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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).