and here's my dinner from Friday night. Veggies and freshly laid hard boiled eggs, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt. I just can't get enough of the pure, simple flavors of the fresh garden veggies..... the object of this season is to eat as many vegetables as possible so nothing gets wasted, and as you can see, I'm doing my part!
But I know that this abundance will end eventually, so I've become like a squirrel busily hoarding things away for winter.
It's been a hot, wet summer, which is great for tomatoes, but also perfect for mosquitoes. They are really bad right now.... I braved them on Friday evening to pick my black cherry tomato plants, and I met Erica in the garden doing he same mosquito dance that I was. It's nearly impossible to stand it, they just swarm, and I find myself in a bit of a mosquito induced panic.... anyhow, before beating a hasty retreat inside, Erica offered me some of her sungolds to add to my cache.
This is my favorite way to preserve cherry tomatoes. Cut in half and sprinkled with salt, and then roasted in a warm (275) degree oven for a few hours.
This is the result.... shrively salty almost dried tomatoes. I freeze them in bags and mix them into pasta or other simple winter fare. They add little bursts of sunlight to an otherwise quick and boring meal.
My other adventure this weekend was freezing sweet corn. We drove to Peck's Farm Market west of town to pick it up, not because we had to go that far to get corn (really good homegrown corn is available in many roadside stands sprinkled throughout town), but because they have a petting zoo and it's a fun outing with Elwood, Stanley's son. Three "baker's dozens" for $13.50. It's not organic, but it's local.... this is one of those times when for me the latter trumps the former.
This is the blanching setup. Blanching is done before freezing to stop the enzyme action in vegetables. If it's not done, the veggies don't hold their color and lose nutrition and flavor quickly in the freezer.
First, I plunked the ears into boiling water for 11 minutes..... it is so crazy that canning and even freezing vegetables involves boiling mass quantities of water in the middle of August. I waited until the sun went down to do this, but it still brought my already hot kitchen to sauna temperatures. Mmmmm......Corn sauna.....
Then another 15-18 minutes in ice-water. This stops the cooking quickly (and uses up a lot of ice!) I blanched all the corn in three batches, and used up a twenty pound bag of ice.
Next I cut it off the ear and scooped it into freezer bags. It was so sweet, it was tough to not eat too much of it.
Twelve bags, labeled and ready for the freezer. To get all of the air out I closed the bags almost all the way, leaving room for a straw. I sucked the air out with the straw and quickly slipped the straw out and closed the bag. It's not a perfect system, but it works. One of these days I'll get one of those fancy freezer sealing machines.
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