COME SNOW or sleet or blizzards, or whatever brand of weather January likes to bring, we can still enjoy June’s freshness and flavor when we sit down to our tables. Canadian flavor at that, for the products of our own fields and gardens are preserved in all their glory for winter use, and menus are no longer subject to their old-time limitations.
Fast freezing is the latest answer to that problem of licking the seasons. Of eliminating waste of perishable food which occurs in the productive months, of levelling prices throughout the year, of cutting down transportation costs, and of making winter and summer meet and shake hands in the Canadian kitchen.
“Out of season” is a term that’s becoming out-of-date, for nowadays we can buy, from refrigerated cases in many up-to-date grocery stores, fruit and vegetables picked in the prime of life, treated within a few minutes to a temperature that would teach the North Pole something, and quick frozen before their brilliance, flavor or food value has a chance to escape. We buy them ready to use: peas with the pods removed, beans without strings and spinach without sand, as well as cauliflower, broccoli, sprouts, corn—on and off the cob—and a variety of other vegetables all washed, trimmed and neatly packed in sanitary cartons. There are strawberries, sliced and sugared for the queen of shortcakes, sliced peaches, worthy of the cream that goes with them, ripe red raspberries, pink rhubarb and the bluest and fattest of blueberries. There’s fish from Canadian waters ready to pop into pan or oven and come from it firm fleshed, juicy and rich in flavor.
Now the secret of capturing original freshness of food lies in the word “speed” —speed in getting the crop or catch to the freezing machine and speed in accomplishing the frosting process. To this end frosting plants are located in the fruit belts, in the midst of the great market gardens and near by the fish’s natural habitat, so that no time—and no flavor—
is lost by the way. Nor is there any dawdling once the food is prepared and nestled in its package, for cold to these modem machines means cold; anything above subzero is a balmy day and fit only for sissies.
Quality control of frosted foods goes even farther back. It begins in certain cases with the seed, continues during the growth and harvesting right up to the time you go to the store to make your purchase. When you take them from the specially refrigerated cases, most products can be cooked as they come, or stored in the refrigerator for gradual defrosting. Once defrosted they should be treated as what they are—fresh food.
Directions for cooking are given on the container. And if you aren’t already acquainted with these newcomers to the kitchen, you’ll be amazed at the ease and speed with which you can get a meal on
But what about the cost of all this convenience and all this enjoyment of June in January? There isn’t as much difference as you might think if you merely compare the size of that little package of shelled Canadian jieas with the bulky bundle of imported peas-in-thepod you’ve been used to buying. The fresh-frozen variety all goes in the pot— and your money stays in Canada where it’s needed for the job we’ve taken on. Moreover the nutriment is all there— vitamins, minerals and other food value. This menu—salmon steaks, green beans,
corn-on-the-cob and strawberries—costs approximately one dollar and twenty-eight cents for enough to serve four. And is worth it.
The meal is a matter of minutes instead of a humdrum affair of peeling, scraping, snipping and attending to a lot of other preliminaries. All you do is the final cooking, and that economy of time as well as of space and effort is a feature appreciated by the business girl and by the housekeeper busy with the care of her family and her war work.
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