Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tackle it Tuesday - Garden Produce

Yesterday I tackled my garden - somewhat. I harvested peas, zucchini, and cabbage. Today I will work a bit on weeding yet again. I thought I might share with you a bit about preparing your harvest for winter storage. For most of my readers, this is elementary. For others, though, it might prove interesting.

I picked peas - just about a gallon once they were shelled. This variety is Little Marvel, which grows well here in the north. They are not tall plants, so they need minimal staking.

These are not washed yet....

I freeze peas rather than can them. My mother canned them quite often. She never used a pressure cooker but that is the safest way to can low acid foods such as peas.

To prepare for freezing, you must blanch peas for 2 minutes. This means that after a pot of water reaches the boiling point, add the peas and bring back to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes then immediately drain and cool the peas in cold water.

Drain them and shake as much excess water off as you can (just shake the colander a bit). Pack the peas in freezer bags and place in the freezer. I love my vacuum sealer for freezing but don't have the bags yet. I did mine in Ziplock bags. Make sure you squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing.

As for the cabbage, I have 4 more like these still in the garden. Today I will make up a cole-slaw. I might blanch the other head and place in the freezer. That would be useful later for soups.

I had some beets ready too. I love pickled beets but don't have enough to make a good batch, so I partially cooked these and placed in the freezer. Later, I will have more beets ready and can make a batch of pickled beets.

To do this, cut the tops off the beets to about an inch of stem left on. Trim off the roots. Boil for about 10 minutes - just until a fork about goes in but the beet is cooked all the way through. Cool quickly and drain. Peel the skin off the beets and take off the stems. Put in freezer bags and freeze.

As for the zucchini, we ate those for supper.

Find other Tackle it Tuesday posts at: 5 Minutes for Mom.


Christy said...

Your Dad has been doing beets this week too. He likes them frozen for his salads too. Great tackle!

Hoosier Homemade said...

Those peas look beautiful! I would love to have some in my freezer. We have a garden, but no peas.
Thanks for sharing!