Thursday, September 29, 2011

Still dealing with eggs

A by product of making home made egg noodles which I am still making is having lots of left over egg whites.  The most effective way to use up all those egg whites is to make up Angel Food Cakes.  These freeze very well and thaw fast when you need one.  I only have one Angel Food cake pan so I can only do one at time.  After this week I will be on the look out for more pans at thrift stores.

An Angel Food cake uses 1 1/2 cup of egg whites.  When I worked at the hospital, they allowed diabetics to have a small slice of Angel Food Cake so it's easier on the sugar than most cakes.  For each cake I use this recipe:

Angel Food Cake

1 cup cake flour
3/4 + 2 Tablespoons sugar
Sift together and set aside

1 1/2 cup egg whites (about 12)
1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large mixer bowl, beat until foamy.  Slowly add 3/4 cup sugar 2 Tablespoons at a time and beat until you get stiff peaks.  Gently fold in 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon Almond.  Sprinkle flour-sugar Mixture, 1/4 cup at a time folding in gently into the meringue until the flour mixture disappears.  Carefully put the batter into the ungreased tube pan.  Gently cut through batter.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly with finger.  Invert tube pan on funnel, let hang until cake is completely cool.

I discovered on my second cake I was out of cream of tartar.  I decided to substitute a tablespoon of lemon juice and it seems to of worked just fine.  Some substitutes work just fine and others totally flop.  You never know until you try!  Well as the cake cooled it fell all apart.  Still tasted good but totally unsuitable for the freezer!  So much for lemon!  I'll have to go to town to get cream of tartar and add that to my food storage list!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Building up my food storage and using up eggs

Having a few hens can be a great blessing but if you have 15 like I do things can get out of hand if I'm not on my toes!  Last year I started oiling my eggs after I brought them in and washed them.  Oiling them keeps them from drying out and going bad.  You should also turn the eggs every month to keep the yolk in the center.  This will keep the eggs good for a year. You don't even need to refrigerate them, just keep in a cool dark area.  But if you do refrigerate them then you have to keep them in the fridge.  This is an old sailors trick so they can have fresh eggs while at sea.  I had been frying up the excess eggs and then dehydrating them and then running them through the blender to make my own powdered eggs but we have a good 5 year supply of powdered eggs so I decided to start making egg noodles.

Everyone loves home made egg noodles and they are expensive to buy.  I make up my own for special occasions but thought maybe I should start making huge batches and rolling them out and letting them dry completely and then dry pack can them into #10 cans.  I made 5 batches at once and it fill 3 1/3 cans full.  So when today's big batch is done we'll have a full case of 6 boxed and sealed up for future use.   I will list my regular batch followed by the 5X batch in case you ever get a great deal on eggs and want to do the same thing.

Egg Noodles

Put 2 cups flour in a large bowl and make a well.  Add 3 yolks and one full egg plus 2 teaspoons salt and mix into the flour.  Add up to 1/2 cup water just until enough to make noodle dough.  divide into 4 parts and roll out very thin.  Use flour to keep them from sticking to the rolling pin or counter top and then cover noodles with flour before cutting so they don't stick together.

5X batch
10 cups flour
15 yolks
5 whole eggs
10 teaspoons salt
Just enough water to make a very stiff dough.

I use my Kitchen Aid Mixer with the dough hook and just add a little water at a time until its just right.  If I add too much water I add a little flour to get it right.

Now those egg whites are going to become Angel food cake tomorrow and I can wrap them and keep them in the freezer to use later. 


Thursday, September 22, 2011

400th annivarsary of the King James Bible

I listened to a great blog talk radio show today that talked about our nation and the King James Bible and being preparded.   Hope you'll take time to listen too!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Couldn't find my blog!

I was cleaning up my computer and getting rid of all the tracking cookies, ect and suddenly realized I hadn't book marked my blog site and it wouldn't just pop up anymore when I started typing in the address.  I knew I had started it on July 4th and had listed it on my facebook page so went back there to get the whole address thing!  It's bookmarked now and also wrote it down in my file. 

Being prepared can take other paths at times.  Have you had to deal with the death of a parent yet?  Trying to get everything in order can be mind boggling!  I found a wonderful program I could download and print out for $9.95.       

Joyce Moseley Pierce created this program after a long experience.  It  contains forms for providing:
Vital Statistics
Professional Records
Military Records
Funeral Instructions
Names of those to Notify and…
Financial Information regarding…:
- Checking and Savings Accounts
- Location and Contents of Safe Deposit Box
- Certificates of Deposit
- Stocks
- Bonds
- Mutual Funds
- Savings Plans
- Retirement Programs
- Trust Accounts
- Real Estate
- Loans Payable and Receivable
- Insurance
- Automobiles
- Credit Cards

Last year my aunt passed away.  Her kids were trying to deal with her arrangements and didn't even know their Mom had served 4 years in the US Marines in 1948-1952.   They could of gotten part of the funeral paid for or the entire thing if they had wanted to bury her in a military cemetery.  But they were clueless and ended up just getting a free head stone after doing some research to tie it all together.  My aunt was 70yr old and had lived with her daughter or granddaughter for many years.  My cousin's said their Mom never talked about herself so they just talked about the kids.  Aunt Carol talked to me a lot over the years!  She had gone to cosmetology school with her older sister Francis.  Francis ended up going into the Army and died while in route to Korea in 1954.  My cousin's knew none of this.  If your parents, grandparents, Aunt's & Uncle's are still around, talk to them!  Ask them questions and learn about their lives when they were kids.  You can learn a lot! 

Make up a booklet about your own life so your kids can take care of your affairs if something happens to you.   Give them light in those dark days  and hours.  Help them when you can no longer be there to show them the way.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-11 remembered

We all face disasters every day.  Many of them are personal to just ourselves or local events but occasionally a localized event will become a national or even international event.

When those planes flew into the twin towers 10 years ago, I knew instantly my life had just changed dramatically.  Living in Missouri you might have wondered why I would think such a thing. 

My husband served in the Missouri Air National Guard and I instantly knew he would soon be mobilized with his unit.  We had 5 children at home at the time and home educated each of them.  My husband and I both worked 2 jobs in an effort to get out of debt.  We arranged our schedules so one of us was at home most of the time.  We also had our home up for sale but had not had any promising lookers in the 2 years it was listed.

He was in deed mobilized and by early November was gone more than home.  We turned to mighty prayer in how we could manage all we had to deal with.  At first my husbands civilian employer did not supplement his military income.  We faced an immediate 75% cut in income.  I had to cut my hours back to be able to deal with the children also. 

The first answer to prayer was a cash buyer showing up.  We closed a week later and had to be out of the house the same day.  My husband was not able to get off to come home and help and folks from church seemed to disappear.  I had 2 lovely sisters who showed up and packed out my kitchen.  Years later I still pray for those two sweet angels!  I rented a storage unit and the kids and I hauled everything down and threw it in.  We broke stuff and we sure lost stuff!  But we got us moved.  I found a dumpy trailer to rent and quickly realized we had to get out fast.  Heating it was twice as much as the rent!  My husband begged me to stay put but he got to come stay one night with us and that night was an experience that lead him to say, move and move now! 

A drug dealer running from authorities went under our trailer and we were instantly surrounded by a good 20 police cars with lights and sirens blaring and they stayed on all night long.  We left home at 5am to take dear ole very tired Dad for his flight taking him over seas.   

Getting rid of the 1st and 2nd mortgages allowed us some room to breathe.  Also after the first 1 1/2 months his civilian employer  started giving us 3/4 of my husbands pay.  Blessings continued for us!  A few years before we felt impressed to buy some land.  We got 99 acres up  near the Iowa border and had started a pole barn on it.  All the poles were in and about a 1/3 of the roof.  The kids and I moved up there on February 1st and lived in a tent.   It snowed clear into May that year!   But the Lord's blessing continued.

We were way off the beaten path.  It took 7 month's for the electric co-op to get a line out to us and 8 month's for the Phone co-op to get here.  We had plenty of time to get the roof and walls up!   We were blessed with a freak warm up and was able to get concrete floor poured early on.  Maybe that's why it snowed later! 

Then there was people!  All kinds of people turning up to help us.  One family from Minnesota said they just jumped in their car and started driving with no clue where they were going!  They sure answered our prayers the day they showed up here!  Another  family about 7 miles from us had a heated guest house for us to stay in for a month rent free.  We sure worked from first light to dark getting the roof and walls done during that time!  We had more blessings during this time than I could ever list!

We worked hard and lived off our food storage and learned so very much that year! My husband was gone most of 8 years.  Our twin daughters still say they don't know their Dad.  They were just barely 8 when he left and 16 when he returned.  It is our one big regret of those years. 

One local event that changed millions of lives.  Life happens, I hope and pray you'll always be ready for what ever comes your way!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Today's canning

I had been frustrated because I just couldn't manage to get any meats canned to get ahead for our food storage.  Then my son's lost their jobs and moved back home.  One of them who is disabled filed for SSDI and received it along with food stamps and medicaid.  For him to find a job these days with his disabilities would be almost impossible.  The other son works off his rent and the disabled son gives us $50 cash and then $50 in food.  the other son is currently away looking for work in another city but should be back in another week or so.

For 4 month's now I have collected meats our son has provided as part of his rent and canned it all up to build our food storage.  Now after 4 month's my family gathered around today and commented that if things ever go bad for us they will now it was solely by my hands that we may eat fairly well no matter what.  Along with the grains, fruits, vegetables and other dry goods we now have a pretty decent selection of meat to  add to our storage.  I still have gaps to fill but I have hope that no matter what happens in the coming month's, we'll survive.   And hopefully we'll be able to help our neighbors if it is needed.  Looking around our store room is a very pleasant experience these days!  

I hope your food storage is also building up into something wonderful!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Harvest is on

Our fields full of soy beans were planted late so will be a few more month's before we harvest them but many area farmers have begun harvesting their fields.  I am still harvesting from the garden.  Cucumbers have finally slowed way down.  I have two more batches to do up and should be done with cucumbers for the year.  I will start harvesting basil and mint and getting it dried to use this winter also.  I have winter squash, pumpkins, and potatoes to deal with later on.  Now is the time to fill your pantry full of food that you can up yourself. 

It can feel expensive if you don't have jars and equipment but it is a once in  a life time expense.  You reuse it all over and over for years to come. It took me several years to get what I needed and I still have not bought a water bath canner.  Using my tall stock pot along with a round rack from my rice cooker has served me very well for almost 40 years.  My stock pot is 10" tall.  I saw them at Sam's Club a couple weeks ago for $35.  I have no clue what a water bath canner is running for but at least you can compare now.  As Fall rolls on in, it is a great time to check on canning supplies!  Many stores will mark stuff down to get it out about now to make room for the Holiday stuff coming in.  If you need canning supplies be on the look out for a true bargain!   Having a pressure canner is a must!  Most vegetables and all meats must be done in a pressure canner.  If you can only get one canner make sure it is a pressure canner!   I can pressure can all the stuff I water bath can if I needed to do so! 

Check your area for canning jars.  I found an Amish store off the beaten path in my area that gets canning jars without lids for much less than local stores can sell for.  I get pint jars (16 oz.) for $4.40 per case of 12.  I get Quart jars(32 oz.) for $5.50 per case 0f 12.  That's almost 1/2 price from Walmart or the local grocery stores in my area that sell the same cases from $8.87 to $12.47.  I'm swimming in screw bands and can get a case of 2000 lids for $54 at the same place I'm getting my jars. 

I thought I had all the jars I needed but then I started vacuum sealing food stuff into canning jars and also started canning all of our meats instead of putting it all into the freezer.  I counted my blessing of doing that today when I listened to a friend who had gone a week without electric on the East coast following the hurricane.  He explained how they had water, computers, ect by using their generator but just didn't have enough power to fuel the freezer so they tossed 95% of it after the storm was over.  They ate what they could but it was precious little in the way of what they had.  They both said they didn't want to think about cooking while this was all going on.  I have precious little in my freezer so would lose almost nothing.

So why have a freezer? Well, we already had it.  I do store some fruits, some meat, like a few steaks for special occasions, ect.  I store our garden seeds in the freezer.  I make sure they are clean and very, very dry.  I put them into canning jars clearly labeled with exactly what they are and the date they went in and remark each time I remove it from the freezer.  When I need seed, I remove the jar the night before and let it come up to room temperature.  Before opening the jar I make sure to wipe down the jar very well with a clean dry cloth to remove any moisture that may be on the jar.  I remove all the seed I might need for the year and then wipe the rim well and reseal.  It is critical to make sure no moisture of any kind gets into the seed.  Any moisture at all will kill the seed when it freezes. 

Now for the rest of the freezer I fill empty juice or water bottles and keep the freezer full all the time.  During the winter months I make up cookie dough, cinnamon rolls, ect.  and freeze and anyone who wants a treat can got get what they want and bake it and have just enough for the moment without leaving a whole pan sitting there for those who don't want to be tempted.  Anyway I remove as many water bottles as I need to and as we remove stuff we just add in enough bottles to fill the freezer again.  If the electric goes out my freezer will stay frozen much longer with it being filled with frozen water bottles.

I've been dreaming of a root cellar and my husband has promised to build a couple but so far it hasn't happened.  So I can most of the potatoes and only leave about 50 pounds out fresh.  They tend to start growing sprouts late January or early February so canning most of them gives me potatoes to add to soups or make mashed potatoes with. 

I hope you are thinking about possible disasters in your life and how to prepare for them and start collecting what you need.  If you need help with any of your preparations please let me know and I'll be happy to do a blog on it!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's National Prep Month!

It seems like just yesterday we were all baking in 100 degree heat! Now it feels like winter is fast moving in! Take time to think about what you need to do to be prepared!

We have 3 kinds of disasters. #1 Natural disasters. Hurricane’s, earthquakes, tornadoes, ice storms, ect. #2 Man made disasters. Train derailment with toxic chem spill, The gulf oil mess, Nuclear power plant failure. #3 Personal Disasters. Loss of job, car breaking down, landing in the hospital,ect.

Now think about each of those disasters and what would be most important to you in each. That is what you need to prepare first! Someone living on the coast line has things to worry about that I wouldn’t think of at all. They in turn might not ever think about the things I would face out here on the great plains.

This is what makes preparing a very personal matter. Where you are at, your family likes and dislikes, how many you would be preparing for. Some of you might not even know or want to cook. I not only cook, I make it all from scratch. Have you ever had home made potato chips? They are delicious and very easy to make!

My youngest son's food storage would look way different from my food storage! Yours would probably look way different than both of ours! Food storage done up before a disaster strikes gives you time to lay in the things important to your family.

Trust me, when a disaster strikes, it will be important for you and your family to have the comfort foods they know and love. Facing a crisis is much easier when you have planned ahead and prepared for it. Maybe a pan of lasagne and freshly baked brownies would help your family know that yes there is a crisis but it must not be too bad if we can eat like this!

Take it slow and just decide what is most important and start on that. It's like when the house is a disaster and you find out company is on the way! I stand in the front door and look to see what they will first see and I fix that first! Then I move to the next step. That's how you get prepared. Stand in the door and decide what is the most important thing for you to have first.

One small step at a time and before you know it you'll be well on your way to being prepared!


Monday, September 5, 2011

It's Labor Day!

My #1 son forgot it was a national holiday and took off at 6AM on his commute to work.  Drove all the way there and found it deserted and locked and sudden dawned on him it was Labor Day!  Back to the 2 hour drive home. 

So many weather changes are happening.  NASA website fore told of many great disasters expected starting about now and continuing through December 2012. The sun is suppose to flip poles firing off massive solar flares.  Many other events are suppose to happen during this time frame also.  I tried researching them all last year and it was more than I wanted to think about. 

Sometimes we have to forget the facts and have faith.   My Father in Heaven has impressed on upon me to get prepared but not panicked.  If we store food and water and plan on alternate heat, ect then we don't need to fear.   I keep feeling the need to store more and more food.  I have a feeling that we won't be able to garden next year. 

Have you had any strange changes in weather yet?  In my area in the last 2 months, we've had areas that got hit twice with very high winds during a rain storm.  130 to 150 MPH type winds!   Make sure you are storing away the things you will need in case you can't get out this winter to buy what your family will need. 

I have to wonder if my house would survive those kind of winds!  We've watched these storms in the distance but so far have been fortunate enough to miss them!   I know sooner or later we'll have to face our own storms.  I hope and pray we all will be ready for them!