We’ve hit the part of the summer where I spend my evenings watching tv and endlessly shelling peas. It’s about now when I start to wonder if I really want more peas in my freezer. Lady peas are great and all, but will I really, really want them in March?
Then my stomach kicks in and says, “Of course, so don’t be a lazy bum about it.” So I keep picking and shelling and par boiling and measuring and freezing.
If you have any inklings of wanting to put up so of summer’s bounty to enjoy come the dreary days of January, I suggest doing it now. Peas do especially well in the freezer, but there are lots of types of produce that you can freeze.
For peas: Buy some shelled peas that you like (lady and purple hulls are my favorites), parboil them for about four minutes, and put them in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Then measure them out into whatever quantities you like, put them in bags, label them, and store them in the freezer.
I emphasize the labeling because you do not want mystery vegetable taking up residence in your freezer. You want to use your produce within 6 months ideally, but many things will stay good up to a year. (Quick disclaimer–I’m not a culinary professional. If you want specifics about proper food safety, consult the Ball Preserving Guide.)
Why bother? Because in season produce tastes good and is good for you. I like eating peas and corn, but I won’t buy any unless it’s summer because otherwise it tastes wrong. Not bad, just wrong. The stuff in my freezer, though, tastes like July when it’s February outside.