Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Top 77 items that will be gone before you get there. . .

A while ago, my sister emailed me this list from the emergency preparedness people in her ward. I found it very useful and thought I would pass it on to you.

The following is a list of items that get cleared out of the stores when people go into panic mode.
I know we don't seem to get many natural disasters or catastrophes around here (Idaho), but I would like to feel like I am prepared for anything--especially now with a family of four little kids. I want to always be able to care for them. So, these are some of the things that I will try to stock up on. And really, a catastrophe can be anything from an earthquake to a job loss. Peace of mind will come when you are prepared for any situation. I encourage you to go down this list and find the things that will be most helpful for your family to have.

2. batteries
3. flashlights
4. ice
5. candles
6. matches
7. toilet paper
8. paper plates & paper towels
9. heavy duty aluminum foil
10. water filters
11. flour
12. sugar
13. milk
14. powdered milk
15. Gatorade
16. canned soup
17. soup mixes
18. bouillon cubes
19. hand-held can openers
20. dry cereal
21. diapers
22. wet wipes
23. baby food
24. baby formula
25. sanitary napkins & tampons
26. bath soap
27. laundry detergent
28. waterless hand sanitizer
29. disinfectant
30. bleach
31. trash bags
32. re-sealable plastic bags
33. toothpaste
34. toothbrushes
35. shampoo & conditioner
36. shaving equipment
37. lanterns
38. lantern fuel
39. lantern wicks or mantles
40. butane igniter
41. charcoal grills
42. charcoal
43. camp stoves
44. propane for camp stoves
45. pocket knife
46. army knife
47. vitamin supplements
48. antacids
49. antibiotics
50. rubbing alcohol
51. hydrogen peroxide
52. laxative and diarrhea remedies
53. antihistamine
54. epsom salts
55. bandages
56. sterile gauze pads
57. first-aid tape
58. portable toilets
59. 5-gallon plastic buckets
60. gas-driven generators
61. gasoline storage containers
62. duct tape
63. chain-saws
64. cast iron dutch oven
65. cast iron frying pan
66. bug spray
67. mouse traps
68. mouse bait (d-con)
69. thermal underwear
70. insulated coveralls
71. heavy work gloves
72. boots / rain gear
73. band saws
74. axes
75. solar panels
76. hand-crank radios
77. canvas and nylon tarps
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rising Produce Prices

I'd say that it's time to start thinking about your garden for this summer! Here's an article that will probably affect most of us.

BOISE -- We have been enjoying warmer temperatures recently in Idaho, but a deep freeze in parts of Texas and Mexico are causing some major problems when it comes to produce, and it could soon affect your pocketbook.

That deep freeze in the Southwest means some of your favorite produce items like tomatoes, zucchinis and peppers could double or triple in price.

Produce distributors say it's all a matter of supply and demand.

After the recent cold weather in the Southwest destroyed crops, remaining undamaged vegetables are now being sold at a premium.

Reggie States owns Reggie's Veggies at the corner of Ustick Road and Milwaukee Street in Boise. He says produce prices have already jumped.

For example, he says a case of zucchini that used to cost $18 is now priced at $50. And that means he is going to have to raise prices. As a small business owner that's hard to do.

"If you have a high price out there people think you're trying to get rich off of something, it's just a commodity, the prices are just up," said States.

Brad Foley with Grasmick Produce in Boise, a produce distributor in the valley, says it's normal to see fluctuation in produce prices, but he's never seen prices jump so high, so quickly.

"I've been in this business 25 years and never seen it happen overnight, usually the markets gradually go up, but it was like overnight," said Foley.

Foley says it could take a couple weeks before consumers see these higher prices at their local supermarket. He also says it could take months for vegetable prices to return to normal.

Friday, February 11, 2011


I made bagels the other day and they were SO YUMMY!!!! I watched a video on how to make them, which helped me out. I hope this helps you make them.

I started out by putting the following in my bosch:

3 cups warm water
2 tbsp. yeast
1/3 cup sugar
3 cups flour (I used whole wheat)
4 tsp. salt

Then mix for a minute and add in 3-4 more cups of flour (My first batch, I used white, my second, I used wheat. I think I would do half wheat and half white next time. They turned out a little puffier, but the all whole wheat ones were good, too.)

Once your dough is pulling away from the sides of your bowl, that is a sign to stop adding flour.

Mix for 8 minutes.

Here's my dough after mixing:

Cover with a towel and let rise for 20 minutes. Here's what mine looked like:

Take your dough out. . .

And cut it into 16 balls of dough.

Next, you form the bagel. The trick is to make a ball out of the dough and then poke your fingers through the middle and stretch it out a little. You can kind of roll it a little, too.

Place them on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Put a towel over them and let rise for 20 more minutes. This is what mine looked like:

Once they have raised, bring a pot of water to boil, with 3 T of sugar in it. Put a bagel in (I fit 3 at a time in my pot, just depends on how big yours is) and boil it for 30 seconds on each side. I used a spatula to flip them over.

When they are done, place them on a kitchen towel to let the water drain off of them.

Put your bagels back onto the greased baking sheet. Mix together 1 egg white with just a little water (1-2 T) and brush it on the bagels. You may sprinkle any topping you like on it. I did some with poppyseeds, sesame seeds, and parmesean cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. The whole wheat ones, I just left plain. Here is a picture of a whole wheat bagel:

And, here are the other kinds I made:

They were sooooooooooooooo heavenly! Notice I said "were" . . . they didn't last long! I can never eat store bought bagels again.

Now, if you want a nice sweet whipped cream cheese to go with them. Just take a block of cream cheese, softened, and whip it with a little sugar (1 T) and water (2-3 T). Delicious!! I hope you try these, they will be so worth it!

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Better than Kraft!

Well, I don't know about your kids, but mine love macaroni and cheese. Back in November, I found this cheese powder at Wal-Mart (I'm in Idaho, it was at the Nampa one off the Garrity exit). I finally got around to trying it today for lunch. There is a recipe right on the can for mac and cheese.

I used the macaroni out of my #10 can that we dry pack canned as a ward a few months ago.

I made this just like it was from a box. I cooked a cup of macaroni, drained it, added a little butter, milk and cheese powder. The recipe on the can was a large batch, so I made a smaller one and kind of guessed on amounts. . . it's a pretty forgiving meal. :)

Right as I was going to take pictures, my camera battery died, so in the 15 minutes it took to charge up the batteries, this is all that was left over from my girls. :) It was very creamy and yummy and I ate some even thought I don't usually eat macaroni and cheese. It has now become one of my year's food storage meals. I know it is something that everyone will eat.
I can't remember exactly how much this can of cheese powder cost but I can guarantee that it is cheaper than buying boxes of macaroni and cheese!!!! This can will make a TON (I don't know yet exactly how much, but today I used less than a 1/4 cup for our lunch.

And here is my macaroni monster! She definitely approved!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


So, since most of my posts lately have involved dehydrating, I've had some questions about what kind I have. I have a 9 tray Excalibur. Here are some of the features listed on this website:

*The Ultimate in Versatility - Removable door and trays – This is a MUST- in order to use every other tray or no trays at all, allowing you to dry large items, make yogurt, raise breads, dry crafts, bloom rice, dry sprouted breads, dry pie crust and more.. You do not have to take apart to check drying or add more food.
*Almost unbreakable - FDA approved for Food Contact trays. Inserts make cleaning a snap.
*Controlled environment for a wide variety of uses.
*24 page recipe book included with each unit
*Adjustable Thermostat 85 - 155 degrees
*CE Safety Certified

*Complete drying system in rear (includes thermostat and fan).
*Easy to clean... Spills fall on seamless bottom.
*Horizontal drying provides even drying, eliminating tray rotations. Fast drying...
*Adjustable thermostat allows perfect drying every time.
*Square design increases drying area "25%" with no holes in center of tray.
*Versatile... Trays can be removed to expand drying chamber.
*Controlled environment for a wide variety of uses, i.e. making fruit roll-ups, trail mixes and drying flower arrangements, herbs, art and crafts, photos.

In my words, I LOVE it.
-I love how the trays come out and I can put my jars of yogurt in to culture.

-I love how I can use every other tray if I am drying something that is taller and I can't fit every tray in.

-I LOVE how big it is. It really makes dehydrating worth it. I love dried apples and with my old little cheapo one, all the of the apples would be eaten by the time they were dry! :) I like doing things in larger quantities.

-I LOVE the thermostat and how big of a range it has. I really like how easy it is to use. This is right on the dehydrator:

It tells you what temperature to dry your fruits, veggies, yogurt, jerky, etc.

Now, I have had mine for at least 2 years now, I can't remember exactly when I got it. I bought it on ebay, new, at the best price I could find. I'm not sure what prices are the best right now, but I would look around at a few places to search out the best price if you are interested in a really good dehydrator. It is so worth the investment if you can do it.

Just a note: I just got some leather sheets for my birthday. I was looking on for the sheets that go to this dehydrator and found some others that were A LOT cheaper and from the reviews were even better. So, I was so happy with that discovery and I have really enjoyed them. When I bought my dehydrator, it came with 100 pieces of parchment paper that I used for leathers. Well, I used those up and I love my new leather sheets. Here's the link:

Now, another dehydrator that I have heard is an excellent one is the

8-Tray Garden Master Dehydrator.

Here's the product description:

The FD-1018 Gardenmaster Pro Dehydrator is Nesco / American Harvest's top of the line dehydrator. In fact, the Gardenmaster Pro Deyhdrator is more powerful and larger than any other. Expandability? The Gardenmaster Pro Dehydrator can expand to an enormous 30 trays, which allows extremely large quantities of dehydrating! Power? 1000 watts ensures you complete drying capabilities.In addition, the Patented Converga-Flow® fan forces heated air up the exterior pressurized chamber, then horizontally across each individual tray, converging in the center, for fast, even and nutritious drying. Flavors simply won't be mixed, and you don't ever have to rotate trays!The Gardenmaster Pro Dehydrator has a fast, powerful fan that operates quiet at 2,400-RPM motor. This on top of a specially designed 4-1/2 inch fan mean faster, more nutritious drying. Additionally, the Gardenmaster Pro's adjustable thermostat allows temperatures to be changed from 95 to 155 degrees, which gives you the opportunity to adjust temperature settings for all your different foods (total dehyrdrating flexibility!)On top of all of this, the Gardenmaster Pro's Vita-Save® Exterior blocks light to help retain natural nutrients and vitamins during the drying process.

1000 watts of drying power!
Patented Converga-Flow®
Adjustable temperature control
Includes 52-page recipe and instruction book, 1 solid
sheet, 1 mesh sheet, and 1 packet jerky spice
4.5" Fan, 2400-RPM motor, adjustable thermostat, 1,000 watts
Dries in hours, not days: Fruit rolls, 3-6 hours; beef
jerky, 4 hours; apples, 4-6 hours; bananas, 5-8 hours;
pineapple, 4-6 hours
Opaque Vita-Save® exterior (blocks harmful light)
Expandable to 30 trays
1 Sq. ft. per tray
NO tray rotation required

So, those are my top recommendations. Take it for what it's worth. :)

Long Term Baby Food

I know that some pretty strange things get me excited. . . and this is one of those. :) I saw this on another blog and just had to try it. I had read about people making vegetable powders, which I thought was great, but never got around to doing it, until, I saw this incredible use for it: baby food! Not just any baby food, because, honestly, there are easier ways to make baby food, but this is baby food that can be stored and preserved for years! Great for your food storage and for 72 hour kits if you have a baby.

So, here's what I did. I bought four butternut squash, washed, cut them in quarters, seeded them, put them in baking dishes, and baked them on 350 until they were soft (I really should time these. . . sorry). Note: I didn't think about putting foil over the top, but I will next time because they tops were a little tough. Then I pureed the squash and spread it out on my fruit leather sheets on my dehydrating trays.

I dehydrated them for a LONG time. I wanted to make sure they were really dry. They were in there for over 24 hours--probably close to 30 hours. Sorry I am so exact!! Ha ha!

Then I put the dried squash into my blender and powderized it. FYI, it is LOUD. It scared my baby, so I had to finish when he was napping. :)

Here's my bag of squash! I haven't done this yet, but you can now vacuum seal this in the jar (do it in the ziplock bag so it doesn't plug your sealer, but poke a hole in your bag with a pin) and it will be good for years!

I am excited to do more of this over the summer when there are lots of extra veggies that need something done! And it doesn't just have to be for baby food. You can use vegetable powder to sneak in nutrition to other meals--not that any of you have picky eaterslike I do, I'm sure.

Mine didn't turn out super powdery. I probably could have blended it up longer. Once I reconstituted it it was a little grainy, but my baby didn't seem to mind.

So, that's it! A little involved but such a great way to be prepared with a young baby.

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