Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard

Since we had the big heat wave, there were a lot of greens to be frozen. I had about four pounds of spinach to freeze and several pounds of kale.

Washing the spinach

The spinach was a real pain. It took me a hour and a half to process it all. The leaves were very sandy and I like to pull off the stems off the spinach if the leaves are large which a lot were. This takes a long long time, but then the cooked leaves are like butter when I eat them. The kale was so much faster. It got a quick wash and I just chopped it all up. Sometimes I pull the leaf stems off, but not always. It has a more even texture without the stems, but it is a real waste to throw them away.

I got my huge pot half filled with boiling water and put all the spinach in. I guess there was more than I thought. I ought to have done it in two batches but it almost doubled the amount in the pot. This means it took a while to get back up to boiling. You get better quality if you do it in smaller batches and the boil comes right back. Then you don't have to have the leaves in the hot water for so long. I always blanch the leaves for three minutes.

Kale cooling off

Then plunge them into ice water too cool off. I divided them into individual portions and freeze. Then I put them into a freezer ziplock. The spinach made 11 portions. These are being frozen for next winter. I want to have two packets of spinach or chard per week during the winter. This is about 30-40 at the end. So I'm well on my way. The spring spinach isn't even big enough to pick yet and the over wintered spinach might produce again. Though maybe not. I like the spinach better than the chard, but if I don't get enough spinach this spring, I'll be freezing chard too.

The kale is to be eaten this spring. Hopefully I'll have plenty of kale plants that can over winter next year so I won't need to freeze any for winter. Fresh is better.

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  1. I have some more greens that I need to freeze too. Maybe I will get to them tomorrow morning.

  2. Every year I say I'm not going to plant much spinach because its a pain to wash and then once blanched you end of with such a small amount. I don't freeze much spinach, but freeze tons of kale and I like eating kale better from the feezer since it has more texture.

  3. Belle likes processing kale too. For some reason it goes quickly! Maybe its the firmness of the leaves. We'll probably need to start blanching spinach too soon. For now we're just picking small leaves and having salads here and there. Saving it for winter like you do is a great way to have a balanced diet throughout the year.

  4. My spinach is ready for freezing too. I don't usually freeze kale. We've had it for 6 months now and I'm ready to move on to summer veggies. Spinach is nice to have in the freezer though.

  5. We never grow enough spinach yet to freeze. Its really good to have some supply handy from the freezer.

  6. Hi, i've been following your posts connected by Granny and love to read your blog! I have many friends/family in Boston area and the Cape so it's fun to see what you're doing there. Anyways, I was wondering what you like to cook with your kale. I've planted tons of kale this year and hoping to find some new ideas. This past winter I did make a yummy lentil stew with kale but not sure you can have that if you're allergic to tomato products (this has a few tablespoons of tomato paste in it). I'm in Issaquah, WA near Seattle and just wanted to say hi and you go girl on processing all of those nice greens. Also I cannot believe your weather!! Very odd!

    1. Well I use kale mostly by itself with some balsamic vinegar. I love it that way. But I also put it on pizza (no tomato sauce, but I do add red wine to the kale and boil it down), in quiche, and in random soups. Most of my soups don't have recipes. I just add whatever I have.

  7. Hi! Wonderful job processing all those greens. I never seem to know how to use them so that I will like them! Nancy at Cozy Thyme Cottage

  8. I wish I had enough room in my frezer to freeze, I just give the excess to friends.