Tag Archives: tips

How to Freshen up Wilted Celery

18 Apr

A while back I posted a tip for freshening up wilted lettuce.  I recently got some celery and wasn’t able to cut and bag it right away, so it got soft and wilted.  I remembered reading that you could freshen it up similar to lettuce, so I wanted to see if it would work.  But, I tried a different method than I did with the lettuce.

To start, you need a tall pitcher or vase.  Trim the tops from the celery to fit the size of your pitcher or vase because only the fully submerged parts will crisp up.

Put the pitcher or vase with the celery in water into the refrigerator for 6-8 hours.  I did mine before I went to bed, then checked it in the morning.  And, it was crispy again!  You will notice that mine is not fully submerged, that was an experiment on my part.  The top that was not in water was still soft, but the rest that was in water was crispy.  I cut and put in a vacuum sealed zipper bag (I have a FoodSaver FreshSaver to do this, great tool!) to have as snacks for the rest of the week.  Ok, maybe a day in my house because my kids and I love celery.

So, before you throw out that wilted celery again, give this a try to see if you can get the crispness back!

Keeping a Freezer Inventory

16 Apr

Since I got my deep freeze, I’ve been wanting a way to be able to keep track of what is in it.  It’s a chest freezer, so things can get lost at the bottom pretty easily.  I looked at some examples online of freezer inventory sheets, and then put together one the way I wanted it. I have a column for the date, a column for the item, then 10 columns for quantity.  The quantity columns have a \ to show what has gone in, then when I take an item out, I cross that line, making an X.  The picture below is a little blurry, but gives you an idea, and you can find the actual document here to download and use in Microsoft Excel.

Since I was printing it out, I typed in what I already have.  I will add other items by hand, then will print a new sheet when this one fills up.  I have this on a clipboard with a pen hanging on a 3M hook above my freezer in the garage.  It’s not real pretty, but it’s functional for what I need.

Remember to Thaw Your Frozen Turkey!

20 Nov

Thanksgiving is this Thursday, and if you are cooking a turkey, it’s probably time to start thawing it in the fridge, if that’s the method you choose.  There have been a couple of years where I almost forgot to start thawing it out, or started it too late, so at the end, I had to put it in cold water to thaw it the rest of the way.

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service has a fact sheet on safely making your turkey for the holiday, including guidelines on thawing and roasting your turkey.

Let’s Talk Turkey – A Consumer Guide to Safely Roasting a Turkey

In addition to turkey, we will also be having mashed potatoes, bread and celery dressing, wild rice and sausage dressing, green bean casserole, dinner rolls, and sweet potato pie.  I’m excited to get to post my dinner spread and all the recipes.

What will you be cooking and/or eating this week?

How to Freeze Celery

15 Nov

This week for Bountiful Baskets, I got celery.  Normally, I just cut it into sticks for my kids to eat, but with Thanksgiving coming up, I need celery for bread and celery dressing.  Since I never know what I will get week to week from Bountiful Baskets, I decided it would be best to freeze this celery to have ready for Thanksgiving.  Celery doesn’t seem like a vegetable that can be frozen, but it can.  After you freeze it, it’s not going to be ready for a veggie tray once you thaw it, but you can use it for cooking, like in soups or dressing.

First, you want to wash and slice up your celery.  Then, you need to blanch it.  To blanch it, you boil water, then add the celery and allow it to boil for 3 minutes.  Drain.  Then, put in a bowl of ice water for 3 minutes.  Drain.  Store in vacuum sealed bags or zipper bags with the air let out.  To get the air out of a zipper bag, zip the bag leaving one end slightly open, then insert a straw in the opening.  Suck out as much air as you can.  Label with the date, and put in freezer until you are ready to use it.  I measured mine out into 1 cup portions and placed in snack size zipper bags.


Blanching is a process done with quite a few vegetables.  Last year, I did it for a bunch of green beans I had gotten.

How to Freshen up Wilted Lettuce

5 Sep

Between it being in the hot sun at Bountiful Baskets and me leaving it out on my counter to long, I often have wilted lettuce.  Instead of throwing it out, I now try a little trick I learned recently – give it an ice bath.

Here is my rather dry, wilty lettuce

So, I cleaned out one side of my sink, plugged it, filled with cold water, and added ice.

You just need to leave it in there for a few minutes, drain the sink, shake off some excess water and the end result isn’t always perfect lettuce again, but much perkier and in better shape for eating.  You can try leaving it even longer to help perk it up more.

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