Sunday, January 31, 2010

This will stay good in the freezer.

Day 5 Preparation is a work of Faith

Today is the Sabbath. Preparation takes faith. We pray over every meal that it will give nourishment to our bodies. It reminds me of growing up on the ranch. We would ask a blessing on the hay we fed the cows asking that it would be nourishing for them even though sometimes the hay was a little moldy from being bailed too wet. God hears prayers. Dad's calves were always 20 pounds heavier than others in the country when we took them to market. Meals are stretched, health is granted, food tastes better and inspiration comes when we employ faith to use what we have. God listens.

Breakfast: French toast with homemade cherry plum syrup. The syrup came from plum jam I bottled from ornamental Newport Plums on a tree in our front yard 12 years ago. It is delicious and takes a gourmet twist when we add cherry Jello, blend and heat.

Lunch: Funeral potatoes with Chicken, green salad, corn, and orange jello with tangerines topped whipped cream/vanilla yogurt. The potatoes were boiled with 2 oz of Zatarain's Crab Boil. We ordered a case over Christmas to make a cajun potato salad. I hoped the spice would help reduce the need for a savory meat at the meal. It worked. The potaoes are spicy hot from the cayenne pepper and other seeds in the mix. My husband loves the bite and flavor that comes through the cream of chicken soup, cheese, and yogurt mixed in the dish.

Dinner/Snack: Cinnamon toast, brownie tidbits (leftover from a goody tray), and cookies

Day 4 Stocking up on Case lot Sales

It has been one week since I last bought any produce. Oranges and Grapefruit sold for 33 cents a pound. We purchased enough to last the whole three months. Citrus is an excellent source of Vitamin C and will store well in the garage in the winter months in the midwest. I have put carrots, potatoes and onions in a large tote lined with a blanket to insulate against the cement floor. The Citrus is on carpet next to the tote. Winter sqaush from our garden this year are being stored in a large cooler. We have enough fresh produce to last 90 days in addition to the cans of fruit and vegetables in stock.

I am missing a sale this week - potatoes dropped to 17 cents a pound. That is not the all time low for the year, but it is close. Last week I bought at 19 cents a pound. Buying food is like investing. Rather than thrash oneself for missing the lowest sale price, one just buys all the way down as the prices fall. The money you save is the money made. I reserve 5-15 dollars each week just to pick up loss leaders. That 15 dollars would have purchased 100 pounds of potatoes and fed us well for three months. Because of this blog I'll have to forgo this time around. Oh well.

Breakfast: Oatmeal topped with vanilla yogurt. Toast

Lunch: leftovers heated and served like a buffet. The children picked the dish they wanted - meat loaf, stir fry, rice pudding, baked potatoes. Waste not Want not and a meal is a meal. Everyone was delighted. The three year old said. "Potato skins were made for butter. That makes me happy." I was happy because a potato contains 45% of the RDA for Vit C mostly found in the skin. It is great to have happy healthy boys.

Dinner: Fresh out of the oven whole wheat bread and butter with a hot drink of milk made with canned milk diluted 50% with warm water and a teaspoon of sugar per cup.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 3 Dried Milk Dilemma

Yesterday was Friday, the week has sailed by relatively smooth. I must concede that drinking dried milk is not working. We drink 10-13 gallons of fresh milk a week. Even when the dried milk is prepared with vanilla, real cream, and/or a little yogurt as well, consumption has dropped to 3 gallons a week. I have used white sauce dishes, homemade vanilla yogurt, and cheese to get our daily Calcium requirement. For drinking I will have to start mixing chocolate milk.

Breakfast: Rice pudding assembled last night while cleaning up after dinner. It was quick to put in the oven at 6:00 and serve a hot breakfast at 7:00 when the children walked in the house. For a fruit, we ate grapefruit. I enjoyed family conversation while sectioning grapefruit for the little ones. It is nice to be eating somethings which require us to sit and spend 15 minutes at the table together.

Lunch: Macaroni and Cheese with fresh carrot sticks. I used bottled generic "cheese whiz" with canned milk and lemon pepper, salt and garlic. The children ate it all. There are several ways to make mac and cheese. Preparedness is best accomplished when one can be versatile and use velveeta, real cheddar, or dehydrated cheeses, or boxes to make mac and cheese. Buying boxes is the most expensive and least flexible way to prepare this item even at 25 cents a box.

Dinner: Meatloaf, baked potatoes, canned corn, and cabbage walnut salad.

Snacks: yellow cake from scratch, chocolate chip cookies and oranges.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Whole Wheat Bread
4 cups warm water
3 TBS yeast
1/3 cup sugar or honey
8 cups flour
1 TBS salt
1/3 cup oil

Mix all together until it forms an elastic dough. Let rise until double. Put in 3-4 loaf pans. Let rise again and Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes. Tin cans can also be used. We often bake in apple juice cans because we can get 9 loaves in the oven at once with cans and only six pans at once.

Carrot Cake Muffins
Mix the Snack cake mix and divide in 6 equal portions of about 2 1/4 cups:
8-3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 TBS baking soda
1 TBS salt
5-1/4 cups granulated sugar

Add the following dry ingredients for carrot cake muffins:
1 cup dehydrated carrots
1 cup walnuts
2 TBS flax meal
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (to boost iron if you want)

Add wet ingredients and Mix before baking at 350 F for about 25 minutes.
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1- 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup pineapple chopped fine (I use the chunk pineapple and just chop it)


Oatmeal muffins
3 cups oatmeal
1 cup oil
3 cups brown sugar
4-5 eggs
4 1/2 cups flour (3 white, 1 1/2 wheat)
1 TBS cinnamon
1 TBS baking soda
1 tsp salt

Mix. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 350 for 15 minutes.

Zucchini/Winter Squash Bread

7 cups flour ( 1/2 wheat, 1/2 white is okay)
5 tsp cinnamon
2- 1/2 tsp baking soda
2- 1/2 tsp salt
2- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 -1/4 tsp baking powder
5 cups sugar
10 cups grated zucchini or winter squash
5 eggs ( can use 2-3 TBS flax meal to substitute for equal number of eggs)
1 -1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/4 tsp lemon/orange peal (optional)
2 -1/2 cups walnuts

Mix all ingredients together. Bake at 325 for 45-55 minutes if you use bread loaf pans.

Minestrone Soup
Saute in soy oil-
1/2 large onion
celery - center stalks and leaves

Add: 2 cups corn
4 cups green beans
2-3 cups diced tomatoes
2 carrots chopped
1/2 cup dehydrated carrots
1 1/2 cup macaroni
2 large celery stalks
3 cups zucchini pared and chopped (One large overgrown from our garden fall 2009)
3 quarts water
2 cans (12 oz each) roast beef with gravy
2 cups cooked red beans
1 TBS basil
2 tsp salt

Joe's Potatoes
This is a depression dish. My Grandpa, Joseph Hafen, would cook this dish to fill the hungry mouths of his 11 children.

Brown 1-2 large onions in butter (or margarine)
Cook on low heat in large stock pan until onion is marblized (nice dark color)
Add 5-8 potatoes (about 1 per person) pealed and sliced in thick rounds
Add water to just barely cover potatoes. Bring to boil. Salt to taste (1 tsp). The potato starch will thicken the brothy water to make a vegetarian gravy. Enjoy.

Teriyaki/oriental Stir fry Mix (Make a Mix Cookbook)
6 TBS cornstarch
3/4 tsp garlic powder
2-1/4 tsp beef or chicken bullion
3/4 tsp onion powder
6 TBS water
1-1/2tsp fresh ginger paste
3/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup corn syrup
2-2/3 cup water

Egg Substitutes: One egg equals-
1 TBS unflavored gelatin + 3 TBS warm water
1 TBS flax meal + 3 TBS warm water
egg sized mound of mayonnaise about 3 TBS (for baking)
1 TBS soy flour + 1 TBS water
1/2 banana smashed + 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup applesauce (for baking only) in muffins, pancakes, yeast free quick breads like pumpkin or banana add a little baking soda or baking powder to help
3 TBS pureed fruit
1 TBS cornstarch + 3 TBS water
1/4 cup soy milk
2 TBS water and 2 tsp baking powder
2 TBS water and 1 TBS oil and 2 tsp baking powder
for 2-3 eggs - 1 heaping TBS baking powder, 1 TBS cider or apple vinegar + 1 TBS water
For Egg allergies - Tofu, 1/4 cup bananas or commercial egg substitutes.

4 cups warm water
1 cup non instant dried milk
1/2 cup yogurt start

Blend. Pour into jars and place in hot water bath (120degrees)on the counter top, or in a cool oven, or on a heating pad. Be careful not to over heat it will kill your start.

Frozen Vanilla Yogurt

3 quarts of yogurt
1-3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp clear vanilla
1/2 to 1 cup of cream (optional)

Mix and churn in ice cream maker. Enjoy!

Day 2 I want to Govern Myself

I must admit this is crazy. I have 10 children and school six at home. Why do I want to voluntarily increase my stress load? I took an inventory of the chest freezer and found we have a meat base for 40 meals for 10 people. In three months there are 270 meals times 10 people. Four hundred meals is far short of 2700! This could be an interesting challenge. The children pointed out we could shop online and still "not go the the grocery store" for three months. Ha, Ha, Ha, Nice Try!

As I wonder why I am doing this, I must admit that I am concerned about our nation. The growing welfare state and the entitlement mentality is frightening and even infuriating as our representatives continue to ignore the people. The bottom line is that I want to be free to govern myself. I want to give my children the gift of gratitude and self reliance.

Dinner last night was chicken enchiladas made with chicken cooked diced and frozen March 2009. Instead of tossing it in the garbage, we mixed it with cream cheese, extended with homemade yogurt cream cheese, chopped celery and lemon pepper. Anything of questionable age should be heated thoroughly to ensure safety so I baked these enchiladas in a rich cream of chicken soup mixed with "Magic Mix" white sauce for 30 minutes at 350. The meal was delicious even though the 8 year old took one look and said, "Yuk." After the first bite, she proceeded to eat it without further complaint.

Breakfast: Leftover pineapple cobbler topped with homemade vanilla yogurt

Lunch: Leftover enchiladas

Snack: chocolate chip cookies

Dinner: Beef and vegetable teriyaki stir fry over rice. Yea! We used another pound of meat that was getting old. The teriyaki sauce is homemade and builds convenience into this meal that takes 20 minutes to prepare.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

No Trips to the grocery store for 3 months!

NO trips to the grocery store for three months. The challenge was issued to me a year ago. As I contemplated 2010 resolutions, this seems to be the time to do it. I may be crazy and my children may starve but it's a challenge for a red blooded American and we can at least try.

It has been 12 days since we last purchased milk and eggs. The next seven days the list of items we didn't have on hand grew. We needed another case of diapers and more formula. We went shopping again and now our larders are full. It will do us good to get to the back of the pantry and clear the shelves of neglected boxes and cans that have accumulated through the months. I tell myself that someday I will need these extra cans of who knows what. Someday is here. Time to use what we have or do without. There is no one right way to be prepared. Every family is different and dynamics change. Preparation is a Daily Task. Nevertheless to be truly prepared one needs to practice to strengthen weak points so - here we go. Dinner is waiting.