Sunday, May 31, 2009

Organize a 3-Month Food Storage Supply: YouTube video

Learn how to organize and gather a 3-Month food storage supply which can help you in times of adversity such as job loss, financial difficulties, disasters, and medical emergencies. My new YouTube video will give you a brief overview of the new LDS Church home storage guidelines and help you learn the value of gathering a 3-Month food storage supply, water, and emergency funds, FIRST, before you focus on long-term foods. This was part of a Relief Society enrichment meeting lesson I taught. Special thanks to Jon Schmidt for permission to use his music (

Please comment on it.

Benefits of Storing Canned Meat in Your Food Storage

Canned meat is a great food storage item. Roast beef, corned beef hash, Vienna sausages, Spam and canned chicken are readily available. We've been spoiled by fresh meat from the grocery store, but all it takes is one trucker strike, or a power outage to limit your use of fresh meat. Here are some benefits and ideas about stocking canned meat in your food storage:
  • It's quick and easy to use.
  • A 12 oz can of roast beef can be used in place of ground beef in many recipes. Even though the size is smaller, you don't have to use 1 lb. of meat in recipes. "Serve it hot over rice or noodles, or drain the gravy and shred the beef for awesome tacos, burritos, or BBQ."
  • A 12 oz can of chicken may be used in enchiladas, salads, and chicken sandwiches.
  • It's a great backup for a last minute meal.
  • It has a 2-year shelf life. There are some more expensive canned meats available with longer shelf life, but they are very costly.
  • Even though it is more expensive, periodically use it in recipes in place of fresh meat to rotate it.
  • Using what you store will help your family become accustomed to eating it.
  • You can also can your own meat in jars if you have a meat pressure canner.
  • Super Walmart sells canned roast beef for $3.25. sells Hormel for $3.50 per can, and Libby for $3.22 (I have never tried Libby), and you can get free shipping if you spend more than $25.00. Most other grocery stores sell roast beef for $4.50 per can.
  • Costco and Sam's Club sell canned chicken, as well as other canned meats.
  • Check out the links to canned meat recipe websites.

Hereford Foods



Thursday, May 28, 2009

Quick Beef Chili and Corn Recipe

Tonight I prepared one of my 3-Month Food Storage Supply menus for my family. My husband said I could serve this to him anytime! The teens said it was okay, but wished the diced tomatoes weren't in it. My 4 year-old ate her biscuit, and bites of roast beef and beans, minus everything else in the chili. Even so, this meal is a keeper for us, and so easy to prepare.

Quick Beef Chili and Corn
from Emergency Food in a Nutshell (great book!)

3 ½ c. soaked and cooked dry kidney beans OR
2 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained (I used 1 can kidney beans, 1 can pinto beans)
1 (15 oz.) can corn, drained
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (12 oz.) can beef chunks, undrained and broken up
1 ½ c. water
1 c. chunky salsa
½ t. cumin
½ t. chili powder (optional)
½ t. sugar (if no sugar in canned corn)

Combine ingredients in pan and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serves 4 – 5 (actually 5 - 6 for us.)

I also prepared the baking powder biscuits from the Betty Crocker cookbook.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

2 Week Emergency Water: How Much Do You Store?

After figuring out our 3-month food storage supply menus, I came up with a new amount of water to store for our 2 week emergency supply. Everyone can figure this out for themselves but it will usually depend on the space you live in and your finances. You cannot live without water.
We store:

24 Gallons Per Person for 2 weeks
Drinking Water: 7 gallons per person
Cooking/Food Prep Water: 10 gallons per person
Sanitation/Cleaning Water: 7 gallons per person

I've always used the 14 gallon per person idea, and promoted it, until I actually made my menus. If your food preparation requires boiled water or rehydration at all, you will want to think about more water than just 1 gallon a day for two weeks. Some sources recommend 1 1/2 gallons per person per day. Mine is a little bit more than that. "It is advised only to use the water from your toilet tank, waterbed, or swimming pool as a last resort, since these sources may have chemicals present making them non-drinkable." (source USU, see below)

In a major disaster, you may not have emergency water trucked in to your area for at least a week, and we don't evacuate from every disaster. So think carefully about the amount you store. Have a plan that works for your family.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

3-Month Food Storage Supply: How to Create 30 Menus

Lesson #3
Creating 30 days of menus to help you plan your 3-Month Food Storage supply, will help you figure out what your family will eat, and what you need to put in your food storage. Here is what I did:

1. Write down breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack menu's that your family will eat. Don't make 5 course meals. Simple meals are best. You can repeat meals over and over again. I used the same bread recipe, and figured I could bake once a week if I needed to. A typical breakfast could include oatmeal w/raisins and milk, or cold cereal w/milk and water, or muffins and water. Lunch could include tuna or PB&J sandwich w/canned fruit and Tang, or Progresso soup, crackers and water. Dinner could be Raviolis, homemade bread and water, or canned chicken-a-la-king on rice, canned vegetables, and Morning Moos milk. Snacks could be homemade popcorn, or granola bars, or homemade cookies. Do you see what items could go into your supply? 3-month food storage is not just wheat and beans.

2. You will need to convert recipes with perishable foods with other foods. Use dry, canned, and packaged foods in most meals. However, if you have a generator that can keep your freezer running during a power outage, use freezer foods that can last 3 months. Most refrigerator foods don't last 3 months, except a few. So be careful to substitute fresh fruits with canned fruits, fresh milk with powdered milk, etc. If your kids don't like regular powdered milk, try Morning Moos. If you are looking for shelf-foods-only recipes, check out "Emergency Food in a Nutshell," by Leslie D. Probert and Lisa L. Harkness. Most other food storage recipe books use a combination of shelf foods and perishable foods but are a great resource too.

3. List all of the ingredients of your menus. Tedious, yes, but very helpful. If you can't use a spreadsheet, just write ingredients or items down and add them up on paper. 16 cans of corn, 3 jars of jam, etc.

4. Create 25% of your menu's with prepared foods like stews, soups, pasta meals, pancake mix and Bisquick. This will help in short term disasters or emergencies.

5. Use some long-term foods (wheat, rice, dry beans, etc.) in your menus but realize that if Mom loses her job, who is going to make the homemade bread?

6. Include the typical school snacks you already buy like applesauce cups, food bars, Capri Suns, etc. These are things your kids are familiar with. If you buy them anyway, include them.

7. Don't think of these menu's as an "end of the world" project, but an everyday one that you can easily resupply and stock up on.

8. Think about the what if's. Like what if my husband (or I) lost our jobs. Would these foods help us get by for a few months during our job search? What if there is a pandemic this fall, and heaven forbid, Mom gets sick. Are the foods in the pantry ones that teenage kids could easily prepare? What if the earthquake we don't want to have happen, does, and we have to campout in our own backyard. Are some of the foods we stored items we can camp-cook with?

9. After you come up with the 30 menus, then multiply all ingredients by 3 to become your 3-month food storage supply.

Hope these ideas get you thinking. Please send me any ideas you may have.

Monday, May 18, 2009

We’ve Been Working on the Garden, All The Live Long Day

We’ve been working on the garden, All the live long day,

We’ve been working on the garden, Just to pass the time away,

Can't you hear the wind a blowing, Rise up so early in the morn,

Can't you hear the wind a blowing, Mama, blow your horn

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ogden Marathon Relay: Proud of My Family Team

Yesterday my husband, daughter, and son completed the Ogden Marathon Relay. I am so proud of them! My son and daughter both ran half marathon distances, and my husband ran 8 miles. My daughter changed her mind, and decided to run double her distance so she could be with her dad. I like to remind them that I ran a FULL marathon in St. George a few years back. But I am so glad they were able to share this marathon experience and accomplishment together.

Simple Scones: Fun Sunday Evening Meal

Our family enjoyed these simple scones and milk for dinner tonight. We usually eat a larger meal in the afternoon, and a lighter one in the evening. I was given the 1997 Farmington Neighborhood cookbook from Anne Wiese, and found the quick scone recipe listed below. Don't you love those ward cookbooks? All food storage ingredients. I doubled my batch for the 6 of us and fried them in about 2 c. of oil (a good way to use up some of your oil supply before it goes bad). Yummy with powdered sugar, honey or pancake syrup. Hope you like them too.

1 T yeast
1 c. water
1 T sugar
2 c. flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder

Combine yeast and water. Let sit. Add remaining ingredients. Deep-fry until golden.
from Tyra Jones

Friday, May 15, 2009

Food Storage: The key is planning, and a blend of homemade and semi-homemade

Still finishing my Food Storage Shopper planner manuscript, however, I got interrupted when I decided to come up with 30 menus using food storage foods including all ingredients (nothing from the fridge or freezer), so I could see how best to include menu planning worksheets in the planner.

As I've been working on my 30 menus, I now have a better vision of what our family does like to eat, and what we should store. I am excited!!! We make food storage more complicated than it needs to be. The key is planning. Sitting down and thinking about your family, then doing a little math. I believe most of us got overwhelmed with the old food storage program because we were not accustomed to using wheat, beans, etc. Since I'm a semi-homemade food storage queen, I store more canned prepared beans than dry beans. Whoops! I said that. But there are some great recipes out there using canned beans, and some of us don't have time to do the dry bean thing. Or make everything from scratch. We work, we write, we play with our kids.

I really wanted to figure out how much "drinking milk," dry milk, and shelf milk we would need to store too so I could keep my family happy. I decided not to store molasses, yams, and spinah since we never use it. And included prepared foods like Macaroni and Cheese, Raviolis, Stagg Chili, Prego spaghetti sauce, chips and salsa. As well as homemade recipe items. It's such an eye opener! The blend of homemade and semi-homemade is really how most of us are living anyway, right?

After storing wheat, sugar, flour, etc. for years, I can now SEE how much our family would use so we eat what we store. I can see our 3-month supply and all the way up to a year supply (my goal)! Anyway, I just wanted to pass on my excitement. Eventually I will pass along the spreadsheet so you can adapt it for your family. Still working on dinner menus and family desserts. I will give you the whole kit-and-caboodle when I can.

If you can't wait for me to finish, go to and check out their spreadsheet. I don't keep inventory on my computer anymore like they do. I just carry my inventory in my Food Storage Shopper planner in my purse and update with a pencil after each shopping trip.

Find some recipes today that your family might enjoy at Love this site!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Food Storage Milk: Is There Something My Kids Will Drink?

Here are two milk products that several people have referred me to for food storage milk that kids actually like to drink. Always worth a try. I will be taking a trip to the Gossner factory in Logan this summer to taste and try their shelf milk. If anyone has tried either of these products, I would appreciate your comments.

Morning Moos - Milk alternative (SLC, Utah) (At Macey's Grocery store in Utah)

"Morning Moo's ® Milk Alternate contains 50% less lactose when compared to regular cows milk. With Morning Moo's ® Milk Alternate, many children and adults unable to tolerate milk products may find themselves eating and drinking foods they have not enjoyed before or found upsetting to their stomach. Available in regular (milk flavor), chocolate and Strawberry flavor.
Blend of Grade A Sweet Dairy Whey, and Dairy Solids, and nondairy solids
Whey is a rich source of nutrients including carbohydrates, trace minerals, and protein
  • Nearly all of the calcium caseinate, butterfat, and cholesterol from the milk used to produce the cheese remains in the cheese
  • Fortified with Vitamins A & D
  • 90 Calories per 8 oz serving – 30 calories lower than 2 % milk
  • Little or no preservatives
  • 9% Lactose vs. 20% in regular milk
  • Low-fat – 2 grams of fat per 8 oz serving
  • Good source of calcium
  • Shelf Life - #10 Can (4 lb of product) stored at 55 degrees F will store up to 10 years plus

Gossner Milk (Logan, Utah) Current Price List.PDF if you pick up yourself
  • Gossner Milk is Ultra High Temperature processed (over 280 degrees for several seconds) and packaged so that it is shelf stable and stays fresh without refrigeration until the sealed package is opened.
  • Gossner U.H.T. (Ultra High Temperature) Milk is real Grade A milk that has all the vitamins and nutrition of conventional pasteurized milk and is ready to use. No preservatives are added.
  • Gossner U.H.T. Milk comes in Whole White, Whole Chocolate, 2% White, 2% Chocolate and Skim. There's also a variety of flavored milks including Strawberry, Vanilla and Rootbeer in the 8 oz size specially packaged for kids. Try your favorite flavor on cereal.
  • Gossner Milk is the perfect choice for camping, backpacking, boating, remote locations, school lunches, snacks, travel and food storage as well as everyday use.
  • For the chef, there's Gossner U.H.T. Whipping Cream in quarts & 1/2 pints! Store at room temperature, chill 8 hours (40 degrees F) before whipping.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

How to Organize Your Email: 10 Simple Steps

Here are some great ideas on how to handle email overload.

1. CREATE FOLDERS - Create file folders for projects, church/community positions, travel plans, school correspondence, purchases, family history, etc,
2. NO MORE THAN 5 - Make it a goal to leave no more than 5 emails in your inbox. Avoid the habit of reading email, and leaving it in your inbox.
3. QUICKLY SORT EMAILS - 1) File or Forward, 2) Respond, or 3) Trash. If you don’t want to delete an email, file it.
4. RESPOND IF LESS THAN 2 MINUTES - If it will take less then 2 minutes to reply, than do so.
5. CREATE A TASK – Some emails require you to do something. Create a task reminder and assign a date to complete it.
6. LEARN TO SAY NO – You don’t have to read every mass email story your friends pass on to you. Decide quickly if you want to read it, and then File, Respond or Trash.
7. AVOID SUBSCRIPTIONS – Only sign up for email subscriptions you highly value. Don’t get caught up in signing up for everything.
8. DON’T GET TOO CREATIVE - Don't create more assignments for yourself than you need to.
9. AVOID BECOMING Mr. or Mrs. FIX-IT - Don’t feel you are the only one that can help someone. Sometimes you simply have to say, “I don’t know” or "I don't have time."
10. Smile! It’s empowering when we get organized.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

LDS Family Home (Food) Storage Guidelines: What I Recently Learned

I will be teaching a food storage class next week in my ward but I was concerned about a few things I've noticed in the new LDS Family Home Storage guidelines. I decided to contact leaders at Welfare Square and the LDS Church Welfare department to get some clarification on the new guidelines. I am so glad I did. I don't want you to feel that you have to call them. They've already been bombarded with many phone calls since the changes last year; however, the wonderful leaders that I spoke with helped me quite a bit. I would like to share a few things I learned. Please understand that this is my interpretation of what I heard, and not an official statement from the LDS Church:
  • The new Family Home Storage program was created to make it easier for members and others worldwide to accomplish the program. The information on has been kept simple which makes it easier to be translated into multiple languages. We must remember that we belong to a worldwide church.
  • The term "Year's Supply" of food is no longer part of the program terminology. However, you obviously have the freedom to store a year's supply of food if you decide this is the length of time that will work for your family, finances and circumstances. Some families store for a shorter period of time, and some longer. The main thing is to do what you feel is best for your family and to not go into debt to get it.
  • There is no longer a specific amount of water to store. Some families worldwide cannot store a 2-week supply of water and must filter their water regularly. Members are encouraged to decide on their own the amount of water they feel they should store in their homes.
  • There are no longer specific amounts of food to store. The former food storage calculator on was removed, and replaced with a very simple long-term food storage calculator. This of course does not mean this is all you should store. You are encouraged to decide on your own what your family eats and wishes to store. Members may use other food storage calculators created by others, however, it's important to store what your family will eat and adjust food storage calculators accordingly.
  • You may store foods your family normally eats for your 3-month food storage supply. This can include canned and commercially packaged foods. Foods should be storable, and many perishable foods would not last 3 months. "A portion of longer-term supply items may be rotated into the three-month supply."
  • Regarding establishing a financial reserve for emergencies, there are no specific amounts suggested. Families are to decide on their own what to save, and where to save it.
  • The main thing is to do something! Don't sit still, but start gathering your 3 month supply, some water, even if it is one can at a time.

We've been given agency to choose. We are encouraged to seek more information available from books, the web, blogs, etc., and to share our ideas. Sometimes we want it spelled out in detail which means we want someone else to do the math, the work, the thinking and the pondering for us. But I believe as we become wise stewards, we will be guided to know how best to care for the needs and circumstances of our individual families so that when adversity comes, and it always does, we will be prepared.

I will be editing some of my old posts to stay consistent with the guidelines of the Church. It will take some time, but I am excited about this Family Home Storage program and feel encouraged to continue to share my ideas with you.

Monday, May 4, 2009

72-Second Disaster Kit Under Bed: Prepare for Earthquakes or other Disasters

Yes, you read that correctly. I wrote 72-Second Disaster Kit. I took a class on disaster preparedness at the recent BYU Women’s Conference and learned the importance of having an emergency kit under your bed. Even though we keep our 72-Hour Kits in a closet by our front door, a 72-Second Disaster Kit can be useful when emergencies happen during the night. Of course if you live in a small apartment, or are a college student, you should probably keep your 72-Hour Kit by your bed. In some disasters you may become trapped in your bed or room, so plan for it. I am still waiting for the conference lecture notes, but here are some items to think about.

72-Second Disaster Kit:Keep items in a Bag/backpack (this will prevent broken glass and other debris from getting in your shoes)
Sturdy, yet comfortable shoes
Pair of socks
Emergency contact list
Whistle (to attract the attention of emergency personnel)
Dust mask (useful in fires and earthquakes)
Work gloves (to protect your hands when moving glass or debris)
Several bottles of water
Flashlight (don’t use if you smell gas)
Light stick on a lanyard
Pry bar
Portable radio with spare batteries

On Bedside Night Stand Keep:Extra car keys
Cell phone and charger

Under Bed 72 Second Kit.pdf

The recent earthquake in L'Aquila, Italy happened in the middle of the night. Some survivors were trapped in their beds. However, read about 98 year-old Maria D'Antuono who past the time knitting while waiting to be rescued.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Personal Finances: New Free BYU website with an LDS perspective

Learn valuable information on how to manage your personal finances by going to a new free website created by Bryan Lorin Sudweeks, a professor at the BYU Marriott School of Management. This Personal Finance website was created with an LDS perspective and is designed to help you do the following:
  • Understand the purpose of wealth, and apply the counsel of the scriptures and Church leaders regarding wealth.
  • Set personal goals that will help you progress toward financial and spiritual self-reliance.
  • Identify your past and current financial situation, and learn basic tools to help you solve current financial problems and prepare for the future.
  • Learn key areas of financial responsibility and the need for constant vigilance in financial matters.
This is an EXCELLENT resource for LDS families desiring to learn more about personal finances. I will be adding a link on my blog sidebar. A few of the lessons include budgeting, deciding on buying or leasing a car, home purchasing, life insurance planning, debt reduction, financing children's education or missions, and teaching children financial responsibility as well as many other lessons.
I have been attending the Women's Conference at BYU and took a class by Bro. Sudweeks. Watch for more posts with various ideas I gather at the conference in the next few days.