FOOD FRIDAYS! – A “CORNY” POST

Growing up in Summit County, Ohio it was just a ritual that at the end of summer it was time to make the pilgrimage to Szalay’s Corn in Peninsula to get their summer bounty of Sweet Corn.  Sweet Corn it was, too.  We would make the 30 minute drive at least twice a week until the corn was gone.

Now as a Diva of my own home, it is still a tradition to do so.  However, in the last ten or so years, I decided that these delicious kernels needed to be enjoyed more than just late August and September and began to freeze them.  There is nothing like some super sweet, local-grown corn goodness long about January in cold and dreary Ohio.
Szalay’s secret is out and often when you go down to their market you stand in line as one by one the wagons filled with ears of corn come in then go back out for refill!  Thankfully, some of our local grocery stores have started to carry them.  Not as fresh as right off the wagon from the field, but still usually that day’s pickings.
Last week became “that” week where hubby and I loaded up with 4 or more dozen ears of corn to be “put up” for winter’s savoring.  First we bought some, brought it home, made it, then ate it to make sure it was good enough! Like Szalay’s is ever bad!  It was, of course, delicious.  The next morning, hubby went to the store and brought me bags and bags of corn on the cob.  I got my pots, bowls and ziplocs ready.  Put the pan of water on to boil and set to work.
I boiled the corn on the cob about 8-10 minutes, then transferred it to a big sheet pan to cool.  Once cooled just enough to be able to hold it, I sliced it off the cob into a huge bowl.  Once all the corn in done and cut off, I then started bagging into the quart freezer bags.  
Here’s a question for all of you:  are you the “naked” corn  connoisseur or are you a “butter and salt” corn connoisseur.  If you read my last post, you will automatically know which camp I’m in on this!  However, the other two who live in the abode are from that other camp!  Depending on which camp you are in for the corn would decide if you add butter to the bag for freezing.  My suggestion on this is to taste a kernel or two once cut off.  If your local corn isn’t super sweet this year, place a pat or two of butter in the bag.  Then when you warm it up in the winter, the butter is already in it.  Our corn this year went to the freezer “naked”!   Sigh……poor corn!

 Check out my Sous Chef!  She was just hoping there would be a kernel or two drop!

 Ok, since you asked–here’s a close up of Miss Toto!  All 4 pounds of her!

Yum – about 2 dozen ears of corn cut and ready for packaging!
So – what in the world to do with all the corn cobs!  Don’t have an outhouse, so need to go there!  I do have a better suggestion!  How about cooking them again in that corn water to help leach out more of the delicious corn flavor.  Ok – that’s what I did!
Once all the cobs were reboiled, I removed the cobs and threw them out.  I do believe I’ve gotten as much out of them as I can at this point!  In another small skillet, I sauted up a large onion,  one red pepper chopped and about 8 oz. white button mushrooms, chopped.  I had already cubed up 8 small red potatoes that I scrubbed, but did not peel.  I brought the corn water back up to a rolling boil and add the potatoes.  Since they are small, I let them go for about 3 minutes and add in the other veggies that have been sauteing.  I have saved back about 2 cups of corn that was cooked and cut off the cobs and add this at this time.

The only seasonings I  added is about 3 Tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley, a little salt, a pinch of cayenne, about 1 Tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon, about 1/2 teaspoon of fresh grated nutmeg and a couple cranks of fresh ground pepper.  
At this point, this would be considered Corn Soup as I had not added any cream to the soup to make it an actual Chowder.  I decided to freeze it in two containers of Corn Soup and two containers of Corn Chowder.
The goods!  Ready to eat on a cold winter’s day!
There you have it!  A corny – Food Friday post!  I would love to hear your “Corn” Stories.  What do any of you do with the annual corn season?  Do you have any family traditions to go get some corn at a local farmer or farmer’s market?  What is your favorite way to eat corn?  Or even other favorite fresh corn recipes!  Who knows, you share – you may end up here on my blog!
Let me hear about your “corny” stories!
….and that’s all I have to say about that!
Tammy

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