1. Preserving Butter

    I have never really been a big fan of butter, I never really liked the taste of things that were cooked in it and always pictured it as something that will make you fat if you eat it. However recently I have been reading a couple books on nutrition and health and I have come to the conclusion that butter is an easy way of adding necessary fat soluble vitamins in to your everyday diet, and if eaten in moderation butter can be quite healthy for you. I also learned that the darker yellow the butter the more nutritious vitamins it has in it. Also butter from grass fed cows is the most healthy and has many nutrients in it that are hard to find anywhere else stuff for maintaining healthy teeth and bones.

    I decided we should have some butter in our diet but because we are going cruising fridge-less I didn’t know how to keep it. So I turned to some old food preservation books.

    One way of preserving butter for day to day use is with a butter bell. I remember my mother had one of these when I was younger. I didn’t have fond memories of it, I always remember opening it up to the fowl stench rancid butter. I found out in my reading that this was because the water needs to be changed every other day to prevent the growth of bacteria. The butter bell will safely store butter for up to a month as long as you continue to change the water.

    Butter Bell
    A butter bell preserves the butter by soring it upside-down in an small amount of water that creates an airtight seal.

    Butter Bell

    The butter bell solves the issue of preserving butter in day to day use but what about for longterm storage? Again I turned to the pages of an old book this time an old cook book called the Presbyterian Cookbook. In there I found that for long term storage of butter with out a fridge you can place sticks of butter in a large jar thats filled with a salt brine. The brine needs to be really salty in order to keep anything from growing in the butter, and it works best if its stored in a cool dark place like a cellar or in our case, the bilge. We have yet to try this method but when we do I will fill you in on the details.

    Here is the excerpt from the book:
    How to Keep Butter: excerpt from Presbyterian Cookbook

    - Eric Taylor, San Diego CA

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  3. Preserving citrus with sand

    When you buy citrus you should always rinse it in a 10-to-1 water to bleach ratio (10 parts water, 1 part bleach) and let them air dry.

    To store citrus longer you can get a 5 gallon bucket and fill it with clean sand.  Bury the clean citrus in the sand and lightly pack it down.

    The sand fills the pores of the citrus and it takes longer to go bad.

    - Lynn from LA, USA

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  5. Bitter Eggplants

    If you find that eggplant dishes often taste bitter, try this trick.

    If making moussaka or eggplant parmesan, cut the eggplant into slices for use. Sprinkle salt over the eggplant slices on both sides and let sit for about 10 minutes. The salt will make them sweat their bitter liquid out. Wipe this off with a (paper) towel and your eggplant dish will not have that bitter flavour!

    -Florin, Canada

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  7. poisonous potatoes

    Hi I expect you all know that potatoes can be bad for you if you try to eat them uncooked, but also that light can turn them green and green potato is bad for you too!  

    - Barbara Robson, UK

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  9. potatoes in a brick house with sand inside

    My father used to harvest our potatoes before the frost, clean off the dirt by hand and sort them at the same time to make sure they were perfect for keeping (no bug holes or rot).  Usually he would put them in a sack and cover them, but at other times he would bury them in a funny little brick house he had built to keep sand clean and dry.  The “roof ” was a slanting weather proof lid, which we had to lift when we sorted through the sand for potatoes.  We thought this was a great game, but sometimes being kids we would play a bit too wildly and then would have to tidy up.

    I always remember what fun it was to help in that way and how good the potatoes tasted when we roasted them under the fire grate.  We were always hungry in those days and there was nothing left to waste!

    - Barbara Robson, UK

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  11. Keep avocados from browning

    If you cut an avocado in half and want to save for later, put a little lemon juice on it.  This will keep it from browning for several days.

    - Reid, Brooklyn

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  13. Make your own stock

    Keep all bones and offcuts of meat, chicken or fish. Also keep vegetable ends, peelings etc and look up the recipe for making your own stocks. Not only do you save waste, but you get the benefit of awesome flavours using fresh home made stock. If you don’t have time to do it immediately - keep a container in the freezer and add to it until you’re ready.

    - Anji, North Queensland, Australia

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  15. Rice with red chili pepper

    " In Japan, we say that a red chili pepper in a rice bag protects rice from bugs"

    - Fumiaki, Japan

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  17. tomatoes at room temperature

    If you put your tomatoes in the fridge, they loose their taste. Beter if you keep them at room temperature, dry and ventilated place with their top of the head.

    - Aliye, Belgium

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