Saturday, November 7, 2009

Frost-Proof Produce

I thought it noteworthy that the bundle of herbs and vegetables photographed above were picked out of the garden today - after 3 unwelcome, albeit brief, October snowfalls, several hard frosts, and generally cooler temperatures than normal.

After the first weird, early October snow, I wrote about running out into the garden and rescuing my tomatillos. I wrongly assumed that besides my Brussels sprouts, everything else left in the garden would wilt and die an unfortunate snowy death. This was true for the tomatoes, of course, but my peppers did not fare any better, almost instantly becoming soggy and strangely translucent. I really blew it by not picking all the peppers sooner.

However, what has remained and even continued to grow has been bountiful. Pictured above is Lacinato Kale, Curly Parsley, Flat Leaf Parsley, Garden Sage, French Tarragon, English Lavender, Greek Oregano, Thyme and Rosemary. Not pictured are my adorable Brussels Sprouts which I have been routinely slicing off the large stalks and eating with pleasure.

Very soon I will dry the rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme in my food dehydrator which works like a charm because it seals in the green herbal color while maintaining the plant's strong flavor. As for the parsleys, those are best frozen as I personally don't think they provide much flavor as a dried herb. The kale is currently being blanched and frozen in 1 cup portions to eat throughout the winter.

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