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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Baby Food, Lighting and Honey

L. Tom Perry Nov. 1995


Quote re: Self Reliance and Emergency Preparedness

"Acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life. ... As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year's supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness." L. Tom Perry, "

If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear," Ensign, Nov. 1995.

STORING HONEY

(from thefarm.org)

One pound of honey is about 1-1/3 cups.

Honey can be used in many ways. It makes a good spread for breads, muffins and biscuits and a tasty sandwich filling when mixed with dried fruits, peanut butter or cottage cheese. Honey can be used as a sweetener for fruits and beverages. It also can be used in any food that is sweetened, including frozen desserts, baked products, meat glazes, custards, frostings, pie fillings, cobblers, puddings, candied vegetables and salad dressings.

Honey can be used to replace some of the sugar called for in many recipes.

When making either cakes or cookies, first mix the honey with the fat or the liquid. Then mix it thoroughly with the other ingredients. If this is not done, a soggy layer will form on the top of the baked product.

Honey keeps best in a dry place at a cool temperature between 50 and 70 degrees F. Keep it in a tightly covered container so it does not absorb moisture or odors from the air.

Honey will start to form crystals as it gets older or if it is refrigerated. To make it liquid again, place the honey in an open container in a pan of warm water until it is clear. (You may also warm it up for a few minutes and then place the bottle of warmed honey in the Wonderbox oven).

Do not have the honey in a plastic container when you set it in the warm water.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Honey and products made with honey must not be fed to infants younger than one year, because honey can cause "infant botulism." Spores of the bacteria that cause botulism are present in honey. When these spores get into the intestinal tract of an infant, they grow and produce a toxin that results in serious illness and death.

Remember that these spores in honey are not destroyed by regular cooking or baking methods.

Making Baby Foods from Stored Foods

It is important to remember baby's needs when planning for emergencies. There are a couple of different approaches you may choose to take in order to provide for baby when it is most critical. You may choose to store ready-to-eat baby foods, but you also may want to know how to make your own baby foods from other stored items. The ingredients for these foods generally store longer than the canned baby foods, and of course they are more versatile. Things like rice, wheat, and dehydrated vegetables can be used for making baby foods and in cooking meals for the rest of the family as well.

Food mill For making your regular table foods into pureed baby foods, a baby food mill is a great tool. Keep this item on hand and you will find it useful for everyday use as well as emergency situations when you cannot go to the store to buy jars of baby food.

Baby food recipes: When baby is just starting on solid foods, it is important to follow allergy-conscious guidelines, even in emergency situations. Introduce one new food at a time. For rice cereal, simply grind rice finely in blender.

Use dehydrated foods Reconstitute dehydrated fruits and vegetables by soaking them in water. Blend the fruit, vegetables, and water until desired consistency and add more liquid (such as breast milk, formula, or juice) if needed. If a blender is not available, a hand-powered food mill is a good option.

(Above adapted from preparedness.families.blog)

LIGHTING WHEN POWER IS OUT

This time of year, the power can go off anytime, just like in the middle of a hot summer—PG&E and SMUD are overtaxed at times. If you want lights for your evenings, even without power, a good battery operated lantern is a must, like the Coleman one shown above. Check out the camping supplies at Wal-Mart or REI!

Month of December!

GARDENING


Technically in Sacramento, you can still plant right now in December, although with these frosts we’re having I don’t recommend it. However, if you want to try, you can plant lettuce, broccoli, onion sets, mustard, pea, radish and spinach.

Be prepared to place straw or plastic over soil to help keep warm, and always check a good gardening book for wisdom.

FRUGAL LIVING

If you want to buy fresh and day-old bread at fantastic prices, check out the Entenmann’s-Oroweat Outlet on Fruitridge Blvd.! I’ve been going there for years, and have found you can’t beat the savings anywhere else. Flour and corn tortillas, hamburger buns, biscuit mix, pretzels, donuts, loaves of wheat bread, English muffins and more, all for fantastic, unbeatable prices that are well worth the trip.

For each $7 you spend you get an item for free. In my case, I bought $14 worth so I got TWO items for free.

Try stopping by when you’re on your way back from the temple or downtown Sacramento. It’s off of Hwy 99 and Fruitridge Blvd. West.

Entenmann’s-Oroweat, 2475 Fruitridge Rd., Sac, CA

916-731-7138

STUMPED FOR GREAT INEXPENSIVE CHRISTMAS GIFTS? TRY THESE!


• Layered dry beans in a canning jar w/pretty ribbon top

• Child's artwork, framed

• Journal with special inscription

• Mug with chocolate milk packets

• Yard or two of pretty material and a simple pattern

• Home baked bread, and/or home canned jam

• Basket of Dollar Store stuff

• Decorative napkins and napkin rings

• Gardening gloves with seeds

• Photo album or picture frame

• Food storage items, like a can of wheat or nonfat dry milk

• Homemade cookie or brownie mix

• Different pretty yarn skeins

• Popcorn with jar of cheddar topping

• Barbeque sauce with basting brush

• Pancake mix and a bottle of real maple syrup

• Movie theater tickets

• Board games

• Jar of honey with biscuit mix

• Note cards and book of stamps

• Picture frames, buy them on sale!

• Specialty cookbook

• Pretty glass jar filled with candy’

• Muffin mix with muffin pan

• Books (look for sales)

• Set of dish towels and dish cloths

• $10 “credit” cards for restaurants

• Baking pans and supplies

• $15 I-Tunes gift card

• 72 Hour kit supplies

• Christmas ornaments

• Puzzles

• Flashlight

• Solar Oven (CookIt)

• Calendars

• Special soaps and bath puff

(above from the www.betterbudgetiing.com web page with some additions)

SAFETY WITH TURKEY FRYERS

As a former fire official, I’d like to caution against turkey fryers. They are extremely dangerous. If you plan on frying your turkey for Christmas this year, please note:

• Many units easily tip over, spilling the hot oil from the cooking pot.

• If the cooking pot has too much oil, it may spill out of the unit when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot. Oil may hit the burner or flames, causing a fire to engulf the entire unit.

• Partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover effect. This too may result in an extensive fire.

• With no thermostat controls, the units also have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion.

• The lid and handles on the sides of the cooking pot get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards.

May I suggest that you see this online video. Go to YouTube and type in the search: “Underwriters Laboratories Turkey Fryer Demonstration”

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gardening Winter Style

Winter is still in full force here, without much of a break. We've had continual cold weather (between 32 and 56 degrees for weeks), which is very unusual here. It's also been raining consistently for weeks as well, I haven't had to water the garden at all, which is also very  unusual!  My carrots and lettuce are doing okay, as is my broccoli and cabbage, but not much to harvest.  Still, it's nice to have them in the ground.  I look forward to the Spring for one reason only: planting veggies! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Frozen Garden

I have never seen such a hard freeze happen here in the Sacramento area this time of year.  It's not even December yet, but all my vegetable plants in my two boxes are frozen solid.  Also amazing because they are built up boxes, not just plants stuck in the ground.  See the pix of some of the plants here.  I hope I can salvage some of them.   I should have covered them but it would have taken me putting the cages back on and then sheets of some kind on top, and I didn't get to it. Next time I'll take the frost warnings seriously!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bread Store

There is nothng better than an excellent sale or bargain on something that you must have anyway.  Although I can make my own bread, I prefer to buy it for the majority of my bread needs, and my favorite is Oroweat wheat bread.

I go to the Entenmann’s-Oroweat, 2475 Fruitridge Rd., Sac, CA, 916-731-7138 store about once a month, and feel so wonderful for doing so.  Check out this photo of what I got yesterday for only $15!!!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Fall

We harvested an artichoke off the plant yesterday, so cool that it's still producing! I've been working on my other blog preppygirlskirts.blogspot.com but still have a ways to go before I'm ready to show the skirts.  Meanwhile, my garden is, as always, a peaceful place to be.  The broccoli, cabbage, carrots, etc. are all doing fine!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pressure Canning Spaghetti Sauce

Yesterday I pressure canned for the first time, making homemade spaghetti meat sauce.  It's awesome! It went very well.  My electric Maytag range burner did very well...and I just stood there and adjusted the temperature often until it settled in.  I made sure it never went below 10 pounds (and in fact kept pretty much at 13 pounds) for 75 minutes as required by the Blue Preserving Book for spaghetti sauce.  Tomorrow we'll have spaghetti but I'm using what's left from the process instead of opening up a newly canned jar.

But I'm so excited.  Chicken breasts are next.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cantelope

Yahoo!!! Our first cantelope of the year! Awesome color and flavor. We're very happy about that!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fall Garden

My fall garden items have been in the boxes now about a month and are doing well. I have peas, broccoli, carrots, radishes, lettuce, fava beans, and onion.  I keep meaning to put garlic in the ground but haven't yet.  My tomatoes are still more green than red, my green bean is fading, my cantelopes doing great but I hope they ripen before the end of the season!   Here are pictures of the garden as it looks today.


Friday, September 3, 2010

New Outfit

I about went crazy with the collar, but finally figured it out with the help of a friend and a lot of prayer.  Outfit is great, fits perfectly and is done!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Butter and Canola Oil

I buy a processed butter product that allows for easy spreading... However, it's expensive, and so I looked up recipes for how to make my own spreadable butter.

The recipe is:

two cubes butter, softened (not in the microwave)
3/4 cup canola oil

Mix it up well, pour into glass jar, OR into the last spreadable butter product's container.

It's great tasting and fun to make!

I have not checked out the price for the amount of butter/oil that I use for this to see how much less, if anything, it is from the store product...but it's fun to do!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pears

It's been a very busy week. I canned pears, dehydrated pears, and made pie filling out of them.  They are delicious. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cantelope

I found one lonely cantelope that was growing inbetween the garden box and the wood slat fence! I couldn't budge it! So I took the vine away from it and did what I should have done long ago.  I put the plant vines up on poles, and now I can see there are several cantelopes growing.  Hopefully this will keep them in the sun and develop into large tasty melons by the end of Sept!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Jar Sealing with my Food Saver

Yesterday I sealed into mason jars:

butter powder
egg powder
yeast
cheddar cheese powder

Very easy with the Food Saver attachment! Worked like a charm! Now my plastic bags of these products are gone and the food is in clean, neat jars!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sewing Project 2 - second skirt

Here is another skirt I made  yesterday, and I'm happy to say that I FINALLY understood the directions.  Wheew!  Took me forever.  Now I can make partial elastic waistband skirts to my heart's content!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sewing Project

Today I made a lovely skirt for a friend.  It only took a little over an hour.  Easy peasy, and so fun!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Cucumbers potatoes cabbage - the garden continues

Ah dear friends, how my garden grows.  Or not.

My cantelope is still in the flower stage, with only one tiny little start of one that I can see so far. It's probably because the neighbors beautiful tree is shading it enough that I only get about 6 hours of sunlight in that particular spot.

My zucchini are doing great, as usual just enough zucchini for us.  Perfect.

The garlic and onions have been harvested, and are drying.

In the new box, the tomatoes seem to be doing okay, the plants themselves I mean...but the tomatoes are, like so many others here in Sacramento County, not turning red and the number of actual tomatoes starting is much less than it should be, considering how many plants I have.  Still, my Early Girl is producing enough for us, and we did taste an amazing Amish Paste, but that's pretty much it so far.

The cabbage that we picked (see picture in previous post) was awesome. I made cole slaw out of it and it was great!  I have 4-5 other cabbage plants that were planted slightly after the first one, or they are simply slower because they were a bit crowded, they they are starting to produce heads.  I expect by the end of August to have two more cabbage heads, if not more.  Here is the new one.

The carrots have all been harvested as of today.  About 1/3 were 3 or 4 inches long, but the majority of them, thanks to my inefficient seeding, were much smaller. 

The lettuce plants were harvested and gone a few weeks ago.

The beets have been most disappointing.  A friend of mine has a huge garden and he gave us 3 inch beets.  Mine have barely produced anything, and the few I did get were only about an inch across.  Not sure what's up with that since they have unlimited depth they can use and the soil isn't clay (where my friend's IS).

The green beans are finally coming out again.  I have 3-4 huge plants up on poles that should be producing like crazy, but they have been a bit sporadic.  Not sure what's going on..but for the most part, I get a handful or two a week.  I hope that goes up just a little more.

The cucumbers are so fun! First time growing those and they are doing great.  I've gotten two good cucumbers off the plants (2 plants) with more on the way.

I have cleared out the carrots and peas and now have plenty of room for more items.  I have ot think about it where exactly I want them, but my next planting, probably within a week, will be carrots, broccoli, peas, potatoes and lettuce and spinach for Fall harvesting.

And lastly my beautiful artichoke plant is doing just great...starting to die off a bit, and I've let most of the remaining artichokes flower.  I cut them all off after this photo was taken, and will see how many more I get before the plant stops producing. It has heavily produced for over a year.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Garden 7-21/2010

I'm so excited to find the first cucumber on my plant for this year! I've never attempted them before. There is one more I found on the backside of a smaller plant, but this one I just picked and will sample this evening. I hope it's good!

Plus the cabbage looks ready to pick.  I will do that sometime before Sunday.  Cool!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Excellent Article

http://ldsmag.com/emergency/100707myths.html

Monday, July 5, 2010

How the Garden Grows and Harvesting Seeds

The garden is continuing to grow nicely, although I usually have more tomatoes by now.  The zucchini leaves are huge and the plant is gorgeous, but my zucchini are growing slowly.  There is a tree next door that shades the plants there now a little in the morning.  Not sure that hinders it or not.  The cantalope is growing, but again, very slowly, and I'll be surprised if we actually get fruit by the end of the season.  Meanwhile, the green beans are prolific, the cabbages are starting to form heads, the soy beans are flowering, and the one additional heirloom tomato is flowering as well.  The artichoke plant is still providing lots of artichokes!

I harvested some lettuce seeds today.   See the plant and the little black seeds? Very cool!

Tried to harvest spinach seeds but had a hard time telling which was which.  I hope I got it right.

Monday, June 14, 2010

On May 22, 2009, I took a photo of our first (and only) artichoke plant.  Here is a picture of it at about a month old.

As you can see from the post before this one, it's gotten huge this past year!  It seems to love its corner of the yard.  We ended up taking out the rose bush behind it, and I do have to circle it with snail bait powder once and awhile, but other than watering and the occasional fertilization, I don't do anything else with it.  This year already I've harvested about 15 artichokes.  Pretty good!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Artichoke

Such an amazing artichoke. We've been watering it deeply and often and it's responded so beautifully.  Can't see the 10 artichokes, but they are there!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Solar and Wonder Oven cooking

Tonight we're having chili, which I tried to make both in my solar oven and wonderbox oven. It didn't work, which is good to know. The day isn't hot, it's mild, but the sun should have gotten the chili hotter, however, the more volume there is in liquid the longer it takes to cook sometimes, and there was a breeze that was wicking away the heat, so it's not unusual.

The breeze died down enough to put bread into the solar cooker, and although I only left it out 1.5 hours (should be 3 or more), it baked enough that it just needed 10 more minutes in the oven.

I'll try the chili again when it's hotter, probably this coming weekend as temps are going up to 93 degrees, and do it during the middle of the day.


Here are some photos of how I put the chili together.



Raw hamburger with raw onion and spices...


Then add the beans...and put it in the solar oven "Cook-IT" for about 4 hours or so.  The extra liquid in this means it must be cooked a bit longer.

Safe Food when Power is Out

After leaving out stew meat all night because I forgot to defrost it properly (I just took it out of the freezer and laid it on the counter while bringing together the other ingredients.  What I neglected to do was put it back!), this morning I looked up the USDA chart for when food is no longer safe outside of freezing/refrigeration.

I wanted to print it here for those of us who may have forgotten how crucial it is to keep food cold!  Remember, if power goes out, you are going to lose any food that you can't safely cook using your barbeque, solar oven, or other such method.

ANY food that IS HELD AT 40 degrees for more than two hours: (MEANING YOU HAVE KEPT IT COLD FOR MORE THAN TWO HOURS, BUT AT A HIGHER TEMPERATURE THAN REQUIRED)
MEAT, POULTRY, SEAFOOD

Raw or leftover cooked meat, poultry, fish, or seafood; soy meat substitutes

Discard

Thawing meat or poultry Discard

Meat, tuna, shrimp,chicken, or egg salad Discard

Gravy, stuffing, broth Discard

Lunchmeats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, dried beef Discard

Pizza – with any topping Discard

Canned hams labeled "Keep Refrigerated" Discard

Canned meats and fish, opened Discard

CHEESE

Soft Cheeses: blue/bleu, Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, cottage, cream, Edam, Monterey Jack, ricotta, mozzarella, Muenster, Neufchatel, queso blanco, queso fresco

Discard

Hard Cheeses: Cheddar, Colby, Swiss, Parmesan, provolone, Romano Safe

Processed Cheeses Safe

Shredded Cheeses Discard

Low-fat Cheeses Discard

Grated Parmesan, Romano, or combination (in can or jar) Safe

DAIRY

Milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, yogurt, eggnog, soy milk

Discard

Butter, margarine Safe

Baby formula, opened Discard

EGGS

Fresh eggs, hard-cooked in shell, egg dishes, egg products

Discard

Custards and puddings Discard

CASSEROLES, SOUPS, STEWS Discard

FRUITS

Fresh fruits, cut

Discard

Fruit juices, opened Safe

Canned fruits, opened Safe

Fresh fruits, coconut, raisins, dried fruits, candied fruits, dates Safe

SAUCES, SPREADS, JAMS

Opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradish

Discard if above 50 °F for over 8 hrs.

Peanut butter Safe

Jelly, relish, taco sauce, mustard, catsup, olives, pickles Safe

Worcestershire, soy, barbecue, Hoisin sauces Safe

Fish sauces (oyster sauce) Discard

Opened vinegar-based dressings Safe

Opened creamy-based dressings Discard

Spaghetti sauce, opened jar Discard

BREAD, CAKES, COOKIES,PASTA, GRAINS

Bread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads, tortillas

Safe

Refrigerator biscuits,rolls, cookie dough Discard

Cooked pasta, rice, potatoes Discard

Pasta salads with mayonnaise or vinaigrette Discard

Fresh pasta Discard

Cheesecake Discard

Breakfast foods –waffles, pancakes, bagels Safe

PIES, PASTRY

Pastries, cream filled

Discard

Pies – custard,cheese filled, or chiffon; quiche Discard

Pies, fruit Safe

VEGETABLES

Fresh mushrooms, herbs, spices

Safe

Greens, pre-cut, pre-washed, packaged Discard

Vegetables, raw Safe

Vegetables, cooked; tofu Discard

Vegetable juice, opened Discard

Baked potatoes Discard

Commercial garlic in oil Discard

Potato Salad Discard

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Artichokes


We returned from our two week vacation (where I fretted about leaving our vegetable garden with only a 3 day a week, 30 minute watering from the drip hose) to find our artichoke plant had obviously doubled in size and gave us a bunch of new artichokes.  When we left, we examined all the plants carefully to see where they were "at".  The artichoke plant had one baby artichoke on it, that was it.

We returned to find at least 8 of them. I cut a bunch off and cooked them today.  Great for dinner tonight!

Here is a photo of them in a nice bowl from yesterday.  Awesome, aren't they?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Radishes and stuff


The garden continues to be great!  These are the first radishes.

I put drip hose in the gardens...works good.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Zucchini

Our first beautiful zucchini flower.  Can't wait for the zucchini to grow and eat! :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Gardening

Oh how our gardens are growing.  I'm so happy with them!

We are growing cantelope melons, zucchini, onion sets, garlic, spinach, soy beans and lettuce...

Not to mention tomatoes (8 kinds), carrots, radish, cabbage, bok choy, peas, cucumber, green beans, bell pepper (two kinds), swiss chard, and beets!

Curly Dock, Miner's Lettuce and Thistle

Ah, the joy of tromping through the wilderness on an awesome Spring day! Beautiful weather, perfect temperature, company of another couple and dear friend as well as my husband, to look at edible plants.  Wild plants. 

They were delicious! First miner's lettuce, a beautiful, interesting looking plant that loves moisture and shady areas. 

Then the prickley thistle, something you'd never suspect held a perfect edible stalk, once the exterior spikes are stripped off.  Full of water, lush enough to satisfy thirst as well as hunger.

















And then curly dock, a pretty leaved plant that has a distinctive "leaf" taste, but again, very tasty and worth a mix in our everyday salads.

All of these were very easy to find, easy to identify, and wonderful to nibble on.

Stephen Nix, THANK YOU!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Red Potatoes Fresh From Garden! and New Water Bath Canner

One container of red potatoes is ready to harvest, so I pulled them out of the container's soil.  I had hoped for more, but I'm not disappointed in the 1/2 pound or so I harvested.  There are 7 small potatoes...perfect for tonight's dinner.  If all goes well with the other two containers, I'll definitely plant a whole row of them in the Fall planting!


I also found the perfect water bath canner! I've been looking for over a year for one that was suitable for an electric range.  I have the coil range top, but this would work equally well for the ceramic range top.  It's a high quality, smooth bottom pot with a clear lid. I made fresh multi-berry jam with it and it turned out fantastic!!! I bought it from http://www.biggestlittlekitchenstore.com/


I'll make more in a month or so and will post photos then.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wheat Meat Enchilada Casserole

I used my wheat meat chunks as the meat for an enchilada casserole this evening. Wonderful! Worked just fine.  The recipe:

2 cups seasoned wheat meat chunks
1/2 onion, chopped medium fine
six corn tortillas, torn into 2" pieces
small can sliced olives
medium can enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
chili seasoning to your preference

Saute onion until tender in 1/8 cup oil.  Add wheat meat chunks and just coat with oil and get hot.  In a small casserole dish, tear up pieces of corn tortillas and line bottom of casserole dish with them.  Put 1 cup wheat meat on top, spread around.  See photo to left.

Add olives and cheddar cheese and more corn tortillas.  Repeat.  Pour enchilada sauce on top.  Bake 20 minutes at 350.

Serves 3-4.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Idea of Wheat Meat

I tried to make Seitan today, or "wheat meat".

I found the process a nightmare.  First the fresh wheat flour and water are kneaded together to form a dough ball like you are making homemade bread.  Then you rinse it over and over again, frantically trying to keep the dough ball together, until the water is clear instead of white.  Meanwhile, the huge dough ball is now half the size.

I found it horribly wasteful...for both water and grain.

So I tried a different tac.

I took :
2 cups wheat flour, freshly ground

seasoning, such as garlic salt, pepper, whatever

mixed with ½ cup water or so…until dough is workable like bread dough

Knead the dough until like bread dough.

Then rinse in cold water by dipping dough ball into fresh water and squeezing / kneading it in your hands. Keep the dough ball together as best you can.  Don't let it get waterlogged too much, just a quick dip in the water before hand kneading it.

Do that about 10 times, keeping the ball of dough as together as possible.  Do NOT let the water run.

Let rest a few minutes.

Pull the dough into small balls and flatten out. Put a few drops of Worchestershire sauce on each flattened piece, just to add additional flavor... then fry in olive oil on medium heat. Keep heat medium lowish so it doesn’t burn, and turn frequently. When browned well on both sides, take out of oil, cut into small chunks, and fry up again. It should resemble croutons.  Delicious, easy and doesn't waste precious grain.

Add additional seasoning if needed.

Let cool and eat it, or use as a meat substitute.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spinach and Wheat Bulgur

Today I made wheat bulgur, which is simply boiling wheat for an hour, then dehydrating it, then cracking it in the Vitamix blender.  The photo below shows after it's boiled, then it's wrung out in a towel and then put on the drying sheets.

I also brought in some fabulous spinach leaves for our dinner tonight.  Wow, they are doing great!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tomato Garden

The tomato plants, especially the Amish Paste, is doing so well that the time has come to put tiers up around them and take off the chicken wire cage.  So far the neighbor cat has yet to try to use it as a kitty litter box, but it had to be done.  We "capped off" the end of the next cage over to protect it.  So far, all is well.  There are five plants that are barely making it, those are the ones I planted from seed.  More on them later.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wonder Oven Bread

The best thing about the Wonder Oven is that you can cook without thinking about it, kinda like solar cooking.

In this instance, I made bread.  Make your recipe for one bread loaf, and after letting it rise once, cut in half or thirds (I cut mine in half), put each piece of dough into a washed, greased V-8 can that has had the top removed.

Let rise with a towel on top for one hour.  The dough should rise so that it's within a couple inches of the top of the can. 

When that's happened, cover top of can with foil, rubber band it to stay in place, bring a large pot of water (with about 3 inches of water in it) to boil, then place the V-8 can with the bread dough in it into the water.  It will want to float, so do your best to keep it upright as you slap a lid onto the large pot.  Turn down a bit so it keeps boiling but not furiously. 

Let the water boil with the V-8 can for 10 minutes. ONLY.

Then carefully take the whole pot, lid, V-8 cans and all, and put on the bottom cushion of the Wonder Oven, then top with the other cushion.  Let "cook" in the Wonder Oven for 2-3 hours or so (I left mine for 3 hours), and then take the whole thing out, remove the V-8 bread can, and turn it upside down so the bread falls out.

It will look something like this picture when cut into slices.

Notice there is no "crust" at all! After you cut it like this, eat like you would normally.  Excellent! Very flavorful as it should be, and with a great texture.  No need for an oven at all!

It tastes fabulous toasted too!!

So how cool is that? If your power is off but you need bread for your family, you can arrange to have enough propane or barbeque broquets around to allow you to boil water for the Wonder Oven foods you plan on making, and then put them in the Wonder Oven to "bake".  With a little forethought, you can bake up bread and a chicken or beans or whatever for your dinner and use a minimum of precious fuel to do so.

Don't forget your solar oven too.  Once food has been in there and gotten hot enough, you can also transfer it to the Wonder Oven to finish cooking!  If that works properly, you don't need a fuel source at all!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Drying Parsley and Mint

I dehydrated parsley and mint from our garden today. These photos are how they look "before" on the drying trays.

Yum!