Appalachian Vocabulary Test 10
Blind Pig & The Acorn's Corn Test Update

Putting Up Corn

Putting up corn


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:

Freezing corn 

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.

Silking corn 

I give each ear a good scrub under running water to make sure I get all the silks off.

How to freeze corn 

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.

Cutting corn off of cob 

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.

Freezing corn 

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?

Tipper

p.s. If you have any questions about the process of freezing corn-please email me at tipper@blindpigandtheacorn.com

Comments

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Tipper,I'm getting ready tomorrow to take my pickled beans and corn out of the crock and can them now I still have lots of corn and I've already put 41 guarts in the freezer so I think I will use my crock and pickle some on the cob can you give me a recipe for that I assume its pretty much like the beans and corn I just don't know about the amount of salt you add and if you could help me I would appreciate it.
Thank You
Alice Jones
Pauline SC

I just put up corn yesterday, so stumbling upon your blog ironic. I only put up 6 ears...but I only have a tiny refridgerator freezer.
Love the blog!

Hi Tipper. I'll be posting another corn report this evening, but I had to comment on this post. I can remember the first time my mom and her sister first tried freezing corn in plastic bags. It was a whole new thing to try and their excitement about this new technique made an impression on my young mind. I "helped" pick the corn, shuck it and clean it and then mom and Aunt Mack sliced it off the ears. I truly can't tell you if they blanched it first or not, scraped down the cobs or not. I was in and out of the house, playing with my sibs and cousins. I was around 6 or 7 years old and I'm 64 now. Thought you'd like to know that freezer bags weren't always around although it seems like it now.

Love you my friend.

Helen

My inlaws are from Kentucky, and when we went to town last my mother in law had a cooler full of frozen corn for me, done just this way. It even looks gorgeous.

On cold winter evenings, when snow is blowing hard against the house and darkness has settled in early, how good it is to eat corn from the garden. Blessings, Annie

I put up corn the same way you do. I just put up 8 quarts. I plan to put up 8 more using a recipe for frozen creamed corn. It uses 18 ears, blanched and cut off the cob. You place this in a roasting pan with a pint of half and half and 2-3 sticks of butter. bake for 30-45 minutes at 325. Stir every 15 minutes during cooking. Cool completely then place in bags and freeze. I use 2 cup measures per bag. (If using 36 ears, use a quart of half and half and a pound of butter, cook for an hour.)

Love corn, love putting up produce but I must admit to being in a more moonshine state of mind this evening. Have a great rest of the weekend Tipper!

that's how we did our corn, too. I didn't scrape the cobs because my kids don't like creamed corn. I used to always put mine in pint size freezer bags. I would use a couple of big pots on the stove at once and put them into a sink full of ice water to cool them down and spread them out on the kitchen table on towels to drain. I love frozen corn!

How lucky you are to have so much available! Unless you know someone who grows things in abundance, you have to be happy with buying from small roadside stands for fresh veggies and fruits.

Tipper,
We always cook our corn before we put it into the freezer, too. It tastes raw if it's not cooked when you freeze it. We cut off some corn, and put some corn-on-the-cobs into the freezer. Some animals got into our corn patch and ate the corn. Someone said it was a coon, or maybe a deer, or maybe a bear. Anyway, the animals sure did have a feast in our corn patch. Enjoyed this posting. You've had a very busy summer.

It's funny you posted about this today, Tipper- I just finished cutting our last ears of corn off and freezing it too. We're having some fro supper tonight as well- YUM!

Love your blog, Tipper! We've had two corn freezing days and have 45 quarts in the freezer to share with another family. We might have one more.

One tip I discovered is that I took a good soft cotton cloth with a bit of nubbiness (like an old face cloth) and used that to gently rub most of the silk off the ears. The drier the cloth the better.

Glad you are enjoying my blog, also. Best, Catherine

My gramma had this contraption that you slid the corn over and it slsiced it off the cob. I miss helping her!!

I will try this next year. I have a fish cooker and a big pot just like yours. Putting up corn sure does heat up the house.We still have a little left over every year to ah,make the cough syrup with too.

I remember that process but mom alwasy cut heres off teh cob before cooking, unless she put it in whole. Adn then if it was cut off the cob, whew!! what a sticky mess, you'd have it all over you.
I have to admit, corn is not one of my favorite veggies. I can hear some of you gasp!! I know it'll taste good this winter, tho.
Blessings, Patty

Beautiful crop of corn. I see it made it past the little critter that was pulling it up!

I have always debated the right amount of time to keep it in the water. A minute. Now I know. I like the idea of the sandwich bags. Makes perfect sense.

Thanks for this. I love the picture of the shucked corn.

Tipper,

Grandma and Mom froze corn using the same method that you do. Sweet corn is in season here. I really should put a few bags in the freezer. Thanks for the tip on putting the sandwich bags inside the gallon bag. That will work much better for just the two of us and if the boys are here we can take out extra.

Enjoyed this post...brought back memories of picking, husking, silking and freezing corn. BTW, Mom used to work at the canning factory during pickle and corn season. She'd come home with corn splatterings on her clothes and in her hair.

Going now to check out the vocabulary test below. :-)

Blessings,
Mary

That is how my mom used to do it years ago. I can remember sitting outside in a lounge chair shucking corn for quite awhile.
Brings back a lot of memories for sure.

Tipper: Oh how I used to love to grow corn and freeze it. Your method and my wifes were just the same. It tastes so good when coming out of the freezer. I use the double bagging method on my freezing of fish fillets.

It's been so long since I've had enough corn to put away that I don't even remember.
I'll have to start using your method if I can ever get corn to grow here on the farm.

Like what Jennifer said...bags of gold. My mother alwasy froze it...I guess that's the #1 thing I miss about my mother's garden....frozen corn...yum.

I had always heard that you were supposed to "blanche" the corn - basically cook it in boiling water for about a minute - which you do.

Also, they make a gadget that cuts the corn off the cob. Basically, it's a sharp blade and you push the cob down the face of it. It's semi-circle shaped and (if I recall correctly) on a board of some kind, so the corn falls out the back.

We freeze ours, too~I think it has a much fresher taste than canned. Unfortunately, no corn for us this year~most folks corn washed away in all the rain we had this summer.

I love your tip about using sandwich bags~I do that with a lot of things I freeze. Those Ziploc bags are expensive, so any little savings helps out!

I do my niblet or creamed corn the same way Tipper. But for corn on the cob I trim the ends just a little, leaving the shucks on, and freeze it (shucks and all) in freezer bags. I take out whatever number I need about 3 hours before cooking. I cook two ears, shucks and all, in the microwave for 6 or 7 minutes, then shuck. It's delicious. blessings, marlene

Wow, For years we have just cut the stalk off and trimmed the silks so they look nice and thrown them in a zippie and into the freezer. It has worked great for us for many years. My uncle does the same thing.

He lets it thaw for about 30 minutes and shuks (spelling may be an issue) and puts it in the pot of water to boil. I just take it from the freezer and pop it in the oven at 350 for about 30-40 minutes (I never really timed it)
We love it on the grill too. :)

Be blessed!

Great lesson on freezing corn.

That looks so yummy. It must give you a very satisfied feeling to look at all you put up for the coming year.

I haven't had any for years, but I love that pickled corn....

You make it look so easy, Tipper! I can just smell and taste its fresh wholesomeness!

Wishing you and your family a beautiful weekend! :))

Thanks, Tipper! If I can harvest my corn in time, I'll do just this! it's really, really hard to grow corn in Central Oregon, with our very short growing season. But I've got some growing and hope to have some of those bags of gold just like you. :-)

Been there, done that. Just forgot to get the free t-shirt.
You'll see we cut ours off, add sugar and then cook it. The kitchen gets pretty messy!
But it will be so good later!

That's exactly how my family always did it, except we cooked it one minute on the stovetop. It makes the sweetest corn and amazing creamed corn! Yum! My mouth waters just thinking of Grandma's creamed corn.

YUM! I don't have enough corn to put up, hopefully I will have a few ears :) But we love corn all year too - love your methods!

Man how fun is that process. I rmeber the cleanup after cutting off all that corn. They could make glue out of that "paste"

I do love corn in the winter though.

niblets wuth a tiny bit of mayo and lemon juice mixed in. put in the microwave until hot stir in that mayo - then sprinkle with red pepper or chili powder ---- yum.

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