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 theark.carsonward@gmail.com. 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 theark.carsonward@gmail.com. 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 ProvidentLiving.org, 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

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