Saturday, December 12, 2009

December is Baking Month

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December is the month for baking. The stores have great sales and
with the holiday's there is no excuse to not be in the kitchen. This month we are gathering flour and sugar for our long term self-reliant goal, but these are two items that are most likely used in your cooking on a daily basis. I thought it would be fun to go a little more in depth and see just how much we need to store for baking ingredients and other miscellaneous items that we need to put our meals together.
 
 After you have gotten great deals on your food you will next need to use these ingredients in your everyday cooking. Which means that yes, you will need to learn how to cook, and cook from scratch. Don't run away....keep reading :) It is not as hard as most people think. Just learn to make one or two things a month that you don't already know how to do. Try the maple syrup recipe (scroll down the page) or try using unflavored gelatin instead of eggs in a recipe. As long as you are learning to use your food storage you are on the right path. Alright, let's jump in. Purchase only those items that YOUR family will eat and what you use in cooking.  Store what you eat.....eat what you store!!  (thanks to foodstoragemadeeasy.net for the info)


FATS AND OILS:
  • Cooking oils:  Canola or vegetable oil are used in baking. Unopened bottles only last about 1 year. You can substitute applesauce for oil in baking recipes or pureed beans will work also. Click HERE to see how to use beans as an oil substitute in brownies.
  • Peanut Butter:  Peanut butter supplies the good fat that we need and will stay good for 6-9 months.
  • Mayonnaise: Is used in salads, sandwiches, pasta salads and although we don't "need" mayo it does make food taste better. Shelf life of 2-3 months.
  • Salad Dressing: You can use store bought or make your own. Watch for expiration dates as dressing does not last long.
  • Shortening:  Has a longer shelf life than most oils. Shelf life of 8-10 years if unopened and kept in a cool, dry place. Melt shortening to use as oil in recipes.
SUGARS:
  • Granulated Sugar:  It is used in a lot of food storage recipes and is very important to store. Shelf life of 20+ years if kept dry.
  • Honey: more expensive, but can substitute for sugar in recipes and it doesn't have quite the reaction that sugar does to your blood sugar levels. Crystallized sugar can be warmed and used as normal.
  • Brown Sugar: Used in baking and some bread recipes. Shelf life is 6 months stored in airtight container. Some people store white sugar and molasses to make their own, and not have to deal with brown sugar going bad.
  • Molasses and Corn Syrup: These are used as sweeteners in recipes. Store as much or as little as your family needs.
  • Flavored gelatin: Store 6 boxes PP. Is used in molded desserts and to thicken cold soups.
  • Powdered Fruit Drink: Is used to make water more drinkable. Shelf life is 3 years unopened.
  • Maple syrup: Real maple syrup can be used as a sugar substitute, but the imitation maple syrup is only good on pancakes and waffles. (recipe to follow)
MILK:
  • Nonfat Dry Milk: It is much cheaper than regular milk. To make it taste better try adding 1 t sugar and 1 t vanilla to a gallon.
  • Evaporated Milk: Can store cans or make your own from powdered milk. Mix 1 -1/2 C. water and 1/2 C.+1 T dry powdered milk and blend very well. Check out the post on evaporated milk HERE.
DAIRY:
  • Powdered Eggs: These are cheaper than regular eggs and they have been pasteurized so now you can lick the beaters without worry about getting ill. Purchase at Macey's grocery store, Winco, and sometimes at Walmart when they have food storage items. 
  • Butter:  It can be purchased in can form. I have found it at Macey's, Emergency Essentials, and Blue Chip Group store (33rd S. 5th W). Don't can your own butter due to botulism poisoning. You can also purchase butter powder at emergency preparedness stores. Real canned butter is pricey so I would only purchase a few and when your budget allows.
  • Sour Cream: is available in powder form at emergency preparedness stores. This isn't necessary to store, but would make certain dinners seem normal in an emergency situation.
MISCELLANEOUS:
  • Baking soda, baking powder, and Salt:  They all have an indefinite shelf life if unopened. Definitely store these to be able to bake.
  • Active Dry Yeast and Instant Yeast:  Needed to make bread. Store in freezer for indefinite shelf life.
  • Knox unflavored Gelatin: This is such a cool thing to know. Use gelatin instead of eggs in baking. 1tsp gelatin + 3 T cold water and stir until dissolved then add 2 T hot water and stir. When you use this in your recipes decrease the water in your recipe by about 1/4 C to account for the "egg". You can order Knox unflavored gelatin in bulk from bulkfoods.com. (search for "unflavored gelatin")
Now that you know a few things about storing baking items, you'll next need to know how to use them in recipes. These are recipes that I use and my family loves. 


Maple Syrup (from the Essential Food Storage Cookbook)
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
1 C water
Boil and stir constantly and cook 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add:
1 t maple flavoring, 1/2 t vanilla, and 2 T butter.
Stir until butter dissolves and store in bottle. (We save old syrup bottles and use those)
**Note ** Watch for maple flavoring to go on sale. Or buy 32 oz from Farmer Brothers Coffee Wholesale 2230 S. 2000 W. West Valley. 801-974-5427. It was around $6.00 for 32oz. Make sure you call first as they are only open to the public on certain days until noon. That bottle will last a long time. 

Whole grain Hamburger Bun or Rolls (makes 8)
1 C. water room temperature
2 T oil
1/4 C honey
1 T molasses
3 C whole wheat flour
1 t salt
1 T yeast (I use instant yeast, straight from the freezer to the bowl. You won't need the second rise. Just form into the shape you want, raise 30 min and bake.)
Add all ingredients to mixer and knead 8-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Let rise until double. (omit if using instant yeast) Shape dough into 8 buns or rolls and let rise on pans for 30 min. Preheat oven to 350 and bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown.
I will also use this recipe to make bread bowls for soup. Just make bigger rolls than just a dinner roll size. 

Chocolate Mint Parfait Bars (from Jennifer Schreiter)
Base
1 chocolate or devils food cake mix
1/3 C butter or margarine
Mix together with beaters until crumbly and press in 15x10 pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
Filling
1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin dissolved in 1/4 C boiling water
Add 1/2 C powered sugar to gelatin with
1/2 C butter
1/2 C shortening
1/4 t mint extract
Beat until smooth-about 1-2 minutes. Blend in about 3 1/2 C more powdered sugar and spread onto COOLED base.
Frosting
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
3 T butter (has to be butter)
Melt together and let cool just slightly and spread over filling. Keep refrigerated. These are to die for and are so yummy!


So there you have it, baking ingredient storage 101. Keep track of what baking ingredients you are using and stock up when they go on sale this month. Try to make something from scratch and remember it doesn't always have to turn out the first time. (Guess how I know :)


Self-Reliant Goals for December:
Long Term Goals:
Flour 75lbs PP
Sugar 35lbs PP-Nothing great on sale, be patient :)
3-Month Supply Goals: Substitute a canned version of a fresh ingredients in one of your recipes sometime this month. Even if you love to use fresh ingredients, you will need a canned version if there was no electricity or major disaster.
72-Hour Kit goal: Search out little Hotties body warmers. The packs of body warmers will definitely be needed if we encounter a disaster in the dead of winter. They even have an adhesive product to stay where you want it. Make sure that everyone in your family has gloves or mittens. Trying to find a matching pair in the dark and in a hurry could potentially be impossible :) The body warmers should also be kept in your car kits as well.

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