Thursday, February 4, 2010

More on making life easier.

Remember the food saver from the previous post.  I showed you how you can remove the air from canning jars and store your cut up veggies for two or three days.

Well I only have the wide mouth sealer and haven't bought the regular size sealer yet.  But you can still remove the air from the regular jars without it. At least you can with the smaller jars. 

There's a 3 canister set that came with my food saver.  A small canning jar will fit into the largest size canister as shown in the picture. You attach the plastic tube to the lid on the canister and also to the food saver vacuum machine. 
Then you push the canister button and it'll take all the air out of the pint size jar. I plan on getting the regular mason jar sealer, but until I do, it's nice to be able to seal the small jars.  The jar in the picture has some brown rice in it.  You can store all your rice, legumes, whole wheat pastas, etc. this way, but you'll want to use the quart size and not the pints.

There are bags that you can purchase for the food saver and they also have a rolls of plastic in two different sizes.  It's sides are sealed and the top and bottom are loose to be sealed by the purchaser.  As you can see in the picture, I used bags to freeze some lasagna.  What I did was cut the lasagna into individual portions and froze them overnight on a cookie sheet.
The next day I sealed the lasagna in single and double portions.  If my dh and I both want lasagna, I'll pull out the double portion, but if just one of us will be eating the lasagna, I wanted the single portions available too.

I actually had fun operating the machine.  I felt like a kid playing with a new toy.  :-)  The directions say that you can place the bag in boiling water (not to exceed a certain temperature -  and no I don't remember what that is at the moment), or you can place the vacuum sealed lasagna in the microwave.  I don't think I'll do either.  I'll probably let them defrost and remove them from the bag onto a plate and heat the food in the microwave.  The bags can be washed and reused, but not if you've boiled food in them or put them in the microwave.

The only problem I see with reusing them is that you need three inches at the top for sealing so the food size would end up becoming less and less.  I guess I have some experimenting to do.  :-)

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