Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Meats {Unrefrigerated}

Getting familiar with grocery stores is one of the worst parts of moving for me. I love when I know a store so well I can effortlessly shop for groceries. So when I am faced with the maze of a new store, it is like trying to take a test I haven't studied for. It gives me a headache. It takes a good amount of time to pass before I feel it is my grocery store.
One unfamiliar item I discovered while exploring my Virginia grocery stores were these large cured hams hanging up unrefrigerated.

We were told this Smithfield Cured Ham can last one year unrefrigerated. If you keep it refrigerated, it will last even longer than that. What an amazing item for food storage item. Around these hanging hams were other meat items that also are preserved without refrigeration. We have tried all three of these products, and here is what our family thought of them. The turkey pepperoni was a hit. My boys love pepperoni, so we were adding it to all sorts of our meals, including macaroni and cheese, pizza, and soups.

The bacon slices smelled great, but did not have the crisp of freshly baked bacon. We took these to Busch Gardens and had bagel sandwiches with them. The Smithfield cured ham slices were different for me because I am used to buying ham that is already cooked. It also is cured so it has a tremendous amount of salt on it. Rinsing the ham before using it in a recipe will help to not get to much salt in your recipe. I used it to make pea soup and we really liked it. These unrefrigerated meats can be a great resource for food storage. The expiration dates can vary greatly, so make sure you check the date when you are looking at a product.

On a totally random note, we got a kitty! We were thinking of naming her something that reminded us of back home {Utah}. Aspen was a little awkward, just in case the first syllable was all that got out. So that got scratched from the list. My son suggested "Salt Lake Kitty" but that name was a little long. So we scratched that too. "Eva" is the name that won the vote. It had to be girly to remind all the boys in the house there are two girls in the house now. I guess I need to learn about storing food for my pet now too :).

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