Well, another week of this mess has come and gone. We’re still open here at the hardware store and rumor has it that things are going to start to transition back to normal starting at the end of the month. I saw someone online quote Winston Churchill from just after the Battle of Britain (look it up) early in World War 2 and it seems to me to hit the nail on the head, “ This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps, the end of the beginning.” In the meantime, a lot of folks are sheltering at home and from what I understand they are getting pretty bored (as long as they are not trying to home school their kids). They are binge-watching TV shows, eating and try not to nap too much. I was off yesterday and my to-do list was pretty long, no chance of getting too bored there. I finally got to the last item around supper time, cutting the cheese. Now don’t get excited, it has nothing to do with body issues brought about by too much snack food, let me explain.
At Christmas our family does a joke gift exchange and my wife (who loves Swiss cheese) got a whole small wheel of baby Swiss from one of her sons (good one). At about six pounds it was too big to use up at one time and has been taking up room in the fridge ever since.
I decided to tackle it this week. I borrowed a vacuum sealer (it’s actually ours – long story) from my friend Lou and got busy. I’ve never used a vacuum sealer before but hey, I always figure that I can foul up a job as well as the next guy.
It’s actually not too hard. First you get the bag stock roll and cut off a piece big enough to hold your item to be bagged. This stock actually forms a big endless tube, so you have to seal one side to form a bag. To do this you just insert the bag half-way into the sealer and activate the heater bar to melt a seal across the plastic. I then cut the wheel of cheese into blocks. A couple I sliced and put in zip-lock bags for the fridge to use first. Then I put the blocks into the bags for vacuum sealing.
Then you slip the bags further into the sealer and activate the seal cycle. First the sealer draws the excess air out of the bag (pretty cool to watch) and then it activates the heat strip to create the seal. A couple of them had to be redone when I could see the air seep back into the bags, but I soon got the hang of it and got them all sealed up correctly. I then labeled them and into the deep freeze they went. Frozen cheese stays good for quite a while, and the vacuum sealing will help, so hopefully we will use it all up while it is still good. I then crossed the last item off my to-do list (rare), and then we ate a delicious dinner from a new recipe that Mary Anne had cooked up. Then we watched a little TV and went to bed early to get ready for another day at the Old Hardware Store…