Garden Blog Road Show – Sweet corn

How about a second Garden Blog Road Show!

Last weekend the kids and I went out to my parents house to help with the sweet corn harvest.  This is a tradition I remember from when I was a kid and I wanted to give my kids the same opportunity. The whole family would get together at my grandparents and spend the day doing sweet corn. At least that is what I remember. As a kid, we helped for a bit and then just played with cousins the rest of the day.  Of course, everything seems bigger when you are a kid.  So instead of a John Deere Gator bed full of sweet corn, I remember a pickup truck full.  Oh well, this was more than enough for us this year.

The corn was picked by the time we arrived at the farm, but there was still plenty of work to be done.  Next step after picking the corn was husking.

After already husking for a half hour.  Still plenty to go.

After already husking for a while. Still plenty to go.

Just about all the corn that was picked was kept.  There were just a very few ears that were eaten up by worms or poorly pollinated.

Putting the kids to work husking sweet corn

Putting the kids to work husking sweet corn

Gabrielle is working hard to get her corn husked

Gabrielle is working hard to get her corn husked

Even with all the kids helping, it still took a while to get all the corn husked.  I wish I kept track of the time, but I seem to think it took about an hour, maybe a bit longer.

Running out of places to stack the corn

Running out of places to stack the corn

Even as much time as it took to husk the corn, cooking it took even longer.  A turkey fryer makes a nice outside corn boiler.

Boiling the corn outside

Boiling the corn outside

The weather wasn’t too hot, but it was still nice to be able to boil the corn outside and not in a hot steamy kitchen. The turkey fryer could hold between 30 and 36 ears of corn at a time. The slow part was when too much water boiled off and more was added. It took time to get the water back up to a boil.

A lot of the corn, but not all of it

A lot of the corn, but not all of it

The estimate was that it was about 10 boiler batches of corn cooked that day.

Some cooking, some cooling and a lot still waiting

Some cooking, some cooling and a lot still waiting

After the corn is cooked, it gets dumped into coolers full of cold water to cool the corn.

Even got the kid to help cut the corn from the cob

Even got the kid to help cut the corn from the cob

The final two steps took place inside. The corn is cut from the cob. Using the new corn cutters from Pampered Chef (feel free to pimp your wares in the comments Stacey 🙂 ) worked quite well and made this process go pretty quick. It is still tough to stand at a kitchen island for too long and we were more than happy to see that last stack of corn show up.

Last step is to bag the corn and freeze it. Not knowing how much corn my family will eat over the winter (and how much room we had in the freezer) I opted to only take home 12 of the quart freezer bags. The other 60 or so were divided among the freezers of my family.

In the end, it was a long and tiring afternoon but I am sure we will appreciate having freshly prepared and frozen sweet corn in the middle of the winter. I’m also happy my kids got to experience something I fondly remember also doing as a kid. Will they still remember that day 30 years form now? Only time will tell.

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