Isn't this a cute, harmless little zucchini palnt? If you have grown zucchini, you know what comes next. I am not very good at thinning plants. I did make myself thin one out of four zucchini plants, these two that I knew were way too close together. Should have thinned three out of four, especially since I am the only one in our household that even likes to eat it.
Those little plants become monsters that take over a garden and thrive on productivity. Daily picking. How did that zucchini get that big? I checked this morning and it wasn't there. Their huge leaves hide the squash growing at astronomical speeds below them. Okay, that is a bit of an exaggeration. Just a little bit.
A soup recipe I tried once called for frozen yellow squash. I didn't know you could freeze squash, assumed it would turn all mushy. Sure enough, there in the freezer aisle, alongside the peas and carrots, I found a package of frozen, sliced squash. A little internet search, and there were the directions for freezing mountains of squash. Hooray!
With a few simple steps, working while our sons did their schoolwork, I froze six bags of sliced squash, zucchini and yellow, and two bags of grated zucchini.
The directions are easy. Cut squash in chunks or thick slices. Blanch - which means a short boil plunged in boiling water, or steam them - for three minutes, cool immediately in an ice water bath, drain, pack in freezer bags, and freeze.
Want to know a nifty trick? Stick a straw in the edge of the bag as you are zipping it up. Suck the air out, slip out the straw and finish sealing. Vacuum packed vegies!
The grated squash (frozen raw, without blanching) will be zucchini bread some day this winter, or I can toss it in spaghetti sauce or soups. The sliced squash will be a summery welcome on a dreary winter day. Now, I am not afraid to go see how many squashes are waiting for me in the garden. Let them grow!
|Zinnias in the zucchini|