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 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?