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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Someone asked me some questions

I taught a class on Food Storage at my stake's Women's Day on Saturday.  One of the class members sent me these questions later:
  1. When storing salt in a plastic bucket, is an oxygen absorber needed?  i think you wouldn't use a mylar bag with it though, right?
I have left all my salt in its original packaging.  Mostly I have purchased cardboard packages.  The only danger is that the salt might go hard from humidity, but if so, I figure I can dissolve it into the liquid of any recipe and smash the lumps out.  If someone else has experience with this, please add a comment.
  1. when storing my own food in the buckets, do the mylar bags make it last longer?  are they necessary for every item?
I don’t have any experience using mylar bags inside buckets.  I have always just put the food into the bucket and either treated it with dry ice (not recommended anymore) or with oxygen absorbers.  Maybe you can look at other websites for more information on this.
  1. Will honey keep in just the regular containers that you buy in the store if they are unopened?  or should it be transfered?
Honey will keep forever, and no, you don’t have to transfer it from the store packaging.
I don’t think its smart to buy honey in huge containers or big buckets, because there is no way to melt it after it gets hard.  A friend told me they had to break chunks of honey off with a chisel and hammer and then melt the chunks.  That doesn’t sound fun to me.
I like to buy honey in the regular 5 lb. plastic jugs at Sam’s Club.  After several years the honey goes hard, but when that happens I saw the top half of the bottle off with a serrated knife (because it is too tall for my microwave) and cook the honey in the microwave for awhile until I melt the honey again.  Then I pour the liquid honey into a new container.
  1. Have you heard of anyone storing Masa for making tortillas?  it's very dry so i'm assuming that it can be stored, but generally it goes stale way before my flour does when in the regular package.  i can see it being very handy for quick meals in emergencies, as you only add water and tortillas can be cooked almost anywhere. (i.e. on a rock if necessary!)
I just learned to make corn tortillas, so I just bought my first bag of masa.  I am hoping that I can store it the same way I store cornmeal, in buckets or tupperware.  I am definitely going to buy some more.
  1. Chocolate??  in an emergency, I WILL NEED CHOCOLATE!  Can I buy bars and store them or will that not really work great?
I have stored many pounds of chocolate chips and M&Ms by using my Tilia FoodSaver vacuum sealer and the jar attachment.  I put the candy into regular canning jars, put the lid on (but not the screw-on ring) and then attach the vacuum sealer and pull out all the air.  I have heard that chocolate, nuts, coconut,  and candy stays good up to three years in vacuum sealed jars.
I have also stored many packages of cocoa, in their original containers.  I don’t know if I can rotate through them before they go bad, because I don’t know how long they will store.  But I bought them anyway because I love chocolate!

1 comment:

  1. If you have buckets of honey you can put the honey into sterile canning jars (that is how my friends do it). I guess if you are worried about contamination you can seal it with a foodsaver. Nickey