Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Food Preservation Q&A, Part One

Following are some questions I've received regarding food preservation, followed by my answers:

Q: I'm sorry to sound so dense . . . but where do you keep all this stuff? Do I need an extra refrigerator?

A: Not a dense question at all -- most Americans aren't familiar with the lost art of food preservation. No need for refrigeration. That's the beauty of canning -- your creations can be stored safely for a year on a shelf. I keep my home-canned goods in a cabinet in the basement. A cool, dark place is best. Dehydrated food has a shorter shelf life, but could be extended with refrigeration or freezing if you desire.

Q: Okay what exactly is an apple peeler/slicer/corer?

A: It's a kitchen tool that peels, slices, and cores your apples all with a turn of a handle. You secure the gadget to your kitchen table or a special stand, attach your apple, and turn the handle. In the end, you have lovely apple rings. Most can be adjusted to just peel. I'm told that you can use them for potatoes too.

Several list members wrote to tell me that Pampered Chef carries one. It's a little more expensive, but it comes with a stand and looks pretty sturdy. Here is a link if you want to see what it looks like.

Q: What is a food sieve and what does it do?

A: There are several styles that one can purchase and they can be called food mills, sieves, or strainers. The one that I own is the Victorio Strainer, which I love but I think is out of production. Here is a similar model.

You put apples in the top and out one end comes the icky seeds and peels, and out the other end comes yummy applesauce. Similar process for tomato sauce.

That's all I have time for today. I still have blueberries to put up. More tomorrow.

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