Since opening EVOO, we have strived to be as sustainable as we can. In the beginning, it felt like a difficult goal, given that we didn’t know as many farm sources as we do today, and Chef Bob will tell you it takes time for our vendors to learn that we would rather change a menu item than accept an ingredient that fails the sustainability standard we strive for.

Now we no longer need to explain the concept to out guests and over the years we have increased the use of our freezer to ensure more sustainable decision making. For example, when we break down a primal cut of meat, we get both the “prime” sections along with the very edible and tasty “scrap.” We also put up (that is, freeze) one case of fresh tomato, berries, cherries, etc that we get fresh. This allows us to have these wonderful fruits when the fresh versions are not in season. The fact is we often enjoy them equally well as the fresh!

To insure we do, it takes a mindset commitment, and a few rules for careful freezing.  First, we commit to serving only fruits in season, and local season is best. We refrain from serving fresh asparagus, for example, at Thanksgiving since it most likely isn’t locally sourced, even though we see it in the local markets. We even freeze fish that we cannot possibly eat all at once. Again, with proper freezing, we are never disappointed.

  1. Rule number one: always hold frozen foods at “zero degrees” or less.  Not all freezers do this. If yours doesn’t, you may follow these rules but cut down the length of time you leave it in the freezer.
  2. Our plan to  is to only “put up” (canning, freezing, dehydrating, etc) in season; in the local season, that is. Especially the fruits and vegetables we know will respond well to proper freezing.
  3. Plan to freeze immediately, rather than waiting till it looks like you will not be using it any time soon. Its already too late for that.
  4. Next, keep some good freezing paper on hand. Foil works if it is heavy duty weight, but might prove more expensive. Or use an unwaxed paper then follow by foil to hold paper tightly against food.
  5. For fruits and vegetables, wash, drain well and then spread on sheet pan to freeze individually. Set a timer so you don’t leave too long uncovered. When each piece is frozen, place into container or wrap individually, using a “lunchbox” fold with butcher paper and/or foil. If berries, place into a reusable container; place piece of parchment or waxed paper between berries and top (lid) and then cover with tight fitting lid.
  6. See the technique for freezing leftovers in our techniques section.


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