How to Put Up One-Quarter Mile of Corn
Before Fourth of July Fireworks
As I said, yesterday, you do not put that much corn in jars in the canner. That would take roughly 15 hours just in the jiggling, plus heat up and cool down times, and the other processing of shucks,silks, etc.
Nah. Not that.
We freeze it. Frozen corn tastes better, anyway, and for us, frozen off the cob is best, most like fresh from the garden.
Here’s how we did it.
My husband went to the garden with a wheelbarrow, picked the corn, shucked it right there, and placed it into the wheelbarrow. When one was full, he started on the other one. If it filled, too, he took out laundry baskets and buckets until all was picked and shucked. Later he would till in all the debris.
Meanwhile, I sharpened knives, heated water, and covered countertops with towels.
Once the first wheelbarrow came to the house, I began trimming, de-silking, and washing all that corn, over a sieve to catch the garbage for the chickens.
Whenever a found a totally perfect ear, I set it aside for the Pastor. That was one very important aspect of teaching children how to harvest that we never wanted to omit.
After the washing, the blanching could begin. I put seven ears for 4 minutes into a 16-quart pot of boiling water. Then I transferred them to a cold water rinse to stop the blanching action. While I blanched, all older family members carefully sliced the top 2/3 off the blanched and cooled kernels and then scraped the pulp from the remaining one-third, all over big wash pans or large bowls.
Some people do the cutting indoors, but that is messy to clean up. Others do their cutting outside, but that is buggy. A screened porch solves both problems if you can hose it off later.
I know people object to blanching because it is a warm job, but I’ve learned it’s easier if we aren’t overly dependent upon air conditioning. We do perspire some, but it is summer, after all, and I have found it doesn’t hurt a thing to do so. What makes it so warm is that the water will not boil with a fan blowing on it, so only exhaust fans will work.
Once the corn is cut, I pack it into the trusty ol’ boxes, label, and freeze.
What happiness to notice the boxes piling up on the countertop! What awe to watch your daughter learn to count while she sits beside that ever-growing stack of boxes! What fun to take the Pastor three dozen absolutely perfect ears of (you know it’s the best) corn! And what excitement each time you eat it, all the long winter, as wonderful as the day it was picked!
So the freezer has kept our harvest for us for years. Can it do anything else? Yes!
And we’ll talk about that tomorrow!
photo credit: amcdj
11 thoughts on “Use Your Freezer, part 2”
That was interesting. The climate here is not good for corn. My dad tried to grow some once. Pitiful ears, so they were 😀
Corn likes cool climate, but if it is too cool and damp, it does suffer. Here in the midwestern U.S.we can grow it like weeds. 🙂
Yes, I suppose there’s cool, and then there’s Scotland. It is generally wet and cold. Apart from random odd days where we sit outside and pretend it is warm enough to do so :-
We could use a couple of wee scoops of that, here, now. Only 1 c of rain in the last 2 months, and temps climbing to near 40 C.
Great for eggplant, though. 🙂
(aubergines?) Which we class as Mediterranean veg due to climate required. We are more of a carrot and turnip climate.
Ooh, we grow turnips, too, and love them! 🙂 We’re in Zone 8, most summers. Yes, aubergines. Forgot all about that word. I think it might be a perennial, but we are warm enough to grow it as an annual. It resents cool nights. We are having some tonight for supper, eggplant parmesan with a grand marinara that is laden with huge mushrooms. Mmm. Need to learn how to grow mushrooms. Need some rain, first!
Ahhh…those were truly wonderful days–er, weekends.
You didn’t tell them to add a can of beer to the cut corn… 😀
Ha. Well, there’s ingredients, and then there’s ingredients. It cooks out, though. 🙂
Wonderful! What a special experience for the young ones, as well! I wish our experiments in gardening were so productive! I lost more than half my starts to the heat and the ones that took are struggling. But, we live in a desert (in zone 9)–not many things are happy here unless you have a preternatural talent for plant-care.
So sorry you have lost so much. We are losing fast, to drought and squash bugs, this year. Irrigation will keep plants alive, but will not make astonishingly good tomatoes. Plus, it’s the third year of drought and the deer are becoming too bold about eating tomato plants. Sighs. But so far we are getting enough, mostly.
A friend who lives deep in zone 8 has a lath house for her more tender plants. It looks like an enormous gazebo with a tilled dirt floor and trellising for a roof. It works for her . . .
Expensive if you don’t have someone like her husband and sons to build it . . .