food storage

by Mike Hinchey,

So my biggest concern was trying to shop as little as I could during the covid19 pandemic shutdown in march april and may. My partner continued to work during this period ( and I could not since I am a hairstylist)so I appointed myself house manager and tasked myself with all food shopping and cooking. The biggest challenge for me was figuring out how to keep fresh vegetables from spoiling for as long as I could. I knew from experience that asparagus could be kept for quite a while if the ends were placed in water so I purchased quite a lot of asparagus. To my surprise I discovered that this technique also worked with broccoli. I would simply make a fresh cut on the broccoli stalk, and immerse those ends in water. Every three days I would change the water and about once per week I would make a slim fresh cut in the stalk. I could keep broccoli for almost 2 and a half weeks firm and fresh. At one point I had a bag of already cut up broccoli from costco which was in danger of spoiling so I tried doing the same thing with each floret. I made the slim cut on each floret and immersed them in a bowl of water and I was surpised to find they went from flabby and soft to firm and crisp! I also had potatoes that were going soft after a couple of weeks in the pantry but after cutting them up and placing them in a bowl of cold water they also were revived. I had green onions in water last for almost three weeks by making a small cut in the little roots on the white bulb end and placing them in water, and they even GREW during that time! I peeled fresh ginger and placed it in a mason jar, covered it with vodka and VOILA, fresh ginger for three months ( and a nice ginger vodka to boot). Knowing carrots could keep for a while I bought lots. I had one bag in the pantry start to go "off" with lots of hair growth and soft mildewy spots. I simply took them out of the bag, cut off the spoiled bits, peeled them, washed them, and then placed them in a tupperware container in my fridge and they lasted several more weeks until I used them. I enjoyed the challenge of analyzing what needed to be eaten soon and what could wait. I sometimes realized I needed to make a soup or chowder to use up a certain item. I kept plenty of frozen milk in the fridge ( and now I still do) and I would just "cut" the amount I needed from the milk carton and put the rest back in the freezer. I also froze lots of cheese and employed the same technique. While the lockdown was a challenging time I was able to glean some valuable lessons about food storage and food management that I will be able to use for the rest of my life.

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