Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Putting Up More Food

I might not be responding to comments this week. I may or may not have access to the internet. The problem with this week is that I have a fridge full of vegetables to eat and no time to eat them. So it is time to put things up for the winter again. No I'm not canning. If only I had a huge number of tomatoes or a large influx of cucumbers then the canner would come out.

But I did have a pile of Komatsuna. I keep thinking I would get the chance to eat it fresh, but the cherry tomatoes are stealing the show right now. It was time to get it into the freezer. A few of the plants had bolted, but no matter. The leaves are still quite tasty.

I separated the stems from the leaves. I cooked them separately since the stems take a bit longer. I chopped the stems into 2-3" chunks. Then boiled them for 3 minutes. They immediately got plunged into an ice bath. I use my salad spinner for this. It is easy to remove the vegetables when they are cool. Then I cooked the leaves for 2 minutes. After cooling those, I paced them into small individual serving containers and froze them. The containers take up way too much space in the freezer. I remove them once frozen and I put them into a ziploc.

Next came the chard. I had about 8 oz that I hadn't eaten yet. It got all cooked up too. The chamomile got dried for teas. I grated and froze (no blanching) the zucchini.

The tomatoes were more problematic. I elected to take much of the cherries with me. The plum tomatoes (Aliana and Black Moor) were peeled and deseeded. I've never done sauce this way before, but I figured I had so few tomatoes it would be fine. Boy did it take a long time. I think I'll stick to my Victorio strainer from now on. It makes it so much faster. The little bit of sauce was a bit amusing. Aliana is a yellow tomato and Black Moor is black as you might expect. So I had brown sauce. It was tasty, but not very pretty. I'm thinking it needs to be thrown into chili where it won't matter what it looks like.

The four little cucumbers weren't worth canning. However I keep a container in the fridge of premade pickle juice. So all I have to do is wash the cucumbers and toss them in. I'll do this until the container is totally filled.

The pile of beans were cooked up for dinner. The dinner sized portion was taken out and the rest was cooled down and put on a cookie sheet to freeze. Once frozen it will be put into a bag where I can take out however much I need.

The peppers were all diced and frozen. I don't blanch or cook them in any way before freezing. They just get tossed into a bag. I can take out little bits as I need them. I can only hope I get lots of tomatoes later in the season for salsa.

Whew! Now my fridge is mostly empty. Sometimes it just gets away from you.


  1. Can't wait till I have that challenge!

    That Komatsuna looks interesting. Daphne, do you do a lot of stir fries?

  2. I usually have a stirfry about once a week in the summer, but a lot more in the fall as I start stirfrying my lunches too. It depends upon how we feel though.

  3. Ha! I do the same with the freeze, then transfer approach. Especially with stock. Who has that many quart sized containers? I have more bags.

    Of course, this doesn't solve my "too much plastic" dilemma, but the idea of canned greens makes me feel ill.

  4. I love the idea of having some premade dill pickle brine in the fridge and tossing the ones and twosies pickling cukes into it as they come on! Brilliant!

  5. Hmmm, when my fridge gets too full, I just call (son) John and he comes and takes it all home with him. That's about once a week!

  6. Holy crap. Too much fresh food to eat!?!?!? That is so foreign to me that I can't wrap my head around it. I'm totally jealous and love hearing your stories though.

  7. Stefaneener, I can't seem to get away from the plastic with the freezer. I know some do glass, but I just can't imagine glass in my freezer.

    kitsapFG, thanks. I started doing it last year. It was just too easy.

    Annie's Granny, I wish I could do that with my son, but he still thinks the color green is evil (well not limes). I keep thinking his tastes will grow up a bit more, but so far no luck.

    Kate and Crew, lol just because I'm out of town. I had to empty the fridge before I left. I often give it to a couple of friends around the corner, but they are with me in Montreal.

  8. Daphne - I sent you an email for some advice about pickling... I hope I sent it to the right email addy - I got the one from your profile. Thanks! - Kate