Saturday, January 31, 2009

Baking Tips for Managing a Wheat Allergy

"When baking with wheat-free flours, a combination of flours usually works best. All flours function a little differently in relation to other ingredients in a recipe. Experiment with different blends to find one that will give you the texture you are trying to achieve. Try substituting 1 cup wheat flour with one of the following:

Barley 1-1/4 cups
Oat 1-1/3 cups
Rice 3/4 cup
Soy 1-1/3 cups
Corn 1 cup
Potato 3/4 cup
Rye 1-1/3 cups
Tapioca 1 cup

Potato and soy flours are best used in combination with other flours. They have a strong flavor and soy flour has a darker coloring. Rice flour gives a distinctively grainy texture to baked products. Rye flour is frequently used although it has a dark color and distinctive flavor. Barley, oat, and rye flours all contain slight amounts of gluten. Other grains are available that do not. Here are some suggestions:

Gluten-Free Flour Mix: 1 part white rice flour, 1 part corn starch, 1 part tapioca flour, 1/2 part white bean flour.

Rice Flour Mix: 3 cups brown rice flour, 1-1/4 cups potato starch or cornstarch, 3/4 cup tapioca flour.

Bean Flour Mix: 1-2/3 cups garbanzo/fava bean flour, 2 cups potato starch or cornstarch, 2/3 cup tapioca flour, 2/3 cup sorghum flour. Mix all ingredients together, use in place of wheat flour."
(Source: "Food Storage Recipes - Using only the ingredients contained in the One-Month Basic Food Storage Kit", pg. 34)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Preparedness Baby Steps


Becoming prepared can be a bit overwhelming at times -- especially if you're looking at the BIG picture. It's a little like trying to eat a whole elephant -- you can do it if you take one bite at a time. Well, lucky for us, someone has cut the task down to bite-size pieces or "Preparedness Baby Steps" in the following areas:
  • 3 Months of Savings in 7 Steps
  • 72-Hour Kits in 10 Steps
  • Car Kits in 10 Steps
  • 2 Weeks of Water in 3 Steps
  • 1 Week Food Supply in 7 Steps
  • 3 Month Food Supply in 10 Steps
  • 1 Year of Food in 20 Steps
Check it out at: http://pgward.org/ep/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/preparednessbabysteps.jpg

"Just pick an area to work on and do it one step at a time."
(Source: Emergency Preparedness, http://pgward.org/ep/archives/233)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shelter in Place

Although the thought of a Chemical Agent emergency brings unpleasant thoughts, preparing for one could save lives and bring you peace of mind. I found the following information on Peninsulas Emergency Preparedness (http://www.pep-c.org/shelteringinplace):


The Threat of Chemical Agents

Chemical agents are poinsonous gases, liquids or solids that have toxic effects on people, animals and plants. Chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants may be released accidentally or intentionally into the environment. Most chemical agents cause serious injuries or death. Severity of injury depends on the type and amount of the chemical agent used, and the duration of exposure. Were a chemical agent attack to occur, local authorities would instruct the public to do one of two things:

  • Evacuate immediately
  • Shelter in Place.

But you should take action if you notice any of the following:

  • An unusual smell or sound, such as an explosion.
  • Visible smoke, fire, or a vapor cloud.
  • Skin or eye irritation.
  • Breathing difficulty.

Guidelines for Evacuation

EVACUATION means to leave the area of actual or potential hazard. Emergency managers carefully develop plans and procedures for evacuation to avoid confusion and get people out of an area safely and quickly. If the order is to evacuate, do so immediately and carefully follow all directions. DO NOT wander around but know where you are going and how to get there.

Click here for more information on creating an evacuation plan for your family.

Guidelines for Sheltering In Place

The most important thing for you to do is follow the instructions of local authorities and know what to do if they advise you to shelter-in-place.

Remember that instructions to shelter-in-place are usually provided for durations of a few hours, not days or weeks. There is little danger that the room in which you are taking shelter will run out of oxygen and you will suffocate.

Remember this rule of thumb
Ten square feet of floor space per person
will provide sufficient air to prevent carbon dioxide build-up
for up to five hours.

If the order is to remain in your home, office or school, you will need to follow these directions:

  • Move or stay inside.
  • Close and lock all windows and doors.
  • Turn off the ventilation systems (heating, air conditioning, fireplace dampers, fans, etc.).
  • Get your family disaster supplies kit and make sure the radio is working.
  • Bring your pets with you, and be sure to bring additional food and water supplies for them.
  • Go into a room with the fewest doors and windows and seal the room (see instructions below).
  • It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room you select. Call your emergency out-of-area contact and have the phone available if you need to report a life-threatening condition.
  • Turn on the radio or TV and listen for updates or further instructions from local authorities.
  • Stay in this room until local authorities announce that it is safe to come out.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth if necessary.

You can use your entire house or only a few rooms. Make sure you choose an area that has a telephone, water, a toilet, and someplace you can seal off easily. A bedroom is an excellent choice.

How to Seal a Room

  • Dampen towels and place over the crack under the door.
  • Cut plastic sheeting to fit over the windows and vents. Secure the plastic in place with duct tape.
  • Tape around the door.

DO NOT ventilate (or air out) or leave your sealed shelter until you are told to do so. Avoiding chemical exposure is your primary goal. Leaving your sealed shelter to rescue or assist victims can be a deadly decision.

There is no assistance that the UNTRAINED can offer victims of a chemical attack that would likely be of any value to them.

If You Think You Have Been Exposed to a Chemical Agent

If you were outside before taking shelter and think you may have been exposed to a chemical agent, there are several things you can do.

  • If you are in a sealed shelter, take off at least your outer clothes, put them in a plastic bag and seal the bag.
  • If water is available, wash or take a cool to warm (not hot) shower, using lots of soap and water. Do not put the soap in your eyes; just use lots of water.
  • If you leave the area, tell emergency responders or medical staff at your destination that you may have been exposed.
  • Tell the emergency responders about the sealed bag so that they can arrange for its safe removal after the emergency.

If you have symptoms of exposure, call 9-1-1 immediately and follow their instructions.

Click here for a Sheltering in Place Checklist

Click here for information on Sheltering in Place when you're not at home


(Source: http://www.pep-c.org/homepage/)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ark Prep 101

A friend of mine shared this awesome idea with me yesterday. It includes monthly goals in the areas of obtaining a one-year supply, three-month supply, emergency preparedness, inventory and evaluation, and monthly safety tasks. Thanks for sharing Alisa!


"The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah."
--President Ezra Taft Benson, October 1987
ARK PACKING SUGGESTIONS
1. Go to www.lds.org
2. Click on "Provident Living"
3. Click on "Food Storage and Preparedness"
4. Storing Food is an important part of becoming self-reliant. Help your family become self-reliant by beginning or improving your own storage.

WHY FOOD STORAGE?
Provident living -- enjoying the present while providing for the future -- is the opposite of crisis management.

WHAT TO STORE?
BASIC STORAGE - "Life sustaining foods and non-food items that will store for long periods of time."

EXPANDED STORAGE - "Includes foods and other daily essentials to supply total nutritional needs and allow for variety and personal preferences. These foods should be used and replaced regularly."

What else would YOU want to eat? ...STORE IT!

HOW TO STORE
Location - cool, dark, dry, up off floors, pest free
Rotation - date items, use oldest first, before food goes bad - use it, share it or donate it
Inventory - update a written list, replace what you use, check for spoilage, remove bulging cans, insects
Containers - #10 cans, plastic buckets, foil pouches, original containers, glass jars

USING FOOD STORAGE - Basic Recipes
Egg Substitute Recipe (use in place of one egg)
Combine 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin with 3 tablespoons cold water and 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon boiling water. Set aside for a few minutes while it gels. Then use in recipe. (cookie/cake/etc.)

GARDENING - Got SEEDS?

EMERGENCY PREPARATION
"None of us knows when a catastrophe might strike. Sickness, injury, unemployment may affect any of us."
-- President Gordon B.
Hinckley, November 2002

FAMILY STORAGE GOAL ________________________

(Source: P. Brown, Meadows Ward)


MONTHS:
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

Ark Prep 101 - December

SALT AND OIL MONTH
One Year Per Person
  • 8 pounds salt
  • 10 quarts oil: vegetable oil, shortening, butter, salad dressing, mayonnaise

Three Months Per Person
  • 2 pounds salt
  • 2.5 pounds oil

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
  • Hold a fire drill
  • Plan for an evacuation

MONTH SAFETY TASKS
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Check fire extinguisher(s)
  • Check for footwear under beds (in case of an earthquake)

(Source: P. Brown, Meadows Ward)

Ark Prep 101 - November

GRAIN MONTH
One Year Per Person
  • 400 pounds grains: wheat, flour, rice, pasta, oatmeal, cereal, corn, barley, rye, cornmeal, crackers

Three Months Per Person
  • 100 pounds grain

ADDITIONAL ITEMS
  • Fire extinguisher(s)
  • Fire education

MONTHLY SAFETY TASKS
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Check fire extinguisher(s)
  • Perform safety check of home
  • Check for footwear under beds (in case of an earthquake)

(Source: P. Brown, Meadows Ward)

Ark Prep 101 - October

SUGAR MONTH
One Year Per Person
  • 60 pounds sugar: white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, honey, jello, jams and jellies, corn syrup, hard candy, chocolate chips

Three Months Per Person
  • 15 pounds sugar

ADDITIONAL ITEMS
  • Extra bedding and winter clothing

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
  • Review emergency procedures with family members
  • Have a Family Home Evening lesson on Preparedness
  • Review procedures for turning off: gas, water, electricity

INVENTORY AND EVALUATE
  • 72 hour kits
  • Check water storage and replace if needed
  • Review water purification

MONTH SAFETY TASKS
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, REPLACE BATTERIES
  • Check fire extinguisher(s)
  • Check for footwear under beds

(Source: P. Brown, Meadows Ward)

Ark Prep 101 - September

MILK MONTH
One Year Per Person
  • 16 pounds nonfat dry milk and milk products: dry milk, cocoa, evaporated milk, dried cheese, dried eggs

Three Months Per Person
  • 4 pounds milk products

ADDITIONAL ITEMS
  • Alternate sources of heat

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
  • Hold a fire drill
  • Plan for an evacuation

INVENTORY AND EVALUATE
  • Food Storage
  • Fuel
  • Sanitation
  • First Aid
  • Light items

MONTHLY SAFETY TASKS
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Check fire extinguisher(s)
  • Perform safety check of home
  • Check for footwear under beds (in case of an earthquake)

(Source: P. Brown, Meadows Ward)

Ark Prep 101 - August

LEGUME MONTH
One Year Per Person
  • 60 pounds legumes: pork and beans, refried beans, peanut butter, chili, nuts, canned and dried beans

Three Months Per Person
  • 15 pounds legumes

ADDITIONAL ITEMS
  • Alternate sources of light

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
  • Review emergency contact list both in and out of town
  • Update personal records and home inventory for insurance purposes
  • Designate a family meeting place in and outside the neighborhood
  • Know neighbors you are to check on and to whom to report
  • Have a financial plan for staying out of debt and savings

INVENTORY AND EVALUATE
  • Stored emergency batteries - replace if needed

MONTH SAFETY TASKS
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Check fire extinguisher(s)
  • Perform safety check of home
  • Check for footwear under beds (in case of an earthquake)

(Source: P. Brown, Meadows Ward)

Ark Prep 101 - July

VEGETABLE MONTH
One Year Per Person
  • 30 - 50 quarts canned or dried vegetables: tomatoes, corn, green beans, salsa, vegetable soup, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, potato pearls

Three Months Per Person
  • 8 - 12 quarts vegetables

ADDITIONAL ITEMS
  • Escape ladders for multi-level homes and homes with deep window wells

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
  • Review emergency procedures with family members
  • Have a Family Home Evening lesson on Preparedness
  • Review procedures for turning off: gas, water, electricity

INVENTORY AND EVALUATE
  • Stored medications - replace and rotate

MONTHLY SAFETY TASKS
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguisher(s)
  • Perform safety check of home
  • Check for footwear under beds

(Source: P. Brown, Meadows Ward)

Ark Prep 101 - June

FRUIT MONTH
One Year Per Person
  • 50 - 75 quarts of canned or bottled fruit: applesauce, peaches, pears, fruit juices, dried fruits

Three Months Per Person
  • 12 - 18 quarts

ADDITIONAL ITEMS
  • Alternate sources of emergency cooking: propane stove, Dutch ovens

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
  • Hold a fire drill
  • Plan for an evacuation

MONTHLY SAFETY TASKS
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Check fire extinguisher(s)
  • Check for footwear under beds (in case of an earthquake)

(Source: P. Brown, Meadows Ward)

Ark Prep 101 - May

WATER STORAGE
2 Weeks Per Person
  • 14 gallons of water
  • Store as much water as your circumstances allow
  • 1 gallon bleach
  • Baby supplies as needed: formula, baby food, diapers

ADDITIONAL ITEMS
  • Supplies ended for water purification
  • Earthquake education

MONTHLY SAFETY TASKS
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Check fire extinguisher(s)
  • Perform safety check of home
  • Check for footwear under beds (in case of an earthquake)

(Source: P. Brown, Meadows Ward)

Ark Prep 101 - April

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS
  • Trash bags
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dish and hand soap
  • Feminine supplies

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
  • Review emergency contact list both in & out of town
  • Review emergency procedures with family members
  • Have a Family Home Evening lesson on Preparedness
  • Review procedures for turning off: gas, water, electricity
  • Designate a family meeting place in and outside the neighborhood
  • Know neighbors you are to check on and to whom to report
  • Have a financial plan for staying out of debt and savings

INVENTORY AND EVALUATE
  • 72 hour kits
  • Check water storage and replace if needed
  • Review water purification

MONTHLY SAFETY TASKS
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, REPLACE BATTERIES
(Source: P. Brown, Meadows Ward)

Ark Prep 101 - March

FIRST AID, PAPER, DENTAL
  • First Aid supplies
  • Extra paper products: plates, cups, paper towels, napkins, Kleenex, toilet tissue, plastic utensils
  • Extra tooth brushes and toothpaste

ADDITIONAL ITEMS
  • Update First Aid Kits: home & cars

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
  • Hold a fire drill
  • Plan for an evacuation

INVENTORY AND EVALUATE
  • Food Storage
  • Fuel
  • Sanitation
  • First Aid
  • Light items

MONTHLY SAFETY TASKS
  • Check smoke & carbon monoxide detectors
  • Check fire extinguisher(s)
  • Perform safety check of home
  • Check for footwear under beds

(Source: P. Brown, Meadows Ward)

Ark Prep 101 - February

BAKING SUPPLIES
One Year Per Person
  • 1 pound yeast
  • 1 pound baking soda
  • 1 pound baking powder
  • Plus extra seasoning and sauces: vinegar, soy BBQ, spices, etc.

Three Months Per Person
  • 1/4 pound yeast
  • 1/4 pound soda
  • 1/4 pound baking powder

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
  • Update personal records and home inventory for insurance purposes

INVENTORY & EVALUATE
  • Stored emergency batteries - replace if needed

MONTHLY SAFETY TASKS
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Check fire extinguisher(s)
  • Check for footwear under beds (in case of an earthquake)
(Source: P. Brown, Meadows Ward)

Ark Prep 101 - January

VITAMINS, MEAT & SOUP MONTH
  • Multi-vitamins
  • Personal medications
  • Canned meats: tuna, clams, salmon, chicken, turkey, beef stew, beef jerky
  • Canned soups, dried soup

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
  • Review emergency procedures with family
  • Have a Family Home Evening lesson on Preparedness
  • Review procedures for turning off: gas, water, electricity

INVENTORY & EVALUATE
  • Stored medications - replace and rotate

MONTHLY SAFETY TASKS
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Check fire extinguisher(s)
  • Perform safety check of home
  • Check for footwear under beds (in case of an earthquake)
(Source: P. Brown, Meadows Ward)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Prepare for a Rainy Day

"It was not raining when Noah built the ark. But he built it and the rains came...We are told by seismologists that the Salt Lake Valley is a potential earthquake zone...We have built grain storage and storehouses...in the event of a disaster. But the best storehouse is the family storeroom. The Lord has said, "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing." Our people for three-quarters of a century have been counseled and encouraged to make such a preparation as will assure survival should a calamity come. We can set aside some water, basic food, medicine, and clothing to keep us warm. We ought to have a little money laid aside in case of a rainy day."
--President Hinckley, October 2005

Thrift and Frugality

"There is a wise old saying: “Eat it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” Thrift is a practice of not wasting anything. Some people are able to get by because of the absence of expense. They have their shoes resoled, they patch, they mend, they sew, and they save money. They avoid installment buying, and make purchases only after saving enough to pay cash, thus avoiding interest charges. Frugality means to practice careful economy."
--Elder James E. Faust, April 5, 1986

Emergency Heater in a Can

Found this information on a site entitled "Emergency Preparedness". This is something that was talked about in a Preparedness class I took a few weeks ago. I like how thorough these instructions are:

"Uses:
Heater in Home
Heater in Car during winter months.
Heater for Camping
Heater for your 72 hour kit.

Supplies:
1 empty quart can (you can purchase at any paint store)
1 bottle of rubbing alcohol
1 roll of toilet paper (with cardboard removed)
paint can opener (you can purchase at any paint store or mini philips screwdriver. )
pack of matches or lighter.

To make as a gift: Remove core of toilet paper. Fold the roll of toilet paper in half and stuff into the empty quart can. Put the can and the rest of the items in a ziploc bag separately so the recipient may pour the alcohol in the can when heat is needed. Copy the text below and include it with the kit.

Assembly for Use:

  1. Remove core of toilet paper
  2. Fold the roll of toilet paper in half and stuff into the empty quart can.
  3. Slowly pour 1 pint alcohol into can.
  4. Light w/ lighter or match.
  5. To extinguish, replace the lid.
  6. Put the following instructions in with the rest of the items.

Instructions for using Emergency Car Heater:
Use 70% isopropyl alcohol-any higher percent the flames could be too high. Do not use scented alcohol, it will smell awful in your car. 4 pints of isopropyl will keep a car 60 to 70 degrees for 24 hours. They are extremely safe and don’t produce carbon monoxide.

Warnings: Be careful the can rim will be hot to touch during and for a while after burning, although the can could be held from the bottom even while the heater is burning. It is suggested that you carry a metal pan or cookie sheet or fold a square of tin foil into fourths to set the heater on. DO NOT pour more alcohol on the heater while burning. Wait for it to burn out or smother with metal lid.

**It is recommended that you keep a window cracked open while burning the heater.**

This heater is NOT recommended for cooking!"

(Source: http://pgward.org/ep/archives/215)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Homemade Diapers

Check these articles out for sewing your own diapers. Could save you money and would be good to have in an emergency.

SEW YOUR OWN DIAPERS LINKS:
http://www.diapersewing.com/
http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/gussets.html
http://www.diaperjungle.com/sewing-cloth-diapers.html

Homemade Sanitary Pads

Found an article on www.hillbillyhousewife.com about how to make your own sanitary pads. The article includes instructions, patterns, and some interesting commentary. Might come in handy in an emergency.

OTHER LINKS:
http://www.diapersewing.com/clothpads.htm
http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/PADS.html

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Learn and Apply the Principles of Economic Self-Reliance

"More than ever before, we need to learn and apply the principles of economic self-reliance. We do not know when the crisis involving sickness or unemployment may affect our own circumstances. We do know that the Lord has decreed global calamities for the future and has warned and forewarned us to be prepared. For this reason the Brethren have repeatedly stressed a “back to basics” program for temporal and spiritual welfare.

Today, I emphasize a most basic principle: home production and storage. Have you ever paused to realize what would happen to your community or nation if transportation were paralyzed or if we had a war or depression? How would you and your neighbors obtain food? How long would the corner grocery store—or supermarket—sustain the needs of the community?"

(Source: Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare for the Days of Tribulation,” Ensign, Nov 1980, 32)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Homemade Yogurt

Making homemade yogurt has always interested me. So when I found a Family Size Yogurt Maker for $4.00 at my favorite thrift store -- I decided to give it a try. It looks almost new and has most of the necessary pieces (except for an instruction manual and three lids.) I figured I could find some instructions online when I returned home.



While I was shopping I also found the book "Stocking Up III" for $2.00. The book included six pages of information on Homemade Yogurt with great instructions and recipes.

When I arrived home I gave the yogurt maker a complete and thorough cleaning. Then I researched online to find instructions on how to use my new acquisition. While I didn't find the exact instructions for this particular model, I did find many articles online about the yogurt making process. It isn't necessary to use a yogurt maker, it just makes it a little more convenient. You can make yogurt in your oven, a Thermos, or even on a heating pad!

This morning I decided to try my hand at making homemade yogurt. The recipe calls for warm water; instant nonfat dry milk; and fresh, unflavored yogurt (with live cultures.)

Here's a little tutorial:



The yogurt machine needs to be plugged in to begin warming up first thing.



Assemble the ingredients: Warm water, instant nonfat dry milk, and fresh yogurt (with live cultures.)



Next, combine the warm water (110 to 115 degrees F.) and dry milk in a medium-sized pan and mixed thoroughly.



Once the water and milk are thoroughly mixed, add the yogurt and stir well.



Mix thoroughly.



Make sure the temperature is between 110 and 115 degrees F.



Pour the mixture into the glass yogurt cups. Divide the amount up evenly into the five cups.



Cover glass containers with lids (or improvise and use plastic wrap with elastics like I did -- out of necessity.)



Put on unit lid.


"After 4 hours, check one of the containers and tilt it gently. If the yogurt is thick, about the consistency of heavy cream, it is ready.

"Refrigerate the containers.

"If the yogurt is still rather watery, allow it to incubate for another hour, then check again. The longer the mixture incubates, the stronger and more sour the final result will be." (Stocking Up III, pgs. 390-391.)

*UPDATE: It took 9 hours for mine to thicken up. I read later that I should have poured the mixture through a strainer as I was pouring it into the glass jars. I did this after the nine hours incubation period. We'll see how it turns out. It's now cooling down in the refrigerator.


Here's the recipe I used:
THICKER YOGURT
4 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees F.)
2 1/3 cups instant nonfat dry milk
1/4 cup fresh, unflavored yogurt (with live cultures) or 1 package yogurt starter

Combine water and dry milk in a medium-size bowl and mix thoroughly. Stir in the yogurt or starter. Incubate using any method you like.

(Source: "Stocking Up III", by Carol Hupping and the staff of the Rodale Food Center, pg. 390)

One of the articles I read had a great idea for keeping fresh yogurt starter on hand (http://hillbillyhousewife.com/yogurt.htm.) She froze the store-bought yogurt (with live cultures) in ice cube trays. Once frozen, pop cubes out of trays and store in zipper-top freezer bags in the freezer until ready to use.

I measured 1/4 cup water to see how many frozen cubes it would take. One-fourth cup water filled two cube sections using my particular ice cube trays and measuring cup. Experiment with your own to get an accurate amount.


Homemade Yogurt sites:
http://hillbillyhousewife.com/yogurt.htm
http://fiascofarm.com/dairy/yogurt.htm
http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000176.html


TIP: When shopping at a thrift store, look at things with an eye for their "potential." Sometimes with a little cleaning up and/or fixing items you can find real treasures!

TESTING COMMENT: I personally didn't care for how it turned out. I'm going to try a different recipe...try, try again.

TRY, TRY AGAIN...RESULTS: (January 29, 2009) I followed the suggestion from "anonymous" in the comment section and a different recipe. It turned out great! (Thanks "anonymous"!) I used the recipe from http://fiascofarm.com/dairy/yogurt.htm and tried microwaving 3 1/2 cups milk until it reached 120 degrees F. and let it cool to 115 degrees F. before adding it to the tablespoon of yogurt (with live cultures) in the bottom of each cup. After four hours in the yogurt maker, it was ready to eat. :) I'll definitely be making homemade yogurt again.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Freezer Bag Cooking

Apple Filled Cookies

Filling:
Chop or break 2 cups dried apples into small pieces. DO NOT RECONSTITUTE. Place in saucepan and add:
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 tablespoon flour
Cook slowly, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until thick. Cool.

Cream together:
1 cup butter
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix together and add to creamed mixture:
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 1/2 cups flour

Drop dough by teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Make a depression in the middle of the cookie and place filling in the depression. Then place 1/2 teaspoon of dough on top of filling. Bake at 350 degrees F. about 12 minutes.

Testing comment: Good recipe, and different for a change of pace. However, it was more time consuming then most cookie recipes.

(Source: "Basic Food Storage Cookbook," South Jordan Utah River Stake, 2003, pg. 2)

Apple Pie Filling

1 2/3 cups dry apple slices
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix all dry ingredients together. Then add water and lemon juice and mix well. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally. If baking in a pie, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Put filling in unbaked pie shell, in oven and bake 40 minutes or until golden brown.

(Source: "Basic Food Storage Cookbook," South Jordan Utah River Stake, 2003, pg. 3)

Apple Crisp

2 cups dried apples reconstituted in 1 cup boiling water
1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup melted butter

Put apples and any remaining liquid in an 8x8-inch greased pan. Mix other ingredients in a separate bowl. Sprinkle over apples. Bake 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

(Source: "Basic Food Storage Cookbook," South Jordan Utah River Stake, 2003, pg. 5)

Apple Streusel

1st layer -- Mix the following and spread in a greased 9x13-inch pan.
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

2nd layer -- Bring ingredients to a boil and cook until thickened. Cool and spread of 1st layer.
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 cups dehydrated apples
2 cups boiling water

3rd layer -- Combine streusel ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over apple filling layer.
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream

(Source: "Basic Food Storage Cookbook," South Jordan Utah River Stake, 2003, pg. 5)

Dutch Apple Pie

Filling:
2 cups dried apples, firmly packed
2 cups boiling water
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Pour boiling water over apples and let stand for at least 5 minutes. Mix together sugar, flour, and cinnamon and stir into apples. Cook in heavy pan until thick.

Topping:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter

Cut butter into flour and sugar until crumbly. Sprinkle over the apple mixture and place in 350 degree F. oven for 55 minutes.

Testing comment: Doubling the filling will fill a pie plate. The topping does not need to be doubled. Omitting the butter reduces fat and the pie still turns out delicious.

(Source: "Basic Food Storage Cookbook," South Jordan Utah River Stake, 2003, pg. 8)

Applet (Candy)

2 1/4 cups dried apples
2 cups sugar
3 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups boiling water
5 tablespoon cold water
1 cup walnuts, chopped
powdered sugar

Break dried apples into small pieces approximately 1/3 inch by 1/3 inch. Do not grate. They should not look like applesauce when cooked. Pour boiling water over the apples and let stand at least 5 minutes in a two-quart saucepan. Add sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Boil for 1 minute. Turn the heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. While this mixture simmers, put the cold water into a small bowl and add gelatin. Grease a square pan. At the end of 30 minutes, turn off the heat and add the gelatin to the apple mixture and stir until it is dissolved. Add vanilla and chopped walnuts. Stir well and pour into greased pan. Let cool for 2 hours. Cut into squares, roll in powdered sugar to coat, and let sit awhile before wrapping in plastic wrap. These will store up to 2 weeks in an air tight plastic container.

(Source: "Basic Food Storage Cookbook," South Jordan Utah River Stake, 2003, pg. 9)

Apple Crepe Filling

Boil 1 cup of water. Remove from heat and add 1 cup dried apples. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Add one can applesauce, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Heat until warmed through. Place in center of cooked crepe, roll up, and top with whipped cream.

Testing comment: A little watery and flavorless. I doubled the amount of apples (not water) and sugar and added 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken it a little. It was then really good.

(Source: "Basic Food Storage Cookbook," South Jordan Utah River Stake, 2003, pg. 9)

Crunchy Apple Cinnamon Mix with Raisins

4 cups Cracklin Oat Bran cereal
1/2 to 1 cup coarsely cut up dried apples
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup raisins
3 tablespoons margarine, melted
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

In a 9x13-inch baking dish, combine cereal, raisins, and dried fruit. Set aside. Stir together remaining ingredients; gently stir into cereal mixture until evenly coated. Bake at 250 degrees F. for about 40-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 5 cups.

(Source: "Basic Food Storage Cookbook," South Jordan Utah River Stake, 2003, pg. 7)

Applesauce

2 cups dried apples
2 cups boiling water

Reconstitute dried apples using equal parts of dried apples to boiling water. Let stand at least 5 minutes. Put this mixture through the blender to make applesauce. For variety add 3 tablespoons cinnamon heart candy to the boiling water, or try some cinnamon and sugar mixture in the applesauce.

Testing comment: Tasty. This basic recipe is especially good for making unsweetened applesauce.

(Source: "Basic Food Storage Cookbook," South Jordan Utah River Stake, 2003, pg. 7)

Baked Apple Pie

1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 raw apples, diced, or 1 cup dried apples reconstituted in 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup chopped nuts

Mix ingredients and spread into a deep greased pie dish. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve hot with ice cream or as a snacking cake.

Testing comment: Delicious taste and rich flavor. This was different because it puffs up while cooking.

(Source: "Basic Food Storage Cookbook," South Jordan Utah River Stake, 2003, pg. 3)

Apple Pancake Topping

In a saucepan boil 2 cups of water. Remove water from the heat, and add 2 cups dried apples. Cover, and let stand for 5 minutes; then fluff with a fork. Turn on the heat and add 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Cook until thick, then top pancakes with apples and whipped cream.

Testing comment: Good and very easy, but almost too sweet.

(Source: "Basic Food Storage Cookbook," South Jordan Utah River Stake, 2003, pg. 2)

Applesauce Cookies

1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 1/2 cups flour, unsifted
2 cups quick oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups applesauce (or 2 cups dried apples, reconstituted in 2 cups boiling water, and pureed in blender.)

Cream together the shortening, sugar, and eggs. Add baking soda to applesauce and add to creamed mixture, along with dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips and nuts and stir until moistened. Drop from teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 425 degrees F. for 10 minutes.

Testing comment: Big hit! Disappeared quickly.

(Source: "Basic Food Storage Cookbook," South Jordan Utah River Stake, 2003, pg. 4)

Apple Brown Betty

Pour 2 cups boiling water over 4 cups dried apples. Let stand at least 5 minutes.

Mix the following ingredients well and then cut in 1/4 cup butter.
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup brown sugar

Place the apples and liquid remaining in a greased 9x9-inch pan. Sprinkle the topping mixture over the apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.

Testing comment: Very good, but only took 40 minutes to bake it.

(Source: "Basic Food Storage Cookbook," South Jordan Utah River Stake, 2003, pg. 4)

Dehydrated Apple Slices

Dehydrated apple slices are a delicious item to keep in your food storage. They add variety to the longer-term food storage items of wheat, white rice, and beans we are encouraged to store. The dehydrated apple slices from "Family Home Storage" in #10 cans (available at LDS Dry Pack Canneries) have a storage life of 30 years with proper packaging and storage in a dry place at or below 75 degrees F (24 degrees C). You can eat them right out of the can or rehydrate them. Instructions to rehydrate: Add 1 cup apple slices to 1/2 to 3/4 cup hot water. Drain off excess water after 15 minutes.

For Christmas we gave some #10 cans of dehydrated apple slices to my brother and his family. He enjoys eating them straight from the can or in a bowl of hot oatmeal. I promised him I would post some dehydrated apple recipes I found.

If you'd like to try dehydrating your own apples, the National Center for Home Food Preservation has some great information on drying foods. One of their links is to an article entitled "Drying Fruits" by P. Kendall and J. Sofos from Colorado State University.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pizza Dough -- Bread Machine

This can be made in a bread machine or by hand.

1 1/8 cup warm water
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour (use half whole wheat and half all-purpose)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. yeast
1 tsp. salt

Bread Machine directions:

Add water first, then flour (I usually only use 3 cups), then the remaining ingredients. Use dough cycle. When cycle is complete, roll out and add toppings.

Hand mixing directions:

Mix water, sugar and yeast. Add olive oil and salt. Add flour one cup at a time. Let rise until double in size. Roll out and add your favorite toppings.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

(Source: Valerie B.)

Monkey Bread -- Bread Machine


Using a batch of dough made in an automatic bread machine makes this easy and economical.

Dinner Roll dough
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Put sugar and cinnamon in bowl and mix. In a separate bowl, put in stick of butter or margarine and melt in microwave. Pull off small pieces of bread dough and roll into a ball. Dip ball into melted butter and then into cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place into well-greased Bundt pan. Do this with all bread dough. After that mix leftover sugar and cinnamon mixture and butter together and pour over bread in pan. Let rise. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Dinner Rolls -- Bread Machine


This recipe is a family favorite! So easy and delicious!

Place in Bread Machine in order prescribed by manufacturer of machine:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water (luke warm)
3 1/4 cups flour (can use half whole wheat, half all-purpose)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg (or use 2 Tbsp. powdered eggs plus 3 Tbsp. water)
2 tablespoons butter
3 teaspoons Fleishman's yeast

Mix the above ingredients on dough cycle, usually about 1 1/2 hours. When dough is mixed, take out of bread machine, shape into 20 rolls and let rise in 9x12-inch cake pan until light and fluffy. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 14 minutes. These rolls usually remain fresh tasting for a couple of days.

NOTE: I usually add 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten and 1 tablespoon instant potato flakes along with the other dry ingredients.

(Source: D M Wall)

Basic Bread -- Bread Machine


(Makes a large loaf)

1 1/8 cups water (9.1 fluid oz.)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons dry milk
1 tablespoon potato flakes
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
2 heaping teaspoons yeast
1/2 cup wheat berries (optional)

1. Install the mixing blade on the shaft inside the bread pan.
2. Pour water into the bread pan, add the flour, salt, sugar, butter, dry milk, potato flakes, and gluten; then place the dry yeast on top of the dry flour -- do not mix.
3. Place the bread pan in the bread maker, close the lid, plug into the wall socket, and push the START button.
4. Check dough. If it's too dry, add more water (a tablespoon at a time.) If it's too sticky, add more flour (a tablespoon at a time.)
5. After the beeping stops, push the OFF button, open the lid, and pull the pan out by the handle. To remove the bread from the bread pan, shake upside down.

NOTE: When we have extra wheat berries, I'll add 1/2 cup at the beginning of the mix cycle when I'm checking on the dough consistency.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Using a Bread Machine

One of my favorite kitchen appliances is my bread machine! We received it as a Christmas gift many years ago from my husband's parents. It makes fresh bread without a lot of effort on my part (gotta love that!) The recipe calls for 3 cups flour. Sometimes I'll use 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour; other times half of each.

Benefits of using a bread machine:
  • so easy!
  • no preservatives
  • great way to rotate food storage items
  • saves money and time (fewer trips to the grocery store)
  • aroma of fresh baked bread fills our home
  • hot, fresh bread fills our tummies
  • happy family
Here's the recipe I use:

BASIC BREAD RECIPE
(Makes a large loaf)

1 1/8 cups water (9.1 fluid oz.)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons dry milk
1 tablespoon potato flakes
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 cup wheat berries (optional)

1. Install the mixing blade on the shaft inside the bread pan.
2. Pour water into the bread pan, add the flour, salt, sugar, butter, dry milk, potato flakes, and gluten; then place the dry yeast on top of the dry flour -- do not mix.
3. Place the bread pan in the bread maker, close the lid, plug into the wall socket, and push the START button.
4. Check dough. If it's too dry, add more water (a tablespoon at a time.) If it's too sticky, add more flour (a tablespoon at a time.)
5. After the beeping stops, push the OFF button, open the lid, and pull the pan out by the handle. To remove the bread from the bread pan, shake upside down.

NOTE: When we have extra wheat berries, I'll add 1/2 cup at the beginning of the mix cycle when I'm checking on the dough consistency.

Bread machines have become more affordable since they first came out. I purchased some used bread machines at Deseret Industries (thrift store) for my older children when they went to college.

HELPFUL INFORMATION LINK:
What to do when your manual is missing - Click here (www.hillbillyhousewife.com)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wheat Grinders

"The five hundred pounds of wheat and dried corn in your basement aren’t going to do you much good if you don’t have a way to crack or grind the grains. A hand mill is an essential part of your food storage. Although electric grinders seem more convenient, they are useless if there is a power outage." --"Getting Into the (Wheat) Grind"
That being said -- do you have a way to crack or grind the grains you are storing? If not, may I suggest that a grinder be on the top of your list of things to acquire. There are several brands on the market. I can only tell you about the two that we have been using.

Our electric grinder is called "The Kitchen Mill" by K-TEC. It will grind very fine flour to coarse. We purchased it in 1993 and have never had any problems with it. Love it!

Our hand grinder is called the "Grain Mill" by Back to Basics. It adjusts from fine to coarse. It doesn't grind as fine as our electric grinder, but you don't need electricity for this one. It also takes a little longer to grind your grains than the electric one. Children seem to like to turn the handle on this one.

I googled "K-Tec wheat grinders" and found these links:

Canning Pantry has the K-Tec/BlendTec wheat grinder ($179.00 plus free shipping) at http://www.canningpantry.com/kitchen-mill.html
(Wow! I paid $179.95 plus tax in 1993.)

Harvest Essentials has both the K-Tec/BlendTec wheat grinder ($179.95) and the Back to Basics Manual Grain Mill ($74.95).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Important Concepts to Remember

Found an article entitled "Seven Major Mistakes in Food Storage" by Vicki Tate at LDS Living Magazine. The article covers "seven important concepts to remember while planning your food storage program." There is also a "Getting Started" segment. Below that is some helpful information regarding "Water Storage" authored by Scott Pedersen, Vicki Tate, and Barry Crockett.

Speaking of water storage...many thanks to my wonderful husband for finding a home for our two 55 gallon water barrels purchased a few weeks ago! He made room by the water heater in our home and built a platform to keep them off the floor. My sweet daughter helped me wash and rinse them out. (That is a task I'm grateful to have completed -- although it was kind of fun to roll them back and forth on the floor while we were rinsing them out.) My husband filled them with fresh water after they were positioned in their final resting place. It feels great to have that project completed!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Miracle on the Hudson

As I learn more about the recent plane accident that occurred in New York referred to as the "Miracle on the Hudson", I've thought a lot about the pilot and how one person can make a difference. He was prepared and he remained calm.

Quoting from a story by Erin McClam on the Associated Press: The pilot,
"Chesley Sullenberger spent practically his whole life preparing for the five-minute crucible that was US Airways Flight 1549." ...

"On Thursday afternoon, as Sullenberger banked his crippled Airbus A320 left over the Bronx, steered it over the George Washington Bridge and down the Hudson River, his life and 154 others depended on his expertise. The jet's twin engines had apparently been disabled by a collision with a flock of birds."
It truly was a miracle that no lives were lost. I also believe his life-long preparation played an important role in his own and others' survival. He was able to remain calm because he was prepared.

A passenger shared how the pilot's calmness affected him and others:

"The cabin was almost completely silent when Sullenberger came on the intercom seconds before the plane hit water."

"I can tell you verbatim: `Brace for impact,'" said Mark Hood of Charlotte, N.C., who was flying home after a work trip. "He said it in a calm, cool, controlled voice. It was a testament to leadership."

"Had he let any tension leak into his voice," Hood said, "it would have been magnified in the passengers."

I was also impressed how the pilot was the last one out of the plane, making sure everyone was safely out. He was also the last one off the rescue raft. His calm, clear thinking enabled him to help others and save lives.

What can I learn from all this?
  • Life happens, so do miracles
  • Be prepared
  • Stay calm
  • Preparedness brings peace
(Sources: Me, "Pilot's Life Had Prepared Him for 'Miracle Flight", by Erin McClam, Associated Press)

Friday, January 16, 2009

You've Gotta Check This Out

"Let Us Prepare" has posted 9 You Tube videos of "Wendy DeWitt's Food Storage Seminar" (THANK YOU Andrea!) Click here to check it out. You'll be glad you did!

"Everything Under the Sun" is Wendy DeWitt's Food Storage blog and is where she shares "just the way she does her food storage" (THANK YOU Wendy!) You may view (and print) the booklet she refers to in the You Tube video mentioned above.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Blessings of Baking Soda

Baking Soda is both inexpensive and versatile -- not just for baking. Make sure you keep plenty in your food storage and check out these links:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Virtues of Vinegar


Vinegar has many uses and is a great food storage item as well!

Because some of our family members have sensative skin, we've replaced fabric softeners with 1 cup vinegar in our laundry rinse cycle -- it softens clothes and helps cut detergent residue (been doing it for many years and it works great.)

Found the following article yesterday and tried out the "Homemade Spray Cleaner Recipe". It works great as a shower and tub cleaner along with a stiff grout brush and some elbow grease.
"...Try these easy recipes to clean your organized home faster, better and cheaper:

White Vinegar

Mildly acidic white vinegar dissolves dirt, soap scum, and hard water deposits from smooth surfaces, yet is gentle enough to use in solution to clean hardwood flooring.

White vinegar is a natural deodorizer, absorbing odors instead of covering them up. (And no, your bathroom won't smell like a salad! Any vinegar aroma disappears when dry.) With no coloring agents, white vinegar won't stain grout on tiled surfaces. Because it cuts detergent residue, white vinegar makes a great fabric softener substitute for families with sensitive skin.

Try these recipes to harness the cleaning power of white vinegar:

Homemade Spray Cleaner Recipe

Mix in a sprayer bottle:

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water

In the kitchen, use vinegar-and-water spray to clean countertops, lightly soiled range surfaces and backsplash areas.

In the bathroom, use vinegar spray cleaner to clean countertops, floors, and exterior surfaces of the toilet.

For really tough bathroom surfaces such as shower walls, pump up the cleaning power by removing the sprayer element and heating the solution in the microwave until barely hot. Spray shower walls with the warmed generously, allow to stand for 10 to 15 minutes, then scrub and rinse. The heat helps soften stubborn soap scum and loosens hard water deposits.


Undiluted White Vinegar

Undiluted white vinegar straight from the jug makes quick work of tougher cleaning problems involving hard water deposits or soap scum.

Use undiluted white vinegar to scrub the inside of the toilet bowl. Before you begin, dump a bucket of water into the toilet to force water out of the bowl and allow access to the sides. Pour undiluted white vinegar around the bowl and scrub with a toilet brush to remove stains and odor. Use a pumice stone to remove any remaining hard water rings.

Clean shower heads that have been clogged with mineral deposits with undiluted white vinegar. Place 1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar in a plastic food storage bag, and secure the bag to the shower head with a rubber band. Let stand for 2 hours to overnight, then rinse and buff the fixture to a shiny finish.

Add one cup of undiluted white vinegar to the laundry rinse cycle instead of commercial fabric softener. White vinegar softens clothes and cuts detergent residue--a plus for family members with sensitive skin." ...

(Source: www.http://organizedhome.com/pantry-recipes-homemade
-cleaning-products)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Clothes Washing Kit

Yet another idea from a Preparedness class I attended...a way to do your laundry in an emergency. You can easily put this together yourself.

CLOTHES WASHING KIT
5-gallon bucket with lid (cut hole in middle of lid for plunger handle to fit through)
Toilet plunger (brand-new, clean)
Store in bucket:
Liquid laundry detergent
Stain remover/stain stick
Vinegar (add 1/2 cup to rinse water) helps remove soap
Rope (for clothes line)
Clothes pins

To Use:
Empty contents of bucket.
Place water, small amount of detergent, and clothes in bucket.
Move plunger up and down for a few minutes or until clothes are clean.
Remove soapy clothes and ring them out.
Dump out soapy water (on your garden or lawn.)
Place soapy clothes in bucket and fill with clear, clean water.
Add 1/2 cup vinegar to rinse water.
Move plunger up and down to rinse clothing.
Wring out clothes and hang to dry.
Conserve water - use rinse water for next load of laundry.

NOTE: You could store two 5-gallon buckets, stack one inside of the other. Use one bucket for the soapy water and the other for the rinse water. You may be able to wash and rinse a couple of batches of clothes without changing the soapy water depending on how dirty the clothes are.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wonder Box Cooker

I learned about the "Wonder Box" at a Preparedness class I attended several nights ago. Instead of trying to tell you about it in my own words from the notes I took, I found the following detailed information online: Kathryn Pratt's Wonder Box Pics at http://ourldsfamily.com/wonderbox/.

"The Wonder Box Cooker recipes and instructions originated from a booklet published by “Compassion” of South Africa in 1978,1979 and 1980. “Compassion” registered name Wonder Box and the logo of the kneeling figure. This information may be freely quoted, acknowledgments being made to “Compassion”

Wonder Boxes work like vacuum flasks. In these days when we are being warned of worldwide shortages of food and fuel, this wonder box and it's simplicity is designed to keep food at the temperature needed for cooking. Using very little fuel you only use about 15 minutes of energy to bring the food to the required temperature and then put it into the Wonder box. It makes it as though it were a thermos. On the flip side it will also keep ice-cream cold for about 4 hours.

Brief Instructions:
Boil your food on the stove for 10 – 15 minutes until the food is heated right through. (In practice this is too long.)

Use any cooking pot, provided it does not have a long handle, but do not use a large pot for a small amount of food. The W'box does not work well if there is a large air space. Remember that the more food or liquid that you have in the pot, the longer and better it will cook.

Put the lid on the pot before you remove the pot from the stove so the lid can also get hot. Make sure the nest in the bottom cushion is ready to take the pot and that it is nearby so you do not lose heat carrying the pot around. Place pot into the nest of the W’box, making sure that the sides are snug against the pot, so there are no air pockets. Quickly cover the pot with the top cushion, making sure there are no gaps or air pockets. Make sure that no one peeks inside. If this happens, heat will escape, and the food will not cook properly.

Do not leave the W’box on a metal surface while it is being used. Metal is a good conductor of heat and may draw off some heat through the bottom.

When cooking anything like a roast or a whole chicken, the liquid around it can boil before the meat has reached the same temperature. Make sure the liquid covers the meat and it has come to a boil. Meat must be covered with liquid! The cooking time seems to be 3-4 hours, or all day. It is sure to never burn.

Note: We had a chicken that was put in at 9:30 in the morning before church. This single dad prepared the chicken by placing it into an oven-cooking bag. He added spices to the chicken closed the bag completely (no added moisture was added to the bag) then brought the pot of water with the chicken in, to a boil and put it all in to the W’box. We ate with him at 4:00pm and as he tried to carve the chicken that was well cooked; the steam was ‘rolling’ off the chicken. It was still so hot he worked with forks to carve it. Nb: the opening to the bag was left protruding from under the lid.

The W’box was designed for cooking meals, but it can also be used for keeping food hot, cold or frozen for 3-6 hours depending on what it is For example, frozen meat will stay frozen longer than a tub of ice cream.

The cushions filled with polystyrene can be washed with hot water and soap and hung on the line to dry.


WONDER BOX Sewing Instructions
Pattern (web/html)
Material: 3 Meters (yards are 3” shorter than a meter) soft cotton or broadcloth so it will conform to the shape of the pot.
(½ can be coordinated …. two colors)

19 scantly filled 1-gallon ice cream pails of Polystyrene beads (it is an insulation that looks like the tiny separate Styrofoam bits that make up the protective packing in electronics, etc.)

"Polystyrene is about the best insulating material and it is also easily washed. If you are only able to get the solid pieces which are used for packing radios etc., you can break it up by grating it."
The booklet also says "make cushions out of large plastic bags, mutton cloth or other washable material and fill loosely with any of the following:
Polystyrene, Dried corn husks, Woolen materials, Feathers, Waste nylon materials, Flakes of newspaper, sawdust and wood shavings, Hay or other dry grasses "In Canada we have a gray 'blow in insulation' in our attic, it would be impossible to wash without opening the wonder box but it may be added to this list as well.

Sewing instructions: When you sew the wonder box together you sew 2 of the 4 pieces together along the longest sides. You open each of the pairs now and place them right sides together and sew those 2 together all the way around the outside, making an awkward shaped cushion affair. Don't forget the opening to fill through. You then repeat with the 4 bottom pieces. One pair together, sew along the longest side, then the other pair. Open them up and place them right sides together, remembering to leave openings to fill through. I am adding a loop at this point to hang this by when not in use, or dry after washing.

The narrow part of the bottom pattern is the piece you will tuck into the bigger part of the bottom to make the pouch/nest for the pot to sit into.

Hoping not to confuse the issue. If you start where the bottom pattern says 90 (degrees for the angle) and sew down the right side of the pattern and stop just after the second 11 ½ " mark, before the pattern starts back up. That will be one of the two pairs. Do the same with the other two, put right sides together again and sew it all the way around the outside edge now, into the box or ball shape. The same goes for the top cushion, start at the 100, sew down the right and stop just after the 11" mark. The rights sides together and sew again making the shape of the top cushion.

It will not lie flat. It will take the shape of a square cushion when it is filled with the polystyrene beads, and the bottom cushion has a cavity like a nest or pouch.


Top: Fill a little less than ½ full while the bag is hanging. Approximately 7 scantly filled 1-gallon ice cream pails.

A paper funnel works best, as the beads are very static prone. You may want to use an ice cream pail to pour from. Work with two people to fill—one to hold the funnel in and the other to pour. Spread a sheet on floor to catch beads.

Bottom: Cut 4 Fill approximately ½ full with polystyrene beads. Approximately 12 scantly filled 1-gallon ice cream pails

Once this bag is filled, tuck the small end into the center to form the pouch/nest for the pot. Find a good pot that works well in this pouch. No long handles please.

When the pan sits inside the pouch/nest of the bottom, the pan is surrounded on all sides except the top. So… that is where the top/lid comes in. It is very important to keep all of the heat inside this wonder box cooker. One of the pages and the recipes explain that the lid/top of the wonder box must go on immediately with no places for the heat to escape or it will all be for nothing.

WONDER BOX RECIPES

Yogurt by the Gallon
4 cups dry skim milk powder
4 quarts warm water

Mix well, heat to scald, cool to luke warm
Add
1 cup of starter (plain commercial yogurt) or product saved from this finished recipe may be used to start a new batch. Refresh monthly with commercial starter.

Mix well, put into a gallon glass jar with a lid and place into the Wonder box.
Leave undisturbed for 12-14 hours. It will thicken more after refrigeration.
May be used plain or add your favorite fruits to flavour.
For those that can afford the calories, if the yogurt doesn’t set to your liking, add instant
Vanilla pudding. (substituting yogurt for milk)
Can be reduced for smaller batches.

Porridge
2 cups quick oats
4 cups boiling water
salt to taste

Stir oats into boiling water, put lid on and place quickly between cushions of the W’box for 15 minutes or more. Stir before serving

Rice
2 cups rice
Put into
3 ½ - 4 cups of salted boiling water. NB. Because the water does not evaporate you may need less water than usual.
Place quickly into W’box, and leave for 40 minutes or longer until ready to eat.

Vegetables
Potatoes or root vegetables may be cooked in their skins. Bring them to a boil in a pot full of water and place quickly between cushions of the W’box for about twice as long as you would normally cook them. They may be left all day without overcooking and can be more easily peeled after cooking
Try waterless cooking by using the crisp kind of bags used for cooking roasts, etc. Submerge the bag into the water and bring to a boil. The bag should be left with opening protruding out from under the lid. Place quickly into W’box.

Chicken and other joints of Meat
Place chicken into an Oven cooking bag with desired spices, and close bag
Bring pot of water with chicken in it, to a good boil.
Quickly place into the W’box and place top cushion on.
Leave alone for at least 3-4 hours.

The chicken was put in at 9:30 in the morning before church. This single dad prepared the chicken by placing it into an oven-cooking bag. He added spices to the chicken closed the bag completely (no added moisture was added to the bag) then brought the pot of water with the chicken in, to a boil and put it all in to the W’box. We ate with him at 4:00pm. It was impressive.


Try soups, stews, what ever you can bring to a boil and then give it a try. The worst that would happen is the first time, you may have to bring things back to a boil and replace into the W’box for a second cooking time.

I was given other recipes from a group who called this “The Clever Cooker” but they looked just like any other kind of simmered recipe and the consistent instruction was leave for 3-4 hours,

Never replace a pot of half eaten or luke warm food in the W’box It should be boiled up again to prevent it going bad."
(Source: Kathryn Pratt's Wonder Box Pics)

NOTE: Polystyrene available online at:
http://www.roseannsdolls.com/bebagfibyfa.html
http://store.quilting-warehouse.com/286617.html


(July 8, 2009) UPDATE:
Another link for a wonder box including pattern: http://www.iwillprepare.com/index_files/Wonder_Box.htm