Marti’s Corner – 66

May 18, 2022

Marti's Corner at City PreppingHi Everyone,


**  We had a couple of really good sonic booms yesterday.  I wasn’t worried that China had dropped any bombs on us or that the local grocery store had exploded.  But it WAS a good reminder that I live in earthquake territory.  No matter WHERE you live, there are natural disasters just waiting to happen (not to mention the political upheavals and economic issues that are looming over us)

**  One of the recipes below calls for a package of taco seasoning.  You CAN make your own: Taco Seasoning Recipe | Allrecipes  BUT this recipe calls for chili powder, cumin, salt,​ pepper,​ paprika, onion powder, oregano, crushed red pepper, and garlic powder.  Now, don’t you think it would be simpler to just buy a couple of foil packs of taco seasoning?  I did.

**  We had dinner with some friends in Utah last week, and the topic of storing food came up.  They discussed that you should decide what is the one thing you CANNOT live without and stock up on that.  The consensus:……….DIET COKE  

**  Last week I included a recipe for brownies and told you I was making them with shortening for an experiment.  Here are the results.  After they had cooled for about 20 minutes, I cut into them and they were terrible.  LOL  But, not wanting to throw them away, I let them sit overnight.  The next day they were not so bad.  They got progressively better tasting as the week went on, and Craig even started eating them.  So, there you go.

**Lettuce has a “life cycle”.  Here is what happens at the end.   

Lettuce lifecycleFirst, the plant “stretches”.  This is referred to as “bolting”.  This lettuce is starting to bolt.

Then it starts to get a “seed head”.  Lettuce going to seed

For most leafy vegetables, once it bolts, the leaves become bitter.  So this morning, I ​took all these plants out and planted​ a new section.  As the weather warms up, the bolting happens sooner and sooner.  But the secret to ALWAYS having lettuce is to rotate your sections.  The last section I planted is up and needs to be thinned.  I will be picking lettuce from this new section in maybe two more weeks – just about the time the section I plant today is first popping up.  You can set a schedule to replant if you want, say every three weeks.  But why let the lettuce sit in the garden inedible when you can get a new crop started?  

**Garden problem for the week:

Septoria leaf spot on tomato leavesThis is just one of a few diseases that tomatoes are susceptible to.  (Ugh, I hate ending sentences in prepositions.)  “It is Septoria leaf spot, a fungal disease that affects the leaves, typically toward the bottom of the plant.”  The disease spreads from wind or splashing water.  It is HIGHLY contagious!!!  It can be prevented (oops, too late!) and somewhat controlled.  1.  Pick off the affected leaves.  This is what I’ve been doing because only a few plants are infected (that I can see).  2.  Try to keep the leaves dry by watering at the bottom.  Trickle irrigation is best (yeah, I don’t have that).  3.  Avoid watering in the evening so the leaves will “go to bed” dry.  4.  Make sure there is room between plants so air can move in the foliage.  I am NOT good at this.  I want to squeeze as many plants as I can into a certain space.  Luckily I’ve planted in pots and bags, so I’ll go out and see what I can space apart. You can try copper fungicides, and if they don’t work, you may need something stronger.  Bonide Fung-onil® Fungicide Concentrate, 16 oz

Pancake mix, muffin mix, Bisquick.  

Don’t get me wrong. I have recipes for pancakes, etc.  But I really love the ease of Krusteaz pancake mix.  You only add water.  This is what I store.  I vacuum seal the bags right from the store and mark the date on the front.  Mixes like this that have leavening in them don’t last forever.  Because there are only two of us, I keep 2-3 “family-size” on hand.  Any more than that, and they will go bad before we use them.  Plan accordingly.  

I do have some cornbread mixes stored (not many).  But Marie Calendar’s cornbread is SOOOO good and comes out much better than my homemade, which tends to be dry.  AND it’s “add water” only.  I have a few recipes that are chili-type with cornbread on top.  

Oh, and do brownie mixes count?  Because I have those two.  The nice thing about brownie mix is that there is no leavening in it, so it will last longer than a cake mix.  I take the mixes out of the box, poke a little hole in the package, cut out the directions, and vacuum seal it together.

Bisquick?  I don’t use it.  But if YOU do, then get an extra box or two.  Remember, it has leavening.  

You can make your own Bisquick.  The recipe and directions are here:  Homemade Bisquick (Quick and Easy) | My Baking Addiction


Have you noticed how expensive bars of soap are?  Actually, I don’t buy them.  Well, I DID buy some Irish Spring when we went camping to keep the bugs away.  And BTW, it does NOT repel mice.  Does Irish Spring Soap Repel Rodents? Mouse Mythbusters. – YouTube  At one point in the video, the rat actually bites the soap!  LOL

Anyway, back to soap….. I only buy liquid hand soap and bath soap.  BUT, the bars of soap are more compact and will store and last longer.  So…. get some and store it away.


Taco Pot Pie

THIS is the recipe that uses cornbread

1 lb. beef, browned and drained.  OR 1-pint beef drained.
1 pkg taco seasoning
1/4 c. water
1 can of kidney beans (undrained)
8 oz. chopped tomatoes (I think I used a can of diced tomatoes)
3/4 c. corn (I think I used frozen because I didn’t want to open a can for only 3/4 c.)
3/4 c. peas (Don’t like peas?  Leave them out.)
    Mix together and warm up.  Put in a greased 9X9 pan.
(Actually, it’s been a long time since I made this.  Maybe it won’t fit in a 9X9??? )
Sprinkle with 1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese
Make cornbread and spread it on top.  (I think I used 1/2 of the package of cornbread because I wasn’t making a 9X13)

Bake according to the directions for the cornbread.

Here is the cornbread recipe that came with the taco pot pie.
3 eggs
1 can of cream corn
2/3 c. sugar
3 TB baking powder
1 c. flour
1 c. cornmeal
1 small can of diced chilies
1 c. grated cheese

Of course, I didn’t write down any times or temperatures.  That’s how we roll at my house.  Use your best guess.  A recipe I found on the food network says 400˚ for 20-25 min.

Easy Cornbread Recipe | Moist, Fluffy Homemade Cornbread

Parmesan Chicken

From Wendy DeWitt
Makes 7-8 c.

Italian bread crumbs
1 pint chicken, or 2 chicken breasts, cooked, and shredded or diced, or 2 cans chicken
1/2 lb spaghetti cooked
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1 jar Ragu spaghetti sauce (or your favorite)

Cook spaghetti in water.  Layer spaghetti, chicken, Ragu, ​bread crumbs, and cheese.


This meal times 19 would be 38 cans chicken, 10 lb. spaghetti, 19 bottles of spaghetti sauce, 10 c. Parmesan cheese (5 containers),  4-5 cans of Italian bread crumbs

Chocolate Fudge Cake

This recipe comes from The Relief Society Cookbook 1930

2 c. sifted cake flour  (I seldom keep this on hand.  But here is a good substitution: 

How to Make a Homemade Cake Flour Substitute

Step 1: Measure 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Remove 2 Tablespoons. Step 2: Measure 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch. Add to the flour. Cornstarch contains less gluten than flour, so it’s a wonderful tenderizing ingredient to help make cake flour. Step 3: Sift together TWICE. Basically, sift into a mixing bowl once. Then run it through the sifter one more time. Sifting not only mixes the two ingredients together appropriately but also aerates the mixture, so the consistency is similar to real cake flour. Step 4: Measure 1 cup from this mixture. You’ll have about 1 cup anyway, but sometimes sifting can produce more volume since it’s adding air.

To the sifted flour, add:
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
    Sift together three times
1/2 c. buttercream thoroughly
1 c. sugar – add to the butter and mix till light and fluffy
2 egg yolks – add (save the whites and beat until stiff)
3 squares Bakers unsweetened chocolate, melted
(You can substitute cocoa by using 3 TB cocoa and 1 TB butter, shortening, or oil.  Just mix into the other ingredients)
Add the flour a little at a time, alternating with
1 1/4 c. milk and 1 tsp vanilla
Finally, fold in the 2 beaten egg whites.
Bake in 2 9-in-layer pans.  350˚ for 30 min.

Prices are rising fast.  Get something you can store THIS week!!!


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1 year ago

Mix in some cream style corn to your corn bread. It tastes so good and makes it moist. We do not like it without any more. An elderly man gave me that tip in the grocery store many years ago.

Big Tee
Big Tee
1 year ago

Picking up SOMETHING every week, even though I’m running out of storage space.

1 year ago

I love Marti’s Corner! I always learn something and it is always fun to read. Thank you for all you are doing!

1 year ago

No recipe for the cake?

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