Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Depression Era Recipes

   Even having a food storage plan and a modest stock pile of food there are times when we run out of things like eggs, butter, milk, almond milk, or fresh fruit. Those are usually things that we buy on a week to week basis because they are "fresh foods". 
   We make our own almond milk if the store-bought isn't on sale, but my husband still prefers cow milk. Butter is one of the exceptions that I make in our somewhat dairy free diet (we don't do ice cream, cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, buttermilk, milk or cream except on very rare occasions) because we avoid margarine and shortening, and we only use about 2 1/2 pounds in a month for a family of 5 if I don't do baking with it.
   So when something is lacking before I can get to the store I can sometimes get hard pressed for something to fix, especially breakfast. I found it no wonder that in days gone by that they had mush's, meals and those type and variety of grains for breakfast food. Cream and fruit were definitely a seasonal treat and sugar consumption were significantly and amazingly less than what we are used to today. 
   So posting for today is a link to a Cookbook collection on  for DEPRESSION ERA RECIPES.
 I haven't tried any of these, and some add dairy and some don't, but I figured it would be a great resource for those of you that get in a pinch as well. Im also adding in the link to Mr. Breakfasts HOME MADE CEREALS again, just to give you a few more ideas.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


    This morning in my devotional I read this about business and thought (of course) of preparedness.
Never mistake activity for achievement
   There is a principle of economics that goes something like this: If you lose money on every sale, you can't make up for it in quantity. In other words, if your product is bad, it is not going to get better just because you make more of it.
   Some people need to apply this principal to the activities of their lives. They mistakenly think that increasing their commitments is admirable because "more is better." But sometimes more is worse, and this is particularly true of activities in our daily schedule.
   Before you get busier than you already are evaluate what you are doing. Maybe you should delete some commitments from your schedule so that you can do a better job with fewer activities.
    Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might... Ecclesiastes 9:10
   Today starts week 27 in this pregnancy-I'm starting the last trimester. There is still a very profound need for us to move, and it seems like all the works are gummed up. From my end of the deal there isn't much I can do. Jon knows the area in which he will need to be closer to work so I can't just go out looking on my own. I will have to rely on prayer and fasting to bring us the right place. But to fast during the last time of pregnancy?-certainly not! At least not in a food way. There are many fasts which one can choose to separate themselves from something "needed" and common to show earnestness God-ward that the prayers are in earnest and with sincerity.
   Thus I have decided to fast my computer for the next two weeks in order to see more clearly the working of Gods hand. I shall plan to actively rejoin all you wonderful people then. I do however, have some posts I plan on putting up on the auto post for the next weeks and hope you will enjoy them in my absence.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Canning Meat

   I about had a coronary in the store today when I saw that the 5 pounds of  hamburger that at the begining of the year was about $8.99 a pound and had crept up to $10.45 by the end of January, was now $12.45. Thats a 2 dollar hike in less than 2 weeks! What really concerned me was the knowledge that this isn't some temporary quirk. These prices will look good compared to whats down the road.
   I've made the decision to upgrade to a pressure canner instead of my pressure cooker. I figure I'll see the returns for it just in canning meat alone. I'm still a die hard dehydrator, but meat is where the money is, and I don't have the freezer space to take advantage of sales. My husband also likes french cut beans, and says they taste "funny" when they are re-hydrated, so I will probably make a  habit of canning those too.
   My mom never taught me to can as she did SO MUCH when she was a girl she vowed she'd never do it again. So I'm very timid about teaching myself. My Gram spoke of accidents she had, like having the safety valve blow and her tomatoes spewing out all the way to the ceiling. I have only successfully canned a few beans several years ago, and some easy apple butter in a water bath a couple years in a row. Other than that my method of preservation is drying.
   Needing to get out of my comfort zone, I'm researching canning, particularly meat and came across a great video for chicken found here:

And another for ground beef here:

   Hopefully you will be able to use these to your advantage as well.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Herbal Calcium

  Calcium is one of the most important minerals your body needs to survive on a daily basis. Whether it's providing strength for the bones, or helping the blood clotting process, your body needs calcium to operate. In fact, if your body does not receive enough calcium through your diet, the body reacts by stealing calcium from your bones, teeth and nerves, to keep the processes that depend on calcium running. This can lead to bone fragility, and may even develop into osteoporosis, as well as other conditions.

   I have a sneaking suspicion that inadequate calcium (or rather a diet that strips the calcium from the body) is responsible for nerve problems of a wide scope. We have experimented with calcium as a supplement for my sons seizures and are finding it to be very valuable in feeding his nervous system.
Bones of steel? I don't think so!
    For a long time we have been told that dairy products are and should be the main source of calcium in our diet, after all, milk does a body good, right? WRONG! In order to process mucus loaded foods (everything ranging from junk "food" to dairy, coffee to sweets, our body must rob our reserves of our most necessary vitamins and minerals in order to redeem any value from these things we consume. We are actually left with a negative balance, and our body begins to break down in various, yet predictable ways.
   Ahh, but what about Dr. Price and whole, raw milk?! What about Kefir and of yogurt and hard cheeses? In a scale of good to bad these things are better than the store-bought homogenized, pasteurized, dead "food" we call necessary, however, they are still responsible for loading down the system with much more mucus than it can handle, and still creating a deficit during processing. 
Make that *Dentist* Price, not Dr.
   I've had a miscarriage,4 children, working on another, and I've seen a lot how calcium plays a big part in the health of my child and myself. I have come to the conclusion that it isn't any wonder that pregnant women are covered by medicaid for dental. After all WIC and Food Stamps and "Education Programs" force pregnant and lactating women onto dairy and cheese to satisfy the need for calcium during this time. By the time the baby and the diet have robbed the poor creature of all the calcium (as well as other nutrients) in her body, her hair is falling out, she has postpartum depression, she has hemorrhoids from several months of constipation, acne, a fussy newborn, bad teeth that need fixed, and she needs something to support her nervous system. All because of the vitamin/mineral deficit caused by improper foods and lack of adequate nutrition.
   So, never hear of HERBAL calcium before? It's not a wonder with all the different forms of calcium available on the market today. Oyster shell, calcium citrate (Citrical), calcium carbonate, coral calcium, are all forms you hear floating around the place, but not once had I heard the form of herbal calcium. Is it true? can you get calcium from herbs? How pure is it, how potent, how safe? Is it adequate or is it minute and trace amounts? How will my body react to an herbal calcium?
    I first learned about herbal calcium from a book put out by the School of Natural Healing, with the same title. A real Godsend and life saver (literally) for myself and my family. It challenged everything I had learned and believed about the body and its functions and needs, as well as how to treat illnesses. For a long time some things that I read stuck in my craw and I wasn't willing to accept such "outrageous ideas" he put out. But I started studying and so far have proved the information true. I've experimented on myself and my children (my husband too when he'll let me) with diets and supplements, and fomentation's to poultices.
Equisetium hymale
Equisetum arvense
   So when I started buying herbs to make my own calcium and an encapsulator to assist, I was ready to put this supplement through some rigorous testing. I have been anything but disappointed. Basically this is how it works. Because the body can identify the herbs as an organic unit (meaning a recognizable substance vs. a compound/chemical/ non-food source, in its natural state), it can take it and use its components in a manner beneficial to itself. Dr. Christopher's book relates that his study found an explanation in the book Biological Transmutations,  that the silica in horsetail grass is converted to calcium by the body. Essentially, you give the body the pieces and it will assemble them to fit its needs. And whats more, if the body doesn't need it, it passes out of the system. No forcing your body to accept a foreign substance it cannot use (well hello there bone spurs!)
   You can find herbal calcium supplements on the market from various companies, but I like Dr. Christopher's formula the best. It is available packaged, but this is the formula if you are into making your own up:

6 parts (by weight) Horsetail grass (aka shavegrass) (Equisetum hyemale or arvense)
3 parts Oat straw (Avena sativa)
4 parts Comfrey root (Symphytum offficinale)
1 part Lobelia (Lobelia inflata)

    I'll put in a plug for a young gentleman who has his own store online. I don't get any kickbacks in anyway, but I like knowing who I'm dealing with, and he has great prices on the products. You can find his store at
   Take a month and try it out for yourself. Its great and definitely worth every dime to have an alternative to a commercial product that ends up getting flushed down the toilet (read about it HERE). Even better when you learn to identify the plants and pick the herbs yourself!
    If you have questions about anything I can try to help you (but remember I'm not a licensed herbalist or doctor), and of course let you know some of the specifics I've noticed over the years of how its helped our family (like slowing hair loss and promoting hair growth after having a baby).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Its Heeeerrrrrreeee!

Start snagging the deals while they are still here!

   Wasn't planning on posting till tomorrow, but I couldn't not put this up. NOW IS THE TIME TO PREPARE! And with a vengeance. This article doesn't even mention the fact of the falling value of the US Dollar, and it really just is going to mentally spur me into action.  Here is an article I found on Drudge this morning about the rising prices of food. 

also check this out

Food And Fuel Article

  They predict that the customer will feel it in particular in the meat department as soon as three months from now. Think it will blow over? Don't count on it...  pork prices will see a rise in around a year and beef in two. So prices will NOT be going down, and this is just in the meat department. The United Nations is forecasting food prices rising by an additional 40% this year.
  Take action now. And I'd say if you have a freezer or dehydrator, fire it up and get cracking!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Easy A- Line Skirt Pattern

   At our house we believe that the Bible teaches that women should look like women and dress like women, so we wear skirts, jumpers and dresses "full time". This is a pattern I found a couple years ago and have made good use of since. The best thing is there is no pattern to buy, and with my girls still being small, Ive even used recycled  skirts or jumpers to make theirs. All you need is a measuring tape, material, a marking pen of some sort, thread, elastic, and a sewing machine.
  With only a few measurements you have a custom fitted skirt, any length you want. This is nice considering all the dresses and "skirts" I can find for little girls have words on the butt or are too short to be considered real clothing. I'll post some pictures just as soon as I can catch the girls still!
  NOTE: I usually zig zag around all my pieces before I start sewing. This saves me time in trying to take care of seams later. For this pattern I do the same, as french seams are a little much on everyday wear for little girls who will soon be growing out of them. If you cut out several at a time you have several to choose from with only a bit of extra time.

A- Line Skirt Tutorial

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Evaporated Milk

  This comes in handy and is easy to make up. If you have powdered milk you don't need to store all those cans (this goes for Sweetened Condensed Milk too!) Save that shelf space in your pantry for something else!

1 1/2 c. warm water
1 c. powdered milk
2 T. butter

  Heat on low until butter is just melted, stirring to combine. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature before using. Replaces store-bought. (It's been a while since I've made this recipe, so I am unsure about how much it makes, about 14 oz I believe.)

What is the New Years Recipe Blitz? Click HERE to read the post!

Corn Syrup Substitute

  This is a good standby when I'm out of corn syrup or I don't feel like paying the current price, even for the cheap stuff. Works just as the regular store bought but without the high fructose corn syrup in it. You have to love home made!

2 c. Sugar
3/4 c. Water
1/4 t. Cream of Tartar
Pinch of salt

  Combine in pan, bringing to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer. Cover for 3 minutes. Uncover and simmer, stirring often until beginning to form soft balls when water tested ( soft ball stage is 235-240 F). Cool and store at room temperature. Keeps 2 months.

What is the New Years Recipe Blitz? Click HERE to read the post!

Maple Syrup

  Since I didn't get to finish the New Years Recipe Blitz, I'm putting in a few more recipes for your pleasure. We have tried several recipes for syrup and I've settled on this one from RecipeZaar (now Sometimes I'll add a bit of butter in it and I usually use a bit more of the flavorings. Here it is as posted by WJKing on

3/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. water 
1 c. corn syrup
3 drops vanilla flavoring
3 drops maple flavoring

  Boil the water and the sugars together (we usually do it till soft ball stage- 235 degrees). Remove from heat add flavorings. Be very careful when placing in a bottle, making sure that you let it cool quite a bit. A friend had made hers and put it in the bottle too soon. When her young daughter opened the bottle the steam blew the hot syrup on her face. I like to put it in a mason jar for a homey look. We much prefer this over store-bought.

What is the New Years Recipe Blitz? Click HERE to read the post!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


So I turned off the computer for the night.... really thats all I did! Somehow our motherboard got zapped and we had to wait 3+ weeks to get the dumb thing fixed/replaced. So Im sorry that you all have stopped by to a stalled out blog, but Im revving up here with all the things I want to tell you that I've been doing in the mean time, so STAY TUNED!