Sunday, August 15, 2010

Putting Sweet Corn By

This evening we just spent 3 hours putting by roughly 50 ears of sweet corn.

~Hello my golden beauties!~

This was a first for us, and originally I intended to actually can the corn. But I read where canning corn can be really tricky, versus freezing it, which is pretty simple and straight-forward.
I found the info needed at It is a truly wonderful site. You can not only find places all over .. well, the place to pick your own veggies, but you can also find corn mazes, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, and ... wait for it ... what to do with it all!!!! Here is the direct link for the info on freezing corn:

But, basically, here is how you do it.

Freezing Sweet Corn:

1) Get yourself some fresh corn & some large pots. You'll want to be able to freeze the corn as soon as you can after getting it as the sugars in sweet corn break down quickly at room temperature.

2) For the pots I used my canning pots. This will depend on how much corn you intend to freeze. Even using my big pots though we did several batches. Fill one pot roughly 3/4 the way full with hot water and get it going to a nice boil. *Eco-Tip & $$ Saving Tip ~ make sure you use a lid on that pot of boiling water!! You'll save $$ and the water won't lose heat as quickly, making it more efficient.* The other pot you'll want to fill with ice & water. And you WILL need LOTS of ice!! DON'T use it all for the first batch either. I needed at least 3 batches worth of ice.

3) Shuck the corn. Get the husks off and as much of the silk as you can. Use a scrubby brush if you need to, but be gentle. We were able to get all the silk pretty much off just with our hands. ~ Fun note ~ the kids actually put down new toys (it was Tristan's birthday yesterday, so lots of new goodies to play with) to come shuck corn with me!! How cool is that??

4) Put the shucked corn into the boiling water. What you're doing now is blanching the corn. For corn you're going to want to blanch it for roughly 7 minutes in the boiling water. ~ Make sure you have tongs!!

5) Once you've blanched the corn, you're going to take it out of the boiling water and put it into the ice water. This prevents over cooking. You're going to want to let it sit in the ice eater as long as it was in the boiling water (as a good rule of thumb). Afterwards, drain it thoroughly.

6) Next you're going to cut the kernels off of the cob. Pretty simple and straight-forward.

7) Bag it up! I figured up roughly how many kernels we ate as a family and added one more, just in case. You can use a vacuum sealer or a ziploc baggy. Just make sure to get the air out as best you can. ~ The air being in there becomes more of an issue the longer the corn is stored in the freezer.

8) Label it & Freeze it. TA-FRIGGIN-DA!!!

~Not the most fantastic of photos, but look at all that corn!~

So, I know you might be thinking "Is it really worth it?". Well, we did all of this in our kitchen, on an insanely muggy day, in a house with no AC, on a gas stove with NO vent, in a kitchen that catches the evening sun. It's the hottest damn room of the house.

But .. financially, is it worth it worth it?? Well, we paid $15 for 50 ears of locally grown corn. I haven't asked them about pesticides, but the farm we got the ears from is listed on the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website, so I'm feeling ok with them. Plus, it is locally grown.

A can of organic corn from our local grocery store is $1.19 a can, plus tax. We use two cans with dinner. Roughly $2.50 per dinner (with tax).

50 ears of corn, 12 bags frozen for future dinners = $15 ~ and you can even add in a dollar or two for other costs of putting it all together. We used a vacuum sealer and bought special bags for it, so you can add another $5 there. So, let's bring the total up to $22 .. just to be generous.

2 cans of corn @ $2.50 each, multiplied by 12 = $29.99

A savings of, at minimum $8, possibly more.
Locally grown corn versus store-brand organic corn grown in .. where, I don't know where. The can says it was distributed in Ohio and Certified Organic in San Diego, CA. Guessing that means it was grown in California. We're in Virginia is all the way across the country for us. Versus Copper Hill which is maybe 20 minutes away from out house, and that's up curvy mountain roads!

Lessons in sustainability, supporting our local economy and more importantly our local farmers, fresh corn that was just picked this week (Do you talk to the farmer before you go to grocery store?? Does he call you back to let you know if the corn was ready for picking?), and actual monetary savings. You tell me if it was worth it.

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