Our garden may have had it's trials this year, but one thing certainly hasn't had a hard time -the okra. I've never had a year when okra didn't produce, and this year, despite the mild winter that didn't kill a single bug, the late cool snap (that unfortunately, wasn't quite cold enough, or long enough to kill any bugs), the intense heat, and more rain than I can ever remember getting in one summer, we still had a bumper crop of okra. It's coming out our ears. So, what do you do with a bunch of okra? You freeze it. At least you do at my house, because I don't particularly care for pickled things, and I think boiled okra is just nasty. The texture - oh my. I just can't do that. Since I only ever make fried okra, freezing is the way to go.
Give it all a good rinse.
Of course, the first tip would be to pick your okra while it's still fairly small. Big okra is tough, and not fit to eat.
Then get everything set up. You'll need a pot of boiling water, and a bowl of ice water. And don't forget a towel.
Boil the okra, a few at a time, for 2-3 min. I start pulling the little ones out at 2 min and give bigger ones a bit more time.
Pull them out and place them immediately in the ice water. Make sure they stay in long enough to get cold.
I usually wait until they've been in a couple of minutes before I start the next batch in the pot, then I pull them out right before the next are ready to go in.
Put them on the towel and pat them dry.
After that, you just slice them and put them in ziploc freezer bags, in whatever portion size your family usually eats in one sitting.
You will want to make sure you have plenty of ice handy since you'll need to add it to the cold water frequently.
Okra is the very first thing I ever learned how to blanch and freeze, and was one of the few things I learned to preserve while I was still living at home, so it brings back memories of working in the kitchen with mom to put up some of our harvest.
I've linked this post with the Carnival of Home Preserving.
I've also linked up with the Homestead Barn Hop.