Sunday, January 30, 2011

Smokey Mountain Corn Chowder


Spread a picnic blanket on the floor and have a family picnic in front of the fireplace on a winter night.  Serve chowder with fresh-baked bread, and toast marshmallows for dessert.

Smokey Mountain Corn Chowder
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 cups milk
1, 17-ounce can whole corn, drained
4 smoked sausage links, sliced (6-ounce package)
1, 8-ounce can lima beans, drained (optional)
In a saucepan, saute (low heat) onion in butter until tender but not brown (onion will be see-through).  Stir in flour, salt and pepper.  Add milk all at once.  Bring to a boil, (continue on medium-low heat), stirring constantly until thick and bubbly, about 1 minute.  (Be careful not to scorch).  Stir in corn, sausage and lima beans.  Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes.  Yield: 6 servings.
From:  Once-a-Month Cooking, by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg, Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, Co.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Setting Organizational Goals: organization part 2



In a revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord told us to "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God." (D&C 88:119) ("Organize Yourselves," Ensign, Nov. 1980).  To me this scripture from The Doctrine and Covenants states the essential purpose of every homemaker.  As homemakers we are to "establish a house."  Our house should have prayer, fasting, faith, learning, glory, order and God as the foundation.  The word establish is defined as:  "To set up; found.  To bring about; generate.  To place or settle in a secure position or condition; install.  To make firm or secure."

In my opinion, being disorganized is simply a matter of having developed bad habits.  I believe being organized can be developed just as any "gift."  Organization begins with the heads of the household.  We must honestly evaluate whether or not we're truly ready for the challenge of being an "organized person."  Just like any gift, the gift of organization requires consistent effort.  Prayer, research, and study are necessary.  

Hide not your talents, they for use were made.  What's a sun-dial in the shade? ~Benjamin Franklin

When I entered the Young Women program at age twelve, I was given a beautiful Personal Progress book. It was white, full-sized, with a picture of the ideal Latter-day Saint Young Woman on the cover.  Inside were six values and homemaking was one of them, as well as my favorite.  We were given excellent step-by-step instruction on how to plan goals.  By following these simple steps, becoming more organized as a goal can be successfully accomplished.

First Evaluate:  What do I want to have happen in my life now and in the future?  Then make a Plan by setting a date for the goal to be accomplished and how this goal will be accomplished.  By having a Target Date, the goal becomes more real.  The plan needs to be broken down into small steps.  It helps to have someone to Report to.  This can be Heavenly Father if the goal is very personal, or it can be to a family member, friend or recorded in a journal.  Last, begin the process again.  The ultimate goal of an organized household can be broken into smaller, achievable goals.

The noblest search is the search for excellence. ~Lyndon B. Johnson

Gordon B. Hinkley, former president of the LDS church said, "We will not become perfect in a day or a month or a year.  We will not accomplish it in a lifetime, but we can keep trying, starting with our more obvious weaknesses and gradually converting them to strengths as we go forward with our lives."
(The Quest for Excellence," Ensign Sep. 1999)

Becoming organized is a process as well.  It can be fun and even addictive (but in a good way).  You may find yourself organizing where ever you go.  Following the goal-setting process outlined in the old Young Women Manuals helped me to earn my Young Women Medallion twice!  And I have been pretty darn organized ever since.  This has brought me much joy.  I've also taught my own children this process and it has helped them to be successful students and earn their own recognitions at church, school and scouting.

Sometimes we can plan to have a goal accomplished by a certain time and devote a particular time to complete the goal (like cleaning out the shed), but it's also true that the best time to organize is when you catch the mood.  For quite some time I may research the best way to organize the shed, and make an inventory of what needs to be in the shed and what to donate, etc. before I actually feel like doing it.  Don't be upset if you have to change the target date.  When I'm "in the mood" to organize, I do a much better job.

80% of success is showing up. ~Woody Allen

Here are some handouts from a previous class I taught on a similar subject:
Goals

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Learning Homemaking Skills

Sister Barbara Winder, General Relief Society President in 1986 said:  “It is important for all of us to learn homemaking skills; whether she is married or single, every woman is a homemaker.

I know a single woman, a widow, who prepares meals on Saturday to last her through the week because she must work long hours each day. At mealtimes, she always has a tablecloth or a place mat, a napkin, and a flower in a bud vase. Her home is artistically decorated and full of wonderful books and beautiful music.

There is an art to being a homemaker. For ourselves and for our families, it is important that we have a sanctuary—a place of refuge away from the world where we feel comfortable and where, if others come, they, too, can feel comfortable.


In Proverbs 31:10–31 [Prov. 31:10–31], we read, 'Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.' In those verses we are told that a virtuous woman weaves fabric, sells linen—her hands are not idle: 'She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.' (Prov. 31:27.) I think that is one of the keys. We should not be idle. We should be constantly using our gifts and talents to build up our families, the kingdom of God, and the community about us.”  (Barbara W. Winder, Ensign, March 1986, p. 20)

Being a homemaker requires developing organizational skills first and foremost.  We are required to set priorities for those homemaking skills we need to develop.  I remember the first time I went to the grocery store as a newly married young woman.  I had $25 for the week's groceries (1988).  I had no list, no menu, no clue what grocery items cost, nor did I have anything at home in the cupboards.  After about 30 minutes, I walked out of the store crying in frustration.  The first thing I needed to learn was how to stock my pantry and prepare meals on a very strict budget—this was a priority. 

Other homemaking skills included washing clothes properly.  I remember receiving so many towel sets as wedding gifts that I need not replace my towels for a good ten years!  However, right off the bat, my towels started showing signs of mildew.  This had to be addressed immediately.  I also learned that I couldn’t spend all day cleaning out a closet.  I had to learn to place a time-limit on tasks—maybe break a large task into smaller ones.

Gooseberry Patch Xmas Bk. 5, p. 99
I had received a couple of recipe books as wedding gifts and began to read them.  I found a list of essential pantry items and budgeted each week to buy these.  I asked more experienced homemakers about the mildew and learned to wash towels with vinegar.  Also, I learned to make sure no wet items were placed in the hamper!  I read articles and books on organizing closets and cabinets and donated many boxes of unnecessary items so that my cleaning didn’t take all day.

My favorite section of the library became home improvement, decorating, cooking, and cleaning.  (I look forward to Gooseberry Patch Christmas Books each year for more homemaking inspiration!)  Educating myself in my spare time was job #1.  Once essentials of homemaking were taken care of, then I was able to concentrate on more advanced skills such as cooking in large batches or giving a dinner party, as well as purchasing furniture, painting, and decorating a room.

Throughout the more than two decades of marriage, I have relied heavily on the homemaking training I have received from issues of the Ensign (old and new).  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ website lds.org, has a Gospel Library where you will find church magazines.  There you can choose the Ensign (also called the Liahona) and look up topics found in past issues by using the search engine.  I have used this for the last ten years since the Church first made past issues available in this way.  I am always recommending this site to other sisters at church who have concerns over marriage issues or questions about raising children, cooking, organizing, cleaning—you name it, it’s there!


Did You Know...
Some of the skills required for a homemaking career include:
1.  Managing time, energy, and resources (including money)
2.  Communicating effectively
3.  Housekeeping
4.  Cooking skills and nutrition
5.  Sewing, mending, and handicrafts
6.  Making wise decisions
7.  Keeping abreast of the times
8.  Applying first aid and sound health principles
9.  Making a home a place of beauty
10. Providing an atmosphere of learning, cultural refinement, recreation, service, and spirituality
11. Mothering, child care and guidance and
12. Becoming a responsive, supportive, and loving companion and wife. (I believe I got this a long time ago from one of my favorite websites www.christysclipart.com --you can also find Christy's Clipart on Facebook).


Hopefully this Homemaker's Journal will incorporate all of these.

For more on the subject: Resurgence of Homemaking in the Church

Monday, January 10, 2011

Zesty Tomato Soup


Just had this for dinner with a salad.  It is so good!  You will not believe how the Chili powder and Monterrey jack cheese changes the flavor of plain old tomato soup from a can.  I like to use only one can of milk so that it's thicker, and I only put a 1/2 teaspoon of Chili powder cause I'm a wimp when it comes to spicy foods.

Zesty Tomato Soup
2 (10-3/4oz.) cans condensed tomato soup
2-2/3 cups water (or you can use milk or combination)
1 teaspoon Chili powder (more or less as desired)
Garnish:  oyster crackers and shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, optional
In a saucepan, combine the first three ingredients; heat through.  Pour into individual serving bowls and garnish with crackers and cheese.  Yield: 4-5 servings.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Easy Outdoor Cooking Recipes


What's more fun than all outdoors?  Why, a winter picnic...an armload of firewood, plus this and that for outdoor cookery, kabobs, hotdogs, marshmallows, apples. 
 ~Shirley Paxman

 Easy Outdoor Cooking Recipes 
These recipes are tried and true!  Make sure your coals are not too hot (tell your husband)!  They are sooo delicious, easy, and have a minimal of clean up.  The box oven is totally cool!  You can bake all kinds of things in it.  They can be reused until the aluminum foil starts to break down.  Usually you can replace the foil.  These recipes will help you to learn to cook outdoors which is a great Emergency Preparedness skill.
Found a great article on foil cooking with every thing you need to know!  
"A Perfectly Portable Picnic," Ensign, June 1983


Box Oven (should be covered inside and out!)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Camping, part 1


Camp Fire Songs 
These songs are from my childhood--we sang a lot!...hayrides, car rides, recess, walking home from school, whenever we were bored, eventually Girls Camp--mostly theme songs from T.V. shows (but they also worked as camp songs!)  (Go HERE for GoogleDocs' campsongs)  Camp Songs 1-6 are actual camp songs from childhood, and some I learned as a Girl Scout Leader and Den Mother (and used as an Achievement Day Leader).  The three songs below are my favorites!
My Google Docs Camp Songs (it's easier)
Camp Songs 1Camp Songs 2Camp Songs 3Camp Songs 4Camp Songs 5Camp Songs 6


Fried Ham
Fried ham, fried ham, Cheese and baloney
After the macaroni, We'll have onions, pickles and lettuce
Then we'll have some  more fried ham, fried ham.

Second verse, same as the first
Country Style--a little bit worse! (repeat with a country accent)

Third verse, same as the first
Baby Style--a little bit worse! (repeat in a baby voice)

Fourth verse, same as the first
British Style--a little bit worse! (repeat in a British accent)

(Come up with more of your own!)

Once A Boy And A Girl
Once a boy and a girl in a little canoe, With the moon shining all around.
He paddled his paddle so, You couldn't even hear a sound.
Well they talked and they talked 'Til the moon grew dim
He said "You better kiss me Or get out and swim!"
So what ya gonna do in a little canoe With the moon shining all around?

Once a boy and a girl in a little canoe, With the moon shining all around.
He paddled his paddle so, You couldn't even hear a sound.
Well they talked and they talked 'Til the moon grew dim
He said "You better kiss me Or get out and swim!"
So what ya gonna do in a little canoe With the moon shining all a--
boats floating all a--
Girl swimming all a-round?
(shout) Kick the boy out!


Sippin Cider (Tune-The Other Day I Met A Bear)
Each verse is sung twice, the first time echoes on each line, the second time yodels the word "cider."
The cutest guy I ever saw
Was sippin' ci--der through a straw
The cutest guy I ever saw, 
was sippin' ci-d-i-d-ider through a straw.

I asked him if He'd show me how
To sip some ci--der through a straw
I asked him if he'd show me how
To sip that ci-d-i-d-ider through a straw.

He said of course He'd show me how
To sip some ci--der through a straw...(repeat)

First cheek to cheek Then jaw to jaw
We sipped that ci--der through a straw...(repeat)

And bit by bit That straw did slip
And we sipped ci--der lip to lip...(repeat)

That's how I got My mother-in-law
And forty-nine kids To call me Ma...(repeat)

The moral of This little tale
Is don't sip ci--der through a straw.

The moral of this little tale
is don't sip ci--der through a straw.
The moral of this little tale
Is don't sip ci-d-i-d-ider
Through a straw--Drink ginger ale! 
Alternate ending:
The moral of This story is
Don't that sip ci--der through a straw.
The moral of this story is
Don't that sip ci-d-i-d-ider through a straw--Sip Root beer!




Photo Journal: Boy Scout Winter Camp 2010  

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