Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Saving Spinach

If ever you feel like you're drowning in spinach, just blanch it all for the freezer and you'll realize how little you really have. :o)

I started with this:

Then I chopped it into smallish bits...

and it looked like this:
The larger bowl is the one in the first picture, too.

(I chop it first because we seem to used chopped spinach more than we do whole spinach. It can be frozen without chopping, too.)

After chopping, I wrapped it in cheesecloth and blanched it for two minutes...

and it was reduced to this:

Three one-half cup portions to go into the freezer. I was almost sad! Three little baggies won't go very far.

On the up side, I'm harvesting that much at least twice a week right now, so I'll have at least a few more batches in there before long.


On a side note - check out this lettuce! Isn't it beautiful?

I'm having a hard time picking it so we can eat it, because it looks so pretty out there in the garden. I didn't make notes on what varieties I planted, so I'm not sure what it is. I thought it might be Flame (from Baker Creek) but now I'm not so sure. Anyone know?


Anke said...

I love spinach! Somehow I forgot to plant it this year though... At least we have lots of lettuce to make up for it...

Wendy said...

The lettuce is definitely gorgeous!

I love how you're saving the spinach. What perfect portions. Maybe I'll grow spinach next year with enough to save in mind. It's hard to grow lettuce - you can only have so many salads. Do you have any tricks for saving lettuce??

Julie said...

Wendy - yeah, 1/2 cup portions seem to be just right for tossing into a soup or spaghetti sauce, or for using in omelettes, etc.
No tricks at all for saving lettuce. Wish I did, 'cuz we have a bumper crop of lettuce this year! You can get it to last for up to two weeks if you wash it as soon as you pick it, remove any wilted/damaged leaves, then seal in a ziploc baggie or plastic storage container with a damp paper towel. Lettuce likes 100% humidity. Crazy how it can freeze when it's in the garden, but if you freeze it once it's picked it turns to mush.
Anke - wish I could say that I love spinach! I really don't care for it except for raw, but I can at least force it down if I need to. :oP For as much as I garden, there are very few vegetables I actually enjoy eating. LOL