Freezer Meals – Yellow Squash

Today, I am riding some weird, energy boost wave.  So, as long as it’s here, I figured I would take advantage.

This morning, I spent some time at the farmers’ market, came home, and prepped/froze several pints of blackberries, blueberries, and green onions.  The dogs, braxton hicks, and myself decided to take a nap and eat some BBQ after that, but we are up and feeling better, so I decided to tackle the yellow squash I purchased this morning!

A HEAP.

A HEAP.

The sweetest old man was selling baskets of squash for $5 a piece.  So of course I bought two baskets.  I could’t help it.  He was charming.  The problem is, this left me with what seems like an ungodly amount of squash…did I mention my husband doesn’t really like squash?  So…yeah…well, he likes it two ways.  We’ll discuss that in a minute.

IN ANY CASE, I MAKE THE BEST OF A BAD SITUATION.

Obviously, I needed to freeze the squash.  I went the flash freeze method, like the green onions.  Produce like squash and potatoes also benefit from the blanching method of freezing, in which you pop the food into boiling water briefly, and then freeze.  However, my dish washer (husband) is gone for the weekend, so I figured the less dishes the better.  Meaning no extra pots for me.

Step 1: Get you some squash and scrub scrub scrub.

With veggies like squash that have a nice hard surface, I tend to just scrub them off with a damp rag to get them clean.  I find this removes any dirt on the veggie, not to mention makes the skin look kind of polished, which is always pleasant…polished veggies.  (There is something wrong with me, I’m giggling my ass off at polished veggies.)

Step 2:  Decide how you will be preparing your squash in the future.

As mentioned before, Husband likes squash two ways.  He likes me to smother it with rendered bacon and onions.  And he will eat it in stir fry.  Which is great, because both ways are easy, and while smothering something in a little bacon grease kind of defeats the health factor, at least I know vegetables are entering his body some kind of way.  The man loves ravioli…I do what I can.  ANYWAYS, it is important to figure out how you will use your squash before you get to chopping.  When I smother squash, I like to slice it into thin discs and for use in stir fry, I like to cut little strips.  If you plan on using it in stews or soups or want to roast it, you may prefer to cut it into chunks.

Remember, when cutting things, measure twice, cut once.  Well…that might be carpentry.  Whatever.

Step 3:  Cut, cut, cut!

DSC_0570_030

I included step 2 for a reason.  Because I rather haphazardly decided that I would use all my squash for smothering.  Then, as I gazed at my pans of sliced squash, I remembered I also wanted strips for stir fry.  Luckily, it was a situation that was easily remedied.

SO MANY SLICES OF SQUASH.  Oh yeah...I didn't mean to slice them all up...

SO MANY SLICES OF SQUASH. Oh yeah…I didn’t mean to slice them all up…

I went back and sliced up a pan.  BOOM.  Problem solved.

I went back and sliced up a pan into strips. BOOM. Problem solved.

Pro-tip:  when slicing your squash, try to keep the slices the same width so that they all cook up the same.  Unless you are like me, and tend to cut first, ask questions later.  In which case, you cut those bastards up however you want and if somebody says something about your wonky squash, just kind of wave your knife around until they shut up.

Step 4:  Ice, Ice, Baby!

Time for the all important flash freeze!  Arrange your squash in a thin-ish layer in your pan and place in your freezer.  The squash will need between 2-4 hours to freeze.  Once it is frozen, throw it into baggies and pop it back into the freezer until you are ready to use them!

So. Much. Squash.

So. Much. Squash.

Optional Step 6:  A snack for the dogs

Squash is a people food that puppies can also eat.  HOWEVER, UNLESS YOU WANT YOUR DOG TO HAVE THE SHITS, ONLY GIVE THEM A COUPLE PIECES.  I saved the ends of my squash and gave each of my puppies two pieces.  Squash, much like many other fruits and veggies, can be a little tough on puppy digestive systems when raw.  Hence, give them a small amount.  And I’m gonna be honest with you….they will eat the first one…and then chew up the second one into a billion pieces all over your carpet.

Puppy snack!  I gave the dogs a couple, then tossed the rest into a bag and stuck them in the fridge for later use.

Puppy snack! I gave the dogs a couple, then tossed the rest into a bag and stuck them in the fridge for later use.

Don't mind me, just making an OBNOXIOUS mess all over the place.

Don’t mind me, just making an OBNOXIOUS mess all over the place.

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