Thursday, 11 June 2020

Living on a Box - Initial Food Preparation


So the box arrived in good condition, with chilled things still nicely chilled and everything neatly in it's original packaging.  Now it was my turn to store the foods so that they would last me for the full two weeks of the Challenge.  Obviously the food in the box is designed to feed two people for one week and so some of the items are designed to be eaten in that time frame.


For instance, the bread had a Best Before date of 12th and as the food box arrived on the 8th obviously it would have to be eaten well before the week was out if I wanted it nice and fresh.  But as always I decided the best thing to do was to freeze the bread so that I could take out individual slices as and when I needed them, thus meaning that it could actually last me up to a month.


I took off the fastener, loosened all the slices and pegged the bag closed.


Then the bread and the Spinach were both popped into the freezer.  After a couple of hours I scrunched the spinach to make sure it wasn't freezing together as one big clump and I took the bread out of the freezer, checked the slices had started to freeze nice and individually and then pushed the loaf back together, excluded all the air and fasten it back up with the clothes peg.  

Why buy fancy bag fasteners when clothes pegs are so cheap and do the job really well!!

I have 16 slices of bread and 2 crusts to use in my two week meal plan.

Once the bread was nicely frozen I added the pack of buns and the frozen peas to this shelf, along with the lemon slices that I always have in there, and which I will still allow myself one slice of each morning.


The carrots were taken from their slightly wet bag and laid on a double thickness of kitchen paper and then put into a Stayfresh bag, once again fastened with a clothes peg.


The potato and onion bags were cut open and stood in the fridge drawer.  I don't always store potatoes in the fridge but at this time of year it does help them to stay fresh for longer, especially baby potatoes.  Onions I always store in the fridge and this keep them fresh for months.

After this photo was taken I added my bought in items, the lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and the older potatoes to the drawer.  Hopefully everything will now stay fresh for as long as possible.


Finally I took a few of the dried items out of their bags and tipped them into jars to make helping myself to portions easier ... and well, because I like things in jars.  It didn't seem worth tipping the chickpeas into a jar as I think I will just soak and then cook the whole bag, and then freeze half of them them to use in the second weeks recipes.  These items will just live out of the worktop for the next two weeks, so I can see them and make full use of them each day.


So ... this is what my food storage areas look like at the moment -


Fridge Shelf

From this shelf the sausages and 'No Chick' strips will be open frozen and the cheese will be grated, divided between two tubs and one of the tubs frozen for the second week.


Fridge Drawer



Freezer Shelf


The Worktop


Some of these items are now back in their usual places around the kitchen so Alan knows he can use them too,  but I know I can make use of them as and when I need to.

So that's it almost all of the prep done and it's time to start the Challenge.

Two Weeks Living on a Box


Sue xx
📦



18 comments:

  1. Meticulous prep. This is going to be good!
    xx

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  2. You are very organised Sue, I think good prepping is key to any challenge. x

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    1. I try to be, I've always found the more organised I am the more money I save.

      It's nice to get a lot of the prep out of the way early on while I'm fired up for the Challenge. By the middle of the second week I might be losing steam a bit, but by then there should be lots of ready prepared foods in the freezer ... home made Challenge ready meals :-)

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  3. Really enjoying reading about your challenge! I was interested that you keep onions in the fridge. Doesn't it make them a bit soft, as opposed to crisp? I use some cloth bags lined with blackout materials to store onions and potatoes, to keep the light out but the air circulating.

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    1. No, as long as they are in the salad drawer it makes them super crisp and they literally last months. Make sure the bag is completely open at the top though and that they are all nice and dry when they go in. Same with potatoes at this time of year but in a bag with the light excluded.

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  4. Yes, I was wondering about the onions too? I keep mine in the cool cupboard under the sink.
    This challenge should be really great!

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    1. I think my kitchen is just too warm to do this ALL my cupboards are pretty warm. The Aga is on 24/7 so it's the warmest room in the house.

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  5. Same as Sue with onions - in the fridge with other vegetables and it is almost worrying how long they keep in good condition :-)

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    1. Definitely, we were still eating onions with a Best Before date of November at the end of January.

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  6. I love that you've spoken about preparation to make the food kart longer. This is do important when you bring groceries home. I always split bread and remove plastic from fruit and veg to extend their life.

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    1. Yes, it's definitely worth doing isn't it 😃

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  7. I enjoy reading about all your challenges; I am looking forward to seeing how this one works out. I know you'll do really well. :)

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  8. You have done a marvelous job of preparing your food for the next two weeks.

    God bless.

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  9. Oh you taught me something! I've always kept my onions out, only putting them in the fridge once I've cut into them. I'll now be storing them in the fridge from the start. You always have great tips!

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    1. Make sure you put them in the salad drawer 🙂

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