Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cooking with Food Storage: Wheat Bread Machine Bagels

Wheat Bread Machine Bagels
3/4 cup water -- lukewarm
1 1/4 cups white bread flour
3/4 cup wheat flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/3 tablespoons gluten
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast


1. Insert ingredients in bread machine according to manufacturer's instruction s. Remove the dough from the machine after the first knead - approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
2. Place dough on a floured surface. Divide into 5 parts. Form balls, gently press thumb through center of ball and slowly stretch into bagel shape.
3. While bagels rise, bring three quarts of water and one tablespoon of sugar to a rapid boil in a large saucepan. Drop test dough (see hints below).
4. Using a slotted spoon, drop 2-3 bagels into rapidly boiling water. Boil on each side for 1/2 minutes. Remove and cool on rack 1 minute, brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, if desired.
5. Bake at 400 on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal, until golden - approximately 15 minutes.

** Bagel Success Hints
** When forming the bagels, set aside two 1/4" balls of dough. When the bagels have doubled in size, drop the test dough into boiling water. The dough should pop to the top right away. When this happens, it is time to boil the bagels.

** A quick spray of non-stick vegetable coating on the top of the bagel may be substituted for the egg wash.

** To make bagel sticks, cut bagel before rising and lay out in a straight line . Roll sticks in a combination of sesame and poppy seeds with a pinch of garlic powder. Let sticks rise, boil, and bake as described in the above direction s.

** To make bagel chips, slice leftover bagels horizontally into thin slices. Brush with butter or margarine on one side. Lay (butter side up) on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 325 for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and crisp.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.

The prophet has urged us to store food, save money for a rainy day, budget, live within our means and avoid debt like the plague. For those of you who haven't followed this counsel and are still employed, I hope this article in Daily Finance will motivate you to begin to or continue to prepare for adversity.

U.S. May Not Return to Full Employment for a Decade or More

Preparedness brings peace. "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." - D&C 38:30

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Provident Living: Lessons from the Great Depression

I really enjoyed this article written by Carolyn Nicolaysen in Meridian Magazine about lessons learned during the depression that we can apply to our lives during this difficult economic period. Click on the link below to learn from the past:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Granola Recipe

Here is another delicious Lori Dunford-designed food storage recipe for granola. I have sampled this yummy recipe and you'll love it, too!

4 c rolled oats (old fashioned)
2 c oat bran (or oats blended up to equal 2 c)
2 c coconut
2 c slivered almonds
3/4 c butter
3/4 c brown sugar
1/3 c water
1 Tbsp vanilla
Dash of salt

Mix dry ingredients together. Melt butter, add brown sugar, vanilla and water. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well. The mixture will be wet, but that is okay. Place in your oven at the lowest temperature and dehydrate for several hours. My oven temperature is around 150 degrees and I usually let it bake for 8-12 hours. To test for desired crunchiness, take out a little and let it cool.

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Making Cheese from Powdered Milk

My friend, Lori Dunford, is a pro at utilizing food storage and making delicious, gourmet food out of it. Once again, she has blown me away with her latest conquest: making cheese out of powdered milk! And by the way, this is not so-so cheese. It's actually mouth-wateringly delicious cheese! She has been kind enough to share her recipes with this blog so I hope you enjoy them!

Quick Soft Pressed Cheese

2 cups boiling water

1-1/2 cups dry milk powder

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk

3-4 Tbsps lemon juice

Cheese coloring tablets (optional)

Blend water, milk and oil, allowing foam to settle slightly. If colored cheese is desired, add 1/2 tablet cheese coloring (or cake decorating paste color) while blending. Pour into hot saucepan coated with a nonstick spray and heat to at least 160 degrees. Add lemon juice and continue to stir until mix curdles.

Pour into a cheesecloth lined colander. Rinse curds with warm water, then salt to taste. Place cheese in cloth between two plates or spoon into a cheese press. Apply weight and let sit for 1/2 hour or longer, depending on how firm you want the cheese to be. Remove from plates or cheese press,rinse, wrap in plastic and refrigerate. Use within one month or freeze. This cheese can be sliced, grated, or crumbled. For Smoky Cheese, add 1/2 tsp. Liquid Smoke flavoring and 1/2 - 1 tsp. salt after rinsing curds.

Soft Cottage Cheese

2 c hot water

1 1/2 c dry milk powder

3 Tbsp Fresh lemon juice or white vinegar

Blend water and dry milk and pour into saucepan (foam and all). Sprinkle lemon juice or vinegar slowly around edges and gently stir over medium heat just until milk begins to curdle. separating into curds and whey. Remove from heat and let rest one minute. Pour into strainer or colander, rinse with hot, then cold water. Press out water with back of spoon. Makes about 1- 1/2 cup curds. If desired, moisten rinsed curds with a little buttermilk before serving and add salt to taste. Refrigerate if not used immediately. Whey from fresh milk powder can be used in place of water in breads and soups.

Protein Shake
1/2 cup of cottage cheese (see recipe above)
1 c frozen fruit
3 T ground flax seed
1 c water
4 ice cubes
Sweeten to taste
2 T chopped nuts

Put everything in the blender except chopped nuts and blend. Stir in chopped nuts and enjoy.

Cheese Ball using Cottage Cheese (see recipe above)
4 c well drained cottage cheese (the longer you drain, the drier it becomes)
2 c grated cheese (I used quite sharp cheese)
1 c real bacon bits
2 T onion powder
2 T dried parsley
2 T garlic
1 T worcestershire sauce
1 c chopped pecans
Makes 2 cheese balls
Mix ingredients well, divide in half, roll in pecans if desired. Wrap securely in plastic wrap and let chill for several hours before using.

You can find more of Lori Dunford's powdered milk recipes here:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Food Storage: Free Food Storage Book

I received a link to this free downloadable book entitled: Food Storage Cooking School: Use It or Lose It by Rebecca Low, MS, Utah State Extension Home Economist and Deloy Hendricks, PhD, Nutrition and Food Science Specialist, Utah State Extension. The book describes simple storage guides, types of storage, assessing current storage, storing what you use, water storage, old storage, rotating/keeping inventory, storing wheat, rice, dry milk and beans, building a storage program and where to store. It is free to download and very informative so I thought I'd share it with you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Cilantro Lime Rice

In my quest to add more rice recipes to the blog and satisfy my endless craving for Mexican(ish) food, I dug up two cilantro rice recipes. We have no decent Mexican restaurants where we live and sometimes I need a Mexican food fix. . . so now I've resorted to making the stuff myself despite my less-than-stellar cooking skills. Perhaps I will improve as I try new recipes. Anyway, I digress! Enjoy the recipes.

Cilantro Lime Rice
by Anne Stewart
1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 C long grain white rice
2 C reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 tsp salt
Grated rind and juice of 1 medium lime
1/2 C chopped cilantro
Beat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add rice; stir to coat. Add broth and salt; increase heat and bring to a boil. Stir once. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and stir in lime rind, juice and cilantro. Serves 4.
Source: The Express Times, Monday, September 7, 2009.

Cafe Rio Cilantro Rice

3 cups. water
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 can (4 oz) green chilies
4 tsp. chicken bouillon
1 tsp. cumin
3/4 tsp. salt
1 TB butter
3 cups rice, uncooked
Bring water to a boil in large pot, add all ingredients. Cook covered for 30 minutes, or until rice is done. Makes 6 cups of cooked rice (which makes a lot of servings.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Yummy Whole Wheat Bread on the Table in 1 hour and 20 minutes!

This wheat bread recipe arrived in my e-mail yesterday courtesy of my sister, Emily. She wrote, "It is the best one I've found and you can make it in about an hour an twenty minutes, including baking time, so I thought I'd pass it on. Bread is so expensive so I'm trying to save money by making my own. Also, homemade bread just tastes a million times better, anyway!" So there you have it, a glowing recommendation. If I wasn't up to my ears in zucchini, I would be baking it today. Instead I'm right in the middle of making "bikini bread," as my daughter calls it!

Wheat Bread

6 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon rapid rise yeast
1/4 cup high gluten flour
500 mg. Vitamin C
3 cups very warm water
4 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons honey or sugar
2 teaspoons of salt

Mix 3 cups wheat flour with gluten and yeast. Add vitamin C (I just crush half of a 1000 mg tablet. It helps the yeast grow better) and warm water; mix 1 minute. Cover bowl and let sponge 10 minutes.

Add oil, honey or sugar, and salt, Quickly add remaining flour one cup at a time until the dough forms a ball and cleans from the sides of bowl (depending on humidity, sometimes I have to add a total of 7 cups of flour for the dough to feel right). Knead 7-10 minutes. Roll into 2 or 3 loaves (depending on pan size). Preheat oven to 200 degrees and put the loaves in. Rise dough in oven until double, 20 - 30 minutes (you can also just rise the loaves on the counter if you have time). Leave in oven. Turn heat to 350 degrees and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from pans to cool. Coat with butter.

Food Storage Talk

Photo c/o Preparedness Pro

One of my responsibilities is to help my church congregation become prepared for adversity. Thus, when our local leadership determines that we need to hear about food storage, emergency preparedness, spiritual preparedness, etc., I am often invited to speak. I recently had the assignment to speak about food storage and thought I'd share my talk with you. Unfortunately, I'm a bit of an ad-libber and don't remember everything that I said, but here is the gist of it:

If the Savior came to visit you and said he had some counsel for you which would give you peace, would you listen and obey his counsel?

The Lord has said, “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”

This scripture refers to the Lord's servants, also known as prophets. Our living prophet is the Lord’s mouthpiece today and when he speaks, he is speaking the words of our Savior. If the Savior stood before us and shared a message, we would heed his counsel. Likewise, we should heed our prophet’s counsel. I love the primary song, “Keep the commandments,” particularly the line “Words of a prophet, keep the commandments. In this there is safety and peace.”

Our prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson, as a member of the first presidency, recently released a pamphlet outlining a preparedness plan for members of the church. It states: "We encourage Church members worldwide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings. "We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve." —The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, Feb. 2007.

President Monson also said, "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."

As I reflect upon the current economic crisis we are experiencing, I have been reminded of the words of our prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, which he shared at General Conference in October 2001, soon after the September 11th terrorist attacks:

"Occasions of this kind pull us up sharply to a realization that life is fragile, peace is fragile, civilization itself is fragile. The economy is particularly vulnerable. We have been counseled again and again concerning self-reliance, concerning debt, concerning thrift. So many of our people are heavily in debt for things that are not entirely necessary. When I was a young man, my father counseled me to build a modest home, sufficient for the needs of my family, and make it beautiful and attractive and pleasant and secure. He counseled me to pay off the mortgage as quickly as I could so that, come what may, there would be a roof over the heads of my wife and children. I was reared on that kind of doctrine. I urge you as members of this Church to get free of debt where possible and to have a little laid aside against a rainy day.

"We cannot provide against every contingency. But we can provide against many contingencies. Let the present situation remind us that this we should do.

"As we have been continuously counseled for more than 60 years, let us have some food set aside that would sustain us for a time in case of need. But let us not panic nor go to extremes. Let us be prudent in every respect. And, above all, my brothers and sisters, let us move forward with faith in the Living God and His Beloved Son."

Later in that same talk, he stated: "I cannot forget the great lesson of Pharaoh's dream of the fat and lean kine and of the full and withered stalks of corn." He was referring to Joseph's interpretation of Pharaoh's dream in Genesis. Joseph, after hearing Pharaoh's dream, told Pharaoh that that there would be 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine. I find the timing of Pres. Hinckley's talk interesting. Seven prosperous years after President Hinckley gave this talk, suddenly banks began to fail, major brokerages went belly-up, the stock market dived and businesses closed shop.

The other day, I was listening to a radio program where a well-known financial commentator was talking about the current financial crisis with a burst housing bubble, imprudent loans, major banks failing and an astronomical drop in stock prices creating a ripple effect that has led to a credit crunch and great losses in employment. One thing struck me. . .he said, “No one knew what was coming. No one could have ever anticipated what would happen.” But our prophet knew and we were warned well in advance to prepare by staying out of debt, buying a modest home, setting money aside for a rainy day, and storing food and water. We were promised peace if we did so.

I am used to giving talks on all aspects of preparedness, so when I was asked to talk only about food storage, I asked my daughter, "How can I talk about food storage for so long?" We started laughing and jokingly said, "You get your coat on, you get out your keys. Walk to the car, drive to the store, buy an extra couple of cans of food each week and over time, you build your food storage." The church's food storage program as it currently stands is really that simple. You begin by creating a three month supply:

Three Month Supply

Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet. One way to do this is to purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply of food. Then you can gradually increase your supply until it is sufficient for three months. These items should be rotated regularly to avoid spoilage. —The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, Feb. 2007.

This can be accomplished by making a menu of food that your family likes to eat for a month (don’t forget to include breakfast, lunch and dinner). Make a shopping list based on that menu, making sure you inventory your fridge, freezer, pantry and food storage and mark off the things you already have. As you go to the grocery store, pick up extra items from that list and if you go to Sam’s, BJ's or Costco, buy things off of that list. Even if you only spend a few extra dollars a week, over time, you will accumulate your storage.

Supplement that with long-term food storage items you eat like rice, oats, wheat, beans—things that last for twenty or thirty years. These items are fairly inexpensive. I was thinking about the #10 can of rice that I have in the pantry. Buying rice from the church’s home storage center costs about $16.00 for 25 lbs. From that I’ll get approximately 5 #10 cans which probably will last our family for six months. Add to it things like pasta and beans and you’d be surprised how little money it takes to get a three month supply. It costs us less to buy that 25 lb. bag of rice than it does to take our family one time to McDonalds for dinner. It lasts a long time and I use it often.

Where can you find the extra money? Try packing lunch every day to work and school. At my husband’s work cafeteria, his lunch costs an average of $5-$8 a day. Even on the low end we could save $20 a week. What if you are stretched to the limit? Watch the sales—buy two cans when they’re on sale. Buying in bulk saves a lot of money but only buy what your family would eat. Try finding free entertainment for one week—go to the library, take a walk outside, enjoy local parks, play board games, swap movies with your friends and you can save a lot. It costs 20 dollars for us to go to a movie—forgo that and you have an entire bag of rice!

Drinking Water

Store drinking water for circumstances in which the water supply may be polluted or disrupted. If water comes directly from a good, pretreated source then no additional purification is needed; otherwise, pretreat water before use. Store water in sturdy, leak-proof, breakage-resistant containers. Consider using plastic bottles commonly used for juices and soda. Keep water containers away from heat sources and direct sunlight. —The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, Feb. 2007.

I keep water under my sink in used, clean 2L bottles and juice bottles. We don't drink much soda but I save the bottles when I have parties at our house. When we had a boil water advisory in our town for three days, water bottles flew off the grocery store shelves in a flash and they even cancelled school. But I had no concerns whatsoever. We had plenty of clean water right in our kitchen and lots more in the basement.

Do you have enough water? Do you have the minimum recommended amounts of drinkable water? Remember. . . this is not for cooking, washing clothes, showering, cleaning or flushing toilets--just drinking and very minimal hygiene like hand washing and teeth brushing.

For a couple you’d need 28 gallons
Family of 4 = 56 gallons (think 55 gallon barrel)
Family of 5 = 70 gallons
Family of 6 = 84 gallons
Family of 7 = 98 gallons
Family of 8 = 112 gallons
Family of 9 = 126 gallons
Family of 10 = 140 Gallons (you might find grown children coming back to roost in an emergency)

Longer-Term Supply

For longer term needs, and where permitted, gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay live, such as wheat, white rice, and beans.These items can last 30 years or more when properly packaged and stored in a cool, dry place. A portion of these items may be rotated in your three-month supply. —The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, Feb. 2007.

People say “I’m not going to buy wheat. My family won’t eat wheat bread. I don’t have a grinder, etc. " I would suggest that you get wheat. It’s about $13 for 25 lbs. That will make almost 25 loaves of bread. We can share grinders if it is required. People will be much more likely to let you grind wheat with their grinder than to share the precious food that will keep their family from starvation.

You can also save a lot of money by producing food in your own gardens.

After WWII, Pres. Ezra Taft Benson was called by the 1st Presidency to re-establish missions and set up a program for the distribution of food and clothing to the saints. Vivid in his memory were the people who got on trains each morning with all kinds of bric-a-brac in their arms to go out to the countryside and trade their possessions for food. At evening time, the train station was filled with people with arms full of vegetables and fruits and squealing pigs and chickens. . .These people were, of course, willing to barter practically anything for that commodity which sustains life—food.

“I have witnessed the appalling, emaciated shadows of human figures. I have seen women and children scavenge army garbage dumps for scraps of food. Nor can I forget the expectant and nursing mothers whose eyes watered with tears when we gave them each an orange. We saw the terrible physical and social side effects of hunger and malnutrition. . . 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 acquainted with the revelations of the Lord or they do not believe them. Those who smugly think these calamities will not happen, that they somehow will be set aside because of the righteousness of the Saints , are deceived And will rue the day they harbored such a delusion.”

Remember, peace in adversity—whether it be the job loss, underemployment, health problems, sudden death, or financial challenges comes by following the prophet. In this, there is safety, in this, there is peace. The Savior promised:

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:26–27).

"Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward.

"Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.

"Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you.
"Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." (D&C 6:34, 36)

Today, I urge you to follow our prophet’s counsel, follow the Savior and if you do so, you will feel the peace that only the Savior can give us:
"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." - Helaman 5:12

Share Testimony of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, restoration, living prophet, inspired food storage program.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Whole Wheat Bread for a Bread Machine

Back in the '90s, bread machines were all the rage. I convinced my husband to buy me one by making homemade bread for a few weeks and telling him I would make bread everyday if he purchased one for me. For a while, I used the bread maker often but the frequency of bread making has diminished dramatically over the years. Now, in an attempt to be more frugal and eat more healthily, I recently re-discovered my bread maker in the basement and am enjoying its delights. For those of you who want to get accustomed to eating foods made with home storage, pull out the old bread maker and try this mouth wateringly delicious easy-to-make whole wheat bread recipe.

Whole Wheat Bread (Machine)

1 1/2 c water

2 T butter

1/3 c honey plus enough molasses to make 1/2 c total liquid

4 c whole wheat flour

2/3 c oatmeal

1 tsp salt

2 T powdered milk

3 T gluten

2 1/4 tsp yeast

Place all the ingredients in bread machine (liquid on bottom). Follow your machine instructions.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Emergency Preparedness: Start a Fire without Matches

I remember spending a couple of frustrating hours at girl's camp trying to light a fire with flint and steel and wet tinder (it was a rainy week) to complete my certification. Afterwards, my was face covered in soot and my eyes watered from the smoke, but I was pleased that I had accomplished my goal. Hopefully, you'll never have to start a fire without matches but just in case of a real emergency, here are a few tried and true methods that will provide a warm fire if you're ever in need of one.


Get a variety of tinder--wood shavings, dried grass, lint and small twigs. No matter what method you choose for making a fire, you will always need to start with tinder. Ball the tinder up loosely to allow plenty of air flow and shape it into a bird's nest. Have plenty of bigger sticks to add once the fire starts.


Use a little magnesium and flint block: Scrape a pile of magnesium shavings on your tinder and strike a spark off the flint. The magnesium will ignite and hopefully start flame in your tinder. Once it begins to smoke, hold the tinder in your hands to allow oxygen in through the bottom and blow gently from underneath.


Use a magnifying glass on a sunny day Angle the magnifying glass in the sun over the tinder so that the focal point is directly on the pile. Once it begins to smoke, you can encourage the flame by blowing gently on the tinder from the bottom. Broken glass, bottles or eyeglasses can also work if their focal point is bright enough.


Use a 6 volt battery and steel wool Tear the wool into a loose mass and touch it to both charges on the battery. Doing so will connect the circuit, cause a spark and cause the steel wool to glow. Once it's hot enough, you can place it on the tinder until it catches.


Remove a bullet from its cartridge and pour half the powder on your tinder. Put the half-empty cartridge back in the gun (without a bullet) and fire it at the tinder. Be certain that your tinder is at the base of a tree or in an enclosed area because the gunfire will likely blow the tinder away and might put out the same flame it creates.


Place the point of a straight stick into a groove in a piece of bark or flat wood. Ideally, both of these pieces contain no sap or moisture. Rub the stick vigorously between your hands, while the point creates friction against the other piece of wood. Eventually the wood will heat until it creates a small ember which you can drop into the tinder nest.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Powdered Milk Recipes You Will Love!

There is an amazing woman in my ward who gave a presentation about powdered milk at our Stake Preparedness Fair. She provided samples of all the things she made with powdered milk and everything she made was absolutely delicious. You would NEVER know they were made from powdered milk. So I'm providing you with her recipes and I hope you'll try making some of them. Yes, you can find ways to rotate powdered milk. . . even if you're not drinking it. Thank you to Lori Dunford for spending the time to test, develop and perfect these recipes!

Basic Yogurt

4 c water

1 c powdered milk

1/2 c plain yogurt or a packet of freeze dried yogurt powder*

Stir the water and powdered milk until dissolved. Heat to 110 degrees, add the yogurt and stir well. Pour into pint jars and incubate using desired method.

Serving Suggestions: Serve with fresh fruit and/or granola.

Heating pad method: Place a towel over the hot pad and put on medium heat. Place jars on top and cover with another towel. I also tried this by placing a pot on the stove and heating the water to 110 degrees. Then I placed the pot on top of the heating pad and placed the pint jars inside and put the lid on and checked it 4 hours later and yogurt was firm.

Cooler method: Heat 3 quarts water to almost boiling or in the microwave for 6 minutes and place in a cooler. Place the pint jars around the jars and let incubate for 4 hours.

Oven method: Every attempt I have ever made to make yogurt in the oven has never worked for me, so let me know if any of you figure out how to make this work.

Hot/cold Method: The principle is the same as the cooler method. Heat 3 quarts of water to almost boiling. Place in the back of the hot/cold bag and place 3 pints or 6 1/2 pint jars with the yogurt around them. Fold up a large beach towel and place at the end. Snap shut. Check yogurt in 4 hours. If not firm enough, reheat the water and let stand a few more hours.

Yogurt Maker Method: Yogurt Makers work great and I used one for many years, but it finally quit working.

Basic Yogurt Cheese

Simply pour Basic Yogurt into a cheese bag and let drain for an hour or two. A thicker consistency than ordinary yogurt is obtained by draining off the excess water. This drained yogurt can be used in recipes for dips, spreads, sauces, and dressings. This is perhaps the simplest cream cheese method. The result is tangy and delicious.

Alternate method for Basic Yogurt Cream Cheese

Dump a quart of Basic Yogurt into strainer lined with paper towels or cheese cloth. Let sit and drain overnight. If tangy flavor is desired, leave out of refrigerator, if sweeter flavor is desired, leave in refrigerator to drain.

Basic Yogurt Lemon Cream Cheesecake


12 oz. basic yogurt cream cheese

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 c lemon juice

1/2 c sugar


1 c sour cream

1 T grated lemon rind

1 T sugar

Vanilla Wafer or Graham Cracker Crusts:

1 c vanilla wafer crumbs

1 T sugar

2 T melted butter

pinch of salt

Crust: Mix ingredients until butter is absorbed ; place crumbs in round 9 inch baking pan and spread in even layer.

Filling: Blend Basic Yogurt Cream Cheese and lemon juice thoroughly. Add eggs and sugar and beat until smooth. Pour into vanilla wafer or graham cracker crust. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until firm. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes, then spread with topping.

Topping: Mix topping ingredients and pour oer pie filling. Bake 10 minutes longer. Cool. Chill in refrigerator 5 hours before serving.

Cottage Cheese

To make your own delicious and nutritious Basic Cottage Cheese, use the easy directions which follow. This recipe utilized rennet or Junket tablets (usually found next to the jello) to help produce low-acid cottage cheese with minimal effort:

1 rennet tablet (or Junket tablet)

1 pt. buttermilk or Basic Yogurt

1 gallon Basic Rehydrated Powdered Milk.

Dissolve rennet tablet in warm water. Pour Basic Rehydrated Powdered Milk into a large heavy pot and heat to 90 degrees F. Add buttermilk or Basic Yogurt, stirring to mix. Add dissolved rennet. Cover pot and leave overnight in a warm place. The next day, a gelatinous, almost solid mass, like firm yogurt, has formed in the pot. This is the curd. With a silver knife, cut through this curd to break it into small pieces. Place pot on top of a large cake pan so you can pour the water around it. (This is what I found works best) Shake the pot gently while it is being heated to help distribute the heat more evenly throughout the curd. When the curd temperature reaches 110 degrees F, turn off the heat, leaving the cheese bowl in the water for about 30 minutes. Then pour the cheese into a cloth bag (I used a pillow case) or several layers of cheesecloth and hang it up to drain. When the curds have drained, mash the cheese with a form, work in a little sweet or sour cream if you used skim milk, or moisten it with a little basic Yogurt if you don't want the extra fat. You now have a delicious Basic Cottage Cheese!

Cheese Filled Jumbo Shells

1 package 12 oz San Giorgio Jumbo Shells, uncooked

4 c basic cottage cheese (see recipe above)

2 c shredded mozzarella cheese

3/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 t dried oregano leaves

1/4 t ground black pepper

3 eggs

1 T fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried parsley

1/2 t salt

3 c spaghetti sauce

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions. Combine cheeses, eggs, and spices. In 13 X 9 inch baking dish, spread 1/2 c sauce. Fill each cooked shell with about 2 T cheese mixture. The easiest way to do this is to place cheese mixture inside a ziploc bag, cut a tiny hole in one corner and use like a pastry bag to fill the shells. Layer one-half filled shells in prepared baking dish; spread one-half remaining sauce over shells. Layer remaining filled shells over sauce, spread remaining sauce over shells. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired. Cover with foil. Bake 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly. 8-10 servings.

Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/2 c water

1 c sugar

3 T butter

1 c powdered milk

Heat water, sugar and butter until boiling. Allow to cool slightly. Pour into a blender and gradually add the powdered milk, through the hole at the top. Blend until smooth. Can store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks, makes slightly more than one can of sweetened condensed milk.

Key Lime Pie

1 c water

2 c sugar

6 T butter

2 c powdered milk

1/3 c sugar

2 eggs

1 c lime juice

Optional: 1 T lime zest

2-9 inch graham cracker crusts

Boil water, sugar and butter together. Let cool 15 minutes. Pour into a blender. Gradually add the powdered milk a very little at a time and blend until smooth. Let cool for 15-30 minutes in blender.

Add the sugar and blend for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add the eggs and blend another 2 minutes. Finally, add the lime juice and blend 2 more minutes. Pour into the graham cracker pie crusts. Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes depending on oven. Cool, chill and serve with whipping cream.

Bercher Muesli
2 c oatmeal
1 c milk
2 c yogurt
2 chopped apples
1 c blueberries or desired fruit
1 c chopped strawberries or 1 c raspberries
1 c chopped nuts
1 c coconut (optional)
Juice of 2 lemons
Sweeten to taste (I use stevia)
Pour milk over oatmeal and let sit while you chop up the fruit. Add remaining ingredients. Feel free to use whichever fruit you prefer. This stays good for at least one week and is a great snack for kids after school.

Source: Lori Dunford

She referenced: "Making the Best of Basics," Family Preparedness Handbook by James Talmage Stevens,,

*Lori purchased yogourmet brand freeze dried yogurt culture and it seemed reasonably priced. She purchased it at Yogurt starter. You should also be able to purchase it at a Health Food Store although it may be more expensive.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Premio Dardo Blog Award

A hearty thank you to Sondra from Clean Frugal Living
for honoring me with the Premio Dardo Blog Award.

She said, "I really love your site. I love all of your wonderful preparedness ideas."

The Premio Dardos award is for bloggers who distinguish themselves for showing cultural values, ethics, great and fun writing skills, as well as individual values, through their creative writing.

The rules of the award:

1. To accept and show the distinct image

2. Show the link to the blog from which you were given the award

3. Choose 10 blogs to give the Premio Dardos Award to.

4. Let the nominees know about their award.

Most of the blogs I read are personal family blogs so I will share the awards with them privately as they may not want to be advertised to the world on my blog. I am honored to receive this award! Thanks again, Sondra!

Frugality Challenge #6

Try putting $1 a day, plus pocket change, into a large envelope or a jar.

At the end of the month, you probably will have about $50 to deposit in your savings account. That's $600 a year (not including interest!)

My father-in-law used to say that "pennies make dollars" and I try to keep that in mind every day. We have been saving pocket change for years and have accumulated a lot of savings this way. I call it our "mad money" and use it only for emergencies like last minute school lunch money or taking the kids out to ice cream on rare special occassions. For the most part, the savings simply add up over time. One time, we filled a #10 can with spare change and upon taking it to the bank, discovered that we had over $500 in it. We had no idea we had that much money just sitting in our house.

Financial Preparedness: Using a Credit Card Wisely

If you choose to use a credit card, here are some tips to help you use it wisely:
  • Use only one or two cards.

  • If you are just starting out, consider using a secured credit card to impose some self-restraint. Using a secured credit card requires you to put money in your account in advance and only draw on what is in your account with your credit card.
  • Keep track of what you charge just as you would a checking account. That way, you won't be shocked when the statement arrives.
  • Use cards only for essential needs.

  • Save for big-ticket items instead of putting them on a card. If you must borrow for that item, there are less expensive loans from banks and credit unions that may be available.

  • Pay credit card bills as soon as they arrive. This lowers the average daily balance on which interest in charged and avoids late payment fees.
  • Always pay more than the minimum balance due. If at all possible, pay off the balance each month. If you develop the habit of paying the balance each month, be sure your card is one that doesn't charge interest as long as the balance is paid in full by the due date.
  • If the balance begins to mount, quit using the card for a while.

  • If the balance continues to mount, leave the card at home.

  • If the balance still continues to mount, call the credit card company and request to have the credit limit lowered.

  • Use a low-interest rate card, with either a low annual fee or no annual fee. Shop around using the Internet or offers sent to you in the mail. Rates vary widely, (Retail cards issued by department stores tend to charge the highest interest rates.)

  • Be wary of cards that offer extremely low interest rates "for a limited time." all too soon, the time is over, and the new interest rate being charged may be well above average.

Source: Your spending, Your Savings, Your Future: A Beginner's Guide to Financial Readiness, National Endowent for Financial Education, 2004.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Easy mixes

I love quick mixes. Here are three that will help you utilize your food storage, stock your pantry and save meal preparation time. Enjoy!

Quick Mix
(equivalent to Bisquick)
5 cups flour
3½ cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 ½ cups instant nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar

In a large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients and blend well.
Put in a large, airtight container. Label. Store in a cool, dry place and use within 10 to 12 weeks.
Makes about 13 cups.

Hot Fudge Pudding CAKE
1½ cups quick mix
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
¾ cup chopped nuts
½ cup milk
¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
¼ cup cocoa
1½ cups boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In an unbuttered, 8-by-8-inch pan, combine quick mix, oil, vanilla, sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, nuts and milk and blend well. Combine brown sugar and ¼ cup cocoa in a small bowl. Add to water and bring to a boil. Gently pour over the top of the cake mixture, and do not stir. Bake 35-40 minutes, until the edges separate from the pan. Cool in pan 15 minutes before serving. Makes one 8-inch square cake.

Instant Oatmeal Mix
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats)
½ tsp salt

Grind oats and salt in a blender or a food processor (in two or more batches if necessary) to the consistency of wheat germ. Scoop half-cup portions into separate, resealable bags. Flavor each portion using mix-ins below.

1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped dried apples
1 tablespoon cranberries.
(You can also leave out the cranberries and use 2 tablespoons of apples)

Brown Sugar and Spices:
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.

Cinnamon Raisin:
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of raisins
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon.

Pecan Delight:
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped pecans

1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon of blueberries
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Cooking instructions: Add 1 cup water to packet (1/2 cup oatmeal and mix-ins) in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 2-2½ minutes. If a creamier oatmeal is desired, use 1 cup milk instead of water or add 1?3 cup instant non-fat dry milk to the cup of water.

Almost Hamburger Helper Mix in a Jar
2 c nonfat dry milk
1 c corn starch
1/4 c beef bouillon powder
2 Tbsp onion flakes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp garlic powder

Mix the ingredients together and store in an airtight jar.

Use this mix for the following recipe:

Chili Mac
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1 c water
1/2 c macaroni noodles (uncooked)
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1 T chili powder
1/2 c Hamburger Helper mix

Combine all and simmer 20 minutes or until macaroni is cooked.
Note: I sampled this at our stake preparedness fair and it was very good!

Sources: Deseret News,5143,705300240,00.html?pg=4, Scranton Stake RS Presidency

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Financial Preparedness: Steps to get out of debt

Are you drowning in the anxiety that accompanies debt? Reclaiming your financial future starts by taking positive steps to get out of debt. Even if you have serious problems with debt, there is hope. Consider taking at least some of the steps below:

  • Don't wait to act. Just as investments compound over time, so do debts.

  • Create a get-out-of-debt plan. Although each creditor has to receive payment every month, put any extra cash toward the debt with the highest interest rate.

  • Cut expenses. Try to find a few things that you could stop buying or buy less often.

  • Sell rarely used items. Sell these items yourself. Avoid going to a pawnshop.

  • Honestly assess your ability and then take the appropriate action. If you bought a car and are having trouble making the payments, for example, it may be better to sell the car and pay off the loan than to let the creditor repossess the car. A repossession will hurt your credit record.

  • Try to increase income. Is it possible to get a second job or get paid overtime and use the money to reduce debt? )If you have family responsibilities, first consider what effect your absence will have on the well-being of your family. It's important to balance the need to get out of debt with the need to spend time with your family.)

  • When one debt is paid off, keep making the same payment--just put it toward another remaining debt.

  • Consolidate loans. Shift higher interest loans to a single lower-rate loan and stop running up new charges.

  • Keep only one or two major credit cards. Cut up the other credit cards and call the credit card companies to cancel the accounts. Keep the remaining one or two credit cards at home (as long as the card won't be used by anyone else.) Consider having the credit limit lowered.

  • To stop most credit card offers from arriving in your mail, call (888) 5OPT-OUT.

Source: Your Spending Your Savings Your Future: A Beginner's Guide to Financial Readiness, National Endowment for Financial Education, pp. 26-27.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Delicious soup using white beans

I sampled this soup at our stake preparedness fair last weekend. It was absolutely delicious and is a great way to use beans from your food storage.

Potato Bean Soup
1/2 C sliced celery
3 medium carrots, shredded
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp butter
1 onion, chopped
4 medium potatoes, unpeeled and cut
2 tsp dried dill or fresh
1 15 oz. can of white beans
1/2 c sour cream or plain nonfat yogurt
1 T flour
4-5 c chicken broth

Cook celery, carrots, onion and garlic in hot butter for 4 minutes. Stir in broth, potatoes and dill. Bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes. Lightly mash 1/2 of the potatoes. Add drained beans. In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, flour, with a little salt and pepper. When mixed together, stir into soup, continue stirring and cook until the soup thickens.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu Information

In light of the recent outbreak of swine flu that threatens to become a global pandemic, I thought it might be pertinent to provide you with information about the flu from the CDC. The following is a CDC article providing general information about swine flu which you may find helpful.

What is swine flu?

Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. Swine flu viruses have been reported to spread from person-to-person, but in the past, this transmission was limited and not sustained beyond three people.

Is this swine flu virus contagious?

CDC has determined that this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human. However, at this time, it is not known how easily the virus spreads between people.

What are the signs and symptoms of swine flu in people?

The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

How does swine flu spread?

Spread of this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

How can someone with the flu infect someone else?

Infected people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

What should I do to keep from getting the flu?

First and most important: wash your hands. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Try not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Are there medicines to treat swine flu?

Yes. CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with these swine influenza viruses. Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body. If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms).

How long can an infected person spread swine flu to others?

People with swine influenza virus infection should be considered potentially contagious as long as they are symptomatic and possible for up to 7 days following illness onset. Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods.

What surfaces are most likely to be sources of contamination?

Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air. Germs can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk and then touches their own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands.

How long can viruses live outside the body?

We know that some viruses and bacteria can live 2 hours or longer on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks. Frequent handwashing will help you reduce the chance of getting contamination from these common surfaces.

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?

There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

  • If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

What is the best way to keep from spreading the virus through coughing or sneezing?

If you are sick, limit your contact with other people as much as possible. Do not go to work or school if ill. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Put your used tissue in the waste basket. Cover your cough or sneeze if you do not have a tissue. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.

What is the best technique for washing my hands to avoid getting the flu?

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Wash with soap and water. or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner. we recommend that when you wash your hands -- with soap and warm water -- that you wash for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used. You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores. If using gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. The gel doesn't need water to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands.

What should I do if I get sick?

If you live in areas where swine influenza cases have been identified and become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you may want to contact their health care provider, particularly if you are worried about your symptoms. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed. If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others.

If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care:

In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing

  • Bluish skin color

  • Not drinking enough fluids

  • Not waking up or not interacting

  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held

  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

  • Fever with a rash

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen

  • Sudden dizziness

  • Confusion

  • Severe or persistent vomiting

How serious is swine flu infection?

Like seasonal flu, swine flu in humans can vary in severity from mild to severe. Between 2005 until January 2009, 12 human cases of swine flu were detected in the U.S. with no deaths occurring. However, swine flu infection can be serious. In September 1988, a previously healthy 32-year-old pregnant woman in Wisconsin was hospitalized for pneumonia after being infected with swine flu and died 8 days later. A swine flu outbreak in Fort Dix, New Jersey occurred in 1976 that caused more than 200 cases with serious illness in several people and one death.

Can I get swine influenza from eating or preparing pork?

No. Swine influenza viruses are not spread by food. You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.

For more information call 1-800-CDC INFO, or go to

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Financial Preparedness: Frugality Challenge #5

Make water your drink of choice.

Forget soft drinks and juice. Stick to nature's best thirst quencher and you'll have more pennies in your pocket. Keep water in your car and in your office drawer, take it with you on outings so you won't be tempted to buy something else to wet your whistle.

I used to send in juice boxes for my kids in their school snacks and lunches but now I just send in reusable water bottles and they're perfectly satisfied. It has saved me a lot of money over time and is much healthier for them as well.

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Delicious Instant Potato Soup Recipe

I promised that I would provide more potato flakes recipes and this one's a keeper:

• 4 slices bacon, diced
• 1 medium onion, chopped fine
• 1 carrot, sliced fine
• 2 ribs celery, chopped fine
• 1 (10 ½-ounce) can chicken broth
• 2 ½ cups milk (or equal parts milk and cream)
• 1 ½ cups instant mashed potato flakes
• Salt and pepper
• 2 green onions, thinly sliced (optional)

Place the bacon in a 2-quart Dutch oven or saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon pieces with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add onions, carrots and celery; cook over low heat until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally.

Add chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add milk. Gradually stir in instant potatoes, blending smoothly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Gently heat soup to desired temperature; do not boil. Add more milk if soup seems too thick, more flakes if too thin. Serve topped with green onion and reserved bacon. Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: 152 calories (32 percent from fat), 5.4 g fat (2.7 g saturated, 1.7 g monounsaturated), 14.9 mg cholesterol, 7.9 g protein, 18.2 g carbohydrates, 1.7 g fiber, 480.5 mg sodium.

Potato Flakes can also be substituted for cornstarch or flour to thicken gravy and sauces, and it works perfectly -- no lumps, no off taste. Same with homemade soups -- add one cup of flakes to 4 cups soup.

Source: Linda Cicero, Cook's Corner

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Provident Living: Saving Money on Groceries

I came across a great article in Meridian Magazine this week by Lyle and Tracy Shamo entitled "Trim the Fat out of your Food Budget." If you're trying to lower your family's food costs, it has some great ideas. Click the link below for the article:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Financial Preparedness: Frugality Challenge #5

Grow your own food. Then eat it, freeze it and can it!

Gardening is one of the best ways to save money on groceries and provides you with a spring, summer and fall of enjoyment as you watch plants grow and mature and enjoy the harvest. It also promotes healthy eating habits and teaches your family to work. So if you have the inclination, this is the month to get started. I love living in the northeast U.S. because it's so easy to grow things. Plant a seed or seedling and pretty soon you have a thriving plant! Here's a gardening "to do list" for the month of March I found on This is for my area. . .you may want to look up a to-do list for where you live because it may be different:

Flowers and Vegetables:

  • If you'd like to try your hand at growing your own plants, March is the time to start indoor seeds of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and other warm-season veggies. Tomatoes are best started late in the month to avoid ending up with leggy plants come May.
  • When your garden is dry enough (feels crumbly like chocolate cake, not squishy like Play-Doh), it's time to till and prepare it for planting. Take a soil sample to your Penn State county extension office to be analyzed, and work in fertilizer and other nutrients as indicated.
  • St. Patrick's Day is the traditional time to plant peas and potatoes, but you may have to wait a few weeks until the ground dries out unless you prepared the soil last fall. Rhubarb, asparagus, and onion sets can also be planted now.
  • Remove mulch covers from roses, azaleas, clematis vines and other tender shrubs once nighttime temperatures rise into the 30s (be prepared to recover if a late cold-snap hits). Leave mulch around spring flowering bulbs and tender perennials, however, as it will provide protection to emerging shoots against cold, drying winds.
  • Trim back winter-killed rose canes to one inch below blackened area and all rose canes to about six inches above ground level. Cut back any perennials that weren't cleaned up last fall, as well as ornamental grasses.

Trees & Shrubs:

  • Prune fruit trees, bramble fruits, and grapes (except peaches and nectarines, which are best pruned before they flower) before the buds swell.
  • Prune summer and fall blooming shrubs now (wait to prune spring blooming shrubs such as azaleas until after they bloom). Delay pruning evergreen shrubs and hedges until early summer.
  • Apply dormant oil spray to any trees and shrubs (except blue spruce)that are plagued by scale insects or mites.
  • Now's the time (before it gets too hot and dry) to plant deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs, weather and soil conditions permitting.
  • Fertilize established rhododendrons, azaleas, roses and other ornamental trees and shrubs, as well as fruit trees. Follow the recommendations on the fertilizer bag.

Lawn Care:

  • Fertilize your lawn with either an organic or a chemical fertilizer and treat lawns, as necessary, for crabgrass or annual bluegrass problems with a pre-emergent preventer (watch for air temperatures above 60° F for 4-5 consecutive days for the right timing). Consider a product that combines the two to save on application time.
  • When weather conditions permit, remove excess thatch from your lawn and aerate it, if necessary.
  • Fertilize established lawns.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Frugality Challenge #4

Create a family budget and find ways to save money.

The church suggests that we use a budget:

"Keep a record of your expenditures. Record and review monthly income and expenses. Determine how to reduce what you spend for nonessentials.

Use this information to establish a family budget. Plan what you will give as Church donations, how much you will save, and what you will spend for food, housing, utilities, transportation, clothing, insurance, and so on.

Discipline yourself to stay within your budget plan."

Yes, I used the big bad B word! I don't like living on a budget but doing so helps me to know exactly what our expenses are, determine how much we can save, plan for the future and be wise with any discretionary money. For those of you who already have a budget, good job! Take a few minutes and see if there's any expenses in your budget that you can cut or lower. For the rest of you who are dreading this challenge--accept it. You'll be happy that you did!

The church has a nice budget worksheet you can use to begin. Click or copy and paste the following address:

For more help with budgeting, here's a link to which has links to many websites which can help you with budgeting:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Financial Preparedness: Frugality Challenge #3

Frugality Challenge #3

Designate one day this week as a spend-free day. Be creative and do not make any discretionary purchases that day. Estimate the amount of money you didn't spend and deposit it in savings. If you're really brave, try it once a week for a month.

Should you accept this challenge, please feel free to share the ways you avoided spending money. Good luck!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Homemade Pancake Mix

How many of us use a boxed or bagged pancake mix to make pancakes? I know I do! They're quick and easy to use but the pancakes never taste quite as good as the ones you get from a restaurant. Here's a little secret: Many restaurants make their own dry pancake mix and add the wet ingredients just before baking. So here's a mix developed by a restaurant chef that you can make from scratch and store in an airtight container. Whenever you feel like pancakes, add the wet ingredients and. . .Voila! You have your own delicious restaurant-style pancakes in no time for just a fraction of the cost of a prepared mix from the store!

Homemade Pancake Mix
10 c flour
1/4 c baking powder
1 T salt

Mix flour, baking powder and salt well in a large bowl. Transfer to a four quart plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Store in a cool, dark, dry place until ready to use.

To make pancakes (about 20): Put 3 cups of the pancake mix into a bowl; stir in sugar to taste (from 2 Tablespoons to 1/2 cup). Whisk 4 eggs in a medium bowl; whisk in 2 c milk and 1/4 c melted butter into the eggs. Add the dry ingredients; stir until just incorporated. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 tsp vegetable oil; swirl to coat. Ladle 1/4 c batter for each pancake into the skillet. cook until bubbles appear, about 2 1/2 minutes. Turn pancakes. Cook 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.

Source: Bill Daley and Christopher Prosperi of Connecticut's Metro Bis restaurant, McClatchey Newpapers.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Rice Recipes

Browned Rice

1 c rice

1/4 c shortening

1/4 c chopped onion, meat, celery, or other vegetables (optional)

1 tsp salt

3 1/2 c water

Heat shortening in skillet. Add rice. Cook, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Add vegetables and continue cooking 2-3 minutes (optional). Add salt and water. Simmer over low heat 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender and excess liquid is evaporated. Makes 6-8 servings.

Rice Risotto

1 large onion, chopped

3 T butter

4 c water

2 c white rice (not instant)

3 T oil

4 tsp chicken bouillon plus 1 tsp salt

Saute onion in oil and butter, then add rice and saute until yellow. Add water, chicken bouillon and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed (about 20 minutes.)

Spanish Rice Au Gratin

1/2 c uncooked rice

1 c water

1/2 c onion, chopped

1/3 c green pepper, chopped

1/2 c celery, chopped

1/2 tsp Worcestershire

1 1/2 T margarine

1 c tomatoes

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp chili powder

1 c cheese, grated

Combine rice, water and salt. Bring to a boil, stir, cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Meanwhile, saute onions, peppers and celery in margarine. Add tomatoes, sugar, chili powder. Add Worcestershire. Add cooked rice and simmer until thick. Pour into buttered casserole and top with cheese.

Rice Pilaf

2 c rice

4 T butter or margarine

4 c liquid (chicken broth if served with fowl; beef broth if served with beef)

1 c slivered almonds

3/4 c chopped celery

3/4 c chopped green onions

3/4 c chopped carrots

Salt and pepper to taste

Brown rice lightly with butter in skillet. Place in casserole with boiling broth. Cover and bake one half hour at 375 degrees. Take from oven and add vegetables and nuts, stirring and mixing well with fork. Return to oven for one half hour. Makes 8 servings.

Parsley Rice

2 c precooked rice

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 c parsley chopped

1 1/2 c grated sharp cheese

3 eggs

2 1/2 c milk

2 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c oil

1 T Worcestershire sauce

Beat eggs well. Add oil, onion, parsley and grated cheese. Combine with rice, salt and milk. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Very good served with chicken gravy.

Oven Baked Rice

2 c rice

1/2 c butter

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cans beef consomme

1 can water

1 c mushrooms

1/4 tsp rosemary

1/4 tsp sweet basil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Melt butter and saute rice until lightly browned. Add onion and mushrooms and saute until tender. (If mushrooms are canned, add later.) Put into buttered casserole and pour beef consomme and water over the top of the rice. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serves 12.

Brown Rice

1 c rice, unwashed

1 pkg onion soup mix

6 T butter or margarine

1 small can mushrooms

2 c water

Handful of slivered almonds (optional)

Brown rice in melted butter in frying pan. Grease casserole and add browned rice and other ingredients. Cover and cook in 300 degree oven for about one hour. Sprinkle almonds on top.

Broccoli Rice

1/2 c rice (or 1 1/2 c precooked rice)

1/4 c margarine

1 onion, chopped

2 c chopped broccoli, cooked and drained

2/3 c grated cheese

1/2 c milk

Cook rice (or use precooked rice). Saute margarine and onion in a small skillet. Add broccoli, cheese, milk and cooked rice. Bake in covered casserole at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Serves 4.

Pizza Rice Casserole

2/3 c rice (or 2 c precooked rice)

3/4 lb. ground beef

1 onion, chopped

2 c tomato sauce

1/4 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

Dash pepper

1/4 tsp oregano

1 tsp parsley flakes

1 1/2 c cottage cheese

1/2 c shredded cheese

Cook rice (or use precooked rice). Brown ground beef and onion in a large skillet. Add tomato sauce, garlic salt, sugar, salt, pepper, oregano and parsley flakes. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Combine cottage cheese and cooked rice. Put 1/3 of rice mixture in a buttered 2 quart casserole. Top with 1/3 of meat-tomato sauce. Continue to alternate layers, ending with tomato sauce. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serves 6.

Fried Rice

3 c cooked rice

3 strip bacon, chopped fine

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 1/4 c cooked meat, diced fine

2 T green onions, minced

1/2 c sliced mushrooms, sauteed

2 T soy sauce

Salt to taste

Fry bacon until slightly brown. Remove bacon from skillet. Empty grease from pan--set aside. Scramble eggs in skillet used to fry bacon. Remove eggs and set aside. Use bacon drippings to fry cooked rice for approximately 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add remaining ingredients and combine well. Continue cooking for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Ham Fried Rice

6 unbeaten eggs

1 onion, diced

4 T butter or margarine

2 c frozen peas, cooked

1 c diced ham

6 c prepared rice

2-3 T soy sauce

Cook rice according to package directions. In a large skillet, melt butter and cook onions until tender, but not brown. Add eggs and scramble. Add rice and soy sauce. Stir in peas and ham. Heat through.

Source: Traverse Mountain 1st Ward Pantry Cookbook

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Financial Preparedness: Frugality Challenge #2

Frugality Challenge #2

Create a menu plan with one month's worth of your family's favorite meals. Write an ingredient list, inventory your refrigerator, freezer, pantry and food storage to see what you already have and create a shopping list for the things you will need.

For help with this project, see a step-by-step guide here:

If you accept this challenge, you will:

  1. Eat healthier foods.
  2. Rotate Food Storage.
  3. Save Time.
  4. Save money.

Go for it!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Financial Preparedness: Frugality Challenge #1

In keeping with the idea of practicing thrift and frugality, I have decided to issue a new frugality challenge each week. I hope my readers will respond by sharing their ideas. Please comment!

Frugality Challenge #1:

Instead of spending money for entertainment, find inexpensive or free entertainment.

My three favorite free things to do are to:
  1. Go to the library and borrow books and movies.
  2. Explore local parks.
  3. Go on a "nature walk."

What are yours?

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Potato Flakes Chicken

Now that the church's home storage centers are selling potato flakes instead of potato pearls, I thought I'd better find some potato flakes recipes to share. This recipe looks so good that I might make it for dinner tonight!

Potato flakes mixed with grated parmesan cheese give this chicken a delicious flavor and a golden, crispy coating.

Potato Flakes Chicken
2/3 cup mashed potato flakes
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (8 ounces each)
1/3 cup butter, melted

In a shallow bowl, combine the potato flakes, Parmesan cheese and garlic salt. Dip chicken in butter, then coat with potato flake mixture. Place in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until juices run clear. Broil 4 in. from the heat for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned. Yield: 4 servings.

Source: Taste of Home, Jamie Saulsbury

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Flavored Rice Mixes

I often buy rice mixes. My kids love them and I love the ease of preparation involved. Therefore, you can imagine my excitement when I found some recipes which I can make from scratch and save myself time and money!

To make flavored rice mixes:
Combine all ingredients and stir until evenly distributed. Place in airtight container(s). Store in cool, dry place. Use within 6-8 months. Yield: 4 cups.

Chicken Flavored Rice Mix
4 c uncooked long grain rice
4 T instant chicken bouillon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried tarragon
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp white pepper

Dill Lemon Rice Mix
4 c uncooked long-grain rice
5 tsp dried grated lemon peel
4 tsp dill weed or dill seed
2 tsp dried minced chives
2 tsp salt
8 tsp instant chicken bouillon

Onion Flavored Rice Mix
4 c uncooked long grain rice
2 pkgs (1 1/4 oz) onion soup mix
1 T parsley flakes
1 tsp salt

To make rice from mixes:
Use 1 1/3 c rice mix, 2 c cold water and 1 T butter or margarine. Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat and cook 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Yield: 4-6 servings.

Source: Traverse Mountain 1st Ward Pantry Cookbook

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cooking with Basic Food Storage: Whole Wheat Sweets

One of the best ways to introduce whole wheat foods to your family is by making treats utilizing whole wheat flour. Here are a few delicious recipes to try:

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Bars
1/2 c butter or margarine
1 c oil
2 c brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
2 c whole wheat flour
2 c quick oats
1 c nuts
1 c chocolate chips

Cream together margarine, oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Add nuts and chocolate chips. Place in 9x13 cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles
1 c shortening, butter or margarine
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 T sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Cream together 1 1/2 c sugar and shortening. Add eggs and beat well. Combine flour, cream of tartar, salt and soda. Add to sugar mixture and mix well. Roll into approximately 1 inch balls. Combine 2 T sugar and cinnamon. Roll dough balls in cinnamon/sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Slightly flatten. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on rack. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookies
1 c softened butter
1 c peanut butter
1 1/4 c honey
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 c whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda

Blend butter until smooth. Add peanut butter and blend again. Add honey and blend again. Add eggs one at a time and beat until well mixed. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Roll into balls and put onto ungreased cookie sheet. Use a fork dipped in cold water to flatten and make a criss-cross pattern. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes on the top rack of the oven. Remove from pan immediately and cool.

Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake

For the topping:
3 T whole wheat flour
3 T all purpose flour
3 T unsalted butter, chilled
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 c chopped pecans
1/4 c firmly packed light brown sugar

For the cake:
3/4 c whole wheat flour
1 c all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 c lightly packed brown sugar
3/4 c granulated sugar
8 T unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 1/3 c buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9X13 inch cake pan. Make the topping: Combine the two flours in a medium size bowl. Cut in the butter with a knife, then blend with a pastry blender until the butter is totally incorporated into the flour. Add the cinnamon, pecans, and brown sugar, mixing well with your fingers. Set aside.

Make the cake: Combine the two flours with the salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside. Place the two sugars with the butter in the large bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth. Add the egg and continue to beat until light. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with three batches of the buttermilk. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the batter. Bake in the center of the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving. Serves 12.

Whole Wheat Applesauce Cake
2 c wheat flour
1 c sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
4 tsp cocoa
1 c applesauce
1/2 c oil

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Add applesauce and oil ad beat well. Pour into ungreased angel food cake pan or 9X13 cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Frost your favorite icing or serve hot with whipped cream.

Source: Traverse Mountain 1st Ward Pantry Cookbook

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Financial Preparedness: Downsizing Preparedness Guide

With the current bleak economic environment comes downsizing. Every day, companies announce new job cuts. Now is the time to plan for a job loss. Here are some tips which will help you prepare for a layoff.

DO NOT conduct your job search during work hours or with employer-owned equipment. U.S. Employers have the right to monitor anything you do with company assets (computer network, computer activity, e-mail, etc.) This is a quick way to get you fired.
  1. Develop and enhance your network. Actively network with professional organizations and colleagues in other companies. Make efforts to increase your visibility inside and outside your company. Publish articles and/or make presentations at professional organizations.
  2. Be professional at all times. Don't burn any bridges at your current company. Speak to mentors within the company and line them up as references. You never know when someone you worked with or for may be in a position to hire you at another company or in a different position within your company.
  3. Sharpen your skills, learn new ones. Consider how your skills may translate into other jobs or fields.
  4. Update your resume and keep it current.
  5. Quietly do housekeeping at your current job. Often, after a layoff, people are given very little time to clean out their offices and remove personal belongings. Make sure you have a copy of your contact list at home, remove all personal files from your computer, take/send home copies of work product you want to keep, remove important possessions, locate copies of your performance appraisals and other personnel records.*
  6. Build your emergency fund and create a post-layoff budget. Immediately stop unnecessary spending and begin living on a barebones budget.
  7. Develop an exit strategy. Look into severance packages and what you may be able to negotiate on your way out the door. Create an agenda for discussion with the boss or human resources department. It's a list of all the things they could do for you on termination. Have it ready in your desk, because you never really never know when you'll be notified about your layoff. People being laid off are often provided with "outplacement" services - which includes career counseling, resume services, etc. Several weeks, or months, of vacation or continued salary will be helpful. Do not do anything extravagant with a severance package you may receive. It may take you as long as six months or more to find a new job.
  8. Always look for new career opportunities. Even if your current job feels comfortable and secure, you never know when your dream job may become available. Keep your resume updated and make sure that the right recruiters have your phone number. You should always have a passive job search in progress. That way, you’ll always enjoy a steady stream of job leads and you’ll have a head start on landing your next position if you get laid off. This may sound like obvious advice, but few people truly take it seriously until it’s too late. Don’t allow yourself to be lulled into a false sense of security. When the layoff rumors start buzzing, goose your passive job search and get a little more active about exploring your options.
  9. Investigate your health insurance policy. Be clear on what your health plan covers, and figure out how much it would cost to extend your employer’s group insurance coverage through the federal program COBRA. Be aware that you would have to pay both the employer and employee shares of the premiums which can be costly but at least you’d get to keep the same coverage. Investigate independent insurance plans if necessary.
  10. Prepare a reference list. Create a list of people who will serve as references for you "just in case." If someone has had an opportunity to see you at work and views you favorably, ask if they will be a reference for you. Ask supervisors, managers, colleagues, co-workers, and even subordinates. Then, ask for their personal contact information so that you can stay in touch after you or they leave your current employer. Get approval from as many people as possible because there will be attrition as time passes.If someone doesn't agree or seems reluctant, don't use them as a reference. They could hurt your next job search if a potential employer calls them.
  11. Be cautious about using company assets for personal reasons. Stop using the company e-mail for personal messages to family and friends outside of the company. Be mindful of what is charged to the company credit card, etc. If there is a layoff pending, someone viewed as "abusing company assets" for personal use may be at greater risk than other employees.

*"Be careful about removing anything that the company would consider to be owned by the company, anything that would be 'proprietary' to the company, or anything that would compromise their business and your future (like customer lists, proposals, patent applications, financial reports, etc.). Note that, unless you've made other arrangements in advance, your employer probably 'owns' what you have created at work. They also own your office computer and the office supplies you use. Use your own judgment and ethics, but be careful. If something is marked 'company confidential,' leave it alone. Former employees can be, and are, sued for violating agreements. They can even be accused of theft. If you aren't sure, call an attorney outside the company. You don't want to become a "criminal" in the process of preparing for your next job search." - Susan P. Joyce,


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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