26 September 2006

Keeping things fresh in the fridge

This is a tip my Mum read about in a magazine many years ago.

When storing food in the fridge, particularly vegetables, fruit and cheese, if it's in a plastic bag, or other air tight container, it tends to go a bit sweaty and if you don't use it fast, it goes mouldy. The reason is that mould, like most fungi, needs moisture and something to feed on. So wrapping things in kitchen roll takes the moisture away from the food, thus it is more difficult for the mould to grow. This might give a day or two extra in the fridge.

Generally foods should be stored in air tight containers or sealed in plastic bags. If you have a good sized fridge, then on occasion the whole pot or saucepan in which the food was cooked can go in. Cover with plastic film, if the lid won't fit. Not with aluminium foil, that's for cooking and baking, as you can't really get it to fit well and stop air going in and out. I don't care what it says on the pack.

After the escapades this Saturday, there is so much food, I've frozen most of it into portions sufficient for one meal for me and Lundulph. I need another freezer though. If I see cheap fresh herbs, I buy them and chop them and freeze in boxes. This gives fresh herbs when ever I need them and takes some effort out of planning meals. I just need to focus on the main ingredients. i do the same with mushrooms.

Other things I keep in the freezer are Swedish meatballs - perfect emergency food if you can't be bothered to cook. Served traditionally with boiled potatoes and "brun sås" (literary means brown sauce, but is gravy actually) and a bit of lingonberry preserve (to give a nice tangy flavour), they are just as good with rice or pasta and Bisto. Actually ketchup will do, if you don't even have powdered gravy.

Also some packets of fresh pasta, it doesn't take long to cook, but tastes so much nicer than dry one.

At this point you realise I have a large freezer. Yes, I do. "American" sized some call them. Standard if you are from Scandinavia, anything less only works if you are single, I think. In fact I had a big discussion about this with my Dad when they refurbished their kitchen in Bulgaria. But there is a 24-7 minimarket at the end of the road - why bother with a fridge and freezer - it takes less than 2 minutes to walk down there and get anything you need.

I just like to have things stocked up at home, that saves me worrying if we'll run out of anything and also keep buying the same things every week. I like it when something runs out, I can just magically produce more.

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