Debt Reduction, Everyday Living, Money Saving Strategies

How to freeze cilantro … and why you would want to

My husband and I were driving down to our class reunion this past weekend and right as we crossed the state line from Minnesota to Iowa, I asked him a very serious question.

“Honey, do you think I’m odd?”

To my husband’s credit, he only paused for a moment before replying: “Well, yes, but in every good way.”

What sprung this line of thinking was my thought process regarding a dinner party we were going to be hosting on Sunday. I knew that I was going to make soup and I found myself wondering if I had freezer bags and the space to save my vegetable scraps. That line of thinking made me pose the “odd” question to my husband, because I think it’s perfectly logical to make vegetable stock from vegetable scraps (these are the ends that get trimmed off of carrots, the leafy part of celery, celery that’s too limp to actually put in anything, onion trimmings, etc., etc., etc.), but I also realize that making vegetable stock from vegetable scraps may be, well … odd.

I mean – why make your own vegetable stock when you can buy it at the grocery store? (Which, incidentally, was what I did for the chicken stock I needed to make Sunday’s soup. Usually, I have chicken stock, but I haven’t made a roasted chicken lately …)

So there’s that … here’s the latest “odd” experiment I undertook in the name of reducing waste and furthering frugality: I successfully froze cilantro. And maybe this isn’t odd, but since I actually hate cilantro, my husband quirked an eyebrow at me when I was rummaging in the basement for some spare ice cube containers.

You see, I’m one of those people who are genetically predisposed to think that cilantro tastes like soap. But while it’s a herb that I use sparingly, I’m not going to deny that it has a place in certain foods – pico de gallo, cilantro-lime rice (as inspired by Chipolte).

But what do I hate more than cilantro? I hate waste, so even though I can get a HUGE bunch of cilantro for less than $1 at HyVee, I feel guilty when I’ve discovered that my arch nemesis has wilted into obscurity in my icebox. So … I went to Google and found out how to freeze cilantro. It ain’t rocket science … you basically remove the leaves off of your cilantro stems, chuck them into an ice cube container, top with water and freeze until solid. When you’re ready to use your cilantro, you can either chuck the cubes into soups or sauces in their entirety or you can thaw them out and use the cilantro that way. Of course, you’re going to be dealing with a soggy mess ‘o leaves, so it’s not like this is going to be used as garnish, but in my odd mind it is better to have this on hand rather than deal with the waste.

Here’s what it looks like. And upon a taste test? Still tastes like soap. Soggy soap, but soap all the same.

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