House cleaning is like stringing beads with no knot at the end of the thread.

"Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out most of the details and methods." -Ezra Taft Benson-







Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Conference Weekend!

I will be offline for a few days. Please feel free to leave comments, questions, concerns.. you can also email me!!  Have a great weekend and Happy Easter!

Just a reminder, orders for the bulk buy group, I will or should have ALL the prices April 1st, I will try to get this to you, but if I don't have my laptop with me, this will not happen until I get back April 4th or 5th. Thank you!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Quilt fabric exchange!!

Ok, here's the deal. I am just learning to quilt and LOVE it. I am wondering if anyone is interested in doing a block or fabric exchange??? Here are my ideas:

12 1/2-inch quilt block exchange
5-inch square fabric exchange
a maverick star exchange
9-patch block exchange

Leave a comment and let me know what you are interested in doing. I LOVE the maverick star. I love 9-patch, and I LOVE fabric.  So leave a comment and let me know what you are interested in doing :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

FIRST QUILT!!!

Yes I have started a quilt? Why? I have no idea! But I found a quilt while looking through some blogs. It was a quilt along over here at Crazymomquilts . It is super cute.. So here are some of my squares so you can see them. NO I have not finished the top as of yet. BUT I don't have much time to do so as I am starting another quilt along with some friends from another blog!!  How fun!  I am excited.  I have really enjoyed working on these blocks. Sorry for the bad lighting on some, the color is really pretty as you see in the first 3 pics, those were taken with my phone, my camera on the other hand likes to use a flash, and it just deadens the fabric.
I learned what a set square was, to press seams together not open, what a sashing is, how to pick something apart on almost EVERY star block and 2 set blocks, and that my camera takes unflattering pics in my bedroom/sewing room and that better pics can be had in the hallway.
I will post the final quilt when I finish, I will most likely just add the pics to this post.. not sure though as it is going to be so pretty it will deserve it's own separate post.

  So here is the set block:
Here is Star 1 :

Star 2:

Star 3 Ohio Star:

Star 4 Sarah's Choice:   These are the same quilt block, top one taken with my  phone and the bottom one with my camera :(  You can also see a little bit of sashing already on some of these.. 

Star 5: 

Star 6 Aunt Addies Album: sashing on bottom

Star 7 Star of Hope: 

Star 8 Maple Star:  

Star 9 Optical Saw Tooth: 

Star 10 Martha Washington: 

Star 11 Amish Star: 

Star 12 Indian Star: 


Star 13: 

And finally the finished quilt. Yes the baby girl loved it!


I have been very busy this week!!

We made bread on Monday.. Eleven loaves and 1 small pan of cinnamon rolls.

Tuesday we raced to QFC and bought 10 chickens, we washed one up and dressed it for dinner.. The other 9 we canned..

After the kids went to bed, Peaches and I made some Fudgy brownies that are yummy!! I also made some bread pudding for breakfast for Wednesday and Thursday mornings for the kids.. didn't get a picture of that either, but it was super yummy!!  No one here likes to eat the heels of the bread unless it is fresh from the oven, so I save them and make bread pudding with them.. I used to feed them to the chickens (and still do when I run out of feed) until I got more frugal :)


Then started the bones and skins in the crock pots to make broth to can on Wednesday..

So here is the finished broth:

We made chocolate pudding while the first batch of broth was starting to process, it was yummy.. I don't have a picture of that, sorry.
And today???  Been adding to my blog :)

Which pressure canner should I get???

IF you don't already have a pressure canner, but want one, but not sure which one to get.. Prices vary from $60 to $1000 !!!  That's a huge price difference!  So, my first pressure canner is a 16-qt Presto.. a week later I bought the 25-qt All-American... the difference? Size, how much it holds, how long they take to bring pressure down.. If you didn't know this already, I will tell you, you don't need a pressure canner and a water bath canner !!!  You only NEED the Pressure Canner!!! Why? Because you can use it to water bath can in! How great is that?

Either way, they are both good quality. Here are the differences.. 

Presto 16-Qt. :
Presto 16 Qt. Pressure Canner

Rubber gasket
Twist lock on lid
Weighted canner (ONLY)
Rubber OVER pressure plug
One canning rack
Made in China
Usually cools (de-pressurizes) with-in 3 hours
Light weight
HOLDS: 7 quart jars, 10 pint jars, 12 half-pint jars

All-American 25-qt:
Canning Equipment 
ALL AMERICAN PRESSURE CANNER - 25 QT

Metal to metal )NO gasket
Lid twists on, then has 6 screw locks, opposite sides need to be tighted at same time
Weighted and Dial guage canner (we use the weight, we don't rely on the dial)
Rubber OVER pressure plug
Two canning racks
Made in WISCONSIN
Usually de-pressurizes in 4 to 12 hours!
Heavy (it's a tank!!!)
HOLDS: 7 quart jars, 19 pint jars, 7 quart jars AND 6 to 9 half-pint jars

Which one do I prefer?? Depends on how big of a canning session I am having. Tuesday and Wednesday I canned 9 chickens, and stock from the bones and skin.. I used BOTH canners. I got 17 pints in the AA, and 10 pints in the presto. On Wedensday, I got 7 quarts of broth canned in each canner. 
I prefer the Presto if I am pressed for time, as it cools faster.. But I prefer the AA for quantity!!  Both work GREAT!!  Honestly if anything I think I would buy a second Presto before buying another AA.. Why did I buy the AA??????  
Because.. Because the AA doesn't use a rubber gasket that needs to be replaced every year or two (depends on use). Because it's cool looking, and I was told it was the best to get. Heck as long as the thing gets to pressure, holds the pressure, and does it's job very very well, you don't need to take out a loan for one of these!  What I don't like about the AA is that when I am water bath canning, I can only fit in one layer of jars, no matter what size. Sooo... 

Get a Presto, it is more budget friendly. Watch Wal-mart (23-qt)  and Fred Meyer, they have sales and sometimes you can get the Presto for under $75 !!  Also look on Amazon.  You never know.. especially with free shipping :)  Also, watch the clearance aisles at Wal-mart and Fred Meyers for them.  I have found stuff cheaper at the Wal-mart store than at their online store.. so you know. 
I got my AA from the  place with the best price for it at the time.  Sometimes I regret the high cost purchase, but when I see it in it's chromed steamy work state, I get all hot and sweaty (from working to fill it!! ) and I love it. But honestly, no way in the world I would pack that in my handcart!  I'll take my cast iron, besides, glass jars break.. :)   

Chicken sale.. what did you do with your chicken?

Ok, so on Tuesday I hit the last day of the $0.69/# sale of draper valley whole chickens at QFC. We got 10 of them. We brought them home, cleaned the largest one, oiled it and put our favorite seasonings on it, and plopped it into the smoker, and let it cook all day (about 8 hours truth be told).  Then we started washing more of the chickens, and put them on cooling racks in my cookies sheets then put them in my oven to roast for about and hour to an hour and a half. We did 4 at a time in the oven, and boiled one on the stove. We weren't sure which way we preferred.. Well, I prefer, chicken breasts on the bone, cooked 3/4 of the way, then pulled off the bone and put in jars.. ok, so we pulled the meat from the bones (careful, they are HOT, and you want to do it quickly) and break the meat into small pieces.

So after we had enough to fill 19 pint jars, we counted out the lids, and covered them with boiling water and set them over LOW heat on the stove. My canner was ready to go (warm water with 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar (this keeps down mineral deposits in your canner and on jars!), so we started to load the CLEAN jars, we kind of pack them a little, but not tooo much, and give 1-inch head-space!!  Then added 1/4 teaspoon of canning salt. Then we add clean boiling water to the jars  to give 1-inch head-space, using a WOODEN (never ever use metal in your canning jars, it can etch the jars or crack them and make them weak!) CHOPSTICK, we remove an bubbles and usually add a little more water.

Next we place the lids and rings on, now there is a trick to this so as not to ruin the seal.
Gently place the lid on the jar, stick one or two fingers through the ring,


and hold the lid down,


then firmly screw on the band WITH OUT moving the lid,

 you want the band finger tight.

Then put the jar in the canner (make sure you have the rack in your pressure canner, so you don't break jars!! Direct contact with bottom of your canner WILL break jars!.  When full, put the lid on, and lock it down, then bring it to boil and let vent 5 to 10 minutes (depends on canner), then  put on weights, yes I use weighted canners.  When it gets to pressure, process1 hour 20 minutes.  Then turn off the heat and let it NATURALLY cool down. IF you force it to depressurize you will boil out your jars, or make them explode!  Don't move a canner under pressure!!

Arrowroot

What is that?  Oh my goodness, it is amazing, and a great blessing to those allergic to corn. Why? Well, it just is. It has healing properties too, but I don't use it for that. I use it in place of cornstarch in recipes. Peaches is allergic to corn, not just allergic, she has anaphylactic reaction to corn and corn bi products (CORN: flour, meal, syrup, HFCS, dextrose, modified food starch, starch, maltodextrin, sorbitol, splenda, etc)!  In fact when she was having her appendix out, we couldn't figure out why her hands were peeling huge sheets of skin off, and cracking and stuff. I just happened  to look at the ingredients in the handwashing soap in the bathroom, second ingredient was sorbitol!!  Glad we caught that, and during her surgery they gave her IV benedryl, so her reaction stopped.  whew!

OK, so arrowroot was found by the Arawak Indians in South America, they figured out how to extract it, not an easy process. So now we have this wonderful powder available to us in stores. Now think about this, do you honestly think I buy a tiny bottle of the stuff at a grocery store??? NO, I buy it in bulk at Champion Grocer or PCC.. But PCC has gotten too full of itself lately so I mostly get it at Champion. (I love Champion Grocer.)

Here is a link to a great site that tells you about arrowroot  check it out. I love this stuff!

A Few Ideas to Get You Started
Arrowroot mixtures thicken at a lower temperature than mixtures made with flour or cornstarch. Mix Arrowroot with cool liquids before adding hot liquids, then cook until mixture thickens. Remove immediately to prevent mixture from thinning. Two teaspoons of Arrowroot can be substituted for 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. One teaspoon of Arrowroot can be substituted for 1 tablespoon of flour. Arrowroot makes clear, shimmering fruit gels and prevents ice crystals from forming in homemade ice cream.

FUDGY Brownies!!!


Ok, so I went and got a copy of Betty Crocker's OLD-FASHIONED COOKBOOK, because a friend recommended one recipe from it.. How funny and non-frugal is that??  So we decided, except for recipes we are allergic to (shellfish), we are going to make every recipe in this book!  Good luck with that!  So, here is the Fudge Brownies recipe, and yes the texture is fudgy. Peaches said they need more chocolate, girl after my own heart, but I thought they were good!

"Brownies have been popular since the 1920s, and were originally called "Bangor Brownies" after the city in Maine where they first became popular. Brownie mavens debate: Should these dark bar cookies be dense and chewy like candy or softly textured like cake? This version make a large pan of the fudgy variety."

1/2 cup butter
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional.. we don't use nuts)

Heat oven to 350. Grease 13x9x2 pan. Heat butter and 1 cup of the chocolate chips in 3-quart sauce pan over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted. Stir in sugar, flour, vanilla, baking powder, salt and eggs until smooth. Stir in remaining chocolate chips. Spread in pa; sprinkle with nuts. Bake about 25 - 30 minutes or until set; cool completely. Cut into about 2 x 1 1/2-inch bars. Store tightly covered.  36 brownies

Friday, March 12, 2010

What is a catalina???

I had no idea until about 2 minutes ago!!  It's a coupon! YOu know, the one they hand you with your receipt at the store. Ok so you want to learn more about them? ok, click here and find out what they are and how to use them!

Herbal Lozenges

Got a sore throat? Can't or don't want to swallow? I know a simple, inexpensive way to help. Go here and check out what my friend does. I do this too!!  Be careful though as honey burns fast. You do not need a high heat to bring it to hard crack stage. If you read her comments from this post, you will see where I put the recipe I used.

ACV -- or Apple Cider Vinegar

This stuff is absolutely amazing!!  Yes I use herbs, acv, and oils to heal us from all sorts of stuff. So here is a link to ACV.. Check it out.. And yes, I do have this in my pantry!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bulk buy info

Olive Oil on sale at Bartell’s Drugs thru 14 March. STAR brand, 17 oz for $3.99. Choose Extra Virgin if possible.  Look for bottles that are clear with no debris resting on the bottom. Store to the rear of your cupboard out of sunlight. Peggy wraps all her precious oils in brown paper wrap with tape to protect in the event of an earthquake.  Bartell’s also has whole grain Barilla Pasta for $.99 per 15 oz package.
Fred Meyer Specials
This is the sixth month of testing the specials at Fred Meyer (Kroger) for families who are stocking their 90-day and long term pantries. Fred Meyer, with their weekly coupons, are still showing a strong lead for economy in offering at least 1 meat or poultry product, 2 or 3 fresh fruits and veggies (some organic) and at least 8 or 9 coupons each week that save you money on staples like canned tomatoes, canned beans for those of you who are just learning how to cook with and eat beans in casseroles and entrees, and in milk/dairy/juice with weekly coupons. They have had coupons for medium cheddar cheese (2# loaf) every other week in their Sales Flyers. I receive my flyer in my email inbox by signing up at Fred Meyer
Restocking your pantry:  The prices and names of products that will be available for May pickup in Kent will be emailed to you the first week in April. You will have 9 days to place your order.We also are becoming more certain that we will have boxes of dried cranberries and Thompson Raisins as well.
Bahnmiller’s Frozen Fruit (in 5 pound bags):
We will have more bags of Bahnmiller’s fresh nearly chemical free frozen fruit in early May.These bags are 5 pounds each, individually frozen fruit from Washington farmers. We will send you the order information the 3rd week of April.This should tide you over until Al Bahnmiller harvests the new crop of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries in 2010.

Bisphenol-A (BPA)---Part II

This post is from a doctor friend.  Good info!

Bisphenol-A (BPA)—Part II

The previous newsletter developed the research, facts and concerns about how the BPA in our food grade products and packages is leaching into our bodies and compromising our health. In particular, since BPA is an endocrine disruptor, we are very concerned about consciously feeding this chemical to our developing children.
Another surprise for many in the group was that our canned sauces, vegetables, tomatoes are usually swimming in BPA when the can is enamel coated with BPA or clear-coated with BPA as a stabilizer. Although many of you are eating more home grown fresh veggies, we rely on some canned products as “staples” in our longer term and winter pantries.  So…consider this:  Most of the cans of tomatoes and tomato sauce are swimming in BPA leached out of the coated enamel and clear cans.  By purchasing the glass jars of tomato sauce when it’s on sale you can eliminate the BPA concern. By home bottling some of your tomato products (sauce, stewed tomatoes, salsa, Mexican Mix etc) you can also eliminate the BPA leaching AND have greater control over what is actually in the jar!
A quick review of major pasta sauces canned in glass shows that tomatoes and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are the top 2 ingredients. So…if you are using commercial sauce in glass bottles you will be avoiding BPA leaching but probably getting the sugar hit to your pancreas.  
Now here’s the rub:  I’m committing to increase my personal home bottling and pressure canning by another 20% this coming summer to significantly reduce the number of enameled cans I’m putting into my family’s food supply
Water Bottles and Sippy Cups:  Plastic water bottles are convenient but, in summer’s heat, dangerous to our health as women, increasing the risk of breast cancer. They are damaging to our children’s endocrine system and we still don’t know the countless other chemicals to which we are exposing ourselves.

Sippy cups are used by toddlers and pre-schoolers and are often gnawed to death by their new teeth. New research shows that when the plastic is “under attack” or “wear” greater traces of Bisphenol-A emerge on teeth and in the saliva. So…these are two eating utensils we want to replace at the earliest opportunity.  Alison in the Bulk Buy Group and author of Health Nut Nation website and blog has been working with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) to find and obtain safe water bottles and Sippy cups. Here are the links to those excellent articles:
I miss my plastic water bottle with the flip pop-up top. I replaced it about a year ago with a stainless steel wide mouth beverage container that is BPA free with a screw on top. Manufactured by TexSport,
 I havent seen it locally. Its a pain to unscrew the top when youre driving to a fruit pickup in the summer heat but safer nonetheless. I was looking at one in Fred Meyer that had a small flip top on a stainless steel base but the flip top was plastic!
Specifically see Alison’s remarks about Sippy Cups at
Cooking Utensils and BPA:
Janelle did the research. The plastic lids on all Pyrexware are BPA-FREE.  The glass Pyrex bowls with lids are excellent for storing and reheating foods from your fridge. The North Bend and Burlington outlet stores are ready to serve you. Janelle has offered to help pick up a load of pre-ordered and pre-paid Pyrex bowls from the North Bend store and drop them at one or two other locations in order to help us out.
Other Cooking Utensils at Risk of BPA Leakage:
How many of you use a plastic soup ladle for your canning or soup-ladling? Im guilty. With the amount of canning I do every year and making and serving thick soups and chowders several nights a week, I use LOTS of ladles and some of them are plastic.
Ive replaced two of my plastic ladles with stainless steel—both were on sale at Pier 1 Imports on the clearance table for $3 each. The clerk told me that the Stainless Steel doesnt sell well because women want the bright plastic colors. Good deal for us!
During March at Cash N Carry they are selling stainless steel smaller ladles ( 6 oz for $1.85 for au jus broths and 8 oz for $2.15)
You can access Cash and Carrys monthly sales Hot Sheets by heading over to Cash N Carry, clicking on Store Locations and choosing a store. Look to the right to SPECIALS and click on the highlighted title to seek the Hot Sheet Specials for the month.



Olive Oil on sale at Bartell’s Drugs thru 14 March. STAR brand, 17 oz for $3.99. Choose Extra Virgin if possible.  Look for bottles that are clear with no debris resting on the bottom. Store to the rear of your cupboard out of sunlight. Wrap all your precious oils in brown paper wrap with tape to protect in the event of an earthquake.  Bartell’s also has whole grain Barilla Pasta for $.99 per 15 oz package.




Replacing BPA in cans gives food makers fits, Vital Choices found traces in salmon, tuna after switch
SEAFOOD.COM NEWS [Washington Post] by Lyndsey Layton Feb 24, 2010 - Major U.S. food makers are quietly investigating how to rid their containers of bisphenol A, a chemical under scrutiny by federal regulators concerned about links to a range of health problems, including reproductive disorders and cancer.

But they are discovering how complicated it is to remove the chemical, which is in the epoxy linings of nearly every metal can on supermarket shelves and leaches into foods such as soup, liquid baby formula and soda. It is a goal that is taking years to reach, costing millions and proving surprisingly elusive.

Randy Hartnell, whose company, Vital Choice, sells products aimed at health-conscious consumers, switched last year to can linings made without BPA. It was a costly move that he figured would resonate in the niche market that buys his canned wild salmon and low-mercury tuna.

But a recent Consumers Union test detected small amounts of BPA in Vital Choice tuna, raising questions about whether it is possible to clean the food supply of the ubiquitous chemical. The consumer group also found trace amounts of BPA in baked beans made by Eden Foods, the only other U.S. company that says it has switched to BPA-free cans.

'What we're hearing is, the stuff is just omnipresent,' said Hartnell, whose Washington state company has spent as much as $10,000 on lab tests trying to pinpoint the source of BPA in its canned tuna. 'Is it in the cutting board? The gloves that people wear who are working on the fish? Is it in the tuna itself? We don't know. We're trying to figure it out.'

The food industry's efforts began even before the FDA announced last month that it had reversed its position and is concerned about the safety of BPA, which is used in thousands of consumer goods, including compact discs, dental sealants and credit card and ATM receipts. Government studies estimate that the chemical has been found in the urine of more than 90 percent of the population.

Foodmakers started looking for alternatives in 2008, after public pressure spurred manufacturers of plastic baby bottles to voluntarily rid their products of BPA. Several municipalities, Minnesota and Canada banned BPA from baby bottles. And Congress is considering a bill filed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., that would ban BPA from baby bottles, sports water bottles, reusable food containers, infant formula liners and food can liners.

But foodmakers say they aren't waiting for legislation or regulation.

'It doesn't matter what FDA says. If consumers decide they don't want BPA, you don't want to be in a can that consumers don't want to buy,' said one source at a major U.S. food company who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Major food companies declined to talk publicly about their efforts to find a replacement for BPA linings. 'We don't have a safe, effective alternative, and that's an unhappy place to be,' the source said. 'No one wants to talk about that.'

Heinz, for instance, says it has switched to BPA-free cans for some products but will not identify them or say what substitute it is using. General Mills, which owns the Progresso and Muir Glen lines of canned products, said it is testing BPA-free cans but would not elaborate. 'We are optimistic that safe and viable alternatives will be identified in time,' said Thomas Forsythe, a company spokesman.

The Environmental Protection Agency has declared the daily safe BPA exposure limit at 50 mg per kilogram of body weight, a level set in the 1980s. A growing body of peer-reviewed research in the past decade has suggested that very low levels below the federal threshold might be responsible for health problems. BPA is a synthetic version of estrogen, and scientists disagree about whether it causes lasting effects by triggering subtle cellular changes.

John M. Rost, chairman of the North American Metal Packaging Alliance, which represents the canned food and beverage industry, said BPA has been 'used safely in metal food packaging for decades. They have been deemed safe by regulatory agencies around the world.' He also said there hasn't been a case of food-borne illness resulting from a failure of metal packaging since the industry began using BPA in its linings more than 30 years ago.

Commercial uses of BPA exploded in the 1950s after scientists discovered its ability to make plastics more durable and shatterproof. By 1963, scientists were using it to create epoxy linings for steel cans, which held up under heat and other extreme conditions.
Because the BPA linings extended the shelf life of canned goods, did not affect taste, prevented bacterial contamination and were relatively cheap, they became the industry standard by the 1970s.

The FDA does not know which companies use BPA, how much they use or how it is applied, because manufacturers are not required to disclose that information. Some companies have had trouble finding out whether their cans contain BPA.

Michael Potter, chief executive of Eden Foods, which makes canned organic products, began asking suppliers about his can linings after reading German research about BPA. 'Trying to determine what was in the can linings that I was purchasing to put food in was a daunting task,' he said. 'Inevitably, you end up speaking to a large law firm inside the Beltway that says you don't have the right to know.'
It took two years, but in 1999, Potter prompted one supplier, the Ball Corp., to switch to a can lined with oleoresin, a mixture of oil and a resin extracted from plants such as pine. The new cans are 14 percent more expensive, about 2.2 additional cents per can, Potter said. 'It went into our costing, and we passed it onto our customers,' he said.

But oleoresin deteriorates in contact with acidic food, forcing Eden Foods to use BPA in its linings for canned tomatoes. Potter said that was why trace amounts of BPA one part per billion were detected by Consumers Union in Eden Foods' baked beans. The beans were made with tomato puree that had been stored in a can with a BPA lining.

The EPA and the FDA, which oversees the use of BPA in food and beverage containers, are reviewing the chemical in light of new research
. Last month, the FDA said it would launch fast-track studies to clarify the research on BPA. It is also encouraging manufacturers to migrate away from the chemical. But the process is slow, because testing must take into account a shelf life of two to five years for most canned foods. 'You don't want to find out that you made a switch based on six months of data but by 18 months the lining breaks down and people are eating it,' an industry source said. Makers of plastic bottles found a quick and relatively simple BPA substitute, polypropylene, but canned-food makers are having considerably more trouble. Foodmakers say that some alternative linings disintegrate, reducing a product's shelf life. Other linings can't withstand the high heat applied to certain canned products to kill bacteria. Still others interfere with taste.

Consumer concerns led Japanese manufacturers to voluntarily reduce the use of BPA between 1998 and 2003. But because cans were primarily used for drinks, they could use a relatively simple polyester substitute. The Japanese also got rid of tableware containing BPA used for school lunches. After the change, Japanese scientists documented a significant drop in BPA levels in research subjects' blood.

Aaron L. Brody, a food packaging expert who teaches at the University of Georgia, said that even if health concerns are not valid, 'if they had an economic can coating that could be applied to food and/or beverage cans today, the coatings industry, the canning industry, would have applied it instantly to get this monkey off their back.'





John Sackton, Editor And Publisher
Seafood.com News 1-781-861-1441
Email comments to jsackton@seafood.com

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Interruption of this Blog to rant on Nationalized Healthcare

I am borrowing this from a friends blog, and it is RIGHT ON!


First of all, I rarely seek out any sort of mainstream medicine. I do occasionally seek out "alternative" healthcare providers, but for the most part, my use for mainstream medicine is emergency only. Doctors excel at emergency medicine!

So, why am I ranting about the healthcare bill? It stinks. It will make healthcare worse, harm people, cost tons of money, and lessen what little freedom (if you can call it that currently) that we have to choose our own providers and do what is best for us.
Alan Korwin usually writes about second ammendment rights. He wrote the following:

PAGE NINE -- No. 69 -- SPECIAL

• Health care alert •
by Alan Korwin, Author
Gun Laws of America
My regular report is postponed due to this emergency

by Alan Korwin, Author
Gun Laws of America
July 30, 2009
Dangerous health care insanity spreads --
If the news media would report on the CONTENTS of the proposed federal health care takeover (see details below) it would die in a day. People would rise up, as they did over the recent illegal-alien amnesty attempt, and demand defeat.
Instead, the media reports meaningless drivel, politicing, promises, compromises, party squabbles and leaves out the substance of this incredibly bad hostile takeover of your doctor's office, complete with end-your-life paperwork issued by bureaucrats, denial of service, strict rationing, cash penalties for selecting your own doctors or treatment.
Gun-Rights Linkage: With this much total control over your medical and financial records, there's a very short step between automated analysis of your "fitness" to keep and bear arms, and the various prohibited-possessor lists the government is keeping and recommending. That's just my idle observation, the bill does not explicitly address it in any way.
The lamestream media told you:
July 30, 2009; AP -- House democrats reached a deal Wednesday on a health care reform bill that would reduce federal subsidies, help lower-income families, exempt businesses, cover the elderly, provide additional revenue, require insurance, provide subsidies to the poor, help choose your health insurance, recommend health benefits, cap out-of-pocket expenses, set standards... deadlines, blue-dogs, budget experts, negotiations, the top of Obama's agenda, deadlines, timetable slippage, leadership, deadlines... and cost less than one trillion dollars without increasing the federal deficit.http://tinyurl.com/ko64s3
The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:

First off, it's impossible to spend a trillion dollars, when your treasury is already demolished by debt, without making your deficit worse, even a moron can see that (proof that morons don't work for the AP).

I make a living studying and describing laws. I've spot checked this man Fleckstein's work below, he is a little blustery, but he is accurate. The media has avoided just about all of this, preferring instead to spread he-said-she-said silliness and posturing, keeping you and the nation in the dark. CNN, FOX, the networks -- none of them are covering the real content of the bill!

If politicians somehow get away with passing this atrocity, the federal government will create an impenetrable barrier to medical service, countless bureaucrats will take over life-and-death power of every aspect of medical care, and they will wreak havoc on nearly 20% of our already frail economy. As you age, your value will be calculated and your access to health care will drop.

Remember -- there is no delegated constitutional authority for any of this: powers delegated to the federal government do not include running an insurance company, regulating what medical care you can get, where you can go for medical treatment, how much you can pay, what sort of treatments you can select, or punishing you or your employer for deciding on your own health care.

We are supposed to have a government of limited delegated powers; if government can do whatever it pleases, without constraint, as they are about to do with your medicine, that's as tyrannical as it gets -- we no longer have a limited government as we should, the basis of our freedom. Pick up your phone, finally, call your representatives, and demand they stop this insane and unlawful intrusion into your doctor's office. At least call your doctor. Do it. Ask for their advice.



Here is the entire 1,107-page health care bill, HR 3200, being pushed by Mr. Obama (no one is saying who actually wrote all of this):
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h3200ih.pdf

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2009/07/whats-in-healthacre-bill.html
There is a man by the name of Peter Fleckstein (aka Fleckman) who is reading it and has been posting his findings on Twitter. This is from his postings. I have spot checked these, he is spot on:

++++++++

Pg 16: SEC. 102. PROTECTING THE CHOICE TO KEEP CURRENT COVERAGE. lines 3-26 of the HC Bill – OUTLAWS PRIVATE INSURANCE by forbidding enrollment after HR 3200 is passed into law.

Pg 21-22: SEC. 113. INSURANCE RATING RULES of the HC Bill MANDATES the Government will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!

Pg 29: SEC. 122. ESSENTIAL BENEFITS PACKAGE DEFINED: lines 4-16 in the HC bill – YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!!

Pg 30: SEC. 123. HEALTH BENEFITS ADVISORY COMMITTEE of HC bill – THERE WILL BE A GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get.

Pg 42: SEC. 142. DUTIES AND AUTHORITY OF COMMISSIONER of HC Bill – The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC Benefits for you. You have no choice!

PG 50-51: SEC. 152. PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATION IN HEALTH CARE in HC bill – HC will be provided to ALL non US citizens, ILLEGAL or otherwise.

Pg 58: SEC. 163. ADMINISTRATIVE SIMPLIFICATION HC Bill – Government will have real-time access to individual’s finances and a National ID Healthcard will be issued!

Pg 59: SEC. 163. ADMINISTRATIVE SIMPLIFICATION HC Bill lines 21-24 Government will have DIRECT access to your BANK ACCOUNTS for electronic funds transfer. This means the government can go in and take your money right out of your bank account.

PG 65: SEC. 164. REINSURANCE PROGRAM FOR RETIREES is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in Unions and community orgs (ACORN).

Pg 72: SEC. 201. ESTABLISHMENT OF HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE; OUTLINE OF DUTIES; DEFINITIONS Lines 8-14 Government is creating an HC Exchange to bring private HC plans under Government control.

PG 84: SEC. 203. BENEFITS PACKAGE LEVELS HC Bill – Government mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the Exchange

PG 85: SEC. 203. BENEFITS PACKAGE LEVELS Line 7 HC Bill – SPECIFICATION OF BENEFIT LEVELS FOR PLANS = The Government will ration your Healthcare!

PG 91: SEC. 204. CONTRACTS FOR THE OFFERING OF EXCHANGE-PARTICIPATING HEALTH BENEFITS PLANS Lines 4-7 HC Bill – Government mandates linguistic appropriate services. Example – Translation for illegal aliens!

Pg 95: SEC. 205. OUTREACH AND ENROLLMENT OF EXCHANGE-ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS AND EMPLOYERS IN EXCHANGE-PARTICIPATING HEALTH BENEFITS PLAN HC Bill Lines 8-18 The Government will use groups i.e., ACORN & Americorps to sign up individuals for Government HC plan.

PG 102: SEC. 205. OUTREACH AND ENROLLMENT OF EXCHANGE-ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS AND EMPLOYERS IN EXCHANGE-PARTICIPATING HEALTH BENEFITS PLAN Lines 12-18 HC Bill – Medicaid Eligible Individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No choice!

pg 124: SEC. 223. PAYMENT RATES FOR ITEMS AND SERVICES lines 24-25 HC No company can sue the GOVERNMENT on price fixing! No “judicial review” against Government Monopoly!!

pg 127: SEC. 225. PROVIDER PARTICIPATION Lines 1-16 HC Bill – Doctors/ AMA – The Government will tell YOU what you can make.

Pg 145: SEC. 312. EMPLOYER RESPONSIBILITY TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS EMPLOYEE AND DEPENDENT COVERAGE Line 15-17 An Employer MUST auto enroll employees into public option plan. NO CHOICE!!

Pg 146: SEC. 312. EMPLOYER RESPONSIBILITY TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS EMPLOYEE AND DEPENDENT COVERAGE Lines 22-25 Employers MUST pay 4 HC 4 part time employees AND their families.

Pg 149: SEC. 313. EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS IN LIEU OF COVERAGE Lines 16-24 ANY Employer with payroll of $400k and above who does not provide public option pays 8% tax on all payroll.

pg 150: SEC. 313. EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS IN LIEU OF COVERAGE Lines 9-13 Business’s with payroll between $251k – $400k who doesn’t provide public option pays 2-6% tax on all payroll.

Pg 167: SEC. 401. TAX ON INDIVIDUALS WITHOUT ACCEPTABLE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE Lines 18-23 ANY individual who doesn’t have acceptable HC according to Government will be taxed 2.5% of income.

Pg 170: SEC. 401. TAX ON INDIVIDUALS WITHOUT ACCEPTABLE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE Lines 1-3 HC Bill Any NONRESIDENT Alien is EXEMPT from individual taxes. (Americans will pay)
Pg 195: HC Bill – SEC. 421. CREDIT FOR SMALL BUSINESS EMPLOYEE HEALTH COVERAGE EXPENSES Officers and employees of HC Administration (GOVERNMENT) will have access to ALL Americans financial and personal records!

[Note: Although the bill lists a few broad items, it includes anything else the people running the program decide they want. --Alan.]

PG 203: SEC. 441. SURCHARGE ON HIGH INCOME INDIVIDUALS Line 14-15 HC – “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax” Yes, it says that!

Pg 239: SEC. 1121. SUSTAINABLE GROWTH RATE REFORM Line 14-24 HC Bill Government will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income, poor affected.
Pg 241: SEC. 1121. SUSTAINABLE GROWTH RATE REFORM Line 6-8 HC Bill – Doctors, doesn’t matter what specialty you have, you’ll all be paid the same.

[NOTE: If anything should get your doctor's attention, provisions like this ought to turn on the lights. --Alan.]


PG 253: SEC. 1122. MISVALUED CODES UNDER THE PHYSICIAN FEE

SCHEDULE Line 10-18 Government sets value of Doctor’s time, professional judgment, etc. Literally value of humans.

PG 265: SEC. 1131. INCORPORATING PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENTS INTO MARKET BASKET UPDATES THAT DO NOT ALREADY INCORPORATE SUCH IMPROVEMENTS. Government mandates and controls productivity for private HC industries.

PG 268: SEC. 1141. RENTAL AND PURCHASE OF POWER-DRIVEN WHEELCHAIRS. Federal Government regulates rental and purchase of power driven wheelchairs

PG 272: SEC. 1145. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS – Cancer patients – welcome to rationing!

Page 280: SEC. 1151. REDUCING POTENTIALLY PREVENTABLE HOSPITAL READMISSIONS The Government will penalize hospitals for what Government deems preventable readmissions.

Pg 298: SEC. 1151. REDUCING POTENTIALLY PREVENTABLE HOSPITAL READMISSIONS Lines 9-11 Doctors! Treat a patient during initial admission that results in a readmission? Government will penalize you.

Pg 317: SEC. 1156. LIMITATION ON MEDICARE EXCEPTIONS TO THE PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN PHYSICIAN REFERRALS MADE TO HOSPITALS Lines 13-20 OMG!! PROHIBITION on ownership and investment! Government tells Doctors what and how much they can own!

Pg 317-318: SEC. 1156. LIMITATION ON MEDICARE EXCEPTIONS TO THE PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN PHYSICIAN REFERRALS MADE TO HOSPITALS lines 21-25, 1-3 PROHIBITION on expansion – Government is mandating hospitals cannot expand!

pg 321: SEC. 1156. LIMITATION ON MEDICARE EXCEPTIONS TO THE PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN PHYSICIAN REFERRALS MADE TO HOSPITALS Lines 2-13 Hospitals have option to apply for exception BUT community input required. Can you say ACORN?!!

Pg 335: SEC. 1162. QUALITY BONUS PAYMENTS Lines 16-25 Pg 336-339 – Government mandates establishment of outcome based measures. HC the way they want. Rationing

Pg 341: SEC. 1162. QUALITY BONUS PAYMENTS Lines 3-9 Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans, HMOs, etc. Forcing people into Government plan.

Pg 354: SEC. 1177. EXTENSION OF AUTHORITY OF SPECIAL NEEDS PLANS TO RESTRICT ENROLLMENT – Government will RESTRICT enrollment of Special needs people! OMG! My sister has Downs Syndrome!!!

Pg 379: SEC. 1191. TELEHEALTH EXPANSION AND ENHANCEMENTS Government creates more bureaucracy – Telehealth Advisory Committee Can you say HC by phone?

PG 425: SEC. 1233. ADVANCE CARE PLANNING CONSULTATION Lines 4-12 Government mandates Advance Care Planning Consult. Think Senior Citizens end of life

Pg 425: SEC. 1233. ADVANCE CARE PLANNING CONSULTATION Lines 17-19 Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney. Mandatory!

PG 425: SEC. 1233. ADVANCE CARE PLANNING CONSULTATION Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 Government provides approved list of end of life resources, guiding you in death!

PG 427: SEC. 1233. ADVANCE CARE PLANNING CONSULTATION Lines 15-24 Government mandates program for orders for end of life. The Government has a say in how your life ends!

Pg 429: SEC. 1233. ADVANCE CARE PLANNING CONSULTATION Lines 1-9 An “advance care planning consultant” will be used frequently as patients health deteriorates.

PG 429: SEC. 1233. ADVANCE CARE PLANNING CONSULTATION Lines 10-12 “advance care consultation” may include an ORDER 4 end of life plans. AN ORDER from GOV
Pg 429: SEC. 1233. ADVANCE CARE PLANNING CONSULTATION Lines 13-25 – The Government will specify which Doctors can write an end of life order.

[NOTE: Read carefully, it doesn't have to be a doctor, it can be an undefined "physician assistant" appointed by an unelected federal bureaucrat. --Alan.]


PG 430: SEC. 1233. ADVANCE CARE PLANNING CONSULTATION Lines 11-15 The Government will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life.

Pg 469: SEC. 1302. MEDICAL HOME PILOT PROGRAM Community Based Home Medical Services=Non profit organizations. Hello, ACORN Medical Services here!!?

Page 472: SEC. 1302. MEDICAL HOME PILOT PROGRAM Lines 14-17 PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORG. 1 monthly payment 2 a community-based org. Like ACORN?

PG 489: SEC. 1308. COVERAGE OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST SERVICES AND MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR SERVICES The Government will cover Marriage and Family therapy. Which means they will insert Government into your marriage

Pg 494-498: SEC. 1308. COVERAGE OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST SERVICES AND MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR SERVICES Government will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, rationing those services.


Fleckstien's analysis is ongoing, and the democrats are making insignificant changes to gain political support, without effecting the wholesale takeover of the medical industry. Doctors are abandoning the AMA (which is supporting the bill because it puts more power in the hands of the central controllers).

If you don't want to call your representatives in Congress (can't say I blame you, unfortunately) -- call your doctors! Ask them if they've read the bill, and when they say no, tell them you have read a review and it is beyond awful. Tell them you don't want the federal government to take over their office. They may not even be aware of what's going on. Send them this email message -- they'll give you an email address if you press them for it. Save your doctors despite themselves.

I'll have a regular Page Nine report out soon; thanks for bearing with me in this emergency.
Alan Korwin
Bloomfield Press
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If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you're reading this in English, thank a veteran.
The end of life counseling is ridiculous, but the lack of freedom and the access to personal records and financial records is even more disturbing. This is NOT going to improve healthcare in this country... As much as there are many things in the current system I can't stand, this is worse. Please speak up!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cinnamon Graham Crackers

OH YUMMY!!!


1/4 tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. real vanilla
1/2 cup milk
3 TBS granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Stir together first 5 ingredients, set aside. Cream brown sugar & shortening till light. Beat in honey & vanilla till fluffy. Add flour mix alternately with milk to cream mix. Beat well after each addition. CHILL dough several hours or overnight. Divide into quarters. On WELL FLOURED surface, roll each quarter to 15x5-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle crosswise into 6 small rectangles measuring 5x2.5-inches.
Place on ungreased baking sheet. Mark a line crosswise acroass center of each small rectangle with tines of fork. Scor a pattern of holes on squares with fork tines.
Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over crackers. Bake 13-15 minutes. Remove from pan IMMEDIATELY to wire racks to cool.
Yield: around 24

Canning Meat

I love to can. No let me rephrase that.. I LOVE TO CAN!!!  No kidding. I love knowing what I am eating, and I love knowing what is in that pretty jar. What do I can??? Just about everything. Not mixed up, but ingredients like beans, chicken, beef, chili, and more.. oh these are pressure canned (PC).
Water bath (WB) canning is for fruit, some tomatoes, jams and jellies.  Everything else has to be pressure canned. I LOVE my canners. If you are going to can, I suggest investing in a pressure canner, as you can use it for water bath canning too, but a water bath can NOT be used for pressure canning.
Open Kettle canning is NOT recommended by anyone... Just not safe.
Oven canning is also not safe!
So check out this link. This sister is awesome.. she does so much, she is amazing. Anyway, here is a link she did on canning some meat.
Bottled Meat
So check that out :)

The Great Powdered Milk Taste Test

Honestly, I don't drink milk. When ever we do we find we get sick. But for some reason we are fine with raw milk.. which is hard to come by.  So that said, I do have powdered milk in my pantry, and I do mix it  up to use for baking. I do not like the taste of powdered milk, and with this review, I found out some powdered milks contain corn syrup.. so this was good to know. Please check out the link.. Powdered Milk Taste Test

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Laundry Soap

3 pints HOT water
1/3 bar Fels Naptha bar, grated
1/2 cup Super Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
1 quart HOT water + 6 quarts HOT water to make 2 gallons
15 drops essential oil, optional (add with 6quarts of water)

Mix Fels Naptha in pan with 3 pints Hot water. Heat on low until dissolved. Stir in Borax and washing soda. Stir until thickened, remove from heat. Add 1 quart hot water to 2 gallon bucket, add soap mix - mix well. Add 6 quarts water and essential oils - mix well. Set aside for 24 hours or until it thickens.

Soft or Hard Cooked Eggs

Soft Cooked Eggs:
Cold Water: Place eggs in pan; Add COLD water to cover completely. Bring water to boil. IMMEDIATELY remove from heat. Cover let stand 2 minutes.
Boiling Water: Fill pan with enough water to cover eggs. Bring to boil. Gently lower eggs into boiling water. Reduce to LOW. Cook 4 minutes*.
*sometimes only 3 minutes (bantam eggs or for very soft yoke)

Hard Boiled Eggs:
Place eggs in pan; cover with water by 1-inch. Set over MED-HIGH heat uncovered; until water is ALMOST boiling. When you see one or two bubbles break the surface remove from heat & cover. Leave eggs in Hot water 15 minutes. When time is up, drain hot water. Cover with ICE COLD water.

Food Storage 3.3- 3.9.10

What to add to your food storage this week?? Canned Veggies... Ya, no one will admit that they do like canned veggies from the grocery.. well actually I will, I like canned baby or sweet peas. I am weird, but I like them. My kids don't all like them, but hey, they take atleast a bite. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Preparing on a Shoestring Budget


I am not financially rich. My blessings have come in other ways. That said, we still need to be prepared for as much as possible. I am going to share 5 links with great info about getting prepared.

The BEGINNING to the parts
Read this one first as a ice breaker :)
Part 1: FOOD
Food is VITAL.. So yes, we need to have it. Canned food is great as it keeps well. Remember rotation is key!  Where's your sharpie?
Part 2: WATER
Water .. well, life doesn't exist with out it!  I don't like warm water. I don't like city water. I like fresh cold well water. BUT, in hard times, that water might not be so safe...bleach is a great way to sanitize water, so is boiling it, distilling it, or those nasty tablets..
Part 3: SHELTER
I remember back in 6th grade, we went to Camp Seabeck. We had to have a bandaid container (they used to be metal) and in it have 4 large rubberbands, electrical tape, a black garbage bag, and 4 feet of twine.  It was a tight fit. Not very many kids made good shelters, I did, as I used part of a fallen tree..Anything can be shelter, but you have to really think like McGyver.
Part 4: FIRST AID & MEDICAL
Not just some bandaids!!  Medicines, wraps, needles, scissors, gauze, medical tape, suture kits.. No I am not kidding.. burn meds, alcohol, peroxide, betadine, iodine... and more!  One time when camping, we were at a lake, and a girl jumped in off the dock, she went deep and cut her foot badly on something on the bottom. Baby #3 was only 2 months old, but I ran the mile to my truck got my first aid kit and came back. I didn't have peroxide (I didn't know as much then). Another lady had peroxide in a little tiny spray bottle, it was perfect, nothing had to touch the peroxide bottle to be applied, and it could be applied so gently.  The poor girl ended up having to go to the hospital and getting 10 stitches or more!  Plus a tetanus shot, but she didn't get infected!
Part 5: SANITATION
Not just washing your hands. But bathing, cleaning your dwelling (even if it is a cave or tent), laundry, dishes, etc... Plus necessities. In the pioneer times, the bathroom, or outhouse was called the "necessary" AND rightly so!!!  It is necessary to have a place to do the duty and have it done in a clean fashion. Camping once, my dad dug a hole, then he placed a toilet seat over it. I am not kidding, and it had a lid too and we were to shut the lid when not in use so no body stepped into the hole. Before leaving our camping spot, he would fill the hole in.  Hey it worked, and it was a deep hole too 4 or 5 feet!  But only as big around as the hole on the toilet seat. I believe the toilet seat was attached to a large pipe or a bottomless bucket.