Have you heard about the 100 Mile Diet?

So I’d like to make this a space for people to talk about what vegetables and fruits are in season, and to ask for and receive tips on how to cook them, or prepare them to get the most enjoyment out of your fresh and local veggies. We could make this into a 100 Mile Diet (<- check out that website, people!) recipe repository for the Ottawa area. I’ll post harvest list each week of what’s in the bins, and then focus on a vegetable or two every weekend. You can chime in with a recipe or a request for a recipe or suggestion.

There’s nothing up in the garden yet, with the cool wet weather we’ve got on the way for the weekend putting a damper on garden fever for now, but I know peas will be one of our first harvests along with beans. Anybody have any favourite recipes for cooking sweet peas? I know I tend to just eat them raw, crunchy and juicy shells and all! Does anyone plan to preserve some of their peas? Let me know if anyone’s interested in a step-by-step guide to freezing your own peas and I’ll post a quick how-to for you.

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  • Elsbeth says:

    Brody and I grow peas but they are snow peas. What is the key to freezing them? This would be useful information if I could freeze them but my lovely 4 year old eats them non-stop while we weed…I weed, he eats and comments.

  • Katie says:

    Sounds like there might not be much left to preserve once Brody’s done with them! :)

    But for freezing peas, you first have to shell them – or not, if the pod is edible, but that’s just my choice – and then blanch them by putting them into a pot of boiling water (for peas it’s probably best if you can do this in some kind of fry basket so you’re not trying to fish them out individually after) for 90 seconds. Then you plunge them into a bowl of ice cubes and water for at least as long as they were in the boiling water.

    Now comes the part where I disagree with the guys at http://www.pickyourown.org/freezing_peas.htm because they say to pop them right into a freezer bag, label it and put it in your deep freeze. My problem with this is that everything freezes together into a big lump and you have to use the whole thing all at once – what if you just want a few peas to add a touch of colour to an alfredo pasta dish? So I take the extra step of spreading a sheet of wax paper over a cookie sheet and spreading my blanched peas (or any produce, it’s just the blanching time that changes) on the cookie sheet and put it in the freezer. In a few hours they’re all frozen but not freezer burned, I can slide them off of the wax paper and into a freezer bag, and it won’t be all frozen in a lump once I try to take it out of the freezer next winter!

    Enjoy your tasty peas!

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