Saving up sunshine
Okay, I know it’s hot. Predicted to be 107 degrees today. I know it’s dry. The driest in Iowa since the 1950s. There can hardly be a soul out there who wouldn’t like to see clouds. I find any square inch of shade when I’m outside and huddle there. But I also know the days are not so far off when I will wish I could see some of this sunshine again.
I thought about that as my husband and I set about processing the first sweet corn to come out of the garden. Most vegetables ripen over time. But when corn comes on, it’s all at once.
My husband does his best to spread the pleasure out by planting rows at two-week intervals. We ate the first ears out of the first planting last night for supper. This morning, I picked the rest of that planting. He put sawhorses and a board out on the deck. I gathered pans and knives and dug out the recipe for freezing corn in the 1980 Preston, Iowa, Country Cook Book.
I can never forget how hot it was processing corn on the farm. On what always seemed to be the hottest days of the year, Mom hauled out the biggest pots and filled them with water. While the water came to a boil, we husked corn. Then, in a kitchen that could have passed for a sauna, we blanched the ears, threw them in sinks full of cold water and when the ears were cool enough to touch, cut the kernels off the cobs and packed them in boxes for the freezer. In my memory, processing corn on the farm took approximately forever.
Then my mother in law showed me how to freeze raw corn. No blanching. No hot kitchen. Done in minutes. Ever year I am thankful to her. If you’re looking for an easy way to do corn, here’s the recipe:
Freezing Raw Corn
15 c. corn
3/4 c. sugar
5 c. ice water
1/4 c. salt
Mix together. Put in containers and freeze. (I’ve used a little less sugar and a little less salt and had good results. It’s a matter of taste.)
I’m telling you it doesn’t get easier than that. It’s a bonus that when you eat this corn, it tastes as though it’s right off the cob, which it is because it’s never been cooked before. We started setting up at 11:30 a.m. and I put 10 pints of corn in the freezer 1 1/4 hours later.
The corn was so fresh, so yellow. Just like sunshine. I know we’ll enjoy some of that sunshine this winter.