Freezer or not, methods of storing extra

I’m not sure what us Americans would do without freezers.

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Eat more canned and tetra-packed stuff, I guess. But it seems pointless to ignore viable methods of storing food, especially now, when most of us are shopping less frequently. I wouldn’t freeze paella either, 'cause the seafood would get rubbery. But soup? stew? a batch of of dumplings? fresh fish that you’re not going to eat in the next two days? I don’t see why not.

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Yes, it’s very specifically cultural. Like the way we shop, and quantities of things.

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Are we talking about freezing food? Store bought puff pastry, egg whites, shrimp, butter, bones for stock, nuts, yeast, bread (I don’t eat it much), cooked beans…) This could be a new topic.
Looks like it’s been done, but not “one to rule them all”.

And

There’s more.

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I’ve never thought of doing that. Great to know!

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There are older methods of “storing extra” that became so well-known in themselves that we might not even remember they ARE storage methods. For example, packing cabbage into a container with lots of salt is a way of storing the extra cabbage. I’m certain the first person to make sauerkraut was mainly trying to keep it from going bad, and wasn’t just on a sodium-fuelled culinary adventure. Same for any traditional type of pickles. Same for bacon and all cured meats - just storage prep methods that happened to taste good.

In places where the climate and geography make it useful, digging a deep hole and using that cool, stable environment to store food is still better than nothing, if people are willing.

Canning your own produce certainly must have felt different when you were doing it because you knew that that was all there was going to be until next year.

Taking that a step further: Expecting to only eat what you grow, and expecting to have no way to get any of the foods grown in other areas - not the hundred-mile diet but the one-mile diet - must completely change people’s perceptions of storage (and food in general) in ways that I don’t think I could even comprehend.

Snapping back to 2020… For anything that’s going to spend a long time in the freezer, obsessing over making the package impermeable and airtight will be greatly rewarded.

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My freezer is always packed, and even more so in Covid times. I think I often use the freezer route to avoid guilt of wasting food. When I find those packages a year later it’s easier to toss out :roll_eyes:

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My idealistic side thinks every freezer should have a “use by…” chart attached to it, like

Ham - March 2021
Fruitcake - December 2060
and so on, listing every item inside, with the date left blank if uncertain when it needs to be used.

My real-me side doesn’t do it though.

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It would also mean living without Costco.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold