Helpful tips on how to store food

By Christine Mitchell

Lets start with how to store food for the next 21 days.

Fruit and Vegetables

Realistically its impossible to stock up and keep fresh veg for 21 days but there are some tricks to keeping it fresh for as long as possible.
The first thing you need are brown bags, (biltong bags) or if you do not have brown bags newspaper will work too.
Take all of your veg and fruit out of any plastic packaging and either put it in the brown bags or wrap it in two sheets of newspaper, try not to mix the different vegetables together.
When storing it in the fridge make sure to not put where the fridge gets condensation so the bags or newspaper do not get wet, if they do get wet swop out the bags with new ones.

Keep all of your root vegetables like onions butternut and potatoes in a cool place in the kitchen in a wrack or grass basket, once again make sure there is not plastic packaging on it. The best way and if you have the space is to hang the baskets or wracks so they are not on the floor.

When your garlic starts to look like it may not last, (this does not happen in my kitchen, I cant keep up with how much garlic I use) peel all of the garlic and put it in either a container or jar and put a tablespoon of salt and cover the garlic with either vinegar or preserved lemon juice. This will keep the garlic fresh and you can just take what you need out and chop it up as per normal.

Fresh herbs can be stored in containers or jars with water at the bottom for the herbs stems to sit and then keep in the fridge, changing the water out every other day.

Meat

Obviously most of your meat for the next 21 days will be in the freezer, hopefully your local butchery was kind enough to vacuum pack your meat. I know Billy’s Meats in Harare will vacuum pack everything for you.
This is the best way that prevents freezer burn on any of your nyama. If the seal breaks on your vacuum bag, best is to defrost and use it in a couple of days.

Alternatively if your meat is not vacuum packed, you can use a ziplock bag.
Firstly you need to rub your meat with a layer of oil, olive or vegetable oil, then you put your meat in the ziplock bag and to get the best seal and remove all of the air from the bag, you need to fill your sink with water and have ¾ of your bag sealed and slowly submerge the bag in the water and as you get to the top of the bag seal the last ¼ of your bag and you will have almost airtight seal on your meat ready to freeze.

Contributor : Christine Mitchell

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