I am happy to say that many of you have tried your hand at canning, pickling, or freezing some of the extras that are available this year, some for the first time. It is always exciting when a CSA member comes in, eyes wide with enthusiasm after finishing a successful food preservation project. If you tried pickling, you will notice that many recipes suggest you wait 4-6 weeks before opening the jar in order for the process to completely infuse the food and reach full flavor.
If you’re like me, you will keep picking up the jars and admiring what is inside, dreaming of the tastes that await you when you finally open one up. I love to hear that familiar sound of air rushing in when you break the seal the first time. The anticipation is almost painful, but I remind myself that I still have fresh food to eat and shouldn’t eat my canned foods yet anyway.
Instead I focus in on the next project and do all I can to prepare. There are so many techniques and recipes available, especially in the age of the internet- it is hard to decide which to choose. Some people have been preserving food long enough to have favorite recipes or family recipes that they love. Most of us are just making our way through the possibilities, choosing the recipes that look good or come recommended. I try to have everything I need before embarking on a project. There is nothing worse than having to run to the store in the middle, so get really familiar with your recipes before you start.
Each week we have corn I try to blanch and freeze up to a bushel. A bushel (36 ears) cut off the cob weighs about 6 pounds, which I freeze in vacuum-sealed bags. All this I must do when I get home Monday night, or the corn just isn’t as sweet as it should be. I know- there is so much to do!
This week is ‘free choice’ corn, meaning you can take all you want. We must also be realistic since corn doesn’t stay sugary sweet for very long, which means we must process it the day it was picked, and the day you get it from the CSA. I have included all corn-based recipes this week to try and help you plan how to use it, but as I searched for the right recipes, I stumbled on yet another idea for freezing corn that I never heard before.
Shuck the corn, place in zip lock freezer bags and fill each bag with water. Seal the bag and freeze. When you want to use it, take the whole block of ice/corn out of the bag, throw into boiling water and cook to your liking. A note beside the recipe said that a farmer taught him to do this and that the results were like fresh corn in winter. I know- there is still so much to learn!
This Week’s Harvest: Corn, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Potatoes, Beets, Garlic, Green Beans, Dill, Basil, Parsley