Anyway, I’m noticing that (thanks to above-mentioned friends who garden), each year I’ve been freezing a bit more, and a bit more. I keep vowing to learn how to can–particularly tomatoes–but for some reason the process intimidates me. I’ve checked out library books on the subject and read the same chapters over and over again with the hope that I’ll feel like diving right in but I don’t.
On the flip side, I’m really comfortable with freezing stuff. It’s easy, requires no special equipment or time commitment really, and I don’t have to worry about botulism. Bonus! So here’s what I’ve frozen so far, how I did it, and how I plan to use it:
How: Remove hull and wash them. Pat dry. Put them on a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer until hardened, then transfer them to a freezer bag.
Why: For smoothies, mostly. I made the most divine one this afternoon for Maris and me.
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Blend half of a banana, about a cup of frozen strawberries, 3 or 4 T. vanilla yogurt and 1/2 c. to 1 c. milk (depending on how thick you like it).
How: Boil corn for 6 minutes, let cool and cut off of the cob. Put in quart-sized freezer bags. I put about 2 to 3 cups in each bag.
Why: Just to eat as a side dish, or for corn chowder.
Cook 3 slices of bacon; set aside.
Add 1 small chopped onion to pan drippings; cook until softened.
Stir in 1/4 c. flour, 1/4 tsp. pepper and 1/8 tsp. nutmeg. Cook about 3 minutes.
Whisk in 32 oz. chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Stir in 2 c. cubed hash browns and 3 c. corn.
Stir in 1/2 c. heavy cream and bacon (chopped).
How: Snap off ends and then snap in half. Rinse. Boil for about 6 minutes and then immediately remove them with slotted spoon to an ice bath for another 6 minutes. Pat dry and put in quart-sized freezer bags.
Why: Just as a side dish, but I suppose I could add them to minestrone or beef vegetable soup, too.
How: Wash, then shred using a food processor. Put 2 to 3 cups in quart-sized freezer bags.
Why: To make zucchini bread, zucchini chocolate chip cookies or zucchini orzo. (These links are to the recipes found in Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barabara Kingsolver, a book that may have changed my life, and definitely changed the way I think and feel about food. Fantastic read!)
For those of you who still feel this is a lot of work (it’s not), let me remind you…kids love to help! My daughters had a ball picking strawberries this summer, as well as checking on our neighbor Dave’s garden, shucking corn, and laughing at the size of zucchinis that came from “Uncle Honroth’s” garden. Don’t forget to engage them in the meal-prep process because 1) they just want to be with you 2) they’ll understand where their food comes from and just might try something new and 3) it’s a great activity (read: time filler) for a summer day. As in, “Hey, let’s go pick some beans and you can help me snap them. Then we’ll wash them and eat them for supper!” See, I just killed 3 hours for you. Now it’s naptime and you can go sit down. You’re welcome.
So there you have it. My dream–I know I’ve mentioned this before–is to have a full-sized freezer in the basement full of this stuff, plus freezer jam, grass-fed beef, local chicken, and meals I’ve made in advance. I’m getting there, one summer at a time.