I finally found time to blog about our first corn harvest on Monday and show some pictures for those who have never frozen corn, who have frozen corn and not liked the results, or those who just like to look at pictures of corn. You have got to fit into one of those groups. The first picture is the harvested corn on the porch; we picked 117 ears in less than fifteen minutes.
My husband and son shuck the ears while I get the canner going and prep the kitchen with a cutting board,sharp knife, and large tubs. The men shuck into the large wheelbarrow and take it out to the pasture when it’s full. They put the cobs in a clean box between them which I switch out when I’m ready for the next batch. This took them exactly one hour-I am really proud of their ability-aw, shucks! This is great bonding time for these two and I’m sure the world’s problems are all solved by the time they finish…
Once I have a batch inside, the cobs get trimmed on both ends and washed; we cut off the point to allow better ease when eating them.
Meanwhile, the canner is outside on the side burner of the grill and boiling. I immerse about ten cobs into it, cover it, and blanch it for ten minutes. This stops the enzymes from breaking down the corn when it’s frozen and makes for a tasty cob in the middle of the winter. Ten minutes! No more, no less! When I say ten minutes, I mean when the water has come to a boil again. When you put the cobs in, the temp will lower and have to work its way up . THEN start timing ten minutes. I’ve spoken of this before, but canning outside is so much easier on the house temperature; it was 93 on Monday and our house (which doesn’t have air conditioning) never got above 78. I can everything on that grill burner.
Vital step: have a large container ready to get the corn out of the canner when the buzzer, timer, kid yelling, etc, goes off. Right before that, get the sinks ready. I use the far right one for the first plunge; it needs to be cold and icy. Plunge the corn into it as fast as you can and swirl the water/ice around to give every cob equal cooling. Then put another batch in the canner and time for ten minutes. When there’s a few minutes left, move the corn to the left sink which is also filled with cold water. I don’t put any ice in this one because I use it all on the right side-but you could if you wanted to…
It takes about twenty minutes for the corn to cool completely through the core of the cob. I usually change the waters, add more cold, etc, to help the process along. Then I lay newspaper on the counter and use cookie racks to put the corn on to dry. We place them in the Food Saver bags and put them in the freezer, unsealed, until they are partially frozen- about six hours. If you try to seal now, you will have a wet mess on your hands and the bags won’t seal. Trust me, we tried it once.
After checking to see if they’re frozen, we wipe the top of the bag to allow for a good seal and suck the air out of them. Back they go into the freezer until we are ready for ‘fresh’ corn on the cob. It’s never mushy, mealy, or soft. The cobs are firm and delicious as the day you froze them. If you look in the middle of the picture you’ll see smaller bags; those are the creamed corn we made. I’ll make more of that when we pick again on Friday; I didn’t have enough butter…and you MUST have butter and cream if you’re going to make creamed corn. Here’s the recipe I use-we like it because it’s not too overwhelming and yet gives us the feeling we’re eating something heavenly.
Frozen Creamed Corn:
20 c cut corn
1 lb butter
1 pint half and half (whipping would work, too)
Melt butter in a large roaster; my roaster can go on the stove but if yours can’t, melt it in the oven as it’s preheating (350). Add corn and half/half and stir. Bake for an hour, stirring every fifteen minutes. Put it in bags, partially freeze, then seal. MMMMgood!