Milkmaid's Recipe Box

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! I'm such a FARMER at heart-- even a CALF knows that so much in life is about the FOOD! (A bit of a "bio" about me can be found way down near the bottom.)

You can find a recipe index entitled "Labels" down along the right side, starting below the picture of the farm. Then, below the "Label" list are pictures of some of my old "standbys"-- click on their picture and it should take you to the recipe.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

FoodSaver Appliance (Gadget?)

This post is about something I've come to appreciate using for more things than just 'the usual'.  Thank you, PJ, it's yours, but I sure do like using it!  I'm referring to a FoodSaver.  By using it the way I do, my 'family of two' can easily and conveniently have a variety of food without eating 'one thing' over and over until it's gone.  I can save money when buying the bags for the FoodSaver it if I get the kind that's labeled "SimplySmart Universal Vacuum Sealer Bags".  (On the cover of their box, they list five different brands of vacuum sealers they'll work with.)  This brand of bags might be sold all around(?), but I bought mine at Fleet Farm.

Upon PJ's suggestion, which I greatly appreciate, I can make a large pan/dish of food and we can first enjoy it fresh from the oven...

Then, tightly cover the left-over portion and refrigerate it for 10-12 hours, or until it firms up.  After that, cut it into squares (as seen below) and put the 'blocks' into little plastic containers like this...
Snap their covers on, stick 'em into the freezer for about 10-12 hours.   Once frozen through, I get them out, pop 'em out of their little plastic containers and stick the frozen squares into a FoodSaver quart-sized bag-- 'suck the breath' out, label/date (as seen below), and put them back into the freezer.  Handled this way, they really do taste 'fresh' for at least three months,-- or, more?   (See my note at the bottom about foods that, individually, do not freeze well.*)
Above:  I do not put the 'name/date' on the place that is provided for it on the bags.  Instead, I write on the tab that will be cut off/discarded when opening/using the food.  This way, again concentrating on being a bit 'thrifty', I end up with a vacuum seal bag that can be thoroughly cleaned and re-used for something smaller the next time around (small block of cheese, or ???).

Another use:  I found that I can freeze some FRESHLY BAKED MONSTER COOKIES in single layers, get them out of the freezer, vacuum seal them in a gallon-size bag, and send them to the West-- when I follow these steps,** and use some sort of packing material, the cookies arrive in 'great shape'. (When sealing those frozen cookies, I double-deck them with their backs together.) 

And, another:  FoodSavers are good for prolonging the life of many things-- I'm sure you have a list longer than I do!  As I've done in the past, I vacuum packed a couple of blocks of dipping chocolate that are so readily available at this time of the year-- also, a few of the large Hershey bars that I use for a certain recipe, etc.

And, another:  Recently a family of two moved from out-of-State.  Knowing they would be living in a 'sea of boxes' for a little while, I took a number (and variety) of vacuum sealed 'food blocks' to them.  They said they really appreciated being able to have a home-cooked meal with that kind of convenience. 

I think the list of possible uses for a vacuum sealer is almost.............. endless!
So,...INhale!, Mr. FoodSaver,...IlikeYOU!!!!

*Note about foods that don't freeze as well:  While I've found that foods combined in a casserole seem to freeze well and taste fresh when thawed, there are foods that don't 'do well' on their own.  If you want to check out a site or two on this subject, click on...
There are more sites, but you should get a pretty good idea of what to expect when  freezing certain foods from this information.

**When I did not freeze the cookies first, they sort of crumbled as the air was being sucked out.  Not a good thing!  Even on the 'manual' setting, it wasn't a good experience for the cookies!  This 'vacuum sealing method' of sending cookies may not work with 'delicate' varieties, but,...................m-a-y-b-e.................. it would........if they were first frozen and then quickly sealed. (???)

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