Mmmmm! This Couldn’t Be Food Storage!

When you’re eating from your food storage, breakfast doesn’t have to be a steady diet of whole-wheat mush. You can make a tasty, ready-to-eat cereal from whole wheat flour. But even better, this cereal is versatile. When you grind it finely, it can be used in recipes in place of graham cracker crumbs, and by adding different spices you can make it into snack foods, stuffing mix, or even dog or cat food.

To make the basic dough, combine in a large bowl 6 cups (1 1/2 pounds) whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) brown sugar (more or less to taste), 1 teaspoon (or less) salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 2 cups (16 fluid ounces) sour milk or buttermilk. Note: You can make buttermilk from powdered milk by mixing 2/3 cups (2 1/2 ounces) powdered milk in 2 cups (16 fluid ounces) of water, then adding 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar.

Mix all ingredients thoroughly to make a stiff, sticky dough. Divide the dough in half and press evenly to the edges of two ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C, or moderate heat, such as gas mark 4) until golden brown around the edges—about thirty minutes. Turn the oven off and remove the baking sheets. With a spatula, lift the cooked dough from the pans and tear it into 1/2-inch (1-1/2 centimeter) chunks. Return the pan of dough pieces to the oven and allow the remaining heat to dry them completely. If necessary, heat the oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C, or very cool, such as gas mark 1/2) to complete the drying. Using a coarse setting on a food or meat chopper, grind the dry dough chunks, then put the resulting coarse flour in a strainer and sift out the small pieces to use as cracker crumbs for pie crusts or other desserts. The larger pieces remaining in the strainer can be used as crunchy wheat cereal. Top these with milk and eat cold, or heat them with a little milk or water to serve hot. This recipe makes approximately 6 cups (1 1/2 pounds) cereal and 2/3 cups (2 1/2 ounces) crumbs.

For a different flavor, add cinnamon or nutmeg to the dough before baking. If you add nutmeg, the milk poured on the cereal takes on the flavor of eggnog or egg custard.

Make stuffing mix by omitting the sugar and adding sage, poultry seasoning, celery salt, onion salt, or powdered beef or chicken bouillon to the dough before baking. After the dough is baked and ground, moisten the large pieces with broth or warm milk for stuffing; use the finer pieces as toppings for casseroles or noodles.

You can also make dog or cat food for short-term use by omitting the sugar and adding powdered beef or chicken bouillon for flavoring. After the initial baking, break chunks into sizes suitable for your pets. Dry the chunks in the oven and store them. Soften them with water or broth before use.Relief Society General Board

Primary Talk

“I’m not giving a Primary talk this Sunday!” six-year-old Donny said sternly.

He was so troubled.

“I’m not giving a talk!”

I found myself sympathizing with him. I would have had trouble giving a talk at age sixteen, let alone age six.

Finally, he settled down.

“Donny,” I began compassionately, “if you really don’t want to give a talk this Sunday, you don’t have to.”

He was all ears. “I don’t?”

“Of course not. Giving talks can be pretty scary.” He relaxed visibly. “You can think about it,” I continued. “But tonight in family home evening we’re still going to learn about giving talks.”

“Okay,” the children said in resigned unison.

“Donny, since your Primary teacher asked you to talk this Sunday, let’s just pretend that you’re going to do it. If you were going to give a talk, would you like to talk about Joseph Smith?”

“No, Daddy! I always have to talk about Joseph Smith!”

“Well, would you like to talk about forgiving others?”

“Okay.”

I could tell that my new topic didn’t bring any great joy either. But I felt inspired as I began to speak.

“Look here, Donny,” I said, drawing a crude stick-figure baby on our greaseboard. The children watched intently as I drew a cross and then a thorny crown.

“Why are you making pictures, Daddy?”

“I’m not just drawing pictures, Donny. I’m preparing a talk about forgiveness.”

Soon the entire family joined in, describing scenes from the Savior’s life. These included not only the scene on the cross but also when, as an infant, Jesus’ parents fled to Egypt to protect his life. For each scene we thought of a simple stick figure. Soon the crayons and paper came out, and the children drew each figure on a separate sheet of paper.

“Now watch me, Donny,” I said, standing in front of the family with the papers. “When Jesus was a little baby, Mary and Joseph had to take him to Egypt because a bad king wanted to kill him. At the end of his life, Roman soldiers hung him on a cross and put big nails in his hands and feet. During his life bad men hit Jesus, spit in his face, made him wear a thorny crown, and forced him to carry his own cross. They called his mommy bad names and made her cry.”

With each description I made certain Donny saw me looking at the accompanying stick figure.

“But Jesus always turned the other cheek,” I continued. “When he hung on the cross at the end of his life, he looked down at the soldiers and said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’”

“Hey, I can do that!” Donny interrupted.

So we set up a TV tray on a chair to function as a podium. The microphone and stand from our music room made the environment even more realistic.

“Here’s your talk, Donny,” I said, handing him the drawings. He walked up to the “podium” and began: “My talk’s about forgiveness.”

“That was super, Donny,” we encouraged when he finished. “Do you think you could help Sister Snow on Sunday by giving this talk?”

“I’ll think about it,” he said, giving me a wary stare.

By the end of the week, the entire family knew the talk by heart, since the news, dinner, or homework might at any moment be interrupted for talk practice. By Saturday morning Donny agreed to give his talk in Primary.

Saturday afternoon I called Donny into my study where, together, we drew fresh stick figures on notebook paper. Then I punched holes in the stack of pictures and put them inside a binder.

“This is just like your talks, huh Dad?”

“You bet,” I said. “You are really accepting responsibility. You’re growing up!”

Sunday morning Donny approached the stand confidently. He laid his open notebook across the podium, then reached out and adjusted the microphone. He took a breath and tugged at his tie. Then he began: “My talk is about forgiveness.”Donald C. Hoefelmann, St. Louis, Missouri

Kids Can Love Conference, Too

If you want your children to love conference and have a desire to hear the Brethren, it may help if they know the Brethren better. If they discover for themselves that they are men of God, they will be more excited to hear from them.

These thoughts entered my mind just minutes after I had prayed to know how to instill in my six children love and anticipation for the upcoming general conference. Immediately ideas flowed about how I could help them know the General Authorities. I would assign each child to study two of the Brethren, write a report about each man, and draw pictures depicting events from the leader’s life and illustrating counsel he has given us.

The next morning, I couldn’t wait to tell the children about my plan. They were excited, too. We agreed that the person who gave the best report would earn a prize and that if a leader whom a child had chosen spoke at conference, that child would also get a prize.

We went to Deseret Industries and purchased old Church magazines that included articles on General Authorities. The next afternoon when the children came home from school, I had the magazines and some snacks waiting. We spent the rest of the day and that night learning about our Church leaders. I was delighted to see how interested the children were. Occasionally I’d hear a chuckle as they ran across a funny happening in the life of “their General Authority.” Even my husband enjoyed learning new things about the men he had long admired.

Later in the week, we took masking tape and divided a wall in our family room into large square sections—one section per family member. Each person filled his section with pictures and illustrations of “his General Authorities.”

On the night before conference, we gave our reports. They were so good that we gave everyone a prize.

I noted new excitement for conference the next day. Several of the men we had studied spoke, and, as they were announced, a call would ring out, “Mom! My General Authority is going to speak!”

Since that time, our family has grown to love general conference, and our reports have become a family tradition.Sheri Jensen Schauerhamer, Alpine, Utah

[illustrations] Illustrated by Lynn Rogers