Time To “Preserve” Your Summer: Corn

Do you live in one of the 26 states that are now declared disaster drought areas? I do. Living right in the heart of farmland, I’m surrounded by withering corn on the left and wilted leaf soy on the right. No joke. This is serious stuff. Even with irrigation, the crops just aren’t getting enough water. Mid-summer, farmers are removing their damaged fields to grind and use as animal feed. Normally, these fields stand tall until the end of Fall. Farm friends are sending their animals to slaughter as feed prices are already climbing and processing costs are beginning to rise.

What does this mean for you and me? It means the prices of everything are going to go sky high. A message, on our local radio station, came across yesterday warning of rising food costs. It’s like the Kevin Bacon game of corn…lower corn yield will not only affect corn products (which seems to be pretty much everything these days) but meat and dairy prices are only going to get higher. So, you say you hunt deer? Well, if there are no crops for the deer to eat, how will that affect the hunting season? We’ll probably see a decline in our deer population. Not to mention, what about our food pantries? Last night, a story on our local news was telling how the farmers that usually donate excess to food pantries, will not be doing so this year. What now?

If you can’t tell…I’m scared. Maybe because I physically see the drought each and every day. Maybe because I feel the worry of local farmers. Can you imagine the life of a farmer (maybe you ARE one?) All of that hard work and sleepless nights, only to use your spindly crops to keep your animals alive and fed.

Obviously, there’s nothing we can do about this except conserve and be prepared. Admittedly, I am turning into a food hoarder. Yup. I am. While produce is fresh and costs are lower, I am stocking up and preserving as much food as possible in order to avoid high healthy food costs this winter. I’ve already taken care of strawberries, now I will be freezing corn.

Farmer’s markets should be full of sweet corn about now. Enjoy it while it’s fresh, but buy enough to preserve. Aside from having it easily on hand, how nice is it to have that fresh corn taste in the middle of winter? We love that. And? Preparing corn to freeze is very simple, it just takes a bit of time. You’ll be so glad when you’re all done!

  1. Shuck the corn…which means remove the husks.
  2. Rinse and remove the corn silk with a soft brush. You can get a little nail brush for a buck at a dollar store.
  3. Boil the corn for 4 minutes. Basically, there is an enzyme in corn that breaks down the sugar over time. Boiling kills this enzyme resulting in a sweeter end product. The enzyme will not hurt you if you don’t do this step.
  4. After four minutes, remove and immediately plunge in an ice bath. This stops the cooking process.
  5. Now it’s time to remove the corn. You can either buy a corn zipper or use a knife, but I have found the easiest way is to cut with an electric knife. A great way to collect the kernels is to place the cob in the center of a bundt or angel food cake pan and cut downwards – all of the corn falls right into the pan.
  6. Place corn in freezer bags. I froze mine in quart bags, as that is about how much I would cook at one time. If you are a single person, you may want to freeze in two cup portions. Be sure to label with a Sharpie: Name, date and amount. I started with four dozen ears of corn and ended up with 6 quart bags of corn.
  7. To make the corn stretch further, I scraped all of the cobs and ended up with another 3 cups to use for creamed corn. After that, you can boil the cobs with veggies and spices to make corn broth (which can strained and frozen as well.)
7 Responses to Time To “Preserve” Your Summer: Corn
  1. Jenni
    July 17, 2012 | 11:21 AM

    It is really scary what is going on w/weather patterns these days. Very good post–it honestly never occurred to me to freeze corn for later use. But I will now. Thank you!

  2. Toni
    July 18, 2012 | 7:40 AM

    Oh this weather! Even though we enjoyed the extremely mild winter last season, without our typical snowfall, we knew there would be a summer drought. Definitely try freezing the corn – how nice to pull it out at Thanksgiving and remember those summer days (no matter how dry and hot they might have been lol.)

  3. Michelle
    July 20, 2012 | 10:33 PM

    I am so with you, Toni. My parents just got in from Iowa, and they were talking to farmers who were saying that corn was tasseling with no kernels. I’m scared, too.

    • Toni
      July 25, 2012 | 1:20 PM

      EEkkk! That IS scary! I was actually relieved to see the corn tassle…but now I’m leery :( I would never survive a farmer’s life…I worry too much. LOL

  4. Brandie
    July 23, 2012 | 12:55 PM

    This drought is terrible. My dad is a (small) farmer and we aren’t being hit as hard as other areas where we are, but this will affect us in a big way in the long run. It frightens me.
    Good idea on freezer corn! We’ve done it before and have loved it. So far we aren’t getting the best local corn but I hope it gets better so I can get enough to freeze!

    • Toni
      July 25, 2012 | 1:21 PM

      I {heart} small farmers…huge kudos to your family and wishing them the best this year. How hard that must be…
      Even our local corn isn’t the best. I mean, it tastes good, but it’s spotty and the ears are small. Taking whatever I can get at this point…it will help my family and by purchasing, it helps their family. :)

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    October 2, 2014 | 1:59 PM

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