Thursday, November 10, 2011

Food storage - small family

I follow a number of blogs including a set of blogs written by moms of families that are much larger than the average modern family.  They write on themes and this week it seems to be how large families store their staples.  Blogger Mom Kim C of  Life in a Shoe talks about her use of what appears to be five gallon size containers to store staples.  I like the color coordinated covers to distinguish the flour from the beans from the rice from the brown sugar.

Growing up, my mother had a group in our town that would purchase a few times a year from a local (by local I mean appx 75 miles away) food co-op.  I remember anticipating the catalog of food goodies.  A lot of "new" choices were successful (natural licorice)  and some unsuccessful (did you know that bird wouldn't even eat the whole wheat spaghetti of the 1980s?).Typical things she would order would be: a gross of toothbrushes (she gave them out at Halloween in addition to a candy item), cheese in great big blocks, chocolate chips, and pistachios.  As a note, 1 lb of bay leave is a very large quantity and I think, some 20+ years later, she still has some...

I always loved going with her to get the order, filling the back of our van and than watching her divide the food into smaller orders, using a baby scale, yardsticks, and bags.  I made me feel like our family was part of something larger.

Now my family is small, consisting only of my husband and my son so we won't be buying 50lbs of flour anytime soon as a 5 lb bag  lasts us through many many batches of beer bread but we do run into our own food storage issues.

As Hannabert (our son) has start the semi-solid food stage, I have been making his baby food (with some jars as back up which my husband primarily uses/packs).  I have found it easiest to make large amounts of food and freeze it in ice cube trays and then pop out the cubes and store them in quart size bags.  I prefer the quart size bags to the gallon sized bags because I felt that the gallon sized bags resulted in a lot of wasted space.

The ice cube tray method has worked great for most purees (excluding the apple plum which kind of turned into a sticky, semi-solid paste) but I am struggling with how to do more "finger foods" in this manner.  He, like most babies (good or bad, agree or disagree), eats puffs but I wanted more of a variety that just those (despite the many flavors that are on the market).  I usually make steamed sweet potato sticks or broccoli spears (I cheated and bought a bag of pre-steamed, frozen ones from Trader Joes) but I am unsure of storage.  Currently, I make them once a week and then keep them in the fridge.  Any thoughts on safe food storage for steamed vegetables?

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