Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Self Reliance: Buttermilk

Did you know that you can cultivate your own buttermilk?  I found a tutorial online, and was going to link to it, but now I can't find it anywhere. (If anyone knows the link, would you please post it in the comments?)

Basically you get a container and put 1 part buttermilk in. Then put 3 parts milk. Shake it and leave it on your counter for 24 hours.  After 24 hours shake it again and if it is thick and clumpy, the cultures of the buttermilk have spread and created more buttermilk.  Now store your buttermilk in the fridge and use it for recipes!  Always keep 1 part in your container so you can continue replenishing the buttermilk using the same instructions.

I used this quart jar, so I put 1 cup of buttermilk and followed it with 3 cups of milk.

I put my label right where the 1 cup measurement is, so I will always know that's where I stop pouring out my buttermilk.

It's so nice to always have buttermilk on hand for pancakes and waffles!

Have any of you ever made your own buttermilk?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Food Storage Tuesday

Every Tuesday, we post specific items you should gather in order to supplement your 72-hour kit, your three-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 5 gallon bucket.  Most likely this won't actually fit in your kit, but you can always carry it along with you.  A bucket would come in handy for hauling and carrying things like water, dirt, etc.  You could also use it upside down as a stool to sit on.... you just don't know what kind of situation you will find yourself in during an emergency!

How's your three month supply coming along?  Food is not the only thing you should stock up on.... Don't forget to have a supply of medications and other OTC medicines on hand.  Also, remember to stock up on food and other things for your pets!

This month for our longer-term supply, we've been gathering oats.  In March we'll be gathering beans.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Motivational Monday

Work is a spiritual necessity as well as an economic necessity. Work brings happiness, self-esteem, and prosperity. It is the means of all accomplishment; it is the opposite of idleness. We are commanded to work. (See Gen. 3:19.)

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

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Grains: Millet

Millet is a type of grain cultivated in East Asia. It is safe to eat for those with celiac disease, making it a good grain to store in your food storage in place of wheat.

To make millet we need water...and millet.

Add 1 cup millet to a pan

and add 3 cups water.   The ratio to cook millet is 1 part millet to 3 parts water.

Bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and reduce the heat for 12 minutes.  When that 12 minutes is up, remove from heat entirely and keep covered for another 20 minutes.

After the cooking time is over, this is what your millet will look like. All the water will have been absorbed by the millet.  It looks a bit like couscous at this point. Although a bit thicker.

Fluff with a fork and add seasonings. Millet is very bland on its own so be sure to add salt and pepper and other seasonings if desired.  You could also cook the millet in chicken broth/vegetable broth instead of water if desired.

I believe Mountain Man added dried parsley and oregano, and a little lemon juice to this version.

Serve as the main carbohydrate alongside your protein and vegetable!

I thought millet tasted like a cross between couscous and quinoa.  With the right seasonings, it was quite delicious.


1 cup millet
3 cups water
salt and pepper
other seasonings (optional)

Combine millet and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat, let simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat entirely and let sit for 20 minutes (keep covered).  Fluff with a fork and add seasonings as desired.

Makes 4 servings

Have any of you tried millet before? What did you think?  Any tips for us?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy Presidents Day!

"I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong."
~Abraham Lincoln 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Southern Gardening Update

Hannah is doing a garden at her home in Florida.  Follow along as she plans, builds, plants, grows, and harvests her raised-bed square foot garden.

We are making progress on our square foot garden.  Last weekend my husband went to Lowe's (or Home Depot, can't remember) and bought two boards that were 8 feet long (12 inches wide).  He had them cut them in half right there for him, so he came home with four 4-foot boards for the sides of our 4x4 square foot garden.

He also bought the soil to fill the garden with.  The soil in our yard is pretty much just sand, so it's unusable for a garden (which is one of the reasons we chose to do a raised garden).  We are going to try to put together a version of Mel's Mix, which I've heard great things about (click on the link to read more about it).  Unfortunately, we don't have much of a compost so we'll have to find another source for that part of it.

I will try to get some pictures loaded next week when we get a chance to put everything together!  Right now our biggest dilemma is finding a place in our yard that gets good sunlight.  Our back yard is full of shade most hours of the day, so it's looking like we might have to build it next to the house, in front of our back yard fence (in full view of the street/sidewalk).  This doesn't bother me much but I hope our HOA doesn't have a problem with it!  I think we'll be fine. 

Are you doing a garden this year?  Abs is doing one too, so if you live in a colder climate like she does, you can follow along when she gets started soon!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Food Storage....Wednesday!

Every Tuesday, we post specific items you should gather in order to supplement your 72-hour kit, your three-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 camp stove or other portable heat to cook your food on.  Make sure you also have enough fuel to cook each meal that needs to be cooked.

How are your three-month supplies coming along?  Now would probably be the time to stock up on chocolate, if you "need" some!  With Valentine's day yesterday, you can probably get some pretty good deals. :)

This month for our longer-term storage, we're gathering oats.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Motivational Monday

The responsibility for our social, emotional, spiritual, physical, and economic well-being rests first on ourselves, second on our family, and third on the Church. Under the inspiration of the Lord and through our own labors, we should supply ourselves and our family with the spiritual and temporal necessities of life.

We are better able to take care of ourselves and our family when we are self-reliant. We are prepared to endure times of adversity without becoming dependent on others.

We can become self-reliant by (1) taking advantage of educational opportunities; (2) practicing sound principles of nutrition and hygiene; (3) preparing for and obtaining suitable employment; (4) storing a supply of food and clothing to the extent the law allows; (5) managing our resources wisely, including paying tithes and offerings and avoiding debt; and (6) developing spiritual, emotional, and social strength.

In order to become self-reliant, we must be willing to work. The Lord has commanded us to work (see Genesis 3:19;D&C 42:42). Honorable work is a basic source of happiness, self-worth, and prosperity.

"Welfare" LDS Gospel Library

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Food Storage Recipe: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Balls

It's important to try to find healthy, filling meals for your food storage plan.  I also think it's important to have snacks and treats in your food storage plan!  If you had to eat for three months only from your food storage, wouldn't you hope that you have something snack-y and tasty on hand?  I know I would.

My mother-in-law sent me this recipe a few months ago.  It's easy, quick, and my my kids loved it.  Trifecta!  (Unfortunately, I don't know where this recipe originally comes from so I can't give credit where credit is due.  If you know, please tell me!).

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Balls

½ cup creamy peanut butter (you could use any nut butter)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon milk (use powdered milk & water)
1 cup quick oats
Cinnamon sugar

Combine the peanut butter, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, milk, and oats.  

Roll your dough into bite-sized balls (about 20-25), then roll in cinnamon sugar to coat.  Chill for 15 minutes.

(I did not roll mine in cinnamon sugar and they still tasted great!  These would also be really good with mini chocolate chips!!)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Misto Winner!

Congrats to commenter #7:
jwfong said...
whoaa this is awesome! I'd love to win one!

 Please email us at safelygatheredin (at) gmail (dot) com and give us your details.

For those of you who are interested, I bought my Misto on amazon.com and it was only $10 or so. There are different sizes and different finishes.

Have a great night everyone! See you tomorrow for a Food Storage Friday by Hannah!

I used random.org to pick a random number.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Misto Review and Giveaway

*************UPDATE: GIVEAWAY CLOSED*******************

We've had a few questions about the misto that I love so much and so I thought I'd do a review of mine.

I've had my misto for over a year now and I love it for one reason: when I run out, instead of putting "cooking spray" on my grocery list I just fill it back up with olive oil.  That means it's one less thing on my list of things to store.

Some people have complained that the misto leaks, but I've never had a problem.  In the instructions, it's very clear that you only put the exact amount of oil in, never more.  There are different sizes of mistos so it's important that you read your instructions to see how much oil you put in for your size.

The size that I have calls for 1/4 cup of olive oil.  So I measure it out every time. No estimating on this!

Take apart your misto,

 carefully pour in your oil,

replace the nozzle part,

and screw on the ring to keep the nozzle in place.

When you are ready to use the misto you use the lid as a pump.  Pushing down on the lid for ten pumps causes the air pressure to build up in the canister. Then you just spray your bread pans, or cookie sheet, or whatever!

The only quirk I've noticed is that mine doesn't work sometimes when I'm pointing down at the bread pan or whatever. So I have to pick up the bread pan and face it toward the misto so the misto is upright when it's spraying.  It's not a big deal and it doesn't happen all the time, but just a quirk.

Well, we can't have a review without a GIVEAWAY!  So enter a comment below to win a Misto for your very own.  The giveaway will be open for comments until Thursday at 6pm EST.  Winner will be announced Thursday night.

Good luck!

***Misto did not fund this review and giveaway, I just really love my misto (that I bought with my own money) and want to give one away (with our own money).

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Food Storage Tuesday

Every Tuesday, we post specific items you should gather in order to supplement your 72-hour kit, your three-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 mess kits or disposable plates/bowls/utensils etc.  Since you've (hopefully) already planned out your food, you should have a good idea of what kind of eating utensils you need.

How's your three-month supply going?  Don't forget to stock up on non-food items like toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, toothpaste, soap, detergents, etc.  You should also have three months' worth of medications.

This month for our longer-term storage, we're gathering beans!  I just love beans, and thankfully my kids do too.  I like having a good mix of dried beans and canned wet beans (we go through those pretty quickly, I can't seem to keep them stocked for long!).

Monday, February 6, 2012

Motivational Monday

"There is something holy about work; even in times of plenty, it is a necessity. While work is not all of life, it nevertheless can keep us mindful of our blessings."

~Elder Neal A. Maxwell 1926-2004
Look Back, p.10.

Friday, February 3, 2012

From the archives: Hummus Recipe

This is probably one of my favorite food storage recipes... so easy to fix, and even my kids love dipping their veggies in it.  I just throw all the ingredients into my Magic Bullet and it's ready in about five minutes!  Abs is the one who originally shared this recipe a few years ago.... thanks, Abs!


1/4-1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp soy sauce
3/4 tsp cumin

Mix all ingredients in a food processor and process for 3-5 minutes until mixture is smooth and light, scraping down sides of bowl 2-3 times. Is great as a dip or on wraps and sandwiches. Makes about one cup, maybe a little more. Doubles well. Freezes well. If using dried garbanzo beans: cook until soft, then measure out 1 2/3 cup of beans to equal one can.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Southern Gardening - Planning Stage

Abs and I are both planning on doing gardens this year, and if you live in a warm climate like I do (Florida), now is the time to start!  Abs will be doing a "Northern Garden" (she lives in upstate NY), so if you live in that sort of climate you can follow along with her.

Right now, my husband and I are in the planning stages, and you should be too if you are also planting this year.  Last weekend we browsed around the garden section of Lowe's to get some ideas.  This is our first garden in Florida so we're learning too.  Here are the things we have thought about so far:

Location. The first thing we did was pay close attention to our yard for a few days, to figure out what area gets the best sun.  We have a very nice fenced-in back yard, but unfortunately for gardening, there is not one area that gets very optimal sun for very many hours.  So, we will probably plant in our side yard, in front of the backyard fence (and in full view of the street).  It's certainly not ideal as far as privacy/protection goes, but you gotta do what you gotta do!  I think it will be just fine.

Type of garden.  Do you want to do a raised bed, or do you want to dig up your own soil and plant into the ground?  Since our "soil" here is so sandy, we will be doing a raised bed square foot garden that is 4' x 4'.  This will give us 16 spaces to garden in.  You can also plant some veggies in large gardening pots if you don't have a yard.

Food to grow.  What kind of food do you want to grow?  We are definitely going to do Roma tomatoes, grape tomatoes, bell peppers, jalepenos, and some sort of lettuce.  My husband also wants to try his hand at cantaloupe.  We are still deciding what to put in the other spaces.

Starters or seeds.  Do you want to plant seeds, or buy starters and plant those?  I love planting starters from the store because it's like instant gratification -- you already have a great garden started at the end of the first day!  However, we are going to do seeds this year because they are a lot cheaper.  You can either start seeds in little cups inside for a while (making your own "starters"), but I think we are going to just plant the seeds directly into our garden.

That's what we have planned so far!!  The original plan was to get it done this weekend, but I just found out my husband is on call at the hospital for the next 7 days straight so unfortunately we won't be able to get started any time soon.  But when we do start (hopefully next weekend, Feb 11), I will keep you updated on our progress (pictures of how we build the square foot garden, our finalized list of produce to plant, etc).

So, start your own gardening plans and follow along with me!!  I'd love to hear about how you all are doing as we go about planting our gardens this spring.