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Clearing out the Freezer

March 21st, 2017

One of the things I’m always working on in February, March, and April, is clearing out the freezer of all the vegetables frozen last summer and clearing out the pantry of all canned and preserved foods. Every summer, we participate in a corn bee with the neighbors. That means we end up with 30 or so pints of sweet corn in the freezer. I grow mountains of onions each year, which we enjoy all winter long. Corn isn’t really one of those things we eat as a side dish, so I developed a recipe for corn salsa that we enjoy on fajitas, tacos, burrito bowls, and salads.

Generally I have cilantro growing in a windowsill, so the only thing I need to buy for this recipe is a lime. When making anything with limes or lemons, I always include the zest. It adds a much more concentrated citrus flavor along with a hint of bitterness, which really helps round out pretty much any dish.

After zesting and juicing the lime, I mix in chopped red onion and some salt. These are allowed to sit on the counter for an hour or so. I find that this step really helps mellow out the strong onion flavor, especially when it comes to onions that have been stored for a few months.

After letting the onion mellow, I add sweet corn, a chopped pickled jalapeño (which I can in the fall), and fresh cilantro. It’s a quick and easy way to use up loads of the preserved garden goodness. This salsa is great on top of salads, carnitas, fajitas, burritos, and equally good in omelets or frittatas for breakfast!

What’s one of your favorite recipes that uses up lots of preserved garden bounty?

7 Comments to “Clearing out the Freezer”
  1. Laura on March 21, 2017 at 8:57 am

    This is the time that our freezer is almost emptied. All the frozen veggies are used for soups or other various recipes. Feels like there is a little bit of summer frozen in the veggies. Now I need to make room for the asparagus I will be freezing here soon.

    Reply to Laura's comment

  2. Jodiana on March 21, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    I am also working on cleaning out the freezer. There isn’t a lot left to deal with this time around.
    Suzy I have a question about which recipe you use for your pickled jalapeño. I tried canning jalapeños and mine come out like mush. :( I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.

    Reply to Jodiana's comment

    • Susy on March 21, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      I use the recipe for Roasted Red Peppers from ‘Well-Preserved’. You can also chop and freeze them (without blanching), they will retain more texture than with canning. I do this with my poblanos and use them in salsa, it’s very close to having them fresh.

      Reply to Susy's comment

    • Susy on March 21, 2017 at 4:34 pm

      Here’s the recipe on my blog. I roast the jalapeños whole, remove skins, then make a slice through the pepper but don’t cut from tip to end, I leave ends attached so there are only two slits in the pepper. Then I use the following recipe and can them whole. I cut off the top and remove seeds when I use the peppers. I also use the pickling juice in my salsa or guacamole to add a little heat or in salad dressing.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Jodiana on March 22, 2017 at 8:05 am

        Thank you so much! I always grow lots of peppers. I’m glad to have a good way to can/freeze them. I always have enough dried!

        to Jodiana's comment

    • Barbara on March 21, 2017 at 10:27 pm

      I freeze my jalapenos. wash, dry and put in a zipper bag, also do this to green and red peppers. Take out of freezer and chop

      Reply to Barbara's comment

  3. Emily @ The Southern Belle's Blog on March 21, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    We are working our way through our freezer right now. We have tons of corn, beans, broccoli, fish, and pork that we need to clear about before this season gets going.

    We making a lot of stews and soups with our frozen goods. Some of it we will just steam and add a touch of salt/lemon juice but for the most part – stew.

    Reply to Emily @ The Southern Belle’s Blog's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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