It finally rained today — for all of five or 10 minutes. Pfft. Just enough to settle the dust.
No, wait. Check that. I just went and, to me, the dust still seems remains depressingly unsettled. So the drought continues here in KC. We’re in the midst of a two- or three-day break in a string of heat warnings (today’s forecast high is 89 with a heat index of 98). But it’s still way hot, and tomorrow the oven setting will once again be back up to broil.
This weather has been awful for the garden. No amount of watering can replace a good soaking rain, so the tomatoes are slow coming on, the beans have shut down, the peppers aren’t producing worth a darn.
And yet, brothers and sisters, can a hear an “amen” for the sweet corn harvest?
For the second year in a row, we’re raking in the roasting ears from our satellite garden patch. The varmints haven’t discovered it yet, other than reports of one in human form who was seen filching garden produce not his own the other day.
So I’m picking corn this week. I brought home and processed 50 ears on Thursday. That was from the four rows I planted first. But the other three rows, planted a week later, are catching up, so I should go out today and gather up some for lunch.
Note I used the word “processed.”
When you grow a lot of corn, you can only eat so much of it fresh from the garden. The rest, you pick and deal with in one of four ways. One can sell it at a roadside stand, give it away, let it sit in the fridge to turn starchy, or then there’s option four: put it up, as we do.
By that I mean, we freeze it. Some people freeze whole ears, but we cut ours off the cob and stuff it in freezer bags. If you’d like to try it yourself, here’s the method:
Step one: Shuck the ears and remove as many of the silks as you can. I do it by hand, then finish up with a fine-tooth, yellow, plastic brush especially made for the job that gently removes the silks without damaging the kernels. Can’t remember where we got it.
Step two: Blanch ears in boiling water for 4 minutes, then remove with tongs and plunge immediately into cool or cold water to stop the cooking process.
Step three: Let stand in the cool water for 4 minutes, then drain on a towel.
Step four: Take the dry ears, one at a time, and stand them up, perpendicular to the cutting board. With a sharp knife (a thin but rigid stainless steel blade works best) slice the kernels from the cob.
Step five: Stuff kernels in bags and freeze. While the temptation is to stick as much corn in as few bags as possible, it’s better to bag corn in portions that you might actually use. It’s no fun trying to hack what you need off of a frozen corn brick big and heavy enough to knock out a night watchman.
Posted by: Mike