** I saw a headline that said something to the effect that India was putting a cap on sugar exports and there was sure to be a shortage. So, like all good readers, I decided to investigate. Yes, India did cap their sugar exports. They put a 10 million ton limit on exports, but last year, they exported a record crop of 7 million tons. So…. it looks like we are safe on that front.
** I decided to google food storage recipes and discovered a treasure trove of free stuff on Pinterest. Specifically: Pinterest In addition to charts and graphs, there are recipes for canning, dehydrating, food gifts, meals in jars, and just cooking.
** Here’s another site from Food Storage Made Easy: Food Storage Recipes
** I am beginning to reap the blessings of planting early. I already have tomatoes ripening! I’ve picked zucchini, basil, beans, and of course, lettuce. I want you to know that I pray over this garden every night! Maybe a better explanation is to say that I pray FOR my garden, it sounds less weird.
** I’ve been trying to plant lettuce specifically for harvesting seeds. In this case, you do NOT pick the leaves each week, but let the plant grow.
Well, on one of my plants, the leaves started turning black around the outside. I decided to just remove THESE leaves. Ugh. I found earwigs nesting inside the lettuce and all kinds of crawly things. I pulled off most of the leaves and killed the earwigs. (I hate those creepy things.)
I have time, so I think I’ll plant that variety again, and see if I can do better this time. My other lettuces are doing great. I’m just waiting for them to bolt and get flowers.
** Do you ever get these on your zucchini plants???
Squash has two kinds of flowers. The male flower is on a long, straight stalk. The female flower has the beginning of a squash plant right under the flower. THIS is what happens when the flowers don’t get pollinated. If you don’t see bees in your garden (mine is swarming with them in the mornings) then you may have to take matters into your own hands. Get a cheap paintbrush (just rob your child’s watercolor paint set). Brush the male flowers, and then brush the female flowers. It’s that easy. If your plant has so many leaves that the bees can’t find the flowers, just cut some leaves off. It will be fine.
** When the temperatures get crazy hot, the plants will go into “survival mode” and will not set fruit. This means they will not produce flowers. You can mitigate the heat with a shade cloth. Something like this:40% Sunblock Shade Cloth Net Black Resistant – 8×20 Ft Garden Shade
The last shade cloth I bought was 30%, but I couldn’t find it for this photo. Also, watch the size. This is 8 X 20, which is good for a big garden. It can also be easily cut. You need some way to drape it above your garden and anchor it so it doesn’t blow away. It’s weird because even though the cloth is black, it’s nice and cool under the shade cloth. Your plants will thank you. I probably have 4-5 of them and use them everywhere in the yard.
THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE: Tomato Sauce/Diced Tomatoes – 20 cans
If you get the 8 oz size of tomato sauce, it is about 3/$1. You can buy the whole 24 can flat for $8, give or take. Diced tomatoes at Winco are $.58?? They used to have canned veggies at $.58 and I noticed that they are now $.58. Doesn’t seem like much of a price rise, but it’s a 16% increase.
MISC PURCHASE: toothbrushes for everyone and some dental floss
Actually, if you have 72-hour kits, this is a good place to keep this. Otherwise, you should have some type of bucket for sanitation supplies. Extra toothbrushes should be in there. And get 2-3 tubes of toothpaste while you’re at it–AND some dental floss. I would imagine that if your living situation gets intense, going to the dentist may not be an option. You’ll want to invest in some good dental hygiene.
FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
Making Basic Mashed Potatoes from I Can’t Believe It’s Food Storage by Crystal Godfrey
The last time I was at Winco, I noticed they had potato flakes in the bulk section. But, there was no recipe card or instructions on how to cook them. So, here you go:
3 c. boiling water
1 tsp salt
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1 c. milk
Combine together and melt butter.
3 c. potatoes. Stir by hand until potatoes are dissolved.
Makes 9 servings.
You can use the same amount of butter, salt, and milk when making real mashed potatoes.
We grew up on this staple. Basically, it’s meat below and potatoes on top with all kinds of variations. My mom just added tomato sauce to the browned and drained ground beef, then a layer of green beans, then potatoes on top. You can stretch this by adding diced potatoes to the meat. You could stretch it more by adding 1-2 cups of cooked wheat. Bake in the oven for 30 min.
Garden Chicken Stew
1/2 c. dehydrated carrots
1/2 c. dehydrated white onions
1/2 c. dehydrated green bell peppers
1/2 c. dehydrated celery
1/2 c. potato dices
1/2 c. orzo or any small pasta
2 TB Italian seasoning
9-10 c. water
3 TB chicken bouillon
1-pint jar of chicken or 1 12-oz can
Add everything BUT the chicken and pasta and boil for 10-15 min. Add chicken and pasta (and all juice from the canned/bottled chicken) Boil an additional 5-10 min.
Variations: Add a crust on top like chicken pot pie, add dumplings, and thicken with flour mix.