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Garden peas are one of our favourite vegetables. I like to plant as much as I can, so I can blanch and freeze peas for eating all winter long.
As early in the season as possible, I try to get the peas planted. I plant my seed along the fence line in the main garden.
I plant them here because it’s easy and I like doing things the easy way. This way, I don’t have to fuss with putting in supports for the vines to grow against.
It’s so much easier to have them growing up something that is already there. They can just grab onto the fence wire, and their tendrils will wind around the wire, keeping the plants upright.
I always look forward to harvesting peas. Mind you, I harvest a few almost every time I am in the garden!
Who can resist picking a pod off, pulling the string and popping those fresh peas right in the mouth? No one, that’s who.
Another reason I love picking peas is because it will mean rest time for me. Aaah, there is nothing like a pea induced rest on the porch, I love it.
It gets quite hot here in the afternoons and there is nothing I like better than taking a rest in the shade with a bag or two of peas to shell.
I can shell while sitting quietly, rocking in my chair and looking around the yard. I can be busy, but not “busy” if you know what I mean.
When I’m done shelling, I move on to the next part. That’s preserving peas for the freezer so we can eat them all winter long.
How to Blanch and Freeze Peas
I always blanch and freeze peas – it is a great way to preserve them. They taste so much better than canned peas – we never eat those.
Since I am going to freeze the peas, I put a large pot of water on the stove to come to a boil.
Once the water boils, I add all the shelled peas and let them sit in the boiling water for two minutes. This blanches the vegetable enough to then be able to freeze it.
After the two minutes is up, I immediately dump the pot into a colander in the sink and start running cold water over the peas.
Once they feel cool, plug in the stopper and just let the sink fill a bit and let the colander just sit there.
Run your fingers through to ensure cold water gets to all the peas. This will speed up the cooling process.
When the peas are cold, I drain all the water from the colander. Then, I pour the peas out onto cookie sheets in a single layer.
I dump them right from the colander and then spread the peas out using my hands. Make sure they are in a single layer.
You want them to freeze individually, so they they don’t all clump together.
Then just pop the trays in the freezer for 24 hours and bring them back out. I like to let them sit for just a couple of minutes. Just long enough that it’s easier to get them off the sheet.
Use a spatula to get the frozen peas off the sheet and right into the freezer bag.
I like freezing them like this so the peas are frozen individually. This way, when we want to have some we can just pour out the desired amount.
Then, bring them to a quick boil before adding them to our dinner plates.
We love shelled peas – I usually plant some snow peas too. This year, it’s all shell peas called Bounty. These are an heirloom seed, so I can save my own seed.
Here’s how to save pea seed, so we don’t have to buy it again.
This blanching process works for most vegetables that you want to freeze.
Boil the clean vegetables for 2 minutes, then plunge into cool water to cool them off quickly. Then pop them into freezer bags and put them in the freezer. Done!
So that’s how you blanch and freeze peas. And once you do it for yourself, you will see how fast and easy it is.
If you want to learn more about freezing your own garden harvests, take a look at this great book, one of the best resources available is the Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery.
Learn more about preserving food
How to save Pea seed – so you don’t have to buy seed anymore
Interested in beginning to build your food supply? Here are the four ways we preserve and store our food
Pickled Beets are an easy way to learn how to pickle foods. Here’s how to make and home can pickled beets.
Ever wondered how to make your own Sauerkraut? Here’s how to make home made fermented Sauerkraut. (And how to can it, too)
Want to find out which are The 5 Easiest Vegetables to Grow?
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