(Forgive me while I use this blog to store some preparation instructions for future reference.)
We’ve had our usual good crop of New Zealand Spinach. In previous years much has been wasted. This year Liz decided we should freeze some of it so she can produce tasty spinach pies throughout the year. Then she didn’t get around to it and buggered off to Wellington to catch up with friends and do more decoration on our Ngaio house before it goes on the market.
Thinking I’d better do the job because the spinach was getting a tad venerable, I did some Google research and got stuck into it.
On the right is spinach straight from the garden. I kept most of the leaves and also the soft ends of each ‘branch’. The discards are in the small sink. The spinach in the left sink was then thoroughly rinsed, twice.
A batch of spinach being blanched – for two minutes. Then the spinach went into the sink for another two minutes in cold water. (The recipes said to use lots of ice, but I added three Slikka pads from the freezer. The water wasn’t exactly icy but hopefully the cooking process was stopped in good time.)
Removing surplus water in a lettuce spinner. It may not have removed as much water as drying it between sheets of absorbent paper, as suggested, but it was much more practical for dealing with a lot of spinach.
A bag of spinach ready for freezing. The air was sucked out using cunning technique I read about. Have the bag largely closed, then put a drinking straw in one side and suck hard. Keep closing the bag and the straw flattens, then slips out before the air can get back in. (No doubt most of the female population know about this, but these things don’t occur naturally to men.)
One of several batches: the prepared spinach on the left, which would fill an oversized basketball, condensed into five small bags for the freezer.
The proof will be in the eating.