I married into a farming family. And when you marry into a farming family you realize they take some things very seriously. And this family takes gardening, and sweet corn, very, very seriously!
A few years ago I had the privilege of spending the day with my husband’s grandparents and learning about how his Grandma freezes corn – she does dozens and dozens of quarts each year. A few years later my father in law added an office and small kitchen on to his shop – so the corn freezing moved there and now they freeze with assembly line efficiency!
So today that is what they did – they picked, cleaned, boiled, cut and froze corn. The whole family got in the action – from my baby boy who just turned one to great Grandma Mildred and Great Grandpa PD who have been married over sixty years!
The steps (and pictures) we took are below. Enjoy and let me know what your family does differently!
1. Pick or buy the corn. If you are buying to freeze, make sure and ask the folks you buy your corn from. Often they will have a discounted price on multiple dozen and sometimes they will have a special price for "freezer corn". This may be some of the smaller ears (that often taste better!) or some of the corn that had the tops stolen by birds or raccoons and you can just cut those spots off.
2. Shuck the corn. Grandpa and Grandson make a great team for this.
3. Desilk the corn. There is a silk for each kernel on the cob. The silk is what transfers the pollen down to the plant to make the kernel! But, they get stuck in your teeth so its best to get rid of them before you freeze.
The first time I froze corn with Grandma Mildred she showed me how to take a paper towel and rub it up and down the ear to remove most of the silks pretty quickly. It was still quite a process.
This year however we had a MAJOR upgrade in our project. Check out the below images of this electric corn desilker!
4. Check ears for bad spots and remove. Quickly look over the ears and using a sharp knife, remove any areas that have animal damage or undeveloped kernels that you won't want to cut off into your final corn.
5. Place ears into a large pot of boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Keeping the water hot through multiple batches gets tricky!
6. Remove the corn from the boiling water and place immediately into an ice bath. Leave corn in ice water just long enough to cool the ears down to where you can easily handle them.
7. Cut the corn off the cob. Grandpa Paul reminded me to be careful not to cut too deep into the cob or this winter when you go to eat it the corn will taste like cob instead! After you cut the kernels off, scrape up and down the ear to release some additional sugar from the ear.
8. Put the corn into freezer tubs or freezer bags. Make sure and leave some extra room in the containers because they will expand when they freeze.
9. Cover with salt water mixture. Grandma Mildred suggests a teaspoon of salt per quarter of water for the salt water mixture.
10. Put into your freezer and remove sometime this winter when the memory of 100 degree days has long since faded!
Quick Steps to Freezing Corn:
1. Pick or buy corn.
2. Shuck corn.
3. Desilk corn.
4. Check for bad spots and remove.
5. Boil corn for 3-4 minutes.
6. Place corn into ice bath.
7. Cut the corn off cob and scrape sides for extra sugars.
8. Put into containers.
9. Cover with salt water mixture (1 tsp salt/ quart water)
10. Freeze and enjoy!
Kate Lambert grew up in northern Illinois, not on a farm but active in FFA and showing livestock.
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