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.http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/store/wisc_vegetables.pdf
What will you store this year?
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 have2- 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!
"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. Featherstonehttps://www.lds.org/general-conference/1976/04/food-storage?lang=eng
September is National Preparedness Month.
Each week this month I'll post a weekly challenge of something simple you can do, with no money at all if that's where you are.We should be prepared for what?
Emergencies. Job loss. "Eventualities"... like that earthquake we've been told to expect someday. Illness. Unavailability of water because somebody broke a water main. Power outages, long or short. You name it.Life.
Here's a quick overview of some good recommendations for Personal or Family Emergency Planning
Items to consider may include:
•Three-month supply of food that is part of your normal daily diet.
•Longer-term supply of basic food items.
•Medication and first aid supplies.
•Clothing and bedding.
•Ways to communicate with family following a disaster
for more information.WEEK 1 CHALLENGE:
Create a family emergency contact plan and share it with your immediate family so everyone knows what to do, where/who to call or text, who will be your out-of-state contact, what are the emergency plans at your kids' schools, workplace, how to get people back home...
The link below has a simple form you can use, and the second page of it has cards to fill out with the info you need, for you or your children to carry. http://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/Family_Emegency_Plan.pdf
Will you accept the challenge? I'd love to hear what you did.
Do you have wheat stored, but haven't been able or willing to spend $250 on a grain mill? Have you wondered if there's a way to make bread with it anyhow? THERE IS! This bread is moist, tender, with a good crumb and impressive natural gluten strength. The overnight soak is the magic trick here: as the mash sits, enzymes break down proteins and allow gluten to begin forming on its own, enzymes break down starches into sugars for flavor and to feed the yeast you add the next day, and the soaking lets the little hard bits of wheat soften up, leaving no trace of grittiness or graininess. You will not need to add dough enhancer, Vitamin C, vinegar, vital wheat gluten, or any thing else to get great !
If you use the 2 1/2 c of wheat kernels, the bread ends up about 2/3 whole wheat; if you use a high-speed blender (like BlendTec or Vitamix) , you can use 3 cups and end up with bread that is 85% whole wheat.
Blender Wheat Bread
2 1/3 cups (17 oz) wheat kernels (65% ) OR 3 cups- 22oz , if using a Vitamix
2 1/2 cups water
Combine in blender; mix on high speed for two minutes. If it seems too hard on your motor, add 2 Tbsp. water. Let the mash soak, covered and at room temperature, 8 hours or overnight. After soaking, add:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (11 oz)
1 ½ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. honey
4 ½ tsp. yeast (1 ½ Tbsp. or 2 envelopes)
1/4 c. hottest tap water (no hotter than 130 F)
Knead for five minutes, dough should be just thick enough to clean the bowl's sides. Add flour if needed, but the dough should be tacky and very soft. It’s had enough kneading when it passes the windowpane test. (See slide show.) Cover and let rest 20 minutes. Coat two 8x4 loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Pour ½ cup water on the oven floor (avoid the heating element!). Turn the oven on 350 degrees for ONE MINUTE to warm it, then turn heat off. Divide dough in half. With wet hands, shape each loaf and place in a pan. Place pans in the warmed oven. When the top of the loaf has risen about ½” above the edge of the pan (around 30-40 minutes later), remove from oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. When oven is hot and dough has risen to about ¾” above the rim, bake loaves for 20-25 minutes, until the sides are browned. Remove from pans; cool on a rack at least 20 minutes before slicing.
If using a high -speed blender, use 3 cups of wheat kernels in the mash. When adding flour the next day, use 1 1/2 cups flour instead of the 2 1/2 cups.
How long can a soaker sit? It’s best right around 8-12 hours up to 24 hrs. If you need to have it go longer, refrigerate it from the beginning to slow down enzyme activity.
How high does the ideal proof go? (3/4”) Does the poke test work? Yes if you use a wet finger or have let it rise uncovered.
How smooth can I get the puree in a blender, and does it matter much? It doesn’t need to be super smooth with this method; soaking eliminates any hard bits.
How long does it take to rise without a warm oven? Depends on your kitchen temperature, but around 1 hour.
Is the 20 minute autolyze necessary for flavor or texture? It’s OK without it, but rises better and tastes a little nicer (sweeter) with it.
How many minutes does it need to rise in the oven? About 30-40.
How long does it really take to bake at 400? This depends on whether your loaves are identical in size, where any hot spots are in your oven, and how accurate its thermometer is. My evenly-sized loaves took 21 min.
Have you heard that you can bottle butter at home to store for later, without refrigeration?
The first time I heard about it was from my aunt a few years ago. Then I kept hearing about it, here and there and everywhere!
It sounded kind of strange. And scary-- what about botulism? So I did some research.
The FDA discourages canning butter, as do the USU Extension offices around the country, because of the risk of botulism growth in canned butter. HOWEVER, it looks to me that this is a case of erring on the safe side. They, as government entities, are very averse to any kind of risk. Botulism has about a 10-17% death rate in those who get it, though with the low incidence of this kind of food poisoning, it translates to 2-4 deaths in the US per year. Lightening kills way more people (about 55-75/yr).Botulism does not grow if the water "activity level" is below .94; salted
butter has a water activity rate of .91-.93.
The added salt helps 'tie up' the water, making it unavailable. That should be in the perfectly safe range, but is apparently too close to comfort for the FDA, who require a water activity rate of .85 in commercially-sold foods
. I would not
butter; its water activity rate is .99
or higher. Another option is to make the butter into ghee before canning, well-made ghee has no water remaining in it. I wasn't able to find what the water activity rate of ghee is, but logic leads me to believe it is under even the FDA comfort range. I've canned both salted butter and ghee. I'm more comfortable with the ghee.
If you'd like to read more about it to decide if canning butter or ghee is okay with you, here are some of the sources I learned from:http://www.ecolab.com/our-story/our-company/our-vision/safe-food/microbial-risks/c-botulinum http://books.google.com/books?id=ylWey_KBv7UC&pg=PA337&lpg=PA337&dq=%22water+activity%22+of+%22salted+butter%22&source=bl&ots=18uZLS840j&sig=W8RCozWeTS_FcDIa-MkuRJPJu6I&hl=en&sa=X&ei=jeYFUcTWEc6tygHixICQDA&ved=0CEQQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22water%20activity%22%20of%20%22salted%20butter%22&f=false http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK50952/
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
72 Hour Kits
South Jordan City
Water Reclamation and Rehydration
Grab & Run Ideas
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
When else can you get another vegetable for under twenty cents a pound?
You may even get them for free if you ask a farmer, or grocer, right AFTER Halloween. I was able to glean from two different farm fields last year!
I saw an interesting thing, as I was looking for pumpkins in good condition: one man was walking around with a hatchet and a bucket. He wasn't after the pumpkins; he wanted the seeds! It didn't matter if the pumpkin was shriveled or damaged; each pumpkin was chopped open and the seeds scooped out.
Most people look at pumpkins as merely decorations. They are great for giving your yard or home that homey, autumn feel. But one cup of pumpkin (only 49 calories!) is also high in fiber (3 g) and beta-carotene (Vitamin A- 2650 IU), plus calcium (37mg), potassium (564mg), magnesium (22mg), along with smaller amounts of iron, zinc, selenium, Vitamin C, Niacin, folic acid, and Vitamin E. See University of Illinois Extension or Nutritiondata . That's just the pumpkin. The seeds also provide exceptional nutrition.
If you'd like to know how to turn that festive decoration into a form you can eat, it's simple. Basically, you clean it, cook it, and mash or puree it. I much prefer the flavor of fresh pumpkin to that from a can. It can be frozen for later use, dried and powdered, pressure-canned in chunks, or stored whole in a cool (55-70 degrees), dark, dry location. They can last the whole winter stored whole. I stored a Hubbard squash last November; I finally cut into it in July this summer. It was perfect.
For more detailed instructions for cooking it, along with a few dozen recipes, see The Great Pumpkin recipe book. To get cooking instructions and just a few of my favorite recipes-
Pumpkin Chili, Pumpkin-Pecan Yeast Bread, Pumpkin Muffins, and Pumpkin Pie-
see the Pumpkin Class Handout.
My teenaged son and I were talking about the crazy economic week the nation (world!) is having. I mentioned that the DOW had lost a fourth of its value in a weekend, and gold had gone from $1400/oz to $1800/oz. He stared at me, and said, "I told you we should have bought gold!"
Nah, I'm not interested in it- if I pooled all available resouces, I'd be able to buy about one handful of gold. Wheat, on the other hand, is two cents an ounce (already in a bucket for you at Macey's this week). And I can eat that. The line I've repeated to my older children over the last couple years is, "I can't afford gold, but I can afford wheat. And I can eat wheat."
Are you feeling concerned about the future? The Lord told us, "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." (D&C 38:30). More on that below. The biggest part is being prepared spiritually- living with faith and trust in the Lord. He will do what will help us become better, more righteous people. Trials are essential to that. Are you also prepared with food and supplies? I do not advocate rushing out and going into debt to get everything; I do encourage you to pinch and scrape this month to get the most value out of your money, before the value changes again. Buying the absolute basics- wheat, rice, oil, sugar, dry beans, salt, powdered milk- will stretch your money the most. Do you have an entertainment budget for the month? A budget for dates? Take that, just this month, and use it for food you can have on hand in your house. Wheat has doubled in price since 2009; talk about a great investment! I love eating at 2-years-ago prices.
Here in Utah we enjoy a phenomenon called The Case Lot Sale. As best I can tell, this is because of the high concentration of Mormons here and our unique buying habits; we have been taught since the church's early days (1800's) to have plenty of extra food and supplies at home. The case lot sales are when the stores offer great prices on many items, usually the lowest prices of the year, and sometimes with an extra discount if you buy an entire case of something. We enjoy the sales once or twice a year, depending on the store. They are a big part of my budget shopping, along with the price book idea- I buy nearly all of my groceries only when on sale. When canned green beans hit their best price, I buy enough for the coming year. Then I don't buy any more for the rest of the year, when they're at least twice the price. This makes for an expensive Case Lot month, but the months after are much cheaper as a result.
This week Macey's and Fresh Market both have case lot sales. See the Deals page for what the best prices are. All of the long-term-storage foods I've listed there are close to, or cheaper than, the Home Storage Center prices. The only exception is the Country Cream powdered milk, but it tastes better than the HSC's. It's still a good deal, too.
The following excerpts from an article are from Ezra Taft Benson, then an Apostle, 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. I recommend that you read through the whole 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.”
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are counseled to have three months’ worth of everyday food on hand, and then store more, longer-term storage foods, where possible. This has typically been defined as a “Year’s Supply”, at least in the last couple generations. Having food on hand is an invaluable part of being self-reliant. It’s insurance, if you will, for times of unexpected illness, disability, unemployment, power outages, or for when a neighbor down the street needs a meal. It’s also handy for sharing with a local food bank. (Hint, hint: right now their supplies are very low!)Once you get three months’ worth, how much will a year’s supply of food cost you? When you look at your monthly grocery bill, is it overwhelming to think of buying more? I looked an emergency supply store’s catalog; they advertise a basic year’s supply of food for ‘just’ $1,299.99. For one person. They list options of up to $3800 per person per year. Is it really that much money to get a year’s supply?Adding up all the 7 essentials, purchasing them mostly at the Home Storage Center, a month’s worth of food for one person is $25.31. This provides about 2200 calories a day; the catalog’s has 2000.A year’s worth for one adult is $303.86. (It was $194.76 in 2010. That’s an increase of 56%. How’s that compare to your 401(k)? I’m quite sure food will go up more. It is a great investment! Wouldn’t you like to eat at last year’s prices?)Figure in that you’re getting your year’s supply after building your three-month supply; that knocks it down to getting nine months’worth; $227.90 per adult
SO, if you really want to spend $1299.99 plus tax, you could buy a year’s supply for not just one person, but for FOUR adults. Yes, it’s different food than the ‘gourmet’ version ($3800), but here’s the counsel we’ve been given: "We encourage members world-wide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings.” “For longer-term needs….gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive” (from All is Safely Gathered In, First Presidency pamphlet) If you’re storing food for children, plan on 50% of the amount for age 3 and under, 70% for ages 3-6, 90% for ages 7-10, and 100% for ages 11 and up. Or store as much as you would for an adult, and have enough to share.
For great recipes using this stored food, see my Favorite Resources page
, under "Cooking and Recipes
____________________________________Here is the cost breakdown:Grains, 300 lbs- if you get 100 lbs each of wheat , rice, and oats, at the Home Storage Centers they cost between $11.45 and $15.45 for 25 lbs. depending on if you get white or red wheat, rice, quick- or regular- oats. If you average this out, it will cost you $13.55 per person, per month. $162.60 per year’s worth. This category doubled in price from early 2010. Your daily allotted amount would be about 2 ½ cups of flour, or about the size of a loaf of bread.Milk, 16 lbs is $1.89/lb at the cannery, which is $2.52 per month, $30.24 per year. Daily amount is just under ¾ cup of reconstituted milk. This is enough to cook with, not enough to drink very often. For instance, making your loaf of bread would/could use up this entire amount.Sugar, 60 lbs is $ .85/lb there, $4.23 per month, $50.76 per year. Daily amount is just about 1/3 cup, but keep in mind you’ll probably want to use it to help bottle fruit or make jam, as well as for making your bread or breakfast oatmeal.Oil, 10 qts –this isn’t sold at the cannery, but the last good sale price I found was $2.50 for 1 ½ quarts (48 oz.) At that price, after tax, it’s $1.43 per month, $17.17 per year. It’s only $14.38 if you buy it at Sam’s Club ($6.98 + tax for 5 qts.) .) Daily amount: about 2 ½ teaspoons; will also be used in making bread. Fat is necessary to help you digest fiber, as well as to access the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.Salt, 8 lbs- 4# box at Costco or Sam’s Club is a dollar; $ .16 per month, $2 per year. Daily amount: about 2 tsp. It never hurts to store extra salt; it is an excellent preservative for meats and more.Legumes, 60 lbs– the cannery sells black beans, pinto, and white, from $16.00 to $18.55 for 25 lbs. Averaging the prices, it’s $3.42 a month, $41.09 per year. Daily amount: about ½ cup dry, or 1 ½ cups cooked.In addition to the above, storing some water is an essential part of your home storage. Plan on 1 gallon per person per day, for 2 weeks (14 days). This is enough to drink, and not much else. Water, 14/gal/person- You can store this for free by using 2- and 3- liter pop bottles, or juice containers (not milk jugs- they break down). Or use the 5-gallons square jugs or big blue barrels; they’ll run you about $1 per gallon of storage. Total daily food allotment: 1 loaf of bread, 1/3 c. sugar for cooking or preserving, 1 ½ cups of beans, 2 ½ tsp. oil, a little salt, ¾ c. of milk. You won’t get fat on this, but it will keep you alive. It also stores in a fairly small amount of space.When you’re done storing these items, you might decide to add a few ‘gourmet’ items- spices, flavorings, and unsweetened cocoa are high on my list here, as are non-hybrid garden seeds. Practice growing them now; you can save seeds from what you grow, for next year’s crop.Notice that the costs were just for food, not containers to store them in. Most of my storage containers cost nothing. You CAN get buckets for free, with a little effort- most bakeries give them away; all their frostings and fillings come in those buckets. Plan on washing them at home. There are two main sizes; 5 gallon and 2 ½ gallon. I keep packages of dried fruit in the smaller buckets, also cornmeal or other things that I don’t use as much. They are a great size for a pantry, too. Some of the buckets have gaskets, some don’t. The ones that don’t seal well are still good for storing sugar.If you want all your wheat, powdered milk, sugar, and legumes in #10 cans from the cannery, it will cost you $86 more to get a full year’s worth, $65 to do 9 months.I don’t can my wheat, sugar, or beans because we go through large quantities; one batch of bread would use a whole can. It’s pretty silly storage for me. Besides, it’s easier for me to find space for 10 buckets than 60 #10 cans; they hold about the same amount of food.
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 http://www.theprovidenthomemaker.com/1/post/2010/11/what-to-do-now-in-the-garden-fruit-leather.html___________________________ 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 http://www.organicemily.com ____________________________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.”