A Matter Of Preparedness

The latest posts from A Matter Of Preparedness

It's Sunday once again. I love Sunday's because the pace of life slows down just a little.  We can even take naps sometimes!  Because it is so low key, I like to make our Sunday meal from our Food Storage Staples. This allows us to use what we store and also rotate our food.  It also lets us try new things when we have plenty and not wait until the chips are down. Trying new foods where some sort of crisis exists is foolhardy indeed. 

Easy Bistro Chicken

I found a recipe for Easy Bistro Chicken at myrecipes.com.  This recipe calls for a lot of fresh ingredients, which I am totally in favor of. However, I was able to make this same recipe using items from my Pantry and Food Storage.  Let's see how it went!

The recipe called for canned Italian Style Tomatoes drained and chopped.  I used canned diced tomatoes and I did not drain them.  I will show you why in a minute.  

Chopped Onions and Garlic are part of this dish. I used dehydrated forms of both.

Sliced Mushroom are an important ingredient.  I used my the Mushrooms that I dehydrated a few months ago when they were on sale.

Chopped Pepper is also called for. Again, I used my dehydrated Peppers that I dehydrated some time ago.

Diced Celery is also required for this dish, I used some that I had purchased in a #10 Can.

Remember when I made the decision not to drain my tomato as the recipe suggested?  Well, I chose not to do that as I was putting in dehydrated ingredients. These dried ingredients absorbed the extra liquid.

While the sauce was simmering, I added Italian Seasoning as the original recipe called for "Italian-style Tomatoes".  I was adding the "Italian" in this manner.

From the Freezer I added Chicken Strips.  Frozen foods are also part of my Food Storage Staples.

I let the Chicken unthaw and simmer in the tomato-based sauce.  I put on some Macaroni noodles (the recipe called for Macaroni or Cavatappi) to cook while the sauce simmered.

When we served the Bistro Chicken, I also added some grated Parmesan Cheese and sliced apples. The Apples came from our 2nd refrigerator and I have a block of Parmesan that I grate for dishes like this.  My second refrigerator is cold storage for fruits and items like Parmesan Cheese. These foods were also from my Food Storage.  

Take Home Points:

  • We had a  nutritious and very scrumptious meal even though fresh ingredients were not used.
  • I did not have to go shopping yesterday to be ready for today, I just used items I had on hand.
  • Adapting recipes to use your Pantry and Food Storage items is usually relatively simple.  If you are using dehydrated or freeze-dried foods, allow for additional liquid.  Frozen foods require some time to thaw and be cooked appropriately.
  • Having the satisfaction of making something great from items on hand.....Priceless!
Here is the recipe for Easy Bistro Chicken (with my adaptions in red)  from Myrecipes.com:

Ingredients for Easy Bistro Chicken:

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided (From my Pantry)
4 (6-ounce) chicken breast halves, skinned (From my Freezer, I used strips)
4 chicken thighs (about 1 pound), skinned (From my Freezer, I used strips)
4 chicken drumsticks (about1 pound), skinned (From my Freezer, I used strips)
2 cups chopped onion (Dehydrated, From my Pantry)
4 garlic cloves, minced (Dehydrated, From my spice cabinet)
1 cup chopped celery (Dehydrated, From my Pantry)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (Dehydrated, From my Pantry)
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (Dehydrated, From my Pantry)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar (From my Pantry)
1/4 cup sliced green olives (From my Pantry)
1/4 cup capers (did not use)
1 tablespoon sugar (From my Pantry)
Dash of ground red pepper (From my spice cabinet)
2 bay leaves (From my spice cabinet)
1 (28-ounce) can Italian-style tomatoes, undrained and chopped (Diced Tomatoes From my Food Storage with added Italian Seasoning)
8 cups hot cooked macaroni or cavatappi (Macaroni, From my Pantry)
Parsley sprigs (optional) (From my spice cabinet)

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breast halves to pan; sauté 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from pan. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining chicken pieces; sauté 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in pan. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add celery; sauté 5 minutes. Add basil and next 8 ingredients (basil through tomatoes). Return chicken to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

Uncover and simmer 25 minutes or until chicken is tender. Discard bay leaves. Serve with pasta. Garnish with parsley sprigs, if desired.

Note: You can chop the tomatoes in the can using kitchen shears.MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

Try It Soon!

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: March 23, 2015, 2:31 am
Canning, A Matter of Preparedness

It is no secret that I am a fan of Canning and preserving my own foods.  Even though my kids have rolled their eyes when I have asked them to help (which I think they inherited from me....I used to do that too), several of the items we have canned are preferred items.  A Case in point was when I made a batch of Strawberry jam. My youngest son ate 3 jars before warning me that I needed to make more because it wasn't going to last the winter. The goal is always to have your Food Storage and Food Preservation last the winter...and a bit beyond.

Anyone who has ventured into the world of canning inevitably has had a few questions.  That is certainly the case for me.  That is why I was really glad to read and review this new publication by Daisy Luther entitled "The Organic Canner".  (Ms. Luther gracious provided a copy of her work for me to review)

The Organic Canner....

I always wondered how folks canned or preserved items before the likes of our modern 'thickening' agents that are used in things like Jams and Jellies.  I also wondered how to ensure that you have removed all the pesticides that may be on your produce.

Additionally (and professionally), I work with families that have children with feeding and swallowing disorders.  Many of them are on some type of elimination diet due to Gastrointestinal or Allergic reasons.  These families quickly learn how to cook from scratch as prepared foods just don't meet the special needs of their little ones.

These, along with other reasons are why I was interested in reviewing this book. 

Points of Interest:

  • Ms. Luther explains why she has objections to "Genetically Mutated Organisms".  She even has her own "Manifesto" which explains her views. 
  • She gives 'doable' mentoring on how to water-bath and pressure can at home.
  • She sheds light on how to make your own Jams and Jellies without "the box".  It is straightforward and I plan to try it as soon as berries are in season.  By using her method, you actually get 2 products....the jam and fruit syrup.  
  • Canning meats is also discussed, which is a personal favorite of mine.  She highlights the serious leftovers we all often have during the holidays. Canning the extra Turkey or Ham is a great way to extend their use.
  • Did you know that you may preserve Nuts such as Pecans, Walnuts, and Hazelnuts?  I once had a disaster with nuts in my pantry.  I won't go into it, but I learned a painful lesson.  I had always thought that I would need to seal nuts in jars with my dry-pack canning device.  However, I learned that you can also do this with Water-bath canning.  Yea!  I'm going to try it!
  • There are many recipes that I have 'dog-eared' the corner of the page because I want to try them. Here are just a few to pique your interest: Beef stroganoff, Marinara with Meatball, Cajun Jambalaya, Sloppy Joe Filling, Deep South BBQ, Vegetables and Fruits with a twist, Random Pickled Veggies, Honey Vidalia BBQ Sauce, Taco Sauce and many more.
  • She has a section dealing with canning your own recipes. She gives thoughtful advice on how to determine the method and time needed for your favorites.
  • The only 'glitch' is that she refers to page 237 for directions on "Removing Pesticide from Produce" which actually appears on page 231.  This is not a big issue in my view.
I love this portion of her Disclaimer:  "Ultimately, though, you bear the responsibility for your own food and safety practices."  Overall, that is true for any food activity we participate in and is something we really need to be thoughtful about. If you are concerned about what is in your food and how it is prepared, then this book may really fit the bill for you.

If you are looking for a way to preserve your food more from a 'ground up' approach, you should consider "The Organic Canner".  As of this writing, the price is $16.75 on Amazon.  You most likely will spend more than that going out for dinner and a movie!

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: March 8, 2015, 11:52 pm

Mylar Bags....Sealing with a Vacuum Sealer...

I have used Mylar Bags for years and just love them.  I have written 2 posts dealing with using them. You can find these posts here and here.

However, I came across this video with a really unique idea.  The difference between this gentleman's device and mine is that you gasket area is much wider. I plan to experiment to see if my Food Saver device can work as well.  No matter, this is worth your time to view.  

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: February 24, 2015, 10:15 am

If you have been following this blog for the past few weeks, you will know that we are in the process of "Reclaiming our Domain".  We have adult children coming and going.....and it's a fun time of life. However, I need to put things in order for my husband and myself....and we are.  

I have donated a double bed to a couple that was in need of one.....which left an entire room for me to take over. I am turning it into a sewing room. I will show it all to you as soon as I put the finishing touches on it. Just know that I love it already.

Making Sensible Yarn Storage from a Moving Box:

When trying to decide how to organize my yarn, I looked at several options.  I have seen fun wine racks used and liked that look. However, I didn't like the price!  I have stored my yarn in clear tubs, but for me there was always frustration because the different yarns eventually would get tangled...I really hate that!

So, here is my little brain storm.  Let me show you how I did this for very little money.

I found Moving Boxes online at Home Depot.  The box was under $2.00 and the dividers were under $7.00.  This is a Medium size box and the dividers are for 2 levels of glass storage if you were going to actually use this as a moving box.  I asked Rooster Senior to cut off the flaps of the box on one end.

I then asked him to open up the seam with his Exacto Knife....he was very willing to help!  I opened the box because I want to spray-paint the decorated side of the box.

I laid the box and the dividers on my lawn (yes, I know it is February, but it is unusually warm this year).  I used a can of black spray paint that Rooster Senior had in the Garage.

I used my hot glue gun and glued the box back together...with the black being on the inside.

This is what the seam looked like after it was glued together. It's not lovely, but it is very functional.

I then put the bottom of the box together and glued it with hot glue.  Note how the black will show on the inside of the box.  

I had measured the length of the open box before I glued it together.  I also measured the 'height' of the box from the cut edge to about 8" down on to the bottom flaps.  I cut a piece of fabric according to those dimensions and surged the cut edges.  I then brought the two short sides of the fabric together and sewed one seam.

I slid the fabric sleeve over the exterior of the box.  Now, here is why I put the box together in an "inside-out" fashion.  There is now no decoration to show through my fabric.  It is a blank slate.  This is a  tight fit, which I was glad about. 

This is the bottom of the box.  I wrapped and hot-glued the fabric to the bottom.

I then finished the bottom of the box with a piece of $.99 black poster board. I measure, cut, and glued it on.  I like how it looks and it slides easily on surfaces with the smooth finish of the poster board.  

I like the fact that the color of the yarn plays well off the black surfaces.  A skein fits just fine in a slot. I even put some of my crochet skeins of 'thread' that I used to edge baby blankets.

I can even fit balls of yarn down into a compartment. Notice that I wrapped the upper edge of the box with about 4 inches and glued it to the box before inserting the dividers.  

I attached a rope handle by punching  2 holes/side with sharp scissors.  I had cording from a former upholstery project.  So, I threaded the cording through and tied double knots on the inside of the box.  I now have 2 handles to carry the box. I am not worried about reinforcing the holes, the yarn is very light weight. This box is prepared solely to be used for my yarn storage.  

So, What is the Take-Home Message?

  • I spent under $10.00 for this entire project as I already had the fabric, the cording, and the spray paint.  I am trying very hard (as we reorganize) to use items that we already have. I just like to be wise with the things we have been blessed with.  I am guessing that you may find items around your house that you can re-purpose into something usable like we have. 
  • This project took about 1 hour total (not including drying times) to complete.
  • I can easily find the yarn I am looking for without undoing a tangled mess! 
  • This container is out-of-the-way, but is easily retrieved when it is needed as it is so lightweight. It can be stored up high.
  • I have a friend with an entire room of yarn.  I think the slogan "She who dies with the most yarn...wins" applies to her.  I am not there yet, but I admire folks who are so wildly talented that they can create clothing and bedding, etc from a hook (or a couple of needles).  I am still at the dishcloth, afghan stage...and am quite happy to be there.

Reclaiming our Domain is proving to be really fun!

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: February 16, 2015, 1:47 am

It's only days away, you know....Valentine's Day.  Here is something fun to do that does not cost big bucks, but makes a special meal fun.

How To Make Heart-Shaped Rolls for Valentine's Day.

I wanted to do something fun for our dinner.  So, here we go. This was more simple that I realized.

I used my favorite white bread dough recipe and let my Breadmaker do all the work!  Roll your dough into the shape above... wide at one end and pointed at the other end.

Using a pair of scissors, cut the wide end in long-side down about 1/3 of the shape.

After cutting, attempt to soften the sharp edges with your fingers.

Shape them into a 'heart' and place them on your baking sheet in this manner. You can fit more on the baking sheet by placing them in this alternating pattern.

Spray a piece of plastic wrap with a cooking spray and cover your rolls while they raise.

After they raise (according to your recipe), the sharp edges should be softened and rounded.  Bake according to your bread recipe directions.  I baked my for 20 minutes, but next time I think I will try 18 minutes as 2 of them were harder on the bottom than the others. 

Here is the delicious result!  These are a fun and easy addition to any special meal with your sweetheart!  I made these Valentine Rolls totally from my Food Storage ingredients. 

And you thought Food Storage was boring!

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: February 10, 2015, 12:12 pm

In our family, our adult children have  been in a bit of a transition.  Some coming and others going.  It has been a very fun roller coaster over the past few months. Sometimes we would come home to some type of surprise.  In this case....it was a really big surprise.

Our Son saw this Armoire sitting on the side of the road with a "Free" sign attached to it. He was pretty excited about this find, so he got it into the back of his truck.....and of course brought it home.  He was planning to move out and move on to the next chapter of his life.  His plan was to 'fix it up' and take it with him.  Alas, he married, moved and left this very large piece of furniture here. When we asked what he planned to do with it, he told us he didn't want it and we could do whatever we wanted with it.  Translation...."I don't want it Mom and Dad, you can figure out what you are going to do about it".  I have to admit, this abandoned item was easier to care for than the little dog that was left behind by another child.....alas, that is another story for another time.

When our son left, he wanted the desk that I had been using while he was gone on his mission.  I packed up everything into bags/boxes and off the desk went.  It was really fun having everything you are used to finding in a drawer....now in a bag.

So, I started look at this monstrosity and it had good bones.  The doors slide back into the unit and essentially disappear. There was a lot of room in this section of the unit.

This is the bottom section, and yes that door kept falling through...a lot.  I was excited to see the lock....but alas it had no key.  I need to remember that this unit was "Free".  When the doors were opened, it had a lot of space in there as well.

I happened to be married to the most talented Trim Carpenter on the planet.  I told him that I had this wild idea.  To his credit, he only blinked once.  What was the crazy idea?  I wanted to turn this Armoire into my desk.

Transforming an Armoire into a Desk....

My sweet husband looked at it as I described what I wanted to do.  Initially, I wanted him to remove the area that most likely housed the VCR or DVD player. As he looked at the unit, he said it would have been a structural problem to remove it.  However, he said he still could insert a shelf to hold all the binders that I use on a regular basis.  So, using scraps from the garage (I love that part), he built and attached this shelf to the upper shelf.

I asked him to build a flat surface that could be slid out to be used as a working surface.  I also asked him to put a board at a 90 degree angle at the back of the sliding surface. He said no problem and made it happen.  He stated that the hardware to do this cost about $20.00.  He also attached a powerstrip on the side to plug in all my devices.  I had this powerstrip already. The amount of money spent for that was 0 dollars.

I also had this file cabinet that was also free from a neighbor who had to move quickly.  Unfortunately, when I used to try to fill my own printer cartridges....you can see I had an accident!  I used the sanding block to sand all the surfaces, and that dark spot was still very prominent.

I started painting the file cabinet and the new pieces within the Armoire. The cost of the amount of paint I used was about $10.00.

The outcome.....

Here is the Armoire and the File Cabinet. Don't they look great!!!!! This is how the Armoire looks when it is closed.  I like the fact that I can just shut the doors and hide whatever project I am working on.

Looking inside, you can see my laptop, and my files behind it.  These units keep the files I am using in a standing position.  The black unit has boxes in the front of it where I put pens/pencils, scissors, lotion, White-Out, etc.  The other unit on the left behind my computer just holds files.  The cost for these was....0 dollars!

Here is the other file unit.  I put my Ipad in there to recharge.  It saves valuable real-estate.

Here is another view.  Even with the items I have placed in there, I still have a space for things I am working on that is to the right of the computer. I have put open binders there, papers, etc.

See how nice this sliding surface is?  Having that perpendicular piece of wood keeps my file units secure when the surface is moving.  This slider also lets me work while being seated.

See this little light?  It was something I already had as well.  I have used it to light up my Nativity sets on a certain shelf....but I haven't used it really in a couple of years.  So, it now has a new home.  The cost of having a lighted surface?  As before  0 dollars!

Here is how I am using the former VCR/DVD space and the new shelf.  I am so thrilled that all of my binders fit on this shelf....I could fit every one of them in. In the former VCR/DVD space, I have two organizers.  One holds card-stock and the other the myriad of labels that I use.  In the middle, I have blank greeting cards (thanks to the suggestion of my daughter) and behind them I have blank CD's  and DVD stacks.

I asked Rooster Senior to install these sheets of metal inside both doors.  I have included little containers that hold staples, paperclips, etc.  I also have a magnetic clip to hold the notes of 'to-do' items that I need to take care.  On the other side, I have put photos of my family.  If you recall, these doors can slide back inside of the unit so that they are out of the way if I want.  

The cost of 2 metal sheets was $8.00, the cost of the small metal storage containers ($12.25 for 6 of them).  My husband had magnetic stripping that could have been adhered to them to hold them on the door.  However, I had a Magnetic strip I had purchased for another project.  However,  I decided to use it for this project at a cost of $13.99.  I want to point out I could have done this for free, but decided not to.  

Here is a more global view of the upper part of the Armoire.  I cannot stress enough how roomy this unit is.  However, there is more to show in the bottom of the unit.  

Here is the bottom unit.  It holds A LOT!

I put nearly a whole box of paper paper in here initially.  Yea, I got rid of that ugly box that was an eyesore in the office!

This is opposite from the paper on the bottom shelf.  I have boxes of file folders, envelopes, Stationary, etc.  In the white container (which actually says 'popcorn' on one side of it) I have small some eclectic and odd shaped items that needed a home.  I purchased all 3 of these 'popcorn' containers (now stacked together) from the Dollar Store.  A whopping $3.00 invested.

On the upper shelf (in the bottom of the Armoire), I have containers that hold many things. Items such as my labeler, glue/gluestick, ink cartridges, index cards and the red container holds pens/pencils.  I also got these containers at the Dollar Store.  Total investment here $10.00.

Opposite of the containers noted above, I have 3 organizers that hold items like glossy paper, CD covers, and the little bit of scrap book paper that I have.  I also have a box of plastic sleeves.  I had the organizers already, so the cost for those is 0 dollars again.  

Can you see how much I was able to store in this unit?

So here you see the Armoire and part of the File Cabinet that I painted.  Guess what is behind the photos on the File Cabinet? The Router and Modem.  Next to the photos is my printer.

Take Home Message for "Reclaiming my Domain"....

  • Up until a couple of weeks ago, my daughter was using this space as a Beauty Salon.  I'm not kidding.  She is in the process of purchasing a home and is no longer needing to use our 'Domain'.  I now have an office, a real office for all my needs.  Please understand that I was glad to share with her, but I like the thought of having a place for everything. Had I finished this unit while she was here (just know it would have been hard for a variety of reasons), both of us would have been able to work in there. 
  • It cost me $77.24 to create this beautiful office space.  I could have done it for $63.25 if I chose not to use the Magnetic Strip.  
  • I love that I had most of the items needed to transform this unit.  I love the styling of it and with the matching file cabinet it looks really great in my office.
  • I have a great deal of storage and can also close it all away if I need to as my office is located by my front door.
  • I "Upcycled" this unit. It went from being unwanted to being a beautiful and functional piece of furniture.  Because of the size of the TV it used to house, it is large and spacious.  I can see myself using this for a long time to come.
As our journey to reorganize and 'upcycle' continues, I will share our finished projects as when we complete them.

Don't you just love it?

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: February 2, 2015, 2:30 am

"Neat Stuff" is coming....and no, I am not turning into a "General Store". (Although I have felt like that at times).  We have had recent changes here at home. This is allowing us to truly "Reclaim our Domain"....or put our house back in order for those who live here.....permanently.  

So, watch for upcoming updates.  We are busy, and hope to share the fruits of our labors with you soon!

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: January 22, 2015, 10:00 am

I had a crowd over for dinner around Christmas time.  I have a 3 burner device that can cook or keep 3 shiny pots/kettles going on individual controls. I decided to offer our guests a choice of 3 different soups along with other things.  One of the soups I offered is a crowd favorite....and is very delicious!

(The pots that come with this device are very shiny and made every picture I attempted to take a little challenging!)

How to make Taco Soup from Food Storage Staples

I love Taco Soup.  Pair it with some corn ships and you have a delicious and filling meal.  For this soup, I used only items from my Food Storage, yet the soup was fresh and delicious.

I have Hamburger frozen in 1 pound packages.  I thawed it and broke it up into pieces and then put it in the microwave. Yes, I really did say the microwave.  I timed the microwave for every 30 seconds and stopped to chop and stir. After about a couple of minutes, the Hamburger was cooked and in small pieces.  At this point, you can rinse your hamburger under running water to reduce the fat content, or leave it as is.

I went to my Food Storage room and got a can of canned corn, a few jars of canned black beans (you can use a variety of beans in this recipe), and a can of tomato dices.  

The recipe calls for a package of Ranch Dressing.  No Problem! I have Ranch Dressing Mix on hand that I put together myself.  It is so easy and convenient!

I put in the Ranch dressing mix, along with all the other seasoning as well as the cooked hamburger.  I put the lid on, turned up the burner, and let it simmer until our guests arrived.

Just for your information, I also made Pumpkin Soup, and Chicken Noodle Soup. All of these were made from Food Storage Staples.  Again, it was all so convenient!.  I just turned the burners on and went about my business before my company arrived.

Well, after dinner the gifts were the actual star of the show.  However, I loved being in a position to provide my guests with a nutritious and hearty soups.......all from my food storage staples.

Take home points:

  • Having Food Storage Staples actually is having convenience foods available to you.  
  • I believe this Hearty Taco Soup cost about $2.00 total to feed this crowd.  
  • The cost of the Pumpkin Soup and Chicken soup were nominal as well.  Several folks went back twice for more soup...so it was welcome on a cold winter day.
  • Efforts made in the summer and fall bear fruit during the winter.
  • The peace-of-mind that comes from having food stuffs on hand is priceless.
  • Food Storage Staples are not just for emergencies, it is for everyday living.  In this case, it was for a holiday celebration.
  • Gaining skill sets brings successes in many ways.  It's not just about the food, it is the knowledge and preparation that makes this possible.

Taco Soup:

(I got this recipe from a group called "Organized Christmas" a number of years ago.)

Taco Soup

  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Combine these ingredients, cook and drain. Add the following to the pot:
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 Large can diced, stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can Ro-tell tomatoes (if you can't find these, look for tomatoes with diced chillies, or in a pinch a good hot salsa or picante sauce will do).
  • 1 pkg Taco Seasoning Mix (1 Tblsp)
  • 1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (I have actually poured in an amount from a my dressing bottle before)

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for an hour (or keep the water to a minimum and put it in the crock pot for all day)

Serve over tortilla chips or tamales. Garnish with sour cream, shredded cheeses, and or cubed avocado. 

Try it!

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: January 5, 2015, 4:07 am

I am assuming that many of you will be staying up tonight. You certainly won't be alone.....because a great deal of celebration will be happening to welcome in 2015.  But, after such a late night, who wants to get up early to make breakfast?

Making a Breakfast Casserole overnight in the Crockpot.

Yes, you can really do this.  I even did this with many Food Storage Staples that I had on hand.

The recipe that I use called for Hash-browns.  No problem, I had diced dehydrated Hash Browns in my pantry. 

Here they are after soaking for a short time.  I place them in the crockpot (lined with a crockpot liner)

Place all the eggs in a single dish.

Add the spices such as Mustard Powder....

A little Salt is always good...

A touch of freshly cracked pepper from the mill...

Stir the mixture vigorously....

I like to add Sausage, Bacon, or a combination of the two.  Here I am adding browned Sausage on top of the Hash-browns.

Add the cheese next....

Pour the egg mixture over the other ingredients.....

Begin cooking the casserole on low for 7-8 hours before you plan to serve it.  So, if you are staying up for the "New Years Rockin Eve" tonight, plug this in and let it cook while you sleep.

When you wake up, it will smell delicious!  No work, just joy in the morning.

Try it!  Happy New Year!

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: January 1, 2015, 2:39 am
Image Courtesy of lds.org
I love the lessons taught through the life of the Savior.  I sometimes struggle to find a favorite....there are so many that I am grateful for.  But, today I want to touch on one.  This particular lesson has had such power for me personally over the past few months.

Great Lessons from the "Woman taken in Adultery"

I realize that most folks are focusing on Luke 2...as am I.  However, I wish to focus on another story that I feel capture lessons for life that we all can be blessed with at during this Holiday season and throughout the year. If you are not familiar with this powerful message, it is found in John Chapter 8. With your indulgence, I would like to share my insights and those of others that I have taken from this thought-provoking incident.
To set the stage, the Savior was teaching at the temple when the following occurred:
3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
Image courtesy of lds.org

Now, who were the Scribes and Pharisees?  

These folks were not friends of the Savior, rather enemies who had conspired ahead of time to trick or discredit Him. President Howard W. Hunter described the Pharisees in this manner:

"The Pharisees were the largest and most influential of the three sects of Judaism at the time of Christ. The Pharisaic movement in the Jewish state rose from the ranks of the lay lawyers of the Greek period to become the leading religious and political party. The main characteristics of the Pharisees were their legalism and their legalistic inflexibility. They were known for their strict accuracy in the interpretation of the law and their scrupulous adherence to living the law in every minute detail. This caused them to be known as the strictest of Jewish sects in observing their tradition. They shunned the non-Pharisee as being unclean, thereby keeping themselves separated from those they considered to be the common people."
First off, this sounds like a very difficult way to live.  I love the term "legalistic inflexibility" that he uses, it is very descriptive. If I interpret this correctly, we might refer to it in our day as "It's my way or the highway".  You either agree without deviation with these individuals or you are shunned. 

This type of shunning can be found in various circles:
  • Political
  • Racial 
  • Familial
  • Social
  • And in the workplace
Image courtesy of lds.org


In their day, there was not mass communication. They had to meet...at least two or more of them, together at a time.  During these 'get-togethers', we must infer that their severe dislike for the Savior brought about various discussions or plans to rid themselves of him.  These discussions and plans must have been shared with others as the scripture verse states "Scribes and Pharisees" which means multiple people.

One or more of them had to had knowledge of this Woman's lifestyle.  (Now, I am in no way  agreeing with her choice and that of her partner when they chose to indulge in Adultery).  Whether she had lead this lifestyle previous to this event, or was placed in a position that she fell, we may never know.  The point here is that someone had knowledge of the place, time, and the event to be caught "in the very act".  (Have you ever wondered where the guy was in all of this?).  Again, these self-appointed legal zealots had to have conspired to know of her whereabouts etc to find her and bring her to the Savior.  These treacherous individuals only gave a portion of the critical information to the Savior. They only focused upon her act, not the act of the two folks engaged in intimacy, not the circumstances that lead up to them finding her in this compromising position, and certainly not the methods they were using to humiliate her.  They had an agenda and they used it. 

In our day, communication is lightning fast and there are a variety of methods to communicate.  These technical marvels include text, email, blogging, twitter, phone calls etc. But, some time-tested methods are still here, the act of gathering together and visiting.  

Although we have more methods to communicate than ever, the temptation to Gossip and mislead are still there.  Gossip traditionally focuses only on partial aspects of a situation or a person. The individual sharing the distorted information often has a purpose other than being fully transparent.  Gossip becomes particularly hard to distinguish if it comes from an individual you care about or trust.  As it was at the time of this scripture story, the purpose of Gossip is the same, to distort and garner support essentially in an unholy fashion. Gossip inflicts emotional and spiritual wounds that sometimes drive friends and family far apart. The desire for temporary gain or superiority is never precious enough to hurt others. There is no righteous use for Gossip.....
I would like to quote Elder Marvin J Ashton:
 In the world today we are victims of many who use their tongues as sharp swords. The misuse of our tongues seems to add intrigue and destruction as the media and private persons indulge in this pastime. In the vernacular of the day, this destructive activity is called bashing. The dictionary reports that to bash is to strike with a heavy, crushing blow.
Such a popular behavior is indulged in by far too many who bash a neighbor, a family member, a public servant, a community, a country, a church. It is alarming also how often we find children bashing parents and parents bashing children.“For every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18:14.)
 We as members of the Church need to be reminded that the words “Nay, speak no ill” are more than a phrase in a musical context but a recommended way of life. (See Hymns, no. 233.) We need to be reminded more than ever before that “if there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” (A of F 1:13.) If we follow that admonition, there is no time for the dastardly hobby of bashing instead of building.

The Ambush....

The Scribes and Pharisees were using subterfuge. In the words of Elder Marvin J Ashton:

"[The scribes and Pharisees] brought unto Him the woman taken in adultery. These enemies … tried to trick Him.....They were setting Him up in what appeared to be an impossible situation. Moses’s law says to stone her. “What sayest thou?” [John 8:5] they asked, tempting Him, trapping Him—putting Him in a no-win position.
This was an ambush of the most cruel type.  Not only for this woman who was most likely fearing for her life at this point, but also for the Savior as these legal scholars were attempting to box him in a corner and discredit him.  

If you have lived you life without being ambushed in some form or fashion, consider yourself lucky.  Chances are, you just haven't thought about these experiences as emotional ambushes.  Things like friends suddenly avoiding you (think back to the playground) both as kids and unfortunately as adults.  The loss of a boyfriend/girlfriend to a friend.  Being overlooked for an opportunity in education or business only to learn later that a trusted individual had engaged in behaviors to discredit you and enhance themselves, or walking into a situation where everyone seems to know about the purpose of the gathering...but you.

All of us have been born and blessed with the "Light of Christ" meaning that we can discern goodness and seek for it over evil.  The Holy Ghost provides promptings to do good as well as promptings to avoid situations that are not praiseworthy or safe.

“That which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men. …“Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given” (D&C 46:7–8).
When presented with a choice to be involved in any sort of ambush, I encourage you to make it a matter of prayer and supplication.  Seek for inspiration to know how to proceed "lest ye are deceived".  In my view, time-outs are not just for children.  In the Medical world, physicians take a 'time-out' just prior to surgery to ensure they have the right patient, procedure, patient history, supplies, etc. We can apply that same philosophy when we are invited to engage in any type of ambush.  Take a time-out and seek inspiration.


In many ways, we all use inference or prediction throughout our day. Situations like walking into a room and seeing a mess without anyone one in view.  In the past, this may have happened because one or more individuals have made decisions to leave a similar disaster behind. What is our first thought? Perhaps we choose to call the former perpetrators into the room. "Kids.....come downstairs....now!".  In this all too familiar situation, I have (in total exasperation) jumped to conclusions that one or all of my sweet children have been the guilty of the mess-making.  Then, lots of finger pointing ensues.  

I have had to learn to talk with my kids differently.  "Can someone tell me what happened here?"  "Did someone forget to pick up after themselves here?"  For me, asking in this manner takes a lot of patience....(which is something I have had to work hard to garner) to help resolve the mess-test.  Have I at times said things like "It doesn't matter who made the mess, lets just get it cleaned up".  Yup...but I had to learn to undo that type of stuff.  

It's one thing to make an assumption about the intent of others, but it is a totally different thing to either not clarify the situation and publish the assumption to others as fact.  As noted above, we have various methods of communication today....all can be used to publish for a good purpose or to promote an unfounded assumption.

The Scribes and Pharisees made assumptions about who the Savior was and published them among themselves.  I love that fact that Paul had been a Pharisee and then made life-changing decisions that positively impacted the future of the gospel during his life-time.  Somewhere along the line, he had to abandon his life-style, stop making assumptions about who the Savior was, and go on his own fact-finding mission.  He ultimately discovered the glorious gifts the Savior was offering to the world.

Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet.

The Gifts of the Savior in the Parable...

Courtesy of lds.org

Now that we have addressed the foibles of man, I would love....love.....love to point out the tremendous gifts of the Savior in this parable.  As this is the Christmas season, let's examine the great gifts that Savior gives us all by turning lemons into lemonade.


The Savior could have joined in with the Scribes and Pharisees and bashed or humiliated this woman even further....because she was a sinner.  He instead chose "the better part".   

6...This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
It must have taken significant patience to listen to and know that he was being targeted. He patiently, and with kindness, pointed out a way for them to accomplish a part of their goal......to stone her.  However, there was a precursor, they had to be without sin to do so.  He was the only one present who could be that person...the one without sin.  He let them look introspectively and make their own choices.  I love that he was very low-key in his actions as well.  

Love Unfeigned....

I am going to make an assumption...(yes I know.....).  I am going to assume that the Savior cared for and about everyone in the situation. This includes the woman and the Scribes and Pharisees.  These were all his children, and he loved them all.  He set up a situation that allowed the accusers to self-evaluate and change their course without being forced.  He showed love for the woman by protecting her from her accusers and saving her from stoning.  This action is masterful....

See this great explanation from Elder Marvin J. Ashton:

The woman taken in adultery answered the Lord’s question regarding her accusers by saying, “No man, Lord.” And then this powerful declaration came: “Go, and sin no more” [John 8:11]. The Master was teaching in that day and also teaching in this very hour. His great message: despise the sin, but love the sinner. I hope that can give us strength and confidence and a closer relationship to our Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus did not condone adultery. He gave the woman love instead of an authoritative lecture. She and the accusers needed a lesson in love. The situation called for mercy and compassion. How rewarding it is to know that Jesus believed that man is greater than all of his sins. Is it any wonder He was referred to as the “Good Shepherd”? He loved all of His sheep whether they were strays, hungry, helpless, cold, or lost.

Courtesy of lds.org


The lessons here are many.  In my understanding, this is the one that most folks have taken away from this story is the forgiveness aspect.

9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.I cannot express how touching this lesson is to me personally.  He loved her and cared about her eternal progression. He offered her....and the rest of us.....a pathway to return to our Heavenly Father again.  He proffered forgiveness.  

This gift...or lesson... is one that can be a bitter pill for many folks.  When someone has wronged us, has inflected significant pain, bashed us, or taken away something or someone dear.....we have the opportunity to forgive.  

 [He] seems to center around the virtues of love, compassion, forgiveness, and long-suffering—in other words, those qualities that enable us to deal with our fellowmen more compassionately. Let’s look specifically at the Savior’s message to the Twelve. They (and we) were admonished to “be reconciled to [our] brother” (Matt. 5:24), to “agree with [our] adversary quickly” (Matt. 5:25), to “love [our] enemies, [to] bless them that curse [us], [to] do good to them that hate [us], and [to] pray for them which despitefully use [us], and persecute [us].” (Matt. 5:44.) We are told, “Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matt. 5:39.)A set of pretty high standards to live up to.....but it is possible.  This life is meant for us all to make choices.  We have the opportunity to make choices everyday. We can make compassionate, loving, kind, and patient choices.  We can choose to bless the lives of those we interact with on a daily basis.  For those who partake of the sacred Sacrament, this offers a weekly basis to forgive, repent, and choose the better. If we seek the Holy Spirit, he can guide us through the process of forgiveness and repentance. 

How do we take the Holy Spirit for our guide? We must repent of our sins each week and renew our covenants by partaking of the sacrament with clean hands and a pure heart, as we are commanded to do (see D&C 59:8–9, 12). Only in this way can we have the divine promise that we will “always have his Spirit to be with [us]” (D&C 20:77). That Spirit is the Holy Ghost, whose mission is to teach us, to lead us to truth, and to testify of the Father and the Son (see John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:13; 3 Ne. 11:32, 36).
This past year has been one of the hardest years of my life. Trusted individuals have made choices that have caused an immense amount of pain and suffering for far too many people.  I still do not see any winners throughout this entire experience.  Far to much as been lost.

As painful as it has been for me personally, I have worked (and continue to work) hard to forgive the perpetrators.  These are folks I love and cherish....which is why it has been so very difficulty for me personally. I am grateful for these many gifts the Savior offers to us all.  I am touched by his kind impressions and love I have felt from him through this ordeal and throughout my life. As my Dad always says "This too shall pass...if we can endure it well".  I am trying to do so with every turn.

Courtesy of lds.org


The Gospel of Jesus Christ is filled with hope. If we are willing to turn to Him and live righteously, I do believe that we as individuals and collectively can change lives, situations, and ultimately the world.  We were sent here to succeed...pure and simple.  We are never given anything that we cannot handle, no matter how overwhelming it is. Remember, you can do what is needed and by doing so, you will grow in so many areas of your life.  Be the blessing that the other person needs you to be.

I believe Elder Ashton has a great summary statement....

Let us open our arms to each other, accept each other for who we are, assume everyone is doing the best he or she can, and look for ways to help leave quiet messages of love and encouragement instead of being destructive with bashing. 


The Scribes and Pharisees were short sighted in their efforts, but were still children of our Heavenly Father.  They too were loved.. I pray that at this Christmas time, we will all be loving, be forgiving, and build up where we can. We have been given this great gift of life, let us all live up to the potential that the Savior and our Heavenly Father have gifted to us all.

Merry Christmas to you all...

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: December 24, 2014, 6:39 pm

Preparedness Websites:

I am a follower of many blogs and websites. I love to learn from those who share the same interests and concerns that I do. I am also grateful when good folks like you all take a few minutes of your precious time to read our blog. It is my hope that you find something of use, a nugget or two to use in your busy daily lives. Every once-in-a-while, I am touched by the kindness of others.  I have fortunate to be mentioned on various lists as a site to visit.  Just to be included on the same lists as other's who are notable is really a great honor.

I have never been at the top of the lists, but I am really just fine with that. I will continue to look and learn, search and find, and experiment and share in my efforts to help you be as self-sufficient as can be on a daily basis.  I do this not because I am preaching a doomsday philosophy. Rather, it is a 'real-life' philosophy.  My husband's business tends to be cyclical.  We have used our food storage, and DIY skills for years.....and have always been fine.

No one knows when they may need to call upon their preparations either in skills or with food or 'stuff.  One thing is for sure, if the day hasn't come to you yet, it most likely will.  I would encourage you not to put your head in the sand.....invest in yourself and your family.  Live with more peace, live with more confidence, live with the opportunity to share and serve others because you have taken the time and interest to become more self-sufficient.

Now, if you want to see where I landed....it was down on the list...but yet still on the list(s). Thank you to those who considered me and those who took a moment to vote.  While looking on the list, please visit the many experts listed!  You will be amazed and hopefully curious to learn more!

It's the end of another year.  It is the time that many reflect and make goals for the future.  Make a list, make a plan, learn!

Consider it!

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: December 21, 2014, 9:45 pm

I have the opportunity to teach a the CTR-A Class in our Primary. Translation, I teach the 7 to 8 year-old children in our Congregation's Children's program on Sunday.  In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, turning 8 is a very big deal.  All year, we learn about making important choices and preparing for....Baptism.  


In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have learned from scripture that children are accountable for their choices beginning at age 8:
And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands (D&C 68:27).
Being a medical professional, I have always found it interesting that Myelination is usually complete by age 8 as well.  What this essentially means is that nerves are protected and also transmit information faster when this process is completed. Myelination also helps with "executive functioning" which are higher order brain activities that allow for more complex thought and decision-making. That's why I think it is truly inspired that children are thought to be accountable or able to make good decisions by the time they are 8.  

When children of our faith turn 8, they can decide if they would like to be Baptized. This is not a requirement, but an opportunity if the child appears to understand and wishes to take this important step.  The Bishop of the congregation interviews the child to determine whether they are ready and understand the importance of the covenants or promises that come with Baptism.

Baptism Towel:

I had two little class members who had prepared and made the decision to be Baptized recently.  I wanted to do something special for them ahead of time, so I made the following for them:

I found this "CTR" design (which is the 'logo' for the CTR-A Class. It means "Choose the Right") on Etsy.  I think it went well overall, but I found that there were a couple of 'white' spaced in the design which I will be contacting the seller about.

Under the logo, I embroidered the child's name, and the Baptism date.

I wrapped them up with a ribbon.  (There is a poem that can accompanying them, I decided not to include it this time around).  These were delivered before the 'big day'.  The kids said they loved them and one of the boys said he wanted to watch his friend be Baptized as he was slated to be Baptized first. So, his Dad wrapped him in this towel after he came out of the water so that he would be warm while he watched his friend take this important step.  

I like the fact that this small token gift was not given on the day of the Baptism. I didn't want to take away from the meaning and importance of this very special event. I also like the fact that after the Baptism,  it can serve as a reminder of their important decision.  

Take Home Message:

  • If you have an embroidery machine or access to one, this is a very simple project.
  • I paid about $6.00/towel and I really feel that the thread cost is minimal.  I did use stabilizer and topper, but these can be done with scraps from other projects.
  • This can be personalized for each child....and make them feel special.

Consider it!

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: December 15, 2014, 3:13 am
Black Beans

It is a December day, and although there is no snow outside (yet), a warm and hearty soup is always so very welcome.

Black Bean Salsa Soup:

I have had this recipe for a long time.  I just forgot about it for some reason. However, today I pulled it out and made it really fast.  It uses Food Storage Staples and is almost a convenience food straight from your pantry.

1. I used Black Beans from my Storage.  I cooked them in my Electric Pressure Cooker.  It takes about 30 minutes.

2. The recipe calls for chicken broth.  I used my First Street Chicken Flavored Soup Base.

3.  It also calls for Salsa. Well, I happened to have some of that on hand!  I can my own.

That's it!  Would you like the recipe?  Those who follow the South Beach diet plan may recognize this wonderful little gem.  

Black Bean Salsa Soup (SouthBeachDiet.com)

2 cans black beans, rinsed (I used beans that I have canned or use my pressure cooker)
2 cans of chicken broth (as noted above, I use a soup base)
1-1/2 cups of chunky salsa (I use my canned salsa)
1 can of green chillies (from my pantry)

In a blender of food processor place 1 can of black beans, chicken broth, and salsa.  Blend until smooth.  Place mixture into a saucepan with the rest of the beans and chilies.  Mixture will develop into a wonderful creamy soup. Warm on your stove.  Makes about 6 servings.

Top with a dollop of Sour cream and green onion if 'permitted'.  (I broke the rules and put just a little shredded cheddar on top). 

Take away points:

  • Use beans from your storage....either ones you have canned or dry beans that can be cooked in either your pressure cooker or in a pan after soaking.  It makes use of of your food storage staples.
  • I keep a soup base on hand to use in place of chicken or beef broth.  It is less expensive and takes up a fraction of the space in your pantry.
  • Using your canned salsa is a great because you are able to benefit from your efforts at harvest time.
  • I figure I made this meal for under $3.00.

Try it!

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: December 7, 2014, 11:45 pm

In honor of Thanksgiving this year, I want to thank our wonderful readers who have viewed and contributed to our blog.  I feel blessed to have you as a part of my life and hope to share more time with you all in the future.

I hope your day is also filled with a prayer of Thanksgiving.  Prayer has always been a part of the Thanksgiving tradition even from the very beginning.  Would you like a little proof?  Here is a public notice given to the Plymouth Colony from 1636:

"In ye Meetinghouse, beginning some halfe an hour before nine & continued untill after twelve aclocke, ye day beeing very cold, beginning wt a short prayer, then a psalme sang, then more large in prayer, after that an other Psalme, & then the Word taught, after that prayer - & then a psalme…" and then was followed by dinner, "…the poorer sort beeing invited of the richer."

Today, I wish you health, happiness and joy as you and your family reflect on the goodness that you enjoy.  There is goodness in any situation, no matter how trying.  It is a time for gratitude, forgiveness, and love.  Make good memories today.....

May the Lord bless you all this Thanksgiving Day!

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: November 27, 2014, 12:42 pm

Why you might want to cook your Turkey early!

This is an encore post from a few years ago.  The information still applies and I hope it helps you prepare for your upcoming holiday!  It takes one more stressor out of your plans!

Many folks are intimidated with cooking a Turkey.  I certainly was the first time I attempted it. After I was done, I remember thinking....'what was I afraid of?"  

I cooked a Turkey yesterday.  I try to reduce the stress of the actual holiday....so that I can enjoy it as well.    Here is the method I use and find that it works well. I hate being the only one who isn't in a position to 'play' before the big feast.  I decided to do this because my husband carves the turkey before we serve it anyway so the presentation is not a big deal

Yes, I am using my Roaster Oven again.  So, I laid out the rack on the counter. See the little blue box.  In my world, this is a 'must'.  Get the Oven Cooking Bags for Turkeys.  They are totally worth it.

Take your thawed Turkey out of the wrapping.  If you are buying a frozen Turkey, let it thaw in your refrigerator for several days.  This is a very safe method to thaw your bird.   Rinse the bird.

Remove the neck and giblet packets from the neck and little 'butt' opening. Rinse the cavities.  After rinsing, I often salt the cavities.

I cut up onion, apples, and always add citrus.  These help keep the meat moist and flavorful.  

Fill the cavities with these.  You can also add herbs such as Rosemary as well.

Follow the directions on the box of the Oven bags by putting in flour and shaking it in the bag.

Tie the legs closed to keep your content inside the cavity.  You can also use toothpicks to keep the other cavity closed.

Place your Turkey in the bag.  I placed the bagged Turkey on the rack and then carefully loaded it into the Roaster Oven. You can place you Turkey in your Standard Oven at this point as well.  

Put water into your oven as well, set the temperature gauge, put the lid on, and wait until it is cooked.  You hopefully can see the little red 'dot' on the Turkey.  I am a big proponent of using these little gauges.  Why?  they not only ensure the Turkey is cooked, but you may also be surprised at how fast your Turkey can cook not only in the bag, but also in the Roaster.  The combination can cut some time off the process.

On the day of Thanksgiving, I use my Roaster Oven to warm the Turkey meat inside another Cooking Magic bag with a big of water.  The meat is still moist and delicious.  You can make gravy with the drippings ahead of time and warm it either in a crock pot or in a saucepan.  Then I serve it to to everyone!

Consider it!

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: November 22, 2014, 6:28 pm

Pumpkin-shaped Rolls for Thanksgiving!  So easy..

I love the holidays....and my house is already sporting my Thanksgiving decor!  As much as I love the holidays, I hate the stress that can accompany them.  Soooo, I will be posting (and planning) ideas for Thanksgiving so that when the big day comes....I can be ready and relaxed.

One of the crowd favorites are.....ROLLS!!!  I have made different types over the years. Some were more preferred than others.  This year, I have something fun for you to try....

You can do this with home-made dough or the 'frozen' option.  Yes, these are the frozen option....let's just say that I was in a hurry!  I let them unthaw for about an hour. Then I used my kitchen shears and made 8 cuts-slits around the roll.  

After making the cuts, cover the rolls with a towel and allow them rise per the directions of your recipe or your frozen-roll dough.

When they have risen sufficiently, use a kitchen tool with a rounded-end. Make an indention in the middle of the rolls.

Here you see my rolls with the circular indention's.

 Brush with egg-white. This gives you a glossy finish and a firm crust.

Oh, and just before baking insert either a walnut or pecan nut or sliver.  I used Almond slivers here.

Baked according to directions.  These are cute and fun!  It is a nice addition to any Thanksgiving table.  So easy and delicious too!

Try it!

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: November 9, 2014, 11:28 pm

Preserving your 'Candy Bounty' from Halloween...

Yes, if you look really hard, you can see a lot of treats in these canning jars. That is by design.  I went to the big box store early in the morning on November 1 and found lots of Halloween candy on sale for 50% off. There was a bit of a mob picking through all the candy. One lady complained about another customer who came in and 'took 200 bags of chocolate candy'.  I thought that he was pretty savvy myself.  Anyway, I digress...I actually bought lots of different kinds of candy during that shopping trip.

I decided to help preserve it....for posterity. I really mean that.  Rooster Senior thinks candy is another food group...I keep waiting for the Doctor to give him 'what for' because of all the candy and soda he consumes. However, they keep telling him he is just as healthy as can be.  

I decided to can different candies in pint jars....so that when we did get into them....there wouldn't be mounds of candy to consume quickly all at once.  I did this because vacuum sealing helps keep chocolate from getting white, and helps keep things like taffy and licorice stay soft.

It is important that all the edges of the packaging do not interfere with the seal.

I turned all the edges under before placing the lid on it.

I sealed the candies in both wide-mouth and regular-mouth jars.

Now, why would I do all this?  Well, for several reasons:
  • It think it is important to have known comfort foods in your storage.  Not only is it fun, but it really can be comforting in times of stress
  • I do this when candies are on sale and save money.
  • I have treats for when little ones come to visit.
  • I hopefully can keep the little ones from raiding Grandpa's stash without permission....because this secret stash really is not so secret!

Try it!

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: November 3, 2014, 1:25 am

Trick-or-Treat Bags made with Machine Embroidery....Perfect for little Goblins this Halloween!

Look what I did.....last Saturday.....when I had this wild idea....and just a little time to execute it. 

I will be having a Halloween Party at my home tomorrow for a few little Goblins that I love to pieces.  These Goblins are local, and thus a last minute idea happens to work.

I created this pattern because other Trick or Treat bags that I have made were just as big if not bigger than the little Goblin who would try to carry it. So, I made these a bit smaller. They are not as wide, but they are super cute!

We have a little fabric store in my little town, so I decided to support it and bought some coordinating fabrics.  In the black, I cut 2 pieces 11" x 14".  I then downloaded this sweet Jack-o-Lantern design to program my Embroidery Machine. I loved that this design is....free!  I also embroidered the name of each little Goblin just under the Jack-o-Lantern.

I used some left over piping from another project and covered it with coordinating fabric.  Using my zipper foot, I stitched the new fabric closely to the piping.

For the little "Goblin-Princess", I made a ruffle.  The width of the ruffle is 3 inches and the length depends upon how tightly you want your ruffle to be.

See how great the Orange pumpkin stands out against the black. The downloaded pumpkin pattern turned out very well!

I made a 'cuff' from coordinating orange fabric that was ~5 inches x 11 inches.  Here you see that I am stacking several layers.  After sewing the sides of the bag (black fabric), I pinned the piping (or ruffle) and the cuff together and used a zipper foot to sew along side of the piping.

 The lining (same size as the black fabric) is also sewn along the same seam as the piping stack. I didn't sew all 4 layers together at once as the lining was slippery and I didn't want to unpick anything unless I had to.  Next, you can see that I pinned the seam together and sewed along the side and bottom. I serged all edges to finish them off.  In case you are asking why I finished the inside of the bag that way. Well.....let's just remember that it is a "Trick or Treat Bag"!  It is not a fashion bag!

Here is a bag with piping.  I made handles and sewed ric-rac on the handle for a sweet and funky look.

Here is a close-up of the ruffle embellishment.

I love how they turned out. However, the downside is my insanely busy schedule. I didn't think of doing this until a few days ago. That means that I didn't have enough time to make more for the other Goblins who live out-of-state. Sooooo, I will let the parents of these Goblins decide if they want me to make more for them next year.

I really need to plan ahead a bit, don't I?

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: October 30, 2014, 5:04 am

I have a few little goblins that will toddle through my house this year....and I love it!  I have always decorated and celebrated every holiday in my home.  I wanted my children to have fun and fond memories of our time together over the years.  

Now, I have another generation that I would 'spread the fun around' with.  So, I have plans for our party this year, and I would like to share some of the fun things that I will have at that family gathering.

Halloween Jack-o-Lantern Jars....from Canning jars and Vinyl Cut-outs.  

Well, if you have been reading my blog for any time at all, you know that I can lots of different things. As such, I have jars...and jars...and jars in my storage room.  I decided to try a little project this year.

I cut out some fun faces using my Silhouette.  I put them on to transfer paper.  I then cut the individual faces apart.

I found a smooth side to my jar and rubbed the design/transfer paper on to the jar.

I initially had the plain jar and put in a flame-less candle.  You know the ones that are sold at Christmas time. They work just great for these, and little hands can be curious and not get burned if they try to touch them.

I decided to put on some raffia for fun!

Aren't they sweet?  I think all the little Goblins will love them when we 'party-hardy"....(well as much as you can with a 3-year old and younger party!).

Take Home Message:

  • I had all the materials to do this project.  I had the Vinyl from another project. The cost for me today was just my time.
  • The Canning Jars are from my storage...again I had these items on hand.
  • I used flame-less candles for safety.  I had used these candles in my Christmas decorating. They are perfect for this little project.

Simple, Easy, Cute, and Fun!  Who can ask for anything more?

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: October 26, 2014, 10:35 pm

I have a number of sweet little Grandchildren....sprinkled all over the United States.  Yes, I really mean all over.  I kind of want to agree with my neighbor Vicki who says that "It should be against the law for Grandchildren to move far away from their Grandparents".  If only it could be like that....

Our little Grandchildren love music in many forms.  I love to hear their sweet voices when they talk and when they sing.  Being a Speech-Language Pathologist, little voices are very intriguing to me.

Family Home Evening, spending time together as a Family.

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a number of auxiliaries and programs that support the family. Today, I want to highlight "Family Home Evening".  This is an opportunity for the family to gather one night a week and spend time together in a variety of activities.  There may be nights with games or recreation, religious instruction, service to others, etc.  The purpose is to build strong families, understanding of our Father in Heaven and his Son Jesus Christ, and the Gospel.  It's a great idea isn't it...in fact it was inspired.  

As early as 1915, the Church of Jesus Christ encouraged families to set aside one evening a week to spend valuable time together.  In 1970, President Joseph Fielding Smith and the First Presidency designated Monday nights as Family Home Evening night and encouraged no other activities etc to be held that would interfere with this valued time with the family.  

Singing Songs and Hymns for Family Home Evening

One special aspect for me during our Family Home Evenings together is singing songs for fun and for worship.  As such, I have made binders for many of my adult children and their families.  I wanted to make it fun, so let me show you what I did and how I organized it.

Although these are not published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I think the graphics are really fun for our Family Home Evening singing time.  You can purchase these in many areas, with Amazon being only one source.

I printed, cut and laminated the different graphics for various songs from the CD's.

Singing a Song is "Fun to Do"...

and, "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam". There are many more that I have prepared in the same manner.

When you follow these links above, you will be directed to a screen like this one...

You can see the sheet music, can play the audio, learn about the composer and see this song in various languages.  However, what I was pleased to learn is that you can print the song as a "PDF". Look in the upper right hand corner of the screen and download the song.  I printed a copy of each song in color.

I put the graphics and the song into plastic sleeves.

I used a Sharpie to label each plastic sleeve and put them into a binder. Now, you have everything you need to add music to your home.....and your Family Home Evening.

Music adds such a positive element to our family. I hope you consider putting together a binder similar to this one to make your time together organized and fun!

Try it!

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: October 20, 2014, 1:54 am

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  As such, we have a world-wide series of meetings every 6 months called "General Conference".  Well, it is that time again and I love to hear what I consider inspired messages from our Prophet and Apostles.  Since it is world-wide, it is broadcast over television, radio, and the Internet.  We are watching in the comfort of our living room.

Every General Conference time, I publish a recipe that is made from Food Storage staples.  I think this is a perfect time to 'practice' and share the 'yumminess' with my family members.  Here is my current offering....pumpkin pancakes.  Doesn't the name alone conjure up delicious thoughts?

Making Pumpkin Pancakes from Food Storage items:

I have actually canned my own Pumpkin. Yes, I really did it.  It has been a great blessing over the past year and I have used it in so many of my recipes.  Today's recipe is no different.  I placed the golden chunks of canned pumpkin into a blender and made my puree. So quick and easy to do!

I got my bowls and spoons/cups out.  Did you know that they all come in one system and are stored inside of the green bowl?  I love this set!  

You start by adding the dry ingredients beginning with the flour.

...White Sugar

....add the Brown Sugar

.....don't forget the baking powder and cinnamon, pumpkin spice and the nutmeg!

Mix all the dry ingredients together.

In a separate bowl, begin to add your wet ingredients starting with an egg.

.....add the milk

...the Pumpkin puree

....and yummy Mexican Vanilla and Molasses

Mix the wet ingredients together.  Then add the wet and dry ingredients together.

Spray your favorite oil product onto a hot griddle.  Because these pancakes have a darker color already, they will be dark when they are finished cooking.  Just watch your heat and you will be fine.  At first, I thought I had burned them, but  that wasn't the case.

Don't they look yummy?  I used butter that I have stored in the freezer and syrup which I had in my pantry.  This is a surprisingly simple and delicious dish.  I plan to do this again. Why would you ask?

Because Rooster Senior said, "We should have these again".  That's good enough for me.

Take home message:

  • All the items were in my pantry, refrigerator, or freezer.  I did not have to purchase anything special for this.
  • Although I am not sure how I would calculate the cost of this meal, the most expensive ingredient would have been the pumpkin puree.  Well, last year I canned a large pumpkin that cost me $2.00 and another that was free.  I calculated that I canned an equivalent of the canned pumpkin (15 oz can) for $.28 versus the cost of a commercially priced can of over $3.00.  You can save money by preserving your own foods as well as know what had been added to the food.  
  • This is a filling and warm breakfast on a cool fall morning.
  • Time together with my family.....priceless!

Try it!

Here is the recipe from Averie Cooks:

1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 large egg
3/4 cup Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (I used whole milk) 
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 to 2 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
maple syrup for serving, or your favorite topping (try Vanilla Maple Syrup or Ginger Molasses Maple Syrup)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk to combine the first 9 dry ingredients (through optional salt); set aside.
In a  small bowl, whisk to combine all remaining wet ingredients (except maple syrup for serving).
Pour wet mixture over dry, and stir gently until just combined; don't overmix.
Preheat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Using a 1/4-cup measure or  large cookie scoop, scoop batter onto warm skillet. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until small bubbles form on the surface and pancakes are set enough to flip. I cook covered for better results, but cook the way you normally cook your pancakes.
Carefully flip over and cook for about 2 to 3 more minutes, or until done and cooked through.
Add more cooking spray to wiped skillet before starting next batch.

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: October 5, 2014, 5:22 pm

September marks a few important things.  For mother's, it often means a new school year for their children.  For some it is the month focusing on preparedness.  Still, for me, it is a month marking some important birthdays for my Mother and Mother-in-law.

Embroidering Hand Towels:

I was given a new toy a few months ago.  It came with classes that were scheduled during my work hours.  I didn't figure a way to take the classes right away, I had a wedding, family reunions, was hiring up for work, and just trying to stay afloat with all the other aspects of life.

Well, I finally figured a way to go to the classes to learn how.... to.....use ....my new Embroidery Sewing Machine! Yes, I got something I had never really looked into. I have always admired the beautiful things my sisters had made with their machines. However, with the very busy schedule I keep, I couldn't even justify it. Well, apparently my husband did not get this cryptic message I had stored in my head.  With the help of my daughter, they purchased one for me.  Would you like to see one of my first projects?

I ironed "wonder-under" on to my cotton fabric (the one with the circles) and cut out a circle after tracing a bowl from my cupboard.  I appliquéd the circle on to the towel after ironing the circle on.  

Then I typed in my font and the name "A...n,,,n", tried to center the item...and..... then.....

I pushed the "Green button".  It magically moved the hoop all over the place as it embroidered the name.

I also just tried an initial to see how that would look.  I kind of liked it!

I made ruffles for the bottom of each towel. I used a rolled hem to finish the edges (using my serger).

Didn't they turn out really cute?

What is the cost break-down:

  • A set of 4 towels with 2 washcloths from the "Ross" store was $6.00. A second pack of 4 towels and one washcloth was $4.00.
  • The Thread I had, but the cost would have been minuscule
  • Stabilizer I calculate cost about $.75
  • Wonder-under ~$.50
  • Cotton Fabric $6.50 for a yard (I used 3/4 of a yard for 6 towels)
  • The look in the eyes of my Mother and Mother-in-law...Priceless!

So, I will be venturing out more and trying to make other projects using this new tool.....    More to come!

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: September 28, 2014, 9:01 pm

The Benefits of setting up an Outdoor Kitchen...

I have a new neighbor.  Actually, she is a friend from long ago who has moved just down the street from me. As I was visiting with her, we discussed her newly acquired apple tree....that was heavy laden.  Some of the branches were touching the ground as they were heavy.  She asked me if I wanted some.....well of course!!!!

I decided to make Apple Juice among other things.  However, I needed many burners and I really didn't want to heat up my kitchen.  So, I set up an outdoor kitchen.  

I have a bar outside.  I set up our Camp Chef Stove.

There are advantages to canning outside. See how easy it is to wash the apples.  No spilling on the floor!

Making Apple Juice

I quickly sliced the apples into wedges.  I did this because this tree was left to its own all summer.  Some of the apples were bound to have 'inhabitants'.  By slicing in wedges, I could move quickly and check for unwanted guests.  That way I could toss the wedges I did not want and keep the rest.

Making Apple Juice and Apple Sauce

Again, using my garden sprayer I filled the bottom container of the Steamer Juicer.  No hauling water...anywhere!  I turned on the burner and brought the water to a boil while I continued to slice the apples. 

Apples for Apple Juice

I filled the middle container of the device with the apple wedges.  I placed the apple-filled container on top of the boiling water and placed the lid on top.  Then I continued to fill the second device as well.  

Setting up a table with supplies

While the apples were processing, I set up a table with the lids (that I had heated in water and set on a hot pad), and a basket of rings.  Do you want to see what is under the towel?

Keeping the sterilized jar safe

I have my clean and sterilized bottles (from the dishwasher) under the cloth.

Juice flowing into bottles.

When the time came, I started to fill the jars with the fabulous golden liquid.

Using the Food Strainer to make Applesauce

So what do you do with the steamed apples after juicing?  I put them through my Strainer.

Mixing applesauce with Jello Powder

Lots of beautiful applesauce was extracted.  And, it wasn't runny!  So I decided to make flavored Fruit leather.  I chose my favorite Jello Flavor and mixed them together.

Making Fruit Leather

I spread the red deliciousness on my fruit leather tray and put the trays in the dehydrator.  

Take Home Message:

  • I was blessed enough to have a lovely gift from my neighbor who was stressing about what to do with all her apples. As she was just moving in, she didn't want to deal with them. She also didn't want any of the juice etc as she said she cannot think of bringing another thing into her new house.  I have been there and done that.  I can relate.  
  • I was able to can inside my house while I had apples processing in my 'outside kitchen'.  
  • Clean up was a breeze.  I just used my garden hose and sprayed down all the surfaces.  It took minutes!
  • I was able to add golden apple juice and fruit leathers to our Pantry.

Consider putting together an outdoor kitchen for canning.  It was really simple and is something I will do again.

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: September 15, 2014, 1:58 am

What to do with Old Bottled Fruit....

It's that time of year again.  I am referring to Canning Season, which is in full swing!  I was recently was reorganizing my storage room.  I had several bottles of "fruit somethings".  My family's tastes and preferences seemed to have morphed over the past few years.  It was very evident because of the bottles of fruit that were left behind.  I needed the space for this years harvest, so I decided to 'morph' these older bottles of fruit.

In particular, I had peaches and Apple Pie Filling.  I decided to try to make fruit leather from them.  I poured the contents of the bottles into the blender.

A quick whirl of the blend made a beautiful puree.

I poured the contents on to fruit leather trays (which are sprayed with a cooking spray).

I decided to add some variety to these leathers.  Here I added sesame seeds.

On this Peach leather tray, I added some cinnamon.  

Into the dehydrator it all went!

Once the fruit was properly dehydrated, I needed to repack it.  I cut a sheet of wax paper.

I removed the leather from the tray and placed it on the wax paper.

I cut the leather into sections.  Initially I cut the leather into fourths, but later decided on eighths.

It is important to work with the leather when it is warm.  I rolled the leather in the wax paper.

I then wrapped it into plastic wrap.

This is easy to do, just take the rolled fruit and roll it on an angle into the plastic wrap.  Tuck the edges along the length of the rolled fruit.

I needed to label the jars, but I hate removing adhesive from jars. So, I just printed off these 'labels' which are actually pieces of paper.

I laid the jar on its side, placed a paper label on the bottom of the jar and started to place the rolled leather into the jar.

Using my Food Saver, I vacuum-sealed each jar.

These jars of fruit leather are equivalent to 9 jars of canned fruit.  

Take home message:

  • What I like about this system is that you can take out one jar at a time and eat the leather.  
  • Or, you can take out a piece of different leathers from their respective jars and vacuum-seal them again.  
  • Also, you are using your old fruit in a new way.  Around here, leather does not last too long.
  • You can also embellish your fruit with seeds, flavor, and things like granola to make it more appealing.
  • This leather was essentially free to me as I had everything already.
  • Rethinking your bottle fruit and making it into something new is a frugal choice for your family.
  • The Apple-Pie-Filling was very scrumptious.  The added crunch of the seeds is a pleasant surprise as well.
  • I can take pureed fruit and add Jello to it to add new flavor to the leather and increase the variety of the leathers I have.  

Try it!

Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: September 8, 2014, 12:19 pm

The Following Post is written to celebrate National Preparedness month in September by focusing on a different topic for the "30 Days of Preparedness " sponsored by the amazing folks at Prepared Bloggers.  Please watch Prepared Bloggers every day in September to learn about many different aspects of being prepared and how you can begin, or add to your existing knowledge and skills sets.  This post is Day #8

Isn't it a beautiful setting?  Wouldn't you like to spend a few relaxing days or weeks here?  Perhaps you could view this in a different light, perhaps this might be a destination not for relaxation, but to seek shelter in light of an emergency. I believe that we all would like to think that we could quickly seek shelter in such a wonderful cabin, but in reality this may not be an option.

Many different things in life can happen, and too many are unforeseen. Although we cannot always know what the future holds, we can take steps to be prepared for the unforeseen not only for ourselves individually, but also for those we love and care for.  Take a minute to look at this video and see if any of it sound familiar.

Having had to live through several natural and man-made disasters, I have learned to appreciate the peace of mind that comes from having Emergency Kits.  Today, I will touch on a few for you. The purpose of this article is to get you thinking and to get you to spring into action.  When you are in the throws of a challenging situation, trying to locate all the parts and pieces is nearly impossible. We will start with 'doable' and then I will suggest 'suggested items' that you may want to consider and gather over time.  (The lists that I provide overall will be from a public source that allows sharing without violating copyright laws).

72 hour kit:

Hopefully you have heard of a "72 hour kit". The premise behind this kit is to have the supplies to survive for up to 3 days while waiting or seeking additional help from private or public resources.  These kits can be purchased from commercial suppliers, but you may be surprised at how easy they are to put together and customize for yourself.  

The following list is a good, but basic list that comes from "Be Ready Utah"

Note that there are suggested items for food, water, clothing, hygiene, and shelter.  As you look at the list, I am guessing that you may be pleasantly surprised that you have many of these items around the house. Although the suggested containers to hold the kit vary in this list, I would encourage you to consider using a container that is easy to carry and move. For example, if you use a chest to store your items, how difficult will this be to move and carry by foot if you cannot drive.

I am going to show you some of the items I have included in our 72-hour kits that you may want to consider.

First of all, we have ours in individual Backpacks for each family member. Hopefully you can see that we keep these in our pantry, which is near our garage door.  In an emergency, we can quickly grab our kits and go.  They are ready and we do not have to spend extra time looking for needed items.  Would you like to see some of the things we have inside?

In an outside pocket, we have many hygiene items.  In the green container, we have a toothbrush that comes with toothpaste on the bristles. We have enough for 3 days. See the razor?  There are wipes as well. See the small zippered pocket on the upper right of this picture?  Let me show you the contents:

These are travel sized soap and deodorant.  They are small and fit very well into this small pocket.  

Each kits contains medications etc.  This kit has "Dental gum" which also can be used to 'brush' your teeth as well.  It is a very small compartmented box traditionally used for small fishing lures.  It works well for this purpose.

Although I preferred to use a wool blanket, I have included a Mylar blanket. The orange item is a small tent that can be set up for a basic shelter.  It is small and easily fits inside the large compartment of the Backpack.

Because space is minimal, I have included "Tooblite" in addition to a small flashlight.  These tubes absorb light during the day and glow all night.  They can be used over and over again.  See the chain, I can hang the tube on the outside of my Backpack to allow it to 'charge' during the day as I move along.

I have included this Fresnel lens, which is essentially a large but flexible magnifying glass. This can be used for a variety of uses including starting fires. Matches are important as are lighters, but they require fuel to work.  This device can be used again and again to start a fire in the daylight hours.  

Each 72-hour kit has a small military type stove.  This is light-weight fuel that can easily be carried and is dry.  If you are traveling during the rain or snow, finding dry fuel may be very difficult.

I am including these photos of the "Universal Portable Urinal Unisex". Although unpleasant to think about, you really need to think of the hygiene aspects of the 72-hour kit. The red part is for males. The bottom picture shows the attachment that you would place on top of the red part of the device for females to use.  Also, don't forget to include toilet paper and or baby wipes.

You will need copies of your important documents.  Although this information from "Be Ready Utah" suggests paper copies, I have chosen to use a Memory Stick/Flash Drive to keep these important documents.  Remember, space is at a premium.  You will also need cash, in small bills and some change. Remember, in the case of an emergency no one is going to have lots of change. If you have large bills, you may have to trade the bill for a needed items and loose the change you normally would get back.  You should also consider maps and a First Aid/Emergency Preparedness book such as a Boy Scout book.

Finally, you cannot be to careful about water.  Our 72-hour kits do have water, but carrying 72 hours worth (1-2 gallons a day) is impractical.  We have two items in our kits. This is a type of water-bottle with a filter.  We also have "Life Straws" which are compact, light-weight and can filter some pretty nasty water.  

Car Kits:

There will be times that you won't be home....just think about your daily routine. Few of us are able to be home all day.  This is why having a Car Kit is very important.  Here is a list from Be Ready Car Survival and Emergency Kit.

Again, notice that there are items for emergencies of all types, including car related emergencies.  As stated above, this list is a good starting point and you most likely have many of the items on the list.  I would like to highlight a few items for you to consider:

I have a number of things in my car kit.  It is contained in one container and I often have a wool blanket that covers the top.  

I have 2 very small 72-hour kits in the boxes, water, a tent, life straw, wipes, whistle with matches, paper, pen, and shoes with socks in this side of the kit.  I often wear heels to work, and walking miles in them does not appeal to me.  

The back section has a Battery Charger, jumper cables, oil, a foldable shovel, "Fix a Flat", WD-40, an air pump and other items. I plan to add a container of light-weight Kitty Litter to help me during the winter should I need it. 

Sanitation Kit:

If you have the luxury of traveling in a car, or don't mind hauling yet another item, consider a Sanitation Kit.  

This is the "Waterless Gotta Go Toilet".  It collapses into this flat container and has 7 bags to catch the 'waste'. The green circular item behind it is a pop-up tent for this item to provide privacy. Again, it is light-weight and could be carried if desired. There are other options as well such as the "Luggable Loo", but it is a bit more awkward to carry if you are on foot.

Other items that you will need for Sanitation are a collapsable shovel to bury waste, toilet paper or baby wipes, bleach, Feminine hygiene products, hand sanitizer, and possibly paper towels.

School Kits:

It is that time of year again.  Our children are going back to school.  Students spend 6 hours or more a day at school and are away from their parents. Although schools are encouraged to have emergency plans for various scenarios, it is still important to have individual emergency kits in your child's Backpack.  These could be placed in a Zip Lock baggie.  However, I would encourage you to seal the kit in a "Food Saver" type bag to hopefully deter inquiring minds from playing with the whistle, and getting the funds you may put in there for emergencies.

Here is a list form Be Ready Utah:

  • 1 7" x 8" size zip lock bag to place emergency items in
  • 1 emergency (Mylar) blanket
  • 1 emergency poncho (one size fits all and children's sizes also available at any stores with a camping section)
  • 1 or more hand/body warmer (usually comes 2 per packet at any stores in the camping section)
  • Trial size tooth paste and toot brush (great to use if you are checking them out of school and going to the dentist!)
  • Trial size hand/body moisture lotions.
  • 4 moist hand wipes/small package of baby wipes
  • 4 sterile alcohol swabs to clean wounds or cuts
  • variety size band aids
  • 2 pocket size facial tissues
  • Various sized safety pins (in case you pop a button or a broken zipper)
  • 1 blow whistle with lanyard to hand on Backpack).
I would add, some food items like granola bars, and a few dollars in cash.  

So, take the challenge to get started today.  Gather items that you may have around your home already and begin to put your 72-hour kit together first. Teach your family members not only to help put these kits together, but also when to use them.

The time to prepare....is now!  Good Luck!


Thanks for joining the Prepared Bloggers as we work our way through 30 Days of Preparedness. September is National Preparedness Month so you will find everything you need to get your preparedness knowledge and skills into shape. Take one post each day, learn as much as you can about the topic and make it a part of your preparedness plan.

Day 1 - Ready, Set, Get Prepared! Welcome to 30 Days of Preparedness from PreparednessMama 
Day 2 - The Family Meeting Place and Escape from Laughingbear Adventures
Day 3 - I'm Safe! How to Communicate with Family in an Emergency from PreparednessMama
Day 4 - Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan? from Home Ready Home
Day 5 - Preparedness For Pets from The Busy B Homemaker
Day 6 - The Escape Exercise from Laughingbear Adventures
Day 7 - It all Falls Apart Without Mental Preparedness from PreparednessMama
Day 8 - It's a Matter of Emergency Kits from A Matter of Preparedness
Day 9 - Nine Great Emergency Light Sources Other Than Flashlights from Food Storage & Survival
Day 10 - Cooking Without Power from Mama Kautz
Day 11 - The Importance of a Shelter & Staying Warm and Dry from Trayer Wilderness
Day 12 - The Importance of Having The Right Tools In Your Pack from Trayer Wilderness
Day 13 - Practice Living Without Electricity from Food Storage Made Easy
Day 14 - How We Choose The Right Gear - (including the MultiFlame Tool) from Trayer Wilderness
Day 15 - Water Storage & Purification from The Busy B Homemaker
Day 16 - Food and Water for a 72 Hour "Go Bag" from Homestead Dreamer
Day 17 - 8 Foods You Should Be Storing and How from Melissa K Norris
Day 18 - Planning Your Pantry from The Organic Prepper
Day 19 - Stocking Up on Non-Food Items from Living in Rural Iowa
Day 20 - Dutch Oven Cooking: Off-Grid Before Off-Grid Was Cool from The Backyard Pioneer
Day 21 - Pressure Canning the Harvest from Timber Creek Farm
Day 22 - Personal Protection & Awareness from Living in Rural Iowa
Day 23 - KISS First Aid from Herbal Prepper
Day 24 - Mommy, I have to go Potty! from Mom With a Prep
Day 25 - Fire Starting 101: The Why and How of Lighting a Fire for Survival from Food Storage & Survival
Day 26 - How to Filter and Purify Water from Prepared Housewives
Day 27 - How To Make A Shelter from Trayer Wilderness
Day 28 - Put Your Preps to the Test with 24 Hours Unplugged from The Organic Prepper
Day 29 - What Is Char and Why You Should Have It To Start A Fire from Trayer Wilderness
Day 30 - How To Utilize Bushcraft Skills and Forage From The Wild from Trayer Wilderness
Author: The Little Red Hen
Posted: September 1, 2014, 1:00 pm

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