Marti’s Corner – 149

May 2, 2024


**I watched a great video from my friend, Kris, over at  He shows you how easy it is to make cheese:  How to Make Cheese with 3 Simple Ingredients

**  I am a big food-rotator.  I just opened a can of refried beans dated 2017 and it’s perfectly fine.  My peanut butter was purchased in Aug, 2020, also fine.  MOST canned goods will last for years and years.  Cold cereal–not so much.  


**I’ve already started pruning my tomatoes:  This gardener has a good explanation of how to do this for the different types of tomatoes.  (1004) How to Prune Tomatoes for Maximum Yield and Plant Health

**  These two bean plants were planted at the exact same time.

In the garden they are only about 3 feet apart.  So why the disparity?  Well… the beans on the left get a lot more sun.  The beans on the right get morning sun, but the house shades this part of the garden after about 2:30.  When there are morning clouds, the sunlight can be even more reduced.  They’ll eventually come up, but it really DOES make a difference WHERE you plant things in your yard.

**  Gardening mistakes happen to everyone:

I started these two zucchini plants indoors.  They sprouted and grew so fast, that I didn’t get them out in the sun fast enough.  You can see that the poor, drooping plant just was not able to develop a stem that could hold up the plant.  It will not recover.  I can transplant the other one as soon as I have a space in the garden for it.


I had a nice stockpile of sugar.  But when the price went from $1.50 for 4 pounds to over $4 for the same amount, I quit buying it.  Yikes!  Even at the Home Storage Center, a #10 can of sugar (5.6 pounds) is $8.33.  

4 pounds for $3.96 = about $1 per pound

5.6 pounds for $8.33 is about $1.49 per pound.

I’ve decided the price is NOT coming down, and I’ve used up most of my stockpile.  So, even at these higher prices, I’m going to have to start stocking up again.  

Watch for bargains.  Check sugar every week.  Consider getting a larger bag to save money, and repackaging it in jars, or tupperware, or mylar bags, or whatever.  

I figure we are going to need some comfort food to get through hard times ahead and cookies will do that!

You do NOT have to vacuum seal sugar, or use oxygen packets.  If your sugar clumps, just sift it.  That’s what I do.


So, after encouraging everyone to get a supply of batteries, I did NOT do it, and in the middle of the night the fire alarm started to beep.  This is a beep that happens about every 25-30 seconds and will NOT STOP until you unhook the battery that is dying.  Ugh.  By some miracle it stopped after about 10 minutes and I was able to get some sleep.  

This week:  Safety Pins

I suggest a large container of every size of safety pins.  

Put some in a small baggie in your 72 hour kit.  Put a few in the glove compartment of each car.  Throw a few into your purse.  Such a great invention!  


Cheesy Italian Shells

Make the sauce:

1/4 c. instant powdered milk

1 TB cornstarch

1 TB Italian seasoning

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

     Whisk together and add 3 1/3 c. hot water.  Mix to dissolve milk

Add 1 1/2 c. pasta shells to the water.  

Also add: 1 pint ground beef drained

1/2 c. stewed tomatoes

     Heat with the lid on for 12-20 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes.

Top with 3/4 c. cheddar cheese.  If using freeze dried cheese, add while cooking.  If fresh, add after.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

Homemade tortillas**


2 cans Cream of Chicken soup

1/2 c sour cream powder

1 7-oz can diced green chilies

1/2 can evaporated milk

1/2 c. cheese

Filling:  canned chicken, spanish rice, refried beans, etc.

In a pan, pour a layer of sauce, add a layer or tortillas, add filling and top with sauce.  Repeat 2 or 3 times.

Bake 30-40 minutes at 350˚

** There are lots of recipes for homemade tortillas.  I am NOT good at this, but I have tried it a few times.  Here are two different recipes:

Tortillas #1

4 c. flour

3 tsp salt

3 tsp baking powder

4 TB lard or shortening – cut in

2-3 c. warm water

Tortillas #2

2 c. flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 TB shortening – cut in.  Add 3/4 c. water.  Knead.

Roll out to 7 inches diameter.  Cook 2 minutes each side.  Keep dough covered with towels.


(from the kitchen of Shemay Matson)

In a blender:  add

2 c. water

2 eggs

2 TB oil

2 tsp vinegar

   Blend 1 minute


2/3 c. nonfat powdered milk

    Blend 1 minute


1 c. white flour

1 c. whole wheat flour

2 TB sugar

2 TB baking powder

      Remember you can buy whole wheat flour and nonfat powdered milk at Winco in the bulk section so you don’t have to open an entire #10 can.

Marti Shelley

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