The time is now for Michigan sweet corn. The Locavorious kitchen team is going like gangbusters to put up as much of that corn as we can. Even after prepping corn all day, I still feel like stopping at the farm stand again while heading home to make dinner. Corn secret #1 is really no secret – for the sweetest, juiciest, corniest deliciousness, eat or put up fresh corn ASAP. Gardeners and farmers will tell you to get the water boiling first, and then go pick some ears, run back to the house, husking as you go, and toss that corn into the pot as you cross the kitchen threshold. Other folks will tell you that with these new-fangled modern varieties of corn you don’t have to rush to eat that corn right after picking. Maybe they are right. Rena’s corn secret #2 – ignore those folks and rush to eat or put up that sweet corn, no matter what variety, right after harvest.
And now, from the Locavorious kitchen, here are the steps to freeze your own fabulous MI sweet corn for a taste of summer all winter long.
First, find your personal favorites….last year I wandered the farmers markets tasting raw ears of corn, and getting to know what was out there, who was growing what. Corn secret #3 – eat those early harvest sweet corns fresh, and find a longer growing variety for freezing.
Here’s a photo from right behind the corn stand on Geddes Rd at Harris. My not-so-secret-anymore favorite sweet corn for freezing comes from Brookside Farm in Superior Township.
While husking the corn, bring water to boil in a large pot. Set up a large bowl of ice water. Boil the corn for 3 minutes. Sweet corn in the pot.
Immediately remove corn from boiling water and plunge into a large container of ice water. Let the corn chill for at least 5 minutes. Chill, corn, chill.
Cut kernels off of the cob with a knife with a long thin blade. You can try all of those specially designed cute tools for removing kernels off the cob, but here’s my corn secret #4 – a good old knife works best. After removing all the kernels off the cob, use the back of the knife to rub the cob once more all around to milk the cob for the little kernel nibs and the extra sweet creamy juice. Locavorious crew secret #5 – cut the corn & milk the cob right into a large bowl or onto a baking sheet tray to catch the juice. You know it’s good ripe sweet corn if you need a shower when you’re finished.
Try not to eat all the sweet corn in the bowl.
Measure out portions you think you’ll want this coming winter….e.g. 2 cups works well for many recipes, and fits nicely in a little tupperware or quart-size freezer bag. When freezing the corn, be sure not to overload your freezer; a good rule of thumb is no more than 2 – 3 lbs of corn per cubic foot of freezer space.
If you get the corn from field to freezer in a couple of hours, it will be sweet enough to eat for dessert this winter. (And if you don’t have time or space to put up your own MI sweet corn, the Locavorious crew is at your service!)