Garden Update 24th January 2011

Spent my first day this year out in the garden yesterday, pruning back the grape vine and digging up the remaining carrots and parsnips which had stayed in the raised beds through the coldest British winter in 100 years.

I was really surprised how many came out of just a couple of square metres of garden!

Of course there were far too many to cook anything with so I opted to freeze them. But even if you freeze them, the bacteria in them degrade them slowly, so what you have to do before freezing is ‘blanch’ them.

What this basically amounts to is par-boiling them for a short time to kill the bacteria in them, then dunk them in cold water to stop the cooking process, then dry them to stop them sticking together and finally freeze them.

I used a pan of boiling water and a plastic pasta strainer, and some kitchen towel to dry them off. I did the carrots for 3 minutes and the parsnips for 2 minutes.

I must have a year’s supply in the freezer now. No need to grow them this year!!

Came across some rather attractive orange fungi in the garden too.