WHAT’S IN YOUR FREEZER? Or should I say freezers, because here I fill two, and am well into the second one already. Tomato- and herb-based concoctions took up all the room in Freezer 1; applesauce and pureed winter squash are quickly populating Number 2. A roundup of harvest-stashing recipes and other tips:
Of course, tomato sauce (though only about half of the usual haul thanks to endless disease issues in a wet year) got first attention, as each batch ripened on the mudroom windowsill. (I picked them slightly upripe to try to beat the chipmunks.) I make sauce, and also a last-ditch vat of Tomato Junk (my waste-not, want-not catchall with tomatoes and whatever else is around, my basic soup, chili and stew starter).
Though some herbs stand up through the first frosts (like parsley and sage), I’m packing them away now in various forms in the freezer (that’s what all those plastic bags are: herb stashes, usually as cubes or dense rolls of leaves I can slice off chunks of later. My tactic.
My herb-freezing career began with garlickly green ice cubes of traditional sweet-basil pesto, like the ones above. I make eight ice-cube trays full.
I could keep winter squash around in storage here in the house for months, and I will with some of the most beautiful fruits. But I bake a lot of them now, cut in half or smaller on rimmed cookie pans, skin side up, and when the flesh is tender then puree and freeze it, meaning I’m more inclined to grab a portion for supper than if I have to start from scratch that night. Pureed squash is also great in soups and even on pasta or brown rice, or at least here it is.
(Question: I have a bumper sweet-potato crop; anybody ever mashed and frozen those?)
Gooey green-tomato mincemeat (which also used for chutney) is something I normally hot-pack in jars, but I am going to experiment with a frozen batch with some of the unripe tomatoes and my apples.
Speaking of apples, every large pot around here that was in service to tomato sauce is now bubbling with pale-pink goodness, a year of breakfasts for me (or a great ingredient for sweetening baked goods). My superfast method.
I wonder if I win the prize for most-colorful (or most overpacked?) freezer. Any competition out there? What’s in your freezer?