If you preserve your own produce, it’s easy to hang onto things too long because each item seems “special.” I mean, you can’t just open that jar of pickles for any old occasion, right? And don’t you realize how precious that frozen bag of blanched Swiss chard is?!!
This is how I ended up with waaay too many of last year’s preserved items still in my cupboard and freezer, even though the new growing season is emerging. So I’ve been finding creative ways to use up all the random items. I defrosted a bunch of frozen chard-tomato sauce and made Barbara Kingsolver’s eggs in a nest (pictured at right – yeah, it doesn’t look terribly appetizing, but it’s really satisfying). I also defrosted some ratatouille and devoured it over quinoa. Then on a picnic, my friends and I devoured the ginger-spiced pickled carrots I made, which turned out to be delicious. This weekend I might try making deep fried pickled peppers, as an experiment.
The point is, whether you’ve done your own preserving or you just have a lot of frozen/dried/canned items sitting around, now is a good time to start using them up. Because pretty soon there’s going to be more fresh produce coming out of the garden or market than you know what to do with. This past weekend I got my very first salad out of my garden! It was pretty perfect along side some Vace agnelloti with caramelized onions and home-grown sage, with a home-grown mint mojito.
Change is good!