18 June 2013

Gettin Corny!

The in-laws gave us a big bag of fresh corn. While we love corn on the cob, there was no way we could eat all of it before it turned. Da-da-dum! Canning to the rescue!
Canning corn was a first, but I found it very easy and quick. We have since eatten from one quart, and the taste is out of this world! It literally tastes like you just cooked it from fresh, leaving commercially canned corn, and even frozen corn, a homely alternative. I was very impressed.

1. Shuck those ears! (You can dry the husks for tamales or even crafts, like the traditional corn husk dolls.) Scrub softly with a brush and running water to remove silks.
2. Cut the kernels from the cob. The easiest method for me was placing an upside down cup inside a large bowl. Use this platform for stability, and the bowl collects the kernels nicely. A serated knife works best. There are kernel strippers available. Try a kitchen store, like BB&B, etc, or ole reliable Amazon.com.
3. Fill to the bend of jars and top with hot water, adding canning or sea salt if desired.
4. Process for 75 minutes in a pressure canner.

I later found instructions on canning corn on the cob. Obviously, this isn't the most space efficient method, but it would be worth it if you prefer your corn on a handle.

After all is said and done, you have quite a bit of waste. Of course, everything is compostable. You can also dry the husks for tamales or crafts, like the traditional corn husk dolls. I was able to stretch the cobs by making corn cob jelly. Eh. Quit it. I see you turning up your nose, just like my family did. Think about it though. Corn is very sweet, and corn syrup is used in sweets all the time.

1. Place cobs in a stock pot, breaking them in half if needed. Cover with at least 2 inches of water.
2. Bring to a boil, then steep. Some recipes said 30 minutes; some said overnight. I honestly don't know how long I went. I let it steep while we ate dinner and spent time with the kids, so I would guess at least an hour. I brought it to a boil and just cut the heat off.
3. Remove cobs and strain. If you don't want the little corn bits in your jelly, strain through cheesecloth or a coffee filter.
4. Measure 3.5 cups of cob "tea" and bring to a rolling boil with a pack of powdered pectin.
5. Stir in 3 cups of sugar and bring to a rolling boil again for 3 minutes.
6. Do your jelly check. Pour into hot jars and process for 15 minutes in a hot water bath. Makes 5 half pints.

The taste is sweet and a bit woodsy.

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