- Author: Lauria Watts
If you are really rambunctious try this for your future enjoyable easy eats: freeze small batches of lasagne, leftover pork ribs (these re-heat in the oven most excellently), turkey and fixin's (remember Thanksgiving?) and casseroles--or leftovers in general. Freezing leftover red sauce for pasta is a gift from heaven when tired or sick. You can cook extra chicken when grilling so that it can be defrosted in the refrigerator and you'll have a ready source of sandwich makings or salad add-ins (or casseroles for that matter). There is also the satisfaction of having something at hand to put in the oven on a night when you don't feel like preparing stuff for dinner!
To keep your frozen food safe you must follow good freezing practices. Excellent general advice on such is to be found here: freezing at the NCHFP
If you want to freeze prepared foods, like the lasagne I mentioned above or casseroles try the NCHFP's Freezing Casseroles, Soups and Stews. This is the ultimate in convenience food: your good cooking in your freezer!
For a good booklet (you might want to print up) about freezing all sorts of prepared foods try Preserving Food: Freezing Prepared Foods. You will need a .pdf reader. The foods it covers range from biscuits to whipped cream, and it has a good list of foods that do not freeze well. This is a good and valuable reference to have around the house.
Preserving by freezing requires some organization, just like preserving by canning, but if you can jar fruits and veggies to process, you may certainly freeze other, un-jar-able items as well. As mentioned above, they can be the most convenient foods--sometimes it is nice to be able to throw something in the oven for dinner and not even need to crack open some jars to do so.
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
When you see honey bees foraging on the early blooming oxalis, that's a sure sign that February is approaching.
And that means it's time for some mead, music and a bee-influenced dinner.
The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center is hosting its third annual fundraiser, The Feast: A Celebration of Mead and Honey, from 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 6 in the Robert Mondavi Institute of Wine and Food Science. Reservations are now underway. (See registration page.)
Mead, says Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center, is "the world's oldest fermented beverage."
What's mead? "It's a fermented blend of honey, water and often fruits, yeast, or spices that dates back to about 7000 BCE," Harris says. Ceramic shards found in Jiahu, Henan Province, China held a mead-like residue, according to Patrick McGovern, the leading authority on ancient alcoholic beverages. According to the BBC the number of meaderies in the United States has increased from 30 to 40 to more than 250 in the last 10 years.
The event, to take place in the Mondavi Institute's Sensory Building on Old Davis Road, will begin at 6 with cocktails, live music, hors d'oeuvres and the featured ginger mead from Schramms Mead in Michigan. Select wines, honey lemonade and sparkling mead also will be served.
Ann Evans, author of the Davis Farmer's Cookbook, and Kathi Riley, caterer and former chef at Zuni Cafe, San Francisco, will serve a Mediterranean-style dinner.
Harris says the menu will include a triple avocado salad, followed by "a tagine of chicken, vegetables and couscous served family-style. A light cheese course will accompany a dessert mead flight with a wonderful citrus almond torte closing the festive evening."
Proceeds from the dinner will be used to support the outreach and education programs of the Honey and Pollination Center. Its mission is “to make UC Davis a leading authority on bee health, pollination and honey quality," Harris says.
Tickets for the dinner are $125 and are available online at http://honey.ucdavis.edu/. For more information contact Amina Harris at email@example.com.