Sunday, July 22, 2012

Putting Up the Harvest

We picked a big heap of green beans yesterday morning, and while we were at the community garden, another gardener somewhat hysterically forced two big yellow zucchini on us (the reality of zucchini- there will always be more than you need). Time to start filling up the freezer for winter! Or rather, stuffing it to the gills- we're on a quest for a small chest freezer this week, since with our massive garden bounty this year plus the rabbits, the little one atop the fridge is no longer sufficient.

For veggies like beans, chard, corn, and broccoli, blanching and freezing is a great way to store produce. It's a pretty simple process of plunging cut veggies into boiling water, then into ice water to cool. This website has a good run-down of blanching times for different vegetables. Caveat: one guideline that we choose to ignore is that you should blanch summer squash. We just shred it and freeze it without cooking it. I know you're not supposed to, but we actually find that the quality and texture is much better when we do use it (we cook it in fritters and muffins and such), and have never had a problem with it going into the freezer raw. Still, everyone should make their own decision about that!

The final haul! With lots more to come in the next few weeks. This is the first year we've blanched and frozen peas, since it is the first year we've grown shelling peas. We'll do a taste test in the next  couple days on the blanched ones and see how they worked out. 


Laurel said...

I don't know what you've got down there, but we've got a sears outlet up here that has better than the normal store prices on freezers. (I love my freezer in the garage by the way). But you are ever so good at finding things on the cheap.

Heather said...

Wow your bounty is so wonderful to see!
I canned a batch of dilly beans today - a wonderful way to put up food if you don't have the freezer space!