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Granny's "Vacuum Sealer"

Freezing things in plastic freezer bags is great, but vacuum sealing those bags is even better. Here's how this Granny does it for NON-liquid foods (i.e., don't try this with soup) without a pricey vacuum sealer: Use a straw!

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First, gently "dry" your fish, meat or veggies using paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible. I usually blanch my veggies, chill, drain well in a colander/strainer, then lay them out on several layers of paper towels on large cookie sheets or a clean counter top for about 15 minutes. After the towels have absorbed most of the moisture, I use more paper towels to "pat" the tops of the veggies dry.

Place your items into your freezer bag and gently squeeze out as much air as possible. Place your plastic drinking straw in one corner of the bag, then close the seal up to the straw. Keep the end of the straw above your food. Hold the seal tightly against the straw and suck the remaining air out of the bag. Squeeze and close the seal as you remove the straw. This won't remove ALL the air but it will get most of it, and the less air you have in your freezer bags, the longer the food will keep.

You can even make a game of the process by challenging your kids (or friends) to see who's the best "sealer" in the bunch or who can seal the most bags in a given time (you need to have all the bags ready to seal if you're planning to "race" to finish). It's a great way to get kids involved in putting up food, especially if there's a little prize for the winner.

When my children were young, even their friends wanted to participate in this part of "putting up" day!

Source: My grandmother

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