Remember those peas we pick? Well, we decided to postpone the enjoyment of our taste buds for a few months – saving them for the cold winter months instead of gorging ourselves with peas today.
This is where blanching comes into play. Speaking of blanching – who ever thought of such a word? Ever time I say the word I think of the banshee in Darby O'Gill and the Little People…. ok… so I'm a tad strange…
Anyway, so in order to keep the peas we harvested this weekend, we boiled them in a pot of hot water for two minutes – then immediately dunked them into ice cold water for another two minutes. [@more@]
This process – called blanching – is supposed to allow the peas to be frozen while keeping all the healthy vitamins and nutrients.
While the process seems straight forward, it was actually a tad scary as our cook warned us against under cooking the peas in the boiling water, over cooling them in the cold water and everything else…. sigh….
We took the "a-few-seconds-here-or-there-shouldn't-kill" approach. Hopefully we will still be around next Spring after enjoying our peas all winter.
After the blanching process, we sealed the peas into four quart size zip-lock freezer bags and stuck them into our deep freezer. We will continue to add to this stock pile over the summer so that we will have plenty of home grown vegies this winter.