Currently, the garden is producing summer squash in abundance. I am so happy to have something edible coming from the garden. A coworker of Shane's suggested we get a small kitchen scale and start weighing our harvests. It has been so much fun and I would highly recommend it whether your garden is big or small. The kids love to help weigh everything and the whole family is getting excited over the growing totals. We started weighing about half way through May so these totals are for the last couple weeks.
May Garden Totals:
Patty squash - 5.96 lb.
Round Summer Squash - 9.38 lb.
Cucumbers - 2.91 lb.
Basil - 0.18 oz.
May 2013 Total: 18.27 lb.
As you can see we have had lots of squash coming from the garden. We shared some with friends who came for dinner. The rest we have either been eating or preserving. We grilled some with salt and pepper, steamed a bunch for dinner and eating cold for snacks, baked squash blueberry bread, and had a vegetable soup with lots of squash and homemade bread. Basically, we have had squash in some form for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner at many points over the past couple weeks. With still more squash every couple days, I started looking for ways to preserve it for the winter when we will miss these beautiful summer squashes. After looking into different options I decided that for now I'd just freeze the squash.
First I cut the squash into pieces. I choose to do these in batches of 2 to 3 squash at a time. This is about how many my family will eat in one meal so it was the best portions to freeze them in for us. Just think about how much your family would eat in a meal and freeze in batches that will be easy to use.
For example, if you love to have stir fry with lots of veggies then just freeze about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of squash in a smaller bag. This way you can easily grab the bag from the freezer and toss the contents into your stir fry. Or if you have onions, carrots, or other vegetables fresh right now make your own frozen stir fry mix ready to go.
Second, I blanched the squash in boiling water for 3 minutes. Start the timer when you place the squash in the water. The boil may slow down or even stop but start your clock. If you wait for a rolling boil to start again and then cook for 3 minutes your squash will be overdone. You want your squash to be firm still when you remove it. Remove your squash and immediately cool it by placing the squash in ice water to stop the cooking process.
Finally, I laid my blanched squash out on the towel to dry any excess water and then placed it in freezer bags. Please note that the squash is delicious at this point so snacking is encouraged.
We will likely harvest more squash this weekend. I'd like to try another altered recipe for squash bread. I also plan to blanch some more for freezing as well as shredding 2 cup batches for future squash bread and muffins (just like I did with the zucchini). In the future I'd love to try and make some squash chips of some sort. While I do have a dehydrator on my wish list, I will most likely try to make some in the oven for now. In order to do that I'd like the weather to be just a bit cooler so the house doesn't become to hot. What are your weekend plans? Any gardening or cooking happening at your house?