It’s December, and I’m Stewed!

 Yesterday was the first day we got snow, which is unusual for my little part of the globe. We generally have had 1-2 feet by now. (You won’t hear me complaining!)  That first snowfall is always the prettiest. And it’s days like these that make me want something warming and homey to take the chill off. So what better way to warm up a cold day than SOUP! (The post title should have been “I’m Souped!”, but “stewed” is funnier! :))

Now, I pride myself on my down-home cooking skills, but there are two things that defy me in the kitchen. Soup and Gravy. I KNOW! What kind of farmer can’t make soup or gravy?  That would be me. So when I get the urge to make soup, I have to follow a recipe, which I generally don’t use, and the dogs and husband run into  other rooms and shudder in fear.  But, after reading this recent report I figured I better learn to make good soup, and quick!!

So, after a brief search I found this recipe for Minestrone soup. Looks yummy, right? And the best part is, I have 90% of those vegetables frozen or canned from my garden last year! YAH!! FOR GROWING YOUR OWN FOOD! I’m not gonna have any of that chemical crap in THIS soup! Let’s hope it’s edible…

After a few tweaks to the recipe, here’s what I came up with:

(This was before the “Cleaning up the Details…” post, as you can see.)

Actually, this is what was left after we ate a lot of it, packed some for lunch, and froze 2 quarts for later scrumptious consumption! It was DELICIOUS! I really think the secret to this deliciousness was the homegrown goodness. So what exactly is in there that I grew with my own little hands?

  1. Yellow squash and zucchini, frozen
  2. Green beans (frozen or canned, I used canned)
  3. Onions
  4. Carrots (actually had to supplement with store bought, because I didn’t have enough. Note to self: Plant more carrots next year!!)
  5. Stewed tomatoes
  6. Tomato sauce, which was seasoned with home-grown oregano and basil.

The only thing I didn’t have was the kidney beans and celery. Maybe I’ll grown those next year?! Oh, and the garlic, but I have garlic in the ground already, since they have to over-winter. (Yeah!!)

Happy December Everyone!

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There’s nothing sweeter than corn fresh from the cob…

…in the middle of winter?!

That’s right my friends, there is a way to have that sweet, fresh and crisp taste of summer’s sweet corn in the middle of winter. FREEZE IT! Trust me when I tell you, taking 30 mins of time to prepare and freeze fresh summer corn is well worth it. You will NOT find the taste anywhere in the freezer or canned goods section of your grocery store in January, so why not stock up now? You can go to your local farmers market and get 5 for $1.00 this time of year , so load up for those long, grey days, or Christmas dinner!

Let’s Begin!

So, firstly, I picked about 10 cobs from my garden. (Maybe I’ll have a tutorial to grow your own corn next spring. It’s the best!)  You husk them like normal. Compost the husk and silk. As you can see from the picture, my corn isn’t perfect. I don’t use chemical fertilizer or pesticides, so a few blemishes are to be expected. In this case, I picked a few too early because the bugs were getting to them before I was! The taste, on the other hand, is perfection.

ANYWAY…

Now that your corn is husked, drop them all into a large pot of water, bring to a rolling boil, and boil for about 10 minutes, give or take.  Once they’re a bright yellow, and smell delicious, drain them, and let them cool.

Once it’s cool enough to handle, get a sharp knife and a bowl (I’m a vintage pyrex collector….they make me happy.)

And start shaving those puppies right of the cob. Get close enough to the core to get all the good stuff, but once you hit the harder, brownish core, stop.  Like so:

Repeat for all cobs. ( I hear they make some corn do-flangus that takes the kernels off for you, but this works just fine and doesn’t cost anything….)

Now, just get a quart freezer bag, or larger depending on the number of cobs, and fill ’em up! 

 

And VOILA! Fresh corn for the freezer, to be enjoyed when fresh corn is no longer… 🙂 Just be sure to take out as much air as possible before putting in the freezer to avoid freezer burn. (Sorry about the sideways pic, I’m still learning.)

Now, if you don’t have a deep freezer, go get one, hit up the farmers market on your way home, and GET TO FREEZING!  The amount of money you’ll save freezing your own veggies will cover the cost of the freezer in no time!

FYI:

You can do this with all kinds of veggies. I currently have zucchini, summer squash and green beans fresh from my garden in the freezer beside the corn. 🙂 Let me know if you want to freeze them, I’d be happy to give you pointers.

ENJOY!!