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Old 04-25-2013, 05:05 AM   #1
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Just Food? I'm in!!

Hiya. I live in up in the mountains in New Zealand now, but was born in London at the start of World War 2....so I've had a few meals! None of them cooked by me ! Until about a month ago, when I've started to 'create' a few disasters for myself.

I have absolutely everything to learn about cooking. It's something new for me. A new discipline that I've never had time for until recently retiring from the world of Radio, Films and TV, where there's never even time to eat, let alone cook !

My repertoire at the moment is limited to Cottage and Shepherd's Pies, a few basic casserole's, some obvious fry-ups, and several different Curries.

The one thing I have learned so far about cooking, [ as with many other things] is that if you ask 10 different people the same question, you'll get 10 different answers. Which does, of course, add some [unintended] variety to the dishes. Mine anyway !!

So I Googled 'Cooking Forums'....and here I am. First question to Register ...enter your Date Of Birth. Which at my age was not a good start ! But I carried on, as I need the answers !

My first topic [ and I expect I'll be told I'm in the wrong Forum, but I'll ask it anyway] is concerning STORAGE.

Storage after Cooking, that is to say.

You see, I have found that the most economical way both to buy and to cook seems to be the bigger the better. But there's [usually] only one of me, and as most of the Recipes I've come across finish with "Serves 5, or 6 or even 10 " then I either have to proportionally adjust everything, or split it up into storable meals for the future. Which I think I prefer to do.

But everyone I ask about it gives me a different answer ! And are quite stringent about it too. But I can't obey everyone, as they're all different. So I need a concensus of opinion, and I'll go with majorities. [ Sorry. No politics !]

For example, if I cook a large Chicken Curry [ Large Curry, that is, not Chicken]....and serve up one portion for myself, and divide the rest into 5 more, put them into foil dishes, and cling-film them, how many can go into the Fridge, and how many into the freezer ?

And when the ones in the Fridge have to be re-heated [How? Oven ? Microwave?] how long can they be kept in the fridge before hitting the dog's bowl ?

Similarly, how long can the remaining portions be kept in the Freezer ? And how should THEY be re-heated ? Is it really necessary to Defrost or can you just oven or Microwave for longer ?

Rice is easy and quick anyway, so that can always be freshly done, so it's just the main dishes that I'm asking about.

Well...that's my first question. And I've probably gone on too long anyway, so I'll stop now.... and go and make some dinner !

Cheers.

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Old 04-25-2013, 05:48 AM   #2
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Howdy. Nice intro.

I'll touch on reheating, as I also cook for one and generally have leftovers that need reheated. I have found the microwave to be perfect for this (not sure about your foil bowl thoughs). I leave my leftovers covered with the cling wrap, poke a few holes in the wrap and now here's the trick... don't use high. You're not trying to cook the food, just reheat it. Use a lower setting and keep it in longer. Instead of 10 for 3 minutes, use 6 or 7 for 5 or 6 minutes. The original quality suffers very little doing it this way. And if you don't want to use cling wrap, as some people think it's a carcinogen, use an upside down paper coffee filter to cover the food.

And I thaw frozen foods in the fridge. I've never been a fan of microwave thawing. Too much work and too much time. I'd just as soon take the dish out of the freezer and put it in the fridge a day or two before I think I'll be eating it.

Welcome aboard.
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:26 AM   #3
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Hello and welcome to DC
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:51 AM   #4
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Howdy!
Welcome to D.C.!
Some general advice. Ensure your refrigerator is running at least 40 degrees F (near as I can tell that is about 4.5 degrees C). Leftovers should be stored in shallow containers and used within 3 -4 days. Keep your fridge clean and free of spills as you can and don't overcrowd it.
Finally, "When in doubt, throw it out!"
I am sure others will be along soon to welcome you and offer further suggestions.
I hope you will enjoy being at D.C.!
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:42 AM   #5
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Welcome to DC.

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Old 04-25-2013, 09:54 AM   #6
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Welcome to DC Burnt-toast.

Maybe we should start a topic for the storage question. I'm sure many of us can benefit from that discussion.

I prefer to store cooked food in re-usable, microwave safe, plastic containers. Stuff with a liquid or a lot of sauce defrost well in the microwave, as well as reheating in the MW.

For a lot of stir fried stuff, I find that frying works better for reheating than the MW.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:55 AM   #7
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The microwave is not a friend to any bread products. So don't try to heat up biscuits, buns, etc. It makes the bread hard and inedible.

Can it be frozen? Look at the frozen foods in your local supermarket. If it is in there frozen, it is a safe bet that you can freeze it also.

The average recipe is for four people. If they are average eaters. I too live alone and am long in the tooth also. When I grocery shop, I buy my meats in family packs and break them down to single servings. I know I will only eat one sausage, so I wrap a single sausage. Then I place them in a large zippy bag. That way I can take out one at at time. If I should make enough for two meals, I will freeze a full plate and cover it as tightly as possible to prevent frost bite. I try to use it within two weeks. Marking frozen items with dates is a trememdous tool.

Welcome to DC. This is a fun place to be and any questions, there is always someone who has an answer for you.
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:08 PM   #8
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No politics spoken here.

Occasionally some members myself included will say thank God, God bless, you are so blessed etc.

Hopefully you're open minded and tolerant enough that these things won't bother you.

Welcome to the family!
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:23 PM   #9
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Hi, Burnt. Welcome to DC
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:58 PM   #10
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No politics spoken here.

Occasionally some members myself included will say thank God, God bless, you are so blessed etc.

Hopefully you're open minded and tolerant enough that these things won't bother you.

Welcome to the family!
And then there is my signature line. So far no one has complained. And we aren't shy when it comes to asking for prayers when needed. I know that from first hand. And I am so ever grateful for every one of them.
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