Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Assorted Books on Preparedness

Listed below are an assortment of preparedness books
recommended to me by R. Hatch. Your local library may
have some of them available for check out. You may find
one (or more) that you'll want to purchase to keep on hand.

by Paul Tawrell

by Kresson Kearnu

by Philip L. Hoag

by Barbara Salisbury (this is a very good source
to use)

(I am sending this to you as a file -
another very good resource to have)

by James T. Stevens (a good source
reference guide)

by James T. Stevens

by Dian Thomas

by Peggy Layton

by Peggy Layton (also any of her other books
on cooking)

by Larry Dean Olsen (a good for many years)

by Phylli Hobson

by LeArta Moulton

by Michael Murray, ND and Joseph
, ND (a good resource book
to have when there is no hospital or
doctors available)

by J. Allan South

by Lana Richardson (she is in my stake and
has a good quick reference book)


(Source: R. Hatch, Ward Preparedness Specialist)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

In the News

"News Article Highlights Church's Preparedness for Hard Economic Times"

"SALT LAKE CITY | 29 December 2008 | An Associated Press article that ran this past week highlighted the Church’s system for taking care of its poor and needy. The Church’s welfare operations are well equipped to help those who are unable to meet their basic needs due to lost employment and other challenges. The topic is particularly timely during the current economic downturn.

The article states, in part:

"Mormons may be among the country's best prepared to weather the current economic hard times. Since the Great Depression, church leaders have preached a doctrine of self-reliance and selflessness, calling on members to plan for their own future while tending to the needs of others."

In September the Church posted a comprehensive package on Newsroom that explains the Church’s welfare operations. The package includes photos, video and audio that will be helpful to journalists, bloggers and others interested in the Church welfare program."

(Source: Public Affairs - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,

Monday, December 29, 2008

Lay Up in Store

This counsel was given by Bishop Keith B. McMullin during the 177th Annual General Conference in April 2007. If you'd like to read his talk in its entirety, you may find it here.

"Lay up in store. Wives are instrumental in this work, but they need husbands who lead out in family preparedness. Children need parents who instill in them this righteous tradition. They will then do likewise with their children, and their stores will not fail.

A cardinal principle of the gospel is to prepare for the day of scarcity. Work, industry, frugality are part of the royal order of life. Remember these words from Paul: "If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."13

Seated before us are the three presiding high priests who constitute the First Presidency of the Church.

From President James E. Faust, Second Counselor, we hear: "Every father and mother are the family's storekeepers. They should store whatever their own family would like to have in the case of an emergency . . . [and] God will sustain us through our trials."14

From President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor, we hear: "Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food . . . and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year's supply of debt and are food-free."15

From President Gordon B. Hinckley, the Lord's prophet, we hear:

"The best place to have some food set aside is within our homes. . . .

"We can begin ever so modestly. We can begin with a one week's food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. . . . I fear that so many feel that a long-term food supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all.

"Begin in a small way, . . . and gradually build toward a reasonable objective."16

Inspired preparation rests on the foundation of faith in Jesus Christ, obedience, and a provident lifestyle. Members should not go to extremes, but they should begin.

We call upon priesthood bearers to store sufficient so that you and your family can weather the vicissitudes of life. Please see to it that those entrusted to your watchcare receive these two pamphlets entitled All Is Safely Gathered In. Exhort them to prepare now for rainy days ahead.

Priesthood leaders, enlist the Relief Society in promoting family preparedness and homemaking. The women of the Church need your backing and will respond to your leadership.

Encourage our members to regularly put into their home storage a few wholesome, basic food items and some water that is safe to drink. They should save some money, if only a few coins each week. This modest approach will soon enable them to have several months' reserve. Over time they can expand these modest efforts into a longer-term supply by adding such essentials as grains, legumes, and other staples that will keep them alive in case they do not have anything else to eat.17

As we do our very best, we can be confident that "the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail."18 We shall enjoy greater wisdom, security, peace of mind, and personal well-being. We shall be prepared, and because we are prepared, we "shall not fear."

(Source: Bishop Keith B. McMullin, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, "Lay Up in Store," 177th Annual General Conference, April 2007)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Organize Yourselves...

Did you happen to get some food storage or 72-hour kit items for Christmas? Now is a great time to get things in order.
"Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing..."
Check out these blogs for ideas to become better organized:

Safely Gathered In has some great ideas about organizing 72-hour kits. I really like the idea they shared about keeping a list of things you would grab in an emergency (as well as their location) from your house depending on the amount of time you have.

Safely Gathered In also has designed a well-thought out Food Storage Inventory Worksheet to help keep track of what you have, amounts, expiration dates, location, and whether you need to buy more. They have also made it easier to put together a 3-Month Supply with their dinner menu and shopping list.

Prepared LDS Family has a great idea about creating a Complete Food Storage and Grocery Binder.

Let Us Prepare has a 10-Week Program to help you prepare to deal with a pandemic flu situation.

Rice Pilaf

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup minced onions
3 cups hot chicken broth
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 cup un-cooked rice
1/3 cup minced celery
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Melt butter in hot fry pan. Add rice, onion, and celery. Stir and cook until slightly brown. Add chicken broth; cover and simmer on low heat until moisture has been absorbed and rice is tender (about 25-30 minutes). Add parsley and almonds just before serving. Toss Lightly.

(Source: West Jordan Oquirrh Stake "Basically Speaking" Cookbook)

Classic Fried Rice

1 cup rice (or 3 cups cold, cooked rice)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (8 oz.) pkg. sliced bacon cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
6 eggs
salad oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce

About 2-1/2 hours before serving:

Prepare rice as label directs. Refrigerate until well-chilled. In a medium bowl with fork, heat eggs and salt slightly. In 12-inch skillet over high heat, heat 3 tablespoons salad oil until very hot. Pour in egg mixture; cook, with spoon, stirring quickly and constantly until eggs are the size of peas and leave side of pan. Reduce heat to low. Push eggs to one side of skillet. In same skillet, gently stir rice and 2 tablespoons salad oil until rice is well-coated with oil. Add bacon and soy sauce; gently stir to mix all ingredients in skillet; heat through. Spoon fried rice into warm bowl; sprinkle with green onions. Makes 3 main dish servings.

(Source: West Jordan Oquirrh Stake "Basically Speaking" Cookbook)

Friday, December 26, 2008

About Rice

1 cup uncooked rice = 3 cups cooked

Rice is of such antiquity that the precise time and place of its first development will perhaps never be known. The cultivation of rice began as early as 6,000 B.C. making rice one of the oldest grains grown for food. It is a dietary staple for almost half the world's population. Rice has fed more people over a longer period of time than has any other crop. In several Asian languages the words for rice and food are identical. Rice has been produced in the U.S. since the late 1600’s.

Rice is gluten-free and non-allergenic. Most people with food allergies are not allergic to rice. Rice cereal is usually the first solid food given to babies.

There are many ways to cook rice. To retain vitamins, do not rinse enriched rice before or drain after cooking. Rice can be cooked in water, juice, milk or bouillon. It can be steamed or boiled, cooked then fried or added to puddings. A bit of oil will help keep the grains from sticking together; a little salt adds flavor. As soon as the cooked grains are tender all the way through but still firm, the rice is done.

The easiest way to test for tenderness is to taste it. The grains should have no hardness in the center. A combination of rice with other grains or legumes will increase nutrition and add variety to meals.

How rice cooks changes from variety to variety, even from batch to batch: brown rice cooks longer than white; old rice absorbs more water than new. All cook by the same principles: Add rice to boiling water; stir, cover, reduce heat; cook. Water will be absorbed into rice or evaporate during cooking. Let rice sit off the heat, undisturbed with lid on, at least 5 minutes or as long as 30. This results in a uniform texture, with the bottom layer as fluffy as the top. Cooked rice stores tightly covered in refrigerator up to one week or in freezer 6 months.

(Source: "Food Storage Recipes - Using only the ingredients contained in the One-Month Basic Food Storage Kit", pg. 16)

Rice Cereal

Make Basic Cooked Rice. Use cracked rice for smoother texture. Serve warm or cold with reconstituted dry milk and sugar.

Note: Rice cereal is usually a baby’s first solid food. Grind rice to appropriate coarseness before cooking for babies or puree/mash it after it is cooked. Extra water may be needed. Sweeten and add milk.

(Source: "Food Storage Recipes - Using only the ingredients contained in the One-Month Basic Food Storage Kit", pg. 16)

Creamy Rice Breakfast

3-1/2 cups water, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cracked, uncooked rice
1 tablespoon oil
6 tablespoons dry milk
3 tablespoons sugar

Bring 3 cups salted water to a boil. Stir in cracked rice. Add oil, cover and cook on low heat 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Combine dry milk and sugar. Mix with 1/2 cup water. Stir into rice. Continue cooking until rice is done. Remove from heat. Stir, cover and let steam several minutes.

(Source: "Food Storage Recipes - Using only the ingredients contained in the One-Month Basic Food Storage Kit", pg. 16)

Rice Cake Treat

1/2 cup cooked rice
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 cup flour
4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry milk
1/8 teaspoon salt, scant
6 tablespoons water

Measure rice into a bowl. Stir in oil. Add flour, sugar, dry milk and salt. Stir in water. Batter should make small thin crunchy pancakes. Drop by teaspoonful into med-hot oil or shortening (about 1/4" deep). Fry until golden on each side. Serve hot.

(Source: "Food Storage Recipes - Using only the ingredients contained in the One-Month Basic Food Storage Kit", pg. 17)


1 cup white rice
2 cups water to cover rice
6 cups water
Sugar, to taste

Do not rinse enriched rice. Cover rice with 2 cups water, and soak 2-3 hours. Does not have to be cooked. (or simmer 5-10 minutes then cool.) Whirl rice in blender. Combine with 6 cups water. Allow rice to settle or strain off liquid. Add sugar and a few drops cinnamon oil or vanilla flavoring to strained liquid. Milk may be used for part of liquid. Serve chilled or over crushed ice.

NOTE: This will not taste good without flavoring. Offer horchata warm or cooled to babies when they are sick and can't keep anything in their tummies. Save strained rice for another use. Cooked rice increases digestibility and available nutrition.

(Source: "Food Storage Recipes - Using only the ingredients contained in the One-Month Basic Food Storage Kit", pg. 17)

Toasted Rice

Toast rice for a pleasing change in color and flavor. Distribute uncooked rice evenly on a baking sheet. Place in a pre-heated 400 degrees F. oven for 6-10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. It is more energy efficient to toast the rice in a skillet, with or without oil, on the stove top. Cook as preferred recipe instructs.

(Source: "Food Storage Recipes - Using only the ingredients contained in the One-Month Basic Food Storage Kit", pg. 17)

Easy Rice Pudding

2 cups water
1/4 cup uncooked rice
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dry milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water

Bring 2 cups water to boil. Stir in rice and salt. Return to a boil and lower heat. Cook covered, 20 minutes. Combine dry milk and sugar (if a thicker pudding is desired add 1 tablespoon white flour). Stir 1 cup water into milk mixture until smooth. Mix milk mixture with rice. Return rice to simmer and cook 10 minutes more until rice is done. Shut off heat. Let sit 30 minutes before serving or chill.

(Source: "Food Storage Recipes - Using only the ingredients contained in the One-Month Basic Food Storage Kit", pg. 17)

Basic Cooked Rice

1 cup rice
1-2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-1/4 cups water

Combine all ingredients. Cover pan with lid and bring to a boil over high heat. When beginning to boil, turn heat down to very low and cook about 35 minutes, until the water is almost gone. Remove lid only when necessary. Take pan from heat and leave covered. Let rice steam, for 10-15 minutes before serving. Fluff with fork before serving.

NOTE: Rice may be soaked 30 minutes in water before cooking to shorten cooking time. When soaked add oil, cover and cook 15-20 minutes. Steam. Eat hot or cold as cereal, add to chili, soups or eat cold in salad. Combine cooked wheat with cooked rice for a pilaf.

(Source: "Food Storage Recipes - Using only the ingredients contained in the One-Month Basic Food Storage Kit", pg. 16)

Creole Beef and Rice

8 Servings
¼ pound country sausage
¼ pound ground beef
1 cup celery, chopped (about 1-2 stalks)
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, more or less to taste
1 ½ cups uncooked white rice
2 14 oz. cans canned stewed tomatoes
1 12 ounce vegetable juice, spicy
1 ½ cups frozen okra (optional)

Brown meat with onion, celery and Cajun seasoning, stir frequently. Add remaining ingredients. Add 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 331 Calories from Fat 64
Percent Total Calories From:
Fat 19% Protein 14% Carb. 66%
Nutrient Amount per % Daily
Serving Value
Total Fat 7 g 11%
Saturated Fat 3 g 13%
Cholesterol 23 mg 8%
Sodium 736 mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 55 g 18%
Dietary Fiber 1 g 5%
Protein 12 g
Vitamin A 29% Vitamin C 62% Iron 22%

(Source: Utah State University Food Storage Cooking School—Low and Hendricks, USU Extension, Salt Lake County, 1/1999, pg. 111. Copies may be made for individual and non-profit use as long as Utah State University Extension credit appears on each page.)


4 Servings
A favorite rice dish. Sushi was originally a way to preserve fish. Seafood in brine naturally fermented and acted as a natural preservative. Later on cooked rice was added to improve fermentation. Today sushi means vinegared rice which is garnished with or without raw fish or seafood. This easy version uses prepared vegetables, and is served in a pocket of seasoned fried bean curd called inarizushi-no-moto. It is garnished with fried eggs and pickled ginger root (if desired).

1 ½ cups short grain rice, uncooked
¼ cup rice vinegar, seasoned (or see below)
1 10 oz. can inarizushi-no-moto, or aburage (seasoned fried bean curd or tofu)
½ 7 ¾ oz. can chirashisushi-no-moto, (quick sushi vegetable mix)
frozen peas, or chopped parsley for color
2 eggs
1 teaspoon cornstarch
pickled ginger (optional)

Cook rice according to package directions. While still warm place rice in large bowl and sprinkle with seasoned vinegar. Gently mix rice and vinegar using a cutting fluffing motion. Add more or less vinegar to rice according to taste. Stir in quick sushi vegetable mix and enough thawed frozen peas for color.

Gently open sides of aburage and stuff filling into each pocket. Be careful not to overstuff and tear aburage pockets.

Make thin sheets of fried eggs by beating together eggs, cornstarch and 1 teaspoon water. Lightly oil a non-stick pan, heat. Pour in enough egg to just coat bottom of pan. Rotate skillet to coat. Cook until edges begin to curl up and surface becomes glossy. Slide egg sheets onto waxed paper or plastic wrap. Cut egg sheets into thin strips. Garnish sushi with strips of eggs and thin strips of pickled ginger.

TO MAKE SEASONED VINEGAR: Combine ½ cup rice vinegar, ½ cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt. Heat slightly and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 460 Calories from Fat 82
Percent Total Calories From:
Fat 18% Protein 14% Carb. 68%
Nutrient Amount per % Daily
Serving Value
Total Fat 9 g 14%
Saturated Fat 3 g 14%
Cholesterol 106 mg 35%
Sodium 866 mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 78 g 26%
Dietary Fiber 1 g 3%
Protein 17 g
Vitamin A 19% Vitamin C 2% Iron 25%

(Source: Utah State University Food Storage Cooking School—Low and Hendricks, USU Extension, Salt Lake County, 1/1999, pg. 111. Copies may be made for individual and non-profit use as long as Utah State University Extension credit appears on each page.)


6 Servings
Jambalaya is a traditional Creole rice dish. It may have ham, chicken, shrimp or use left over meats. The name comes from the French word "jambon" meaning ham and the African
word "ya" which mean rice. The "a la" means with.

1 teaspoon margarine or butter
1 onion, small, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped (about 1 stalk)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups ham, cubed
1 cup shrimp, small, shelled, uncooked
2 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon Tabasco pepper sauce (optional)
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon thyme
¼ teaspoon basil
1 cup brown rice, or white rice
2 ½ cups water

Melt butter or margarine, add chopped onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic. Saute until onion
is tender and clear but not brown (about 5 min). A little water or chicken broth may need to be added to prevent vegetables from scorching; add 1-3 tsp liquid at a time. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and small chilies, if desired.

NOTE: Shrimp may be replaced with chicken, sausage, fish, etc. Reduce cooking time by using
instant rice and reducing the water to equal the amount called for on the package directions.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 232 Calories from Fat 38
Percent Total Calories From:
Fat 16% Protein 25% Carb. 58%
Nutrient Amount per % Daily
Serving Value
Total Fat 4 g 7%
Saturated Fat 1 g 6%
Cholesterol 60 mg 20%
Sodium 898 mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 34 g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1 g 6%
Protein 15 g
Vitamin A 19% Vitamin C 51% Iron 14%

(Source: Utah State University Food Storage Cooking School—Low and Hendricks, USU Extension, Salt Lake County, 1/1999, pg. 110. Copies may be made for individual and non-profit use as long as Utah State University Extension credit appears on each page.)

Aussie Rice Salad

12 Servings
This recipe comes from Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia. It is a favorite family gathering recipe of Lucy Strathearn.

1-2/3 cups long grain enriched white rice, uncooked
2 apples
1 onion
1 sweet green pepper, ½ red and ½ green
1 (12 oz.) can whole kernel corn
1 cup raisins
parsley, for garnish
1 tablespoon curry
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, or other vinegar
¼ cup peanut oil, or salad oil
2 tablespoons sugar

Cook rice according to package. Cool. Combine curry, vinegar, oil, and sugar. Shake well. Pour dressing over rice and toss to coat. Leave peel on apple and remove core, remove seeds from pepper. Dice all vegetables to uniform size. Add apples, onion, red and green pepper, corn, and raisins to rice. Add more or less vegetables and fruit according to taste preferences and appearance. Garnish with parsley or additional bell pepper. Chill. Serve as a side dish with meats and barbecue.

NOTE: Fat grams per serving may be reduced by reducing the amount of oil used in dressing.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 220 Calories from Fat 45
Percent Total Calories From:
Fat 21% Protein 5% Carb. 74%
Nutrient Amount per % Daily
Serving Value
Total Fat 5 g 8%
Saturated Fat 1 g 4%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 4 mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 41 g 14%
Dietary Fiber 2 g 6%
Protein 3 g
Vitamin A 3% Vitamin C 19% Iron 9%

(Source: Utah State University Food Storage Cooking School—Low and Hendricks, USU Extension, Salt Lake County, 1/1999, pg. 110. Copies may be made for individual and non-profit use as long as Utah State University Extension credit appears on each page.)

Use It or Lose It...Rice

"Rice is a versatile, economical food for family meals. It is a good source of energy, and can supply vitamins and minerals to the diet.

It is generally classified as a grain, but in family meals it can be used as:
1. A cereal

2. A vegetable
A. As a substitute for potatoes
B. As a base for meat
C. In soups

3. A dessert
D. Puddings
E. Custards

Rice has been commonly known and used since ancient times. It has been and still is a medium of exchange in some countries. The custom of throwing rice at weddings is a survival of the ancient Chinese religious belief that rice is the symbol of fertility. It is easy to store, takes little storage space, and has no waste since it is completely edible. Rice has been grown in America since 1668, and technological developments have kept pace to provide the kind of rice needed for any purpose.

Even though there are 7,000 varieties of rice produced in the world, the consumer needs to be aware that generally there are only three different lengths of rice grain and five different kinds.

Long grain rice is distinguished because its length is four to five times its width. The grains are clear and translucent. The grains remain distinct and separate after cooking.

Medium grain rice is about three times as long as its width. This type is less expensive than long grain rice. This is because it requires a shorter growing season and produces a higher yield per acre. It is also easier to mill than the long grained variety.

Short grain rice is only one and a half to two times as long as it is wide. It is generally the least expensive of the three lengths.

With five different kinds of rice to select from, it is important to be able to distinguish between the different varieties available.

Brown rice is the whole, unpolished grain of rice with only the outer fibrous, inedible hull removed. Brown rice requires more water and longer cooking time than white rice. It has a delightful, chewy texture, with a distinctive nut-like flavor. Brown rice shelf life is very short. It is not a good item for long term storage.

Regular milled white rice is rice from which hulls, germ, outer bran layers and most of the inner bran are removed in the milling process. The grains are bland in flavor and are fluffy and distinct when cooking directions are followed.

Parboiled rice—sometimes called processed or converted rice—has been treated to keep some of the natural vitamins and minerals the whole grain contains. It has been cooked before milling by a special steam pressure process. It requires longer cooking time than regular milled white rice, but after cooking the grains are fluffy, separate and plump.

Pre-cooked or instant rice—quick type—is completely cooked. It needs only to stand in boiling water to be ready for serving. Cooking this product will result in a gummy, distinguishable mass.

Fortified or Enriched rice—This product is a combination of highly fortified rice with ordinary milled rice. A coating of vitamins and minerals—thiamine, niacin, iron, and sometimes riboflavin—is used to fortify rice. This coating adheres to the rice and does not dissolve with ordinary washing or cooking.

Wild rice—Wild rice is not rice at all, but the seed of a wild water grass found around the Great Lakes region. It is much more expensive than the types of rice described above. Many Americans have discovered this rice and developed a taste for it. The demand for it is almost greater than the supply.

Some rules are a must in preparing rice. Due to the fact that the B vitamins are added to rice in the form of powder, much of the valuable nutrients are lost if the product is not handled properly.

A. Do not wash rice before cooking or rinse it after cooking. Rice is one of the most sanitary foods. Rice grown and milled in the U.S. is clean. Nutrients on the surface of the rice are washed away if it is washed or rinsed before cooking.

B. Do not use too much water when cooking rice. Any water drained off means wasted food value. Too much water makes soggy rice. Too little water results in a dry product.

C. Do not stir rice after it comes to a boil. This breaks up the grains and makes the rice gummy.

D. Do not leave rice in a pan in which it is cooked for more than 5-10 minutes or the cooked rice will pack."
(Source: Utah State University Food Storage Cooking School—Low and Hendricks, USU Extension, Salt Lake County, 1/1999, pgs. 108, 109. Copies may be made for individual and non-profit use as long as Utah State University Extension credit appears on each page.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Have a Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to wish each of you and yours a very Merry Christmas! Thank you for taking time to read this blog! Best wishes as you work towards the peace preparedness brings.

Christmas Leather

2 quarts bottled applesauce
6 ounces frozen cranberry juice concentrate
3-4 tablespoons sunflower seeds or chopped nuts (optional)

Combine applesauce with thawed (but not reconstituted juice). Cover dryer trays with plastic wrap, or line large cookie sheet with plastic wrap. Spread fruit thinly on plastic wrap. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired. Dry in dehydrator or oven (150-160º F) for 6-10 hours or until it is dry enough to be peeled from plastic wrap. Leather will be sticky due to the high sugar content. If leather is to be held for more than a few days, refrigerate or freeze.

(Source: Utah State University Food Storage Cooking School—Low and Hendricks, USU Extension, Salt Lake County, 1/1999, pg. 80. Copies may be made for individual and non-profit use as long as Utah State University Extension credit appears on each page.)

Fruit Leather

A favorite way to use old fruit is in fruit leather. The same principle applies whether the fruit is new or old. Drain juice from fruit (reserve to use later, if needed). Puree fruit, adding additional juice back to the fruit, as needed, to create the consistency of thick applesauce. Add sweetening to taste (frequently the syrup on the fruit is sufficient sweetening). Spices may also be added for additional flavor. Be careful with sweetening and spices, they both concentrate when dried. Spread thinly on dryer racks which have been lined with plastic wrap and dry according to dryer instructions.

(Source: Utah State University Food Storage Cooking School—Low and Hendricks, USU Extension, Salt Lake County, 1/1999, pgs. 79-80. Copies may be made for individual and non-profit use as long as Utah State University Extension credit appears on each page.)

Pureed Fat Replacement

Older fruit may be pureed and used in place of part of the fat in baked goods. The fruit will help provide moisture to the recipe, but since pureed fruit does not melt, it will not act the same way as fat in baking, and the final product will be changed. Do not replace all fat with pureed fruit. Begin by replacing ¼ to ½ and test the quality of the product. A good rule of thumb is to maintain at least 1 tablespoon of fat per cup of flour used in the recipe. The rest of the original fat in the recipe may be substituted with fruit. Since fruit is sweet and moist the final baking time may need to be increased to compensate for extra moisture.

(Source: Utah State University Food Storage Cooking School—Low and Hendricks, USU Extension, Salt Lake County, 1/1999, pg. 79. Copies may be made for individual and non-profit use as long as Utah State University Extension credit appears on each page.)

Fruit Smoothies

Nice way to use older bottled fruit. Makes about 3-4 servings.

2 cups bottled fruit, drained
1 cup yogurt
1 banana (optional)

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. The banana will help thicken the smoothie.

(Source: Utah State University Food Storage Cooking School—Low and Hendricks, USU Extension, Salt Lake County, 1/1999, pg. 79. Copies may be made for individual and non-profit use as long as Utah State University Extension credit appears on each page.)

Old Fruit Cake

This cake is an old-passed-around-favorite for using old storage fruit. Caution, it is rich, and so should not be used as a frequent means of using stored fruit. If old fruit is not available, canned fruit of any age, or fruit cocktail, works well. Cake texture is more like a pudding cake, rather than a light and fluffy cake. There are many versions of the standard recipe. Try adapting your own to suit your needs and nutrition. Serves 16-20

1 quart fruit, with juice
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup raisins, nuts or coconut (optional)

Blend fruit with juice in food processor or blender (or use a potato masher—it need not be a fine puree). Add sugar and oil to fruit and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Pour batter in a non-stick 9x13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cake is rich and can be eaten plain, but if frosting is desired, a butter cream or cream cheese frosting is nice.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 372 Calories from Fat 128
Percent Total Calories From:
Fat 35% Protein 4% Carb. 61%
Nutrient Amount per % Daily
Serving Value
Total Fat 14 g 22%
Saturated Fat 1 g 5%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 353 mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 57 g 19%
Dietary Fiber 1 g 4%
Protein 4 g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 4% Iron 5%

(Source: Utah State University Food Storage Cooking School—Low and Hendricks, USU Extension, Salt Lake County, 1/1999, pg. 79. Copies may be made for individual and non-profit use as long as Utah State University Extension credit appears on each page.)

Using Old Stored Food

"Before using old storage, determine the safety of the food. When in doubt, throw it out. Do not taste any food which may be unsafe.

1. Food was not processed properly. If improper processing times, methods, and/or recipes were used for home canned vegetables and meats, the jar may be sealed, but the product deadly—DO NOT TASTE—discard. Use only scientifically approved recipes for home canning.

2. Look for the following signs of spoilage—DO NOT TASTE—discard:

a. Bulging lid—lid must be definitely concave; seal cannot be lifted with fingers.
b. Milky appearance to liquid—as food ages the liquid will become more cloudy and a residue will begin to form in bottom of jar—this is the food sluffing off, but the appearance should not be milky.
c. Mold growth of any kind .
d. Slimy appearance or texture.
e. Rancid odor—especially in foods which contain any amount of fat, like dehydrated protein.
f. Corrosion on inside of can, especially along seam (particular problem with canned foods older than 10 years or more.
g. Rust—especially on seam or seal of can.
h. Frozen can or bottle— freezing produces hairline fractures in seal and allows spoilage to begin.
i. Off-smell—food generally changes in odor as it ages, if the smell has developed to the point it is undesirable, discard.
j. Food stored in non-food grade container— the container was not meant for food or once contained a non-food product (garbage bags, garbage cans, cleaning bottles or buckets, kitty liter, etc.).

Discarding Old Food
If safety is not in question but quality and nutrition are undesirable, discard by placing in compost pit, spread over garden, feed to livestock, or discard in the landfill. If the quality is such that you will not to eat it—do not give to food banks, it will not be any more acceptable to them. But, if the food is desirable to eat and safe, food banks are always in need of donated food. If food safety is questionable, discard in a closed container then inside trash container. Do not feed to pets.

Using “Acceptable” Older Food
The longer food is stored the more the flavor, texture, color, and odor will change. If the food is safe (use the check list above), then the following may be used to create tasty dishes. Coverup strong flavor with spices, herbs, or other flavorings (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, Italian seasoning, creole seasoning, etc.—the stronger the flavoring the greater the coverup). Hide softening texture by pureeing, or mixing with other foods. Color will not be as noticeable if added to other foods."

(Source: Utah State University Food Storage Cooking School—Low and Hendricks, USU Extension, Salt Lake County, 1/1999, pgs. 78-80. Copies may be made for individual and non-profit use as long as Utah State University Extension credit appears on each page.)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

How Old is Too Old?

"Even with advanced methods of treating food to extend its shelf life—food does not last forever. There are inevitable changes that all nature (including food) must pass through. For food storage the questions then become “how old is too old” and “how do you tell if it is too old”? The following points help you determine whether to keep or to discard stored food.

I. Safety of Stored Foods
Safety of food should be and usually is the first consideration in shelf life. As food ages it naturally will change in flavor, odor, and texture. The worse these conditions are the less likely we will be to eat a particular food, but if it were safe to begin with, and it passes the following food safety test now, then it should be safe. Always a good rule of thumb to follow is “When in Doubt—Throw It Out.”

A. Was the food processed properly? If improper processing times, methods, and/or recipes were used for home canned vegetables and meats, the jar may be sealed, but the product deadly—DO NOT TASTE—discard.

B. Are there signs of spoilage? Look for the following signs of spoilage, if any are present—DO NOT TASTE—discard:

1. Bulging lid—lid must be a definite concave, and seal cannot be lifted with fingers.
2. Milky appearance to liquid—as food ages the liquid will become more cloudy and a residue will begin to form in bottom of jar. This is the food sluffing off, but the appearance should not be milky.
3. Mold growth of any kind.
4. Slimy appearance or texture.
5. Rancid odor—especially in foods which contain any amount of fat, like dehydrated meat, eggs, or protein products.
6. Corrosion on inside of can, especially along seam (this is a particular problem with canned foods older than 10 or more years).
7. Rust—especially on seam or seal of can.
8. Frozen can or bottle—freezing produces hairline fractures in seal and allows spoilage to begin. If a can of food were accidentally frozen, keep it frozen until time to use. Once the can thaws, the food will begin to spoil, but dramatic evidence of spoilage may not be visible for a time. Just
because spoilage cannot be seen, does not lessen the fact it is there and harmful.
9. Off-smell—food generally changes in odor as it ages, if the smell has developed to the point it is undesirable, discard.

C. Was the food stored in a proper container? Containers are constructed from different chemicals. Some of these chemicals can leach out into food, if food comes in contact with them. If the containers were intended for food, but other non-food products were stored in them, chemicals from these products could also leach into the food. For this reason, only food grade, moisture-proof, puncture proof, air-tight containers are acceptable. Unacceptable containers for food storage include garbage cans, garbage bags, cleaning containers, kitty liter containers, etc. New galvanized garbage cans lined with a food-grade liner (it must say it is acceptable for food on the package) would be an acceptable way to store large quantities of grains and other foods.

II. Quality of Stored Foods
If the individuals intend to consume the food cannot get it past their noses and mouths the storage will be of no benefit to them. Quality becomes the second consideration of food storage. Quality is defined by texture, color, taste, and odor. As food ages, quality will continue to decrease making it more and more unacceptable. Texture will become softer, color will darken, taste will intensify in some foods (like honey) and decrease in others (like spices), and odor will change. Changing odor should not be confused with a spoiling odor. Sometimes the undesirable characteristics of old food may be camouflaged by the way the food is prepared—adding spices, pureeing, combining with another food, etc. ... Because quality deteriorates over time, it is important to select high quality food products for storage in the first place. If the food is unacceptable in quality now, discard it. Time will not improve it. ...

III. Nutritional Value of Stored Foods
Sugar is the only item stored that is almost purely one chemical compound (sucrose). All other foods are various blends of minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, lipids (or fats), vitamins, and water. Since nutrients in foods deplete at various rates, store (and eat) a variety of foods. When considering nutrient loss in a specific food item it is best to consider the primary nutrient(s) for which that food was stored in the first place.

A. Minerals and carbohydrates change very little in stored foods. While there are small changes, they are biologically insignificant. So in other words, if a food is stored primarily for its mineral and carbohydrate content, nutrition will be little affected by age and adverse storage conditions.

B. Proteins change in the way they react in a recipe. For example, old wheat flour will not rise when used in bread because the ability of the proteins to form gluten has been destroyed.

C. Fats undergo enzymatic changes, or oxidize (become rancid) creating off odors and flavors. The higher the fat content the shorter the shelf life.

D. Vitamins are susceptible to destruction by heat, light, and oxidation. Some foods have high levels of particular vitamins and can still provide the needed daily supply even after loss due to age. For example, tomatoes stored 4 years lose 10%-20% of their vitamins A and C. However, tomatoes contain so much more of both of these vitamins that even when stored for several years, they still have much higher vitamin content than other foods (such as fresh applesauce). A good rule of thumb is to eat a variety of foods.

IV. Storage Conditions
A. Storage conditions for canned or dehydrated foods should be cool, dark, and dry. ...Shelf life of food is dependent on storage temperatures, light, and humidity. The warmer the temperature, the brighter the room, and the more humid the room the shorter the shelf life—in quality, safety, and nutrition (see above). The Quartermaster Corps of the United States military have established a storage life of 48 months for most dehydrated foods stored at 70º F. Temperatures above 70º F will shorten shelf life. For example, non-fat dry milk shelf life is 18 months to 2 years, but when stored at 90º F the odor of the milk will be dramatically affected and may shorten the life to as low as 3 months.

1. Cool—ideal temperature is 50º F (range between 50º - 70º F).
2. Dark.
3. Dry—between 50-60% humidity. Keep foods off cement floors and away from outside walls to prevent condensation.

B. Storage conditions for frozen foods should be as cold as possible (0 degrees or lower is ideal) and frost free. ...

1. Frost free freezers are great to cut back defrosting work, but they also compromise the quality of the food stored. The principle behind frost free is a melting and evaporating in order to rid the freezer of undesirable frost build up. (If the frost is being eliminated then the moisture from the food is also being eliminated.)
2. Freeze foods in airtight moisture proof containers.
3. The lower the temperature (ideal is 0 degrees), the harder the freeze, the slower the deterioration of the food. Freezing does not preserve food indefinitely, it just slows down the deterioration process.
4. Most frozen foods should be used within 6 months to 1 year for optimum quality. The longer the food is frozen the more likely it will freezer burn and absorb flavors and odors.

V. Discarding Old Food
If safety is questionable, place food in a closed container and discard in garbage cans away from pets, animals, and children. If safety is not in question, but quality and nutrition is undesirable, discard in the following manner:

A. Compost pit.
B. Spread on garden to compost.
C. Feed to livestock (small or large).
D. Discard at public landfill.
E. If safety of the food is not in question, consider donating unwanted but desirable food to food banks or pantries.

VI. Using Old Food
Food which is safe and the quality still high enough to be desirable to someone (not everyone has the same taste buds and preferences) try the following solutions...:

A. Fruit leather—puree, season to taste, spread thinly on plastic wrap lined drying trays and dry.

B. Use in baked goods. Puree and use as an added ingredient in the recipe, or puree may replace part of the fat/oil called for in the recipe. ...

C. Make a smoothie by pureeing fruit, mixing yogurt, ice cream, etc, and season to taste. Makes a nice breakfast replacement.

D. Use smaller amounts. If the taste is strong try using the food item as a secondary ingredient in other dishes (small amounts are not as easily detected as when the food is used as the primary ingredient). For example, the taste of old dry milk made into a smoothie may be detected by discriminating taste buds, but the taste of old dry milk used in a pancake mix may be unnoticed.

VII. How Old Is Too Old?
In conclusion, the shelf life depends on three things: safety, quality, and nutrition. Once safety has been determined, the food must be desirable enough to be consumed.

A. Food stored longer than 5 years may be hoarding—not storing.
B. Most dry or canned food stores fairly well for 2 years.
C. Most dry or canned storage guidelines indicate storage time for optimum quality."

(Source: Utah State University Food Storage Cooking School—Low and Hendricks, USU Extension, Salt Lake County, 1/1999, pgs. 60-63. Copies may be made for individual and non-profit use as long as Utah State University Extension credit appears on each page.)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Building a Storage Program

"Food storage is good, in that it provides a personal buffer against outside forces (economic, natural, political, etc.). But, it must also be placed in proper perspective. It is a resource and a resource should be wisely managed. Like any other resource it should be kept in balance with other resources. It has never been a wise practice to “rob Peter to pay Paul” or to deplete one resource at the sacrifice of another. When effort is steady and consistent it engenders knowledge and familiarity of the topic thus integrating it into one’s life. For this reason it is not wise to spend a concentrated effort of time and money on food storage in order to simply check it off one’s list of things to do. The more time and effort spent on the project the more the project will become a part of everyday life, practical and useable.

1. Avoid going into debt. This is “robbing Peter to pay Paul” and may create a situation much more serious than not having “food stored for a time of emergency.”

2. Budget all expenses for the household and include a food storage budget.

3. Change the mind set from food storage only in time of disaster to food providently used daily. If the food is not to be eaten immediately, it is food storage. Purchase food to increase the amount stored. Purchase food to manage one’s own storage program. Purchase food in accordance with personal and family tastes, habits, lifestyle, age, etc.

4. Allot an amount each shopping trip to increase storage amount (since food storage is being rotated and used daily—that means 80% of the food dollar should be going for food storage); therefore, use wise shopping strategies on every shopping trip.

A. Shop with a plan and with a list—use the list of foods generated in the “How to Store What You Use” section.

B. Compare prices:
1. Compare the price of one brand to another. Try out new brands before purchasing in quantity to ensure the quality is acceptable to your household and will be eaten.
2. Compare the price of one size package to another. Divide the size of the package into the price and compare the price per unit of different packages.

A. Shop sales—Be cautious of shopping several stores and risking impulse buying at each store. Sometimes the 50 cents saved may cost $5.00 more in the long run
1. Compare price of sale item to non-sale item—is it really less expensive?
2. Do not be persuaded to purchase an item just because it is on sale.
3. Be cautious using coupons, they are used to encourage sales for the store or the manufacturer.

D. Buy foods in season.
E. Buy two items when one is needed.

4. Shop in quantity or bulk—but with wisdom:
A. Be sure quantity will be used before spoilage occurs or quality deteriorates.
B. Be sure quality of bulk item is high quality. Food will never be any higher in quality than the day you purchase it.
C. Use wisdom when purchasing at bargain stores, discount stores, salvage stores, warehouses, etc. Items sold at these stores may be lower priced due to poor quality and safety. If the food is discarded later or causes illness, the bargain price will not be worth the cost. (Even after following the guidelines below the quality of the product inside the package may not be acceptable.)
1. Check expiration dates—old items do not store well.
2. Check quality of packaging for tears, openings, exposed product, signs of leaking, soiling, excessive dirt, etc.
3. Check for signs of pest infestation.
4. Check for signs of temperature abuse—frozen packages are distorted, warped or have large ice crystals; items which should be loose are frozen into a solid clump; frost build up; freezer burn, etc.

D. Reject cans with dents on the seams, dents on the seal, dents large enough to hold at least one finger, cans with bulging lids, signs of leaking, rust, etc.

6. Ways to “increase” available money for food storage:
  • A. Use non-fixed income for storage such as tax refunds, gifts of money, bonus checks, rebate checks, etc.
  • B. Use entertainment money for storage by cutting back on (or cutting out) movies and movie rentals for 1 month, 2 months, etc.
  • C. Eat at home rather than eating out; cut back on snacks; use money spent on snacks such as sodas, chips, candy, munchies; develop cooking skills and cook from scratch rather than with higher priced convenience foods; pack a lunch rather than eat out.
  • D. Use vacation money by: choosing a less expensive vacation; shorten vacation time and use money saved for storage items; stay home for vacation; plan vacation wisely— lack of planning usually ends up in higher costs and less results.
7. Purchase foods from a reputable source. ..."
(Source: Utah State University Food Storage Cooking School—Low and Hendricks, USU Extension, Salt Lake County, 1/1999, pgs. 118-119. Copies may be made for individual and non-profit use as long as Utah State University Extension credit appears on each page.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Homemade Household Cleaners

How to Make a Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit

By Annie B. Bond

Most modern synthetic cleaning products are based on age-old formulas using natural ingredients that were passed down through the generations because the chemistry was right. Going back to the original naturally derived ingredients is a way to make cleaning products that work, don’t pollute and save you money. Most are found in your kitchen cupboards. Mix and match with well-chosen and environmentally friendly green cleaning products found in health food stores, and you can easily and simply transform your home into a non-toxic and healthy haven.

Non-toxic cleaning can give you a deep feeling of gratification in knowing that your family’s health is protected, and that your home is a place for your bodies to rest and recuperate rather than promote harm.

Making your own nontoxic cleaning kit will take you no time at all with these simple, straightforward directions, and with this kit you will be supplied with enough cleaning product for months of cleaning.

As an added bonus, ounce for ounce homemade cleaning formulas cost about one-tenth the price of their commercial counterpart—and that includes costly, but worthwhile essential oils, and concentrated, all-purpose detergents for homemade recipes.

Baking soda
Washing soda
White distilled vinegar
A good liquid soap or detergent
Tea tree oil
6 clean spray bottles
2 glass jars

Read more about these 5 basic cleaning ingredients, and a vinegar update.

Simply pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid detergent to make a texture like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn’t leave grit.

Note: Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store in a sealed glass jar, to keep the product moist. Otherwise just make as much as you need at a time.

1/4-1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups water
Spray bottle

Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand. The soap in this recipe is important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.

1 cup or more baking soda
A squirt or two of liquid detergent

Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven, then cover the grime with enough baking soda that the surface is totally white. Sprinkle some more water over the top. Let the mixture set overnight. You can easily wipe up the grease the next morning because the grime will have loosened. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven. If this recipe doesn’t work for you it is probably because you didn’t use enough baking soda and/or water.

1/2 teaspoon washing soda
A dab of liquid soap
2 cups hot tap water

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.

1/2 teaspoon oil, such as olive (or jojoba, a liquid wax)
1/4 cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice
Mix the ingredients in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and store indefinitely.

Keep a clean spray bottle filled with straight 5 percent vinegar in your kitchen near your cutting board and in your bathroom and use them for cleaning. I often spray the vinegar on our cutting board before going to bed at night, and don’t even rinse but let it set overnight. The smell of vinegar dissipates within a few hours. Straight vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just spray it on and wipe off.


Tea Tree Treasure
Nothing natural works for mold and mildew as well as this spray. I’ve used it successfully on a moldy ceiling from a leaking roof, on a musty bureau, a musty rug, and a moldy shower curtain. Tea tree oil is expensive, but a little goes a very long way. Note that the smell of tea tree oil is very strong, but it will dissipate in a few days.

2 teaspoons tea tree oil
2 cups water

Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse. Makes two cups.

Vinegar Spray
Straight vinegar reportedly kills 82 percent of mold. Pour some white distilled vinegar straight into a spray bottle, spray on the moldy area, and let set without rinsing if you can put up with the smell. It will dissipate in a few hours.


*I learned about this from Preparedness Matters blog. Thanks for sharing!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Homemade Laundry Detergent

A dear friend of mine found these instructions in a newspaper. Thanks for sharing Marjorie!

"Making your own laundry detergent is so easy and cost-effective that it's a wonder we ever started buying the brand name stuff at all. The recipes for liquid and powder laundry detergents are simple, natural and cost as little as 2 cents per load!

All you need are three basic ingredients:
1. SOAP (bar, powdered, or liquid)
all of which you can buy at your local grocery or health food store.

For soap, I recommend going au naturel with either Boraxo powdered hand soap or Castile soap, which comes in liquid and bar form.

The next ingredient, borax, is a mineral compound that works as a multi-purpose cleaner and bleach, so it's a green solution to keeping your whites bright.

Washing soda, which is similar to baking soda but more alkaline, cuts grease and neutralizes odors.

Here are two basic recipes for liquid and powdered laundry detergents. If you miss the floral fragrance of commercial brands, you can use naturally scented bar soap--or vamp it up even more by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the liquid detergent recipe--lavender is always divine.

Please note that even though the ingredients are from natural sources, they can irritate the skin, so it's a good idea to wear gloves while mixing."

2 cups finely grated natural or artisan bar soap OR 1 cup liquid Castile soap (Kirk's Original Coco Castile soap suggested) OR 2 cups powdered hand soap (Boraxo suggested)
2 cups borax (20 Mule Team Borax Natural Laundry Booster suggested)
2 cups washing soda (Arm and Hammer suggested)
Mix soap, borax and washing soda in a pan with 1 qt. water.
Heat to just shy of boiling, stirring, until water thickens and suds form. Pour into a clean 5-gallon bucket. Pour another 2-1/2 gallons of boiling water into bucket: stir well. Let sit 24 hours. You can leave it in the bucket and cover it, but I like to store mine in vintage 1/2 gallon milk bottles.
Use 1/4 cup per regular load. If the mixture separates over time, either stir or gently tilt back and forth in its container to remix. MAKES 2-1/2 GALLONS
(Note: Grating the soap may seem tediuous, but you can do it in a food processor with a grater attachment, and it makes a ton of detergent--more than a month's supply.)

2 cups powdered hand soap (Boraxo suggested)
1 cup washing soda (Arm and Hammer suggested)
1 cup borax (20 Mule Team Borax Natural Laundry Booster suggested)
Mix all ingredients well and store in an airtight plastic container.
Use 1/4 cup per load of laundry. MAKES 4 CUPS

(Source: Mary Jane Butters)
NOTE: You can go to this link for more information regarding the above-mentioned newspaper article.

Marjorie did some shopping and found the following items at these places:
  • 20 Mule Team Borax - (2.98/Walmart Superstore, 3.97/Reams, not found at Harmons)
  • Arm & Hammer Washing Soda - (2.69/Harmons, 2.79/Reams, not found at Walmart)
  • Boraxo Powdered Hand Soap (12 oz. - this measures 2 cups) (1.99/Reams, not found at Walmart)
(Source: Marjorie A.)

Dutch Oven - Fry Bread

Put 1/2 inch or more of cooking oil in your dutch oven. Remove a shovel full of coals from the fire and place your dutch oven on the coals. When it gets just hot enough to splatter when you put a drop of water in it, it's just right to start cooking. Take your favorite scone recipe and cook it to perfection.

VARIATIONS: Use frozen bread dough. Use over-risen biscuits and roll in sugar to make a dessert.
COOKING HINTS: You have to keep fooling with the fire because it's difficult to maintain. Use a long willow for turning.

(Source: "A Taste of the Old West or Dutch Oven Cooking Made Easy and Sourdough Hints" by Ken Benson)

Dutch Oven - Pot Roast

Brown roast in a hot dutch oven with cooking oil, making sure to brown all the surfaces. Add 1 cup water and cook on a medium bed of coals. Add coals on top for about an hour. Add taters, onions, carrots, and some more water and cook another hour.

VARIATIONS: Use mushrooms, peppers or whatever.
COOKING TIPS: Watch the fire, it burns easily. It takes a lot of salt. The bigger the roast the longer it takes.

(Source: "A Taste of the Old West or Dutch Oven Cooking Made Easy and Sourdough Hints" by Ken Benson)

Dutch Oven - Upside Down Cake

3/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
several slices of pineapple
1 cup sugar
some marchino cherries
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Melt the 1/4 cup margarine and add brown sugar. Put the pineapple slices on the bottom. Remove from heat. In a separate bowl mix sugar and 1/2 cup margarine. Add eggs and stir. Add flour and remaining ingredients and milk and mix well. Pour the batter over the fruit and brown sugar. Cook on a low medium fire with coals on top for 40 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness. when it's done, remove from heat and turn over onto a big plate. It is good served with ice cream, whipped cream, etc.

VARIATIONS: Use peaches, fruit cocktail or your favorite white cake mix.
COOKING HINTS: It burns very easily, so take your time. Make sure you are careful not to tip it over or you will have a ncie cobbler.

(Source: "A Taste of the Old West or Dutch Oven Cooking Made Easy and Sourdough Hints" by Ken Benson)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dutch Oven - Chicken

Dip pieces of chicken in your favorite batter or flour. Brown well in the dutch oven. Cover with your lid, put coals on top and cook over medium heat. You may want to rotate the pieces during the process. It takes about 40 minutes.

(Source: "A Taste of the Old West or Dutch Oven Cooking Made Easy and Sourdough Hints" by Ken Benson)

Dutch Oven - Omelets

3 eggs
1 tablespoon evaporated milk
Salt and Pepper
4 teaspoons bacon grease

Put the bacon grease in the dutch oven and melt. Whip up everything else in a separate bowl and pour into your dutch oven. Use low heat with coals on top. Watch closely. Cook through to perfection.

VARIATIONS: Add cheese, browned mushrooms, green pepper or whatever.
COOKING HINTS: It takes very little heat to cook this. Watch it closely. It's important to find the magic moment when it is done just right.

(Source: "A Taste of the Old West or Dutch Oven Cooking Made Easy and Sourdough Hints" by Ken Benson)

Dutch Oven - Stew

2 lb. beef cubes rolled in flour
6 medium potatoes
4 large carrots
1 medium chopped onion
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
Brown beef in hot oil
Put in the onions, carrots, etc. Cover with water and salt. Cook until meat is tender. Simmer for about an hour. Whomp up some dumplings with biscuit mix. Put dumplings on top and cook for 10 minutes, or until they are brown.

(Source: "A Taste of the Old West or Dutch Oven Cooking Made Easy and Sourdough Hints" by Ken Benson)

Dutch Oven - Swiss Type Meats

Swiss meats are the kind with sauce on them. The sauce makes it easier because it eliminates the problem of burning and takes a lot of the guess work out. Simply brown your meat, chicken, or whatever. Pour the oil off. Put your meat back in the dutch oven and add liberal amounts of barbecue sauce, tomato paste, ketchup or whatever type thing you like. Put on the hot coals with coals on top and cook. Stir often.

VARIATIONS: You may use whatever type of liquid or seasoning you like. Be sure to use plenty, because it cooks away. Add mushrooms, onions, peppers, etc.

COOKING TIPS: It will take a lot of heat. The temperature is not really important because it's hard to burn. This will be done quicker than you think, so check often.

(Source: "A Taste of the Old West or Dutch Oven Cooking Made Easy and Sourdough Hints" by Ken Benson)

Dutch Oven - Good Stuff

12-inch dutch oven

2 white cake mixes
1 large can applesauce
1 can cherry pie filling
1 large box red jello

Pour applesauce in dutch oven. Pour in cake mixes, then cherry pie filling. Cover with jello. Place lid on oven. Do not stir! Cook 45 minutes until done.

(Source: "Cooking in the Great Outdoors" booklet)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dutch Oven - Bread/Biscuits

A few basics:
"Prepare the biscuits by raising, thawing, taking out of the can, mixing up or whatever. SECRET: Place them in a pre-greased, round cake pan that will just fit in your dutch oven. Put 3 pennies in the bottom of your dutch oven and place the pan on the pennies. This creates a dead air space that will make the heat spread evenly. Put on the lid and take a shovel full of coals out of the fire and place in a pile on the ground. Put the dutch oven on the coals and cover the lid to overflowing with hot coals. As you bake, be careful to raise the dutch oven every few minutes and simply rotate the lid and the dutch oven. This will prevent hot spots. Be sure to keep watching and waiting for that magic moment when they brown just right. Take them off of the coals and look at a biscuit. If they aren't done on the bottom, put more coals underneath. If they're doughy in the middle try low heat for awhile. If the tops aren't done add more coals to the top.

COOKING HINTS: This method is good for all baking of any kind of bread. Biscuits, cookies, etc. Remember to be careful of the heat and keep messin'. Be patient, but remember there's only a moment between just right and burned."

(Source: "A Taste of the Old West or Dutch Oven Cooking Made Easy and Sourdough Hints" by Ken Benson)

Dutch Oven - Taters and Onions

"Line the bottom of a dutch oven with bacon. Place on the coals and fry the bacon until it's almost done. Add slices of potatoes and onions. Salt more than you ever think it could take and pepper lightly. Put the lid on, then put coals on the lid and cook for about 20 or 30 minutes depending on your fire. Stir only if needed. Taste often to make sure they are done just right.

VARIATIONS: Try green peppers, mushrooms or whatever you think you would like. Taters can be sliced, french fried or cut in pieces.

COOKING HINTS: Use lots of bacon grease and lots of salt. Don't stir very much. Serve immediately. Make plenty because they seem to disappear."

(Source: "A Taste of the Old West or Dutch Oven Cooking Made Easy and Sourdough Hints" by Ken Benson)

More Dutch Oven Information

During my younger years, my father enjoyed dutch oven cooking and in my opinion became an expert! I remember family camping trips where he would cook us all kinds of wonderful things. At one point I think he owned three or four different-sized dutch ovens. He passed along to us two dutch oven booklets that he learned from. (I'm guessing the booklets are each over 30 years old.) They are full of great information and recipes.

In one of the booklets entitled "A Taste of the Old West or Dutch Oven Cooking Made Easy and Sourdough Hints," author Ken Benson writes:
"Over my life time and especially during the last few years, I have been fascinated by the succulent things someone who is as crude a cook as myself can whomp up. Most folks think that dutch oven cookin' is mysterious and hard and that it takes an old-fashioned mountain man to make it work. After growing up using a dutch oven and cooking and stirring about 1000 meals, and after trying over 100 recipes, I have a different opinion. Dutch ovenin' is easy, and most anyone can do it. All you do is learn a few fundamentals; combine this with some common sense, and then just use your regular home recipes. ...

The dutch oven has been around for many centuries and is mentioned in the literature of many of the old countries. We know it was used by pilgrims and colonizers, and when the pioneers came west they brought the dutch oven because of its compactness and versatility. They found that with a dutch oven you could fry a piece of meat, make a loaf of bread, boil soup, bake a pie, brown a batch of cookies and make the best darn buffalo stew in the world. ...

"Dutch ovens come in 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16 inch sizes. My boys...think an 8 inch is just the thing for Scout trips. The 10 and 12, and maybe even the 14, would be my recommendations for the family. The big 16 is the thing for group cooking. Then fellow, to really get into dutch oven cookin' and really satisfy a crowd, you need several dutch ovens, because it takes more than one pot to cook a meal. My family usually uses four or five ovens to cook a meal complete with biscuits through dessert.

"Old-fashioned cast iron ovens seem to be best, but some people like aluminum mainly because it is light weight. When you purchase a dutch oven make sure the lid fits tightly, the inside is fairly smooth and that it has a rim around the top of the lid to keep the coals on. Many people have bought a dutch oven to take advantage of the low prices and later found out that it's a cast iron pot for a stove top and no good for cookin' in a fire.

If you're going to get along with your dutch oven you've got to treat it right. You must start with proper seasoning. Since a dutch oven is just a piece of cast iron, its pores must be saturated with oil to make it a quality cooking instrument. The best way to do this is to wash it thoroughly with soap and water to get the store-bought preservative off, then simply cook something greasy in it the first time. I like to make Dutch Oven Scones or even cook up a batch of taters and onions using an extra bit of bacon grease. Some people heat them in their ovens at home or on their charcoal barbecue and keeping rubbing cooking oil into the bottom and sides.

"A properly seasoned dutch oven will not stick, will clean easily and be relatively rust free. After you get your oven seasoned, be cautious to keep it that way by not using too much soap to clean it and by not misusing it. ...

"Dutch ovens should be cleaned, oiled, and properly stored. One trick I have learned is to leave a paper towel inside during storage to take care of moisture. ...

If I have anything important to say about dutch oven cooking, it is to start with moderate amounts of heat and work up. Things burn very quickly in a dutch oven. The fire is an important fundamental that will either make ya or break ya.

"There are all kinds of fires and believe me there's a great difference between them. Almost all woods can be used for a fire, but they have very different coal characteristics. For example, pine wood tends to burn hot and when the flame goes out few coals are left. On the other hand, oak wood is hard to get to burn, but you end up with a lot of hot, long lasting coals. I suggest that you choose wood from trees that the leaves fall off each year. I personally prefer charcoal, as it is easier to control, longer lasting and more dependable. It is important for me to be able to depend on the quality of coals I will have each time I cook.

"Select a flat place--where there is no fire danger--to build your fire. If you are using wood, build a very large fire, (It always takes more than you think) and let it burn down so that just coals are left. Dutch ovens should never be used on a fire with flames. It is important to have enough coals to be able to finish the cooking. Using a shovel take some coals out of the fire and place them on the ground and cook there.

"A neat trick I've found, is to build a large fire with some small and large wood. When coals accumulate, use the shovel to move the burning part off to the side then use the coals left to cook with. You can do this several times with the same fire so you always have live coals. For a charcoal fire simply cook on the hot coals or move a shovel full away from the fire for your cooking place.

"Heat can be used to cook on in many different ways. Some ideas you can try are, (1) using your dutch oven in your charcoal barbecue at home, (2) cooking it in your oven, (3) taking a garbage can lid, placing it on the sidewalk, placing coals on the garbage can lid and cooking on it, (4) using your gas camp stove. A dutch oven is so versatile that you can cook nearly anywhere with it, just use some initiative.

"Fire pits--many people talk about digging a hole in the ground, putting hot coals, then the oven, then more hot coals, then dirt and leaving it all day and coming back hours later to an out of this world meal. My experience has been to come back to a lukewarm, raw meal or a burned crisp $10 roast. Because of variables in coals, ground temperature, etc., I don't recommend this method, except to the very experienced dutch oven hand.

There are two cardinal rules for dutch oven cooking, (1) start low on the heat and work up, be cautious about burning, (2) keep fooling with your cooking, keep lifting the lid, watching, smelling, tasting and feeling.

"Some other important things to remember are: (1) to insure even cooking, periodically lift your oven and turn it on the coals. (2) use extra amounts of seasoning, especially salt, (3) keep your dutch oven level, (4) don't overcook, (5) time just right so that the biscuits and the potatoes, which take different cooking times are done at the same time, (6) don't try to be dainty and delicate, (7) keep your dutch oven clean--clean it before it dries out, (8) keep the dirt and ashes out.

Dutch ovens can be cleaned many ways. Some people never clean them, they just keep using them over and over. Some turn them upside down on the fire and burn them out. Some scrub them with dirt. I prefer to wipe out the dutch oven as well as I can as soon as the meal is over. If it doesn't come clean, I place it on the fire with an inch of water in the bottom and let it steam for a while, then take a spoon and dish cloth and simply stir the dish cloth around until the oven comes clean. Then I simply dry it on the fire, and grease the oven with cooking oil. Or if the hour is late, I take it home and wash it in the sink, trying to avoid the use of soap or detergent.

I hesitate to even go into recipes, as I have discovered that anything you can cook at home you can cook in a dutch oven. Just take your favorite home recipes, use a little common sense, and follow my two cardinal rules of dutch oven cooking."
(Source: "A Taste of the Old West or Dutch Oven Cooking Made Easy and Sourdough Hints" by Ken Benson)

Lucky for me, my husband has taken an interest in dutch oven cooking and delighted our family with delicious meals and desserts.

Dutch Oven Cooking

How 'bout giving or receiving a Dutch Oven for Christmas this year? Not only are they great to use year-round, but they are a good alternative source of cooking in an emergency.

Nothing better than a lump of coal to go with your dutch oven(s). See Safely Gathered In for their creative Christmas gift idea of charcoal gift packets.

The following information comes from a handout I received from a Relief Society Homemaking meeting many years ago. Unfortunately, there is no information who to give credit to.

  • Lodge Cast Iron - one of the best brands
  • make sure lid fits, even thickness of walls, no nicks or large metal runs
  • 10-inch or 12-inch best size for starters
SEASONING (Lodge instructions)
  • wash, rinse, and dry thoroughly, using mild soap and stiff brush
  • grease Dutch Oven with thin coating of solid vegetable shortening, warm Dutch Oven then spread shortening over entire surface with paper towel or cloth
  • place Dutch Oven in home oven and heat to 300-350 degrees for 30-60 minutes
  • remove from oven while warm and wipe out excess oil with paper towel
  • 2 briquettes provide 20-25 degrees of heat
  • 3 over, 3 under = 325-350 degrees
  • add 3 briquettes to size of dutch oven for top heat and subtract 3 from size of dutch oven for bottom heat to maintain a 325-350 degree oven
  • 8-inch = 11 briquettes on top, 5 briquettes on bottom
  • 10-inch = 13 briquettes on top, 7 briquettes on bottom
  • 12-inch = 15 briquettes on top, 9 briquettes on bottom
  • 14-inch = 17 briquettes on top, 11 briquettes on bottom
  • 16-inch = 19 briquettes on top, 13 briquettes on bottom
  • 2/3 timing method for breads, rolls, cakes, and pastries, cook with top and bottom heat for 2/3 of time then remove from bottom heat and continue cooking the rest of time with top heat only. This helps to eliminate the black, burnt, bottoms of baked foods.
  • racks and pans
  • long utensils
  • tongs for briquettes
  • small shovel
  • gloves
  • lid holder
  • lid lifter
  • whisk broom
  • stand
  • briquette bucket
  • aluminum foil
  • store in dry, warm place
  • leave lid slightly ajar, prop lid with stick
  • place wadded paper towel or newspaper inside to collect moisture

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Complementing Proteins

Protein is required for growth, body repair, and maintenance. Serious injuries or illness require extra protein. If we do not get enough protein, our bodies will steal it from our muscles.

Our bodies use 22 amino acids to make 50,000 (that's what it said) different proteins we must have to be healthy. Our bodies can make all but eight. These eight are called "essential amino acids" as we must get them from foods we eat. The only foods which contain all eight of these building blocks are meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and milk products. Soy protein is equivalent to animal protein and has all eight (plus one extra) of the essential amino acids needed to make protein in the body.

Planning meals around these complementary food combinations will provide the complete proteins needed by the body. In many cases it will be better than a meat protein. Complementing proteins should be eaten within the same day.

Wheat + Beans
Wheat + Milk
Beans + Milk
Cereal + Milk
Rice + Legumes
Rice + Milk
Rice + Wheat
Cereal + Legumes
(Source: "Food Storage Recipes - Using only the ingredients contained in the One-Month Basic Food Storage Kit", pg. 34)

Bean Flour

1 cup dry beans = about 1-1/8 cups flour

Dry beans can be ground to a fine flour using a hand grinder and strong muscles for small quantities or electric mill for larger quantities. A small amount of bean flour added to baked goods increases vitamin and mineral content and contributes towards a complete protein. Bean flour is great to have on hand for making "instant" soups, sauces, dips, gravies, and sandwich fillings, and to add to almost everything you cook or bake. When added to boiling water, bean flours thicken in only 1 minute; cooked 3 minutes they are ready to eat (saves fuel, too). This is the quickest way to cook dried beans. Give it a try.

Baby lima and small white beans have mildest taste. Other favorites are pinto, small red and garbanzo. Some varieties of beans require more liquid than others. You will have to experiment. Store flour on cool, dark shelf in an air-tight container. Best used within 3 months.
(Source: "Food Storage Recipes - Using only the ingredients contained in the One-Month Basic Food Storage Kit", pg. 22)