Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas....from your Food Storage

(Image courtesy of

In our series of Christmas Gifts from your food storage, you may want to consider this idea as neighbor or friend gift. These ideas do not take a lot of you personal time. They are also, a twist on a family favorite......Spaghetti.

It is possible to make Parmesan Cheese with 3 simple ingredients from your pantry. The following recipe comes from Peggy Layton, when she appeared on the program "Living Essentials".This recipe comes from

Zesty Parmesan Cheese
1 ½ cups. boiling water
1 ½ cups powdered milk
4 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
1. Blend all ingredients.
2. Cook over low heat until the milk boils. The curds will be small.
3. Pour into cheese cloth and strain the excess water.
4. Put the curds in a bowl to break them up.
5. Spread the curds out on a cookie sheet and dry them in the oven for 2 hours at 150F. Sprinkle salt on the curds to taste.
6. Blend the dried curds in a blender until it makes a powder.
7. Put in a salt shaker and enjoy.
Here are many of the steps in photos. Please don't be intimidated by is so very simple!

Put the Lemon juice in your boiling water.

Stir all ingredients together over low heat

Line a strainer with Cheese cloth to catch the very small curds.

Bring the mixture to a boil.

Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined strainer.

Break up the curds and spread on a cookie sheet. (I would suggest that you spray the tray with a vegetable spray first as some of the mixture was difficult to remove from the pan after drying)

Place in the oven and dry for 120 minutes as directed. When dry, place in blender or food processor and pulverize. Place in a container or shaker when finished. See, there wasn't much of your personal time needed to do this!

Pair the cheese with your gift of Spaghetti!!!!!

Next, let's take a page from the mind of a Backpacker. We are still going to stay with our gift of Spaghetti, but with twist. I am taking Spaghetti sauce that I actually canned (don't be thrown off by can used store-bought sauce for this as well....not a big deal).

I am using a liner (used to make fruit leather) and spraying it with a vegetable spray. As you can see from the color of this liner....I have done this before!

Pour your sauce on the liner. Turn on your dehydrator at the temperature for Fruit and Vegetables. If you choose to do this in your oven, turn it on the lowest setting you can.

When it is dry, peal the leather from the liner.

Protect the leather in plastic wrap. Include a label instructing the recipient to tear the leather into pieces and place in boiling water. This entire leather (which is folded in half in this picture) was 1 quart of sauce before it was dehydrated, so I would instruct the recipient to put pieces into a quart of boiling water.

Here I have chosen to wrap the leather with the noodles. I am laying the ribbon and leather under the noodles and will tie the bow around them both.

This is the final product. Things get so busy during this time of year. A gift of "dinner", I believe, would be greatly appreciated and would be used.

Both of these projects do not take a lot on your one-on-one time. Instead, you invest a few minutes of preparation and then essentially package them. I did all of this yesterday, which was the Ward Christmas party...and I had several parts that I played in the presentation. We also were preparing the walls of a room for painting....and just trying to do the normal Saturday chores. So, believe me when I tell you this does not take much time...because I didn't have much time!

Expand your horizons...and try something new.


Finally in my Mother's family, they have a tradition called "Christmas Gift". When she was a little girl, she and her friends would go to each other's homes on Christmas Day. The first one who could say "Christmas Gift" first was the "winner" and then the friend at the home they were visiting would show the gifts they received on Christmas Morning

Now that our family, and many like it, are so far away from each other, we now start early in the season. Who ever say "Christmas Gift" by email, phone call, or Christmas card is somehow the "winner" but more importantly. the individual is relaying well-wishes for the Holiday season. We start early now that we are all so far apart.....sometimes right after Thanksgiving.

Let me be the first to say "Christmas Gift" to you all and wish you the merriest Christmas Season as we celebrate the gift of our Savior to the world!

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