It’s time to put away the CSA – the growing season is over; the last box is picked up… (not quite, though – we’ll be getting winter storage vegetables for the next several months as well, as we signed up for a winter share.) But tonight, putting away the CSA was not just about saying farewell to the growing season. It was also about, quite literally, PUTTING AWAY all that stuff in the box.
The last share of the season is harder because the share is a bit bigger, and because by the end of the season I’ve always got some backlog of things that will last a while that’s been building up in the fridge. I must have had well over 5lbs of carrots accumulated in there BEFORE today, I saved one of the delicata squash, I’m perpetually sitting on a week’s supply of leeks, and I think there’s still a bag of beets I haven’t used yet.
I couldn’t fit the celery into the refrigerator drawer at all. Fortunately, I’d just figured out a trick for that – I chopped off the leafy parts right away and put a much shorter bunch of celery stalks into the drawer. Last time I did this, I froze the tips raw; this time I tried blanching them for 2 minutes as I’ve read they’ll last longer in the freezer that way. All I’ll use them for is adding to stock anyway – it won’t hurt to have them in the freezer, since I don’t care about the texture!
I’m even overflowing with parsnips and carrots – enough that I also tried the blanching and freezing trick on 2 peeled parsnips so I can use them in my favorite matzo ball soup stock later on in the winter.
I would save a bit space if I chopped the brussels sprouts off of their stalk, but it’s cool looking and I haven’t gotten to it.
And there are still a giant bunch of kale, and collard greens with leaves a foot across, which need to be steamed and frozen, since they won’t fit in the drawer either.
The cabbage – I’ll just have to leave it on a shelf instead of a crisper drawer… at least until I use up 5 lbs of carrots and 4 leeks.