There are lots of fresh foods you can store without needing a freezer, canner, or fridge.  I haven't built a root cellar, but discovered that different places in my yard, garage, and house have the right conditions for several of these foods.
Potatoes are happy on my bare garage floor until late January. After January they have to be moved up 1-2 feet, onto the cement stairs, to avoid freezing. Same with onions. Apples are better in the garage on the workbench, which is a couple feet off the ground and a few degrees warmer (but still cold). Pumpkins are happy in the basement or in a dark closet, off the floor so they avoid moisture. Carrots and parsnips are fine to leave in the ground, covered with a pile of dead leaves or a thick layer of straw if I want any hope of digging them during the winter. Otherwise they can be dug in spring, after the winter cold has made them sweeter.The link below is a 5-page handout from the University of Wisconsin which lists types of foods, their ideal storing temperature and any necessary humidity, expected length of storage, and plans for creating your own root cellar.

What will you store this year?

Week 4- make a plan to obtain the food storage. Do something to start. What you do depends on where YOU are and what your circumstances are.  This article is a good starting point.  
This post is longer, in order to try to give pointers and resources to everyone in every stage of preparedness.  Use what's useful, ignore the rest until you're ready for it.
If you're trying to figure how on earth to buy that extra food... case lot sales are going on right now, where items are often half the regular price. Some places- like the Bosch Kitchen Centers in Orem, Sandy, and on Highland Drive--  have Conference sales for long-storage items like wheat and honey.  Plus the Home Storage Center has fantastic prices on wheat, beans, and more.  You do not need to be a LDS church member to purchase items there.
Set aside a certain amount of money each month, and use it. For more ideas, see this Conference talk by Elder Featherstone.

Do you need your 3-month supply?  Do you have that in place and are ready to move on to building your long-term ("year") supply?  Do you have long-term storage but just need to get organized or fill in some gaps?  

To build a three-month supply, you and your family decide on 2 weeks of meals that they like.  Figure how much of each food item you need for that two weeks, and multiply by 6.  This gives you three months!  Remember that what you already have counts towards this amount.  I have a series of blog posts on a three-month supply, too.

To build long-term storage, first figure how much you need.  I've compiledinformation about that, here. There's even more, here.  It really is not as overwhelming as it sounds.  You'll likely spend as much money on the three-month supply as you will the entire rest of the year's worth; basics are cheap.  Last time I ran numbers, getting that 9-months-more of storage was under $250 per adult, and less for children. (See the link earlier in this paragraph for children's quantities.)  There is a useful spreadsheet here; feel free to change quantities for the different grains, as long as the total remains 300-400 lbs.

"Food storage is often characterized by worldly critics as eccentric — just steps away from building a nuclear bomb shelter under your house and stocking it with guns, ammo and dehydrated rations.

If you have held back from applying your imagination and effort to storing some necessities for a rainy day, let me ask this: Have you ever saved for your child’s education? Have you ever hurried to buy airline tickets a month in advance of Christmas, because you knew that available seats would disappear if you waited longer?

Do you pay for health, disability, auto, or life insurance, even though you are healthy and able, you don’t plan to be in an auto accident, and you are indeed alive and well? Then you are a candidate for food storage and a provident lifestyle.

Even if you never use your food storage for an emergency if you store what you eat and eat what you store and you will always be eating at last year’s prices. You will never have to pay full price for food in the future. Even food goes on sale. It is really that simple. Who wouldn’t love that?" -Carolyn Nicolaysen

President Monson said, one year ago, "We should remember that the best storehouse system would be for every family in the Church to have a supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, other necessities of life... Are we prepared for the emergencies in our lives? Are our skills perfected? Do we live providently? Do we have our reserve supply on hand? Are we obedient to the commandments of God? Are we responsive to the teachings of prophets? Are we prepared to give of our substance to the poor, the needy? Are we square with the Lord?

"We live in turbulent times. Often the future is unknown; therefore, it behooves us to prepare for uncertainties. When the time for decision arrives, the time for preparation is past." 
("Are We Prepared?", Sept. 2014 Ensign magazine)

"It requires faith even among the Latter-day Saints to believe the revelations of God, and to prepare themselves for those things which await the world… And what I wish to say to the Elders and to the Latter-day Saints is—Have we faith in God and in his revelations? Have we faith in our own religion? Have we faith in Jesus Christ? Have we faith in the words of the Prophets?...
If we have faith in these things, then we certainly should prepare ourselves for the fulfillment of them.'
-Wilford Woodruff, "The Parable of the Ten Virgins"

Food storage challenge of the week:

Take inventory of what you have.   Include your fridge,  freezer,  pantry,  basement, ... wherever you have food on hand.

Years ago,  Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone suggested three steps to building your food storage:
1- Inventory what you have

2- decide what you will need to bring levels to where they should be.  That gets broken into a couple steps because now the Church recommends having a 3- month supply of your everyday food,  in addition to the long - term storage foods for a year's supply.   More on that later.

3- Work out a time schedule for when you'll have that 3- month and/or year of food.   I'll send more on how to afford that,  next week.

Then,  of course,  begin.   Or, rather,  continue: you already have begun if you have even one can or box of food on hand! 

- Rhonda

"The Lord will make it possible, if we make a firm commitment, for every Latter-day Saint family to have a year’s supply of food reserves…. All we have to do is to decide, commit to do it, and then keep the commitment. Miracles will take place; the way will be opened… We will prove through our actions our willingness to follow our beloved prophet and the Brethren, which will bring security to us and our families.” 
-Vaughn J. Featherstone

Week 2's challenge is to determine how much water YOU should store, and begin working towards that.

Recommended water storage quantity
:  14 gallons per person.  This is enough to meet basic needs for two weeks:  1 gallon per person per day.  Read more about that here.

Free water storage options:  use 2- or 3-liter soda bottles, 2-qt juice bottles, or any other food-grade plastic container that says PETE on the bottom and has a tight-fitting lid. Do not use milk jugs; they eventually weaken and leak.
Other options: You can often find 35- and 55-gallon blue water storage barrels for sale on the local online classified ads; in Utah they’re also at Macey’s grocery store, Industrial Container, emergency supply stores, and sometimes at Walmart. Used barrels are usually sold for one of two reasons:  someone is moving or just tired of storing the barrels, or they’re being sold by a business after having syrup or other liquid in them.  They are the containers soda companies have their syrup in when it comes to them.  Clean them out and they’re great.  There are also larger size containers you can find—100 gallons or more--, either new or used. 
When purchasing new containers, typically count on $.75-1.50 per gallon capacity, i.e. 55-gallon barrel may cost about $50-75.  You can find them cheaper if you watch sales and ads, or sometimes if you join a group buy.                


If you live in or around Salt Lake City area, and would like to learn more about preparedness, you are welcome to attend an Emergency Preparedness Fair.  This fair is sponsored by an LDS stake in South Jordan and is this weekend (1/21).
 It's a free event and open to everyone!  This could be some great preparation for The Great Utah ShakeOut drill on April. 17 this year.

Time and location:
January 21, 2012 10am
LDS SunStone Building - 11543 Keystone Drive, South Jordan, Utah

Classes and Booths include:
First Aid
CPR - New Techniques
Emergency Planning
72 Hour Kits
Questar Gas
South Jordan City
Financial Planning
Water Storage
Water Reclamation and Rehydration
Grab & Run Ideas
Fire Safety
Storing basic foods, and cooking with them (see here for more)

For questions - contact Rich at 801-891-2710 or Rebecca at 801-859-6841

Have you found good deals on strawberries?  Or are your plants starting to produce them?  We love to make and eat strawberry leather, though I often mix strawberry puree with applesauce or any other mashed fruit, to make the strawberries go farther.  For a simple way to make fruit leather, see


If you’re in the Salt Lake valley, I just learned about a lady who puts together group orders every month; she lives just a mile down the road from me.  The prices are great, and the food is good quality.  It comes from a Utah/Idaho farmers’ co-op; most of the items are even organic.  Her website is 


The following excerpts from an article are from Ezra Taft Benson, published in the Ensign magazine, January 1974, entitled “Prepare Ye”.  He repeats D&C 38:30 three times in it (“if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear”), and this talk has been extensively quoted.  It contains at least 12 segments I’ve quoted or heard quoted.  Read through the talk, and see how many pieces of it you’ve heard before.

Here are some excerpts:

“In Matthew, chapter 24, we learn of “famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes. …” (Matt. 24:7.) The Lord declared that these and other calamities shall occur. These particular prophecies seem not to be conditional. The Lord, with his foreknowledge, knows that they will happen. Some will come about through man’s manipulations; others through the forces of nature and nature’s God, but that they will come seems certain. Prophecy is but history in reverse—a divine disclosure of future events.

Yet, through all of this, the Lord Jesus Christ has said: “… if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30.)

…At the April 1937 general conference of the Church [of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints], President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., of the First Presidency, asked: “What may we as a people and as individuals do for ourselves to prepare to meet this oncoming disaster, which God in his wisdom may not turn aside from us?” President Clark then set forth these inspired basic principles of the Church welfare program:

“First, and above and beyond everything else, let us live righteously. … Let us avoid debt as we would avoid a plague; where we are now in debt, let us get out of debt; if not today, then tomorrow.  Let us straitly and strictly live within our incomes, and save a little.

Let every head of every household see to it that he has on hand enough food and clothing, and, where possible, fuel also, for at least a year ahead. You of small means put your money in foodstuffs and wearing apparel, not in stocks and bonds; you of large means will think you know how to care for yourselves, but I may venture to suggest that you do not speculate. Let every head of every household aim to own his own home, free from mortgage. Let every man who has a garden spot, garden it; every man who owns a farm, farm it.” (Conference Report, April 1937, p. 26.)

There are blessings in being close to the soil, in raising your own food, even if it is only a garden in your yard and/or a fruit tree or two. Man’s material wealth basically springs from the land and other natural resources. Combined with his human energy and multiplied by his tools, this wealth is assured and expanded through freedom and righteousness. Those families will be fortunate who, in the last days, have an adequate supply of each of these particulars.”

 Healthful foods, proper rest, adequate exercise, and a clean conscience can prepare us to tackle the trials that lie ahead.”

Bakeries boast if they use a brick oven for their breads.  Why? 
These ovens cook using multiple forms of heat- conduction, radiant, and direct heat.  Add some steam, and you get some seriously fabulous crust on your bread.  Pizza?  You better believe it.  You cook it at an ideal 700 degrees Fahrenheit; a thin-crust pizza is done after only 3 minutes, emerging bubbling and with a lovely smoky flavor.
Cook anything in this that you would in a regular oven.  And when it's cooled down, it can remain the ideal temperature for incubating yogurt, clear through the night.

This type of oven has the fire built on the cooking floor.  Fill the oven with wood, light it, and let it burn for 2-4 hours, until the oven walls glow white-hot.  My thermometer doesn't measure high enough to know how hot this is; it only measures to about 1400 degrees!

Scrape out the fire, quickly scrub off the oven floor, and let the heat "soak"- you're letting the temperature equalize all over the interior.  When the temperature has dropped to what you want, add some steam (for bread baking) by swabbing the oven floor with a wet cloth or mop.  Load it up with your bread, or turkey, or squash, potatoes, casserole, or whatever-- and close the oven door to bake.

It's called an earth oven because it's made using packed earth; in other words, mud.  This makes it very affordable!  I highly recommend Kiko Denzer's book, Build Your Own Earth Oven.  It was invaluable to me, and has many excellent suggestions for making do with what you have locally.  He also has a great overview on Mother Earth News, right here.
You can make a fabulous oven out of nothing but dirt, sand, chopped hay or leaves, and some bricks or tiles.  There are even simpler versions around, using just rocks and dirt. 

Since I opted for several upgrades on this oven, it cost about $200 total. 

Items I got for free:
cinderblocks (a stack was in the yard when we bought the house)
sand (huge sandbox, in the photos' background)
bricks for the oven face

Items purchased included:
bags of cement for a foundation pad
rebar for reinforcing the foundation
rebar for reinforcing the cinder blocks
cement for reinforcing cinder block construction
one used steel entry door
one circular saw blade to cut the steel entry door
about 45 firebricks
1/2 cubic yard of dirt
a couple small buckets of refractory cement
portland cement and a bag of vermiculite, for the insulation layer.
12" of 1" diameter steel electrical duct tubing
one dial-gauge thermometer
mortar, used with the oven face, and some gaps in the cinderblocks

If the pictures below seem overwhelming, here are the steps in short form- prepare an insulated base for the oven; build a sand dome on it; pack moist earth all around  the dome (thermal layer); pack insulation around the thermal layer.  Finish with a breatheable plaster, for longest-lasting results.  The doorway can be molded in as you go, or carved out afterwards.

Sorry, I didn't take any photos before this point.  I poured a slightly sloped foundation pad, reinforced it with rebar, and dry-stacked cinderblocks, leaving some slots for drainage between cinderblocks at the low part (the back) of the pad.  To reinforce the cinderblock walls, I stuck rebar down every 2-3 cells, then filled those (with rebar) with cement.  (I did this because I have roughhousing boys, and live nearby a major  fault line.)  In this photo, half of it is in shadow; the oven floor is meant to be just above waist-high.  The area under the oven is to store wood.  To support the block over the opening, I found a piece of hardi-backer (cement) board.  The top course of cinderblocks were narrower than the ones below, which gave me a spot to place some kind of support for the oven floor.  I bought a used steel entry door and a special saw blade, and cut the door to fit.  On top of that went a layer of sand, for insulation, filled even with the top of the blocks (packed really well).  Firebricks were set snugly together for the oven floor, and a circle scribed in chalk.  This would be the inner diameter of the oven.

The sand was free, but it had lots of rocks- and small toys- mixed with it.  A frame with 1/2" hardware cloth stapled to it worked well for sifting.  If you notice my expanding waist in the next photos, it's because I was 8 months pregnant when I started this project, and 9 months along when it finished.

Build a dome of moist sand; this will be your oven's hollow part later.  There's a height-to-width radio that works most efficiently, but about ratio will give you an oven that cooks. 
The pipe in the middle was to show my required finished height.  Pack the sand really well, or it won't support the weight you're about to put on it.

TIP:  this takes a TON of sand, which you'll have to scoop out later.  At about this point I started added cinderblocks and other large items to the dome. That saved a lot of scooping.  And sifting.

Once the dome is as big as you want, pack and smooth it as best you can. A little water helps, and a board to press and smooth. 
If you want a layer of refractory cement, to help hold heat and protect the inside walls, add it now.  A thin layer, 1/8 - 1/4 " thick, is all you need.

Once that's in place, mix your dirt- er, I mean 'earth'.  It needs to be moist enough to hold together, but not so wet it squishes when you pack it.  You can mix it on a tarp with your feet, or in a wheelbarrow with a shovel.  Starting at the bottom, tightly pack this earth in a layer about 4" high, and the width of your hand.  Use your closed fist to pack it, and a small bucket of the dirt to keep it handy. Spiral your way up the dome, always packing hard onto the layer below.  Don't apply any pressure to the sand dome.  Let this sit for a few days, then scoop out all the sand.

Once the earth layer is complete, add an insulation layer in the same way as the earth layer.  This makes a huge difference in how well your oven retains heat.  You can use more mud, mixed with any organic material- chopped leaves, straw, horse hair, you name it.  They will burn out when the oven heats up, leaving insulating air pockets behind.  This oven's insulation is a mixture of portland cement and vermiculite; I wanted it to be very durable.  Shape this layer with your oven door in place so it fits. 

The pipe sticking out in front of my face is a piece of metal conduit with a fitting to screw on the temperature gauge.  Next time I'll put it down close to the oven floor, which is where the bread bakes.  There's actually about 100-degree (Fahrenheit) difference between the oven floor and where the oven probe sits. 

If you want the oven to dry with as few cracks as possible, build a low fire and let it burn for several hours.

For a brick face-  a chisel and hammer yielded a really poor keystone for the arch.  Improvise to support the arch until it dries.   A bucket and cinderblock came to the rescue here.

The completed oven. 

More completed, with flagstones set around it. 

When using the oven, keep a bucket of water handy. 

I still intend to make a roof for it- Utah winters are rough on it.  There are two eye bolts embedded in the top of the oven- all it will take is a piece of sheet metal, creased at the center to make a sloping roof, and two slits cut in it to slip over the eye bolts.  Twist them, and it should stay on.


Today you get the cookie recipes.  Lest you think the whole cookbook is for treats-- because last week was cakes & frostings-- I'm also giving you the table of contents and index.  (The truth of the matter is that the categories are in alphabetical order.)

Cookies card 1
Cookies card 2
Table of contents and index

A post last week had a short list of seeds you may not need to buy because you have them already.  Here's a longer list of them.  It includes ones I've mentioned before, to put the info in one place.
There are lots of seeds that you may already have at home, that you can plant outside. For instance:

-dry beans  (i.e. pinto beans, Great Northern, kidney, black-eyed peas, garbanzo, Lima, etc.)
-seeds inside a tomato (may or may not be hybrid- look it  up online if it matters to you.  What it grows into will NOT be a hybrid, though!)
-seeds from melons or any winter squash (some are hybrids)
-wheat kernels (good for sprouts, wheat grass, or let it grow to maturity)
-amaranth (good for greens, as well as the seeds)  or quinoa

-flax seed (gives you beautiful blue flowers, more seeds, and fiber if you're interested in spinning...)
-coriander (whole, not ground!) the plant it grows is cilantro; harvest the seeds for more coriander
-mustard seed- the greens are good eating, plus more seeds..
-fennel seed
-celery seed (actually is not celery, you grow this one for the celery-flavored seed)
-aniseed (anise seed)
-other whole spices or herb seeds
-raw unsalted sunflower seeds
-raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
-raw unsalted peanuts

And roots you can plant:

-carrots or parsnips (you'll get ferny foliage and lacy white flowers, followed by lots of seed for next year)
-other root vegetables- beets, turnips, radishes, etc- will give you seeds this season
-onions, garlic, or shallots that are starting to sprout (or not).  You'll get ball-shaped flowerheads, then seeds from them this year, too.
-potatoes that are shrivelling or sprouting- turn that one into several!  -don't throw them away!
-horseradish (a chunk of root from the grocery store will grow)- this is the 2011 Herb of the Year
-ginger root
-Jerusalem artichokes ('sunchokes')

And if you want a tree:

-raw tree nuts- walnut, pecan, hazelnut, almond, etc.
-avocado pits
-seeds from any citrus
-cherry, apricot, pear, plum, peach pits or seeds.  NOTE: these are almost always hybrids.  The fruit it grows will most likely not be the same as you ate.  But it's something, and it's food, and if you don't like it, you can always use it as rootstock for a graft from a neighbor's good tree.  Or firewood.   :D

It's helpful to look online to find the plant's ideal growing conditions and how many days until harvest. 

Tiny Spicy Chicken is great over rice, with a little fruit to help balance out the heat.   Bok choy is great on the side.

Do you have children or grandchildren who are afraid of what’s lurking under their beds?  Here’s the perfect solution, found on Meridian magazine online a couple months ago:

The Monster Under the Bed
"I overheard my two young adult sons talking.  One asked, “Do kids really think there are monsters under their beds?”  The other one answered: 'I never did.  There was always so much food storage under there that I knew there was no room for a monster.'”

 So let's all chase out those monsters!  For a lot of suggestions on storing food when you have little space, see the Food Storage Made Easy page.


This recipe came from a class at the Macey’s in Logan, back when I lived there.  “Tiny Spicy Chicken” was one of the entrees at Mandarin Gardens, a local Chinese restaurant.  Maybe it’s a Cache Valley specialty, because I haven’t run into anyone not  from there who has had this dish. 


Tiny Spicy Chicken

3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1 ½ “ cubes
garlic salt
2 beaten eggs
1 cup cornstarch
¼ c. oil

            Sprinkle chicken with garlic salt, let sit for 1 hour in the fridge.  Heat oil in a large frying pan.  Dip chicken into eggs, then roll or shake in a bag with cornstarch.  Brown chicken pieces in the oil, until golden brown.  Put in a greased 9x13 pan.

Shortcut method: use 1- 1 ½ lbs. fully cooked chicken nuggets, frozen is OK.  (Don't use 3 lbs nuggets; they have too much breading that soaks up this sauce.)

½ -1  tsp. chili paste*

1 c. sugar
½  c. ketchup
2 tsp. soy sauce
Dash of salt
½  c. chicken broth
¼  c. brown sugar
½ c. vinegar

 Sauce will be very runny.  Pour over chicken (if using chicken nuggets, mix the sauce in the 9x13 pan, then add the chicken) and stir to coat.  Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice during that time.  Serve over rice.

Alternate cooking methods: bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, stirring a couple times, or put in a crockpot and cook on low for 5-8 hours.

*Sambal chili paste can be found in the Asian section at Macey's grocery store, it probably can be found at most other grocery stores.  If you don't have it, or can't find it, substitute red pepper flakes.  Start with 1/4 tsp., put it in the sauce, then taste to see if it's as hot/mild as you like.
Chili paste is made from whole, hot chilies, ground up, and mixed with a little vinegar.  It includes the seeds, so it packs a punch.

If you use raw chicken breasts, the recipe takes about 1 1/2 hours to make.  If you start with these, you can have it done in 20 minutes.

Aren't cans and oxygen packets great?  I opened this can just yesterday.  And yes, 6-21-93 was when it was sealed.

The chicken, coated with sauce, ready to bake.

Baking it condenses the sauce and helps it soak into the coating on the chicken.  It's a little sweet, and a little zippy. 


This quote was recently brought to my attention; it’s from some training that our General Relief Society President recently gave.  It is motivating and assuring at the same time.  I am grateful for wise and loving leaders, as well as the Spirit, to guide us.  I know they teach truth.

Below it  is a very adaptable recipe for meatballs/meatloaf.      



“I have a sense and a feeling as we have watched some of these disasters in the world, that this is a time for us to learn and prepare from these experiences.   The preparation happens in our own homes. There are not enough tents in the world to furnish every person with a tent unless the members of the church have a tent in their own homes...a simple thing like that. And then the storehouse is pressed down, heaped over and running over in our own homes. Some of you have student apartments, how prepared are you? If an earthquake or an economic disaster happened, would you have enough water to drink for 24 hours? Would you be able to get by until help could come to you? Those are the kind of the things we need to be thinking about in our day and time, the Lord expects us to do our little part and then He can bring on the miracles and then we don't need to fear.  I bear you my testimony that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and that these principles will strengthen us individually, and as a family, and as a people, and as a church.  As we listen to prophets of God we will be okay.  We don’t need to worry about being alive in this scary time.  The world has had scary times before and the Lord has always taken care of His people who have been faithful.

 –  Julie B. Beck  

see herefor her whole video clip, then click on Training Video: Self-Reliance

Meatballs and meatloaf are essentially the same food; only the size differs.  Burgers or patties can be the same recipe, too.  In the simplest version, you simply salt and season meat, then form and cook it.  To end up with tender, juicy results, you either use higher-fat meat, or use something to help hold the moisture in.  Many recipes call for crushed crackers or dry breadcrumbs, but the most tender results come from making a panade, which is a bread-and-milk paste.  You can also use, in the same amount as the panade,  mashed or grated potato, cooked rice, leftover cooked oatmeal (unsweetened!) or other hot cereal for this. This would make the meatballs be gluten-free.  Dry crumbs soak up more moisture, leaving you with a drier result.  Egg is usually used as a binder, to hold the meat together. And try to not squeeze the meat very much when you’re mixing it; compressed meat is tough.  Other than that, use whatever flavor additions you prefer –

Onion, garlic, ground pepper, Worchestershire sauce, soy sauce, raw pork sausage, Parmesan or other cheese, parsley, rosemary, thyme, nutmeg, Liquid Smoke, bacon pieces, diced chili peppers, shredded zucchini or carrot, chopped mushrooms, bits of sundried tomatoes, chopped spinach.  

 For quick, simple meals later on, make a BIG batch of meatloaf, and shape it into

* a couple meatloaves

*rolled meatloaf- pat into a rectangle on some waxed paper, spread on some filling (cheese and spinach, or whatever sounds good), roll it up with the help of the waxed paper.  (Don’t leave the paper inside it!)

*some meatballs

*mini meat loaves (portions to bake in muffin tins or custard cups)

 Freeze on cookie sheets so they won’t stick together, either before or after cooking them, then pop into freezer bags, squeeze the air out, label and freeze.

For several flavor variations, click on   Tender and Moist Meatloaf and Meatballs .

Tender and Moist Meatballs or Meatloaf

2 slices good-quality white bread, cut in ¼” cubes (1 ½ c.)
3 Tbsp. buttermilk, thinned yogurt or sour cream- milk works but is less creamy
1 egg
1 ½ lbs. lean burger (may use pork sausage as part of this)
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
¼- ½ c. Parmesan cheese
¼ c. minced fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine the bread, buttermilk, and egg, or use 1/2 c. other wet starch (i.e. cooked rice, oatmeal, mashed potato), with the egg, omitting buttermilk.  Mash together until it forms a paste. Add everything else and mix gently.  Form into meatballs, 1- 2” in diameter.  If you’re cooking them right away, they’ll hold together better if you first refrigerate them for an hour. To cook, pan-fry over medium heat in 1-2 Tbsp. oil, shaking the pan often to turn the meatballs.  1 ½” meatballs should be done in about 10 minutes.  Add to sauce, or cool and freeze.

Another way to cook them is:

Put meatballs on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 450 degrees F for 12-15 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet back-to-front halfway through.  Partially cool, then freeze.


Mix, form into a loaf, and bake for 1 hour @ 350 F. Before the last 15 minutes, brush with
Meatloaf glaze:

1/4 c. ketchup
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. cider vinegar
This is the panade mixed with the seasonings; eggs are mixed in before adding the meat.  There are so many eggs because this is for a ten-pound batch of meatballs/loaf.

Fully mixed.  A small icecream scoop (this is a #10) makes quick work of meatballs.   Another way to make evenly-sized ones is to pat the meat in a square or rectangle, then cut them into evenly-sized small squares.  Roll each one.  One pound of meatball mixture will give you about 30 1-inch balls.

Put the meatballs on a lightly greased or sprayed cookie sheet.  For the roundest meatballs, roll them between your hands.  You can bake them now, and freeze them already cooked, or freeze them raw.  Put the whole tray in the freezer.  When they're solid, remove and put the meatballs in a freezer-safe bag or container.  Squeeze out the extra air, label, and put back in the freezer. 

The individually-frozen meatballs packaged and ready to go in the freezer. They're best if used within a few months, but they'll be safe to eat for much longer.  (I've used 2-year-old meatballs before.)