Sunday, December 31, 2006

Yeah, yeah, I's been forever since we've updated the blog, and missed a ton of weeks of the CSA. But hey, we were busy cooking vegetables! Knowing that I'm not very good at keeping up with things like this, I'm surprised I wrote as much as I did!

Now that the deep of winter is upon us, I will see if I can start writing more.

We're still enjoying many of the items we managed to freeze and can from the farm, and the freezer is stocked with beef, chicken, sausage and salmon that we bought from other sources through our farm.

Last night Steve cooked one of the steaks from Pasture's Pride, and it was accompanied by noodles (bought at Echo Hill) covered with Steve's homemade tomato sauce (made from tomatoes we bought from our CSA). We also had a side of broccoli from the CSA that I froze - and it is still definitely delicious!

With that in mind, here is my process for blanching vegetables in small batches:

1. Boil water in pasta pot (one of those pots with an insert with lots of holes in it for cooking pasta - I never use it for pasta, but it's great for blanching!)
2. Put first batch of vegetables into the pot insert with lots of holes in it.
3. While the water is coming to a boil, put large glass bowl in small sink and fill part way with cold water. Put several cups of ice into the cold water.
4. When the water comes to a boil, put the insert full of vegetables into the pot of boiling water. Allow to cook for the recommended time.
5. When the vegetables are done blanching, remove the pot insert full of vegetables from the boiling water and transfer to the bowl of ice water.
6. When the vegetables have cooled, drain them well and put into containers for the freezer (I like to use either plastic pint containers or plastic bags).

One thing I need to learn to do better is to drain the vegetables - it's hard not to end up with a ton of water, between the blanching and what comes out of the vegetables themselves. But the bottom line is that the stuff I froze this summer is holding up well and we are really enjoying it.

Here is a list of vegetables I froze this year:

yellow squash

plus several soups and quiches for vegetables that didn't freeze well on their own