Monday, June 29, 2009

Freezing Vegetables~

Oh how my garden grows~here is how to not waste any of your harvest!

Here are the steps that you need to take so you can freeze your own vegetables.

1. Choose vegetables that are at their peak of flavor and texture. Avoid any over-mature vegetables or ones that have any type of damage.

2. Wash your vegetables under cold running water. If desired, you can purchase and use a fresh produce rinse to remove dirt, bacteria and pesticide residue that might be on your vegetables. Pat dry.

3. Peel, remove seeds and slice vegetables to the desired size.

4. Blanche vegetables in a large covered stockpot of boiling water. Different vegetables require a different length of blanching time.

Water Blanching Times

Cabbage 3 minutes 
Green Peas 2 minutes 
Asparagus 2-3 minutes 
Beans 2 minutes 
Broccoli 2 minutes 
Carrots 2-4 minutes 
Cauliflower 2 minutes 
Celery 2 minutes 
Summer Squash 2 minutes 
Sweet Peppers 2 minutes 
Corn 4 minutes 
Eggplant 4 minutes

5. As soon as blanching is complete, cool the vegetables quickly to stop the cooking process. To cool, drain the vegetables in a strainer, and then plunge into a container of ice water. Cool them for the same amount of time as they were blanched. Drain thoroughly, pat dry and freeze up to 9 months in re-useable plastic containers that are made for freezer use.

Amish Friendship Bread~

 This was a recipe I made a long time back and I was inspired on my vacation to start it up again. When I visit the Amish I always get recharged to be a Keeper of the Home. They are the finest Keepers of the Home I know. We can always learn something from everyone!

If you are starting the bread yourself combine 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour, and 1 cup sugar in a zip-top bag and squeeze it together until mixed in. This is day 1. Continue with the rest of normal instructions.
Note: Do not refrigerate the starter. Keep it at room temperature.

Amish Friendship Bread

Day 1: Receive starter from a friend.
Day 2-5: Mush closed bag twice a day.
Day 6: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Mush bag.
Day 7-9: Mush bag and release air twice a day.
Day 10: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. This is the day you make your bread.

First measure three 1 cup starters and put them in three separate bags. Save one for yourself and give the other two to friends.

Pour remaining batter into a large bowl and add the following ingredients:
1 cup oil
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 large box instant vanilla pudding

Mix ingredients well. In a bowl, mix together 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar. Grease two loaf pans. Pour batter into loaf pans, and sprinkle top with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake at 35o degrees for 40-50 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. This does really well in the freezer.



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