Thursday, December 27, 2012

Looking to the new year.....

Image courtesy of
I have really enjoyed our Christmas break thus far.  Having a little 'down time' (which, by the way is really unusual for me), I have been thinking about the what the New Year will bring. Unless you live under a rock, there is a looming financial challenge facing the United States and despite your political leanings, it will hurt.

This is not the only challenge facing us.  I wish to quote from the USDA:

Food Price Outlook, 2012-2013
Retail food prices, despite the severe drought in the Midwest, have been flat in 2012. The food-at-home Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased a total of 0.3 percent from January to November 2012. Prices rose for beef and veal, poultry, fruit, and other foods in 2012; however, prices fell for pork, eggs, vegetables, and nonalcoholic beverages. For the remaining food categories, prices remained unchanged for the most part. The drought has affected prices for corn and soybeans as well as other field crops which should, in turn, drive up retail food prices. However, the transmission of commodity price changes into retail prices typically takes several months to occur, and most of the impact of the drought is expected to be realized in 2013.
Based on these conditions, ERS's inflation forecast for both all food and food-at-home (grocery store) prices in 2012 remains unchanged at 2.5 to 3.5 percent. Looking ahead to 2013, inflation is expected to remain strong for most animal-based food products due to higher feed prices. Furthermore, inflation should be above the historical average for food categories such as cereals and bakery products as well as other foods.
I agree that it will take several months for us to feel the impact of the drought.  I see this as a level of good news.  Purchase your animal based food products now, right now.  Plan on stocking up on meats in particular.  However, you may be surprised to know that the following items will also be impacted:

So, what is the big deal for "Gelatine?"  Well, you know that Gummy Bears you like and all the Jello your kids like....guess what, they require Gelatin.  In particular, I use this product when I make my own Gummies or Fruit Snacks. 

Image courtesy of Cornishwareresearch
Do you like that flakey crust?  How about your French Fries at the local fast food restaurant?  What about those Refried Beans? These and many other products use Lard.

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Vitamin D-3 is often used for better heart-health and is often prescribed by your health care provider.

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Whey is also an animal based product.  You can find Whey used in foods like crackers, cookies, and bread products.  If you partake of candy bars, pastry mixes, non-fat ice cream, and fast food entrees with 'cheese', please know these contain Whey.  This product is also found in cereals, and some beverages, and in particular....if you are a fan of McDonald's thick will pay more for your favorite.   

In regard to long-term storage, there are several brand-named milk substitutes that are made from Whey.  Some that you may be familiar with are brands like Morning Moo, Delight Milk Substitute,  and Instant Milk Alternative,   If you have been looking to stock up or if you use these products regularly, the good news is that you should stock up now.

Image courtesy of

Stearic and Lactic acids are also animal based products.  Why should you be concerned?  Well, these items are used to condition dough. They help to bind oils to things that they normally do not bind to.  If one is a vegetarian, this is a product that is often avoided.  

Lactic acid is contained in carbonated drinks and dressings.  

So, take the opportunity and stock up now on the items that you store or wish to store.  Save the funds now...because we may need the additional funds to pay for the political financial folly that we all see playing out in Washington.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  I hope you and your family enjoy your day together.

My gift to you is this blessed reminder of the birth of our Savior.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Pray for the Children....

The following video was posted by "Simply Living Smart".

Another One of My Favorite Things......

Image Courtesy of Bling Berry
Continuing in the series of my "Favorite Things", here is yet another one.  This is a collapsible bottle that can easily fit in a purse, 72 hour kit, or any bag.  I like the fact that it has a clip that can be placed on a backpack, or a belt loop if you desire.

This bottle holds 16 oz. and comes in different colors.  It also has a strip to write a person's name or to label the contents.  You can order them from Bling Berry directly.

This is is a great gift or stocking stuffer.

Consider it.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A few of my favorite things....More light on the subject!

Courtesy of

Continuing along with sharing some of my 'Favorite Things', here is another that I just love.

So what is it?  What is it used for?  Why is it one of my 'Favorite Things'?  Well, let's check it out:

1. What is it?  Mason Jar Oil Lamp Burner Chimney Holder

2. What is it used for?  Turn Mason Jars Into Nostalgic Oil Lamps

Courtesy of
3.  Why do I like it?  Because it makes so much sense!  I received 4 of these for just under $20.00.  So, in an emergency, I can change of the many jars I have into a lamp!

I ordered my from Amazon, but if you do a Google search, you will find several sites that carry these.

Consider it!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things....Shedding Light on the Subject

Image Courtesy of Dollar Tree
I am continuing my little series of "my favorite things" that can be used as gifts for yourself or for others.  We have all seen these little solar lights for the yard. I even picked some of them up at the Dollar Store a couple of years ago. Why would I have these for Emergency Preparedness?  Well, they recharge with sunlight....and can be a light for you if your power goes out.  They can be placed in a tall glass on the counter/table to help light up your room.  There are no oils, flames, or additional equipment required.  These happen to be small, but you can purchase larger ones.  And, an added bonus, they can charge your rechargeable batteries during the day if you need to use them for something else at night.  Such a little work-horse for a very small price.

Consider it!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things....Continued

Image courtesy of apartmentherapy

I recently purchased these "go towels" for my 72 hour kit.  They aren't baby wipes, but a cloth made of bamboo that expands to 20" x 15" when it gets wet.  They are sturdy as well and reportedly can be used over again.  I just haven't tried to do that yet.  They can be obtained from several sources ranging from $11.00 to $15.00 for a pack of 10. 

Just another little gift that could just as easily fit into a stocking as it can a 72 hour kit!

Consider it!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

In light of recent events......

I never want to feel like do not have options.  To avoid this, educating yourself about things you can and should do in different situation becomes paramount.  Not that this video could have changed the outcome of Friday's tragic event, you can see elements of this video that did take place.  One of the heroic teachers, Vicki Soto, hid her students in closets and told the gunman that they were in Gym class.  Many of the teachers followed the drill that they had practiced in case of an emergency. They placed their students in a protected corner, turn out the lights, and locked the door.  A 6-year-old had the presence of mind to lead several students out of harms way and out of the school.   Finally, Principal Dawn Hochsprung  reportedly lunged at the gunman in an effort to protect her beloved students.

If these individuals had not taken the steps that they did, who knows how many more victims there may have been?

Take a moment and 'educate' yourself by watching this video.  Become aware, not paranoid.  Perhaps you can save a life in a time of conflict....which may be your own.

A few of my favorite things.....

Well, I have been a little AWOL lately because there have been so things that I have needed to do. Yes, my plate has been a little full.  However, I have been planning to share with you "some of my favorite things" that you might want to consider as gifts this Christmas season.  Yes, they are of the preparedness vein, but I think they are cool as well.  I will be sharing several of these with you before Christmas over the next few days.

Food Saver Jar Attachment:  These come in mouth and Regular mouth sizes.  They traditionally do not come with the Food Saver unit themselves.  These are great for 'dry canning'. Foods that have oil or have fine particles lend themselves to these well. Reportedly, things dry-packed this way can last up to 7-9 years.  Try Rice, particularly my favored Brown Rice. I also have other more 'exotic' rice that I like to store. This is a perfect way to purchase large amounts and store.  Think about your Chocolate Folks!  This is a great way to keep it from going rancid!

Also, you can use this to help Marinate meats in jars (to put in your refrigerator while Marinating) on the same day you are going to prepare your meats for a meal.  

Here is Kellene Bishop from Preparedness Pro demonstrating how to do it.  Learn from the Pro herself!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Good Tidings of Great Joy...

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released several new videos focusing on the Bible this year.  Here is their most recent release...just in time for Christmas.  In light of the sad events of today, perhaps remembering the great gift of the Savior can remind us of the eternal opportunities that have been made available to us all.

May we all remember the families impacted by today's violence in our prayers and hug our children and grandchildren even tighter.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cooking a my Grill!

Don't you ever wish you had an additional oven when you are cooking a big meal?  There are other times that you may not want to heat up your kitchen when baking a big item.  Well, look what I did today.  Yes, I really did it.

I removed the upper shelf from the Grill.

I decided to place the shelf diagonally across my grill.

I heated the grill to 350 degrees. This took a little fiddling to get it.  I finally had to use just 2 of 3 dials that come with my grill. Then, when the temperature was steady (this took a few minutes), I got ready to put in the Turkey.  Yes, I really mean a Turkey.

I prepared the Turkey and placed it in a Cooking Bag.  I love these Cooking bags.  They help keep the meat moist and contain the drippings.   Now, notice the grey wire.  I placed the probe into the turkey (not touching the bone).

The other end of the wore is attached to this Device.   It is an Onieda Digital Probe that I bought at Bed-Bath-and Beyond. It allows you to program the temperature that you are seeking and will 'beep' to let you know when it have been achieved.  This is how you can cook your Turkey and know when it is done without opening the lid of the grill.  This is important because each time you open the lid, you loose a significant amount of heat.

I placed the monitor on the counter next to the grill.  You can see that when I put the turkey into the was late afternoon.  By the time it was finished, it was early evening.

Here is the turkey just after the lid to the grill was opened.  Just in case you wanted to know, the little plastic device that 'pops' to show that the Turkey is done had actually popped.

I brought the Turkey inside and opened the bag.  The meat actually fell off the bones.  This bird was cooked beautifully.

I had Rooster Senior carve the Turkey and place it on a platter.

With a little more carving, the Turkey will be ready for the "Break the Fast" dinner with the Young Single Adults tomorrow.  I will reheat it in the oven along with the Spiral Ham.  If you remember from a previous post...there is no meat at these meals.  This time, the Bishop asked that we bring some!  I don't think it will be around long!

Take away points:

  • You can bake in your Grill.  I have actually baked bread in my grill and it came out just great.
  • It was important to raise the Turkey off the grill surface so that it was centered in the Grill/Oven.  That way the heat could circulate around the Turkey better.  The meat was not charred on the bottom.
  • I put soap on the bottom of the Pan to avoid darkening my pan.
  • The backyard smelled great!
  • This could really be a great consideration if you do not have power and the contents of your freezer are thawing.  

You can bake in the Grill.  You have to watch the temperature initially to make sure you have your settings working correctly.  It is a great option and will free up your oven(s) in the kitchen.  I think I will do this again.  It was so simple and the probe made all the difference.

Try it!

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