When life gives you lemons... or kale

A good friend has a deal with a local company to pick-up their food that they aren't using and which would have been thrown out. When it is a particular large amount, she will bring some over to us. This week was a particularly large amount, which is why I found myself with a garbage bag of kale sitting on my kitchen table this afternoon.

Now, my children like kale chips as much (or more) than the next person, but even they cannot eat that many kale chips and I certainly couldn't find someone willing to turn them into kale chips. Not wanting it to go to waste, I spent the afternoon blanching kale to freeze.

See that spider? That would be the long metal utensil sitting on the bowl. I bought it at my local Vietnamese market and use it for everything. I actually don't know how I cooked before I bought one.

All that kale was turned into 64 cups of kale that is now in my freezer. I'll use it to throw in soups or sauces or in pineapple peanut stew. I'm also considering trying some in place of spinach in my stuffed spinach pizza.

Now, not only did I get a bunch of kale, I also was given a few avocados and lemons.

For the lemons, I'm in the midst of making some of them into lemon cordial which I'll can. It sounds like a really rich lemon syrup which will be good mixed with sparkling water... or sparkling something else. I'm dehydrating the rest.

I've never dehydrated lemons before, but they sound really intriguing. The avocados (if I can rescue any from my avocado-mad children), will be made into guacamole for the 4th and I'll freeze the rest. There were also three large bunches of celery. One I fed to the children as a snack and the others I plan on dehydrating and then crushing for celery flakes.

I feel as though I should just call this blog the preservation kitchen. On top of all that, over the past few days I've made 9 1/2 pints of strawberry jam, have four cups of dehydrated strawberries, and eight cups of frozen strawberries. B. also discovered a huge horseradish plant in the back yard, which he dug some of the root from. Bless him, he was also the one to grate the rather overpowering thing so we could use it. He made one batch of horseradish sauce in the refrigerator and have enough for ten more batches in the freezer. (My children adore horseradish sauce. Really they do. I know this is odd.)

I think we need to eat more beef to clear up some room in my freezers. It's just the beginning of the growing season.


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