Ok, she's not my grandma, but, she's my kids' grandma, so, close enough.
Since she has been visiting, Mom has cooked a number of meals for us, she has also assisted me in preparing some produce from my garden for the freezer. Our chore yesterday was Brussels sprouts, which, grew surprisingly well in my garden, considering that I have never grown them before.
Beginners luck? Probably. Let's hope that luck holds for the freezing process as well, because, between you and me? I've only done this with green beans, and, I vaguely recall them dying a slow, cold death in the freezer-burnt section of the deep freeze; hopefully we will eat the Brussels sprouts before they face a similar fate.
So, how is it done?
Well, obviously you have to harvest the sprouts from the plant. Apparently, this is best done right after a light frost, because the cold will convert the starches in the sprouts to sugar, making for sweeter sprouts. I did not know that. I learned about it right after I harvested my sprouts, you know, before it froze, because, frost is bad for a garden, right? Gah.
Anyway, let's pretend I harvested those bastards once they got chilly, 'k?
Assemble your equipment: pots, pans, colanders, and an awesome Grandma-type kitchen helper; this is what mine looks like, try not to be jealous.
Once you have everything ready, thoroughly rinse the sprouts and soak them in a solution of one gallon of water to one cup of vinegar for about thirty minutes, or, until they smell just enough like a douche to make you slightly uncomfortable.
Rinse and sort the sprouts by size, here we have small, medium, and large; if you are a really good sprout farmer, you may only have large sprouts, but, really, size doesn't matter. Well, not in Brussels sprouts, anyway.
Bring a pot of clean water to a boil, submerge sprouts and blanch (2 minutes for small, 3 minutes for medium, and 4 minutes for large).
Immediately drain sprouts and submerge in an ice bath for an amount of time corresponding to how long they were blanched.
Drain (you didn't set out that colander for nothing)....
...and package in freezer bags. I added a cube of frozen basil pesto that I made earlier this summer for flavor, but you can add whatever you like, or, leave your sprouts naked, either way.
Throw bags in the freezer and try to remember that they are there, or, more realistically; stumble upon them many, many months from now while trying in vain to locate something easy to make for dinner, then, chisel them from the ice encasement that will have inevitably grown up around the bag, pick out the least offensively freezer burned sprouts, and, heat in the microwave until hot.
And, that's it! Frozen Brussels sprouts 101.
Goddamn, my life has gotten interesting, right?