Friday, September 18, 2009

Pear Freezer Jam Tutorial

If you're canning pears, be sure to set some fresh pears aside to make this delicious jam. (Even if you're not canning pears, go buy some fresh pears and try making it.) It's gotta be my favorite!


4 cups crushed fresh pears

(peel pears and remove seeds before crushing)

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 (1.59 oz.) pkg. Ball Simple Creations No Cook Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin
5 (8 oz.) glass or plastic freezer jars

1. Stir sugar and contents of package in a bowl until well blended.

2. Stir in 4 cups crushed fruit. Stir 3 minutes longer.

3. Ladle jam into clean jars to fill line. Twist on lids. Let stand until thickened, about 30 minutes.

4. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks, or freeze for up to one year.
Makes 5 (8 oz.) half pints.

Ball has created a demonstration on how to make strawberry freezer jam. You can see it at:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Principles of Self-Reliance

While going for a walk the other day, I listened to a talk given by Silvia H. Allred entitled, "Principles of Self-Reliance" on my mp3 player. Today I decided to look it up on the internet and found a pdf of her talk. If you'd like to read it in its entirety, click here.

She has personally experienced an unexpected family tragedy as a child, the financial collapse of Argentina in 1989, and "the devastating effects of earthquakes in El Salvador and Chile." She said, "These events have taught me to follow the counsel of our leaders about living the principles of self-reliance."
"There are many other types of adversities we might encounter in the normal course of our lives, such as loss of a job, accidents, divorce, health problems, death, etc. Those who prepare are blessed in the present and will be blessed if adversity comes.

"Family preparedness is a well-established welfare principle, and women are instrumental in family preparedness. We prepare for difficult times. We prepare for the day of scarcity. We put away for emergencies. We save for a rainy day."
Some other highlights from her talk:

Personal and Family Finances -
"The two overriding principles of sound financial management are: first, live within your means, and second: save for a rainy day.

"What does it mean to live within your means, and how do you do it? It simply means to ensure that your expenses are less than your income." ...

"The second principle is to save for a rainy day. Keep in mind that small sums saved regularly, over time, compound into large sums of money. Financial advisors agree that saving at least 10 percent of your income will provide flexibility and security in your future." ...

Home Storage -
"We have been advised to acquire and store a reserve of basic food and water that will sustain our lives during difficult times or in emergencies. By following this counsel, we will help protect ourselves if adversity comes. Through careful planning and faithful efforts, we can gradually store a supply of food according to our circumstances."

"Begin modestly by purchasing a few extra items of food that are part of your normal family diet. You can do it when you do your normal grocery shopping. Take advantage of items that are on sale. Here are just a few other ideas:

• Complete a three-day supply of basic food items and then build your storage to a one-week supply.
• Gradually increase it until you have a one-month supply, two month supply, three-month supply.
• Consider items that will keep and store well, such as wheat, beans, rice and canned goods.
• Concentrate on essentials.
• Create a rotating system to avoid spoilage.
• Water should be stored in leak-proof containers and should be kept away from heat sources.
• Prepare a 72-hour emergency kit for each family member and keep them within easy reach.
• Be prudent. Don’t go to extreme measures to store food. Be obedient and faithful, and God will sustain you through trials."

Physical Health -
"The state of our health affects every facet of our lives: our feeling of well-being, our attitudes, our social interactions and our service to others.

"Habits that contribute to our physical health are:

• Eating nutritious meals.
• Exercising regularly.
• Getting adequate sleep.
• Practicing hygiene and sanitation.
• Avoiding substance abuse."

She concludes with:
"To be self-reliant in all these, we should:

• Assess current circumstances.
• Set realistic goals.
• Identify available resources.
• Make specific plans to reach goals, and follow such plans.

"I know that sound personal and family financial management, home storage, and physical health will be a great blessing to our families. Being self-reliant increases our ability to serve others, to assist the needy, and to give support and understanding to the emotionally-starved. Through righteous living, gospel study, and loving family relationships, we can achieve self–reliance and family preparedness, which will help us solve many of life’s problems." ...

I appreciate her words of wisdom. Thank you Sister Allred!

(Source: Silvia H. Allred, "Principles of Self-Reliance," May 1, 2008)