Marti’s Corner – 119

August 17, 2023

Hi Everyone,

Because there are only two of us to cook for, I’m often scaling down recipes to smaller sizes.  I got wondering about it today, and actually found this website:  Any Size Pan Will Work for Your Cake With This Cheat Sheet

She does the math for you.  If you want to go from a 13X9 to a 9X9, multiply everything by .69 (which is about 2/3) To go from 13 X 9 to 8X8, it’s 1/2. She has numbers for increasing the pan size as well. To go from 9X9 up to 13X9, multiply everything by 1.44 (which is about 1 1/2)

She also has math for simply changing the shape of the pan you are using–square to round and reverse.

And how cool is this??? You can start a fire with a baggie and some water!  CRAZY Survival Hack | Start a Fire With a Plastic Bag

Drinking Pool Water After a DisasterCan you drink swimming pool water in an emergency?  Can You Drink Swimming Pool Water In An Emergency?


This is damage caused by leaf miner.  This insect gets between the layers of the leaf and eats its way along.  You cannot spray for it.  It is protected inside the leaf.  The best thing to do is cut away the damage.  I literally take scissors and cut it out of the leaf.  If the leaf has a lot of damage, just take the whole thing off.  Put these leaves right in the garbage (or feed them to your chickens).

Damaged Leaf

Lettuce cycle

Eventually, your lettuce is going to “bolt.”  It starts to stretch up like this.  It’s part of the growing cycle, and is hurried along by the heat.  Then, the plants will put out flowers, and at that point, the leaves will be bitter.  It’s just time to pull them out and replant.

Lettuce 01

Baby Plants are about 2 weeks old.

Baby Plants

These are still young and not quite ready to be pulling leaves off.

Young Plants

Mature lettuce.  I come out once or twice a week and pull off the large leaves from around the edges.  Also, check for aphids or any other damage.

Mature LettuceFinally, keep everything shaded–especially in this heat.  I’ve moved my plants to the side of the house where they are totally shaded by about 4:00.

At any given time, I have all stages going on. This way, I always have lettuce.


Evidently, India has stopped all exports of rice.

Rice prices set to climb further after India export ban, trade at standstill

Rice was “This Week’s Purchase” in April, but in light of these recent events, the cost of rice is expected to double.  This would be a great time to stock up.  You can get #10 cans of rice at a Home Storage Center near you.  Find a Home Storage Center.  These centers are open to the public.  Of course, you can always order through the internet at places like

At the home storage center rice is $8.12 for a 5.4 pound can.  For this same price, you should be able to get at least 10 pounds of rice at the store.  Just remember, you’ll need to repackage that if you want to protect it from insects.  If you have questions about that, just ask me, or check the internet for ways to repackage food.


This is a great time to consider alternate cooking.  What if the power goes out–a fairly common occurrence in some places.  Here are some options:

BBQ – even a little hibachi will cook a meal.  You’ll just need to get a bag or two of some charcoal briquettes.  You can keep them in a large trash bag in a corner of the yard (just don’t throw them away!)  

Solar OvenSun Oven – I have one and was very pleased with how it cooked for me last summer.  It doesn’t have to be hot outside for the sun oven to work, but the sun DOES have to be shining.  Once you’ve purchased the oven, nothing else is needed. Kris, also just released a video on building a solar oven on the cheap. You might want to take a look at that.

Thermal Cooker Home Page | Thermal Cookers | Saratoga Jacks

You’ll need a small burner (propane or kerosene).  Use the burner to get the food boiling hot, then load it into the thermal cooker and it will continue cooking for hours with no electricity.  Thermal Cooker

Open Fire – who hasn’t roasted hot dogs and marshmallows over a fire???  You can also make foil dinners and cook them right in the coals.  All you need is two bricks, sticks, and a dirt area cleared of debris.  Build the fire between the bricks and use a grill to put your pots on.

This week consider an alternate cooking method and then stock up on what you’ll need:  charcoal, propane, or kerosene.

And don’t forget the matches — lots and lots and lots of them.


If you’re only eating unseasoned white rice, you’re missing out on a whole world of options.  Try swapping brown rice, or wild rice.  Add ingredients like chicken or tuna.  Add veggies.

The recipe below for “Stick Of Butter Rice” calls for parboiled rice.  Parboiled rice is partially precooked in its husk.  As a result, it retains some nutrients otherwise lost during refining.  It is healthier than regular white rice, but not as healthy as brown rice.

Parboiled rice is found under the Uncle Ben’s brand.  You can substitute white rice with no change in the recipe.

Here are 34 recipes for chicken and rice dinners.

34 Best Chicken & Rice Recipes – How To Cook Chicken and Rice

Rice Pudding

  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 6 TB sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 TB honey
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

      Mix well.

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla 
  •  1 c. milk (1/3 c. non-fat dry milk and 1 c. water)
  • 3/4 c. evaporated milk (2/3 c. non-fat dry milk and 3/4 c. water)
  • 1 1/2 c. cooked rice.
  • 1/2 c. raisins – optional

Place in a 2 quart casserole dish.  Bake 325˚ for 45 min.  Stir after 25 minutes.

Makes 8 servings

Chicken and Rice

  • 6 TB butter (melt in a large deep skillet)
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 ribs celery diced

     Add onion and celery and saute till softened.

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1″ pieces – add and cook until the chicken has started to brown
  • 3 c. chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 c. rice (long grain, basmati, or brown)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 TB fresh parsley (optional)

Bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook 20 min or until rice is tender.

Stick of Butter Rice

Preheat oven to 350˚

  • 1/2 c. butter (1 stick) in a large skillet.  
  • 2 c. rice
  • 1 onion diced

     Add the rice and onion.  Cook until the rice is lightly browned.

     Put the rice and onion mixture into a 2 1/2 quart baking dish or pan.

  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 can Beef Consomme soup

    Stir.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour or until the rice is tender.  (Check after 50 min)

Variations:  Add mushrooms

For a cheesy version, sprinkle with about 1/4 c. grated Parmesan or Romano cheese before serving.

Add pork chops or boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs.  Place them on top of the rice to bake at the same time.


Marti Shelley


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