This month's notes:
April 2014: Spring is just around the corner.
Strawberries are here in Florida, Texas and California, next in late March and
April for much of the South, then in May for most of the country and June in
cooler northern areas. See
how easy it
is to make strawberry jam or
Organic farms are
identified in green! See our guide to local
Please tell the farms you
found them here - and ask them to update their information!!
One of the best ways to preserve food is freezing.
Freezing keeps the flavor and texture better than any other method available to
home cooks. However, freezer burn, the dehydration of frozen foods causes
a lot of waste. The best way to prevent it and make your frozen foods last
longer and taste better, is to remove as much air as possible, and to use thick
plastic containers. Vacuum food sealers, like the FoodSaver brand do this,
and I've been using them for over 25 years.
This model foodsaver
is entry level, works great, but it is less automatic that the following
FoodSaver V2840 Advanced Design
This one is the least expensive of the Food Saver models that has all the
advamced features, like automatic bag detection and sealing, which makes it
faster and easier to seal. And yes, you can seal and freeze foods with
liquids (just freeze the unsealed bag in the freezer overnight, THEN seal
Home vacuum-packaging system vacuums, seals, and shuts off
appliance with SmartSeal technology keeps food fresh longer
built-in roll storage and cutter; automatic liquid detection
Crush-free instant seal;
2 vacuum speeds; 2 seal levels; progress lights; integrated
Marinate and canister
modes; includes 3 quart-size bags, 2 gallon-size bags, and a
roll of bag material
Measures approximately 6
by 18-8/9 by 10-2/5 inches; 1-year limited warranty
FoodSaver FreshSaver FSFRSH0051
Handheld Vacuum Sealing System
This is their low-priced version. Better suited toward re-usable
storage, such as in the fridge, when you will be getting into the bag and
resealing it. It's new and looks like it will be priced under $20.
handheld vacuum appliance for use with specially designed zipper bags
and deli tray
for everyday use
operation vacuums airtight with the press of a button
clean nozzle catches overflow liquids and is dishwasher safe
device can be conveniently stored in a drawer for easy access, includes
2 medium zipper bags
SC Johnson #70055 Ziploc Vacuum
Ziploc Vacuum Pump & Bags, For Vacuum Storage To Keep Frozen Food Fresh
Longer & Prevent Freezer Burn, Bags Have Built-In Valve For Removing Air,
Seal Food In Bag With Zipper, Place Pump Over Valve & Remove Excess Air With
A Few Pumps, No Batteries, Contains One Pump & 3 Quart Vacuum Bags, Easy To
Use, Dishwasher Safe.
Blake: I really like this one. I use it for shirt
term storage in both the fridge and freezer. I put a half an avocado
in 3 days ago, and the cut surface of the avocado is still bright green!
I still like my FoodSaver better for long term freezer storage, but this is
perfect for short term because the bags are reuseable and resealable!
12 Count, Ziploc Quart Vacuum Refill Bags, Bags
For Use With Ziploc Vacuum MFG #70055, Zipper Seal With Built-In Valve.
You can also get them a local big box type stores (including <gasp> the mart
that sells walls! But, this online price is even better!
Reynolds Handi Vac Starter Kit
UPDATE: It appears as this one has been
Contrasted with the FoodSaver models is the Reynolds Handi-Vac which is
very inexpensive, usually under $20. I haven't tested it yet, but it gets
rave reviews. (Click on the Amazon box at left for more information, to read
the reviews, or to order). It works with ordinary zip-loc type bags.
Includes 11-inch-wide bag roll, 3 quart-size bags, 2 gallon-size
bags, and accessory hose
Measures approximately 13-4/5 by 18-2/7 by 6 inches; 1-year limited
Keep Food Fresh up to Five Times Longer
About $129 (click links at left for current price or
FoodSaver Rolls and Bags
FoodSaver Quick Marinator 2-1/4-Quart
Square Canister (Colors will vary)
FoodSaver Quick Marinator Canister is the perfect shape and size for
marinating fish, poultry, and vegetables. Vacuum packaging opens the
pores of food, allowing marinades to penetrate deeper and more quickly,
cutting the marinating time of your favorite recipes. FoodSaver
Rectangular Canisters work with all FoodSaver appliances that have an
square canister with vacuum-sealing lid
of durable polycarbonate plastic with clear sides
for storing leftovers, keeping desserts fresh, and marinating food
with all FoodSaver appliances that have an accessory port
approximately 9-1/2 by 4 by 9-1/4 inches
Quart and gallon sized bags
construction provides barrier to oxygen and moisture
to help prevent freezer burn
be used in the freezer or refrigerator
boilable and dishwasher safe
FoodSaver 3-Piece Canister Set
storage canisters for FoodSaver machines with accessory
port, such as:
00-1400-01 FoodSaver Vac 550 Kit Vacuum Sealing System
00-1700-00 FoodSaver Vac1050 Kit
00-0312-01 FoodSaver Professional II Vacuum Sealing Kit
1-1/2-quart, and 2-1/2-quart plastic canisters
Canning jars delivered to your doorstep and guaranteed!
Any size you need. , From quarts on the left, pints in the middle, to 8
ounce jars on the right. Click on the links below
Canning & Preserving for Dummies by Karen Ward
Average Customer Review:
Usually ships in 24 hours
The Ball Blue Book of Preserving
This is THE book on canning! My grandmother used this book when I
was a child. It tells you in simple instructions how to can almost
anything; complete with recipes for jam, jellies, pickles, sauces, canning
vegetables, meats, etc. If it can be canned, this book likely tells
you how! Click on the link below for more information and / or to buy (no
obligation to buy)
guide contains virtually everything consumers need to know about home
canning: how to select, prepare, and can fruits, vegetables, poultry, red
meats and seafoods; how to preserve fruit spreads, fermented foods and
pickled vegetables; how to prepare foods for special diets, and much more.
Also includes scores of simply written recipes that even beginners can
handle (smoked fish, turkey-tamale pie, chicken croquettes, more. It's the
second book to get, after the Ball Guide.
Click on the link below for more information and / or to
buy (no obligation to buy)
Making Jam? Need Pectin, but the local store is
Is your jam too runny? Pectin enables you to turn out
perfectly set jam every time. Made from natural apples, there are also
low-sugar pectins that allow you to reduce the sugar you add by almost
Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!
* All the tools you need for hot waterbath canning - in one comprehensive set!
* Complete with 21 1/2 qt. enameled waterbath canner
* Also includes canning rack, funnel, jar lifter, jar wrencher, bubble freer, tongs and lid lifter.
* A Kitchen Krafts exclusive collection.
This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also s simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if your want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see
more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
Don't forget the Ball Blue Book!
Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.
Need lids, rings and replacement jars? Or pectin to make jam,
spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes? Get them all here, and
usually at lower prices than your local store!
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