Saturday, June 6, 2015


I know it shouldn't bother me, but because I put up food for other seasons I come across A LOT of "prepper" blogs, videos and websites. I'm not that kind of prepper. Clearly we have something in common, though. I like to think of my interest as food independence, but not because of fear of war, global disaster or governmental conspiracy ideas. I just like good food and I equate that with fresh/ local and home grown.

There are several veg that I either don't grow, can't grow well or don't have the dedicated space for. Some of these veg include: asparagus, cabbage and broccoli. The nearest truck farm in town grows all of these well and inexpensively. So, yesterday I paid about $17 for all of this (sorry for the poor photo quality)
3 bundles of asparagus, 2 heads cabbage and 3 huge bunches of broc.

I wanted to process them quickly to preserve nutrients. So, here's what I did:

Broccoli: I quartered each large bunch and blanched in boiling water for 4 minutes, rinsed, dried and packed 3/4 in freezer bags. I love broc this way, because it is super easy to cook with from the freezer. The last 1/4 I chopped and put in the dehydrator. It didn't take long- one evening. I decided to dehydrate it because we are planning a camping trip at the end of the summer and I don't want to bring a cooler or lots of bulk and we will need some veg for our meals. I also chopped and dehydrated 1 box of button mushrooms. They took the same amount of time in the dehydrator. I bagged them and stuck them in the freezer. Now we can add these to rice, quinoa, noodles, pasta, etc
I know it shouldn't amaze me, but 1 huge head of broc and 1 box
of mushrooms really condenses upon dehydration as seen here.

Asparagus: Ok, I think this is where I may not be as satisfied with my preparation technique for this particular veg. I chopped, blanched for 2-3 min (maybe too long), rinsed, dried and froze. I have a feeling these will be kind of mushy, so I see this technique as being good for a dish where I might puree the veg- like soup, quiche (yes, I puree all my ingredients for quiche occasionally) or maybe a risotto- basically anywhere where the mush factor won't matter.

Cabbage: Probably my favorite way to preserve cabbage is by kraut. I had just read a blog where someone said something about glass not being ideal to use as it could break and I thought that was weird and then....I broke a quart jar smashing the kraut. I salvaged the kraut (we might die from cut throats-you read it here).
Thinly slice, added 1 Tbs of canning salt (because I didn't have my usual sea salt) to each head, shove some into a canning jar, smash with the end of of wooden spoon, add more, smash, etc until full and juices have risen to top. In one jar I added caraway seed, one has dried celery powder and the small one has whole coriander seed. This is 2 head's worth.

Scapes: Up until a couple of years ago I had no idea what scapes were or that anyone ate them. Last year I made pesto of them, put in ice cube trays, froze and tossed into a canning jar in the freezer. This was very good. You can use it in soups, sauces, pizza topping, quiche, etc. This year I decided to try the dilly bean pickling method. I read many people say they don't pickle the flowers, or curly tops, but never said why, so I chose to ignore them and include the flower buds. Perhaps I will learn why when the pickles are ready.
Chop scapes. Prepare a brine of 2 1/2 cups water, 2 1/2 cups white vinegar and 1/4 cup of canning salt. Into each pint jar- 1 tsp dill seed, 1 chili pepper, 1/4 tsp black pepper. Process in hot water bath for 10 min.
 This much pickles from this much scapes. 

Hubs and kiddo are off to a bee festival in Kentucky, so I'm enjoying the relative peace and solitude this weekend. My only added responsibility is babysitting the Queen Bee herself. Really. I'm babysitting bees.
Hubs ordered a Queen and they sent him 2. This is how they come packaged. I wonder if the mail people would freak if they knew what was in this envelope?
The queen and several workers come in this tiny wooden box, with 1 sugar cube. I've been instructed to give them 3 drops of water each day. This is just wild. I feel sorry for them in this tiny container. I know they will be free soon. 

Elvis may be the King of Rock and Roll, 
but I am the Queen.
-Little Richard

I like that.

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