Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 30

Read: “If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear” Ensign, Nov 1995, by Elder L. Tom Perry. As a family, discuss what you need to do next to continue preparing as prophets have counseled.
Take time today to find a binder and plastic sheet protectors and begin a family preparedness resource manual. Add copies of the articles and talks referenced, your inventory, evacuation plan, and any other information you have gathered to your binder.
Being prepared is an attitude and lifestyle, which like any good habit becomes part of who we are and the way we choose to live. Children will want to be part of something they see as exciting and valuable such as being ready for unforeseen emergencies like weather events and civil emergencies. With the recent weather disasters, now is the time to calm your family’s fears by teaching them how to prepare and find the reassurance that no matter what challenge they face, all will be well.

Dilbert lessons part 2-protect yourself!

Here's the second thing to point out from this comic.  You HAVE to be able to protect yourself.  ESPECIALLY if you're a single mom.  Having a cell phone is not good enough.  The bad guy will not politely wait for you to make a call, & as they say "when seconds count, the police are just minutes away".
A couple weeks ago, my ex husband was banging on our front door & wouldn't leave.  We finally had to call the police.  This was in the middle of the day with nothing else going on.  It took 5 min for them to get there.  Now, being inside, where we really didn't feel like we were unsafe, 5 min seemed pretty fast.  But a lot can happen in 5 min if there's someone bad in your house.  Set a timer for 5 min, & then let your imagination go wild with what could happen in that amount of time to you & your children, if you have no way to protect yourself.  I am trying to scare you; but only so you'll do something about it.  The police never prevent crimes, only victims can do that.  An interesting quote is "a person with good intentions & no training is a victim."

My father recently took a class from a man who has a private security company for disasters.  He was there after Katrina.  The man said the first night, there were almost no gun shots.  The second night, there was sporadic gun fire.  The third night it was constant, & sounded like a war zone.

Now there's lots of false media hype that if you own a gun it will somehow jump up & kill you & your children.  Simply not true.  For true info, you might read John Lott's books, or check out his website.  He started studying, expecting to find that places with more guns had more crime.  He was stunned to find just the opposite.  One interesting stat from his book I remember, is that a woman who cooperates with an attacker, is 80% more likely to be seriously injured than a woman who resists with deadly force.  Read that again.  Then think about if you would risk odds like that with your money.  Guns are used A LOT to prevent crimes. They've been used by people in my family multiple times to deter violent crimes against them.  And John Lott says 80% of the time, you only have to brandish the weapon.

I know many women who were afraid of guns, & totally against having one...who now love shooting.  They've found it's a great hobby, one they can enjoy with many people, & a very empowering one.  They are no longer scared women, waiting to become victims.  They are competent, confident women who can protect themselves & their families.  Which would you rather be?

My favorite place to get gun training is Front Sight.  Military & police men even go there for training, to improve on their current skills.  And you don't have to know anything before you go.  It is near Las Vegas.  But obviously that isn't an option for everyone.  Find a competent friend to teach you, find a women's only gun class, find anything you're willing to try.  You may be surprised at how much you enjoy it.  And make this a serious priority in your preparedness.  The peace of mind is priceless.  And it could literally save you & your families lives.

Here's a great article about women & defending yourself with firearms:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day 29

At breakfast ask for any last contributions to the emergency fund. Count your money and decide what items are most important to purchase with this money. Remember you promised anyone contributing could help decide. If they should decide on brownie mix… that’s important too. Now go spend the money. Come home and place everything on the table where you can all enjoy what you have accomplished. Why not keep the fund going and do the same thing next month?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 28

Finish your household inventory and record images of the other rooms in your home. Compile all photos and/or video and place a copy in your adult emergency kits and send a copy to your out of area contact for safe keeping.

Solar Cheesy Garlic Bread

Once you have your solar oven French bread (store bought works great too), you can make this Cheesy Garlic Bread.  It is sooooo good.  One of the best parts is the top crust with the spices on it.  I was worried it wouldn't cook that part as well in the solar oven, but it worked great!  I had it in for about 20 min.  You could probably leave it in much longer & it would be fine.  The photo doesn't do it justice.  Smells wonderful & tastes even better!

1 loaf french bread
1/2 cup butter softened
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp parsley
1/2 cup grated parmesan (parmesan/romano blend is good too)

Cut slices down loaf at 1" intervals without cutting all the way through.  Combing rest of the ingredients in small bowl.  Spread between slices of bread & on top.  Wrap in foil leaving top partially uncovered. Bake at 375 for 15 min, or in solar oven.

You can make the butter up to 3 days in advance.
Variation:  white cheddar instead of parmesan & chives instead of parsley

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Walgreens run this week

Here's what I bought at Walgreens this week for my preparedness.  I paid $30, & got back $27 in register rewards to use next time.  Not bad haul for $3!!

Day 27

For Family Home Evening, create a list of items to take if you need to evacuate. Make assignments for each family member to grab an item or two so everything is collected and ready to put into the car when the time comes.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 26

For Family Home Evening, create a list of items to take if you need to evacuate. Make assignments for each family member to grab an item or two so everything is collected and ready to put into the car when the time comes.

Italian Herb Muffins

Mmmm these were good!  Just plain, or with butter, or with garlic butter.  Gread side dish!  And you can make them in your solar oven!

2 cups flour
2 TBS grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs Italian Seasoning
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup oil

Combine flour, cheese, sugar, Italian seasoning, baking powder, & salt.  In another bowl combine egg, milk, oil.  Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Fill greased or lined muffin cupts 3/4 full.  Bake at 400 for 1-20 min or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 5 min before removing to wire rack.

I also tried "canning" some of these in the solar oven.  Here's what it looked like when I took it out of the jar a month later.  It still tasted good!  Definitely not like it was a month old!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Great prep deals this week

Walgreens has some preparedness deals this week. We need to try to store things besides food.
There's a great deal on Theraflu this week. I'm amazed how much it can cost when you have a cold to buy medications. When you stock up with a sale, you not only save money, but you have it on hand when the cold hits. Especially great for single mom's who have to haul themselves & sick kids to the store.
Print some coupons here. If you use two of the $2 off 1 Severe cold, & buy 2 of them, you end up getting them for $.50 each! Sure beats the full price of over $6 each! (you'll need to learn about coupons at Walgreens. The Theraflu's will ring up at $10 for 2, you get $4 off with the coupons, & then will get a $5 register reward back to use next time. See a site like or if you're new at this. That makes it $1 total for both).
This coupon is also available in todays Sunday paper.

Walgreens also has these great prep deals:
Remington Razor, free after register rewards
Zarbee's cough drink, free after register rewards
use coupon here:
to make $1 on this.
Balance bar free after register rewards
$.50 each Butterball chicken broth (great for cooking, canning chicken, or cooking)
$.33 each tomato sauce
$.99 boxes of brown or powdered sugar
Renu contact solution for $1.99 after register rewards.  Great way to stock up if you wear contacts!

And if you have a Kohlers near you, chicken breasts are $1.49 lb.  A 40 lb box is $56.  Super great for canning!  (here's my post on how to can chicken:  canning chicken
And they have pears, 26 lb for canning for $18.99.

Day 25

Mom and dad read the article: “Ready to Go!” Friend, Jul 2007, 8–11; plan a similar exercise in a week or two as a review of your Family Home Evening tomorrow night.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day 24

Have each family member clean their room and then get out your video or still camera and take pictures. Open every door and drawer and shoot away. This inventory will be worth its weigh in gold if you should have to make an insurance claim after a disaster.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 23

Practice building a shelter. Get out the Scout Handbook or look for directions online. Create a shelter using supplies you have in your emergency and/or car kits, such as mylar blankets, duct tape, bungee cords and tarps. After a disaster it may not be possible to inhabit your home, but you may not want to leave your property and you may end up “camping out”. If you should become stranded on a trip you will need to know how to build a shelter. If you don’t have these items, now is the time to purchase them and practice how to use them for shelter. No supplies? Time to purchase some!

French Bread in jar

After the first rise of the French Bread recipe (see previous post for recipe), I put some dough in the jar.  I filled the jar less than 1/2 full.  I let it raise in the jar until it was almost to the rim.  During cooking it went over the top. This wasn't a big deal; I tore off the top & ate it (yummy!), but next time I'll put less dough or stop raising when it's lower.  My solar oven was at about 300, & it took about 45-60 min for it to lightly brown on top.  I put one of my reusable canning lids on (see July post), & took it right in the house.  It sealed & I kept it in the jar for a month.
on the plate

french bread in jar

after taking it out of jar
So how did it taste?  Pretty dang good!  It was definitely dryer.  I've heard that when possible, use applesauce for canning breads, as it helps it stay moist.  So it was a bit more dry & crumbly.  But it smelled & tasted right.  Adding some butter made it tastier.  My son warmed his up & then added butter.  He liked that so much he ate most of the bread in a sitting that way.  If I can keep bread for over a month that's good enough for my son to eat it all up, I call that a success!  I'm way glad to know I could do this on a sunny day to save for a cloudy one!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 22

Using the money in your spare change jar, purchase the ingredients for five lunches and five snacks you planned previously. If you are on a tight budget make this a priority and eat breakfast for dinner for several days. Pancakes, eggs, French toast are all great dinner foods and all inexpensive and budget savers.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 21

Mail one set of copies to your out of area contact, place a set in all emergency kits, take one set to work and place the final set in your auto kit.

Canning bread in jars with solar ovens

The idea here, is when you get a sunny day, can some breads or muffins in jars.  These will keep up to 3 months, & give you something to eat on days you can't use your solar oven.  There's a great PDF with this info (& lots more) at
She even talks about how to substitute gelatin for the eggs in recipes, for those who are worried about eggs in a slow cooking method like solar ovens.  So about a month ago, every time I made bread or muffins, I threw some in a jar too.  I'll start posting the different ones I tried & how they turned out.
I did have 2 come unsealed after a few weeks while storing them.  One was a reusable lid & one was a regular lid.  I'm not sure why.  But maybe keep an eye on them.
This was pretty easy to do.  After they're cooked, clean the rims, put a canning lid on immediately, & bring it inside.  It will seal as it cools.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 20

Make enough copies of the photos you took yesterday to include in the Emergency Kits of all family members, a copy for your out of state contact, and two more complete sets (you'll see why in a moment).

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 19

Meet with another family tonight for Family Home Evening and take turns taking photos of the other's family. Take photos of individual family members and a group photo which includes all family members. Remember, pets are family members too. You want an individual photo and group photo with them also. These will help if you are separated by a disaster event, and need to post a photo or claim a family member. Your group photo will help to prove you are the parent, sibling, or child, of a “misplaced” family member. Individual photos can be used to give to first responders or to post on message boards if you have been separated.

Solar Oven French Bread

I love this French Bread recipe.  It has not many ingredients, & it's simple to make.  I tried some that were much more complicated, but they weren't any better than this one.  This one is tasty!  I have to be careful, if I make it with some garlic butter, we won't eat whatever we were having with it, we just eat bread!
Since this bread cooks at a high temp (450), I was curious if it would work in a solar oven.  The oven got to about 300.  It took 1 1/2 hours (these were small loaves, big ones might take longer). It wasn't really browned on the outside like in the regular oven.  But it was tasty!  In fact I think I like the taste better!
This makes 2 regular size loaves, or 4 small solar oven loaves.

2 Tbs yeast
2 cups warm water
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
4 1/2-5 cups bread flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add salt, sugar & 2 c flour.  Beat until smooth.  Stir in enough flour to form soft dough.  Knead until smooth & elastic, 6-8 min.  Rise 1 hour.  Divide in half, shape into loaves.  Cover & rise 30 min.  Make slashes on top.  Bake at 450 15-20 min, or in solar oven until done.  Can brush egg whites on top before baking.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Free batteries & bottled water

Office Depot has a couple great preparedness deals this week.  100% rewards back on batteries or bottled water.  You have to be a rewards member ( or  Being a member is free.  You buy the product, & then a few months later get that same amount back to spend at the store.  You can buy something you would have bought anyway, making the batteries or water free; or you can buy more batteries & water & make them half price.  What is even greater, is you can buy 2 of each product each day!  So if you went every day, you could have 14 sets of batteries, & 14 packages of bottled water by the end of the week.
Here's the website with the other 100% back deals as well, including free copy paper.  I also think the bankers boxes could be great for storing food in.
office depot 100% rewards

Day 18

Read one or more of the suggested readings as a family and discuss what you have learned.

"Family Home Storage: A New Message” Ensign March 2009.
“The Flood after the Storm,” Ensign, Feb 1997.

“Members in Coalinga Respond to Earthquake,” Ensign, July 1983, 77–78.
“In Case of Disaster,” New Era, Oct 1990, 24–31.
“The Celestial Nature of Self Reliance,” Marion G. Romney October 1982 General Conference.
“The Responsibility for Welfare Rests with Me and My Family,” Ensign, May 1986, by Elder James E. Faust.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Thrive Rice with Sweet Pepper Beef Steak

We just got to try this dinner from Thrive!  What I noticed first, is that you bring the water to a boil, & then pour the food in, over & remove from heat.  It sits for 15 min & then is ready to eat.  This is really handy if you are short on cooking fuel.  You could even do it in a solar oven with a brief period of sunlight.  This gives it an advantage over some of the pasta I have stored that has to boil for 15 min.
My son, I & a friend at this for lunch.  We all agreed that it was quite tasty!  My son took a bite & said "Oh this is good!"  We think it would especially taste good compared to lots of the more bland items we have in our food storage (think plain rice).  It being super easy would be a real blessing in an emergency, & the good flavor would be quite a comfort!
If you're interested in Thrive, click on the link on the right side of the page.

Day 17

This is “live like a pioneer day!” Flip the power off at the breaker and live today without power. There is no better way to discover what your preparations are lacking than to try them out. Do all your cooking on the barbeque, in a fire pit, or with a Dutch oven. Use your flashlights, glow sticks, candles and outdoor solar lights for lighting. Read books, do normal Saturday chores, play games, go for a bike ride and just enjoy your family without the distraction of electricity.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 16

Place flashlights and/or glow sticks by every bed for use in a nighttime emergency. We have plenty of candles, flashlights and glow sticks in our home, but after fumbling in the dark to find them during a power outage I decided then we would keep glow sticks in every room in our home and I hung one on every door knob. Sure enough, next outage I knew exactly where to find light. Several people told me during Hurricane Irene this past week that they were ready with glow sticks on all the door knobs. Make sure your children know these are for emergencies only. They will run for them when the power goes out!

More Dollar Store prep items

I found more things at the Dollar Store today for my prep.  The hand sanitizers were around the same price as Walmart, but almost twice the size.  These are great for if someone is sick, or you're short on water.  The smaller sizes even had moisturizer.
I'd been using coupons & deals to get the Lysol toilet cleaner down as low as $1.50.  So I was excited to find some at the Dollar Store!
I got shelf stable half & half.  Love that stuff!  Matches, first aid, sewing kit.  And a keep it warm bag...I want to try a dinner in the solar oven & then put it in that during a cloudy afternoon & see if it stays warm!
Sewing needles & shoelaces as well!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Save $ with Groupon

If you haven't yet checked out Groupon, go look at it!  It's free, & you get great half off deals.  I especially like the preparedness deals, although we've gotten lots of fun stuff on there too.  Tomorrow we're going on a zip line we bought half price with Groupon.  Great way to save money!

Day 15

Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 14

Using the recipes you gathered yesterday make a list of ingredients you will need to make five dinners, five lunches, five breakfasts and five snacks from the list. Using the money from your spare change jar, purchase the ingredients for five dinners. Store these separately from the food in your pantry. This is food storage. Once you have built up a three month supply, you can begin using this food and rotating it

Unhappy rabbit surprise & a lesson

The first mistake when I bred the rabbits was not looking at the calendar first.  She was now probably going to give birth while we were on vacation.  Well, I had someone to feed them while we were gone, & it's not like you really do much for the babies.  I had the boy feeding the rabbits put some stuff in the nesting box.  And he'd been putting frozen water bottles out on hot days to keep the rabbits cool.
We got home from our trip in the evening & went out to check the rabbits.  Sure enough there were bunnies in the nesting box, but they were all dead!  Not a fun surprise!  My son got some gloves on to get them out, & as he lifted one out, it's head fell off & fell on his foot!  He was quite stoic about it, but I was glad I hadn't seen it.  After some research & questions to those with rabbits, my best guess it that it was too hot & they roasted to death.  The boy taking care of them said there weren't any bunnies the evening before, so they died during one day.  I looked online & apparently the babies can have trouble if it's over 80.  That is not very warm!  The solutions I saw were to give them shade (which we did with our next litter), & to run a sprinkler in front of the hutch to cool the air (which we did as well).   Right now I'm looking for a good mister, in hopes that will waste less water & not make such a big mud puddle!
So we'd had 3 litters out of our doe now.  The first litter froze to death.  The second litter we lost 2...not sure how, we found them out of the nesting box, in the hutch, dead.  Our friend's theory on that was they were nursing when the mom left & got dragged out.  And then this litter that roasted to death.  Three litters & only 5 rabbits!  I was getting discouraged, but I was also really glad to be learning all these lessons before we were hungry & counting on them for food.
The next litter however had 10 bunnies!  10 days later they were all alive, so maybe I was getting the hang of this!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Great pears for canning

If you're in Utah, Alpine food storage has pears you can order for canning.  I got some last year & they were amazing!  Here's an order form:
And here's the info they sent:

Many of you are anxious to know if we're getting those amazing Bartlett Pears we got from Oregon last year!
We are!  But we are trying to be patient and hold out for the BEST ones!
Here is the information:
These pears are coming from Medford, Oregon--they are the ones that the Church Cannery has sorted out as 'too big' for their canners.  We got them last year and they are so delicious!
They are harvesting right now, but the pears that stay on the tree the longest will have the best flavor.  We're holding out for those!
They come in 40-44 lb boxes for $23.
For delivery to groups in outlying areas, please contact us.
We need a preliminary count by September 19.  Then we will finalize all orders by September 22.
We will likely bring pears in that weekend. September 23/24.  Fresh produce is time sensitive.  Please plan on picking up promptly once we've emailed out that these have arrived.

Day 13

At dinner tonight, discuss the family’s favorite meals. Take notes to determine breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack favorites. Gather recipes for each food item.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 12

Teach all family members when it is appropriate to call 911 and practice various scenarios until they feel comfortable with the questions they will be asked.

Breeding the rabbits

Once you have baby rabbits, you can breed the parents again pretty soon.  If you really need meat, you can breed the doe within a few days of giving birth.  I'm doing it about a month apart while it's warm.  Gestation is about a month.
So you put the doe in with the buck.  Not the other way around, the doe is very territorial.  It doesn't take very long.  All my books said the male would squeal & fall over on his side afterwards.  Okaaay.
So I put her in.  He'd seem to get mostly done, & she'd kick him off.  I'm thinking how weird it is to be standing there, waiting for a rabbit to..."finish".   After about 10 min of this, I followed my books advice & took her out to try again another day.  The next time she wouldn't let him near her, she'd chase him away.  So I took her out & tried again 2 days later.  This time he seemed to get done, she didn't stop him, but there was no squeal or falling over.  hhhmmm.  So is she pregnant or not?  Apparently it's hard even for an expert to tell when a rabbit is expecting, so there was nothing to do but wait a month.  Some breeders do put her in again a few hours later to make sure.
My 8 year old watched, but really didn't understand what was going on.  I know farm kids see that stuff all the time, but it gave me pause.  But he seems unharmed!  So now we just had to wait.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thrive spaghetti sauce

I have tons of pasta in my food storage; most of which I got free with coupons.  So I was excited to test this pasta sauce by Thrive.  First here's the recipe:  (by Becky Powell)
1 cup FD Thrive Ground beef chunks
4 cups water
1 cup Thrive tomato powder
1/8 cup FD Thrive onions
1/8 cup Thrive mixed red/green peppers
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
Combine all ingredients in sauce pan.  Bring to boil & simmer on low for 20 min.  Eat immediately or freeze for up to 2 weeks.
This was simple & easy.  It tasted great.  Better than a lot of bottled spaghetti sauces I've had.  I was impressed that I couldn't tell the beef was freeze dried, & how small an amount it took of it for a whole lot of sauce.  I've been having issues this morning with storage.  My main thought with this, was how little room some freeze dried beef, tomato powder, & dried onions take up; especially compared to my glass jars of spagetti sauce, jars of canned beef, & bags of winter storage onions.  If it tastes this good & takes up less room, it's definitely worth considering!

Day 11

Make a list of handicapped or elderly neighbors, friends, ward members, and family members who may need help in an emergency, post their phone numbers and enter them into your cell phone contact list. During an emergency, even a power outage it is important to check on those who may not be able to take care of their own needs. If they do not have emergency kit you may want to create one for them or add enough to your kits so you are able to care for their needs also. create one.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Strawberry shortcake with Thrive products

You may have noticed the "Thrive" link on the right.  Sariah, who's link that is, was kind enough to let me pick a recipe I like, & then send me Thrive food storage ingredients to try making it.  I chose upside-down Strawberry Shortcake.  I love strawberries, & it had a variety of ingredients, so I thought it would be fun to try.

First of all, here's the recipe:

16 oz frozen, sweetened strawberries, thawed
1 pkg (3 oz) strawberry jello
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 c flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk

Combine strawberries & jello & set aside.  In a mixing bowl cream shortening & sugar.  Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each.  Beat in vanilla.  Combine flour, baking powder & salt.  Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.  Pour into greased pan.  Spoon strawberry mixture evenly over batter.  Bake until toothpick come out clean, at 350, approx 45-50 min.

In this test I used Thrive for the strawberries, shortening , eggs, baking powder, & milk.
I was impressed how quickly the strawberries rehydrated in water.  Fast!  I ate one plain, & it tasted as good as a frozen one would have.  It did take extra time to separately mix the shortening, eggs & milk, but that's just part of cooking with food storage.  One plus of the egg substitute, it you can halve recipes & halve the eggs!  Awesome!  I think I drained the strawberries a bit too much (forgetting I would have been using frozen & there would have been juice).  I think that accounts for my having less strawberry mixture on top than normal.  But the important question:  how did it taste?!  Awesome!  I probably wouldn't have known it was made differently if I'd just been served it.  I'm especially excited about the shortening substitute, as a few of my favorite recipes have that.  I was quite happy with the experiment!  And Sariah is so knowledgeable & helpful!

Day 10

  • If you live in hurricane country: Take necessary measurements and purchase supplies needed to board up windows. Don’t forget screws and bolts. Take supplies home and pre-drill holes to make installation fast.
  • If you live in earthquake or tornado areas purchase items to strap your water heater and to secure large furniture items such as dressers and sideboards to walls, and then do it.
  • If you live in a flood area: Purchase and place survival items in your attic.
  • If you live in areas prone to fire, prune trees and bushes and remove any dead branches. Check roof and gutters for opening which embers can enter and patch those areas.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 9

Place an extra set of important keys in adult emergency kits, safe deposit box, at work, next to your bed, and with a neighbor. Keys should include cars, homes, homes of those you have promised to help evacuate, offices, recreational vehicles, mail boxes, safe deposit boxes, and storage sheds.

So how did the rabbit taste?

After I had the rabbit skinned & the innards out, I put it in boiling water for 2 1/2 hours.  After that the meat just fell off the bone, & it was really easy to get it all off.  Trying not to picture a rabbit in my mind, I tried a piece.  Pretty much tastes like chicken.  Reminded me a bit of a cornish game hen.  But you could give anyone a piece & they probably wouldn't know it wasn't chicken.  What a relief!  There was always that worry in the back of my mind that what if after all this, it didn't taste good!  Now I know I can breed, raise, butcher & cook rabbits to feed my son.  AWESOME!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day 8

Call your children's school(s) and daycare and ask about their emergency procedures. Review these with your spouse and children. If they do not have a plan, volunteer to help develop one.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 7

Add $10.00 to your coin bank for spending on emergency needs.

Time to butcher

After about 3 months, our rabbits were big.  Feed was getting expensive, & it was time to get rid of some.  I sold a few, but since this is about raising rabbits for meat, I really needed to try my hand at butchering them.  When I bought ours, Wendie had shown me how to butcher.  It was really slick, with hardly any blood.  They are obviously made to be used for meat.  But it had been 6 months by then.  I had my notes, my memory, & my dad who'd butchered deer & elk, so I was hoping I could figure it out.
I'd read lots of killing methods involving brooms & clubs.  Yipes!  I decided on Wendie's method.  She used a hollow point pellet in a BB gun to the back of the head.  It was quick & painless & easy.  I didn't want to club it & not finish it off!
We got the rabbit out of the pen, & wrapped it in an old shirt & put it in a plastic tub.  We petted it & got it all calmed down.  If they're all scared the meat doesn't taste good.  I petted it's head for a bit.  Now grown the rabbits aren't quite as cute as the babies, but they're still rabbits.  I was not wanting to do this!  I picked up the BB gun, put it to the back of the head, said "I do NOT want to do this" & then pulled the trigger.  Then came the death throes.  They lasted longer than I thought, & I was a bit worried I hadn't really finished it off.  But I had.  My New Zealand rabbits have red eyes, but when they die the eyes turn blue.  I have no idea why!
After it was dead & no longer twitching, we hung it up by it's back legs.  I first clipped off the front paws with something like garden clippers.  That was easy.  Then I cut through the neck all the way around to the bone.  I must have done something different from Wendie, because there was a lot more blood than the one little squirt she had!  I had a garbage bag below but it went on the grass too, & dripped on the wood we had it hanging from, & a couple drops even on my feet.  I used the clippers again to cut off the head through the bone.  So far so good.
Next I cut the fur around the back legs it was hanging from, & started cutting the fur away from the legs.  Once Wendie had that part done, she's been able to pull hard & pull the entire fur down & off like removing a sock.  I attempted to do this as well.  The back part came off easily, but I must have done something wrong on the front.  As I pulled the fur down the entrails started pouring out.  Oof!  Everyone watching kind of went "ew!".
Maybe I should mention that I had 3 adults & 3 kids watching.  I was not excited at having all these friends watch my first attempt...I would have much preferred they come after I'd gotten the hang of it!  But they wanted to come!  Maybe it was a help in some ways though; I was so focused on figuring out how to do it, & didn't want to look wussy in front of people, so maybe it went better.
Anyway, after the fur was off (with more struggle than Wendie had), I scooped out the entrails with my hand. (I was wearing gloves).  That was pretty easy too.  The hardest part was getting the anus out.  It was covered in bone on both sides.  Unfortunately, I had no visual recollection of seeing Wendie do that part.  My father finally helped me a bit, & we got it.  Whew!
Once I had the entrails out & fur off, it just looked like chicken meat.  Not nasty at all.  We tossed all the nasty stuff, & started the tanning going on the hide.  I'll post instructions on the butchering & tanning on another post.
So how did I feel about the whole thing in the end?  First, I'm really really glad to know I can do it.  While my first attempt wasn't pretty, I still got the job done.  I definitely don't enjoy killing rabbits.  I'd sure like to get more skilled.  Afterwards I thought it was a bit sad that one was dead.  But I was also very proud that I plowed right in, & did it without getting sick, or being hesitant about it.  As I was doing it I didn't really have time to be grossed out, I was too busy trying to do it.  I think after doing it a few times, it's something that won't even be a big deal anymore.   It's something our ancestors wouldn't have thought twice about doing, but it was an accomplishment for me!  After talking myself into it for 18 months, I did it!!  I can feed my son & I can butcher my own meat.  That's something to be proud of.  And remember, I'm nothing special.  If I can do it, you can too!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day 6

Gather or purchase the items on your pet needs list and place them in a pet emergency kit.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Day 5

For Family Home Evening Play “What If”:
What if you were not at home when_____________________ happened? (Fill in the blank with the emergency most likely to occur in your area). Ask each family member, including the adults what they would do.
  • What if you were at a friend’s home?
  • What if you were at work?
  • What if you were at school?
  • What if you were shopping?
  • What if you were home but mom and dad weren't?
This will give you the opportunity to make sure everyone in your family knows who to call, or—in the case of adults and teens - where your meeting place will be.
Fill out emergency cards for each family member to keep in their wallet and/or school back pack. These should include home phone number, cell phones, home address, nearby friend or relative, and an out of state contact. Remember everyone should have the same out of state contact and phone them immediately after a disaster strikes. That person can then relay messages to the rest of the family as they check in.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Day 4

Read one of these articles

"Family Home Storage: A New Message” Ensign March 2009.
“The Flood after the Storm,” Ensign, Feb 1997.

“Members in Coalinga Respond to Earthquake,” Ensign, July 1983, 77–78.
“In Case of Disaster,” New Era, Oct 1990, 24–31.
“The Celestial Nature of Self Reliance,” Marion G. Romney October 1982 General Conference.
“The Responsibility for Welfare Rests with Me and My Family,” Ensign, May 1986, by Elder James E. Faust.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

stock up on charcoal this weekend

Charcoal is usually on sale over Labor Day weekend.  Here's some info about where to get a deal, & how much to get:

The volcano website said a 20# bag of charcoal will cook 25 hot meals.  It didn't mention how many people each meal will feed.  

Right now for the Labor Day weekend Home Depot and Lowes has 2 - 20# bags (40#'s total) of Kingsford Charcoal for $8.00.  

Forty pounds of fuel for $8.00......WOW what a great deal!!

During the last 2 years I have noticed the charcoal sales are Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day. I may have missed a sale during the winter...?

This means it will probably be awhile before charcoal will be this cheap again.  Some of the hard hit Home Depots in the past have limited us as to how much we could buy at a time. 

Just average size family could purchase enough charcoal to cook 2 meals a day for about $120.00.  Doable...don't ya think? 
(purchase 15 bags @ 40# each bag = 600# or 2 meals for 365 days + a few extra meals (rounded up)..........15 bags x $8.00 = $120.00)  

Other important info:  Charcoal keeps indefinitely if you keep it dry!

Day 3

  • Evaluate your preparation to care for your pets.
  • Assemble emergency kits (remember 72 hours is not enough) for your pets. These should include water, food, medications, up-to-date vaccination and other medical records, collar, toys, food and water dishes, and sanitation disposal bags.
  • Be sure you have someone who will care for your pets, outside of your immediate neighborhood, if you need to leave your home.
  • Make a list of foods and medications you need for a 1 month supply for each pet.
  • Make a list of items you need to gather or purchase.

Friday, September 2, 2011

5 day sale on Self Reliance

Price list at:

Take a look while they're having a sale!

Day 2

Post emergency phone numbers next to each phone. Remember not only the police and fire departments, hospital, doctors, and poison control - but also the schools, out of state contact, friends, family, and your own phone numbers. A babysitter may need to call your cell phone, or a child may forget phone numbers during an emergency. Be sure to include your street address on this list. If a friend or babysitter has to call for help from your home they will need to be able to tell rescuers the address. In case of an emergency you may even forget your own phone number and address - it is not at all unusual.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

More free stuff with Global Sun Oven

Because over a million households are still without power after the hurricane, Global Sun Ovens has decided to again offer their free preparedness package with any order.

The free Preparedness Package *   has a retail value of $53.20 and Includes:
2 Stackable Black Covered Round 3-qt Pots (Retail Price $10.50 each)
1 Set of Two Loaf Pans (Retail Price $11.35)
1 Set of Two Cookie Sheet/Brownie Pans (Retail Price $12.85)
1 Water Pasteurization Indicator - WAPI (Retail Price $8.00)
A computer CD with over 80 SUN OVEN recipes, cooking tips, FAQs, written & video operating instructions, a video on how the SUN OVEN works and emergency preparedness tips. 

You must order by Oct 2 to get this deal.  Email me at
Or order online at
(If you live in Utah, be sure to pick the paypal option that includes Utah sales tax)

30 days of prep

September is Preparedness month!  Meridian magazine has a great article with something to do every day of this month to get you better prepared.  I'll post each day's task early every morning.
Day 1
It’s shoe day! Place a sturdy pair of shoes under each bed in your home. These should be shoes that are not normally worn so they remain in place for an emergency. An earthquake or tornado means broken glass – you need to have shoes in the middle of the night. If you have young children place the shoes where they can be easily found by an older family member in the dark. Take a pair of good walking shoes to work. If an emergency arises at work and you are unable to drive home you may be on foot and will need good shoes. You will also want an extra pair in the car in case you are caught away from home and away from the office. Extra shoes are also important in case of a roadside emergency should your shoes get wet while changing a tire or awaiting rescue.