Last week we had a corn party. You know, the kind where you invite friends over, buy excessive amounts of corn from your favorite farm, and stock your freezer with corn for the winter.
I used to just freeze a few bags of local berries, peaches, and corn, but now that we have a chest freezer, things are getting serious. I’m talking about 30+ pounds of frozen corn kernels that were peeled, cut, and frozen the same day the corn was picked. If you have the extra freezer space, I highly recommend getting yourself some local sweet corn and putting it in the freezer. In the middle of winter when your produce options are cold-storage root vegetables or mediocre, barely ripe, shipped-across-the-world fruits and vegetables, frozen sweet corn is like a a burst of summer sunshine in your kitchen.
Here’s what you do:
1. Get yourself some corn. My sister Heather picked up 120 ears from Warner Farm on Wednesday morning. Our friend Vanessa came over to join in on this corn party.
2. Lay an old bed sheet out in the backyard so you can avoid covering your entire kitchen in corn silk. Dump the corn out onto the sheet, and peel it all. We used a couple of big pots to hold the corn until we were ready to move on to the next step; just to be clear, the corn isn’t going to be cooked at all, these pots were just the largest vessels I had. Even still, a lot of the corn ended up piled on the sheet when the pots overflowed. It’s all good.
3. Grab knives and cutting boards, and cut all the kernels off the cobs. Heather cut hers on an upside-down cereal bowl nestled inside a big mixing bowl so she could slice the corn vertically and the kernels would catch in the big bowl. Vanessa set up a station where her cutting board was sitting inside a large (clean) lid to a plastic storage container so the corn could be swept off her board without hitting the ground. You could also do the same thing with a cutting board nested inside a large sheet pan. I ended up cutting mine on a cutting board at the picnic table because I didn’t feel like sitting on the ground anymore.
4. Scoop the kernels into plastic freezer bags, being sure not to overfill them. You want the corn to lay flat in the bag, preferably in a thin layer no more than 2-inches thick. This way you won’t end up with giant bricks of frozen corn. Transfer the bags to the freezer. We weighed ours first, and Vanessa took a third of the corn home for her freezer. The rest is in our basement right now, waiting to brighten up our winter meals.
5. If you’re in the market for corn chowder, thick soups, or creamed corn, save some of your cobs! I used the back of a knife to scrape the creamy liquid/little bits of corn left on the cobs into a bowl, then used that as the base for corn chowder. Kevin and Heather said it was the corniest chowder I’ve ever made.
If you love summer corn as much as we do, you really have to get some in the freezer before the season ends. Trust me, you’ll be happy you have it come January; store bought frozen corn truly can’t compete with your favorite local corn. Oh, and just so you know, the whole operation, start-to-finish, took the three of us two hours. If you’re not planning to go quite as corn-crazy as we did, I’m guessing you could put up a few dozen ears of corn in about 30 minutes. Easy peasy. Other important information: Vanessa brought donuts from a local bakery with her, and we each had a donut before starting and after finishing this whole process. This step is optional, though highly recommended.
If you stock up your freezer with corn this week, let me know! Comment below or tag me #bakedgreens on Instagram so I can see your beautiful corn!