Thursday, June 12, 2008

So, what do you do with the….Spinach?

Those of you who’ve cooked with fresh spinach probably all know one thing above all else: it doesn’t go far. You go to the grocery store, buy what looks like a huge bunch of beautiful sturdy green leaves. Then you get home and start steaming it up and you’re left with something that would fit in a thimble. It’s amazing, where does it all go?

So I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from my small spinach patch. No, seriously. My veggie patch this year is about 2/3 test garden. I’m trying many different things to see what grows well and how things do for me here. Probably wasn’t a great year to do this what with all the cold and rain, but nonetheless this was my plan, and I’ll probably do it again next year to add data to this, the Year of Clammy Sogginess.

So, spinach. Matt and I had gone to Target the day before and found these nice metal mesh baskets that seemed perfect for veggie collecting because you can spray the veggies in the basket or dunk the basket in water to rinse things off instead of doing things by hand one at a time. Great purchase, we bought 4. They were on clearance. So I stuffed all the spinach root-down into the basket and carried it back down to the house, then placed it in a tub with an inch or so of water in it until I could get to it (after breakfast). This kept the roots wet and the leaves from wilting.

Then, I took a large pot and put it on the stove. I rinsed the leaves and tore them off the stems and put them in the pot. Once the pot was about 2/3 full, I added about a half cup of water and turned the burner on high. I stirred them around until they were pretty well wilted, then I turned off the heat, spooned the cooked spinach into a bowl to cool, and started adding new leaves to the pot.

It took about an hour and three potfulls. I will also mention that most of the leaves had bug munchies on them. I am not as squeamish as most people are about bugs and bug munchies. Did some tiny insects get into the pot with my spinach? Probably. Do I care? Honestly, not really. The food we eat, the flour or sugar we buy, it all has insect or insect poo in it. They can’t get it out. There are actually guidelines with the FDA on how many insects and rodent hairs are allowed in your food (check out this one for chocolate
). In the long run, my spinach was checked over leaf for leaf. Do you think Dole can really say that? And it doesn’t have anything sprayed on it, which means a lot to me, too.

Once the spinach was cool, I did two things with it. First, I filled up an ice tray. What? Yes, an ice tray. Matt took one look and said “Eeewwww! Spinach ice cubes!! A kids worst nightmare.” But they’re great for recipes, adding to scrambled eggs or a dip. I can pull out a cube or two and leave the rest. I don't know why the picture is so dark.

The rest I just put in a ziplock bag and froze. After the ice tray there was only enough there for one meal for the two of us, but still I’m happy with that. I know now that I can grow nice spinach, and I already have seeds to plant for the fall crop. So all in all the spinach test was worthwhile.


Me voici₪Here I am said...

Spinach ice-cubes sound delicious!!!!

YD's a little bit of everything place said...

Spinach...I like'em but I can't cook them at home unless I'm mad at hubby and want him to leave the house...he absolutely HATES spinach and he can't stomach the smell of cooked spinach. The wierd thing is he will eat them if you mix it in salad, go figure...

Jody M said...

I have a great recipe for a spinach salad with a hot butter dressing, I'll post it here next time I dig it out.