Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Freezer Corn

So we tried something a little different this year. in 2011, we attempted to blanch and freeze corn on the cob. It didn't turn out so well. We weren't sure exactly "where" we went wrong, but it was very much like trying to bite pieces of rubber off of a tire.  So last year we canned the kernels with the pressure cooker instead. Now THAT was excellent. We were extremely happy with the canned corn and it didn't last very long to say the least. Yummy!!!!!!
This year, knowing that we could easily preserve the harvest in jars again, we have decided to attempt the freezer method once again. Only this time, kernels off.  I was told that this was a better way of  freezer prep than on-the-cob methods.  It didn't take very long to do either. If I had to guess (because of course I didn't keep track of time), I would estimate about 3 hours of labor for 3 dozen ears worth of corn. Next time, i'm sure it will go faster.
I started with 3 dozen ears which I purchased from Trimble's Produce Farm. (http://trimblesplantsandproduce.com/) He is one of only a few local farmers, and we buy anything we don't grow from him. We used to buy from the farmer's market in town, but have since come to find out that most farmer's markets have been tainted by people who want to make a buck at the expense of the uninformed. 
Ever wonder how these "local" farmers can have produce to sell 2 months before anyone else can even grow it?  Here's how they do it. They buy from WHOLESALERS.  That's right,.... the veggies you are paying "farmers market prices" for, are nothing more than the same veggies that your local retail stores sell. Nothing is local about them.  
Although I am finding this information to be more and more abundant on the web and even through word of mouth, I came across this information myself when I took a bunch of wild black raspberries into town to sell. My town allows anyone to sell at the farmer's market, without a permit, and apparently there is no restrictions on the "source" of the produce. The gentleman next to me explained his whole process to me. He explained that he buys from 3 wholesale sources, and travels to 6 different farmer's markets to sell his stock. We are in Illinois, yet he was selling Tomatoes from Arizona, and cuccumbers and melons from Georgia. He smiled sincerely when he told me how much he makes from doing this. Honestly, it made me sick. He even tried to sell ME some produce and I simply refused, telling him that my wife and I only buy from "local farmers."
Sooooo, off of my soapbox for a moment.  Back to Trimble's, he grows some mighty good produce and has a very large following right now. If you are on our friends list, you most likely already know where he is, if you don't, then shame on you and just ask me for directions. 

First things first.  You have to shuck the corn.  I used to do it the hard way, taking the leaves off first, then picking the silk out, little by little. This was back breaking and boring work. Mr. Trimble showed me a much easier way to do this step. The only thing I added was this simple step 1.  I cut the end off of the leaves.  It allows me to get a better hold of the husk and silk together. I use a good pair of kitchen shears.

Step 2 - From the end of the cut husk, separate about 1/3 of the husk (and the silk) away from the rest. Take time to make sure you have all of the silk. You will be happier if you spend an extra couple of seconds on this stage, making sure you do it right.  Then grab the husk and silk together and pull straight down to the stem swiftly.  Give it a little elbow grease. 

It should end up looking like this. Clean and silk free. If there is still some silk, no worries, we will take care of that later.

Take another 1/3 of the husk (and silk) and repeat the last step. Then pull off the remaining husk in the same way. 

You should end up with a clean ear attached only to the stem. Pop the stem off and cut any bad parts off of the tip of the ear, and anywhere in between. 

Step 2 - Blanch the corn while it is still on the cob. The purpose of this step is to kill the enzymes and organisms which promote the breakdown of the corn, thus preserving the taste AND the nutrition. To blanch the corn, simply get a big pot of water boiling. When it gets to a rolling boil, place just enough corn in it to allow the boil to resume quickly. Allow the cobs to boil for 5 minutes. Then remove the cobs and place in a cold water bath quickly.  Some people use ice water, but I just used cold water and allowed the faucet to run constantly into it. The idea here, is to stop the cooking process.  

Step 3 -  After the corn has cooled, drain it and cut off the kernels. They make a handy corn cutter which allows you to run the entire cob through it, removing all of the kernels at once, but I am old school. I use a knife. The kernels will not all be uniform, and most will be cut at an angle, but take it from me....they taste...the same. An added bonus to using a knife, is that there is a bit more waste left on the cob than using one of the fancy corn cutters. This means that while i'm processing the corn, I can take breaks to gnaw on the cobs and enjoy the fresh harvest. 

The corn falls off like this. Some in pieces, and some in strips. No worries, you can freeze it like this, or separate it easily in a small bowl by grinding it with your hand as if you were mixing something.

Step 4 - Bag the kernels into amounts which are suited for your meal sizes. I measured out 1 1/2 cup servings, as they are almost perfect for our family.  Then I vacuum sealed them.  My Foodsaver is the single most used appliance in my house next to the toaster and microwave. I don't get paid for saying that or anything,  I just love it.  We buy much of our meat in bulk, and break it down at home into individual meals. Saves a ton of money.  You can bag the corn in ziploc bags if you want too. The main thing to remember is that AIR is the enemy. Try to get out as much air as possible while you are sealing the zipper. This will allow the food to remain frozen for longer periods of time, as there is less freezer burn.

We ended up with 20 bags of freezer corn from 3 dozen ears.  I figured the cost to be .60 cents per bag.  Now lets do the math.
My bag is 1.5 cups of corn. 
The average can of corn is 1.75 cups (just a tad more)
Mine =  $0.60
store bought =  $0.89 avg    
So the math is this.  Mine Tastes better.
It doesn't get much more clear than that!!!!!!!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Nice. I grilled my corn Abu is off, cut the corn off and froze it! Roasted corn frozen and ready for stews. That's my favorite way! We also freeze raw corn and that works well too! Love you! Abby