It is that time of year again when we are busy with the "hustle and bustle" of Christmas shopping. Christmas baking, Christmas parties at church, work, community, at home and time spent with family and loved ones.
Please take a few minutes out of your busy day each day to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Please watch this beautiful video . . .
New December Monthly Assignments
Food Storage . . . Baking Items
December (and November) is a great month to stock up with baking supplies like flour, sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, honey, baking powder, baking soda, salt, yeast, cornstarch and extracts. While you are picking up your holiday baking supplies buy some extras for your food storage. You can also purchase packaged cake mixes, brownie mixes, etc. Since we already worked on dairy and eggs in July and spices in August, we will concentrate on the items listed above. You can also add canned fruits if you desire. Remember to store all food items in a cool, dry, dark place. You can store the products in their original commercial package or purchase dehydrated 2.5 or #10 cans from long term food storage from companies like emergencyessentials.com, etc.
Shelf life of commercially packaged baking supplies in their original packaging and long term in 2.5 or #10 dehydrated/freeze dried cans--
Flour: 1 year. 10 years in #10 dehydrated cans for longer storage.
Granulated Sugar: Indefinitely in original commercial package. It will become hard, but you can break it up.
Brown Sugar: Indefinitely in original commercial package. Same as granulated sugar. It will become hard but you can break it up.
Powdered Sugar: Indefinitely in original commercial package.
Honey: Indefinitely. Only store in glass or plastic bottles. Goes bad in metal/tin cans.
Pumpkin and Canned Fruits: 2-5 years in their commercial cans if stored in a cool, dry dark place. In 2.5 or #10 freeze dried cans 20-30 years. (emergencyessentials.com)
Baking Soda and Baking Powder: They tend to have a short shelf life 9-12 months. I have kept mine longer. You can also purchase them for a longer shelf life in 2.5 or #10 cans from long term food storage companies like emergencyessentials.com. Click here to learn how to test your baking soda and baking powder if it is still good to use.
Salt: Indefinitely in original commercial package. We only use sea salt. It can get clumpy, just shake to loosen up.
Cornstarch: 18 months in original container. Some say indefinitely if kept dry and free from contaminants. 2.5 and #10 cans indefinitely (20-30 years)
Yeast: It depends on how it is stored. Red Star or Fleischmann's yeast in the packages or jars will store for 2 years. If you purchase the yeast from a long term food storage company like emergencyessentials.com it will last for 5 years in your freezer.
Extracts: Store in original bottles. Pure vanilla extract will store indefinitely. Imitation vanilla extract will only store for 2-4 years. Flavored extracts (almond, peppermint, etc.) will only store for 6-12 months. A good test for the flavored extracts is to smell them. If they have lost their smell they are no longer good. Keep your extracts away from heat and cold, do not store near a stove or window or draft.
Note about flour and sugars: I store mine in their originally package in large or extra large (found these at Target and WalMart) plastic zip lock bags. You can also store them in large plastic bins with their lids. The plastic bags and binds keep the away the ants and them dry if water becomes an issues. Do not purchase sugar in 2.5 or #10 cans, to expensive and not necessary.
How much to store: I would store 3-6 months of baking products. If storing for long term storage of course it will be for 1-2 years (only dehydrated/freeze=dried foods. Remember, Rotation, Rotation, Rotation is the key to any food storage, short or long storage.
The average for 1 adult for 1 month is . . .
White Flour: 15 pounds (3 5# bags or 3 #10 cans [LDS Cannery #10 cans])
Granulated Sugar: 10 pounds (2 5# bags or 2 #10 cans [LDS Cannery #10 cans])
Brown Sugar: 2 pounds
Powdered Sugar: 1 pound
Honey: 2 pounds
Baking Powder: 5 ounces
Baking Soda: 4 ounces
Salt: 6.5 ounces
Yeast: 4 ounces
Cornstarch: 4 ounces
Vanilla Extract: 4 ounces
Fruits: Varies, depends on how much fruit you use in your baking.
Note: There are other baking items you can add like oils and fats, dairy, etc. We will be working on adding these items throughout next year.
Emergency Preparedness . . .
Setting your 2016
Emergency Preparedness Goals
This is the time of year most of us starting thinking about and writing down our New Year's Resolutions or Goals; loosing weight, eating healthier, spend more time with family, family vacations, house remodeling/decorating, budgeting better, start a saving account, doing more service, etc.. Why not make emergency preparedness a part of those resolutions and goals?
As you sit down as an individual or family, assess your and your family's needs when it comes to emergency preparedness and food storage. Inventory what you already have and make a list of the things you still need. Set some weekly and monthly goals to accomplish those needs. Your goals may be add needed items to your food storage, work on meeting your 3 months food storage goal, store drinking water, purchasing a tent for the family, emergency lighting, cooking, setting up a family emergency savings fund, gather all important documents together in a notebook, etc. What ever the needs and goals set up a checklist. Put that checklist in a visible place for all to see, like the refrigerator. Review the checklist every month at Family Home Evening or your Family Council Meeting to assess your progress. Emergency preparedness should be just as important as your other New Year's Resolutions and Goals. This blog can help you with your goals.
Emergency Preparedness Ideas
Well, it is that time of year again when you are trying to decide what to buy a family member or friend for Christmas. What do you buy the person that is hard to buy for or has everything? Why not give them emergency preparedness supplies? At first they make think it is a cheesy present but when they need it they will thank you. Here are some suggestions . . .
72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpack with food, hygiene and stresser kits. See the postings on the right, click on the 72 Hour EP Backpack for what goes in each kit.
Butane One Burner Stove with several cans of Butane fuel. (I find these at some discount stores, sporting good stores, etc. for about $15-$20. The fuel is less than $2 a can.)
A tent, emergency lighting (lantern, solar flashlight, etc.), cooking (Dutch oven, Butane Stove, etc.) or other emergency equipment.
A Kaito Voyager Solar and Crank Weather Alert Multiband Radio. (I found one at emergencyessentials.com on sale this month for $49.95.)
A Basic Food Storage Starter Kit (You can purchase these, an adult one month supply of Hard Red Wheat, Hard White Wheat,White Flour, White Rice, Pinto Beans, Rolled Oats at store.lds.org for about $30 or you can go to any LDS Cannery and pick it up for about $22.)
Seychelle Water Filtration Bottle (You can purchase these at store.lds.org for $16.50 with one filter and $22 with 2 filters. They filter out 99.9999% of all bacteria and contamination.
Be creative. You will be amazed at some of the great things you can give as Christmas presents this year. emergencyessenitals.com and other emergency supply companies can help with some great ideas.
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