Please help my mom...
I'm active duty military and my mom...God Bless her...has tried several times to make homemade biscuits and send them to me in a care package along with homemade tomato gravy.I've told her to stop trying to send the biscuits but she continues to try sending them. She always cans the gravy in a mason jar and it always makes it just fine. The biscuits, however, are another story all together. It takes anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks for a package to get to me here in Afghanistan. Usually it is taking close to 2 weeks. Every time I've deployed she has tried sending these things and every time the tomato gravy makes it but the biscuits are always molded whenever they get to me. I hate her taking the time to make the biscuits (buttermilk biscuits) and then they have to be thrown away because they are molded. I'm wondering if I purchased her a vacuum packer would this help her cause? If so, how would be the best way to vacuum pack the biscuits and mail them? If the vacuum packer will not work does anyone have any ideas that will help me to help my mom.
Thanks for your help in advanced....
A mother's son
I have read that although home made items are desired they spoil faster in the climate there, store bought things are more practical since they last much longer.
I found a really detailed military wish list that describes what to send and how to do it. Perhps you could forward the link to your mother so she can decide whether or not she still wants to send those biscuits. It seems some homemade cakes and cookies do make it through without going bad especially if they are packed in tins and clear continers after being inspected by the postoffice.
Here's the link...
Just scroll down to the section that says, DESERT-SAFE RECIPES.
Bless you for everything you are doing for us here at home. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and we hope you'll return very soon.
It may well be a lost cause. And I agree that the vacuum packer would probably crush the biscuits (though you could freeze them first to avoid that to an extent). That said, I'll give my best guess at how to keep biscuits from going moldy over the course of a couple weeks in the mail. It's likely more hassle than it's worth, and even then I couldn't guaranty that it would work. But here goes:
Wrap the biscuits individually in foil and then place them in a ziplock bag (or several ziplock bags). In each bag, place an oxygen absorber. One of these things:
Submerge the bag in water nearly up to the zipper to force air out of it, then zip the bags shut.
Send in a foam box and pack with dry ice. Be careful when handling the dry ice. I make no promises.
It might even be worth trying the oxygen reducers alone to see if they do the trick without further fussing. Again, no promises.
Honestly, if your mom even considers going through this much hassle just for the possibility of getting un-moldy biscuits to you, she's a good candidate for sainthood.
ETA - oxygen absorbers are actually a tiny bit trickier to use than I let on above. Not that bad, but you may be better off with a jar, and it would be smart to match the absorber to the size of the container. Here is a link with the basics.
Obviously I haven't messed around with them much personally, but they are one of the better ways to preserve baked goods, AFAIK.
I can just picture me trying to do the same thing but fortunately it didn't take 2 weeks for things to get to Okinawa and Chex party mix (original recipe) doesn't get moldy. Guess it's time for you to mention how much you like x which can survive 2 week shipping. Bless her heart and thank you for your service.
I'm afraid a vacuum packer won't work: it may slow down the mold growth, but the vacuum will suck all the air out of the biscuits and your mom will have sent you a pile of hockey pucks. I don't know if a recipe that avoids perishable ingredients like butter and buttermilk will result in mold resistant biscuits, but those might taste like hockey pucks even if they don't look like them. Some things just don't travel well.
Do you think you could develop a taste for fruitcake? At least that'll keep. . . Some of the drier, crisper cookies could work, too.
Good luck to you and your mom. I hope you get to go home to a batch of freshly baked biscuits in the not too distant future.