Merry Christmas!

Think of your most memorable Christmas.  It’s great to give and get presents, but really is that all Christmas is about?  I remember my most memorable Christmas, I was pregnant with my first child and we were poor.  I got the big ambition to make a huge Victorian gingerbread house the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy.  I even got my husband involved.  We spent hours on it and when it was all done, we gave it away to some dear friends we truly loved.  When it was time to come home back to our humble one-bedroom apartment with a new baby in my arms, I walked through the door and found a small chocolate chip cookie house my husband had made for a housewarming gift to our new daughter and me. My husband was the ward Santa Claus for the ward Christmas party that year.  That was my most memorable Christmas.  What is yours?

Christmas Carols.

Send your loved ones Christ.org eCards.

Thanks for reading.  Merry Christmas to All!

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Odds and Ends

Saving money at the grocery store.

In an effort to recycle more items instead of throwing them away like blue mushroom containers from the store, I googled and came across this recycling website from the United Kingdom.  I found I could use the mushroom container for a waterproof tray for holding other recycled plastic containers to start seedlings.  There’s a search feature on the website for many things you can recycle.  You might save money by recycling; check it out.

10 uses for distilled vinegar.

101 uses for coconut oil.

How to heat a small room for 16 cents a day (8 pence in British money).

DIY felted wool dryer balls.

A post a day.  Jillee is wonderful!  Great bright ideas, recipes, DYI, crafts and homemade solutions.  You’ll find something you like.  There’s even posts about preparedness.  Lots of comments so you know she’s a good blogger.

Have you seen the latest Church Bible videos?  Many of the videos move me.

I got a link from the American Family Association (not the car insurance company) about 300 family friendly films for kids, moms and dads of all ages to watch.  This is brought to you by TVGuardian.

I found this church article on President Monson and his first 5 years of service as Prophet of the Church on Facebook.  If you haven’t read it yet, good basic Christian attributes are what our Prophet is all about.

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Bon Appetit

Just a reminder – be sure to store water in your home.

Have you purchased dehydrated beans or par boiled Minute Rice and it was so expensive?   Did you know you can do this inexpensively at home?

Learn about the Orac value of foods including anti-aging “superfoods” that pack nutrition into your diet.

Advantages of freeze-dried food.

What’s in your food?

Real food – chart of good, better, best – food to eat.

Unleash the Energy of Wild Edibles–food near your home and in the wild that you may not even know about.  What if fresh food becomes difficult to purchase; then this resource is invaluable.  Get some great ebooks in your email.

Benefits of quinoaRecipes using quinoa that I’ve been collecting including one from Michele Bryant in American Fork 29th Ward on page 9.

Here’s a great post about canning hamburger at home.  Think about it, cooked hamburger on the shelf ready to put in any recipe that calls for hamburger.   I also want to can sausage.  How many recipes does your family eat with these two meats in them?

The mother of all food storage myths.

Need buttermilk to make dips, dressings and for baking?  Always have buttermilk on hand.

What you can do with leftover turkey and ham; click on the link mid-way down the post.

Great soup recipes.  Check out all their recipe posts on the left side of the page and videos on the right side of the page.

Homemade seasoning salt.  Control the ingredients you use.

Healthy Vegetable Oils.

Great post on oatmeal and groats on Provident Pantry, Emergency Essentials web site.

If you know someone who is has gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, here’s a good website for them which offers healthy gluten-free recipes using whole foods.

Video and recipe for protein packed Ezekiel Bread.  A very small loaf of Ezekiel Bread is $6 in the frozen section of Good Earth; learn to make your own.

Another recent post on Ezekiel bread.

Price Match with Rachel is a free service to Utah residents.  You can sign up to get her emails on Tuesday/Wednesday and know the deals of all the local grocery stores in your county.  Then you can bring your price match to Wal-Mart and tell the clerk at checkout.  When you’re on Rachel’s home page, scroll down on the left side and click the link for Utah County if that’s where you live, then scroll down on the next page for the deals.

As I’ve said before Deals to Meals is more comprehensive and organized, but it costs about $1 a week to see the store deals.  Great free recipes on the blog.

Make your own healthy cereal with whole wheat and bean flour.  At least print  a hard copy for your food storage recipe collection.   Some day your kids may be grateful for cold cereal.

One morning recently I woke up with a craving for an Orange Julius.  I didn’t want to hunt up the recipe I used 30 years ago so I googled it and found a cool website.  This will help you if you lost a favorite family recipe.  Want to see what recipes were around during the Great Depression?  What recipes came from the White House?  What recipes your grandmother or mother made if you’re a baby boomer or older?  Check out this website:  Old recipe book:  recipes from the 1920′s to 1970′s.

On that same website is a cookbook with zucchini recipes.  I’ve tried the fake pineapple canning recipe using zucchini.  Same texture as pineapple, not bad.

Healthy fruit snacks.

Healthy homemade energy drink – better than what you can buy.

Eating Bugs – Free Food from Your Backyard – are you brave enough?

20 ways to cook leafy greens.

If you buy pie filling or make your own, try Lucky Leaf for delicious recipes using pie filling in desserts and entrees.

Found a new chef’s blog with  food storage entries.  Check out Arizona’s Chef Tess Bakeresse.   Here’s her post on chocolate waffles.

Most of all, I enjoyed her post entitled Emergency Preparedness and Everyday Convenience Complete Meal- in-A-Jar Mixes.  Chef Tess says when you open freeze-dried items in #10 cans, the contents should be sealed up again as soon as possible.

Another post by Chef Tess on Honeyville Farms, The Cookin’ Cousin’s Blog.

Chef Tess No Knead 4-Ingredient Overnight Bread.

Chef Tess has a great post on rice recipes and cooking charts for different rices.

Chef Tess is putting out a new cookbook.  The latest cookbook entitled Gourmet Food Storage was released early in 2013.

Fool Proof Fudge Recipe

I got this recipe from Connie Chestnut, a long time member of 12th ward before it became 29th ward.  I saw the exact same recipe in Worldwide Ward Cookbook which told the history of the recipe.  During the Depression, sisters back east made this fudge and sold it on the street to finance a new ward building.

4 C sugar
1 tall can evaporated milk
20-25 large marshmallows or 4 C mini marshmallows*

Combine first 3 ingredients and mix in large saucepan.  Bring to a boil on medium heat, cook 15 minutes stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Add:

2 cubes butter**
12 oz chocolate chips***
1 TB vanilla****
nuts, optional

Stir til butter and chocolate chips are melted; add vanilla, then nuts last.  Pour into a buttered 13″x 9″ glass pan.  Refrigerate til set.

*You can use hardened, stale marshmallows and they eventually dissolve in the syrup.
**For peanut butter fudge, substitute 3/4 C peanut butter for 1 cube butter.
***I usually add extra chocolate chips to firm up the fudge.  You can even use white chocolate chips.
****Try 1 tsp mint extract instead of 1 TB vanilla.

Enjoy!

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Not Just for Emergencies

In an emergency, cast iron cookware can be used over any heat source.  Emergencies are one of the thirteen reasons to own a cast iron skillet.  Be sure to read the posted comments.

Reconditioning cast iron cookware.

I think I’ve posted this before, but it is a good reminder.  Scenario of an earthquake in Utah on YouTube – well done.

Great post about gathering your essential documents and financials records.  I thought I had all my documents together in my safe, but I missed some.  Don’t wait for a natural disaster or fire to happen; gather this infor now!

The American Red Cross has a BIG announcement re: earthquakes.

Good write up on why easy meals are a must in an emergency situation.

Good evening reading for long winter nights.  Great lists.

100 things that will disappear fast in the store if the economy goes south.

Valuable lessons from Hurricane Sandy.

How prepared are you?  Take this quiz from Doomsday Preppers.

Get ready to drop, cover and hold on.  Sign up for the next drill.  Can get reminders in Facebook.  Read the New! Recommended Earthquake Safety Actions tips on this website.  Go over the tips with your kids in FHE.

Here’s a very detailed matrix that shows how prepared you can be.  Study it for holes in your plan.

We like to smoke baby back ribs in our smoker.  To keep ribs warm for transport to family events, we place the cooked ribs in a pressure cooker (not canner), seal the lid tight and place in our wonder box oven lined with kitchen towels to keep the small styrofoam insulating balls from melting.  When I made my wonder box oven, I sewed a strip of fabric connecting the stuffed fabric top to stuffed fabric bottom to keep them together.  Using a wonder box oven helps you cook with retained heat as well as keep foods warm.

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Cleanliness is next to Godliness!

Removing pet stain and order.

Old post on cleaning products with food storage items, but a great post.

Newer cleaning post on this same website.

22 ways to clean with baking soda.

An old post, but a good one.  75 uses of baking soda.

Clean green.  Check out Sprouts Market Green Cleaning on Pinterest.

Soapmaking would be a good venture/trade to learn if the economy went south.  Check out this web page to learn how to make it in bulk.  You need lye to make soap.  I’ve heard you can get lye from the ash of burning hard woods.  If anyone who knows about that, please let me know how.  Also when you purchase lye, you have to sign some sort of legal disclaimer.  It’s also used to make Meth.

The Nerdy Farm Wife has interesting posts including one on making soap.  Enjoy her website!

Did you know liquid or foam soap is more sanitary than bar soap for hand washing because you don’t share soap?  Make foam soap easily; it’s very economical, too.  You can buy foaming soap dispensers locally.

Borax free laundry detergent.

Homemade fabric softener.

Homemade drain cleaner.

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