Putting Up Corn

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

  While driving home today, I noticed that most of the cornfields are bare already.  The corn has been harvested, and is on its way to where ever it goes.  I then smiled to myself remembering “putting up” corn when I was a teenager.  Every year my parents would buy 2-3 huge seed corn bags full of corn on the cob from a local farmer. We would then spend the whole day processessing it to put  into the freezer for the winter.  Usually the sweet corn seemed to be ready when it was still hot outside, or at least it seemed that way when the stove was blazing.  My two younger sisters job was to sit on the back steps and “shuck” the corn.  It was an itchy, sweaty, sticky horrible job but nobody would have dared say “I don’t want to do it!”  If you were going to eat the corn in the winter, you needed to do your part to make it possible.  In the kitchen there were 2 huge roaster pans, each covering 2 burners, to cook the corn.  The corn was par boiled, and then plunged into icy water in the sink to stop the cooking process.  My job was to then stand at my “station” and cut the corn off of the cob with an electric knife.  My mom or grandmother would then take the cut corn, bag it, and put it into freezer boxes.    It was like a well oiled machine…..and we usually had a good time enjoying each others company.

 My problem was that I ABSOLUTELY  love corn.  Corn on the cob, fresh or frozen, creamed corn, corn casserole, corn muffins, corn fritters, corn chips, corn tortillas, corn anything.  I can make a meal out of corn on the cob.  We usually have 2 vegetable at a meal because one is always corn.  (creamed corn on top of mashed potatoes……heaven)   A favorite meal in the late summer is corn on the cob, fresh tomatoes and fresh green beans.  No meat needed….just pass me the corn.  And forget about those things you stick in the end of the corn in order to hold it….I burn my hand because you have to hold the cob to get them in, and it is just a waste of time.  It has also been a joke at our house that you don’t want to sit next to me when I  begin the corn on the cob “eating process”.   First….lots of butter…second….lots of salt….third…have a huge wad of napkins nearby….and then I start at one end, and don’t stop till I get to the other end.  Kinda reminds me of using a typewriter, and I expect a “ding” when I get to the end of the cob.

 My bigger problem while cutting the corn off of the cob, was that I would eat more than one person should consume in one day.  Especially if I had a really good run with that electric knife, and I cut off a strip of corn that held togther….OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was almost impossible to not pop that into my mouth.  That was like the prime rib of the cob.  The “canning of the corn” lasted for hours and hours and hours.  I will admit that by the end of the day the corn wasn’t as appealing it was earlier in the day. When I first got married, the back of our house backed up to a field.  One year they would plant soybeans, and the next year it was corn.  I discovered that field corn, when picked at the right moment, was as good as sweet corn when boiled in a pot with a little sugar.  Needless to say, there were a few ears missing from the outer rows of the field for about 1 week every other year.  For  many years I too would “put up” corn for the winter, especially after acquiring a recipe where I could cut the corn off raw, cook it with salt, pepper and sugar, and then freeze it that way.  Since there were just 2 of us at the time, I never did a bushel full of corn, but it was enough to last through the winter.  I do believe that the corn was better back then.  We had the peaches and cream variety, which is what I will choose now if I can find it.  Or maybe those memories have become a bit hazy, and the corn wasn’t any better back then,  but the memory makes it sweeter ♥

FOOD FOR THE BODY

Corn Fritters

1 cup flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp melted shortening

1/2 cup whole kernel corn, drained

1 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

1/3 cup milk

Sift flour, baking powder and salt.

Make hollow in flour and add beaten eggs, shortening and milk.

Beat till smooth.

Add corn that has been well-drained and mix well.

Drop by spoonful into hot oil that is at a temperature of 400 degrees.

Fry until golden brown, drain and dredge in powdered sugar if desired.

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