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Finding Joy and Happiness in Self-Reliance


by Sister Denise Cottrell – Stake Relief Society President

As I thought and thought and read and prayed about what to write regarding Self Reliance, I came to the conclusion that this is a topic that is very broad and encompasses much. Many articles can be written and still not cover it all adequately.

The basic understanding might be different than what you thought it was. Do you think Self Reliance is simply putting extra food in a cabinet each time you shop? Perhaps you thought it means to have a job that sustains you and your family or a combination of the two; food storage and making a living? President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, said “The Lord’s way of self-reliance involves, in a balanced way, many facets of life, including education, health, employment, family finances, and spiritual strength. One of the blessings of work is developing self-reliance. When you are self-reliant, you use the blessings and abilities God has given you to care for yourself and your family and to find solutions for your own problems. Self-reliance does not mean that you must be able to do all things on your own. To be truly self-reliant, you must learn how to work with others and turn to the Lord for His help and strength” (For the Strength of Youth, Work and Self Reliance). The gospel of work is part of ‘the fulness of the gospel’. Though joyful, missionary work is work. Though joyful, temple work is work. Ministering our ward, community or family members, involves work.

Sometimes the reward is realized with thankfulness but often it is just done by the Spirit and with love, never knowing if what you have done has made a difference. But the Lord knows. You know. That should be enough. It is part of teaching our children and others to walk in the ways of truth and soberness and to love and serve one another.

Let us all go forward developing and sharing our talents, becoming truly self-reliant in a way that draws us closer to God. As we strive to do this we will find joy and happiness and understand what it truly means to become ‘self-reliant’.


Lifesaving Paper Sculpting

As the weird form of rheumatoid arthritis ate away at my joints, I slowly became unable to do paintings, pencil sketches, and sculptures. I had taught Quilling classes to the Sisters in Relief Society some 30 years ago. This would be something I could not only physically do, but financially as well. When I taught the Sisters how to quill, the art was a flat, decorative art with wonderful twirls and curls, making amazingly fancy looks.
Quilling is an old world art using narrow paper strips to be twirled around a feather quill. (I use a round tooth pick.) Long ago, rich women gave the upper crust church leaders of the area, large donations. In return, the church leaders would give those wealthy ladies a gold broach with twirled gold filigree inside the small frame. It was a prestige thing to have one of those. One, not so rich gal, decided she desperately wanted one of those gold broaches. She trimmed the gold edge off her bible pages, curled the tiny strips around a feather quill, and made a broach that looked like the gold broaches given to the rich and elite. The art took off, and anyone with a bible with gold trimmed page edges, could have one.
I missed doing sculptures. I developed a way to use the quill shapes in 3-D items, such as gazebos, rocking chairs, and patio tables with fancy umbrellas. As time passed, I could no longer do the twirling of the quilled shapes. I needed to find a new outlet for my talent. I could still use scissors, and glue small pieces of paper together. Paper sculpture was born; still an inexpensive art form. I live in a low income building with 200 people who may or may not have family who care. Holidays are difficult for us. I put out hundreds of paper sculptures on the different holidays for the residents to take home with them (Heavenly Father’s idea). It helps them to feel that someone cares. Wonderful missionary moments have come from those gifts. I am now donating paper sculptures to a woman’s shelter. They too have a hard time with holidays.
 For myself, I am kept mentally active, making up new paper sculpt designs, in spite of not being able to leave my apartment. People come to visit and I have gifts for them to take away with them. I am a happy camper. I am busy, and able to share with my brothers and sisters; in the Lord’s Church and otherwise. Paper has turned out to be one of Heavenly Father’s miracles in my life.
by Chris C.

Testimony to a Creator

Handiwork of perfect Artist gif ldsintelligentliving.org

We can draw three lessons from nature’s grandeur: first, God exists; second, God is powerful; and third, God loves us. One way we can feel a surety of the Creator’s existence is to observe His handiwork. While it is the Holy Spirit that conveys such a testimony to our hearts, we may first prepare our hearts to receive it. A marvelous way to do this is to gaze into a star-filled sky on a moonless night or at the intricate patterns on the back of a single maple leaf. As Alma taught, “All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator” (Alma 30:44).

The Wonder of the Creation by Mark J. Nielsen

What are some things that tell you there is a God?

Read answers contributed by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. click here

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

View more animated quotes, click here…



The Word of Wisdom

by Dr. Stan Brewer
An essential part of healthy living is diet.  The benefits of healthy eating have been established over and over.  As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints we have been blessed with the Word of Wisdom revealed to Joseph Smith in 1833 as a guide to a healthy diet.  The benefits of not smoking or drinking alcohol have been thoroughly established through extensive scientific research.  However, there is more to the Word of Wisdom that are also being validated by current research and recommendations.
One of the first recommendations is to eat “every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof” (Doctrine and Covenant 89:11).  The new US Department of Agriculture (USDA) food pyramid places added emphasis on eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Research has shown that eating the right amounts of fruits and vegetables can deacrease the risk of cancer and other chronic illness.  It is also a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help fight disease.  If you want to see how much you should be eating each day try this tool here.  For example I should be eating 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables.
Another recommendation regards grains – “All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life” (Doctrine and Covenant 89:16). Grains are a staple that provide carbohydrates, one of our main sources of energy.  Currently the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and USDA recommend increasing our whole grains consumption (to at least half of the grains we eat).  Whole grains include brown or wild rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, triticale, cracked wheat, and popcorn in addition to whole-grain wheat, barley, corn, rye, and oats.  Whole grains provide “good carbs” which are more complex and nutricious sources of carbohydrates.  They also have fiber and other essential nutrients.
Finally, the Word of Wisdom encourages us to eat meat “sparingly”.  Studies have shown too much meat (especially red meats or meats with lots of fat) can be detrimental to our health.  Diets with lots of red and fatty meats have been associated with various cancers, high cholesterol, and obestiy.  However, there are also important nutrients in animal products.  Eating meat sparingly will provide these nutrients without the detrimental effects of excess meat.  Diets that use meat sparingly and focus on white meat or fish (such as the Mediterranean diet) have repeatedly been shown to have significant health benefit.  One food pyramid that I really like from the Universty of Michigan suggests eating meat only a few times a week, click here to visit the site, as well as eating losts of fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
In summary, the scientific research in nutrition validates the diet encouraged in the Word of Wisdom – eat lots of fruits and vegetables, eat whole grains, and minimize our meat consumption.  It is also important to remember to drink plenty of water, eat healthy fats, and get regular exercise.  Doing these things will help us to reap the health benefits outlined in the Word of Wisdom and established by modern science.

What Matters Most – Bonding With Your Children

What Is Most Important

“What is most important almost always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. Wrote William Shakespeare, ‘They do not love that do not show their love.’ We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us.”

Thomas S. Monson “Finding Joy in the Journey”

Photo source: LDS Media Library

Where Do I Store All This Food?

by LDS Intelligent Living

Take some time to look around your house to see where you might find storage spaces for your food supply.

Toy chest - hidden food storage at the bottom

#10 cans hidden at the bottom of a toy chest

These pictures show how a toy chest is being used to store #10 cans at the bottom. Cover the cans with cardboard or a blanket and store the toys on top. This idea works for long-term supplies that wouldn’t need to be rotated often.

Tables are great places to hide storage items

Hide storage items under tables

Underneath tables are great places to store various items. In the picture, a three months supply of toilet paper (the 1000 sheet per roll brand) is kept in a container. When spaces are tight, you have to examine your house carefully to discover all the possibilities.

12 boxes under a twin size bed - 6 #10 cans in each box - one year long-term food storage for one person

12 boxes under twin size bed - one year long-term food supply for one personOne year long-term food storage for one person can be stored under a twin size bed. A bed with a space under the frame of 10” in height with a depth of 36” and a length of 76” will accomodate 12 boxes with 6 #10 cans in each. If you want to store more, remove the bed frame and use 24 boxes instead (1 year long-term food storage for two people), cover them with a bed skirt, and place the mattress on top of your food storage bed frame.

. Portland Home Storage Center rice casesYou can purchase a starter kit (one month kit for one person) and pre-packaged long-term food storage cases, click on pictures for more information.


Photos by LDS Intelligent Living

9 Food Rotation and Labeling Ideas

by LDS Intelligent Living

Weekly container method

This method works well if you organize your food storage with weekly menus. Create as many seven-day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) menu plans of your family’s favorite meals (personally I would use this method only for the dinner meals) as fits your families eating preferences (a minimum of two different menu plans is recommended). Label each different seven-day menu plan with a different letter (A, B, C, etc.). Place all the non-perishable ingredients needed for each one-week menu in a separate container (plastic or cardboard box). Label each container according to the meal it contains (A, B . . .). For a three-month supply, you will need twelve containers – 6 each for each of two different menus (A and B) or four containers each of three different menus (A, B and C). At the beginning of the week, empty the next container in your rotation and place all the food in the pantry closest to your kitchen so you can use it during the week. To rotate your storage, refill that container with the same foods you took out. Don’t forget to date the foods or the container so you know in which order to use each one-week box of food products. Do not include in these containers food items that last a long time after they are opened such as oils, condiments, spices.

two columns methods

Two Columns Method

The idea is to arrange the items to be stored in two columns. Every time you need to remove a product from the shelf, take it from the right (these should be the ones that need to be used first). When the right column is empty, you slide the whole left column to the right, and re-stock on the left. This method is more practical to use when you just have about 20 or less of a certain item(s) you normally store in your pantry.

Food rotation - color sticker method

Color sticker method

sticker method Select colored stickers to represent year or half-year expiration periods (the frequency depends somewhat on the foods you are labeling). Place a sticker on all or some items in your food storage to correspond roughly with when the food items expire  or should be used. This provides a quick visual  key to howfrequently or when foods should be rotated. Personally, I think placing stickers on every single can or box would require purchasing too many stickers to regularly use this method on all the products I store. This method works well for items stored in different areas of the house (under beds, tables etc.) where the expiration date is not easily visible. Place the stickers on an area of the products that can be easily seen.

Rotation method: Use 3x5 cards to keep track of items taken out of storage.

3×5 Card Method

1. List each item in your food storage on a 3”x5” index card. 2. Place all of the cards alphabetically in an envelope or recipe/index box. 3. Place the envelope or box in your food storage area. 4. Place another envelope or recipe/index box (empty at this point) in your kitchen. 5. Each time you take an item out of your storage area, take its 3”x5” index card from the envelope or box in the food storage area and put it in the envelope or box in your kitchen. 6. When you go to the grocery store take the 3”x5” cards from the box in the kitchen with you (instant shopping list). 7. After you have purchased the items from the 3”x5” cards place the cards back in the envelope or box in your food storage area.


** If you frequent several grocery stores color code your index cards by store. For example, put all items that you purchase at Fred Myer on pink cards,   put all items you purchase at WinCo on green cards, etc. Then when it’s time to go shopping you just need to take the cards that coordinate with the store you are going to. ** If you only shop at one grocery store consider color coding your index cards by department. For example, put soups/canned goods on green cards and put baking foods on pink cards, etc. Then when you are shopping you can find all of the items in each department before moving on to the next department.

Rotation method: notepads to record what needs to be replaced.

Sticky Notepad Method

This is simple, practical and easy. Place a sticky notepad on the cupboard door, or near the storage shelf where your food storage is kept. Every time you remove an item, write what it is on the notepad. When it is time to prepare the weekly grocery list, tear off the sheet from the pad and stick it on your grocery list or write the item’s name directly on it.


Update and Inventory food storage method

Be sure to have a place near your pantry, in the kitchen or where it is most convenient for family members to write the items taken out of storage so they can be added to the weekly shopping list. I use a blackboard on the kitchen door. A clipboard with a shopping list can be placed in the kitchen, or stuck on the fridge. Make sure all your family members understand what you want them to do. It is easy to forget to write down the food storage used throughout the week, especially if there are younger children or busy teenagers in the house. You should inventory your three months food supply regularly.

Food rotation opened on method

“Opened on” method

Products that take a longer time to consume should be dated the day they are opened, so you know how long it takes to use them, and how much you need  to purchase for your family for 3+ months.

Food rotation - elastic method

Rubber-band method

One practical and easy method I personally like is the rubber band method. I find this method to work well with items that take longer to use after they are opened such as boxes of  bouillon cubes, vanilla flavoring etc. Your food items should be organized in a row and a rubber-band should be wrapped around the second-to-the-last container in the row. As you use your supply you’ll eventually come to the container with the rubber band around it then you know its time to buy more.

Rotation method: Use slanted shelves for your cans.

Auto Rotating Shelves Method

This method is well known and liked. No detailed explanation is necessary for this method – the new cans go in the back, and the can you need to use is taken out in the front, and the next can will roll down. The shelves are quite costly store bought.

Detailed instructions to make the shelves available on the blog!

You need to find the method(s) that work best for you and your family. These ideas have been around for a long time. I have tried most of them and I know others who use them. Do you have a method you like that was not listed in this article?  Leave us a comment to let us know what rotation method you use.

Photos by LDS Intelligent Living

Build a Three Month Food Supply Gradually

by LDS Intelligent Living

Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet. One way to do this is to purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply of food. Then you can gradually increase your supply until it is sufficient for three months. These items should be rotated regularly to avoid spoilage.

Consider these guidelines as you build your 3 months food supply:

Remember to build-up your supply gradually!

 1. Decide how much to spend on your food supply each week.

 2. Date the food to be shelved when you get home AND update your inventory list so you know what you have and need as you go.
3. Use one or several food rotation methods you like, read this post for ideas “9 Food Rotation and Labeling Ideas” 
4. Make meals several times a week using food from your pantry.
Follow these steps as part of a regular routine of planning, grocery shopping, and stocking up on food storage and you will have great results. One advice I would like to give you is to create your own food storage list. YOU know best what your family eats and you can better plan what to buy and when. Grabbing a list off the internet because you don’t want to do the work or you want to save time will not help much. You need to feel in control, and you need to create your own plan/lists/menus and be in the driver’s seat! It takes time to build up a food storage and you may have to create new habits and disrupt old ones, but do not be discouraged.
Keep going, and stay positive.
How to Save Lots of Money and Build a 3 Month Food Supply much faster

If you are well organized and know what you are doing, you can build your food storage much faster. When you shop smart, you save lots of money!

 You most likely have heard these money saving tips before:
  • Don’t go to the grocery store on an empty stomach: Eat before you go shopping so you don’t succumb to impulse buying, and get extra food not on your shopping list because you are hungry.
  • Leave your husband and children at home : Go by yourself if you can; you will have more success sticking to your shopping list.

Those are great tips to follow, but there are many more helpful ones. You should be paying close attention to these money saving ideas because, remember: when you plan your grocery shopping wisely, you can save a lot of money and build your food supply faster!


man-shopping-at-a-mobile-produce-market-725x484 PUBLIC DOMAIN

Here are my suggestions about saving money on groceries; I share them with you because they truly work!

If You Want to Save Money, Lose the Traditional Menu Planning Idea

I read a book, years ago, that changed my grocery shopping habits. It explained that the traditional planning of menus is counter productive in the attempt to save money on groceries. When you start planning meals, and collect the recipes for the meals planned, and then, head to the store with your list, you will be most likely paying full price on most of the food on your shopping list.

Barbara Salsbury said: “Plan to eat the bargains you find, rather than trying to find bargains on what you plan to eat!” In other words, you should plan your meals after reading the ads in the newspapers, after comparing them to find the best deals, AND after checking your well stocked pantry for what’s already on the shelves. Using the food in your storage is an important factor in this method; if you can buy food in bulk when it hits rock bottom price, you will never have to pay full price again; you can stock-up your pantry and wait for the next sale cycle.

A grocery price book will help you keep track of the sales cycles for the items you regularly buy in each store so you’ll know if the sales are truly “great deals”. The best way to find those price cycles is to record the prices and dates for each of the products you regularly purchase. So, next time you go shopping, don’t throw away your receipts and start recording. Don’t be overwhelmed, take baby steps, start with a few items at a time and build up your price list slowly.

When you add coupons to those bargains, you will have much better results saving money on groceries; the extra savings will help you acquire your three month food supply faster.

When you learn to combine a price book with coupons and other shopping techniques, you will be able to save hundreds of dollars. Remember: It will take planning, organizing, and time at first, but it will be well worth the effort when you see the results.

Why do all this? For peace of mind, to save money, and for convenience–you never run out of food in your house because your pantry is well stocked. Think how much better you will feel knowing that if you experienced economic hardship, had to “shelter in place”*, or were caught in a natural disaster situation, your family would have what is needed to survive.

Also, don’t forget the other necessities like toilet paper, deodorant etc. and the other needful things in your life that should be included on the list.

*A grocery price book is the ultimate money saving tool: you can use a notebook, or go digital. Melanie Pinola on lifehacker said that “Both paper and digital price books have advantages. A paper notebook is quicker to jot down prices and refer to when you shop, but grocery apps make quick work of calculating prices (plus, they serve as grocery lists).” You can also use a spreadsheet to create a price book to record the prices of all the items you regularly purchase at different grocery stores; the grocery price book enables you to detect price cycles in different supermarkets; find the real bargains, and plan your shopping trips for maximum savings.

Involve your children in your self-reliance projects, get the whole family on board! They need to learn about self-reliance, and they need to understand that it is a way of life, one that will bring peace of mind.

Here are several articles that will help you build a price book

Making a Price List: The Digital Version

Grocery Pricebook Apps

How to Save the Most Money on Your Grocery Budget with a Price Book

How to create Your Own Grocery Pricebook

…and some great ideas on these sites that will help you save hundreds of dollars on  groceries

29 Ways to Save Hundreds of Dollars on Groceries

15 Money-Saving Ways to Outsmart Your Supermarket

 First photo on this post from LDS Intelligent Living

Second photo is from the public domain

Rotating and Using Your Long-Term Food Storage

by Donna White

Sister Julie Beck, the General Relief Society President, asked several bishops what skills the sisters in their wards needed most to be self-reliant.  Their answer:  living within a budget and cooking. Rotating and using your long-term food storage can help you to be more self-reliant.

Why is it important to rotate your food storage?

1.  Prevents throwing away unused, expired food, which saves you money.

2.  Allows you and your family to get accustomed to eating stored food, essential in effectively dealing with emergency situation.

3.  Eating your long-term storage is healthy.  Most food storage items are lower in fat and higher in nutrients than most convenience foods. 4.  Because these high-fiber food will be upsetting to the digestive system if you suddenly begin to eat them, it is important to start incorporating them into your diet now.

5.   By already knowing how to use your food storage, it will help to relieve a lot of stress in times of emergency.

6.  If you will eat food storage meals two days out of the week you can have a whole year’s supply rotated in just three and a half years.

How can you remember to use your food storage?

1.  Keep a permanent marker in the same place where you store your food and then every time you bring home a new package or can of food, just date it.  If the item has an expiration date already on it, you might want to circle it.  I have also written the date on the item at the time of purchase.

2.  Keep small amounts of your food storage in the kitchen.  The more you see these items the more often you will use them.

3.  Find recipes that sound interesting using food storage items.  The Internet is a great resource.  Many of the cooking websites allow you to enter either the recipe you are looking for and/or the ingredient(s) you have on hand. I like the websites where users rate the recipe and give comments.  My favorite site is allrecipes.com.  Also, BYU TV and byubroadcasting.org have a wonderful program called Living Essentials that has many segments on preparedness.  Three of them are on rotating and using your long-term storage.  You can also print the transcripts.

4.  Incorporate food storage items into your favorite recipes. Out of desperation years ago, when all of our children were living at home, and before the popularity of freezer meals, I did something that saved lots of time, money, frustration, and cleanup. With money tight, very few prepared food were purchased. In my planning notebook I made a list of 15 food items to have on hand, all cooked up, refrigerated or frozen, ready to go.  Almost all used items from our long-term storage.  They are:

  • Boston brown bread
  • Quick bread
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Potatoes – brown and sweet
  • Granola
  • Rice
  • Vanilla pudding
  • Soup
  • Yogurt
  • Sprouts
  • Dry beans, soaked and cooked
  • Salad dressing
  • Powdered milk – chilled
  • Pancake and waffle mix
  • Ground meat gravel (mixed with TVP)

As you set up a rotation system, storing and using your food will become second nature to you.  You can save money on the things that you purchase because you purchase them on sale.  You will also have peace of mind because you will know that you have the supplies that your family needs.  And . . . you know how to use them and are using them on a daily basis.

Here are two of my favorite recipes using food storage items.

8 Minute Lentil Oat Waffles  

2 ¼  cups water 1 cup soaked lentils (can use any legume)

1 ½  cups rolled oats (equals ½ cup quick oats)

1 Tbsp. oil ½  tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. honey

Soak beans as directed, drain, and combine all ingredients in blender.  Blend one minute or until light and foamy.  Let stand while waffle iron heats up.  Batter will thicken slightly.  Blend briefly again and bake for 8 minutes.  DO NOT OPEN BEFORE TIME IS UP. One 9” serving contains comparable high protein and amino acids  as a 3 oz steak.

911 Emergency Dinner   –  very easy and fast to put together

2 ¼ cups rice 15 oz can of black beans, drained (or equivalent of cooked dry beans)

¼ cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese Salsa

Low fat sour cream

Cook rice according to directions. On each plate layer rice, black beans, salsa, sour cream and cheese.  Microwave.

Note:  This is especially quick if the beans are precooked and frozen in 1 cup packages, ready for use.

Photo by LDS Intelligent Living

We Need to Prepare Ourselves and Our Families Financially

by Gayle D., POE Stake Relief Society President

This past week our high council message was to prepare ourselves and our families financially.  Our goal for the month of September follows this same theme.  With so much uncertainty in the world today, money management is essential .  Management of our resources doesn’t just affect us temporally.  Discord in our homes almost always traces back to quarrels and accusations over money.   This isn’t necessarily because of a lack of money, many humble homes are filled with happy families.  Discord comes because of mismanagement of money, regardless of the income. Each family should have access to the brochure,  “One for the Money.”  By Elder Marvin J. Ashton.  May I suggest that each individual, each married couple, sit down and read this carefully.  Then be prepared to share with the entire family.  It is only when the family has a shared goal that wise management can be successful. If we start by paying an honest tithe, we set a foundation  for financial independence.  Following Elder Ashton’s 12 steps to financial freedom will aid us and our families in achieving the happiness that our Father in Heaven desires for us.

May we each find our way to follow the admonition of our prophets and live the Lord’s commandments.  The Lord will open the windows of heaven to us in these matters if we but choose to obey.

To read “One For The Money” by Marvin J. Ashton, click here

Principles of Home Preserving

How to preserve food

Whether you’re just getting started in home food preservation or just want to expand or brush-up on your skills visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s (NCHFP) website.  The NCHFP in conjunction with the USDA have put together a website and several guides to provide the latest procedures and recommendations based on current research. Quick links from the NCHFP website:

There is also a section of “How To” slideshows that you may find helpful – you can find the complete list of slideshows by clicking here.  Please note these slideshows are in Microsoft PowerPoint – if you don’t have this program you may obtain a FREE PowerPoint viewer by clicking here – after you install the viewer then you’ll be able to view the slideshows.

Photo source: public domain

A Young Woman Discovers the Joy of Canning

By Amy H.

Canning is one of my family’s favorite summertime activities. I can still remember the first time we chose this method for preserving food. My husband and I were students at BYU. We drove past a fruit stand one afternoon. There was a great deal on peaches. Kevin suggested we can some.

I admit I was totally overwhelmed at the idea of canning! I knew you had to follow strict methods of preserving, being careful to have the food at the right temperature, and to make sure the equipment was properly sterilized. The first thing that came to mind was “Botulism”!

I agreed to preserve the peaches if we did some canning and some freezing. I felt freezing was easier and safer. My mother had a big chest freezer when I was young and we always used that method. To my surprise, I found that canning was much easier than I had expected. It took pre-planning. We had to make sure to have rings, lids, jars, and a large pan with a rack in the bottom. The peaches sure did taste great that winter. And they looked beautiful on the kitchen shelves of that little student apartment.

When we moved to Oregon we continued with canning. We have limited space so the jars are perfect. I don’t need a big freezer or lots of storage space. The shelves in one cupboard hold finished products. I also store jars in the laundry room. We almost always can items that we get from friends, neighbors, our garden, or from heading out into woods to pick. We have canned plums, peaches, apples, tomatoes, salsa, blackberries, strawberries and many types of jellies and syrups.

My kids love the jelly. I don’t remember the last time I purchased a jar from the store. I enjoy sharing low sugar jellies with friends and opening a jar of salsa in the middle of the winter. Tarragon pickles were a big hit with my family last year. They were delicious and easy! I finally purchased a pressure canner and added vegetables and meats to our canning experience. My family enjoyed the taste and convenience of home made soup.

Juice steamer
Juice Steamer

Canning is easy! If you are going to can I recommend purchasing or borrowing a canner, a steam juicer, the Ball Blue Book of Preserving, and plenty of rings, lids, and jars.

Basic Tools for Canning
Basic Tools for Canning

I suggest starting with jelly making. It is easy and there are directions in every box of pectin. You can experiment with recipes as you become more proficient. If summer time is busy for you, can the juice from fruit then make jelly in the fall or winter. Tomatoes are also really easy to can.

Give canning a try. You may discover, like me, that it is fun, easy, and rewarding!

Featured image: public domain

Photos by LDS Intelligent Living