Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Overflowing abundance

This year was my first as a member of a local CSA, and I have not been disappointed. Since late spring, me and my two (now former) roommates have been receiving the bounty of Ridgeland Harvest--everything from early season greens to the now seemingly endless supply of zucchini and squash. It is, simply put, awesome. Of course, being that the three of us no longer live together, working to cook meals from this supply has gotten a bit trickier and has left each of us with a bit more food than we individually know what to do with.

Specifically, I suddenly find myself with more green beans than you could shake a stick at--if you're the shaking-sticks-at-beans sort, that is. This is not an entirely unpleasant dilemma to have, as I happen to adore green beans, but I also don't want them to go to waste. One person simply cannot eat multiple pounds of fresh anything before it goes bad. And so it is that I am now on a personal quest to learn how to properly store fresh produce for longer periods of time.

Turns out blanching and freezing the suckers may be my best option, but this is a skill I have yet to acquire, so the process may be both entertaining and potentially disastrous. We'll see. In the meantime, I wanted to share some of the great resources I've found for learning how to preserve your food. And might I also add that, should you find yourself with more zucchini than you can use, don't simply ditch it on a neighbor's front porch and run away: donate it to a local food pantry!


Katjusa Cisar said...

I love green beans. I just bought some this past weekend at the farmer's market. Boil them, chill them in the fridge and then chomp on them like chips. YUM. This is pretty much the only time of year I eat juicy, red tomatoes and I'm reveling in it. The rest of the year, at least in Wisconsin, we get what my mom used to call "Texas tennis balls." Hard, unripe tomatoes -- gross, dude.

Anyway, kudos on keeping up with the CSA (even when it's a struggle). Every summer I tell myself I'll a) join a CSA, b) go camping and c) see movies at a drive-in, and, dang it, it never seems to happen.

nichole said...

Oh my gosh we're in the same green bean boat. I'm confident you can handle the blanching and freezing! If you have a big pot, a colander and a cookie sheet that fits in the freezer, you're all good.

Emily said...

Kat - I've been meaning to go to the drive-in, too, but still haven't made it. We should organize an outing or something!

Nichole - I've got everything but the sheet that'll fit in my tiny freezer, but I think I can fix that. Thanks for the vote of confidence. :)

ellie said...

I make pickled hot green beans with my surplus beans.
It's pretty easy, just wash the beans, cut the ends off, pack them in quart canning jars washed and boiled in water along with sliced onions, garlic cloves lightly mashed and hot peppers.
Then you bring a mix of half vinegar and half water with canning salt to a boil, and pour it over the beans.
I water process mine in an open canner for ten minites, but you can also just stick the hot beans in the fridge and they'll keep from six months to a year.
They're great in bloody marys, or stacked into sandwhiches.

Michael Donnelly said...

I've only made it to the drive in once this year. If you guys want to go in style, I'd love to drive out there again.

The Lost Albatross