Friday, July 2, 2010

A Broccoli Disaster

Week 6's trip to the farm stand not only introduced me to green garlic, but also surprised me with ten heads of broccoli. I took all ten because, unlike unpreservable food such as lettuce, broccoli lends itself to freezing quite well. I had visions of delicious wintry stir-fries dancing in my head as I collected the heads into my bag. At home, I was again confronted with the fact that my fridge is too small and the weekly bounty is too large. (Yes, sure, I could donate some or give it away (which I do) but where's the challenge in that?) My goal is to preserve some of the vegetables for use in the winter when there is no CSA to go to. After giving away two heads of broccoli to my family, I packed the other eight in my makeshift cooler with some ice packs. And promptly forgot about them while I busied myself with Scallion Pancakes. Not surprisingly, when I remembered about the broccoli, it all turned yellow and purple and pink. So colorful yet so inedible. Sadly, into the garbage it all went.

During the following week, Week 7, I got another chance with the broccoli. Only four heads this time but given that I typically use only one head of broccoli for a stir-fry anyway, this could easily be four future stir-fries. But wouldn't you know it? After all that chopping and blanching and shocking, it turned out that I had overcooked it. I froze it anyway--better to have overcooked broccoli than no broccoli--but I had failed again. Preserving Summer's Bounty had recommended a blanch time of two minutes for broccoli florets that were about an inch-and-a-half long. Somehow, I didn't pull them out of the water in time. Either that or the recommended blanch time is too long.

Better luck next time.


  1. Just found your blog via the Honey Brook facebook page- I'm a fellow Honey Brook member, and I occasionally blog about my cooking efforts. Our fridge was too small for all that broccoli too! :)

    One delicious thing you can do with your overcooked broccoli this winter is soup. A creamy broccoli soup, with or without cheese, may not have the satisfying crunch of a stir-fry, but it will hit the spot when it's cold out!

  2. Thanks, Stephanie, and welcome! I wouldn't have thought of soup but that sounds like a great idea.