We have been eating corn on the cob fresh from the garden for over a month now. It is so good to pick the produce and by eating it within the hour, we are spoiled by the garden and the bounty it provides.
The corn is getting to the stage where if we leave it in the garden will soon be overripe, the ears will start to lose moisture and shrivel. It is time to preserve the harvest.
I don’t care for canning anymore, just don’t have the time, patience or the will to do it. Besides, the taste of frozen seems to keep the flavor better (and I don’t have to do batches in canner-full amounts).
I filled my garden cart with the corn where I shucked the husks. Some of the corn had reddish leaves while others had only green, it is all because I am a rebel and planted two different varieties in the garden. Not side by side but all mixed up. You are probably saying to yourself, “Wow, she really lives on the edge!” Yup, that’s the way I roll.
Corn with the reddish husk is yellow corn.
Corn with green husk is bi-color corn.
When asked why I have two different varieties of corn growing together, and I do get that question a lot, I just have to shrug and admit that it comes from pure laziness and no other horticultural reason. Just didn’t feel like planting separate rows and didn’t realize it would cause such a stir in the neighborhood.
But back to processing; one year, when I was still canning, I had a large amount of corn I needed to cut off cobs to fill the jars of a canner load. I had found a device at the store that promised a ‘quick and easy’ process for cutting the corn. It was a nut cracker shaped tool with a round serrated blade welded into the center. The idea was to set an ear of corn on its end, collar the blade around the top of the corn and push down. It was advertised as cutting all the corn off the cob with one cut. I thought this sounded fantastic.
For any of you readers, please, for the love of all harvesters, don’t do it!
Corn is messy to say the very least, you add a sharp tool that can zip through the corn at lightening speed and the messiness will increase ten-fold. That serrated blade was over kill for such tender vegetables, it would quickly and efficiently grind up the kernels instead of cutting them off the cob while slicing through the tender flesh of a pinkie finger that happened to get in the way. Balancing an ear of corn while setting the blade on the top was a fairly easy maneuver, but keeping it in balance as the knife pushed down through the corn was another matter.
The cobs were slippery and would slide sideways and shoot off the kitchen counter along with corn juice and kernels spattering cupboards and floors in goo. Many times I would find that after cutting from the top to bottom of an ear, the ear had shifted while cutting and leaned one way or the other from center. One side of the cob would have only the bare top of the corn kernels cut off, while on the other side of the corn, would be gouged into the cob and peeled it in with the corn. Although cob is as tasty as corn, it is tough to eat. And corn spits, when a single seed is popped open, that sucker will shoot sweet corn juice right across your kitchen, it will splatter on floors, walls, ceilings and any unsuspecting human within 20 feet.
I learned my lesson and got rid of that tool in a hurry. It took several months to find and clean all the spots from that endeavor, and the ceiling was never the same again.
This year, I’m back to my single knife cutting down the cob several times to get all around it. It is still a messy process, and I do get more splatter than I would like and it is a lot slower than the lightening knife, but at least I can eat the product without pulling bits of corn cob out of my teeth while keeping all my fingers.
Oh, and one other devil-may-care culinary task I employ that people have asked about, I do not blanch or par-boil the corn before freezing. I know that it is recommended in all the Betty Crocker, Ball and Kerr books, but I find it unnecessary and that it actually destroys the fresh taste of the corn. Yep, that’s me, I’m a rebel.