Tip for Fruit That Spoils Too Quickly

Here’s a tip from a reader that works for her…

Berries are delicious, but they’re also kind of delicate and can get that fuzzy mold fairly easily.

Here’s a tip I’m sharing on how to prevent them from getting that in the first place:

Wash them with vinegar.

·      When you get your berries home, prepare a mixture of one part vinegar (white or apple cider probably work best) and ten parts water.
·      Dump the berries into the mixture and swirl around.
·      Drain, rinse if you want (though the mixture is so diluted you can’t taste the vinegar)
·      Pop in the fridge.
·      The vinegar kills any mold spores and other bacteria that might be on the surface of the fruit, and voila! Raspberries will last a week or more, and strawberries go almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft.

You’re so berry welcome!

Dry Goods Storage by Chef Bill

Before we start off on our food storage adventure there is a true story I must tell.  For many years, instead of making my own bread stuffing I love the flavor of a particular name brand stuffing mix, so you might understand when one day I was cooking up roast chicken dinner which of course included my favorite stuffing mix.  On the box it said, “New and Improved”!  When it was time to eat dinner my family and I all had a bite of the stuffing.  Well…it was horrible.  I was shocked that my favorite stuffing mix had changed so much that I called the 1-800 number on the box to complain.  How could they change the recipe?  I was furious.  I told the person on the phone how upset I was.  She had me read her the code number on the box.  “Sir” she said, “That stuffing box is over three years old.  We do not recommend you use our product past one year.”

I immediately knew what had happened!  My wife had visited her mother and she had given her a box of dry goods from her house to take back to our house.

storing dry goods, helping families plan meals, free meals, free dinners, free meals in NH, Hooksett NH, resources for families, making ends meetSo as you giggle a bit about our stuffing story, remember whenever you store anything, FIFO:  First In First Out.  When you get home from that shopping trip take all your dry goods and use a black marker to write that day’s date on it so when you reach in that cabinet use your oldest date first – hopefully it’s not three years old!

When you contribute food to your local food drives remember to not give expired food. They throw away outdated donations by the dumpster load!

Keep your dry storage areas cool and dry and well vented.  Moisture and heat are the biggest dangers to dry and canned goods.  The temperature of the storage area should be between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  If possible keep relative humidity at 50 – 60 percent.

Store food in their original packaging.  Once open store the product in airtight containers that are clearly labeled.  Never buy or use dented cans. You are taking a chance with your family’s health if a hole or crack lets air into the can.  Bacteria will grow into a common illness called botulism.

Store dry goods at least six inches off the floor and out of direct sunlight.  Remember FIFO:  First In First Out.  Check the expiration date on your dry goods.  If you are past the date printed, throw it away NOT give it away.

Our next article will be on storage of refrigerated and frozen items.

– Chef Bill

The Hooksett Community Kitchen provides free meals to anyone wishing to attend every third Monday of the month from 5 pm to 7 pm.

What’s For Dinner March 19th?

Join us for dinner Monday, March 19th from 5 pm to 7 pm.

Here’s what our chef has planned!

Italian Baked Chicken

Rice – Green Beans – Salad

Dessert – Beverages – Rolls

Be sure to sign up for updates from this website.  We’ll be featuring a series of articles focusing on kitchen safety, staying healthy, quick recipes and more!  Enter your email in the sidebar and be automatically updated!

As always, our dinners are free to anyone wishing to come for dinner or come for friendship.  All denominations, or those with no church affiliation, are welcome.  Our door is open! Contact us with any questions regarding meals, support, or volunteering.

hooksettcommunitykitchen@gmail.com

603-485-9009

Food Safety Starts with Food Shopping

About the Author:  I have spent the last 30 plus years in the Food Service Industry and have held many food safety certifications.  I would like to take my professional experience and transform it to home use.  We will start our journey at the very beginning.

Food Safety starts with food shopping.  Always plan to go straight home after food shopping. The time food spends out of the refrigerator all adds up to an hour to two hour shopping trip.   Time and temperature abuse is a large problem.  My personal belief is to shop at the large chain store and not at the small Mom and Pop store.  Large chain stores have   multi-million dollar brand names to protect so they spend a lot of time and money on food safety.Hooksett Community Kitchen, food safety, helping the hungry, helping families stay healthy, free suppers, free dinners, free meals in NH, free meals in Hooksett, Hooksett NH

I always purchase my non-perishable goods first and then purchase my refrigerated and frozen items last.  Why?  Because time and temperature are key to food shopping and are commonly abused.   Food has been time and temperature abused anytime it has been allowed to remain for too long at the temperatures favorable for the growth of micro-organisms.

Another time and temperature are abused is food left out of your fridge like when my teenager makes a sandwich and forgets to put back the mayonnaise or sandwich meat back in the fridge.

The greatest danger to food safety are food born illnesses.  A food born illness is a disease that is carried or transmitted to people by food.  Each year millions of people become ill from food born illness although the majority of cases are not reported. 

Here are the most commonly reported causes of food born illness.
     >failure to properly cool foods
     >failure to cook and hold food at the proper temperature
     >poor personal hygiene

Look for my next article on food storage.

Chef Bill 

The Hooksett Community Kitchen provides free meals to anyone wishing to attend every third Monday of the month from 5 pm to 7 pm.

What’s For Dinner February 20!

Join us for dinner Monday, February 20th from 5 pm to 7 pm.

Here’s what our chef has planned!

Homemade Beef Stew

Dessert – Beverages – Rolls

Be sure to sign up for updates from this website.  We’ll be featuring a series of articles focusing on kitchen safety, staying healthy, quick recipes and more!  Enter your email in the sidebar and be automatically updated!

As always, our dinners are free to anyone wishing to come for dinner or come for friendship.  All denominations, or those with no church affiliation, are welcome.  Our door is open! Contact us with any questions regarding meals, support, or volunteering.

hooksettcommunitykitchen@gmail.com

603-485-9009