Cornucopia

By : | 0 Comments | On : August 30, 2013 | Category : Gardening

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It seems to be a sea of corn around here. Everywhere I look corn to the left of me. Corn to the right of me. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you. You stick of butter, you. Not complaining except it is the hottest day of the year and my Gator broke down days ago leaving me to haul it out with a little hand truck that converts into a wagon. Get the picture? I pick, I haul. Very 1800s. Anyway, I am glad to have the corn. I am not canning corn this year. Probably never will again. Corn is so hybridized to be sweet that the sugars in the kernels actually caramelize during the 90 minute pressure canning process and the corn flavor is lost replaced with this sickly sweet barely identifiable as corn taste.

Freezing or dehydrating is the way to go. Freezing is easy but it does require the blanching process. Blanching is performed by bringing water to a boil. Drop in several ears of corn. Let them bob in the boiling water for about 4 minutes. Remove. I use a Chinese spider because it is shallow and wide enough to capture corn ears. Immediately plunge into very cold water. Change water as necessary until corn is cool. Wrap tightly, label, and freeze. My personal wrap method is individually wrap in plastic wrap then drop into a freezer bag. I put in as many as will easily fit then squeeze out excess air, seal, and label. The bags stack neatly. Since there is only two of us, the individually wrapped ears allow me to use just as many as I need rather than unthawing an entire bag of stuck together frozen ears.

My dehydrator is a commercial type from Cabela’s. Ordered many years ago, it has stood silent for an equally long time until last year when for an unexplainable reason, I started using it. It is amazing that a gallon of fresh corn kernels fits into a quart jar once dehydrated. Therein, lies the riddle. How much corn can you eat if it is dehydrated? Upon first glance, one would say, ‘Quite a bit’. That IS the problem. There are on average 800 kernels in 16 rows on an average ear of corn. We can easily eat an ear of corn but imagine these kernels half their size. We can easily overeat. The corn is void of moisture but it still has starch and sugar which can be converted to fat. See where I am going with this? Look at it from a different point of view? How many raisins can you eat? How many grapes can you eat? I did this little challenge. I can eat 8-10 grapes before they become too sweet for me to continue; therefore, I should only eat 8-10 raisins. I agree, it is hard to stop at that small amount. The final note here is just be aware of how much of the dehydrated vegetables or fruit you are consuming.

Wondering how we like to eat corn? First, let me ask you, are you a typewriter or an adding machine? My husband is an adding machine and I am a typewriter. He eats down and around. Picture adding machine tape going round and round and round. I eat from left to right. Zing. Left to right. Zing. Get it? Hope you smiled! Seriously, nothing is better to us than corn cooked in plain old water. No salt. Salt can toughen the kernels. Start them in cold water. All vegetables need to warm up with the water. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. It doesn’t take long. I like a fresh corn flavor. My husband wants about 30 minutes on his because he wants old fashioned cooked corn flavor. Then take a stick of butter and put it in the pot with the water and the corn. Let it melt. When you pull out the ears, the butter will coat the corn perfectly. Salt if desired. Enjoy immensely.

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