Fridays are tip days at SimpleProductivity blog.
I recently attended some Girl Scout camping training, and the number one tool of the day was Zipper Bags.
Yes, you read that right. Not firestarters, metal coffee cans or pocket knives. Zipper bags.
Zipper bags were used for everything from storing items like together, keeping matches and firestarters dry, protecting tools from rust, straining dirty dishwater to prevent animal visits and food preparation.
This last one fascinated me, and with spring camping on my mind, I thought I would share some of the ways we were shown to use Zipper Bags in food preparation.
The first thing we did for our outdoor meal was to make fruit salad. Normally at home, I would mix everything in a big bowl and toss. Apparently giving young girls spoons and the instructions to stir something is prelude to dinner ending up on the ground, so the trainers had us put everything in a zipper bag.
In went sliced fresh fruit, a can of pineapple with juice, and a box of flavored gelatin. We sealed the bag and squished it around for even mixing. It was easy to see the pockets of fruit that hadn’t been coated, and the mess was contained.
When I marinate at home, I use a bowl in the refrigerator. Countless spills later, I was taught to use Zipper Bags. In goes the meat, the marinade and seasonings and squish it around. The marinade stays more on the meat, and there is little chance of spills.
Spices are the, well, spice of life. Food doesn’t taste as good without them, but honestly, hauling lots of spices camping is just a pain.
The leaders at the training had assembled pre-mixed bags of seasonings for the dishes we used. Instead of hauling around big bottles of spices, they measured everything out into little zipper bags. Not only did this save time, but it would prevent over-seasoning by young hands.
When it came time to use the spices, we just dumped them into the food. No mess, no worry about spices getting mixed up or spilled.
This one I actually learned at a church dinner. We were making tossed salad for 75 people. We didn’t want to mess around with individual bottles of dressing — too expensive. So we put our salad fixings into the gigantic zipper bags (XL size), threw in a couple cups of homemade dressing in each, and literally tossed these around the kitchen. The salad was evenly coated, and it was very economical.
I had never realized how versatile zipper bags were in cooking until I took this training. I will be making some of these adjustments and using them more in our camping to produce varied and tasty meals.
Do you use zipper bags in cooking? Share your tips below!
Photo by quinn.anya