When the cooler temperatures morph into the sizzling ones, I know it’s time for me to make adjustments and changes along the culinary line. These moves help in the prevention of food spoilage which subsequently allow me to obtain my money’s worth. Some of the steps I generally take are: –
- Reduce the number on the thermostat in order to avoid spoilage and food-borne illnesses. The USDA states that bacteria thrives in temperatures 40 to 140 degrees which is termed the ‘Danger Zone’.
- Make a concerted effort to operate a ‘first-in/first out’ (FIFO) system when it comes to the usage of foods and left-over dishes. Thus, I try to stock freezer and refrigerator accordingly.
- Perishables like fruits and vegetables normally have a shorter shelf-life during the warmer months. As a result, I try to extend their lives by: freezing over-ripened fruits like berries, melon, and ripe bananas in zip lock bags in the freezer.
- Frozen fruits are generally used in refreshing and tasty smoothies and popsicles.
- To lengthen the short shelf-life of ripe bananas, I store them in plastic bags on counter top or/and refrigerator. If they become speckled and overly mature, I use same to incorporate in pancakes and fritters. Or, they are placed in zip lock baggies in freezer for addition to smoothies.
- Wilted carrots and other veggies are tossed into stews and soups.
- Keep a pitcher in the fridge with: water and sliced lemon or/and water and sliced cucumber.
- Freeze water bottles for when I’m on the move during the day.
With the above moves and more, I know that I will gain some form of control in my kitchen throughout the warm months.