Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Votes Are In!

Thanks to all of you who took the time to vote.  I know this is all a bit silly.  But I'm having fun and love hearing from those who are reading my blog.  60% of you think that we should be able to purchase milk from a local dairy farmer.  I am grateful and relieved.  12 weeks of powdered milk is a bit much.

Your response has made me think a lot about what it might be like if there were some kind of disaster or emergency.  I think I had it in my head that if something happened I would be stuck with what I have in my house and would have to learn to survive with what little I had stored.  That presumes that the world would freeze and become static.  It never does.  I think it more likely that we would try and help each other out.  We would barter, trade, donate and purchase from each other what we need.  At least that is the disaster scenario that I am going to imagine.  The need to defend our food storage with guns I will leave to my husband.

So, I think this means that my experiment is changing a bit.  We will continue to eat from our pantry, but where I am able to purchase food from local producers, I will.  This new change is good because my purchase yesterday from the Norbest turkey plant is no longer cheating.  I bought a small boneless turkey breast roast, which was considered a "second"--meaning it had a defect of some kind, such as a packaging defect.  You can't beat $1.00 per pound.  I mostly bought it because I thought it rude to ask about factory "seconds" and then not buy something when the nice lady went to the trouble of getting them from the freezer for me.

What We Ate for Dinner: Meatball Minestrone

This is a family recipe for a delicious soup that calls for Jimmy Dean sage flavored sausage.  Since I didn't have that, I used the rest of the meatballs I made earlier this week.  I think the sausage adds more flavor, but I threw in some pasta shells and we all agreed that this was delicious.  Here is my food storage version:

1 40 oz can tomato juice
4 c. water
5 beef bullion cubes
1/4 c. dehydrated onion
1 t. Italian seasoning
1 can corn drained
1 can kidney beans drained
10 oz frozen green beans
1/4 c. dehydrated  celery
1/4 c. dehydrated carrots
18 elk meatballs cooked (I baked them at 400)
1-2 c. pasta

I threw everything into the crock pot except the pasta.  That went in 1/2 hour before serving.  I served it with garlic bread, since I had one loaf of French bread in the freezer.  I like to buy them day old and throw them in the freezer until I need them.

As a side note, I love Johnny's garlic spread for making a quick garlic bread.  I just sprinkle it over butter and broil until golden brown.  The seasoning is available at Costco.  You can bet this will be a part of our food storage.

Friday, April 29, 2011

What We Ate for Dinner: Baked Penne with Chicken and Spinach

This was one of the last of my freezer meals.  I have been debating about whether to post a recipe, the problem being that I can't remember how I made it.  I have the recipe I used, but that doesn't help me much because I modified the recipe.  I will give you the recipe as I have it and then talk a little about what I probably did to give you an idea how to modify a recipe for what you have on hand.

1 lb. penne or rigatoni
6 T. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1/3 c. flour
2 1/2 c. whole milk
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground white pepper
1/2 t. grated nutmeg
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 c. finely diced Provolone cheese
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1" dice, sauteed until golden brown.
9 oz. bag of fresh baby spinach
1/4 c. chopped Italian parsley

2 c. freshly ground breadcrumbs
2 T. melted butter
1 t. dried Italian seasoning

Cook the pasta until al dente.  This is especially important if you are going to freeze this after you make it because the pasta will absorb moisture from the sauce when it bakes.  Pasta that is well done will be mushy.

Saute garlic and shallots in butter until soft.  Add flour and cook for a minute to incorporate.  Whisk in milk until thickened on medium heat.  Stir in salt, pepper, nutmeg, cheese, chicken and spinach.  Pour over pasta in large bowl and toss with parsley.  Pour everything in baking dish and top with breadcrumbs mixed with butter and seasonings.  Bake covered in foil at 375 for 20 or 30 if refrigerated.  If frozen, bake until 160 internal temperature.  Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more.

Here is what I probably did.  I would have used regular onion in place of the shallots.  In place of the whole milk, I would have used a can of evaporated plus powdered milk to equal the 2 1/2 cups.  Evaporated milk is a pretty good replacement for cream in soup and sauce recipes.  I would have used regular black pepper in place of the white and mozzarella in place of the provolone.  I also used frozen spinach, defrosted in place of the fresh.  And dried parsley.

I modify a lot of recipes like this.  You shouldn't be afraid of using equivalents when cooking.  But don't forget when you are using dried herbs to only use half as much as the recipe calls for.  Dried herbs are more potent than fresh.

The Downside

One of the downsides to this experiment, other than not being able to buy a bag of Cheetos, is all the dishes.  I run a full dishwasher at least twice a day.  I try and remind myself that at least I have a dishwasher.

Week 3 Roundup: What we ran out of

Wow, three weeks completed.  That's 1/4 of the way done.  And we continue to run out of stuff:
  • Spray Oil.  This is one of those things that you can live without, but you don't really want to.  I will miss it when I make pancakes and bread.
  • Mozzarella.  I knew this day was coming.
  • Grape juice.  My sister-in-law has concord grape vines in her back yard.  For the past two years I have helped her juice them and she had shared the bounty.  This juice is so delicious.  We will miss it.
There are lots of things we are almost out of, but I will save those for next week.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Don't forget to VOTE

The poll to decide whether we can buy milk from a local dairy farmer ends on Saturday, April 30, 2011.  If you haven't had the chance don't forget to vote!

Really? No one else wants to Trade?

Yesterday my friend, Megan, traded a jar of cheese sauce mix for five bananas and a bunch of green onions.  Kimball ate two bananas before I could take a picture.  I have more cheese sauce mix for whoever wants to give it a try.  This is a great chance to figure out if cheese powder is something you want to store.  You can email me at if you are interested.  Or is begging better?  We can use whatever fruits and veggies you have to spare.

What We Ate for Dinner: Leftovers and another Failure

I made the elk meatballs again.  Sometimes leftovers are nice.

I also put together the curry potato casserole that I mentioned here.  While it looked nice, it did not taste nice.  The curry was too hot and the potatoes didn't have a soft potato-like texture.  I have been looking for more things to do with dehydrated potatoes, but so far hash browns and funeral potatoes are all I got.  I think it's the texture.  Oh, well.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Make Your Own Graham Crackers--With Powdered Butter

To begin with, I have to tell you I really had very low expectations for this recipe.  I was determined to attempt graham crackers so Bryce could continue with his chocolate icing fix.  I decided that it was the perfect time to try butter powder in a recipe.  While I have used it in recipes from the Mix-A-Meal cookbook, I hadn't used it as a replacement for actual butter in any other recipes.  The graham crackers seemed like a good place to start.

Here was the problem, the recipe called for the butter to be creamed.  Not unusual in a recipe for a cookie.  But powdered butter does not actually "cream."  Oh, well, I thought.  I would just make the recipe and see how it went.  I am not afraid of failure.

2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. white flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 c. butter powder
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. white sugar
1 T. molasses
1/3 c. honey
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. milk

I mixed the above in the mixer and out came a VERY sticky dough.  But I followed the directions and put it in plastic wrap to spend 8 hours in the fridge.

Surprisingly, after it chilled, I was able to roll it out with the help of some extra flour.  Instead of simply cutting  them into cracker shapes, Kimball and I used cookie cutters (i.e. I occupied my toddler for an hour until he got bored).

Baked for 12 minutes at 325.  And do you know what?  They tasted like graham crackers!!  I was shocked. I was prepared to throw the whole mess out.  Instead, I made myself some chocolate icing.

What We Ate for Dinner: Elk Meatballs and Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

1 lb ground elk (or beef)
1 c. bread crumbs (I made my own from the ends of bread I throw in the freezer)
4 T. dehydrated onions
2 T. dehydrated parsley
1/2 T. onion salt
2 eggs

Mix well.

Form balls.  Freeze extras on a cookie sheet.  I made 32, but with Bryce gone I only cooked 6.

The sauce was home canned.  The recipe was from this book, but you can find it here.  A friend of mine had some canned crushed tomatoes in #10 cans she didn't know what to do with.  We made it into sauce.  This was actually the first time I tried it.  It was good, but I thought the cinnamon was a little heavy.

Kimball liked it.  I still don't know how he got it on his forehead.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I would rather starve than eat this . . .

One of the fun things about this experiment is that we have received so many different food storage products from Bryce's parents and grandparents.  In the interest of education I have busted them open and tried to use them.

However, I have come across the first thing I have no use for: Ham Flavored Textured Vegetable Protein.  It smells like dog food.  I reconstituted some according to the package directions thinking that it might be ok in some scrambled eggs.  No.  Soggy bacon bits would not be ok in anything.  Sorry, I tried.

Cookbooks I Love: Not Your Mother's Casseroles

A few months ago I checked this book out of the Salt Lake City Library.  I happen to like casseroles.  They make great freezer meals, there are fewer dishes to wash and the leftovers make easy lunches for Bryce.

This is probably the best casserole book I've read.  I used this book to inspire the Asian Pork Meatballs, as well as, the bean dish with dehydrated vegetables.  I am also working on a curry potato dish with dehydrated potatoes that has its roots in this book.  I'll post it as soon as I get a chance to throw it together.

If you like the ease of casseroles, but don't want to use another can of cream soup, this is the book for you!

What We Ate for Dinner: Pork Chop

We finally broke out one of the three pork chops I have left in the freezer--we always split one.  It was Bryce's request.  I served it with homemade Rice-A-Roni in the curry flavor and a can of green beans.  The best part was the glaze on the pork chop.  I didn't really measure the ingredients, so here is an approximate recipe:

2 T. soy sauce
2 t. yellow mustard
2 T. jalapeno jelly
1 1/2 T. sugar

Mix ingredients together.  Dredge pork chop in glaze.  Bake at 375 until the internal temperature registers 165.  You can use the extra sauce to dip your chops in.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cookbooks I Love: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Ok, this isn't really a cookbook, but it does contain recipes.  I think subconsciously this is the book that inspired my no grocery shopping journey, and if not that then at the very least I was inspired to attempt to make cheese (which I hope to blog about soon).

In the book Barbara Kingsolver and her family chronicle the year they moved from Mesa, AZ to their 40 acre farm in southern Appalachia to produce the food they ate, or at least buy it locally.

The book really made me think about the sources of the food I eat and the political and economic impacts those choices have.  I am trying to make better food choices for my family as a result.  In addition to the chickens and growing our own garden, we plan to pick blackberries and raspberries this summer in Payson.  I also hope to buy more organic vegetables from local farms.  We are a little late to purchase a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share, but maybe next year.

In any event, I highly recommend this book.

What We Ate for Dinner: Can you guess?

As mentioned last week, grilled cheese and tomato soup is Bryce's favorite Sunday meal.  So that's what we had again.  Well, that's what Bryce had again.  I actually had grilled tuna.

We are now officially out of mozzarella.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wanna trade?

When I first tell people about this self-imposed grocery deprivation, their response is nearly predictable: "What are you going to do for fresh fruits and vegetables?"  I don't quite know how to respond.  For thousands of years humans have gone long periods of time without fresh fruits and vegetables; it's called winter.  It's really only been in the last hundred years or so that we have had the luxury of fresh produce year round.

While the fresh stuff is nice, I don't quite feel deprived.  We have lots of canned and frozen stuff on hand.  I have also planned on bartering for what we need.  This weekend I traded with my sister, Charlotte, for the lovely grapes you see above.  In exchange for the grapes, I gave Char some powdered cheese sauce mix.

Anyone else want to try the cheese sauce mix in exchange for something?  Fruits and veggies are good, but I would also love some chicken.  Just let me know and I will work out how to get it to you.

Happy Easter!

The Easter Bunny found us in Kaysville this morning and left lots of treats that won't be found in our house for a number of weeks.  How did that bunny know?  We made it back to Mt. Pleasant in time for church.  It feels so good to be home.  The chickens survived without us (they did have a caretaker while we were gone) and it seems we are out of a lot of staples.  I think I will be making bread and yogurt tomorrow.  Bryce requested more fruit chunks in his yogurt, so I will try cutting up some canned peaches to go on the bottoms.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tomato Powder in place of Tomato Paste

One of the nice things about this experiment is that I have had the chance to use a lot of powdered products.  We are especially lucky because Bryce's parents have gifted us these so we didn't have to spend the money on them.  As I use them, I am trying to figure out if they are something I would like to keep as part of my long term storage. 

The Tomato Powder is something I am still trying to figure out.  I have to say that I was not really impressed with the tomato sauce it made.  My next attempt was to use it as a substitute for tomato paste.  This was much more successful.

I made a bean skillet meal that I have made before, only I substituted dried onions and tomato powder.

1/2 c. dehydrated onions, reconstituted in water with water reserved
3-4 cloves garlic
1 T. tomato powder
1 t. cumin
1/4 t. salt
3 cans black beans, drained
1 can corn

I sauted the onions and garlic and then added the tomato powder, cumin and salt.  Once incorporated I added the beans and corn.  Then I used the onion water to keep things moist.  It tasted pretty much the same as when I have made it with tomato paste.

I used the last of my tortillas with brown rice to make some burritos for Bryce's lunches.  Those went into the freezer for later use.

I also had a bowl myself with some cheese on top.  That's real cheese, my friends, and I don't have much left. This recipe makes a ton.  Even after 9 burritos and a bowl for myself, I froze a quart sized freezer bag more.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Week 2 Roundup: What we ran out of

I can't believe the second week of living on food storage is actually over.  I had to update last week's list of items we ran out of after I realized we used up more than I accounted for.  Let's hope I don't have to do the same this week.

  • Syrup.  This was the maple flavored syrup that Kimball loves on his pancakes.  We didn't so much run out as have the syrup attacked by ants in the cupboard.  Sad loss.  Maple flavoring would be a good thing to have in food storage.
  • Saltines.  Bryce likes these with his tomato soup.  I'm considering making some from scratch, provided I can find my jar of scratch--i.e. if the recipe calls for butter, Bryce might have to go without.  Ok, maybe this butter thing is going too far.
  • Graham crackers.  We had several boxes of these to begin with, but without ice cream Bryce has turned to chocolate icing for comfort.  I might have to find a homemade recipe for these too.  I'm pretty sure these will require butter.  Oh, well.  Graham crackers and chocolate icing might be a butter worthy activity.
  • Milk.  I'm talking about the real stuff here.  It's powdered from here on out.  Or raw milk provided you all vote in the poll to the right.
  • Oranges, the last of our fresh fruit.  We had two, they are both gone.
  • Apple juice.  Poor Kimball.  I think my parents have some homemade spiced cider in the basement.  It may not be there when they get home.
  • Tortillas.  Add these to the list of things to learn to make.

What We Ate for Dinner: Wheeler's

Last night we headed up to Kaysville to spend Easter weekend with Bryce's parents.  On the way out of town the kids and I stopped at Wheeler's Drive-In.  I don't think this was cheating because we didn't purchase any food at a grocery store.  Just so you know, I won't be posting any more dinners until we get back to Mt. Pleasant.  Happy Easter!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Eat What You Store or Store What You Eat?

Trying to figure out how much food to store can be daunting.  I figure there are really two basic methods.  One is to store what you are supposed to store and then figure out how to use it.  The second is to figure out what you want to eat and then store it.

To Eat What You Store Use a Food Storage Calculator
     There are a number of online food storage calculators (or try the one you can download here) to help you figure out what you should be storing and how much.  Pros: This takes little effort to figure out what to store because most of these products are widely available and already prepackaged for long term storage.  Cons: You'll have to figure out what to do with all those beans and wheat; the amounts suggested may or may not be enough depending on your eating habits; some of the things the list includes may not be things you want to store or even eat (Is it possible to eat that much Jello in a year?); and worst of all, you get no guidance on how much to store of things that aren't on the list.

To Store What You Eat Convert a Recipe
     With this method you take a recipe, decide how often you might make it in a year and then calculate how much you would need to store.  Let's take the Swedish Pancake recipe, since we make that a lot.   We'll say I want to store enough to make pancakes twice a week for a year.

1/2 c. powdered eggs (or 4 eggs) x 104 weeks = 52 c. or 416 eggs, at 96 eggs per #10 can, I need 4.33 cans.

1 c. flour x 104 weeks = 104 c. flour, at 4 c. of flour to a pound, I need 26 pounds.

1 T. sugar x 104 weeks = 104 T. sugar, or 6.5 cups, at 2 c. per pound, I need 3.25 pounds of sugar.

1/3 c. powdered milk x 104 weeks = 34 2/3 c. of powdered milk, 12 c. per #10 can, I need about 3 cans.

1/2 t. salt x 104 weeks = 52 t. or 17 1/3 T. or 1 c. plus about 4 t. salt; there is approximately 1.88 cups in a pound of salt, so a pound would be plenty.

2 t. vanilla x 104 weeks = 208 t. or 36 T. or 2 1/4 c.; at 8 oz. to a cup, that's 18 oz. of vanilla.

You get the idea.  Pros: You can figure out exactly what you need to store for your favorite recipes.  Cons:  It's more work and takes a lot more time.  You also need to figure out how to store the ingredients you need if they are not suited to long term food storage, or how to convert the recipe to food storage ingredients.

I like both methods and think both can be used to plan for long term food storage.  You don't need to fall into one camp or the other.  If you want to convert your own recipes, the following might be helpful:

1 c. = 16 T. or 48 t. = 8 oz. liquid
1 T. = 3 t.
For the weights of sugar, flour and salt, I used google.
For the amounts in #10 cans I used the label on the cans I have.

What We Ate for Dinner: Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup

When your hubby is out of town (Bryce was in SL for his monthly Startup University seminar), you eat what your two and half year old will eat.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Make Your Own Rice-A-Roni

UPDATE:  I've updated this recipe and provided instructions on how to can it.  You can read the new post HERE.

I love making my own mixes (as you may have gathered by now).  All the convenience of preprepared foods with all the goodness of homemade.  This recipe has become one of my favorites.  I made a few modifications to the recipes of my friend Stephanie Peterson (aka Chef Tess).

1 c. alphabet pasta (you can use broken spaghetti), 2 c. converted rice.  (Converted rice is also known as parboiled or preboiled.  Uncle Ben's makes it if you go looking for it at the store.  It cooks up faster because it's precooked.  It is also non-sticky, which is nice for rice-a-roni.  You could use regular rice, but it might take longer to soften.)

Chicken flavor:  2 T. dry onion, 1/8 t. celery salt, 1 t. dried garlic, 2 t. poultry seasoning, 2 t. dried parsley.
Mexican flavor (This one is really good):  2 T. dry onion, 1 t. garlic, 1 t. cumin, 1 t. oregano, 1 t. chili powder.
Oriental flavor: 2 T. dry onion, 1/8 t. celery salt, 1 t. curry powder, 1 t. Chinese five spice powder, 1/2 t. ginger, 1 T. garlic powder.
Curry: 2 T. dry onion, 1/8 t. celery salt, 1 t. dried garlic, 2 t. dried parsley, 1 t. saffron powder, 2 t. curry powder.

These mixes make enough to fit in a quart jar, but I usually only prepare half for our little family, otherwise we have more leftovers than we can eat.

To prepare, saute half the mix in 1 T. butter (or olive oil if you are conserving butter like I am).  Add 3 cups water and 3 bullion cubes (or I use broth if I have it, but as it happens, I am out).  If you are preparing a full recipe rather than a half, use 6 c. water and 6 bullion cubes.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat until the rice is tender.  About 20 minutes.

For lunch yesterday, I prepared some of the Mexican flavor and then cooked an egg in the rice after it was ready.  It was very tasty.

Make Your Own Brown Sugar

Did you know that you can make your own brown sugar?  Now you will never run out again!

1.  Mix 1 T. molasses with 1 c. sugar.  If you want dark brown sugar, use 2 T.  

2.  Mix well.  A food processor would do wonders here.  Since I don't have one, I used a fork.  A pastry blender would also work well.

3.  Enjoy!  If you don't want to bother with mixing and you are using the brown sugar in a recipe, simply add the white sugar and molasses.

I haven't bought brown sugar in months.  You can even use this brown sugar for granola.

What We Ate for Dinner: Powdered Tomatoes and Tuna

Since I mentioned making the tomato sauce mix here, I thought I should give the mix a try.  I rehydrated some carrots, celery and onions in water and then used the plain tomato sauce.  To season it I added Italian seasoning, garlic seasoning, and a teaspoon of sugar.  Then I threw in can can of tuna and frozen peas.

I can't say it was the best pasta sauce I've ever eaten, but given that it was made from food storage items, it was pretty good.  Stanford liked it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cookbooks I Love: Mix-A-Meal

I have had a copy of the Mix-A-Meal cookbook for probably 2 years (thanks to my sister-in-law Jill).  But I have only really been using it in the last year.  The book offers recipes for creating mixes, like Bisquick or cake mixes, as well as recipes to use the mixes.  When my in-laws gave us some powdered eggs, butter and cheese to use, I turned to this book to figure out what to do with those powdered products.

In this book there seems to be a mix for everything.  Since I wasn't interested in using all the mixes, I set out to find the ones that I liked that would work for the way I cook.  So far my favorites are the cheese sauce recipe, the hot roll mix (which we use for bread sticks and pizza) and what's called the Oriental Stir Fry recipe (which makes a good sauce for any kind of meat and veggies).

I had a friend interested in the tomato sauce recipes and since I had just acquired some tomato powder we made some BBQ Sauce Mix and some Tomato Sauce Mix.  I haven't had a chance to try them, but I will let you know how they turn out.

In the mean time, here is the hot roll mix.  I love this because I can get some garlic bread sticks in the oven even if I don't have time to let them rise.

10 c. flour
1 c. dehydrated butter
2/3 c. sugar (I like to use less)
1/4 c. powdered milk
2 T. salt

Combine 1 1/2 c. warm water to 1 T. yeast.  Add 4 c. hot roll mix.  Knead 5-10 minutes.  Let rise for 1 hour (optional--I will say if you let it rise the texture is softer).  Use cornmeal on a baking sheet and roll out.  Bake 375 for 15-25 minutes until edges are golden.

Four cups of the mix will make enough for 2 pizzas.  I often use half as much for one sheet of bread sticks.

What We Ate for Dinner: Asian Pork Meatballs

I am a big fan of freezer meals.  There are days that I just want to pull something out of the freezer and shove it in the oven.  Today was one of those days and so I dug out some Asian Pork Meatballs that I made a while ago, baked them up, made a sauce, used leftover rice. VoilĂ !

Here is the recipe:
1/2 head of cabbage, shredded a finely as possible
2 t. salt
1 lb. ground pork
2 eggs
1 T. toasted sesame oil
1/4 c. soy sauce
2-3 t. grated ginger
4 cloves garlic

Mix all the ingredients together, then form small meatballs.  Lay the balls out on a cookie sheet.  Place the cookie sheet in the freezer.  Once the balls are frozen you can place them in a gallon freezer bag until you are ready to use them.  Defrost and bake at 375 until 160 internal temperature.  About 30 minutes.  I think this should make about 40 meat balls, but don't quote me on that.

For the sauce:
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
1/2 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 t. sesame oil
1 T. honey
1 T. cornstarch mixed in 2 T. water
Heat until thickens.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Spectacular Failure

I decided to try and make strawberry shortcake strictly from food storage stuffs.  I don't recommend it.  Some ideas sound good in theory.  But theories do not always taste good.

The whipped cream.  The reason I decided to try it out was the can you see at the left.  This is one of the cans we got from Bryce's grandma's house.  I have no idea how old it is.  The instructions claimed that you could make whipped cream.  I was skeptical but thought it was worth a shot.  I was right to doubt.  Powder and water do not whipped cream make. It smelled a lot like butter powder (which, when you think about it--butter comes from cream--it makes sense).  I'll probably use it as butter powder in some of my mix recipes.

The cake.  The cake was to be made from flour, sugar, baking powder, powdered butter, salt, an egg and water.  Somehow I thought oat flour was a good idea.  The cake turned out really dense.  I don't know if it was the flour or the butter powder that failed me.  Bryce didn't like it.  I thought it tasted ok.  But what it needed was real whipped cream.

The Strawberries.  I attempted to reconstitute some freeze dried strawberries with water, sugar and cornstarch, hoping that it would make a nice syrup.  Well, it made a syrup, but nice is not a word I would use.  I probably used too much sugar and boiled it too long.

There you go.  Not everything I make works out.  And sometimes living on food storage is not as much fun as having real food at your disposal.  Lesson learned.

Our Dairy Future is in Your Hands

Bryce and I have been debating whether it's cheating on our experiment to purchase raw milk and cream from a local dairy farmer.  The main reason I want it is for cheese and butter.  I can stand to drink powdered milk, but, well.  You've heard my rant about butter.

Bryce and I are calling upon YOU, the readers of our blog to settle the debate.  I have set up a poll on the side of the blog where you can vote until the end of the month.  At that time, we'll know whether we will have access to additional dairy or we will be stuck with what we've got.  Thanks in advance for voting.  Oh, and for reading.  You all are making this experiment so much fun.

What We Ate for Dinner: Bryce's Favorite

Bryce always requests the same meal on Sundays: grilled cheese and creamy tomato soup.  So that's what we had.  So long as the butter and cheese hold out, we will have it every Sunday.  By the way, the bean bread made great grilled cheese.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Butter Rationing and a Sunday Treat

I have started to become paranoid about running out of butter.  I love butter.  I love it on my bread, especially when the bread is warm and fresh out of the oven.  I love it on my pancakes.  I love to make grilled tuna and grilled cheese, both of which require butter.  I also love it to make eggs in toast (Kimball calls them circle eggs) as pictured below.  Not to mention a long and varied list of sweet things which require butter.  I love butter.

And I only have 5 pounds in the freezer with one extra cube sitting out begging to be used.  It was about three weeks ago that I bought 8 pounds at Costco.  That means in 3 weeks we have used nearly 3 pounds!  At that rate I only have 5 more weeks of butter usage.  I'm beginning to freak out.  What will I do without butter?  That means the butter rationing begins now.  Only two cubes a week, people.  That's it.  No  more.  That gives me 10 weeks of butter with a little to spare.  I just might be able to make it.

So, today when Bryce wanted a Sunday evening treat, we needed one that did not require butter.  We found this recipe for chocolate chip muffins.  We skipped the coffee and added extra milk.  Bryce also threw in some almond extract.  They really hit the spot.  Best part?  They didn't call for any butter.  I'm totally having butter on my toast in the morning.


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