The Harvest of the Corn

I have to apologize for the lateness of this post. It all took place last month. Though we moved into this new house on August 15, we didn't have a fast enough Internet connection to upload all these pictures until today. Finally I can share with you my day of corn!

It all started in our corn patch on South Main Street. We ate a lot of it fresh on the cob - probably about 3 dozen ears or so. In all honesty, it wasn't very good. I think we let it get a little too mature - it had fine flavor, but was a bit chewy. We ate it anyway. It was Golden Bantam from Seed Saver's Exchange. I think of heirlooms as having better flavor, and maybe it did, but the window for picking it was very small. The few ears we got that were not quite so mature were great.....

On the good side, we had great pollination, especially for a patch this small. I don't know what a "real" farmer would be happy with, but I was overjoyed with our yield. After the 3 dozen we ate, there were about 60 more for freezing.

I also found some "black gold" in the corn patch! Americans call this corn smut and see it as a disease (indeed it is a fungus that grows on corn and retards the growth of the ears) but in Mexico, it's called huitlacoche, and it's treasured as a delicacy. I ate these with eggs - huitlacoche doesn't have a ton of flavor - to me it's like a mild mushroom with a slight sweet corn flavor. It's intense black color might convince you that it isn't a food....

We trimmed the corn that we intended on freezing and soaked it in water to moisten the husks. It was fun to trim all of these - I had lots of practice in my years working in produce and I discovered that I still have the skills - I just love whacking away at corn with a big sharp knife!

We didn't want to get the house hot, so we grilled the corn instead of steaming it like most recipes call for. We were also curious to see if any of the grill flavor would translate to the frozen corn. (Plus, Dave just really likes firing up the grill, and was happy to have an excuse to do it once again!)

When it was nicely cooked, we soaked it in the sink in cold water till it was cool....

.... and then cut it off the cob. This was a long process and by the end I was almost happy not to have had a bigger yield.

This is what we got. It doesn't look like a lot, but it will be nice to have around during the winter months. I gave the cobs to the chickens - they loved them, and had a blast picking the last remaining bits of corn off them.

We packed the corn into freezer bags, got as much air out as possible, and froze it. I just got a brand new chest freezer, and it was exciting to have something to put in it!

Now for a change of scenery.....

Later that same day, Dave and his girlfriend and my other brother Ben and his wife and I all went to the Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival. Sun Prairie is a smallish town not far from Madison, and they are famous for this festival. 100,000 people eating 70 tons of sweet corn over a two day period.... we just had to check it out!

Upon approaching the "corn building" this is the first thing we saw. A high school kid in a dumpster wrestling with a ton of corn husks....

We purchased two totes for the 5 of us.

The corn building was a trip. They bring the steaming corn in by the truckload from a building especially designed to cook sweet corn. There was a truck at least every 5 minutes or so. The building was set up to herd people in exactly like cattle - get your corn, shuck it, butter it, salt it, and get out before you get trampled....

Here's one of our totes before shucking.

This corn was hot, and everyone was burning their fingers as they shucked.

Then it went to this nice girl who buttered it for us. Not too appetizing, but I was glad she was wearing gloves!

The salt station was outside. We salted and got the hell out. I don't do too well with masses of people, and that corn building tested my limits.

We sat in the grass and devoured our corn. It was good - crispy and sweet - everything that my homegrown corn wasn't.

And where did this beautiful corn come from? None other than Del Monte - one of the biggest evilest food processors out there. Figures.
share on: Facebook

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.