World View of Visitors

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bread in a Bag

The book is redone and at the publishers...hopefully to be for sale by next week.  Yippee!

Meanwhile, the only thing alive in the vegetable garden is...oh no, wait, there isn't anything alive in the garden!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Vegetables in Garden Dec 1

Here it is, the beginning of December, and I still picked zucchini and tomatoes and even a green bell pepper from my yard.  Truly the Lord has blessed our garden.  I am so grateful that we have the space in our garden boxes to allow old plants to continue as long as they can.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Please see for the latest on my re-testing the breads in my book!


11281 as of today.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bread in the Bag

My Bread in the Bag book has been temporarily "paused" while I do some corrections that were brought to my attention.  Hey, we don't want to make a bread that has too much water in it, do we? No.  :) So I am going through all the recipes again since this is a good opportunity to re-test, and then it will be back "up" for purchase.  The second book is doing great and at the rate I'm going, will be up for sale soon after Bread in a Bag is back!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Time Goes By

I have been working so hard on the second Bread in a Bag book that I haven't had time to do much else.  Fortunately, we're deep into Fall, and my garden is quickly dying out.  This year, I am not going to try to keep winter vegetables going through until January--I'll just let everything die off and the soil will be allowed to rest until I replenish it in early April.  At that time, I'll put in a bunch of bags of good soil, shovel it in and prepare it for the new crop.  Next year we also plan on making sure the plants are companions with each other and that the PH is proper.

As for dehydrating, I am still busy with that as needed.  For example, this week I need to dry more eggs, as the breads/muffins I'm making are making me go through the last batch quite quickly.  I also want to dry more prunes, herbs and perhaps a few more potatoes.

If you have a good garden that you are nourishing through the winter, please write and tell me about it! or

Don't forget to check out my Bread in a Bag blog!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Check out the Bread in a Bag blog for today's creation!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bread in a Bag TWO!

Bread in a Bag Book Two should be done by the New Year, but if not, for certain by Valentine's Day!

Sourdough English Muffins

The bread of the day today, is Sourdough English Muffins.  Turned out wonderful, and ready for Bread in a Bag Book Two.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bread in a Bag photos

Go to the Bread in a Bag blog and see the photos I posted today of more of the breads I made for Bread in a Bag.  Let me know what you think!

Canning Spaghetti Sauce

I canned 10 quarts of spaghetti sauce today.  I love it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bread in a Bag - Amazon

My book "Bread in a Bag" has been out for two weeks now, and finally Amazon has the "Look Inside" feature available!

Please note: my book is in black and white, not color, so the "Look Inside" feature will have to be corrected to show that.  For now though, enjoy the color photos!  Go to and type "Bread in a Bag" in the search.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Gardening and Food Storage

My garden has slowed down to nothing, but I'm not ready to pull out the tomatoes quite yet.  Still, there are also weeds coming up.  My plan is, in the next few weeks, to take out everything and put in fresh soil, then cover the boxes with weed cloth and let them rest for the winter.  I do have some lettuce growing nicely (romaine) and some chard that is trying to grow, but other than that, it's all summer stuff.  My broccoli died almost outright, the first year it's done that.

I hope that others are doing better than I am!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Discount Code for Bread in a Bag

If you are a reader of this blog, you get a discount code for $2.00 off Bread in a Bag!  Order through my estore (simply click on the photo of my book cover, on the right), go to the estore and put in the Discount Code : W85DY6JA. 

Offer expires November 1, 2011.

Friday, September 30, 2011


My book Bread in a Bag is complete! If you click on the picture of it on the right, it will take  you directly to the order page.  In a few days, the link will also be posted, or you can look for it then yourself.  I hope it is helpful book to those who wish to use their dry ingredients and food storage to make great breads! :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saving Tomato Seeds

There are two tomato plants in my yard now that grew very late and just now are producing some tomatoes.  I took off a ripe tomato from each and am saving the seeds.  It's easy to do, just rinse them carefully and lay them out to dry on a paper towel, then put away in a dry cool place.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fun Times with the Garden

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I wrote here in my blog.  The vegetables are doing well, some are done, like the cantelopes.  Some tomatoes are still going just fine, but I've taken out the green beans. 

Fall is just around the corner.  I just planted spinach, chard, lettuce and broccoli.  The chard is struggling since it's been so hot. I may end up having to replace them completley, although I also put in seeds.

I've been busy working on my book.  More on that later!

Friday, August 19, 2011


The very best way I've seen to save energy and start the process of canning or drying tomato sauce is to solar cook the raw tomatoes first.  Just put cut up tomatoes (skin and all) into your black cooking pot.  Put in the plastic bag, set out in your solar cooker and let it sit in the sun all day (5 or more hours).  When done, blend it up into a liquid.  You can then add to onions and garlic and seasoning and cook down into spaghetti sauce or something and water bath or pressure can it, or you can freeze it, or even spread out on flex sheets and dry it to make tomato powder out of.

If you want to can it as I did, please follow authorized instructions for "tomato juice" through the Ball Blue Book.  I blended the tomatos, put them through a sieve, and threw out the pulp and just had a good liquid.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Banana cream

When you want to make banana bread and you don't happen to have any fresh bananas that are over-ripe and ready to go, you can take this from your pantry.

Blend 5 bananas in a blender until smooth.

Pour onto plastic wrap or flex sheets.

Dehydrate for 3 hours or until brittle.

Crumble and break into pieces and store in a clean jar with an oxygen absorber packet (or use FoodSaver to vacuum seal).

When needed, measure out about 1/3 cup of pieces and powder for banana bread recipes.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Finally, for the first time in a very long time, we got two beautiful cantelopes off our plant this year.  There are lots of honey-dews and a bunch more cantelopes to harvest probably in the next few weeks.  They were fantastic!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dinners in the Jar

If you haven't checked out these two websites, do so now!


Thursday, August 4, 2011


Like a lot of people, I have zucchini coming out of my ears, from a fantastic single plant in my new planter box.  What I do every year is dehydrate a bunch, but after two months of that, I thought: "Okay, now I have enough", but then it dawned on me.  Do I have enough for a three month supply? Do I have enough for a full year?

I don't, of course.

So I have been dehyrating even more, realizing that this is the Lord's bounty that he is giving me.  I am drying tomatoes as well (those we can't use), which takes forever but they taste so wonderful when dried.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Today I took off about 1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes from my plants and cut them in quarters, put them in a black pot and put it in the solar cooker to "process them".  About 8 hours later they were very soft.  I blended them, strained them, and then put the pint in the fridge for me to use as a tomato sauce in an upcoming meal within this next few days!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Gardening Summer 2011

So there are only a few things working right in my garden this year.

Both cucumbers are doing great, we get several off of them weekly.  The zucchini is also doing very well, and we get at least 4 a week.  The cantalopes are doing WONDERFUL.

The tomatoes however, are very disappointing, even with now frequent feedings.  One plant, with a missing name tag (my fault I didn't write it down this year) is doing fantastic, with great tomatoes, although small, that are turning red every day.  There is also a pear shaped cherry tomato that is doing very well, and a serrano that is doing good, but all other tomato plants are very blah.  I do have another tomato plant that is doing great, but so far no red tomatoes, and it's almost August for heaven's sake.

There are several of them that I haven't gotten a single tomato off, and one or two that gave me one or two tomatoes.  It's just sad and I don't know what's wrong.  My bell peppers are very very slowly starting to produce little buds/peppers.  My cabbage is doing very well, but they are being eaten alive this year and there are some that are also very overcrowded but gave up on them.  The peas are gone, but didn't produce all that great. 

So so far the cantelopes, cucumber, zucchini are the plants doing well.

I will carefully record all the plant names before tearing everything out (when that time comes) to make sure I record which plant did well under what conditions.  I know we had a lousy beginning this year with the late rain, but this is the second year in a row I'm not producing what I need. 

Next year: fresh compost for all three boxes.  Next year: A row of tomato plants, at least 15, of heirlooms that performed well this year and last (not that many), a row of green beans (this year they are dismal to say the least.  A strong healthy plant but only 1 or two green beans a week!!!), Next year: one zucchini, three pickle cucumbers, and several melons planted a few weeks apart.  Several cabbage protected properly.

All in all, there is still so much to learn in gardening that I worry about people who haven't gardened, STILL.  It takes time, effort, the right tools, fertilzers, good soil, etc., to grow a successful garden.  The first several years I planted all the plants did well because the summer came early and the weather was obliging.  But when the weather is strange, the garden doesn't produce well for us.  Plus we are getting more shade in our garden than is good for the plants.

It is my hope that by the end of September we will have harvested many more tomatoes, melons and bell peppers, and perhaps a cabbage or two.

Oh and the artichoke plant "came back" but as of today it still hasn't produced anything.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Taro Leaves and Roots

Today I am dehydrating taro root and leaves.  First I have peeled then sliced the taro root into 1/4 inch slices, then gently boiled them.  As you can see from the photo, I didn't do a very good job of keeping them intact, but they are now dehydrating so they should be okay (although I'm not sure how they will taste or work in recipes later).  The leaves have been boiled for almost an hour (50 minutes) to make sure the "itchy" toxin is gone (I hope), and they are also now dehydrating.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Canning Chicken

Just a reminder that although you can place raw chicken in a canning jar and pressure can it, you must put in the liquid too!  Don't try to put raw chicken in and leave it at that, no matter how well it seems to work.

I contacted Jarden foods (they own the mason jar companies, Food Saver, and more) and they said:

Stuffing the chicken into the jar without hot liquid is not recommended. Liquid is a heat conductor and in order to safely can the chicken, the hot liquid should be ladled over the meat.  -Jarden Home Brands

Also USDA concurs:
Please don't take risks.  Remember that the most important thing in canning your foods is NOT that it seals!!! It will seal almost automatically and has nothing to do with how safe it is or how much bacteria has been killed.
Use recipes from approved sources.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Food Production and Storage


From the Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball:

“The Lord has urged that his people save for the rainy days, prepare for the difficult times, and put away for emergencies a year’s supply or more of bare necessities so that when comes the flood, the earthquake, the famine, the hurricane, the storms of life, our families can be sustained through the dark days.

“We encourage you to grow all the food that you feasibly can on your own property. Berry bushes, grapevines, fruit trees—plant them if your climate is right for their growth. Grow vegetables and eat them from your own yard. Even those residing in apartments or condominiums can generally grow a little food in pots and planters. Study the best methods of providing your own foods… If there are children in your home, involve them in the process with assigned responsibilities.

“I hope that we understand that, while having a garden … is often useful in reducing food costs and making available delicious fresh fruits and vegetables, it does much more than this. Who can gauge the value of that special chat between daughter and Dad as they weed or water the garden? How do we evaluate the good that comes from the obvious lessons of planting, cultivating, and the eternal law of the harvest? And how do we measure the family togetherness and cooperating that must accompany successful canning?

“…we would do well to listen to what we have been told and to follow it explicitly.”
How do you collect food storage when a member of your family has food allergies?
You must figure out what they can eat and preserve it and store it.

Buy alternate food items like oats, spelt and rice. Make sure that foods that cause an undesirable reaction are replaced with safe foods. Grow a garden. Decide how you will provide bread, if desired, using the ingredients that are tolerated. Acquire what you need for them as soon as possible.
You can do this, and your family depends upon you to do it.


And also, did you know that Campbell Soups has a whole gluten free line?

Since our Father in Heaven asks that we make every effort to accumulate enough food supply for our family, where do we store it?

First of all, you want a place that is low in humidity (as much as possible) and cool, which leaves out the garage! All dry pack canning items can be stored in their sturdy white boxes and stacked six high in most closets. That’s roughly 180 pounds of something to feed your family that has a footprint of only 13 x 18 inches!
Check out your closets: Determine what clothing or sports equipment or Christmas decorations can go elsewhere and save the cool and dark places for your food.
Under Beds: You can fit at least 3 “under bed” plastic storage containers under your beds! They’re great for pint size canning jars and 16 oz. canned foods like tomato sauce, beans, etc.

Behind furniture: You can store behind a couch that’s been pulled about 18 inches or less from a wall.
Make a Table: Put three boxes of canned wheat on top of each other with a pretty cloth and make a nice table out of it.
Cupboards: Check in your cupboards and storage cabinets throughout the house. Give away items you no longer use, and use the remaining space to store your dehydrated or canned foods!


We solar cooked a turkey roast the other day and it was sooo great.  It's the boned whole turkey that you can buy, that we split in two and then baked in the solar oven. It would have baked just as well if not taken apart, but it fell apart when I took off the netting. Yum!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Garden Boxes 6-2011

Here are two photos of my three garden boxes.  I'm so glad we added the second and third boxes, to increase our harvest.  I'm still not getting anywhere near the harvest that I think I should though, and for a seasoned gardener, I'm not sure why.  The plants in the new box are going crazy, but one tomato plant barely has any tomatoes on it, while the other has a ton.  I did get two tiny tomatoes off that one, with more to come.  I lost the tag for it though, so I don't know what kind it is.  I am supposed to draw a map of my garden boxes and show exactly what got put where, but I was lazy this season and didn't bother.

The old boxes are doing fairly well, but still not as good as I'd hoped, although I have taken into account the weird rain and cold weather we experienced to the first part of June.

I still have some research to do.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pasteurize Your Own Eggs

I had heard not to dedhyrate your own eggs because of salmonella.  It was said that only large companies could spray dry and heat the eggs such that the bad bugs were eliminated.

Not true!
On the USDA webpage:

To pasteurize your own eggs, stir together eggs and either 1⁄4 cup sugar, water or other liquid from the recipe in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 160°F. These eggs can be safely used in recipes and require no further cooking.

When I make my dried eggs, I put a little water in them and scramble them before drying.  Works great!  You will notice that the USDA does not say how many eggs to the ratio of sugar or water, so I add about 1 Tbl. per six eggs.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dried Chili

It's fun to take a meal that you've created, like chili, spaghetti, stew, and dehydrate it for use later.  Spread food on the flex sheets (chopping meat into small pieces) of your Excalibur dehydrator (do NOT dry meats unless you can do so at 155 to 165 degrees), and dry for 10 to 18 hours.

Adding warm or hot water for 15 minutes before eating it is all that's needed.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Oroweat Thrift Store

I go to the Oroweat thrift store about once a month on the way back from the temple.  Again I stopped and spent only $10 for all these items, where I would have normally spent about $30 at Bel Air, Raleys, Safeway, etc.!  Everything is just a day old and very fresh and wonderful.  I feel so blessed to have found this opportunity for our family.  If you haven't been there yet, please do! It's located on Fruitridge Drive in Sacramento, from 99 you go right past the railroad tracks on Fruitridge (west) and on the right is a vacuum cleaner store and next to that is the Oroweat store.  If you don't live in the Sacramento area, just look it up in your local phone book (try "bakeries" to see if you get more places than Oroweat).

Especially if you have a large family, you can't afford not to check out this type of thrift store.  The bargains are just too good to pass up!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I picked the last of the chard yesterday, here is a picture of it. So delicious cooked in an inch of water with some chicken bouillon in it.  Yum!  I took it all out because they are two years old and I wanted to start fresh again.  Others are growing in the first box.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Potatoes and White Beans

There is something so cool about pressure canning meats and beans, they are so tender and tasty when done.  The only thing better is then taking a meat or bean and drying it! This is a picture of dried white beans. I took a quart of pressure canned beans I'd done and dried them for about 15 hours.  Great! I also harvested most of the potato plants in my garden, and didn't find as many potatoes as I'd hoped, but still plenty, since I got about twice this amount all total, (with two more bushes to harvest).

I don't understand why I can't seem to take close up photos without blurring, though.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Food Prices and Preparations

I found this article today:

It was written by Carolyn Nicolaysen

and can be found here:


Here are some headlines from the past several days:

“2011 Tornado Season has seen increase in Storms, Record Death Toll”

“Missouri River Flood of 2011 one for the History Books”
“The recent floods and tornado outbreaks mark the most costly disaster in American history” "Food price shock ahead”.

All of these are headlines seen in the past few days in June. Is the time for preparing past? No, but it will now be much more expensive than it would have been just a few months ago.

The National Weather Service has announced the forecast for the coming hurricane season. Although the prediction is for more named storms this year, that alone is not the most interesting part of the story. What we should really be taking note of is the fact that we are returning to the weather patterns of the 1950s and 1960s. During those years there were serious weather conditions which hit the northeast coast of North America, the jet stream lowered its path, and temperatures were confused – it was much colder in normally warm areas, and much warmer in normally cool areas.

We have seen the results this spring with tornadoes not only in the Midwest “Tornado Alley”, but also in diverse places such as California and Massachusetts. All of this news means we can expect to have weather only our parents and grandparents remember well. The time for preparing has not passed, but the urgency has increased.

The winter of 2010-2011 has seen record snowfall in all the mountain ranges west of the Mississippi. Spring in these areas has been colder than normal, setting up a disastrous scenario for the remaining weeks of spring and summer. Rivers and reservoirs in some places are overwhelmed, and heat waves may follow the cool spring weather in many areas. Hot weather will eventually come to the West, and when it does there may be severe flooding. Four states not part of the Mississippi River system, where horrific flooding and loss of life and property have already occurred, - Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and South Dakota - have already declared a state of emergency due to flooding.

Are you prepared to remain out of your home for a month or more? Are you prepared to be without grocery and pharmacy supplies for weeks? This is already the case in some areas. Do you really still believe natural disasters can't happen to you?

We have heard so much about flooding and tornadoes this year that it should come as no surprise that some North American crops have been destroyed or not planted at all. The logical conclusion: prices will go up.

On the other hand - are you aware that in some regions there is still a drought?

Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Alabama all have areas of extreme drought or worse “exceptional drought.”
This is also the case on other continents:

“Several submerged sections of an imperial tomb of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) have resurfaced in east China's Jiangsu Province as a result of a severe drought that is still affecting the region. The tomb was built for the ancestors of Zhu Yuanzhang, founder and the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, in AD 1386, on the west bank of the Hongze Lake in Xuyi County of Jiangsu.
“The mausoleum was flooded in 1680, when the Yellow River broke its banks, changed course and converged with the nearby Huaihe River. Now local residents have got to take their first look at the tomb, which hadn't seen the light of day in more than 300 years.

“Stone arches and other parts of the tomb emerged on Thursday as the lake's water level continued to recede because of the recent drought. Local residents also got a look at a paved path leading to the tomb.”¹

In China, 725,000 acres of land are drying out causing not only enormous crop loss but leaving 820,000 people in the region without sufficient food and water. Where will the food come from to feed these people? Will China purchase crops normally sold to industrialized nations such as the United States, Canada and Australia, leaving them short?

Food riots have already occurred around the world. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization is warning the drought conditions in China, Europe and Great Britain may lead to the worst food inflation we have seen to date. Combine this with the loss of crops in Japan due to the earthquake and tsunami and flooding, plus drought and tornadoes in the United States and the outlook is not good for food supplies and food prices. The fear is food shortages will increase the frequency and intensity of food riots in many more countries.

The price of oil has already gone up making the cost of petroleum based items rise. The price of cotton has soared making the cost of everything from clothing to camp tents rise.

Has the time for preparing passed? No, but maybe the time to ask what we are preparing for has. It is here. Now is the time to gather your family and to discuss your priorities for the coming year. Summer is almost here and it is not too late to plant a garden. It is not too late to plan a stay-at-home vacation to save money for self reliance goals. Summer vacations from school are the perfect time to clean out used items and sell them at a garage sale or online.
There will never be a less expensive time to purchase preparedness items or to learn skills that will save you the money you are now spending on them. Now is the time. Don't make the mistake of thinking this won't affect you. It will. Don't make the mistake of thinking it can wait and looking back months from now and wishing you had taken action when prices were lower.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rice, Apricots and Beans

Today I am drying rice that I've cooked up, puried apricots from a can, and white beans that I smushed so they are more like the LDS cannery dry refried beans when done.  Pix later!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Great Granola

There is something wonderful about making your own convenience foods. One of them is your own granola bars.  I honestly couldn't tell you if mine are less or more expensive than store bought, but I can tell you the taste if fantastic.  The only thing to remember is that these don't have preservatives in them, so when you wrap them up in individual servings, make sure you use them within a few days, or refrigerate or even freeze them.  You can also vacuum seal them in a Food Saver bag.

The second item is beef jerky.  Who doesn't love jerky? It's very easy to make.  The photos above are of jerky halfway dried, (not done yet) and the granola before I put it in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.

The granola recipe is not one I made up, but unfortunately I didn't save who did write it.

p.s. It calls for wheat flakes if you have a flaker, which is a great way to use your wheat!

Oatmeal Wheat Flake Granola Bars

1/2 cup wheat or white flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs or 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites, or dried reconstituted equivalant of 2 eggs
2 Tbl molasses
1/3 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbl canola oil or butter or 2 tsp dried butter with 1 T oil or water
1 cup oats
1 cup wheat flakes (or oats, or forego the oats and just use wheat flakes)
1 cup dried fruit (I use dried cherries and cranberries)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or almonds
(you can also add some chocolate chips, but I didn't)

Preheat oven to 350. Coat 9 x 13 baking pan with nonstick spray.

Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt (use a whisk). Mix peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs, molasses, honey, vanilla and oil until smooth, add to flour mixture.

Mix really well, then add oats/wheat flakes, fruit and nuts. Plop into the 9 x 13 baking pan (I used a Pyrex 9 x 13 casserole), smooth out evenly using some plastic wrap or oil on your fingers to push it down.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes. You want them to be evenly, lightly browned. Put a knife blade into the middle to see if it's moist but not wet. Let cool a bit, then cut into squares and finish cooling. I get about 12 good size bars out of this recipe.

Beef jerk is very easy.  First you go to your local grocery that has a butcher area so you can ask the butcher to cut up meat for you for jerky.  Yes, that's exactly what you say! It's usually top round or another good meat.  You don't want too much fat on it, keep it as lean as you can, because fat won't dry well at all.

My recipe is:
  • about 3 pounds of top round, cut into jerky slices (fairly thin, a little less than 1/4 inch)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup worchestershire sauce
  • garlic powder, sprinkled lightly over all pieces as they marinade
  • garlic salt, " "
  • pepper
  • coarse pepper combination
  • red pepper flakes, in the amount you like, if any
In a 9 x 13 pan, put a layer of sliced meat on bottom, sprinkle with above spices and some of the soy/worchestershire sauce.  Add another layer, and do until done.

Let marinate overnight, turning once or twice as you can to let all pieces marinate.

Drain for a few minutes on paper towels so they're not sopping wet, and then put in dehydrator on shelves.  Dry for 6 hours or so, checking after that to make sure they are done.  They will be leathery and good!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jams and Hamburger

Tomorrow I'll be making pressure canned ground beef and multi-berry jam!

Friday, May 27, 2011

White Beans - Dehydrated

There are a few recipes that I want to include in my 72 hour kit and also in my Dinner in a Jar setup, and that is using beans.  Well, beans typically take a 12 hour soaking, or at least more cooking, than I want to do.  So I decided if the LDS cannery could offer refried beans, dried and ready for use anytime, then I could do the same with any bean. The pressure canned ones are on the left, and the cooked and dried ones are on the right.

These are white beans that I have cooked and dehydrated (taking about 8 to 10 hours).  I can't wait to try them!

Herbs and Beans

This morning I put some mint leaves and chamomile flowers in the ove at 120 degrees to dry today, and in the dehydrator I have cooked, cooled, rinsed and smashed white beans to dry.  I will then be able to cook them "instantly" for Dinner in a Jar type soup or meals. 

I'll add photos later of the completed items.  Any questions, let me know. :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

72 hour kit dinners and Navy Beans!

Yesterday I created two more kinds of 72 hour kit size "Dinners are in the Jar", which I just need to add boiling water to (and boil in a won't work just adding boiling water, although it's probably possible it would work in a wonderbox oven scenario), and today I pressure canned white beans from the cannery.  Yum!!! So tomorrow night we'll have Virginia's beans.  Fantastic stuff!

Also you can see my red potatoes I harvested today. Yum!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Using Solar Cooker as a Refrigerator

I went to a solar cooking class today and this information was presented.  I am beyond amazed!!!  You can find the best info on what was paraphrased to us today here:  with directions to make here

How to Use the Solar Funnel as a Refrigerator/Cooler

A university student (Jamie Winterton) and I were the first to demonstrate that the BYU Solar Funnel Cooker can be used—at night —as a refrigerator. Here is how this is done.
The Solar Funnel Cooker is set-up just as you would during sun-light hours, with two exceptions:
1. The funnel is directed at the dark night sky. It should not “see" any buildings or even trees. (The thermal radiation from walls, trees, or even clouds will diminish the cooling effect.).
2. It helps to place 2 (two) bags around the jar instead of just one, with air spaces between the bags and between the inner bag and the jar. HDPE and ordinary polyethylene bags work well, since polyethylene is nearly transparent to infrared radiation, allowing it to escape into the “heat sink” of the dark sky.
During the day, the sun's rays are reflected onto the cooking vessel which becomes hot quickly. At night, heat from the vessel is radiated outward, towards empty space, which is very cold indeed (a “heat sink").
As a result, the cooking vessel now becomes a small refrigerator. We routinely achieve cooling of about 29 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) below ambient air temperature using this remarkably simple scheme.
In September 1999, we placed two funnels out in the evening, with double-bagged jars inside. One jar was on a block of wood and the other was suspended in the funnel using fishing line. The temperature that evening (in Provo, Utah) was 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a Radio Shack indoor/outdoor thermometer, a BYU student (Colter Paulson) measured the temperature inside the funnel and outside in the open air. He found that the temperature of the air inside the funnel dropped quickly by about 15 degrees, as its heat was radiated upwards in the clear sky. That night, the minimum outdoor air temperature measured was 47.5 degrees—but the water in both jars had ICE. I invite others to try this, and please let me know if you get ice at 55 or even 60 degrees outside air temperature (minimum at night). A black PVC container may work even better than a black-painted jar, since PVC is a good infrared radiator—these matters are still being studied.
I would like to see the “Funnel Refrigerator” tried in desert climates, especially where freezing temperatures are rarely reached. It should be possible in this way to cheaply make ice for Hutus in Rwanda and for aborigines in Australia, without using any electricity or other modern “tricks.” We are in effect bringing some of the cold of space to a little corner on earth. Please let me know how this works for you.

One style of funnel solar oven he's talking about is here:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gardening Gardening

The gorgeous greens in the garden makes the effort to have one all the better.  Here is a picture of our potato plants and our potato, chard and tomato plants...just a few of many more.  Also the chamomile plant is doing so wonderfully, I usually have tea every other day or so!

Friday, May 13, 2011

More dehydrating and New Garden Box

Below is the latest and greatest vegetable garden box!

Below is my latest dehyrating, herbs from our garden.  It includes rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, cilantro and oregano!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The New Garden Box and Dehydrating Herbs

We have our new garden box in now, thanks to my husband's excitement about it! We filled it with good soil and planted a few things to start.  I have some seeds to plant also, but for now we have a tomato, two cucumbers, a zucchini and um, now I forgot what else!

I also took a bunch of herbs (now is the time) and began to dry them: oregano, rosemary, parsley, cilantro, sage and thyme.  Yum!!! What joy this will bring to our dinners!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dehydrating Days

Been doing a lot of dehyrating for Dinners in a Jar and just for general use.  I love how easy and fun it is!  Above are baby carrots, yogurt, pizza sauce, pineapple, and two peas/carrots. 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gardening and Stuff

More photos of our garden as of late.  Hopefully we'll have photos of our newest box by June 1st!

This shows our current garden and fruit trees.  The lettuce and chard are just fantastic tasting.  The fava bean plant is doing great still, and the tomato plants are also growing well.  The herbs are so pretty.  They are a nice addition to the second box.  Onions are on the left side behind the fava beans and are also doing well!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dinner is in the Jar

Kathy Clark's book Dinner is in the Jar has helped me help the people in our ward to create their 3 month supply of food so easily.  Here are some jars I made with the help of my trusty assistant Amanda, about half of what were actually done.  It was exhausting but fun work, and now we have more sisters who are ready for what is to come!

Garden 2011

Here are some pictures of my fruit trees and garden boxes for this year.  We are building a third garden box within a few weeks I hope.  The winter/spring veggies are coming up much more to plant though.  I need to put in carrots, broccoli, fresh cabbage, more tomatoes, cucumbers and so much more!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dry Ranch Dressing Mix

Dry Ranch Dressing Mix 1/2 cup dry buttermilk powder 1 tablespoon dried parsley, crushed 1 teaspoon dried dill weed 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon dried minced onion 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper Combine all ingredients in the container of a food processor or blender and process on high speed until well blended and powdery smooth. To use mix: Combine 1 tablespoon dry mix with 1 cup milk and 1 cup mayonnaise. Mix well. Makes 2 cups salad dressing."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Wonderful World of Dehydrating!

Is there anything more cool and noteworthy in our lives than to store food to feed our family? If you feel overwhelmed with the idea of pressure canning or water bath canning, try dehydrating.  It takes a good dehydrator to do it right, (altho you can do it out in the sun or even in the oven, but not as easy), but it's so very simple and the rewards are amazing!

Although these vegetables I have dried are not from my garden, they are still beautifully preserved and will last many years to come. 

If you don't have the vegetables from your garden to use, and especially if you want an inexpensive, fun way to dry all the vegetables you'll need, start with inexpensive frozen vegetables that are on sale.  I purchased bags of frozen CORN, PEAS, CARROTS, and GREEN BEANS for less than $1.00 a pound!

You simply pour the frozen vegetables on your drying trays and turn on the dehydrator and let them dry for 8 to 14 hours. Mushrooms take slightly less time.  You buy them on sale, rinse them, dry them, cut them into thick slices, then dry with the other items.  Frozen CORN is also easy to do and a hoot to use later! So pretty, aren't they?

The other thing I've done is cook up some rice, dehydrate it, and when you need rice for your favorite rice dish, just rehydrate the rice with a little hot water (or throw into a soup or whatever) and it cooks up in less than 5 minutes! Talk about fast!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wonderful spectacular chard!

This beautiful bowl of chard from my garden is ready to steam for dinner.  It's awesome to taste this vegetable from your garden, and it's so easy to grow.  Chard and kale grow year around here in Sacramento area.  Try it!  To cook: remove green leafy part from thick stem, especially on larger leaves.  Pile in a large saucepan with about an inch of water in it with some chicken bouillon.  Add some pepper to taste, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.  When tender, always strain using a collander to get the extra water out.  It tastes so great!

72 Hour Kit Homemade Soup

This soup is excellent, very flavorful and uses dried rice.  What is dried rice, you ask? Simply cooking the rice normally, (1 cup rice to 2 cups water, simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until done and fluffy), then let it get to room temperature and then spread it out on drying sheets in your dehydrator (or oven at 130 degrees) for 5-8 hours until brittle.  This creates your own instant rice!

Pam’s Spicy Tomato Soup - serves 1 or 2

In mylar bag, ironed shut, w/ABS
*1/3 cup dehydrated rice & *2 T corn meal
*1 tsp dried sour cream & *1 tsp cheddar powder
*1 ½ tsp chicken bouillon, & *¼ c dry refried beans
*1/8 tsp dried lemon zest, & *1/8 tsp dried onion
*1/8 tsp garlic salt, & *1/4 tsp cumin
*1/4 tsp garlic powder, & *1/4 tsp cayenne or chili powder
*2 T tomato powder, & black pepper to taste
Bring 3 cups water to a boil. Remove ABS. Pour in all ingredients.Cover, turn off heat, let sit 5 minutes. Bring to a simmer, stirring often to prevent sticking, for 8 minutes. Serve.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Storing water is critical to our future safety.  There are a few ways to store it, this is our way:

liter bottles: we take liter bottles of soda, clean them, fill them with tap water, date them, and put them in a storage bin so if any of them leak it will be contained.  Once a year they are completely changed out and re-dated.

55 gallon drum and 7 gallon containers: outside we have placed a 55 gallon drum (more on the way) for misc. water needs, and 7 gallon containers for additional water needs. All this water is potable as it's cleaned frequently and bleach is inside the drums (1/2 cup).

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Make your own Laundry Detergent

My friend Amanda just posted on her daughter's blog that she made her own laundry detergent, so of course I have to post my version. :) I printed this out long ago on an emergency newsletter that I publish at church.

It works beautifully and I use it all the cheap!

1 bar of soap, your preference. Fels Naptha, is commonly used, or Ivory or another plain pure soap.  I have used Fels Naptha but now I use Pure and Natural bar soap.

2 cups of washing soda (not baking soda... (Wal-Mart and Winco)
2 cups of borax
¼ cup Oxy-Clean powder


Use a cheese grater to grate up the bar of soap.
In a large container with a sealable lid, mix together the grated soap and borax, then ..
Add in the washing soda and oxy-clean
Put the lid on the container, and shake the container to mix the contents well.
When you do laundry, use about 1/4 cup, or if your machine is a front loading type, just use a heaping tablespoon.

Found at:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Gardening Beginning 2011

Here it is mid March already. I mostly have winter/fall vegetables still out there producing, but I also just planted a couple tomatoes just for fun...and of course it's crazy rainy out, but ah well.  I like to try early.  I have lots of other things going on as you can see.  I'll post again in mid April when I hope to have all summer veggies planted.