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Winter ‘harvest’ yields glorious dish

February 18th, 2009 · 3 Comments · Farmers markets, local food

Take a look at these simmering vegetable. Six or seven months from now, I will need to remember how gorgeous they look here in mid February. More important, I need to remember how wonderful they taste.

squashpep

I’ll need to remember, because when the market and CSA are overflowing with produce, it’s so easy to buy just what I need right then and forget that come February I’ll be crying for fresh produce that hasn’t been shipped in from Mexico or farther south.

What you see in that photo is butternut squash from the final Lawrence Farmers Market in November. It’s been hanging in a net bag in my cool and rather damp basement. The red bell pepper is from Rolling Prairie Farmer’s Alliance in late summer, then chopped and frozen. There’s also a goodly dose (mostly not visible here) of the Anaheim peppers that my sister and brother-in-law grew—and that b-i-l roasted and peeled before freezing.

If I’d paid closer attention, I could have bought and dried (or frozen) enough local basil and oregano to put in the pot today too. Drying herbs is not hard. I know that! This year I’ll remember.

Peering into my freezer, I still have some frozen apples and cherries. I may have a packet of blanched and chopped greens, too, although they’re hiding. It’s a wonder to me, that these things still taste good after a few months in my freezer which, I might add, is the bottom part of my refrigerator, not a chest freezer.  But good packaging keeps them fresh tasting, and thank goodness for that.

I still don’t like winter. I don’t care for the gray days, the cold winds, the heavy clothes. But with my frozen produce, I think I’ll survive until spring…and maybe not even whine as much as I did last year. I feel better just knowing I have a nice pot of Butternut Vegetable Soup to keep me warm.  (I wonder if I can include it in the orange soup series!)

Do you freeze summer foods? Which work best for you?

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Meryl

    Yes! Next year I will make as much strawberry freezer jam as I can fit in the freezer. I think I made about a dozen jars last year. They lasted 3 months, if that–and I so want some right now!

    But my pomegranate jelly is tiding things over OK too, so….

  • Susan G.

    Used the last bag of sweet corn and have one bag of tomatoes left…really like those in my spagetti sauce. Now, it’s the seed catalogs and garden planning that keep me going!

  • Janet Majure

    Maybe I’ll have to try freezer jam too (although I don’t eat much jam in general), Meryl. It does sound fabulous right now.

    I never though about freezing tomatoes, Susan, although tomatoes always snag me at the peeling part. Maybe if I practice I’d be better at it. I’m not a gardener, but planning one sure sounds fun!