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Storing Thanksgiving Dinner

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by Lee Flynn

Thanksgiving leftovers can be a pain in the butt to store. If they don’t get eaten fast enough, they can spoil. If you’d rather have them as food storage, however, it can be even more difficult to store what you’ve already cooked or what you didn’t even open. Do not worry. There are ways to accomplish what you want to without going to incredible expenses.

One of the easiest ways to make the Thanksgiving leftovers food storage is to make sure you freeze it. This can be done by putting it in airtight containers or in freezer bags. To prepare before Thanksgiving, go through your freezer and find what you won’t eat or what is freezer burnt. Throw them out or give them away since freezing food often saves it past the expiration date. However, be aware that freezing the food won’t make it long-term food storage – unless you didn’t cook the turkey since meat is one of the best things to keep in the freezer for this kind of storage.

If you have dried or instant foods that you did not use that don’t expire for a few years, you can use a fleece fabric and your storage area. A root cellar or a specified place would be the best place to put this. Use the fabric to create a blanket and either cover the food or use it to cover the floor of the cellar or pantry. This will show that you have designated it for food storage for the long term.

Another tip is to simply buy extra and designate the extra to go to food storage. This allows you to put the extra in your food storage without having to worry about making sure that you have enough for the holidays. Dried cranberries, instant mashed potatoes, and an extra turkey if you like can all be put into your food storage without compromising your Thanksgiving dishes. You will also save freezer space and your freezer containers. It also allows you to have access to Thanksgiving food without worrying about if they have been freezer burnt.

If you run short on time and cannot use something, store it properly. Potatoes, for instance, can last a while in the pantry before they begin to grow eyes. Clean, cook, and mash them before freezing them to allow you access to real mashed potatoes that will simply need to be defrosted – if you have a camping stove, you can warm them up when you need to.

If you want to store potatoes, consider using a long container and sawdust. Simply put a layer of sawdust on the bottom of the container. Then put a layer of potatoes in. Make sure you do not wash them. Continue this until the container is full. However, you can also use a large trash bag. Be weary of doing so. The trash bag is more difficult to use when you get to the bottom layers come spring or when you get there. The reason the sawdust works incredibly well is because it insulates the potatoes. The container or trash bag keeps the light out, which keeps the potatoes from going green while they’re in storage. Whatever you do, do not put your unused potatoes in the fridge. This will turn the starches into sugar faster and give you an odd tasting potato. Storing them in a paper bag in a cool place if you plan on using them in the near future is a better idea.

Food storage is important, so it’s important to know the limitations of your space, your house, and the different methods you will be using. Using them all to your advantage, you can keep your food fresh, stored properly, or ready to use in an emergency. Having the proper items on hand to make sure they are cooked right is also important, but that can be addressed after the holidays.


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