Corn in it's many forms is a staple of the Appalachian diet. Fresh corn, pickled corn, hominy, grits, cornmeal, and yes moonshine all come to mind when one thinks of the uses of corn in Appalachia.
Putting up corn is like canning green beans-in the way that each family has it's own method of preserving the corn for future use. While I've read accounts of canning corn-we prefer to freeze ours. Here is how we do it:
It's important to have fresh corn when freezing-we prefer to freeze it on the same day it's picked if possible. Of course the first step is the fun of shucking and silking.
I give each ear a good scrub under running water to make sure I get all the silks off.
Some folks-cut the corn off of the cob then cook it-we cook ours first. It seems once the corn has been cooked-it makes less of a mess when you cut it off the cob-it doesn't splatter as much. As you can see in the photo above-we use a fish/turkey fryer on the back deck to cook the corn. This way we can cook a good amount at one time making the process go faster-and it doesn't heat up the house as much. But a large pot on the stove works just as well.
The most important tip here-we've found the corn retains it's fresh sweet flavor longer-if you do not over cook the corn. We bring the water to a boil-then add the corn for no more than one minute.
Once the corn is cooked we place it in the sink and run cold water over it to stop the cooking process. After it is cooled by the water we cut if off the cob. Tips here: a sharp knife works so much better, and don't' forget to scrape the cob after you cut most of the corn off-especially if your favorite way to prepare corn is cream style-if you prefer more of a niblet style of corn you can skip the scraping part.
After cutting the corn off the cob we pack it into freezer bags. Our tip for this last step: we use sandwich bags which are cheaper. Each bag holds about 2 cups of corn. We then place 4 sandwich bags full of corn into one gallon size freezer bag. As we use the corn over the coming year-we take out as many sandwich bags as we need for a meal, then when the gallon bag is empty we wash it and reuse it.
So that's the way the Blind Pig family preserves corn-how about you?
p.s. If you have any questions about the process of freezing corn-please email me at [email protected]