Thursday, July 31, 2008

White Wheat Available Soon

I was notified by my suppliers that we will have winter wheat available this fall. We are planning to get 50 lb bags prepared and possibly some 45 lb buckets (all ready for storage).

For current availability, check here: HiStakes Hard White Wheat

I need your help. Would anyone (you, friends, family) be interested in white wheat? or are you more interested in spelt? And would you prefer the buckets or bags?

Pricing for the white wheat would be in the neighborhood of $20-$25/ 50 lb bag and $25-$30/ 45 lb bucket. I'm not sure on the exact price, yet, but we will get that figured out really soon.

Any interest? Please comment and let me know.

Thanks for your help! Talk to you again soon.

Recipe Ideas for Peas

Just so you know, my husband LOVES, and I mean LOVES peas. So he is worrying that we don't have enough yet. I might be watching more movies and shelling lots more peas... we'll see if they are getting too old yet.

Today's Question:
Do you have any extra yummy recipes you use with your peas? Or do you just nuke them and add butter?

A lot of times, we just nuke (microwave) the peas and add a little butter and salt.

For something more creative than that? Try my secret to a great salad that could otherwise present itself as boring? Add peas. Just run the frozen peas under cool water so they thaw, and throw them into your salad. I dress up mandarin chicken salads this way, as well as plain old chef salad, dinner/lettuce salad, macaroni salad, 7 layer salad.... oh and don't forget just plain old pea salad. Yumm!
My other secret ingredients to a great salad? Almond slices and bacon bits (depending on the salad).

I'm making myself hungry thinking about all the ways I use peas. Anybody want to have a pea salad party?
My other favorite way to use them is either on the side or on top of fettuccine alfredo.

Anybody need the recipes? or are you getting the idea?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Peas in my Food Storage

Do you know the story of the ant and the grasshopper? I think of that story a lot these days and how I'm doing my best to be like the ant, diligently gathering a preparing for winter. I hope my feeble efforts are enough. Sometimes they seem very feeble.

We have been busy working on storing our peas these days. I won't tell you how many hours of movies we have watched just shelling the peas. I know it is a lot of work and I also have economist friends that tell me I'm wasting my time. It is more economical to buy them.

Well, I don't care. I agree it is a lot of work. I love teaching my children how to work and help and most importantly, how to enjoy eating fresh peas right from the pod. All of my kids (ages 3, 2, & 1) enjoy fresh peas.

I don't usually share pictures of my kids on this blog, but I really couldn't help myself this time. They were good helpers - they picked the fat pods off the plants, and then as we shelled them, they picked the peas out of the pods when I popped them open. Eventually, they figured out how to pop the pods open themselves.

This is what one of my freezer shelves looks like. 20 quart bags ready for winter.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Food Storage Crisis & Peas


I am living in "food storage crisis mode." Meaning, I am living off of my food storage as much as possible and don't buy much at the grocery store other than fresh fruits/vegetables and fresh dairy products. It happens to many, if you are prepared, things go a little easier.

Now What?

So, since I don't really have the resources to build much of a food storage, I at least am trying to maintain having at least one or two extra of the things I store. For example, small cans of fruit or vegetables that don't cost much, I try to maintain at least 5 extra on a good week (if I run out of what I have stored). For oils and things that last a little longer, I try to maintain at least one extra (or two if I find a good sale).

In the End

If you are also in crisis mode, I understand. I've been there lots. Hang in there and do what you can, and know you can confide in me, if you find you need someone who understands. Just do your best, and hopefully that will be enough.

p.s. I am freezing peas. I love frozen peas and our crop was a good one this year, so I am filling my freezer with as many peas as I can pick and shell. Does anyone else freeze or can (bottle) peas?

Recipe for freezing peas:
Pick peas
Shell peas
Wash peas
Boil water. Dump in peas. Cook for 3 minutes in boiling water. Remove from boiling water and immediately cool in cold water (in a sink?). Place peas in freezer safe ziploc bags. Squish air out of bags and seal. Write year on bags (for proper rotation purposes). Place bags in freezer. Done.

Easy. One tip: use strainers for cooking and cooling your peas. You will have less peas that try to escape.

Now I'm off to do my peas...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Happy Pioneer Day & Soap

Pioneer Day
Today, we celebrate Pioneer Day and the Pioneers crossing the country and settling in the west. It has also been a busy week with several family reunions. I hope you are all busy as well, and just wanted to give you a little insight into my life. July is a busy time of year...

Laundry Soap
I have been thinking a lot about food storage. The other day, you'll never believe it! I went to do laundry and had NO laundry soap anywhere in the house. Somehow, it had all magically, mystically disappeared. I had a few months stocked up, so I thought. So, now I need to focus on restocking my laundry soap. Good thing my sister-in-law bailed me out - she has her supply of laundry soap stocked up and ready for anything.

We were also talking, after the laundry soap thing, that some of the most necessary things are going to be things to keep up with your personal hygiene. Deodorant, shampoo, soap, laundry soap, dishwashing or just dish soap.

As I talk to people, they end up using their food storage during economic "crisis" times, when someone lost a job or during other financial troubles. If you have your food and personal hygiene storage, you will be able to survive for a little bit longer on what you have.

So, don't forget the little things as you stock up and work on that storage.

I think I'll start a new poll - here on the side of the blog... please help me fill it out and determine how much personal stuff we need for 3 months, and then for 1 year. I would love some help with this. I am having a hard time deciding how much toothpaste, and deodorant I need to stock up on.

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Spelt Taste, Flavor and Grinding Suggestions

I love the questions I get. I am making the answers posts rather than just replying to comments so that more people can learn. I believe that many people have the same question, and just don't always think to ask. And I don't think that everyone reads the comments that are posted.

So, today's question:
Is spelt an acquired taste? Like does it have a nuttier flavor than regular wheat flour? And can you grind spelt in a wheat grinder and make flour just like you can make regular flour? Thanks for your help!



I believe most foods are an acquired taste. So, therefore, I think spelt is an acquired taste. However, it didn't take me long to acquire the spelt taste as it has to acquire the taste of some other foods (including hard red wheat, which I still think has a bit of a bitter taste).

Spelt is described as having a nuttier flavor than "regular wheat flour". To me it is like trying to describe salt. I like the way salt enhances flavors and adds that perfect "saltiness". Spelt adds that perfect whole wheat, not too heavy or cardboard taste and is kind of "spelt-y".

I know, that was pretty descript. I am at a loss of words on how to describe spelt. I can say that the texture of my bread is absolutely beautiful, light and practically perfect every time! Amazing, but true. I impress myself quite frequently.

Flour and Grinding Your Own Flour
Great question! Yes, spelt acts the same as wheat when you grind it into flour. It is not an oily seed, so you can send it through your regular wheat grinder. You can crack it, or make super fine flour with it and bake almost the same as with regular wheat flour. (I usually add a little more flour to my recipes when I use 100% spelt. The liquid/flour ratio is less with spelt flour. I haven't learned why, I just know it is.) It all depends on how your grinder works - as to how fine you can crack or grind your fresh flour.

Please, ask your questions, inquiring minds want to know what I forget to tell...
Talk to you again soon.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Spelt or Wheat? What do I Store?

I had a comment from a new friend wanting clarification. I think it was a great comment. And one that needs some plain, well, clarification.

Does spelt replace wheat? Or do you store them both? Any info would be great!

Spelt can replace wheat. If you have allergies to wheat, and spelt is an option, substitute recommended wheat quantities with spelt.
If you just like spelt and can also eat wheat, then you can do what I do - store both. I really like how spelt bakes and how it makes my bread lighter and nicer. So, I love to store it, however, I inherited quite a bit of hard red wheat from one aunt and my mother-in-law, so I usually end up using both red wheat and spelt in my recipes, just to keep up with my rotation of foods. I prefer to mix them now, I dislike eating the red wheat alone in my recipes - the spelt makes the taste so much better!

Here is another thought:
Spelt has the appearance of wheat. They look quite similar. Spelt looks a little more plump than my hard red wheat, and since they are cousins, that is a good thing.

Can you tell which is spelt and which is hard red wheat?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Contest Announcement - Win Free Stuff

Today, I want to put in a blatant plug for my "sister-site"

They have incredible skin products made with natural ingredients and use essential oils in some of their stuff. It works wonders on perpetually dry, cracked or just plain rough skin.

The scents are not too strong (I'm kind of sensitive to strong smells). They are not greasy (unless you use way too much) and the skin cream is incredibly versatile. I use it on my babies without hesitation. I use it as a facial moisturizer, and my husband uses it on his super rough callouses on his feet and hands.

Here is the best part - they are giving stuff away - just for fun!

You have to enter the contest to win, so go to their site and enter your name and email. You may be the grand prize winner. Somebody has to be, why not you?

By the way, there are lots of prizes, so tell your friends and family to enter, too. Spread the word, GenevaHealthy wants to have a great party giving things away.

Contest ends July 26, so don't procrastinate... enter today at

Good luck!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Spelt Growth and Store Food Beautifully

Fellow Bloggers,

I have not abandoned you. I have been enjoying some family time. And now I am back...

We were gone a few days and it is always amazing how things grow when you go away and come back. Wheat and potatoes are bigger (yeah!) And of course, the spelt has grown. Here is the progress over the last little while.

We have heads, we call that "heading out" and they are looking good, so far.

More spelt is on its way to fulfill your storage needs. Get room prepared for when it is harvested.

This is what the spelt berries look like at this stage of growth:

While we were gone, we visited family. And took some pictures of one great way to store food.
Check this out... most of the time, this is how this nightstand looks: nice table, lace, tablecloth, glass cover, hat box and lamp.

If you decide to be nosy, you will find this:
This is a plastic garbage can full of wheat or rice, I forget which, but you would never know it just to look at it. I'm sure you don't have to have all the lace and frills, if that isn't your thing, I'm sure you could do something similar... have you any ideas or have you done this kind of thing?

Share a comment, give us your feedback.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Food Storage like Laundry? Perhaps.

I just read an article how food storage is like laundry. A lady named Melanie Cooper says this,
"Years ago I began storing food for our family truly believing I would someday be done. I have since learned that food storage is like laundry. You may catch up from time to time but the task is never truly finished. If left undone for too long the task becomes seemingly insurmountable."
That is so true. It is a truly never-ending task that keeps growing and is a completely ongoing thing.
She also comments that the most successful families who keep up with food storage - even if there is only you in your family - are the ones that store what they eat.

If there are wheat or gluten allergies in your family, it does not make sense to store wheat. You might try spelt or you may need extra rice. If you are lactose intolerant or have milk allergies, soybeans may be smarter to store so you can make your own soymilk or other soy products. And so on with other allergies you or your family may have. Store what you eat and adapt from the recommendations. Because that is what they are - recommendations and a great starting point to give you an idea on what to store.

In case you have forgotten, or are just joining us, here is my favorite food storage calculator to get those recommendations:


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What things are most Important to Store?