csa: what not to do (plus a remedy)

Sometime in the dead of winter, say mid-February, all the hipsters and hippies and holy-jebus-there’s-what-now-in-my-food people get their checkbooks out. It’s CSA sign-up time! See, the natural growing cycle has a way of convincing some people that shelling out $700 bucks in mid-winter is an entirely reasonable use of funds. And it is. Mostly. Except when maybe your feelings about yet another plate of starch + starch has clouded your judgement about what can be reasonably accomplished in a day, or week, or month. Particularly if one happens to be in the process of buying a big old house that has more problems and less solutions than one could possibly anticipate. But, if you’re like me, the visions of scapes and kale and mustard greens entirely outweigh the ability to devise a rational plan.

And then, well, *then* you’ll find yourself, on your husband’s birthday, absolutely freaking out about the refrigerator FULL of anonymous bags of vegetal things that you must absolutely do something with, b/c otherwise you should’ve just set your money on fire. If you reach this point, there will be no mid-ground. Salvage the vegetables or set money on fire. Those will be the options.

So, being a lady who prides myself on solutions, I froze stuff. And it was glorious. It was my first time over a boiling pot of water all summer; it felt great! There’s been no jam this season, no put-up tomatoes, no chutneys! Insead, it’s been moving, and painting, and unpacking, and moving, and good grief sorting legos is some kind of purgatory, and painting, and oh yeah we have day jobs, and fixing holes in walls, and moving, and holy hell I got paint on the new floor again. And oh, school starts tomorrow. And I know I should be writing a more grateful post where I talk about the charm and value of old homes, and how great it is to be back in MA w/ my two favs, but ya know, no. Not today, anyway! ;)

when you have no counters yet…use the stove

If your CSA’s got you down and your food ideology has you drowning in a sea of bags. Freeze it. Just get some heavy duty bags, swallow the fact that you can’t get to everything, and freeze it.

Here are some straightforward directions to get you started:

Frozen Greens (Beet, Collard, Kale, Chard)
– bring large pot of water to a boil
– fill sink w/ water and wash greens
– set up a big bowl w/ water and ice cubes (an “ice bath”)
– blanch greens (i.e. put them in boiling water and stir them around for about 30 seconds. they’ll turn bright green)
– remove greens from water and put in ice bath
– leave them there until they’re *completely* cool
– remove from ice bath, squeeze out excess water, chop (or not), then put in freezer bag
– i sucked out the extra air from bag w/ a straw, but maybe that’s too much?
– label and freeze

Frozen Blueberries(or any berries, really)
– DO NOT WASH THEM
– spread a single layer on cookie sheet, then freeze
– once frozen, put in freezer bag
– smoosh out air, then label
– rinse them when ready to use
– NOTE: if you’re making pancakes, be sure to thaw them completely, lest you get sad little pockets of raw batter around the berries.

Frozen Summer Squash
Ok, I don’t even like summer squash, but it’s innocuous enough to add to dishes w/o a offending anyone in the house.
– wash and trim ends
– slice (i do half moons and a small dice)
– spread on cookie sheet in single layer, freeze
– once frozen, place in bag, then label
– add frozen to pasta, stuffed peppers (holy 90s!), chili

Be glad you didn’t waste your hard earned dollars and cents and self-esteem. :D

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