PDA

View Full Version : OT: Nan And Others: Can We Talk Food Storage?


jessrlee
07-18-2011, 05:58 AM
Hi ladies. This is a quasi daycare question: how do you freeze/ preserve food in your home? I want to put up a couple of bushels of apples, some homemade tomato sauce, some zuchinni, and any other produce that I can buy in bulk and freeze for winter usage. I just bought a deep freeze so storage space isn't an issue.

I know the food program doesn't let you serve anything home canned. You can however use frozen. How do you store food to be frozen for any length of time? What can I use to get the most bang for my buck with the least waste? I have been looking into food savers, but the cost of the bags are about .40 each. That adds a big investment for something you will trow away.

Any other useful tips for food storage? We are getting serious about having an emergency supply of food, and now have 1 month of food for the 5 of us.

AnneCordelia
07-18-2011, 06:07 AM
We do have a food storage.

A great friend of mine runs the website www.foodstoragemadeeasy.net

I have a years supply of dry goods. Canned meats, powdered milk, flour, oats, coffee, canned veggies, whole grains, legumes, beans, dry veggie, dry egg, sugar, spices, cereals, rice.

We have no limitations on using home canned goods. So I also have, and serve, homemade jam, apple sauce, peaches, spaghetti sauce, tomatos, and pickles. I freeze cored tomatoes (skin pops off when they thaw), grated zucchini, cooked pumpkin, freezer jam.

I also have emergency stuffs put away...homemade bunsen burners, tarps, blankets, emergency paperwork, water, water purifier, among other stuff.

nannyde
07-18-2011, 09:19 AM
I make a lot of purees/sauce and freeze both fruit and veggies. Stuff like rhubarb I chunk and freeze but also puree it for breads.

SilverSabre25
07-18-2011, 09:33 AM
Stuff like strawberries I freeze on cookie sheets then dump into a Gallon-size Freezer-Quality Ziploc, or the Gladware-type freezer-quality containers. Or upcycled yogurt, butter, etc containers.

Blueberries--the place we go pick them (I gotta remember to do that this weekend...) uses big plastic buckets. When we get home I just rinse the berries and dump them back in the bucket and stick the bucket in the freezer.

Peaches, tomatoes--I blanch them and take the skin off. peaches I cut into chunks and freeze on cookie sheets and then put in bags/containers like strawberries. Tomatoes I cook down into sauce.

Apples all get turned into chunky applesauce.

Stuff like Zucchini, I shred and freeze in containers, perferably in useful quantities (like, if I need 2 cups for bread, I freeze in 2-cup increments).

MG&Lsmom
07-18-2011, 10:31 AM
You ladies are my heros! Seriously. I so want to do this, but even with 2 fridges and a small chest freezer I just can't freeze enough. We buy a lot of our food in bulk every month through an organic food co-op and that takes up a lot of space.

jessrlee
07-18-2011, 05:02 PM
Stuff like strawberries I freeze on cookie sheets then dump into a Gallon-size Freezer-Quality Ziploc, or the Gladware-type freezer-quality containers. Or upcycled yogurt, butter, etc containers.

Blueberries--the place we go pick them (I gotta remember to do that this weekend...) uses big plastic buckets. When we get home I just rinse the berries and dump them back in the bucket and stick the bucket in the freezer.

Peaches, tomatoes--I blanch them and take the skin off. peaches I cut into chunks and freeze on cookie sheets and then put in bags/containers like strawberries. Tomatoes I cook down into sauce.

Apples all get turned into chunky applesauce.

Stuff like Zucchini, I shred and freeze in containers, perferably in useful quantities (like, if I need 2 cups for bread, I freeze in 2-cup increments).

Just the info I needed! Thank you so much!

SilverSabre25
07-18-2011, 05:04 PM
Just the info I needed! Thank you so much!

You're welcome. :) Happy to help.

Childminder
07-18-2011, 05:39 PM
Double check your Food Program rules cause we can serve home canned foods as long as we notify our parents that home processed food is/can be served.

Stuff like strawberries I freeze on cookie sheets then dump into a Gallon-size Freezer-Quality Ziploc, or the Gladware-type freezer-quality containers. Or upcycled yogurt, butter, etc containers.

Ziploc freezer bags.

Blueberries--the place we go pick them (I gotta remember to do that this weekend...) uses big plastic buckets. When we get home I just rinse the berries and dump them back in the bucket and stick the bucket in the freezer.

Do not rinse them, this will make the skins tough. (Extended family owns a blueberry farm.) Rinse them when you remove from the freezer.

Peaches, tomatoes--I blanch them and take the skin off. peaches I cut into chunks and freeze on cookie sheets and then put in bags/containers like strawberries. Tomatoes I cook down into sauce.

If you wash and core tomatoes and freeze whole in ziplocs, you can just slide the skins off when you thaw slightly and add to sauces or soups, etc. Or you can put the entire tomato into a blender and make juice or cook down into sauce. There are so many nutrients in the skin.

Apples all get turned into chunky applesauce.

Apples can be peeled and sliced and frozen in the right sized amounts (4 cups)and brought out of the freezer to use in pies and cobblers. Does not matter that they will turn brown, they do when you cook them anyway.

Stuff like Zucchini, I shred and freeze in containers, perferably in useful quantities (like, if I need 2 cups for bread, I freeze in 2-cup increments).

nannyde
07-18-2011, 05:45 PM
The yellow veggies you can just store in a cool place and they will last for quite a while. We had squash until March I think.... when it started to soften I just baked, shelled, pureed then freezer.

With tomatoes I just make spaghetti sauce and freeze.

cherries... I pit and freeze in half pieces IF they are big. If they are little cherries I make juice and freeze the mash for breads.

When in doubt you can always puree and freeze. My kids love pureed pear, peach, applesauce in Febuary.

I try to get enough to last me until next harvest time.

jessrlee
07-18-2011, 06:16 PM
Thanks ladies! I guess I just needed some nods and prods. I made it out to be a much larger process than it actually is :o lol!

I will check next month when I fill out my paperwork, but if I remember correctly my rep said no home canned food. It would be nice if we could can. I go through gallons of red sauce and applesauce!

jessrlee
07-18-2011, 06:22 PM
The yellow veggies you can just store in a cool place and they will last for quite a while. We had squash until March I think.... when it started to soften I just baked, shelled, pureed then freezer.

With tomatoes I just make spaghetti sauce and freeze.

cherries... I pit and freeze in half pieces IF they are big. If they are little cherries I make juice and freeze the mash for breads.

When in doubt you can always puree and freeze. My kids love pureed pear, peach, applesauce in Febuary.

I try to get enough to last me until next harvest time.

Thanks Nan. We participate in living history so I am doing my best to trust that if my foremothers kept it in a cellar and it stayed alright so can I. Can you tell me, can you get sick from eating fruit/veggies past their prime? I'm not talking rotting, just softening or overipe? We are so educated on the danger of meat/ dairy I'm unsure of produce/ grain.

nannyde
07-18-2011, 07:27 PM
Thanks Nan. We participate in living history so I am doing my best to trust that if my foremothers kept it in a cellar and it stayed alright so can I. Can you tell me, can you get sick from eating fruit/veggies past their prime? I'm not talking rotting, just softening or overipe? We are so educated on the danger of meat/ dairy I'm unsure of produce/ grain.

:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

You made me LAUGH

Okay now remember our forefathers didn't have the life expectancy we have!!!!!! Some of that was cuz of food handlin :lol::lol::lol:

If it is in question toss it.

With the squash I just rotated it every few days and kept checking it for softness. Once it started to soften I co baked it with whatever else I had going on in the oven so it was free. I just put that in the freezer once it cooled and then easily removed the skin once it was frozen and then dethawed just a bit. Then I whipped it in the food processor and made puree. I put the puree as a side dish with brown sugar, nutmeg, and apple pie spice. I also used the puree just to throw in whatever stews I had going.

Kids love it.

You can do that with pumpkin too. Makes for great breads.

The only thing I have put up that I won't do again was pineapple. Cathearder warned me but you know how I am. :ouch:

It was SO much work. Takes forever to cook down. Deseeding the little seeds is a butt pain.

Kids love it pureed but it's a hellovaloto work. I have about forty baggies of it so we will have it once a week. Everytime I crack into one of them all I can think about was how much WORK it was to do it. :lol:

nannyde
07-18-2011, 07:35 PM
Oh Jes

I just saw you are in Iowa.

YOU CAN DO IT

You couldn't live in a better place if you want to buy in bulk and store for winter.

It's easy here.

GO TO CRAIGSLIST grasshopper.

That's where you can get all the backyard gardners surplus. Just don't go to the Des Moines one. I've got that market cornered. ;)

jessrlee
07-18-2011, 07:52 PM
Oh Jes

I just saw you are in Iowa.

YOU CAN DO IT

You couldn't live in a better place if you want to buy in bulk and store for winter.

It's easy here.

GO TO CRAIGSLIST grasshopper.

That's where you can get all the backyard gardners surplus. Just don't go to the Des Moines one. I've got that market cornered. ;)

Ok now you need to share. Isn't that what we teach the littles???? Des Moines is my nearest metro area! I hadn't ever thought to check Craigslist!

nannyde
07-18-2011, 08:19 PM
Ok now you need to share. Isn't that what we teach the littles???? Des Moines is my nearest metro area! I hadn't ever thought to check Craigslist!

Just search the craigslist for whatever you are interested in. Once you find a grower then call and ask them about chemicals and anything put in the soil. I don't buy anything that has had anything put on the plants or soil.

Then see how much they have and the price. If the price is more than the grocery store price then hold out a few days and keep checking in. Once they have sold what they can at the higher price then go in for the kill and buy all the rest of what they have with a fair offer for buying in bulk.

If you see they are on their third/fourth ad then it's time to strike. I bought NINETY pounds of squash and put it all up over time. Bunch of work but the BEST squash EVER for veggies, breads, and stews.

I can help you when I find the good CLEAN food.

Same with meats. I found my organic piggy farmer AND buffalo dude on craigslist.

Pauls grains is a family that delivers and they do EVERYTHING. Best darn chemical free home made applejuice on the planet. Tastes like candy. Call them... they are awesome.

jessrlee
07-18-2011, 08:29 PM
thanks! Please keep me in mind! :D:D:D

AnneCordelia
07-19-2011, 07:10 AM
Yes! I also buy/grow bulk potatoes, carrots, onions, winter squash and hang them in burlap bags from my garage rafters. This spring as I was planting my zucchini, carrots and squash I still had a few of each from last year hanging.

Blanche green beans for 3 minutes and then freeze on cookie sheets, transfer to ziplocks. Delicious! Nothing beats that.

I also keep an eye on my grocery store produce. Make friends with the produce manager! Ask him about his produce (he's likely proud of it!), and ask what days he gets in orders. This way, I know that bananas come in on Monday nights...so Tuesday morning I can go and buy all the bananas from the previous week on clearance...usually about $0.03/banana. They are beautiful and perfectly ripe! Great for eating for a few more days or freezing for breads/muffins. It goes for all the produce that gets rotated quickly...bulk fruit, beans, lettuce/spinach, ect. The longer sitting stuff like potatos, onions and carrots don't rotate so quickly, so you'll rarely see them on the clearance cart.