Saturday, February 28, 2009

Weekend Roundup: PW and a winner

We have a winner for our first aid kit!

We had 255 comments by midnight on Friday, so we asked Random.org to generate us a number.

And it came up with.....


Congratulations, Sondra!  (I know it looks like it's comment 10, but for some reason our comment counter starts over at 200, so don't worry, it's right).  Please email us at safelygatheredin (at) gmail.com with your mailing address so we can get your prize to you.

And now for a few favorite articles from the week...

I love Pioneer Woman. She's witty and funny and down to earth, and makes great food. I think that if she knew who I was, she'd like me too. As it is, she has no clue I exist. But that's okay, especially when she pulls out a refried bean recipe. That's right--PW herself makes homemade refried beans and they look delicious.

On the soft side of food storage, check out The Simple Dollar's post on The Giving Pocket. It is my personal belief that God gives us the commandment to have a food storage not just so we can always feed our families, but also so we will always have enough to help those who don't have any. "Because I have been given much, I too must give."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Food Storage Friday: Curried Lentils and Rice

I love
refried beans. I'm a big fan of hummus. And I love a good blackbean burger. But there are some bean dishes that I just can't do. I shiver at the sign of bean soup, you know the kind with the ham bone in it (sorry Mom)? Don't even get me near split pea soup (blah), and lentils have always scared me.

But when a food storage recipe hits you in the face, you gotta run with it. This one came out of Fitness magazine. Who'd a thunk it?

Ingredients: lentils, rice, curry powder, onion powder, oil, honey, balsamic oil, salt (not pictured) and water (also not pictured).

Start off by cooking your rice, either in a rice cooker or over the stove top. Directions for how I cook rice are here.

Warm up a pan over medium high heat. Check out this beauty Mountain Man got me for Christmas. That's true love baby.

When your pan is hot, add the oil.

After the oil heats up a bit add the curry powder,

Cook and stir for a little bit then add the onion powder

and stir it around to make a paste.

add the water

and the lentils. The recipe calls for brown lentils, but my typical grocery store only had one kind of lentils....and I don't think they were the brown kind judging from the end result (color wise). Next time I'll check out the fancy health food store.

Bring your mixture to a boil, lower the heat and cover.

If your pan doesn't come with a lid, tin foil works great.

Let the lentils simmer until they are soft. See, definitely not brown lentils. I was about to gag at this point---it looked way too close to split peas...

Remove from heat and stir in honey

balsamic vinegar

and salt. This practice of adding vinegar to beans after they've cooked is fairly common in ethnic cooking, I'm beginning to notice. It really gives the dish an awesome kick.

Put some cooked rice into a bowl

And ladle the lentils over the top

Add some sour cream if you're rotating. Oh how I love sour cream, I could write an ode.

End result? Green, yes, but surprisingly delicious. As in, my kids ate it! Mountain Man swore his love and dedication all over again after eating it. There were no leftovers. Thanks Fitness magazine, I forgive you for making me feel fat every month.

Curried Lentils and Rice

adapted from Fitness Magazine

2 cups rice
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp powdered onion
4 cups water
1 cup brown lentils
1 tsp honey
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt

Cook rice according to package directions. Heat oil and curry powder together in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion powder and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the water and lentils and bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 22 minutes, until lentils are soft. Remove from heat; stir in the honey, vinegar, and salt. Ladle over bowls of rice. Top with cilantro and sour cream if rotating.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's another GIVEAWAY - First Aid Kit! ****Contest Closed****

As we said yesterday, and last week, February just seems so long and dreary, so let's brighten up the day with another giveaway.

This week's giveaway is an awesome first aid kit from Survival Outpost! You can read all about the kit here, but let me tell you, it's got it all; I'm sad I can't just keep it for myself!

All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment answering this question:

What do you keep your 72-hour kits in? Do you use backpacks? Suitcases? Big plastic bins? Buckets? Plastic WalMart bags (I hope not)?

Don't have your 72-hour kits yet? That's ok, just leave a comment all the same - and start with a first aid kit!

One comment per person, please. This contest will close at midnight on Friday the 27th, EST.

SurvivalOutpost.com is an Austin-based on-line business specializing in Preparedness Supplies and Survival Equipment for individuals, families and businesses. The SurvivalOutpost.com philosophy is to balance reason with readiness, and to encourage knowledge, independence and self-sufficiency as tools to survive in an increasingly uncertain, unpredictable and interdependent world.

Be sure to check out Survival Outpost for any of your emergency preparedness needs! And thanks to Survival Outpost for the great giveaway.

Tuesday, February 24, 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!

This is the last week for your 72-hour kits - if you've followed along with us for the last couple of months, congratulations!! If not, don't worry, we'll do them again soon. Of course, you can also just print off our kit list and put it together on your own.

This week, add a first aid kit. Any kind is fine, but obviously the more the kit has in it, the better. Just make sure to get one that will fit into someone's pack.

How is your three-month supply coming along? If you need recipe ideas, please check out our recipes page. Every recipe uses only non-perishable food items, so you don't have to worry about losing your storage if the power goes out. Once you have a meal plan, figure out how many times you will eat each meal, add up the ingredients you need, and make your master shopping list. Most of our recipes are main dishes, so I also like to stock up on sides like canned fruit and veggies. They are simple to prepare, and make our meals a bit more nutritious and filling.

This is our last week for gathering oats this month for your longer-term supply. Not sure how to cook with oats? Check out some recipes here. Not sure of the differences between all the different kinds of oats? Check out our article on that here.

And... last week we had a giveaway because February feels like such a long month, and I'm anxious for spring. Well, it's still February, so..... let's have another giveaway this week!! Come back tomorrow to see what it is, and to enter!! See you then!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Motivational Monday

“All too often a family's spending is governed more by their yearning than by their earning. They somehow believe that their life will be better if they surround themselves with an abundance of things. All too often all they are left with is avoidable anxiety and distress”

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin "Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts," Ensign, May 2004, 42

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Weekend Roundup: Winners Announced (and a recipe contest from Shelf Reliance!)

Thanks to everyone who participated in this week's giveaway - we got a lot of great comments!

We used Random.org to generate 2 random numbers for us. The winners are....

Numbers 96 and 41!!

Congratulations, Michelle and Nat! Please email us at safelygatheredin (at) gmail.com to claim your first aid flash cards. If you didn't win, but are interested in purchasing these cards, check out Nuru's website. It looks like shipping is free for these cards.

And in other news....
Shelf Reliance is having a recipe contest using food storage items!! Send in your recipes to them, and they've got some GREAT prizes to give away. The recipes don't need to be non-perishables only - they just need to use some sort of food storage! Sounds exciting... I know WE will be entering! For more information, check out their website here. Hurry, because this contest ends in 1 week!

I Dare You To Eat It
has a wheat berry tutorial up using a crockpot. She puts these wheat berries in all sorts of recipes, no grinder needed.

Looking for a use for your empty #10 cans? Preparedness Brings Peace has a tutorial up for making a stove out of your used cans.

If you didn't win the cansolidator last week and desperately wanted one, Food Storage Made Easy has a tutorial and directions for making a can rotating rack using a cardboard box.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Food Storage Friday: Black Bean Tostadas

Aleasha delivers all the way from Texas on vacation no less. Now that is devotion to food storage!

Here is another GREAT food storage meal! I made this for my husband, children, mom and nephew. They all ate it up!!!! We are going to call this Black Bean Tostadas.

As a side note, I am very sorry the pictures are blurry. It doesn't make for a fantastic post, but believe me, these are Delish!!!

The ingredients are black beans, panko bread crumbs, green chilies, garlic, dried onions, and spices (i use chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, Cayenne pepper, and garlic powder) Please keep in mind that these spices are completely flexible. You can use however much of each that you and/or your family will eat! Also, some oil for frying and corn tortillas.

You will also need a can of corn and some canned tomatoes (if you happen to have some of the lime juice that comes in the little fake lime looking thing, that would come in handy) I was fresh out of that!

Add about a cup of bread crumbs. I am sure that regular bread crumbs would work, but these give it a great texture.

Okay, I just started throwing stuff in from here. The entire can of green chilies. (Also, if you are using a blender instead of a food processor you might not want to drain all of the black beans. This was giving this blender a real work out) Give the mixture a good spin. If you do not have a blender or a food processor a fork would do the trick.

Like I said, this could have used a little bit more of the liquid from the black beans but you get the idea. The black bean mixture needs to be a smooth constancy. See how there are whole black beans, you don't want that!

After it is all smooth, make them into patties. Now, my mom noted that if she were making them for herself, she would have made them a little thinner BUT she is not a huge fan of the black bean. I love them a little bit thick. You choose.. thick or thin!

Spray a little bit of oil on a skillet or griddle and sear the patties until warmed through. This is on a medium heat for about 3-5 minuets per side.

You can make the corn salsa ahead of time if you would like. The can of corn and diced tomatoes. This would be where the lime juice would really come in handy. It gives it a little umph! Throw in a couple of your favorite spices too, I added onion flakes, black pepper, garlic powder and cumin. When rotating, add some fresh cilantro.

Add about a 1 and 1/2 cups of oil to a small skillet. Wait until the oil is hot. There are few things worse than a soggy tostada! Gently place the tortilla in the hot oil. If you throw this baby in there that hot oil will back fire! Let it fry up for about 2 minutes on the one side. This is not something you can walk away from. Take some tongs and keep the tortilla down in the oil. They tend to bubble up in the middle. Once it is nice and brown on one side, give'r a flip.

Plate with tostada on bottom, black bean patty and then the corn salsa! You won't even miss the cheese!!!! Serve with salsa!!!

When rotating, add sour cream, diced onion and fresh avocado!

Black Bean Tostadas

2 cans black beans
1 small can green chilies
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
Cumin, Cayenne, Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Onion, Chili Powder to taste (I use about 1 tsp each)

Oil for Frying
corn tortillas

Can of corn
Can of tomatoes

Combine beans, chilies, bread crumbs and spices until smooth. Make into patties and sear until heated.

Fry tortillas for Tostadas

Combine tomatoes and corn for the salsa

Plate and ENJOY!!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

72-hour kits: For pets?

A few months ago, we asked you to send in pictures of your progress, whether it was your 3-month supply, longer term storage, car kits, 72-hour kits, or whatever.

One of our readers, Jacki, sent us an interesting email of something that we hadn't really thought of before: 72-hour kits for your pets. Now, in talking with several people I've heard mixed opinions. A few people told me that in some emergencies, they would not take their pets with them; in most cases, it was because they have little kids and they could barely imagine carrying enough stuff for them, let alone a pet too (please don't come after me, PETA. I didn't say this. I don't even have a pet...). Other people have said that they would take their pet(s) with them no matter what. Whatever your opinion is, it's an important thing to think about if you have a pet. And even if you wouldn't take your pet in some situations, you should still think about stocking up some food and supplies for them for other reasons.

Anyway, here is a portion of the email we received, beginning with a list of what she put in her dog's 72-hour kit.

Backpack to keep it all in
Dog food
Water –he’s a big boy and drinks a lot!
Dishes for food and water
A stake and cable to secure him if I need to tie him out somewhere
Extra leash Muzzle (scared dogs bite!)
Wool blanket
Benadryl (he has allergies)
Shot record and veterinarian’s health certificate
List of contacts including the vet and kennel we use and family and friends willing to take him in an emergency (including 2 out-of-town contacts)
Brief summary of his quirks and instructions for feeding and medicine dosage
Not shown: plastic bags for disposing of dog poop

Since I took the photo I’ve added a towel to his kit. We’re still putting together the cat’s kit.

Also, for emergencies, his collar includes not just his license and rabies tag, but also a tag with my phone (land line and cell) and an out of town number just in case. He also has an embedded microchip should he lose his collar.

I had never thought about our pets in our emergency plans until one day while proudly showing off our 3-month supply to my daughter she made this observation: "What's Hunter going to eat? If we have to share this with him, it's not going to last three months!"

Thanks again for your email, Jacki. This is valuable information for anyone who has a pet!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Just another GIVEAWAY! Emergency First Aid Cards

I don't know about you, but February always seems like the longest month to me (although in reality, we all know it's the shortest). It's gray outside, the trees are still dead, and the cold weather just seems to linger on and on. Do you feel the same way?

So... what better way to cheer ourselves up than to have another GIVEAWAY!! That's right - and this time, we're focusing on first aid.

As we work on our first aid projects, it's vital to remember the importance of knowing first aid. Even a basic first aid knowledge could save someones life. These little cards from Nuru help you do just that - they're little flashcards with different first aid techniques. They address topics like choking, shock, stroke, burns, and internal bleeding (just to name a few). The cards have step by step directions (and some pictures) that leave no room for error.

I really like these cards, and I know you will too. Having them in my 72-hour kit helps me feel just that much more prepared.

Thanks, Nuru, for helping us keep our families safe!

We will be giving away TWO (yep, 2) decks of these cards. All you have to do to enter is make a comment! One comment per person, please. Answer this question....

Where do you keep your 72-hour kits (or, if you don't have them yet, where will you keep them)?

I keep mine in my office closet, along with the majority of my food storage. But Abs and I want to hear where YOU keep yours... because you guys are always giving us (and each other) great inspiration!

Good luck! The contest will close this Friday night (Feb 20th) at midnight, EST.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


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!

This week for your 72-hour kits, put $25 cash in your packs. This is per family, and this is the third cash installment for your kits (you should now have $75 total). A few weeks ago when we talked about 72-hour kit distribution, we said that Abs and Mountain Man split the money between the two of them. That's what my husband and I have done also. Put the money in plastic baggies so it all stays together and is waterproof. Finally, make sure your money is in small bills and change (fives, ones, and rolls of quarters are great).

I know this was going to be our last week with the 72-hour kits... but someone kindly reminded me last week about first aid kits! I can't believe those weren't listed... my mistake!! Next week we'll be gathering those.

How is your three month supply coming along? Remember, it's much easier to accomplish this if you have a plan, and a master grocery list. This way you can really take advantage of sales, and you can keep track of your progress.

We're still gathering oats this month for longer-term storage. Not sure what to make with oats? Check out our oat recipes!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Family Home Evening Lesson: It Wasn't Raining When Noah Built the Ark

We will be featuring a Family Home Evening (FHE) lesson the 3rd Monday of each month in place of the motivational thought. FHE's are brought to us by guest poster Tiffany. This is a great way to teach your families about the importance of being prepared.

Following the Prophets:

"It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark"

Purpose: To learn & teach about food storage, self-reliance and why it is important.

Preparation: Read lesson to adapt to your family. Print and cut out clip art to use. Paper, crayons, makers etc.. to make and decorate your “Family Ark” sign.

Opening Song: ♫The Prophet Said to Plant a Garden page 237 CSB
Opening Prayer:
Scripture: D&C 1:12 Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh;

Quote: “They teach and practice skills of sewing, canning, drying, and other food storage methods. With it went much of the food storage, but there was still the togetherness of a family that had learned to work together, to plan and prepare, and to face a difficulty head on.”

Ask what it means to be prepared. Explain that you are going to be talking about food storage which is in the temporal preparedness category.

Tell this story:

Make thee an ark of gopher wood; … And of every living thing … shalt thou bring into the ark, … And take … of all food that is eaten … ; and it shall be … for thee, and for them (Gen. 6:14, 19, 21).
“Hey, Mom, I’m home!” I yelled, closing the door. I hung up my coat (but it fell to the floor).
“Hello, dear,” Mom answered. “Come in here and see.” And—like every day—I knew where she’d be.
Hands sticky with dough, flour dusting her cheek, She looked at her bread loaves—enough for a week!
“All ready for baking,” she said with a smile.“ It’s good to make bread, though it does take a while.”
“Then why do you bother?” I asked, op’ning the door Of the oven. “Why don’t we buy bread at the store?”
“Now, that would be easy,” Mom said with a sigh.“ No wheat to be ground, no yeast cakes to buy,
“No mixing the flour, no bread dough to knead—All that takes much effort, and hard work, indeed.
“But if we don’t use what we keep stored away In our food storage room, it will spoil and decay.”
“So why do we store all the food that we do,” I questioned my mom, “when it’s so hard for you?”
“For years now,” Mom answered, “the Church leaders say To keep one year’s food saved for a rainy day.
“In fact, you might think—and not just as a lark—Our food storage room’s like our own Noah’s ark!
“We do as we’re told, just as Noah did back then. Remember, he built it before the rain came!”
“But an ark?” I asked Mother. “I don’t understand How an animal boat is like food, dried or canned?”
“Oh, you’d be surprised!” Mother said with a grin. “Would you take this flour back to its storage bin?”
So down to the basement and into the dark I hurried to board our own “Andersons’ Ark.”
There weren’t any lions there roaring aloud, But I saw all the fruit we had canned, and felt proud.
I didn’t see bears, either growling or funny, But I thought of the sweetness we get from our honey.
Though nary a glimpse of even one otter, We’d never go thirsty—we’d jugfuls of water!
No rabbits were hopping about to and fro, But canned garden veggies were neat in each row.
No cow was there to moo or to wink; However, we’d powdered milk our family could drink.

No elephant stood there to trumpet a call, But I saw our wheat stored—a half ton in all!
I looked everywhere, but there wasn’t a trace Of one single animal found in that place.
I saw enough food for my parents to feed The whole Anderson family if there’s ever a need.
We don’t know what problem, if any, we’ll face. It’s good to be ready, prepared, just in case.
I went back upstairs to where Mom was still cooking. “So how is our storage? You spent quite some time looking.”
“I know it’s important; I just can’t deny it. And without all those animals, our ark’s much more quiet!”
Debbie Davidson, “The Andersons’ Ark,” Friend, Nov 1990, 9–10

**Use Clip Art as the story is being told or after to explain… (Click on the pictures to enlarge so that you can save, print and cut them.)

Explain to your family that you are trying to heed the words of our prophets… Explain that you are doing this by stocking your food storage shelves and making 72-hour kits.
You can also show them your menus, your tracking sheets, your inventories. If you don’t have these here are some examples. If you need to start with menus, tracking sheets, and inventories involve the whole family in this process. Ask what their favorite meals are and see if it can be turned into something that is food storage appropriate.

Activity: Make your own Family Ark sign, for older children have them actually make the sign themselves; for younger children make the sign and have them color it… Find and designate a place for your food storage, if there is already a place established; make sure all family members know where it is. If possible hang your Family Ark sign by your food storage, if food storage is in numerous places, place the sign on your pantry as a reminder of what we should do to be prepared.

Closing Song:
♫Follow the Prophet page 110 CSB ♪
Closing Prayer:

Remember Family Home Evening is a fun time for family to learn and grow together. Hope you enjoy this lesson and it works for your family.

Printable Version Here

Saturday, February 14, 2009

We have a winner!

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Shelf Reliance Cansolidator giveaway. After reading your comments, Abs and I wanted to give one to everyone!!

We received 309 comments, and used Random.org to generate us a random number.

We got.....


And who's the lucky winner?

Congratulations, Janae! Please email us at safelygatheredin (at) gmail.com and give us your mailing address.

Thanks everyone for participating, and thanks to Shelf Reliance!