Freeze drying and food storage.

We were lucky enough to be in a position to get ourselves a freeze-dryer. My wife and I talked about it for a little over a year before deciding to get one. We have loved it ever since. We got ours in a July 16th, and have been using it ever since. I think it had been running except for 1 cycle time. We started kind of small with eggs we have, ice cream sandwiches and strawberries. It came out well. They tasted a lot better than the store bought freeze dried strawberries.

Our school district, along with all school districts in our state, kept track of those students who were home schooled vs taught in school for different parts of the pandemic. Based on the percentage of time not at the school, parents were given a P-EBT card. It is like food stamps, but you do not apply, and it comes from the state. While it is a horrible idea, just like all the handouts have been, the funds are already spent. We used ours. We went to a Sam’s club for the first time in my life.

We bought in bulk. We have been freeze drying a lot. We also bought some totes for storing the freeze dried foods. I am actually just getting ready to start my first for-profit load in the freeze drier. $13.93 in fruits, charging $25. That is exciting, though. We have been freeze drying fruits and vegetable first, as they last shorter. We have also bought some meats that will be freeze dried, but that will be later. They can sit in the freezer while we get the fruits and veggies done. We did buy some bulk meats like full boneless hams and turkeys. Beef and ground beef. The first meat I freeze dried was sausage from a pig I had butchered. That came out awesome. The second was a pork loin I cooked and cubed. Firstly, I will only freeze dry cooked meat. That is a personal choice, but I am freeze drying so that if shtf, I have food to eat. With that note, the pork loin is very dry when eaten dry. When it is reconstituted, the flavor and texture was amazing.

Here is a list if what we have freeze dried thus far, and has been an amazing experience all around. Ice Cream Sandwiches, Strawberries, Pineapple, Bananas, Onions, Peppers, Apples, kiwis, peaches, blackberries, sausage, pork loin, raw eggs, cooked scrambled eggs and potatoes.

Let me tell you, the volume of potatoes you can fit in a single batch is amazing. How I do potatoes is to dice the potatoes, boil them for a few minutes, drain and cool rapidly in ice and cold water, and drain. This has been very effective. You have to blanch them without cooking them or they will end up mashing. I will say that we have not yet made meals yet. I am looking forward to making some meals moving forward, however, for right now I am more working on individual items. Once we get those taken care of, we will start the meals. We are also looking forward to getting mylar bags with the gusset. This will work nicely to allow your food to sit while reconstituting. Basically, freeze drying has been amazing, and I am so glad that we were able to get one, and lucky enough to be working during the pandemic.

I have had no issues with any foods being freeze dried as of yet. Some needed a little extra time, but nothing has failed to freeze dry. As we move forward and make meals, I will post more, including recipes. Until then, please stay safe and stay prepared.

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