Homemaking Tips & Tricks Category

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Homemaking Tips & Tricks


Protect family health today and avoid unnecessary medical expenses in the future just makes good sense. Let me share just a few of the things that we have learned over the last 12-13 years to keep our medical expenses very low.

Homemaking Essentials #3 - Better Health

Welcome back to the next issue of Homemaking Essentials! In the past few articles, we have discussed TIPS FOR THE BEST BREAD, and HEALTHY KID FRIENDLY FAMILY Favorite Main Dish Recipes. If you still have some unanswered questions, please feel free to contact me anytime at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com or call toll free at 1-800-552-7323.

If you have been sticking with me here, you are concerned about family health and nutrition. With medical costs skyrocketing and no end in sight, taking steps to protect family health today while avoiding unnecessary medical expenses in the future makes good sense. Let me share just a few of the things that we have learned over the last 12-13 years to keep our medical expenses very low. At the bottom of this issue of Homemaking Essentials, you can learn about how to obtain a top-of-the line drinking water system for free, now until May 31, 2004.

Years ago I read a book that had a huge impact on me called How to Raise A Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor. This book taught me two principles that have saved our family hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in unnecessary medical expenses. Principle #1 : Most illnesses are self-limiting and will resolve on their own if given enough time. Principle #2: One medical intervention leads to another and leads to another, etc. on down the line. Let me explain further Principle #1:

How many times has your child had a high fever, a scratchy throat, an ear infection, or some other acute ailment that had you calling your doctor's office immediately? Usually they will want to see the patient. Did you know that most illnesses, if given enough time, will resolve on their own? Colds and viruses go away eventually. Many times my kids have had a high fever, a fall, or some other ailment I wasn't sure about. I found that if I wait, and IF SYMPTOMS ARE NOT GETTING WORSE, the ailment will eventually go away. ALL BY ITSELF! I have applied this principle countless times when everything in my mother nature says call the doctor. Meanwhile,I have learned that if I wait a minute, an hour , another day, and if symptoms do get worse, that I CAN SAVE THE COST of an unnecessary doctor visit. I have heard some doctors say that up to 75% or more of patient visits fall into what I call "unnecessary doctor visits".

Let me tell you how we learned Principle #2 in our family: Principle #2 states: one medical intervention leads to another, leads to another, etc. When my 15 year old son was aged two, he started into a cycle of recurrent and repeated ear infections and one round of anti-biotics after another over a period of many months. At that time I didn't know about side-effects from anti-biotics, nor did I know about the possible side-effects/risks of ear surgery for "tubes". Time went on and I thought the ear infection cycle was resolved, until we discovered that Stephen wasn't hearing as well as we thought he could and it turned out the ear surgery had resulted in "holes" in both ear drums that required surgical repair. One intervention had led to another had led to another, and the expenses and stress and strain on our family were mounting. This cycle of interventions can often be stopped at home by making a few dietary changes or by using herbal alternatives.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm NOT saying, "Don't go to doctors!" But what I am saying is that oftentimes we moms tend to over-use doctor visits, and that if an intervention is needed, natural alternatives can be safer and more effective with fewer side effects. Smart moms will read a wide variety of books on herbs, natural remedies, health, diet, and cooking. Self-educated homemakers will learn to recognize when an ailment requires medical intervention and when patience, dietary changes, and herbs may be indicated. I would suggest that you educate yourself with books, newsletters, magazines, and other resources designed to keep you challenged, informed, and encouraged as you seek to fullfill your role as a homemaker. The Urban Homemaker publishes a bi-monthly newsletter on a wide variety of subjects of interest to homemakers called From the Heart of the Urban Homemaker.

Another family health topic, that rarely is discussed in popular magazines and periodicals, is the topic of pure water. Although municipal water sources usually meet EPA standards in most areas of the country, the EPA has set standards for fewer than 100 contaminants of the 50,000 different chemicals that have been produced since 1945. In fact, 21,000 pesticides are in use in the US annually. This amounts to 2.2 billion pounds of pesticides in use on an annual basis in the US. And the residue of these chemicals alone are finding their way in increasing amounts into our drinking water. This is only the tip of the iceberg because since the 1950's with the advent of modern chemical usage, tons of contaminants and residues are being disposed of are showing up with increasing frequency in our drinking water.

There is a growing body of evidence to support the fact that legal contaminants in water, although in very small amounts, are associated with increasing incidences of miscarriage, childhood cancers, bladder, brain, and kidney cancers in adults, and many other ailments. For example, chlorine and chloramines, are used to disinfect public water sources from bacteria. Their contact with organic matter in water creates a compound called trihalomethanes, a contaminant in drinking water, known to be carcinogenic over time. Trihalomethanes are only removed from drinking water by a limited number of water purification technologies.

Other contaminants that leach into the water supply in low amounts include volatile organic chemicals such as pesticides, lead, mercury, and chemicals associated with miscarriage including PCBs, chlordane, toxaphene, and, occasionally, microspcopic cysts such as giardia or cryptosporidium which are temporarily introduced into the water. Local boil water orders generally result from these micro-organisms.

Although the purpose of this short letter is to highlight information of interest to homemakers, I would suggest that pure drinking water is not something any family should take for granted. Filtering the family (and pet) drinking water supply can be very INEXPENSIVE over time yet have huge paybacks in better tasting, pure, drinking water as well as in good health. In a day and age when cancers and other degenerative diseases are increasing and conventional treatments are not only expensive and lengthy, disease prevention seems like a wise course of action.

Since pure drinking water can no longer be taken for granted, it can be a daunting task to sift through the nearly 2,000 drinking water systems on the market. We have developed a short questionnaire that can be very helpful when searching for a drinking water system. It is called "What are the Questions you should ask when evaluating drinking water systems?" The questionnaire is detailed below. At the bottom of this Homemaking Essentials #3, we want to make you aware of how to obtain the best drinking water system for most families for free.


1. Ask for the NSF listing for the specific product(s) you are evaluating. Is the product listed under NSF standard #53 for Health Effects or under NSF Standard No. 42 for Aesthetic Effects or both? NSF standards offer a meaningul comparison to help a consumer understand the standards which were developed by NSF International and adopted by many States for drinking water treatment devices.

2. Ask for the product Perfomance Data Sheet (PDA). Many states require that Performance Data Sheets be provided to all prospective customers of water treatment devices. The data sheet will list which contaminants can be removed.

3. Ask about the service cycle (stated in gallons of water treated) of the device. How often will you need to change the filter and what will replacement filters cost.

4. Ask about the product's flow rate.

5. Ask if the manufacturer or distributor provides a customer satisfaction guarantee or warranty.

6. Ask about the range of contaminants which the unit can reduce under standard #53. (Note: most water purifying devices are certified under Standard No. 53 for turbidity and cyst reduction only. Look for a system that also reduces pesticides, trihalomethanes, lead, mercury, and VOC's. These contaminants are usually the most dangerous and are odorless, tasteless, and colorless.)

Then there is always the question of whether to get a Solid Carbon Block Filter, a Reverse Osmosis, Granular Activiated Carbon Filter, a Distiller, or a Ceramic filter. For a comparison of the pros and cons of the different water purification technologies, check this link: http:tinyurl.com/24kwu

We at The Urban Homemaker, believe the Multi-Pure Drinking Water System can offer superior performance at a better price, and invite you to consider some of the many features the Multi-Pure system offers:

* The Solid carbon Block filter removes scores of harmful pollutants
* Removes over 99% of microscopic organisms.
* Removes lead.
* Removes a wide range of toxic chemicals plus asbestos fibers.
* Removes 98-100% of chlorine, chloramines, and trihalomthanes.
* Has been extensively tested by both NSF International and UL to confirm product superiority.
* Filters waer conveniently at your finger tips. No need to store bottles of water.
* Requires no electricity; runs on household water pressure.
* Easy to install.
* Low initial cost with 0% financing.
* Offers low maintenance costs, average filter lasts 8-12 months.
* Low operating costs: approximately 7 cents per gallon.
* Built to last and comes with a 25 year warranty on the housing and one year warranty on the parts.

Multi-Pure has re-instituted their popular FilterMania Program for obtaining a FREE Multi-Pure System. Here's how it works:

Prepay for ten Multi-Pure filters for the system you desire. Multi-Pure will send the housing and accessories for the system desired plus one filter, along with 9 replacement filter coupons. When you are ready to replace your filter (average filter life is one year) simply send in a coupon along with the shipping/handling fee

For more information check the following URL: http://tinyurl.com/2g70j.

The above information is provided to educate, not to diagnose any illnesses or prescribe any medical advice. You may freely share this information with friends and relatives as long as it is copied in full.

Our next installment, Homemaking Essentials #4, will be called WHY MILL YOUR OWN FRESH FLOUR? I will be explaining about the advantages of freshly milled flour along with a comparison of the different electric and non-electric grain mills on the market. Of course I'll be including a new, easy, delicious recipe for Breakfast Bread and much more. As always, I'm available to answer all your questions on baking and drinking water systems, and issues of interest to homemakers at 1-800-552-7323 or email me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com.


Marilyn Moll
The Urban Homemaker

Copyright 2004 All rights reserved.

Urban Homemaker

HOMEMAKING ESSENTIALS #2 - Kid Friendly Family Favorite Recipes

Kid Friendly Healthy Family Favorite Recipes for the whole family!



In our last installment, I discussed my 10 TIPS FOR THE BEST BREAD. I hope you have identified some tips that will make a BIG difference in your bread baking success. As always, if you have any questions on how to improve your bread baking, please call us at 1-800-552-7323 or email me at marilyn@urbanhomemaker.com. If you want to take advantage of the special price for the Bread Baker Combo, it's not too late!

Today, I'm publishing some of our KID FRIENDLY FAMILY FAVORITE main dish recipes that I can guarantee will please the whole family including the homemaker who gets to prepare the food! I like recipes that use few, if any, prepared or convenience foods. While we avoid additives and preservatives like a plague around here, we aren't obsessed about it. Sometimes we make a few compromises that help us manage our busy lives and still get home cooked meals on the table on time each day.

Remember to incorporate whole grain pasta and brown rice when possible, but if it's not available, use what you have on hand. If you will avoid hydrogenated fats, and preservatives and serve fresh fruits and vegetables as side dishes you will be well on your way to promoting a healthy lifestyle. I have found that gradual changes in the family diet are usually the most long lasting changes that receive the least opposition from children and husbands. The Proverbs 31 woman, brought her foods from afar and cooked for her household. Let us not depend on fast food restaurants or modern food processors as we seek to feed and promote health in our families.

Below I'm publishing just a few of our family favorite main dish recipes. But, please don't think I'm being stingy! I want this email to get through to you. Lots more recipes can be found at our website at the Articles and Recipes section under Main Dish Recipes. Two of the below recipes are from Main Dishes by Sue Gregg used by permission. All the recipes have been tested by me, Marilyn Moll, The Urban Homemaker and my family. Here we go....

This is a real family favorite at our house!

1 # Turkey Italian Sausage or equivalent (turkey sausage lowers the fat grams significantly)
1 Cup onion, chopped
2-3 C. elbow macaroni (whole grain is best), cooked
3 oz. turkey pepperoni, diced or sliced or equivalent
28 oz. pasta sauce
4 oz. can sliced mushrooms, opt
2 oz can ripe olives, sliced, opt.
8 oz double pizza cheese or mozzarella

Brown sausage and onions, drain. In a bowl, combine all ingredients
except cheese. Pour into 13 X 9" baking dish. Sprinkle cheese
on top. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover,
bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese melts. Serves 6. Double
or triple and freeze extra batches for future meals.


With a crispy and flavor-filled coating this recipe will soon become a Family Favorite.

Mix together in a plastic bag:

1/2 Cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne peppe

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Oil a 9 X 13" baking dish with:

2 TB of olive oil

Dip the chicken in a little skim milk to moisten.

3 pounds of cut up chicken

Drop each piece of chicken into the mixture in the plastic bag and shake to coat well.
Arrange pieces evenly in the baking dish and bake for 35 minutes.


1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 TB soy sauce or tamari
2 tsp. curry powder

Pour this mixture over the chicken and bake an additional 45 minutes or until done. Baste occasionally. Serves 6

This recipes is so good, I think its time for me to make it again soon!!

Takes 5 minutes to assemble. Economical, too! Lentils and brown rice mutually increase the protein value of the other. Use Sue's Kitchen Magic for the yummier flavor. If you work away from home, make it in the evening, refrigerate, and pop it in the oven to reheat for 20-30 minutes while you change your clothes and relax. Serve it with a colorful vegetable and salad or "hide" it in a burrito with chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, salsa, and yogurt-sour cream blend. Freezeable! Double or triple the recipe to get some meals made ahead.

AMOUNT: 4-6 servings (about 3 Cups)
Bake covered: 300� F - 2 to 2 1/2 hours

1. Blend all together in a casserole dish except the cheese (wash lentilas and rice, if needed):

3 Cups water + 1 TB Sue's Kitchen Magic or 1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup uncooked lentils
1/2 cup brown rice
1 small onion, chopped or 1/4 cup instanct minced onion flakes
1/2 tsp. basil leaves
1/4 tsp. oregano leaves
1/4 tsp. thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, optional

2. Optional: Cover; let stand at room temperature overnight or for 7 hours for improved nutrition.

3. Bake covered at 300� for 2-2 1/2 hours or until tender and the water is absorbed. Presoaking does not speed the baking. (I cut the water by 1/2 cup and cook the mixture in my Duromatic pressure cooker for 15 mintes and allow the pressure to come down naturally.

4. Stir in grated hceease just before serving; garnish with fresh parsley. For burritos we add the cheese separately while assembling into whole grain tortillas.

This recipe is used by permission from Eating Better Cookbooks Series (6 volumes) by Sue Gregg. All rights reserved.

Baked Parmesan Chicken

AMOUNT: 6 Servings
Bake uncovered: 350�F (175�C) - 1 hour

1. Blend in blender until small bread crumbs are formed; pour into shallow bowl:

1 slice whole grain bread--to make 1 cup crumbs
2 sprigs parsley (for about 1/4 cup minced)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese or 3 tablespoons (for reduced fat)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder>

2. Trim visible fat from chicken pieces; dip pieces in butter or milk; pour any remaining butter into baking pan, or for reduced fat spray the pan with non-stick spray:

2 lbs. skinned boneless chicken breast pieces
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (unsalted preferred)
or 1/4 - 1/2 cup nonfat milk as needed (for reduced fat)

3. Coat chicken pieces in crumb mixture on both sides; place in single layer in baking pan.

4. Garnish with paprika; bake uncovered at 350�F (175�C) until tender, about 1 hour; baste 2 or 3 times during baking. Cover with foil if chicken begins to brown too much before done.

Very juicy and quick. Lay chicken pieces dipped in milk or butter in pan; generously sprinkle crumb mixture over the top. Bake covered.

The Menu . . .
Baked Parmesan Chicken
Brown Rice Pilaf (p. 208) Broccoli (p. 211)
Pineapple Sunshine Mold on Greens (p. 250)
Good Earth Roll (p. 236) (w/out sunflower seeds)
Whipped Butter (p. 221) & Jam (p. 63)

$2.55 - $2.65 Cost, 17% - 30% Fat,
787 - 935 Calories Per Serving

Rustic Ravioli Stew
Here's an easy, comfort stew perfect for a cold winter night.
Prep time:
7 minutes
Cooking time: 17 minutes
Time Saving Tips: To cut prep time, use bottled minced garlic.
Makes: 4 servings

Heat oil in a large saucepan or small stock pot.

1 teaspoon olive oil

Add garlic and onion and saute for 5 minutes.

3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium white onion or yellow onion, thinly sliced

Add broth, water, rosemary and red pepper and bring to a boil.

1 (14 1/2 ounce) can low sodium beef broth or low sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

Add ravioli and undrained tomatoes, bring to boil again. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

1 (9 ounce) package refrigerated chicken ravioli or cheese ravioli
1 (14 ounce) can no-salt-added stewed tomatoes (can use italian recipe-ready version)

Add spinach, and cook another 3 minutes or until ravioli is tender.
1 (10 ounce) package baby spinach, coarsely chopped


grated parmesan cheese or romano cheese or asiago cheese (optional)

Suggested Side Dishes
Whole grain roll

Nutritional Content Per Serving (1/4 of recipe)
Calories - 189 Total fat - 7g
Saturated fat - 2.6g Polyunsat. fat - 0.8g
Monounsat. fat - 2.8g Cholesterol - 66mg
Sodium - 242mg Total carbohydrate - 21.4g
Dietary fiber - 4.5g Protein - 11.6g

Urban Homemaker

HOMEMAKING ESSENTIALS #1 - Tips for the Best Bread

TIPS FOR THE BEST BREAD. At the bottom of the article, you will find a special offer for a Bread Baker's Combination of products followed by my blue ribbon award winning Whole Wheat Bread Recipe.



1. When possible, use fresh home-milled flour with all of the bran and fiber intact for best results. Home-milled flour has the highest nutritional content, and the best baking characteristics for higher rising loaves of bread. Flour used for bread baking should always be room temperature for best results. Flour stored in the refrigerator or freezer must be brought up to room temperature before using.

2. Use high quality yeast such as SAF Instant Dry Yeast. SAF yeast has more live yeast organisms per tablespoon, is more heat tolerant, and does not require the extra step of "proofing" the yeast. If your whole-wheat bread is coming out like a brick, check and make sure that your yeast is still good. I have found that SAF yeast can be stored in the freezer in a moisture/vapor proof container (such as Tupperware) and remain viable for up to four years after it is opened. Unopened, the vacuum packed yeast can be stored on the shelf and remain viable for up to two years.

3. Remember to use warm water. Best temperature is 100-115 degrees for optimum yeast activity.

4. Many successful home bakers find the use of Dough Enhancer, a combination of natural ingredients which includes tofu, soy lecithin, whey, Vitamin C, yeast, citric acid, corn starch, natural flavor, and sea salt, to be quite helpful. These ingredients increase dough strength, and tolerance, aids lightness in bread, and promotes a longer shelf life for home baked goods.

5. If you aren't satisfied with the way your bread rises, consider adding Vital Gluten. This natural protein derived from wheat increases dough strength and the shelf life of bread. (Also, don't confuse Vital Gluten with gluten flour which is a high gluten white flour.) I especially like to use vital gluten when baking breads that contain a variety of grains and seeds other than wheat. I find vital gluten improves the texture of whole grain breads significantly and is essential to successful whole grain breads baked in automatic bread machines. In Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread, I use up to one cup for best results in the large mixer method.

6. Remember that less flour is often best. Too much flour causes dry crumbly bread. Make every effort to keep the dough soft and pliable, but not sticky while you are kneading. Use 1 tsp. oil on your kneading surface or on your hands while kneading and when it is time to shape the dough. This helps keep dough from sticking and avoids using excess flour.

7. Develop the gluten thoroughly The most difficult aspect of mastering bread baking is recognizing when the gluten is fully developed. When dough is properly kneaded it will be smooth and elastic. A quick test for sufficient kneading is to take a golfball-sized portion of dough, stretch between the thumb and index finger of both hands to determine if the gluten is fully developed. The dough should stretch out thin and not tear readily.

8. Although my Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe doesn't call for a first rising or proofing period, you may let the dough proof or raise once before shaping the dough into loaves. This step will develop flavor, gluten framework, and help make light, fluffy loaves of whole wheat bread. Remember, when you are in a hurry, this step is optional.

9. Make sure the shaped loaves only double before baking. (That means a loaf pan half filled with bread dough is ready to bake when the dough reaches the top of the pan.) Only fill the pan half-way two-thirds before the final rising period. A common mistake is to over-raise the bread; the structure of the loaf becomes weak and the loaf may sink or fall before the baking is completed.

10. To determine if the bread is thoroughly baked, the bread should be browned evenly over the sides, top, and bottom of the loaf. Remove the bread from the loaf pans and allow to cool on cooling racks. Finally, be sure to wipe out the bread pans, rather than to wash them, to protect the pans from premature rusting. This step is similar to seasoning castiron cookware.


Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

Hand Method: (yields 2 loaves)
1/3 C honey
1/3 C oil
2 1/2 C Warm Water
1 1/2 TB SAF Instant Yeast
2 1/2 tsp salt
6-7 C Fresh whole wheat flour
1 1/2 TB Dough Enhancer

Large Mixer Method: (yields 5-6 loaves)
2/3 C honey
2/3 C oil
6 C warm water
3 TB SAF Instant Yeast
1 1/2 - 2 TB salt
16-20 C fresh whole wheat flour
3 TB Dough Enhancer

Zojirushi (Auto-Bakery) Method:
2 TB honey
2 TB oil
1 1/2 C water (90 - 100F)
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 C fresh whole wheat flour
2 tsp Dough Enhancer
3 TB Vital Gluten
1 1/2 tsp SAF Instant Yeast

Combine the warm water, yeast, and 2 cups of fresh whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl. Allow to sponge for 15 minutes. Add the honey, oil, dough enhancer, salt and 4-5 C (12-16 C if using the Kitchenetics, Dimension 2000, or Bosch) additional flour until the dough begins to clean the sides of the mixing bowl. Do not allow the dough to get too stiff (too dry). Dough should be smooth and elastic. It is a common mistake for beginning bakers to add too much flour.

Knead the bread by hand 7-10 minutes or until it is very smooth, elastic, and small bubbles or blisters appear beneath the surface of the dough. 6-10 minutes of kneading by mixer method (use speed one on the Bosch or Dimension or the Auto-Knead function on the Kitchenetics) should be sufficient to develop the gluten if you are using fresh flour. If you are kneading by hand, be sure to add the minimum amount of flour to keep the dough soft and pliable.

Form the dough into 2 loaves if using the hand method or 5-6 loaves if using the large mixer method. Allow to rise in a slightly warmed oven or other warm place until doubled in size (about 30-60 minutes).
Bake loaves for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Bread is cooked through when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, and when the top and sides are a golden brown color.

Urban Homemaker

Seasoning Your Dutch Oven & Keys To Controlling The Heat In Your Dutch Oven

Seasoning your Dutch Oven

The hey to successful Dutch Oven cooking is to properly 'season' it. A new Dutch Oven has a waxy coating on it to protect it so when you get a new one it is necessary to wash it thoroughly in mild soapy water.

Seasoning is done as follows:

1) Rinse well and dry immediately, other wise it will start to rust.
2) Use a thin coat of vegetable oil, Crisco, or lard using a cotton cloth. Coat all surfaces inside and out. Do not use butter, margarine or salad oil.
3) After coating all surfaces, put your Dutch Oven in your home oven for one hour at 350 degrees. You may experience an unpleasent odor and or some smoking. Remove the Dutch Oven, and when cooled, wipe it out.
4) Dutch Oven enthusiasts find that 5 'seasonings' makes the cooking surface just about perfect.
5) Over time, your Dutch Oven will take on a patina or black surface. The blacker the better.
6) Whenever you use your Dutch Oven, it is advisable to coat with a thin layer of vegetable oil to enhance and prolong the seasoning.
7)When cleaning your Dutch Oven, use plain water or a mild soapy water. Do not use pot scrubbers such as Brillo.

Keys to Controlling the Heat

1) You can use natural coals such as from a campfire or you can use charcoal briquettes. Use good quality briquettes, such as Kingsford, placed underneath and on top of the oven.
2) To determine hom many to use, take the diameter of the Dutch Oven and subtract three briquettes for the number to use on the bottom and add three briquettes for the number to use on the top. For example, a 10" oven would use 7 briquettes on the bottom and 13 on top. This is the starting point for a 325-350 degree oven.
3) You can raise the temperature 25 degrees by adding 2 briquettes.
4) The number of briquettes will vary some based on the type of food, wind conditions, and air temperature.
5) Keep in mind that hotter is not better. To avoid burning your food, consider cooking longer. As you gain experience, you will eventually get the feel for temperature requirements.

Urban Homemaker

Frequently Asked Questions about Pressure Cookers:

Q: How is the Duromatic pressure cooker valve different than the old-style weight valve?
A: The spring-valve of the Duromatic pressure cooker by Kuhn Rikon allows the user to determine the exact time at which the interior of the pan comes to pressure and, thereby affords much greater accuracy in the timing of cooking. When the first red ring appears, the internal pressure has been raised 8 pounds per square inch above the external pressure. When the second red ring appears, the internal pressure has been raised 15 pounds per square inch above the external pressure.

The weight-valve system on older pressure cookers and on some contemporary pressure cookers has no clear indication of when full pressure is achieved; the user must guess as to when this has occurred. Obviously the spring-valve system of the Duromatic pressure cooker by Kuhn Rickon allows the user greater accuracy in timing and, consequently, superior cooking results.

The weight-valve system allows a great deal of steam to escape. When a large amount of steam is escaping, there is a constant hissing noise, and increased likelihood of a clogged valve, and greater evaporation of moisture. The spring-valve system of the Duromatic pressure cooker allows cooking with less water (thereby retaining more of the vitamins, minerals and natural taste of the food, almost eliminates clogged valves, and is much quieter than cooking with weight-valve system.

Q: At which pressure do I cook most foods?
A: Most foods can be cooked at the higher pressure(second red ring) or 15 pounds per square inch (PSI). Foods that have a tendency to foam such as rice and soups must be cooked on the first red ring. Instruction manuals and recipes will indicate if cooking at the first red ring is desired and cooking times are already adjusted.

Q. Must I alter cooking times at higher elevations?
A: Yes. As you have probably experienced, it takes much longer to cook foods such as beans and brown rice at higher elevations. This is due to the fact that the temperature at which they come to a boil, and therefore cook, is lower than it would be at sea level. This �law of nature� makes a pressurecooker extremely valuable at higher elevations because it allows the
user to raise the cooking temperature and this speeds cooking. In order to compensate for the lower external pressure at elevations above 2000 feet, the cooking times in a pressure cooker must be altered according to the formula below: For every 1000 ft above 2000 ft elevation, increase cooking time by 5%.

Q: What are the benefits of using a pressure cooker?
A: Healthy meals! Because very little water is used in pressure cooking and because the pressure cooker is a �closed system,� few vitamins and minerals are lost to the cooking water or dissipated into the air. Because they are not exposed to oxygen, vegetables not only retain their vitamins and minerals, but their vivid color as well.

Low fat, high protein beans and legumes, healthy additions to any diet, are frequently avoided because of their long cooking time under normal cooking conditions. In a pressure cooker, however, most beans and legumes can be cooked in less than 15 minutes.

Better Taste! This is the direct result of the health benefits explained above. Moreover, for dishes such as stews and pasta sauces the pressure actually causes the ingredients to quickly mingle and their flavors to intensify. Pressure cookers keep the flavor in the food.

Faster Cooking! The cooking times for most foods in the pressure cooker are approximately 1/4 - 1/3 the times for those same foods cooked in traditional manners, and in many instances, faster even than in a microwave.

Some sample times include:

Food Pressure Cooking Time Traditional Time
artichokes 10-14 minutes 40-45 minutes
black beans 10-12 minutes 2 1/2 hours
whole chicken 5 minutes /lb 15 minutes/lb
white rice 5 minutes 15-25 minutes
brown rice 20-22 minutes 45-50 minutes
whole new potatoes 5-6 minutes 25-30 minutes
beef stew 15-20 minutes 2 hours

The decreased cooking time required for foods cooked in a pressure cooker results in proportionally reduced consumption of energy. An additional benefit, especially on hot summer days, is that the kitchen doesn�t heat or steam up when a pressure cooker is used, as it does when conventional cooking methods are used.

Urban Homemaker

HOMEMAKING ESSENTIALS #4 - Why Mill Your Own Flour

Everyone can start healthier living by utilizing nutrient dense, freshly milled whole grain flours.

HOMEMAKING ESSENTIALS #4 - Why Mill Your Own Fresh Flours

Welcome back to the fourth edition of Homemaking Essentials from urbanhomemaker.com. In the last few issues we have been discussing Tips for the Best Bread, Healthy Kid Friendly Main Dishes, Natural Health and Pure Water.

Our next discussion returns to our focus on baking with an emphasis on Why mill your own fresh whole grain flour, how to select a grain mill, and grain mill alternatives? Everyone can start healthier living by utilizing nutrient dense, freshly milled whole grain flours. Freshly milled grains, made into fresh bread has been and continues to be the staff of life despite the current low carb craze. God has provided us with a wide variety of grains and he tells us everything he created is good.

Whole wheat grain contains twenty six naturally occuring vitamins and minerals and proteins as well as high fiber content. Grain is naturally preserved in its shell or inside the bran, and all the nutrition is preserved if the grain is milled at the last possible moment. I would postulate that this is the way the creator intended.

Below I have listed just a few more reasons it makes sense to wish to begin milling your own fresh flours.


1. HEALTH AND QUALITY - Fresh flours taste better and perform much better in whole grain recipes and in automatic breadmakers. If you mill only the amount of flour needed, essential nutrients are preserved. Within 24 hours up to 40% of the nutrients have oxidized. In three days up to 80% of nutrients have oxidized. Whole grain flour includes the bran which is vital for a healthy colon and weight control. All purpose flour only has four B-vitamins not in the original proportions and little fiber.

2. EASY TO STORE - Once the outer hull of the grain is broken, by grinding, flaking or rolling your grains, loose most of the nutritional quality and are an attraction to bugs. Grains stored in buckets tightly sealed in a cool place will last indefinitely.

3. CHEMICAL AND PRESERVATIVE FREE! Countless pesticides and preservatives are found in commercial flours and breads. Also, synthetic vitamins are added back into commercial flours to replace the loss of natural vitamins from the refining process. Home baked goods are naturally chemical and preservative free.

4. VARIETY - When you mill your flour fresh you may enjoy a wide variety of grains such as rye, corn, oats, rice, amaranth, spelt, quinoa, and kamut, as well as dry beans. Home milling is the perfect solution for those who are wheat sensitive or allergic. Varieties of flour are good for rotation diets, economy, nutrition, and variety in eating.

5. ECONOMICAL - Fresh flour is economical! Compare the cost per pound of store bought whole grain flours with the price of whole grains. Grains are always lower in cost per pound because they do not require refrigeration. Stale flours become rancid because the germ oils in the grain become rancid. Rancid oils and flours strain the immune system, speed the aging process and contribute free radicals into our bodies.

6. OTHER ADVANTAGES OF WHOLE GRAINS Milling your own flour from whole grain kernels may be new to you or seem expensive at first. However, when compared to meats and dairy products, grains are the most economical food. Homemade bread can be made for less than a dollar a loaf. Commercial equivalents usually retail for $4.00 or more. Grains can be purchased in bulk for the best pricing if you are able to store the grain in a cool, dry place
and tightly covered.

Most home bakers store their grain in plastic 5-6 gallon bucket. Grains will store for at least a year at room temperture. Flours should always be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, but be brought up to room temperature before using for baking purposes.










If you are still waiting to invest in a flour mill, or not convinced you need one, there is an alternatives to consider so that you don't need to delay your commitment to better health another day. Since most people own a blender, it can be a wonderful alternative producing whole grain batters for pancakes, waffles, and muffins in about five minutes. 

A blender can also be used to make oat flour from dry rolled oats, very coarse cornmeal, or cracked whole grain used for cracked grain breads and rolls. A blender that will crush ice cubes will be able to create coarse grain meal or blender batters.

Another grain mill alternative option is to contract with a friend to grind your grain into flour in her mill. Sometimes church groups will consider a group purchase of a mill that is kept in the church kitchen or another suitable location so that many people can benefit from the freshly milled flours produced.

Copyright 2004 All rights reserved.

Urban Homemaker


This story about The Urban Homemaker originally was written for EducatingforSuccess.com.

About 15 years ago, my husband was growing more dissatisfied with his job, but it wasn't really the job, he realized that God was calling him to be a different kind of father, a father who spent more time at home. Although he had often considered a mail order business, neither he nor I had any idea what we would sell or how a home business would supply sufficient income to enable him to quit a full-time job. Over the years, many father's have found themselves in the position of God having turned their hearts towards their children and their children's hearts towards their father, and many wives have agreed and wanted to get a home based business going so Dad could come home. But how do we do it? Can we trust God to provide for our needs?

This process doesn't happen overnight usually , nor does it happen by an act of our will, or by getting just the right product, just the right website, just the right education, or just the right combination of anything. This is a work of the Lord that he works out in our hearts and through our daily lives over time.

When we decided to be self-employed we did a lot of research into what it means to be self-employed. During the "doing our homework" process an acquaintance told my husband that he believed that "God was having more Christians go into business for themselves in order to get their attention." If you pay attention to the leading of the Lord, I believe a business will eventually be born and thrive sufficiently to support your family as you walk daily in faith that He is able to supply the needs of your family and show you the way in which to go. But He is also wanting to get our attention in order to purify us. Just as Job was brought to the end of himself, so too, God can more easily deal with us in that way in a business because although we in reality are no more or less secure, it is easy to feel less secure.

Let me tell you how God has led our family over the last 15 years. Duane's first attempt at business as a horticultural consultant flopped completely after about six months when the work abruptly stopped coming in. Not having any savings or deep pockets, this was a very difficult time for our family as we literally waited on God daily for our food and enough money to keep our house payments current. During this time, I learned by necessity a lot about canning, preserving and baking, so I continued to teach occasional baking classes in the local park and recreation district as Duane sought out full-time work. Months went by, no steadywork came, our finances and our existence were less than bare bones, but we did not incur debt either and our needs were always met.

One day I got a call from the large city newspaper about featuring me and one of my classes in an upcoming feature on Easter Breads for the Food Section. Wow! My classes filled up and I even added a few classes to the schedule. People wanted to buy some of the supplies and equipment I was using. I started a "newsletter" and a mailing list, keep in mind this was before the days of internet marketing. Enough orders came in to cover the expenses with a little left over to buy a bit of inventory to keep on hand. We wondered, should we keep on doing this business as we were just covering expenses. As we prayed, "Lord should be continue?", a phone call came in asking if I would do a class for a homeschool support group. We took this to mean, keep on keeping on.

A few more months went by, we were now living nearly one whole year without regular employment, just odd jobs and the grace of God. Then one day, the mail came with five copies of a Christian woman's magazine I had subscribed to. Printed inside the magazine was most of the information I handed out in my baking classes with my name and address as well as a letter accompaning the magazines requesting that I consider becoming a regular columnist. Another open door, but what would I write about? Yikes, I don't even like to write! Again, we walked through the open door to see what God would do.

The next month I received 100 letters from magazine subscribers interested in my "catalog" or having bread baking questions. At that time I had a one page "price list" of 10-15 items. I answered each letter personally and sold a little bit of product. I wrote articles for the magazine month by month, got more letters and occasional orders. Finally we decided to make a "catalog", a one page tri-fold brochure, and mail it to everyone who had written to me. I mailed this brochure with a newsletter to my little mailing list and got more orders. Enough orders came in and I decided to do another catalog - five pages now - and get a table at the homeschool conference.

My little avocation/hobby was turning into a business that made enough money that I could actually save some money each month.

After about two years of producing occasional catalog mailings we were faced with the decision of whether Dad should come home full-time to help me or if I should manage the business on my own and hire help. Eventually we made the step of faith for Dad to come home. Now we had to adjust to Dad taking over "my work" to do the work "his way".
Business prospered and we knew God had done it all, in His time and in His way.

God had our constant attention, as shortly after the decision for Dad to come home was made, one of our main suppliers started giving us grief and refused to sell to us anymore. The magazine I wrote for, our only advertising avenue and source of prospective customers, stopped publishing. It looked like the business was now done for. I wondered, "Why did I ever go into business in the first time?"

Nearly 10 years have passed since I thought we were out of business. We experienced huge business expansion and prosperity during the Y2K craze, of 1998-1999 followed by years of flat business. But we are still in business.

Duane has always wanted to have a family business to get the children involved in from the beginning. When they were younger, we used to pre-sort the catalogs and prepare the mailings around a table set up in our family room for what seemed like weeks at a time.

When the children got older, Laura, our oldest daughter, started answering the phones to take orders and answer questions at age 13. When business boomed and we couldn't get enough help, she did the shipping. She learned how to determine the best way to ship a package, whether via UPS or USPS. She learned how to maintain and order the box inventory and as well as maintain postage in the postage meter. She learned how to inventory product so we could keep the inventory replenished. She has learned to use her time wisely, set priorities, complete schoolwork and work for us at the same time. She has learned the daily discipline of working and maintaining priorities. Since she has always been paid for her work, she built up a substantial savings account over time which has paid for pursuing many of her outside interests including phototgraphy and Bible school.

My son, Stephen, at age 8 started out running packages up and down stairs (we did our packaging in the basement), and putting away incoming inventory. Later he learned to "pull orders" from inventory prior to their being boxed. Now he has learned how to handle all of the shipping. He has attended Ebay U and wants to sell some stuff. He wants to learn how to invest money wisely and get a return. We want him to master Cashflow 101. Mary, age 9, prepares outgoing catalog mailings weekly and does all the house cleaning and lunch dishes, enabling me to attend to my responsibilities in the business. In fact, she wants to eventually have her own cleaning business.

While our family and children have learned many job skills over the years, we have also learned that working with family members involves more than give and take. Resentments can build up when communication is not open. Asking for and giving forgiveness may be hard. Submission to authority teaches us to submit to our Lord. Envy and jealousy, and all kinds of fears associated with owning your own business can get in the way of doing what God has tasked us to do. Keeping on keeping on can get tedious.

We learn to "count it all joy when we face trials of various kinds" and that "In repentance and rest is our salvation, in quietness and trust in our strength" when business is flat. We have learned that "God will fulfill, his purpose, for me;..". (Ps 138:8) We learn to apply Romans 8:37 "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us, and that nothing else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." We learn to apply all kinds of scriptures daily as the needs arise and that if we trust in the Lord with all our heart he will direct our paths.

When Christians go into business God gets our attention. He works it all out in His time, as we are faithful to do what he calls us to do. The Urban Homemaker, our family business, has spent the better part of a year re-doing our website with outside professional help at considerable investment in time and money on our part. We are committed to teaching "old fashioned skills to contemporary people" and we offer bread baking equipment, products for better health, and related books in the Spirit of Titus Two. We send out a semi-monthly e-newsletter committed to offering information of interest to homemakers, book reviews, family favorite healthy recipes, and occasional product specials. We remain committed to teaching old-fashioned skills to contemporary people so that they may fulfill the Titus Two mandate.

We hope that you will visit us on the web at www.urbanhomemaker.com visit , request our catalog, sign up for our e-newsletter and let us know what you like and don't like about our new website. We are here to serve you and learn with you as we seek His kingdom until the Lord returns.

Urban Homemaker


Untitled Document

by Amanda Formaro used by permission.

(Ed. note: Getting organized is the best strategy I know for keeping little ones happily and purposefully active. Plan ahead by saving needed supplies before you plan to make the suggested instruments. Make one or make all and most of all have lots of fun with those little ones.)

For any of these activities, you can leave the items plain or decorate them. If you need ideas for decorating these projects, try any of the following items. We are sure this list will help you think of even more items you can use. Combine different things such as buttons and glitter or sequins and yarn. Let the children's creativity surprise you!

Keep some or all of the following items in a large see-through plastic storage container for easy access and quick clean up:

sequins, buttons, yarn, ribbon, masking tape, beads, glitter, sand, cellophane, construction paper, magazines, photos, crayons, markers, colored pencils, paint, and nail polish

When you are finished constructing your instruments, have a camera ready to take a picture of the band. Record this activity in your child's scrapbook so you can look back in years to come.


2 paper plates
stapler or glue
hole punch
jingle bells

Staple or glue two paper plates together, facing each other. Using a hole punch, make holes around the plates and tie jingle bells to the holes with string. Decorate the tambourine with crayons.

Shake to play.

Note: Heavy duty paper plates may be more durable for this craft.
Safety note: If using a stapler, an adult should do this. When finished be sure to cover the staples with scotch tape.

empty oatmeal box with cover
2 pencils
2 spools
construction paper

Before beginning, you can decorate the oatmeal box with construction paper and/or crayons for a colorful effect.

Place the cover on the box. Use a pen to make a hole in the center of the cover and in the center of the bottom of the box. Through these holes, pull a piece of yarn long enough to hang around child's neck and down to their waist.

For the drumsticks, place the spools at the ends of the pencils, secure with
glue if necessary.

Beat to play.


ruler or stick
nail polish
mixing spoon

Hang the washers from the ruler or stick with pieces of string by wrapping
the string around the ruler or stick and securing. Strike
the washers with the mixing spoon to play.

Note: You can make this craft colorful by painting the washers first with different color nail polishes, such as red, gold, glittery, etc. Parents should supervise this part of the activity closely.


paper towel roll
waxed paper
rubber band

Cover one end of the paper towel roll with waxed paper, secure it with a rubber band. Punch a row of holes along one side of theroll with the tip of a pen. To play, sing a tune into the open end of the horn.


two matching pot covers
yarn or ribbon

Tie the ribbon or yarn around the handles of the pot covers. To play, striketogether.


tall glasses or jars
mixing spoon

Fill the glasses or jars with different amounts of water. The more water and the glass, the lower the pitch will be. Having less water in the glass or jar will raise the pitch.
To play, gently strike the glasses with a mixing spoon.
Note: This instrument should probably be played by older children in "the
band" because of the use of glass.

pocket comb
tissue paper

Fold a piece of tissue paper over the tooth edge of a comb. To play, hum
hrough the tissue paper


empty shoe box
rubber bands
ruler or stick
Remove the cover from the box. Stretch the rubber bands around the box.
Attach the ruler or stick to the back of the box on one end
to act as the arm of the guitar.

To play, strum or pluck the rubber bands.


2 paper towel rolls
hole punch
4 jingle bells
string or yarn
Punch a hole in each end of the paper towel rolls. Tie two jingle bells to each side of the paper towel rolls by running string or yarn through the holes and carefully tying off.
Shake to play.
Have fun and let creativity and imagination run wild! Record the band's first
song and play back for some great giggle time. Enjoy!

Author, Amanda Formaro, is the mother of four children. She is the owner of the online family magazine, www.FamilyCorner.com.

Urban Homemaker


by Lorrie Flem, Publisher, teachmagazine.com

"Do you know what causes this?" asked the lady who thought she was asking an innovative and witty (Believe me. Neither is true.) question while looking at our 6th sweet baby, Kiley. At times you want to avoid an uncomfortable question, one you would rather not answer for one reason or another. Maybe it's too personal; "Are you going to have any more children?" Perhaps it would require too lengthy a response; "Well, we were going to add on to the house but then Jim fell off the roof and broke his . . ." Or you are afraid the answer may offend the one who asked the question; " Do you believe women should wear pants?" asks the nice lady wearing slacks. A good way to divert a question and possibly avoid answering it entirely is to ask a question of your own.

Recently I was questioned about the wisdom of having such a large family in today's economy. The questioner was concerned that we were probably depriving our children of vital things. Let me ask you a few questions. Not to circumvent the answer to her question, but to answer it.

Am I depriving my children of social interaction? They live in a family with 8 brothers and sisters and a mom and a dad. They have a grandma and grandpa that live across the street and 2 more that spend a few days with them at least once a month. They go to church once a week if not more often and we have a weekly Bible study in our home. We have swimming, piano, and Spanish lessons weekly and participate in a weekly homeschool co-op.

We have found that time spent with a variety of ages, like God designed the family, is healthier for positive, unselfish attitudes than in artificial environments with children of all one age group. So am I socially depriving them by surrounding them with these people and activities? They learn on a daily basis the fun that can be had with people of all ages and the give and take that goes with it. They are learning to understand that their activity desires are not always going to be met. Sometimes what they want is not the best choice for our family. They are learning about real life.

Am I depriving my children of love and attention? I make sure to have some one-on-one time with each of them weekly. John loves to keep me up with current events. Levi and I can wash dishes together. Drew often accompanies Jay and I on errands. Dessaly folds laundry with me. Kiley and I go high and low together and get the dusting done in half the time. Haley likes to walk up to the mailbox with me. Luke loves to sing songs with me. During all of these we have time to talk alone together. I give them individual attention whenever one of them is hurt, disobedient, or tells me that they need it either verbally or non-verbally.

Perhaps the best answer to this question would be to tell you that each time we have had a new baby the other children embrace the newborn with open arms. They argue over the honor of holding him and later playing with him. My little ones look up to their older siblings and the older ones happily help care for their needs, most of the time with no parental prompting. They learn from living in a large family that their needs are not always going to be met as soon as or in the way they want. They are beginning to learn that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Am I depriving my children of a 'normal' family life by having a large family? Soon after James was born our nearly sixteen-year-old son, John answered this question eloquently, "You know Mom, before James was born I was nervous about our big family. We already stick out so much in public and another baby would even make it worse." I'll remember this poignant moment the rest of my life, then he lovingly gazed down on his fourth brother closely cuddled in his arms against his chest, "I hope we have a whole bunch more." In a large family children learn that life does not revolve around them, their desires, or their preferences exclusively. They learn that mommy and daddy's love for them, and their love for each other is not diluted by having more children, but that it is a given they will always be able to count on. They are learning about real life.

Am I depriving my children by having them eat a banana or an apple for a snack instead of a bag of potato chips? I try to feed them the best fuel for their growing bodies. Which of these is superior? Child obesity is a problem on the increase in the United States. By cutting back on just a single bag of potato chips each week you will save $104.00 a year and make the better choice. Their taste buds do not always call for the best decision. They are learning that what we want is often not the wisest choice. They are learning about real life.

Am I depriving my children by having them drink water with each meal instead of milk, juice, Kool Aid, and soda? Americans don't drink nearly enough water. Besides, who made water? Do you want to argue with Him? By cutting out just one glass of soda per person per day would save $136.87. For a family of our size with 9 drinkers � well of soft drinks � $1231.83 a year would be saved to say nothing about our health. They are learning that the smart financial decision does not always involve large sums of money; a penny saved is a penny earned. They are learning about real life.

Am I depriving my children by not taking them out to eat at fast food restaurants very often? The quality of this food is appallingly low and the caloric content is atrociously high. Not to mention the mixed message I send by trying to teach them to make healthy eating choices by encouraging them to snack on carrot sticks and then feeding them French fries. Besides, I am blessing my children with a healthy marriage relationship. By not grabbing a bite to eat for lunch or a pizza on the way home even once a week at $10, I save $520 a year and Randy appreciates that. They are learning that a woman can be a helpmate to her husband in the decisions she makes. They are also learning that the advertising we are surrounded with is not necessarily showcasing the smartest thing to buy. They are learning about real life.

Am I depriving my children by not buying them every toy they like? Do I let 3-year-old Lukey eat all the chocolate he wants? Not unless I want him to be sick! I don't give my children everything they want. It isn't good for them and as a mother who loves her children, I try to give them what is good for them rather than what they want. Besides, watch them and you will see that they tend to play with a few favorite toys over and over. They are learning that often less is more. They are gaining a valuable life skill, the joy that comes from sharing your blessings. They are learning about real life.
Am I depriving my children by not purchasing each new piece of attire they see and want? Do I buy them the sweater that "everyone else has?" Not if I want them to learn that Godly attire is more often than not, not "like everyone else's." Just like with toys, they tend to wear a few beloved pieces of clothing anyway and they are learning how to carefully pick what to spend money on. They are learning that new clothes are new whether they come from the local thrift store, a friend, or a trendy department store. They are learning about real life.

Am I depriving my children by not buying them each a car or paying for each of them to go to college? Speaking from personal experience here, a car and 4 years of private, liberal arts college education does not ensure they learn to give it the best care and appreciate them. In fact, it probably has the opposite effect. A college degree does not equip you with the most important knowledge, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Cars and college education are probably more effective when they are paid for, at least in part, by the student. They will gain an increased awareness of the value of a dollar. They are learning that you have to work for what you want. They are learning about real life.

Am I depriving my children by choosing to stay home with them? I don't work outside of our home in part to protect them from the detriments that come from having lots of interaction with children of the same age, multiple cans of soda pop, bags of potato chips or Big Mac's a week, expensive (not necessarily the best because expensive is not synonymous with better) toys and clothing, and becoming latch-key children. If I were to go to work so my children can have these things the world would not consider me to be depriving them. If I become so active in church and other outside the home commitments that I am not there to kiss Haley's owies and listen to Drew's jokes, even most of my Christian acquaintances would not consider me to be depriving my children. But I believe I would be.

So am I depriving my children? Am I aware of what causes this? Thank you for asking and yes, I most certainly am.

Visit Lorrie at teachmagazine.com

Urban Homemaker

Vapo-Seal Waterless Cookware

Why is heavy-duty, 304 Surgical Stainless Steel cookware the healthiest cookware to use?This set makes the perfect wedding or anniversary gift!

Because you can cook without oil or water. This is called "waterless cooking." Oil and water are the two great destroyers of flavor and nutrition.

Traditional cooking methods waste nutrients and energy. The more water you use, the more nutrition you are pouring down the drain because water dissolves the nutrients. Almost 50% of nutrients in food are lost when food is boiled. Using waterless high-quality cookware you'll retain nutrients and flavor by cooking on low heat with little-to-no water. The fit of the vapor-sealed lid is made with precision so that no flavor or nutrients escape into the air.

With heavy-duty 7 ply stainless steel cookware:

* You can fry chicken without a drop of oil.
* You can cook juicy hamburgers with no oil.
* You can cook delicious carrots with only a tablespoon of water.
* You can cook meats and poultry with 70% less shrinkage.
* You can cook in 14 the time, with 14 the heat.
* You can cook vegetables which are so tasty, you will hardly need seasoning.

The Wonders of Waterless Cooking

Here are some comments from happy housemakers:

Not tired after eating anymore. "I no longer feel tired after eating. I used to feel so drained after a meal, I would go to sleep. Now, I have real energy after dinner. Three cheers for waterless cooking!" -- Virginia

Stomach light after eating. "I used to feel so bloated and full after eating. Everything felt like lead in my stomach; like an iron ball from a cannon. No longer. Since my wife changed to waterless cooking, everything feels light." -- New York

Better than Kentucky-fried chicken - without the grease. "My fried chicken is tender as baked chicken." -- North Carolina

Extra juicy Hamburgers. "My hamburgers are juicier than ever. They hardly shrunk at all. They used to be so dry. We cook hamburgers with no oil -- even lean ones," -- Texas

Roasts are so tender, they melt in your mouth. "You really had to chew hard to eat my old roasts. Now, they are so tender, they just fall apart in your mouth."

Amazingly sweet cabbage. "The cabbage my wife used to make was horribly bland. I always used to get indigestion. Now I am amazed at the sweetness."

Cauliflower no longer gray. "For years my cauliflower would turn gray when I made them in my aluminum pot. Not anymore. They are as white as when I first put them in. They taste better too." -- New York

Food is much brighter. "I can't believe how bright and colorful my vegetables are after cooking. They are almost as fresh and bright as before I cooked them."

Best applesauce I ever made. "I always wondered why my kids never liked my applesauce. Now all of a sudden, everyone wants seconds." -- New Jersey

You can bake on top of the stove: With the 7-ply cookware, the heat is so even, you can easily bake pies, cakes and breads on top of the stove.

STOP cooking the old way! Stop using archaic cooking methods which destroys the taste of food. Most cookware is designed to last only 1-2 years. Our sets have a Lifetime Warranty! Vapor-sealed lids -- the secret to great cooking. The fit of the vapor-sealed lid is made with such precision, that NO flavor or nutrients escape into the air. If you can smell food cooking, it means you are using the wrong cookware and too high heat.

The DANGERS of popular cookware:

Aluminum: This is the worst cookware you can use. Aluminum is a dirty, filthy metal. It can cause every disease from headaches to cold sores to Alzheimers.

Teflon and Enamel: These chip very easily and can end up in your food. They are aluminum based.

Glass: This burns very easily and causes food to stick.Light-weight department store stainless steel: These are so thin, they burn nearly everything.

Our complete 17-piece Vapo-seal set contains:

A. 112 Quart Saucepan
B. 212 Quart Saucepan
C. 312 Quart Saucepan with 3 Quart Steamer
D. 712 Quart Dutch Oven with High Dome Lid.
E. Rack Insert for Dutch Oven with five egg cups for poached eggs, desserts, and puddings.
F. 11-Inch Skillet with two handles for safe, easy use. Includes Cover. The High Dome Lid also fits the skillet - This makes for a great chicken fryer.

This set makes the perfect wedding or anniversary gift!

Remember, it has a Life-time Warranty. Compare and Save!

This is the same set sold everyday in home parties for over $1600.00!!

If you haven't tried my blue ribbon winning Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe, here is the link to the recipe.

Urban Homemaker

OPEN FORUM - Phone Seminar Transcript - November 3, 2005

Transcript of "Open Forum" Phone Seminar
November 3, 2005
Notes taken by Heather Tully

2 Parts to this seminar: 1) Updates/Information & 2) Questions and Answers

The topic for the next phone seminar on November 17, 2005 is vintage home keeping and hope chests. Our feature guests are Martha Green and Rebekah Wilson, both authors are introducing new books just in time for Christmas.

Marilyn is now contributing to a website that offers free menus sent to your email each week. Be sure to check out HYPERLINK " http://www.menus4moms.com/kitchen/weeklymenu/archive/ and sign up to receive the menus4moms discussion digest at this website.

New Product: Aqua Dome - Multi-Pure Drinking Appliance: This new product retails for $179.95, but with the savings certificate you can now obtain solid carbon filtered water system for $79.95, for a limited time.

Aqua Dome Drinking Water Appliance, which is NSF certified, and offers the highest quality water, removing many different contaminates!!! Much more convenient, economical and effective than bottled water. The filter connects to your faucet. The system is appropriate for either your kitchen or bathroom sinks and connects to the faucet with an adaptor.

Email Marilyn for a $100 savings certificate to purchase the system or to obtain the business opportunity information. If you share this opportunity with four friends, then you get another system free or credit towards a stainless steel unit ($179.95 credit). Email Marilyn at: marilyn@urbanhomaker.com or :urbanhome@tds.net. Please include your snail mail address and phone number so we can mail the coupon and product information material to you.

We still have complimentary copies of The Maker's Diet Books and the Fall 2005 Issue of The Old Schoolhouse available for any order of any size. Request Freemakersdiet for the book or item #6000 if requesting a copy of The Old Schoolhouse.

Questions and Answers:
How do I get my bread to not be so heavy? Here are some key points to remember when making bread:
Soft White Wheat or pastry wheat should be used when baking with baking powder such items as cookies, cakes, biscuits, pancakes (NO YEAST!) while Hard Red Wheat should be used for yeast breads because of the higher protein content. Try using spring wheat vs. winter wheat because it has a higher protein content which enables your bread to rise better. Spring wheat is planted in the Spring harvested in the Fall.

Add vital gluten to your bread making process. This will give your bread a protein boost and help it to rise better making softer, fluffier bread. (You could also add white flour, but this is not recommended as it compromises some of the nutritional value of whole grains.)
Marilyn recommends playing with the measurements for the vital gluten based on your taste preferences, but a good place to start is to add 1/3-1/2 cup vital gluten for 2 loaves or 2/3-1 cup when making bread from the Bosch or other large mixer
White wheat and read wheat are basically the same nutritionally, with the difference being the color and taste. (The white wheat is much milder in taste and lighter in color than the red wheat.)
Remember to pack your soft wheat into a measuring cup (like you would for brown sugar) when measuring the pastry flour for baked goods. This pastry flour can be used to replace all purpose white flour cup for cup in any recipe not containing yeast.

Should I use Sucanat or Turbino?
Author Sue Gregg, in her book titled "Desserts" recommends using Sucanat because it is less refined than Turbino, contains the original vitamins and minerals found in sugar cane juice, and has less effect on blood sugar.

How do you have time to do it ALL?
Remember to have balance in your life. God's ways are never burdensome! Try making one change at a time. Gradual change is much more likely to be permanent change. If you are feeling overwhelmed, just do the next thing, and avoid the tendency to be perfectionistic or take an all or nothing appoach.

Any tips for avoiding the flu?
a. Drink 2 quarts of filtered water each day!!!
b. Remember to wash and rinse your hands for at least 20 seconds. Don't forget to teach this to your children!
c. Herbalists now recommend using Elderberry vs. Echinacea to help build up your immune system to avoid getting the flu. Take 4 times a day if you are exposed to the flu and 6/day or every 2 hours if you have the flu. Shonda Parker's product of choice is Yummy Yarrow with Elderberry.

Can you recommend a juicer that will work for wheat grass, vegetables and citrus?
Omega 8003/8005 (see our catalog for prices): this juicer is great for wheat grass and vegetables! It will do some citrus but Marilyn recommends using a handheld juicer for that.
Remember to grow your wheat grass indoors (a kit is sold in the catalog), letting it grow to 3-4 inches before cutting it. See the book "The Sprouting Book by Ann Wigmore for more information on seeds to sprout and/or juice.

What is the difference between the Kitchen Aid and Bosch?
The main difference between these two products is power or watts. The Bosch is more powerful, making it better to use for wheat breads. The Boshc has 700 watts and a switch that automatically shuts it off if it were to be overloaded. Another difference is capacity: the Bosch can make 5 loaves of bread at a time while most Kitchen Aid's only can do 2 loaves. Also, the Bosch comes with a six cup blender. It is lighter in weight than a KA and takes up less counter space.

How can I get my yogurt to be less runny?
Marilyn recommends using gelatin, instructions are found in the catalog and at the website. A caller recommended adding additional powdered milk to thicken the yogurt.

Is it ok to grind flax seed in a Nutrimill?
Do NOT grind it in your Nutrimill but instead use either a coffee grinder or blender. All the high speed mills are recommended for dry beans and grains. Some customers have mixed flax seed with grain and successfully milled the flax that way.

Do the bread pans that you sell have a coating on them?
Yes, these tinware pans do have a light, nonstick coating but the pans still must be greased. Bread pans should be wiped out rather than washed if possible. While some worry about the aluminum bakeware, remember it should never be used for cooking under these two conditions: 1) when cooking with acidic food like tomatoes or 2) when stirring a pot with an aluminum spoon. Also, Teflon should not be used for baking at 500 degrees or higher but is okay if the temperatures are below this.

What kind of Coconut Oil should I use?
The authors of the book "Eat Fat, Loose Fat" recommend using organic extra virgin coconut oil. Be sure to listen in on February 3, 2005 when the authors, Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, Phd. will join us! A caller recommended a brand of virgin coconut oil called Nutiva , which can be bought for $55/gallon with NO shipping at "http://www.nutiva.com"

What is Whey?
Whey is the liquid part of milk when it curdles. If you strain yogurt or kefir with cheesecloth, the clear liquid that separates from the curds is the whey. It can be used with fermented vegetables and in baking. You can add 1 tablespoon whey per cup of waterif soaking flour in the 2-stage process of bread making.

Again, if you are interested in the $100 Off coupon to purchase Multi-Pure's new Aqua Dome Drinking Water Appliance, email or contact us at urbanhome@tds.net with your phone and address, and we will get the information to you.

The next phone seminar will be Thursday November 17, 2005 at 9:00 PM EST. Both Rebekah,Wilson and Martha Greene will be my phone seminar guests when we talk about Vintage Homekeeping and Hope Chests.

Both Martha and Rebekah will be talking about their new books coming out just in time for perfect Christmas gifts for the young daughters you are training up to be keepers at home! Read more information below about Martha and Rebekah's upcoming new books and phone seminar.

For the transcript of the Phone Seminar from THE MAKER'S DIET on 10-20-05.

For the transcript of the Phone Seminar with Sue Gregg on 10-6-05.

To download my free ecookbook Fast and Health Recipe for Busy Homeschooling Moms, click on this link.

To receive my free newsletter ON MY HEART which is published twice a month with information, product updates and reviews, delicious recipes and much more in the spirit of Titus Two, click here.

If you haven't tried my blue ribbon winning Marilyn's Famous Whole Wheat Bread Recipe, here is the link to the recipe.

Complimentary copies of our 64 page catalog of products for homemakers is available here.

Urban Homemaker

5 Steps for Busy Families

Getting Started In Traditional Nutrient Dense Diets

1. Buy whole grains and legumes in bulk, and learn to
prepare quick breads and yeast breads using the
2-Stage Process. Soaking, fermenting, or sprouting the
grain allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful
organisms to not only neutralize the phytic acids, but
also to break down complex starches, irritating tannins
and difficult-to-digest proteins including gluten. For
many, this process will lessen or eliminate their
sensitivities or allergic reactions to particular grains.

2. Avoid commercial, boxed cereals even if made with
whole grains.
These cereals, although convenient, are
expensive, low in nutritional value, and difficult to digest
because they have not been properly prepared. For
best nutrition, think ahead, soak your oatmeal or other
whole grains overnight and enjoy a more nourishing,
economical alternative. Our family favorite Hot Whole Grain Recipes are at this link. Use Stainless Steel Cookware and Stainless Steel Bakeware for best results.

3. Use a variety of high quality fats including saturated fats, and
learn to make simple salad dressings and
mayonnaise. High quality fats include butter, sesame oil, coconut
oil, palm oil, and olive oil in ALL food preparation. Homemade
salad dressings use quality ingredients at a fraction of
the cost of bottled salad dressings which may contain
additives, highly processed oils, and other

4. Master brown rice preparation (below) as it is
economical, nutritious, and tasty. Start soaking rice at
breakfast. Consider investing in a rice cookers.

5. Make stock for soups, stews, and cooking grains
Homemade meat or fish based stocks are
very high in minerals, nutrients, and other factors that
make them very nutritious. Homemade stock is
economical and the foundation of many low cost
meals. Use a large stainless steel stock pot for stock making or to save time use a Duromatic Presure Cooker.

Basic Brown Rice
Brown rice is the highest of all grains in B vitamins, and
it also contains iron, and vitamin E. Nourishing
Traditions has recipes for many tasty, ethnic brown rice
variations including Indian Rice, Mexican Rice, Greek
Rice, Oriental Rice Salad, Wild Rice Casserole and
many others

2 Cups long-grain or short grain brown rice
4 Cups pure warm water, plus 4 TB kefir, vinegar, or
lemon juice
1 tsp. Real salt
2-4 TB butter

Combine the rice, water, and yogurt (or kefir OR lemon
juice) in a stock pot with a secure cover. Allow to soak
for 7 or more hours if possible. Bring to a boil, reduce
heat, add salt and butter, cover tightly. DO NOT
REMOVE THE LID. Cook over lowest possible heat, for
about 45 minutes. (I soak my rice in my Duromatic and
pressure cook to save a lot of time.)
Variations: Use 1 cup coconut milk, or homemade
chicken, beef, or fish stock for part of the liquid.

Urban Homemaker

HOLIDAY TIMETABLE - Let's get organized

We, at The Urban Homemaker, don't advocate complicated or expensive holiday celebrations, and wish to encourage your family to focus on the true meaning of the holiday season.

However, this twelve-week simplified timetable could be used as a checklist and is designed to be flexible in order to assist you in focusing in on your family's priorities for Thanksgiving, Christmas. We believe holiday planning promotes order and harmony, offering you time to evaluate what is really important to your family.

Remember, the timetable is merely a suggestion; rearrange, add, or delete activities from the schedule to meet the needs of your family.  The timetable is below.

Last year, Sheri Graham wrote The 12 Week Holiday Planner for The Christian Family So you Can Keep Your Focus on Jesus for the Holiday Season based on my Holiday Timetable!

Sheri says, "My desire in putting together this eBook is to provide a tangible way for you to plan out your holidays so they are enjoyable, less stressful, and more filled with the things that really matter."

Marilyn Moll's Holiday Timetable:

Week #1 - List Week Oct 3- 8
Make your lists of gift recipients, Christmas cards, menus for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, goodies to share or to give, favorite meals to prepare ahead, decorations needed, gifts to make.

Week #2 - Browse Week Oct 10-16
Develop and record ideas for gifts, decorations. Ask yourself the following questions:
* What would our ideal Christmas be like?
* What activities are particularly important to our family at Christmas?
* How much emphasis do our Christmas activities place on the spiritual side of Christmas?

Week #3 - Supplies Week Oct 17-23
After inventorying supplies on hand, purchase non-perishables needed for holiday baking, and supplies needed for gift making,, gift wrapping, etc.

Week #4 - Baking Week: Oct 24-30
Set aside the time needed to complete holiday goodie making. Make lists of toys, books, and clothes that children would enjoy. More...

Week #5 - Gift Making Week Oct 31 - Nov 6
Focus your energies on completing gifts to be made. More...

Week #6 - Shopping Week #1 Nov 7-13
Decorate your home for Thanksgiving and focus on gift buying for prepared list. Wrap and label packages as you go. More...

Week #7 -Shopping Week #2 Nov 14-20
Complete as much shopping as possible. Take advantage of many items that are on sale before Thanksgiving! More...

Week #8 - Thanksgiving Week Nov 21-27
Use this week to prepare Thanksgiving dishes, pies, homemade rolls, and enjoy the holiday with your family. Marilyn's Traditional Thanksgiving Stress Free Plans and Easy Recipes for Busy Moms are at this link. 

Start the Jesse Tree Devotional readings by Ann Voskamp.  The Jesse Tree Devotional is different than advent as it tells the whole story of the coming of the Savior starting in the book of Genesis.  The devotional includes 30 readings culminating with the birth of Christ.  If you purchase the Planner  you will get all the devotionals plus the beautiful, colored ornaments designed to be hung on a branch or a tree.  The ornaments are a terrific, hands-on way for the children to remember each bible story leading up t o the birth of Christ.

Week #9 - Mailing Week Nov 28-Dec 4
Complete package wrapping for gifts to be shipped...More.

Week #10 - Meal Making and Decorating WeekDec 5 -11
Prepare some favorite meals and other baked goods for the hectic days ahead. Decorate. Involve children in memory making! My recipes for Beef Burgundy and Honey Glazed Chicken and other reliable family favorites can be downloaded at this link.

Week #11 - Final Shopping/Wrapping Week Dec 12-18
Complete last minute details and enjoy holiday parties, concerts, and family activities. For quick and easy cookie recipes Click Here.

Week #12 - Enjoy Your Christmas Celebration Week Dec 19 - 25
Enjoy the Holidays with Family and Friends! Take time to drive the neighborhoods to enjoy holiday lighting displays. Enjoy family traditions and special meals. A complete holiday menu with delicious recipes is found at this link.

Some of information included in The 12 Week Holiday Planner for The Christian Family book:

*Detailed ideas of what to do weekly for 12 Weeks

*"Sheri's Tips"- tips to make your holidays meaningful

*Christmas Craft and Gift Ideas

*Memory Making Ideas for the Family

*Ideas for Baked Items to Share/Give Away

*Ideas for Meals to Freeze for Use during the busy weeks

*Decoration Ideas

*Supplies to stock up on ahead of time or when on sale

*Ideas for a Holiday Baking Schedule

*Kids' Gift Idea List

PLUS!!! "The Glorious Coming: A Jesse Tree Celebration of Advent" - Jesse Tree devotionals
If you would like to get more ideas of how to focus on Jesus as the reason for the season be sure to join our discussion!

The perfect companion to The 12 Week Holiday Planner is Holiday Open House - Open Your Heart and Your Home.  This ebook includes all the information you need to pull off a gracious, memorable open house or party.

Some of the information in this ebook includes:

* How to Plan your Occasion, step by step, after the date is set

* How to Decorate Creatively on a Dime

* Planning the menu for your event

* Appetizer Recipes, both hot and cold

* Dip Recipes

* Serving Suggestions

* Sweets and Treats

* Marilyn's Christmas Cookie Recipe Assortment

* Beverage suggestions and recipes

* Encouragement


Urban Homemaker

Every Day Pressure Cooking


The Homestead Kitchen:



The following article was originally published in The New Harvest Homestead Newsletter, Lisa Vitello is the editor. During December, Lisa is offering a Christmas Special. If you order a two-year subsciprtion you may give a two year subscription for a friend for free.



Subscribe Here: www.newharvesthomestead.com



The Versatile Pressure Cooker


Just in case anyone reading this newsletter is under the mistaken assumption that I know how to do absolutely everything homestead related, let me lay that notion to rest right now. I have never used a pressure cooker. (By the way � this is one of the many things I haven't tried yet!). I have always wanted to, I know it's a really good thing to do, but somehow I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

So, I am very thankful for the wonderfully knowledgeable ladies who wrote in to share their pressure cooker expertise. I turn this column over to them.
Lisa Vitello, Editor.

Pressure Cooker Testimonial

I have been using the Duromatic line of pressure cookers by Kuhn Rikon (Swiss Co.) for about 15 years. I was quite leery of investing in these expensive cookers since I had had a bad experience with a pressure cooker blowing up with beet juice and making a mess in my kitchen. Also, there was the constant replacement of gaskets, etc.

But, the demo was impressive so I invested and have never looked back. My high quality pressure pans are my pans of choice for cooking almost anything in my house. I cook almost all my vegetables in them because it saves so much time.

For example, broccoli is done in two minutes, potatoes in 5-10 minutes depending on whether quartered or whole. Brown rice takes 20 minutes. Kidney beans, if soaked ahead of time, take 8-10 minutes depending on how old they are.

Pot roast is moist, tender and delicious in about an hour. I like to do soups and broth in the cookers because, again, I save so much time without using questionable microwave technology.

I have never had a return of these pans in 12 years from a dissatisfied pressure cooker owner or found anything to be defective about them either. Truthfully, I think this is the only product we offer that has never had a return. Most people just tell me how much they love their pressure cooker and wonder how they ever lived without one.

In Europe, South America and other countries, most people have several pressure pans in order to save on energy expenses, which is becoming a bit of an issue here in the states as well. I have two pressure pans since I was without a microwave for many years.

Lastly, I think the Duromatics are superior to other pressure pans in that they more accurately tell you when full pressure is reached and cooking time can be accurately determined. There is no hissing or noise as in the older weighted gauge cookers either. Here is a testimonial:

Years ago, I was helping cook a banquet for 80 people. I cooked baby carrots in my pressure cooker for 4 minutes and they came out perfect. My friend cooked baby carrots in her pressure cooker, but she couldn't determine when the pressure was reached accurately enough and ended up with all her carrots turning to mush.

I can't recommend these Duromatics and pressure cooking too highly for those who are interested in better health and whole foods.

The New York Times called the Duromatic Line the Mercedes Benz of pressure cookers.

Here is a favorite pressure cooker soup that can easily be made in a stock pot:

Potato Cauliflower Soup
This recipe is fast and easy and often requested

4 medium potatoes, quartered
2 onions, quartered
1 head cauliflower, cut up
2 cups water or chicken broth (homemade is best)
2 cups milk, water or broth
1 TBS. Spike (vegetable seasoning)
1 8oz. cream cheese, diced
? to ? cup butter
salt and pepper to taste

Combine vegetables with water or chicken broth in a 5 quart or larger Duromatic TM pressure cooker and bring veggies to a boil and allow pressure to stabilize at the second red ring for 5 minutes, then allow pressure to drop naturally. (Remove pressure cooker from the heat). When the pressure is off, puree the vegetable mixture with a potato masher or use a blender. Add 2 more cups of milk, water or broth, diced cream cheese and butter over medium heat and stir until cheese and butter are melted. Add the Spike, salt and pepper to taste, if desired. This recipe can also be done in an 8 qt. stock pot by bringing the veggies and broth to a boil, and simmer vegetables until potatoes are soft, about 15-20 minutes.
Serve with homemade muffins!

Pressure Cooker Practice at a Titus 2 Meeting

This contribution is from my good friend, Karrie. She was a long time participant in our Titus 2 meetings until she moved 300 miles away (sniff!). After settling in to her new home and making a few friends, she bravely stepped out and held her own Titus 2 meeting! Her practical lesson was showing the ladies how to use a pressure cooker. Isn't that great?!

When I held my first Titus 2 Meeting, I showed the ladies how I make refried beans and shredded beef for burritos in my pressure cooker.

The beans are easy. First you soak the beans. I use the quick-soak method. This involves boiling the beans for a couple of minutes and then letting them sit in the water, covered, for about an hour. Drain the beans, add a few more cups of water, bring to pressure and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Saut� garlic and onions in oil, add the cooked beans and stir until creamy. Add enough chicken broth (homemade, of course!) to thin it out � otherwise it is like brick mortaryes, I know this from experience.

For the shredded beef, I just throw in chunks of stew meat (about 1" cubes) with some salt, pepper, cumin and garlic and bring to pressure, lower the heat and cook for about 20 minutes. Let it cool and then shred. Sometimes after I shred it I mix in some canned red enchilada sauce.

After I made this, we all sat down and ate dinner together. It was fun!


Hawaiian Pork


Put one large can pineapple juice and pork in the pressure cooker. I usually use the pork roasts that come in packages of three at Costco, and cut one up in chunks. You can also use country style pork ribs. Bring to pressure and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until tender. It will mostly depend on how big your pieces of meat are. Release pressure, discard juice and remove pork to a baking dish. Cover pork with a good barbeque sauce, like KC Masterpiece. Bake in a 350� oven for 5-10 minutes. Sometimes I like to broil it for a minute so the sauce gets thick and glaze-like. You can eat in chunks with rice or you can shred it and put on sandwich rolls.


My Beef Stew


I cut stew meat into bite sized chunks and brown in oil in the pressure cooker. Add about 2 TBS. of flour, along with some salt and pepper and stir around. Add liquid to cover meat well. Bring to pressure and time for about 20 minutes (depending on the size of the chunks of meat). Instantly release pressure. Add cut up veggies like potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, mushroom, green beans and whatever else you like. Add any flavorings you like, such as garlic, red pepper flakes or sauces. Check to see if you need any more liquid � you don't need to cover those veggies with liquid. Bring to pressure and cook another 8 minutes. Release pressure and its done. If there is too much liquid, you can thicken it with some flour or cornstarch, or just serve it with some good, crusty bread to soak it up.

Porcupine Meatballs

2 lbs. ground beef
1 cup uncooked rice
2 TBS. minced onion
2 tsp. salt
? tsp. pepper
1 crushed garlic clove
1 jar spaghetti sauce

Combine everything but the sauce. Form into balls. Pour sauce into pressure cooker. Drop meatballs in cooker. Bring to pressure and cook for 7 minutes. Let cool a few minutes and then quick release under cold water.

I do my mashed potatoes in the pressure cooker. I just quarter the potatoes; add some water or broth and salt. I bring to pressure and cook for about 8 minutes. Then, I drain the liquid and add the butter, milk and use a potato masher. I also like to cook a whole chicken with herbs and veggies. Then, I have chicken for soup, casserole, chicken salad and I have broth to put in the freezer for later use.

Karrie Nunes
Redding, CA


Everyday Use


I have had a pressure cooker for about a year and what I do is not necessarily "fancy". I cook basic ingredients that I can use in other dishes. My main trick is to steam rice in mine. It takes literally 8 minutes from start to finish!

I also just put a whole chicken in my pot, fresh or frozen, and let it pressure cook. It takes about 20 minutes. I have cheated about letting beans soak overnight. Once, when I wanted to make chili and I forgot until the last minute, I put all the ingredients in the pot and pressure cooked it and it turned out great!! We needed Beano on the table, since I didn't soak the beans beforehand and pour out the water. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this, but it turned out fine for us.

The neat thing about my pressure cooker is, although I never thought I would use it, I actually use it all the time. I also use it as a regular pan, without the lid. It was not inexpensive by any means, but it's the best pot I have, with or without the pressure lid!


Pressure Cooker Rice


2 cups white rice (Basmati or Jasmine works well)
3-4 cups water (depending on how "wet" you like your rice)

Put rice in the pressure cooker with the water. If I'm feeling tricky, I'll replace some or all of the water with chicken stock and add a little garlic or other favorite spices. Put the cooker on the stove and lock it shut. Cook it on the second or higher pressure for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let the pressure come down naturally (about 10 minutes total).
Option: Sometimes I use a wee bit of saffron in the rice when I can get a hold of it. I use chicken stock, a little garlic and leftover meat from previous dishes. Add some cut up vegetables and shrimp if you have it and, VOILA! � you have Paella, a traditional Hispanic dish. My husband is Hispanic and LOVES the stuff!

Serves 6 with leftovers


Pressure Cooker Chicken


This could not be any easier. Put a whole chicken fryer in a 5 qt. or larger pressure cooker. If you have fresh herbs, now is a great time to use them! I put a couple of fresh rosemary sprig, or sage leaves, and half of an onion in the cavity of the chicken. For a real one dish meal, cut up some carrots, and other veggies and add them around the chicken. Add ? cup water to the bottom. If your cooker comes with a steaming plate, use it to lift the chicken off of the bottom. If the chicken is fresh, pressure cook it on the second or higher pressure for about 20-25 minutes, then take it off of the heat and let is rest until the pressure comes down naturally. If it is frozen, it may take about 45 minutes of cooking, which means you need to watch the heat a little more often so that the pressure doesn't get too high. This amount of time usually works well, but depending on your source of heat (electric, gas, etc.) the times may vary. Always go by what the manufacturer says. That is just what works well with mine in the altitude, etc.

Brandie Longoria
Marietta, GA

My pressure cooker has become my lifesaver! I have four children and we got rid of our microwave about a year ago. I've canned jam in it, made soup, rice, beans, roasts, chicken, sauceanything! Mind is a very large one that was given to me, so I like it better than the crock pot as it is faster and holds more. I think everyone should have one! LOL!

Mrs. Sue Gorecki
Pittsburgh, PA


Buying a Used Pressure Cooker


I have picked up most of my pressure cookers from thrift shops for about $3.00. I always replace the gasket and air vent, which usually come together in one package at the hardware store. Handles, pressure regulators and other parts can usually be bought from the company that made the cooker. For Presto pans, the address for replacement parts is:


National Presto Industries, Inc.
Consumer Service Dept.
3925 North Hastings Way
Eau Claire, WI 54703-3703


Presto also has a good book for older pressure cookers called Replacement Instruction Book for Older Pressure Cookers. Since it is very important to read the manual before you use your pressure cooker, be sure to ask for one from the manufacturer if you buy a used pan.

RoseAnn Kirsch

Ed Note: Many older pressure cookers are made of aluminum. Buyer beware.

Part One of When Fear Meets Faith is found at this link

Part Two of When Fear Meets Faith is available at this link.

Urban Homemaker

13 Easy Things to Make Your Day More Productive by Mrs. Lorrie Flem, Publisher TEACH Magazine.com

Do you know one of the keys to successful homeschooling? You can find it in Psalm 25.

"Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior."

God wants to be first in our hearts, in our lives, and in our homeschools. If we put Him second or third we are dooming ourselves and our plans to failure. He wants to manage our hearts and even our minutes. His ways are perfect.

As homemakers, homeschoolers, wives, and mothers we have so many different things calling for our attention it's all too easy to work all day long and at the end of the day wonder what we have accomplished. Following are 13 ways I have found to help insure that I spend my time as productively as possible.

1. Learn from experience.

Walking with the Lord, getting married, becoming a homemaker, and raising children, are all wonderful parts of being a Godly woman. Never forget that one of the most valuable resources you have is the wisdom of older women. I am always trying to learn from older women. Make it a point to find out the five areas that you must be diligent to always grow in, in order to be successful and happy on this earth.

2. Train their hearts first.

It is much easier to teach your children to obey than to willingly obey. Yet willing obedience is what God wants from us and wants us to teach our children. It is vital that you know what to do, when to do it, and exactly how to do it.

3. Make your husband the priest of your home.

Next to your relationship with the Lord there is no other relationship more important than the one you have with your husband. Make this a top priority and be sure that you know the one thing God says men need. You can't be the best wife without knowing this.

4. Give your children the gift of chores.

Children need to be taught responsibility while they are young. One of the best ways to do this is to teach them that the many tasks required to keep a household running well are a family affair and their help is needed and required. Make sure you teach your loved ones what the Bible says about working. It could revolutionalize your home!

5. Make family time happen.

There are specific things you, as the wife and mother, can do to make your husband shine. Make your dinners feasts that nourish their tummies and their hearts. If you want to help your husband be a Godly man make sure you know the things you can to make that happen. They are simple only if you know what they are.

6. Train your children to obey.

If your children do not obey you completely the first time you tell them to do something then they are not obeying. Knowing the definition for true obedience and how to teach your children that this is what you require.

7. Keep a time register.

You wouldn't dream of not keeping some sort of track of your checking account balance or you would easily over spend. Keep the same principle when it comes to time. Spend your time carefully and with an eye on the balance left. That way you don't spend too much on one thing and run short at the end. There is one thing that every homeschooling family needs in order to be successful and have more free time. Don't go without it.

8. Like mother, like daughter.

Moms often think that their sweet little girls will just naturally grow up and want to be their dear friend. Not so. Solid mother and daughter relationships take work. You have to make sure this happens. Don't wait for anything. Start today. Make sure that you know the 8 best ways to tie Mother Daughter heartstrings.

9. Be committed to homeschooling.

Satan is the master murderer. He does everything he can to divert, damage, deceive, and destroy. Don't be unarmed. He doesn't want you to be successful at homeschooling. He is after you. Ensure that you are prepared for what he is going to throw at you by knowing what he is going to do before he does it.

10. Talk and listen to God.

Use your time wisely and spend it with your Creator. This is key to more than just your day - it is the deciding factor for every day for the rest of your life. All women must know the one way to ensure that you always have time for Quiet Time.

11. Cook for company . . . even when no one is coming.

No matter what you're cooking, breakfast, lunch or dinner, always cook enough for two families or two meals. Divide the prepared food in half and either refrigerate or freeze one for your own family to have later. Two meals is not twice the work but the time saved is twice as much. There are many tricks to cooking food that tastes freshly made from the freezer. Make sure you know them and your family won't mind meals you cooked last week.

12. Wake up early.

Set your alarm clock for 15 minutes earlier than you normally do to get an early start on your day. Make sure you know what other things you can do today to get ready for tomorrow.

13. Decide what to do when.

We talked about spending time carefully but there is more involved in time choices than just how to spend it. You first have to decide what to spend it on. Always measure the things you are doing by what is eternally profitable. Don't try to do it all without the one Bible verse that tells you all you need to know for help in this area.

Urban Homemaker

Pressure Cookers

Why Use A Pressure Cooker?

Forget all the dire warnings and concerns about pressure cookers that you remember from your mom or Aunt Lillian. Today’s pressure cookers offer safety and reliability unmatched by those of the past.

I use my pressure cooker almost daily as it provides:

* Quick Nutritious Meals - not only do you save time and effort but less cooking time means more nutrient retention.
* Great Taste And Flavor - flavor retention that gives fast food timing without the fast food taste.
* Energy Efficient - Less cooking time means less energy use and less dollar usage. Not only that, but your kitchen will stay cooler due to decreased cooking times.
* Other Savings - low cost meats can be cooked in a fraction of the time necessary to get that prized tenderness.

Compare Cooking Times!

* Grains twice as fast as conventional cooking.
* Beans (soaked) 10 to 20 times as fast.
* Stocks 4 times as fast.
* Pasta sauce 4 times as fast.
* Whole chicken 5 times as fast.
* Beef stew 6 to 8 times as fast.

Why I Love The Duromatic...

If you’ve ever used a second generation pressure cooker and after cooking the food found that the lid just won’t budge you’ve experienced Vapor-lock. Vapor-lock is a condition under which some second generation pressure cookers become permanently locked shut - you can’t get it open no matter what you do!   All of the newer second generation pressure cookers experience this phenomenon...except one.  You guessed it. The Duromatic  pressure pans will not vapor-lock.  Just another reason to be confident about Kuhn Rikon and their pressure pans!

Compare with other pressure cookers!

Standard Features Include:
* Integrated automatic lid-locking system.
* 18/10 stainless steel will not interact with food and is dishwasher safe.
* Stainless steel clad aluminum disk enables even browning and rapid heat absorption without food coming in contact with the aluminum.
* New generation spring-loaded precision valve.
* Stainless steel steaming plate on all but the waffle bottom model.
* 10-year warrantee on all non-replaceable parts, materials, and workmanship.
* Quick Cuisine  Cookbook.
* Over 50 years experience in manufacturing pressure cookers.

Features Include:
* Safe - The integrated lid-locking system and no fewer than 5 safety steam-release systems make the UL approved Duromatic the standard of safety worldwide.
* Fast - Compare cooking times! Cooking with the Duromatic takes an average of 1/3 the cooking time of conventional cooking methods.
* Easy - The secret is the Duromatic’s spring-loaded valve which takes the guesswork out of pressure cooking. No noisy steam escaping and no more mushy food!
* Healthy - The Duromatic redefines the term “fast food”. Cook high-fiber, low-fat foods in record time. Preserve vitamins and essential nutrients.
* Versatile - Cooks everything: grains, meats, chicken, vegetables and even desserts.
* Economical/Ecological - Since cooking with the Duromatic takes 1/3 the time, you save 70% of energy normally consumed during cooking. The Duromatic pays for itself in energy savings.
* Reliable - The Duromatic carries a full 10 year warranty. This is the last pressure cooker you’ll ever need.
Urban Homemaker

Canning and Preserving


 Phone Seminar - JULY 12, 2007

With Lisa Vitello, publisher of New Harvest Homestead Newsletter and Marilyn Moll

Lisa is a great, mostly self-taught expert on all aspects of canning including pressure canning and water bath canning. She has been putting food up for her family of eight for over 20 years and keeps a huge garden that meets a substantial portion of her family's needs for fruits and vegetables.

We discussed canning without sugar, and salt and other common canning questions.

Lisa recommends the following Getting Started Items:

Stocking Up by Carol Hupping or the Ball Blue Book

Villa Ware Food Strainer or Equivalent for Tomato Sauce, Applesauce, Salsa, etc.

Water Bath Canner or Pressure Canner

Home Canning Kit

Pomonas Pectin

Ball or Kerr Jars and Lids (no substitutes!)

To listen to a compilation of Phone Seminars including a recording of Lisa Vitello and  Marilyn Moll talking about Canning, Click Here


Urban Homemaker

7 Reasons Why Meal Planning Is A Great Idea

7 Reasons Why Meal Planning Is A Great Idea

Planning meals ahead of time is a great idea, since there are many benefits that come along with it. Meal planning affects many different aspects of life, including your time as well as your financial situation. No matter what situation one may be in, planning your meals ahead of time is always a good idea. Meal planning makes it possible for almost any size family to eat healthy meals everyday of the week on a budget.   It also gives you more time together as a family while spending less money.

Saves Time

Planning your meals ahead of time will save you a lot of time. When you visit your grocery store, take a list with you that shows everything you need for your weekly meals.  This way there will be no return visits to the grocery store for something you forgot, and you won’t waste any time deciding what you are going to have for dinner that night. Forgetting a key ingredient or having to fight in long lines at the grocery store can be very frustrating, but meal planning can completely eliminate that.   

Menu Planning Resource Pack

Saves Money

Who doesn’t like to save money?  And if you can reduce the amount you spend on grocery bills, you can save it up for something really fun – like a special night out or a family vacation.  Meal planning saves anyone a significant amount of money, since meal planning is much cheaper than eating fast food. Also, since you will be bringing a shopping list with you to the grocery store, there will be no more impulse buys and wasted food.   We’ve all fallen victim to foods that we suddenly have a craving for when we are shopping only to get home and realize that we need other ingredients to turn it into a meal.  And having a shopping list will make it easier for you to clip coupons, since you know what you will be purchasing each week.  This means even more savings to you and your family.

Meal planning allows you to create a calendar of what you will have for dinner each night.  If you create a menu one month at a time, you can ensure that you aren’t having chicken nuggets five nights a week.  Have an overall calendar of meals will allow you to shop for foods when they are on sale and buy in bulk whenever possible.


Planning out what you are going to cook for dinner will make it possible to ensure you are cooking a healthy meal every day of the week.  While eating out is convenient in our ever busy world, eating fast food or at restaurants is not nearly as healthy as cooking it at home.  This is largely due to the fact that you don’t have control over  what goes in those meals.   By preparing your own meals, you can choose healthy options, like baked chicken, and add any of your favorites for a side like a fresh green salad or steamed vegetables. Most boxed or frozen dinners contain a great amount of fat and sodium, but cooking the meal from scratch can eliminate them.   You control the flavor and the fat.  You can take steps to reduce the amount of fat by adding seasoning and spices to perk up the flavor.

Prevent Obesity

The rise of fast food chains in the world means that more people are becoming overweight and obese. Obesity can bring on many health issues, including heart or breathing problems. It is important to prevent a child from becoming overweight and teach them the importance of balanced meals.  Cooking homemade healthy meals can do this. When you plan out what you are going to make, you can be certain that it will be healthy for the entire family.   It allows you to have a better handle on the nutritional content of your meals.   You can also tailor it to each family member’s needs.  If there is someone who needs to watch their fat consumption, you can cook grill or broil instead of fry.  If there is someone that is trying to get more servings of vegetables in their diet, you can help by offering two veggies for side dishes.

Spending More Time With Your Family

Because planning out your meals gives you more time during the day, you can spend it doing something that really matters. Spending time with family should be the first thing on anyone’s priority list, and being able to spend more time with them is a wonderful perk to meal planning. You can use this time to either play with your children outside, or maybe talk with your spouse about their day at work.   With the time saved with meal planning, the family can enjoy a walk together after dinner, play yard games such as croquet or bocce ball, or compete in a board game night.  No matter how you use the time, it is special and necessary to keep a family running.   And when you kids are grown up and look back on their childhood, those will be the times they remember most fondly.  Just think about all the home cooked meals that you look back on warmly.  No one cooks it like mom does.

Teaching Essential Skills

By including children in the meal planning process, they can learn many skills that will carry with them into adulthood.   They can help to plan the meals, and learn about the different nutrition groups.   Learning how to assemble a balanced meal is a great skill to have.  Measuring different ingredients in the meals teaches children about fractions.   Younger kids can just play with the different kitchen utensils, which allows them to explore and learn about the huge world they have yet to explore and learn about. Spouses can get in on the fun, making it possible to bond with one another by cooking a meal for each other.   Meals where each person can individually tailor food to their liking, such as making your own pizzas or a taco bar, allow a great opportunity for the whole family to cook and learn together.

Reduces Stress

Our world is hectic.  We are being pulled in several different directions each day.  Because we live in a fast paced world, it is important to do everything possible to reduce your stress load.   We have enough stress with our every day lives without mealtime stressing us out.  Planning meals can reduce your stress since you won’t have to worry about everything that goes into making a meal for your family. As long as you bring your list to the store and buy everything on the list, you will be all set. You can choose to either visit the store each week or twice a month, rather than a million times like before. The increased time you have will allow you to relax more often, and even feel great when interacting with your children.  If you are enrolled in a food delivery service, having a handy list makes online shopping a breeze.  Have it with you when you log in to order food and you won’t have to worry about a thing.

As you can see, there are many benefits to meal planning.  From the ever crucial facts of saving money and eating healthier, to reducing stress and spending more time with your family.  Meal planning only takes a little extra effort.  And once you get the hang of it, it’ll become second nature and make you life so much easier.  You’ll be wondering why you hadn’t started meal planning earlier.  And will all the time and money you save you can spend on something that really matters – your family!

Urban Homemaker
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