Saturday, March 5, 2011

March Challenge - Can Opener

The challenge this month is to purchase or make sure you have a spare can opener to keep with your food storage. You may have one in your utensils drawer already however this may disappear in a crisis.
My thought is that if you are able to get to your canned food, and it hasn't been blown/swept away, if you also have a can opener stored in the same place/container as those cans then you will be able to open them.

I try and purchase ring pull cans as much as possible, however not all cans have those.
I also want to make sure I have a can opener my children are able to use. If (heaven forbid) something should happen to me, they need to be able to open up our food storage as well.
It's a small thing, but it could make such a difference.

Week 10 of the 2011 Food Storage Challenge

$10 Challenge
1 large can tuna and 1 box macaroni cheese

$20 Challenge
2 large cans tuna and 2 boxes macaroni cheese


I know there has been some controversy about canned tuna recently due to the fact that no tuna is now canned in Australia. If you wish to store a substitute (canned ham etc), please do so. There are no hard and fast rules about this storage as long as you are storing something.

The Tuna is about storing a protein. Something that will go with pasta sauce and pasta, or will be quick and easy with canned veggies if you need to. You can eat it cold, you can heat it up it's pretty versatile.

If you want variety, try storing different flavoured tuna. You can get tuna in spring water, tuna in oil and tuna in brine. For a very easy food storage meal, combine two small cans of tuna in tomato and onion with half a packet of cooked pasta. Grate a little tasty cheese over the top (if you have it) and perhaps any green herbs you have in your garden, and there you go. A cheap and easy meal.

Macaroni and Cheese

I'll be completely honest with you here. I really dislike Mac and Cheese. It is like cardboard food to me and I would rather make it from scratch (and do, but I add onion, bacon and tomato in layers of pene pasta...). However, I did store some and when my Husband and I needed to use our food storage, it was cheap, quick and easy to make up and I ate it gladly. It does fill you up, and that's what you're after.

For variety, you could store a different pasta and sauce mix. You can get Pasta Carbonara, Sour Cream and Chives, Bacon flavoured Mac and Cheese, even pene and sauce sachets.

It's up to you what you store for this challenge, so long as you and your family would eat it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bunny mysteries

Some mysteries surrounding bunnies...

When they're so little, can you tell by their behaviour which are male and which are female? I can't say for sure, but my suspicions with both bunnies turned out to be correct. With both lots of baby bunnies, the females seemed to be more curious and adventurous, and the boys were total sooks. Make sure if you have baby bunnies that you don't try and sex them based on this though, because if I'm wrong, you'll end up with more little critters.

What happens when the mother has a second litter when the first one hasn't been weaned yet? In my case, we separated the boys from the girls after 8 weeks (the earliest they were supposed to be weaned) for Pepper's benefit, and at 9 weeks old the boys went to their new home. Checkers, the older sister was surprisingly the one who would play with the babies. Here she is sitting with them, just as if she were the same size as them!

How do bunnies feed? Here is Smokey trying to let Pepper know she was thirsty. Baby bunnies seem to pester their mothers if they can throughout the day, but the Does tend to only feed their babies at night. They are so funny - they wiggle around right against their mothers and roll themselves on their backs and latch on. Sometimes they will only snatch a mouthful or two before Mum realises what they're up to and hops along. Then you're left with a little bunny madly waving its paws in the air trying to flip over and chase Mum again.

Smokey was successful this time, and fed for a while, as it was night time. When they got older, I felt so sorry for Pepper. The babies would kick her in the face, as usually you would get all three trying to feed at the same time. She was so patient with them though. I'm so glad I'm not a rabbit!

Happy family! - and Midnight (black bunny) trying to sneak a feed from Pepper.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

For a rainy day...

Since the beginning of this year I have been putting any 20 cent coins that come my way into a wafer biscuit tin.

This isn't a new idea, it has been something people have been doing for ages, but it is new to me. I have heard about it and thought about it so many times but I guess it was when I was decluttering my kitchen and was about to throw this tin out into the recycle bin when it occurred to me that it would be a great tin for this particular job.
Why 20 cent coins? Well, for me 10 cents was just too little and 50 cents, although would be nice, would just get pinched out of the tin anyway, so 20 cent coins it was.

I found it a little amusing a few weeks ago when I handed some change to a parent of one of my students, and included in the change was a couple of 50 cent pieces. He said "Oooooooh these can go in my tin". He is collecting 50 cent coins the same way I am collecting 20 cent coins. We're not so crazy after all ;D

I have exactly $12.00 in there at the moment. Not bad considering I don't do anything 'special' to get those 20 cent pieces. I don't deliberately go and get change from the shops so I can have more coins. I simply check my purse every now and then (after a shopping trip which for me isn't all that often) and then I put any relevant coins in the tin. Any extra smaller coins that I don't want in my purse go in my 'granny change' jar, which I have been doing for years now. The money in my granny change jar ends up in my kids' bankbooks for school.

I am planning to continue this 20 cent 'challenge' until the end of the year, and then hopefully it will help me a little with whatever I need at that time - whether it is a little extra for Christmas presents, or groceries or a family dinner out. Or it can be banked into savings. I have time to plan that, the main thing is to keep putting those 20 cent coins into that tin!