My appetite makes me a Luddite. I’m willing to put in some old-fashioned hard work so that I can have the best-quality and most interesting foods on my table. I do a little canning and freezing each week during the spring and summer, and by fall, my pantry shelves and freezer are filled with good things to eat all winter. Some people think canning and freezing are a lot of work. They can be. One year, I bought three bushels of green beans to “put up” and spent the next five days in a frenzy of canning.
I began to dream about the never-ending supply of green beans that needed my attention. I’ve changed my approach since then. Instead of buying by the bushel, I now buy by the pound at the farmers’ market. Putting up five or six pints each weekend during green bean season gives me plenty, without the hard work and up-front costs of canning three bushels at a time. Adding two or three pounds of fresh fruit or vegetables to my grocery budget each week is relatively simple; blowing my whole weekly grocery budget on food to preserve makes little sense.
There’s nothing wrong with a little work, especially when you know it will make your life easier later. Now, when winter comes along, I’ll do my grocery shopping in my pantry instead of at the supermarket. And like a good Luddite, I’ll have plenty of time to knit more of my own socks.
When asparagus is in season, it’s hard to resist eating it all fresh. But if you want to have the bright, grassy flavor of fresh asparagus all year, whirl up this emerald green purée that’s perfect for freezing.
By Robin Jenkins, a food writer in Delton, Mich.