Greetings, Thrifty Sisters! I hope that you all had an amazing week! If you live in the US, you perhaps celebrated Thanksgiving. I am happy to report that we had a lovely meal with my husband’s family, and it was so yummy! I do have to admit that the days prior to Thanksgiving were not “exactly” what I had planned on, but we pulled together and made it all work out. In the end, we all arrived at the table with many things to be thankful for, and I am grateful for the help and kindness that others could offer us this past week.
So, what have I learned recently that I feel like I need to share with everyone? I learned how to save and extend the life of both kale and spinach. The week before Thanksgiving, it was obvious that we needed to clean out the fridge, consolidate left-overs from big containers to little containers, find room to house a farm fresh turkey, and roll up the sweater sleeves and do a little scrubbing in our fridge. It is times like this that I make some of the grandest kitchen discoveries!
We happened to have some kale and spinach (in very large containers), and they were both approaching that “not so fresh” point. Did you know that you can freeze your own kale and spinach? Hmmm, sounds rather silly when I write it out like that, but the answer is yeap, you can! And in the process of learning how to do both, we tried out a new recipe, which was another keeper – even our son enjoyed this soup recipe. I will undoubtedly plan on bringing this recipe back to the table.
I do have to admit, I went ahead and just chopped and froze the spinach, then did the research. Apparently, one should blanch their spinach first, unless you plan on using it within a few weeks. Whew, dodged the bullet on that one! And, I am happy to report that the spinach that we used in the soup recipe seemed fine, even though I did not blanch it. Here is a link on how to freeze your own spinach: http://www.simplycanning.com/freezing-spinach.html
Fortunately, kale is one of those items that you can blanch, or not blanch, depending on what you would like to use it for, and how long you think it might be in cold storage. Check out the instructions here: http://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/gardens/garden-to-table/can-you-freeze-kale And this link has several other how-to-freeze links listed at the bottom. I bookmarked this page, as I can see that I am going to be referencing a lot of these tips.
Speaking of freezing, did you know that you can freeze up squash, as well? Oh, the joys of squash keep amazing me! I had a huge garden fresh squash from my cousin’s farm, and it was much more than I could use in 2 baking dishes (yes, it was massive!), so I froze the other half for later. I followed the fresh freezing method in this link and can’t wait to bake these little gems up. http://www.thekitchn.com/two-ways-to-freeze-winter-squash-178166
My sister in law, brought a delicious squash dish to the holiday table this past week, and I think that my frozen squash would turn out great in the recipe that she shared with me: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/116200/garlicky-baked-butternut-squash/?lnkid=usspnt
And here is the link to the soup recipe (that uses frozen spinach) that I have been raving about: http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/cherylrsquos-tortellini-and-spinach-soup
As you can see, it has been a busy couple of weeks learning how to save and preserve food and trying out new recipes. Of course, each time one can preserve in their own home, they are not only creating a positive impact on their own health, but one is also cutting down on their overall assortment of items to the landfill. Especially when one reuses simple items like zip lock baggies. Wash, dry and reuse!
Another item that we can consider removing from the landfill is paper towels. Yes, I have them. I very rarely use them, but they are great when one has a wicked mess that you do not want to put through your laundry machine. So, consider ditching paper towels and use dish or microfiber towels in your kitchen and household cleaning routines. They are washable and reusable, and will save you cash. Paper towels are pretty pricey for how long they last.
With the South Dakota air chilling up and drying out, I know that my skin is crying for some relief! Consider making this Clementine Hand Scrub, and if you love it, consider making this as a hand-crafted holiday gift. Wouldn’t this be adorable in little mason jars?! I must give this recipe a whirl and see how it works, but don’t clementines just sound heavenly?! http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/1002093/diy-clementine-hand-scrub
And with that, my Thrifty Sisters, may you have a delightful week! Enjoy preserving your greens, please enjoy a hearty soup or squash recipe this week. If you have a dish that you are in love with, please share it with me! And I hope you love the clementine hand scrub! Until next time, keep on keepin’ it thrifty and fun!