Food Storage

Friday’s Frugal Food: Homemade Fruit Jam

I’ve got an easy as can be recipe for fruit jam.  I use this recipe for many different types of jam, and so can you!  I’ve done bush cherry, raspberry and strawberry with this recipe, and I’m excited to try other kinds next season!

 

The beauty of this is that it only calls for three ingredients:

  • 1 part Fruit
  • 1 part Sugar (unless you’re doing a fruit that’s already quite sweet…in that case, do a little less sugar.  Just do it to your liking, really!)
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice per 2 cups of mixture

Seriously!  It’s really, really simple.

So, puree your fruit (unless you like chunks; my family does not).  Stick it in a pot with the sugar and lemon juice.  Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.  Lower heat to a simmer and simmer until thickened (for 8 cups of fruit, it took about an hour for me).

Any Fruit Jam - I did strawberry!  Better on a Budget

If you’re unsure if the mixture is thick enough, you can do a simple test.  Put a small glass plate in your freezer for 5 minutes.  Take it out and put a small dab of jam on the plate, and let sit one minute.  After it’s sat for a minute, run your finger through the dab.  If the jam comes back together, it’s not thick enough.  If it stays separated from your finger, it’s good to go!

 

Once it’s thickened, spoon it into sterilized and warm canning pint jars.  Process in a hot water both for 20 minutes.

(yes, my jar “holder” is a tad rusted, isnt it?  Well loved, people…well loved.)

The recipe I did made 8 pints.  (12 cups pureed fruit, 10 cups sugar, 6 Tbsp lemon juice)

This recipe is linked at:
Photobucket

 


It's a Keeper
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

What to do when the world falls apart?

I watched the world news last night (a rarity, I confess), and I came away depressed….

 

I believe my Christian background has played a role in leading me to the conclusions I’ve come to after watching, but I also believe that these very conclusions apply to all of us, Christian or not.

 

We are BLESSED!!  (if you don’t like that word, then you can count yourself lucky instead!!)

 

 

 

  • If you are able to take the time to read this, you are likely not in a current emergency situation; your house isn’t on fire, you’re not in the middle of an earthquake or other natural disaster, there isn’t rioting all around you, you aren’t walking miles and miles looking for food and shelter.

 

(photo)

 

 

 

 

The three “top” stories on the news show I  watched were:  The rioting in London.  The refugee camps in Kenya, where almost half a million are “living”.  (If you can call that living).  The free fall (again) of the American stock market.

 

(photo)

 

 

 

My gosh!  It feels like the world is falling apart!

 

 

So, what now?  What are we to do about it?  A few thoughts:

 

- Stop pointing fingers.  I think the need to blame, or explain, bad fortune, is in our very nature, a need to explain WHO or WHY.  I personally think that there will be plenty of time for that, particularly locally as the presidential campaigns heat up.

 

- Don’t panic.  Ironic, since I’m definitely the most panicky person in my household!  Don’t run to the banks, don’t sell off all your stocks.  In fact, if you’ve got the money lying around (yeah right), now’s a great time to INVEST!

 

- Use these situations as motivation to work on self reliance.  I sat down and brainstormed ways that I can expand my garden next year, or perhaps how to extend the growing season.  We can consider ways to save money by making our own cleaners, our foods from scratch, etc.  We can shop the sales and build up our food storage!  Take the fear that you may be feeling (or borrow some of mine, I’ve got plenty to go around!) and turn it into ACTION.

 

- Realize that while you may or may not be able to make a personal difference in Kenya, or in other impoverished parts of the world, you can make a difference to your neighbors who are on the verge of foreclosure, or to the single parent families who are struggling to make ends meet.  Y’all who are growing zucchini, I know you have it coming out of your ears…why not share some with a neighbor?  :-)

 

- Once again, I feel that these situations and more can be looked at as tests…our chance to truly LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS as ourselves, to act upon the statement “what’s mine is yours”, “mi casa su casa”,etc.

 

So, that’s my takeaway.  Can you imagine if I watched the news EVERY night???

Take a Tour and get 6 FREE MEALS from eFood!

Have you heard of eFoods?

 

I hadn’t heard of them until earlier today when I came across this blog…and I confess, I’m definitely intrigued.

 

eFoods does food storage, and from what I’m hearing, the food is fantastic!  eFoods is currently offering 6 FREE meals to anyone who will take their “FOOD FREEDOM TOUR”. The tour is a series of 5 short videos illustrating why being prepared with food storage is important, and why eFoods is the obvious choice. The tour is located here: http://prepareandprosper.myefoodsglobal.com. The 6 meals are FREE and customers are asked to pay $9.95 for shipping.

 

 

Frugal Friday – powdered milk in your food storage

For the month of May, the food storage item I’m focusing on stocking up on is powdered milk.  I know I’ve mentioned here before that I use it to supplement our regular milk, and make it stretch, but I use it for so many other things too!  
As you may have noticed, I’m a big fan of natural stuff, and cooking more from scratch.  I think powdered milk is AWESOME for that stuff.  Now, I know that there is a rumor that powdered milk tastes completely craptastic, but if you use it right, it really, TRULY is NOT bad!   (I promised myself I would use my new favorite word “craptastic” today… discovered the vocabulary here.)  Like when I supplement our regular milk, I never add more than a quart to our gallon of milk, and if I make sure the gallon is still at least half full, no one notices the difference.  I don’t ever add more than that, because I dont’ want to sacrifice taste, after all!
In cooking, you can easily substitute powdered for the fresh stuff with no problems….and hey, NONFAT dry milk just happens to be fat free! (Thus the nonfat label.)
So…in honor of my food storage item, here are a few fun recipes for using powdered milk:
Sweetened Condensed Milk – You mix some water, sugar, a little margarine and milk powder, and you’re good to go!  View the complete recipe HERE.
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1tbsp chocolate syrup
  • 3 tbsp sugar (granulated or powdered)
  • ⅓ cup instant nonfat dry milk
  • ¼ tbsp salt
  • 1 cup water
Process

First, mix the powder milk with water and refrigerate overnight. The next day, add all the ingredients and blend well. Freeze, until completely chilled and stir after every half an hour. It will take around 2 – 3 hours. When the ice cream is soft, it is ready. Do not freeze solid. Read on homemade chocolate ice cream.

When making mashed potatoes, instead of draining your potato water and then adding milk, save some of that potato water and add powdered milk instead of fresh, then mash those potatoes up…easy, delicious, and you’re saving more of the nutrients from the water that way!
Try making this Powdered sugar replacement.
  Caramel Scones by June look pretty tasty!

Frugal Friday – Cooking with Rice

Rice. It’s such a staple. It’s cheap, nutritious, and versatile. I feel like I’m a frugal gal every time I cook with rice. (I’m easy to please, apparently)
I’ve included a couple of recipes, as well as the links for a bunch of different yummy rice recipes for you to enjoy:
Apple Rice Toffee (dessert) (Deseret Recipes)
2 cups cooked rice
4 cups sliced apples
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon rind
Mix the above ingredients together. Put in a buttered 9″x9″ baking dish. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover apples and rice completely with toffee mixture (below). Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Toffee Mixture
1/2 cup gluten-free flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter/margarine, softened
Mix the dry ingredients well. Cut the butter/margarine into sugar mixture until the size of small peas.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
(photo credit)
Ham/Chicken Fried Rice
1 cup frozen carrots and peas
3 cups cooked rice
1 cup cooked cubed ham or chicken
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 egg
2 Tbsp soy sauce
In a large bowl, combine the peas and carrots, rice and ham or chicken. Mix well. Heat oil in a large skillet. Pour rice mixture into skillet and stir over medium heat until heated through, a couple of minutes. Add the egg. Cook and mix in with the rice mixture until the egg is done to your liking. Mix in the soy sauce just before serving.*And now, here are some links for some fantastic recipes!!  Check out the ratings, they really are delicious!
Pineapple Rice                                       Perfect Crock Pot RiceRice Pudding                                         Riz Au Lait

Karjalan Pies                                        Silky and Creamy Wild Rice Soup

Burnt Butter Rice                                 Indian Saffron Rice

Portugese Sweet Rice

Happy eating!

Food Storage Friday – Protein

In my local church, we’ve been given the challenge to build up a 3-month supply (MINIMUM) of food storage as families by the end of the year. July’s focus was on protein.

I’ve posted a few bean recipes, on here, so I won’t do a whole lot of them again, but I wanted to share a little of how I’m calculating out my protein needs and stock.

I’m not good at thinking “I need xx lbs of beans.” It just doesn’t work for me the way my brain works. I have to look at it as, “I need xx amount of servings of beans, meat, or other protein.” I have to look at servings, not weight. So, basically, I base it off the food pyramid. Everyone should get between 2-3 servings of something from the “Meat” category each day. I’ve decided to make it easy: 2.5 servings needed per person per day. That works out for my family of 4 to be 10 servings a day needed. I’m building up for 3 months, so I need 90 days worth, which is 900 servings of protein needed. Whew!

Here are some of the proteins I have stored (sorry for the fuzzy pics, my camera doesn’t seem to like canned meats):

Canned chicken (About 2.5 servings per 5-oz can)

Canned Tuna (About 2 servings per 5-oz can)

Canned Chili (okay, so we’re out of chili right now, and I took a picture of tomatoes…yeah yeah!)

Peanut butter (14 servings for each 16.3 oz jar)

And of course, dry beans (About 50 servings for a #10 can of dry beans, 29 servings for a #10 can of dried REFRIED beans)

Now, you have to use what will work for you. If you don’t like dealing with dry beans, buy them canned. Dry is by far cheaper, but it won’t save you money if you won’t use it.

Okay, so here are a few recipes that will use this type of food storage:

Peanut Butter Bars (peanut butter and beans)
1 stick butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup coarse oat flour (throw some rolled oats in a food processor for a few minutes)
1/2 cup cooked pinto beans
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups chocolate chips
In a small saucepan, melt together 1 stick butter, 1 cup peanut butter, and oat flour. Once smooth, place in food processor with cooked pinto beans and powdered sugar. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a shallow baking pan, and smooth out with a spatula. Pat a few times with a paper towel to absorb some of the moisture from the beans. Then top with chocolate chips. Spread evenly, and refrigerate 2 hours or until firm. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Black Bean Soup (beans)
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, undrained (or 2 cups dry beans that you’ve cooked)
1 cup chicken broth
1 can (4-oz) chopped green chilies
1 Tbsp dried onion
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried lemon peel
Puree half the beans. Pour into a large saucepan. Add remaining ingredients; stir to combine. Bring to boil. Cover; reduce heat. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf before serving. Serves 3-4.

Bean Flour
Grind any dry beans you want into a fine powder. To make a gravy, use 3 Tbsp bean flour per 1 cup of liquid, and bring to a boil. It will thicken it like regular flour.

Tuna Salad (canned tuna)
3 6-oz cans tuna
1 10-oz jar mayo
2 Tbsp onion in a baggie.
Drain tuna. Combine tuna, onion and desired quantity of mayo.

Chicken Salad – Same as tuna salad, but use dried carrots instead of onion.

Ham Salad – Same as tuna salad, but use dried celery instead of onion.

Turkey Salad – same as tuna salad, but use dried green pepper instead of onion.

**I haven’t tried powdered eggs yet, but that is something I’d like to add to my storage. Any opinions on it?

Food Storage Friday – How Much Do You Need?


It’s been a hectic week, so I’m sorry I haven’t posted in awhile. All is well here, however, and I wanted to post a little deal about food storage.

A lot of people have no clue how much they need….Okay, so a year’s supply, 3-months supply, whatever. How much is that? Little kids don’t need as much as adults, so how do you figure that out? At Providentliving.com (NOT to be confused with Providentliving.ORG, the LDS church website), there’s a nifty little calculator that helps you figure it out. Come to think of it, the church’s website has one also, but this one specifically asks how many in your family are children vs. adults.

So…all you do is enter the # of people you’re trying to build your food storage for, and how many weeks you’re trying to build. Say you’ve got one adult and one child in your family, and you’re trying to get a 12-week supply of food. Here’s basically what you’ll need:

-152 lbs grains (wheat, rice, oats, barley, corn, pasta, etc)
-23 lbs legumes (beans, lentils, nuts, etc)
-11 lbs dairy (powdered milk, powdered cheese, etc)
-23 lbs sugar (white/brown sugar, honey, molasses, etc)
-2 lbs leavening agents (yeast, baking powder, powdered eggs, etc)
-2 lbs salt (salt, bouillon powder, etc)
-11 lbs fats (oils, shortening, canned butter, etc)
-28 gallons water (at least 1 gallon of water per day per person)

WOW…better get working on it, eh?

Did You Think To Store? (rice)

Did You Think To Store?
(sung to the tune of Did You Think To Pray?)

Verse 1
Ere you spent your family’s paycheck,
Did you think to save?
Just a little for the storage ,
Just a little for some porridge
You may need some day.

Oh, how storage helps the faithful
When the Prophet’s words come true.
So, if you would not be crying,
Have some storage too.

Rice – the ever affordable food item. It’s a must have in food storage, obviously. Money tight, and yet sick of the same rice dishes? Here are some recipes I’ve tried, and my reviews of each:

Apple Rice Toffee (dessert) (Deseret Recipes)

2 cups cooked rice OR whole wheat
4 cups sliced apples
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon rind
Mix the above ingredients together. Put in a buttered 9″x9″ baking dish. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover apples and rice completely with toffee mixture (below). Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Toffee Mixture
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter/margarine, softened
Mix the dry ingredients well.
Cut the butter/margarine into sugar mixture until the size of small peas.
*I was hesitant on this one. I didn’t think I’d like the rice texture as a dessert, but it was delicious! I would make this dessert again and again, really! One of the best things about this and the next recipe is that you can make the rice ahead of time and freeze in batches. The altered texture when you thaw the rice out isn’t going to matter one bit.

Pineapple Cream Rice (Wooden Spoon)
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/8 tsp salt
1 20-oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup whipping cream
2-4 Tbsp sugar
Combine rice, pineapple juice, water and salt. Mix just enough to moisten all the rice. Bring quickly to a boil. Then cover and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups well drained, crushed pineapple. Whip together the whipping cream and sugar, and fold into the rice mixture. Chill for an hour. Garnish with cherries, chopped nuts, or toasted coconut.
*This is a fantastic dish, surprisingly good. I loved it when I tried it. The first time I made it, I decided to add a little bit of cream cheese to the whipping cream as well, and I loved the extra creaminess it gave! I’ve used orange juice or apple juice instead of pineapple juice when it was all I had, and it turned out just as well.

Japanese Fried Rice (Noriko Mizoguchi)
4 cups cooked rice
3 green onions, chopped
cubed ham, or 4-5 strips bacon, cooked
1 cup corn, drained
1 cup julienne cut carrots
1/2 cup each green peas and green pepper
1 beaten egg, drizzled over mixture as it is cooked and stirred in skillet.
Mix all ingredients together in a skillet and heat through.
*This was a dish made by a Japanese foreign exchange student who was living with my neighbor for a time. It’s very nice and light!

Ham/Chicken Fried Rice
1 cup frozen carrots and peas
3 cups cooked rice
1 cup cooked cubed ham or chicken
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 egg
2 Tbsp soy sauce
In a large bowl, combine the peas and carrots, rice and ham or chicken. Mix well. Heat oil in a large skillet. Pour rice mixture into skillet and stir over medium heat until heated through, a couple of minutes. Add the egg. Cook and mix in with the rice mixture until the egg is done to your liking. Mix in the soy sauce just before serving.
*I LOVE this recipe. It’s so easy, and there are so many variations you can do with it. You can add corn instead of peas, or peppers instead of carrots. You can do ham, chicken, turkey, or sandwich meat. The possibilities are almost endless!

Mine Eyes Have Seen The Cupboards (Part 2)


Verse 2 of Mine Eyes Have Seen the Cupboards
(sung to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic)

Have you stored your years’ supply of soap and shirts and underwear?
Have you put away some powdered milk and shampoo for your hair?
If you heed advice that’s given, then your cupboards won’t be bare.
You’ll have your years’ supply!

Glory, glory for the storage,
Glory, glory for the storage,
Glory, glory for the storage,
The time is marching on!

Okay, I promised bean recipes and realized I gave my mom my only copy of the recipes, so I don’t have a ton on hand this minute. I’ll update and add more soon though!

Deep Dish Brownies (black beans)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup cooked, pureed black beans
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8-inch square pan. In large bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar and vanilla. Whisk in eggs until well combined. In medium bowl stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir flour mixture into egg mixture until well combined. Spread in pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean but with some crumbs attached (brownies may sink in center). Do not overbake. Cool completely on wire rack.
*This is a recipe I altered myself. Everyone loved them, and most said they couldn’t tell any difference. I could tell a difference in texture. They weren’t as chewy, they were more cake-like than typical deep dish brownies. Taste-wise, they were fantastic!!! And I liked that they weren’t as greasy.

Chili Beans
2 cups dried beans (red kidney or pinto)
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
2 Tbsp sugar
1 cup tomato sauce
1 onion, chopped (optional)
1 Tbsp chili powder
Soak beans overnight. Drain and add other ingredients. Cook for 1/2 hour on top of stove. Put beans in pot and cook in slow oven (200-250 degrees) for 3 hours, or turn heat down and cook in a heavy saucepan on top of stove until tender.
*I liked this. I didn’t follow the recipe exact, though. I cooked the beans and water in a crockpot until tender, then added the other ingredients and cooked in the crockpot on high for 1 hour.

Fake ‘Em Out Fudge

1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed
¾ cups melted butter
¾ cups cocoa
2 tbsp. vanilla
2 lbs. powdered sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts

Mash or puree the beans in a food processor. Add
the melted butter, cocoa, and vanilla, stirring to mix
well. Stir in the sugar and the walnuts. Spread in 9×13
inch pan. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Cut into 30
squares and enjoy!
*This was good…really! I didn’t have enough powdered sugar on hand, so it wasn’t as thick, and it was a semisweet flavor. In fact, I only had about a 1/2 lb. Better for me anyway. The one thing I would suggest: don’t mash the beans by hand. USE YOUR FOOD PROCESSOR! Otherwise, you’ll have little lumps!

Mine Eyes Have Seen The Cupboards…


(To the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic)
Mine eyes have seen the cupboards of the sisters of our ward;
They are full of empty cartons, `stead of food they should have stored.
They are all so busy caring for their children and their yards—
The time is marching on.

Glory, glory for the storage.
Glory, glory for the storage.
Glory, glory for the storage.

The time is marching on.

There are several verses, but you get the idea…I admit it. I’ve become a food storage snob. Once I got into the food storage building, I got picky about having nice shelves and ridiculous stuff like that. I can’t help it. It looks so nice when it’s organized and pretty! I’m a beginner snob though, my shelves are not exactly full.

With the economy struggling the way it is, I feel more grateful every day that I started following the promptings I had about a year ago to get serious about building up our food storage and paying off our debt. I’ve been extremely fortunate in that my local ward has really pushed food storage this year as well, and has offered cooking classes using food storage staples. Now I can actually use the wheat I have, and can eat fairly well off the beans….for real!

Okay, the whole point of this long ole’ blog post is to share some of the recipes I’ve received that I’ve tried and LIKED. There are a ton of other recipes out there, but I don’t necessarily like them all. I’ll share my “reviews” of the recipes at the bottom of each. Take from it what you will.

Wheat:
Pineapple Bavarian (Whole Kernel and Bulgur Wheat Prep and Usage)
1 1/2 cups cooked bulgur (pre-cooked, dried, cracked wheat…recipe for that follows)
2 Tbsp unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups pineapple juice
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup whiped cream
Combine sugar and gelatin in saucepan Add one half of the pineapple juice. Heat just to boiling. Cool. Add remaining juices and pineapple, cooked bulgur, vanilla and milk, to the prepared gelatin and juice mixture. Chill until thick but not firm. Fold whipped cream into chilled mixture. Chill until firm.
*I have not MADE this myself, only tasted it when a lady in the ward made it. Delicious! It was a great dessert. Yummy.

Homemade Bulgur
1 cup whole wheat
1 cup water.
Combine in a heavy saucepan, cover pan and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer 1 hour. Drain off any remaining liquid. Spread wheat in a thin layer on a large baking sheet and bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours or until COMPLETELY dried out. Crack with heavy rolling pin or grind coarsely in wheat grinder. *If a recipe calls for “cooked bulgur”, boil in water for 5-10 minutes or until rehydrated. It will be approx double in volume.

Blender Wheat Pancakes (Family Recipes – Use and Enjoy your Food Storage)
1 cup water
1/3 cup powdered milk
1 cup uncooked whole wheat
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
Blend water, powdered milk and wheat in blender on highest speed for 5 minutes until batter is smooth. Add eggs, oil, sugar, salt, and baking powder and blend on low speed until mixed. Bake on hot griddle.
*Yum, yum, yum! I loved the nutty flavor. I also liked them a lot when I didn’t blend them for the full 5 minutes (probably 3 minutes or so) and they had a teeny tiny crunch to them. Either way, they’re good. Akaila eats them up and loves them, and so does Clay.

Wheat Seafood Salad (Mill and Mix Recipes)
5 cups cooked cracked wheat, cooled
1 cup Miracle Whip
1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup shrimp, tuna, etc
Mix all ingredients together. Serve on lettuce leaf.
*I liked this…I think I would do chicken or something instead, and maybe add something more for extra flavor…salt, chili powder, I don’t know. It was good though, but I’m not huge on shrimp, unless it’s battered and deep fried. I know. I think it would be good on crackers too!

Granola Energy Bars (The Wooden Spoon)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 1/2 cups granola (homemade, preferably)
Bring brown sugar and corn syrup to a boil. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter. Mix well. Add the granola and press into a greased 9×9 – inch pan. Cut into bars. Optional to add nuts or small chocolate chips.
*I haven’t made these, but I love peanut butter and corn syrup and brown sugar, so I imagine this would be good. I’ve done homemade granola and like it. I’ll try these out and give a better review, cause I know y’all are holding your breath waiting for it.

That’s it for now. I’ll do bean recipes next time!