Q. Just wondered if there's any tips out there on saving soggy celery. I think it's just passed the cusp of being forever soggy, but I may be able to revive it. I am going to try cutting off the ends and standing it up in ice cold water or soaking it in water with a bit of vinegar. Should I dice it up and freeze it for the next time I make soup? What are your tips for saving celery?
Chard and celery tips
A. In the future, when you buy celery, wrap it in foil and it will stay crisp longer. I've had limp celery that crisped back up after soaking in cold water with ice. It's surprising how far gone it can seem and still crisp again. Dicing and freezing it for soup or using it to make a soup stock is a great idea. You can freeze it as is or blanch it for three minutes before freezing. You can use it in spaghetti sauce, stuffing, stew or a beef roast. If you have a dehydrator, you can dry it, too.
Q. Swiss chard help! I've been told I can go and cut swiss chard from a friend's field. There's a lot of chard there. I usually stir fry it. I have only got a top freezer, no dehydrator and a regular fridge. I have been drying corn in my oven and could preserve some that way. Also, I don't can. What would you do with a bushel (or more?) of swiss chard?
Judi D., New Hampshire
A. I'd blanch it and freeze it flat in freezer storage bags. It will shrink when cooked and not be as large of an amount as when it's raw. It's wonderful in potato or vegetable soup, omelet or pasta dishes. Reserve some raw for sandwiches and salads. It's delicious heated in a skillet with tomatoes and chick peas or mushrooms and green beans, too. Use it in dishes that you'd normally use spinach.