Tuesday, September 6, 2011

From the Grocery Store to Your Home

Transporting your freshly purchased foods from a nearby grocery store or butcher shop is usually not a questionable issue under normal circumstances however what happens if you must drive an hour or two to reach your home with your purchase?

My wife and I often shop at the local military base with is about an hour's ride from our home. In the winter months this short distance may present no particular problems involving keeping our food in a safe and comfortable condition however during the summer season these various fresh or frozen meats can quickly deteriorate and spoil.

To prevent that from happening we have explored several solutions to the problem. The first and perhaps the least expensive remedy was to purchase a supply of thermal insulated bags to keep the cold products in a cold state until we reached home. Actually, in the middle of the blazing summer heat these are not bad items to take shopping with you even if going 15 minutes from home.

The second solution would be to employ a cooler similar to those used during the summertime to keep drinks cold. The only problem with this is that often frozen items do not fair well on the long trip home.

Several years ago we purchased a small cooler/refrigerator specifically to keep food cool during emergency trips in our BOV. Since our bug out vehicle was an SUV, it came equipped with a 12 volt outlet in the very back of the car where we would plug the cooler unit in. It was approximately the same size as most medium size coolers and had a switch to select either hot or cool temperatures.

One quick hint to try in cases such as these is several hours prior to going on your trip make what is known as freezer bricks. These are squares of ice that will maintain a cold cooler as you travel. After purchasing your food stack the freshly purchased foods between them to maintain the freezing process. If you do not have anything to make the bricks with try using plastic drink bottles or possibly Tupperware containers. I have used this technique years ago and it worked out fine. In a pinch you can even drink the frozen water from the bottles when it thaws out. They are great when you use those individual packs of drink mix to flavor them.

This idea is not only good for those times when you go shopping but also for when you are traveling for pleasure. By doing this the food will last you well into several days of your trip. You can also use gallon freezer bags to make blocks of ice which will extend the cold environment another 14 hours.

As a last solution you could place a slushy ice mixture in your cooler. If you decide to take this route be certain that all your foods are enclosed in air tight and waterproof containers. You don't want water getting into your cold foods.

Copyright @2011 Joseph Parish

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