Thursday, August 30, 2012

Weekly Assignment, Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness Ideas (Week of September 2nd)

Hi Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

Congratulations! Sister Angelita Vivo won the August FREE Monthly Giveaway Drawing. She one a Tri-fold shovel, a 3-in-1 ax, hammer and crowbar, and a multipurpose tool. Each time you answer the question in the weekly blog posting and email me the answer your name is entered into the FREE Monthly Giveaway Drawing. Four chances to win each month if you answer all the weekly questions.

Spiritual Preparation...

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints we have been blessed with a most marvelous gift, the Gift of the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, which brings us constant guidance, comfort, peace, protection and understanding. I often speak about temporal preparation, but another very important part of Emergency Preparedness is spiritual preparation. A woman I know related how being spiritually prepared helped her in at a very difficult time in her life....She has been going through some very rough trails, but because she is spiritually prepared, she is better able to handle them.

In a recent August 2012 Ensign article, "Natural Disasters", Elder Stanley G. Ellis (2005 Area Seventy for North America Southwest Area) stated..."As we seek Heavenly Father's guidance, the Holy Ghost will help us prepare for, endure, and recover from natural disasters. As a storm (hurricane) approached, a major question we asked was whether or not people should evacuate the area. The Spirit directed me not to make a general recommendation for the whole area but rather to seek each stake leader, each bishopric, each family to prayerfully consider the situation and receive their own inspiration as to what they should do as events unfolded, it became obvious that the Spirit knew what was best for each individual family."

We each need to be close to the Spirit to receive personal revelation and guidance from the Holy Ghost for our individual family. What may be best for one family may not be best for another. Spiritual Preparation is so key to Emergency Preparedness! There is no doubt temporal and spiritual trails will come our way, but if we are prepared both temporally and spiritually we will be able to endure our trails, we will be lifted up, held up, strengthened and guided by our Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost.

National Preparedness Month

New September Goals: Emergency Supplies and Adding Breakfast Items to our Food Storage

Emergency Supplies:

  Besides needing food and water, we need to store emergency supplies in case of a disaster, pandemic or other emergency situation. Think of all the things you use and tasks you perform daily. What if you did not have use of them? Here are some things to consider:

1) How would you cook? You will need ways to cook, be it either one way or several ways; gas or propane BBQ, Butane stove, fire pit, Dutch oven, Solar oven, etc. You will also need fuel for the type of equipment you are storing. See under "Postings" on the right under "Cooking, Heating and Lighting".
2) What about electricity? You will need ways to see at night and possible run appliance and other equipment. You need some type of lantern (either propane or LED battery operated), candles, matches, a gas portable generator or a Solar fuel-less generator (mention in last week's blog posting), gas for the gas generator, and flashlights with extra batteries. See under "Postings" on the right under "Cooking, Heating and Lighting".
3) What if you could not stay in your home or had to evacuate? You will need some type of shelter. A tent large enough for your family, or several smaller ones to accommodate the family. A large heavy tarp with rope and duck tape could make a shelter. You will need a sleeping bag for each family member or blankets to make a bed roll. We keep a 3 person tent in our car just in case if we are away from home and need shelter. See under "Postings" on the right under "Shelter" and "what to do in an evacuation".
4) What about sanitation? You will need a portable toilet if you cannot use your house toilet (no water to flush it or it is broken). See under "Posting" on the right under "Sanitation".
5) What about a way to do laundry? If you have no electricity and running water you will not be able to use your washing machine. How will you clean your closes? You should have a large tub, preferably metal, an old fashioned scrub board (ACE Hardware has them, maybe Home Depot or Lowe's), laundry soap, a clothes line and clothes pins (your dryer will not work if no electricity and gas), a hammer and nails to hang up the clothes line.
6) What if there is a pandemic or you are advised to stay in your home due to a chemical spill and you need to seal all your doors and windows? You will need large heavy plastic (enough to cover all your windows and outside doors), duck tape and scissors to seal up your outside doors and windows. Cut a piece of heavy plastic large enough to cover the window or door you are trying to block out and seal all the way around it with duck take.
7) Gas for your vehicles. If there is a disaster or loss of electricity, the gas pumps will not work. Always try to keep a half of tank of gas in all your vehicles at all times. If there is an emergency and you need to leave, you should have enough to get you safely away. If you have a garage, or a side of your home where there is no sun hitting it, store two or more 5 gallons gas cans of gas. Make sure they are for gasoline. (WalMart has them for about $10) You will need to rotate the gas every 6 months. When your vehicles get low in gas, fill with the gas in the gas cans and then refill them immediately.
8) Have maps on hand of your local areas. If you are told to evacuate, have local maps in all vehicles and in your 72 Hour Emergency Backpacks so you will know the routes to take in case of an evacuation.
9) Shovel, ax, hand saw, strong knife, crowbar, screw drivers, pliers, wrenches. You may need these in an emergency situation.
10) Wrenches to turn off your gas. Know how and where to turn off your main electricity, water and gas. ONLY TURN OFF THE GAS IF YOU SMELL GAS. Keep the gas wrench taped to your gas meter so you can access it immediately when needed. Only turn them off as needed and if instructed to do so by local government officials.
11) Water filtration. Have some way to filter your water if need be. The Seychelle Water Pump Filter filters out 99.9999% of all contaminates and bacteria. Each filter filters out 100 gallons of water. Also, have extra filters on hand. If the water is really dirty, run through a t-shirt first, then filter. If you do not have one check out Seychelle Water Filtration on Google.
12) 55 Gallon Water Barrels. If you have a place you should have at least two or more, depending on the size of your family and needs, 55 gallon water barrels, or bottled water stored. Rain barrels are good to have too. Check on line how to make and install one. See "Postings" on the right side under "Water". You will need a syphon or water pump to remove the water from the barrels as needed and to replace.
13) First-aid Kit, Family Medical Supplies and Prescription Medications. You will need medical supplies for your family in case of an emergency or disaster. Each vehicle should have a first-aid kit. Keep extra prescription medications and supplies any family members take on hand.
14) Cash on hand in small bills and change.  If there is no electricity you will not be able to get cash from your bank or an ATM. You should have cash in small bills and change because people and stores may not be able to make change or either tell you they cannot to make more money off of you. The rule is, in your home, you should have equivalent to one month's salary, if possible, in cash.  It is also a good idea to keep small bills and change in your car for emergencies. You should also have some in your 72 Hour Emergency Backpacks.
15) Hand can opener (in case no electricity for your electric can opener). Keep with your canned and #10 dehydrated/freeze-dried canned Food Storage.
16) Fire extinguisher. Each household and vehicle should have a fire extinguisher to put out small fires.
17) Radio. Each household and vehicle should have a battery or solar operated radio with extra batteries.
18) Important papers like deeds, documents like passport, birth and marriage certificates, and insurances (auto, homeowner/renters, etc.). Keep all these together in one place in fire proof box in case you have to evacuate quickly. Each family member should know where these are and 1-2 family members should be responsible for getting them when you need to evacuate.
19) Video tape and take photos of all your belongs inside your home, garage and vehicles. Open closets and drawers and video tape and photo too all your belongs. Keep a copy at home, one at work or with your family or close friend out of the area or state. It is also a good idea to make an inventory of your belongs and their value for insurance purposes, and keep a copy with the video and photos.
20) Passport. Each family member should have an updated passport just in case you need to leave the county. You have to have a passport to enter Canada and Mexico. You never know when you might need it.

Each family is different and has different needs. Make a list of the things your family uses and does daily. Of course, you cannot do all the above at once. Some will be easier to do right away than others. Set goals as a family to accomplish the items above, maybe one or two a month. Try to keep similar items together in the house, garage or a shed, like all shelter items, all lighting items, etc..

Adding Breakfast Items to your Food Storage:

Breakfast items are cereals, oatmeal, granola, granola bars, breakfast drinks, Tang, orange and fruit powdered drinks, non-fat dehydrated milk, Almond and Rice milk in cartons that do not have to be refrigerated until opened (Trader Joes and Whole Foods carry these, possibly Costco and Sam's Club.), hot chocolate and apple cider mixes, muffin mixes, dehydrated powdered eggs, pancake mix, Bisquick mix, syrup, jams and jellies, bottled juices, juice boxes, dehydrated powdered butter/margarine, and canned and dehydrated fruits. Remember to store breakfast items for babies, children and the elderly in your family.

If you store your breakfast cereals take them out of the box and seal them in Mylar pouches/bags for longer storage. Google how to seal Mylar pouches/bags and on Best price I have found for the Mylar pouches/bags and oxygen absorbers is Non-fat dehydrated milk you purchase from the regular grocery store only keeps for six months. It needs to be sealed in the #10 cans or Mylar pouches/bags for longer storage. Of course, watch expiration dates, especially at discount centers and rotate as needed. is the best place I have found, lowest prices and low shipping cost, for breakfast items as mentioned above. They come in #10 cans, and some in Mylar pouches/bags. You can also can oatmeal and non-fat milk at the LDS Dry Pack Cannery. Click on the link below for

Weekly Assignment, Adding Breakfast items to your Food Storage:

Assess the breakfast items your family eats. Figure out how much you eat a month, then multiply that by the number of months you have set your goal, example: 3 months.

1) This week add 1-2 months supply of one of the breakfast items above your family eats. Keep in a dry cool location.

Weekly FREE Monthly Giveaway Drawing Question: List 3 items you need in your Emergency Supplies. Please email me your answer at Please enclude your name if not in your email address.

Food Storage Ideas:

 Pic of jars                        

 I came across a great idea...Dinner Is In The Jar! I love this idea. You place all the ingredients in a Mason canning jar, or possibly a Mylar pouch/bag. You can set up 90 days of meals in a jar from your Food Storage. A great way to rotate your Food Storage and make it easier to prepare meals during a disaster emergency situation, or busy day. I have ordered the book and will share recipes from it once I get the book. Or you can order it for yourself on Google at "Dinner Is In The Jar", now on sale for $14.98, plus $4 shipping. What a fantastic idea!

Emergency Preparedness:

If your area is hit by a major disaster, there's a good chance that you will not have any access to emergency supplies. Stores do not keep a large amount of supplies (about two weeks worth), shelves will empty quickly, and there will be looters, as tens of thousands of people in your community and others literally break down the doors of stores to get their hands on supplies, food and water. This is not a good time to be on the streets. If you are prepared with emergency supplies, you and your family should be safe at home. "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear."

Comments: All comments, idea and experience are welcomed!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Weekly Assignment, Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness (Week of August 26th)

Hi Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

What does it take for us to be prepared? A warning.....

"Then he said unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven."  Luke 21: 10-11

Almost every day in the news we hear something about wildfires, earthquakes, flooding, droughts, crops of corn, wheat, and soy beans being destroyed by drought, rivers and lakes drying up, grain barges not being able to go up and down the Mississippi River due to the drought, grid and power outages, large sun solar flares that could effect our electricity, hurricanes, tornadoes, evacuations, wars, attempted terrorist attacks, diseases caused by insects, and economic disaster, and this is just in the United States. The whole world is having major difficulties. What does it take for us to start preparing? What does it take for us to realize there is no more time to procrastinate? Soon it will be to late, and we will be without the necessities of life, food, water, shelter, etc.. We need to prepare by storing food and water. We need to prepare by having some way to have light, heat, a way to cook, some type of shelter and extra medical supplies. WE NEED TO BE PREPARED!!!

We need to be as close to the Spirit as possible so we will know what to do and when to do it when the time comes. We need to follow the promptings of the Spirit and be prepared both temporally and spiritually!

I am trying to give you all the knowledge I have, and have learned from others, about emergency preparedness. I have given you this blog to simplify it for you so you can become prepared, both temporally and spiritually. I can teach you how to fish, but I cannot fish for you. We need to be the 5 wise Virgins with oil in their lamps. The time will come when it is too late to prepare, what will you do? What will you tell your family, your children, when there is no food to eat, no water to drink? What will you do when the grocery shelves are empty and there is no food for the trucks to deliver?

Just a little each day, each week, will add up quickly. Before you know it, you will be prepared. Please, please start today!

Weekly FREE Monthly Giveaway Drawing Question: When is the time to prepare? Please email me your answer to Please include your name if not in your email address. I must have your answer by 8:00am this coming Sunday to have your name entered into this Sunday's, August 26th drawing.

August Goals: Canning, Freezing and Dehydrating and Adding Fruits and Vegetables to our Food Storage

This is the last week for the August goals. Next week we will start the September goals.

The past few weeks I have shown you three ways to preserve the fruits and vegetables from your garden or those you have purchased on sale and in season. Freezing is the easiest way, but takes room in your freezer. Canning is not hard but is a little time consuming, but very rewarding when you are done. Dehydrating is not hard either, just takes time. I like to use a variety of ways to preserve food for our food storage.

Weekly Assignment, Adding Fruits and Vegetables:

This week continue to add commercially canned, home canned, frozen, dehydrated/freeze-dried fruits and vegetable to your food storage. It is good to have a variety of different types of food storage. Remember, when you store dehydrated/freeze-dried foods you will need to store extra water to rehydrate them. Keep all food storage in a dark dry cool location. The higher the temperature the shorter the shelf life.

Food Storage Ideas:

I found this great suggested "3-Month Food Storage Plan" chart listed below. Click on the link below and print out the chart, 2 pages. This will help you to know how much to store per person in your family. Only store what your family will eat. You may need to adjust the chart to fit your family.

Emergency Preparedness Ideas:

New product: A few months ago I learned about fuel-less generators, they use solar power. Wow! I love this. The advantage of a fuel-less generator is that neighbors will not know when you are using it, it is silent, they do not require you to store gas, you can use it inside your home and it is portable. Gas generators are very loud (someone may try to steal it in an emergency situation), you need to store gas and you cannot use it inside your home. The only disadvantage of the solar fuel-less generator is the cost. But a good gas generator is not cheap either. Check out the link below. This is the best price we have been able to find so far. We have spoken to the fellow you makes and sells them, nice fellow. If you have questions his name is Silas at 440-840-4856 (Ohio). Once on the website, click on "Portable Solar Generators". Others we have found are over $2,000 and up.
Click on the link before for the website.

Did you know? When your power goes out in a big area, you need to unplug all your electrically appliances and electronic equipment. When the power comes back on there may be a large power surge that could cause damage to them. Leave one light on so you know the electricity is back on.

Please leave your comment: All comments, experiences and suggestions are most welcome!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Weekly Assignment, Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness Ideas (Week of August 19th)

Hi Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

Someone is listening......

On Tuesday, August 7th, a cluster of earthquakes hit the northern Orange County area. The first one was felt at 3:45am with a magnitude of 4-5, and then by another with a 4-5 magnitude about 9:30am. Several other smaller ones were felt the following day.

Our daughter's family, who live in Huntington Beach, felt the earthquakes. Their son came running into their bedroom when the 3:45am one hit. He exclaimed, "Nana, was right!" When the next one hit at 9:30am, once again he exclaimed, a little louder, "Nana, was right!". That night before he went to bed, he folded his clothes and put them next to his bed with his shoes and a flashlight. He wanted to be prepared if another, and possibly bigger, earthquake hit during the night.

He has heard me tell our children and their families many times they need to be prepared and to get ready. It is great to hear that they are hearing me and following the counsel given, especially the younger ones. Thank you Spencer for listening to your Nana!

Just recently I heard the hurricane season this year is going to pretty bad. It is amazing how each year we see people living in the hurricane area scrambling to get ready when a hurricane is approaching. How many of them each year run to the stores for supplies of boards and nails to board up their windows, and to the stores for flashlights and batteries and drink water. Why????? Why do they do this each year? Why do they not store those supplies so when the hurricanes hit, they are not frantically running to the stores again for supplies? Why???? I guess we are all just creature of habit. We need to change our bad habits and be more prepared for what may come our way. Why do we procrastinate and leave it to the last minute? The last minute will be too late. As I said a few weeks ago--"When the emergency is upon us, the time of preparation has past!"

Weekly FREE Monthly Giveaway Drawing Question: What are the three ways to dehydrate fruits, vegetables and meats? Please email your answer to Please make sure to add your name if it does not appear in your email address. The next FREE Monthly Giveaway Drawing will be held Sunday, August 26th.

August Goals: Canning, Freezing and Dehydrating, Adding Fruits and Vegetables to our Food Storage

The last two weeks I have shown you how to freeze and can your fruits and vegetables. This week I will show you how to dehydrate them.

Dehydrating Fruits and Vegetables:

Dehydrating is the oldest form of food preservation. In the beginning people used a lot of salt to preserve their food, and they dried their food in the sun or on top of the stove. Today we have food dehydrators to help in the process of drying. Dehydration is safe because if removes the water from the food, mold and bacteria cannot grow on it, and it will not spoil. Drying the food does cause a loss of some of vitamin A and C. It takes 6-16 hours to dehydrate vegetables, 12-18 hours to dehydrate fruits, and 6-20 hours to dehydrate meats. You can dehydrate fruits, vegetables and make beef jerky. Once you have dehydrated them I would seal them in the Mylar pouches/bags with the oxygen absorbers for long term storage.  Then place the Mylar pouches/bags  in the 5 gallon food grade buckets you can purchase with lids.

Different methods of dehydrating food:

1) Sun Drying--Difficult, need 3-4 hour sunny days of at least 100 degrees each day. This will only work in areas where you have this type of weather.
2) Oven Drying--Not very energy efficient, foods are not very tasty in the end, your oven must obtain a temperature below 200 degrees and you need to prop the oven door open to maintain air circulation during the drying time. To much trouble for me!
3) Electric Dehydrators--The best method for dehydrating your food. Now days they are energy efficient and can be operated at a low temperature. Look for electric dehydrated that have heat control and a fan to maintain the air circulation during the drying time. Watch for great sales. Check online too.
 Excalibur 2400 4 Tray Starter Series Food Dehydrator
Does and Don't of Dehydrating your food (Follow the instructions in your Electric Dehydrator unit):

1) Do not keep the temperature too low or too high, follow the instructions.
2) Food should be dehydrated between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Vegetables at 130 degrees, fruits at 135 degrees, meats are higher at 145-150 degrees.
3) The food should be leathery with no pockets of moisture when you touch it. Fruits, tear and check for moisture at the tear, if there is moisture, it is not dry enough. The vegetables should be tough, but can also be crisp. The meat should be tough, but shouldn't snap apart.
4) When storing your dehydrated food, make sure no moisture can get in. Best to seal in air tight contains, like the Mylar pouches/bags with oxygen absorbers as mentioned above. See the YouTube video on how to do this process yourself.
5) All vegetables except onions, peppers and mushrooms should be washed, sliced and blanched. Check online how long to blanch each type of vegetable you will be dehydrating.
6) All fruits should be washed, pitted and sliced. You can pretreat your fruits with lemon juice to prevent darkening while you are preparing for drying.
7) Dry the fruits and vegetables in single layers on trays.
8) Wipe of the fat of the jerky while it is drying.
9) Jerky does not store for long periods of time. If more than a month freeze or refrigerate. Or, you can seal the jerky in the Mylar pouches/bags, with the oxygen absorbers for longer storage.

Vegetable Dehydrating Chart:

Beans, green: Stem and break beans into 1-inch pieces.Blanch. Dry 6-12 hours until brittle.
Beets: Cook and peel beets. Cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Dry 3-10 hours until leathery.
Broccoli: Cut and dry 4-10 hours.
Carrots: Peel, slice or shred. Dry 6-12 hours until almost brittle.
Cauliflower: Cut and dry 6-14 hours.
Corn: Cut corn off cob after blanching and dry 6-12 hours until brittle.
Mushrooms: Brush off, don't wash. Dry at 90 degrees for 3 hours, and then 125 degrees for the remaining drying time. Dry 4-10 hours until brittle.
Onions: Slice 1/4-inch thick. Dry 6-12 hours until crisp.
Peas: Dry 5-14 hours until brittle.
Peppers, sweet: Remove seeds and chop. Dry 5-12 hours until leathery.
Potatoes: Slice 1/8-inch thick. Dry 6-12 hours until crisp.
Tomatoes: Dip in boiling water to loosen skins, peel,slice or quarter. Dry 6-12 hours until crisp.
Zucchini: Slice 1/8-inch thick and dry 5-10 hours until brittle.

Fruits Dehydrating Chart:

Apples: Peel, core and slice into 3/8-inch rings, or cut into 1/4-inch slices. Pretreat and dry 6-12 hours until pliable.
Apricots: Cut in half and turn inside out to dry. Pretreat and dry 8-20 hours until pliable.
Bananas: Peel, cut into 1/4-inch slices and pretreat. Dry 8-16 hours until pliable or almost crisp.
Blueberries: Dry 10-20 hours until leathery.
Cherries: Cut in half and dry 18-26 hours until leathery and slightly sticky.
Peaches: Peel, halve or quarter. Pretreat and dry 6-20 hours until pliable.
Pears: Peel, cut into 1/4-inch slices, and pretreat. Dry 6-20 hours until leathery.
Pineapple: Core and slice 1/4-inch thick. Dry 6-16 hours until leathery and not sticky.
Strawberries: Halve or cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Dry 6-16 hours until pliable and almost crisp.

(The above information comes from a website "Farm Living is the Life for Me",

Remember: If using an Electric Dehydrator, follow the instructions in the manual and the charts for how long and what temperature to dehydrate.

Weekly Assignment: Adding Fruits and Vegetables to our Food Storage:

This week add more fruits and vegetables to your Food Storage. Only add what your family will eat. Store in a variety of ways, commercially canned fruits and vegetables, frozen, freeze-dried and canned in Mason jars. Do not add fruit juices at this time. We will be working on that one later one.

Food Storage Ideas:

In an emergency situation when there is no electricity, use your refrigerator food first, then your frozen food. Try to open your refrigerator and freezer as little as possible, it will keep the food longer. Once you have used this food, then move onto your canned and dehydrated and freeze-dried food. Save the vegetable liquid from the canned vegetables to help rehydrate the dehydrated and freeze-dried foods. That way you will use less stored water and have more water for drinking. Note: If you have a generator, run the refrigerator/freezer for 1 hour, then unplug the refrigerator/freezer. It will keep it cold for about 23 hours as along as you do not open the doors often. Repeat every day until the electricity is restored.

Emergency Preparedness Ideas:

While our grandson had a great idea to put his clothes, shoes and a flashlight by his bed, I would like to add to his great preparation. Each family member should have an extra large zip lock bag tied to his bed leg with some sturdy shoes, maybe some pants and a t-shirt, a working flashlight with extra batteries, a pair of extra glasses wrapped in a wash cloth, for those who wear glasses, and a crowbar inside the bag. The reason for tying it to the bed leg, in an earthquake, as you know, thing tend to move around and would be hard to find in the dark. This way all you would need to do is reach for the zip lock bag tied to your bed leg. The crowbar is to help you get out of a door or window that might be blocked or jammed.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Weekly Assignment, Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness Ideas (Week of August 12th)

Hi Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

Are you feeling overwhelmed when it comes to Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness? Many of us do feel this way, but there is no need to be overwhelmed! Last Sunday in our Relief Society meeting a sister shared a very interesting story about Food Storage and being prepared.

When she was a young girl her family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her mother soon learned about Food Storage and being prepared for emergencies, or whatever came their way. They did not have a lot of  money, like many of us, but each week she put away one or more cans of food. Before she knew it she had created some Food Storage for their family. When a huge hurricane hit her country, many lives were lost and their possessions. Because her mother had put away food, a little at a time, they had enough food to eat for a month. What a wonderful blessing for their family! Her mother had listened to the council of the church leaders and was obedient to their council.

That is all it takes, no need to feel overwhelmed and that you have to do it all at once, it is a life time process. Just putting away a couple of cans or packages of food each time you go grocery shopping will provide your family peace of mind in knowing that you are being obedient to the council of our church leaders and striving to build up your Food Storage and Emergency Supplies. You and your family will be richly blessed.

Share your story--

If anyone has a similar story about an experience with Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness, please email me your story at I would like to share a story once in awhile in this blog that will help others in their preparation. It is great to hear about others successes and struggles with Food Storage and the blessings that have come from striving to be prepared. Names will be keep anonymous.

Weekly FREE Monthly Giveaway Drawing Question---What is the best way to add to our Food Storage and Emergency Supplies? Please email me your answer to Please include your name if not in your email address.

August Goals: Canning, Freezing and Dehydrating and Adding Fruits and Vegetables to our Food Storage

Canning your Fruits and Tomatoes/Vegetables:

The preparation for canning your fruits and tomatoes is much like the preparation for freezing them. Canning other types of vegetables have to be canned in a Canning Pressure Cooker. Follow the instructions in how to prepare your tomatoes is last week's blog posting on Freezing. Once you have selected good ripe (not to soft) tomatoes, washed them thoroughly, blanched them to remove the peeling, and peeled and diced them, follow the instructions below for canning tomatoes. Warning: You cannot can other types of vegetables by the Water-Bath process, they are not acidic enough

1. Place your diced (or whole, halved or quartered) tomatoes in a large pot. Boil them for five minutes, be careful to not burn the bottom of the pot or the tomatoes. If you use whole tomatoes you will need to add water to cover them and place the water in the canning jars since they will not produce their own liquid.

2. While the tomatoes are boiling, place your canning jars in hot boiling water. Place the caps in hot, but not boiling water (this will damage the seal) and let them sit in the hot water until you are ready for them. Do not use used caps, they may to hold the seal.

3. Removed the canning jars from the boiling water with the jar lifter and set them on a towel out of a draft.
4. If using pint jars place 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in the bottom of the jar. If using quart jars, place 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice in the bottom of the jars. If you are concerned about the bitter taste of the lemon juice, you can add a little sugar to the tomatoes to sweeten them.
5. With the funnel on the jar, pour enough hot tomatoes into the jars just below the bottom of rim.

6. Run a plastic spatula around the inside of the jars to release any air bubbles. Add more tomatoes if needed.

7. Wipe off the edge of the jars with a clean soft towel before sealing them.

8. Seal the jars with the hot caps and lids. Never use used caps and or bent lids. Buy new ones each time you can. Screw them on tight, put not too tight.

9. Have the water in your Water-Bath Canning pot already hot. Place the canning rack in the bottom of the Water-Bath Canning pot, using the canning jar lifter, place the canning jars of tomatoes on the rack so they do not touch each other. Do not stack on top of each other.
10. Cover the jars with more hot water, from another pot of boiling water, until they are covered about 3-4 inches above the top of the canning jars.
11. Cover the pot with the lid, bring to a hard boil and boil for 45 minutes, making sure the water stays above the lids.
12. Remove the canning jars from the pot with your jar lifter and place on a towel out of a draft. This prevents the jars from cracking if put on a cold surface.

13. After awhile you will start to hear the lids "ping". This means your jars are sealed. Leave the jars there until they have completely cooled.
14. Once they are cooled check the lids to make sure they are not springy by pushing in the middle of the caps. If they are, you can do the process again, or put them in the refrigerator and use them within a week.
15. Place labels on the jars with the name of the item inside and the date. Place in a cool, dry dark place. They should keep for 1-3 years.

16. When you open the jars make sure you smell the fruit and tomatoes to make sure they do not smell spoiled. If they do, throw them away immediately.
Note: This same process works for fruits. Check online, or in a canning cookbook, how long to boil them for the type of fruit you are using. This is also a great way to can fruit jams and jellies. Check online for great fruit jams and jellies recipes.

I did not find Water-Bath Canning difficult, just time consuming! But what a great reward you receive once you are done canning. This is just another way to preserve food for your Food Storage. Remember, when canning fruits and tomatoes/vegetables, purchase them when in season to save money. If you have a vegetable garden or fruit trees, this is a great way to preserve them for future use. Citric fruit like lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, I squeeze out the juice and freeze the juice in freezer double zip lock bags.

Next week I will discuss dehydrating your fruits and vegetables.

Weekly Assignment--Adding Fruits and Vegetable:

Continue to add, each week, some commercially canned, freeze-dried, canned, packaged or frozen fruits and vegetables to your Food Storage. I like to store them in a variety of ways. Watch for sales. To determine how much your family eats, keep track for a month and then multiply by the number of months you are working towards. Remember, if you store freeze-dried fruits and vegetables you will need to store more water to rehydrated them.

Food Storage Ideas:

Our Los Angeles Dry-Pack Cannery--

While giving some service hours at our Bishops Storehouse in Los Angeles on Thursday, Brother Cuppett and I had a few minutes to go over to the Dry-Pack Cannery and speak with Elder and Sister Wooley who run the Cannery, what an awesome, but sad, experience.  A few Sundays ago Elder Wooley spoke in our Sacrament Meeting about our Dry-Pack Cannery. I had not been there since it was remodeled. It is clean, bright and air-conditioned! While we were there, only one person with her daughter came in to do some canning. How sad we are not using our dry-pack cannery! I am at fault on this one too, but I am going to change that! I am afraid if we do not start using our cannery, they may close it down. It use to be open Tuesday through Saturday, now it is only open Tuesday and Thursday from 9am-2pm by appointment only and Saturdays from 9am-2pm, no appointment needed. Trying to escape the summer heat, get together with some friends or another family and do some Food Storage canning for your family. The prices are much cheaper than ordering from food storage companies. See what is available to can there and their prices by going to, click on Home Storage Center Order Form and print the form. You can either put your freeze-dried food in the #10 metal cans or the Mylar pouches. Call the cannery and make an appointment, take your family (14 years old and up) and can some food for your Food Storage. What a great summer activity!

Warning! It was just announced that WalMart will start selling genetically engineered/modified sweet corn. Monsanto’s, an American multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation, genetically modified sweet corn is resistant to a common herbicide, which allows farmers to kill weeds without killing the corn. It also contains a toxin that fends off certain pests. Be careful in what you are purchasing. When purchasing fruit and vegetable seeds make sure they are not genetically modified, you want heirloom/hybrid fruit and vegetables seeds. Check all vegetable cans to see if they are genetically modified or heirloom/hybrid, unfortunately, it is not always stated on our canned and packaged foods. Organic fruits and vegetables are your best bet.

Emergency Preparedness Ideas:

"The time has come to get our houses in order ... there is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed."     President Gordon B.  Hinckley 168th General Conference, October 1998

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Weekly Assignment, Food Storage and Preparedness Ideas (August 5th)

Hi Carson Ward Family, Family and Friends,

A new month and new goals! See the August Goals below.

Weekly FREE Monthly Giveaway Drawing Question:

Why is it important for each of us to learn how to fish? Please email me your answer found in this blog posting to Please include your name in the email. Each week you answer the weekly question, your name is entered into the Carson Ward FREE Monthly Giveaway Drawing to held the 4th Sunday of August.


"The Lord knows us. The Lord loves us. And the Lord wants to help us. Calamities will come, but we don't have to fear them. If we are willing to be guided and ask for His direction, the Lord through the Holy Ghost will help us prepare for, endure, and recover from natural disasters."  Elder Stanley G. Ellis, of the Seventy

The August 2012 Ensign issue, pages 23-25, has a wonderful article from Elder Stanley G. Ellis, of the Seventy, regarding preparedness, both temporal and spiritual. I encourage each of you to read it. If you do not receive the Ensign in the mail, you can go to "", click on church magazines, click on Ensign August 2012, locate the article and read it. It is powerful!

Some highlights I particularly enjoyed---

1) Before the Storm: Make Preparation a Family Priority. Follow the impressions you receive from the Holy Ghost immediately. Be prepared for what may come your way!
2) During the Storm: Follow the Revelation You Receive for Your Family. The church leaders can warn us, but only we will receive the revelations pertaining to our own personal family in what we need to do to be protected.
3) After the Storm: Let the Gospel Remove the Sting. Some times in natural disasters we can loose our homes, our personal precious processions, even the life of a loved one. The Stake President in the Joplin Missouri tornado last May 2011, lost his home, all his personal processions and even the Stake Center where his family and the Stake members attending their church meetings. He did not loose a precious family member as many did, but he was so grateful for his knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and that family are eternal.

I have noticed in the Ensign this year, there is an article in almost every monthly issues concerning emergency preparedness. Our church leaders are trying to warn us to be prepared, both temporally and spiritually for what may come our way. Times are tough, but I promise you, they are going to get even tougher. We need to do all we can NOW to be prepared! You do not have to do it all at once, a little at a time, and before you know it you will be prepared. You need food, water, a way to cook if you cannot use your conventional stove, a way to have light if the electricity is out, a way for sanitation if their is no running water, shelter if you cannot stay in your home, a way to take care of emergency medical injuries and needs, and a 72 Hour Individual Emergency Kit/Packback if you have to evacuate your home or work place.

The Lord did not fill the sparrows nest with food, but He gave them food to find and eat. I can fish for you, but that will only give you fish for a day. But, if I teach you how to fish, you will have fish for a life time. That is what this blog is about, teaching you how to fish, how to prepare for yourselves and your families.

Our son Jonathan said, "10% of something is better than 100% of nothing". How true that it. How much do you have? Personally I want the 100%, but at least I know I am working towards it! It takes planning and time. I know there is going to come a time when food and water will not be available in the stores. If we have food and water stored, we will have no need to fear!

August Goals: Canning, Freezing and Dehydrating our Fruits and Vegetables, Adding Fruits and Vegetables to our Food Storage

Another great emergency preparedness skill is preserving fruits and vegetables by learning how to can, freeze and dehydrate them. We will spend this month learning these skills.

I have attached some great websites I found regarding canning, freezing and dehydrating your fruits and vegetables. You can cut and paste them on Google:




This week I will show you how to blanch your vegetables to prepare them for freezing, and how to freeze them, the easiest way to store your vegetables for future use. They will keep up to a year in your freezer. This is how I do it:

Freezing Vegetables: (You will need firm ripe tomatoes, a large pot, a large bowl with ice, a small strainer or serrated spoon, a strainer, another bowl, quart size double zip lock plastic freezer bags, a knife, a 2 cup measuring up, and a permanent sharpie marker)

1) First, choose only firm ripe tomatoes with no signs of rotting or disease. Clean them thoroughly with water and a soft sponge.

2) Place your tomatoes, giving them enough room to move around, in a pot of boil water. Remove the tomatoes as soon as the skin starts to peel or crack. This should only take about 20-30 seconds if the water is boiling.

3) Remove the tomatoes immediately and place them in a bowl of ice water. This stops the blanching process. Let them sit in the ice water for about 10 minutes. Add more ice as needed.

4) Remove the tomatoes from the ice water and place in a large strainer.

5). Remove the peel with a knife. Place in a bowl. And then dice the tomatoes. You do not have to remove the seeds.

6) Place about 2 cups of your diced tomatoes in a quart size double zip lock plastic freezer bag and write on the bag "Diced Peeled Tomatoes, 2 cups, and the date".The store brand bags work great. Seal part of the bag, then remove all the excess air, complete sealing the bag and lay them flat for better storage space. I then like to take 4 of these quart size zip lock bags and place them in a large double zip lock plastic freezer bag to ensure they do not get frost bite. Note: I like to put about 2 cups in each bag since that is what I usually in soups, casseroles and spaghetti sauces I make.

7) Store the tomatoes in your freezer for up to one year.

Next week I will discuss canning your fruits and vegetables.

Weekly Canning, Freezing, Dehydrating Assignment:

1) This week freeze tomatoes. If you have tomatoes from your garden use those, if not, this is the time of year where you can usually get great prices on tomatoes, purchase those. Freeze your tomatoes as instructed above and place them in your freezer for future use. Another way to store food in your Food Storage.

Note: You can also freeze other vegetables like corn on the cob, squashes, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, etc. See the website mentioned above about freezing other vegetables. If you do not blanch your squashes and zucchini they will only keep for about 4 months. Blanched vegetables will keep for one year in your freezer. See the table in the website for how long to blanch each type of vegetable. Pumpkins, I peel them, cut up the pumpkin into pieces, boil until tender, strain the pumpkin, let it cool, and then run the pumpkin through my blender to create a puree. Then I put 2 cups in a quart double zip lock plastic freezer bag and freeze them lying flat. I write "Pumpkin, 2 cups, and the date" on each bag. I put 4 quart bags in a large freezer double zip lock bag and freeze it lying flat in my freezer. Good for pumpkin pie (you will not need to add the water in recipe) and pumpkin bread, muffins and cookies. I freeze the other vegetables from our garden, or purchased from the grocery store at season,  as mentioned above, like the diced tomatoes.

Weekly Adding Fruits and Vegetables to your Food Storage Assignment:

1) Purchase some canned and/or freeze-dried vegetables this week for your Food Storage. Remember, only purchase what your family will eat! Watch for sales, and purchase extra cans when you do your weekly grocery shopping. Watch the expiration dates, especially when purchasing them from places like the 99 Cent Store, the Dollar Tree and other discount stores. Costco and Sam's Club is a great place to purchase them by the case (8-12 cans in case). Most canned vegetables will store for about 2-3 years if stored in a cool dry dark place, like your pantry or other cupboard. If you store your Food Storage in your garage, it drastically diminishes the storage time, too hot. Note: I would start with canned corn since the price of corn is going up 50%, if it has not already, due the Midwest drought.

I also believe in having a variety of stored fruits and vegetables: Commercially canned from the regular grocery stores, Costco and Sam's Club, freeze-dried in #10 cans or Mylar pouches, freezing to put in your refrigerator freezer, having a vegetable garden, and canning your own fruits and vegetables.

One of the better priced companies for dehydrated and freeze-dried #10 canned products I find, besides the LDS Dry-Pack Cannery,  is (also under Go online to their company, in the search box, put "vegetables" (or what ever you are looking for) and click on "Go". They continually have items on sale. Example for this month: peas $13.99 ($16.95), Cauliflower $11.89 ($14.95), diced zucchini $13.49 ($15.50), vegetable comb of 6 different types of vegetables $82.95 ($90.88). The LDS Dry-Pack Cannery has limited freeze-dried vegetables, but very reasonable.

Of course, the cheapest way to preserve vegetables and fruit, is to grow you own and then can, freeze or dehydrate them yourself. You can even share with your family, Home Teaching/Visiting Teaching families, and your neighbors.

Food Storage Ideas:

Storing your Food Storage: Cut and paste the link below on Google. This also goes for the regular commercially canned and packaged foods you purchase in the grocery stores.

Emergency Preparedness Ideas:

With your family take a moment to imagine that there is a fire in your home. You only have seconds to get out. Try this activity in your Family Home Evening. What would you do, what are your escape routes, how would you account for all your household family members, where would you meet outside? You should have two escape routes and your children should know what to do. Discuss a fire in your home and what each person needs to do. In our home, we had an older child responsible for a younger one in getting them out of the window or the door. Example: Penny was 12, Tammy was 10 and Heidi was 2, they shared a bedroom. They were responsible for making sure Heidi got out of the house if we were not available. We taught our children how to open a window, and how to break the window and put a blanket over the bottom of the window so they would not get cut, if necessary to escape. We taught them to check a closed door to see if it was hot, hot means the fire is just outside and do not open the door.If you have a two story house, teach them how to get down the fire ladder stored upstairs and where it is kept. You should have one in each bedroom in case you cannot get out of the door. We had a meeting place at our neighbor's yard to make sure everyone was accounted for. We emphasized for them to never go back into a burning house if someone was missing. To get help from a neighbor. You should have at least two fire drills a year. We had ours quarterly.