Friday, June 24, 2011

Small Batch Freezing

Although the process of freezing fresh produce is not that time consuming, it does produce a large number of pans, surfaces, and utensils to be cleaned up afterward. So what do we do when the amount of produce on hand doesn't seem to merit the commitment to making such a mess?
Today we harvested the secondary shoots of the broccoli plants we had recently harvested and frozen. There didn't seem to be enough broccoli to warrant a freezing project. But we also had some sugar snap peas ready to harvest, and then it became apparent that we could use the same water bath to blanch both vegetables.

Since broccoli leaves a strong flavor to the water it's boiled in, we decided to freeze the peas first. Sugar snaps have tough string in them, which doesn't soften during freezing or cooking, so I like to chop them into bite sized bits rather than freezing them whole.
While processing the peas, I soaked the broccoli in salted water to get rid of any caterpillars. Placing the weighted plate on the broccoli assures that it stays fully submerged in the water.
We ended up with three boxes of sugar snaps and two of broccoli. Not a large amount by our standards, but satisfying nonetheless.

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