I was fortunate growing up that my mother and grandmother were good teachers of food preservation. I have always enjoyed the canning or freezing process of the summer bounty to be eaten in the winter months. So for this weeks beautiful bounty from the CSA bag I decided to can and/or freeze. (Regardless if you can or freeze your produce be sure to follow the most current processing methods to ensure a safe and healthy eating experience.)
From a book “You Can Can” Special Edition by Better Homes and Gardens I found a Sweet Jalapeno Slices recipe. This recipe got mixed reviews at the tailgate party this last weekend, one person thought it was too hot and next person commented on how sweet it was. We used them for a topper for the grilled meat, but I could also see them being used for sandwiches or quesadillas.
My pickled roasted red peppers, was another recipe that I tried this time. They say it can be used in spaghetti sauce, as a sandwich filler, or a garnish to a salad. I can’t wait to use it as a topping to a grilled pizza some day. The recipe can be found on the following link, from the Fresh Preserving website.
I never know when I might need a quick and easy appetizer, and what can be quicker then opening a jar of jalapeno jelly, a container of cream cheese and a few crackers. The jalapeno jelly recipe can be found on the Kraft website or in the box of Certo Fruit Pectin.
After running the water bath canner in my kitchen I decided enough was enough and opted to fill up some of the freezer with the remaining items.
My husband loves pickles, but I have to admit I am not much for making pickles, so as a compromise I make the Freezer Cucumber Pickles that my mother gave me the recipe for. You would not normally freeze cucumbers but once you add all the ingredients, freeze and thaw they come out perfect every time.
|Cucumber Pickles From The Freezer|
|2 lbs. cucumbers, sliced|
|4 cups thinly sliced onions|
|1/8 cup salt|
|1/2 cup water|
|2 cups sugar|
|1 cup cider vinegar|
|In one large bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours. Do not drain.|
|Add the sugar and vinegar; stir until sugar dissolves.|
|Pack into freezer containers. Cover and freeze up to 6 weeks. Thaw before serving.|
Growing up my siblings, cousins and myself were always recruited to husk corn. I used to think that being inside with my grandmother, aunt and mother would be a better place, but now as an adult I understand that blanching, cooling, cut off the kernels, packaging and freezing would have been just as tedious as the husking. Those memories are probably why whenever I get sweetcorn I try to freeze a bit of it to enjoy later on in the fall and winter.
One of the new pieces of produce that I had not spent a lot of time preparing is Kohlrabi. I decided that I didn’t want to make all of the kohlrabi into my recipes so I cubed, blanched, cooled and froze the excess. This winter it will make a wonderful side dish in the following recipe.
Kohlrabi and Carrot Casserole
(If using previously frozen kohlrabi and carrots, eliminate the first cooking step and just thaw.)
|3 medium kohlrabies, peeled and sliced or cubed|
|4 medium carrots, sliced or cubed|
|1/4 cup chopped onion|
|2 Tbsp butter|
|2 Tbsp flour|
|1/2 tsp salt|
|Dash of pepper|
|1 1/2 cups milk|
|1/4 cup minced fresh parsley|
|1 Tbsp lemon juice|
|3/4 cup bread crumbs|
|Cook kohlrabi and carrots in a large saucepan of water until tender. Drain; set aside. In large skillet, saute onion in butter, until tender. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thick. Remove from heat. Stir in the vegetable mixture, parsley and lemon juice. Transfer to a greased 2 quart baking dish. Top with bread crumbs. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.|
*As a side bar to the above recipe. I made this recipe a few weeks ago and then headed out to a meeting. When I came home both my husband and daughter commented on how the potatoes in that casserole tasted different. I did admit that they were not potatoes but kohlrabi instead. Even after they found that out they still liked the side dish.
Whether you are enjoying your CSA Bag produce now or weeks from now, it is a great feeling knowing where your food is coming from and that it is at the peak of perfection. Happy eating!!