Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hands On - Freezing sweet corn

(Special message to all of you who pick up your boxes at the Ridgedale Library.  I will be at your drop site from 2-5 this Friday.   I look forward to meeting you - don't be shy about introducing yourself and asking some questions or making requests for the blog.)

One good thing about all the rain, heat and humidity in Southeast Minnesota this year is the bountiful sweet corn crop.  Our Featherstone CSA sweet corn has been most delectable.  We have restrained ourselves from eating it all so we can freeze some for winter. 

I don't know yet what crops will be available this year for preservation shares - but I hope sweet corn is among them.  And if for some reason Featherstone Farm is not able to meet your winter sweet corn needs, by all means find another source and stock up your freezer with summer gold.  This is great practice for winter provisioning and learning how to feed yourself year round using local foods.

I have friends and neighbors who make freezing corn an annual family event.  Many hands make light work and in a few hours you can have many many quarts of corn to share and freeze. Compared to canning tomatoes (which involves lots of boiling water for long periods) - freezing corn is a breeze.  You just need some basic equipment, corn, freezer bags and a labeling pen.

6 large ears of corn will yield just about 6 cups of corn- including the "creamy" part

large pot for boiling corn
large bowl for ice water for cooling corn
large cutting board
bowl to hold cut corn
sharp paring knife
ordinary table knife
spoon or rubber scraper 
canning funnel (makes it easier to put corn in freezer bags)
freezer bags in desired size
container to hold bag upright while you are filling it
scraper or other tool to move corn from board to bowl

Step One - cook and cool the corn
Bring a large pot of water - at least one gallon -  to a full boil.  (Shuck the corn while water heats.  Please please save the husks for composting)

Add ears of corn to boiling water.  Boil, partly covered, for five minutes.  Remove ears with tongs and put in ice water to cool.

Step Two - cut the corn off the cob
I do this in two steps.  First I cut off the rows of kernels - about 3/4 of each kernel.  Then, using the dull edge of a table knife I scrape off the "creamy part" which remains on the cob.   I usually mix in the creamy part of the corn when I freeze it.  But there may be times you want just the whole kernels.  For example, if you are using corn in fresh salsa it is nice to have just the firm part of the kernels.   Save the creamy part for chowders or corn pudding or cornbread.
Don't forget to compost the cobs!

Step Three - bag and label the corn and put it in the freezer.

Step Four -  Some night in January when the wind is howling and the snow is blowing, remove a bag of corn from your freezer.  Cook it up with a little butter and salt and pepper.  Eat it with a pork chop,  mashed potatoes and pickled beets.   Be proud of yourself for working hard to freeze your own corn.

1 comment:

  1. this is today's activity for me! heading shortly to SPFM to load up on corn. thanks for the simple step-by-step -- and the bit about the creamy part - hadn't thought about that.