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"

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.

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.
•Drinking water.
•Financial reserves.
•Longer-term supply of basic food items.
•Medication and first aid supplies.
•Clothing and bedding.
•Important documents.
•Ways to communicate with family following a disaster

See providentliving.org for more information.

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.


Will you accept the challenge?  I'd love to hear what you did.

(originally from 3/4/10)

Today the information is from two Internet sources:

Here’s a link to Bishop Keith B. McMullin (Bishop for the whole church) speaking on Family Home Storage:http://providentliving.org/channel/0,11677,1706-1,00.html   click on TV icon in upper right corner of page. It’s about a one-minute clip, and very good, simple advice to listen to.

At http://www.utahpreppers.com/2009/10/food-storage-short-life-supply/ there is a good post on a three-month supply- starting it, using it, maximizing shelf time, replacing it, advantages of having it. 

And just a note: remember the email about storing vegetables without a ‘real’ root cellar?  Yesterday (March 3) we ate butternut squash from last year’s garden, it was delicious!  I kept it, along with a couple pumpkins and a giant zucchini, in a dark basement room.  They’ve been just been sitting on top of a couple food storage buckets; I learned a couple years ago that they spoil quickly with moisture, so they can’t sit on a cement floor. They’ve stayed about 65 degrees there, so it requires nothing unusual.  One pumpkin got dropped a month ago, bruising it, so one side has started to go soft.  Maybe we’ll have pumpkin pie tomorrow, to use it before it spoils.  The other pumpkin is still perfect, and the zucchini, well, now there’s an interesting experiment.  It really is big, about 18” long, and bigger around than my hands can reach.  It sat on my counter for about a month, until I decided it might as well go downstairs to see what would happen.  It has blanched.  It slowly lost its green color, now hardly any is left, but it’s still firm.  I’ll let you know how it cooks up.

How’s your food storage coming?  Are you finding the joys in shopping from your own pantry?  Is it saving you trips to the store?  Mine is a great blessing to me and my family.  I love feeling that we could weather whatever economic storm comes our way.   This is also the third month on the three-month challenge.  If you’re not 2/3 of the way there, don’t panic or give up, just start.  If you are that far or more, go look at your shelves/freezer of food and admire your work, and thank the Lord for it.


Spreadable Butter
2 cubes butter, softened
1 c. oil, use olive oil if you like
¼  tsp. salt

Beat butter until smooth; while beating slowly add in olive oil, then salt.  Pour in whatever size container you want it in; store in refrigerator.   Make any quantity you like- you’ll always use equal amounts of butter and oil, and some salt for flavor.

Snow Ice Cream

1 cup milk, evaporated milk, or cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla or other flavor
6-8 cups fresh clean snow (6 c. if heavy, wet; 8 if powdery)

 Mix together milk, sugar, and vanilla.  Pour over snow.  Mix well and eat right away.
You may substitute a can of sweetened condensed milk for the milk and sugar- tastes good, but costs more.

Ah, a lonely jar from 'way back when'; 1999, in this case.  It's still sealed, but not so appetizing-looking anymore. 

Turn it into cake!  Since I was using pineapple as the fruit, I omitted the cloves and nutmeg from the recipe, left in the cinnamon, and added shredded coconut, which makes for a nice toasty topping.

Yesterday I pulled a 5-pound jug of honey out of my storage room.  It had mostly crystallized, so it sat in a pan of hot water all night, on low heat, to melt.  As it sat there, I noticed a price sticker on the lid; one from Storehouse Markets, from when we lived in Orem fifteen years ago.  (Yes, honey will last forever!)  It said $4.99.  That means the shelf price of honey has TRIPLED in fifteen years. 
Prices for food always rise year-to-year; especially now with the Fed’s “quantitative easing” (QE2) going on.  If you want to see what experts are predicting now, with QE2, take a look at
http://inflation.us/foodpriceprojections.html .   This group, the National Inflation Association, is a very credible source.  To see how they reached their conclusions, click on their pdf link, in the document.The long and short of it is that your money will go much further right now than it will in a few months, especially with the harvest shortages we’ve had worldwide this year.   

How much will your year’s supply cost you right now?  Adding up all the essentials, a month’s worth of food for one person is $16.23.  No kidding.

A year’s worth for one person is  $194.76

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;

$146.07 per adult.

It’s even less for children: quantities for age 3 and under= 50%, ages 4-6= 70%, ages 7-10= 90%, ages 11 and up= 100%.

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, LDS First Presidency pamphlet)

Here are quantities and current costs:

Grains, 300 lbs- if you get just wheat and oats, at the Home Storage Center they cost between $5.80 and $8.15 for 25 lbs. depending on if you get white or red wheat, quick or regular oats.  If you average this out, it will cost you $6.98 per person, per month.  $83.70 per year’s worth.

Milk, 16 lbs is $1.40/lb at the HSC, which is $1.87 per month, $22.40 per year.

Sugar, 60 lbs is $ .56/lb there, $2.80 per month, $33.60 per year.

Oil, 10 qts –this isn’t sold at the HSC, but the price at Macey’s last week 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.)

Salt, 8 lbs- 4# box at Costco or Sam’s Club is a dollar; $ .16 per month, $2 per year.

Legumes, 60 lbs– the Home Storage Center sells black beans, pinto, and white, from $14.10 to $16.30 for 25 lbs.  Averaging the prices, it’s $2.99 a month, $35.92 per year.

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. If you already have the minimum water, and your long-term foods stored as well, you might consider storing even more water.  One source is http://familywatertanks.com ; they’re the cheapest big-size tanks I’ve seen.  They’re local for us, too.

When you’re done storing the basics, you will probably decide to add a few ‘gourmet’ items, they’re nice to have—I’m a big proponent of storing spices and chocolate!- but the basics are what is essential.  Cheapest, too.

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 $85.83 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.  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.

* * * * * * *
Do you have an odd bottle of old fruit lying around?  Do you have peaches than look more ‘tan’ than ‘peach’?  Don’t throw them out (unless they’ve come unsealed, or are foamy, or the juice has turned opaque!)- make something with them!  Smoothies are a good use, as well as the following recipe.  Eggless cakes were fairly popular in the 30’s and 40’s, when eggs were often hard to come by. 


1 qt. fruit, undrained and blended
2 c. sugar
1/2- 3/4  c. oil
4 c. flour

1 t. salt
1 Tbsp. baking soda (originally this was 4 tsp, see note below)
1 t. nutmeg
4 t. cinnamon

1 t. cloves
1/4- 1 c. nuts, raisins, dates, coconut (opt.)

 Use fruit that has been sitting at room temperature. Sift dry ingredients and add to wet mixture. Bake in a greased and floured 9x13 glass pan at 350 F for 30-40 minutes.

At 3500 ft elevation, 4 tsp. baking soda was too much leavening, causing the center of the cake to fall.  One tablespoon is better, though if you're at a lower elevation you might need the full amount.  Try it and see!
Hi everyone,

This week, take a minute and look back.  How is your Three-Month Challenge coming?  Have you filled out the survey with your visiting teachers?  (It would be helpful to get them to me by this Sunday - but if you can’t, don’t give up!  Just do it soon.)  Have you figured out how much you need to feed your family for 3 months?  My friend Elizabeth said the easiest thing for her was to break it down by meals-  how much cereal, powdered milk, and pancake/syrup ingredients (or whatever your family prefers)  would it take to eat for a week?  Then multiply that by 12 to get your 3 months’ worth. Write it all down.  A food storage notebook (or spreadsheet, if you like that better) is a great idea.   Then tackle lunch.  Then dinner.  Her goal was one of those per day.

To find what you still need to buy, inventory next.  I know that sounds awful, but it really isn’t that bad.  I just keep picturing Joseph keeping track of everything in Potiphar’s house.  Now there was a good steward.  “The Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.” (Gen. 39:3)   I’d like to qualify for that blessing, too!  If you haven’t yet inventoried what you currently have, grab a notebook and start.  The easiest way for me is to write categories (i.e. canned vegetables, box of cake mix, bag/can of flour, etc.) and just write tally marks- or count and write down the number if you’ve got a lot.  After you inventory, sit down and compare what you need with what you have.  Remember, getting your three months’ worth is the hardest part of the whole food storage plan.  And you can do it!  You all have visiting teachers who’d love to help where they can.  We’re all here to help each other. 

This recipe is from my 6-foot-3, skinny-as-a-rail Jamaican roommate in college.  She only had time to cook once a week, so she’d make a big pot of either this or her chicken curry, then eat that all week.  Yummy stuff.  She never measured ingredients, so don’t worry about being accurate!

           Althea's "Oven Method"  Chicken     4-8 servings

8   pieces bone-in chicken (2-3 lbs., or use 1 lb boneless)   
2-3   tsp.  seasoned salt   
1   small to medium   onion,   sliced into rings
3-4   stalks   green onions,   cut in 1/2" pieces (if you don’t have this, use a little bit bigger onion)
¼   c.   butter or margarine   
2   sprigs   fresh thyme  or 1 tsp. dried  (if anyone local needs a plant, see me)
3-5    medium   tomatoes,   chopped 

hot cooked rice    

Put chicken in a bowl.  Add seasoned salt, onion and green onion.  Mix well; marinate at least 1/2 hour or overnight (or during the day). Remove onions and green onions; reserve.  Brown chicken in a skillet, or bake chicken on a cookie sheet or in a baking dish at 450  for 1/2 hour; turn chicken pieces over and cook 15-30 minutes or til juices run clear and meat is no longer pink when slashed.  Put onions and green onions in a large pot with the butter. Add thyme, chicken, and tomatoes.  Pour in about 1 cup hot water.  Cook on high til the water dries out (about 15 minutes- don't let chicken scorch!).  Add one more cup water- cook until it's HALF dried out, then it's done.  Serve over rice.

This is SOOOO good!

This is all you'll need to make this easy, flavorful, hearty soup.

This week I’ll start off with the recipe.  It’s a GREAT 3-month supply recipe, because everything in it is canned.  I grew up on it; my mom called it “Mexican Mix-up”, but eventually we just called it “Tamale Soup”.  Canned tamales can be hard to find (and $2 a can!), but Big Lots has them for $1.35.

Tamale Soup

1 (14-15 oz.) can beans (we usually used pinto, but whatever you prefer)-           or cook your own (1 cup dry)
1 (14-15 oz.) can corn
1 (14-15 oz.) can tomatoes- sliced, diced, or whole
1 (14-15 oz.) can tamales, unwrapped and sliced/chopped

 Dump everything in a pot.  Simmer together for 15-20 minutes.  Makes about 8 cups (2 qts.); 4-6 servings

 You don’t need to drain any of the cans, unless you’re trying to reduce salt.  If you are, add water equal to what you drained. You’ll lose flavor, though. 
We usually serve this with carrot sticks and a can of peaches or an apple salad- something colorful, a little sweet, crunchy, and light.

This week’s info is part of a General Conference talk years ago by Vaughn J. Featherstone, “Food Storage”:  He has some great ideas on where the money can come from.

(1)Start by taking an inventory—take a physical count of all of your reserves. This would be a great family home evening project if you’re prepared. If not, it may be terribly embarrassing to you in front of your family. Imagine how the powerful testimony you bear concerning a living prophet must sound to your children, who know that as a family head you have been counseled for years to have a year’s reserve of food on hand. We need to know where we are. Every family should take an inventory—get all the facts.

(2)     Decide what is needed to bring your present reserve levels to a year’s supply (or 3 month supply, if that’s what you’re working on). Then make a list and prepare a plan. Buy them from your monthly food budget allowance. The Church discourages going into debt to buy for storage.

(3)     Now that you know where you are and where you need to be, the third step is to work out a time schedule for when you will reach your goal. I suggest that one year from today we ought to have a year’s supply of food in all active—and many inactive—members’ homes in the Church. Do all you can within the laws of your community, and the Lord will bless you when the time of need comes.

Follow the prophet. He has counseled us to plant a garden and fruit trees. This year don’t just think about it—do it. Grow all the food you possibly can. Also remember to buy a year’s supply of garden seeds so that, in case of a shortage, you will have them for the following spring. I’m going to tell you where to get the money for all the things I’m going to suggest.

Store enough water for each member of your family to last for at least two weeks.

Now you ask, “Where do I get the money for these things? I agree we need them, but I’m having a hard time making ends meet.”

Here is how you do it. Use any one or all of these suggestions, some of which may not be applicable in your country:

1. Decide as a family this year that 25 or 50 percent of your Christmas will be spent on a year’s supply. Many families in the Church spend considerable sums of money for Christmas. Half or part of these Christmas monies will go a long way toward purchasing the basics. I recall the Scotsman who went to the doctor and had an X-ray taken of his chest. Then he had the X-ray gift-wrapped and gave it to his wife for their anniversary. He couldn’t afford a gift, but he wanted her to know his heart was in the right place. Brethren, give your wife a year’s supply of wheat for Christmas, and she’ll know your heart is in the right place. (side note- for 2009/10 prices, that’s $94.40 for a YEAR of wheat for one person… about the cheapest food there is!  I spend that much per person per MONTH for our regular food.)

2. When you desire new clothes, don’t buy them. Repair and mend and make your present wardrobe last a few months longer. Use that money for the food basics. Make all of your nonfood necessities that you feasibly can, such as furniture and clothing.

3. Cut the amount of money you spend on recreation by 50 percent. Do fun things that do not require money outlay but make more lasting impressions on your children.

4. Decide as a family that there will be no vacation or holiday next year unless you have your year’s supply. Many Church members could buy a full year’s supply of the basics from what they would save by not taking a vacation. Take the vacation time and work on a family garden. Be together, and it can be just as much fun.

5. If you haven’t a year’s supply yet and you do have boats, snowmobiles, campers, or other luxury possessions, sell or trade one or two or more of them and get your year’s supply.

6. Watch advertised specials in the grocery stores and pick up extra supplies of those items that are of exceptional value.

7. Change the mix in your family’s diet. Get your protein from sources less expensive than meat. The grocery bill is one bill that can be cut. Every time you enter the store and feel tempted by effective and honest merchandising to buy cookies, candy, ice cream, non-food items, or magazines—don’t! Think carefully; buy only the essentials. Then figure what you have saved and spend it on powdered milk, sugar, honey, salt, or grain (or what you need for your 3-month supply of food.)

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 by (a year from now). 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, and next April we will have our storage areas filled. 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.

Now regarding home production: Raise animals where means and local laws permit. Plant fruit trees, grapevines, berry bushes, and vegetables. You will provide food for your family, much of which can be eaten fresh. Other food you grow can be preserved and included as part of your home storage. Wherever possible, produce your nonfood necessities of life. Sew and mend your own clothing. Make or build needed items. I might also add, beautify, repair, and maintain all of your property.

Home production of food and nonfood items is a way to stretch your income and to increase your skills and talents. It is a way to teach your family to be self-sufficient. Our children are provided with much needed opportunities to learn the fundamentals of work, industry, and thrift. President Romney has said, “We will see the day when we will live on what we produce.” (Conference Reports, April 1975, p. 165.)

I should like to address a few remarks to those who ask, “Do I share with my neighbors who have not followed the counsel? And what about the nonmembers who do not have a year’s supply? Do we have to share with them?” No, we don’t have to share—we get to share! Let us not be concerned about silly thoughts of whether we would share or not. Of course we would share! What would Jesus do? I could not possibly eat food and see my neighbors starving. And if you starve to death after sharing, “greater love hath no man than this …” (John 15:13.)

Now what about those who would plunder and break in and take that which we have stored for our families’ needs? Don’t give this one more idle thought. There is a God in heaven whom we have obeyed. Do you suppose he would abandon those who have kept his commandments? He said, “If ye are prepared, ye need not fear.” (D&C 38:30.) Prepare, O men of Zion, and fear not. Let Zion put on her beautiful garments. Let us put on the full armor of God. Let us be pure in heart, love mercy, be just, and stand in holy places. Commit to have a year’s supply of food by (a year from now).

For the whole talk, go to:


I know his counsel is sound, and we will be wise, and blessed, as we follow it.


 (note- this was originally sent as an email in January 2010) 
Happy New Year!    I took a break last week to visit family, it was great.  We only ended up with one bloody nose on the whole trip.  That wasn’t even on one of my children, it was a cousin, though it really was caused by one of mine.  Sledding.  And no one got hurt  when we went sledding on what my kids affectionately call "Death Hill"  later in the week.  Oh, wait, I did plow down a 3-year-old….   Oops.  My sled went diagonally instead of straight.  
SO…… onward and upward…...

How's your food storage?

With the new year, I have a new challenge for you:   If you haven’t got your 3-month supply yet, have it in place 3 months from now.   

 I promise that if you determine to do it, without going into debt, a way will be provided, and you will have more peace and security, knowing you are following the prophet’s counsel.    

Those of you who are past that step, congratulations! I am so happy for you!  What do you need to do next?  See the Family Home Storage pamphlet.  Set a goal and do it. If I can help you with anything, please let me know, I'd love to help.    

Here’s the first mini-challenge to meet the 3-month one-  

Sit down with your family on Sunday or Monday, during Home Evening works great, and get your kid’s input on their favorite meals.  Plan a menu for anywhere from a week and a half to a month.  Then go to the Three-Month Supply Excel Spreadsheet or  video on how to use it.  It will calculate all your quantities for you!   


Did you know food is a great investment?  You’ve may have seen this quote before; here’s a small piece of it, from J. Reuben Clark of the First Presidency (April 1937 Conference):  “put your money in foodstuffs and wearing apparel, not in stocks and bonds…”

Now here’s what food has done over the last ten years:  Corn- $215 worth of corn in 1999 was selling for $380 in 2009.  Wheat- $261 worth in 1999 cost $540 in 2009. And that doesn’t even account for inflation!  (if you want the source, it’s at http://futures.tradingcharts.com/historical/CW/1999/0/continuous.html )

In other words, buying your wheat for food storage was half as hard in 1999, only we didn’t know that at the time, did we?  But wouldn’t you still rather pay today’s prices than next year’s?  At the LDS Church Home Storage Centers  you can still buy wheat at 3-years-ago's price. The price of powdered milk there was a good price fifteen years ago! See Current Prices list.   Or watch for sales at local stores, find a local grower, or check out sites like Walton Feed.

If you’re worried about not rotating through your food fast enough, people have found wheat in Egyptian tombs and granaries that still sprouted.  And made good bread.  The proper storage temperature certainly helps.  And what about canned food?  Here’s what I found online.  (If you go to this site, they’ve got the history of canning, if you’d ever wondered about it…)  from http://www.internet-grocer.net/how-long.htm

“In 1820, William Perry (Parry) took an expedition in search of the Northwest Passage, toward the North Pole.  He took with him some canned meats.  At the time, food canning was about a 10-year-old technology.

At least one can of meat was not used and wound up in a museum in England.  In 1938, it was opened and found to be edible.  It was fed to a cat which suffered no ill effects from eating the 118-year-old meat.

Now, we're not saying that our canned meats, canned cheese and canned butter will last 118 years, but we're pretty confident that you can get at least a 15-20 year shelf life out of them, in light of this article. (The manufacturer offers a 3 year guarantee.)

And another- The steamboat Bertrand was heavily laden with provisions when it set out on the Missouri River in 1865, destined for the gold mining camps in Fort Benton, Mont. The boat snagged and swamped under the weight, sinking to the bottom of the river. It was found a century later, under 30 feet of silt a little north of Omaha, Neb.

Among the canned food items retrieved from the Bertrand in 1968 were brandied peaches, oysters, plum tomatoes, honey, and mixed vegetables. In 1974, chemists at the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) analyzed the products for bacterial contamination and nutrient value. Although the food had lost its fresh smell and appearance, the NFPA chemists detected no microbial growth and determined that the foods were as safe to eat as they had been when canned more than 100 years earlier.

The nutrient values varied depending upon the product and nutrient. NFPA chemists Janet Dudek and Edgar Elkins report that significant amounts of vitamins C and A were lost. But protein levels remained high, and all calcium values "were comparable to today's products."

NFPA chemists also analyzed a 40-year-old can of corn found in the basement of a home in California. Again, the canning process had kept the corn safe from contaminants and from much nutrient loss. In addition, Dudek says, the kernels looked and smelled like recently canned corn.”

That said, don’t ever use a can of low-acid food that is bulging.  That means bad things are growing inside- botulism, for instance.  If you have a can of tomato sauce, tomato paste, or tomatoes that is bulging a bit or squirts when you open it, that is NOT from botulism:  instead, it's from the electrolysis occurring between the acidic tomato and the can. (Not the best thing to eat every day, but okay occasionally.)  
 But don’t get stressed if you still have cans of green beans that are two years past the “best by” date.
  I’ve got some canned milk that was dated 2001 (in 2010); I can’t tell a difference between it and my newer stuff.  Still, the goal is to “STORE WHAT YOU EAT, AND EAT WHAT YOU STORE”.   Not to just let it sit.   Just do your best, and, as President Kimball always said, "DO IT"!  You will be blessed.



This week's recipe is a simple lower-sugar syrup we love at our house.  Try it as
written, then reduce sugar further if you like.  We often make it with only 1/4 c. sugar.
For comparison, regular syrup has 2 cups of sugar to  1 cup of liquid.

 Did you read last month's Ensign article about food storage?  It was called "Two
Cans of Corn: Home Storage for Newlyweds".  (Or for anyone else just starting their
food storage.)  Remember Julie Beck's Relief Society address from a couple years ago,
where she talked about the Relief Society working toward being the best at righteous
living?  The three categories she mentioned were Faith, Family, and Relief.  I thought it
was interesting that when she gave details for each category, food storage was grouped
under "Faith".   Building your food storage is exercising faith in the Lord's
advice to us.  If you're overwhelmed, start with the advice in that Ensign article.  It's
simple and easy to begin.  I know I've been blessed as we've built our food storage-
blessed to have enough in those money-tight times, blessed to know how to cook with it,
blessed with a feeling of added security.

Apple Cider Syrup

 1/2 c. sugar                           1 c. apple cider or apple juice
1 Tbsp. cornstarch                1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon                 2 Tbsp. butter

 Mix together the sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon.  Stir in apple and lemon juices.  Cook
and stir until thickened and bubbly, then cook 2 minutes more.  Remove from heat and stir
in butter until melted.  Makes about 1 1/3 cups.  This is so delicious!  If it gets too
thick, stir in a little more juice.  If you want it thinner next time, use 2 tsp.
cornstarch instead of 1 Tbsp.

 We've made all kinds of flavors with this recipe- whatever kind of juice I have works
well, though I often leave out the lemon juice, cinnamon, and butter.  We also make it
into maple syrup- use water in place of apple juice, 1/4- 1/2 c. sugar (brown sugar is
yummy), and 1/2 tsp. maple flavor (a capful).  Try making it maple, then stirring in
chopped pecans and butter....  aren't you hungry now?