A sweet remembrance of summer with garden corn on the table in fall and winter garnished with crisp bacon crumbles.
Every summer we cordoned off a portion of our garden for sweet corn. It was a fun food for us to grow, especially the kids. After the seeds were planted, they patrolled the garden for birds, shooing them away so they wouldn’t steel the newly planted seeds. Once the crop was taking shape and looking like there’d be fresh corn for the table, the kids would sometimes build a scarecrow to help with the job of keeping the more determined birds away. In looking back, I think the bird patrol added to the anticipation of fresh, buttery corn on the cob, and believe me, there’s nothing you can buy in the store that will begin to compare.
Most years I used the recipe below to fill the freezer with sweet corn for winter. It’s a standard recipe one might find anywhere but I consider it vintage because it was given to me many years ago by an elderly Norwegian lady who lived on an adjoining farm. Whether you freeze or pressure can the corn it’s wise to use the young ears (as pictured) and choosing the yellow and white corn mix makes for a naturally sweeter blend.
Pressure canning is another method of preserving the corn but to me it just seemed faster, easier and tastier when it came from the freezer instead of a jar. For me, it’s a feeling of accomplishment to see the containers stacked in the freezer waiting to wow family and guests with “something from the garden” when they least expect it. Enjoy!
Preserving Fresh Garden Corn
- 10-cups corn, cut off the cob and not cut too close
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1-level tablespoon salt
- Scrape the corn “milk” extract and pulp from the stripped cobs into a separate bowl; set aside
Cook corn, sugar and salt in a large pan on top of stove for 10 minutes using medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
Cool quickly and thoroughly (see note below), and then stir in corn “milk” and mix thoroughly. Place mixture in freezer containers of your choice being sure to distribute corn “milk” evenly between packages.
To serve, add a bit of water if needed and simmer on stove top for 5 minutes. Add butter, salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with crisp, crumbled bacon for an added flavor, if desired.
Yield: Five 2-cup family size servings
Note: To cool corn quickly, place hot corn in a large metal bowl that’s set in a larger container of ice; stir corn until cooled and package for freezing. Corn will keep in the freezer for 6-months and up to 1-year if double bagged.