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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pandemic Preparation

There are many good articles here for preparing for a possible pandemic.
http://providentliving.org/content/display/0,11666,8041-1-4414-1,00.html

Friday, April 24, 2009

Times to Come

More quotes I found in an old book I have...this one I've never heard before:

We have been commanded to, by the Lord as well as prophets: ”There is something in the Doctrine and Covenants, which says, ‘And there shall be a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the crops of the earth.’ (D&C 29:16). …What are you going to do when that happens? Ah, brothers and sisters, [support] your welfare project, and when that happens and if you have your year’s supply of food in your home, let the hails come, and the winds blow, and our storehouses in our homes...will be full just as they were in the days of Joseph, and we will be preserved. I like that plan. What good will be our greenbacks that we get from the government for security when all the crops of the earth are destroyed by hail?…You know in the days of Israel they worked this plan.” (Matthew Cowley [Apostle from 1945-1953], “Matthew Cowley Speaks,” Deseret Book, 1954)


and


"I still have apprehension that we may have hard times. I still fear that we are going to have a war before too long that on each side will be intended to be a virtually exterminating war. I would like each one of you to think of having around you--you farmers-- a production that would enable you to live (and possibly for awhile without too much mechanization) and help some of your city folk to live too. It's a terrible picture even to think about, but we will be shortsighted if we do not." Reuben Clark Jr., Welfare Conference, The Assembly Hall, 10/11/1958.


Remember the above quote is only 13 years after WWII ended, which is the equivalent of the war ending, for us, in 1996. So the war was still very fresh in everyone's mind.

Simple Skirt 6 - DONE!


Done!

Simple Skirt 5


Finally, you inch in the safety pin attached to the elastic all the way around, making sure to secure the other end so it doesn't pull inside. Tack two ends of elastic together, then try skirt on to see if it needs adjustment.

When fitting is complete, sew up two inches (or you can also use the hem tape again.

Simple Skirt 4


Now sew up the hemline. Put the skirt next to your body so you can see how much of a hem you want. I didn't cut mine at all, leaving it so the skirt falls about two inches below my knee.

The hemline is first folded over on itself a scant 1/3 inch. Then, using the hem bonding tape again, it is ironed together.

Simple Skirt 3


Serge or sew the sides together. Now you have a box skirt with all edges neatly edged and the seam in place.

Cut a piece of elastic 3/4 or 1/2 inch wide, about 2-3 inches smaller than your waistline. You don't want it to hang on you, so it should be fitted feeling when you're done.

Next we will construct the "casing" for the waistband elastic. Fold over the top edge (either open side can be the "top")about 1 1/2 inches (so that the elastic can fit inside it later), and iron it down. Open up slightly and, using hem bonding tape, iron down the casing on top of the hem tape, being careful to allow room for the elastic. LEAVE TWO INCHES OPEN TO INSERT ELASTIC.

Simple skirt 2


After cutting out the fabric, serge all edges as needed to prevent fraying. If you don't have a serger, use your judgement on whether you need to sew the edges using the sewing machine. If you sew, be very careful the hem is minimal so you don't take away from the width of this skirt piece.

Then sew the seam.

A simple elastic waist skirt


One of my first blog entries here was a photo gallery on how to do a "no-sew" child's skirt. Here is a simple skirt I made this afternoon in just over an hour. It's very easy once you get the hang of it, and uses some of my "no-sew" methods.

First you buy about 1 1/2 yards or so of wide 54" fabric. Wash and dry it, fold right sides together, and iron it in preparation for cutting out. It's assumed that you know how to sew. The width is because the skirt is extra wide and you only have to cut out one piece, which makes it simple as pie!

This pattern piece I'm using is to fit my size 18-20 body, I'm sorry to say, but there you go. At any rate, you can make this pattern yourself by measuring, from the fold, 27" across. Then measure down from the top (or the future waistband)about 28". Cut this "almost square" piece of fabric out and you will have one very large skirt piece. Here is a photo of the pattern laying on the fabric. Ignore the darts and other markings shown on the pattern, I didn't use any of those, I just used it for convenience in cutting.

Food storage for most baking needs


To bake bread, brownies, or even homemade noodles, you must have certain ingredients. These are considered "dry" and usually keep very well in a cool place (as cool as you can get without refrigeration). I have the following items that I just used to make brownies:

Powdered eggs
Powdered butter
Nonfat dry milk
Cocoa Powder
White Flour
and
regular oil

I showed the oil here also because you can't live without it very long, at least not comfortably. Oil is critical for health, so when you store food, make sure bottles of oil are included. You will need, in most instances, about a half cup of oil per person per week for either putting into homemade bread or for frying or other such use. Don't neglect to store it!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Wonder Oven (Box)


A few weeks ago El and I went to a class where we learned to sew up a handy little item called a "Wonder Oven"...also called a "Wonder Box".

It's made by putting styrene pellets into two bean bag type pillows, cooking something to boiling temperature for a certain length of time, and then putting it quickly inbetween the two bags to cook for another few hours without using any heat source.

El and I put it together without any problem, although the styrene wanted to float up walls (pretty funny!) and in general get out of control. My husband helped clean up the floor (we stuffed the bags at home). Today I tried it for the first time, using it to make bread.

It didn't work all that great for the bread, but I also used 1) a different container, and 2) changed my recipe such that the "regular oven" baked loaf was a bit dry. Not sure if either item had anything to do with anything, but I will definitely use it for other things.

Supposedly you can cook stews, chicken, rice and all kinds of things. More later!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Garden Glory


My zucchini plant is doing great. I sprayed it the other day with a solution of water, garlic, onion and red pepper to get rid of some bugs eating a bit of the leaves. I also sprayed the green bean and the tomato plant. If the white flies are still around the tomato by tomorrow I'll try something else...

The tomato is Better Boy is fantastic...huge!

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Wheat Grinder

Many people have asked me what kind of wheat grinder I use. That's easy, I use my Vitamix blender, because it does all kinds of things, from wheat and grain grinding to making soups, smoothies, and much more. See www.vitamix.com.

If you'd prefer a single use type of product, there are many on the market. Check out some of these:

You can start with a less expensive hand grinder that doesn't use electricity: http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/schnitzer_grain_mill_schnitzer_grinder_shnitzer_flour_wheat_hand_grinder.aspx

or: the Hand Crank Manual Grain Mill/Wheat Grinder by Victorio- Kitchen Appliance to Grind Grains- Emergency Food Storage, http://www.amazon.com/Grinder-Victorio-Kitchen-Appliance-Emergency/dp/B0018P54TS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1240024043&sr=8-2

or: http://www.mykitchencenter.com/Details.cfm?ProdID=1393

However, if you're more worried about ease of use and can afford it, I recommend either the Vitamix, or that you try one of these: Nutrimill, http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/#Nutrimill

or: http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/family_grain_mills.aspx

In any event, choose carefully based on what you'd like to do with it. If you plan on grinding a lot of wheat at a time (more than 10 cups), you may want a true grain mill. Check for noise levels too.

Let me know what you choose and how you like it.

How to Grind Wheat into Flour

Several people have asked me how I grind my hard winter wheat grain into wheat flour. I have been using my Vitamix http://www.vitamix.com/ for many years and it's the best thing I've found...especially because it's not "just" a grinder, it's a full blender and more.

But there are also several other products you can try.

The Nutrimill is a good one, see: http://www.kitchenresource.com/GrainMills.html. The beauty of this product is it can grind up to 20 cups at a time...where I must say that the Vitamix can only do about 1-2 cups at a time.

Or there is the County Living Mill with Manual and Electric Operation at: http://www.mykitchencenter.com/Details.cfm?ProdID=1393

Or if you want something more reasonably priced for your budget and perhaps is a hand crank type, you can try this:

Powdered Eggs and Butter

I just ordered powdered eggs and powdered butter, from http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/. I have used powdered eggs since my first purchase of the product back in 2001. Some of it is in my freezer, some in my refrigerator. It has lasted all this time without any reduction in quality from what I can tell. Whenever I'm out of eggs, only have a few eggs, or whenever I want to use the powdered eggs for other reasons, I use the powdered product instead of the fresh eggs. I have never been disappointed. The price is reasonable. I would love to hear how anyone else is doing with either the powdered eggs or butter.

It's my first time buying powdered butter. I'm excited about using it in my bakery recipes!

Dry Pack Canning

Yesterday several women and I went to the LDS cannery off Fruitridge road and canned up a storm. I canned wheat, some white flour, odds and ends that were really just taking up the leftovers from everyone else as much as I could. I have to now figure out where to put it in my house, so I am cleaning like a mad woman and checking all nooks and crannies to put more in. The most important and first thing anyone should store is HARD WINTER WHEAT. It stores for 30 years or more, and is a real necessity for long term storage. A wheat grinder is also necessary. They can be expensive, but you HAVE to have one if you want to use your wheat for more than cereal and for sprouting. I'll put some web pages out there later for those who may wonder where to get a good wheat grinder. Meanwhile, if you have a Vitamix blender, you already have a perfectly good wheat grinder! That's what I use.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Vegetables 4-10-09







Here is my garden as of today, April 10th. Lookin' good! The logs are there to keep the cat from using the box as his personal cat box, although I also hear that paprika will do the job, so today I sprinkled some of that all around. The tomato that is showing the most promise for fruit is the Better Boy. It's doing great!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bread Thrift Stores

Bread thrift stores are a boon to the large family, but also the small family. Who wants to pay full store prices for bread today? The price is ridiculous!

Normally I can buy my bread at Raley's, Bel Air or even Winco (a much discounted store). The bread I like the best is Orowheat Honey Wheat Berry. At the local Safeway, this bread would cost me $4.69 each. However, if I go to the Oroweat thrift store on Fruitridge Blvd. and 24th, it cost me $2.89.

So, I bought the following: 2 Oroweat Honey Wheatberry breads, a Raspberry Danish, a chocolate cake, two Oroweat 7 Grain breads, a bag of sourdough rolls, a bag of french rolls and a bag of jalepino peanuts. All for $18.52. You do the math!

Extrordinary. Incredible. Oh so worth it!

So I suggest getting to your local bread thrift store and save save save!

If you want more details on where to find these type of stores, let me know.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

When to use Food Storage?

I have been giving the idea of food storage much thought lately. I am personally convinced that the Lord will come again in my lifetime (I am 55 this year), which means that a lot of things are going to happen in this world before then--most of which will make keeping food storage and a garden going a top priority; yet, I wanted to say that I am doing the year's supply and gardening, etc., for another reason entirely.

I don't care if I ever use it. I don't care if Obama is the best president we've ever had and the world turns seems to turn into a mecca of political correctness and tolerance.... because unlike some in the world who may then wonder why they bothered to obey the commandment to become self-reliant, I know only one word: "Obedience".

My job is to obey the commandment we have been given to be a self-reliant people, a group of souls who decide to do all they can to live by every word of God, despite what the world may say or decide.

Nothing matters except keeping all the commandments, and I find great joy in this one. How wonderful it is to be as self-reliant as we know how to be!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Food Storage

Food storage is critical to survive when we lose jobs, other sources of income, or are too ill to work. There are plenty of us who are one or two paychecks away from living on the street. Saving money is critical, but so is saving food, as it is a resource that will save us even if we can't get to the store.

I store red winter wheat and use my Vitamix blender to make wheat flour. If you don't have or don't want to have a wheat grinder, I highly recommend using the Vitamix. It's expensive, but I like the fact it does more than blend drinks.

I also store nonfat dry milk, beans, white flour, sugar, honey, and more. If you set your mind to it, you can do it too. More on this later!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Vegetable Garden

So far so good. Even though there is a cat that insists on using the box as his own sandbox (I have now placed oak firewood all around the plants in the hope he will no longer have room to do his thing), the tomatoes are thriving. The zucchini has been almost pulled out a few times by the cat, but it's hanging in there, as is the green bean. One of the broccoli plants has doubled in size, but the heads are forming more spread apart than they should. It's supposed to rain a bit by Wednesday, which may be the end of the rain this year.

Friday, April 3, 2009

More on Pruning Tomatoes

Here is another excellent video on pruning tomatoes. Remember this pruning is for indeterminate tomatoes only (the kind that keep producing until cold weather).

http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Prune-Tomatoes-30792536

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Solar Cooking

For those of you looking for alternate energy sources, I highly recommend acquiring a solar cooker. They are easy to use and fun! It's so great to let "chicken in a pot" sit outside for 4-5 hours and turn into a fantastic meal--all without hardly any effort on my part.

I've been solar cooking now for many years, using the Solar "Cook-It", that can be found at http://www.solarcookers.org/catalog/cookit-p-44.html. It's wonderful to use, and so easy. I wrote an article about it for Backhome Magazine a few years ago because I felt so strongly about its capabilities.

The best use I've found for using the solar cooker is to slow cook meats. Although it can cook any type of food, meats are the food items that take the most energy to heat, so I use mine when I want to cook whole chickens and roasts. What a great way to cook in the heat of summer without using gas/electricity and heating up the whole house with an oven.

I highly recommend buying or making your own solar oven and using using it as often as possible during the summer. Just think what it can be like if there is a power outage during spring/summer/fall lasting long enough that it affects the ability to cook breakfast, lunch or dinner. If it's clear outside, and not very breezy, you can use the solar cooker. Cold weather in the winter doesn't necessarily prevent it, although you may find the solar cooker needs more insulation, sun tracking, more time to cook, etc.

The other great thing about this and other solar cookers is that they can be duplicated at home. You can find directions on how to make solar cookers here: http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/solarcooking/images/5/57/CooKit_plans_detailed.pdf. They are not difficult to make and are so satisfying to use. Try it and let me know what you think!

Ldswoman@yahoo.com