Retired. Living simply and frugally. Eating healthy, home-grown, local organic food. Avoiding GMOs, processed, packaged, and shipped foods to be more kind to mother earth. Gardening is my passion.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard - Busy Kitchen
Pepper freezing time.
Fennel, squash, and a leek for soup.
One day's worth of harvest.
It's getting pretty hectic in the kitchen with all the produce in near-full production. This past weekend was spent away from the garden, so when I checked things out Monday morning, boy was I surprised with all I found. First, were the peppers. I planted 29 peppers plants: 6 bells, 4 Nardello, 6 banana, 6 jalepeno, 6 Corno di Toro Rosso (heirloom - love them) and 1 cayenne. Needless to say, there a bunch of peppers ready to harvest and store. My storage of choice is the freezer. The peppers are cut into pieces in sizes we typically use for our recipes and frozen in freezer bags. Simple as pie - no blanching needed. To use, I just tap the frozen bag to loosen the pieces and dump out however many I need. The remainder goes back to the freezer. We've been doing this for years. Now that the freezer is starting to fill up, I had to reorganize and found some butternut squash from last year. So we've been trying to use up the last of the squash to make room for this year's harvests. Most of the squash keeps for months in our 55-60 degree cellar. But when it shows signs of getting old, I cook it and freeze it. Squash was frozen in one-cup containers mashed for pies, custards, and cream soups; and also cubed for hearty soups and casseroles. It worked quite well. And the cucumbers! Dang... not sure what to do with them all. I'm trying some pickles and eating a cuke a day to keep the doctor away. I'm not a fan of sour cream and cukes (I try not to eat dairy), so I've been eating them with hummus and salads, and also just raw as a snack. Little did I know hubby doesn't like them! I never knew that. So next year the cukes are getting crossed off the list. I can live without cucumbers. The green beans need picked nearly daily. We ate the first two harvests, but it's time to start cutting, blanching, and freezing. That will likely happen this weekend. Lastly, the sweet corn is coming in. I planted three successions this year. That means I'll have sweet corn into September. We at the first dozen ears, so the next bunch will likely be blanched, cut from the cob with an electric knife, then frozen in freezer bags. I'm grateful to have a neighbor with a huge chest freezer that invites me to use some space. Otherwise, we'd have our own chest freezer because the freezer with the refrigerator isn't near big enough for all this produce. Fun times!