Archive for the ‘fruits’ Category

Southern Utah Food Storage – Providing Long Term Food Storage to meet the needs of your Family

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

 

Long Term Food Storage to meet your families needs have always been important.  In todays economy  we need to know that we will have food to feed our family and/or help our neighbors and exstended family members no matter how our weather and are economy will efect our ability to purchase our daily needs.

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My Food Storage provides families and individuals with the highest quality long term food available. Our food is made with the freshest ingredients, grown on farms across the United States, rich in nutrients and robust with natural flavor. We are happy to provide you with the best freeze dried food storage quality, taste, and value in long term food, because we know the importance of putting gourmet meals on the table.

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Act now, don’t let your family and loved ones go hungry.  Nothing is more important than taking good care of those you love.

 

TWENTY ACRES AND HEAVEN

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
26

TWENTY ACRES AND HEAVEN

I cannot describe to you how wonderful it is to live on twenty acres in the middle of nowhere.

I did not think I would love our home the way I do.  Most of the land is unused.  That is part of the charm of living here is how vast it appears to me.  Our land goes up along the side of a mountain.  There is a valley below us and a mountain on the other side of the valley.  Small communities of approximately 4 families live on that side of the valley.  To one side of our mountain is a road that goes to a reservoir and recreation area. To the other side are farms, ranches and cattle grazing.  Before moving here I would not have believed how beautiful and peaceful this could be.

There is no way I can describe how comfortable and relaxed I feel on our property and in our home.

About ½ of the way up the property is where we placed our home and other buildings; our home, a utility room (where we monitor our off grid utilities (solar and wind power).  Our property is comprised of a garage to park two of our vehicles; storage room for animal feed, tools etc.  A small fenced yard for ducks, their pond, shelter, vegetation, etc., a chicken coop, our house and a storage room for all our seasonal possession, a small shed for the cats.  We also raise meat birds, such as chickens and turkeys.  In our future we plan pigs and goats.

We raise a large garden; which we eat fresh, can via wet pack – pressure cooked, dried, frozen etc.  We purchase a beef and have it cut and rapped to put in the freezer.  We purchase freeze dried food products, spices and other seasonings.  We raise a garden; which we freeze, bottle and/or dehydrate.  Our water comes from our own well.

We have been outside and water garden and feed the animals.  My husband is listening to the radio as I type this article.  Before we moved here; we had contemplating raising our own livestock; however, as it turns out, it was less expensive to purchase the beef after some else raised it and had it cut and wrapped for the freezer.

We also purchase fruits and vegetables grown in other regions and/or not available in our area due to climate, such as pineapple.

I currently purchase a case of pineapple, which I froze for later use in baking.  (My husband’s favorite desert is pineapple pie.)

Currently we have an abundance of zucchini.  But, then who doesn’t (If they garden – If you don’t garden – purchased them at the grocery store.) I have been grating my zucchini and freeze in the quantity required for my favorite recipe for zucchini bread and cake recipes; for later use.

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ZUCCHINI CAKE

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 cup oil

2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini, packed

3 eggs

1 cup finely chopped nuts (if desired)

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla

Cream Cheese Frosting (Recipe to follow)

Beat sugar, oil, and eggs at medium speed in electric mixer bowl (or bread machine) for 4 minutes.  Sift together flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Fold zucchini and nuts into sugar mixture.  Fold in flour mixture and vanilla, blending thoroughly.  Turn batter into a well-greased 10-inch tube pan.  Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees about 60 to 65 minutes.  Cool in pan or rack 15 minutes or longer.  Remove pan and cool cake thoroughly on rack before frosting with Cream Cheese Frosting.

 

Cream Cheese Frosting

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 (3-ounce) Packages cream cheese, softened

5 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 teaspoon lemon extract

Beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, margarine, and lemon extract until thoroughly blended.

 

Zucchini Bread

½ cup oil

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup grated unpeeled zucchini

1 ½ cups flour

1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

¾ teaspoon soda

¼ teaspoon baking powder

 

Blend oil and sugar together.  Beat eggs into mixture one at a time.  Place grated zucchini in separate bowl.  Fold egg mixture into zucchini.  Sift together flour, cinnamon, soda, and baking powder.  Gradually add flour mixture to zucchini mixture.  Mix well.  Pour butter into 2 greased 8 x 4-inch loaf pans.  Bake at 325 degrees 1 hour.

Makes 2 loaves

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I Yearned For A Simpler Way of Life

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

        

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  Yes I yearned for and received a simpler way of life, on a 20 acre parcel of land.  We grow our own food—preserve it,   prepare it serve it at the dinner table and/or store it for later use.

          The food we eat tastes incredibly than we could purchase; prepared, in the store prepared.   You will be surprised how great it really tastes; pesticide free.

          We are in an age of choices.  We can purchase and eat fresh cherries from Chili in January – avocados from Israel throughout the year.

          The price we pay for this progress is not just the cost of these unseasonal foods; but, it is an alienation from our deepest instincts to saw, reap and store. 

          I still have a hunger in me for those old ways.  We are drawn to the simplicity of those earlier times—Survival was a reward rather than an expectation.

          Perhaps, we no longer need to follow the progress of the seasons to ensure our survival.  We can still participate in seasonal activities; and, we will find our lives immeasurably enriched by doing so.

          The sowing of seeds, even if it is just a pot of parsley, chives or any number of plants that grow well in flower pots and increase the flavor or the food that you may be cooking.  The fresh herbs have so much more flavor than do the dried, packaged herbs we can purchase in the store.  Properly cared for it can last for years.  Watching them grow in the window seal is the beginning of a relationship with the plants that germinate, the picking of apples from the garden follows the beauty of the spring blossom and the slow growth of the tiny green fruit to their full-flushed maturity when we can enjoy the satisfaction of our own harvest. 

         I hope very much that you will be inspired to take some time out of our busy and hectic modern life to experience for yourself the pleasure of the seasons; to discover the enjoyment to be had in baking, pickling and preserving; to try the simple natural remedies and fragrant beauty products and potpourris; to celebrate the progress of the year with seasonal decorations and foods.  

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WHY CANNED FOODS SPOIL

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012


 

WHY CANNED FOODS SPOIL

Even with the best care, canned food will occasionally spoil.  The rubber rings or sealing compound may dry out resulting in a faulty seal through which organisms may enter the food—the pressure cooker may not have worked properly—a jar or can may be cracked or punctured during storage—some unusual weather or growing conditions may have been present that altered the usual composition of the fruit or vegetable causing it to be more difficult to process—or directions may not have been followed accurately.

With modern closures, methods and equipment, a spoiled jar is rare—but it is always wise to observe all canned food before using,   Never taste vegetables or meats that look or smell unusual!

Observe jars and tin cans carefully before opening.  A bulged lid or tin can indicates the formation of gas unless the containers were packed too full.  The sound of air being sucked into the container as the rubber ring is pulled out or as the metal lid or can is punctured indicates that a good vacuum was developed and the can was sealed properly.

The food itself should have an appearance and odor characteristic of the product.  Any “Off” odor or color should be viewed with suspicion.  Boil non-acid foods vigorously for 10 minutes without tasting even though they appear normal; if definitely spoiled, destroy by burning. (See Botulinus, in types of spoilage—next

 

TYPES OF SPOLAGE

FermentationFermentation results when organisms break down foods to form gases, usually evil smelling, which case that jar lid or the can to bulge.  A can of food that has fermented contains considerable gas, and usually both gas and liquid will spurt out when the container is opened.  Yeasts in fruits containing sugar or sugar syrup are the main cause of fermentation and it means that food was under-processed or that the seal has broken.  Fermentation is wasteful but not as dangerous as other types of spoilage.  However, it is wise to discard by burning any jar of spoiled or suspicious—looking or smelling food since the presence of any one type of spoilage may often indicate a second type that is very dangerous.

 

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PRODUCE STORAGE INFORMATION

Saturday, May 19th, 2012
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Artichokes: Refrigerate whole for up to two weeks

Asparagus: Store upright in the refrigerator in a plastic bag with either an inch of water or with a damp towel wrapped around the base, just like you would have flowers in a vase. They’ll last three to four days that way.

Avocados: Ripen on the counter. Can be stored in the refrigerator for three to four days, once ripe.

Bananas: Store on the counter. To ripen place in a brown bag in a warm location (on the top of the fridge works!) To slow ripening separate the bunch and store away from other fruit.

Beets: Remove green tops an inch or two above the crown. Refrigerate beets in a plastic bag to prevent moisture loss, which leads to wilting. (They’ll last 7 to 10 days.) Refrigerate greens separately, also in a plastic bag.

Berries: Grower Driscoll’s recommends refrigerating berries, unwashed and in their original container. Blueberries and strawberries should keep for five to seven days; more fragile raspberries and black berries up to two days.

Broccoli: Refrigerate in a sealed plastic bag. It’ll keep for three to five days. 

Carrots: Refrigerate in sealed plastic bag for up to three weeks.

Cauliflower: Stem side down, in a sealed plastic bag. It’ll last three to five days.

Celery: Refrigerate one to two weeks in a sealed bag. Keep in the front of the refrigerator, where it’s less apt to freeze.

Citrus fruits: Store oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit on the counter. They can last up to two weeks.

Corn: Refrigerate ears still in the husk. They’ll last up to two days.

Cucumbers: Refrigerate, either in the crisper or in a plastic bag elsewhere in the fridge. They’ll last four to five days. 

Garlic: Store in the pantry, or any similar location away from heat and light. It’ll last four to five days.

Green beans: Refrigerate in a plastic bag for three to four days.

Green Onions: Refrigerate for up to two weeks.

Herbs: Fresh herbs can last seven to 10 days in the refrigerator. “When I use fresh herbs and store them in my refrigerator at home, I keep them in air-tight containers with a damp paper towel on the top and bottom,” says Raymond Southern, the executive chef at The Back Bay Hotel in Boston. “This keeps them fresh.”

Leafy greens: Refrigerate unwashed. Full heads will last five to seven days that way, instead of three to four days for a thoroughly drained one. Avoid storing in the same drawer as apples, pears or bananas, which release ethylene gases that act as a natural ethylene gases that act as a natural ripening agent.

Mushrooms: Take out of the package and store in a paper bag in the refrigerator, or place on a tray and cover with a wet paper towel. They’ll last two to three days.

 Onion: Stored in the pantry, away from light and heat, they’ll last three to four weeks.

Peaches: Ripen on the counter in a paper bag punched with holes, away from sunlight. Keep peaches (as well as plums and nectarines) on the counter until ripe, and then refrigerate. They’ll last another three to four days.

Pears: Store on the counter, ideally, in a bowl with bananas and apples, and then refrigerate after ripening. They’ll last another three to four days. Peas: Refrigerated in a plastic bag perforated with holes, they’ll last three to five days.

Peppers: Refrigerated, they’ll last four to five days. Potatoes: Store them in the pantry away from sunlight and heat, and they’ll last two to three months.

Radishes: Refrigerate. They will last 10 to 14 days.

Summer squash: Refrigerate in a perforated plastic bag. They’ll last four to five days.

Tomatoes: Spread them out on the counter out of direct sunlight for even ripening. After ripening, store stem side down in the refrigerator and they’ll last two to three days.

Tropical fruit: Mangoes, papayas, pineapples and kiwifruit should be ripened on the counter. Ripen mangos in a paper bag in a cool place and then refrigerate them for another two to five days.

Watermelon: Kept at room temperature on the counter, it’ll last up to two weeks, Bretcher says.

Winter squashes: Store on the counter for up to two weeks.

LIVING OFF THE LAND

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

If you have a piece of land to plant a garden you should do it. Perhaps, you live in a city with flower gardens around your house. If so consider using some of that land for a few vegetables and/or herbs. The less time from the soil to the table the better the flavor. Even if you can, freeze or dehydrate these foods they will taste better and healthier then products that are shipped in to your supper market.

Use the winter months to plan your garden. Plant what your family will eat and eat what you plant. Additionally, plant those things you have the ability to store in your home, by way of refrigeration, freezing, dehydration, and/or home canning. Be certain to use safe methods of storage and use in a safe manner. Use those foods your family prefers to eat raw as soon after harvesting from your garden as possible. Foods that are to be preserved for storage should be dated so that you use them while they are not only safe from bacteria and loose of nutrition. You can purchase books telling you specifically how to can, freeze and/or dehydrate. Purchase these book instructions and follow them carefully. Can, freeze and dehydrate only those foods that your family enjoys. There is no reason to store foods that little Johnny refuses to eat. There is no reason to believe that, because; you went to all the hard work needed to grow, prepare and serve on your table that little Johnny will eat them. Those things your family likes to eat fresh, only; should be planted in smaller quantities.

Having been raised on a farm; where we lived in a home that was planned for food storage through our the winter; I have planned my current home around food storage. We eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables through out the summer. Lettuce and many other vegetables that are eaten in salads, etc. just do not store well on a long range basis. When I was a child living at home; I was sent to the basement with mothers shopping list so to speak. Carrots were stored in little moist sand. Onions were stored in sacks that could breath, in a cool place. Fruits and vegetables were bottled and processes for long term storage. You can obtain literature from your local extension agent. If you purchase a pressure canner it should have instructions for pressure and length of time. Be careful to follow these instructions to the letter. Not following these instructions could be hazardous to your families health.

Today we have many ways to store our food supplies through out the year. Consider those fruits and vegetables that your family enjoys. You may want to grow them in your yard, purchase them from your local supper market, or a fruit stand in a local agricultural area.

Consider growing those items that generally recognized as being best for freezing; canning; drying; pickling; juicing; making sauce; making jam, jelly and preserves; and store in some type of cold storage, (Be it a root cellar, basement, or outdoor storage area (where the temperature is moderate.) These food items should be stored at a low temperature; protected from freezing and excessive heat. The choice of where to store and in what quantities depend on what your family will eat and in what quantities and your climate.

New varieties and/or hybrids are being developed all the time, so keep a lookout for new and improved varieties.

Harvesting Vegetables and Fruits

Friday, October 28th, 2011


There is nothing like growing your own food, you’ve got it made over those who must rely on the grocery store or the supermarket for their daily sustenance, because you can pick and process the food that grows from your soil. If you grow your own food, you grown your own food, you’ve got it made over those who do have to depend on the the local grocery store. This means that you can harvest fruits and vegetables when they have reached just the right stage of maturity for eating, canning, freezing, drying, or underground storage, and you don’t have to lose any time in getting the food from the ground into safekeeping.

Whether you want your vegetables or fruits very ripe or just barely so at the time you harvest them depends upon the specific food and what you intend to do with it. In most cases, vegetables have their finest flavor when they are still young and tender: peas and corn while they taste sweet and not starchy; snap beans while the pods are tender and fleshy, before the beans inside the pods get plump; summer squash while their skins are still soft. Carrots and beets have a sweeter flavor, and leafy vegetables are crisp but not tough and fibrous, when they are young. This is the stage at which you’ll want to preserve their goodness.

Fruits, on the other hand, are usually at their best when ripe, for this is when their sugar and vitamin contents are at their peak. If you’re going to can, freeze, dry, or store them, you’ll want them fully mature. But if you plan to use your fruits for jellies and preserves, you will not want them all at their ripest because their pectin content—which helps them to gel—decreases as the fruit reaches maturity. In order to make better jellies, some of the guava, apples, plums, or currants you are using should be less than fully ripe.

With the exception of perhaps a few gardening wizards, it is impossible to control just when your peaches, pears, apples, and berries will be mature. Once planted, fruit trees and berry plants will bear their fruit year after year when the time is right. You’re at their mercy and must be prepared to harvest just when the pickings are ready if you want to get the fruit at its best.

Vegetables are a different story. Because most are annuals and bear several weeks after they are planted, you can plan your garden to allow for succession plantings that extend the harvesting season for you and furnish you with a continuous supply of fresh food. This means that you can eat fresh vegetables over several smaller harvest if you with (and your weather cooperates) and be able to preserve small batches at a time as vegetables ripen.

By planting three smaller crops of tomatoes instead of one large crop, you won’t be deluged with more tomatoes than you can possibly eat and process at one time. Space your three pea plants ten days apart in early spring and you’ll have three harvests of peas and still plenty of time to plant a later crop of something else in the same plots after all peas are picked. Vegetables like salad greens that do not keep well should be planted twice. Plant early lettuce about a month before the last frost and follow it with cauliflower. After the onions are out of the ground, put some fall lettuce in their place for September salads. If corn is one of your favorites and you’ve been waiting out the long winter for the first ears to come in, by all means, eat all the early-maturing corn you want, but make sure that enough late corn has been planted for freezing later on.

Vegetables that keep well in underground storage, like cabbage squash, and the root crops, should be harvested as late in the season as possible so you won’t have to worry about keeping vegetables cool during a warm September or early October. Some vegetables, like carrots, parsnips, and Jerusalem artichokes, can be left right in the ground over the winter, so it is wise to plant some late crops of these vegetables just for this purpose. Green and yellow beans, planted in early May, can be followed by cabbage in mid-July for a fall harvest. Beets planted in the beginning of April may be followed by carrots in July that can be stored right in the ground over the winter and into the early spring.

FRUIT-FLAVORED GELATIN

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010
Use any fruit your family likes.

Try something new.

FRUIT-FLAVORED GELATIN

1 package fruit-flavored gelatin 2 cups boiling water

Turn the gelatin into a heat-proof mixing bowl, add the boiling water and stir until gelatin is entirely dissolved. Pour into a mold or leave in the bowl, and chill in the refrigerator until congealed.

To hasten congealing: Dissolve the gelatin in 1 cup boiling water; then stir in 1 cup cold water. This reduces the time required for cooling.

For a richer dessert: Substitute 1 cup cold milk for 1 cup of the water. Dissolve gelatin first in 1 cup boiling water.

To whip the gelatin: Allow the gelatin to chill until it is thick and syrupy, just on the verge of setting. Then whip with an egg beater until smooth, fluffy and light colored. Return to refrigerator until firm.

To elaborate gelatin: Juice from canned or fresh fruit may be substituted for al or part of the water in making up the gelatin. In one cup of drained, diced fruit is added to the gelatin, it will be necessary to reduce the liquid to 1 ¾ cups. To arrange the fruit in a pattern which will appear on the top of the mold as it comes to the table, pour in a little of the liquid gelatin, then arrange the fruit in this, and chill until set. Then pour in rest of gelatin mixed with rest of fruit.

To unmold gelatin: Gelatin; desserts may be unmolded the same as gelatin salads. See instructions below for unmolding molded salad.

For very hot weather: Reduce liquid by ¼ cup to assure that mold will hold its shape.

Note: Unmolding the salad: The molded salad must be unmolded carefully or all of the work that was put into it to make it beautiful will be lost. Many women have their pet theories about unmolding and some seem to have difficulty, but the process is very simple if care and patience direct the effort. The unmolding is like the making of the salad, if it is carelessly or hurriedly done, the results will certainly be a failure. All that is needed is a thin, sharp-bladed knife, a pan of hot water that will be large enough for the mold to be dipped into it, and a flat plate of the appropriate size to hold the mold and any additional garnish without crowding. The knife should be run around the edge of the mold to a depth of about ½ inch only, and very close to the edge of the container to loosen the bottom edge. Then the mold is dipped quickly to within ½ inch of the top in hot water. By shaking the mold very gently, it can be quickly seen if the salad is loosened; if not it should be dipped quickly again. It is much better to dip two or three times quickly and stop at just the right stage than to leave the mold in the hot water too long the first time the first time and melt the gelatin. Then the plate should be centered over the top of the mold and both mold and plate inverted at the same time. Then the metal or glass mold can be lifted off carefully and the edge of the platter garnished with greens, fruits, or vegetables in a beautiful way. The salad can be put back in the refrigerator for a few minutes until ready to serve, but should be unmolded as near the time it is needed as practical.

FRESH ORANGE BAVARIAN

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

FRESH ORANGE BAVARIAN

1 tablespoon plain gelatin (1 envelope)
¼ cup cold water
¼ teaspoon grated orange rind
1 cup orange juice
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
Pinch of salt
½ cup sugar
1 seedless orange
¾ cup whipping cream

Soften gelatin in the cold water; then place over hot water and heat until gelatin is dissolved. Allow orange rind to stand in orange juice for 2 minutes. Strain. Discard Rind. Combine orange juice with lemon juice (save out 1 teaspoon lemon juice), salt and sugar. Add gelatin, stir thoroughly, and chill until thick and syrupy. Then whip with egg beater until light and fluffy. Whip chilled cream until thick; then add the teaspoon lemon juice and continue beating until stiff. Fold whipped cream thoroughly but lightly into gelatin and turn into a mold which has been rinsed with cold water. Chill until firm. Unmold* out onto a chilled serving plate as you would a molded salad. Garnish with sections of peeled orange and whipped cream, if desired. 5 servings.

Note: Unmolding the salad: The molded salad must be unmolded carefully or all of the work that was put into it to make it beautiful will be lost. Many women have their pet theories about unmolding and some seem to have difficulty, but the process is very simple if care and patience direct the effort. The unmolding is like the making of the salad, if it is carelessly or hurriedly done, the results will certainly be a failure. All that is needed is a thin, sharp-bladed knife, a pan of hot water that will be large enough for the mold to be dipped into it, and a flat plate of the appropriate size to hold the mold and any additional garnish without crowding. The knife should be run around the edge of the mold to a depth of about ½ inch only, and very close to the edge of the container to loosen the bottom edge. Then the mold is dipped quickly to within ½ inch of the top in hot water. By shaking the mold very gently, it can be quickly seen if the salad is loosened; if not it should be dipped quickly again. It is much better to dip two or three times quickly and stop at just the right stage than to leave the mold in the hot water too long the first time the first time and melt the gelatin. Then the plate should be centered over the top of the mold and both mold and plate inverted at the same time. Then the metal or glass mold can be lifted off carefully and the edge of the platter garnished with greens, fruits, or vegetables in a beautiful way. The salad can be put back in the refrigerator for a few minutes until ready to serve, but should be unmolded as near the time it is needed as practical.

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BANANA GRAPE MOLD

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

BANANA GRAPE MOLD

1 tablespoon gelatin (1 envelope) 1 cup concentrated Grape Juice
¼ cup water 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup boiling water 3 tablespoons sugar
3 bananas, sliced

Soften gelatin in cold water; then dissolve in the boiling water. Combine with grape juice lemon juice, and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour a little of the mixture into bottom of mold in which one banana has been arranged in any desired pattern. Chill. When rest of mixture is cool and syrupy, fold in remainder of bananas. Pour into mold and chill in refrigerator until firm.

Unmolding the salad: The molded salad must be unmolded carefully or all of the work that was put into it to make it beautiful will be lost. Many women have their pet theories about unmolding and some seem to have difficulty, but the process is very simple if care and patience direct the effort. The unmolding is like the making of the salad, if it is carelessly or hurriedly done, the results will certainly be a failure. All that is needed is a thin, sharp-bladed knife, a pan of hot water that will be large enough for the mold to be dipped into it, and a flat plate of the appropriate size to hold the mold and any additional garnish without crowding. The knife should be run around the edge of the mold to a depth of about ½ inch only, and very close to the edge of the container to loosen the bottom edge. Then the mold is dipped quickly to within ½ inch of the top in hot water. By shaking the mold very gently, it can be quickly seen if the salad is loosened; if not it should be dipped quickly again. It is much better to dip two or three times quickly and stop at just the right stage than to leave the mold in the hot water too long the first time the first time and melt the gelatin. Then the plate should be centered over the top of the mold and both mold and plate inverted at the same time. Then the metal or glass mold can be lifted off carefully and the edge of the platter garnished with greens, fruits, or vegetables in a beautiful way. The salad can be put back in the refrigerator for a few minutes until ready to serve, but should be unmolded as near the time it is needed as practical.

(If grape juice is commercial, omit water and use 2 cups juice.)