Pineapple-Coconut Bread Pudding 
1 (20-oz) can crushed pineapple
¾ cup sugar, divided
2 c. cream or coconut cream*
½ tsp. salt, divided
1 loaf stale French bread, cut in 1" cubes, or a pound of other bread, cubed
1/2 tsp. cardamom
3-4 eggs 
1 c. whole milk or coconut milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. shredded coconut

If your bread isn't already stale and dry, put the bread cubes in the oven at 375 until they're dried out.  
Make a caramel sauce- combine 2 Tbsp. juice from the canned pineapple with 1/2 c. sugar in a saucepan.  Heat on high until brown, stirring often.  Add 3/4 c. cream; stir until the caramel chunk has dissolved.  Add 1/4 tsp. salt.  Pour about half of this into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.  Save the rest.
Mix together bread, undrained pineapple and cardamom.  Dump into a 9x13 pan.  Using the same bowl as before, beat the eggs, then stir in 1/4 c. sugar, the remaining cream, milk, vanilla, and 1/4 tsp. salt.  Mix until  sugar dissolves.  Pour all of this over the bread and let sit for 5-20 minutes to soak.  Sprinkle the coconut over the top.                                          

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until center is set.  Serve warm, with a little of the remaining caramel sauce drizzled on top.

*If you don't have cream, use milk instead, for a total of 3 cups.  Also melt 1/4 c. butter and beat it in with the eggs.


This may seem like an odd topic for a blog with a name like "The Provident Homemaker".  However, part of the meaning of 'provident' is 'preparing'; and we have some serious mental and spiritual preparing to do.  So what is this about?

There are a number of words that are no longer understood to mean what they used to; words that have been intentionally corrupted.  I've been watching for them; they include emotional trigger words like
"liberal", "rigorous", "liberty", and "discriminate".    After reading this article about a possible ban in Cincinnati on reparative therapyI got wondering about the word choice in the phrase 'sexual orientation':  (Turns out, this law proposal was sparked as a revolt against parental rights, not only retaliation against God's word. Read the article.)

Turns out that I now have another word to add to my "words co-opted" list: 
"the act or process of orienting" or " the state of being oriented".

At, "orient" includes this: 
1 a :to cause to face or point toward the east specifically :to build (a church or temple) with the longitudinal axis pointing eastward and the chief altar at the eastern end
c :to ascertain the bearings of

2 a :to set right by adjusting to facts or principles
b :to acquaint with the existing situation or environment

3 :to direct (as a book or film) toward the interests of a particular group

4 :to cause the axes of the molecules of to assume the same direction"

In other words, orientation is a PROCESS of getting your bearings, setting a course, getting every molecule of your being to align, facing a particular direction. This contradicts the claims that one is born this way and unable to change that. It denies the human ability to grow and adjust, and especially denies the power of the Savior and his Atonement. In addition, the origins of the word actually point to Christ:

orient (verb)-  "c. 1727, originally "to arrange facing east," from French s'orienter, literally "to face the east" (also the source of German orientierung), from Old French orient "east," from Latin orientum (see Orient)
The east, as you may know from one of the earlier definitions above, or from the common LDS ("Latter Day Saint"/"
Mormon")  practice of having the angel on our temples face that direction, is emblematic of facing and welcoming Christ. Not only does the light of the world rise each morning in the east, but that is the direction Christ is to come from at his coming in glory as our king.

As phrased by Elder Lynn G. Robbins at a recent LDS Conference,
'Which way do you face?'

Do you face towards the family as created by God and Nature?  A mother, a father, bound together by covenants and promises, determined in their loyalty and support to each other and to their children.  It is the basic unit of society, the intended privilege of every child, and when it fails, neighborhoods, cities, and nations are left trying to pick up the pieces; pieces that cannot be completely picked up and mended by human hands.   Does the traditional family matter?  Yes!  It is at the core of God's plan for our happiness. He commanded our first parents, Adam and Eve, to multiply, to provide bodies for His spirit children, and then to teach those precious spirits in the Lord's way: the way of growth and safety.  

What about our day?  Paul warned that "the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." - 2 Tim. 4:3-4

As a modern apostle, Dallin H. Oaks, once said, “followers of Christ [must] think differently than others." 
 (“As He Thinketh in His Heart,” 8 February 2013). Jesus' response to the mocking Pharisees was, “Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts:  for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15).

Humanism says there is no right, no wrong and no God. Instead, I assert that this life is Act 2 in a 3-act play, and God gives inspired commandments to enable us to have real happiness now and the best possibilities in that next, much longer, Act 3.  As we learn to think like God, we can develop the ability to see the genuine truth of all things, and will tap into the power to align our wills and actions to his Word, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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.                


This is my new favorite cookie.  It is for this week, anyway.  My kids and I invented cookies for a bake-off at the state fair, and this is one of the results.  One of the others we made took first place, but this one is my personal favorite.    
Contests are funny things anyway:  you'd think the best-tasting item wins, but that's not necessarily the case.  First of all, "best taste" always depends on who's doing the tasting. Or the judging, in this case.  Secondly, cookies are given a score, and in this contest, only 40% of it is from how the cookie tastes.  30% is how attractive it ('and its surroundings) are, and 30% here was 'creativity', which, like taste, is very subjective.  

This cookie was dreamed up by a daughter who loves key lime pie, and wanted a cookie that tasted like it.  You'll have extra frosting; you can make a half batch, or it can be frozen, or used to frost cupcakes, or spread on graham crackers... or eaten on a spoon!
My friend who dislikes frosting, likes this  frosting.
Creamy Lime Pie Cookies 
Makes 2- 2 ½ dozen

Graham Cracker Sugar Cookie:

¾ c. granulated sugar 
½ c. butter or shortening or coconut oil
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 sleeve graham cracker, finely crushed (about 1 ½ c.)
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1 c. flour
¼ c. limeade concentrate, thawed.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cream shortening and sugar, add egg and vanilla.  Add cracker crumbs, salt, and baking soda; beat well. Mix in flour. Drop by heaping spoonful on lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake 7-8 minutes.  Let cookies cool two minutes, then brush with the limeade concentrate.  All of it should be gone once all cookies are brushed.  Cool completely before frosting generously with Creamy Lime Frosting.

Creamy Lime Frosting

1 cube butter
2 c. powdered sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
1/16 tsp. salt
4 drops green food color, optional
¼ c. limeade concentrate, mostly thawed
8 oz. cream cheese, still cool, cut in 1” cubes

In a medium bowl, combine butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and green food color.  Beat until fluffy.  Add limeade concentrate and whip the mixture.  Add cream cheese, a couple cubes at a time, and beat until mixed thoroughly.  Beat on high until light and fluffy, but don’t overbeat or it will go runny.

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 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.

Mmm.... bacon, eggs, and toast!   

Or not.

Pound cake, sliced and toasted.  Then buttered.

The white:  I used some quick frosting  (1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tbsp. melted coconut oil, a bit of vanilla, and enough milk-- any kind-- to let it softly hold its shape.)  Other options include nearly-melted commercial vanilla frosting, stirred sour cream, stirred vanilla yogurt, or stirred Greek yogurt.
The center is a dried apricot, plumped in hot water for about 20 minutes, then blotted dry and shaped by hand to look more round.  I stuck a whole almond inside to make the 'yolk' stand up better.
To make the 'yolk' look more wet, I brushed it with a little bit of corn syrup.

Today I found some natural fruit rolls that I'd not seen before.  I bought some, and found that rather than being the smooth, flat rollup I expected, it was full of different thicknesses in the stripes the machine put down.  This enabled it to pull off in strips to eat.  And it resembled bacon!  One roll yields about four  1 1/4" wide strips, which I cut using a pizza cutter.   Make them ripple a bit when you put them down.
This is meat-free, dairy-free, and in the photo above, also made using gluten-free pasta.  Its rich and creamy taste would never make you suspect there are so many 'normal' ingredients missing.  You will not taste the avocado, and surprisingly, it doesn't even make the sauce look green.  It adds richness along with those healthy, satisfying fats.  
If you used canned chickpeas, you'll have about one cup extra; you can either stir those in with the pasta, or save them for another use.
If you don't have an avocado, or don't want to use one, omit it and increase the chickpeas to three cups instead.

12-16 oz. pasta, cooked according to directions; save the cooking water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked chickpeas- or use 2 cups from two (14-oz) cans, drained
one 6" sprig fresh rosemary, or 1-2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 medium avocado, peel and pit removed
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley, or 1 1/2 Tbsp. dried parsley

While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until fragrant.

In a blender, combine 3 cups of the pasta cooking water (may also use the water drained off the cans of chickpeas), chickpeas, rosemary, red pepper, avocado, and lemon juice.  Blend on high until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste (start with 1/2 tsp. salt), and stir in parsley.  
Pour over pasta and toss to coat.  
If the sauce is too thick, add water 1 Tbsp. at a time until it's the consistency you like.