Food Storage Recipe: Ham Fried Rice

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I sometimes get asked how I incorporate food storage into regular everyday life. My answer is anything but earth-shattering: I just use it in my regular meals.

My other secret is that I store stuff that we use and will eat. :) If we don't generally eat it in our day-to-day meals, I don't store it, or I don't store much of it. The only exception to that being powdered nonfat dry milk - we don't drink it as our regular "milk" because well, as everyone knows, it's not the tastiest stuff around. But it is absolutely essential for long-term food storage. And I do use it in many recipes calling for milk, so it does get rotated. (Did you know that the famous Lion House Rolls recipe calls for the stuff? Great way to use powdered milk and rotate it - make lots of awesome Lion House rolls!)

When I say "food storage", I also include the stuff in my freezer. Sure, it isn't long-term storage that will last for 30 years, but it counts as your 3-month short-term stuff.

Two weeks ago I found a great deal on spiral-sliced honey half ham, and picked one up so we could have some in our freezer. It was already fully cooked, so all we had to do was dice it into smaller pieces and then vacuum-sealed it food saver bags with about 2 cups of ham in each.

I pulled one of those bags of ham out for tonight's dinner: Ham Fried Rice.

However, you'll have to forgive me - we were hungry and it was all gone before I even thought to take a picture!

Ham Fried Rice

1/4 cup butter
1 cup cooked and chopped ham (you can also use shrimp, pork, chicken or other meat)
1 med onion, finely chopped (2 Tbsp dried minced onions)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp soy sauce
4 cups cooked rice
1 cup mixed peas and carrots (can use frozen or canned)
2 eggs, beaten

Melt butter in skillet and add chopped ham and minced onions. Sautee for about 3 minutes. Add rice, salt, pepper, soy sauce and vegetables. Mix thoroughly. Stir in beaten eggs and cook another 5 minutes, until the mixture starts to "dry" or you see the eggs are thoroughly cooked.

One of these times I'll even try it using my reconstituted powdered eggs to see how it affects the taste.

This is absolutely something you could make completely from basic storage ingredients, and you'd never know you were eating food storage! It is fast, easy and delicious!

What I'm Buying - Target 11/28

Monday, November 28, 2011
More diaper deals at Target this week. Buy 3 boxes of the participating brands (Huggies or Pampers) and get a $10 Target gift card.

I also lucked out and found some Target store coupons to stack with some manufacturer coupons, for a total of almost 50% off the diapers!

Each store varies just a little in how they accept the store coupons - mine accepts two of the same Target coupon. Because I actually had two different types of Target store coupons, I was able to do two sets of three by buying 2 of one kind and 1 of another in each transaction.

Here's how I did it:

Transaction 1

(2) "boxes" Huggies Little Movers SlipOn diapers, on sale 19.79 (14.79 after coupons)
(1) box Huggies Snug & Dry diapers, on sale 19.79 (15.79 after coupons)

I used (2) 3.00/1 coupons for the SlipOn diapers (see single-page Walmart Huggies ad with coupons in 11/27 newspaper), (1) 2.00/1 coupon for the Snug&Dry diapers (see single-page Walmart Huggies ad with coupons in the newspaper a few weeks ago), (2) 2.00/1 Target store coupon for the SlipOn diapers (see LINK HERE), and (1) 2.00/1 Target store coupon for any Huggies 48+ count pkg (see coupons at

I also used a Catalina coupon from my trip last week, good for $5 off a $50 Target in-store purchase.

Total: $43.00 + $10 gift card

Transaction 2

(1) Huggies Snug&Dry diapers, on sale 19.79 (15.79 after coupons)
(1) Huggies Little Snugglers diapers, on sale 19.79 (15.79 after coupons)
(1) Huggies Little Movers SlipOn diapers, on sale 19.79 (14.79 after coupons)

I used (1) 3.00/1 coupon for the SlipOn diapers (see single-page Walmart Huggies ad with coupons in 11/27 newspaper), (1) 2.00/1 coupon for the Snug&Dry diapers (see single-page Walmart Huggies ad with coupons in the newspaper a few weeks ago), (1) 2.00/1 coupon for the Little Snugglers (from a product mailer), (1) 2.00/1 Target store coupon for the SlipOn diapers (see LINK HERE), and (2) 2.00/1 Target store coupon for any Huggies 48+ count pkg (see coupons at

I also used the $10 gift card from the first transaction.

Total: $39.34 + $10 gift card

Factoring in the final gift card, the net total was $72.34 for 6 boxes of diapers, making them $12.06 each!

[In order to have enough store coupons for two of these transactions, you'll need to have two computers, to print two of each store coupon, for a total of 4 each.]

Thank goodness for my blanket!

It takes a lot of work and dedication to be prepared. You learn a lot, that's for sure. But sometimes the most surprising things you learn are when your preparations get used to help in non-emergency situations. You just never know when this stuff will come in handy - but boy are you glad when it does!

Two weeks ago, at 28wks into my third pregnancy, I did the standard glucose tolerance test to check for gestational diabetes. It was never an issue in my previous two pregnancies, so I didn't think much of it this time around - that is, until the nurse called to tell me that I had failed the test. They wanted further testing and so I had to go in for a 3-hr fasting glucose tolerance test, which I then scheduled for the next day, first thing in the morning.

For those who haven't had the pleasure of a glucose tolerance test, they make you drink a really sweet orange-soda type stuff that is a measured dose of pure glucose. It's like orange soda but without the fizz. You'll hear people complain all the time about the stuff, about how nasty it is, and it makes them sick to their stomach, etc. Honestly, the first two times I did the test, the drink didn't bother me, and I wondered what all the hype was about.

But this time - wow, that stuff knocked me for a loop. I was sick for most of the rest of the day after the preliminary (1-hr) test, and that was when I was allowed to eat food with it. It was much worse for the fasting 3hr test when I had to drink twice as much on an empty stomach. I drank the stuff, and within about 20 minutes started to feel sick. Only thing is, you can't leave the hospital. You have to stay there for the next three hours so they can draw blood every hour to test your blood sugar levels. I thought maybe they would have a little area with curtained-off chairs or something for those who had to stay around for this test...but no. Just the regular waiting room. And let me tell you, the chairs there are some of the most uncomfortable I have ever had the misfortune of "waiting" in.

I did the test first thing in the morning, and I was tired. Then I was sick and tired. Then I was sick, nauseated and tired - and bored. Even though I had brought stuff with me to do, I couldn't concentrate because I felt so miserable. There wasn't anywhere to lie down, and I was having a hard time staying awake. After the first hour blood draw, I just couldn't bear to sit for another hour in the waiting room. So, I thought maybe I would go sit in my car - it would at least be a bit more private and maybe I could lay the seat back and doze for a little bit in between draws.

Only, I have this thing about car seats and headrests...they just don't work for me. You know that annoying thing where you start to fall asleep but your head keeps flopping forward, or backward, or you just can't get comfy because there is no neck support? Yup, that's me. No matter how far I laid the seat back, there was no hope. And let me tell you, by this point in time, I was so nauseated and tired, I was absolutely miserable. But then I remembered that I had my emergency car kit in the back, and inside was a little $3 fleece blanket from Ikea, and some water bottles! Thank goodness for little miracles!!! I was able to use my jacket over me to keep warm (it was really cold that morning), the fleece blanket rolled up behind my neck and then covering the headrest to make it more comfy, and the water to help with the nausea. Worked like a charm because the next thing I knew, it was 30 minutes later and my alarm was going off to tell me it was time to go back inside for another draw. Rarely have I ever been so grateful for a blanket! :)

I know it may seem like a silly little story, but I really can't even count the number of times that I have used the stuff in my emergency car kit for things that weren't exactly what I thought of as emergencies, but I was certainly very glad that I had them with me!!! I've used the water bottles so many times, and the medicine and bandaids in the first aid kit, and now add the blanket to the list. You just never know when this stuff will come in handy!

Food Storage Inventory, Part 1

Sunday, November 27, 2011
So, my big project for the last two weeks or so has been working on getting my food storage inventoried so I actually know what I have! I've gotten very lazy about it lately, and we haven't been good about putting stuff away (we've just kinda let it pile up on the floor) so I've ended up buying more of stuff than I needed thinking that I didn't have any when I really did.

It's not as easy of a task as you might think. After the massive home canning project, we had to find someplace to fit all 100+ cans, which led to us having to shuffle stuff on shelves to make room, which led to "Well, we're moving stuff around so we might as well be counting it while we're at it", which then led to "Hey, do we REALLY need 24 cans of cranberry sauce?" and thinking about how much stuff we really need or WANT to store for our year's supply...

So we've been going shelf by shelf, making room, rearranging, counting, tallying, and then deciding how much of each item we want and/or need (or both) to store vs. how much room do we have. We have all of the food inventoried, and are now working our way through giving everything a permanent home. So far we've finished three of the six shelving units.

But this has brought up an additional question for us: How do we best keep track of all this? Since we are trying to incorporate food storage items into everyday meals, it means that we are pulling things from food storage on a fairly regular basis, and we need to keep an accurate count of what we are adding and subtracting.

Right now it is written across about 8 or 9 pages in a notebook, with tally marks next to each item. And for the short terms I'm considering making a clipboard for each shelf unit, and a list of what is on that unit, with the current total and the max total for each item, and then hanging the clipboard on the side of each so we can mark down when we add or take something. But that still means that I'd have to go down and review six different lists periodically to see what was needed. I could put all the info together in an Excel spreadsheet and track it that way so it's all in one file, but then everything we use something we'd need to log in to the computer, open the file, and mark it down. And realistically that just probably isn't going to happen on a consistent basis.

So today I was browsing to see if perhaps there were any apps for my phone that might work. I've found one that looks promising - I'll be testing it out this week and let you know what I think.

In the meantime, how do YOU keep track of your food storage or pantry inventory? Any suggestions you can share? What has worked for you? What hasn't worked? Tell me, tell me, tell me!

What I'm Buying - Walmart 11/21

Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I had a few more things on my list for the big Thanksgiving meal and some other deals I wanted to get, so I figured it was best to just price match at Walmart rather than run to several different stores for the best prices. My local Walmart is AWESOME about price-matching! They make it so easy, and I've even had cashiers tell me of a price match that I didn't even know about. [I've shopped at other locations that are definitely not price-match friendly, so this has been a nice change for me.]

I also did this as a bit of a test - a great girl just up the road a ways from me runs a grocery site called "Deals to Meals" where she posts lists of all the grocery ads each week, ranks the best prices, and provides a 1-2 week dinner meal plan based on what's on sale that week. She even gives a grocery list that has the lowest price for each item and where to find it that week (or to price match at Walmart). She doesn't use coupons, but is still able to save a lot of money. So it's a great alternative for anyone who just doesn't want to hassle with coupons. I was able to get her 2-week Thanksgiving meal plan/grocery list and thought I would try it out. [Her service is normally $4.95/month.]

Here's what I picked up:

(2) lemons, price matched to .33 at Sunflower Market
(4) limes, price matched to .06 ea at Rancho Market
(1) cream of celery soup, price matched to .59 at Smith's
(10) roma tomatoes, price matched to .33/lb at Rancho Market
(3) green bell peppers, .58 ea (normal Walmart price)
(2) cilantro, price matched to .20 ea at Rancho Market
(12) tomatillos, price matched to .33/lb at Rancho Market
(2) 10lb bags russet potatoes, price matched to .13/lb at Fresh Market (Walmart did not carry the 15lb bags that Fresh Market has on sale, so they matched the per pound price - see, I told you these guys make it easy!)
(12) sweet potatoes, price matched to .39/lb at Reams
(6) yellow onions, price matched to .17/lb at Rancho Market
(1) pkg flour tortillas, 1.48 (normal Walmart price)
(1) bunch bananas, .52/lb (normal Walmart price)
(2) bags red seedless grapes, 1.18/lb (normal Walmart price)
(2) 18ct granola bars, 2.98 (normal Walmart price)
(1) sriracha hot sauce, 2.67 (normal Walmart price)
(1) wonton wrappers, 1.94 (normal Walmart price)
(1) GV white bread, 1.00 (normal Walmart price)
(1) loaf french bread, .98 (normal Walmart price)
(4) Meadow Gold whipping cream 8oz, price matched to .59 at Macey's
(2) GV whipped topping, price matched to .59 at Macey's
(1) Jiffy corn muffin mix, price matched to .50 at Ridley's
(2) refrig crescent rolls, price matched to .99 at Sunflower Market
(1) 2lb bag baby carrots, price matched to 1.98 at Fresh Market
(8) GV 1lb butter, price matched to 1.95 at Ridley's

I didn't use any coupons - just the price matching.

Total: $58.06

For me that is a very good total, especially not using coupons! This was all of the stuff for 2 weeks worth of dinners, except for Thanksgiving Day (had already bought that stuff earlier at Smith's) and except for the stuff I already had on hand and didn't need to buy.

That's such a far cry from my Walmart trip this same time 3 years ago, before I started couponing... ;)

I'm not endorsing the Deals to Meals site, nor being compensated, but just offering it as a possible alternative to coupons. If you'd like to check out her site, go HERE.

What I'm Buying - SuperTarget 11/21

Target has a great sale going on this week for diapers - buy 3 participating packages and get a $5 gift card. Plus there are some great coupons that can be used with this. I split up my transactions so I could use the gift cards from the diapers to pay for some of my more expensive stuff.

Transaction #1:

(8) packages Huggies diapers, on sale 8.99 (6.99 after coupon)
(1) package Huggies Pure & Natural diapers, on sale 8.99 (5.99 after coupon)

I used (7) 2.00/1 coupons for the regular diapers [see SS-11/20], (1) 1.00/1 coupon for the regular diapers [see SS-11/20], and (1) 3.00/1 coupon for the Pure & Natural diapers [from a product mailer].

Total: $61.42 + $15 in gift cards

If any of you go to do this deal this week, be VERY, very careful to check your receipt after purchase and count the number of coupons it takes off. I watched the cashier scan all of my 9 coupons, and each one was accepted, but when I finished checking out, it was higher than I thought. I paid and then moved out of the line to check my receipt, and sure enough, only 5 of the 9 coupons had credited to my purchase. This is quite common on the gift card deals because of the way the register does the receipt - it bundles the items into groups of 2 or 3 and then adds in the gift card promo, so sometimes it skips the second coupon being applied to that particular grouping and only counts one, since it's only one line item on the receipt. If this happens, you'll need to go to Customer Service and explain that not all of your coupons were credited to you, and tell them what register you were on because they will have to go and pull the actual coupons.

Transaction #2:

(1) bunch kale, on sale .99
(1) Market Pantry frozen turkey breast, on sale .99/lb
(1) Archer Farms spiral-sliced honey half ham, on sale 1.89/lb

No coupons used, but I did use the three $5 gift cards from the diapers.

Total: $13.76

What I'm Buying - Smith's 11/18

Saturday, November 19, 2011
Apparently Friday is a busy day at my Smith's - it was PACKED! At 1pm even! Good thing I didn't have a lot on my list.

Here's what I picked up:

(4) CocaCola product 12packs, on sale 4 for $10 (PLUS you save additional $3 off turkey)
(3) Ritz crackers, on sale 2.00 (1.50 after coupon, but coupon wouldn't print for me)
(2) green leaf lettuce, 1.09
(1) Mountain Dairy whole milk, on sale 2.48
(2) dozen eggs, on sale 1.25 (.98 ea after coupon)
(1) bunch bananas, .55/lb
(1) Kroger whipped topping, on sale .89 (FREE after coupon)
(1) 21lb Private Selection frozen turkey, $10 with $35 purchase ($7 after CocaCola discount)
(2) sprigs Rosemary, 1.99 ea
(1) bunch sage, 1.99
(2) Johnsonville Italian sausage 1lb, 3.99
(2) Hebrew National beef franks, clearanced to 2.49

I used (1) Catalina coupon for the free Kroger whipped topping [from a previous shopping trip], and (1) .55/2 printable coupon for the eggs [from a Facebook promo].

I also used $11 in Catalina coupons from last week's purchases (diapers and Kleenex).

Total: $40.64

I have one more trip to make before Thanksgiving, and I'm planning on doing it at Walmart so I can price match a few things.

If you're in Utah, and you're wondering what the best prices are for turkey or for common Thanksgiving meal items, check out the price comparison lists at PYP - for Thanksgiving Turkey Deals 2011 or for the Thanksgiving Meal Item Deals 2011.

How do you cook your Thanksgiving turkey?

Sunday, November 13, 2011
I've tried a couple different methods for cooking turkeys, and have been fairly successful with most of them.

But so far nothing has compared to brining my Thanksgiving turkey. Sure, it takes a bit more work and planning, but trust me - it's totally worth it! Plus, with Alton Brown's method (see below) I get a beautiful brown crispy skin on my turkey (which I never got before, even when using the oven bags).

Here's the recipe I use:

Good Eats Roast Turkey

Can 3,449 reviewers be wrong? ;)

New Prices at the Home Storage Centers (Canneries)

Saturday, November 12, 2011
The LDS Home Storage Centers (dry-pack canneries) have released an updated price sheet, effective November 1, 2011.

I have updated the link on the left under "More Information" to take you to the new sheet. However, I just realized there was a price change today, so I haven't had a chance to compare any of the prices to see what went up or down. I'll try to have that info for you later this afternoon or tomorrow.

UPDATE: Looks like there were very few price changes - most everything stayed the same from April. White beans in the #10 and regular oats in the 25# bag both went up slightly. Sugar and white rice, both in the 25lb bag and in the #10s, went down.

Homemade Peanut Butter

Friday, November 11, 2011
Here's what you'll need:

15-16oz shelled and skinned roasted peanuts (about 3 cups)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 - 2 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil

Put your peanuts, honey and salt into a food processor (in my case I used my BlendTec). Process for 1-2 minutes to chop up all the nuts into small pieces. Scrape the sides of the bowl and get all of the mixture back down to the center bottom. Continue to process and slowly drizzle the peanut oil into the mixture. Let it process until it becomes smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

[For a BlendTec - run the peanuts, honey and salt on one cycle at Speed 1. Scrape down sides, then process for one full cycle on Speed 5. Scrape down again and continue running cycles on Speed 5 until you get the right consistency and the peanut butter starts to move freely with the blades. It took me about 4-5 cycles on Speed 5.]

I used store-bought, already roasted and lightly salted peanuts because I was able to get a bunch for free at Smith's late last summer and they needed to get used! You can buy organic or non-organic, shell on and roast them yourself, or buy them already roasted in the bulk aisle. Whatever works easiest for you, although I've heard that there is no comparison to roasting them yourself as far as great flavor goes!

Also, your peanut butter may be a slightly thinner consistency than you're used to when it comes out the processor (this is especially true if you use a high-power blender) because it will be warm. Let it set up in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or so and it will be much thicker and more like the stuff from the store. (The stuff in the picture above was from a batch I made yesterday and had been in the fridge overnight.)

If you've never had "natural" peanut butter before, it is "drier" (for lack of a better term) than your average Skippy or Jif stuff, and it will definitely suck all of the moisture right out of your mouth, so have a glass of milk handy! ;)

What I'm Buying - Smith's 11/9

Wednesday, November 9, 2011
This is the second week of the Mega Event sale at Smith's. Buy 10 participating items and save $5 instantly! (You'll see a .50 deduction under each of the 10 item, instead of the large -5.00 off at the end of the receipt like they used to - they changed that back in the spring.)

They've got some good deals on Thanksgiving Meal staples, and right now are leading most of the grocery stores on the lowest price for those items. You can check out the comparison list for common Thanksgiving meal items HERE at PYP - post brought to you by your's truly, so if you want us to track prices on an item that you don't see listed, just give me a holler and I'll add it to the list! :)

Anyway, here's what I picked up at Smith's today:

(1) Mountain Dairy whole milk, on sale 2.39 (1.64 after coupon)
(3) bags red seedless grapes, on sale .99/lb
(1) bunch broccoli, on sale .89/lb
(1) head cauliflower, on sale .89/lb
(2) Langer's apple juice 64oz, on sale 1.50 (one was 1.00 and the other was .50 after coupons)
(2) green leaf lettuce, on sale 1.09
(1) Huggies Supreme diapers, 9.85 (8.85 after coupon)
(1) Huggies Snug & Dry diapers, 9.85 (8.85 after coupon)
(1) Huggies wipes 72ct,
(4) Kroger cream cheese, on sale .99
(2) Land o Lakes butter, on sale 2.99 (2.49 after promo, 1.94 after coupon)
(4) Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, on sale 2.49 (1.99 after promo, 1.44 after coupon)
(8) Hormel chili, on sale 1.41 (.91 after promo, .64 after coupon)
(14) Pringles, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo, .74 or .49 after coupon)
(2) V8 Fusion juice, on sale 2.69 (2.19 after promo, 1.69 after coupon)
(1) V8 Fusion Smoothie juice, on sale 2.69 (2.19 after promo, 1.19 after coupon)
(7) Kleenex, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo, .86 after coupon)
(8) Sierra Mist 2-liters, on sale 1.49 (.99 after promo)
(4) Swanson chicken broth, on sale .99 (.49 after promo)

I used (1) .75/1 printable coupon for the milk [see GroupA at GrocerySmarts], (1) .50/1 printable coupon for the apple juice [Facebook promo HERE], (1) 1.00/1 coupon for the apple juice [from my Smith's Rewards mailer this week], (2) .55/1 peelie coupons for the butter [from on the product], (2) .55/1 coupons for the almond milk [see SS-8/7], (1) 1.00/2 coupon for the almond milk [see SS-10/16], (4) .55/2 coupons for the chili [see SS-11/6], (3) 1.00/4 coupons for the Pringles [see P&G 10/30], (1) 1.00/2 coupon for the Pringles [from a P&G mailer], (1) 1.00/2 coupon for the V8 [see RP-11/6], (1) 1.00/1 coupon for the V8 Smoothie [RP-11/6] and (2) .50/3 coupons for the Kleenex [see SS-11/6].

There is a coupon available for the chicken broth, but I didn't buy enough to be able to use it (you need 5).

I also used my $8 Smith's Rewards certificate that came in the mail this week.

Total: $79.50 + $11 in Catalina coupons good off a future purchase (from the diapers and the Kleenex and some other thing I don't know what) + $8 off coupon for Enfamil baby formula

There's an App for that...from FEMA!

FEMA has now introduced a mobile app designed to give you information on how to prepare, how to register for assistance after a disaster, and how to find disaster recovery centers, along with other useful information.

The app is available for Android devices, as well as for iOS 5 devices (iPad, iPhone & iPod). Look for the app in the appropriate app store for your particular platform.

They have also announced that the app will be available for Blackberry devices, although I cannot confirm if the app for Blackberry has been released yet or not.

The new FEMA app will allow you to:

- Check off items you have included in your family's emergency kit(s)
- Enter your family emergency meeting location information
- Review safety tips on what to do before, during and after a disaster
- View a map of shelters and disaster recovery centers across the US
- Read FEMA blog posts

For more information, check out FEMA's blog.

Deals on Crest Complete Toothpaste Bonus Packs at Target

Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Check out this blog post I did for about some deals on Crest Complete Toothpaste Bonus Packs at Target. I was able to get 5 total, all for .69 or less each! Great way to stock up on some toothpaste!

Crest Complete Deals at Target

I apologize for the lack of "What I'm Buying" posts recently - I just haven't been feeling very well with this pregnancy. I will start adding new posts soon. Plus, I don't feel like I've been getting any really great deals lately - am I the only one feeling that way? Maybe I've just lost my mojo again...

Reminder: Emergency Alert System Test TOMORROW

Just a reminder, the nationwide test for the Emergency Alert System will be tomorrow, Wednesday, November 9, 2011.

News article at Yahoo! site

Emergency Alert System Nationwide Test - November 9, 2011 2:00pm EST

Thursday, November 3, 2011
At the Federal Communications Commission's June 9, 2011 Agenda meeting, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Chief Jamie Barnett, joined by representatives from FEMA and the National Weather Service, announced that the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) would take place at 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time) on November 9, 2011. The purpose of the test is to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS as a public alert mechanism.

This will be similar to the monthly emergency broadcast message alerts that you sometimes see, but the audio and video on the screen may be different. This is the first time that the system is being tested nationwide simultaneously.

What you need to know: You don't need to do anything - the alert will be broadcast on TV and radio stations automatically.

HOWEVER - IF YOU HAVE (OR LIVE WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS, OR TAKE CARE OF SOMEONE WHO HAS) HEARING IMPAIRMENT: You will need to know that while the audio portion of the broadcast message will indicate that "This is a test", the video portion may not, due to some technical restrictions. It may show on the screen that an emergency alert has been broadcast, but it may not show that it is a test. Please reassure those who might not be able to hear the audio portion of the test, that it is indeed a test of the system and not an actual emergency.

For more details, check on the information and FAQs at the FCC web site:

Or the information from the FEMA web site:

Murray Cannery News - Frozen Blueberries!

We will be selling Frozen Blueberries!
Wednesday November 16th
Thursday November 17th
Tuesday November 22nd

You must be signed up to purchase! Sign ups will start on Monday November 7th @ 8:00 a.m.

If you do not get signed up please keep returning often to the links
below to check for cancellations.

Blueberries-30lbs/case - $65.00 per case
2 Case limit per person

In the past you were able to repackage the berries at the cannery. As part of a new policy you will not be able to repackage them here at the cannery. If you want to repackage them you will need to take them home and put them in your own bags.

Please only sign up for one day!

Click on the links below to see the signup sheet and to sign up

Watch for our emails for raspberries, peaches and strawberries!

Please feel free to call or email with any question you may have!

Gossner Foods UHT Shelf-Stable Milk - UPDATE

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A lot of people have asked about purchasing shelf-stable milk and whipping cream from Gossner Foods here in Utah. They used to have an online subsidiary that did orders, but that is no longer available. Here are the current ways you can get your hands on some of this stuff:

Visit the retail stores in Logan, UT or Heyburn, ID

Check with Honeyville Grains retail stores (if you live in AZ, UT or CA) - it doesn't show as a product on their website, but the retail store in Salt Lake carries them (Honeyville Food Products, Inc. at 635 N. Billy Mitchell Road).

Check your local Dollar Tree store - many locations in the mountain states have been carrying Gossner milk products recently

Check - when I checked this evening all I could find was the Hershey's boxed milk in chocolate and strawberry (I know Gossner Foods does produce some of the chocolate milk for the Hershey label, but I don't know if this particular stuff comes from Gossner or not)

Order from, or Zuma Office Supply or other online providers

Order from Amazon:
whipping cream
whole milk 8oz

I haven't tried any of these except going to the actual retail store, so your success may vary. I will try to add additional sources when/if I find some.

My kids and husband love this stuff and all the different flavors! I love it because it works so well in my food storage, and I REALLY like having shelf-stable whipping cream that can be used in recipes at a moment's notice OR could be churned into butter (have you ever tried pricing the various food storage butter options - usually canned or powdered - SOOOO expensive!).

Is it cheaper to dry-pack at home?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011
This is a really good question. And the answer is: it depends. It mostly depends on how much you are able to purchase your "product" (the stuff you are goind to can) for. Sometimes it is cheaper to buy your own and can at home, and sometimes it is cheaper to go directly through the cannery.

The Home Storage Center generally is able to get very good prices on their bulk items, and is usually cheaper than just picking up the same equivalent at a grocery store. When you go to one of the dry-pack centers, the items are already there for you to can, along with all the supplies. The tables are set up specifically for canning, and the can sealer machines are more automated and faster to use than the portable home units. Clean-up is fast, and you can do a lot of canning in not much time. Generally, all things being equal, I prefer to can AT the dry-pack canneries rather than at home.

So then, why would you want or need the dry-pack canner at home?

Well, there are a few reasons.

Reason 1: You want to can an item that isn't available through the cannery.

The home storage centers carry a pretty good variety of your basic long-term storage items, but they cannot accomodate all wants/needs, so they must limit the number of items they can offer. Because of health regulations and other considerations, you cannot bring in any outside food to can at the cannery. You may find that you want to store an item in your long-term storage that the cannery does not carry, and thus you would need to rent the dry-pack canner to use at home.

For example, I store quick and regular rolled oats in my food storage, but have found that my family prefers steel-cut oats for actually eating in oatmeal. It can be rather expensive to buy in small packages or in commercially canned #10s from food storage suppliers. I was able to find a source for bulk steel-cut oats, and wanted to add some to my food storage. Because it was not a normal cannery item, I had to can it at home.

I also have quite a few cans of the regular white flour available from the cannery, but have found that I like the Lehi Mills Turkey Flour brand a lot better when baking. So I wanted some of the "good stuff" in my food storage. In this case, it was more expensive than the other flour available directly from the cannery, but that was a conscious decision on my part to go with the more expensive product.

I also did Calrose rice this last weekend, which is not available through the cannery. (After spending two years living in Japan, my husband has definite preferences for specific types of rice.) The Calrose rice came from Costco. It's not cheaper than than the stuff from the cannery, but we prefer it over the extra-long-grain stuff sometimes, so we wanted to have some of that in our storage.

Reason 2: You are able to get some really good deals on your food items somewhere other than the cannery.

Here is Utah we are lucky to have case-lot sales (and even specific food storage sales) at some of the grocery stores, and occassionally they will put up product for a price that ends up being cheaper than what you can get at the cannery. Or if you use coupons, you can sometimes find great deals throughout the year. When this happens, it is often much cheaper to buy the product on a very good sale and then just can it at home (since you can't take it to the cannery).

For example, I was able to find 5lb bags of sugar on clearance at Target about 3 months ago for .98 each! The "canned by customer" sugar at the cannery is currently $6.00 per #10 can, and holds about 6lbs worth of sugar. Because I was able to get such a good deal on the sugar, I was able to can the equivalent for about $2.10 per can by purchasing outside the cannery and canning at home (that includes the $.90 for the can and lid).

And several times this summer Smith's had sales on dry pasta that coincided with some great coupons and made for FREE pasta! Much of it was kinds of pasta that are not available at the cannery, but even for the stuff that was the same as what you can get at the cannery (macaroni and spaghetti) it was cheaper for me to buy and can on my own. Since the pasta itself was free (except for sales tax), all I basically had to pay for was the can, lid and oxygen absorber, for a total of $1.00/can.

Reason 3: For any number of various reasons, it might be easier, faster, more convenient, etc., for you to can at home rather than at the dry-pack cannery itself.

Perhaps you'd like to do a Family Home Evening lesson on food storage, and your activity would be doing a couple cans of food to add to your storage, but you have younger children and don't want to drag them all to the home storage center. (Most locations are closed on Mondays anyway, but you ARE allowed to bring young children with you as long as they are properly supervised. But sometimes it's just easier to control the chaos at home.) Or maybe you live quite far from a home storage center, but your stake or ward has a portable machine available for use in your local area. Or maybe you are able to find a really good deal on a bulk order purchase by going in with a large group order. Or perhaps there are physical considerations that might make it difficult to work at the dry-pack center and it would be more comfortable to be able to do it in your own home.

For the most part, the stuff I have in my long-term storage all comes directly from the cannery (and was canned at the cannery) with a few exceptions:
  • When I can buy a product for cheaper than what I can get it at the cannery, then I'll buy it and can it at home.
  • A few specialty items, like the Turkey flour, steel-cut oats, and dry pastas, that cannot be purchased or canned through the cannery.
  • My wheat - I prefer to store mine in the 45lb buckets and have found that when I pick them up during Macey's food storage sales or at Costco when they are available, I can usually get them for cheaper than the equivalent number of cans from the cannery. (It also takes up less room to store it in the buckets than in the equivalent number of #10 cans. Plus I can stack the buckets along the walls in my food storage "room", freeing up valuable shelf space for other items.)

For the current prices and weights on what is available through the home storage centers, check out the most recently updated Home Storage Center price sheet and item list. It is a great way to compare prices and see whether you're better off going through the cannery or going through your own source.

Also remember that when you are comparing, you have to take into account whether the item you are buying is in a long-term storage container or not. The stuff you can right at the cannery already includes the price of the can, lid and oxygen absorber, whereas most of the stuff you would acquire on your own does not, so you have to factor in the extra cost for the canning supplies.