Marti’s Corner – 115

June 17, 2023

Hi Everyone,

How many of you belong to an organization that would be willing to volunteer during a disaster.  Maybe you would like to help volunteer with clean-up, or in an emergency shelter, or with rescued animals.  

If you know of a group willing to help, PLEASE contact your local VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active During Disasters).  By registering with VOAD, they will be able to contact you and your organization if help is needed.

Summer is upon us.  Have you set a goal for the summer?  Don’t let this time get away from you.  Want to learn how to can?  Or dehydrate?  Or cook with some of your stored food?  Or make bread?  Or sew?  Or set up a tent?  Or light a fire with flint and steel?  Or make tin foil dinners?  Or inventory your storage?  Choose something and work on it this summer!!!


If your squash looks like this:

Squash 01

it is NOT your fault!  This just means that the flower did not get pollinated very well.  If it happens only occasionally, it’s normal.  If it happens a lot, you could:

1) plant flowers to attract pollinators

2) trim back large leaves so they don’t hide the flowers

3) get a paintbrush and pollinate yourself.  This is super easy to do, but you have to do it early in the morning because the flowers will close up later in the day. 

Squash Embryo

The female flowers will have small squash beginning to form under them, as in the picture on the left.  The male flowers have very thin stems.

If you look inside the flowers, you will see the difference there as well.  The one on the left is the female flower.  The one on the right is the male flower.

You can always watch a YouTube video:  (529) How to Hand-Pollinate Squash Flowers | Male vs Female Squash Flowers – YouTube

Here is a very happy zucchini:

Squash Flowers

Look how huge the leaves are.  It has lots of space!

Squash Plant

I planted garlic this year.  Evidently, you are SUPPOSED to plant garlic in the fall, which I did NOT do.  I planted it in the spring, right next to the tomatoes, because I heard it would repel tomato hornworms.  Well, now it is beginning to die, so I decided to dig them all up.

It’s pitiful, and they are NOT ready, but what’s done is done.  I’ve got them hanging on a hanger in a dark closet to dry.  I’ll give them a few weeks, then cut one open and see what I’ve got.  NEXT YEAR, I’ll know better.  That’s the thing about gardening…. you learn each year!!!

Garlic Plant

THIS WEEK’S PURCHASE: onions and garlic

You can get onions from Augason Farms

Chopped Onions

This #10 can is $11.47 on Amazon.  At our local Winco, we can get dehydrated chopped onion OR dehydrated minced onion in the bulk section.  According to Google (and they know everything) 1 medium onion = 1/4 c. dehydrated onion.  Having used dehydrated onions a lot, I seldom use this much.  I usually use 2-3 TB of dried onions.  

IF you are making soup, or sauce, just put the DH onion in dry and it will rehydrate as it cooks.  

IF I am browning ground beef, I usually put the onion into a small cup of hot water and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.  I drain off the water, and add to my meat and brown the onions as I would if they were fresh.

Minced Garlic

And, while you’re at it, get some DH garlic as well.  

This 1.5 pound container is $12 on Amazon.  But remember, you use A LOT less garlic when you cook.  Only 1/4 tsp dehydrated garlic is one clove.  So this 1 1/2 pounds will probably be a year’s supply!!!

If you have beans stored in #10 cans and ever have to LIVE off those beans, you will be most grateful for onions and garlic to add flavor.

MISC. PURCHASE:  Can openers

Get several. 

Can Opener

I have never used one of these.  BUT, they are super cheap, and you could put one in each 72 hour backpack.  

What I have is a 5 gallon bucket labeled “Kitchen”.  It has matches and fire starters, hot pads, a few sharp knives, cheap plates and cups, kitchen towels, dish soap, etc.  AND a can-opener.  Even though I have an electric can opener, I seldom use it.  I always use a manual.  But it died a slow death and I just got a new one last week.  Frankly, it wouldn’t hurt to have two or three.

Food Storage Recipes:

Chili Beans

Submitted by Linda Meziere for the Shelf-Stable Recipe Book

  • 1 can chili beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can corn drained
  • 1 TB chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

       Combine all ingredients and simmer 20 minutes.  Serve over:

Cooked Rice or


Top with cheese or

powdered and rehydrated sour cream

Pasta Fagioli Soup

Submitted by Debbie K. for Shelf Stable Recipe Book

  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can white beans

    Rinse and drain beans and set aside

  • 1/3 c. dry onion
  • 1/3 c. dehydrated carrots
  • 1/3 c. dehydrated celery

      Rehydrate dried vegetables in 2 c. hot water for 15 minutes then drain.

Sauté onions, celery, carrots

  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 TB parsley flakes
  • 1-2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

      Sauté in 

  • 2 TB oil for 3-5 minutes.
  • 4 c. water – add
  • 4 tsp beef bouillon
  • 1 26-oz can spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes

pinch red pepper flakes

     Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 min, stirring occasionally.


  • 1 pint ground beef OR
  • 1 12-oz can chicken
  • 1/2 c. dry small pasta 

      Bring back to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Easy Meat Pot Pie

Submitted by Allison Claridge from the Shelf Stable Recipe Book

Pie Crust

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp salt —  mix with flour
  • 1 c. shortening – Cut in.  I like to use a fork, but you could use a pastry cutter or 2 knies
  • 1/2 c. water. 

Stir in until dough forms a ball.  Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic and put in the fridge overnight.  The next day, roll out dough on a floured board, slightly bigger than the pie pan you are using.  Place rolled out dough in a greased and floured pie pan.  


  • 2-3 cups canned meat (chicken or cubed beef)
  • 2 cans Cream Soup (Cream of Chicken soup with chicken meat and Cream of Mushroom with beef)
  • 1 can mixed vegetables drained
  • 1 can new potatoes diced, drained

     Stir meat, soup and veggies.  Pour into pie pan.  Top with the second rolled out dough circle.  Pinch crusts together along the edges.  Cut 2-3 slots in the top to vent.  Bake 350˚ for 45-50 minutes.


Marti Shelley

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2 months ago

In the soup recipe, wondering why to drain 2c. water and then add in 4c. Couldn’t you just leave the flavored water?

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