For some reason it just seems like summertime and sweet corn go together. It seems a long while back that my husband and I put those little pink colored kernels into the ground just in time for them to get rained on.
I ventured into the patch the other day and ended up coming back to the house for some 5 gallon buckets. By the time I was done going through the rows I had 4 buckets full of ears of sweet corn.
My husband helped me husk them and then it was up to me to get them ready to freeze for the coming year. Working with those ears of corn brought back lots of memories. I remember as a kid going with my folks to my uncle’s farm to pick corn to eat fresh and to freeze.
My mom would spend the entire day husking corn, blanching it, cutting it off the cob and packing those beautiful golden kernels into plastic freezer boxes. Our job, as kids, was to help with the husking. Then we would wait for mom to blanch it and cut it off the cob. There was nothing quite like sneaking slabs of cut off corn and popping them into your mouth after they had been blanched and cooled slightly.
By the time mom was done; the kitchen was hot, steamy, sticky with the milk from the kernels and corn silk seemed to be everywhere. The upside was the rows and rows of freezer boxes filled to the brim with corn and tucked into the huge chest type freezer in the basement.
I remember the first time I froze corn, as a young bride. I went to my mom in laws house and the procedure was pretty much the same as I remembered from being a kid. The only difference was my mom in law used a huge oval copper canner on her stove for blanching the corn and when it was cut off the cob it was packed in freezer bags instead of boxes. It was so satisfying to go home with bags for my own freezer.
There is comfort in the continuity of putting up produce. It seems to weave the generations together. I can look back and remember grandma, mom and now me doing the same task that has been done for years. Perhaps that is why I enjoy gardening; canning and preserving produce…..it has the feel of timelessness.
I remember even as a kid waiting for those first ears. There were no farmers’ markets back then and no early sweet corn in the grocery store. If you wanted sweet corn you either had to grow it yourself or know someone who did and would share.
I know other families would have corn on the cob as the vegetable with their meal. When my husband and I were kids our families had corn on the cob as the entire meal. Our moms would put big pots full of sweet corn on the burners of the stove and let them boil till those ears were a bright yellow. (There were also no varieties around here other than yellow!)
It was so delicious to slather those ears with butter, sprinkle them with salt and sink your teeth into the juicy kernels. It also was a given that the first one you ate would definitely burn the roof of your mouth and you would spend the next few days having that skin peel off. It kind of makes me wonder how many layers we did lose from the roofs of our mouths through the summertime?
I have a feeling the reason we had it as an entire meal might have been because it was cheap and filling. That may or may not have been the reason we fed it to our boys!
I have found an easier way to freeze corn than the way my mom did. I will share the recipe with you that I use. I have used it for many years and it has always turned out wonderful and delicious.
Freezing Sweet Corn
4 cups sweet corn (cut off cob)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons sugar
mix salt and sugar into the water.
pour over sweet corn and put in a freezer bag.
I have found that using a round angel food cake pan and an electric knife work great
for cutting the corn off the cob. Prop your ear on the middle part of the pan and when you cut
the kernels will drop right into the pan.
Always do your best.
What you plant now, you will harvest later.
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