Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Putting Up Greens

I grew turnip greens in the garden at the day care this fall.  Which is a first for me, growing greens.  The seeds came from my Grandfather, two years ago and expired in 2009.  Just goes to show you... something.  I have prepared and froze my greens two different ways so far, both of them seem to have worked pretty well. 
First I took my kitchen scissors to the garden and gathered my greens by trimming them semi-close to the bottom, leaving some of the younger tender leaves for the next batch.  I washed each leaf individually.  It takes a tad more time than filling, draining, filling, draining the greens in a big bowl of water but I know I got everything off of each leaf.  And I just kinda tear the bigger ones in a couple of pieces.
Next you need to wilt the greens.  Granny taught me one way and I have done it that way for a couple of years now.  You place some greens in between paper towels and place them in the microwave for a couple of minutes, watching closely until they are wilted.  Then pack them into freezer bags once they cool. 
Also this year, I filled a large stock pot about half way full of water and brought it to a boil, then placed my greens inside for about fifteen minutes.  I then let the whole pot cool to room temperature, removed the greens and packaged them in freezer bags being sure to get all the air out that I could. 
It also makes for easier storage of the frozen greens if you arrange them in the bag so they will lay as flat as possible.  They stack better that way.  And by the way, both of these processes is only for wilting the greens, not cooking them.  When you are ready to use a bag simply pop it out of the freezer and cook according to directions like adding onion, hog jawl or bacon, red pepper flakes... and cooking for an hour or as long as you want.  Yum.  Don't forget the white beans and cornbread!

Either way to wilt the greens works great.  I really liked boiling them, the green color is beautiful!
Oh and be sure to label your bags with the contents and date they were put up.