Monday, August 9, 2010

How To Freeze Corn From Your Garden

If you have corn in your garden and have a pile more than you can eat fresh, creaming it to freeze is a simple way to put it up for the winter.

We always take and keep the mess outside, and generally make it a family affair by going across the path between our houses and doing it with my parents. Now that I've written that, actually, there has never been a time that I've "creamed corn" without my parents. Many hands make quick work, so go ahead and make it a party.

What you'll need:
-Some kind of cooking station (a fire, an outdoor stove, etc.)
- A pot to cook in, and a pot or bucket to cool the corn
-A knife or corn creaming tool
-Tub to cut/cream the corn into
-Table to bag the creamed corn with measuring cups and freezer baggies and permanent marker
-A wheelbarrow is nice, but not necessary, for ferrying corn between work stations

First, set up the cooking situation. We build a fire with cinder blocks as a base to put the cooking pot on. Keep another pot or bucket close by with cold water to dump the cooked corn into.

Start heating water in a big pot over the fire, while everyone husks the corn. Set aside choice corn ears for immediate consumption after the work is done (The promise of good food is always incentive to any would-be slackers).

The work flows nicely if each station is assigned personnel. Someone needs to man the fire, someone needs to man the cutting station, and someone needs to man the bagging station. Assign extra helping hands as needed. Little people are perfect for responsibilities such as manning the hose and cold-water-replacement.

When the water is boiling, throw in corn in the amount that your pot can handle. Allow to return to a boil, and cook for 4-6 minutes. Supposedly if it takes more than 1 minute for the water to return to boiling, than you don't have enough water, or you're putting too much corn in the pot. But in a perfect world...

At any rate, immediately dump corn into the cold water after cooking to stop the cooking process. Blanching in this way stops the enzymes from doing their work and consequently will keep the texture and taste of your corn more like fresh, than otherwise. Transfer the blanched corn to the cutting station and cut or cream it into a tub or pot.
Once you have a pile of creamed corn, transfer it to the bagging station, where willing hands should be waiting to bag and mark it for the freezer. Measuring it doesn't take that much longer, because you must scoop with something and it may as well be a measuring cup. And it's nice to know how much is in the freezer bags for use later in recipes. Pack, date, and freeze as soon as possible.

And don't forget the party part! When all the work is done, don't be stingy with butter and salt and enjoy some fresh corncobs.

And on a final note, if you have a fairly large amount of corn to process, may I recommend investing in some type of corn creaming tool (please note picture), rather than resorting to cutting it all off with a common kitchen knife...if you go the knife route with large quantities, you'll be more apt to say "Aw, shucks", and toss all of your bounteous produce to the hogs/donkeys/chickens/or whatever-you-happen-to-have, and you'll just end up at Aldi's or Walmart stocking up on frozen corn sales this winter...

1 comment:

  1. You are capturing with words and a few photos a very delightful way of life. I like reading things from your perpective. It is refreshing and indeed even makes me merrily happy! kls