Kate Yerxa and Jason Bolton from University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension gave a fact-filled, fun, and interactive demonstration on freezing vegetables and cooking with them. Yerxa handed the event’s responsibilities over to the attendees and explained how they would cook their lunch from frozen vegetables. While a delicious vegetable skillet sauté and vegetable chili were simmering, Bolton gave quick but very informative presentation on the basics of freezing vegetables: using only freezer safe containers and plastic bags, the importance of a safe freezer temperature, what vegetables can be frozen, and the power of blanching in extending certain vegetables’ freezer life. Attendees then prepared onions, tomatoes, green peppers, and green beans for the freezer utilizing the information they had just learned.
Some of the information presented at the Lunch & Learn can be found in photos at the bottom of this post (click on photo for larger image). For more information–and even videos–about freezing or blanching visit UMaine Cooperative Extension Food & Health website. The University of Georgia Food Preservation site offers an extensive listing of information about food preservation and is a great resource to look at when processing the summer garden.
For printable versions of the sauté skillet and vegetable chili, click here.