September 5, 2008
eating extremely locally
The garden is winding down and while there were plenty of hands available on this past Monday holiday, we harvested whatever corn was ready and froze about 30 Ziploc packages. we didn't get enough green beans to warrant a big dilly bean operation, so freezing the corn will have to be considered our garden project of the summer.
There are several steps to freezing corn so anyone who wanted to jump in definitely had a role. First, you have to pick the corn and then you have to husk the corn. We do this outside so that the husks can just be dumped right back into the garden. My smallest niece doesn't care that the corn is not cooked, she begins eating an ear just after it is picked. I guess she likes her corn "fresh". Next, we carry about 130 ears of corn into the house, where my grandmother has begun boiling a large pot of
water. She cautions us not to put too many ears in at once and sets the timer for 7 minutes. This blanches the corn. From the boiling water, the corn must be cooled rapidly to stop the sugar from reacting before it is frozen.
So, into the ice water it goes. When it is cooled, which only takes minutes, it is cut off of the cob. My father had made a "special" rack to hold the cob while you cut the kernels off of the cob.
My mother did not like this idea, questioning the sanitary condition of using wood from the basement. My father told her that she was only PART of quality control and that he was going to use it. She held the cob with her hand and he used the tool he had made and neither way was faster than the other and neither of them cut off a digit in the process so I guess it is a matter of preference. I told them that even the wood from the basement was probably cleaner than the factory at Birdseye. By the way, my father did scrub the wood clean prior to beginning this assembly line operation. There are more family workers waiting to put the corn kernels now off of the cobs into the bags. The air is pushed out of the bag and then it is sealed. Ready for the freezer.
Unlike the story of the little red hen, we have all helped with the process and we will all sit down together on thanksgiving day and enjoy the corn from our garden. Wait, true to the story of the little red hen, I think my father was the only one who actually hoed the corn. Extra thanks goes to him.
at 8:15 PM