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Freezing for the Lean Months

From about November through March we have beautiful fruits and vegetables, most of the grown locally.  Then the rest of the year, it's hard to find good fresh produce.  Local produce especially is hard to find because it's just too hot to grow.  

So, in the months between November and March, I work hard to fill up my freezer with fresh veggies.  We do broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, squash, tomatoes, strawberries, and guava sauce.  And, why yes, those would be printer ink cartridges in my freezer. :)

Broccoli.  I cut it up, put it in a pot of boiling water for about three minutes, immediately plunge it into ice water, then drain it, and put it in zip-lock bags.

Green beans.  Same process as broccoli.  Boil, plunge in ice water, freeze.

Tomatoes are super easy.  I wash them well, cut them up a bit, throw them in the food processor and whirl them just enough that they are broken into pieces.  If I have fresh cilantro or basil, I'll throw that in, too.  I immediately put the tomatoes into plastic bags in batches of 2 cups each.  Then they're immediately ready for a recipe that calls for a can of tomatoes.

Here I am washing tomatoes and at the same time doing the cold cool-down process on carrots.  Last year I did way too many carrots and not enough green beans.

The guava sauce is a little more complicated.  The guavas have to be cooked down, then strained to get out the seeds and skin, then cooked again with a bit of sugar, and then placed into sterile containers.  The jars with polka-dot lids are guava jam.

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