* My goal last summer was to dig out my sun oven and actually use it. I’m happy to announce that I did it! Several times, even. Now, my next goal (and it will probably have to wait until next summer) is to try some cast iron cooking. I have some cast iron cookware that I’ve bought here and there at estate sales, etc. I also have some cool equipment that I thought I couldn’t live without. Like this…CampMaid Charcoal Holder & Lid Lifter – Dutch Oven Tools Set (2 Piece Set) and I still think it’s really cool. BUT, I’ve never actually used any of it. I did find a great resource with links, how to care for your cookware, how to control the heat, and even easy recipes. Here it is: Dutch-Oven-Handouts.
* Randomly, I saw this substitute for sour cream: Mix 2/3 c. powdered milk and 3/4 . water until smooth. Add 1 tsp vinegar and bit until thick.
* Last year I started my tomato plants indoors on Jan 1. You can get a packet of seeds for as low as $2-3. If you wait to buy tomato plants at Lowes in March, you will pay $5-6 for each plant. I also bought a Roma tomato at the grocery store, let it ripen a bit on the counter, then scooped out the seeds. I let them sit in a small jar of water for 2-3 days, then drained them and dried them on a paper towel. I planted them to see what would happen and they grew!!!!
Anyway, back to the story. Even planting them on Jan 1, they were still small when I wanted to plant outdoors in the middle of February. So, this year, I thought I’d plant indoors earlier, like the middle of Dec. Which means I need to start shopping for seeds now!!
I encourage you to try and garden something. At a Regional Representatives Seminar in Sept 1976, the leaders were told, “Grow all the food that you feasibly can on your own property.”
If I had my way, my house would look like this home in LA County, near Pasadena. They live in a regular suburban neighborhood and have become nearly self-sufficient! Urban Homestead
* Heirloom Tomato Seed – Oregon Spring | Non-GMO Vegetable Gardening This packet of tomato seeds is $2.49. It contains approx. 90 tomato seeds. Really? Do you NEED 90 seeds? We should all get together, order seeds and split the cost and the seeds. Right???
* Can I reiterate that I do NOT save money by gardening. BUT…. it’s a skill like all other skills. It takes practice. And there is no denying the taste! If nothing else, I’m trying to be obedient to counsel given.
THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE: brown sugar
Have you noticed all the baking items on sale at your local grocery store? Okay, if not on sale, at least on display. This is when I start stocking up on flour, sugar, and other baking items. Brown sugar actually lasts quite a long time just in its bag, stacked on a shelf. If you have a vacuum sealer, this is how I store mine. If you find that your brown sugar has hardened, just put it in a baggie with a piece of bread. This works for me every time, and softens the sugar within a day or two. Others say they use fresh apple slices.
Do you HAVE to store brown sugar? Do you USE brown sugar? If so, pick up 4-5 2-pound bags. It’s only $1.58 at Winco this week. You CAN make your own brown sugar. How I Make Homemade Brown Sugar. If you go this route, you have to store molasses.
One or the other: buy some extra brown sugar, or buy some molasses.
MISC PURCHASE: water purification tablets
Do you have these? These tablets will provide water purification for camping, hiking, traveling, and emergency water preparedness situations. It makes water bacteriologically suitable to drink, even in emergency water purification situations. In this video, he shows you how to make a simple water filtration system using crushed charcoal, fine sand, small gravel, and empty water bottles. He uses scummy pond water and with the filter and some way to kill the bacteria (boiling or water purification tablets), he creates drinkable, clean water.
You don’t have to grind your own charcoal, you can get it in the fish section of Walmart. You can get small pebbles in the same section — the kind that go on the bottom of the fish tank. I got some at Home Depot.
Do you know who Mark Rober is? Well…… I know him. Yeah, it’s true. His family went to the same church we did and he was my son’s age. And now he is famous! Who knew? He produced THIS video about water purification: Drinking Nasty Swamp Water (to save the world)
I looked on Amazon trying to find this product and found it here: P&G Purifier of Water Portable Water Purifier Packets. Emergency Each of the 12 packets will filter 2 1/2 gallons of water, for a total of 30 gallons of clean for $25. Either one of these systems would be a good plan to have for your 72-hour kits.
FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies
This is from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer woman
1 c. butter, softened
2 c. packed dark brown sugar
Beat together until fluffy.
2 tsp vanilla – and and mix
2 eggs – Add one at a time, scraping the bowl after each one.
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
Add and mix
1 1/2 c. flour – Add and mix until just combined.
3 c. old fashioned oats – stir in until just combined.
Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet, spacing them a couple inches apart. Bake 12-13 minutes or until dark and chewy. If you like crispy cookies, bake a little longer. Let cool.
**Add 1/2 c. finely chopped nuts if you want.
Apple Pan Dowdy
This is a “Taste of Home” recipe
You can use dehydrated apples if you have them. Just cover with water and soak for 15-20 minutes. They won’t “crisp” up like fresh, but will soften and become pliable. After baking, you won’t even know the difference.
In a saucepan, combine
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 c. water
1 tsp lemon juice
Cook and stir over medium heat until thick. Set aside.
Make the topping:
2 tsp baking powder
1 c. flour
1/4 tsp salt
Mix together. Then cut in
3 TB butter. Then add
3/4 c. milk (whole or 2%)
Mix just until moistened. Set aside.
In a 1 1/2 quart baking dish, arrange
5 c. sliced, peeled apples
1/2 tsp cinnamon – sprinkle over apples
To the cooled brown sugar sauce, add
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
2 TB butter
Stir smooth and pour over apples.
Drop dough by spoonfuls over sauce.
1 TB sugar and
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Sprinkle over dough.
Bake 350˚ until top is brown and apples are tender, about 55 minutes.
King Ranch Chicken Casserole
I like this one because: a) except for the cheese, you can store all the ingredients, b) you can make it ahead and freeze it. Score!
1 whole fryer (3-4 lbs, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
This will be about 4 c. chicken
1 large onion, chopped and sauteed
2 c. grated cheese
2 c. chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes and green chilies
Combine the soups and set aside.
Spray a 9 X 13 casserole dish.
Layer 6 corn tortillas
1/2 of the chicken
1/2 of the onion
1/2 of the cheese
Pour half of the chicken broth over the layers.
Repeat layers and pour remaining broth over top with remaining cheese.
Cover the pan with tin foil. Bake 350˚ for 45-60 min. After 45 min., remove the foil and continue baking another 15 min.