Waste Not, Want Not

28 07 2009

The thing about getting our food from a farm, or more accurately, from a CSA, is that we have no say over what gets dropped on our doorstep each week.  While we view this as a good thing generally, we do find it challenging to use our produce when, say, a peach bomb is placed on our doormat.

Because reducing food waste is an important part of our food challenge, and because I think we’ve been guilty of much waste in the paste, Isaiah and I have worked to purchase only what we need in grocery stores. But nature is not so obedient, and our farm share of fruits and vegetables is more of the “when it rains, it pours” nature.

So after a lovely European vacation, I arrived home to find loads of peaches. Everywhere. On the counter, in the refrigerator, in paper bags, on the dining room table, by the doorstep, even on the sofa.

I really can’t complain. Peaches are delicious and fragrant this time of year, but not so much in January.  I’m working to use them while they’re in season, but I’m finding that two people can’t measure up to this harvest of nature’s best.

I tried. In two days’ time, I ate a few fresh; I had one sliced up with my morning corn flakes. I cut a few up into a fresh salsa, and I sliced more into Sunday morning pancakes. I even garnished those peach pancakes with extra peaches. Actually, truth be told, it was a team effort—Isaiah and I worked together to eat and cook those fruits. But it wasn’t enough. I was left with a surplus that was going to go bad soon, so yesterday I decided to preserve them.

I don’t have the supplies for home canning, and while I’d like to learn to do that someday, now isn’t the time. We’re both busy with travel and work at home, plus, we’d rather not spend the money on canning supplies if we can find an alternative. And so we did.

DSCN1479I froze the peaches in orange juice, after slicing them.  I also froze apricots, and I removed the skins from them before dipping them in the orange juice bath and laying flat to freeze. From what I’ve read, the orange juice should serve as a preventative to discoloring and darkening. It should also help preserve the peaches and their flavor.  We’ll see. I’m planning on using them as ingredients in smoothies this winter.  I can’t imagine they’ll be worse than those mealy canned peaches that go on sale in darkest winter. And at best, (and this is what I expect), they’ll be a little tangible burst of sunshine on a dark and dreary day.

By Climate Pilot Mya Akin

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