Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Day in the Life of Sun Oven Cooking ~

If I could write poetry, I would write an ode about my Sun Oven (S.O.).

I love it, I love it, I love it.

That's about as good as my poetry gets. Ahem...

I will tell you that since we are knee deep into 100 degree temps here in the desert, the oven in my house is not turned on for one second unless absolutely necessary. And by necessary I mean that the children want chicken nuggets and they want them now! Even then the oven is only turned on for a few minutes and I let the residual heat cook the rest of the way. I'm mean that way. I make them wait a few extra minutes.

But what to do when the brood needs bread for toast or better yet, PB&Js?

Well. Thanks for asking.

I throw the raw materials into the bread maker and push "dough" and 15-20 minutes later I take said dough out to rise and position the Sun Oven.

By the time the Sun Oven is heated up, the dough has risen and is ready to go into the oven.

THIS IS MY OPINION not the REAL instructions from Sun Oven. YMMV.

I find that cooking in a S.O. to be a lot like cooking in a crock pot. It holds a lot of moisture and doesn't need to get to really high temperatures to get the job done. Because of retaining the moisture issue, it is VERY difficult to burn anything in your S.O. This is a plus I take advantage of way too often, I must confess as I tend to loose track of time. A. Lot.

So, here is a Day in the Life of Cooking in my Sun Oven. You will not find a lot of pictures in this post. I am not the Pioneer Woman for goodness sakes. Here is the break down:

8am - Decide that it is hot as the blazes, yet the children still need to eat. Start a quick WW dough in the bread maker
8:25 - Put dough into greased pan and let rise. Position Sun Oven on back porch (faces east).
8:45 - S.O. has reached temp of 310 degrees and dough is nicely risen to about 1/3 it's original size.
9:30 - Bread is ready. Cool and slice.
While the bread was baking I put more ingredients into the bread maker so I could have some dough in the refrigerator for another time.

3:30pm - Another time has come. Need food for dinner. Imagine that!?! I need rolls to serve with dinner. Roll and shape rolls into greased pan.
Position S.O. in the front of the house (facing due west).
4:30 - put rolls into the S.O. It took longer for the rolls to rise because the dough was cold.
5:00 - Rolls are ready

This is just today's experience with my S.O. Some days I throw in a dessert to serve with the rolls. It just varies.

And it's nice to know that if we are ever without power or gas, I will have a way to feed the fam.

And...no. I am not being paid by the good people at Sun Oven, but if they want to send a little monetary love my way, they're more than welcome.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm Back? ~

I'm not so sure that I'm very good at this blogging thing. But I'm going to give it another try.
Mostly because I have met people that are already preppers and those that want to be and they really don't know what to do.
We had a July 4th party and because the holiday fell on a weekend, most of our invitations came back no to the RSVP. Except 2. One was from our former neighbors whom we love and the other was dear friends of my husband's. I was truly concerned because we were all at different seasons of our lives. Our neighbors are knee deep in young children and the Mr. is in the corporate world. Our friends are going to be empty nesters next year and have a thriving business of their own. And we are self employed with a house full of kiddos.
But as the night progressed, I realized that God put us together that evening for a purpose. All the kids had a great time playing in the dusk before the fireworks began. And we adults had a fantastic time talking about politics and food storage!
Our friends the empty nesters are LDS, but really don't use their food storage. They just know they are covered for their family and extended family and their fine with that. Hummm...
Our other friends had heard of food storage, but that's about it.
Neither knew that we had a garage full of food and most of our recipes include stored food.
I was so pleased that I was able to share my (not so vast) knowledge about food storage with them.
So, I'll be sharing some of the insight I have and would love to hear your feed back as well. We all can learn from one another.
See you back here soon!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Free Items for Your Prepping ~

This week CVS and Wal Mart have some items that would be great to store. And, they're FREE!

The word FREE is music to my ears.

CVS has Excedrin pain reliever for $1.99. And Excedrin's website has a Two $2 off coupons.

Free! Yippee!

Seriously, this is a great deal. You can print the coupon twice and if you have multiple computers, print that baby out as many times as you like.

And another serious note, my brother in law is a neurologist. He went on a mission trip to South America 6-7 years ago. We made the assumption that he would be taking tons of prescription drugs and items that only a doctor could obtain. He told us that when a body is under stress, usually all a person really needs is some pain relievers and heartburn medication. Those are the two items these people would be without and two items that could make a tremendous difference in their lives. Who knew? Not me.

He did go on to tell us that prescription drugs are sometimes necessary, usually antibiotics, but there are usually natural alternatives to most rX drugs.

Ok, on to the second free item. Feminine protection. Not a pretty subject. Yet one that we need to think about.

Coupons.com has a coupon this month for $1 off 1 box of Kotex pads AND a coupon for $2 off of two boxes. If you go to the FP section of your local Wal Mart, you'll find a small package of Kotex pads for $1. Yeah! So again, print as many of these as you can.

I print my coupons from MyPoints. Not only do they have the same coupon printer you'll find elsewhere, but you get points when you use the coupons. I get about 1500 points a month just from coupons. A $10 Wal Mart gift card costs 1550 points. So, I'm getting "paid" to do something that I would already do, which is use coupons.

If you'd like to join MyPoints, I'd love to send you an invitation so I can get extra points. If you don't want to email me, just join. It's a great program.

That's all, now back to your regularly scheduled life!

Friday, April 3, 2009

My Arms Ache~

For the first time in a decade, all of our Earthly possessions are under one roof.

My husband and I have spent the past 4 weekends plus Monday and Tuesday moving everything out of our storage facility into our garage. And our library. And our kitchen.

It's a good thing we don't have furniture in all of those rooms right now. Or there'd be no place for the boxes, and boxes and boxes that plague me right now.

Seriously, I'm thrilled that we were able to move all of this stuff to the house. It's just there is so much to do now. We have to go through the boxes, sort, purge, repackage and then catalog and put into the garage with all the other stuff.

Going through storage was a little like Christmas. We found things that we had forgotten about or didn't know what our notes on our inventory meant.

I was able to see all of our food storage and make mental (and real) notes about what we have, what we need more of. For instance, we only have about 5 buckets of beans. What was I thinking when we bought this food years ago? I need at least twice that. And powdered milk? Let's just say that I can be the food storage dairy if I need to be. I'm thinking I need to learn to make cheeses.

Why oh why ALL the milk? Oh well...

And, we were able to get some exercise moving everything. Let me just say, buckets filled with rice, beans, wheat and such are NOT light. Who knew a bucket of sugar could cause such pain?

So the next 6 months or so will be spent filling in the holes of our food storage we realized we have. It will be fun. Not cheap. But definitely interesting. Won't you join me?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

IN THE BEGINNING ... There isn't much money

Believe me, I understand all to well that there isn't much money to go around these days. Heck ever. But with food storage, I have found that you just really have to make it a priority or else you'll never get it all done.

If you're not willing or able to take HUGE steps at purchasing a complete food storage program, I suggest you take toddler steps. Frankly, I think the time for baby steps has passed. It it time to crank things up a bit.

But have heart, you can get started and not break the bank. I'll be posting some ideas from time to time. Until then, check out these blogs that work specifically with those starting out.


I'll add more when I fire up my Google Reader. I'll also be adding things to my side bar. Until then, here's my getting started tip for today....

Hamburger Helper + TVP + Canned Vegetables

Yes, frugal preppers, you read that right. It was suggested to me years ago that Hamburger Helper is a good place to start with food storage. There are a lot of Pros and just a few Cons:

o Familiar food to most people
o Relatively inexpensive
o Requires no special ingredients other than water and heat
o TVP is also relatively inexpensive and a little goes a LONG way
o Stores for a long, long time
o Lots of different flavors to vary your meals

o High sodium and fat content make it not the healthiest meal on the planet
o Not everyone likes casseroles

Hope this helps you take the first step.

You really need to get started.

A Few Resources

I had a conversation with a delightful LDS girl at a Scout function recently.

We got on the subject of food storage. Surprisingly, she was not all that well versed on some food storage details.

For instance, she thought she had just won the lottery by finding some buckets at Home Depot that a Gamma lid fit on. I asked it the buckets were food grade, she said that she was sure they were. I'm pretty sure a paint bucket isn't food grade and I'm hoping for her sake that they go through an awful lot of flour in a short amount of time so her family isn't eating leeched plastic!

So, since everyone doesn't have the time or gumption to research different prepping resources, here are a few of my favorites in no particular order:

Honeyville Grain -This is a mill in Utah and California that has very high quality products. Their prices are slightly higher than WINCO and some of my other stand bys, but with only $4.49 shipping cost for ANY order, it's a good deal. In addition to their high quality items, they also offer a huge selection of Organic items if that is important to you.x

My husband and I always make a point of stopping in their Salt Lake City warehouse when we visit our friends there. Our poor car drags all the way back home.

Oh, I forgot to add, their powdered milk is THE best I've ever had. Add it to their delicious granola and you'll be a food storage fan in no time!

Freeze Dried Guy - This wonderful gentleman is a fantastic resource for, you guessed it .... Freeze Dried products. As I've said before, we're loosely following a vegan diet. But I have got to tell you. I'm very happy to know that we have some quality beef patties and chicken in our battery. High protein foods are great for satiating an appetite. And a little will go a long way. Just add it to casseroles (rice, potatoes, etc.) for a nice protein meal.

Sun Oven - Just how do you plan on cooking all this food storage if there is no power or gas? We asked ourselves that question and did some research. We found the Sun Oven. We have had our's almost 10 years now and love it! While it is a little expensive, and it is a little bit small, I can tell you this thing WORKS! I have made bread, rice, cakes, potatoes and more in it. The only thing I've found that doesn't cook well is cookies.
The Sun Oven is much like a crock pot in that it holds in the moisture of what you're cooking. That's why the cookies don't get crisp.
Cookies are a small sacrifice when you're able to make food for your family.
Using a Sun Oven does take some planning, so I suggest if you do purchase one, begin using it immediately. That way you'll be comfortable with using it.
I'll write more on the Sun Oven soon. It's a fabulous product that I am passionate about.

Ok, that's it for now. I'll add more resources over the next few weeks.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

WHY all the excitement?

If you're new to food storage, you're probably wondering what all the excitement is about when someone says that a recipe is good for using food storage. After all, isn't food storage for STORING?


Let me explain. Whether you're storing for religious reasons, you want to be prepared for some emergency, or whatever the reason, you need to be accustomed to using what you're storing.

If you're not, you're going to be one of those poor unfortunate souls that has a garage full of beautiful clean white buckets filled with wheat, corn, barley, and oats. And that's it.

I've read of people boasting that they are prepared for any disaster and they don't even own a bucket opener or wheat grinder.

Someone like that wouldn't have the first clue how to sustain themselves during any kind of emergency. Even if they have a ton of food stored.

Therefore, you listen to those that tell you to...

This is the best advice you'll ever get in regards to prepping.

Also, if you have small children that are accustomed to a steady diet of Wonder Bread and frozen pizza, a diet of food storage just might bring on a mutiny from the under 4 feet crowd.

I suggest that you begin making at least one food storage item at each meal. Bread, biscuits, soup and muffins are a good place to start getting them (and you!) accustomed to eating more whole grains and homemade items.

Start slow. There is no reason to force it down their throats. Add more as time goes on and you'll probably find that they are quite agreeable to the changes. Even more so if you get them involved with preparing the recipe.

And when you start cooking with your food storage, be sure to replace any of the used items. That way you won't be caught off guard with having to go to your supplier for a huge order.

Have a great day!

Friday, March 20, 2009


Again, I ran out of ideas for breakfast. I'll be the first to admit that I have spoiled my children.

They hate repetition. Oh sure, if I rotate meals, they're fine with that. But cereal 4 times in a row just brings a revolt.

One thing I have found to keep them at bay is making this wonderfully easy and quick bread. It can be made in a stand mixer or even by hand. But I tend to use my bread machine so I can do other important things in the morning like taking in the goodness that is my morning coffee.

This recipe is my loose interpretation of pita bread. My kids love how it puffs up when it cooks. So "Puffy Bread" was born.

Here it goes:

Puffy Bread

1.5 cups water
1/2-1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vital wheat gluten or white flour
2-2.5 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 teaspoons yeast (NOT rapid!)

Place all ingredients in bread mixer and put on "dough" setting.

When machine has mixed and kneaded for about 10 minutes, stop and restart and let it go through it's entire cycle. You want it to knead for at least 20 minutes to develop the gluten.

You want the dough to be firm yet still a little bit tacky. You want the small amount of wetness because it is the steam that makes it puff up.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

This should make 6-7 breads. Break off your dough and roll into balls. Flatten the balls (I use a rolling pin. Others use their hands.) into discs that are about 1/4 inches tall. I'll admit, there is a learning curve. If you make them too thick, they come out like hamburger buns. If you make them too thin, they are just a great big cracker. Neither are bad options, but if your kid wants to fill his puffy bread with cheese or peanut butter, things become difficult when you don't have the right kind of bread to work with.

Place the discs on a lightly greased sheet pan.

Now, let the bread rest while your oven heats up to it's firey, hot temperature of 500 degrees.

Once your oven is the right temp, put the bread in and then turn it down to 400 degrees.

In my oven these take about 12 minutes to puff up and brown a little. My mother in law's oven takes 18. So just watch the bread. I have found that once they puff up, you can let them stay in the oven another 2-3 minutes to firm up and you've got a great pocket to fill.

As you can see, this is more of a technique than a recipe. Feel free to change according to your family's tastes.

Friday, February 20, 2009

WHATS FOR DINNER? Red Beans and Rice Yummy!

My husband and I have been following (loosely!) the McDougall diet. My husband's doctor recommended it to him to help lower his high blood pressure and to loose some weight. I did some research and learned that it would help lower my cholesterol and loose some weight as well.

One of the more interesting aspects to this diet is we can use our food storage almost exclusively. Being a fat free diet eliminates added oils, meat, processed foods and dairy. The bulk of the diet is green and yellow vegetables, rice, potatoes, other grains and some wheat and shou along with a little fruit. That's it.

When I first read about this my first thought was, "of course you loose weight, there's nothing you can eat!" How wrong I was. Fortunately I found www.fatfreevegan.com. All I can say is Susan is a terrific cook! She's a Southern girl like me, so flavor is of utmost importance.

I feel very blessed to have found her and her recipes. She makes following a stringent diet like this very easy. So much so that loosing weight has become difficult due to the wonderful recipes she posts!

Hands down, my favorite recipe is her Red Beans and Rice. As a sausage lover, I can honestly say that I really don't miss the meat all that much. Would I eat sausage with these beans if I didn't have 4 babies worth of weight to loose? Probably. Hey, I'm not called the Reluctant Vegan for nothin'. I'm just being honest here!

But since I don't have that option, I can say that we eat this at least once every 10 days or so along with her wonderful cornbread. It is the ONLY cornbread my husband will eat. It is good.

So without further adu here is the recipe for her red beans and rice:

Real Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

Recipe courtesy of:
Fatfree Vegan Kitchen

1 pound dry red kidney beans (if you're in Louisiana, only Camellia brand will do)
4 cloves garlic
1 very large onion (about 2 cups chopped)
4 ribs celery
1 large bell pepper (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4-1 teaspoon red pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-2 teaspoons chopped chipotle pepper, in adobo (this is not traditional but lends a smoky taste; substitute another tsp. of Liquid Smoke seasoning if you prefer)
1/2-1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
salt, to taste
cooked rice, to serve

Tip: Start off lightly with the red and black pepper and Tabasco sauce; you can always add more at the end.

Cover the beans with water 2 inches over beans and soak overnight. Or, bring beans to a boil for one minute, remove from heat, and soak for at least an hour. Drain beans and rinse.

Put the beans back in the pot and cover them with water 2 inches above level of beans. Put over high heat to begin cooking while you prepare the other ingredients.

You're going to want to chop the garlic, onion, celery, and bell pepper very finely, and the fastest and best way to do this is in a food processor. I throw the 4 peeled cloves of garlic in first, and then add the onion, quartered, and pulse until finely chopped. Add this to the pot on the stove, and then do the same thing with the celery and bell peppers, adding each to the beans. Add the remaining ingredients, except the salt and the rice.

When the beans reach a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring every now and then, until they are completely tender and falling apart. This can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, depending upon the age of your beans. (Add more water as necessary to keep them hydrated.) When they are completely tender, add the salt to taste, and check the seasonings. Add any additional spices you want, and cook for at least 10 more minutes, until sauce is thick and beans are disintegrating. Remove the bay leaves, and serve over rice.

Note: If your beans are old, they may never disintegrate, or at least not in time for dinner. What you have to do is take out a bunch of them, mash them up well, and add them back into the pot (or use a hand blender right in the pot). Then proceed as though they had fallen apart on their own. I won't tell anyone if you don't!

Copyright 2009 Susan Voisin and Fatfree Vegan Kitchen
All rights reserved. Ask first!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Hey, is this thing on???

I'm just wondering if anyone is reading my words of wisdom? :)

If anyone is out there, I'd love to hear from you. Give me suggestions, questions, criticisms, witicisms, whatever you want to share. We can all learn from one another.


Spice It Up! ::Edited::

One portion of food storage that many forget about are spices and salt.

Salt and spices can make even a tasteless meal palatable and in most cases, make it delicious.

I'll give you an example...

My husband travels to see his clients. He doesn't like buying food while he's out because of the cost and the fact that fast food especially is so unhealthy.

So when he goes out I load up a cooler with homemade (fat free) refried beans, whole wheat tortillas, lettuce and salsa and other things. Burritos are his favorite, so I always send those.

One time I didn't put enough salt in the bean mixture (recipe to come) and frankly, it was a waste of calories. He was glad I had gone on this trip with him because I was able to easily remedy the situation.

I ran into a BK and got some salt packets, stirred it into the beans and Viola! Great tasting filling for the burritos.

He was amazed at the difference a small amount of salt made. He had always taken salt for granted. He had NO idea what a difference a little salt would make.

Spices can do a magic trick on your recipes too. I am also a believer in flavored stocks (beef, chicken and pork) as well as using bouillons and soup bases.

We are fortunate to live in an area that has a WINCO. Their bulk section of spices and soup bases make it easy for me to make tasty meals at down right cheap prices. I have plenty of spices in my kitchen, as well as my food storage.

If you're concerned about spices loosing their flavor, well, they will over time. You won't have a problem if they're stored properly. I use clean, dry canning jars sealed very tightly. And even if they loose some potency, I'd rather have a less potent spice than none at all.

So think about the spices you go to meal after meal. Mine are:

Italian Seasoning
Chili Powder
Onion Powder
Dehydrated Onion
Chicken Soup Base
Season Salt
Tabasco/Pepper Sauce
Can you tell I'm part Cajun and Italian? :)

We also like Asian inspired flavors, so I have Soy Sauce and Sesame Oil stored.

Even if you don't have access to a bulk section as I do. I encourage you to seek out discount spices online. It is an investment, but well worth it.

Until you're ready and able to make the jump into a stockpile of spices, check out Wal Mart. They have bottles of spices for 50 cents. Pick up a few every week and before long you'll have a bucket full. It's a great place to start.

I have recently begun a stockpile of pepper sauce. I had coupons from Franks Hot Sauce and Tabasco. If you use the coupon on the smallest bottle, it's almost free.

And don't forget the Iodized salt. I always pick up a couple of those when I do my weekly shopping. At 30-40 cents each, it's a no brainer. You'll have a years supply in no time.

Edit~My mother just reminded me that in my pre-WINCO days we would buy bulk spices at our health food store/co-op. Their prices were fantastic. I encourage you to check your local stores. They are a great resource for bulk items. I was a member of this co-op and got a 10% discount. They would even order items for you.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Coffee and Tea

I just read a great post about storing coffee and tea.

These are two things I am passionate about storing. When you think about how life will be without the conveniences we now take for granted, think of things that will bring you some simbalance of comfort.

For me, my morning cup of coffee is one of those things and an evening cup of tea always hits the spot.

One day I was at Smiths and they had an entire basket of Twinings teas marked down for clearance. I looked at my husband and asked "how much can we spare for a good deal like this?" He told me to wait and quickly came back with the manager.

He asked the manager how low he could go on these. The manager said, "Well, they're marked down already." My husband asked, "Just what is your lowest price if I buy it all?"

"OH!", the manager said when the light bulb came on. He immediately marked them down to 25 cents per box and we were the proud owners of a grocery cart full of tea.

Now, all of these flavors of tea were not my favorites. But I could surely choke them down if I had nothing else to drink. And, some of them have not held their flavor after all these years. Yet at 25 cents a box, I could afford to throw the stale tasting ones away.

I highly encourage you to seek out those good deals on "splurges" that can add some zing to otherwise dull food storage programs.

He who has the most toilet paper wins

Shortly after my husband and I began dating, I became the patient of a great chiropractor. This man was a member of the LDS church and was also a member of the John Birch Society. So aside from theology, he and my future husband had A LOT in common.

One day I was at his office and noticed an entire (small) closet filled with toilet paper. I asked what in the heck that was about and he told me "he who has the most toilet paper wins!" I was too shocked to ask what in the heck he meant. So I waited and asked my beloved.

This was our first conversation about food storage/prepping. Needless to say, I was shocked. I thought if we needed food we just went to the store. No problems. Right?

Well, fast forward 3 years and I'm a newlywed. At this point I am becoming more aware of my husband's belief in food storage. I was learning how to cook with stored wheat and other grains. We learned that we are not fans of the dehydrated vegetable (more on that later) and basically thinking past the end of my nose where the future is concerned.

So one day when I was perusing the grocery ads, I saw that our local grocery had NAMED BRAND toilet paper at "incredibly low prices" Name that movie...anyone, anyone?

I cannot tell you how proud my new husband was when I suggested that we think about buying some of this TP because there was no limit. He was certain he had just hit the jackpot in the wife category. I was just happy he was happy.

I called the store and asked them to hold a couple of unopened cases for us. I knew this would be easier to store if they were still in the box.

My husband appreciated my forethought, but he was thinking more like 8 cases! Why I asked? Well, he had to beat the 1,000 rolls of tp that my chiropractor had stored! Men are so competitive!

In the end, we stored 1,400 rolls of tp. I'll have you know, that lasted our family for 8 years! I just last year had to start buying tp again.

Coincidentally, the same store has Charmin at great prices for the next two weeks. This time, I'm using coupons to make my money go further.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


This afternoon my husband helped me move some things around in our pantry. One thing led to another and we ended up re-organizing the entire space. It turned out great.

We had needed to do this since we moved in 7 months ago. No need to rush things, huh?

In the process we moved all the buckets we had around and put some things in buckets that were not in buckets. "Why?", you ask?

It's because we have a bit of mice problem in ye ole garage/pantry area. We thought we had it under control with some poison. But the problem must be worse than we thought. Our new house is in a subdivision. But we're all on lots around an acre and there is an empty lot next to us and 2 empty lots across the street. Our house faces a big drop off, so there are no houses directly behind us. So there is lots of space for critters to roam free around us.

As we moved things around, we continually found, umm...evidence, of their visits. Yuck!

So now, everything that is not a can or bucket or bottle is in some kind of rubbermaid, gladware, or bucket. Hopefully between the poison and containers, the little critters will move on and leave me alone.

I am not afraid of mice, I just don't like them. Oh! I'm getting the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.

Once we get the pantry completely situated and restocked a little I will share some pictures. If I posted pictures right now, you'd think I was THE most unorganized slob you've ever seen.

...and you wouldn't be far off!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Staff of Life

I don't know if this bread is really the staff of life. But it is dang good bread and good for you.

My husband was given this recipe by the woman that sold him his wheat grinder 25+ years ago. This bread has been a staple in our house for as long as I have been a member. My kids absolutely love it when they hear the stand mixer going. They know that umminess will certainly follow. Their favorite way to eat it is having the bread be made into cinnamon toast.

This bread is truly fool proof. That is if you follow the instructions. If you miss a step, you'll have problems. But if you follow the few basic instructions, you'll have your whole neighborhood at your door because they will be able to smell the deliciousness!

As a note, my husband and I have been following a no/low fat diet. I have made this bread without the fat and had no problems. If you are cutting out salt, I would warn you that this bread does indeed need some salt. Actually I have found that most of the whole wheat recipes I have made need some added salt.

I hope you enjoy this as much as my family has.

Whole Wheat Bread - Foolproof

Mrs. Grover, The Grover Company, Tucson, Arizona

12-13 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour
¾ Cup Vital Wheat Gluten
3 Tablespoons of Yeast
5 Cups of Warm Water
2/3 Cup of Cooking Oil
2/3 Cup of Honey or Molasses or 1/3 Cup of Each
2 Tablespoons of Salt

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle the yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water

Combine in a mixer bowl 5 cups of warm water, oil, honey, molasses, and salt. Add 7 cups of whole wheat flour.
Mix on low speed until mixed. Then, mix on #2 speed for 2 to 3 minutes.

Replace the mixer head with the dough hook. Add 3 more cups of whole wheat flour and the yeast water.
Knead on #2 speed. Slowly add the rest of the flour (3 cups).
Knead on #2 speed for 10 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky. If too sticky, add more flour, if too dry add more water. Dough should NOT stick to the side of the bowl.

Grease the bread pans with Crisco. Put oil on your hands and the counter top.
Dump the dough onto the oiled counter top and divide the dough into two equal pieces.
Put the dough into the bread pans and let rise NO MORE than 1/3 bulk.

Bake on the center rack for 40 minutes.

For a softer crust, brush the top of the loaves with oil or butter, cover with a towel and let cool.


Why prepare?

I used to ask my husband this question quite often early in our marriage. (He waited until after we were married to spring full fledged preparedness on me.)

He never had any one answer. I now understand it is more of a mindset than just an answer to a question.

A few of our reasons for storing food and having a preparedness mindset~
  • Economic reasons - we all have experienced in the past year or so the rising cost of everyday items...gas, rice, wheat, everything! If you have a stocked pantry, these rising costs don't effect you as much as it would your neighbor that runs to the grocery store 4-5 times per week.
  • Times of unrest - We in the USA have an unprecedented record of peace in our country. As much as I hate to believe it, this peace will come to an end. When? Who knows. But many indicators point to a just few years down the road. So why not make certain your family has food to eat and a way to protect themselves?
  • Loss of income - My husband's income has been quite inconsistent for the past 5-6 years. I cannot tell you what a comfort it is not to have to worry about food. Rent? Yes, but food is not a worry.
  • Forgetfulness/Laziness - If I happen to forget something on our weekly shopping trips and can't make a meal I had planned...no worries! I can either improvise like I did with the pancakes, or I can make something completely different because I have choices.
These are just a few of the many reasons to prepare your family for unforeseen circumstances.

I'll share more as I think of them.

What are your reasons for preparing? What do you tell people when they ask?

Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tight Spaces?

If you are like most people, you have precious little space in your home for things you use everyday, much less space for food storage that you won't need to get to very often.

Food Storage Made Easy has a great post today about creative ways to store your food storage.

If you're not reading this blog, you should. The always have great ideas for your food storage.

I'll be back soon to post some ideas on getting started with your preparations.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Old Mother Preppers Cupboards are Bare!

I haven't been to the store in over a week. The cupboards are bare, I tell you!

Well, not really. I am out of milk, butter and eggs. But not to fear! I have a stocked pantry. So when I was lying in bed this morning wondering what I would feed my offspring, whole wheat pancakes came to mind.

I have been trying other recipes lately, but I always come back to this one. It was the first really successful whole wheat recipe I had tried on my own.

These are simply the best pancakes. I really like the taste of whole wheat. It's a good thing. Freshly ground wheat is the only kind of flour we have in our house. Oh yes, every once in a while a bag of Gold Medal will find it's way into our house. But that is for the occasional yummy goodness like pound cake and sugar cookies to decorate.

But for me and my house, it's whole wheat all the time.

Ok, here's the original pancake recipe.

Featherweight Whole Wheat Pancakes
Thistle Hill Bed and Breakfast

Ingredients needed:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, well beaten
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 3/4 cups regular milk NOT buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Sift flour, baking soda, sugar and salt together. Combine eggs, vinegar, milk and oil and mix well.
Add dry ingredients to the liquid and stir only until smooth. Pour batter from the tip of a large spoon onto large frying pan or griddle. When underside is browned and before bubbles burst on top, turn and brown the second side. Serves six.


Since I was out of milk, I substituted 1 cup of soy milk that I have in my food storage (I will replace it next time I go shopping) plus another 3/4 cup of water. Soy milk has too strong of a taste to me, so I almost always water it down. I used powdered eggs and applesauce for the oil.

Even with the substitutions, these were wonderful.

And just to be transparent, I do NOT sift the ingredients, etc. I dump it all in the blender and hit high. I let it whirl around for 45 seconds or so and cook those babies up. I don't have time for dry/wet/sifting.

I trust you'll enjoy these as much as we have.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hey There!

Well, I've joined the blogging world. Aren't you lucky?

Seriously, I've read a lot lately about food storage and how to do it properly and what not to do. But honestly, there is no wrong way to do it. That is, unless you DON'T begin storing.

My husband introduced me to food storage before we were married. Truly, I had NO idea what he was talking about. But he was careful not to overwhelm me and slowly introduced me to the concept. Before long, I went head first into storing. Or so I thought.

We finally got our finances in order during 1999. Yep you guessed it. 1999 was THE year of food storage. We squirrled our money and we went hog wild! A major trip to Walton's in Idaho, many many UPS deliveries from Ready Made Resources, Noah's Pantry (and others), a couple of trips to Honeyville Grain in SLC, and untold trips to Costco yielded us a great food storage.

10 years later, we're ready to do it all again. But our finances are once again out of whack. So we'll wait. Until we can do it up big again, I'll share with you how I'm slowly building up my pantry and how I use food storage everyday.

Won't you join me for this not so exciting, but necessary adventure?