At the risk of outing myself as just another delusional blogger, I want to tell you how close I feel to all of you, even though I've never met most of you in person and in all likelihood never will. Sometimes, I tell you all things I would hesitate to share with my closest friends and family.
For instance, I will now reveal to you a source of deep personal shame, something I've never had the courage to speak aloud before: I suffer from acute infomercial envy.
Intellectually, I know that these products rarely (if ever) live up to their hype--because how could they? The entire infomercial philosophy is about overselling, raising expectations to the point where even a stellar product would underdeliver--and let's face it, these are mostly mediocre products at best.
All this I understand intellectually, but believe me when I tell you that it is not my intellect that is standing between me and the acquisition of a Magic Mesh Door Cover. It is only my wallet.
Never has the siren song of "As Seen On TV" been so strong as when those vacuum food storage systems were all over basic cable. I did not merely want one of those systems--I yearned for one, craved it, coveted it.
But even the "ridiculously" low price at which they were being offered was beyond my ridiculously meager means. Sure, I could've splurged, but it would've blown the budget for a month or so, leaving us with no food to vacuum seal, which would've been a cruel tease, not to mention how difficult it would've been to explain to Child Protective Services.
So, you can imagine my excitement when I came upon the Ziploc Vacuum Freezer System. It is a hand pump that you use with specially designed bags. The starter kit, which came with the pump and three quart-sized bags, was less than five dollars. Replacement bags are about $3 for 8 bags.
In the five years I've been using the system, I've frozen leftovers of all kinds in addition to blanching and freezing fresh vegetables that are on sale and, of course, I've frozen meat from larger (cheaper) packages into smaller meal-sized portions. Though the bags are intended for use in the freezer, they work pretty well to keep cookies, chips, etc. and brown sugar fresh at room temperature. I've not had any problem resealing/resucking the bags after I've opened them when using them this way.
When I first got it, three of our four kids were still at home and the system really let me take advantage of big pack meat sales. Now that all of the kids are out on their own, rather than doing the complex algebra required to decrease our traditional recipes down to a manageable size for just Hubby and I, I just freeze the leftovers, getting two meals for the work of one.
My only caveat (which, I'm pretty sure, is Latin for "lesson learned the hard way") is to be sure to label the things you freeze lest you, as I have, spend the day looking forward to hot turkey sandwiches made with the turkey and gravy you think you're defrosting only to open the bag and be whapped upside the head by the completely unexpected smell of sauerkraut and pork roast.
Z is for Ziploc Vacuum Freezer System
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