I’m preserving up a storm here at the Frugal Village Homestead. . .
Sweet corn is in season, so I decided it was time to freeze some corn on the cob. Although I don’t plant corn myself, our lovely village is surrounded by dairy farms. For those of you who don’t know the connection–dairy farms typically plant their own feed corn in order to cut down on costs. Many of those entrepreneurial farmers also plant a field of sweet corn to sell at roadside stands. These stands are usually unmanned and run on the honor system–just piles of corn, some bags, a card tacked up with the prices and some sort of locked money box with a slit in it to toss your dollars into.
I hit up several of the stands depending on where I am–but I particularly like the little farm stand that is on the road in front of a Mennonite farm in our town. It’s about 1/2 mile from the house, the stuff is always good, and I like that I’m keeping the money in my local community.
So last weekend I shelled out $10.50 and picked up 3 dozen ears of corn. After the kids and I got done shucking it (there were husks and silk ALL OVER the back deck–this is not an indoor job folks!), I blanched all the corn.
Blanching is basically cooking produce for a very brief time in boiling water in order to inactivate the enzymes present in the food. This helps the food to retain it’s color and quality when you freeze it. However you don’t want to actually cook the food fully–so after it’s plunge in boiling water you have to immediately cool it to stop the cooking.
For corn, the recommendation was to blanch it for 2-5 minutes. Since you cannot start timing until your water returns to a full boil, you want to do this in small batches–I did about 4 cobs at a time. I brought my big stockpot of water to a boil and then lowered in 4 ears of corn.
Yeah, I overfilled the batch in the photo by a bit. Anyway–I’d time it for 2 minutes once it returned to a boil and then I’d pull them all out and toss them in a five gallon bucket that I had filled with the coldest water I could get from my tap. Ice in the water would have been even better .
As I kept adding corn I would sort of push the ears down and mix it a bit with my hand. You could seriously feel the difference in the water temp. The top, where the corn wanted to float, was warm from the boiling corn, but the bottom water stayed quite cool.
Next I took the cooled ears out and let them drain in my drainboard. Once cool I cut them into “niblet” sized cobs–about 2 inches long. You can leave them full sized if you want. I chose to go smaller for two reasons: 1-I’m only going to freeze so much corn because my freezer space is always at a premium. I decided I’d prefer to have smaller portions of corn on the cob but eat it more frequently. 2-Again, due to freezer space I thought it would be easier to fit smaller cobs in and around stuff if I need to once my freezer is full of meat.
Then all you do is wrap your cobs tightly in plastic wrap and then place them in a large freezer bag.
Squeeze out as much air as you can, date the bag, and stick it in your freezer.
To eat I will just cook in boiling water long enough to defrost and heat through, which should be just for a few minutes. This is my first time freezing the corn on the cob (I’ve done it cut off and frozen in baggies plenty of times), so I’m interested to see how it turns out! I should taste fresh and delicious!