Monday, December 28, 2009

Mom's Fudge

Ok, not strictly food storage. But so, so, sooooo worth sharing. Seriously, this fudge is the best:

Mom's Fudge

Bring the following three ingredients to a boil.
Then boil 8 minutes at full boil, stirring constantly:

1 tall can (12oz) evaporated (non-sweetened) milk
5 cups sugar
1/4 lb margarine or butter

Remove from heat and add:

3 small packages chocolate chips
1 pint marshmallow creme
1-2 cups chopped nuts

Pour into buttered pan. Chill and cut into squares. Makes 5 pounds of fudge.

I remember helping to make this fudge when I was a kid, and when the recipe says you need to stir constantly, it means constantly. In the interest of full disclosure, however, I don't believe I have ever made this on my own, because regardless of what the original source is for this recipe (which was being made when my mom was a child), my source has always been my best source: Mom.

That includes this year, when we got an unmarked container of fudge in our Christmas package, which, when I saw it, caused me to say to my husband something like ,"This has to be fudge!" This exclamation was followed by rapid opening of said container, the contents of which led me to say, "Yes, yes, yes!" while putting my arms in the air in the classic gesture of victory. Yes, this fudge is that good. Thanks, Mom!

Sadly, there is only one piece left now. I call dibs. If I can get to it first... :)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day--Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

What's happening in your area?

I know that it's the season for collecting money for the less fortunate, but this year there seems to be an especially high number of good causes to which one can contribute. And more pressure to donate, as well.... Are you seeing a greater need/greater number of causes where you live?

--There is the traditional food drive for the food bank at the schools, and in the newsletter sent home people were asked, if not exactly, to the effect to send canned food according to what they felt they could afford. There was even one evening when school children came around caroling for donations for the food bank. And the drive isn't over yet....

--There was a collection in one part of the school for coins that could be used to buy shoes for children who need them. I don't remember this being collected for at this time of year--seems to me it was collected for closer to the beginning of the school year in years past, but I could be wrong. Or there could just be greater need this year...

--There was a collection at school for money to give books to children who couldn't afford them. It happened not too long ago anyway, so I'm figuring it was a collection for the holiday season.

--At least one class took up a collection for a child (identity unknown to the children) for clothes/ gifts for Christmas. This was just before they started the food drive, where there are rewards/incentives/contests for bringing in whatever numbers of cans of food...

--Not exactly my area, but when I was down in Utah over Thanksgiving, it seemed like there was a huge number of businesses with signs saying that they were a food drop location. I found it kind of alarming that there was so much indication that there was a lot of need for food assistance...

What does this have to do with food storage? I hope that everyone that is still in a position to do so can put away a few cans of food/bags of rice/cans and/or bags of staple foods so that they can be more self-sufficient if a personal/more widespread emergency occurs. If someone who doesn't currently need assistance finds him/herself needing such assistance, there might not be anywhere to go, because it appears that resources are spread pretty thin already. Seems like only yesterday that they had the scouts out collecting food...

I wish I could give credit, but as someone mentioned on one of the blogs (that I cannot seem to relocate) that I read while I was blog-hopping, this could be a really good time to stock up in terms of baking goods because they're on sale for the holidays. The coupons really do make a difference--I used a coupon today for some cans of broth that made it possible to purchase them 2/$1.00, while in the store the sign said you could get 3/$2.00. I use broth in one of my rice and beans recipes, which I modify somewhat, and hey, it would add flavor to just plain rice if that is what is available.

One last thing, please check out this article over on Preparedness Pro. You may see that in the comments to the linked article on that post that some people don't believe that there will be a food shortage. In my opinion, it won't matter very much in the long run why you need the food if you need the food, but there is definitely reason to be concerned if the article on a large food shortage is even partially right.

Hey, whatever the motivation is that people need to get some food storage in is good with me. I hope no one ever actually needs it, and that they just find that they don't have to go to the grocery store for a really long time and can use food money for other purposes. And it appears, according to all the collections and food drops around, that if one person doesn't need it, there are others who do....

Friday, December 18, 2009

A new modem later...

Yeah, it's not the only reason there have not been blog posts lately, but needing a new modem is one of the big ones.

Turns out my sometimes love/hate relationship with technology was not the cause of the internet spottiness which I mentioned in the last post, but the fact that we needed this very vital piece of hardware. Of course, this is something that can only be determined by one of the internet providers showing up and confirming that there is indeed something wrong, so it wasn't fixed immediately. Once we asked for help from the provider, however, we were pretty much helped immediately, which was impressive, and the problem is fixed now...

Hope to get more info on here quicker now...and if you're still reading, thanks!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Adventures with bread dough...

I haven't been posting much, but I did try something new last week and then our internet service became very, very spotty--so spotty, that, for example, I was able to post a comment that someone left, and then unable to post a reply. Hopefully the service will hold up for the duration of this post. Ah, the suspense of it... :)

Anyway, not too long ago I was at a youth activity where they were making "pizza bombs". Basically, they took bread dough that originally looked like rolls, flattened it, spread pizza sauce, added toppings like cheese and pepperoni, and took a second flattened piece of dough to cover it. Then they pinched the edges of the dough together to hold the toppings in, and marked their individual pizza bombs with food coloring so that they would know whose was whose once they emerged from the oven. They turned out well. I asked the person who supplied the dough if it was homemade, and was told that it was Rhodes dough. So I wondered if I could do pizza bombs with my homemade rolls....

Well, the pizza bomb experience took place before Thanksgiving, and at Thanksgiving, I made the roll recipe I now usually use (this one) and asked my best source (Mom) what she thought of using it to make the aforementioned recipe. She pretty much indicated that it would be better if I used a more basic recipe, since those rolls are pretty dense, so I mentioned I might use the bread loaf recipe I usually use, (this one) and let it rise into the loaf, only to tear it apart when it was done rising and make it into a tasty pizza delight....

And that's what I did. As a matter of fact, when I was in the middle of constructing the pizza bombs, I told my husband that I should be taking pictures for this blog...but he was helping and I had spaghetti sauce (our mini pizza sauce of choice) on my hands, and then we were eating them, and then they were gone...and then there was nothing to take a picture of, and so it goes. Sorry. But I will comment on how this experiment went....

---The pizza bombs were a success and were labeled a "keeper", which means that the likelihood that they will be made again is very high.

---Although the dough seemed pretty thin when rolled out and painstakingly pinched together, when it was baked until brown, it was pretty dense. This made it really filling, but so much density kind of made the toppings harder to find.

---Even though I was careful pinching the edges together, there were still at least some cases where the fillings made their way out of the bombs before they were removed from the oven. They still tasted good though, and took less time to bake than the loaf form would have at the same temperature....

Now I will probably try to come up with new fillings so that we can make different kinds of "bombs" in the future. Spaghetti sauce stores easily, as do olives, which we also used. It didn't take much cheese or pepperoni per bomb, and so there are few ingredients to use, and as mentioned, the bread part of it made it filling. I don't consider pepperoni to be a long-term storage item, so it's back to the drawing board to make a more food storage friendly recipe, but variety with your basic bread dough has to be a good thing, right? Maybe something with canned chicken or Spam would work out when I try this again... :)