monkeygreens


Odds and Ends
July 5, 2011, 2:48 pm
Filed under: Recipes and Ideas, Saving the Harvest

Here we are, back at work after the long weekend, and frankly I feel like shit. I ate entirely too many animal products in my ugly-American Fourth of July stupor, and I am terrribly ashamed of myself. I feel bloated and cranky and wasted. I had earnestly hoped to return to vegetarianism at the the start of summer, and even eliminate dairy products as they adversely effect my mood and –zappo. Nothing -nil-nitch-nada. The grill has been afire aplenty. The only good thing I can ever so slightly impart is that most of our meat is purchased from local farmers we know, who practice humane and organic methods but even that is sorry to say- -weak. I guess MonkeyGrrrl is having a blah day.

However, one really exciting thing DID occur this weekend and when I tell you you are going to be utterly convinced of the total mind numbing boredom of my life. But thats okay, I really am excited that we cleaned out our freezer.

Really.

Maybe because Saturday MonkeyMan and I put up corn. We really have it down to a science AND an art. It took us like — 45 minutes to put up 2 dozen ears of corn for the winter. And we had fun doing it. If you enjoy fresh sweet corn and have a deep freeze — here it is. I can’t tell you how happy you will be, how proud and satisfied you will be, if you do this.

We have a huge deck that wraps around the back of our house and that is where most of this process takes place. First you shuck the corn. Don’t look at me like that with that dumbfounded stare. Shuck just means rem0ve the husks and silk, and at this time I also chop of any blemished ends. While you are doing this is it wise to get a huge pot of boiling water going on the stove. When the water nears a boil, take a cooler and fill it with ice and water. Now– here is where we have a trick that works awesome. The Mister and I fill big plastic bottles with water and put them into our freezer to encourage a very low internal temperature. Using these recycled vessels in the water in place of ice is much more efficient and conserves water also. You want to barely blanch the ears of corn, so…three minutes is really all you take. After three minutes you need to plunge the corn into the ice water immediately to stop the cooking process. This all has to do with the conversion process in corn of sugar to starch…or something like that. There is a lot of chemistry in cooking, which is rad, but I don’t pretend to know all of it. I get bored easily and tune out.

Anyhoo, after the corn has cooled down in the cold water bath, I take it back outside to the deck where I have a cutting board and sharp nice. If you have a bread knife use it. Otherwise the odds of cutting yourself on a slippery ear of corn is HIGH. In long strokes cut the corn off the stalk and place the cobs in a bin for your compost heap. If you have dogs beware — they are going to want to snatch out a cob or two for munching. This is not bad for them but last year I saw what happened when one of our pootches tried to pass a cob after binging on them and it wasnt pretty. Its not always easy to determine the difference between good and bad fiber.

Since its just the two of us, we pack the corn into little sandwich bags, and then take like 6 of them and place them into a big freezer bag, which discourages freezer burn.

I think our neighbors think that we are crazy. I mean– why would two thirty somethings want to live like it is the 1800’s…right? And the crazy part is…we were laughing and joking and having a blast. I mean– even our arguing about methodology was hilarious; I am the worst bossy-pants in the kitchen EVAAAAAAA and yet, MonkeyMan just uses that as fuel for teasing me endlessly, and we just end up in verbal fits of hysteria. I think at one point I had him crying he was cracking up so bad.

And it not only cost us nothing, it made us wealthier in spirit and in home. Putting up corn for the winter– who knew?

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