So I’ve been watching the peas with eagle eyes and yesterday put the first two bags into the freezer. I’m so pumped!! Peas are my all time favourite year round veggie, beans are a close second only because I think they are at their best straight from the garden, and somewhat lessened by a stint in the freezer, and completely inedible canned. Peas freeze exceptionally well and I love them all year long. Of course, straight from the garden as I’m weeding or wandering is the best!!
All veggies need to be blanched before freezing to stop the enzymes that convert sugar into starch from continuing their nasty behaviour in the freezer. This means bringing a large pot of water to a rapid boil, dropping in veggies, bringing it back to a boil, and then stopping the process in an ice water bath. A thorough drain, into bags, and into the freezer. And I’m well on my way.
I’ve had my first feed of yellow beans the other day too–I frenched a potful, cooked them till tender crisp, then added them to some boiled vermicelli, strips of ham, eggs, cream and garlic, heated it all till cooked, then added a hearty sprinkle of grated parmesan. It was delish, the beans standing in for pasta so while rich, not too carb heavy. Yum!!
The tomatoes are also coming nicely–I made a bowlful of panzanilla using the pitas from the Crossroads Market. I brushed them with olive oil and seasoned them with garlic and toasted them in the oven. Chopped garden tomatoes, red onion, and feta cheese. Left to sit and marinate on the counter for a bit , it was juicy and filling!!
Then I made a batch of liptaurer cheese, a cheese spread with paprika and capers. I blitzed cottage cheese, a brick of cream cheese and a spoonful of yogurt for tang. Added chopped red onion, garlic, green onion and lots of paprika. Capers to taste. Very nice on a toasted bagel for breakfast.
This Irish cream ale is one of my favourites. It has a widget that carbonates the contents when you pop the top. See how it dances in the glass. You CANNOT drink this from the can–you have to watch it in the glass.
And today I used up the last of my nectarines. I was going to make chilli jam with them but changed my mind and made chutney. I’ve made this recipe for thirty years, I keep the recipe only for the list of ingredients–my method is to throw everything into a big pot and cook it till its done. I don’t worry about amounts too much–if I like something I’ll add more, if I don’t, I’ll add less. This time I added cranberries for color (for part of the raisin’s) and cinnamon sticks, and a palmful of chili flakes instead a 1/4 teaspoon. Can you even taste a 1/4 teaspoon?
And now the jars are pinging on the counter and I’m going back to Central America and finish my book!!