What we are doing

This is mostly a blog about our attempts at sustainable living, Gardening, Great exotic plants that are a step away from the usual.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Banana Solution

From the lunchbox project

Banana Tiptoe

We play this little game at our house. My husband buys bananas, one or two get eaten, one or two rot away, then we don't see them for several months (he refuses to buy them if wasted). In order to keep the supply coming, we have to make sure they are all eaten in a timely manner and not allow rotting. Its delicate timing...you don't want to eat them quickly and have banana overload, yet you don't want to stop future banana commerce either.

An amazingly simple solution exists here. When the first brown spots appear, or slightly before if you know they will not be needed I get out sandwich freezer bags, or a bigger bag if there are a lot of bananas and peel all the bananas. If they are just getting iffy then just placing gently in the bag in the freezer till they will take rougher handling, but if you have them still firm or firm from being slightly frozen you can the suck out the air from the bag without crushing the bananas.

One easy way to remove the air is to seal the bag down to a straw. At that time you can hold the bag against the straw as you suck in, removing most of the air. The as you continue and pinch harder on the straw you get out much of what is left and , still sucking on the straw, you pull the straw out as the bag clicks shut. This does not get 100% of the air but it can get enough to prevent most freezer burn.

It is best to put in an appearance in a few hours when the bananas are well frozen but not completely and move them about a bit. Stuck together bananas are easy to get apart at this time and once apart will not stick together even if frozen for a long time.

To eat I often wrap the bottom of the frozen bana in a napkin or paper towel, and then use the paper towel to clean another mess or soak in grease and freeze for future barbie fires (see above).

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Quick Start

Like so much about modern life, if there is not a quick buck in it for somebody, ways to do stuff better will not be passed along, if not actively suppressed.

A great case in point is the family barbecue. Go to the store and there are all sorts of petrol fire starters, that you take home because that is what is there next to the charcoal. You put it on and wait for it to burn itself away because it really tastes awful if you put the food on too soon. Even so there is still some taste that lingers to the point that we associate it with "barbecue" taste.

At the same time the morning bacon is dutifully drained on a paper towel, and towel and grease tossed out, often filling a can with grease first. However I take the paper towel and further soak it in grease, as it cools to room temp, and then put the now saturated towel in a used plastic bag in the freezer till needed.

What you now have is fuel and a wick that will burn long and hot enough to start nearly any fire, for barbecue or fireplace. I have gotten nice fireplace fires with no other kindling less than a few inches in diameter, and of course with the charcoal stacked over it with plenty of air space to allow burning, it will start that barbecue nicely as well. The bonus of course is that it smells like bacon and not like a gas station.