How to Keep Produce, Meats and Food Longer for my Gastronomic Wednesday

produce and food storage in the fridge and the freezer

I have to confess that I am not good at freezing food. For most of my adult life, I did my grocery everyday buying only what I needed to prepare my dinner and the next morning breakfast. Like most of us, I do not like to waste food. Our lifestyle is such that we go to many events, sometimes unexpected. My husband and I often work late the rest of the time and for these days, my current system does not work anymore. I am looking for a better way to manage my food buying process.

One solution is to prolong the life shelf of what I buy at the grocery and at the farmer’s market. The latest article by Mark Bittman on the NY Times came at a right time. Mark explained how we could save time and money by freezing more than the leftovers. The idea is to make it simpler for you to cook a homemade meal.

The ABC of Freezing Food

Proper labeling will simplify your life. I find that a fine Sharpie permanent marker works the best. Identify clearly the content and the date.

The key is to avoid freezer burns and that you must eliminate air and fill the plastic containers to the top (allow for expansion). In short, the three techniques involve double- or even triple-wrap food (or use freezer bag), fill containers to the top and squeeze the air out of containers. Use water or cooking liquid, leaving room for expansion, to cover all blanched vegetables and beans. For certain food and for sauces, like pesto, cover instead with a layer of oil.

Freezing food is not as tasty but it is a good alternative to not waste them. If you are picky about taste, leave the use of some frozen food to when you prepare a recipe. Frozen hard and very hard cheese, like Parmesan, can be used later in a risotto.

FridgeSmart containers by Tupperware

On the same subject, I found that Tupperware created a new series of plastic contains called FridgeSmart. All fruits and vegetables needs a different level of airflow when stored in the fridge. Therefore, it is not enough to rely on the one-for-all venting system of the fruits and vegetable drawers in your fridge. With the FridgeSmart containers, you can regulate the airflow within the container thanks to its integrated venting system. A permanent storage chart is molded into all containers, except the small, to eliminate the guesswork. FridgeSmart is supposed to keep your fruits and vegetables fresh longer. I say supposed because I did not try it.

+ Freeze That Thought by Mark Bittman for the New York Times
+ Photo credit: rights reserved photo illustration by Tony Cenicola for the NY Times
+ FridgeSmart containers by Tupperware $12 to $49.50 USD (for the set)

  • Jennifer Mitchell
    May 8, 2009 at 18:35

    Great tips Kim! I never freeze things, but I’ll give it a try now.

  • Joy of Home Cooking with Friends for my Organizing Monday | At Home with Kim Vallee
    May 25, 2009 at 20:20

    […] You could also prepare a huge batch of Mario Batali’s Basic Tomato Sauce on Food Networks. Make sure to tell your friends that a tomato sauce typically holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer. Before freezing the sauce, make sure to read the tips to preserve food longer on the freezer. […]