Saturday, August 2, 2014

::edamame - or just plain soybeans::

Look at these pretty babies!  2.4 lbs of beans from 2 ounces of seed.  I am in love with this new seed company that I ordered from last year.  It's called Territorial Seed Company - link here to see the soybean variety I grew.  I even like their catalog - its a great company.  The hardiness of what they sell is hard to top.  I planted these babies around early May.  They where in the ground for about 77 days from seed to dirt to harvest.  They where in the back row left half of my cottage garden.  A space about 3 feet wide and 15 feet long.  Soybean are very touchy - you have to keep trying them till they taste right.  Then harvest them all.  I just pull the plants right out of the ground and go sit in the shade while I pull the pods off.  For these beans it took me about half an hour.  Easy quiet work - great for listening to Disney podcasts. 


Meanwhile, before I even went out and harvested them I had a pot of water sitting on the stove on high.  It takes my old electric stove FOREVER to boil water.  Sure enough - even after about 45 mins it still was just starting to boil. You need a big pot and enough water to cover how ever much you are going to blanch.  Blanch is simply boiling a vegetable for a few minutes before you freeze it.  The Nation Center for Home Food Preservation says, "Is it recommended to blanch vegetables before freezing?   Yes. Blanching slows or stops the action of enzymes which cause loss of flavor, color and texture. Blanching cleanses the surface of dirt and organisms, brightens the color and helps retard loss of vitamins. Blanching also wilts or softens vegetables and makes them easier to pack."  After you blanch something you have to cool it quickly in an ice bath.  I fill one side of my sink with cold water, four trays of ice, and three cooler packs. 

Now we blanch.  Three full minutes.  I count it out in my head and force myself to not multitask during this time.  It's too easy to forget about them.  Then I dump them right into my colander.  

Then I run them under cold water for one minute.  Just to try to start cooling them a little before they go in the ice. 

Next they take a polar plunge when I put them in the ice bath.  I leave them in the ice bath for at least ten minutes or more.  I want them to really be cold before they come out.  I take them out of the ice and I let them drain in the sink for a few minutes before I dump them on a towel to dry.  I use a second towel to pat them dry or they will be too wet for the vacuum sealer.  I let these guys get about one more hour of air drying time before the next step. 

Which is the vacuum sealer.  I double seal the first end, vacuum seal the second end, then add another seal to the second end.  I want to make sure that if one seal fails it has a back up.  It only takes a few seconds more for each pack and is well worth it. 

These 2.4 pounds gave us five freezer packs and one serving of fresh edamame.  I am glad to have them but that is not nearly enough!  Next year I need to triple this amount, or higher!  

I then put all five in one large zip lock so they don't just randomly float around the freezer getting lost.  I think I may not have needed to freeze them because they may be gone with in the week.  

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