Thursday, September 21, 2017

THE THREE MONTH SUPPLY

Getting a three-month supply of food is one step our church leaders give us to become self-reliant. I admit, this can be overwhelming. I have often thought, "I have to get 3 MONTHS of food in my home? I don't even know what we are having for dinner tonight!"

There are a few approaches for gathering your 3-month supply. All of us are different, so no two supplies are going to be the same. Hopefully one of these resonates with you.

 (1) Figure out 30 recipes you could eat from your shelf. Times the ingredients by 3 and, over time, get enough canned goods to always have 90 meals ready to make in your house. I highly suggest that you choose meals that your family really likes, not just meals that can be made from items on the shelf. I have done this method a couple of times. It does work well, but please choose meals that you will eat (and enjoy!), for rotation's sake. Once upon a time I planned for that one recipe that no one in my family really likes...yah, tuna and noodles is still in my pantry. It becomes cat food when no one tells me that the meow mix ran out 2 days ago.

 (2) Buy a little extra each time you go to the store. If 3 cans of tomato sauce are on your list, buy 6 instead. Need a bag of powdered sugar? Buy 2. If your family loves Stove Top Stuffing year round, stock up on 10 boxes while it is on sale for Thanksgiving. Do you usually buy treats for your kids' lunches? Hit Wal Mart or Target the day after Halloween and score 3 months of lunchtime dessert for HALF OFF! (or use that chocolate as a 3-month--or 1 day--supply of personal stress-relief, either way it's a bargain).

Set a budget on how much can be spent on storage items. If you have a good idea of what you buy anyway, use that budget to buy a little extra when it is on sale.

 If you still don't know what to get, some ideas of non-perishables good for storing are: pasta, canned fruit, canned vegetables, beans, honey, muffin mixes, baking powder, vegetable (or olive) oil, ketchup, popcorn, granola bars, cold cereal, etc.

 And, it is good to think about non-food items that you know you will need: toothpaste, laundry soap, feminine supplies, soap, paper goods, cleaning supplies, vitamins, etc.

 We are counciled not to go crazy or beyond our means to obtain a 3-month supply. By doing things bit by bit, it adds up!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

NATIONAL MUSHROOM MONTH

Did you know that September is National Mushroom Month? Well, I just brought that up for trivia, but it is also NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH. This has got me thinking a little bit. On a hot day in May 2014, 9 separate fires were burning in San Diego County. I remember looking out of my window at a very large plume of smoke thinking it was very close. It was. We thought we better voluntarily evacuate, so I packed my 6 kids, 1 dog, enough clothes for overnight, all my finished quilts, a box of vital documents, 1 gallon of milk, a box of Cheerios, and as many photographs as would fit in my Toyota minivan. We headed to a friend's in San Marcos and spent the day there while my husband was home monitoring the fire. We returned later that night when that particular fire had quieted down. Later I realized that where we lived was actually under mandatory evacuation. I didn't know because we don't have a home land line and no one knew our phone numbers to tell us. The next day, I registered our phone numbers with the reverse 911 service. If you do not have a home land line, I encourage you to register your cell phones and/or VOIP service so you can be notified and receive instructions in case of an emergency. (The important button is at the bottom of the article). http://safetyinformed.org/blog/what-federal-wireless-emergency-alerts-cant-tell-you-your-local-reverse-911-can/ Here in San Diego, our biggest natural disaster threats are fire and earthquake. Do you have a plan for your family? This Week for Family Home Evening, I challenge you to talk with your family about where to go and what to do in case of an emergency. Please tailor this to your specific family needs and location. Always assume phone coverage is not available. Some questions to consider are: Where do we meet if we cannot get home or our home is not safe? What items do we need to take quickly in case of an evacuation? Where would we go for an extended evacuation (2-5 days). What food and WATER would we need if we need to leave home? What food and WATER would we need if we need to shelter in place (stay home)? What would our pets need? How fast would it take us to get everything we need to get out? Half the battle is preparedness. Having a plan can save time, property, and lives. A sample of family disaster plan outline can be found at: http://www.readysandiego.org/Resources/Family-Disaster-Plan-English.pdf

BREAKFAST

In another lifetime (when we had one child), our family was asked to stay with a family in our ward while the parents went to Europe for 2 1/2 weeks. There were 5 kids, and they were awesome. Before they left, the mom showed me where the cold cereal was. I was shocked, there must have been 30 boxes. The thing that shocked me even more was that by the time the parents came back, I think it was just about gone. Cold Cereal is way expensive, and to be honest, not that great nutrition-wise...so here's a few ideas for breakfast, food-storage style! Granola: Buy it, or make your own (if anyone out there has an amazing granola recipe, I would love to have it! leave it in the comments! Oatmeal: Add cinnamon and cut up apples, diced peaches, nuts, raisins, craisins, any fruit your family loves! Cracked Wheat: A nutty taste--I love it with honey 6-grain rolled: Gives a variety of whole grains with the texture of oatmeal--Probably my kids' favorite 9-grain cracked: Gives a variety of whole grains with the texture of cracked wheat Muselex: An oatmeal-y texture with raisins and nuts When we started using whole grain for Breakfast, I would bribe my kids by saying if they ate 4 days of "whole grain breakfast," they could have any cold cereal they wanted on Friday. At first they picked the sugariest, yummiest ones they could get their hands on. Over time, they went to more the raisin bran/corn flakes type, until today when I have a few kids who don't like cold cereal at all (but a few that still beg for fruit loops). WinCo Grocery Store (Located in San Marcos or Temecula) is a great resource for these awesome breakfast items. They have all of them (and more!) in their bulk section, so the cool thing is that you can get a little bit of each and see what your family likes. I picked up some cracked wheat the other day for $.46 a lb. I think I can make breakfast for a week with just a pound or 2! If you find something you love, you can order a big bag or box from WinCo and store it at home so that you never run out. Sprouts also has some of these in their Bulk Section. Think of what you can save by eliminating most of that cold cereal! And, these are all grains, so they fall under that "store 400 lbs per person--it's not all just wheat! This week's challenge: Try one or 2 types of "Hot Cereal." Find one that your family will eat at least once a week. Tell me about your experience!

Stake Dehydrated Bean Order

The Stake Provident Living Leader is doing a BULK ORDER of dehydrated beans. The bean flakes are pre-seasoned and make wonderful refried beans. The whole beans can easily be added to soups or other dishes without having to think ahead and cook them! Prices are as follows: Dehydrated Bean Flakes Black Bean $2.02/lb Pinto Bean $2.04/lb Navy Bean $2.11/lb Dehydrated Whole Beans Red Beans $2.16/lb. Black Beans $2.11/lb Navy Beans $2.14/lb If you are interested, contact RaeLyn Stoddard. Monies are due Sunday Aug 13.

Paying for Food Storage

Getting an entire year's supply (or even a 3-month supply) can be daunting, especially when it comes to spending the money. Setting aside a small amount each month in your budget can help for when you are ready to purchase food storage in bulk or a preparedness item (wheat grinder, applesaucer, juicer, etc). As you consistently use your food-storage staples, most find their grocery bill goes lower, and they have more to set aside for future food storage and preparedness items. This week's goal: Determine an amount to set aside in your monthly budget for Food Storage and Preparedness. The Stake is doing a dehydrated bean order (think: just add water to get yummy re-fried beans). I was skeptical at first, but these are pre-seasoned and very good. Watch for coming information and pricing.

LONG TERM STORAGE SUGGESTIONS

On January 20, 2002, The First Presidency sent a letter urging the importance of home storage. As part of this letter, suggested amounts of certain storage items were given as basic foods that would "be required to keep [members] alive if they did not have anything else to eat." The letter also states that "When member have stored enough of these essentials to meet the needs of their family for one year, they may decide to add other items that they are accustomed to using day to day." These food and amounts are per person: Grains 400 lbs. Legumes (dry beans, split peas, lentils, etc.) 60 lbs. Powdered milk 16 lbs. Cooking Oil 10 qts. Sugar or honey 60 lbs Salt 8 lbs. Water (2 weeks) 14 gal. As a general rule, half these amounts for children and 1 1/2 times the amount for teens. This week's challenge is to calculate how much food storage you need for your family. In coming weeks, I will share where to buy and how to use these basics.

TOMATOES

Tomatoes were considered poisonous in Elizabethan-Era England. I'm sure glad that someone discovered that they are safe to eat! I remember my grandpa growing his tomatoes in big flower pots on his porch when they lived in a condo without garden space. He did it because he loved fresh tomatoes so much! Growing tomatoes in San Diego County is easy! All you need is a bit of dirt (even dirt in a large planter works great), water, seeds, a tomato cage (optional, but very helpful), and sun! These plants grow well, are super hearty, and gophers do not like them. We purposely plant LOTS of tomato plants so that we can have the "fresh tomato" taste all year round. I freeze my tomatoes, here's how it is done: 1. Pick ripe tomatoes 2. Wash tomatoes, and cut out the stem and any blemishes 3. Put several in a ziploc bag and put them in the freezer. When you are ready to use them: 1. Run tomato under hot water and pull off the skin 2. Chop 3. Add to soups, spaghetti sauce, etc! Easy stuff! Add planting tomatoes to your "to-do" list this week and in a bit, you will be harvesting tomatoes that are so yummy!