Andy’s mom grows a small crop of sweet corn in her garden every summer, and she freezes a portion to enjoy throughout the winter. Last year, she brought us some at Thanksgiving, and oh how we savored it. The frozen corn you get in the grocery store in no way compares to sweet corn frozen in season. Frankly, I’ve been converted to the point that I won’t spend money on grocery store corn ever again if I can help it!
Side note–isn’t fresh sweet corn on the cob beautiful? I love the look of it before it’s cooked. It reminds me of multi-colored pearls.
This year, I decided to make my own stock of sweet corn for our freezer. I bought 10 ears at the farmers’ market on Saturday, used 2 of them for another tomato and corn pie, and froze the other 8. I’m not going to lie to you–this was a lot of work.
I started by bringing a large pot of water to a brisk boil and blanching the ears of corn. One tip here–regardless of what you’re doing with your corn–is to wait until just before cooking to remove the green husks. It helps keep the corn as fresh as it can be. Unfortunately for me, I found a worm in one of my ears. Luckily it hadn’t gotten very far, and it wasn’t moving. I cut off the tip of that particular ear and tried to forget that whole thing ever happened. That’s a hazard of shopping at farmers’ markets, I guess, but it’s better than knowing your fresh veggies are drenched in pesticides!
Anyway, once the water was boiling, I added added the corn, 4 ears at a time. I boiled it for 5 minutes, and then immediately transferred it to an ice water bath for another 5 minutes. Putting the corn on ice stops it from cooking any further. If you’re taking this project on, make sure you let the water come back to a healthy boil before adding another batch.
After the ice bath, I cut the corn off the cobs. I personally prefer cutting the corn on a cutting board (rather than standing it up in a bowl and cutting). I can’t seem to get enough force to cut and balance the ear in the bowl at the same time. I spooned my little corn kernels into three zip loc bags. I’m pretty sure my mother-in-law adds seasoning before freezing her corn, but I decided not to do that in order to give myself flexibility when I end up using it. I can always add seasoning when I thaw and prepare a dish with it.
I have to admit, I thought I would get a few more bags than I did–it was a lot of work for what I consider to be three dinners worth of corn! Still, I think I’ll try to do this again this weekend and bring home as much corn as I can carry. It will certainly pay off during a snowstorm, when the farmers’ market is a distant summer memory.