bowl, combine. Add 2 C flour, yeast, and stir until combined. Cover with towel and let rise 1 hour. Add remaining 2 C of flour, oil and stir to combine. Roll out onto a cornmeal covered surface and use a round biscuit cutter or cup and but our round shapes. Let muffins rise, covered, for 1 hour. Heat a griddle to med/high heat and grease with a little oil. Grill muffins until brown on both sides and cooked in the middle. Can freeze for later use.

Chicken Macaroni Bake

2 C elbow macaroni cooked and drained
1 C cooked, chopped chicken (or 1 Can)
2 T dried onion reconstituted in 1/4 C hot water (or fresh)
salt and pepper to taste
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 C broth
1 C shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients together (except cheese) in an 8x8 sprayed pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 350 for 30 minutes. Serve with muffins and a vegetable.

I know this was a lot of information at once, but it all kind of fit together as I was thinking about my pantry. If you haven't made a menu yet, get going and write down as many recipes as you can think of that your family likes to eat. Then you must make a master list of all ingredients and how much you need of each one. Slowly we will stock up on these ingredients as the sales happen. It took me a couple of months to really remember the ingredients that I need and now I know when an item is on sale how much I need of it. Just be patient and go slowly!

72-Hour Kit:
Since summer is obviously over, take any extra sunscreen and add it to your 72-hour kits. I would seal it in a resealable bag to avoid any messes. Remember that sunscreen looses its sun blocking ability rather quickly so next summer you'll need to rotate the sunscreen.
Long Term Storage:
October is wheat month for this blog (and all who are reading and following along). Don't forget to buy at least 50lbs of wheat sometime this month. (If you already have your wheat storage, Yay! and you don't have to read any further). A one year supply of wheat for one person is 100lbs. The cannery is a great place to start. There are no excuses this month, get your wheat and have the peace of mind that you are the right path to becoming self-reliant!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Interchangeable Pantry~ Week 3

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 Have you noticed that a lot of items in your menus are interchangeable? When I made my ingredient list for my 3 month supply menu I noticed quite a few of the same ingredients were used for different recipes. I love being able to stock up on one item and use it for 3 different meals. It makes buying and rotating your food supply much easier.

Beans are very versatile in your food storage. Think of tortilla soup, chili, taco salad, bean enchiladas, black bean flautas, red beans and rice, bean dips, three-bean salad, etc. Beans can also be used as a meat extender and you can used mashed beans to replace the fat in baked goods. I use mashed black beans instead of oil in my brownies (1 C of bean puree= 1 C oil, ) I buy cases of canned beans and love knowing I will use them for multiple meals. You will need 60lbs per person person per year.

Creamed Soups are a casserole staple. I love a warm casserole on a cold winter night. I also love the ease of casseroles, just throw all the ingredients in a baking dish, bake and dinner is done. Many casseroles can be interchangeable and be so different at the same time. Think of all the recipes that you like to make that have creamed soups and stock up.

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Pasta is probably loved by everyone. It is easy to store and can be used in so many different ways. Along with pasta are the sauces. The same pasta can be totally different when a red sauce or white sauce is used. From spaghetti to stroganoff to stuffed shells, the ideas are endless. You will need 40lbs per person per year of pastas.

Baking supplies are a must for your 3 month supply. You will need yeast (2lbs per person per year), baking soda (1 lb pp per year), baking powder (2lbs pp per year), flour (75lbs pp per year), and salt (8lbs pp per year). These supplies allow you to make bread, but then also you can make tortillas, English muffins, pita bread, pizza dough, biscuits, muffins, pretty much any bread. Watch November and December for excellent sales on baking supplies. I will let you know for sure when they are stock up prices.
I have often been baking and realized that I was out of an ingredient. I found some substitutions that work great.

Baking Substitutions (I've included the yearly amounts needed per person)
Baking powder (2lbs pp per year) 1 t= 1/2 t cream of tartar and 1/4 t baking soda
Buttermilk 1 C=1 T lemon juice or vinegar to 1 C milk and let sit
Chocolate sweet baking 4 oz=1/4 C cocoa powder+1/3 C white sugar+ 3 T shortening (cocoa powder has an indefinite shelf life)
Cornstarch 1 T (as a thickener)=2 T all purpose flour
Egg 1= 1 T powdered egg+2 T water OR 1 t unflavored gelatin+ 3 T cold water to dissolve and add 2 T hot water
Evaporated milk 140z can (3 cans pp per year)= 1 C water + 2/3 C powdered milk (powdered milk 12lbs pp per year)
Powdered Sugar(3 bags pp per year) 1 C= 1 C white sugar blended for 3 min. in a blender+add 1 T cornstarch (35lbs white sugar pp per year)

Spices: Don't forget to store spices. I don't know what I would do without garlic powder and cinnamon (not together, just in general) Here are 2 recipes using spices that act just like the manufactured counterpart.

Taco Seasoning (makes one package)
  • 4-6 t instant mined onion
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 t cornstarch
  • 1/2 t cayenne
  • 1/8 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 t oregano
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/8 t black pepper
Mix all and store in tightly in ziploc bag. Make several at a time to keep on hand.

Onion Soup Mix (5 T of mix=1 11 1/4 oz package)
  • 3/4 instant minced onion
  • 1/3 C. beef bullion powder
  • 4 t onion powder
  • 1/4 t crushed celery seed
  • 1/4 t sugar
Combine all ingredients in an airtight container. Use 5 T of mix to = 1 onion soup mix package.

I hope you have all made your 3 month menu plan and have an ingredient list. Getting to know your ingredients will make shopping and storing so much easier. Take is slowly and make sure you are cooking at least once a week from your 3 month supply menu. (I use every meal as my food storage meal. We eat what we store.)  

Your challenge this week is to cook at least one meal from your pantry, and to have your menu ingredient list written out. Shopping for your 3 month supply will be difficult if you don't know what you need :)

Remember to keep adding water to your storage. Everyone needs 14 gallons per person. Make sure your 72-hour kits have a first aid kit and a sewing kit. One per person is recommended but it depends on the size of your sewing and first aid kits. (If anyone needs backpacks, check out DI. I found some brand new and gently used heavy duty rolling backpacks for $2!)
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