A documentation of my preservation and preparation of local foods as I work through the seasons. This will serve as a reference tool for me in the future and as a sharing guide for family and friends...and anyone else interested. Hopefully, I can offer some useful methods, tips and recipes to share with everyone--be they novice or pro--and encourage them to join me in the exciting world of preserving and cooking with local foods.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Since the best-tasting broccoli is harvested in cool weather; I wait until then to buy it at market.  To remove insects from fresh broccoli, break into a few sections and immerse in brine of 4 tsp salt to 1 gal water for 30 min.  Rinse and drain.  Wrap loosely in plastic bag (not airtight) and store in refrigerator.
It's great raw and here is good dip for it:
Dill Dip
One 8-oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 cup Miracle Whip
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons oil-free bottled Italian dressing
2 teaspoons dill weed
1 Tablespoon sugar
-Mix and chill.

And, my favorite broccoli dish:
Broccoli Salad
2 large heads broccoli, cut into pieces
1/4 cup loosely packed shredded carrot
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans, walnuts or sunflower seeds
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced red onion
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup bottled Italian dressing (oil-free is best)
1/4 cup Miracle Whip
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons pineapple juice
1 teaspoon dill weed
-Toss together all ingredients except dressing ingredients.  Combine all dressing ingredients and mix well.  Pour over salad & toss to coat.  Chill.

Broccoli is also very easy to freeze:  Wash and cut into pieces.  Immerse in boiling water for 3 minutes (approx. 1 pound of broccoli pieces to 1 gal of boiling water)  Immerse in ice water to cool.  Pat dry and package.

And it makes a wonderful soup:
Cream of Broccoli Soup
3 cups broccoli pieces
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 8-oz package cream cheese
4 cups cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 pint Half and Half
--Saute onion and broccoli in butter until starting to soften.  Add flour and stir to smooth paste.  Add chicken broth, stirring until smooth.  Add cheese and stir until melted.  Stir in mustard, salt and sugar.  Slowly add Half and Half, stirring.  (Add more or less, if needed, until soup is desired consistency.)  Heat through, but do not boil.

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