Tuesday, May 26, 2009
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 shallot (related to an onion), thinly sliced
1 lb asparagus
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 lb prosciutto (ham), chopped
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (you can use freshly grated Parmesan or Romano)
1 cup fresh basil leaves (abt. 20 leaves)
Cook pasta. While that is going, saute sliced shallot with garlic in olive oil. Halve each stalk of asparagus lengthwise, then cut into 2 inch pieces. Add asparagus to shallot/garlic. Add a couple ladles of water from the noodles and cook until asparagus is tender-crisp. Drain pasta and add to asparagus. Add peas and prosciutto. The peas should warm through quickly. Toss with cheese and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper and serve in shallow bowls with lots of fresh basil on top.
Don't let the fancy ingredients fool you--this is really very easy. It's from my neighbor Ashlee and it's one of my favorite meals that she makes. It's pretty impressive looking, too. Fool all your friends into thinking you're a gourmet chef.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
1 large can (28 oz) of whole tomatoes
1 small handful of fresh cilantro (chopped fairly small)
1/4 to 1/2 chopped onion
3 to 6 fresh tomatoes diced
1/2 - 1 whole fresh jalapeño (it depends on how spicy you want your salsa)
fresh lemon or lime juice to taste (I like to use the juice of one lime)
minced garlic to taste
salt to taste (approx. 1/2 - l tsp)
Blend canned tomatoes and jalapeño peppers in blender or food processor for a few seconds until frothy and fairly well blended). Then place blended tomatoes in large bowl. Add chopped fresh tomatoes, chopped onion, Cilantro, Lemon or lime juice, garlic, and salt. Stir ingredients to mix them. Store in covered containers in refrigerator overnight or several hours prior to serving to allow flavor of salsa to reach it’s potential and enjoy! This salsa has a nice chunky texture.
This recipe is from Debbie Jones who learned how to make salsa from Rosa Sandavol. Rachel learned how to make it in Relief Society from Debbie. Rachel says it is the most useful thing she learned to make at Enrichment night.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all my life, I have always been taught about preparedness and food storage. I'm grateful for the teaching from our church leaders on this subject. I appreciate a new article that the church has published on family home storage. You can read the entire article by clicking here. Below is a cut and paste of the highlights that I liked from the article.
“We can begin ever so modestly,” President Hinckley explained. “We can begin with a one week’s food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months.”1
Sister Jeffries notes that “the beauty of this system is its appropriateness for families just starting their storage programs, as well as for those living in small homes and apartments, where space is at a premium. President Hinckley clearly recognized that change and adaptation are needed so that all of us might benefit from the Lord’s inspired program.”
A New Approach
In the spirit of President Hinckley’s remarks, Church leaders decided to closely reexamine their approach to self-reliance, looking for ways to reinforce the concepts of home storage and financial preparedness. As a result, the Church published the pamphlet All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, outlining new guidelines for home preparedness that give Church members a simplified, four-step approach to building their home storage.
They are as follows:
1. Gradually build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet until it is sufficient for three months.
2. Store drinking water.
3. Establish a financial reserve by setting aside a little money each week, and gradually increase it to a reasonable amount.
4. Once families have achieved the first three objectives, they are counseled to expand their efforts, as circumstances allow, into a supply of long-term basic foods such as grains, legumes, and other staples.
Of the new guidelines, Presiding Bishop H. David Burton says, “Our objective was to establish a simple, inexpensive, and achievable program that would help people become self-reliant. We are confident that by introducing these few, simple steps we can, over time, have more success.”
Guideline 1: Build your three-month supply gradually.
Start small and do the best you can. Begin by purchasing a few extra items to add to your storage each week. Strive to build a one-week supply; then expand it to a one-month supply, then a three-month supply. By building your supply slowly, you can avoid financial strain and start down the path toward self-reliance.
The Lugo family of Valencia, Venezuela, learned that this new approach of starting small and being consistent can pay big dividends. After listening to general conference, Brother Omar Lugo, a Church member in the Falcón Venezuela District, felt inspired to begin his own home storage. He discussed the matter with his family, and they agreed to follow the prophet’s counsel.
They began setting aside food, water, and money, a little at a time. At first the difference was hardly noticeable. But after a while the Lugos found that they had accumulated a substantial reserve. Several months after they began building their home storage, a worker’s strike in Venezuela put many local workers’ jobs in jeopardy. Brother Lugo was among those who eventually lost their jobs.
For a time his family lived on savings. Seven months later the Lugo family was relying exclusively on the food they had stored. It took nearly two years for Brother Lugo to find work again, but his family was able to survive the difficult challenges of unemployment. They had built their reserve gradually, and when adversity struck, they were prepared and the Lord blessed them.
Like the Lugo family, Church members will be blessed for their obedience to the First Presidency’s counsel as they gradually build home storage. “We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your savings,” the First Presidency explains. “Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once.” Rather, they suggest a modest, consistent approach. “With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve.”2
Guideline 2: Store drinking water.
In times of need, having water to drink can be the difference between life and death—or at least between peace and anxiety. Just ask the Kawai family, members of the São Paulo Brazil Stake. They have been storing food and water for 20 years. Although their small apartment doesn’t have much room to spare, the Kawais decided to make home storage a priority.
Sister Kawai tells of one experience when that decision paid off. “I was in the hospital having just given birth when I learned that there was a problem with the city’s water pipes,” Sister Kawai explains. “Hundreds of thousands of people were without water. But I wasn’t concerned about going home. I had peace of mind knowing that my family would have water to drink.”
Guideline 3: Set aside a little money.
From the First Presidency comes this counsel: “We encourage you wherever you may live in the world to prepare for adversity by looking to the condition of your finances. We urge you to be modest in your expenditures. … Save a little money regularly to gradually build a financial reserve.”3
In the April 2007 general conference Bishop Keith B. McMullin, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, reinforced this principle, exhorting Church members to “save some money, if only a few coins each week. This modest approach will soon enable them to have several months’ reserve.”4
By gradually building a financial reserve, we will be prepared for unforeseen trials and have an added measure of security and peace in our hearts.
Guideline 4: Where possible, gradually establish a longer-term supply.
“For longer-term needs,” explains the All Is Safely Gathered In pamphlet, “gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive, such as wheat, white rice, and beans.”5
Establishing long-term storage is easier than some might think. Dr. Oscar Pike and his colleagues in the Brigham Young University Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science have done several in-depth studies on long-term food storage. They discovered something surprising: properly packaged and stored low-moisture food retains much of its sensory (taste) quality and nutritional value for 20 to 30 or more years after being placed in storage—much longer than previously supposed.
This means Church members can store certain foods long-term without the worry of regularly rotating the food. They can be confident that their supply will be there to keep them alive if they have nothing else to eat.
The Time to Begin Is Now
“Perhaps in the past accumulating a year’s supply of food may have been a little intimidating and even illegal in some places,” says Dennis Lifferth, managing director of Church Welfare Services. “But this new approach asks us to do the best we can, even if all we can do is to set aside a can or two each week. If the prophet asks us to do something, we can find a way to fulfill the commandment and receive the blessings.”
“This new program is within everyone’s grasp,” explains Bishop Burton. “The first step is to begin. The second is to continue. It doesn’t matter how fast we get there so much as that we begin and continue according to our abilities.”
Prophetic Counsel about Home Storage
“Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their … supply of food … and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year’s supply of debt and are food-free.”
President Thomas S. Monson, “That Noble Gift—Love at Home,” Church News, May 12, 2001, 7.
“Everyone who owns a home recognizes the need for fire insurance. We hope and pray that there will never be a fire. Nevertheless, we pay for insurance to cover such a catastrophe, should it occur. We ought to do the same with reference to family welfare.”
President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), “To Men of the Priesthood,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2002, 58.
“In the day of plenty, prepare for the day of scarcity.”
First Presidency, “Message of the First Presidency,” in Conference Report, Apr. 1942, 89.
“Learn to sustain yourselves; lay up grain and flour, and save it against a day of scarcity.”
President Brigham Young (1801–77), Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe (1954), 293.
1. Gordon B. Hinckley, “To Men of the Priesthood,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2002, 58.
2. All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage (2007), 1.
3. All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Finances (2007), 1.
4. Keith B. McMullin, “Lay Up in Store,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2007, 53.
5. All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, 2.
Below is a cut and paste from the provident living that explains how to store food in plastic containers. You can get to the post by clicking here then click onto the PETE Bottles Link. If you want to learn about recycling symbols click here and scroll down to where it explains about PETE symbols.
PETE Bottles for Longer-Term Storage
Bottles made of PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic can be used with oxygen absorbers to store products such as wheat, corn, and dry beans. PETE bottles are identified on the container with the letters PETE or PET under the recycle symbol (see above picture).
Other types of plastic bottles typically do not provide an adequate moisture or oxygen barrier for use with oxygen absorbers. Do not use containers that were previously used to store nonfood items.
PETE bottles can also be used for shorter-term storage (up to 5 years) of other shelf-stable dry foods such as white rice. Visit providentliving.org for specific product recommendations.
Moisture content of stored foods should be about 10 percent or less. When moist products are stored in reduced oxygen packaging, botulism poisoning may occur.
Packaging in PETE Bottles
1. Use PETE bottles that have screw-on lids with plastic or rubber lid seals. You can verify that the lid seal will not leak by placing a sealed empty bottle under water and pressing on it. If you see bubbles escape from the bottle, it will leak.
2. Clean used bottles with dish soap, and rinse them thoroughly to remove any residue. Drain out the water, and allow the bottles to dry completely before you use them for packaging food products.
3. Place an oxygen absorber in each bottle. The absorbers can be used with containers of up to one-gallon capacity (4 liters). Additional instruction about using oxygen absorbers is available at providentliving.org. (This is now Kathleen typing - I don't do this step when I am storing food for my 3 month supply. I have found that the oxygen absorbers work in PETE containers only if the lids to the containers have a rubber ring on them at are found on containers such as a gallon water jug.)
4. Fill bottles with wheat, corn, or dry beans.
5. Wipe top sealing edge of each bottle clean with a dry cloth and screw lid on tightly.
6. Store the products in a cool, dry location, away from light.
7. Protect the stored products from rodents.
8. Use a new oxygen absorber each time you refill a bottle for storage.
Where to Get Oxygen Absorber Packets
Oxygen absorber packets are available at home storage centers and Church Distribution Services, or they can be ordered online at ldscatalog.com. Unused oxygen absorbers can be stored in glass jars with metal lids that have gaskets.
This picture is a sample of some of the things I have stored in PETE containers. (Click onto the picture to see a close up of the items stored, AND, yes! chocolate chips are an important item in our 3 month food supply).
After reading this post you will soon learn to recognize #1 PETE recycled containers as compared to a #2 PETE recycled container. (An example of a #2 recycled container is a milk jug.)
This post comes from cut and past off the church web page: providentliving.org. Learning about PETE storage containers has changed the way I do our family's food storage. I use PETE #1 containers to store the food that we use regularly. Using the PETE containers has made it easier for me to rotate the staples we use most. I take a permanent marker and date the container each time I fill it. The items I store in PETE containers would include items such as: Rice, Oats, sugar, flour, cereal, jello, popcorn, cornmeal, powdered sugar, noodles, etc. I use the wide mouth containers for items that as I need to scoop out with a measuring cup, such as flour. I use the small opening containers for items that I can pour out such as white sugar. I order the wide mouth PETE container, on line from www.FreundContainer.com - item #34798. For the small opening containers that I can pour the food out of such as rice, I use recycled l gallon PETE water bottles such as a Crystal Geyser containers.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
You Will Need
3 corn tortillas (6 inches each), cut into 1/4-inch strips
4 tsp. olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 large onion, chopped
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 lb. red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup frozen corn
1 can (4 1/2 oz.) chopped green chilies
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 tbs. lime juice
What to Do
1. In large resealable plastic bag, combine tortilla strips, 1 tsp. oil, and salt. Seal bag and shake to coat. Arrange tortilla strips on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp, turning once. Remove to paper towels to cool.
2. In large saucepan, sauté chicken in remaining oil until lightly browned. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is tender. Add broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add corn, chilies, cilantro, and pepper, and heat through. Stir in lime juice. Top each serving with tortilla strips.
Yield: 6 servings ($1.62 per serving)
-- M. M., Traverse City, Michigan
Nutrition Facts: One serving (1 1/2 cups) equals 221 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 33 mg cholesterol, 757 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 19 g protein.
I got this recipe from the Reader's Digest Magazine. I just made this for our dinner tonight and I can hardly wait to serve it. It's nice to be able to use fresh limes from our lime tree. (I also added 1 cup homemade or store bought salsa for extra flavor.) I didn't have any frozen corn on hand, so I used canned corn. I also used fresh chopped jalapeno pepper sauteed with the onion instead of the canned green chilies. I serve this soup with store bought tortilla chips and don't make my own tortillas as shown in step #1. That's the nice thing about making homemade soup.... You can take the original recipe and doctor it up any way you want to suit your taste .
Here in the big city of
Below are some pictures of city farming here in
My neighbor, Rebecca Seamons has a nice grow box in her back yard. The first picture above is where she planted basil by her tomatoes plants to keep away the bugs.
In this grow box she has bell peppers, squash, and strawberries.
This is in our backyard. To the left are strawberries. To the right are peas and tomatoes.
This garden plot is along our back fence. In this shot you can see cucumbers, lettuce, red peppers, tomatoes and squash.
This is a picture of our compost pile between our two citrus trees. We throw our lawn clippings, and kitchen scraps such as melon rinds and carrot peels there. When it breaks down, we add the soil to our garden plots.
There are many gardening tips at providentliving.org Have fun!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
As we store our water, we are ever mindful to rotate our supply of bottled water. Every time we purchase a case of water it is dated with a permanent marking pen. As we take a bottle of water, we grab one from the oldest purchased water.
I wanted to share some of the places where we store our water in our house.
These cases of bottled drinking water are stored on the bottom shelf in our toy closet.
These gallon jugs are stored in the bottom of our hall coat closet. (We also have water stored in our guest room closet) As we are done with the gallon jugs, I put them on my kitchen window sill to dry out and then use them to store food storage items such as sugar, rice, or oats . (See earlier PETE food storage post here.)
These 5 - 55 gallon water barrels are in our garage along the back wall. The shelves above them store our camping equipment for easy emergency access. We change the water every 6 months (that's the plan - I think it's more like once a year) We add 2 Tbs. of bleach to every 55 gallon barrel of water when we change the water.)
You can read more about water storage on providentliving.org by clicking here
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
1/2 cup salt
1 tsp cream of tarter
1 cup water
Few drops of food coloring
1 Tbs oil
Mix dry ingredients. Mix water, food coloring and oil. Combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with large3 spoon until the dough pulls away from the sides of pan and forms a ball. This takes only about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Remove to counter with a little flour on it and knead till smooth. This makes a soft dough that keeps it's shape with molded.
It will dry out but not enough to make things like jewelry. If kept in a plastic bag or airtight container in the refrigerator, it will keep for many months.
Lisa requested that I post this recipe because she is going to babysit for a co-worker tonight. I don't remember where I got this recipe from, but it is the best homemade play dough recipe I've come across. And it is simple to make. (When I make this recipe I usually double it to have plenty to go around)
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Yep, I’m “breaking up” with Facebook. A blog post from drlaura.com explains what I mean:
“Breaking Up” With Facebook
January 14, 2008 on 6:00 am | In Facebook, MySpace, Relationships, Social Networking
A recent essay in the New York Times (December 2, 2007) talked about the growing popularity of social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and others where the word “friends” is used to describe email relationships with folks we barely know. Humans are gregarious creatures and fare better belonging to networks of family, community, spiritual groups, clubs, and so forth - all of which are sustained through face-to-face contact.
The bottom line is that the more time we spend online, the less time we spend having true relationships complete with challenges, vulnerability, risks and profundity. These are not real-world relationships with depth. These on-line relationships are shadows and facsimiles which ultimately amount to little more than casual, superficial experiences.
One mother, Jene, who listens regularly to my radio program, sent me this letter her 21 year-old son wrote to Facebook. I suggest you show this to all your children and read it twice yourself if you are hooked to on-line pseudo-friendships:
“As a mother of two young adults, I’ve witnessed their obsessive involvement with the many electronic forms of communication that are all the rage in recent years…email, instant messaging, texting, and the several web-based social networks like Facebook and MySpace. All are useful communication tools, but often counterproductive in really getting to know people.
It came to my attention that my 21 year-old son took a bold step recently and closed down his Facebook account by writing a breaking-up letter and posting it as a good-bye. When he shared it with me, I was touched, relieved, and very proud of his stand. I asked him if I might share this with you. His grin, soft laugh and nod of his head spoke volumes:
‘Facebook, we need to have a DTR (defining the relationship) talk…It’s not all your fault, it’s mostly mine…This is the end of you and me, Facebook. I’m leaving you because I have spent more time browsing your pages than I have been spending in the pages of The Good Book. And I can’t live like that anymore. I’ve let you become a monster…you’ve taken too much of my time and my thoughts. Maybe it’s just my lack of self-control or discipline, but you’re addictive to me. I’m ashamed of the number of times I check you daily. If I were able to grasp how much time I have spent swimming though your endless ocean of profiles, I would be able to bear the guilt.
Here’s why: because of your profiles, I’ve become lazy. Because of you I found myself talking with person after person, asking them questions that I already knew the answers to. On many levels I’ve substituted and even avoided personal interactions with people because of your artificial and superficial means of communication. You have diluted my perception of true social interaction.
You’ve made me a coward. There’s a difference between a Facebook friend and an actual friend. Everyone knows the difference, but when one tries to reach across the barrier from Facebook friends to actual friends it just isn’t the same.
Facebook, you’re not all bad. You have your benefits. I must admit, you allow me to network and keep in touch with people with whom I normally wouldn’t have been able to…but at what cost? Wasting time Facebooking people I’ll never meet has distracted me from meeting the person sitting next to me in class, or has kept me from calling up and hanging out with an old friend because Facebooking is just as good? I beg to differ.
In some form or another, you’ve hindered my investment in the relationships with those genuine people hiding behind the idealistic profiles they’ve made of themselves. Let’s face it, I don’t perceive myself in the same way someone else perceives me. From now on, I only want to know people for whom they truly are; not for what you (Facebook) says they are. I just can’t trust you.
‘This might seem radical, but I have to make up for lost time. This hurts me just as much as it hurts you, but I have to take a stand.
Logging out for good,
I am so very impressed with Kyle’s maturity and good sense.
~End of Dr. Laura’s post.~
The reason why the “break up” with Facebook is because of Elder Bednar’s talk I heard on Sunday, May 3, 2009. Below is the Church News article that tells about it:
Elder Bednar Warns of Dangers on Web
By Greg Hill
Monday, May. 04, 2009
REXBURG, Idaho -- Speaking of "things as they really are," Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints counseled young adults during a Church Educational System fireside to beware the virtual reality of cyberspace.
From Brigham Young University-Idaho Sunday evening, Elder Bednar addressed members of the church ages 18-30 as well as those graduating from high school this spring. The fireside in Hart Auditorium also was broadcast via satellite to meetinghouses in many other areas of the world.
Obtaining a physical body is an essential part of earth life, Elder Bednar stated, and it gives God's children the chance to have experiences that otherwise would not be possible.
He said, "Our relationships with other people, our capacity to recognize and act in accordance with truth, and our ability to obey the principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ are amplified through our physical bodies."
He noted that Lucifer, who because of his rebellion against God, does not have a body, "attempts to influence us both to misuse our physical bodies and to minimize the importance of our bodies."
About misuse of their bodies, he told the congregation, "You know what is right and what is wrong, and you have the individual responsibility to learn for yourself ... the things you should and should not do."
Then he turned to a discussion of ways people minimize the importance of their bodies through technology.
"Sadly, some young men and women in the church today ignore 'things as they really are' and neglect eternal relationships for digital distractions, diversions and detours that have no lasting value."
He pointed out the difficulties caused in marriages "because of the addicting effect of excessive video gaming or online socializing." He added that such addictions could also be devastating for academic and vocational achievements.
Elder Bednar acknowledged the value of technology in creating virtual reality. Such value includes doctors simulating complicated surgeries, pilots simulating emergency landings, and architects and engineers simulating the construction of buildings resistant to natural disasters, all without endangering human life, he said.
Those simulations are made possible because of the high degree of fidelity between the simulation and reality, he said.
"However," he said, "a simulation or model can lead to spiritual impairment and danger if the fidelity is high and the purposes are bad, such as experimenting with actions contrary to God's commandments or enticing us to think or do things we would not otherwise think or do 'because it is only a game.'
"I plead with you to beware of the sense-dulling and spiritually destructive influence of cyberspace technologies that are used to produce high fidelity and that promote degrading and evil purposes."
If a person allows it, the adversary can use modern technology to lead to a disconnect from the physical body, Elder Bednar said.
"Please be careful of becoming so immersed and engrossed in pixels, texting, ear buds, Twittering, online social networking, and potentially addictive uses of media and the Internet that you fail to recognize the importance of your physical body and miss the richness of person-to-person communication. Beware of the digital displays and data in many forms of computer-mediated interaction that can displace the full range of physical capacity and experience."
He said, "Beware! To the extent personal fidelity decreases in computer-mediated communications and the purposes of such communications are distorted, perverted, and wicked, the potential for spiritual disaster is dangerously high. I implore you to turn away immediately and permanently from such places and activities."
~End of article about Elder Bednar’s talk~
Fyi, I’m not logging out for good. I’m keeping my Facebook account open to post pictures once in a while and I will “visit” Facebook from time to time.
I’m looking forward to having more time to garden, sew, practice the piano and read….
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Mix with a mixer:
2 cups of white granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups of shortening
1 Tablespoon of vanilla flavoring
Add and stir with a wooden spoon:
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup of chopped nuts (optional)
Drop dough by teaspoon on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes.
Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies
Make same recipe as above except:
Add 2 teaspoons of almond flavoring instead of vanilla
Add 1 cup white chocolate chips and 1 cup dried cranberries instead of the chocolate chips
I got this recipe from my college roommate, Charlayne VanRy. It has been my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe for 30 + years. Be sure not to over cook them if you want soft cookies AND make sure that your shortening isn't old and rancid.