Sunday, June 9, 2013

Freezing fresh spinach

We are not extremely picky about our vegetables being organic. While there may be a million opinions about organic versus non-organic, I pay them no mind and buy what suits the wallet. It just so happened that I got an opportunity to buy some fresh organic baby spinach (16 oz) the other day. It was reduced from $4.99 to $1.00. Now that’s a price for organic veggies I can handle! While some people snub their noses at the packages with the bright yellow and orange manager special stickers, they call to me and say “Hey! Come check this out!” Rather than have an overload on spinach dishes, I decided to freeze it and save it for later to use.

There are lots of opinions on how to freeze vegetables. Some say pre-cook them, some say blanch them (quick dip in boiling water) and some say forget all that just freeze them as is. Do some research and make your own judgment on how you wish to freeze fresh veggies. My preferred method: it varies from item to item. In the sake of the baby spinach, I chose blanching first to preserve the green color.

I started out by rinsing my spinach. I filled one pot with water and brought it to a boil. I took a bowl and filled it with ice water. Then I took another bowl and lined them with a couple paper towels.

I used a strainer to keep the leaves from going all over the place in my boiling water and transferred them to another strainer I left sitting in the cold water.
Once in the boiling water, I used my kitchen tongs to make sure the leaves got a good dunk in the water and left them there for about 20 seconds.

I removed them and put them in the ice water. I left them there to cool a while then transferred them to the bowl with the paper towels.

Once I made it through the entire package of spinach, I took the paper towel that was around the blanched leaves and gave it a good squeeze to remove excess liquid.

I plopped the spinach on the cutting board, gave it a few good chops, then into a freezer bag.

Voila! Done!

It should keep for about 10-12 months for the best results (based on a web query) My freezer has a list of items and lengths of time for freezing and leafy greens say 12 months.

If you get the opportunity to buy reduced price fresh produce, take it if it won’t break the bank. Most of the time they will last well past the sell by date anyway. And many are suitable for freezing.

Happy Freezing Y’all!


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Monday, June 3, 2013

DIY Long pasta container

Just dropping in to share a quick craft. Things here on the farm have been quite hectic! The refashioning of the house decor is coming along nicely and we are getting lots of areas organized in the process. 

The family gave up all kinds of junk food type snacks nearly a year ago when we made our switch to mainly homemade food items. But I saved this one container of Pringles with a craft in mind....and I am just now getting around to using it. 

All you need is an extra tall Pringles can, some tape, and a 12x12 sheet of paper and you can fashion yourself a cute little pasta container for your long spaghetti type pastas. 

(I used a damp sponge to wipe out the container.)

Wrap the paper around your container, taping both the starting edge and the ending edge, cut off the excess and put on a label. 
We have been using Angel Hair Pasta more than Spaghetti noodles lately so I chose to store them in my new container. 

There you have it folks! One simple little craft!

God Bless!
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