Christmas gift ideas Part 1

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This column is approaching 30 years of service to Columbia Basin readers. Every year at least one reader, but most often several, asks about what to give the outdoor-minded person who has everything.

The questions are centered around these thoughts: “My husband/wife/mother/father/boyfriend/girlfriend has everything for hunting/fishing/camping/birding,” a reader asks. “What Christmas gift can I give them to enjoy and use?”

We are going to spend several columns discussing various items/products as ideas for your gift-giving needs. The difference between this year and past years is we will be able to go into more detail about each item and discuss more items, because we have a daily column and not a weekly column.

The most versatile gifts are those which have a multipurpose appeal. These tools are not necessarily used in the field, but after a harvest is completed.

The first gift-giving idea is a FoodSaver machine. Many Basin retailers carry this machine and the accessories.

This machine is a vacuum sealing system. It comes with a machine to suck the air out of a plastic bag. The bags are made special to let the air escape or be pulled from the bag.

The bags are 8-inches or 11-inches wide and are of various length, some 20-foot long and others 18- or 16-foot long.

My first thought and reason for purchasing the machine was for food storage, both the food bought in the grocery store and the fish, birds and animals harvested by my fishing rods, shotguns and rifles.

Great savings can be experienced when a pork loin is on sale, but what is a family to do with a whole pork loin? The answer is simple, reduce the loin to usable pieces.

The procedure goes like this: Place the loin on a cutting board. Follow Garnet’s directions about how thick to cut the middle section of the loin to make boneless pork chops. The left and right end do not make the best chops, so we use them as pork roasts.

We now have seven sets of two pork chops, plus two individual pork roasts sitting on the cutting board. A person will not be able to get all of the air out of a resealable plastic bag, no matter how hard a person tries. The air causes freezer burn.

The FoodSaver machine is able to remove all of the air from the package. No air, no freezer burn.

This machine is not just used for pork loin on sale, but for wild game, such as the various cuts of deer and elk, plus wild turkey, goose and duck breasts. Plus, salmon, walleye and trout fillets.

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