Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weekend Roundup: Thank You Edition!

Thank you readers for all your positive support. This blog wouldn't have lasted very long with out the response you have given. Especially reader Christy sharing the idea of using Reeses Peanut Butter Cups instead of chocolate bars in Smores. Oh sweet mercy.

Thank you to Just Organize Yourself for nominating us to the Kreativ Blogger award and

to Confessions of An Overworked Mom for nominating us for the Lemonade award. I feel so popular.

Food Storage...A Necessary Adventure alerted me to the chart on Today While The Sun Shines. It has all sorts of food storage equivalents, for example, one gallon of wheat is equal to 7lbs. Handy!

Holy storage, Batman! Check out the long list of storage space ideas at Food Storage Made Easy.

Self-Reliant Sisters has done a Sample 72 Hour Kit post including pictures, very informative.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Food Storage Friday: Pizza

Here is Aleasha with a terrific staple: pizza!

Okay, so I admit, before I became friends with Abs and Hannah, I thought food storage was going to be beans, rice and wheat: BORING! Now that I am a little more food storage conscious, I have loved making our everyday recipes FSF (food-storage friendly).

Things needed for the pretty darn tasty pizza dough: Yeast, flour, sugar, salt, olive oil and warm water

I am old school, so I proof my yeast in the water with a pinch of yeast.

In your mixer bowl, pour in the flour. Make sure you have little pudgy fingers to help!

Add in the olive oil.

And the salt.

Look how nice the yeast looks!! I like it bubbly!

Give it a good whirl. I mixed it a little bit after this with a little more flour. It isn't quite stiff. Cover and let rise.

Toppings: Here comes the goodness. 1 can tomato sauce (you could also use stewed/diced tomatoes)and 1 jar Alfredo sauce. I did a half and half pizza. 1/2 pepperoni-black olive, 1/2 Canadian bacon-pineapple.

You can find Canadian bacon and pepperoni in packages that don't need to be refrigerated until opened, if you look hard. If not, leave them out.

This is what it looks like after it has risen. Yum!

I cut it in half and made two pizzas.

Roll out flat. If I hadn't run out of parchment paper I would have just rolled it out onto that and then transferred it to the baking sheet. But that was a no go.

Add your sauce. This is plain-jane tomato sauce. You could add all kinds here. You could even do diced/stewed tomatoes because there is plenty of sauce in the cans. You don't want to get too heavy on the sauce because it will make your pizza soggy. And we all know that soggy pizza is a no-go.

Here is where you add the "cheese" (food-storage friendly of course). Thank you Ragu! Also, at this point you can add some of the shredded/powder parm cheese. You could also add some dried spices here.

Here is the pre-baked. After I took the picture I added fresh black pepper.

Can't you just smell that yumminess?

I made a pink sauce with the Alfredo sauce, tomato sauce, and some Italian seasoning.

It turned out delish! The kiddos really liked it, the husband LOVED it and I was very happy with it! Enjoy!

I doubled the recipe so I could make 2 pizzas. My camera died but I did make a BBQ chicken pizza... totally food storage friendly! Good luck!

Pretty Darn Tasty Pizza Dough

1 package active dry yeast or 1 TBS rapid rise yeast
1 cup warm water
2 cups flour
2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. white sugar

Dissolve yeast in warm water until creamy. About 10 minutes. I add the sugar to the yeast as well.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, olive oil, salt and yeast mixture. Beat well until a stiff dough has formed. Cover and let rise about 30-45 minutes or until doubled.

Flour your counter well and form the dough unto a round ball. Roll out into a pizza crust. Add all of your favorite FSF pizza toppings and back at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How To....Make Smores

That's right I said smores. And I'm not joking either.

Smores are the number one camping necessity. Have you ever gone camping without eating, or at least thinking about smores? I didn't think so. Smores are perfect food storage treat for the same reason they are good camping treat: nonperishable items, cooked over a open fire, no electricity needed. Although smores are also very tasty cooked in the oven--the chocolate really melts. Hmm.

Ingredients: Marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham crackers

If there's just one person out there who's never made a smore before, this tutorial will not have been in vain.

Stick some marshmallows on a roaster which could be a storebought roaster, a stretched out clothes hanger or a stick with a sharpened point.

Stick your marshmallows near enough to the flame to get toasty, but not near enough to light them on fire. Although that's a fun activity too. Until someone starts waving their flaming marshmallow around to try and put it out and and it takes flight.

A marshmallow's doneness is personal preference. I prefer lightly browned.

Break in half a graham cracker and a chocolate bar.

Sandwich your marshmallows between your slices of cracker and slide off the roasting stick.


Really tasty.


Read instructions above. I'm not rewriting them.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's Tuesday!

Every Tuesday, we post specific items you should gather in order to supplement your 72-hour kit, your 3-month supply, and your longer-term storage. If you are new to our blog, don't worry! You won't be left behind. Just start up where we are and follow along. You will eventually have everything completed! Once the 72-hour kit is complete (in just a few weeks!), we'll be putting together emergency car kits again (week by week). Once those are done, we'll gather the 72-hour kits again. So don't worry, just jump on in and join us where we are today!

Previously in our 72-hour kit list, we listed "camp stove" and "heat source" separately. However, a camp stove can be used as your primary heat source if you'd like (if so, that means this is a free week, or a catch-up week!). If you want something extra, consider storing charcoals. If you have a food sealer, you could seal up a few packs of 10-12 charcoals. It would also be a great idea to seal up some matches to make them waterproof, or you could dip the tips of the matches in wax.

How is your 3-month supply coming along? Have you planned it out? It really is so much easier if you have a plan for what you want to buy, and what meals you are going to eat. We hope it's coming along well for you! My shelves are really starting to fill up and I am constantly re-organizing my closet to better hold everything!

This is the last week to gather wheat for your longer-term storage. I buy mine already canned in #10 cans, but you can also store it in food grade 5-gallon buckets. This is a great option because if you have a gamma lid for the top, you can use it and re-seal after each use. Not sure how much wheat you need? Click here to find out!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Inspirational Thought

"Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to “prepare every needful thing” (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we can care for ourselves and our neighbors and support bishops as they care for others.

"We encourage members world-wide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings.

"We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve."

—The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, Feb. 2007, 1

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Weekend Roundup: Wheat bread Anyone?

Don't know how much of a food you eat? Try writing the date you open a package on the bag itself or in your calendar, then when the food is gone, compare back to the opening date.

Smitten Kitchen has a delicious looking recipe for wheat bread here; totally food storage friendly.

Besides making me long (as in 'want') for an iRobot, I enjoyed this article about the spiritual aspects of getting prepared from Food Storage and Preparation.

shared an informative article on ways to stay warm when the heater isn't working. Sounds like one big sleepover to me!

Washing clothes by hand is not on my top ten list of fun things to do, but Preparedness Brings Peace has a tutorial for what supplies you need and how to do it if there was an emergency situation.

Hannah and I recommend making a menu plan for your 3-Month Supply and shopping off of that, so you have specific meals you can use during an emergency situation. But if you like basic lists, check out Everyday Food Storage for a pdf file of 3-Month Supply basics.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Food Storage Friday: Whipped Topping

Hi, Brittany here. I realized I tend to provide food storage recipes that are so painfully easy it's almost insulting to your intelligence. Please don't be insulted.

I adore whipping cream, don't you? Especially whipped cream, when it's gently dolloped on, oh, anything. However, sometimes I don't make a particular recipe simply because I feel it would be naked without whipped cream, and I don't have any in the house. Well, not anymore!

Today I'll show you how to make whipped cream--okay, whipped topping--from powdered milk. It's not glamorous, but it's very helpful in adding that little something extra. It's also psychologically indulgent because it looks rich but is really fat-free!

Ingredients: instant powdered milk, sugar, cold water, and vanilla.

Begin by pouring 1/2 cup cold water into a bowl and add 1/2 cup instant powdered milk. Beat to soft peak stage, which according to the recipe is about 4 minutes at medium-high speed with an electric mixer.Next, add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or lemon extract (I used vanilla) and beat 6 to 7 minutes again.

Add 2 tablespoons sugar and beat for another minute. (Having a helper is very useful here.)

A taste-tester is also a requirement.

Ta-dah! And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen--whipped topping! My family thought it gave our last-minute crepes that little extra oomph.

Whipped Topping
(from back of Kroger Instant Nonfat Dry Milk box)

Mix 1/2 cup Kroger Instant Nonfat Dry Milk with 1/2 cup cold water. Beat to soft peak stage--about 4 minutes at medium-high speed on electric mixer. Add 1/2 teaspoon lemon or vanilla extract and beat 6 to 7 minutes at same speed. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and beat 1 minute at same speed. Serve as a topping instead of whipped cream.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Small steps to Emergency Preparedness

While getting prepared for emergencies can be a big task, there are small, easy things you can do every day that can make an emergency seem a bit easier to deal with.

Gas up.  Try not to let your car get below half a tank of gas.  If an emergency came up and you had to get out of town quickly, filling your car up with gas might be the last thing on your mind.  This is especially true if everyone is trying to leave down (natural disaster, etc).  You don't want to be one of the people who has to wait in line for 3 hours just to fill up your car.

This came in really handy for me a few months ago.  For about 2 weeks after Hurricane Ike, it was rare for a gas station to be open, and when it was, you waited in line for at least an hour to fill up (and paid over $4 a gallon).  Thankfully, I had filled up my car right before the hurricane so I was ok, but I had to scale down my trips out of the house, and we only went places we had to go.  It was disheartening to drive by dozens of gas stations and see "No gas" signs everywhere.  Thankfully, though, we never fully ran out of gas.

Dress according to the weather.  This may seem like a no-brainer for most people, but it's actually something I struggle with sometimes!  Especially when I was a teenager, I never wanted to wear a big coat to school in the winter, and since I was going to be inside all day I figured it didn't matter.

My parents, however, were adamant that we dress according to the weather.  If my car was to break down (a good possibility, seeing as how I was driving a 20-year-old car), I would heavily rely on my warm clothes to keep me safe, and maybe to keep me alive.  We had a bin in our mud room full of hats, mittens, and scarves - making it easy for us to be prepared if something were to happen on the road. 

Have proper alarms.  Obviously, everyone should have a working fire alarm in their homes, but do you have a carbon monoxide detector?  

I'm a semi-paranoid person by nature, and it's kind of startling as I think about how much money I fork out for "peace of mind".  When I bought a carbon monoxide detector a few months ago, I even splurged and spent $10 extra just for a special feature that shows us the actual amount of carbon monoxide in the air (total cost: $30).  I wanted to know at all times!

Last week, however, around 3 o'clock in the morning, the alarm started going off.  We noticed that the number on the alarm had gone from its normally constant "0" to over 100.  Thankfully we weren't feeling any symptoms (yet), but we threw open the windows and turned on all the fans in the house (thankfully the weather was mild).  Slowly, then numbers on the alarm crept down and eventually stopped at 12 (anything under 30 is ok, we learned online).  

After a few hours, we were finally able to fall back asleep, confident that our alarm actually worked and that opening the windows had temporarily solved the problem.  The next day we called the gas company and they came to our house in less than an hour (and free of charge, on a Sunday!) to check things out.  We later learned that they do emergency house calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Good to know, in case this ever happens again!

The point is, if we hadn't had a carbon monoxide detector, I'd hate to think what might have happened.  Additionally, if our detector hadn't shown us the amount of carbon monoxide in the air, we probably would have needed to leave and possibly spend the rest of the night in a hotel (which definitely would have cost more than the extra $10 I paid for that feature).

Have a no-electricity day.  After reading Shauna's guest post last week about the ice storm, it really made me wonder how I would do without electricity for a day.  The first thing I thought of is that I would be bored (no computer! no sewing machine! no tv!), and then secondly I wondered what (and how) we would eat.  We don't have a generator, so my choices with that are limited.  I suppose we would just eat out of the pantry - crackers, peanut butter sandwiches, etc.

Consider spending one day in your home (or at least a few hours) without electricity.  What are you going to eat?  What are you going to do all day? What will your kids do?  Do you have enough flashlights for everyone?  How will you stay warm?  I know this exercise might not sound like much fun, but it's certainly better to do it now - on your own terms - than it would be otherwise.  Obviously, you will not be able to go completely without electricity (Shauna said her toilets didn't flush - we're not asking you to go that far!), but at least consider those extra things that you will be without.  Hearing that made me realize that we need to get a few 5-gallon buckets for hauling water, if needs be!

Are there any other small things you do to help you stay prepared for emergencies?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How To...Grow Wheatgrass

As I was perusing craft blogs, which I am prone to do, I came across the idea of growing wheatgrass here and another tutorial here.. It reminded me of college and smoothies. I love smoothies. It looked easy to grow and although it's not lettuce, it technically could be considered a vegetable, right? Well, it's green and my Mom used to make me eat something green every dinner, so green is a big deal to me. So if you didn't have veggies around, wheatgrass could help balance out your meals. Or you could just throw it in smoothies, like me. Yum.

So, grab some wheat and spread it in a single layer in a dish any size. Cover it with water.

Let it sit on your counter top until it sprouts. You can change the water if it gets cloudy.

See the little white things poking out of the wheat kernels?

When the wheat sprouts, fill your chosen container with soil. Any dirt will work.

Drain the water from your wheat and layer the wheat on top of the soil.

I really packed it on there, because of course I germinated too many.

Water the seeds, so the soil is damp.

Then cover the container with saran wrap.

I secured my saran wrap with a rubber band because I buy cheap saran wrap and it never seems to stay.

Place in a dark place, like the pantry.

See, dark.

When the wheat really sprouts, pull it out of the dark.


And place in a sunny location

The same day you put the wheat in the sun the sprouts will perk up and head towards the light.

Really, it's amazing!

After just a few days this is what I had! (Try to ignore the sugar scrub, that was from a different project. Although the recipe is food storage friendly!) I kept watering the wheatgrass when it was dry and when I wanted some grass for smoothies, I just snipped off bunches with scissors and it grew back within days.

It lasted several months (until I stopped watering it) and had a beautiful green color the entire time. Sure to cheer you up during the dark, gray winter months. Go grow some grass!