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THE Perfect Holiday Pie Crust

 My pie crust making experience this Thanksgiving was, let’s just say, less than perfect.

Step one: gather tools – measuring cups and spoons, food processor, rolling pin, flour sifter, knife and fork. Pre-heat oven

Step two: gather ingredients – flour, salt, some sort of shortening

Step three: measure flour and salt into food processor. Pulse. Measure butter-flavored Crisco shortening and cut into relatively small pieces. Add to flour and salt. Pulse until shortening in pea sized pieces.

Hmmm. Apparently the pantry off the kitchen doesn’t keep the shortening very cold. No pea sized pieces. Just looks kind of gooey. Oh well.

Step four: Pour mixture into a bowl and add small amount of cooooold water. Does not help the gooey factor. Plus, now I’m beginning to realize that said pantry is not cold enough to keep the shortening for six months without going a leeetle RANCID?! Dang it.TURKEY Read more…


Illness is an Emergency

Wow, did I ever crash this weekend.SOUP & CRACKERS

You’re looking at a thick onion-y, garlic-y, strong and salty chicken broth. My mother always buttered the Saltines, so that’s still part of my comfort food when I have the flu.

If colds and/or flu haven’t hit your household yet, or even if they have, here’s a repost you will want to check out. My daughter, Wendy, shares her most positive and proven tips for this special kind of PREPAREDNESS:  “Illness IS an Emergency”

SEPTEMBER ~ National Emergency Preparedness Month

backpackAll through September,  FEMA – our Federal Emergency Management Agency – will be pressing the topic and issues of emergency preparedness, FOR GOOD REASON!

In the spirit of that full-court press, I invite you to visit the website, There are general directions there for major disaster preparedness. But the most useful immediately to you and your family, are the publications that you can access at the publications.

My two top recommendations for this month:

Family Communications Plan for Parents and Kids 

Emergency Supply List

These colorful printable PDF documents address the two uppermost concerns at the time of a general weather or disaster event:

Where are my family members?              How can I best help them?

Do you want peace of mind? These are two areas of preparation you can give attention to that will bring peace. Tuck your emergency plan cards into your wallet or your kids back packs in a sandwich Ziploc; tuck supplies into back packs or 5 gallon buckets or a small rolling piece of luggage. Be creative. Include additional comfort items for small children.


COME ON NOW – You just weathered the Back-to-School Supplies gathering and stashing – an investment in education; Go for the next phase – physical and emotional security – an investment in preparedness and peace of mind for the whole family.



Spokane LDS Home Storage Center News


Brother and Sister Hibberd, new managers at the Spokane Home Storage Center, want us to know about packaged food items ON SALE in September!

ITEM                                                                             REGULAR       ON SALE

Dry Non-fat Dry Instant Milk        1.8 lb pouch          $4.50           $4.00

Pancake Mixes                                  4 lb pouch             $5.25           $4.25

Spaghetti Bites                                 2.7 lb #10 can        $2.50            $2.00

Fruit Drink Mix                               2.5 lb pouch           $3.25            $2.75

If you haven’t shopped at the Home Storage Center recently or looked at their order form, you may have missed newer items such as Granola – 2 lb pouch for $7.00; and Honey – 15.5 oz bottle for $3.25.

The Spokane Home Storage Center is located at 9423 E. 4th Avenue, Spokane Valley, Washington. The entrance is in the back of the building. Open for business hours are Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please call the Hibberds at 509-928-1035 with questions.






Crazy Weather Ahead – Hope AND Prepare.

power-outageWith the snow we have had here in the Northwest, and with higher temperatures, wind and rain predicted in the upcoming days, there are issues you NEED TO BE AWARE of and PREPARE FOR.

#1 POWER OUTAGES – A visit to the website will remind you of preparations you can take to ease the stress of a power outage. We’ve had 6-8 hour outages; we’ve had 6-8 day outages. SO HOPE FOR THE BEST; PREPARE FOR THE WORST.

POINTS site does not address upfront:

  • STORE WATER – 1 gallon per person per day. Get tips on Water Storage here.
  • HAVE FOOD ON HAND that does not require cooking or refrigerating after opening.
  • DO NOT ASSUME that putting meats and dairy products that need refrigeration out in a snow bank (or other snowy/cold location) will be enough to maintain that food at the required 40 degrees F or below for safety. You can put food into a cooler/ice chest with snow packed around it. HOWEVER, the snow should be clean; the cooler should be in a shady spot; the cooler should be checked regularly; a thermometer should be used to monitor the interior temperature of the storage area. Dairy can be consumed as soon as possible. Neither dairy or meat should be consumed if storage temps rise above 40 degrees F for longer than 2 hours.
  • MAKE PLANS AHEAD OF TIME to shelter with a friend, relative or at another location if your home does not have an safe alternate source of heat such as a wood stove.


NO BRAINER – don’t wait until the power outage to review this important information. Print off valuable guidelines and planning tips and put them in a notebook labeled “Emergency Preparedness”

Let Us Anew, our Journey Pursue


Much like the sun, moon and stars in our sky, our individual lives move forward in a pattern of eternal rounds. Every year contains birthdays of loved ones, Sundays of devotion, holidays of joy and reverence, partings with a little pain, harvests in autumn, quiet in winter, flowers in spring and warmth in summer.

Can we benefit from taking note of and building on these annual blessings? I say yes. Can our greetings be sweeter? Might our devotion be brighter? Should our shadow of love and our arms of caring sweep more broadly?

In  a wonderfully silly movie, Groundhog Day, the main character, Phil, is caught in a bizarre cycle of repeating the same day over and over, experiencing similar scenes and encountering the same people. At first, a nightmare, the day ultimately becomes a device to carry Phil towards improvement and greater happiness. In the same way Phil improves his piano playing with more practice, it is possible for us to make small changes in our journey through deliberate practice each year.

Can I practice starting my tomato seedlings just a little earlier, send out my Easter greetings with the diligence I give to Christmas cards, hang out my American flag on June 14th, be on time to church, put sun screen on every day? At the sweetest level, maybe my phone calls to elderly parents and aunts will be more frequent, and my smile more immediate for all I meet.

Come, let us anew, our journey pursue

Roll round with the year and never stand still

‘Till the Master appear.

His adorable will, let us gladly fulfill

And our talents improve, by the patience of hope 

And the labor of love.

                                                                                    ~Charles Wesley





Cold Weather Safety!

Cooking and Living on the Palouse

Baby, it's cold outside!

Baby, it’s cold outside!

Winter Outdoor Safety Checklist:

  • Dress warmly and stay dry
  • Understand wind chill
  • Avoid exertion
  • Avoid ice
  • Be safe during recreation
  • Be cautious about travel
  • Recognize hypothermia

For the rest of this important posted COLD WEATHER reminder, go to the 2013, January  post!

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