Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pandemic Prepardness, information from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

As the World Health Organization raises the Pandemic level to a Phase 5, and we see school closures here in our area, I thought I would include the information that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides.

This is the information regarding preparation for a Pandemic. Please read and make preparations. We have seen the Pandemic threat level raise quickly over the course of the past week.

May the Lord bless you in your efforts to be prepared.,11666,8041-1-4414-1,00.html

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lift Where you Stand......

President Uchtdorf gave a tremendous talk in our last General Conference earlier this month. It was entitled "Lift Where you Stand.....". In his talk, he referred to a brother named John Rowe Moyle who was a Stonecutter. In President Uchtdorf's words "His hands carved the words 'Holiness to the Lord' that stand today as a golden marker to all who visit the Salt Lake Temple." "John did not do this for the praise of man". "Neither did he shirk his duty, even though he had every reason to do so".

Brother Moyle did not live very far from our homes here in Highland. He lived at 606 East 770 North in Alpine Utah. He walked the 22 miles each way for over 20 years to complete his assigned work on the Salt Lake Temple.

Please view this video clip about this great Disciple of the Lord:

May we all chose to follow the example of the Savior Himself: "Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant" (Matthew 20:27).

In his parting comments, President Uchtdorf stated:

"Brethren, may we cease to aspire and cease to retire!" "Every Calling is an Opportunity to Serve and Grow". A calling is "An Assignment Only You Can Perform"

Beans from A-Z......

"What kind of beans are there?"
"I can only think of 2 or 3 types?"

I have heard this from several people. They only can think of possibly 3 types of beans. Below are different types of beans and how you might use them. This is not an exhaustive list, however, take a minute and be amazed at the variety that is available. Let's start with our first candidate...

Aduki Beans:

•A small, dark red bean that holds its color well when cooked, the Adzuki is sweet and easier to digest than most other beans.
•Adzuki beans are good for sprouting and popular in Asian cuisine because of their compatibility with rice.

Anasazi Beans

•1 cup of dried anasazi beans yields approximately 2 1/2 cups of cooked beans.
•Anasazi beans can be used in recipes calling for pinto beans.

Appaloosa Beans

•A hybrid bean from the American Southwest, its brownish-black and white markings resemble those of an Appaloosa pony.
• Their flavor is similar to the black bean, only more intense and earthy, and can be used as a substitute for black beans in chilli's and dips.
•Appaloosas can themselves be substituted with Black beans or Pinto beans.

Baby Lima Beans

•Flat-shaped, white-colored beans
•Smooth, creamy texture
•Popular as a side dish or added to soups and casseroles

Black Beans

•Medium-sized, black-skinned ovals
•Also called Turtle bean
•A favorite in South and Central American and Caribbean cuisine
•Cooking Time: 1 to 1 1/2 hours


•Medium-sized, oval-shaped, with black dot on white colored skin
•Distinct, savory flavor and light, smooth texture
•Also called black-eyed pea
•Popular in Southern cooking in recipes such as Hoppin' John, traditionally served in the South on New Year's Day to bring luck
•Cooking Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour

Garbanzo Beans
•Round, medium-sized, beige color
•Nut-like flavor and firm texture
•Also called chickpea
•Popular in soups and salads; main ingredient in Middle Eastern dishes hummus and falafel
•Cooking Time: 1 to 1 1/2 hours

Great Northern
•Medium-sized, white oval
•Belongs with the White bean or Haricot bean family
•Often used in soups, stews and Cassoulet
•Cooking Time: 45 to 60 minutes


Black Beluga, Brown, French Green, Petite Golden, Red
•All legumes are seeds that grow within pods. Lentils are shaped like a lens. In fact, lens is the Latin word for lentil. The size and appearance of lentils varies depending on the variety.
•Cook quickly, 1 ½ C liquid for each C. Cooking time: 30-45 minutes

Mung Beans

•Mung beans can range in color from greenish-brown to yellow to black and have a delicate sweet flavor.
•In China, Mung beans are used primarily for sprouts but are also ground into flour and used to make bean thread noodles.
•They need no pre-soaking, cook quickly, and are easier to digest than most other beans because they contain very low levels of oligosaccharides, the substance in beans that causes flatulence.

Navy Beans

•Small white ovals
•Belongs to the White bean or Haricot bean family
•Often used in baked beans, soups and salads
•Cooking Time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours

Pink Beans

•Small, pale, pink-colored
•Turns reddish brown when cooked
•Often used in South American recipes and "Old West" recipes like chili
•Cooking Time: 1 hour

Pinto Beans

•Medium-sized, mottled beige and brown ovals
•When cooked, loses mottling and turns brown
•Staple in Latino cooking
•Often found, whole or refried, in favorites like burritos and tacos
•Cooking Time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours

Red Kidney Beans

•Large, deep reddish-brown and kidney-shaped
•Famous in Red Beans and Rice
•Popular in chili, soups and salads
•Cooking Time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours

  • Soybeans are the single most economically important bean in the world. They have the highest protein content and are an important oil seed.
    •They must be protected from oxygen if it is to be stored for a longer period than one year. As soybeans, by themselves have a flavor that not everyone can appreciate, they are rarely eaten by themselves but are made into other foods such as TVP, soy milk, tofu, tempeh, minse, soysauce, natto, sprouts and other foods.

Again, these are just a few types to try. Beans store well, and cooked beans can be used in place of oil to reduce the fat in baking and increase fiber. They can be ground and used as flour in breads etc, as well as to use to thicken sauces and soups. You can also sprout them if you store some without oxygen absorbers. More about sprouting later.

(Source: Dry Bean Council of America)

Friday, April 24, 2009

More on Beans

Oh my she really going to talk about Dry Beans again? Well......Yes! I want to offer some baby steps to help us all ease into the "bean world" because they are such a good food.

I found this video that I found to be very helpful and full of good information. Learn from this very "Smart Chick".

Now, on to a great, great idea. How to make low-fat Brownies! No, I'm not kidding! How do we do such a great thing.....and yes I will say it.....with your beans! Watch this "Smart Chick" and see how to do it!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lindon Home Storage Center

We have the tremendous blessing of having the Lindon Home Storage Center (Former known as the "Cannery") in our midst. Gone are the days of Wards being assigned days to go do Family Canning. Now, it is your opportunity to make that happen for your family. How do you do it? It's easy.

  1. Download the order form. You can fill it out electronically and sign it electronically if you wish, or just print it out and complete it by hand. It is really your choice. You can find the order form at the following link:

  2. Call the Lindon Home Storage Center at (801) 785-0997 to make an appointment.

  3. Keep your Appointment! In all seriousness, you need to keep any appointment you make. The location of the Home Storage Center is 940 West Center, Lindon, Utah.

  4. Turn in your completed form before the scheduled shift. The Missionaries will compile all the lists of all the persons scheduled for the shift and choose the most widely requested items to pack. (No longer can you "shop" for any canned item you were seeking)

  5. Enjoy the service of helping others and yourself by canning the Food Items.

  6. Take them home!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's a matter of..........Price Matching

The following information comes from The Dollar Stretcher Magazine dated 4/20/09:

The Art of Price Matching
by Shaunna Privratsky

They tend to keep the policy under wraps, but... I always read the circulars that come in the Sunday newspaper.I used to find one or two items on sale at various stores, and make a list. Then I would run all over town, chasing down couple of dollars off here, 50 cents off there. That is, until I mastered the art of price matching. Most retail stores will price match any item as long as it is identical. They tend to keep their policy under wraps, because they would rather sell you the item at a higher cost and keep the profits. However, if you follow the rules, you are bound to get a better deal. The worst the employee can say is "no,"and then you simply go to the original store that has the sale item.

Why bother price matching if it is a hassle? There are several ways that price matching saves you money and time. The first is one-stop shopping. If you can get everything at store A,why run to stores B, C, D, E, etc. You get the benefit of convenience and speed.

Another big savings is gas. The less driving around you have to do, the more you save. I always try to limit my shopping trips to once a week, or combine errands to save even more time and gas.

Knowing the policy before you shop is the key to successful price matching. For instance, Wal-Mart will price match anything they stock. It must be the identical item, in the same size and packaging. You should bring in the whole advertisement, with the item or items circled. They may have to double-check the dates of the advertisement, or confirm with a manager.

Other stores will go beyond matching their competitor's pricing. Two home-improvement stores boast that they will beat any price and give you 10% more! The Home Depot and Menards follow this policy.

Furniture stores may also be willing to price match. Slumberland puts their promise in every ad. Be aware that most furniture stores carry exclusive or store brands, so it may be more difficult to price match. The good news is that sometimes a salesman will make a better offer on a similar item in a competitor's ad, so it doesn't hurt to ask.

Another great place to practice your price matching skills is when purchasing a vehicle. Today's modern technology makes price comparison a breeze. Check out these websites to find a dealer near you that can offer you the best price possible. (Kelly Blue Book)

Other ways to make price matching pay is when the original store is sold out of the item. Store B probably has plenty left and can give you the same price without the hassle of rain checks or limits on quantity. This is especially helpful when the original store offers an item so cheap it is called a loss leader. They offer it below cost, just to entice you into their store.

This leads to my next point. When you plan a shopping trip,make a list and stick to it. Of course, you are going to find great bargains, but if it is not something you really need,pass it up. Put it on next week's list if you really want it.

By following these simple suggestions, you can leave more money in your wallet and still score great bargains. Congratulations; you've just mastered the art of price matching.

It's a Matter of ...... Grocery Store Tricks

This information comes from the Dollar Stretcher Magazine. It helps you become more aware of your shopping environment and hopefully you are getting as much for your dollar as you can.

  • Trick One: Putting the Items You Need Right at the Back
    How many times have you been to the grocery store just to buy bread and came home with bags and bags of food? This is not accidental. Retailers know the items that most people buy, items like bread, butter and eggs. So they place these items far apart and at the back of the store. That way you have to walk past all the other products just to get that bread you came in for. And on the way to these items they place special items to tempt you.
  • Trick Two: Easy Reach Shopping
    Retailers know that people buy most often the products sitting around eye level. Retailers actually pay grocery stores to have their products placed on that center shelf. This extra payment also tends to end up on the price. Next time you reach for a product, take a second and check the shelves above and below. More often than not there will be another version of the same product sitting just a little higher or lower.
  • Trick Three: Specials
    There are always specials on products, but not all of them are really worth buying. Some specials are cheaper than usual, but still not cheap enough that you would actually buy them. Don't be fooled by the tag saying "save $2.50." You aren't really saving if another brand is cheaper than this special price. Compare the special price with other brands and see if the price is really cheap. If it is, stock up, assuming the product keeps.
  • Trick Four: Special Products
    Grocery stores love to have special products in the aisle for special prices, usually items you don't expect to find in a grocery store. Things like appliances or saucepan sets. You see that saucepan set sitting there with a big "special" sign over it and you think that you have been lucky to find a bargain. But if you seen that same saucepan set in a home ware store, you would not even notice it. Always remind yourself that you have not really been lucky enough to find something that special. And ask yourself whether you really need it and whether it really is it a good price, or whether you may be able to get it cheaper somewhere else.
  • Trick Five: Price Check
    Grocery stores make mistakes. Especially for products that are advertised on sale, check what price they actually scan at. Many times a product will actually scan for the higher original price. Instead of standing there bored as the items are scanned, check the prices, just in case.
  • Trick Six: Buying Non-Grocery Items
    Grocery stores also stock those items that aren't really groceries, things like plants, batteries, and toasters. When you see just one of these items sitting on the shelf, it can seem like a good buy. There are no similar products to compare it with. Often this means people spend more on these items then they would be willing to if they saw the product in a specialty store. You are walking along with a cart full of goods so you just throw it in. But most often, you could go to a specialty store and buy that same product for a much cheaper price. The grocery store is the best place to get groceries, but not always the best place to get other items.
  • And Finally - A Few Tips to Save Money in the Grocery Store Don't shop while hungry. Hunger makes you want to buy everything.
    If the grocery store has a bakery, go to the bakery section last. That smell of bread will only make you feel hungry. And then you will buy more of everything.
    If you go just to pick up a few things, take a basket, not a cart. That way you will fight the urge to throw in lots of other things.
    Write down the prices of special items and check what they scan at.
  • Take the Next Step (if you wish to do so):
    Subscribe to Surviving Tough Times email newsletter. Each week we'll give you practical survival tools for a challenging economy!

More with Beans and Legumes..

In my previous post, I listed some health benefits of Beans and Legumes. I also included a video about how to make and use bean flour in one application.

Today, I am listing one of my favorite soups ever...Taco Soup. It is easy, tasty, and uses many food storage ingredients which includes beans. I got this recipe from a group called "Organized Christmas" a number of years ago.

Taco Soup

  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Combine these ingredients, cook and drain. Add the following to the pot:
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 Large can diced, stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can Ro-tell tomatoes (if you can't find these, look for tomatoes with diced chillies, or in a pinch a good hot salsa or picante sauce will do).
  • 1 pkg Taco Seasoning Mix (1 Tblsp)
  • 1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (I have actually poured in an amount from a my dressing bottle before)

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for an hour (or keep the water to a minimum and put it in the crock pot for all day)

Serve over tortilla chips or tamales. Garnish with sour cream, shredded cheeses, and or cubed avocado.

This next recipe is from the book "Country Beans" by Rita Bingham. I like it because it is fast!

Refried Beans (in 5 minutes!)

  • 1 1/2 Cup pinto or black bean flour (use your grain mill to grind the beans into flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant minced onions (optional)
Mix and store in airtight container. To prepare, whisk 3/4 C of mixture into 2 1/4 C warm water in a small saucepan. Cook, while stirring, over medium heat for 1 minute, until mixture thickens. Don't worry about lumps--they taste great too! Reduce heat to low, cover pan and cook 4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup Picante sauce, if desired. (Mixture thickens as it cools and will stay thick even after heating).

Try one of these soon!.....they are really good!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's a matter of ....... Dry Beans and Legumes

Some recent research reported in the Science Daily (February 18, 2009) stated the following:

"Legumes in particular are often cited as being high in antioxidants, which have the property of being able to fight off free radical cells within the body, reducing the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. A recent study further investigated these connections, as researchers focused on the benefits of one type of legume, dry beans, in reducing the risk of mammary cancer."

Later in the article, it stated: Dry bean consumption from every market class reduced cancer incidence (number of animals with one tumor) and tumor number per animal compared to the control group. Cancer incidence was reduced from 95% in the control group to 67% in animals fed beans. The average number of malignant tumors was also reduced from 3.2 in the control group to 1.4 tumors per animal in the group fed bean."

Yes, I realize this was a study done with animals. Below is additional research on the "human animal". This research has been completed at Michigan State University & Tulane University and provided the following facts:

  • It is estimated that appropriate diet choices, weight control, and exercise could reduce cancer incidence by 30-40% (30-32). This translates to 3 - 4 million fewer cancer cases annually for the world and to about 700,000 - 900,000 fewer cases for the USA. We suggest that dry beans should be a major component of the legume category.”
  • "Losing weight and keeping it under control is all about choosing nutrient-rich foods that will fill you up, give you energy and not leave you feeling hungry all the time,". "Beans are one of the best choices because they have a low glycemic index. They're also a significant source of protein and essential vitamins and minerals, naturally low in fat and sodium and completely cholesterol-free."
  • "People who ate legumes, including dry beans, at least four times per week were found to have a 22 percent lower risk of heart disease than individuals consuming beans less than once per week."
  • Men who followed a "prudent" diet - which included beans and other legumes as well as whole grains, fish and poultry - had a 30 percent lower risk of having heart disease than those who ate a "Western" diet (consisting of red meat, refined grains, sweets, French fries and high fat desserts).

Okay, enough "research stuff". If you are not convinced that you can make these a part of your diet and storage, try the following from

Here is the written recipe, also from the same site:

Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup Recipe:
• Grind 4 T of any white bean (Lima, navy, etc.) to make 5 T bean flour
• Combine: 5 T bean flour, 1 ¾ c. water , 4 t chicken bouillon into a saucepan
• Cook: On stove top at medium temperature until thick and delicious (whisk frequently).The soup should cook in 3 minutes! (this may be longer if your grinder makes a very coarse flour).
Use this with cooked veggies and or meat for a complete meal. You can also add this to recipes calling for cream of chicken soup cans (I have found this replaces a can plus the water or milk in recipes).

The LRH will give more hints and information in later posts. Enjoy!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Family Home Storage....a New Message

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently published an article with this title in the recent March issue of the Ensign Magazine.

The main points are:

1. Gradually build a small supply of food that is part of
your normal, daily diet until it is sufficient for three months.

2. Store drinking water.

3. Establish a financial reserve by setting aside a little
money each week, and gradually increase it to a reasonable

4. Once families have achieved the first three objectives,
they are counseled to expand their efforts, as circumstances
allow, into a supply of long-term basic foods such
as grains, legumes, and other staples.

Of the new guidelines, Presiding Bishop H. David Burton says, “Our objective was to establish a simple, inexpensive, and achievable program that would help people become self-reliant. We are confident that by introducing these few, simple steps we can, over time, have more success.”

To read the information, please see the link below:

President Gordon B. Hinckley reminded us in October 2005 general conference of our need to be prepared: “We can so live that we can call upon the Lord for His protection and guidance. This is a first priority. We cannot expect His help if we are unwilling to keep His commandments. … I have faith … that the Lord will bless us, and watch over us, and assist us if we walk in obedience to His light, His gospel, and His commandments."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's a matter of......Solar Cooking

How do you plan to cook when you have no power? Do you think it depends upon the temperature outside? In our area, we cannot store large amounts of fuel, so can it be done? Here is one cooking.

This is one option...the Sun Oven. Please know that there is more than one choice, but this one seems to be the most prevalent.

If you would like to see a Utahan use one, go to this link and view the video from KSL. This lady lives where we do and shows what can be done here.

The reason LRH is bringing this to the forefront right now is that there will be a demonstration on a very large Sun Oven this week. It will be held at:

Parley's Do it Best Hardware Store in Orem
260 S 1200 W
(Just off the Orem Center Street Exit South of Trafalga)

Thursday, 4/16/09 @ 3:00

Reportedly, this very large Sun Oven that will be demonstrated is designed to "feed a village". Not that this is the intent of anyone I know, but it may prove educational. The gentleman who will be demonstrating it is from the Sun Oven company and should be available to answer any questions you have.

To see how a traditional Sun Oven works, please see the following video below:

Wait!!!!! You can make you own!!!!!! See the information below:

Last year at Girls Camp, they made chocolate fondue with a solar oven made from foil and cardboard. They made chocolate dipped strawberries.....and there were not any left over! You can build you own. BYU has done extensive research and has provided a pattern/model that is used in refuge camps. This is the solar oven used at our Ward Girls Camp last year. It is compact as it folds easily and can be carried in your backpack or 72-hour kit. It is really light weight. Please see the following link for directions: If you would like to trace this pattern, LRH has one and would be happy to share. Just let me know!

Make a plan to try it for a Family Home Evening Project or use one for a meal. Imagine how "cool" it would be to use one while camping with your family. Make a plan and try it!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

It's a matter of.....the Easter Season

At this Easter season of hope and renewal we testify of the glorious reality of the atonement and resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. The empty tomb brought comforting assurance and provided the answer to the question of Job, “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14).

Because of the Savior’s resurrection we will overcome death and become the beneficiaries of His mercy and grace. In a world of trouble and uncertainty, His peace fills our hearts and eases our minds. Jesus is in very deed “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

We give our sure witness that Jesus is the Christ. Though He was crucified, He rose triumphant from the tomb to our everlasting blessing and benefit. To each member of the human family He stands as our Advocate, our Savior, and our Friend.

The First Presidency

Thomas S. Monson
Henry B. Eyring
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
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Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's a matter of .....making your own Tortillas

Here is a great, but definitely "doable" thing to do with basic Food Storage staples.....making your own tortillas. The video below shows how to do it and the recipe and instructions are also included in this post. Enjoy!

Recipe for Flour Tortillas
4 cups all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup of shortening or lard
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups of warm water
• First, stir 4 cups all purpose flour and 1/8 teaspoon baking powder in a large bowl. Next add 1/2 cup of shortening or lard into the mixture and work the fat into the flour with your hands.
• Dissolve 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt into 1 1/2 cups of warm water. Drizzle this slowly into the flour mixture and mix until you have a soft dough. Knead for 1 minute, adding flour or small amounts of lukewarm water if needed. The dough should not be too wet or dry. Once it is at the right consistency, turn bowl over to cover the dough and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
• Next, divide the dough into 12 pieces and form into balls. As you form and roll the balls, coat your hands with a little bit of shortening. Flatten and cover balls with plastic wrap and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
• To prepare the tortillas, preheat a griddle over medium heat. Remove a flattened ball and roll it into a circle. A small rolling pin works well. Turn the dough around after each stroke with the rolling pin. Roll as thin as possible, stretching with your fingers if necessary.
• Place each rolled tortilla on a hot cast iron skillet, pan or griddle and flip over every 15-20 seconds. You ll know its done when it develops brown spots on each side and it bubbles up.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It's a matter of .....growing plants from seed....Part B

Dear Folks:

This is a second installment from our guest blogger, LRH sister....Jenifer B. Previously she described her first "set-up" to start her garden plants from seed. Here is the next installment. She is the author and the photographer. Aren't you glad that someone in my family was blessed with a green thumb?

Once I got hooked, I built upon it. Here is my current setup. I purchased the cheap plastic shelves from Wal-Mart for around $10. There are three shelves to use. I purchased the lights at Wal-Mart also for around $8 each. You don’t need to have ‘grow’ lights. I have both and find that the common fluorescent lights work just as well and they are less money. These lights are suspended by ceiling fan chain (local dollar store or Big lots). This way I can raise or lower the lights. You simply drill holes in the bottom of the shelves like the photos below. Then you thread the chain through the hole and secure it with either a screw or in my case, a small bamboo skewer. I secure the other end of the chain between to nuts on a bolt that is inserted into the hole of the plastic frame of the light.

You will notice in this picture that I am using a seedling heat mat. You can purchase these separately ($25-$30) or they do come with a seedling kit where you get the jiffy pellets (72), a germinating container and the mat for around $30. Again, you can use a simple heating pad. However, I liked the smaller germinating containers that hold 12 pellets because seeds germinate at different rates and you will need to transition them at different intervals. Make sure to save the containers and just buy the refill jiffy pellets for next year.

I wrapped an emergency Mylar blanket around the entire shelf unit and hold it on with plastic clothes pins. This worked better than tape.

Keep the heat on 24/7 until your seedlings gain their first true leaves or if temperatures are still cold (consult the websites mentioned above for more detail on that). The lights are on for 14 - 16 hours then off for 8-10, a manual timer works great for this again, I bought it at Wal-Mart.

This is the end of Part B....more to follow......

Food Storage Made Easy blog

There are many blogs that address or focus on Food Storage. Here is one that has a feature some of you may appreciate. They have "Baby step" checklists that they send out to you every 2 weeks to help you obtain needed items for your 3-month supply and long-term storage. They even include recipes.
So, if you need Food storage information in increments, consider trying this blog for more information.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

It's a matter of Gardening...Growing plants from seed using grow lights---Part a

We have a "guest blogger" today, LRH's sister....who really does have a green thumb. She has kindly chosen to share how she begins her plants from seed and why. If you are anything like the LRH, you get a little intimidated at the thought of this. But, it's just like learning how to tie your shoes, tricky at first thought....but once you makes great sense and is such a good preparedness skill. My thanks to Jenifer B. for providing the information and photos:

This has been a work in progress and I still find different ways to improve it. The savings that you gain from growing your own garden far outweigh the initial start up costs. It’s rewarding, healthy and fun to see them progress from seeds all the way to harvest. It is best to learn to grow your own vegetables when you don’t need to rely on it. Although we live in difficult times, it is best to get started now. Once you get into it, you will learn what works and what doesn’t. Funny how this is coming from someone who absolutely hated working in the garden when I was a kid. I guess you appreciate it more when you are older and ‘invest’ in the process. Bottom line, anyone can do this. Yes, even my sister who claims she has a ‘black’ thumb (...and she is referring to LRH!). The secret is: information, the more the better and the Internet is a great source.

First of all, if you are going to attempt starting your garden from seed, start small. That way your investment is minimal. You can build upon it as you go. The general rule to starting from seed is timing. Count back 8 – 10 weeks from the last frost date in your area. Your local state extension service should be able to provide that for you. Otherwise consult the Internet for your zip code. You will use the 6-8 weeks to grow your seedlings and then 1-2 weeks to harden off your plants. This is a very important step before you transfer them to your garden. For more details on how to do this, you can look on and or go to and look under the Growing from Seeds or Growing under lights topics. There are also forums that teach you how to start from seed without lights if this is what you prefer. This is just a drop in the bucket of topics on this website. These sites are where I gained my information and they have been invaluable. Remember, information is the secret.

How to begin:

Begin with jiffy pellets (see below). They are very convenient and not very expensive approximately $2.50 – $3.00 for 25 pellets.

With a little water the pellets expand.

Then, just plant and label your seeds and you’re on your way.

Starting off Small

You don’t have to go all out to start plants from seed. You can use the baggie method or the coffee filter/paper towel method. Again, consult the websites for more information. I use the fluorescent light method. The following setup is from when I first started. My husband built the box for me but you can find an ‘over the sink’ – extendable wire shelf at Walmart for less than $10 that will do the same thing. But here are pictures of my first attempt. It worked great.

The shoe shelf was purchased at K-mart for less than $5. As the seedlings grow, you can remove the legs of the shelf to allow for growth. A thermometer (found at the local dollar store) is not essential but it has come in handy as you want to keep your temperature between 55-75 degrees. It’s simply attached with duct tape.

Then use the Press–n–seal wrap to to wrap around the outside of the shelf. It’s great because it self sticks, so no tape. This helps hold in warmth. To germinate seeds, you need just that. Warmth. Not hot, just warm around 65-70 degrees. You don’t have to use light to do this. You can use an old heating pad, (one that will not auto shut-off after an hour or so) and turn it on low or on top of a refrigerator or freezer. But I kept them in the ‘box’ with the light and heating pad, then wrapped it with press-n-seal.
This is the end of "Part A"

It's a matter of ....Earthquake preparedness

Along the Wasatch Front in Utah, we are in prime Earthquake territory. In the Sunday paper this week, the following handbook was inserted:

"Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country:
Your Handbook for Earthquakes in Utah"

Not only is there information on the prevalence of Earthquakes in our area, but reasons and suggestions of how you should prepare your homes, and your families. Suggestions are also made for how to meet your family in times of crisis, how to contact family members through a contact outside of the disaster zone, and other very pertinent information. It would be a great Family Home Evening subject.....perhaps with some buffering for younger children. Make it a priority.

If you didn't get the Sunday paper, try the following link:

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Make a special breakfast for Conference morning....

Mmmmmm, homemade pancakes....warm and delicious on a frosty morning. Since we all have some "together time" on the morning of Conference, consider making the following for your family. You can be a hero in a heartbeat! And, you will be using staples form your Food Storage as well!!!!

Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes (

1 cup golden whole wheat

1 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

3 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Blend 1 cup of milk with wheat for 2-3 minutes add rest of milk and blend for another 2-3 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend. Cook on a hot skillet until done. Makes 5 servings. (LRH found that she had to add a little extra flour to thicken this mix, also blend much longer than it states to ensure the wheat berries are really finely ground)

And, you always need delicious syrup to go with it. Here is a recipe to try!

Maple Syrup Substitute Recipe

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon maple extract or vanilla extract

Preparation:Place granulated sugar in a heavy skillet. Heat until the sugar melts and turns brown. Meanwhile, place brown sugar into a heavy saucepan. Pour water over brown sugar and bring to a boil without stirring. Add caramelized white sugar to the melted brown sugar in the saucepan. Simmer, stirring often, until syrup is thickened. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter and maple or vanilla extract. Serve maple syrup substitute warm over pancakes, waffles, and biscuits. Yield: about 1 cup

Have a happy Breakfast!!!!!!!

It's a matter of ....a Food Dehydrator and Dehydrating your food.

This is a L'Equip Delux Food Dehydrator.  A Dehydrator gives you many options to preserve your food. This one is traditionally rated very highly. This style of Dehydrator has the advantage of pulling air across the trays and reportedly you get more even dehydration.

There are other models such as the AMERICAN HARVEST Snackmaster Express™ which is also readily available.  This is the one I have, and it has served our family well. This unit pulls air vertically, and to get even dehydration, you sometimes may have to rotate the racks. It is very easy to do.

I do have a Powerpoint class that I can send as an attachment in an email if you would like more information. YOU DO NOT NEED TO PURCHASE A COMMERCIAL DEHYDRATOR TO DEHYDRATE FOOD. There are options such as using your oven, using window screening, mesh bags, etc. The powerpoint demonstrates and explains many methods that you can use. The presentation also explains how you would use your Dehydrated foods in preparing meals.

If you are thinking "I never use foods that are dehydrated", think again. Rice & Noodles are dehydrated as are many of your spices. Many convenience foods such as Scalloped Potato mixes contain dehydrated foods.

Please let me know if you would like further information. Please see the attached videos (from YouTube) taught by a lady who really knows what she is doing. This is the 1st in a series that she does and I encourage you to watch all of them. Youtube will prompt you with choices when the video is completed and you can choose the next video in the series. She has included a bit of "preaching" about her views, but her techniques and suggestions for dehydrating are excellent. Best wishes in attempting something new!

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