It’s nearing mid July, and the veg gardens act like someone finally threw the “ON” switch. Just this morning I saw that the one wildling volunteer pumpkin (always a couple every year in the compost) has now climbed up and partially over the 5′ tall garden fence. Good morning!
This makes me happy, of course, but mostly it makes me feel a bit panicky. I should be saving all this green bounty, I think. And I do. Before the madness of squash/bean/tomato/eggplant/pepper/cucumber season starts, I am harvesting the first rounds of the onion and cabbage families. And I am making a lot of frozen herb concoctions.
Somehow, I have had a banner year for most things (knock wood). Celery is growing well, but the celeriac is a failure this year. Same culture, same date of planting, one is going nuts, one’s a no-show. I will notice this peripherally, that things I planted 3 years ago came up great, 2 years ago okay, last year sporadically and somehow don’t consider that, say, celeriac seed doesn’t keep 4 years (idiot) so it’s like the stuff is finally politely saying “it’s not you, El, it’s me.” What a letdown. But back to the celery. I am making celery/onion/garlic minces, and freezing them in small plastic tubs. Persillade, too, with cutting celery, Italian (flat-leaved) parsley, and garlic, with a few celery leaves thrown in. As a from-scratch cook, a few scoopfuls dug out of the tub with a grapefruit spoon in mid-winter adds just the right oomph to a pot of beans or to finish up a soup. It’s not as great as the fresh stuff, but then I can’t expect to have fresh celery here in January. (Or can I?)
So. Don’t stop at basil in the icecube trays. Cilantro can likewise be minced and frozen, as can any fleshy joyfully summery herb. Get chopping, boys and girls: winter is long, and it’ll be here before you know it!