"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Friday, July 22, 2011

Life Is a Bowl of Cherries (Summer Preserving)

Summer preserving season has kicked into high gear. Since I got back from Ocean Shores monday evening, I have processed many pounds of food, and the table is still covered with more.

Homero had to go to Seattle, and paid a visit to our old blue house and gathered some ten pounds of bing cherries (with the permission of the current occupant, of course!). These have mostly been eaten out of hand, but about three pounds remain, which I think I will pit, halve, and stir into goat's milk ice cream. Ice cream, I've discovered, is a great way to preserve both goat's milk and eggs. I've made lots of strawberry ice cream, rhubarb ice cream, and now cherry.

I put up ten pints of bread and butter pickles. Made strawberry jam. Pickled a pint of garlic. Shelled and froze three quarts of english peas. Awaiting treatment of one kind of another I have a couple gallons of assorted greens - mostly chard - and a few dozen beets, as well as a shopping bag full of summer squash.

It's the summer squash that has me stumped. The greens I can blanch, chop, squeeze, and freeze. Beets I like to pickle (I'm heavy on the pickling, I know, but it's water-bath canning and I happen to like pickles). But what can I do with twenty-some odd summer squash? Some people I know have told me they slice them thickly and dehydrate them, for use in stews and soups later in the year. I know some people freeze them, but I don't like the texture of frozen squash.

I can make several of them disappear into things like chocolate cake, frittatas, and lasagnas, but not as many as I have. But I just had a brain wave. Bread freezes beautifully, and I have a whole lot of freezer space. If I spend one whole day baking, I can have enough zucchini bread to get me through a whole school year's worth of bake sales.

Ok, I have a plan!


Dea-chan said...

My other thought for summer squash would be to grate it and freeze it like that. You can throw it into quick breads, soups, tomato sauce, etc. It also works well in quiche.

Good luck!

Olive said...

I love squash sliced rather thickly and fried with a little oil and a couple of crushed garlic. But..that doesn't solve your problem, it seems you have answered your own question.
I would LIVE ON ice cream if I could, can I come and visit? lol

Lana from Farm Life Lessons said...

The bread...YES! I wouldn't have thought of that, unless I went thru the whole process as you did. Awesome! Sounds like you are the expert on canning/preserving, etc.

Maven said...

When I die, and if I reincarnate, I want to come back as your neighbor:)

Anonymous said...

Shoot, dehydration and sauteed/frozen were going to be my suggestions, too. I hate summer squash, generally, but squash sauteed in butter is a totally different beast. I know if you use more mature squashes (big enough that you have to take the seeds out), you can sautee and freeze without getting the dreaded "watery squash." For dehydrating, I do very thin slices (made with veg peeler, usually). They rehydrate into something you'd swear was a noodle.