There's very little time left as the summer , cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash and blueberries are going to be out of season very soon. Here are a couple of things that you can do now to so that you can keep some of the summer's best pickings with you into the Fall:
Freeze your blueberries: Gently wash them and pat dry very gently. Without crowding, place them on a baking sheet and place in the freezer. Once frozen, pack them in ziploc bags or other storage containers and return to the freezer. If you're using these frozen beauties in baked products like muffins, you don't even have to thaw them (although I do). Be sure to thaw them, however, before using as a topping or garnish so you and your guests don't bite into a blueberry ice cube!
Pickle those cucumbers: Outside of pickling, there is no practical way to preserve and store cucumbers. Be selective in the varieties you choose, however. To make traditional pickles, be sure to select varieties no more than six inches long and be sure to buy them from the farm or farmers market -- unless, of course, you've grown your own. The slicing cucumber variety that most of us are used to getting at the store are not very well suited for pickling unless you're making bread and butter pickles (my favorite) or relishes.
Can your tomatoes: Ah, so many ideas, so little time! Make some big batches of your favorite marinara sauce and freeze or can for later use. You can also can whole or crushed tomatoes either plain or add a few leaves of fresh basil from the garden. Some fresh salsa will also can very well. You can also mimic the sun dried tomatoes only you'll be drying them in the oven. Store in olive oil for later use.
Save the zucchini: This is my daughter's favorite veggie, although she prefers them deep fried. Go figure. Go ahead and can some zucchini relish or freeze them in slices or grated. Make some zucchini pickles, or dehydrate them in the oven to use in soups or casseroles. Or just sprinkle salt on them and serve them up as a snack
Keep an eye out for upcoming posts and I'll share my tips and some secrets for savoring the Summer!