Thursday, March 29, 2012

Grains are for Drinking?

In my food storage, I have barley.  I don't use it just in soups. In my mission, we drank a coffee substitute simply called Cebada.  Cebeda is actually the the Spanish word for barley.  What I drank was toasted ground barley sweetened with sugar.  Every once in a while I'll get a hankering  for something warm to drink besides herbal tea or cocoa.  Here is a labor intensive recipe for a 'new' hot drink. I guess this would be similar to a Postum type drink, although I've never tasted Postum.

Postum-like Beverage

* Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
* 4 cups wheat bran
* 2 cups cracked wheat
* 1 cup black strap molasses (regular dark molasses does not give it that wonderful flavor)

The cracked wheat should be ground in a coffee grinder to corn meal consistency. Grind before mixing with molasses so it doesn't gum up the grinder.

Combine all of the above ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands.  Make sure the grain and bran are well combined and that the molasses is thoroughly mixed into the grain/bran mix. This will take about 5-10 minutes to make sure there are no pockets of molasses and that it looks like dark, very damp sawdust.

Spread this mixture on two baking sheets with rims and put it in the oven. Stir mixture every 20 minutes for about 5 hours, or until the mixture is a very deep dark mahogany. Don't try to toast this in a hotter oven because it will burn. This is a recipe that requires patience in order to caramelize the molasses, and not burn it. When you open the oven to stir it you will notice a very slight smokiness during the last hour and a half. This is normal.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven and cool on wire racks stirring occasionally to release heat faster. (I use high roasting pans as it makes a mess turning it without the high lip)

To prepare: This is not instant and needs to be brewed the same as coffee, or steeped as you would tea. The ratio is 2 Tablespoons mix per cup of water.

COOK's NOTE'S: The woman who uses this recipes uses 7 Tablespoons for a 12 cup coffeemaker, and the strongest setting. I have actually toasted the grain in a frying pan with a drop or two of oil.  I grind them in a small coffee grinder I got at an estate sale and use a tea ball to infuse boiling water.  I add regular sugar to taste.
How about making this while watching General Conference this weekend?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

2011 Church Humanitarian Work

Some of you may know that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS or Mormons).  Our church has been in the news a lot lately, since Mitt Romney is LDS.  I thought I would let you know of the great work our church does.  Whenever there is a disaster, our church is one of the first on scene.  Here are some interesting facts from last year.

*Salt Lake City — Earthquakes, a tsunami and massive flooding have combined to make 2011 the costliest year for natural disasters on record according to a recently released Welfare Services report of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

The report indicates the first half of the year had economic losses totaling $265 billion, well above the previous record of $220 billion from 2005 (the year of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf region of the United States). Japan’s earthquake and tsunami damage alone has been estimated at $235 billion.

Lynn Samsel, director of Welfare Services Emergency Response, said every year throughout the world, families, communities and nations are afflicted with the hardship and tragedy of disasters—both natural as well as man-made. “While we know that God watches over His children, we are also aware that He asks His children to serve each other.”

Throughout 2011 the Church responded to 111 disasters in 50 countries, providing a total of $22 million in emergency aid and organizing thousands of volunteers through the Mormon Helping Hands program to assist those affected. In addition to natural disasters, east Africa experienced one of the worst droughts and famines in more than 60 years.

Welfare Services lists the five top Church responses.

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
•More than 250 tons of supplies were distributed during the first few months following the disaster, including food, water, blankets, bedding, hygiene supplies, clothing and fuel.

•22,000 Church-sponsored volunteers have provided more than 175,000 hours of service to date.

Eastern Africa Famine
•The Church committed $2.25 million in support of relief efforts and partnered with Islamic Relief, International Medical Corps, International Relief and Development and other organizations to provide food, clean water and medical supplies.

United States Tornadoes
•The Church provided relief in eight states, with more than 5,000 volunteers helping with cleanup.

Thailand Flooding
•Church members in Thailand assembled food kits, sanitation kits, blankets, clothes and other relief items for those affected by the floods.

Hurricane Irene — United States

•The Church provided 120 tons of relief supplies and 50,000 hours of service from more than 7,000 Church volunteers and missionaries.

Disaster Responses
The following table shows the breakdown of the 2011 responses by disaster type:

Disasters by Country

The following table lists the countries and regions assisted, along with the types of disasters experienced

I'm proud to be a member of a church that helps those in need.  In my local area, we provide food for an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico.  We also make Christmas sacks for the children with hygiene, school and play supplies. 
With so many problems in our world, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a refuge for me.  I hope you find the same peace in whatever belief you may have.
*article provided by

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Substituting Whole Wheat for All-Purpose Flour

Once again, Crystal over at Everyday Food Storage has given us some very useful info on added whole wheat to recipes. Sign up for her free newsletter to get great types on using food storage in your everyday cooking.

 Here is the deal with the two types of wheat. Red wheat has a stronger, nuttier flavor. The white wheat has a more delicate flavor that is much easier to disguise. So I would suggest always using the white wheat-especially in baked goods. What is that you say? The red wheat is more nutritious so, why not use it? I thought you might ask that. Red wheat IS more nutritious. And by more nutritious, I mean that it has 2% more protein than the white. HOWEVER, in order to make most anything palatable with 100% red wheat you have to mix it half and half with the all-purpose flour. In that case, you’ve just cut the nutrition by half….or you could just use the 2% less protein white wheat flour and use it 100%. Now, do you think I mean that you ALWAYS have to use 100% wheat in your baking? NO! You use it how your family would like it and I’ll give you some good tips for how to use it successfully and how to know if your recipe is best for 100% whole wheat, half and half or less.


 There are a lot of recipes that are great for substitution 100% whole wheat. I’d say as a general rule of thumb, if your recipe has two or more of the following ingredients in it-you’re good to go with 100% whole wheat.

 At least equal amounts of brown sugar and white sugar. All brown sugar or more brown sugar than white sugar works even better!
  • Strong spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice, etc.
  • Mashed fruit (non-citrus) or vegetables like bananas, zucchini, pumpkin, etc.
  • Nuts-wheat is very complimentary to nuts.
  • Oats. Oats already have that hearty feeling and wheat goes great with it!
  • Chocolate-Let’s be honest, chocolate covers a myriad of flavors and tastes great!


 So what to do if you recipe doesn’t have two of the above? Think sugar cookies, white cake, etc. If you’re at all nervous you can always do 1/6 wheat with LITTLE to NO taste difference. If you’re feeling a little daring, you can do half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose. You may be able to taste the wheat a little but it doesn’t mean it’s a bad flavor. Remember, with cooking just because it tastes different doesn’t automatically mean it tastes bad. It just means it tastes different and you if have to decide if you like it better or worse that way.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A long, long time ago - in a galaxy far, far away - I told you I scored a great deal.  Then I left you hanging.  Hang yourself no more my friends...

I got a K-Tec grinder at a thrift store.  It looks like it might have been used once.  I doubt anyone even knew what it was.  The next picture shows the price tag.

Yes, that is correct.  It says $5.00.  These grinders are selling for $179.98.  But wait, that's not all.  It was 1/2 price day on kitchen applicances, so it only cost me $2.50!  I got in my car and practically screamed, it was such a great deal.  There, you're not in suspense anymore.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Homemade Cake Mixes

Okay, I've been terrible trying to keep up with blogging and with my Etsy store, but I promise I am going to do better...maybe...

Crystal, over at Everyday Food Storage, is one of my heroes.  This is one dedicated lady who really loves food storage.  She has a new pdf file on making desserts from food storage, specifically cake mixes.  Who says a food storage diet has to be all dehydrated celery and nothing more.  Desserts are one of the items that will help us to get by and not suffer from appetite fatigue (AF).  If you don't vary your food storage, AF can be a very dangerous problem especially for young kids and older people.

Why not try using your food storage to whip up a great dessert and improve every one's mood-TODAY!
Download Crystal's pdf here: