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Sunday, June 28, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

The first picture is of a squash plant grown from a seed given to me at the Square Foot Gardening Class.
The second is a picture of my garden, happily growing! It brings me so much enjoyment. I share my garden with my in-laws and it is so fun.

Many people in our Stake attended the square foot gardening class that was held this past spring. It was so interesting and well presented. One of our first blogs focused on information from his talk and also a web-site to access for more information. Hopefully many of you have decided to grow a garden and become more self-sufficient.

Perhaps you have used the cannery or attended a ward sponsored class at the cannery. If not, we encourage you to do so. Your Relief Society president or your ward food storage specialist will be able to answer questions about the cannery( or find out answers for you). Alkali Creek had a very informative class at the cannery a few weeks ago. It inspired us to get a 72 hour kit, grow a garden and can or freeze the produce properly, and also to use the cannery to get our years supply of food.
Bill and Susan Powell are the Stake people in charge of the cannery, and they have so much useful information. Please make use of all of the people that have the knowledge to help us do what the prophets have been encouraging us to do for quite some time now.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Patriotic Spirit

I want to dedicate this post to America and the upcoming 4th of July, the holiday celebrating the freedoms that we enjoy as a country. When I was younger, saying the Pledge of Allegiance and singing The Star Spangled Banner always meant so much to me, but as I have gotten older it means even more because of the understanding of the amazing country that we are blessed to live in. It brings tears to my eyes often, tears of pride, joy and thankfulness. I am incredibly grateful to all who have given or risked their lives to give us the freedoms that we enjoy. I am proud to be an American and hope that all of you celebrate this 4th of July holiday with family and friends and truly be grateful for all we have.

Monday, June 15, 2009

"Baby Steps" to Preparedness

I just found this web-site and am so very impressed with the information contained on it. If you click the image (Food Storage Made Easy) directly to the right, it will take you to the web-site.
There are so many helpful tools, I think you will be as happy as I was to find it. It takes you through "baby steps" if you choose, or if you need more advanced help and information, it is available here.......from shelving to water storage to 72 hour kits. They will send an automatic email to you of what you should be doing for the next two weeks to get prepared.
One segment that I thought would be interesting and could be quite an "eye-opener", was their plan to challenge you to live on and live without random conveniences for a week. The challenge changes daily(I believe), so one day you might be without electricity---you can then assess how you need to change your plan and storage so that it will be less of a hardship.
Please at least check out this information for anything that might be helpful to you, or to someone that you know.

Spud Nuts

This recipe was submitted by Diane Jones of the Alkali Creek Ward.
It would be great for a large family/ward gathering. Thanks, Diane!
This is a large batch. It makes about 14 dozen donuts.
Peel and boil a couple of large potatoes until tender.
Put the potatoes and enough of the water in a blender to make a pourable thick paste.
Put 2 1/2 cups of this in a mixer
Add :
1/2 cup of the potato water
4 cups of milk
5 Tab. of yeast
2 Tab. salt
5 eggs, beaten
1 1/3 cups melted butter
2 Tab. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of sugar
enough flour to make a soft dough that doesn't stick to your hands
Let rise until double, about 30 min.
Roll out 1/2 inch thick, cut out and let rise until at least double, triple
Fry in 375 o oil.
Turn when brown on first side.
Glaze while hot
4 Tab. melted butter
12 Tab. hot water
2 Tab. vanilla extract
2 Tab. maple extract
powdered sugar 2 lb.
Experiment with the consistency.
Great warm!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

I have enjoyed viewing blogs of friends and family ( and this Stake blog, of course) for a long time now. It adds so many interesting ideas to my life and it keeps me updated on what is going on in my loved ones lives, who live near and far. From my daughters' blogs, I have found several blogs of ladies that I do not know, but I visit them frequently to get ideas, recipes and just for the entertainment factor. I found this wonderful recipe on one such blog. I hope that you enjoy it. It will be a great Sunday dinner with some nice fresh green beans (from your garden!). Enjoy!

Smothered Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts {I use frozen chicken strips and put them across my big griddle}
Garlic powder and seasoned salt to taste {I sprinkle on Montreal Chicken Spice}
1 T. Vegetable oil
Button mushrooms, cut in halves
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese blend
1/4 c. chopped green onions
1/2 c. real bacon bits {I use real bacon crumbles in a bag to make it easier}
1/2 c. tomatoes
1 bottle BBQ sauce

Flatten chicken to 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with seasonings. In skillet brown chicken in oil for 4 minutes. Cook in separate pan bacon until done and bacon is crisp. Add mushrooms to bacon mixture for the last 5 minutes to soften mushrooms. Top cooked chicken with 1 T. BBQ sauce, mushrooms, bacon, green onions and cheese. Cover and cook until chicken is done and cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Serve with garlic mashed potatoes and honey mustard.

Honey Mustard Sauce
1 c. Mayo
1 c. Dijon mustard
1/4-1/2 cup honey
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp. ginger powder
Mix. Add extra honey or lime for desired taste

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
5 lb. russet potatoes (or red potatoes)
1/2-1 whole 16 oz. tub sour cream {depending on how much moisture you need in your potatoes}
1 cube butter {I personally don't use this}
8 oz. whipping cream or milk
fresh or dried parsley
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper
peel potatoes and cut into large chunks. Boil water and add potato chunks. Boil until potatoes are fork tender. Drain majority of water from potatoes. Mash potatoes with either an electric mixer or potato masher. Add whipping cream or milk, butter, sour cream, garlic, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese.

{You put the potatoes on the bottom, then the chicken, then a dab of the honey mustard and it is SO yummy!}
{This could be a high calorie dish, so I use fat free ingredients whenever I can, do not add butter or cream, and no oil-just spray-then it turns it into a healthier dish!}

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Favorite Poem of Mine

This poem has long been my favorite. I found it in the Ensign years ago
and now keep it in my scriptures to read now and again. I hope that you
find meaning in it also.

by Mary Margaret Hawkins

Soul sick, I sought his promised balm
And soothing healer's art.
He quick dismissed my shallow wounds
But studied on my heart.

A gentle salve was not prescribed
For the wholeness I desired.
A surgeon's cutting to replace
My heart would be required.

In trust, consenting, then I begged
The method used on Saul:
One painful lance and three days dumb
Then sweet rebirth as Paul.

But by more common miracle
The Healer works in me,
As day by decade soft He builds
New heart where none can see.

A tedious, mighty change is wrought
Till no cell is the same.
As in the fleshy tables there
He writes His word, His name.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mustard Vinaigrette

This is a great recipe for a basic vinaigrette to be used on salads or drizzled on wraps. It is inexpensive to make, compared with the bottled dressings we buy. Try this, especially for
a summertime salad, instead of a heavy creamy dressing. Enjoy!

Mustard Vinaigrette

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or any - you may choose)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 and 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 or 3 Tbsp chopped green onions

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. It stays
creamy and does not separate.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Gardening in Containers
Many vegetables can be grown in containers. Containers are handy if you have limited space, or if you need to make a space where the sun shines. Since most vegetables need 6 hours or more of sunlight, some yards may be too shady to garden in without the use of a movable container. Almost anything can be used as a container, and almost anything can be grown in a container, as long as there are plenty of drainage holes. The vegetables in the following pictures are growing in old ceramic pots, or a "potato planter", which was for sale at many gardening centers this spring and is also available on the Internet. It is made of a fabric and folds up for storage at the end of the season.
Make sure to use "seed potatoes", available at garden centers. Seed potatoes are not seeds like we think of them, but potatoes that will sprout and grow. Potatoes from the grocery store have been chemically treated to slow down the sprouting process. Once you grow your own from seed potatoes, you can use the ones you've grown for planting more.

Cut your seed potato into several pieces, making sure each piece has several sprouted "eyes". Let the cut pieces sit for a few days to harden them off. This will keep them from rotting in the ground.

Place a few inches of soil in your container and place 3-5 cut potato pieces on soil. Cover with soil.

Potatoes grow quickly. When 3 or 4 inches of the potato plant shows above the soil, cover completely with new soil. Be sure to water well.

Plant a new container every 2-4 weeks for a continuous crop. The container in back is about 5 weeks along, and now filled to the top with soil, and the front one is 3 weeks along. When the leaves die and turn yellow, the potatoes are ready. I expect that first bag to be ready in a couple of weeks.

Here are onions planted in a ceramic pot. Plant an inch and 1/2 deep

Cover with soil.

Onions an be used as young, green onions, or allowed to reach full size. Make sure to use some of them young so that the others have space to reach full size.

These are my mixed salad greens growing in a ceramic pot. They don't like hot weather, but you can plant them again in the fall. You can plant potatoes all summer long! Potatoes do best when daytime temperatures are between 50-80. There are over 1000 varieties of potatoes--most grocery stores offer 3 or 4 varieties .

For more gardening ideas, check out