Put ’em Up: Preserving your Harvest
Because my mom loves her zucchini, she returned from Italy last spring with seeds for these AMAZING trumpet squash. She sowed those seeds and I then planted them in my garden. To say the least, those plants were prolific! I had to create a temporary pergola over my garden so that the plants would not take over. I had trumpet squash all summer long.
My mom got some, my neighbors got some, Green Divas Meg and Gina each got one (GD Meg even got a plant and claims she loves the dozens of little penis-like squash popping up in her garden . . . well, they can look a bit provocative!) Silent Green Dude Rob gets his this week.
DIY Frozen Food in a Flash (literally)!
Even after have shared the bounty, I still have plenty. Time to “put them up” as part of the harvest.
Here’s what you need:
- Pot of boiling water – DO NOT ADD SALT as salt will change the consistency of the veggies which is not good for freezing
- Pot of ice water
- Slotted spoon or strainer
- Clean dish towels or paper towels (dish towels are greener)
- Cookie Sheet
- Storage bags or glass containers
Here’s what you do:
3. Boil 2-minutes
6. Lay the zucchini in one layer onto a cookie sheet and pop them into the freezer. At this point you can opt to put portions into storage bags or glass containers and freeze. I prefer freezing them flat and bagging them later so that the cubes do not freeze together.
7. Done! Enjoy all winter long.
More “Putin’ Up Hints”
Got an abundance of tomatoes and don’t feel like or have the time make sauce and jar it? Here’s what I learned from my mom’s first cousin living in Montegrazie, Imperia, Italy – where, growing up, I spent many, many summers. Rinetta, that’s her name, is an amazing cook; someone with that special, very sensitive palate who can tell when she’s eating leftovers.
All she does with her abundance of tomatoes is … as soon as she picks them off the vine … she pops them in the freezer. That’s it. So that’s exactly what I do. When I need them for sauce, I simply take them out of the freezer. After about 5-10 minutes, the skin peels right off and they’re ready to chop and dump into my olive oil for a sauce which tastes as fresh as if I used just picked tomatoes … and it’s SAUCE – not gravy!
Green tomatoes anyone?
It’s a foregone conclusion, there will be green tomatoes left on the vine. We’ve all pretty much heard of “fried green tomatoes,” but I am not a real fan. I came up with an all too simple idea.
1. Cut the green tomatoes into thin slices.
2. Once you’ve eaten your favorite dill pickles — I buy the kind packing a spicy punch — save the brine.
3. Use the brine to pickle the green tomato slices. SO YUM!
One more thing
Ever hear of Green Tomato Pie? Now you have!