Marti’s Corner – 153

June 6, 2024

Hi Everyone,

**There has been a marked decrease in the cost of Spam.  I know, I know, you either love it or hate it.  Me?  I kind of like it.  But, I was surprised to come across a bunch of articles titled “100 Ways to Use Spam” or “50 Recipes for Spam”.  The only thing I’ve even done with Spam is to have it on a sandwich.  But some of these recipes look pretty good:  28 Delicious Spam Recipes Even the Haters Will Love

** Here is a reminder of how to shut off your gas in an emergency.  How and when to shut off the gas, and how to get it back on.  (1055) HOW TO shut off and restart your gas line in case of emergency

**  You do not always need a prescription to treat a sickness.  Here are some very common, tried and true, ways to alleviate symptoms.  100+ Lost Remedies from Centuries Past – Homestead Survival Site



** Growing tomatoes?  Something is always going to go wrong!  Top Reasons For Tomato Leaf Curling • The Prairie Homestead

Check out this gardening guide:  How to Start a Garden in June: A Checklist | Kellogg Garden Organics™  If you search this website a bit, you can find YOUR zone and get help for your zone specifically.  Here in So. Cal, Inland Empire, we are in 9B.  That means that in the summer we are HOT, HOT, HOT.  Okay, not “10” hot, but purty durn close!

Had to cut off 3 more broccoli leaves covered with millions of little eggs.  Ugh.  It’s those cursed white fluttering moths.  Take time to look under the leaves!

The black berries are starting to come on.  You have to go out every other day at a minimum and see what’s ripe.  I picked about 15 berries today.  I’m hoping to get a big batch soon so I can make jam!  So delicious!

Blueberries are not ripe yet, but I’ve already covered the bushes with bird netting.  Those pesky birds will eat every single blueberry in one day.


Bouillon Salt and Spices

Spices are how we turn our bland food into delicious food.  Turn crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce (canned) into yummy spaghetti sauce with onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning.  You can get dried minced onion, and dried minced garlic at Winco.  I can get dried minced onion at my local grocery store.  

Look for seasonings at WalMart and the Dollar Store.  Winco has all kinds of seasonings in the bulk section.

I actually had to go buy some paprika because I ran out last week.  I think I have maybe two recipes that call for it, so I don’t use it a lot.  I only bought about 1/4 c., but that should last for a LONG time.

Other spices you might want are cumin, nutmeg, chili powder, celery salt, parsley, rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano.  I also have a few packages of taco seasoning.  Just flip through your favorite recipes and make note of what you use most.  I use a lot of cinnamon, so I keep it in a pint jar, and have an extra pint jar in the closet.  Just thinking of hot, homemade bread with butter and cinnamon sugar makes my mouth water – OR a pan of hot cinnamon rolls.  Heaven.

Spices are like everything else, they will last the longest if they are not exposed to air or light.  I put mine into small square snack bags, poke a tiny hole in the bag, and vacuum seal.  Then they go in the back of the closet in a shoe box.  Spices don’t ever go “bad” but they may lose their flavor over the years.

MISC. PURCHASE: matches & fire starters

This is a great time to practice making fires!  Find someone with a fire pit, or just buy one for yourself. This one was about $35 on Amazon.  You can practice with flint and steel, which are good things to carry in your 72 hour kit, BUT it’s not as easy to use as it looks.  Wouldn’t you just rather have A LOT of matches???

Suppose you had to build a fire every day for a year.  How many matches would you need? 

3 boxes of matches, 300 matches per box = 900 matches for $8.75.  

You may also want some fire starters.

Here are 70 pieces for $13.  OR you can make your own.  Kids can help:  10 DIY Fire Starter Ideas  The one with the paper egg carton and dryer lint and paraffin (found in the canning section of most grocery stores) is the one I made.  Then I set it on fire to see how long it would burn.  20 minutes!  I can put it under a big log (no tinder or kindling needed) and in 20 minutes everything will be burning.  No need for liquid gasoline or whatever it is that Craig squirts all over the wood.  

I cannot vouch for the fire starters sold above, but the homemade starters are excellent.  I have not tried the vaseline and cotton balls, but I have used cotton balls in the egg cartons when I ran out of dryer lint.


Homemade Fudgesicles – a good recipe for kids to try

3/4 c. sugar

3 TB flour

1 TB cornstarch

1/4 tsp salt

3 TB cocoa

1 1/4 c. non instant powdered milk (2 c. instant)

Mix in a bowl.  

4 c. boiling water.  Stir milk mix into the boiling water and cook for 1 minute.  

1/2 tsp vanilla – add.

Pour into molds and freeze.  You can use small Dixie cups if you don’t have molds.  If you cover the cups with Saran Wrap, you can insert popsicle sticks when fudgesicles are starting to thicken up.

Hush Puppies

(From my friend Laurie, who grew up in Georgia and made her kids say, “Yes, Ma’am and Yes, Sir.”)  These are SOOOO good.  Serve them with hot dogs or hamburgers, chili, or with anything that might taste good with French Fries.

In a blender:

1 egg

1-2 large onions, cut in chunks

A little milk – just enough to help blend up the onions.


In another bowl,

1 c. flour

1 c. yellow cornmeal

1/4 c. sugar

4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

     Mix dry ingredients and add wet.  You want the batter to stick together so you can drop it into hot oil, but not too runny.  If it’s too dry, it won’t stick together, if it’s too runny, you can’t form balls.  Add milk if you need to in order to get the right consistency.

Form balls and fry in a small pot of oil until light brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Mmm, mmm, mmm

And…. I don’t like onions all that much!!!  But I love these.


    This is the perfect thing for dessert!  Also the perfect thing for breakfast!  Who doesn’t like scones???

It is made with yeast dough, but doesn’t have to rise.  

This recipe calls for 4 c. flour, which is a lot of scones for 2 people, so I’ll put in measurements for the recipe, then measurements for 1/2 a recipe.

1 TB yeast

1/4 warm water (feels tepid on the inside of your wrist)

    Let the yeast dissolve.

2 c. buttermilk – heat until barely warm – add the yeast

1 TB sugar

1 beaten egg

3 TB vegetable oil

3/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

4 c. flour

     Mix and knead.  Let rest a few minutes while oil heats up.  Tear off pieces, flatten in your hand, and fry on both sides. Drain on a paper towel.

Serve with butter, or frosting, or jam, or fruit, or cinnamon sugar, etc.

1/2 Recipe of Scones

1/2 TB yeast

2 TB warm water   Let yeast dissolve

1 c. warmed buttermilk – add the yeast

1/2 TB sugar

1 beaten egg

1 1/2 TB vegetable oil

3/8 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

1 c. flour

Marti Shelley

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