I’m pretty greedy when it comes to eating summer’s vegetables.
I came dangerously close to eating this entire bowl of cherry tomatoes in one sitting. I probably would have, if not for the fact that we needed some for tonight’s dinner.
But then, once I stop to think for just a second, I realize that summer won’t lost forever. Corn on the cob won’t always be at the local farm stands. Chunks of watermelon won’t always be sitting in my fridge. Cucumber slices won’t always taste like–well--cucumber slices.
It takes some serious patience on my part to be able to pull my hand back from the veggie tray. But I’ve managed to convince myself that with a little bit of pre-planning, I have the power to carry summer all the way through autumn. And maybe even winter, if I’m really lucky. (Or really self controlled.) (Or maybe both.)
Every year, I like to preserve one new item, forever expanding as I go. My family eats canned beets throughout the year. Jams and mustard pickles too. I’ve also just recently fallen into the habit of freezing fresh basil. Because, let me tell you, there’s nothing, absolutely NOTHING!!, like opening a bag of basil in the middle of February and crunching the fragrant leaves into a pot of simmering tomato sauce. My friend gave me this piece of summery advice, and I’ve been eating basil in February ever since.
This year, I’m preserving kale.
I stole the idea of freezing kale from one of my new favorite cookbooks (there is already a stain on the inside conver, which tells its own story.)
The Homemade Pantry. If you have ever dabbled with the idea of making your own mayonnaise, ketchup, marshmallows or toaster pastries, this book is for you!
Alana, the author, convinced me through her writing that I could freeze kale in the easiest way. This here is a paraphrased version of her very simple freezing method.
1. Boil a pot of water.
2. Chop kale into bite size pieces, stems removed.
3. Place chopped kale in boiling water for 30 seconds.
4. Transfer to ice bath.
5. Drain in a colander and then place on a paper towel to remove excess liquid.
6. Transfer to a freezer bag. Label (add how much you have, if you plan on using in a recipe.) Lay it flat for easy storage. And pop in the freezer.
Repeat. With any other green you might have laying around in abundance.
Eat greedily. Knowing that come February, you’ll still be enjoying summer.
QUESTION: Do you like to preserve anything throughout the year?