Nov
05
    
Posted (Lori) in News

Usually, by this time of year, my freezer is full of a summer’s worth of vegetables, and my counters and refrigerator shelves are lined with jars of pickles, sauces, and preserves. I was less diligent this year, and I’m sure I’ll feel it all winter. But looking at this week’s share, I see several things that will last well into winter with just a little preparation.

POTATOES: I find that potatoes will last for several weeks or even a few months if they are not subjected to warm places. I keep them in a plastic bag, punched with several holes, and near an open window—but not in the refrigerator. Check them every few days and if they show even the slightest softness, use them or throw them away. There are very few things that smell as awful as a potato that has gone to mush—and once one goes bad, it takes the rest of them with it.

CARROTS: Carrots last only a few weeks in the refrigerator, but they freeze well. Peel, slice or dice (or grate), boil them for a few minutes, cool, and pack into ziplock bags. When thawed, they can be used in any recipe calling for cooked carrots. Or—make a Carrot Cake from Recipes from America’s Small Farms (p. 206) and freeze slices of that.

KALE AND OTHER GREENS: Greens are among the easiest vegetables to store for winter. Wash and chop them roughly, then blanch in boiling watehr for about 30 seconds. Drain in a colander until almost dry—you can leave a bit of moisture, but water will turn to ice when you freeze. Pack in ziplock bags and squeeze out all the air before you put them in the freezer. I pound the bags until they so thin that they take up very little space in the freezer.

BEETS: Fresh beets will last in the refrigerator for up to a month before they start to get moldy—sometimes longer if you’re not fussy. But you can also freeze them—roast, peel, slice and store in ziplock bags. Another way to preserve beets is by picking them. Pickled beets will last for several weeks in the refrigerator in a tightly closed jar—or they can be canned by following instructions on the Ball Canning Jar or USDA websites. Here’s one recipe for pickled beets from Allrecipes.com:

5 pounds fresh small beets, stems removed

1 cup white sugar

1.5 teaspoon pickling salt

2 cups white vinegar

1/8 cup whole cloves

  1. Place beets in a large stockpot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes depending on the size of the beets. If beets are large, cut them into quarters. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the beet water, cool and peel.
  2. Sterilize jars and lids by immersing in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Fill each jar with beets and add several whole cloves to each jar.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, beet water, vinegar, and pickling salt. Bring to a rapid boil. Pour the hot brine over the beets in the jars, and seal lids.
  4. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes.

One other idea: Make a batch of beet burgers (Recipes from America’s Small Farms) p. 195. They can be frozen before or after baking.

PARSLEY  Blanch fresh parsley and freeze, in small quantities, in ziplock bags.

TURNIPS and CAULIFLOWER: Both of these can be frozen—cook briefly, squeeze out the water, and pack in ziplocks. Both can also be pureed before freezing—they take up less space in the freezer that way and can be used in soups.

STOCK: Just about all the vegetables in today’s share can be used for a tasty stock that will improve everything else you cook. Chop everything fairly small—and you can use scraps and leaves in the stock—and bring to a boil in several quarts of water. Then simmer for a few hours until the stock Is reduced, the flavor is full; season with salt and pepper.  I usually store in one- or two-cups containers.

STORAGE

Usually, by this time of year, my freezer is full of a summer’s worth of vegetables, and my counters and refrigerator shelves are lined with jars of pickles, sauces, and preserves. I was less diligent this year, and I’m sure I’ll feel it all winter. But looking at this week’s share, I see several things that will last well into winter with just a little preparation.

POTATOES: I find that potatoes will last for several weeks or even a few months if they are not subjected to warm places. I keep them in a plastic bag, punched with several holes, and near an open window—but not in the refrigerator. Check them every few days and if they show even the slightest softness, use them or throw them away. There are very few things that smell as awful as a potato that has gone to mush—and once one goes bad, it takes the rest of them with it.

CARROTS: Carrots last only a few weeks in the refrigerator, but they freeze well. Peel, slice or dice (or grate), boil them for a few minutes, cool, and pack into ziplock bags. When thawed, they can be used in any recipe calling for cooked carrots. Or—make a Carrot Cake from Recipes from America’s Small Farms (p. 206) and freeze slices of that.

KALE AND OTHER GREENS: Greens are among the easiest vegetables to store for winter. Wash and chop them roughly, then blanch in boiling watehr for about 30 seconds. Drain in a colander until almost dry—you can leave a bit of moisture, but water will turn to ice when you freeze. Pack in ziplock bags and squeeze out all the air before you put them in the freezer. I pound the bags until they so thin that they take up very little space in the freezer.

BEETS: Fresh beets will last in the refrigerator for up to a month before they start to get moldy—sometimes longer if you’re not fussy. But you can also freeze them—roast, peel, slice and store in ziplock bags. Another way to preserve beets is by picking them. Pickled beets will last for several weeks in the refrigerator in a tightly closed jar—or they can be canned by following instructions on the Ball Canning Jar or USDA websites. Here’s one recipe for pickled beets from Allrecipes.com:

5 pounds fresh small beets, stems removed

1 cup white sugar

1.5 teaspoon pickling salt

2 cups white vinegar

1/8 cup whole cloves

  1. Place beets in a large stockpot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes depending on the size of the beets. If beets are large, cut them into quarters. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the beet water, cool and peel.
  2. Sterilize jars and lids by immersing in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Fill each jar with beets and add several whole cloves to each jar.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, beet water, vinegar, and pickling salt. Bring to a rapid boil. Pour the hot brine over the beets in the jars, and seal lids.
  4. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes.

One other idea: Make a batch of beet burgers (Recipes from America’s Small Farms) p. 195. They can be frozen before or after baking.

PARSLEY  Blanch fresh parsley and freeze, in small quantities, in ziplock bags.

TURNIPS and CAULIFLOWER: Both of these can be frozen—cook briefly, squeeze out the water, and pack in ziplocks. Both can also be pureed before freezing—they take up less space in the freezer that way and can be used in soups.

STOCK: Just about all the vegetables in today’s share can be used for a tasty stock that will improve everything else you cook. Chop everything fairly small—and you can use scraps and leaves in the stock—and bring to a boil in several quarts of water. Then simmer for a few hours until the stock Is reduced, the flavor is full; season with salt and pepper.  I usually store in one- or two-cups containers.

STORAGE

Usually, by this time of year, my freezer is full of a summer’s worth of vegetables, and my counters and refrigerator shelves are lined with jars of pickles, sauces, and preserves. I was less diligent this year, and I’m sure I’ll feel it all winter. But looking at this week’s share, I see several things that will last well into winter with just a little preparation.

POTATOES: I find that potatoes will last for several weeks or even a few months if they are not subjected to warm places. I keep them in a plastic bag, punched with several holes, and near an open window—but not in the refrigerator. Check them every few days and if they show even the slightest softness, use them or throw them away. There are very few things that smell as awful as a potato that has gone to mush—and once one goes bad, it takes the rest of them with it.

CARROTS: Carrots last only a few weeks in the refrigerator, but they freeze well. Peel, slice or dice (or grate), boil them for a few minutes, cool, and pack into ziplock bags. When thawed, they can be used in any recipe calling for cooked carrots. Or—make a Carrot Cake from Recipes from America’s Small Farms (p. 206) and freeze slices of that.

KALE AND OTHER GREENS: Greens are among the easiest vegetables to store for winter. Wash and chop them roughly, then blanch in boiling watehr for about 30 seconds. Drain in a colander until almost dry—you can leave a bit of moisture, but water will turn to ice when you freeze. Pack in ziplock bags and squeeze out all the air before you put them in the freezer. I pound the bags until they so thin that they take up very little space in the freezer.

BEETS: Fresh beets will last in the refrigerator for up to a month before they start to get moldy—sometimes longer if you’re not fussy. But you can also freeze them—roast, peel, slice and store in ziplock bags. Another way to preserve beets is by picking them. Pickled beets will last for several weeks in the refrigerator in a tightly closed jar—or they can be canned by following instructions on the Ball Canning Jar or USDA websites. Here’s one recipe for pickled beets from Allrecipes.com:

5 pounds fresh small beets, stems removed

1 cup white sugar

1.5 teaspoon pickling salt

2 cups white vinegar

1/8 cup whole cloves

  1. Place beets in a large stockpot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes depending on the size of the beets. If beets are large, cut them into quarters. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the beet water, cool and peel.
  2. Sterilize jars and lids by immersing in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Fill each jar with beets and add several whole cloves to each jar.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, beet water, vinegar, and pickling salt. Bring to a rapid boil. Pour the hot brine over the beets in the jars, and seal lids.
  4. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes.

One other idea: Make a batch of beet burgers (Recipes from America’s Small Farms) p. 195. They can be frozen before or after baking.

PARSLEY  Blanch fresh parsley and freeze, in small quantities, in ziplock bags.

TURNIPS and CAULIFLOWER: Both of these can be frozen—cook briefly, squeeze out the water, and pack in ziplocks. Both can also be pureed before freezing—they take up less space in the freezer that way and can be used in soups.

STOCK: Just about all the vegetables in today’s share can be used for a tasty stock that will improve everything else you cook. Chop everything fairly small—and you can use scraps and leaves in the stock—and bring to a boil in several quarts of water. Then simmer for a few hours until the stock Is reduced, the flavor is full; season with salt and pepper.  I usually store in one- or two-cups containers.



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