Thursday, September 30, 2010

Countdown to General Conference......

(Photo courtesy of

Well everyone, General Conference is just a few days away.  So, let's prepare to make it a wonderful experience for all.....especially our little ones.  It doesn't matter if you have small children of your own, grandchildren, or friends with children who may be coming to view conference with you.  Our little 'chicks' are now really big...but some still like to try the 'conference games' as an added bonus.  So, here are some choices for you:

Printable Coloring pages

Activities for Children

Print Activities

Youth Packet

Senior Primay Packet

Junior Primay Packet

Nursery Packet

General Conference Coloring Booklet

So.....check the printer cartridges......put in enough paper........and get the printer started!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

This week is a bye.....

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High-5!  You get a 'bye' this week.  Let's call it a countdown to General Conference! 

You get an extra week to stock up on anything you have missed to date. 

We will begin the focus items for October next week.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

General Relief Society Meeting...tonight!

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Tonight is the annual Relief Society Broadcast at 6:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.  The church offers this information regarding how to receive the broadcast in your area:

Television and Radio

The General Relief Society Meeting will be available on various broadcast, cable, satellite, and Internet television stations and broadcast, satellite, and Internet radio stations throughout the world, including Mormon Channel HD Radio. Check local program listings for availability in your area, or visit,, or for more information.

Video and/or Audio Streaming:  If you wish to 'attend' via video or audio streaming, you may go this this LINK for links and more information.

Please plan on 'attending' whether in person or by a media source.  We all need the direction we receive from our General Relief Society Presidency. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sydney's Journey

For those who wish to keep up to date on a certain young lady who has a long road to recovery, please see her blog at: 

It's Week #4 and the focus items are Canned and Frozen Vegetables.

Last week, our focus was upon Canned and Frozen Fruits.  I only really addressed Canned Fruits, but will try to remedy that this week.

We are focusing on Canned Vegetables and Frozen Vegetables this week.  Above, are some of the commercially canned goods I have stored.

I also have some that I have grown and canned myself.  Now, before there are lots of rolling eyes...I am not a pioneer woman.  I do not spend hours in my garden or kitchen (just check out the weed collection in my garden!).  However, I have learned how to be more efficient and hopefully be more self-sufficient in doing these types of things. Practicing skills that we need now, and in the case of an emergency is just smart.  So, I am trying to get smarter by practicing at home.

There are many case lot sales in Utah right now, so take advantage of them.  If you live outside of Utah, watch for sales on canned goods.  Ask the store manager for a case or several cases.  In addition, ask if they will take off the "shelving fee".  This is the additional mark-up on goods to pay for the labor to place them on the shelf.  Some stores will take it off.

Make your lists, check them twice....and get going!

My recipe for "Tomato.....everything"

What is this?  Well, it's not tomato sauce, salsa, tomato soup, etc.  It is my version of a Tomatoes that I used for many, many things.  And, if you know me well, you know it is easy.

Little Red Hen's "Tomato Base"

19 Cups of Tomatoes
1 Cup Chopped Onions
Lemon Juice
Minced Garlic ( taste)

Directions:  Wash and Quarter the tomatoes.  Place in the blender and pulse ...with the skins on.  Place Tomatoes and onion into a kettle.  Bring to a boil and reduce down by half.   Place into jars and add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice to each pint jar and 2 Tablespoons lemon juice to each quart jar.  Add a 1/2 teaspoon salt per pint and 1 teaspoon per quart jar.  Remove air bubbles and place lids and rings. Process Pints for 40 minutes and Quarts for 45 minutes in a Hot Water Bath (see Ball Blue Book of Canning for processing type and times).  Just an FYI, having the skins keeps the mixture red in color and does not look take on an orange hue. 

Now, what do you do with this?

Spaghetti Sauce:  Just add the herbs and meat.  It is robust and delicious.  Even folks who don't like Spaghetti traditionally like this.

Salsa:  This is a great base for a fresh Salsa.  Add your typical ingredients and you are ready to go.

Soup Base:  Add this when making Minestrone our Manhattan Clam Chowder.  It also makes a very good Tomato Basil soup.

Give it a try!

A couple of more ideas for Canning your own Fruit.....

Here are two more things I have canned for my family.  The jar on the left contains Peaches, Pears, and Mangos.  My family does not seem to like the traditional Fruit Cocktail (the cherries and the grapes), so this is a version that is 'okay' by them.

The second jar is of Cherries.  This is the Rooster's favorite.  He eats them right out of the jar.

The bottom line is that these are SIMPLE to do.  I don't have time to do intricate things, but these essentially were cut, peel, pit and can.  That was it. 

Get creative about what you and your family like, and can it!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's a Matter of Canning Apple Pie Filling.....with Clear Jel

Since we have been focusing on Canned Fruits this week, I wanted to share a favorite "canned fruit" recipe....Processed Apple Pie Filling (from Instant Delight Recipes by Merrilyn Lloyd, 1988).  This is GREAT to have on hand when you need a quick dessert.  It works for either a pie, or a about 20 minutes when you need dessert on the fly.  It is also pretty simple to make.  Here is the pictorial tour....

Sterilize your Jars, and wash your apples.  I put mine in a colander with a plate underneath to catch water.

I use this Apple Peeler device.  It peels the apple and makes a long cork-screw slice while the crank is turning.

Here it is in action.  It actually makes beautiful slices, but I just noticed this picture doesn't really do show such pretty slicing.  You can, however, see how it peels the apple as well.

Here is the apple after it is peeled and sliced.  It is like a big curly fry.  I use a paring knife and slice down the middle to make half-slices.  The recipe calls for diced apples, however I prefer slices in my pies.

Discard the cores and the peels in a separate bowl.

Get a large bowl and fill with water.  Add Ascorbic Acid to keep your fruit looking snowy white. 

Let the slices soak in the solution while you slice, or prepare for the upcoming steps. 

Measure 13 cups of apples.

Pour the sliced apples into a large pan.

Add 2.5 Cups of water.

Add the juice of 2 lemons (used 3 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice).  Put the lid on the pot and heat. 

Meanwhile, in a seperate bowl, add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and 1 tsp of salt.

Add 2 cups of sugar.

Add 7 rounded Tablespoons of Clear Jel.  It is very important that you mix Clear Jel with the dry ingredients first.

Mix the dry ingredients together with a whisk or fork.

After the water boils and the apples begin to soften, turn off the heat and add the dry mixture to your apples.

Coat your apples with the dry mixture.  You will see a syrup begin to form immediately.

Place the mixture into your sterilized Jars.  Run a rubber spatula around the inside and remove any air bubbles.

Wipe the jar rim very well and place the lid on the jar with the ring.

Place the jar into a Hot Water Bath.  Bring the water to a boil.  Process for 25 minutes.

Remove the jars from the Canner and place on towels.  Leave room between the jars to allow them to cool.  I love the "ping" sound that you hear when the jar seals.  Press your finger on each lid (after they are cooled to touch) to ensure the jars have sealed.

Now you have delicious Apple Pie Filling ready when you are.  This is a very easy thing to do and is a great gift as well.

Here is the recipe.   If you share it, please remember to include the Author and the book title out of respect to her.

Processed Apple Pie Filling

2.5 Cups water
13 cups diced apples
2 lemons juiced
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
7 rounded tablespoons Instant Clear Jel.

Put water, peeled and diced apples, and lemon juice in large kettle.  Bring to a boil, then simmer until apples are tender.  Mix the remaining ingredients in a dry bowl.  Slowly pour dry ingredients into hot apple mixture, stirring constantly.  Blend until well mixed.  Put in sterilized canning jars and process for 25 minutes.

This is a great way to use your apples and the Clear Jel.  I love Clear Jel because the shelf life is indefinitely.  That means, I can have a large amount on hand for use at any time.  Also, consider getting Merrilyn Lloyd's book, it has a great deal of wonderful recipes for canning, baking, desserts, seasoning mixes, soups, and much more.  It is published by Ms. Lloyd.

Give this a try!

Friday, September 17, 2010 is open for business!

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has opened it on-line store...without announcement.  It was scheduled to open at the end of this month, but thus far over 200,000 viewers have visited.

You can purchase items for your gospel study, for temple attendance, or for our purposes......Self Reliance.

For an easy way to see what is available for Self Reliance , click here

It's Constitution Day........

(Image courtesy of

On September 17th, 1878, brave individuals came together at great personal risk to for the Constitution of the United States.  In August 1953, the United States Senate passed a resolution designating September 17-23 as Constitution Week. The Senate and House approved the resolution and it was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The law establishing the holiday was created in 2004 in an Omnibus bill, but was 'signed into  law' in 2007.  During this time, schools are required to educate students on the Constitution and citizenship.

I am a firm believer that education begins at home.  Take the opportunity today to review this revolutionary and sacred document.  Find the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights here.  You can also order pocket versions of the Constitution for free at this site.  If you want to go 'techno', get an app for your phone at here

Test your knowledge of the Constitution at the Constitution Quiz. You may surprised how much you do and do not know!

Fun activities to celebrate include:

1.  Crossword Puzzles

2.  Treasure Hunts

3.  Word Search or Word Find

4.  Lesson Plans

Finally, see this video from the History Channel.  This truly is an inspired document to have so many people with so many ideas come together and come to a consensus. 

National Constitution Center: Constitution Day

Happy Constitution Day!

(Sources:  Wikipedia,,

Because We have been given much.....

This is not my weekly shopping haul.  This is the generosity of our Ward Relief Society.  We gathered donations for the local Women's Shelter....and the truck is coming today!  My entire front hall was filled and you had to strategically walk around the donations to get anywhere else in my home.

Boxes and Boxes of Restaurant quality dinner and salad plates.

Gallons of Laundry Soap and lots of Trash bags.

Bags of Make-up.

Many bottles of Conditioner

Many needed Over-the-counter Medications...

Bottles and Bottles of Hand Sanitizer, boxes of Bar Soap.  Tons of Toothpaste and lots of Toothbrushes.  Piles of Batteries as well.

A tower of Paper goods (I wanted to say a 'Tower of Toilet Paper"...but that just wasn't appropriate... or accurate    :)

Large Thirsty Towels.....

“Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present."
 (Albert Camus)

"Don't say that you want to give, but go ahead and give! You'll never catch up with a mere hope."
(Johann Wolfgang von Goeth) 

Our Thanks to all of you for your Generosity!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Canning Fruits...

This week we are concentrating upon our supplies of canned fruit.  If you haven't done the home canning method, or just need an update, please see the information below.  This photo is of Peach Jelly I canned myself....and it wasn't difficult.

I have posted how to can several things, including this Peach Jelly which is made from the skins and pits that one would normally discard.

Here is a video that discusses the basics of home canning.  One thing to take note of, it mentions that you need to wash your jars and shows the individual washing them by hand.  This is certainly fine, but if you have a sanitize option on your dishwasher, you can use this while you are preparing your food to can.  It saves a step!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

It's Week #3 in September and the target items are.......

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I hope you all got stocked up on your Pasta last week....what an easy one to gather huh?  This week was specifically timed for those of you in our area to hit the case lot sales sponsored by many grocers in Utah.

The two items this week are:  Canned Fruits and Frozen Fruits.

Canned Fruits:

There are two meanings to "canned fruit".  Here is a time honored one...

(Image courtesy of

Here is another very, very familiar option:

(Image courtesy of

One thing to consider as you purchased commercially packed fruit is the expiration date.  Most should have a "Best by   (date)     .  The commercial packing companies used to have a system that utilized a Julian Calendar (developed by Julius Ceasar) that specified the date it was packed as the only identifying information.  Some manufacturers now include both pieces of  information.  For example, I pulled out a can of Peach Pie filling from my storage.  According to the Julian Calendar, it was processed on the 273 day of 2009 at 12:51 a.m.  The "Best By" date is June of 2012.    This date also helps you to know how often you need to rotate and re-supply that particular item in your storage.

Frozen Fruit:  Why would you have fruit that is Dehydrated (a focus item used earlier this year), Canned, and then Frozen?  Because if one of those 'systems' fail, you have 2 other types to still provide you with needed fruit for your diet. 

You can purchase frozen fruit from many retailers.  However, this is easily done at home.  See this Link for instructions on how to do it at home.  It is called "Flash Freezing".  I love to use these frozen fruits in smoothies, muffins, making ice-cream, etc.  They are so convenient to have as well.

So, get your lists ready, and go!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Let us never forget....

On this 9th anniversary of the 9-11 tragedy, let us remember that with the Lord all good things are possible.  Let us be the people that defend the concepts and principals upon which this blessed country are founded. 

May the Lord bless the USA.

Friday, September 10, 2010

What different types of Pasta are there?

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Another question that has surfaced regarding Pasta is "What types of Pasta are there?"  Oh my goodness!  There are many, many different types.  I found a wonderful site that list lots of different types of Pasta from A-Z

Check it out!

How to Store Pasta, Dry Pack Canning.

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There are so many fun types of pasta that can be obtained.  Look at all the fun shapes and sizes in the beautiful image above (courtesy of 

I have been asked by more than one person the following question, "how do you store dry pasta?"  Well, depending upon who you read, the answer varies.  If you choose to store it in it's original package, some manufacturers state 1-2 years.  Certainly you should protect it from light, humidity, heat, and vermin.

However, if properly packed, it can last  up to 8 years.  This is according to Provident  This can be accomplished by using Dry Pack Canning.  If you live near a Family Home Storage Center, or if your local Ward or Stake has a Dry Pack Canner, you can do this easily.  Be sure to include Oxygen Absorbers as well.    

Although the Family Home Storage Centers are run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nearly anyone may have the opportunity to use these facilities.  To learn each center's location and contact information to answer this question about the local requirements to use the facility and other questions, please see this Link.  

If you are interested to know what it looks like and what serving in a Family Home Storage Center is like, please see this very 'home grown' video below.  I really like the Brother who is teaching the family.  He is kind and very patient!.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

It's Week #2 in September, and our focus item is...Pasta!

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Last week, our target item was Wheat.....and I had all these great plans of things to share with you....and then life got in the way.  But, it is my hope that you looked at your stores and obtained more, or enough wheat and grains to continue your journey to stock up on your long-term supplies. 

This week, our target item is one of my favorites.......Pasta.  There are endless types of pasta and they can be used in main dishes, in side dishes, salads, and let's not forget the occasional Kindergarten craft.

Is there a proper way to cook Pasta? 

I discovered that there is.  I located a wonderful video that gives specifics.  Who knew that the type of pan you cook pasta in really matters?  As it does not have an embed code that I can find, please follow this link

Look at your supplies, examine what recipes you want to use, calculate your needs, and stock up. 

This is an inexpensive one to get!
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