some of the two hundred & twenty - something bulbs I planted last fall are peeking up and blooming. i have been looking forward to spring, and it is living up to my expectations. magnolias, tulip trees, cherry trees and my daffodils and crocuses are in bloom. everything is turning green, our early garden is planted, and the birds are singing.
a generous friend has taught me how to can chicken and dried beans, which i have been excited to learn. it is a tasty and convenient way to add protein to food storage, and are very handy to have on hand. i know that my dried beans in storage will get too hard to enjoy eating before i get to them unless i can them and use them. i never think far enough ahead to have time to soak and cook them for our meals, and so i always open a can instead of using my dried beans.
i have now canned 50 lbs of chicken, fit into 24 quart jars, and 56 quarts of beans. brock figures i have saved over $250 dollars on the cost of buying that much canned chicken from the store. i got this chicken in bulk at $1 a pound. and it is so useful and convenient to have it canned. the dried beans cost me the equivalent of 20 cents a can from the store, 40 cents for a quart jar (not including the cost of the jars, which i will re-use, and the electricity for the stove top canning). 56 quarts of beans equals 112 15 oz cans of beans from the store. the friend who taught me how to do this canning opened up her bottled beans and we taste tested them against bush brand beans, which are her favorite brand.... and we all agreed, the home bottled beans were much, much better. i am also amazed that the 56 quarts of beans barely made a dent in my 125 lbs of dried bean storage. so dried beans will go a long way, but they do get hard after 5 to 7 years and won't soften with any amount of cooking. so it's important to keep rotating them. beans are such a great source of protein, fiber, and many helpful vitamins. i feel much better after adding these items to my food storage.
my mom & SIL traci came for the nauvoo women's retreat last week, which was wonderful beyond words, both the retreat, and having them here for it.
the keynote speaker was mariama kallon, and to quote from the retreat info:
"The keynote speaker is Mariama Kallon, originally from West
Africa, where she endured the horrors of a civil war, watching her parents
killed, her brother taken and later killed, and her sister's legs cut off.
Mariama will share her amazing story of how finding the
helped her endure loss and despair and become the happy, outgoing woman she is
that little blurb doesn't even begin to explain her story. her talk was truly amazing as were all of the presenters. it was all deeply spiritual and inspiring. i was surprised to find that this little retreat, in my opinion, far surpassed time out for women. i was expecting it to be a great experience, but not as incredible as it was. i'm so impressed by the talent of my friends in our ward who put it together.
lexi & my mom
we are savoring our general conference weekend, and our eyes lit up and exclaimations were made when we heard that katsumi kusume, our stake president in japan, father of lexi's first boyfriend, has been called to be an area authority seventy. so who will be the new tokyo stake president? we wouldn't be surprised if it is the father of our dear friend...
chihiro, (shingo's sister), who was married in the tokyo temple on march 28th. (shingo's face is obscured by the groom's in this photo.)
it's been a wonderful week.