Thursday, August 2, 2012

Doin' Corn

      When Daddy would come in on a hot summer's day and say, "we need to do corn,"  I knew that meant I would be spending the day in the hot kitchen helping Mom and Aunt Ruth  freeze sweet corn.
  My favorite part of doing corn was going into the field with Daddy and picking the corn.  Daddy planted lots of sweet corn every year and we always froze alot for the winter. One year we froze one hundred pints of sweet corn and Mom was so proud of that .  We put the corn in little plastic bags with twist ties and put those bags into freezer boxes.   I saw some of those boxes in an antique store recently. 

       Fast forward 50 some years later and I got up yesterday and said, "We need to do corn today." 

       This is a lesson on how to "do" corn.

  First, you send someone to get the corn in the field or in our case, to the market. Your husband would be nice, but if you don't have a husband, you could send a friend or other family member.  If you don't have any of those available, you go yourself which I have done before, but today David went and bought ten dozen ears of corn.  Five big sacksful.

     Then you start shucking the corn. While shucking it you decide you want another ten dozen ears of corn because you are having so much fun.  So your husband goes back to the market and buys ten dozen more ears of corn.  Five big sacksful.

            Meanwhile, you set up stations in your kitchen because you like to be organized.  This is the cooking station.

    You parboil the corn for about two or three minutes.

     This is the cooling station.  Once you parboil the corn, you plunge it in ice water to stop the cooking.  This also makes the corn easier to handle because it won't burn your hands.

      Then you drain the corn.  Doesn't this look good enough to eat?

 This is the cutting station.  Sometimes I cut the corn off with a knife, but sometimes I use that long gadget you can barely make out in my picture which is called a "corn cutter."  I thought whoever thought up that name was ingenious.  You slide the corn along it and it cuts the corn right off the cob. Makes more of a cream corn.  I mix my knife cut off corn and the corn cutter corn. 

     Then you package forty-five pints and two and a half quarts of corn and put it in the freezer and think about the winter days when you can go to the freezer and take out some corn and enjoy it with your meal.

       After you are done with the corn, you wash the countertops, the stove the refrigerator, the walls the cabinets and the floor because doing corn is a sticky, messy business.

        Then because it has been hours since breakfast, you make you and your husband hamburgers and get out a new jar of bread and butter pickles and when you open it the jar pops and a piece of the jar explodes out and pickle juice goes all over your clean counter and cabinet and floors and you just stand there looking at it and your husband comes in and says "What do we use to clean this up?' and  you start throwing towels at him and he mops up the floor.  Then you realize just how sticky pickle juice is and you know you are going to have to wash the floor again.  You eat your late afternoon lunch and then you wash the floor again.

       Then you sit in a chair for a long while and rest from all the work, but you know you would do it again because you have forty-five pints and two and a half quarts of sweet corn in your freezer.  You just hope the electricity never goes off for a long period of time or someone doesn't leave the freezer door ajar like has happened before and ruined your last sweet corn. 

   Belle and Bonnie watching with interest as David and I are shucking corn by the compost pile.   We had to put this fence up this year to keep them from digging up our vegetable garden.  Silly pups.  Just wish they had hands so they could have helped us shuck. That would look weird though, wouldn't it?  A real circus act.


   Here is a picture of the laughing man in the clouds I took last evening.  I think he was laughing at everything that happened to me today.  Here's to sweet corn and Daddy.  Bye

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