Saturday, January 30, 2010

Monthly Roundup: January

My Food Storage Deals has a great article on weevils in food storage and how to prevent and deal with them. I've had my own run-in with crawly bugs in my oats and its no fun!

Check out Food Storage Made Easy for an informative post on Emergency Heat Sources.

Interested in a peek at what a LDS dry-pack cannery looks like on the inside? Check out I Dare You to Eat It's tour right here.

Looks like Self-Reliant Sisters focused on wheat this month. They have a little chart up about what would 400 lbs of wheat make? As well as a diagram of a wheat kernel. Very informative.

Finally, don't forget to check out LDS.org's new page on Self-Reliance. At the heart of food storage is this principle of taking care of oneself and one's own family.

What are some of your favorite food storage and emergency preparedness sites?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Food Storage Friday: "Super-Charge Me" Cookies

I've enjoyed the conversation from yesterday's post on flax seed. Thanks for all your comments. I've learned quite a bit and will definitely keep my flax away from my wheat grinder!

Today's cookies are from a cookbook Mountain Man got me for my birthday: Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.

I'm not a vegan, but when it comes to sweets, I like to have the healthiest option possible. Because chances are I will eat the whole batch.

Ingredients Part I: oats, flour (wheat flour from my freezer), salt, cinnamon, coconut, raisins, chocolate chips, baking powder

In a bowl, add oats and flour



shredded coconut


and chocolate chips.

Stir it all together and then add the baking powder.

If you have a sifter, you should use that. But I don't, so I just try to make sure that the baking powder gets mixed really well: no clumps!

Ingredients Part II: flax meal, maple syrup, peanut butter, vanilla, and oil

In a different bowl start combining the wet ingredients. The original recipe calls for pure maple syrup, but since I don't have any gold bars laying around I just use homemade syrup.

flax seed (egg replacement!)


and peanut butter.

Mix the wet ingredients well together.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients

and stir just until combined. Don't over mix.

Use a spoon to dish cookie batter onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 13 minutes (mine probably could have gone for less) and cool on a rack.

Super-Charge Me! Cookies
adapted from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan

1 cup quick oats
2/3 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup shredded coconut
1/4-1/3 raisins
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup flax meal
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 Tbsp nut butter (I used peanut butter)
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, combine oats, flour, salt, cinnamon, coconut, raisins, and chocolate chips, sift in baking powder, and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine flax meal, syrup, almond butter, vanilla and stir until well combined. Stir in oil. Add wet mixture to dry, and stir until just combined. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon batter onto baking sheet evenly spaced apart, and lightly flatten. Bake for 13 minutes or less. Remove from oven and let cool.

When it comes to dessert, would you rather have one big sugary fattening treat or lots of "healthy desserts?"

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Egg Substitution: Flax seed

For most of us, buying powdered eggs isn't a good option for food storage because of how expensive powdered eggs can be. Well, there is a cheaper alternative. Vegans use flax seed as an egg substitute. Flax seed is a healthy alternative, high in fiber, in addition to being less expensive: a 16oz box costs between $3-4. (source and here)

Because of the nutty flavor, flax seed substitution is generally only used in baking: breads, pancakes, waffles, cookies, etc.

Take one tablespoon of milled flax seed. You can either buy it milled, or grind up the kernels in your grinder.

Add 3 tablespoons of water (amount of water may vary per recipe, but this is a pretty basic measurement).

Stir together and then let it sit for a few minutes so it can become gelatinous.

Add to your recipe instead of the eggs. Above cookie recipe is posted on the SGI Test Kitchen here.

Flax seed is like wheat flour in that after it is milled (ground) it needs to be stored in the fridge. So after you open a box of milled flax seed, stick it in your fridge. Actually seeds can be stored in the pantry until ground.

Flax seed can be found in health stores or in your local grocery store by the oat bran and other "hot" cereals.

Have any of you used flax seed before? Maybe in a different use than egg substitution?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


**Please don't forget - for one more week we will be donating 100% of the profits from our food storage e-book sales to help the victims of Haiti.  Buy yours today and help those in need.**

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, 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, add some canned heat or other cooking method.  You can find it on Amazon by clicking the link, or shop around in a local store (Walmart maybe? I'm not sure).  Anyway, you need to have some sort of method to cook the food you have packed in your kit.  Consider getting a camp stove and supplying it with canned heat.

How is your three-month supply coming along?  Don't forget to store at least 2 weeks worth of water.  For more information, check out our posts about how to store water in plastic bottles, water purification, and water storage methods.  You can also read about where to find water in your home if you haven't stored any ("emergency water").

We are still gathering beans for our longer-term storage this month.  I love beans - check out our food storage recipes using beans for some delicious meal ideas. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Inspirational Thought

photo by jmtimages[we're #1]

“In reviewing the Lord’s counsel to us on the importance of preparedness, I am impressed with the plainness of the message. The Savior made it clear that we cannot place sufficient oil in our preparedness lamps by simply avoiding evil. We must also be anxiously engaged in a positive program of preparation. The Lord will not translate one’s good hopes and desires and intentions into works. Each of us must do that for himself.”

Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969, p. 8

Friday, January 22, 2010

Food Storage Friday - Applesauce Cake

I've had cake on my mind lately.  My daughter's third birthday is coming up, and I have been trying to decide what kind of cake to make.  I decided to try this one out to see if it would be something she would like (I really didn't want to try out a new cake on her birthday, only to have her not like it!).  I figured she would enjoy it, because she loves raisins and loves applesauce.

Unfortunately, I'm unable to share any of the pictures with you because my husband is out of town, and took the camera (and memory card) with him! Please believe me when I say, however, that the cake is delicious and moist.

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com, a favorite site of mine.  It's a great resource for finding food storage recipes, because you can search by ingredients you do want, as well as ingredients you don't want to use.  For example, when I'm looking for food storage baking recipes that use non-perishables only, I'll do a search for recipes that don't call for eggs and butter (to name the basics).  Of course, I still get results that I can't make using just my pantry items, but for the most part the recipes are all doable!

Okay, now onto the cake... I followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious!  Pictures will be added as soon as I get my hands on that camera again.... :)

Applesauce Cake

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups applesauce
2 Tbsp molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour a 9x13 pan.

In a medium bowl, sift your flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together your sugar and shortening.  Add the applesauce and molasses and mix together.

Gradually add the dry mixture in, until mixed well.  Fold in the raisins.

Pour into your pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes (or until toothpick comes out clean). (Note: The cake will not rise to the top of the pan).  Cool for 10 minutes.  You can top it with your favorite frosting or glaze, if desired.  Enjoy!

Find the recipe and read the reviews on allrecipes.com here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Help Haiti

I hope you enjoyed our post on earthquake preparedness yesterday. This earthquake in Haiti is one of the situations we prepare for by having our 72 hour kits stocked and ready to go, and our pantries full of nonperishable foods. Unfortunately, most of the population of Haiti doesn't have food stuffed under their beds and in their guest closets.

One of the reasons for having food storage that we don't talk a lot about is the opportunity for giving. If we set aside enough food and supplies for our families in times of trouble, then we will always have enough to share with others in hard times.

Sarah, in the post yesterday, gave a great suggestion for helping Haiti. Use a few meals from your 3 month supply in the next few weeks and save the money you would have spent on groceries and send it to Haiti via your favorite charity.

If you want to help but don't have the means to send money, consider serving in your own community. Take a box of canned goods to the food bank and volunteer your time. Take your children to talk to people in a nursing home for an evening. Bake dinner for a family in need in your neighborhood.

For the next two weeks, Hannah and I will be donating all of the profits from our e-book sales to help the victims of Haiti. The money will be going to Humanitarian Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We picked this service because 100% of the money goes directly to the victims. LDS Humanitarian Aid is run completely by volunteers so money isn't taken out of donations to pay administrative salaries.

If you've been waiting to buy the e-book, now is a great time--get your food storage recipes and help the earthquake victims at the same time!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Earthquake Preparedness

The recent tragedy in Haiti has shocked me into the world of earthquakes. Living on a major fault line most my life has caused me to repress thoughts of earthquakes. Growing up I experienced many earthquake drills in school and home and yet have never been in a major earthquake. Because of the inescapable fact that someday I will be in an earthquake, I am quick to empathize with those whose world is literally rocked by this natural disaster.

Earthquakes differ from other natural disasters as there is next to no real warning. Unlike hurricanes or tornadoes, we can not watch them develop. We must have our homes and our families constantly prepared. If you live near a fault line or plan on ever visiting somewhere by a fault line, read through these recommendations by FEMA:


Repair defective electrical wiring, leaky gas lines, and inflexible utility connections. Get appropriate professional help. Do not work with gas or electrical lines yourself.

Bolt down and secure to the wall studs your water heater, refrigerator, furnace, and gas appliances. If recommended by your gas company, have an automatic gas shut-off valve installed that is triggered by strong vibrations. (My bookshelf, which is right near the head of my bed, is getting bolted to the wall today!)

Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves. Fasten shelves, mirrors, and large picture frames to walls. Brace high and top-heavy objects.Store bottled foods, glass, china, and other breakables on low shelves or in cabinets that fasten shut.

Anchor overhead lighting fixtures.

Be sure the residence is firmly anchored to its foundation.
Install flexible pipe fittings to avoid gas or water leaks. Flexible fittings are more resistant to breakage.

Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall. Reinforce this information by moving to these places during each drill.

Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover, and hold on! (Growing up we had earthquake drills about once a year. My Mom would remind us where our 72 hour kits were, and to some that they even existed. We had a designated meeting place, out by our mail box. We would separated, the drill would start, we would grab our kits and meet by the mailbox.)


Indoors: Take cover under a sturdy desk, table, or bench or against an inside wall, and hold on. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.

Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.

Stay in bed - if you are there when the earthquake strikes - hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.

Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, load bearing doorway.

Stay inside until shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Most injuries during earthquakes occur when people are hit by falling objects when entering into or exiting from buildings.

Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.

DO NOT use the elevators.


Stay there.

Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.

In a moving vehicle:
Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.

Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped, watching for road and bridge damage.

Trapped under debris:
Do not light a match.· Do not move about or kick up dust.

Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.

Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort - shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.


Be prepared for aftershocks. These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures.

Open cabinets cautiously. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.

Stay away from damaged areas unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or relief organizations.

Be aware of possible tsunamis if you live in coastal areas. These are also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called “tidal waves”). When local authorities issue a tsunami warning, assume that a series of dangerous waves is on the way. Stay away from the beach.


If you want to donate money or supplies to Haiti here are a few different websites to visit:

Red Cross
Islamic Relief
LDS Services

My mother told me today about a family who had decided not to go out to eat for two weeks and instead give the money they would have spent to the relief effort in Haiti. Maybe for some of us, sacrificing restaurants for two weeks would not create a lot of excess money. But what if we prepared a few meals, or maybe even a week of dinners, from our food storage and donated the money we would have spent on groceries. Any little bit can help in this situation.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


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, 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, add some glow sticks and some aluminum foil, duct tape, and some glow sticks.  Duct tape and aluminum foil come in handy for many reasons.  Glow sticks can be used at night when you don't want to be using battery power, or in an emergency you can tie them to things you may need to find in the night without having to use your flashlight.

How is your three-month supply coming along?  We have been asked to have a three-month supply of foods you regularly eat.  This may sound overwhelming, but if you break it down into small pieces it's doable. We prefer to store meals that can be made using only non-perishables.  This way, even if there is a loss of power and we lose all our perishables (including freezer foods), we'll still have 3 months worth of good meals for our families.  Check out our food storage recipes - all of them are completely made with non-perishables only.  Then, make a master plan of what meals you want to store for your three month supply.  You don't have to plan 12 weeks of different dinners, however; for example, you could just come up with 2 weeks worth of meals, then store each meal 6 times.  That would give you 12 weeks of 14 different dinners.  Then, make a master shopping list and cross of the things you already have, and what you still need to buy.  Stock up when you see sales.  Also, buy a few things from your list each time you visit the grocery store.

Don't have time to sit down and plan your non-perishable meals, plus make a grocery list??  That's ok - we've done it for you.  In our e-book, we have a three week menu plan (breakfast, lunch, dinner).  You buy groceries for each meal 4 times, and then you'll have 12 weeks worth of meals.  Our e-book also includes the master shopping list of what you would need for the whole three months.  Check out our food storage e-book!

For more details about how to plan your three month supply, just click on the link.

How is your longer-term storage going?  This month we're gathering beans.  Of course, you don't have the gather the same thing we are gathering each month - this is just a reminder to help you get the things you need.  I love beans - I've been making lots of taco soup lately!  Beans are so versatile so stock up on all the kinds your family will eat.  Lentils and dried split peas also fit into the bean category.  You can also check out our food storage recipes using beans.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Motivational Monday

Tree of Light
photo by jPhilipson

Avoid debt. … Today everything is seemingly geared toward debt. “Get your cards, and buy everything on time”: you’re encouraged to do it. But the truth is that we don’t need to do it to live. We wonder what our people will do who have been spending their all and more. If employment and income should reduce, what then? Are you living beyond your means? Do you owe what you cannot pay if times became perilous? Are your shock absorbers in condition to take a shock? Plan and work in a way that will permit you to be happy even as you do without certain things that in times of affluence may have been available to you. Live within your means and not beyond them. … Purchase your essentials wisely and carefully. Strive to save a portion of that which you earn. Do not mistake many wants for basic needs.

“Chapter 11: Provident Living: Applying Principles of Self-Reliance and Preparedness,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, (2006),114–23

Friday, January 15, 2010

Food Storage Friday: Chickpea Patties and Pita Chips

That's right, folks--two recipes in one! You should feel very privileged.

I found these two Real Simple recipes from a blog and decided to try them out. I was pleased, and more importantly, my husband told me he definitely wanted me to make them again.

These chickpea patties are reminiscent of falafel minus the eggs, which makes them food storage friendly.

Ingredients: chickpeas, kosher salt, black pepper, cumin, olive oil, garlic clove, parsley (I used fresh because I had some, but dried is fine)

After rinsing chickpeas, put in food processor with approximately 2 t. dried parsley (or 1/2 c. fresh), a chopped clove of garlic, 1/4 t. cumin, and 1/4 t. salt an 1/4 t. pepper. If you don't have kosher salt, feel free to use the same amount of regular table salt. Pulse until the mix can be pressed together.

Make eight patties from the mixture. Coat the patties with flour. Because they are very fragile, I ended up just sprinkling the flour on them.

Heat 2 T. olive oil in pan and place patties in pan, cooking approximately 2-3 minutes on each side.

Chickpea Patties from Real Simple

1 can chickpeas, rinsed
1/2 c. fresh parsley (or for our purposes, 2 t. dried parsley would probably be good)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 t. cumin
kosher salt and black pepper
2 T. flour
2 T. olive oil

1. In food processor, chickpeas, parsley, garlic, cumin, and 1/4 t. salt and pepper until coarsely ground and mixture comes together when gently squeezed.
2. Form into eight patties and coat with flour.
3. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium. Cook patties, turning carefully, until golden brown, 2-3 minutes a side.

Now, to go with these yummy chickpea patties, here are some directions to make easy-peasy pita chips.

Ingredients: pitas, olive oil, paprika, oregano, kosher salt.

Cut pitas into wedges--the recipe says to split them into rounds, brush the seasonings, and then cut them--and place on pan. Brush them with 3 T. olive oil and then sprinkle with 2 t. paprika, 1 t. dried oregano, and 1/2 t. kosher salt. I found them to be slightly salty for my taste, but that's just me.

Broil in oven for approximately 2 minutes. Watch them!

By the way, for an even easier method, just spray the wedges with cooking spray and sprinkle with Italion seasoning and garlic powder. It's not quite as flavorful, but super easy and still tasty.

Spiced Pita Chips from Real Simple

4 pitas
3 T. olive oil
2 t. paprika
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. kosher salt

1. Heat broiler. Split pitas into rounds, brush with oil and sprinkle with seasonings.
2. Cut into wedges and place on pan.
3. Broil for approximately 2 minutes.

And, voila! A delicious Mediterranean dish that is food storage friendly. Enjoy!

Brittany is a SAHM who is trying to improve her food storage and make homemade pantry-safe items palatable for her preschooler and patient husband. Her favorite food storage items are powdered milk, rolled oats, and whole wheat. When she's not baking perfect bread (ha ha), she's singing, writing, working out, or eating. All simultaneously.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Keeping cash at home

Something I've been thinking about a lot lately is keeping cash at home.  This is a really important aspect of preparedness because there are several situation where cash might be the only option for purchasing things.

For example, when a natural disaster hits, it's almost inevitable that electricity will be down, perhaps for several days.  Credit cards and debit cards will be of little use, and it won't really matter how much money you have in the bank because you won't be able to access it.

There are other reasons to have cash at home.  In December, one of my mother-in-law's employees had her purse stolen.  Within hours, the thief had spent hundreds of dollars at a department store.  This employee had to then put a "freeze" on all her accounts - her savings account, credit cards, debit, and checking - to ensure that no more money would be stolen.  The freeze lasted 10 days, during which time she had to wait for all new credit/debit cards to be sent to her, as well as new checks with new banking numbers.  The worst part is, this was all before Christmas, when she needed to be buying gifts for her children.  She also needed to pay her bills, but unfortunately she had no way of doing either.

So how much cash should you keep?  It depends on the size of your family, and what kind of natural disasters could occur in your area.  I grew up in New England, where deadly ice storms could shut down towns for weeks.  I don't think it's too crazy to say that you should keep several hundred dollars in your house - maybe more.

In the past, people may have balked at the idea of taking money out of a bank and keeping it in their homes - think about the interest they would lose!  However, I think it's safe to say that your money isn't making much money these days, so you might as well have a chunk of it at home.

Another thing to consider is where to keep it - obviously a fireproof, waterproof safe would be ideal.

How much cash per person do you keep at home (if you don't mind sharing!)?  Does anyone have any stories about when they wished they had a cash reserve at home?  Stories about using yours?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Food Storage Friday: Mexican Rice

I have a confession, I scheduled this post for Friday but actually set the post date as 12/8/10 instead of 1/8/10. So please enjoy this Inspiring food storage "monday."

Aleasha here again. Today we will be making Mexican rice. This is a delicious side dish to any meal or is tasty enough to stand alone.

You will need: rice (white or brown will work), 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 can rotel, dried diced onion, oil, chicken broth, cumin and parsley flakes.

Heat about 1/4 cup oil in skillet.

Throw in some diced onions. See how many there are here..... WAY too many. Next time I will start with about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup. Here is almost 1/2 of a cup it was too strong for the likes of me.

Allow to saute' for a few. Or until they start to rehydrate a little.

Next add 2 cups of rice.

Stir until incorporated.

Add can of rotel and diced tomatoes.

Add 4 cups chicken broth. You could certainly use water here, but I like how the broth adds more flavor.

Next, add some cumin. I like cumin so I added about 1 Tbs. But that is just what I like.

Stir all together, cover and reduce heat to low.

Rice is done once all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Sprinkle with parsley flakes. This makes a lot of rice, and is an easy recipe to half.

Mexican Rice

Heat 1/4 cup oil

Saute diced onions

Add 2 cups rice

Add canned tomato products

Add 4 cups Chicken broth

Add cumin

Stir, cover and reduce heat to low

Serve and enjoy when rice is tender