Thursday, July 30, 2009

Results of the "My Grain Mill Is the Best Poll"

The results of the "My Grain Mill is the Best Poll" are in, and the winner is:

Nutrimill Grain Mill

Here are your votes:

6% VitalMill, Retails $179.99
18% K-Tec/BlendTec Kitchen Mill, Retails $179.95
27% Wonder Mill Grain Mill, Retails $259.95
47% Nutrimill Grain Mill, Retails $269.99

Remember - these mills use electricity, so you may want to someday invest in a generator, or purchase a handmill as well for emergencies. However, electric mills have the capacity to grind large amounts of grain for regular family use. You can read about each mill at Kitchen Kneads.

To see a video demonstration of the Nutrimill, click here at Milk and Honey Farms.
And here is a YouTube video that compares the sound of all four mills. My Magic Mill (not in the poll) definitely requires earplugs.

Thank you to all who participated. Here are some of your comments, and you are welcome to add more.

How I Repaired Our Durabrand Portable DVD Player

Late last night our 2005 portable Durabrand dual DVD Player (the one we use for travel to keep kids content with movies) decided it did not want to read our DVD's anymore. It would spin the DVD's, but a "no disc" error would come up on the screen. This was frustrating because it was needed for a 9-hour road trip my husband and younger girls would take the next day. So, I decided to do what most Americans do - throw up my hands, and run to Walmart to buy a new one. Frustrating! Another electronic item to add to the dump. Since I stayed home from the trip, I decided to see if I could fix the DVD player myself; me, who has no idea what a circuit board is. I laugh because of my lack of electronic knowledge, but my enormous amount of determination.

I spent two hours searching the internet for some guidance. Most suggested it would cost me $80 for a repairman to look at it. The first suggestion was to unplug the DVD player and remove all screws to take off the cover to look for damage. I figured I had nothing to lose since it was probably going to end up in the trash. After taking off the cover, I stared at the circuit board, hoping that something would jump out at me to tell me what was wrong. Not seeing any burnt out areas, I closed it back up. For some reason I ended up with two extra screws! Mmmm. Probably not needed anyway, right?

Then I found a post that suggested I clean the lens (that little glass circle in white above) with a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol. I did this but DVD's still would not play.
Next I tried to push the lens housing (see the white area surrounded by black, then green in the picture above) by forcing it away from the black circle thingy you put your DVD's on, towards the top. I pushed pretty hard. Wow! It slid up smoothly on its own. It was jammed. I put a DVD in, closed the lid, and was never so excited to see The Chronicles of Narnia. A DVD player saved from the trash. I can't find the post to thank the techie that helped me with these ideas, but thanks!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Items to Stock Up in Your Food Storage: August

Here are some suggested items you may want to stock up on this month as you may find them on sale. Only purchase what you budget for.
For a PDF copy of my Food Storage and Disaster Preparedness Calendar, see sidebar.

Shelf Foods
Apple slices, dehy. (LDS Dry pack)
Dry onions (LDS Dry pack)
Macaroni (LDS Dry pack)
Popcorn or dried corn
Dry potato slices or dices
Cracked wheat cereal
Hamburger helper
Food bars
Lunch drink boxes
Hot pepper sauce
Cheese sauce
Powdered cheese blend
Freezer Foods
Ice cream
Non-Food Items
Soap/body wash
Lawn trash bags
Lunch bags
Start fall/winter veggies
Harvest some veggies
Medical & First Aid
eye patch
ear drops
eye drops
Family Emergency Kit (part 4)
5-gal water carrier
filtered water bottle
water purification tablets or bleach
am/fm radio
spare radio w/batteries if needed
vise grips
multi-function army knife
Equipment & Fuel
Water containers
Water pump if needed
Family tent
Emergency Prep
Bag with shoes and flashlight water, under bed

Grateful I Have Food Storage to Contribute to Food Banks

We were asked again by our Bishop, to contribute to the Utah Food Bank today. I was grateful I could grab a box and run down to our food storage closet to grab cans and boxed foods that were needed. This is a blessing of obedience to the principle of food storage.
I know we are supposed to give, but after watching Will Smith in "The Pursuit of Happyness" a few months ago, it made me understand how hard life can be, and how necessary it is that we give. In our whole married life we've only been out of work for 2 months, so our challenges have come in other ways. I've always had food on the table, and clothes to wear. I am thankful that I've been taught to share what we have, and that the gospel of Jesus Christ is about sharing. I've always known that what I put in food storage is not just for my family. Even though finances are tight, I do have food. With careful planning, I am able to put aside food in storage. I hope many of you may continue your goal of increasing your food storage so that when opportunities to share come, you may be able to do so wherever you live. Our food, is His food, is their food.


"Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to “prepare every needful thing” (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity come, we can care for ourselves and our neighbors and support bishops as they care for others." —The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, Feb. 2007, 1
Also, watch the YouTube video Hope Ya Know We Had a Hard Time

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

36 Albertsons stores in Utah being sold

"The company that owns Albertsons stores in Utah announced Tuesday it is selling the majority of its stores in the state to Associated Foods."
"According to a news release, Associated Food Stores intends to rename the 36 purchased stores, and expects to interview and offer employment to most Albertsons employees."
"Albertsons employs more than 3,000 people throughout Utah."
Please read full article here at

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Why Store Cleaning Supplies in your Food (Home) Storage?

(Updated 5/6/12)
There are several reasons why I stock up on cleaning supplies. First, to save money, and second to use in an emergency such as job loss or disaster.

I try to stick to the basics as this is financially easier for our family. I buy most items in bulk from Sam's Club or Costco, but not everything. Sometimes shopping at Dollar Tree is just fine. I am not suggesting how much you should buy, or what brands you should buy, rather what I buy to keep our family of five-at-home stocked with a year's supply. Obviously we might use more, or less of these items in a year's time, but so far this works for us. Consider your finances, and needs; then purchase over time. You might need smaller containers because of limited storage space and family size. And you may already have most of these in your supply.

Here is a list of the basic cleaning supplies I store, and why:
  • Disinfectant Cleaner (12M) 1x 28 oz. $1.99 Walmart - Inexpensive cleaner for floors and bathrooms. Useful as a disinfectant during illnesses and epidemics. Add small amount to trash bag lined toilet in a disaster if water supply is shut off.
  • Clorox wipes (12M) 4/78 ct. $11.98 Sam's Club - For bathrooms and quick cleanups. They're convenient, disposable and useful during disasters where water could be limited.
  • Baby Wipes Refill Pack (1M) 1 per person $1.25 Walmart Besides the baby, these are useful cleanup wipes during disasters, campouts, and traveling. As well as a personal wipe if you cannot shower. If you buy a large package, divide into quart-sized Ziploc bags for individual use, so they stay moist for a long time.
  • Dish soap (12M) 1 gal. $4.18 Sam's Club - An inexpensive way to wash dishes, cars, and other items. Useful during power outages and disasters. Pour a small amount in a smaller bottle for easy use.
  • Dishwasher Detergent (12M) your choice - Wouldn't it be nice to have this in stock if you suddenly become unemployed? It is a convenience though.
  • Glass Cleaner Refill (12M) 1 gal. $4.70 Sam's Club - An inexpensive way to clean glass, windows, etc. Cheapest to buy in a large bottle and refill smaller bottles. However, Streak Free with ammonia from WalMart ranked as Consumer Reports best buy.
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner (12M) 4/32 oz. $6.98 Sam's Club - Useful for cleaning toilets. Pine-sol Disinfectant cleaner can also be substituted and is cheaper.
  • Comet w/bleach (12M) 6/28 oz. $5.98) Sam's Club - Useful for cleaning sinks and showers. Consumer Reports top ranked shower cleaner.
  • Antibacterial Hand Soap Refill - (12M) 1 gal. $8.23 - Necessary for hand washing to prevent the spread of infection. Useful for cleanup in disasters, and illnesses. Economical if you refill your own bathroom soap pumps.
  • Laundry Detergent - (12M) 5x 180 use $15.88 - Use and replace regularly. Essential during illnesses, and every day. To figure out how much laundry detergent to store, multiply the number of weeks by number of people by 3.
  • Unscented Bleach (1M) 1x96 oz. per person - Sounds like a lot to have on hand, but after a disaster you will be glad you stored it. Can purify water, disinfect items affected by flood waters, clean eating surfaces, etc.
Keep dangerous items out of reach of children.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pioneer Day Whole Wheat Zucchini Muffins

In honor of my pioneer ancestors, I made whole wheat zucchini (fresh from the garden) muffins today. To keep the family happy, I topped them with raisins and/or chocolate chips. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

2 c. peeled and grated zucchini
1 c. vegetable oil
1 1/4 c. brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 t. vanilla

1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3 c. whole wheat flour (could mix white and wheat)
1. t. cinnamon
3/4 t. cloves
1 t. nutmeg
Topping: 1 c. raisins or chocolate chips, or a combination

1. Peel and grate a medium zucchini to make 2 cups.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. In a large bowl, mix zucchini, oil, brown sugar, beaten eggs, and vanilla.
4. Add dry ingredients.
5. Prepare muffin pans with vegetable spray or paper cups.
6. Add muffin batter to cups filling 2/3 full.
7. Top with a sprinkle of raisins or chocolate chips.
8. Bake regular muffins for 25 -30 min.; mini muffins 10 – 12 min. Centers should be firm. (I made 24 mini muffins, and 12 regular muffins in paper cups, but you could make any size you want.)
9. Let cool 5 minutes, and then remove from pans. Enjoy!

Freeze extra in Ziploc bags.

PDF Printable Recipe

Preparedness Thoughts, and Introducing a 72-Hour Mock Disaster Drill

Driving to and from California for a family vacation gave me plenty of time to think about life and preparedness. We enjoyed some fun-filled days at the beach and Disneyland, but now it's back to reality. During a nice visit on the beach with old friends, the discussion of the state of the economy and preparedness came up. I could sense the concern, yet also the unquenchable human desire to learn from the past to prepare for the future. As I wrote down goals of what I desired to accomplish when I returned home, a few came to mind:

Health Preparedness: Walk daily. Eat sensibly and avoid articles about perfect-foods. Play Sudoku daily to strengthen my mind and scriptures daily to strengthen my spirit.

Grocery Shopping & Food Storage: Take an exact food storage count. Continue to carefully purchase storable foods at a discount. Follow The Plan by purchasing foods my family will eat, keeping an inventory, and purchasing more. Continue to teach my children how to shop frugally, use a budget, and that saving money is fun!

Emergency Preparedness: Study more about outdoor cooking using a Dutch oven and/or solar oven. Finish articles on emergency supplies on this blog. Invite others to join me in a 72-hour Mock Disaster Drill this September where we live without power, and eat what we store. If you are interested, please email me at More details coming!

Random thoughts, but what I am pondering.

"Remember the past; learn from it. Contemplate the future; prepare for it. Live in the present; serve in it." Thomas S. Monson, “The Mighty Strength of the Relief Society,” Ensign, Nov 1997, 94

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Poor Dog Was Stung By Wasps

This week my poor dog was attacked multiple times by wasps on her nose and ears. I didn't see the attack, but when I saw her swollen face and ears I felt horrible. My mind started spinning, but I knew that I did not know how to doctor my dog. I immediately called my vet, and even though they were just leaving for the day, they waited for me to bring her by the office. She was put on an antibiotic, given an antihistamine, and a cortisone shot.

This incident made me wonder how prepared I am to take care of an injured pet. I could have given her an antihistamine, but how much? I'm thankful that my vet was very kind to her and took the time to see my poor dog. I found a great website called that will be a great resource the next time an injury occurs. Just so you know, my dog is doing much better.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wood Magic Mill with stone Grinder

Because not much is written on the internet about the original wooden Magic Mill stone grinder, I thought I would do some research. I purchased a used Magic Mill about 15 years ago for $75 from a friend in my ward who didn’t want a heavy, loud mill anymore. And yes, it is heavy and loud. But at the time, price and performance were more important to me. I have never had a problem with it, and just put it on a lazy susan which helps me spin it from front to back easily. My feeling is that even if something is old, if it works, continue to use it. For those of you that own a newer grinder, you don’t need to read more of this post. However, some of you may have inherited a Magic Mill, or found one at a garage sale, and will want to read further.

The original Magic Mill grinder was manufactured starting in the 60's in Filer, Idaho. I talked to the original owner's daughter (now Kuest Enterprise) and she said they sold Magic Mill, Inc. to another buyer about 1976, and then it was manufactured in Salt Lake City, Utah. So, some of you have different labels on your grinders. Kuest Enterprise still makes commercial grinders and the Golden Grain Grinder which is similar to the original Magic Mill. You can use the instruction booklet for the Golden Grain Grinder for your Magic Mill.


  • An impact, or stone grinder

  • Has 3/4 hp motor by Dayton or Leeson

  • On/Off switch is on the back by the motor (see silver lever above)

  • Can grind course to fine flour, or cracked wheat cereal. Adjust the stones closer or further apart by turning the loop-ended wire on the back of the motor (see above)

  • Can grind any dry grains such as wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and corn . Do not grind flaxseed or soybeans unless you mix with another grain.

  • If it gets gummed up, grind dry corn or popcorn through it on the course setting to clean it out.

  • Has a top wood door opening with a steel funnel that guides grains to the stones

  • Comes with a hand powered attachable handle for power outages

  • Look at the bottom of the stainless steel bin for capacity. Mine holds about 18 cups.

    Pros: If used correctly, the motor and stones can last for years. Has a manual lever for power outages. Grinds quickly.
    Cons: More difficult to clean than newer mills. Heavy. Loud (consider using ear plugs.) Weevils can hide in stone crevices. Important to run grain through often, so don't let it sit for years. If you have any concerns, Kuest can replace your grinder stones.

    Tips for Purchase:

  • Difficult to find as it is quite popular. Easier to find in Utah and Idaho. Check,,; sometimes on Ebay.

  • Avoid ads that say “vintage” as the price may be higher.

  • Lists for $100 - $300. Originally retailed for around $300, but would probably retail new today for over $500. If you get it for $100 or less, you got a great deal. If you inherit it for free, consider yourself lucky.

  • Obviously, make sure it works by testing it before you buy. Take a baggie of wheat with you for a test run. Make sure all parts including the pan and handle are with it.

  • If finances are tight, this is a great mill to start with.

  • Ask sisters in your ward if they want to get rid of one since they might want something newer.

  • Great for a large family or those that use a lot of wheat and other grains.

  • How to Clean a Magic Mill
    1. Remove the metal funnel and the metal drawer.
    2. Wash the steel flour bin and the funnel in the dishwasher (or with soapy water) and dry completely. Do not return to the mill unless they are dry. DO NOT get the grinding stones or motor wet.
    3. After each use, brush out the dust with a clean paintbrush.
    4. Wipe the outside of the mill with a damp cloth.

    To get rid of weevils, try some of the following:
    1. Grind a few cups of corn on the fine setting, then a few cups on the coarse setting. Throw away the cornmeal.
    2. Put the grinder in a large garbage bag with a small amount of dry ice on the side of the box for a few days.
    3. Scatter bay leaves inside on the sides of the steel flour bin as they keep bugs away.
    4. It's best not to let your grinder sit for years, but to use it regularly.
    5. If you have an air compressor hose, just blow it thoroughly outside
    See how I grind the wheat at this post

    Replacement Parts and Repair:
    Bosch Kitchen Center
    8940 S. 700 E.
    Sandy, Utah
    Sell Bosch products, mills, and kitchen products. Can also repair the Magic Mill.

    Saturday, July 4, 2009

    Easy Apple Crisp With Canned Pie Filling

    Apple crisp with vanilla ice cream in the summer is an all-time favorite. Last fall I found apple pie filling for $1 per can for my food storage, and saved it for the summer. Here is a wonderful, easy recipe to make it.

    2-20 ounce cans apple pie filling
    1 t. cinnamon

    1 cup rolled oats
    1/3 cup flour
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/2 t. cinnamon
    1/8 t. cloves
    1/3 cup butter, room temp

    1. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking dish.
    2. Empty apple pie filling into baking dish.
    3. Combine topping ingredients above in a small bowl. Mash together until crumbly.
    4. Sprinkle crumbs over the apples.
    5. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.
    6. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.

    Friday, July 3, 2009

    PreparedLDSFamily update

    My 3-Month Food Storage Menus & Ingredients, 3-Month Food Storage Calculator, and Food Storage Recipes (slowly adding) have just been updated.

    Also, check out Items to Add to Food/Emergency Storage for July, and the Best Retail Sales for July on the right sidebar.