A Quick Guide to Puttin’ Up Corn

I have learned, having moved out of my tiny town and then around a little bit, that language does not always travel.  For instance, the phrase ‘sorry, the kids can’t come play today, we are headed back to the farm to put up corn’, is often greeted with some very quizzical looks.  For the uninitiated, I thought I would give you a brief tour of what that really looks like.

Turkey fryer pot

This here is the heart of the matter.  Yes, folks, that is a turkey fryer pot.  All hooked up to a propane tank, sitting outside. But, we aren’t frying the corn, in case that’s what you were thinking.

Turkey fryer sitting in front of a white laundry tub

Over the years, a system has been developed.  The turkey fryer boils water very effectively, something that is needed for blanching corn before cutting it from the cob.  That old laundry tub has been fitted with a lever so that it can be drained easily – more on that part later.

Cobs of corn blanching inside a turkey fryer pot

See how much corn you can fit in there are once?  Efficiency folks, efficiency.  We are, some years, talking about entire Gator load or loads.  Half a dozen ears at a time just isn’t going to cut it.

Removing ears of corn from a water bath

Next, the steaming hot ears need a little time to cool off.  This is where the old laundry tub comes in handy.  Filled with fresh, icy cold well water, they cool down to a handable (is that a word) temperature in no time flat.  When the water eventually warms up, it can be quickly drained through the lever on the bottom and refilled in a jiffy.

Cutting corn off the cob

From there, you get to slice it all off.  We used to use an electric knife, but have more recently found that a sharp knife (or cleaver if you are running short on utensils) works just as well.  After that, just bag and freeze.  Since the corn has been cooled off while it is still on the cob, not only do you not burn your fingers, you can close up and freeze the bags immediately.  Closing up still warm corn results in soured corn, and trust me, those are not good eats.

Empty corn cobs in a recyling bin

Given that the homestead is located on a highway, this is actually one of the better uses for this recycling bin.  Any attempts to use it for it’s intended purpose result in climbing into ditches and retrieving papers and cans from all over.  These cobs will go up to the cows, who are pretty sure they have hit the jackpot when they arrive.

And there you have it.  A quick guide to putting up corn.  Let’s hope this clears up some of the funny faces.

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