Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Its a matter of ...baking in an emergency or outdoors for fun!!!!!

We just recently had late season storms that surprised many of us. During this winter, there have been ice storms in parts of our country, and recently folks have been displaced from their homes in the Midwest due to flooding. If you are caught in these circumstances, there is nothing like the comfort of homemade bread. But, how do you do it? Well, first of all.....practice with your family in the backyard, or while you are on camping trips. Scout Camp and Girls Camp certainly should provide these opportunities as well.

I was sent the following information, that is wonderful. I think I gained 10 lbs just reading it. It comes from The Prepared Pantry. It has easy to follow instructions, recipes, and beautiful photography of breads made outdoors. Believe it or not, you most likely have most if not all of the equipment and supplies already. Do you have a bread pan? Do you have the ingredients to make Quick or Yeast breads? Do you have stones in your yard? How about a gas grill, or Dutch oven? See, you are more prepared than you may have thought!

Make a decision to try one of these methods.......soon. Be the envy of our neighborhood with the smell of fresh-baked bread emanating from your backyard!


Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Come Listen to a Prophet's voice....."

179th Annual General Conference
The 179th Annual General Conference of the Church will be held on Saturday and Sunday, April 4-5, 2009. Speakers will include the First Presidency and other General Authorities and general officers of the Church.

Saturday morning session (live broadcast) MDT: Saturday, April 4, 2009, at 10:00 a.m.

Saturday afternoon session (live broadcast) MDT: Saturday, April 4, 2009, at 2:00 p.m.

Priesthood session (live broadcast) MDT: Saturday, April 4, 2009, at 6:00 p.m.

Sunday morning session (live broadcast) MDT: Sunday, April 5, 2009, at 10:00 a.m.

Sunday afternoon session (live broadcast) MDT: Sunday, April 5, 2009, at 2:00 p.m.

Video Streams - Watch Conference Online

This player constantly monitors your network in order to provide the highest-quality video stream available based on your connection, and it never buffers (pauses). In addition to showing live video, the player also features (1) instant access to completed talks, conference sessions, and other video archives, (2) the ability to pause and restart when you want, and (3) a quick and easy installation. After you install and activate the Move plug-in, you will see sample video content until you select the event you want to view. See the following link for more information: http://lds.org/broadcast/gc/0,5161,8584,00.html

For our "little friends"

You can download this activity book to make Conference a more meaningful experience for our youngest Brothers and Sisters at : http://deseretbook.com/misc/Conference_Packet09.pdf or http://www.scribd.com/doc/13298891/2009-April-Conference-Packet

During times of great uncertainty, we look to our leaders to provide guidance and leadership. Don't miss this opportunity to "Come listen to a Prophet's voice".

It's a matter of ....Freedom and Liberty

In Ancient America, there was a great Leader named Captain Moroni. When he saw that the very freedom and liberty that he and his people loved and cherished was being threatened, he took the following actions (See Alma 46:12-13, 19-21):

12 And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.

13 And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land—
19 And when Moroni had said these words, he went forth among the people, waving the rent part of his garment in the air, that all might see the writing which he had written upon the rent part, and crying with a loud voice, saying:

20 Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them.

21 And it came to pass that when Moroni had proclaimed these words, behold, the people came running together with their armor girded about their loins, rending their garments in token, or as a covenant, that they would not forsake the Lord their God; or, in other words, if they should transgress the commandments of God, or fall into transgression, and be ashamed to take upon them the name of Christ, the Lord should rend them even as they had rent their garments.

Today, there are many attacks on our families and our freedoms. We have the opportunity to raise our own Title of Liberty within our own homes as well as take action to let our voices be known.

Below are the phone numbers of our elected officials in this area. Please resolve to take the time to contact them and let them know your opinions about proposed bills within the legislative session. Consider programming them in your phone......make your voice known.

Here's your contact information for:

Sen. Hatch 202-224-5251

Sen. Bennett 202-224-5444

Rep. Matheson 202-225-3011

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spotting a Sale....Using Coupons

In a previous entry, I discussed subscription services that send emails directly to your inbox alerting you to sales in the major grocery stores. One of them (in Utah county) is sponsored by The Daily Herald. Several neighbors have inquired, asking how to determine if a sale is really a sale. Others were seeking more information about using coupons when shopping.

The Daily Herald offers the Savvy Shopper. Her name is "Amy" and she is offers free classes on these topics. She teaches you how to use the newspaper coupons, how to know if a sale is truly a sale, and (yea!) how to save money. She is offering a class on 4/14/09 at the North Orem Maceys. RSVP at the following link ASAP as these classes fill up very quickly.

Other subscription services to know about are:


Friday, March 20, 2009

It's a matter of planning for your 3-month Food storage supply

It's time to get started if you haven't already. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints advises us all to have a 3-month supply of food at all times. These are foods that your family prefers and that you eat often. Here is a direct quote from providentliving.org:

"Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet. One way
to do this is to purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply
of food. Then you can gradually increase your supply until it is sufficient for
three months. These items should be rotated regularly to avoid spoilage."

I have the great fortune to have several siblings who share my interest in preparedness. The LRH's sister has prepared the following documents to assist in gathering the needed items for your 3-month supply. (My thanks to Teri M. in Tennessee for these forms)

Use this document to track or plan your menu for 2 weeks.


After you have completed this step, enter your list of ingredients into the following form. It will automatically calculate your totals for you. LRH's sister states that she prints out a current list each time she goes shopping so that she can consistently knows what she needs to purchase to have her 3 month supply on hand. You can also use the form to determine how much you would need to purchase if you wished to have more storage ingredients on hand.

Inventory Planner Version 1

Best wishes on your efforts to be prepared.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's a matter of ......shelf life

Continuing on with questions that have been sent to me, I received the following question about the shelf life foods that are traditionally stored long-term:

"Plastic 5 gallon Buckets of Wheat, Flour, Oats, Powdered
Milk, etc...--How well do these store? What is the usual shelf life?"
BYU studied the shelf life of long-term food stuffs and some of the results are published at http://providentliving.org/content/display/0,11666,7798-1-4224-1,00.html Please note the following reportedly can be stored for up to 30 years when packaged properly: Wheat, White Rice, Corn, Pinto Beans, Rolled Oats, Pasta, Potato Flakes, and Apple Slices. Powdered Milk and Dehydrated Carrots can be stored for 20 years.

In addition, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides recommendations of foods that should not be stored for such long periods of time as they become rancid etc. Please see the following link for further information: http://providentliving.org/pfw/multimedia/files/pfw/pdf/113951_DryProductsLongerTermStorage_Jun_08_pdf.pdf

Make your plan, and "do it"!

It's a matter of ....choosing between purchasing Wheat versus Wheat Flour

In light of the recent caselot sales, I have received inquiries about different food items and how long they store. Here is a recent question:

"Does it take 5 gallons of wheat to make 5 gallons of wheat flour ground? I ask this because Macey's has wheat for $18.99 and wheat flour for $19.99/for 5 gallon buckets. So for one dollar more, I would not have to grind all that wheat. Should I look at it this way?"

Here is my answer:
Wheat versus flour: In regard to volume, you will have more flour after it is milled. However, once wheat has been milled or ground, it needs to be used quickly. Some sources say that it must be used within 2 weeks, others say between 2 months up to 6 months. I believe the 6-months suggestion is really an outlier. However, if the fat content is below 2 percent, you could try to store it for several months.

In general, whole wheat flour cannot be stored long term. However, all purpose flour can be stored for years. The difference with whole wheat flour is that the fat within the wheat kernel is disturbed during the milling process. The fat goes rancid when it is ground and not used. All purpose flour has had the fat removed and it is bleached. If you purchase the wheat flour already milled or ground, you would know that you would need to use it right away. Lastly, wheat can be stored (unmilled) for years and years.

Hopefully this information can help you make an informed decision about what you wish to purchase. Best wishes on your efforts to be prepared.

Its a matter of .....how to store food in a bucket.

I want to thank the individuals that are emailing me their questions. I have responded to several questions on how to pack food into a bucket and thought that I should answer the question in our blog. Essentially, the steps are as follows:

  1. Get a bucket with a PETE logo on the bottom. That means that this container is made specifically for storing food. You can get them from 1 gallon to 6 gallons traditionally.

  2. Consider using a liner. I will be embedding a couple of video's from an individual who does a great job of showing you how to pack a bucket and some unique ways to do it. Some retailers have told me that you do not need a liner if you have a good seal with your lid and have used O2 packets. Others have stated that you do need them. There are 2 basic types: Mylar and Clear-plastic. The Mylar bags run between $2.50 to $3.00 (i.e. Emergency Essentials, and other online dealers) a bag and the clear-plastic bags run about $1.00/bag (see Walton Wheat). LRH prefers liners as an added protection for your food investment. Place the liner in the bucket.

  3. Using the LDS Church O2 packets (in a 5-6 gallon bucket), place 2 in the bottom of the liner (within your bucket). Pour in about half of the food you will be storing, place 2 more packets, then fill the bucket. Before closing the liner, place 2 more in. Please note that you should not put O2 packets in buckets of sugar. If you do, you will reportedly end up with one giant sugar cube:). At http://www.ldscatalog.com/ it states that you need one O2 packet for every gallon of food.

  4. Closing the liner. You can seal the Mylar bags with a Food Saver-type of device (see the video), or you can get a level (for construction) and your iron. Place the liner (with about 2 or more inches) over the slim edge of the level-lengthwise. This edge traditionally will have a texture to it. Run a hot iron over the area that is placed on the level to make your seal. To close a clear-plastic liner, twist the bag tightly together and run use a Zip-tie to close it.

  5. Place your lid on tightly. Double check the seal.

  6. Label your bucket with the contents and the date it was packed.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers the following information:

Plastic Bucket Storage Instructions
Plastic Bucket Storage Instructions klyman

Please watch this smart ""chick" demonstrate how how to pack your bucket via a video! (I realize she instructs you to use Bay Leaves to deter pests. In checking with the Utah State Extension service, this is not a method that they recommend).

Monday, March 9, 2009

It's a matter of.....Dry Pack Canning, where and "how much".....

We had a fabulous Relief Society class on Dry pack canning in the fall of 2008. Many learned how to use the Dry Pack Canner and one sister in our ward reported that she canned over a 100 cans in her home. Way to go!

We have a Dry pack canner in our stake that can be check out by emailing me or you can also check a canner out from the Lindon Family Canning Center. In any event, you have options. I was asked recently how to calculate the number of cans you would need if you bought bulk food in 25-50 lb containers. I came across the following that I found to be very helpful in this area. Please see the following for more detailed information (This comes from http://preparednessmatters.blogspot.com/)

Dry Pack Canning: How Many #10 Cans Will I Need?

  • Wheat 50 lbs/9 cans
  • Sugar 50 lbs/9 cans
  • Beans 50 lbs/9 cans
  • Rolled Oats 50 lbs/18 cans
  • Light Weight Foods 50 lbs/18 cans
  • Flour 25 lbs/6 cans
  • Spaghetti 5 lbs/1 can
  • Lentils 5 lbs/1 can
  • Ziti 2 1/2 lbs/1 can
  • Elbows 3 lbs/1 can
  • Sugar 5 lbs/1 can
  • Granola 3 lbs 14 oz/1 can
  • Oatmeal 1 lb 40 oz/1 can
  • Grits 4 lbs/1 can

If there is enough interest, we may be able to set up a date to do Dry Pack canning at LRH's home. Please let me know your interest level. Also, to determine prices of bulk foods that can be purchased at the Lindon Family Cannery (as well as Cans and Oxygen Absorbers), please see the price list at the following link: http://www.providentliving.org/pfw/multimedia/files/pfw/pdf/120974_HomeStoragePriceSheetSpring2009_pdf.pdf. The Lindon cannery is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays and you can purchase bulk foods that they have on hand at the time.

If you wish to schedule a session at the Cannery (on Tuesdays and Thursdays), you can call
Phone: (801) 785-0997. The Address is: 940 West Center, Lindon, Utah 84042
Pull our your calendar, make a plan, and get it done:)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Blue Chip Group, Grandma's Country Foods & Kitchen Kneads

My sister and I went on a "Food Storage Tour de Jour" today and visited many different establishments, primarily in Salt Lake City. In light of the recent "case lot" sales, I was pleasantly surprised to find such reasonable prices and a really great selection at all of these Establishments. Here is a summary of what we found:

Blue Chip Group (432 W. 3440 S., SLC UT): This supplier has recently opened a "store" attached to their plant. They had a tremendous selection of nearly everything you can think of with very, very good pricing.

  • For example, I found Freeze-Dried Chicken, Roast Beef, and Pork Chops. The price for a #10 can of Freeze Dried Chicken is $30.97. A similar product at Emergency Essentials is on sale this month for $39.99/can, and Alpine Food Storage has a similar product for $38.00/can.
  • I was pleasantly surprised to see a host of Gluten-Free products as well. I have a family member who needs these and they are often very expensive and hard to find.
  • You can view a current price list at http://www.bluechipgroup.net/products/fdretail.pdf. You can also view their items in the "store" and get descriptions if you like at http://shop.bluechipgroup.net/main.sc.
  • Just so you know, I believe some of these products may be less at Macey's case lot sale right now as they made such a big purchase from BCG that they got quite a discount. For example, during Macey's last Preparedness sale, I was able to purchase Dent Corn (dehydrated.....it is to mill and make corn meal when I need it) for $14.00 a bucket. It was much more today at BCG, but still very reasonable.
  • If you want to fax in an order, you can and they will let you know when you can come to "will call" and pick it up. Or, you can do as we did today and just go "shopping" at their store. Overall, BCG was very easy to work with today.

Grandma's Country Foods (386 W 9400 S, Sandy UT): This was a different experience, but still a very good one.

  • Most Utahns have seen "Grandma's Country Spices" in our local grocery stores. This is the warehouse, but they also have a store attached to it. The prices of the spices are very, reasonable, and they also have many Freeze Dried foods, appliances (grain mills etc) and Emergency Preparedness supplies. They even let us go into the warehouse to look at something I really want to get. (We will have to see if the Rooster of the house agrees:).
  • We learned that they currently have their Powdered milk (Country Cream) on sale, and the #10 cans hold 51 oz versus the 33 oz of competitive brands. In taste tests with other Powdered Milk brands traditionally this brand is rated very high, if not the best. They have a case of 6 cans (#10) on sale for $60.00. The Lindon cannery charges $7.60/can, so they have the best price. However, since milk is such a "touchy" issue, you may want to purchase a can of each (Country Cream can be purchased at Macey's) and try them to see which your family prefers.
  • The website for this supplier is http://www.grandmascountry.com/.

Cranes Kitchen Kneads (7579 S 1700 W, West Jordan, UT (801) 561-9616): They do not have a website, although the Ogden Location does.

  • They also have many staples, a demonstration kitchen, lots of sprouting supplies, candy making supplies, and a great selection of nuts. I purchased some powdered cheese today that I am trying to do some "experimenting" with. It isn't that dark orange type (yuck!), but the type you would find in the the national brand of Mac and Cheese.
  • In past visits to this store, if you cannot find a certain item elsewhere, I have traditionally found it there. Since it is a drive, and they do not have a website, you may want to call first to see if they have what ever you are looking for.
  • Also, they are open Tuesday through Saturday only.

It seems that many people who were shopping today were stocking up, but for a different reason that I hadn't even considered. They were trying to get their shopping done before General Conference. I guess these types of suppliers sell out of many things around that time as people are reminded about the need for being prepared.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Class on Sanitation on 3/26/09

Part of being prepared is to be ready on many fronts. Most folks think of preparedness as food storage only. It is a critical area for sure, however other things need addressing as well. I received a notice about the following class that will be offered by Jim Phillips. He is a recognized expert in our area. If anyone wishes to carpool, please contact the LRH.

The location and time of the class are listed below.

Thurs., March 26 – Orem, Utah, 5:30–8:00 PM (Sponsored by PARLEY’S – No
Charge)SANITATION (The 3rd Parachute) – One of the most overlooked and critical
areas. PARLEY’S HARDWARE, Upstairs Meeting Area
260 South 1200 West, Orem (The business immediately
south of Trafalga.) mapquest
link to the Parley's Hardware
5:30 – 6:00: Q & A
during set up for the class 6:00 – 8:00: Sanitation

Best wishes on your efforts to be preparedness.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It's a matter of ......smart & savy shopping

How do you know when something in a traditional grocery store is a "good deal"? There are a few methods that are tried and true. Let's look at few of them.

  • Price book: This allows you to track items that you traditionally purchase by store and unit price. If it sounds complicated, I guarantee you that it isn't. It is just "smart". We have a sister in our ward who has done this and said that it helps her to recognize sale cycles and also lets her know if she is getting a good price. Please see the following link to get find simple instructions on how to create your own (http://organizedhome.com/make-price-book-save-money). If you want to know what one looks like, see the following graphic:

For printable forms for your pricebook go to: http://www.stretcher.com/resource/PxBook/pricebookpages.pdf

  • Subscription service: The second method that Little Red Hen (LRH) often uses is the following is http://www.savvyshopperdeals.com/. It is a service offered by the Daily Herald. It is a subscription service that will list all the sales at the area grocery stores ( but not the "big box" store) and will identify a very good price as a WOW!, or a pretty good price as a !!!. It will also inform you about using coupons that come in your paper (the date is included) or in-store coupons to make the "deal" even sweeter. The host of this site offers classes in shopping with coupons. The LRH has attended and learned some good information, although I have not completely used the system.
  • Another subscription service is http://www.pinchingyourpennies.com/. You can find coupons and deals here by state. Some states have more "activity" than others, but there are also forums to discuss sales/good deals as well.

How & why would LRH use the information from the subscription service? Well, I am a cyber-girl in many ways. I use a computer in my professional life and at home. To say that my day is full (like the rest of you) is an understatement. I can quickly scan the ads to see if any of the items I am in need of are listed at a price I am willing to pay. I often don't have time to scan the traditional paper ads and the email messages let me know if the item is being offered at a good price or not. The information comes to my email at least weekly and I let it go into my Junk Mail folder so that after I scan it, I know it will automatically delete itself after 7 days. It is an efficient method, which saves time and money. We all can use more time and money.....no matter how healthy the economy is.

We don't only purchase items from food storage suppliers to stock our shelves. We need things from traditional grocery stores as well. Be a smart shopper utilizing one of these methods or one of your own. Best wishes on your quest to stock-up and be prepared!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A matter of .... listening to our Apostles and Prophets

There is hope in faith. There is peace in obedience to the counsels we have recieved. How fortunate we are to have such tremendous leadership to guide us in uncertain times.

Wheat Prices ......way down

Last fall, we saw a tremendous increase in wheat prices, and many people were scrambling to find it where ever they could find it. This spring is a different story. See the chart below.

Now is a great time to buy wheat. But, as one member of our ward informed me on Sunday, Lehi Roller Mills (LRM) was out of wheat when he went to get some. LRM was out of wheat on and off last fall as were other retailers in our area. It is the basic law of supply and demand.

There is a sense of heightened awareness regarding food storage staples right now. So, use due diligence and find it if you don't have it. Suppliers in our area to check are are:
  • Allison's Pantry

  • Lehi Roller Mills

  • Macey (Look in the Preparedness "nook" or area)

  • Emergency Essentials

  • Walton Wheat (Alpine Food Storage is now placing an order with them every 2 weeks, see February posts for more information)

I would encourage you not to wait to purchase this important staple. See these 2 excerpts from the following sources:

Feb 4 - A lack of credit for seeds and fertilizers for farmers over the last six months could limit food production and trigger a new wave of price rises, Nestle Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe has warned. The chairman of the world’s largest food company said: “Many farmers over the world didn't have access in October, November, and December for credits. They were limited in acquiring seed and acquiring fertilizer.” “It is probable that in 2009 we have a decline in production and we will have an increase in demand,” he said. “This will have another push on raw materials.” Some analysts fear plummeting food prices may prompt farmers to lower plantings and investment – leading to drop in crop production in 2009. (Flexnews 2/4/09)

Feb 4- The 400-mile Central Valley (in California) is many things: the world's largest agricultural area; the "salad bowl", where half of the country's vegetables are grown. But this year, with water shortages of a severity not seen for decades, many farmers and others are echoing the recent words of energy secretary Steven Chu: if current weather patterns continue, Californian agriculture could disappear. John "Dusty" Giacone, another fourth-generation Central Valley farmer, was forced to abandon his vegetable crop and divert his scarce water to save his 4,000 hectares of almond trees. “Taking water from a farmer is like taking a pipe from a plumber," Giacone told the Associated Press. "How do you conduct business?" (Dan Glaister in Los Angeles guardian.co.uk

If you are wondering what you will do with it when you get it, contact me and also watch the blog. I plan to include information on grains, milling, and even a few tried-n-true recipes for you.

One of the scriptures that we memorized for ward conference this year applies here:

"For behold, again I say unto you that if you will enter in by the way, and
receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what you should
do" (2 Nephi 32:5)

Best wishes on your quest to be prepared.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

It is a matter of ......starting

Whenever someone makes the decision to "start" their food storage, they often do not know where to begin. Since they do not know where to start, it becomes very overwhelming....so often nothing happens at all. Today in our Sacrament Meeting, Elder Devin H. spoke about progressing. We are either progressing or digressing, there is nothing in-between. He is right.

On that note, I want to share information from a member of the LDS Church, who I believe, is from AZ. Her name is Wendy DeWitt. I had the opportunity to hear this lecture live along with a couple of other members of our ward (can't you see the back of our heads?). Anyway, she has very good information. This lecture has 9 parts, don't be overwhelmed. Start with #1 and work your way through. You will hear not only common sense, but vital information. Learn from her, she is a very smart "chick".

Here is the link to her handout. It is simple to read and follow. http://theideadoor.com/PDF%20Files/RS/EverythingUnderTheSun.pdf

Best wishes on your efforts to be prepared.
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