Stock Up and Save at the Market
“Winter is hungry season.” I often think of Barbara Kingsolver’s quote as I stare at produce in the grocery store during the winter. The tomatoes look tasteless. The broccoli is oddly discolored. The peppers are disturbingly bruised. And don’t even get me started on the sky-high prices! I begin to daydream of Saturdays back at the market.
Although the season ends on October 10th, you can keep market flavor in your freezer all winter long. All it takes is a little fun preparation now! Here are six simple steps to freeze your favorite veggies:
1] List the veggies you would like to freeze for your winter dishes. I stock up on Vaisuo’s scallions to flavor my soups. River Crest’s tomatoes are essential to my crockpot chilis. I love Clover Nook’s peppers for my omelets.
2] Stroll to the market with an extra bag or two in hand. You will spend a little more than usual now, but you will save so much later. Veggies are much cheaper at the market now compared to at the grocery store during the winter.
3] Back at home, chop your veggies to your desired size.
4] Blanch the veggies. This sounds scary, but don’t be afraid! You just boil the veggies for a minute or two before dropping them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Blanching preserves freshness.
5] Using a paper towel, dry your veggies completely.
6] Spread your veggies out on a baking pan. Place in the freezer for about 2 hours. This will prevent the veggies from sticking together.
7] Now frozen, toss your veggies into a plastic bag. Suck out any excess air out with a straw and seal them tight. Stash them in the freezer. They’ll keep fresh for about 10 months.
The process is easy, and can be a lot of fun, too! Put on your favorite playlist, uncork a bottle of wine, and sneak in a few tastes as you chop up your fresh veggies. Call a few friends over to join in on the fun. The warmth of cooking together will collectively thaw your winter dreads.
Start the fun at the market this Saturday! It's looking like a beautiful day for stocking up...
Saturday, September 26th
Blue skies and temperatures approaching 70
Live music by Frank Critelli
Made-to-order sandwiches by Grateful Dog.
Clover Nook Farm – 4 varieties of squash, mushrooms, carrots, apples, homemade apple cider, etc.
River Crest Farm – Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, spinach, etc.
Vaiuso’s Farm – Basil, cilantro, celery, 5 varieties of lettuce, kale, beets, corn, pumpkins, etc.
Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm – CT-raised beef, pork, turkey, chicken, and eggs.
Bayview Kitchen – Handmade pastas and sauces.
Dash n’ Drizzle – Oils, vinegars, and spices...it’s their last Saturday at the market!
Oronoque Farms Bakery – A variety of pies and apple cider donuts.
Wild Women Coffee – Several hot brews, cold brews, and bags of beans.
Renewal by Anderson
Home Goods and Gifts:
Heather’s Usborne Books
Ridge Runner Soaps
Sue Glennon’s Daisy Blue
Bead by Bead