Lum: Summer recipe reminders |

Lum: Summer recipe reminders

Before we know it the frost is going to be on the pumpkin, the farmers market will pack up and go and we’ll be facing the long, cold winter without a whiff of a real tomato or the sweet crunch of Olathe corn.

Last spring I bought a box of peas from the Grand Junction-based Okagawa stand at the market, shelled them all and froze 4 quarts, which (rationed) took us all the way through to spring. This year, the Grand Junction peas were way past their prime by the time the farmers’ market started up — that was a severe loss.

Whoever figures out how to successfully freeze fresh tomatoes will be an instant billionaire. I was told you can freeze Roma tomatoes whole, but that was a lie. When they thawed they turned to mush. Absent a greenhouse, all you can do is can them and wait until next summer.

Corn, however, freezes easily. Put two ears in the microwave for three minutes, cool, then cut the niblets off the cob and flash freeze them, and then put them into plastic freezer bags. This way each kernel is separate, so you can cook up just the amount you need.

If you’re cooking corn for supper, microwave for four minutes per ear in the husk. The husk then comes off easily under cold water.

Peaches also are easy to freeze. If you’re going to use them for smoothies, just cut them in half, remove the pit, put them in freezer bags and pour a little orange juice over them to prevent browning.

For fancier peaches, drop them in boiling water, skin them, cut them up and add orange juice. Pretty nice on a January day.

I have a large red-raspberry patch, which my daughter Skye transplanted about 30 years ago. This year we had the biggest crop ever, and I was freezing them by the quart (just put them in the freezer on cookie trays, and then transfer to bags).

The bears, by the way, have never shown the slightest bit of interest in the berries, preferring to attack the Dumpsters in the alley on a nightly basis. This may be the one time barking dachshunds are an asset rather than a liability, but I dread the day the bears discover the berries.

I need to look into growing my own basil indoors because I’ve been using a lot of it.

Fresh peeled and sliced tomatoes with mozzarella cheese, Boursin cheese (garlic and herbs), basil and olive oil was the favorite dish this summer.

Whenever I say the word “basil,” I am reminded of the trip I took to London with my two daughters, then 15 and 12 years old. We were staying at the Basil Street Hotel, which I knew was within spitting distance of Harrod’s department store. We made our way to Harrod’s, and I asked a doorman for directions to Bay-sil Street. The doorman drew himself up, looked down his nose and replied, “That’s Bah-sil Street, madam.”

Anyway, happy canning and freezing, and don’t forget the crab apples, which are usually ready on Ruggerfest weekend. They make exceptional jelly and magnificent applesauce.

Su Lum is a longtime local whose head spins at the passage of summertime. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times. Reach her at