Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Preserving Food ~ Big Batch Blueberry Freezing

Awe blueberries. The season for blueberries feels so short to me. I love them so much. My kids and I wait and wait for local blueberries to be ripe and then it seems like our entire world revolves around them. This year I got 30 lbs and will be getting another 10lbs next week. Yes, we really eat that many. I had to look back on my pictures to see if I actually got that many last year, and I did. They have been gone for about a month now.

Blueberry freezing is really easy. The main thing you need is space and a really clean sink:

Fill the sink with cold water, and dump about 10lbs of blueberries in it. With the wonderful nature of blueberries, most of them will sink to the bottom. And on the top, you have all the stuff you wouldn't want in your blueberry bags:

With running water in the other sink, I just take my hands and carefully sift out all of those little flower heads, the few rotten berries (if you get them from close by you and in season, you will have way less of the rotting berries.), and the few leaves.

I am slow and meticulous at it. We mostly eat them strait out of the bags, so I feel the need to be really careful with what I let into the bags.

Then I put the blueberries, handful by handful into a large zip lock baggie. Once again, I keep my eye out for any dried flowers, or mushy berries that may have gotten past me when I was elbow deep in the water.

After I have half filled a bag, I pick it up and close it 90% of the way. Keeping that last little bit open, I pour the excess water back into the sink. I shuffle the berries around and pour again. As soon as no water comes out of the bag, I lay it flat, push all the air gently out of the bag (without squishing the berries) and close it the rest of the way.

Small batch preserving can be even easier than that!

If you have 10 lbs or less, drop a bunch of them into your salad spinner. Add water and follow the steps above, but in the spinner. Then use it as a colander and dump the water out of the spinner bowl. Spin for a few seconds to get off the rest of the water, and pour into bags. It's that simple!

And look what we got from our tomato experiment yesterday. Our very first ripe (not cherry) tomato!



Unknown said...

Looks like fun. I may have missed our local harvest. i will have to see if i can still get some!

Anonymous said...

Oh love it! We always freeze our berry harvests too and just pop into the mouth, one after the delicious other, for a great snack! The rest go into pancakes and sometimes muffins although they are usually large berries and not as good as the mini wild versions!! Great score once again. Your larder is looking great for the winter!

Anonymous said...

Oh and the question about the mushrooms on my blog: yes, we do eat some of them. The edible bolete (many varieties) was harvested and dehydrated! So earthy smelling!!

Nessa said...

Wow! You wouldn't believe what I have to pay here for just little pint containers of blueberries. We eat them a lot though. They do grow here in Florida and am searching at this moment to see if there's a local farm that has "pick your own" or sells them.

Looks like a wonderful bounty you have! :o)

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