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I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nine Dozen Ears of Corn & Corn Chowder

2 tbspDuring our recent road trip we were rather flexible as to when we would be returning home. We decided to play it one day at a time which made for a rather relaxing trip. On the Monday evening of our trip we received a phone call from one of our friends who had very generously dropped off nine dozen ears of corn at our house. Finding no one home the corn was left by the garage so we called one of our kids to put it in the garage where it would be out of the weather and protected from most critters. Cooler temperatures meant the corn would keep well until we returned but it helped determine when we would return.

fresh corn on the cobFresh Corn

The corn was a commercial yellow variety that is difficult to find because the current demand for fresh corn on the cob is the peaches & cream varieties. The unseasonably cooler and wetter summer saw a reduced corn yield so prices for a dozen ears of corn did not dip below the $3 mark and even that was a rare find. The yellow corn varieties are better for preserving than the bi-colour varieties.

Nine dozen ears of corn (pictured) doesn't sound like a huge amount until you have to husk it. I was tired from the trip so debated how I was going to put the corn up. I wasn't to anxious to can all the corn as we prefer the taste of frozen corn. Thursday morning I checked the freezer space of which it was basically non-existent. This would mean drying and canning the corn as niblets or cream style. We ended up taking a turkey out of one freezer for our Thanksgiving dinner which freed up just enough room for freezing the corn.

husking corn, corn borersHusking Corn

Husking corn is always a messy job as the silk tends to go everywhere. While husking is a fairly easy job making preparing corn for processing one of the less involved processes it is common to run into a few problems.

Corn that has sat for any length of time after picking will usually have 'icky' dark silk on the outside. This was not a problem. Another problem is corn can bring in little black beetles (corn flea beetles) that can stick around indoor for a few days. The corn borer (1) is a common find. Simply cut out the borer and any end damage. I came across one cob that actually had a cabbage worm eating it's way through (2). Now this in my experience is quite abnormal. Any corn stored for any period of time outdoors or in outdoor facilities such as garages can and most likely will show signs of rodents (3). Rodents coming out of freshly harvested fields love to get into any fresh produce in storage so it's common to see signs of their gnawing or droppings and occasionally them scurry around. We have a rodent problem when the fields come off. This corn was stored outdoors then put in the garage but we have no idea whether the signs of rodents came from the time from picking to our place (about a day) or from our property. At any rate this is a clear indication for those in areas such as ours to take appropriate measures.

As the husked corn piled up (4) the consensus was to freeze as much as possible. We ended up with 8 gallon bags of frozen corn. I reserved 8 cobs for making corn cob jelly and 6 cobs for that night's dinner. In the end I was rather pleased with the results. I didn't dry or can any corn but there is still a bit of time left yet.

corn chowderCorn Chowder

Dinner was a lovely corn chowder that cooked while the rest of the corn was being prepared for freezing. A chowder is a thick soup that usually contains a vegetables (corn, potatoes, onions) in a cream/milk base and originally contained some type of seafood. Most chowders still are based on seafoods. This tasty corn chowder eliminated the seafood. It was based on the wonderful flavour of corn.

Corn Chowder
recipe by: Garden Gnome

1 tbsp butter
½ medium Vidalia onion, diced
2 garlic clove, minced
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
2 tbsp unbleached flour
4 c canned chicken or turkey stock
1 c heavy cream
4 medium potatoes, diced
4 ears corn, cut from cob
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ tsp garlic pepper
5 - 6 tbsp powdered instant potatoes
fresh parsley leaves

Prepare the vegetables. Heat the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and thyme and cook until the vegetables are soft about 8 to 10 minutes. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, bring to a boil. Boil about 7 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the heavy cream. Cut the corn kernels off the cob. Stir into the soup. Season with salt, pepper and garlic pepper. Simmer until the corn is soft, about 10 to 12 minutes. Mash about ¼ of the potato chunks and stir well. Adjust to desired consistency stirring in 1 tbsp of powdered instant potatoes at a tim


4 food lovers commented:

A Year on the Grill said...

All set for awhile... Good for you. I had a terrific summer of sweet corn. I LOVE corn on the cob. Quite a haul.

Good for you

LindaG said...

How do you take the corn off the cob? I have used a butter knife, but I think it leaves a bit of the corn still on the cob.

Thanks for another great recipe! :)

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Linda :) You're welcome. I just use a sharp paring knife close to the cob to cut the kernels off.

LindaG said...

Okay. I'll give that a try next time. Thank you! :)