The Importance of Maps

Monday, March 19, 2012

I live in the very southwest corner of a town, in the very southwest corner of a large "valley". We are surrounded by mountains on two sides, and there is really only one main direct road to get near our subdivision. Not really a big deal on most days.

But the city/town is going through some growing pains, and part of their expansion efforts include upgrading gas and utility lines along the main roadway that leads out to our area, so the main road is completely torn up, and the intersection leading to our small corner of town is a mess. For the last several days, the intersection has been stop and go, allowing only one of the four directions through at any given time. Sometimes the wait is more than 5 minutes, which really isn't that bad unless you're trying to get somewhere on time and you didn't realize the intersection was blocked off and it was going to take 10 minutes just to make a right-hand turn.......But anyways......

As I was waiting the other day for my turn to proceed through the intersection, I was thinking that I really should look at a map and see if there was another way to get around the blocked intersection or somehow bypass it and get out to the main road. I happened to have my smartphone with me in the car, and so while waiting in the parking lot to drop off my daughter at preschool, I had a chance to look up a map and find an alternate route to take on my way home.

While driving home, I thought about how relatively easy it was for me to grab my phone and check a map. It was not an emergency situation - I just didn't want the nuisance of having to wait at the intersection again on my way back.

But what if it HAD been an emergency, and I needed to quickly find a way out of an area, or around a traffic blockage (fallen tree, downed powerlines, traffic jam, etc.)? My first instinct would be to grab my phone and look it up online. BUT - the reality is that in an emergency, most cell service is quickly overwhelmed, and what little service is available needs to be reserved for emergency communications. I won't be able to rely on my cell phone to look up an alternate "escape" route out of an area.

This little construction project on our intersection has reminded me of how important it is to include a map of our local area, and our state, in our 72-hour kits so that we can be better prepared in case of an(other) evacuation situation. The main route out of town may be unusable, or blocked, or tied up with traffic, and having a map will give us other route options that we otherwise might not know about or be familiar with. So I am now working on getting copies of our local area map and some state-wide maps to put in each of our 72-hr kit backpacks. And I'm taking a few extra minutes when I can to drive alternate routes to and from home just so I am more familiar with all the possible options should the need ever arise.

Food Storage Recipe: Pizza Sauce

Saturday, March 17, 2012
Ever since yeast and I decided to put aside our difference and get on speaking terms, I've been able to make homemade pizza with relatively positive success. Of course, a good pizza doesn't just come from good dough - it needs other great ingredients, including a good sauce.

I found this recipe for a homemade pizza sauce about a year ago, and it has quickly become my go-to favorite. It is easy, quick to throw together AND it comes straight out of my food storage! We use it on pizzas, but it makes enough that there is usually some left over as a dipping sauce too!

Best Ever (Food Storage) Pizza Sauce

1 can diced tomatoes (drained or undrained, depending on how thick you like your sauce)
1 small can tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic salt

Place all ingredients in food processor or blender and pulse until you reach your desired consistency.

Rose Canyon Stake: Provident Living Fair, March 29

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Shelf-Stable Milk Spotted at COSTCO!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Guess what I found at Costco a few weeks ago...

This is a box of a dozen quarts of shelf-stable 2% milk. It was about $14.50ish. I am SOOOO excited to see this because now I can rotate some of my UHT (ultra-high temp pasteurized, aka "shelf-stable") milk without having to drive all the way to Logan to hit up the Gossner's store! It's great to have a local resource for this stuff now.

I don't keep a ton of this in food storage, but it is nice to have a dozen or so quarts on hand. We took a few with us on our vacation last fall to use with breakfasts in the hotel room, and we've used a few boxes here and there when we've inadvertantly run out of fresh milk and haven't had time to get to the store.

[I also keep a box or two of the Kirkland brand shelf-stable soy milks in food storage since we have a son who is dairy-allergic. I normally buy the refrigerated stuff from the grocery store for his regular daily use, and we prefer to go with almond milk nowadays, but the shelf-stable soy milk is a great back up!]