End of the Garden


 Our garden is just about over.  We harvested a lot of tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, spinach and herbs from just a few pots close to our patio.  Even if we hadn’t canned and frozen some of this bounty, we have enjoyed the everyday additions to our meals.  I’ll probably finish up with freezer tomato soup with the last of the tomatoes, peppers and basil.

My favorite way to preserve my end-of-the season herbs is herb butters.  I chop the herbs in my food processor, and then blend in softened butter.  I shape the mixture into rolls, just like refrigerator cookies, or drop them on a sheet of wax paper with my cookie scoop and store them in my refrigerator freezer.  I freeze them before wrapping, then slip into freezer bags, paper and all.  When I cook eggs, soups, rice, pasta and noodles, potatoes, and many other vegetables, I simply slice some seasoned butter off the roll or take a scoop out of the freezer bag, and I have that fresh summer flavor all over again.  This works well with chives, basil, parsley and even chopped sage or thyme.  It's also delicious melting on grilled steaks or chops.
Adding olive oil instead of butter also works, especially with basil; think pesto without the cheese.  This freezes well too, although not in rolls, and you can add the cheese when you cook your dish.
Take care putting your garden to bed, and spend some of those coming winter months planning for next year’s bounty.

3 comments:

  1. Excellent idea! I just wish I had more freezer space this year :( Trying to make room for a side of beef coming in another month. But maybe I can dry my herbs now and make the butter mix when I have more room...have you ever tried this with dried herbs?

    Found you on the Barn Hop!
    Lisa at http://littlehomesteadonthehill.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. I haven't tried this with dried herbs. I do this because I want the fresh taste of fresh herbs - they keep really well this way. I do dry herbs too, but use them a little differently. I only have a small freezer, but I still try to tuck away a few rolls of butter and some basil and parsley mixed in olive oil for fresh-tasting pesto all winter.

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    2. That makes total sense. I will have to clean out the freezers to get it ready for the beef soon. Maybe I can tuck some of this away here and there :) Thanks for the idea!

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