Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving! I am practicing what I preach!

Well, they great Thanksgiving Holiday is behind us.  The love for my family only increases as we remember the goodness of our Heavenly Father.   We had many wonderful foods to partake of.  I am sure you did as well.

I chose to 'practice what I preach'.  I used the Perfect Pie Crust recipe to make my pie crusts. I did make one modification...I actually followed all the directions and rolled the dough between 2 pieces of waxed paper.  It really does make a difference.  

I found that my Ulu Knife proved to be invaluable, particularly when dicing vegetables for the stuffing.  It made quick work of the task.

Speaking of Stuffing, I used my grain mill and made cornmeal from my "Dent Corn" that I have in my storage.  I made cornbread from my food storage staples and let it sit out over night.

Because I had lined the pans with foil, I pulled the bread out of the pan and diced it right in the foil.

I cooked the sausage and added the spices (also from my food storage).

Meanwhile I sautéed the onions and celery in butter.   (I have a supply of butter in the freezer and also canned butter.  I keep the onions in my small portable 'root cellar')

I made chicken stock from Bouillon I have in my food storage.  I poured it over all the ingredients for the stuffing.

I placed the contents into my crockpot to make "Crockpot Stuffing" .

I also made Cranberry Sauce, that was very simple to do.

So.....I am not trying to tell you how great I am.  On the contrary, I am trying to show that I had many things already in my storage.  In fact, when I was in line at the grocery store, I had relatively few things in my cart as compared to many of the other shoppers.  I saw carts overflowing with basic cooking and baking supplies.

I am also showing that having items and skills gives you so many options.  I think I only spent about $25.00 on my entire Thanksgiving dinner that fed 8 people.  You can eat very well as well as eat in a very healthy manner by having food storage staples and the skill set to prepare them.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Archeology finding at the site of the Provo City Center Temple

I drive by this site every once in a while and try to get a few fleeting pictures of the Temple in Provo that is being built on the site of the Provo Tabernacle. It's pretty hard to do when you husband won't slow down a little for you to get the shot!  That's why you get to see the glare of his truck window. (My apologies...really)

These were taken a few weeks ago.  However, there is some exciting news about an Archeology find at the site.  I love that the early Pioneers found this to be so important.  How fortunate are we to discover it again at this time.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Why I would cook a Turkey 2 weeks early....

Courtesy of of
Ahhhh, the imagery of a Thanksgiving Turkey perfectly baked and served to perfection.  I always strive for that like many of you do.  However, I also see Turkey as a great item for long term food storage as well.  Especially this time of year when you can find some good pricing on this product.  

Many folks are intimidated with cooking a Turkey.  I certainly was the first time I attempted it. After I was done, I remember thinking....'what was I afraid of?"  

I cooked a Turkey yesterday.  Why you may ask?  For several reasons.  I will list them at the end of the post.  Here is the method I use and find that it works well.  Read on!

Yes, I am using my Roaster Oven again.  So, I laid out the rack on the counter. See the little blue box.  In my world, this is a 'must'.  Get the Oven Cooking Bags for Turkeys.  They are totally worth it.

Take your thawed Turkey out of the wrapping.  If you are buying a frozen Turkey, let it thaw in your refrigerator for several days.  This is a very safe method to thaw your bird.   Rinse the bird.

Remove the neck and giblet packets from the neck and little 'butt' opening. Rinse the cavities.  After rinsing, I often salt the cavities.

I cut up onion, apples, and always add citrus.  These help keep the meat moist and flavorful.  

Fill the cavities with these.  You can also add herbs such as Rosemary as well.

Follow the directions on the box of the Oven bags by putting in flour and shaking it in the bag.

Tie the legs closed to keep your content inside the cavity.  You can also use toothpicks to keep the other cavity closed.

Place your Turkey in the bag.  I placed the bagged Turkey on the rack and then carefully loaded it into the Roaster Oven. You can place you Turkey in your Standard Oven at this point as well.  

Put water into your oven as well, set the temperature gauge, put the lid on, and wait until it is cooked.  You hopefully can see the little red 'dot' on the Turkey.  I am a big proponent of using these little gauges.  Why?  they not only ensure the Turkey is cooked, but you may also be surprised at how fast your Turkey can cook not only in the bag, but also in the Roaster.  The combination can cut some time off the process. to why I cooked this Turkey.  It was for these wonderful Sisters.  They had a Relief Society Activity where they were doing a recipe exchange.

They also were learning how to make Cranberry Sauce from Scratch.  The plan was to have some Turkey Sandwiches to enjoy the homemade Cranberry sauce on.  Well, unfortunately, 'somebody' walked by the Roaster Oven and unplugged it.  I had left my house to run some errands while the Turkey was cooking.  I returned home ready to grab the Roaster Oven and it's contents.....and....well the Turkey wasn't done cooking.  I was surprised and also scrambling to think of what I could at the time.  So what did I do?  I ran to the local Deli and got sliced Turkey.  I apologized to everyone, and they all laughed.  After plugging it back in, it did cook up beautifully and was enjoyed a couple of hours later.

However, cooking a Turkey ahead of time reduces the stress on the Holiday.  I will write a post soon on how to package and save your excess Turkey later.  However, by cooking your Turkey ahead of time, you only have to heat it up on for your Holiday Dinner.   

Finally, canning or freezing Turkey now will give you many options in the months to come.

Consider it!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

America does have a voice...

(Image courtesy of 101.7 KSAM)
The results are in, the choices have been made.  Some in our country are celebrating and others are greatly concerned about staying the course.  I am grateful to all who matter the outcome.  We know one thing for sure, the make-up of our 3 branches of government essentially remains the same.  We have lived it and should know what is coming down the pike for the next few years.  

As it stands now, in less than 2 months we will all experience a significant tax increase, and in 2014 we will all experience a significant change in health care, which we all will be financially supporting.  We know that there has been a significant drought as of late and that meat and most likely grain prices will soar.  With these realities and many others.....the bottom line essentially requires us all to tighten our belts even more than we have before. 

I see the need for "self-reliance and preparedness" to be the important relevant topics not only now, but in the coming years.  As such, I commit to trying to bring information and skill sets to you (and our family as well) that will assist us all in the path we face.  

If you wish to make suggestions, I would really welcome them.  

No matter the circumstance, there is always a brightness of hope.  Here is a quote from President Howard W. Hunter in 1993:

"So I hope you won't believe all the word's difficulties have been wedged into your decade, or that things have never been worse than they are for you personally, or that they will never get better.  I reassure you that things have been worse and they will always get better.  They always do--especially when we live and love the gospel of Jesus Christ and give it a chance to flourish in our lives"

We have always needed to be a prayerful people.  Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ always have their arms open for us all.  Perhaps this is a reminder for some and a continued pattern for others.

President Hunter also stressed the following:  "Disciples of Christ in every generation are invited, indeed commanded, to be filled with a perfect brightness of hope." in association with the scripture below.  

Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope and a love of God and of all men.  Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father:  Ye shall have eternal life.  (2 Nephi 31:20)

 So let us press forward....we can do this!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

There Is A Lot At Stake.....

There is a lot of stake. I would strongly, strongly encourage you to please prayerfully make a decision...and certainly VOTE! This is such a critical time...there is no room for anyone to be a spectator. If you don't know about the are in luck! By viewing this post, you show that you know how to use the internet and can search to find all the information you may need. 

Be a patriot....use your sacred voice...and VOTE! 

This is The "Little Red Hen"  and I approved this message!

Also, for those who live in HIghland Utah, you will find a discussion and information on Proposition 6 that you may want to take into consideration here.  I particularly found this video of interest from someone who is not of the "majority faith" in this area regarding the Sunday Closure proposition.  See what you think.  
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