Friday, August 10, 2012

Corn: From Field to Freezer in One Day

My Aunt Ruth always said that the pot of water should be boiling before the corn was picked if one wanted good corn.  She happened to have a field of corn just beyond her kitchen window.  We were city folk.  Mother had to go to the city market for corn that was pretty darn good.  She had two ways of preparing those fat yellow ears.  Quite often, they'd be placed in a pot of boiling salted water.  We'd add butter, salt and pepper before cleaning the cob, row upon row.  I think her second method was my favorite.  First a big pot of green beans would simmer until "almost" done (meaning they had cooked for at least an hour).  Mother would then add new potatoes and summer squash on top of the beans and allow them to "cook down".  Lastly the ears of corn would be placed on top where they steamed for a few minutes.  This lovely vegetable concoction would be served with a platter of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and onions accompanied by thick wedges of cornbread.  What a delicious memory!

My friend Diana called the other day to ask if we could use some corn.  "Yes, please!"  She had to come into town the following day and said she'd pick some for us early that morning.  Since there would be more than the two of us could eat fresh, I decided to "put some by" for our winter's enjoyment.

The Baker kindly offered to shuck the corn.  I admit to pulling the old "remember my broken wrist is still healing" card.  In defense of that, I believe I heard that a broken bone needs at least a year to completely mend--or, is it five years?

I did take on the task of removing the silks, putting the pot of plain (no salt added) water to boil, adding the ears, timing them for three minutes and plunging them into a big bowl of ice water.  I then cut the kernels from the cob, put them in freezer bags and popped them into the freezer.

Now I'm looking forward to the winter winds blowing and a pot of corn chowder bubbling away on the stove.