September 29, 2011

Have you ever seen celery this big?

I went grocery shopping the other day. I went to a store I don't go to often but maybe I should. I came around the corner into the produce aisle and saw all this greenery in a pile. I didn't know what it was. So I decided to check it out. I was stunned to see it was celery!!! Most celery we see has been trimmed and I never knew how much. But I think I like it better this way.

This thing is about about two ft. long and only 99 cents. It didn't even fit in a grocery bag lol. Most folks would think, what the heck can I do with that? But I saw a bonus. 

 So to trim it up for my purposes, I cut off the base and all the leaves. Now don't throw them away! I put them aside. I rinsed off the celery and pulled out my aluminum foil.  I don't use foil much but I do keep it around for a few things and this is one of them. Long ago my dad told me about this. All the yrs Ive been cooking at home and restaurants and I never knew this. Wrap your celery in foil before putting in the refrigerator. It will keep forever!
Im serious, as long as it stays wrapped you will most likely use it up long before you would have to toss it out. When I think of all the celery over the yrs. I lost before I knew this......sigh. I hear you can grow celery again from the base. Ive done it some but I always forget about it and it eventually dies. There are blogs out there tho showing people who got celery to regrow from the store piece. So if your inclined to save it all you might want to try that.

But my favorite part of all this is the leaves. Ive always saved the celery leaves, dried them and put them in a jar for later. You can toss it in tuna salad or meatloaf or soups or anything you would use celery in. Sometimes you don't want chunks of celery but would like to have the flavor. And sometimes you just don't have enough celery in the house for something. So keeping these leaves dried and on hand is a bonus.

And look at that bonus!!! That thing is half leaves!!! And so Ill pick them off the stem parts and put them on a lg. dish to dry. When crispy Ill store in a jar. And I wont even waste those stems either, those will get frozen to use in my stocks. So I hope Ive given you all some ideas now if you didn't realize this before. :)

*** Ok after picking all the leaves off the stems I decided there was way too many to let dry on a plate so I pulled out my dehydrator. It filled the whole thing. :)

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