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.

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