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Storing Food Question

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I hate grocery shopping and hate when I need only a couple onions, a bay leaf, or some thyme, or some garlic or juniper berries and have to run to the store. Should I start freezing and storing ahead? or suck it up and go often? would defrosting degrade them too much? thanks

post #2 of 12

Onions - can be blanched and frozen in diced or sliced form, not the greatest but they will do when defrosted.  Fresh can be stored for several weeks in a cool dark place with lots of ventilation (low humidity).

 

Bay Leaves are likely already dried and will keep in whole form for 3-6 months easily.  If you need fresh you could probably freeze them just fine, the flavor is in the oils so it won't go anywhere.

 

Thyme - grow a plant at home if you like fresh as you don't usually use much per recipe, unless you like lots of Jerk'd food.  The dried stuff is just fine so stock up on it.  Again the flavor is in the oils.

 

Garlic will last for several weeks in a cool dark place if you buy fresh bulbs - lots of grocery store stuff is already over a year old and way past it's prime.  Alternately buy a small jar of the diced stuff in the refrigerated section of the market - check the ingredients label - they cheap stuff will have likely too much 'stuff' in it, this will keep in the fridge for at least a few weeks and is often better than the sprouting bulbs at the mega-mart.

 

Juniper berries are usually dried when called for in a recipe and they keep well for 3-6 months so stock up.   If you need fresh then you are best to keep them frozen and thaw as needed.  Although i've never seen frozen juniper berries for sale tbh.

 

The key to preventing degradation when freezing/thawing is twofold:

a) freeze the items as fast as you can, and

b) thaw them slowly in the refrigerator.

 

Hope that helps

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Yes thank you.

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Michael GA, 

 

I notice a lot of people here with the title "Sous Chef" does this mean they/you are an assistant to the head chef or you cook Sous Vide while at work? 

post #5 of 12

It is the first one,  

- here is a decent description of the titles and how it works in a brigade style kitchen.

It's not universal and there are many variations but I think this is as close as it gets to universal.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chef

 

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Oh Lord what have I done!?!  (let the flames begin!)

crazy.gif

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

I figured so, just wanted to be sure. Thanks for your help. 

post #7 of 12

It is a pain to have to run out for one thing at the last minute, but I'm curious. Do you hate ALL food shopping?

 

I always think of it as the first, exploratory step to coming up with something delicious to eat. I adore food shopping. I am lucky enough to have the time and a great variety of convenient ethnic markets and fruit markets in my neighborhood that I go food shopping at least three times a week. I think I am happiest in an ethnic market, surrounded by exotic ingredients and people speaking other languages. It feels like a mini vacation.

 

My other cheap thrill is seeing what looks beautiful at the fruit or farmer's market and coming up with ideas of how to prepare the bounty. I am less excited about going to my neighborhood grocery store, but even that can be an interesting challenge. I like seeing what's on sale that I could use to stock my pantry.

 

Maybe you could make it more exciting for yourself by seeking out some offbeat, alternative shopping venues. For me, food shopping is an integral part of the cooking process, a good part of what I love about the whole venture.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

I would enjoy that, but I need to learn how to store items for future use.

post #9 of 12

The Joy of Cooking has a big section called "Know Your Ingredients" which is chock full of very useful information on how to shop for and store a wide range of ingredients.

post #10 of 12

Onions and garlic will keep more than a few weeks if kept cool and dark. My pantry in winter runs around 55 degrees and a bag of onions will be fine for 3 months. Same for a basket of garlic.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

I own that book thanks.

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelGA View Post

It is the first one,  

- here is a decent description of the titles and how it works in a brigade style kitchen.

It's not universal and there are many variations but I think this is as close as it gets to universal.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chef

 

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Oh Lord what have I done!?!  (let the flames begin!)

crazy.gif

 

I don't know what you've done, but the article is good, so thanks for the link. I love this story:

 

Quote from Wikipedia:

 

A chef's hat was originally designed as a tall rippled hat called a Dodin Bouffant or more commonly a toque. The Dodin Bouffant had 101 ripples that represent the 101 ways that the chef could prepare eggs.

Gebbe Got uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichen und schönen Tod. Joseph Roth.
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Gebbe Got uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichen und schönen Tod. Joseph Roth.
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