Saturday, January 26, 2008

3 month supply: Be a pantry gourmet

Keeping a well-supplied pantry reduces stress and trips to the store. Pantry items aren’t just stored in a pantry or cupboard but can also be in your refrigerator and freezer. Each family will want to develop their own gourmet pantry, depending on their own particular tastes, needs and wants.
A dose of inspiration makes short work of composing a meal from pantry ingredients. What do you feel like having: pasta, chicken, a certain vegetable? If you have made out your menus and bought items from your recipes, you get to the point that you learn to reach in and pull out items that go together. If you’re out of an item, be flexible, just pick another vegetable or fruit and it will probably work just as well. A well stocked pantry can give you a head start.

  • Beans and other legumes:
These are a healthy addition to any meal. They can go into soups, salads, or stews, served as a side dish or paired with ground beef in chili. Canned beans are very convenient and a good-quality alternative for dry beans.
  • Bread Crumbs:
These are good for coating chicken or fish. (I add a little garlic powder and Parmesan cheese with mine sometimes for that extra kick) They add body to frittatas and omelets and a wonderful topping for casseroles. Get into the habit of saving leftover bread in an uncovered container . When it’s hard, just toss it in a blender or food processor and blend. Add your seasoning at the time of use.
  • Canned and Dried Fruit:
Not just for snacking and desert, fruits add color, flavor texture and a hefty measure of nutrition to green salads, rice dishes and baked goods.
  • Canned Vegetables:
These get a bad rap for being watery and tasteless, but their flavor brightens up with a squirt of lemon juice (add lemon juice to your pantry) Use in casseroles. Canned vegetables need less time cooking then fresh veggies to be fully cooked.
  • Canned Soups:
You can just eat it or capitalize on the versatility of this staple. Use it in casseroles, skillet meals and in other soups. It’s hard to store cheese over a long period of time, but a can of cheddar cheese soup can add a comforting flavor to a stew or casserole.

  • Cereal and Crackers:
Ground these can fill in nicely for bread when you need a coating for vegetables, fish or beef. On their own they can help hold over appetites in between meals.

  • Fish:
You’ll never starve with the old standbys, tuna and salmon, in the pantry. Think outside the sandwich. Flake them into a cold salad; toss them with hot pasta sauce. Make salmon patties. Canned clams can give pasta and soups a boost. Keep a supply of shrimp and your families favorite fish fillets in the freezer.

  • Herbs:
Sprinkle them on for a world of flavor. Just remember that a quarter teaspoon of dried herbs equals a full teaspoon of fresh herbs.

  • Honey and Maple Syrup:
These can be used to sweeten yogurt and cereals and other breakfast foods and to glaze poultry.
  • Oils and Vinegars:
Use these to lend ethnic flair depending on the flavor of oils and vinegars you use.
  • Onions:
Few foods lend as much character so easily. What if you run out of fresh onions? Try dry onion. One Tablespoon of dry onion should do the work of ¼ cup chopped onion. Fresh onion is usually call for at the beginning of a recipe, but dried onions can be add toward the end.

  • Pasta:
Tomato sauce I traditional dressing, but think white also. A satisfying pasta dressing can be made from butter and grated cheese or olive oil and garlic and a touch of black or red pepper. Nothing fancy but oh, so good.

  • Rice:
Hot rice is nice; but so is cold. Use it in room-temperature salads and pilafs, combined with lentils or other legumes and chopped vegetables, fresh, frozen or canned. (I love black beans and rice) Try several different types of rice just for a change of pace.

  • Salad Ingredients:
So, you have a little romaine and spinach in the fridge. Toss them together and add some texture with canned or fresh fruit, raisins or other dried fruits and a sprinkling of sesame seeds or nuts. Or toss with drained canned beans and marinated artichoke hearts. Cheese in the fridge? Shave some over the top and be as artistic as you can.

  • Stock:
A splash of broth gives dishes that extra little boost. Combine chicken, beef or vegetable broth with tomatoes and a medley of vegetables or canned beans and you’ll have an instant soup. Use it to cook your rice in instead of water.

  • Tomatoes:
Canned tomatoes are exceptionally versatile. They make quick sauces and add color and taste to soups, stews and side dishes. Season at will for a world of flavor.
Source: Mary Sue Hamilton

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Preparedness Quotes

"When faced with the choice to buy, consume, or engage in worldly things and activities, we all need to learn to say to one another, 'We can’t afford it, even though we want it!' or 'We can afford it, but we don’t need it—and we really don’t even want it!'" - Elder Robert D. Hales, April 2009 General Conference

"Many areas of the world have experienced difficult economic times. Businesses have failed, jobs have been lost, and investments have been jeopardized. We must make certain that those for whom we share responsibility do not go hungry or unclothed or unsheltered. When the priesthood of this Church works together as one in meeting these vexing conditions, near miracles take place.

"We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt."
- President Thomas S. Monson, October 2008 Priesthood Session, General Conference

"Avoid the philosophy that yesterday's luxuries have become today's necessities. They aren't necessities until we make them so. Many enter into long-term debt only to find that changes occur; people become ill or incapacitated, companies fail or downsize, jobs are lost, natural disasters befall us. For many reasons, payments on large amounts of debt can no longer be made. Our debt becomes as a Damocles sword hanging over our heads and threatening to destroy us."
- President Thomas S. Monson, April 2006 General Conference

“We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the real storehouse is the family storeroom. In words of revelation the Lord has said, ‘Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing’ (D&C 109:8.)”
President Gordon B. Hinckley

"We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult--the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value.

"We are living in the prophesied time 'when peace shall be taken from the earth' (D&C 1:35,) when 'all things shall be in commotion' and 'men's hearts shall fail them' (D&C 88:91.) There are many temporal causes of commotion, including wars and natural disasters, but an even greater cause of current 'commotion' is spiritual." Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“Every father and mother are the family’s store keepers. They should store whatever their family would like to have in case of an emergency…(and) God will sustain us through our trials.” President James E. Faust

“We live in a most exciting and challenging period in human history. As technology sweeps through every facet of our lives, changes are occurring so rapidly that it can be difficult for us to keep our lives in balance. To maintain some semblance of stability in our lives, it is essential that we plan for our future. I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received in dealing with our personal and family preparedness. We want to be found with oil in our lamps sufficient to endure to the end.”- Elder L. Tom Perry, Ensign, Nov. 1995

"Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food. . . and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year's supply of debt and are food free." President Thomas S. Monson

"Just as it is important to prepare ourselves spiritually, we must also prepare ourselves for our temporal needs. … We have been instructed for years to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come.

“First, gain an adequate education. Learn a trade or a profession to enable you to obtain steady employment that will provide remuneration sufficient to care for yourself and your family. …

“Second, live strictly within your income and save something for a rainy day. Incorporate in your lives the discipline of budgeting that which the Lord has blessed you with. As regularly as you pay your tithing, set aside an amount needed for future family requirements. …

“Third, avoid excessive debt. Necessary debt should be incurred only after careful, thoughtful prayer and after obtaining the best possible advice. We need the discipline to stay well within our ability to pay. …

“Fourth, acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life [if local laws permit such storage]. Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency. As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year’s supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness.” - Elder L. Tom Perry, October 1995 General Conference

“Maintain a year's supply. 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. How many of us have complied with this? We strive with the Lord, finding many excuses: We do not have room for storage. The food spoils. We do not have the funds to do it. We do not like these common foods. It is not needed -- there will always be someone to help in trouble. The government will come to the rescue. And some intend to obey but procrastinate.” - The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.375

“All too often a family's spending is governed more by their yearning than by their earning. They somehow believe that their life will be better if they surround themselves with an abundance of things. All too often all they are left with is avoidable anxiety and distress” - Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

"Be prepared in all things against the day when tribulations and desolations are sent forth upon the wicked." D&C 29:8

"Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not aquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them." President Ezra Taft Benson

"Fear not little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. . .Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." D&C 6:34, 36

"I believe that the Ten Virgins represent the people of the Church of Jesus Christ. . . They (five foolish) had the saving, exalting gospel, but it had not been made the center of their lives. They knew the way but gave only a small measure of loyalty and devotion.

"The foolish asked the others to share their oil, but spiritual preparedness cannot be shared in an instant. . . . This was not selfishness or unkindness. The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable. . . . In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living." - President Spencer W. Kimball

“We encourage families to have on hand this year’s supply; we say it over and over and over and repeat over and over the scripture of the Lord where he says, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” How empty it is as they put their spirituality, so-called, into action and call him by his important names, but fail to do the things which he says." - President Spencer W. Kimball"/>


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