||01-24-2008 05:22 PM
Snacks, ready to go
For years, while my Dad was live, I'd slice up a 3 lb. stick of summer sausage and put it in the freezer in freezer bags. When we wanted some, which was often, I'd slice up some cheese, grab some crackers, and we'd go to work:mrgreen:
I figured there had to be a better way. After some trial and error this is what I've come up with.
I get a 3 lb. stick of Summer Sausage at Sam's and slice it thin on the slicer and put it in the fridge to stay cold. I take a 5 lb. block of cheddar and slice it between 1/8 and 1/4". I take those slices and cut them twice, giving me 4 squares per slice, and get them into the fridge to keep them cold and firm.
Pulling out the Foodsaver I start prepping some bags. I seal one end, pull the right length and cut the bag. Then I turn the bag 90 degrees and seal it again, with one side being a little larger than the other. I now have two comparments in the same bag and have no worries about the cheese tasting like sausage.
I'll prep 5-6 bags at a time, and let the Foodsaver cool off a bit, while I start prepping the cheese for packaging. In the Food Service section of Sam's they have some wax paper sheets that are probably about 8x11" and folded. I'll pull out as many sheets as I need for the bags I have ready to go. On one half of a sheet I'll place 4 pieces of cheese, fold the sheet over and place 4 more, fold the ends over the top of the last four pieces of cheese and set aside. Repeat until I have enough cheese for the bags ready to go. The cheese goes into the fridge or freezer to stay cold and firm and I pull out the summer sausage.
I count out 8-10 slices of summer sausage and stack it, as evenly as possible, without taking too much time. If you have ever played with poker chips it won't take any time at all:lol: The summer sausage goes into the smaller side of the bag. The wrapped cheese goes into the larger side. Unless you go nuts folding the wax paper you will have one end that is 'open'. I insert that first so that it will rest against the bottom of the bag. Why? With the spacing that has worked for me, it is easier than folding and trying to maintain that fold.
Seal it up, and repeat. I've been playing with this for a while, and it has worked out well. My only problem was the first time I tried this, and the cheese ended up being crushed and pressed into one mass. My solution was to keep the cheese cold, and add the wax paper. Since then, no issues. It freezes very well, and I usually let it thaw in the kitchen fridge. Best with saltine crackers, and ice cold Becks beer.
I'm planning to do something similar with Filet Mignon and a sauce. My Mom lives by herself and loves it. Since she likes her steak med/well I'm going to cook them to rare/med and place them on one side. On the other I'll add her sauce of choice which is a brown sauce with mushrooms. It should make it easy for her to pull the bag out and reheat it with good results without having to hunt for everything and measure it out.
Here is a pic of a finished bag. I'll add some additional pics the next time I'm bagging some up, since I was too involved in the process to think about taking pictues until the end.