- Food and Cooking
3 tricks that will make cooking a lot more easy
Not just the name to a really nice Disney movie, it is also my favorite way to store foods.
I recently moved alone and the reality hit me so bad when I realized the fresh fruits and vegetables transformed in my absence in a nice compost in the vegetable compartment. No I can't change my schedule and no I doubt I will just start eating more vegetables and fruits, that was the moment I discovered the freezer.
I know I bought it with the fridge but I kept using it for ice cream and meat.
Agreed not all produce and be frozen for a later use, but some of them can, and voila you can have fresh apples, berries, etc. in the middle of the winter.
Yes you probably bought some of them frozen, the trick is how you store them when you buy them fresh. I prefer storing them in plastic containers, unfortunately it is space consuming, so if you have a small freezer I would recommend plastic bags for a better fit.
Potatoes, zucchini, carrots, pepper, mushrooms, etc.- can be stored sliced or diced
Mushrooms can also be stored whole, I personally prefer splitting the cap and the stem to store them separately.
With fruits things are easier, most of them can be stored without extra complications, for example apples, berries, cherries , well you got the point, this can be stored and defrosted without resulting a soup.
On the other hand fruits like strawberries, kiwi and pineapples when defrosted they transform in sponge, loosing texture and taste.
In my experience with cherries and sour cherries is better if you remove the stone before freezing them, plus they will be ready to use when you defrost them . Pitting cherries can be really easy if you have a pitting instrument.
Use the defrosted fruits in tarts and chutneys, eat them frosted or defrosted, or use your imagination. I personally love to eat frozen fruits instead of ice cream, one of the little pleasures I enjoy.
Another great way to store vegetables, is by drying them, maybe you wonder what you could do with them, well you can make your own soup vegetable mix, easy and simple you don't need much more than a table corner some newspapers.
Chop the carrots, parsley, I also add some parsnip, the selection is your choice, after dicing the vegetables and chopping the leaves spread them on the newspaper and let them to dry for 5 to 7 days.
I am believe there is a food desiccating machinery, but I like the natural way, plus I have enough table space to let them dry undisturbed.
After drying I put them in a jar and use them as needed.
Of all this is my favorite, every time I buy oranges or lemons I grate the peel, yes I really do that had extra perks too if I keep my hands busy while watching tv I can't eat, so you can say it's part of the diet.
All you need are oranges or lemons that you thoroughly washed and dried before making sure you scrubbed all the toxic stuff they use to spray the crops against bugs. Then take a bowl or a plate and start grating I know there is a special grater for this mind of job but for me it's too fine and most of the peel will get stuck on the grater.
I recommend you use the fine and big flake sides depending on what you decide to use the finished product in the end.
Find a proper size jar make sure the peel will not fill the jar completely, leave about one third of the jar empty. Put the grated peel on the bottom of the jar then add a layer of about 1 cm thick of sugar.
I usually use white sugar but I discovered that adding brown sugar adds a nice caramel taste to it.
Store the jar in the refrigerator and use the peel in cakes, this will shorten the preparation time when baking and will make you save some money on essences.
don't forget to put back in the refrigerator once you are done, leaving the jar on the table at room temperature will help grow some great green and fluffy mould, interesting indeed if you are in to growing your own penicillin, not so great if you want to bake a cake.
More tricks soon, until then start grating, I will give you a hint about the next article; it will have lots of chocolate...