Saturday, October 01, 2011

Holy produce, Batman!
Ready for a whole day of processing my over-abundance of produce, mostly from the CSA, some also from our garden and the farmers' market. 
9:00am Home from getting coffee, I google how to roast corn (again).  Tyler Florence says "350 for 30mins".  Corn in the oven.  I get out my compost bucket and cutting board and start trimming green beans.
9:10 Beans are ready to blanch.  Just need to get the water boiling and set up the ice water bowl.  And google how to blanch beans (again). Ignore my ringing work phone.  Place in boiling water for 2 minutes then in the ice water.  Drain and spread out on wax paper lined cookie sheet and pop in the freezer.  Now just waiting for water to boil...
One way to skin a tomato...
9:45 Beans blanched. While they were in the boiling water, I cut a small x on the bottom of each of the tomatoes. When the beans were in the ice bath, I popped the tomatoes in the boiling water for 30 seconds, then into the ice bath. They had to bathe with the beans because I didn't get the beans out fast enough to do the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes were done with their cooling bath, I removed the skins and cut out the stem ends as well as any bad spots. They are now ready to be placed in freezer bags.
don't look!  Naked tomatoes!
"We are super green and ready to freeze!"
Meanwhile, the corn timer buzzed. Corn now on a cooling rack and getting ready to be husked and de-kernel-ized. Cranked the oven up to 425, put all the beets into covered casserole dishes with 1/4" water and put them in the oven to roast. 30-40 minutes for the small, 40-50 for medium and 50-60 for the large. They go in with skins on, golden and red beets, all together, living in harmony. Spread the beans out on cookie sheet and ran downstairs to toss them in the freezer. 
9:50  Time for a little break.  Mmmmmm... coffee... Also doing a little research on squash.  Ever the multitasker...
My vacuum-packing device
10:00 Back to work. Bagging the tomatoes for the deep freeze.  First, I cut them in half, squeezed out some of the seeds and water, then "vacuum packed" them.  Unfortunately I do not have a nifty vacuum-packing device.  Fortunately, I had a straw and my mouth.  Beet timer buzzed but not quite ready.  10 more minutes.
10:22 Time to tackle the corn. Ready with my trusty de-kerneling device. Smells sooooo good in here.
10:31 Got distracted by the beets. Baby beets and medium (adolescent?) beets are done. Big boys back for another 10. Now onto the corn...

de-kerneler in action

10:48 Corn ready for freezer bags. Beets cooling and will be peeled later.
11:03 Corn in freezer.  6 ears = about 4 C corn niblets.  Finally remembered on my third trip to the freezer today that I needed to take out meat for dinner tonight.  Google how to freeze beets... U of M Extension site, you are my friend.  Peel, then slice or dice beets.  Easy 'nuf.
Out, out damned spot!
11:56 Beets were more difficult to peel than last time.  Trying to figure out why... Maybe they were not as fresh as they should have been.  That would be my fault, not the CSA's.  Diced them, bagged them and into the freezer with them.  Many hand washings later, beets are done.  Hands slightly stained but nothing a little vinegar can't fix.  Now I am hungry.  Off to lunch.  More later.
12:50pm Yummy lunch courtesy Caribou.  The girlie pouring the iced tea was a little confused by the "no ice" request but unlike Starbucks, they gave me a whole glass of iced tea. 
Back to the kitchen - get the apples in the pot for a little applesauce.  I am only doing a few apples (4) so will not do the usual crockpot applesauce this time.
stained forever?
Good as new with vinegar!
1:26 Okay, so I had to stop to plug in the battery charger for the camera.  Then decided to clean up the kitchen and the cutting boards, etc. that I had used so far.  Apples went quickly with the Pampered Chef Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer (it's almost like I used to sell these things...) and are now simmering for 15-20 in a covered saucepan with 3/4 C water, 1/4 C brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon (using the fancy Pampered Chef Korintje Cinnamon - okay I'll stop with the ads now).  Next up, some chopping.  I will start with the watermelon.
1:44 Applesauce smells amazing.  Next time will use a little less water, especially with soft apples like Zestar.  Watermelon is half chopped.  Battery charged enough to take more pics.  Back to the watermelon.
1:54 Seeing how much watermelon I have (1.5 "personal-size" watermelons), looked into freezing some of it.  Seems it should work as long as I don't fully thaw before using.  Will try some of it frozen, maybe pureeing later for slushes or other watermelon beverages.
2:12 Making a mess with the watermelon.  At one point I had a slice of it on my lap (How YOU doin', watermelon?).
2:47 A call to my SIL to see which squash she would be most interested in (spaghetti) and to E to find out which squash is coming down the turnpike next week (ambercup).  Now I can split off the portion of the CSA for the in-laws and process the rest of it.  I have the following types: acorn, ambercup, spaghetti, buttercup, carnival and sweet dumpling (though I don't know which of these last two is which since the pictures I have of both of them look the same and none of the pictures matches one of the squashes I have).
3:24  Acorn, half a spaghetti and a sweet dumpling are in the oven.  Will also be cutting up and roasting half an ambercup.  A couple of the squash were VERY hard so were difficult to cut in half so I need a rest.  Oh, and the squash in the oven were cut in half, scooped out, dotted with butter and placed in 13x9 pan with 1/4" water, covered, and will cook for 30-40 minutes at 400. 
3:37  Lied about the resting part.  I found a recipe for cooking the ambercup so I sliced that into wedges, drizzled with EVOO, sprinkled with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.  It is roasting with the others.  Now I will rest... Or blog...

I didn't finish everything but made great progress.  E will help with the peppers (he has mad knife skilz), will likely make more applesauce (or apple cake or apple crisp or...), will chop and freeze the onions, make a batch of carrot soup and freeze for my future lunches.  I may need another day!

Hope you enjoyed this blog post.  If you have questions on any of the processes or want more info on the results let me know.

Until we eat again,

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