Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Food Storage 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, 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 a small sewing kit.  This can come in handy for a number of reasons.  You can make your own, or you can buy a ready-made sewing kit from a store like Walmart or here on Amazon for under $10.  

Remember, as you are putting your kits together, consider the weight of each kit and who will be carrying each one.  Abbie wrote a great article last year about 72-hour kit distribution: who carries what.  Check it out and make sure your kits are packed according to who carries them and how much weight they can handle.  How do you pack your 72-hour kits?  Do you use all backpacks, or do you have suitcases on wheels?

How is your three month supply coming along?  MAKE A PLAN!  Don't have time to sit and plan out your recipe plans, shopping lists, etc.?  That's okay, we've done it all for you!  Check out our food storage e-book.  It makes a great gift, too.  Don't forget, your three-month supply should include everything your family needs for three months - toiletries, food, cleaning products, etc.

For the longer-term storage this month, we have been gathering "other" items - honey, sugar, flour, salt, yeast, etc.  In September (starting tomorrow!!) we'll be gathering wheat.

Monday, August 30, 2010

"It's in the Bag" Winners

Thanks to everyone who participated in our "It's in the Bag" food storage book giveaway!  We used random.org to find our TWO winners, and they are:

#21, Sarah, who said:

"What an interesting new take on food storage! I would love to learn more about it and have more food storage friendly recipes.

As far as a dream vacation...I would have to say the Caribbean."

and #66, Michelle, who said:

"I love the bag idea!

I would love to go on a cruise to anywhere with my husband! I love cruises!"

Congratulations, Sarah and Michelle!  Please email us at safelygatheredin (at) gmail.com to claim your prizes.

Thanks to everyone who participated!  If you didn't win but are still interested in buying the book, you can find it at a few places online, including here on Amazon.

Inspirational Thought

“The world would take people out
of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of
people, and then they take themselves out
of the slums. The world would mold men by
changing their environment. Christ changes
men, who then change their environment.
The world would shape human behavior, but
Christ can change human nature.”

~President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Food Storage Friday: Cool Couscous With Fruit and Nuts

I'm going out on a limb on today's recipe because I'm including orange juice from concentrate as one of the ingredients.

Hannah and I have different opinions of what the three-month supply of food should be. I think that you should prepare for the worst: no electricity meaning your freezer/fridge wouldn't be working. Hannah disagrees and thinks that the three month supply would likely be used in a situation where you would have electricity for at least part of the time. So this recipe is for you Hannah.

Although you could store juice in your three-month supply, the kind that doesn't require refrigeration until opening. And really, for this recipe, I bet you could substitute the juice for water, although you might loose a little flavor.

Ingredients: couscous, salt, water, orange juice, oil, dried mixed fruit, and cashews

Couscous is a type of pasta made from wheat, with very small granules. It is a favorite of mine because it can cook in less than five minutes.

Add boiling water to the couscous and salt.

And cover for 8 minutes.

During this time, mix up your oil and orange juice to have ready.

When the time is up, add the orange juice mixture and stir it all together. Cover again, and move to the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. This is a cold dish.

While it's in the fridge, put a loose chop on the cashews, and measure out your dried fruit.

When the 30 minutes are up, add the fruit and nuts and stir. You're done!

Serve! Sorry about the shadowy picture. I had company and I didn't want them to see that I was taking pictures of the food before I served it to them. 'Cause that's weird.

The first time I made this I was expecting a so-so dish, but tried it because it looked so food storage friendly. I was surprised, it was delicious! I ended up making it several times that week and now it's a regular staple at our house.

Cool Couscous with Fruit and Nuts
adapted from Cooking Light

1 cup uncooked couscous
3/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup dried mixed fruit
2 Tbsp dry-roasted cashews, chopped

Combine couscous and salt in a medium bowl; add 1-1/2 cups boiling water. Cover and let stand 8 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Combine juice and oil; stir into couscous. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Stir in fruit and cashews. Yield: 6 servings (1/2 cup each) as a side dish.

Originally posted: June 27, 2008

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Book Review (and GIVEAWAY!): It's In the Bag

When Hannah and Abbie asked if I would be willing to review a new food storage book, I readily agreed, especially since I am currently in a bit of a food storage funk.

Michelle and Trent Snow's It's in the Bag: A New, Easy, Affordable, and Doable Approach to Food Storage is definitely a new take on storing food.

The book is divided into three sections. Section One is devoted to the Snow's bagged meal system and accompanying recipes. Section Two focuses on food storage skills like making cheese and yogurt, sprouting seeds, home canning basics, and even directions on how to make your own chicken coop. The third section is a short one and addresses additional helpful hints like measuring conversions. I'm going to focus mostly on the first section since that it contains the key concept of the book: bagged food storage meals.

Basically, their entire years' supply consists of bags with all the needed supplies for each breakfast and dinner contained in the bag.

The Snows use a 10" tall gift bag with a recipe, label, and expiration date attached to the front, filled with the ingredients needed to make that particular meal. You pre-measure the spices, powdered milk (and eggs), etc. and put them into a ziploc baggie. You even include bottled water if the recipe requires it, along with the obvious cans, whether they are store-bought or home-canned. The bag does not include pantry shelf items, like vinegar or oil. To assemble the meal, you simply put the ingredients together, and the authors say that most of these meals can be completed within twenty minutes.

Some of the advantages of this type of food storage system (instead of just having your shelves full of cans) that the book describes include the following:

(1) Space efficient
(2) Cost effective
(3) Simple and convenient
(4) Easy for unexpected company or dinners to give away

As I was reading, I was very surprised to learn that Michelle and Trent eat breakfast and dinner out of their bagged meals 365 days a year and simply refill them as they use them. Wow. I still can't get over that.

One of the disadvantages that I personally see with this system is that realistically I would not want to have 365 breakfast and dinner meals pre-prepared in my basement, nor would I be interested in eating all of those meals in a year to prevent their spoiling. However, their suggestion is to have an expiration date on the bag so you can make sure you're using the oldest food first. The recipes rely a lot on canned foods (obviously), some of which I don't have in my current food storage, like powdered eggs, lots of canned meat, etc.

Frankly, I find the concept very intriguing. While I wouldn't want to use it for my years' supply (because I'd have to eat them so frequently), I could see myself having a few months of meals and then interspersing them with my fresher meals once or twice a week. The recipes (both dinner and breakfast) look appealing, and there are over a hundred of them, which really takes a lot of the mental work out of putting your three-months' supply together.

All in all, It's in the Bag is a thoughtful and encouraging take on food storage. The recipes are very helpful whether you use the bag concept or not, especially if you want to collect more pantry-friendly recipes. It makes the idea of putting together meals for a few months more practical and doable.

Perhaps I'll prepare a few of these meals, put them in bags, and see how it goes!


Thanks Brittany for the great review, and thanks to Michelle Snow for sending us the book to review!

Want to win a copy of "It's in the Bag"?  Michelle herself is going to send TWO lucky readers their own personalized copy!  Just comment on this post and tell us, 

"What is your dream vacation?"

I know it doesn't have anything to do with food storage but I love this question and it'll be fun for us to read where everyone wants to go!

This giveaway ends at midnight (PDT) on Friday, August 27.  One comment per person, please.  We'll randomly choose two winners and announce the winners on Saturday.

Good luck!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Not Your Mother's Food Storage" WINNERS!

Thanks to everyone who participated in our book giveaway, "Not Your Mother's Food Storage". We had 100 comments, and used Random.org to find two winners.  They are........

(........drum roll.......)

#10, Jon and Sarah, who said, "Our family needs this! We are still working on 72 hour kits and adding in some 3 month food storage."


#41, Mary, who said, "My 3 month supply is my most immediate need. I love the recipes you post! Thanks for the giveaway!"

Winners, please email us at safelygatheredin (at) gmail.com to claim your prize!

Thanks again to everyone who participated, and don't worry if you didn't win... we'll be having another book giveaway later this week!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Inspirational Thought

1 aThen shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten bvirgins, which took their clamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all aslumbered and bslept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the abridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their alamps.
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps aare gone out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were areadywent in with him to the marriage: and the door was bshut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I aknow you not.
13 aWatch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Matthew 25:1-13

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Emergency Essentials giveaway

Emergency Essentials is currently giving away a year's supply of food storage over on their website!  They have created a new online tool to help you keep track of your food storage, and also keep track of how nutritionally balanced your food storage is.  Sign up for this free online tool and you'll automatically be signed up for the giveaway.

I almost hesitate to tell you all about this because...... well, because I want to win and my chances get smaller with every other person who signs up!  Anyway, the giveaway ends August 31, and there will be TWO lucky winners, so head over to their site and check it out!

CLICK HERE to check out the Emergency Essentials blog and more information about this giveaway.  Good luck!  And if any of you wins because I'm telling you about it now.... well, you're welcome.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Food Storage Friday: Aleasha's Granola

Today we're making granola in a guest post by Aleasha.

Aleasha gave me some granola to taste test, because that's my job and all, and I just have to say: DELISH. It lasted two days and I hoarded it all to myself!--Abs

Ingredients: Oats, salt, powdered milk, oil, brown sugar, vanilla, water, dried fruit, nuts

Combine the dry ingredients-make sure you have a little helper!

Granola is one of those things that you can add what you like and leave out what you don't like.

Then add the wet ingredients

Stir it all together til it's all combined.

I like to add cinnamon and coconut for some extra flavor. Some people add extracts as well, such as almond.

Spread it out on baking sheets. You need to press it down a little onto the cookie sheets.

Bake in the oven until lightly toasted, stirring every 20-30 minutes. I take mine out of the oven and give her a flip with a spatula. Sine my oven is not big enough to place them side by side on the same rack, I rotate them after every stir or flip or turn or jooshz or whatever you want to call it!

Add the dry fruit AFTER the baking. I know this from experience. The things that are already dried just get all hard and crusty in the cooking process. If there is anything that would be good toasted, add before baking, such as the coconut or nuts.

I store my granola right back in the oat container! I also keep mine in the freezer. I don't know why... I guess because my mom always did!

I don't store mine in the freezer, one, because there's no room and two, because it never lasts that long. So where you store it is personal preference. Unless of course you let it sit on your counter for 3 months, and in that case, you should just send it to me.--Abs


14 cups rolled oats (old fashioned)
2 tsp. salt
1 cup powdered milk
2 cups brown sugar
1-2 Tbs. vanilla
1 cup water
1 cup oil
1 cup chopped nuts

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add wet ingredients. Mix well. Cook at 300 degrees F for about 2 hours. Stir every 20-30 minutes. After granola has cooled, stir in dried fruit if using. Store in an airtight container.

Originally Posted: October 24, 2008

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Book Review (and GIVEAWAY!): Not Your Mother's Food Storage

Deseret Book contacted us several weeks ago about reviewing a new food storage book, and we jumped at the chance!  We love keeping track of what others in the "food storage world" are up to and we were happy to have the opportunity to read a new book (and give away two copies, too!).  This new book is called "Not Your Mother's Food Storage" by Kathy Bray and Jan Barker.

I have to admit that while I was reading "Not Your Mother's Food Storage", I felt like I was reading our own blog!  The book focuses solely on your three-month supply, and they talk about planning your entire three month supply ahead of time by planning out meals, making a master grocery list, etc, just like we have been talking about on this blog for the last 2 years.  I'll give you a rundown of all the chapters so you can get a good idea about what's in the book:

1. Why this plan?
2. Planning your breakfast meals
3. Planning your lunch meals
4. Planning your dinner meals
5. Planning for desserts and treats
6. Storing staples and condiments
7. Storing nonfood items
8. Adapting your favorite recipes
9. How to store it now that you have it
10. Where to store it now that you have it
11. Recipes
12. Worksheets

So you see, it's pretty in-depth and the authors do a great job laying out all the instructions for gathering and storing your three-month supply.  There are charts throughout the chapters so you can easily visualize the concepts they are talking about, and then at the end of the book there are several blank food storage charts for your own use.  They also briefly give some great tips for storing frozen meats, storing and preserving fresh produce, and storing other staples like cheese, flour, wheat, and water.

And I have to say, I was really impressed with the recipe section, which takes up 40 pages of the book (there are just over 100 pages in the book).  Most of the recipes are not pantry-only meals (they include cheese, butter, etc), but many of them can be adapted if you prefer pantry-only recipes for your three-month supply plan.

This book would make a great Christmas gift, too! Whether you are giving gifts to the most seasoned food storage person, or to someone just starting out, I can almost guarantee that they will learn something from this book.

Want to win a copy of "Not Your Mother's Food Storage"?  Deseret Book has given us TWO copies to give away to two lucky readers.  Just leave a comment on this post answering the following question:

What is your most immediate food storage goal?

One comment per person, please.  The giveaway closes on Friday night (August 20) at midnight PST.

For more information about "Not Your Mother's Food Storage", check out their website NotYourMothersFoodStorage.com.

Special thanks to Deseret Book for providing the review book to us, and for providing the giveaway books!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Food Storage 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, 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 a battery-powered (or wind-up) radio and light.  I have a combo like this and it's great.  You can find them (and read more about them) on Amazon here.  I have one a lot like this and we like it.  It's solar powered OR hand-cranked, and it includes a radio, a flashlight, and a cell phone charger.  It's so important to have access to a radio, especially if you live out in the country or more suburban areas.

How is your three-month supply coming along?  Remember, the goal is to have enough supplies in your home to keep you comfortable for 3 months, without ever having to leave your home.  So, this includes things like food, medicines, diapers, baby food, feminine products, toilet paper and other toiletries, lightbulbs, dish soap or dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, etc.  Don't forget to also have some sort of water purification system in your home as well - not just in your 72-hour kits.

Don't forget, this month for our longer-term storage we're gathering "other" items.  Things like honey, sugar, flour, yeast, chocolate syrup :), seasonings, salt, pasta, powdered milk, etc. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Motivational Monday

"Behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise."

Alma 37:6

Friday, August 13, 2010

Food Storage Friday: Chicken Pesto Pasta

Been dying to try out that pesto recipe, haven't you? Well, here's an easy recipe to satisfy your craving.

And, it's delicious.

Ingredients: Pesto (fresh or jarred), Pasta, Almonds, Canned chicken. Yep, that's it.

First up, put a pot of water on the stove to boil. When it boils add your pasta and cook until al dente.

Second, put some almonds in a oven safe dish and bake at 300 degrees F, or so. Keep an eye on these, and a nose. When they start to brown slightly and release a warm nutty smell, pull them out and let them cool. You can also toast them on the stove like we did with the chicken salad.

Then add a little bit of oil to a skillet

And add your drained chicken. We're not recooking it, we just want to give it a little flavor and take away the 'canned' meat texture. You can season with salt and pepper, if you like.

Add your prepared pesto to a serving bowl.

Add your chicken

And your pasta.

I like to scoop straight from the pan with a slotted spoon. This ensures I get some of the starchy water into the pesto, making nicer sauce.

Mix it all together, adding a little more pasta water if the dish seems a little dry.

Add the toasted almonds right before serving so they don't lose their crunch.

You can't tell me that doesn't look delicious.

Pesto Chicken Pasta

16 oz pasta
1/3 cup (or so) prepared pesto (fresh or jarred)
13 oz chicken, canned

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Cook to package directions, don't drain. Toast almonds in oven safe dish at 300 degrees F. Let cool. Drain chicken and saute over medium high heat in a little oil. Add prepared pesto to serving dish with chicken. Scoop cooked pasta into serving dish with a slotted spoon. Add toasted almonds just before serving.

Originally Posted: January 16, 2009

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Food Storage 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, 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 a utility knife (or a pocket knife) and a bucket (5 gallon).  Many people have said that you can get free 5 gallon buckets from grocery stores (ask in the bakery).  I got mine a few years ago at WalMart for under $10.

For your three-month supply, do not forget to store things like medicine!  Also, stock up on Gatorade and chicken soup.  Last week I got extremely sick and my husband was on call at the hospital, and he was gone for 34 hours.  I'll spare you the details, but I almost passed out and could have really used some Gatorade to replenish my electrolytes.  What do you rely on when you are sick?  Do you have those things stocked up in your home?

This month for our longer-term storage, we're gathering "other" items.  I'm gathering honey - thanks everyone for your comments on last week's post about food storage honey.  What are you gathering this month for your longer-term supply?