Thursday, October 08, 2009

Awwwwwwwwww shucks! It's time for corn

Next to Springtime, Autumn is my favorite time of year!  Not only because of the beauty found in the changing leaves, but because it's harvest time and a time of such plenty just before those bleak short days of winter.

Today's bounty from nature was fresh sweet corn.  We found a good deal at the local farm stand on Yakima corn.  It's a little farther than the 100 mile diet, but still fairly local.  We decided to come home with 100 ears of corn!

Since I don't care for canned corn, Ben and I decided to freeze it.  First I started the kettle to boil for blanching the ears.

Then while the water was heating Ben started shucking the ears on the front porch.

I had a little more prep work to do in the kitchen.  I cleaned and sterilized our sinks and got them ready for the processing.  Sink one was filled with cold water with some ice and sink 2 got cold water with lots of ice!

Then I joined Ben out on the porch to help shuck the ears of corn.  It took a little while to go through 2 cases of corn.

In our home we try to keep anything from going to waste if we can help it. As our boxes filled with corn husks, I dumped them into the newly started winter compost bin.  By spring it should be ready to feed our own garden vegetables for next year.

We built up a big stack of shucked ears and I brought them inside and blanched them on the ear for 6 minutes.  Blanching helps lock in the fresh flavor and helps to prevent bacteria.  I was able to fit between 10 and 12 ears per batch in my small canning pot.

Once the corn was blanched, I removed it from the heat and placed the ears into sink 1 to stop the cooking process and cool off the corn.  Then after a few minutes I moved it into sink 2 with the ice to complete the chilling.

While the blanched corn was cooling, I returned the pot to the heat and added the next batch.  We had planned to cut the corn and freeze it all tonight, but because of our late start there wasn't enough time.  We decided to just get it all blanched tonight.  Ben removed the empty kegs from the beer fridge to make room for our corn. 

Tomorrow we will finish by cutting and vac packing the corn kernels. It took about 3 hours to shuck, blanch, chill and store the corn for the night and about 1/2 hour for clean up.  As I said, in our house we try to find a use for everything, so I used the hot blanch water to  heat up my dish water too!

So with a clean kitchen and 90 ears of corn in the fridge, (we pulled out 10 fresh corn ears to distribute to some of our local friends) we called it a night. 

Look for tomorrows blog and I'll show you how we dekernel the corn and prepare it for the deep freeze.  

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