I have one……..one that I can’t wait to share.
It’s the secret that my mom taught me about how to process fresh corn from the garden….or in my case…..from the market.
It’s really easy. I promise.
Whether you’re taking corn to the freezer or to the table.
I’ve got’cha covered.
Back in the day, we either canned or froze vegetables all summer long. The only numbers that Mom seem to know were 50 and 100. So every thing we processed was in either 50 quart or 100 quart quantities. Trust me, that’s a whole lotta green bean snappin. But every summer, for as long as I can remember, we’d have soap operas running on TV in the background while we chopped, sliced, and diced our way to a full pantry.
Mom was generally pretty picky about all of the vegetables, but when it came to corn…she was ultra picky. Regardless if it was grown or purchased, it had to be harvested at daylight and in the freezer at dusk. Yep. If you were working for my mom, you had to hit the floor during July ready to shake your corn makin booty.
But friends, to her credit, she DID make some of the best corn in town. #biased/notbiased
And so can you…..with just a few of her corn making secrets.
Knowing how to pick an ear of corn is key. The big fat ears that are bulging with corny goodness are not necessarily the best. In this photo, the ears are too big and so are the kernels. If the corn looks like it’s a size 12 stuffed into a size 6, time to move on. Look for smaller, slimmer ears with smaller kernels. This will produce a more tender kernel in the dish.
Once the ears are picked, bring ’em home and work ’em. Shuck and silk …then wash in cold water. Just so you know, nowadays, when corn is in and I plan to freeze a few bags, I only get about 18-36 ears at a time. Yes, this means multiple trips to the market, but it allows me to have fresher corn. #momwouldbeproud
Everybody should have a paring knife that feels good in their hand and is super sharp. I prefer the knife on the bottom in the photo (below, left). But knife choice is all about preference. You may need to try some on for size…..like shoes.
Once you’ve picked a knife, time to find the tallest pot in the kitchen. I use a pasta pot because corn spatters when it’s cut and having the corn deep inside a pot really saves on mess.
Next, is to actually cut the corn. How the kernels are cut depends in the size of the kernels. Remember how full ears with large kernels can make tough corn? Well, if you do get ears that are overfull, simply cut the kernels half-way off the cob. Then go back and cut the same kernels again at the cob. The third time, scrape the cob with the knife. This little trick really turns tough corn into little tenders.
Once the corn is off of the cob, is it freeze or serve?
If it’s going to the freezer, simply cover the corn with cold, fresh water. Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer about 10 minutes. Cool. Then fill freezer bags to the top. Remove all of the air from the bags and seal. Place in the frig overnight. Then move the chilled bags to the freezer the next day. Remember to label and date the bags.
If the corn is being cooked to serve, simply cover the kernels with cold, fresh water. Bring to a simmer. Add salt to taste, a dollop of butter, and about 1 tablespoonful of sugar (per 10-12 ears). Cook about 10-15 minutes and serve.
For creamed corn (AKA fried corn), only cover the kernels with water about half-way. Then follow the directions above. But before serving, add about 3-5 tablespoonfuls of corn starch to about 3-5 tablespoonfuls of water. Stir until mixed and then add to the corn. Remove the top and cook the fluid from the corn. The corn starch with the boiling down of the fluid should initiate a creaming action in the kettle.
Once cooked, whole kernel or creamed corn stays good in the frig for a few days. It’s a great “make early” dish.
And that’s all there is to it. Mom’s secrets to great summer corn are now your secrets, too.
From my house to yours, here’s wishing you a great garden season…..and please….don’t forget to pin.