Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Shoe String Tuna Salad

My daughter and I like to experiment with recipes and lately we have been using recipes found in past Friend magazines.  The Shoestring Tuna Salad is sooo easy and delicious.  It's also another way to use (rotate) your food storage tuna.

Shoe String Tuna Salad (print recipe)
6 med. carrots
1/2 c. diced celery
3 sliced green onions
1 large can tuna in water, drained
1 cup mayonnaise
3 T. French dressing
2 T. sugar
2 c. shoestring potatoes
Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix together dressings and sugar.  Add dressing to salad mixture and toss until moistened.  Just before serving, add shoestring potatoes.  This is from the Friend magazine, July 1977.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pantry Camp Stew

This week is my daughter's spring break, so I'm paying her to do all of my weekly chores while I concentrate on some personal projects.  She made Camp Stew tonight that is just like what my Grandma would always have cooking in a slow cooker to accompany all the other great food served at family gatherings.  Pantry camp stew makes a great food storage recipe because all of the ingredients below are easy to store.  I specified my preference for canned chicken and barbecue, but use your favorite brands or use fresh ingredients or a combination--whatever you have on hand will work!  Yankee Corn Sticks go great with this recipe.  

Pantry Camp Stew (Print)
1 med. onion, chopped (or dehydrated onion)
1 stalk of celery, diced
4 small russet potatoes (or 2, 15-oz. cans sliced potatoes, drained)
2 (14.5-oz.) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15-oz.) can cream-style corn
1-2 cups chopped, cooked chicken (or 1, 12.5-oz. can Hormel chicken breast in water)
1 (10-oz.) can Vietti Pork in BBQ sauce, (optional)
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. pepper
1-2 t. hot pepper sauce
lima beans, mostly drained
Stir all ingredients together in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring often.  Add the lima beans about 15 minutes before serving.  Or place all of the ingredients in a slow cooker.

Here are some tips that might be helpful when making Camp Stew:

If you cut the ends off the onion first and discard, your eyes won't tear up while chopping!

When adding the chopped celery, I noticed that the remaining celery had gone limp.  Before returning the celery to the vegetable drawer in the fridge, I when ahead and prepped the last of the stalks and put them in a baggie with a tablespoon of cold water.  The celery will magically firm up again!

This recipe uses a lot of cans.  Here is a wonderful new tool I discovered recently!  The can opener takes the whole lid off so there are no sharp edges and it is pretty easy to do.  Just read the instructions on the back of the packaging.  I found mine at Walmart for less than $10.00.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sustain Life, Not Lifestyle: Self-Reliance, part 1

Camping at the Beach
Preparing to give a fifth Sunday lesson on organizing food storage, I studied and was inspired by the 2009 Welfare Training found at  Here can be found the essential information we all need to know.  Brother Robert D. Hales said that provident living means not coveting the things of this world.  It means using the resources of the earth wisely and not being wasteful, even in times of plenty.  Provident living means avoiding excessive debt and being content with what we have.  (Much of this is a synopsis of my notes from this training, particularly Hales and Beck's talks).

It is important to understand that self-reliance is a means to an end.  Our ultimate goal is to become like the Savior, and that goal is enhanced by our unselfish service to others.  Our ability to serve is increased or diminished by the level of our self-reliance.

President Marion G. Romney once said:  "Food for the hungry cannot come from empty shelves.  Money to assist the needy cannot come from an empty purse.  Support and understanding cannot come from the emotionally starved.  Teaching cannot come from the unlearned.  And most important of all, spiritual guidance cannot come from the spiritually weak" (Ensign, Nov. 1982, 93).

If necessary, we should change our lifestyle--and possibly our place of residence--to live within our means.  We should willingly seek additional training and learn new skills, regardless of our age.  Maintain our health and stay close to our spouse and children.

The presiding bishop, H. David Burton also said:  "We use the little phrase, 'sustain life but not lifestyle.'  As we sustain life, Church assistance is designed to furnish food, clothing, and appropriate shelter as well as other assistance, as determined by the bishop, needed to help the individual become self-reliant."

Individuals are expected to use any assets they have for their support and in an orderly way downsize to accommodate budget restraints.

Our family has been through tough times where it seems everything went wrong financially all at the same time.  But what we learned from adjusting is priceless:  how to actually use food storage, how to use our garden's bounty, having fun with the family on a budget (picnics and camping), purchasing large ticket items, like a car, with prudence, etc.

Above all, we learned to be grateful.  We learned to express our gratitude in our prayers, especially when times our seriously tough.  Brother John Bytheway says that when you feel least like praying, that is when it is most essential.  During the financial stress our family endured, I suffered from painful hives for six months, (even though I had never been prone to this before).  I decided to immerse myself into the scriptures--The New Testament to be exact.  I gained a testimony that:
Heavenly Father loves me.  His Son has promised, "All these things shall give [me] experience, and shall be for [my] good" (Doctrine and Covenants 122:7).


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