* H.W. called me last week about a can of flour she had opened. It had a “smell”. I knew exactly what she was talking about. I can’t get past that smell! I have heard that if you pour the flour into a bowl, and stir – maybe pour back and forth from the bowl to another bowl – get lots of air into the flour, and the smell will go away. I called her the next day and the flour still had the smell. She said the smell did NOT go away and she finally threw it away. I have flour in cans, too. BUT, I have stored maybe 100-120 pounds of flour NOT stored in #10 cans. Instead, I just vacuum seal the 4-pound bags as-is. The smaller bags are sometimes even cheaper than the 10-pound bags. I’m hoping that when I finally have to open those cans, I can just “pray” over them and the smell will go away. It could happen.
* People are always talking about what we’d do if the “grid” goes down. Last week, Spectrum was out in Murrieta for about a day. I was surprised how often I tried to go online only to be reminded there WAS no online.
What if all electricity were out. This week, try to do at least one thing to protect you and your household from disaster if there was no power. Do you have a freezer full of food? You need a pressure canner and an alternate cooking method to can up your food so it’s not lost. Lights don’t work? You need candles, lanterns, or solar garden lights. Washing machine and dryer out? You need a clothesline and clothespins. Just one thing. Be thinking
* Time to rehearse with the kids what they should do if there was an earthquake in the night. What if it happens and they are at school? Or playing down the street. Just talk about it. Kids are LESS scared if they know there is a plan.
If you purchase plants to transplant in your garden, keep in mind that some plants are easy to survive transplanting, and some are not.
Easy Transplants: artichokes, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, arugula, bok choy, mustard greens, kale, leeks, lettuce, onions, scallions, peppers, okra, swiss chard, tomatoes.
You can literally pull the roots apart and plant them in a new location. Water immediately, and keep shaded for 3 days. Your plants will survive better if you cut back the top of the plant so it doesn’t overpower the roots.
Fussy Transplants: beets, cucumbers, gourds, melons, pumpkins, spinach, squash
In this category, try to keep the roots together with the dirt and just plant in a new place. Water and keep shaded.
Do NOT transplant:
beans, carrots, corn, popcorn, garlic, kohlrabi, peas, potatoes, radishes, turnips
For these plants, it is best to direct sow seeds into the soil.
THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE: peanut butter
We are a divided household. Craig likes smooth. For me, the more nuts the better. So, I store both. But because nuts have oil, they WILL go rancid. Try to keep in a cool location, and ROTATE!!! I just bought two jars last week. I think I have 1-2 additional jars. We don’t go through it fast, although Craig likes PB on his pancakes and waffles. I have had to throw it away in the past when I waited too long to use it.
MISC PURCHASE: seeds
Seeds are on sale everywhere. I have more seeds than I’ll ever need. Well, I HOPE I’ll never need them. But that’s why we prepare every needful thing, right? If you keep your seeds in the refrigerator, they will last for many, many years. And what if they don’t? The seeds you get this year will most definitely last for next year. I have seeds for everything I want to eat, not just for things I’m growing now. Example: I have corn seeds. My little backyard garden doesn’t have enough room to grow corn. I have the seeds anyway. But if the day comes when I need to dig up my whole yard and plant food, then I want corn!!!
I think you can even get seeds at the Dollar store. OR, you can just save a bunch of seeds from food you get at the store. If the seeds are in a gooey part of the vegetable (tomatoes), then just soak them in water for 2-3 days, drain them, and dry them on paper towels. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and many other seeds can be saved this way.
I just ordered seeds this morning from these two sources:
True Leaf Market Seed Company | Buy Non-GMO, Heirloom, Organic Seeds. The seeds are less expensive here, but it is because the number of seeds in a pack is much less. However, in a home garden, do you really need 1,000 bean seeds?
Johnny’s Selected Seeds | Supporting Farms & Gardens Since 1973 They have had a good selection. You can order a free catalog. The catalog has good information: what temperature is ideal for planting seeds; which seeds grow best in heat; which seeds are resistant to disease; stuff like that.
FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
My favorite recipes using peanut butter are, of course, sweet treats.
Peanut Butter Cookies
1 c. soft butter (in emergency situations, use butter flavored shortening)
1 c. extra crunchy peanut butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. dark brown sugar (I almost NEVER buy this and just use what I have)
Mix butter and sugars.
2 eggs – add and mix
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
Add and mix
2 1/2 c. flour – add gradually and mix
1 c. roasted salted peanuts, process in a food processor with 14 pulses until it is crumbs (okay, let’s be honest here. Who is going to do this??? Yeah, not me. I figure there are enough nuts in the peanut butter so I leave this part out)
Roll into balls and place on parchment and press down with a fork in perpendicular lines (ask your 6th grader if you don’t remember what perpendicular lines are).
Bake 350˚ for 10-12 min. The edges should be set, but cookies are still soft in the center.
My grandson has Celiac disease. He CANNOT have gluten at all. These are his favorite cookies. Gluten-free.
My recipe has three columns depending on if I’m making cookies for the two of us, or for a large group. THIS recipe is for the “medium” amount of cookies.
1/2 c. milk
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
1/4 c. cocoa
Place in a pan over medium-high heat. Wait till it is boiling, then time 1 minute – exactly!!!
Immediately remove from the heat and add
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c. peanut butter (extra chunky of course)
Mix till smooth and pour into a bowl over
3 c. oats.
As soon as it is mixed, drop it onto tin foil or parchment paper by teaspoons.
Rice Krispie Peanut Butter Balls
2 c. peanut butter
2 c. powdered sugar
3 c. Rice Krispies
Mix together, roll in balls (fairly small), dip in melted chocolate. So easy and yummy.
We grew up calling them french pancakes, but you probably refer to them as crepes. In my family, we never made them paper-thin. We just poured a little more batter into the frying pan. After you flip them (which can be tricky because they are so big – I use a pancake-turner AND a spoon), spread on butter, syrup, (Craig likes peanut butter on his), jelly, honey, or whatever you want. Stick a fork on one side and roll them up. They are SOOOO delicious. The problem is you can only make one at a time. When I was a kid, the youngest got served first, and we all waited our turn for a pancake. My dad used to cut up strawberries, spoon them over the rolled-up pancakes, and top them with whipped cream.
My brother called me on Conference Sunday to let me know that in his family, Conference Sunday is french pancake Sunday, and to thank me for teaching him how to make them. Awwww, so sweet of him.
Per person mix
1/2 c. milk
2 TB sugar
1/4 tsp salt
I like to do this in the blender. Then I gradually add the flour
1/4 c. flour
(My brother has tweaked his recipe over the years and adds a little vanilla and I don’t remember what else. “I” just like the original)
I pour it right from the blender into the pan and swirl it around so it covers the entire bottom of the pan.
I also had a can of flour that had that smell. Sort of a metal smell if I recall correctly. I dumped it into a bowl. I wanted to see if I aired it out for 24 hours the smell would go away. I put the bowl in the oven – just to keep it out of the way. After a while – perhaps a day or two to three – I checked and the smell had gone away. I used it and it seemed to be fine.
I have NO place to plant, yet I still have some seeds. You never know where you’ll end up.
Those recipes…thank you!
In South Carolina, Clemson University has a program that collects and saves seeds from vegetables that are known to do well in the state. Some are heirloom. Relatively inexpensive. Not sure if other states have a similar program.
Absolutely wonderful, thank you!