Welcome to my blog

Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Freezing greens

I've figured out that one bunch of greens is just enough for one person (me).  I can cook one bunch and have it for three meals.  Once for a supper meal, once in a leftovers lunch, and one meal ready to heat and eat stored in the freezer.  I got two bushels of greens from the farmer's market the other day courtesy of the commodity program's fresh food coupons.

Preserving the bounty is priority so into the freezer they must go.  Canning is not an option because I don't have a pressure canner.  I gave mine away several years ago in a fit of decluttering.  I regret that decision.  Dehydrating is not an option either. 

First, I pick off any tiny worms and rinse the greens really well.  Greens have tiny little worms that like to eat the leaf, lay some eggs, then build a cocoon for sleeping.  I saw only a dozen or so worms and the little things were really unhappy about being disturbed from their cocoon.  Heavens!  I do believe they would have liked to bite me when I saw them rearing up on their tail.  After that they seemed to say awww the heck with it, I'm going back to sleep without the cocoon.

Worms and bugs are an annoying part of organic foods.  Everyone has a choice of either worms on farm produce or pesticide chemicals on grocery produce.  At least I can see the worms to get rid of them but  I can't see pesticide chemicals and don't know if they can be washed away.  When I see worms or bugs on organic foods I know that chemicals have not been used.

So after cleaning really well, I take each bunch, cut out the tough stems, roll a stack of leaves together into a log, then slice through it with a knife to get smaller pieces.  Sometimes I save the stems for making stock.  One bunch of greens go into each bowl.  This step is important for me because if I simply process all the greens together it's hard for me to measure out a portion size of wilted greens.  I have 10 bowls even though you only see 9.   My intake table makes a great place for holding foods as I process them.

I start a pot of water to boiling.  When it's boiling I start blanching my greens.

I use a strainer to hold the greens in the pot.  It's aluminum so I can handle the rim even when it's setting in boiling water.  I like using the strainer so I don't have to fish out the small bits of greens from the boiling water.  I can reuse the water for the other batches.  One bowl of greens go into the strainer inside the pot.  I let the water come back to a boil and time it for two minutes.  A little longer won't hurt them.  I stir the greens a couple of times to keep them from matting down.  That way all of the greens get blanched.  After two minutes, I lift out the strainer and let the water drip back into the pot.

I place the strainer of greens into really cold water.  I had some ice in this water but it melted before I took the picture.  The water is really cold.  It stops the cooking process.   Stir the greens to cool even the inside ones.  Lift the strainer to let all the water drip out. 

Now I take all the greens from the strainer and squeeze out as much water as I can.  I wring them like wringing a dish rag.  I won't be able to get all the water out but most is what I want.  I smooch my greens into what look like green patties.  I flash freeze them like this. 

The green patties get covered with plastic freezer wrap then put into a numbered freezer inventory bag.

I write the item on my freezer inventory sheet.  See #37?  I put ten bunches of greens in the freezer on October 15th.  When I'm looking for what to have for dinner I always look at the inventory sheet for the oldest dates first.  If I were to plan on using greens for dinner I would cross out the 10 and write 9 there. 

Once a week I update my freezer list with the computer and print out two new ones. One for on the freezer  door and one for my household binder.  If I must evacuate my house for any reason the binder goes with me.  Hmm... I hope it would go with me.  It would depend on the emergency and how long I've got to grab stuff.  The freezer inventory would be used for insurance purposes if I must file a claim after evacuation.

1 comment:

kathi said...

ACCHGGG!! YOU LOST ME after you said WORMS. but , can you send me some. i LOVE greens. bad me. UCCH. worms. NOPE. .not going to do that. giggle.