Saturday, September 19, 2009
Freezing Summers Bounty
Ahhhh - end of summer at the Jersey shore - means putting up some of the veggies that make living in the garden state so worthwhile (in addition to the beach of course!)
I've always either canned or frozen my veggies. Canning - no problems. Read the book, bought the equipment, made jellies and jams, but didn't like the way the veggies came out (squishy). So I freeze my veggies. Usually just wash and freeze (peppers I slice so they take up less space). Green beans, wax beans, most kinds of beans - I blanche (boil for 3 minutes, ice bath for 3 minutes) then freeze. Been doing that for years - today I read a tip on the internet - and wondered "Why didn't I think of that?" You know when you freeze veggies in regular zip lock freezer bags - even though you squeeze as much air as you can out of them bags, there is always air left. Today I tried the "straw method". Put my veggies in - squeezed as much air out as possible (without squishing the veggies) - put a straw inside the bag in a corner - and then just sucked the air out. Just pinched the straw out while I was closing the bag - and presto - shrink wrapped veggies. Amazing. I redid all the bags I had already frozen this year. It should get us through the beginning of winter ... then I can start complaining again about the tasteless winter veggies the grocery store stocks....