Liz Writes Life 1-27-15

Jan. 27, 2015
Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily news, Yreka, CA in Siskiyou County

Remember Scott Valley Protect Our Water is holding its first meeting of the year this Thursday, Jan. 29th at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. Please bring a dessert to share as we eat before, during and after the meeting!
There is lots of information to share and our speakers include President Andrew Hurlimann, Siskiyou Co. Dist. 5 Supervisor Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Water Users President Rich Marshall, Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s Field Rep. Erin Ryan; and Mark Baird with an update on the State of Jefferson project. Ray said he will address the new suction dredge mining decision by Judge Ochoa. I know that Ray had some agenda-item dealings with the CA. Fish and Wildlife (DFG), so it will be interesting to hear how his first month in office went!
The KBRA, Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, failed a Dec. 31st deadline, but is still hanging-on with an Oregon Senator trying to find monies to take out the Klamath dams. Rich Marshall and Ray will also bring us up-to-speed on that situation.
Last week, Mark Baird gave a presentation on why and how to split from the State of California to the Plumas County Board of Supervisors in Quincy. They are interested. And another Jefferson leader from Placer County, Steve Baird (no direct relation to Mark) presented the financials to the Colusa City Council in Colusa County. Steve has a website up with the financial information along with lots of other facts about why to create the State of Jefferson. It can be found at: SOJ51.net
Food storage
Every-so-often I like to talk about preparedness. Even though the price of our gas has gone down, food and other product prices are still high. For those on a budget or trying to put a budget together, using bulk foods can really be a savings. Beans, rice, flour and sugar are some easy bulk foods to get used to using. And that is the key – anything that comes in a pre-single-use package will be more costly. Many folks also claim nutrition has been lost in pre-packaged foods as well, but I am just going to explore lowering the cost of meals by adding bulk foods.
First, many bulk foods have not been in our diets and our digestive systems will need to get used to them. So introducing oatmeal, beans and brown rice should be done a bit at a time. Personally, I love whole oats and cook them for breakfast, but when making granola, cookies or adding them to pancakes, meatloaf and other items, I use quick oats.
You can purchase 25 pounds of quick oats for about $17 and they will go a lot farther than the single-pouch micro-wave breakfasts. Add your own brown sugar, raisins, cinnamon, peanut butter, jelly or fruit — but not all at one time!
Yes, this takes more time and Mom, Dad or one of the children will need to take charge of the project. Guess that is part of our problem, we have gotten used to the “fast-food” mentality and no longer want to take the time to cook.
So, second, realize that cooking with bulk foods will take more time. But many children love to cook and like to learn, so teach an older child how to boil water and cook up a batch of oatmeal. Praise him or her for their efforts.
I really like granola, but have found it is hard on my teeth. Some of my biggest tooth breaks have been from crunching down on hard granola. I have modified several recipes learning not to bake it so long. Also be sure to add raisins or fruit after it is baked.
An easy recipe for quick oatmeal cookies starts with 2 cups oatmeal, 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon (I love cinnamon), ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ cup butter melted, ½ cup brown sugar and ½ cup raisins. Mix and possibly add 3-4 tablespoons of water. Drop teaspoons of the dough on an ungreased cookie sheet about an inch apart and bake for 10 minutes.
My last batch was a bit crumbly and so I turned it into granola by breaking them apart and baking for a few more minutes. I have used this recipe and added ½ cup of peanut butter – you might need to reduce the amount of water on this one. I love chocolate, so you can add several tablespoons of powdered cocoa (I get it in bulk too) to the beginning flour and oatmeal mixture and then throw-in ¾ cup of chocolate chips.
So, my third suggestion is to realize that you will need to experiment and practice. It is OK, if things don’t turn out as planned. It will likely still be eatable – even if it ends up going to the dog!
Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.
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