Monday, July 15, 2013

squirreling away summer's bounty

It's been a busy little squirrel weekend in our abode. We've spent yesterday chopping strawberries for freezer jam, making watermelon and strawberry popsicles, and freezing blueberries and strawberries for smoothies, muffins, yogurts, or anything else that strikes my fancy in the dead of winter. No berry or fruit is safe from my freezer stocking spree! Even now, I'm impatiently waiting for the peaches on our counter to ripen.
It may be hot and steamy now, but in a few months fall will come and we will all be wishing for a taste of summer. There's nothing quite like defrosting a jar of white peach freezer jam to cure those wintertime blues. Learn from the squirrels and take advantage of the low in-season fruit and vegetable prices and start stocking your freezer!

Here's a few freezer tips:
- Wash and freeze berries whole on a rimmed cookie sheet then transfer into air tight containers
- Puree watermelon in the blender, strain through fine mesh strainer, then freezer in ice cube trays for use in lemonades
- Bake fruity muffins then transfer to freezer bags or air tight containers when cooled
- Double blueberry or strawberry pancake recipes and store in freezer bags separated by wax or parchment paper
- Make your own popsicles!
- Make pie or cobbler fillings then freeze in air tight containers. Defrost overnight, pop it in a ready made crust (or your own :) and you have a quick summery dessert for a chilly winter evening
- Triple (or if you're my mom make 18 loaves...) zucchini, blueberry or other sweet bread recipes and save the other two loaves for later
I could keep going, but I think you get my frugalish point. Buy and freeze more now, then when stores hike blueberry prices up to $4 a pint you can calmly stroll by, go home, and open up your freezer and dig out your perfect sun-ripen local berries that you bought for $1.24 a pint!

Happy squirreling friends!

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