The first frost has yet to put an emphatic end to southcentral Alaska’s growing season but things are definitely winding down. We’ve got a long haul until fresh local produce returns (June!) so preserving some of the summer’s harvest is an absolute necessity.

So despite the fabulous weather today I’ll spend at least a few hours inside blanching and freezing broccoli and cauliflower. It’s a simple process, and so very worth it when the days are short and cold.

We freeze our broccoli in 1 gallon bags, which is just perfect for making broccoli soup.

Freezing broccoli:
Cut the crowns into pieces (I chop mine fairly small since they’ll be going into soup), then blanch the broccoli for a minute before dropping it immediately into an ice-water bath. Pat dry the florets, spread them on wax paper-lined cookie sheets and freeze. You can bag up the broccoli once it’s frozen (the two-step process keeps everything from freezing together).

I’m sure it would preserve better if you used a vacuum packer but our broccoli doesn’t stay in the freezer long enough to make it worth the extra effort.