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Every winter, we are the lucky recipients of a bounty of citrus from both family and neighbors.
 
 
My fruit bowls and pantry are full of blood oranges, grapefruit, and lemons.
 
Citrus generally ripens during the winter and the cold snap that we had last week had many people picking the citrus fruit from their trees so that the fruit wouldn’t be damaged by the frost.
 
The problem arises that either I have too many lemons in winter and none in the summer unless I want to spend a ridiculous amount of money on lemons.
 
So, what do you do?
 
Well, I juiced them a week ago and made “lemon ice-cubes.”
 
Then, I promptly forgot about them until I was searching in the freezer for the chicken to thaw out for dinner.
So, I took them out and put my lemon ice cubes into freezer bags.
 
 
I have three freezer bags full of lemon ice cubes, which will last me through the coming year.
 
What do I use them for?  Well, many of my favorite dinner recipes call for a tablespoon or two of lemon juice, and they are great for making ice tea.
 
You can also save the lemon zest, (just before you juice them), and freeze the zest too.
 
 
My kids love grapefruit (I don’t) and have been eating some for both breakfasts and a snack.  They have also been taking the blood oranges to school in their lunch boxes.


My friend, Becky, from Tucson, made ‘Orange Peel Vinegar’ which she uses as a cleaner with her extra oranges.
 
What do you do with an overabundance of citrus?

I have really enjoyed growing cauliflower this year.

But, we have an awful lot of it.  Much more then we can eat.
And even though my kids will eat it….I’m afraid if they see it at every meal that they will soon get very tired of it.
So, I gave a whole head away to my mother and then got to work on preserving my cauliflower so that we can enjoy it for the next six months.
It is very easy to do and this method works for broccoli as well.  It called ‘blanching’, which scalds vegetables in boiling water for a few minutes.

Blanching must be done to vegetables before they are frozen.

Why?
Well, blanching stops enzymes that would normally cause the vegetables to loose their flavor, texture and color.

In addition, blanching helps your vegetables to retain their vitamins and even improves their color.
Here is how I did it:
Cut the cauliflower in equal sized pieces – about 1 – 2 inches in size.
 This is about 1 1/2 heads of chopped cauliflower.


 Place the cauliflower in a pot filled with enough water so that the vegetables are covered.  The add 1 teaspoon of salt.

Bring the pot to a boil and then cover for 3 minutes and keep boiling.


 Immediately pour the cauliflower into a colander and cool them off with cold water and ice.
You can also dunk them in a bowl filled with ice water.
This ‘shocks’ them and stops the cooking process. 

Now it is time to store your newly blanched vegetables.


 Divide your blanched vegetables into plastic freezer bags and squeeze all the air out before sealing the bags.
Label your bags and write the date on the bag when you blanched your vegetables.
Put in your freezer, where they will last 6 months.
So, what type of vegetables would you like to preserve this year?
**Thank you all for sending me your ideas for using cauliflower earlier this month.  I can’t wait to start using them 🙂

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