The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Pantries and Preparedness. Cooking skills.

After several weeks being surprised that preparedness is in our news this week I have decided to accept it as the new normal! Last week it came up in two significant ways that I saw. The first were articles about last news state wide blackout and things that went on behind the scenes that are just coming to light now.  One was in regard to what emergency services and police had to say.  There was talk of worry abut civil unrest and that service stations (gas stations) were one of the most volatile places to be.  This makes sense as everyone wanted fuel to get home or for generators etc and fuel wasn't pumping.  We noted this. We already formed the view you do not want to be in a queue for fuel anyway but that tempers were quick to that up in these situations.  There were other points about what would people do without cash (no ATM's) and food and so on... a lot of it pointed to the belief that law and order would not last long.

The other was a current issue. On Friday afternoon and evening everyone in our state was called upon to stop using electricity where possible. It was warm but not extremely hot. The minister exempted the elderly with their air conditioning...   This was all to avert another possible shut down and later on we were given the all clear and the power stayed on.  So again we were on stand by with the generator, I did lots of things while we still had power in case it was going to go out.  We are getting lots of practise drills!  In a way this keeps us conscious of being prepared and taking the ways we are working to be better prepared seriously.  Its not like we are going to forget about it with constant reminders anyhow!

This week my subject is basic from scratch cooking.  Being able to make up something good to eat from very basic ingredients and things you have on hand is a skill that is going to help financially and also if going to the shop isn't an option for any other reason.

I have lots of photos of good cooking that I thought I would share. I love seeing what everyone is baking and preserving etc!



This is my niece Georga who had been baking with Chloe. Chloe taught her how to make jelly slice.


Rachel cooks on a fire yet turns out things like this!


Rachel's Ricotta Tart. (From ricotta she makes herself)

Jane got started on sour dough cooking.  This has lead to experiments in bread but also other things and I am finding this myself with sourdough... it is just yeast that means you can make just about anything from bread to sweet buns,  pizza bases etc...


Jane's beautiful sour dough bread. 


Jane's stunning focaccia bread!

Cookie mentioned the other day about her one hour bread that she regularly makes.  She has written the recipe up for us. This is one hour, start to finish, bread! 



RECIPE FOR SIMPLE BREAD

Preheat oven to 350 F

INGREDIENTS
5 1/2 cups bread flour
2 -4 Tablespoons sugar
1  1/2 teaspoons  salt
1  1/2 Tablespoons of INSTANT yeast (I use Saf-instant yeast, which
can be purchased on Amazon and in the U.S. is about $8 for a pound,
while at the grocery store here it's $5 for 4 oz.)

1  1/2 Tablespoons oil
2 cups of lukewarm water.

Mix the dry ingredients together.  Add the oil and water and mix for 1
minute either by hand on in the mixer.  The dough should be slightly
sticky.  If not add water a teaspoon at a time until it is.  If too
sticky, do the same thing with the flour.  Once it's initially mixed
together either mix it for 5 additional minutes in the mixer or or
knead it on a lightly oiled surface. (I usually spray the kneading
surface with a non-stick spray.).  If kneading by hand continue for
another 5 minutes until the dough is smooth.  If you've mixed in the
mixer for 5 minutes take the dough out and knead it for 5 minutes on a
lightly sprayed surface.  DO NOT ADD ADDITIONAL FLOUR TO THE DOUGH
WHEN KNEADING.

Divide into two pieces and shape into loaves.  Place on a greased
baking sheet, cover and let rise in a warm place for 25 minutes.  When
loaves are risen make 3 slashes in each loaf if desired.  Bake for 25
minutes.   Yields two large loaves.

Love
Cookie

This also goes on to become all kinds of other things...



Cookie's Bread and Butter Pudding.

Rachel and Cookie got together and now  Rachel  is also making Cookie's one hour bread.  She is finding this wonderful!

She has been making rolls...


Which go on to become such things as steak sandwiches....


And scrolls! 


These included date, mixed nice and walnut... all using Cookies original recipe.  This is the thing I am finding... with one versatile recipe you can make variations and so many things!   And also that we can learn one new recipe or skill and it leads to a whole series of good things! 



Rachel also made jam from berries she collected. Beautiful bread and lovely jam, good combination!

Maria made gorgeous cakes...  This one is Jamaican Cake with spices which is served sliced with butter. It goes into her husbands lunch box.


And this is Lightening Orange Cake which is an Annabel Langbein recipe.


Beautiful Maria! I know Maria is always cooking for her family and how her Grandchildren love her cooking.  Her Granddaughter was asking so nicely if Maria would make a particular cake again.... This reminded me of how much my Nan cooked for us.  She made cakes all the time.  Andy and I both remember how our Nan's made big jars of biscuits and sent them with us on holidays.  Weirdly both our nan's made the same kind of biscuits stuck together with pale pink icing!  They were wonderful! You ever forget these things!

In the last couple of years I have got much better at using everything and making my own stocks and bone broth.  It is a process.  Keep learning new skills.  There is a lot to be said for going back to basics.  There is a lot of joy in it but they are really important skills.
My Grandparents lived through WW1 and WW2 and the Great Depression.  Their recipes didn't contain fancy ingredients, expensive ingredients etc. They were mostly simple, delicious and wholesome.
Recipes from back then were like "take some of this and add whatever vegetables you have" and many didn't have exact measurements!  Old cook books are full of very easy from scratch cooking.
If you are lucky enough to still have your Nan ask her how to make things and if there are old family recipes around get your hands on these!
Many of us as children were probably fed meals by parents who at times had very little money yet we were unaware of it and just busy eating soup or eggs on toast or whatever it was they had whipped up!
We have been building up our pantries. In a pinch we need to know how to take those ingredients and make meals, use up what we have and can pick from the garden.  We need to teach these skills too as they are life skills that could be urgently needed.

Thank you for all the beautiful photos and to Cookie for sharing this recipe.

Last week I added to my pantry and preparedness with pain killers, bandages, free candles and tinned foods.  I was happy with that for the week.

Next Monday's post will be about sour dough and all the things you can make if you master one simple bread recipe.  You can use Cookie's,  a sour dough starter or any bread recipe.  You then have a huge range of family filling options!

What simple recipes do you use that are nourishing and inexpensive? I am finding a lot come from slow cooking and things that simmer all day like soups and stews.  But also things made of left overs like Bread and Butter pudding...  They are all budget stretchers!

Have a great new week! xxx

43 comments:

  1. OK I am officially hungry now. What a lot of beautiful food. YUM!

    Love that bread recipe I will have to try it. Thanks.

    Do you have so many outages of power because your grid is old or what? It sounds awful, especially in the extreme heat. I am curious.

    God bless and have a lovely week.

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    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Thank you!
      Well my understanding is we have unstable power as we went "green" and turned off coal power stations in favour of wind power mostly... but the wind power sounds wonderful but only works sometimes i.e. when its not hot, windy, still etc. Yes they turn them off when its windy. So we sound green but we just bring a lot of power from another state that gets most of it from coal! BUT they are also shutting coal stations, shutting one this month... so it is a bit like the extension cord is getting cut. I could go on as I think our government are idiots, they sold power networks to over overseas companies and now its a mess! We also have highest prices in the world for all this reliability!
      I think now it is established that the grid is a place of great vulnerability and that hackers can bring it down. And as governments try and stop using coal this will happen in other places.... so we all need to be very careful and have alternatives as much as we can.
      Have a good week to you too Cheryl! Love Annabel.xxx

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    2. Please tell me I am not the only one that sees this as idiotic! Turn off coal power in favor of wind power -but turn them off when it's windy!
      Oh my. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
      I thought out government was crazy (well, it is - LOL).

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    3. haha Cheryl you couldn't make this stuff up!

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    4. Just holding my head in my hands and shaking it in total disbelief :/

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  2. Annabel I'm glad the power did not go out and that it wasn't too hot when you were the Govt asked the state to cut its power down. If I couldn't have fans on I would have to sit in my wading pool all day to keep cool.
    I am enjoying working with the sourdough. At first Bluey and Katie weren't that keen on the bread. At first it was very heavy and took some effort to get through a piece of toast. It is now so much better and I am being asked if I can make buns or focaccia on some days.
    I have two go to recipes that are quick, easy, and if you have chooks and a veg patch almost free. These are Impossible Pie, which can be sweet or savoury and Zucchini Slice, which can really be made with any veg. They require eggs and veg as the base. What could be easier?
    I planted out seeds for my veg patch about four weeks ago and I was most pleased with the progress. I now have zero seedlings as some rodents decided that they needed to up their greens in their diets. The traps will be going out tonight and every night until the wee devils are all providing compost for my garden.
    Grrr Life is good.

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    1. Dear Jane, Oh no re the seedlings! I wonder what that was? I think things are particularly tasty when they first come up.
      I find with bread and rolls that I use a lot of starter to make the sponge. I don't measure it but Im guessing close to two cups. Then I try to give heaps of time for the second rise as I used to give to much to the first. So I allow 2 hours at least. Saying this your bread looks incredible to me! I am digging out a recipe I used to use which contains a cup of mashed potatoes and this makes the lightest rolls ever... I will see if it will work with the starter...
      The pies and quiches are very versatile and you can use up so many things in them, plus nutritious. Between that and soups, stock etc we can be just about zero waste I think!
      Thank you for your beautiful pictures! With love Annabel.xxx

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    2. UGH! Sorry about the seedlings. A friend once told me that your kitchen must develop it's own culture of yeast to make good bread and that the more you bake the better your bread would be. I sort of thought that was nonsense until we renovated our kitchen last year. It was a week by week process for about two months to be able to make good bread again.

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  3. Good cooking everyone!

    I find that everyone loves mashed potatoes and homemade gravy and the USA version of biscuits. I can serve those with anything else at all to guest and they love it. So many just do not cook like this anymore. I run bread dough on the dough cycle in my bread machine and can use that so many ways. Even the plainest soups are made wonderful with fresh homemade breads of any kind. One favorite dish I was raised on was leftover mashed potatoes, some torn stale bread and enough eggs to stick it all together fried together in a skillet. That is pure comfort food for me. One of my grandmothers made the most delicious noodles and chiffon cakes. Both are just simple ingredients. I find it sad that you see recipes for things like mashed potatoes on Pinterest. So many of our basic cooking skills are being lost. My Mom has been predicting that for years and it has come to pass.

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    1. Lana they sell premade mashed potatoes in our supermarkets. At $6 for enough to serve 4 people, premade is quite expensive. I think it's the height of laziness and possibly even ignorance. Mashed spuds take about ten minutes start to finish. Oh my goodness.

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    2. Jane I saw pre boiled eggs which somehow seemed blerk to me. lol
      I also saw sliced celery. In little tiny packets. That way you don't have to slice it apparently. :)

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    3. What a wonderful post. I was at grocery store today and a lady was buying diced frozen onions and than I overheard her say as she pulled frozen waffles this will be easy for mornings. then she said I should premake and freeze them. I have always watched what I spend last week I started putting my food saver to better use. Always loved it love it even more now. Joyce

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    4. We have the premade mashed potatoes in the USA also along with so many silly premade and prechopped and processed nonsense I have ever seen. Why in the world would anyone buy presliced zucchini? And yet it is on the shelves in the produce dept so it must sell. And a note in the prepared produce, I want to do my own so that I know it has been washed properly!

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  4. What wonderful breads and sweets everyone has made. So sorry to hear about the power again I'm so glad the seniors are allowed their air for the heat. I wondered about people with other problems -like who need medical equipment. I hope they give them enough time to get things going before they turn off the power.
    All that can get so frustrating I'm sure!

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    1. Dear Vickie, The most recent time they turned off power was to 90,000 homes and absolutely no warning was given. The time before no one had warning but then a storm had blown things over. You would have to have back up plans for sure.
      In a sustained blackout these things would be a disaster pretty fast as back up plans don't usually have many hours or days before they run out of battery or whatever.
      Cooking makes such a difference to the budget. This week I have Quinces to use and basil. With lots of love Annabelxxx

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  5. I agree with Cheryl, I think I'm hungry after looking at all those yummy foods! Your power grid situation surely does sound very serious. You are right that you do not want to be in line for gasoline in a grid down situation, things can get bad really fast, we saw it during the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Keep preparing Annabel, you are wise to pay attention to what's going on around you.

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    1. Thanks Patsy, as the week wore on now its a national gas crisis as well! Next summer is sure going to be interesting. xxx

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  6. Dear Annabel and Bluebirders
    My husband learnt about the plant closing down in Victoria last year, not long after he was made redundant. It was one of the Victorian companies that he use to do work for. We could not believe that they were going to close the plant down, the rural area has very few jobs as it is and then to learn that the jobs at the plant were going gave us both a horrible feeling.

    I read about the problems you were facing last week in S.A., definately not women heading up the companies and powers that be with the decisions that we are seeing being made.

    My go to recipe is a simple brown stew - a stew with only onion in it to add to the flavour. I generally do a huge slow cooker full as winter is setting in and by the time the weather has settled down to it's warmer pattern it is all gone. I add what ever I need to it to make it fit what we are going to have that night. Italian style with tomatoes, garlic and some herbs or the stew of my childhood loaded with vegetables and the list goes on. Having a bulk lot made also makes for a quick evening meal.

    The other recipe I use for bulk cooking is 'Biscuits for the Masses' or another name for it is 120 biscuits. Again a basic recipe that once you start adding different things to it changes the whole biscuit.

    I love making impossible pie and zucchini slice, usually I have some in the freezer but haven't for a few months - this week might see that change.

    I have never made jelly slice (have never liked jelly) but I might be tempted using the new glitter jelly on top.

    I started cooking at an early age - I got the job of doing the baking on the weekend. Learnt using a broken handled cup to measure everything with. The one recipe I made was Simplicity Chocolate Cake - it would be changed into a lemon coconut version or a marble version, really just depended on what was available.

    My mother in law has shared recipes with me that I use. My grandmother's recipes went to her daughter so I missed out there. Not a lot of baking took place with her - her usual was pikelets.

    I love that Chloe is passing on the cooking bug to the next generation.

    Hope everyone has a great week. I have a busy week ahead including a stint in the shop on Friday. This is an extra day,to build up some days. I like to have a few behind me just in case something happens. I also have an extra one next month as well - that will give me 3 days up my sleeve.

    Lynette
    XXXXX



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    1. Lynette, thank you so much for the image of the broken handled cup. It reminded me of my grandmother. She always measured with a broken handled cup. :)

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    2. Dear Lynette,
      Since I wrote this now they say we have a major gas shortage looming as well! Can you believe it!?
      Nan and Mum always used lovely old odd cups for measuring and I do that too when I cant bear to throw them away!
      I hope your day in the shop went well, good idea on getting ahead. With much love Annabel.xxx

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  7. Annabel,

    What lovely shares today, recipes, darling faces and table offerings that please the eyes, the tummy and the heart. The powerful hands of a thrifty woman. God bless them every one.

    *hugs*
    Kelley~

    P.S. Mother's edema in her feet and ankles is lessening along with the accompanying pain. She's walking better, is doing excellent with pain threshold, resting and spirits. Her appetite is still teensy, but it will return in due time. Thanks for everyone's prayers. oxoxo

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    1. Hi Kelley,
      Thanks for the update. It was so good to read that your Mom is recovering and the pain is subsiding. Blessing, Cookie

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  8. Hi Ladies...and I do mean 'Ladies'. Gosh some of the unladylike stuff I've seen on Facebook would turn me grey if I wasn't already! Anyway. I once did a post for a money saving site that was about the many things you can make with just flour, eggs and powdered milk. Obviously there's water and a little cooking oil or butter involved as well. There was scones (biscuits), crepes, hotcakes, pasta, mornay, b├ęchamel sauce, impossible pies and quiches, dumplings, spaetzle, simple cakes, simple cookies. In short, you could feed your family well for quite some time, even if all you had was flour, powdered milk, eggs, sugar, and some form of oil or butter. It's an interesting idea I think. Not ideal, nutritionally, but better than nothing! Annabel, this is an important point you make about fuel too. I don't think any of us wants a huge stash of fuel lying around, but an extra tanks worth, might be a sensible proposition. Love, Mimi xxx

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    1. Dear Mimi, Sorry for such a slow reply! Yes I know what you mean sometimes I se things and thing WHAT are people crazy and also that they don't represent me as a woman at all!
      All those things from flour, eggs etc are wonderful. Sometimes they are needed to stretch a meal and get us through, they are just useful in many many ways. Knowing how to wiz these up is a very good thing.
      We now keep enough fuel to run the generator on and off for about a fortnight. Basically we need it. We rotate this with the car fuel. Now another electricity plant is closing this month... so thats life now. I loved all your sensible and saving menu plans and cooking tips. I do your rice and poached chicken endlessly! With love Annabel.xxx

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    2. I'd love the link to that post you did. It sounds like "food for thought." :)

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    3. Dear Cristy, It is a paid membership site and Im not sure if it is still there... Mimi might know. It is a great idea and these basics are extremely helpful! With love Annabel.xxx

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    4. Hi Cristy. I thought I'd replicated that post on my blog, but it seems not. I will do that soon. Thanks for your interest. Mimi xxx

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  9. Annabel, I have just fed Gertrude today and told her she was a good girl and to just keep on behaving. LOL! Your power supply problems in SA sound dreadful. We have had nothing like that here in Queensland thankfully. I often wonder what would happen with no electricity at all and we did have cash on hand...would the shops even be able to open their tills? I guess farmers would be happy to use cash if they had veggies to sell at the farm gate.

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    1. Dear Nanna Chel, Gertrude is really getting around! I have shared her numerous times now! I think she is making a difference in quite a few families lives!
      I think some Mum and Dad shops might stay open and some service stations but not the main ones (going by what happened last time) and after that the valuables would be consumables, batteries etc as everyone would want those so maybe we could do trades. I have thought of this too... With love Annabel.xxx

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  10. Great post and I love all the lovely food that was shared! I agree about the simply foods from the pantry and have been making it a side-hobby to come up with a PANTRY COOKBOOK which has recipes from ONLY pantry ingredients (many are Depression-Era inspired). It is a challenge but I am enjoying it very much. I hope to share some of that soon. I will be gleaning here too! Have a lovely week ladies!

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    1. Jes, do your pantry ingredients include what's growing outside? I know that these two combined can be wonderful!!
      Regards,
      Rachel

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  11. I am using all your hints for preparedness as we are about to go the way of SA in Victoria and I worry that some of my patients with home dialysis machines and breathing machines will be put in danger as the batteries on them usually only have a 24 hour back up when the power fails and not all of them can afford generators and the like. I am hoping to clear some of my debts so I can invest in solar panels so at least I may have some power if it all fails.
    I am going to try the bread recipe later this week.
    Blessings to all the Bluebirds out there

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    1. Dear Janine, That is a worry. When you look into solar ask specifically that it will work when the grid is out. We had three solar companies come through. NONE of them worked when the grid is down all require electricity for them to work! Even with batteries! However I believe you can get Tesla batteries that will work when the grid is down but they are very expensive. So solar would give us zero unless the power is up and we were amazed. This is why we then bought a generator instead. This whole thing was full of surprises I have to say.
      I hope you love the bread! It seems very versatile! With love Annabel.xxx

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  12. Hello Annabel, what lovely food photographs. Made me drool when I was reading this on my lunch break at work yesterday, whilst eating my homemade zucchini quiche. Like Jane my go to is zucchini quiche/impossible pie. I don't even measure, just chuck in a handful of eggs, some zucchini and then add whatever else might be in the veggie patch or olives, bacon, some cheese and so on. Never fails and the easiest thing to throw together. And funnily enough one of the things that people comment on as being amazingly yummy or "ooh what have you got, that looks great". And also like Lana, I love mashed potatoes, that is a go to as well here. In fact the simplest meal of homemade rissoles or sausages with veggies and mashed potatoes and gravy is just divine. Simple and easy but what a winner.

    The power situation is dire isn't it? I used to horde methylated spirits for my camp stove when I lived in the suburbs as a way to cook if the SHTF, but living on acreage now I have no worries, we have a fuel source right at the back door. We can heat water, ourselves and cook so that is no longer a worry, but I remember when I didn't have that luxury and that was a worry. I too am increasing my candle supplies. I had a lovely gift bag that I was using and that has now gone and I have a box. I also have multiple wind up torches, but they are really only useful to go from room to room, no good if you need to go outside etc. That means there needs to be a back up system, which I have, but I hate buying batteries because as a rule, they don't get used much.

    I'm going to print out the bread recipe and give that a go. I really would like to get into the sourdough and will investigate once i have a new kitchen.

    I have a $5500.00 roof job in progress. The guys are up on the roof for a week, so when you average that out in terms of wages and timber and tiles and so on, it's not that bad. As my better half says, no point doing a kitchen and bathrooms and painting and so on if the roof is dodgy.

    Anyway everyone, I want to say thanks for all your ideas and recipes, this is a lovely little community. I never ever read a blog post from you Annabel without getting some tips, ideas, recipes etc from the lovely ladies who write in and share.

    Have a good week. Fi xx

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    1. Dear Fiona,
      I have solar torches Mum gave me they come from Innovations I think. They are fantastic and the light is bright and lasts ages.
      It is good to have your roof in good condition I hope they do a great job for you.
      Thank you for your kind words! You are an important part of this community and have always been! Thank you Fiona! Love Annabel.xxx

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  13. Dear Annabel and Bluebirders,

    Your niece is adorable and I'd be interested in knowing exactly what this type of slice is that Chloe has taught her to make. Everyone's breads and cakes look so yummy.

    I'm so glad that you didn't lose power, and that you also have the insurance of the backup generator. Sometimes in the larger cities and states here they have what are called "rolling brownouts" where they decrease the power for several hours in one area but don't completely cut it, and then move on to the next area and cut their power for several hours. Sometimes we had warning and sometimes not. Often we were asked to voluntarily cut our usage of power between certain hours.

    This week I'm using up pantry foods that need to be rotated out, checking how much remains from last years food preservation and making a plan for what we'd like to plant in the garden this year.
    Blessings, Cookie

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    1. Dear Cookie,
      This is a jelly slice. It is a bit of an Aussie classic I think. I have the recipe somewhere which I can send you if you would like it. Its very yummy and also pretty.
      We have had rolling blackouts. There is a thing now called DREAD that is installed in newer air conditioners and some other appliances... they just switch that one thing off or reduce its power... so you can be wondering why everything is working except the air conditioner. They can now isolate them and control them. Scary stuff. It has begun here. And guess where they started it? Nursing homes.
      I am having a use it up and rotate session too. I have a lot to rotate!
      I hope your week is going well, with love Annabel.xxx

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  14. Dearest Annabel
    What a lovely post. My go to meals are vegetable fritters. These can be made by grating vegetables and even finely chopping them mixing them up with SR flour an egg and a dash of milk if you have it, I then add some curry powder. I fry these up and serve with some natural yoghurt with mint chopped through it. However recently we had some Tzatziki Dip and that was a nice accompaniment to it. The other is pancakes, we love pancakes and Bubble and Squeak, we love that too. We love a lot of easy meals that originated from left overs being reused and reinvented.
    Loved the photos of yummy food, Oh I almost forgot damper we loved damper with jam and butter or honey.
    Look forward to your posts for the rest of the week xxxxxxx Love Mel S

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    1. Dear Mel,
      My Mum always made fritters and we loved them! I need to make more of these. Yours sound beautiful. I will give this a go.
      You are right... damper is useful and delicious. A wonderful basic!
      I hope your week is going well Mel! With love Annabel.xxx

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  15. Hi Annabel and Beautiful Bluebirds!!

    It's better late than never! I am here to comment!!

    Firstly, good on you, Georga! I've never made jelly slice, and yours looks really nice! I hope we shall see more of your wonderful baking!
    Good on you, Chloe, for taking Georga under your wing! Good on you, Annabel, for the fact that your work and principles are being passed down the generations! This really says something!

    I'm not so good a cook that I make the ricotta tart on a fire. Although I do plenty of woodfired cooking, I also have gas and generator-powered electricity. For the ricotta tart, then, I made the ricotta in an electric pot during a morning generator run. The pastry was made and chilled during the day. During the evening generator run, an electric hand held whisk was used for the filling, and an electric oven was used to bake it all up. I might get it all done with a fire someday, though! Ha ha!!

    I worked with a bread recipe from Cookie that is a very slight variation of the one above. The main thing I can say is that the texture and crust are wonderful, and my husband likes the bread, too. I used plain/all purpose flour, and skipped the cutting of the dough prior to baking to make it work. We are thankful for this bread making asset! Thank you, Cookie!!

    Jane, your sourdough breads look absolutely wonderful! I know you had a challenge with the heat and humidity - and you're doing so well!

    Maria, I'd like to look up your Jamaican and Lightening Orange cakes! This must be a treasured attribute in your lunch boxes! This is wonderful!!

    I love good food, so thank you all for the enjoyable post!!

    Regards,
    Rachel Holt

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    1. Thanks for your beautiful photos Rachel and for clarifying how you cooked them. You do a very good job! It is also very good to have alternative cooking methods. We all need back up methods.xxx

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  16. Dear Annabel, It's so nice to see Chloe teaching Georga to make jelly slice. Looks delicious, as does all the wonderful food others are baking!! Thank you, Cookie, for the bread recipe. One question: How do you store your yeast? Do you freeze it, refrigerate it or keep it on a shelf in the pantry? I'm struggling with this issue, since I have had to toss yeast that no longer works.

    We had a horrible wind/snow storm come through the other night. A tree blew over onto the power lines at our substation. We were out of power for 8 hours and others were out even longer. I had just finished cooking dinner, so we ate by "lantern light". We stayed warm with our natural gas fireplace running and just used lanterns and flashlights. Since reading your list of things to do and keep on top of, I didn't have to worry about laundry, charging phones, etc. It's just a habit now to charge things when low, keeping caught up on wash, etc. knowing the power could go out at any time. A head lamp would have been nice but I read a book with lantern light, and that worked fine. Our coal plants are closed too. Not sure what the future will bring.

    One of our easy meals is gravy over biscuits, rice or mashed potatoes. I thicken the broth I can, adding leftover chicken, beef or pork. Add veggies and serve! I agree with you about the depression recipes. Yummy and wholesome! At times growing up I now know we didn't have much money but we were fed well and didn't know any difference! I, too, am amazed at the kinds of pre-made foods I see in the stores. Shredded carrots, sliced veggies, mashed/shredded potatoes, etc. I'll fix my own! LOL

    Thank you everyone for helping me so much. Jane, so sorry to hear about your seedlings! However, you did make me laugh and right now I really needed some cheering! :)
    Have a good week all! Love, Teri

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    1. Dear Teri,
      I will ask Cookie about the yeast and get back to you. I was not much good with yeast but maybe as I didn't use it often enough. I am finding the sour dough means I never have to buy yeast and it is always super fresh but then I haven't faced cold weather and sour dough yet!
      I hope you have had a good week Teri, Im glad you enjoyed everyones cooking! I also marvel at how simple it is to slice up our own carrots etc! haha we can save a fortune doing such basics! With love Annabel.xxx

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