Monday, June 27, 2011

Rotating Your Food

Rotating your food is the biggest challenge that a family working on preparedness can face.  I have been guilty of not rotating and loosing viability of my food.  Tsk tsk tsk I should know better.  For me buying, canning and drying food became a hobby which lead to hoarding behavior.  I have a large cache of food put away but I rarely eat any of it.
I read about a canner who only cans 2 jars of something the first time she can.  Example is soup.  When she tries a new recipe instead of making 2 gallons of it she makes enough for dinner and 3 jars to be canned.  The family tries it out at dinner and then in the next month they also try the canned soup.  Tastes can change with canning and some soups can better than others.  If the soup is a success with the family then more can be made on a larger scale and canned up and put away.  I love this idea because the food is being tested and eaten rather than canned and put away for some Days to Come event.
Now I hear you say, "but what a waste to only can 3 jars".  Use the remaining space to can dry beans.  Just fill the jar (same size jar as you are canning the soup in) with dry beans half way to the top.  Fill with water leaving 1 1/2 inch head space and can along with the soup.   A pint will be 75 minutes and a quart will be 90 minutes.  Beans come out all cooked and ready to eat or to be added to another dish.  We all have dry beans around and wouldn't it be nice to have your own beans canned instead of having to store up store bought beans in cans?  So much cheaper too.
Let me know if you have any other ideas on rotation other than the obvious of dating every thing and incorporating it in your food shopping list.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Canning Spinach

Spinach is an acquired taste but if you love it it is worth canning.

I was given two six gallon pails of New Zealand spinach.  It is beautiful with large green leaves, very clean and was grown in a green house.

I was skeptical at first and concerned it would come out mushy.  To my surprise it came out delicious.  Here is the process:
Throughly clean the leaves.  Watch for bugs and slugs.  Trim off all the stems.  Cut the spinach into smaller pieces.  To do this I grabbed a large bunch and ran a knife over it.  Some people like to cut it with a pizza cutter.  Put the sliced leaves into a large pot of boiling water and blanch for 9 minutes.  Fill jars to one inch from rim and add water from the blanching water to the one inch mark.  Burp the jars for air bubbles and wipe off the rims.  Put lids and rings on as directed and pressure cook for 75 minutes for pints.

The jars are very green and full of chlorophyll.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Earthquake and Tsunami

I am glued to CNN watching the fallout of the worst earthquake to ever shake Japan and it's Tsunami.  The pictures are haunting and unbelievable.  Each clip is worse than the next.
I had to take time and reflect on what if it were happening to me?  What can I do to prepare?  You might be one of those who says nothing you can do will prepare for such devastation while others of you say I am going to do all I can to educate myself and prepare my home and family.  I am one of the latter obviously.
1.  Know the fault lines in your area.  There are fault lines all over the world especially all over the U.S.  I know there are fault lines in my area of Washington and the coast is a possible tsunami area.
2.  If you live in a tsunami area know your prescribed evacuation route and have a plan.
3.  Have a family emergency plan.  Where will you meet?  Who is your contact person?
4.  Can you live without electricity, running water and sanitation?
5.  How long could you go without needing a grocery store?
6.  What if there weren't any gas stations?
7.  What if the banks were closed and the ATM machines did not work?
8.  Have I earthquake proofed my home to the best of my ability?
Check some of my older posts on how to prepare for an earthquake.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Holiday Present

 In lieu of sending you each a box of homemade Christmas Cookies, I have researched some good recipes online.  Just click on the site and you will find the recipes.  Enjoy!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

great site with pictures of the cookies.

cowboy cookies

no bake cookies

Readers Digest top nine cookies

Foodnetwork’s cookie recipes

Goodhousekeeping cookie recipes

Allrecipes cookies

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all.  Even if you are from a place that does not celebrate this special day, I hope you took a moment to give thanks for all you have.
I have debated whether to share this story and decided it is meant to be shared.  A couple of days ago I went to the mail box to find a real letter.  I can not tell you how long it has been since I received a real letter in the mail.  I brought it in and sat down to check it out.  Inside was a check and a letter telling me it was coming as a pay it forward gesture.  I broke down in tears and just looked at the wonderful note telling me that the couple had received a similar surprise check at a time they most needed it from a complete stranger from the blog world.  Now they were paying it forward and sending out checks.
I have not shared the fact that I have been unemployed for over a year now and am experiencing a financial meltdown that is the common thread in the news nightly.  If I hadn't been such a Frugalista I would be in far greater dire straights.  Now understand I am not complaining but sharing a personal story of thanksgiving.  Blessings come when you lest expect it and I thank the angels who made it possible for me.  One day I will be able to pay it forward as well.