Jennie Little

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since Nov 06, 2013
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old fart. Married. Former retailer, technical writer, electronic assemblist. Perpetual student.
New England
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Recent posts by Jennie Little

Recycled materials work, but not all that well. I do use plastic disks cut from milk bottles. Re the storage jars, I already have the 1.5 pint freezer/ball jars and they fit in the door of my freezer so I use them. The plastic cut from milk bottles works but it’s a pain to make them and I have the same problem I started with, that is it’s difficult to get the disks out.
1 week ago
Putting the herbs in individual jars won't work, because I just don't have enough space in my freezer! I have a couple of those jars and if I have an extra herb disk, I'll use one. Otherwise, I tend to use the 1.5 pint jars. They hold 3 disks well, and even though I do not mix the types per jar, I still need to separate them -- and that's what prompted the question.

The last time I used them, I started trying to spoon the loose disk out of the jar. Used a large spoon. The herbs were lightly frozen together, but it was frozen, right? So dig the spoon in, lever it up and Whoooosh! there goes herbs across the kitchen.

That is what prompted the question. I really wanted to avoid confessing that the reason I'd asked this at all was that i ended up flinging herbs around my kitchen a few times before I figured out where to put the spoon so I could just lift out the food. Thankfully, my husband wasn't coming in the kitchen at the time... I was tempted to yell, "Food Fight!" except of course, it wasn't, unless you count me fighting myself.... :-(
1 week ago
Experiment and report 'eh? I must might!

What I've done up till now is measure 3/4C of my primary herb in my 1C (marked) measuring cup. Add 1/4C mixed onion and secondary herb. Will make a mounded 1C measure. Sprinkle with other seasoning, as appropriate (salt/pepper, cumin, oregano...) . Put through a canning funnel into the 1.5 pint wide mouth jar. Tamp down flat with a coffee tamper. We already owned all of these pieces. Add plastic disk, parchment circles, etc.

I had, because of this discussion, thought about possibly buying a hamburger press. They sell papers for commercial kitchens to separate burgers, but that's insane. There are plastic separators for sale too.

I don't know if the hamburger maker gadget makes sense, likely NOT. I hate single-use tools. We have burgers oh, maybe 6 times a year? Don't know if I want to store something that will be used in the fall for a month and maybe 6 other times during the year, at most. Probably NOT. Forming 2 burgers from 1/2 lb of meat 6x a year is not a hardship. If I had a family of 6, teenagers, etc. it would be entirely different. I don't. But they do sell the separators for those burger makers. I suppose I keep that idea in mind, as a last resort. Actually, what i'm doing works, just not well.

I need to measure a wide mouth jar and determine how big it is, exactly, so I can go look at the indy hardware store on the way home today.

Re waxed fabric? I have fabric I could use, but all the beeswax I have is not food grade. I use it on wooden floors and furniture. Paraffin is out; I'm allergic or sensitive to almost all petro. chemicals these days!

1 week ago
Skandi’s post suggested something else to me, yogurt lids, cut down, probably easier than cutting down the sides of 1/2 gallon milk containers. And here they go in the landfill...
2 weeks ago
For the savory, 1 use 3/4 cup parsley, 1/4 cup bell pepper or celery and onion. Add salt, pepper, etc. the disks end up being 1 cup.

One thing that I hadn't said? I don't own muffin tins. I got rid of them, the small loaf pans, and the pie plates, because I just didn't use them. I've made muffins once since with an alum. foil pan, but that's it in about 6 - -8 months. Otherwise, I've not missed them. I've wanted a pie plate once; used a loaf pan, worked fine.
2 weeks ago
What I am after is a way to easily get just one portion of the herb mixture out of the jar. What I have done (parchment circles or plastic circles) works, but the stuff needs to be dug out with a spoon.

From the suggestions above, these might work:

cupcake liners, silicon might be best, then I could wash them and reuse them.

Freezing the disks on a cookie sheet and then saving them in larger containers, like I do with salsa cubes.

Can I say, again, that I love this community? I knew if I posted the question here that someone or several folks would have workable ideas, which is what happened!  

I really like the way I'm storing the disks right now, because it's a smaller footprint in the freezer. That said, I can get more per box in a larger footprint container after I freeze them. And, I can acquire silicon cupcake liners at my leisure/budget or used, as I can. I think I need some PVC pipe or a cardboard tube the right diameter. Then, put in a silicone liner, freeze. Remove disk and store in a larger container.

These ideas solve all my issues, except the larger footprint of the container. Right now, the disks are in 1.5 pint mason jars in the door of the freezer...  If I had enough silicon cupcake liners, I could still store them that way.

2 weeks ago
The herbs form a sort of "foam" when frozen. They're sized the way they are for recipes, otherwise I wouldn't bother. I don't use cardboard, etc. because I haven't wrapped the food, don't want whatever is on the paper in my food, right? Although I could wrap the paper in plastic -- hadn't thought of that. Scooping out the right amount, even with the plastic disks is awkward at best/difficult at worst.

The idea is that I can decide to do a savory, Italian, or Mexican dish, with "fresh" herbs, on a whim. I make use of all the organic, fresh herbs I have and use them at their best. I used a savory disk to flavor a small meatloaf last night, for example. If I want to do marinara, it's one package of generic tomatoes, onion, celery or bell pepper + 1 Italian disk. Chili? Same thing, except use Mexican herbs. It's my form of convenience food. Want to make flavored meat balls to go along? Add one repack ground beef or chicken. The entire thing is set up to make 1 or 2 meal's worth for us, use what we get to its best advantage and give me the most flexibility.

There's only 2 of us. I tend to buy in bulk. i repack chicken thighs, ground beef, and make up batches of "generic" tomatoes: tomatoes, onion, celery or bell pepper. The meats, tomato mixture and herb disks are all sized to work for us for 1 batch of food, 1 or 2 meals.

2 weeks ago
I've been freezing herbs in 1-1.25C "pucks" and storing them in 1.5 pint freezer Ball jars. Works. You can store 3 per jar. The problem is dividing them. I've been making dividers of parchment or the sides of milk bottles, cut into circles. It's a PITA to make the dividers and a PITA to use too. So, I'm looking for ideas for 1C containers which will fit inside other containers in the freezer. Yes, I could buy something, but I'd rather recycle something. There's no water in these, just plant matter and seasoning, ice cubes aren't an option. I have thought about using small mouth ball jar lids. But there's a ball jar lid shortage, did you know? And I've purged all my extras long since... It really needs to be bigger than a small mouth Ball jar lid and smaller than a big one.

So... ideas?

If you want a pic to show what I'm doing, I can do that, but not now. I'm on my way out the door!


2 weeks ago
There's a book, The Weaver's Garden, which may help. Haven't read through the post, no time. Sorry if this is duplicate info!
2 weeks ago
I dry herbs inside brown paper lunch bags. When the herbs are dry i remove the leaves, etc. into bottles. The remains make great fire starters. I've also stuffed herb stems into TP or cut down paper towel cores.
1 month ago