We hope your Christmas, and other holidays, is a memorable one spent with family and loved ones. May we each take time from our busy schedules, Christmas shopping and parties to reflect on the birth of our dear Savior, Jesus Christ. May you find an enter peace the coming year through our Savior, Jesus Christ. Please listen to this beautiful Christmas hymn, it will touch your mind, heart and spirit. Merry Christmas!
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.
Christmas Stocking Stuffers . . .
Why not put in things for each family member 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpack?
5-1 Whistle, compass, mirror reflector, match holder, flint and steal
LED small flashlight
Small first-aid kit
Utility chow set (knife, fork, spoon)
Seyechelle Water Filtration bottle (found at store.lds.org, $16-$20)
Plastic rain poncho
Items for the Hygiene Kit and/or Stressor Kit
These items and others can be found on the list under Postings on the right, click on the 72 Hour Individual Emergency Preparedness Backpack.
Emergencyessentials.com has many small emergency preparedness items that are great for stocking stuffers.
Comments and Questions: Please share your comments and questions. Remember, we all learn from each others knowledge and experiences. Thank you for your comments.
Note: Next posting will be January 3rd with our new 2016 Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness Monthly Assignments and goals.