Monday, August 24, 2009

Fruit leather recipe

This is the basic recipe I have been using to make fruit leather with all of my apricots this week. Yes, still working on that. Some of the apricots need to ripen more, so I took a break for the weekend.

First I wanted to share my opinion on why I think it is important to take the time for things like this. At the same time I share some of my recent annoyances-I can because it is my blog and I can do what I want:)
1st, food storage is important and the more food storage you can acquire the better.

2nd, I realize that this can take a lot of time, and people are busy. I can think of 100 other projects in my home and with my kids that will always be there, but I believe we can make time for anything. If there is time to find out the newest American Idol, or who is Dancing with the stars, you can't be that tight on time. No rudeness intended, just that we all different priorities. I have a difficult time sitting still and watching tv when I know I have so many things that need to be done. So I use this as my down time and turn on a movie while I pit and cut them.

3rd, it is also a great teaching lesson for your kids. My kids enjoy this tradition each year, and actually get upset if they both can't help me pick the fruit. When I got home, I had other things that needed to get done before I started on apricots. When I got downstairs my 5 year old had laid out the blanket and her and my 3 year old had pitted 2 bowls of apricots by themselves and laid them on the dehydrator screen!

4th As mentioned we are teaching our kids, but also ourselves to be self-reliant. I understand that we have a Walmart down the street with dried apricots that I can pick up in 10 minutes. I can pick up a loaf of bread, instead of make it too. BUT I think it is important to know how to rely on our own skills and storage, in case one day those resources aren't available. Disaster strikes and a loaf of bread will cost you $10 if you can find anything left on the shelf. Note-I do not make all of my bread myself:) but get 95% of it at the grocery store. But once a week I try to bake bread, rolls or such to keep my storage rotated as well as teach myself how to be better at it.

5th and final gripe:) A small bag of dried apricots at the store cost about $4. For the amount of apricots I have dried so far and the fruit leather I have made would have cost me about $50---but I have paid nothing. Also, I know what goes into the food I make homemade, and not what has been used to preserve and maintain color, and sweetness.

Fruit Leather Recipe
Fresh fruit (apricots, peaches, plums, berries, apples, pears, grapes)
Lemon juice
Sugar (if needed) --I figure if my kids enjoy it without sugar, than why add it
Spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)
1 Rinse the fruit. If you working with stone fruit, take out the pits, chop the fruit. If working with apples or pears, peel and core them, then chop. If working with grapes, de-stem them.
Taste the fruit before proceeding. Note how sweet the fruit is. If very sweet (ripe Concord grapes for example) you will not need to add any sugar. If still a little tart, you may need to add some sugar in the next step.
2 Place fruit in a large saucepan. Add a half cup of water for every 4 cups of chopped fruit. Bring to a simmer, cover and let cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the fruit is cooked through. Uncover and stir. Use a potato masher to mash up the fruit in the pan. Taste the fruit and determine what and how much sugar, lemon juice, or spices to add. Add sugar in small amounts (1 Tbsp at a time if working with 4 cups of fruit), to desired level of sweetness. Add lemon juice one teaspoon at a time to help brighten the flavor of the fruit. Add a pinch or two of cinnamon, nutmeg, or other spices to augment the flavor.
Continue to simmer and stir until any added sugar is completely dissolved and the fruit purée has thickened, another 5 or 10 minutes (or more).

Note if you are working with grapes - strain the juice out of the mashed grapes to make grape juice. Force what is left behind, after straining, through a food mill, to make the purée for the next step.
3 Alternatively purée it thoroughly in a blender or food processor. Taste again and adjust sugar/lemon/spices if necessary. The purée should be very smooth.

4 Line a rimmed baking sheet with sturdy plastic wrap (the kind that is microwave safe). Pour out the purée into the lined baking sheet to about an 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.

5 Place the baking sheet in the oven, try to keep any plastic wrap from touch the sides of the oven or the oven racks. Also try to make sure that the plastic wrap hasn't folded back over on top of the purée. If this happens, the purée won't dry out. Heat the oven to a low 140°F. If you have a convection setting, use it, it will speed up the process and help dry out the purée. Let dry in the oven like this for as long as it takes for the purée to dry out and form fruit leather. We usually keep it in the oven overnight, so about 8-12 hours. The fruit leather is ready when it is no longer sticky, but has a smooth surface.
Alternatives to the oven. If you have a food dehydrator, this would be a great use of it. Also a reader posted that she spread them on the cookie sheet and then put them outside all day. Get it out by 9 in the a.m., it's done by or 4 in the afternoon! That seems like a good idea to cut down on power and also not heat your house up using the oven.
6 When the fruit leather is ready, you can easily peel it up from the plastic wrap. To store it, roll it in its plastic wrap, put it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
4 cups of fruit yield about one baking sheet of fruit leather.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

72 hour kit- gloves

This week put in a pair of gloves for each member of your family. I put in some work gloves for me and my husband. After a natural disaster there will be a lot of debris that will need to be hauled away. I put little winter gloves in for the kids, to keep them warm and also keep hands safe around debris--I just don't see them doing much hard labor:)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Food Storage Recipe

If any of you have eaten at the Lion House (historic home of Brigham Young) you know these rolls are great. My mother in law makes them for special occasions.

Lion House Rolls
2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
2 tablespoons dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder (instant or non-instant)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or shortening
4-4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour

1-In large bowl of electric mixer, combine water and milk powder, stir until dissolved.
2-Add yeast, then sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2 cups flour.
3-Mix on low speed of mixer until ingredients are wet, then 2 minutes at medium speed.
4-Add 2 cups more flour; mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then for 2 minutes as medium speed. (Dough will be getting stiff and remaining flour may need to be mixed in by hand).
5-Add about ½ cup flour and mix again, by hand or mixer.
6-Dough should be soft, not overly sticky, and not stiff.
7-(It is not necessary to use the entire amount of flour.)
8-Scrape dough off sides of bowl and pour about 1 T.vegetable oil all around the sides of the bowl so it is covered with oil.
9-Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in warm place until double in size.
10-After dough has risen, sprinkle cutting board or counter with flour and place dough on floured surface.
11-Roll out and cut rolls in desired shape and size.
12-Place on greased (or parchment lined) baking pans.
13-Let rise in warm place until rolls are double in size (about 1 to 1 ½ hours).
14-Bake at 375 for 14 to 20 minutes or until browned.
15-Brush with melted butter while hot.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

72 hour kit-insect repellent

This week add insect repellent for the family and some chapstick. I don't know about you but there are times I can't find my chapstick and my lips are literally in pain. If we have to be outside for a long period of time we will be exposed to bugs, wind, and other extreme temps that can cause havoc on your lips. It won't save your life but can prevent a lot of discomfort in a disaster situation when there are already too many thing to have to worry about. As for chapstick it may not be the most practical in hot weather. Something like those tubes of blistex or a travel vaseline should be ideal. If necessary pack a lip gloss to maintain that glow after an earthquake:)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Are your gardens producing a lot of zucchini? Mine is doing pretty good, plus my grandpa keeps insisting I take some when I visit:)

Chocolate Zucchini Bread- recipe from

3 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 c. wheat flour)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/2 oil and 1/2 applesauce)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or more)

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans. In large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt, mix well. In separate bowl, combine sugar and eggs, beat until well blended. Add oil and vanilla; beat until combined. Stir in zucchini. Add flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Spoon evenly into loaf pans. Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pans; cool completely on wire rack.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

72 hr kit-radio

It is a good idea to have a radio in your kit for a couple of reasons.
1-To stay informed in an emergency- The radio I like is a hand crank radio/flashlight. If I can get an object that does more than one thing and saves space I go for it. It is also great to not have to worry about batteries dying when you need it the most. You can use this radio to keep informed after a local or national disaster, and what steps your family needs to take next.

2-Entertainment- This isn't essential of course but I think my kids would need some distraction in a disaster. I went to the local dollar store and found these tiny head sets. Sometimes at teh dollar store you get lucky and other times you spend a $1 on pure junk. I was really excited by the quality of these little radios. The sound isn't fuzzy at all even if I move around. The ear pieces wrap around the radio and and it fits compact in the kids backpacks. It takes 2 AAA batteries so I packed a few extra as well.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wacky Cake

I married into Wacky cake...this says a little about my in-laws as well:) Anyway, I noticed this same recipe elsewhere but it was called food storage cake. I am pretty sure my husband told be it was a family recipe, but apparently the secret is out:)

This cake calls for no eggs, but everything that should be in you storage. Plus, it is somewhere between amazingly moist chocolate cake and heavenly brownies. It doesn't need to be frosted because it has this fudgy, moistness that stands on it's own. Just try it, and you'll understand:)

Wacky cake (or food storage cake)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
6 TB salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 TB vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup oil

Mix all ingredients until smooth. Bake in ungreased 9X13 pan at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Cool before cutting. Can be topped with ice cream of cool whip.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

72 hour idea

First off I wanted to remind all of those locally that CERT training is beginning again September 10th---every wednesday for 7 weeks. Register at and to get more info. It is great for you as an individual, keep your family safe or to help in your community. Even if we never have a natural disaster, it is skills I will use with my own family. Having little kids means that one or another will need my medical attention at one point. Really I feel like it is something I should keep taking so I can keep it all fresh.I told my husband that he would be on the list for the next class, but the poor guy is getting his tonsils out in September and would miss too much class---there will be more classes after this one though that I will jump on.

This week you can add something personal for your needs that maybe I haven't mentioned but is vital for your pack, maybe add some cash, or catch up on some of the other items. I got an email from Darla about another idea for 72 hour food that I thought you might be interested in. I am not sure my little ones would be able to carry it if it had cans of soup but you could substitute any of these ideas for items your family prefers. You could also fit the bucket in a backpack to keep your arms open or a yoke of some sort to carry two around your shoulders.

I think about going to the grocery store the other day and my daughter wanted to bring her little purse, but five minutes into it she was tired of holding it. So in my particular family, I hold the bulk of the items in a rolling suitcase and they have backpacks with their extra clothing, entertainment, snacks and hygiene needs that they carry.

I just like the way it is broke down and seems pretty simple to do--so whether you put it in ice cream buckets stacked in your closet or in a backpack, or duffle bag, or cardboard box, just make sure you get enough food for your family!

72 Hour Emergency Kit List
Fits in Ice Cream Bucket

List of Food for 3 Days:
1 small can apple juice
2 foil juice packets (Capri Sun)
1 piece beef jerky
1 package Trail mix
2 chocolate-covered granola bars
1 package fruit snacks
2 packages crackers
2 packages cheese and crackers or sticks
3 cans of soup (ready to eat)
or 2 cans of soup and 1 can of Vienna Sausages
3 packages raisins
1 package gum
6 pieces of hard candy
2 boxes Hershey's chocolate-flavored drink
1 can snack-pack fruit
2 breakfast granola bars
3 spoons
napkins (As many as you can fit)
3 foil packets of water (I really worry that this might not be enough water --although it is the minimum amount is has been said that in emergencies people want to drink more---plus keep in mind beef jerky will make you pretty thirsty. Things like juice and chocolate milk will hydrate you as well, but for me personally it makes me more thirsty becasue of the sweetness. Remember that it isn't how much water should you carry but how much can you carry--more is always better, but don't make it impossible to carry.

What to Eat:

Day 1
Breakfast: 1 box Hershey's chocolate drink, 1 breakfast granola bar
Lunch: 1 chocolate granola bar, 1 fruit snack
Dinner: 1 can soup, 1 package crackers
Snacks: 1 package raisins, 2 pieces hard candy, 1 stick gum
1 cheese and crackers and 1 foil packet of water

Day 2
Breakfast: 1 small can apple juice, 1 package trail mix
Lunch: 1 granola bar, 1 foil packet juice
Dinner: 1 can soup or Vienna Sausage, 1 snack-pack fruit
Snacks: 1 package raisins, 2 pieces hard candy,1 stick gum,
1 foil packet of water

Day 3
Breakfast: 1 box Hershey's chocolate drink, 1 breakfast granola bar
Lunch: Beef Jerky, 1 foil packet of juice
Dinner: 1 can soup, 1 package crackers
Snacks: 1 package raisins, 2 pieces hard candy,
1 stick gum, 1 cheese & crackers
1 foil packet of water.

This kit is "ready to eat" and requires no extra water or heat source.

Place a copy of this list inside the top of the bucket so you know what to eat and be sure to stick to the daily intake so as not to run out before the 72 hours is up.

Meds should also be placed in zip lock bag and crammed in cracks between food. (Adults Only)

Put date assembled on side of bucket and change out perishables every 6 months.

Keep by the door to grab in case of emergency. Easy for children to carry