Frugal, Frugal, Frugal Friday! Good morning, I’m sorry that Frugal Friday is on Monday, but at the last minute, we went camping! Even though I couldn’t post, we had a wonderful camping weekend! The weather was perfect, we went canoeing and I tried a new recipe that the husband loves (I’ll share it soon-it is so easy!). I did do the Frugal Friday project on Friday though, because sweet corn doesn’t wait.
This week’s Frugal Friday project was decided on by the garden- it is sweet corn time! I love sweet corn and can eat it for lunch and supper every day when it is ready. Unfortunately, it’s only ready a limited time.
We actually planted the corn early this year, but we planted it all at once, so it is all ready right now! Next year, if we get the garden in on time, we might plant some and then wait 2 weeks before planting the rest. We only have a small garden with 9 rows of sweet corn and some tomatoes plants, so it’s ok if it is all ready at once.
I’m so glad this was a Frugal Friday, because it did not start out as a Fun Friday. I had to pick and clean this batch all by myself.
I froze 7 ½ dozen ears earlier in the week, but the youngest picked it and the husband helped clean it. That was sooo appreciated, because I don’t like bugs. I’m getting better as I get older: I can kill a spider without screaming now-kind of. But there are a lot of bugs in the garden, especially in the sweet corn rows!
So there I was Friday, proud of myself for being able to pick and clean the sweet corn. I was breaking off the tops of the ears when I saw picnic bugs, thinking ‘this isn’t so bad, more bugs than last year, but I can handle it’.
Then, “EWW!! ICK, ICK,ICK!!
And the corn went flying, I had seen an earwig! Under the husk. It was bad enough that they lived on the stalks, but did they need to be right where I grabbed to tear off the husks and silks?
I’m pretty sure I entertained the neighbors, throwing corn and yelling whenever I saw an earwig or corn borer worm.
I resumed cleaning corn, I had to- the husband and the kids were gone. I was alone. I had picked it all, and couldn’t leave it to rot in the yard, in the sun.
Sometimes, I was thankful to just find a corn borer worm- at least they were slow. But sometimes, they startled me- ‘Eww! Ick, Ick!’ And the corn would go flying- or I’d hit it against a stalk, to dislodge the worm but keep the ear of sweet corn.
After the ews and icks, I did ok. I survived and cleaned 5 ½ dozen ears of corn. Only about 9-12 ears were thrown permanently back into the garden. I didn’t leave any out in the yard for the husband to pick up, though it was hard.
After a long cup of coffee and a change of clothes, I was ready to process the sweet corn for the freezer.
I’m so excited; I learned a new, easier way to process the sweet corn this year!
Years ago, I learned how to blanch and freeze the sweet corn from my mother-in-law. Growing up, my family didn’t really have a garden and never ‘put up’ any food. So, it was great to eat sweet from our garden in the winter.
But it was hot, blanching, cutting and bagging the corn in the summer. Then a great-aunt gave me a recipe for cutting it first, then quickly cooking the sweet corn, before cooling, bagging and freezing. This was a lot easier, but I still needed to use the oven or stove and occasionally I would scorch the corn.
This year, the husband was telling a co-worker how I process the sweet corn without blanching the ears, but he thought I didn’t cook it at all.
Hmmm, what a thought! Of course, I found a great example of how to do it online! There are sooo many things we have learned to do ourselves from the internet, usually it is fixing a car or a house project, but this time it was a cooler way to process sweet corn in the hot summer weather!
I was hesitant to try it with all the corn, but we did it with the first 7 ½ dozen ears. I used a no-cook method for freezing the sweet corn, that I learned at the blog, Beyer Beware. Then, we froze it, thawed it, cooked it and ate it! It worked! And I only needed the stove to cook the sweet corn for our meal!
It was wonderful!
Easier Sweet Corn for the Freezer
After picking and cleaning (eww) the sweet corn, I wash it and cut it off the cob with the electric knife.
The electric knife easily cuts off the kernels, though to stay safe and away from my fingers, I only cut ½ of the ear at a time. Then I flip the ear and cut off the rest of the kernels.
I cut the kernels over a cookie sheet; they don’t fly all over and just fall onto the cookie sheet.
I did not scrape the milk out of the sweet corn this year. The husband thinks it gets too starchy when I scrape it; guess I can try to keep him happy.
2 cups of sweet corn is a nice meal size for my family, it is about the size of a can of corn. So, I fill freezer bags with 2 cups of corn and ½ cup of a water mixture. Then, I fold the bags over and squeeze the air out before sealing.
The water mixture is also easy.
Place 1 1/2 cups of water, 2 Tablespoons of sugar and 1 Tablespoon of salt into a pot . Stir and heat to dissolve the sugar and water. Add another 1 1/2 cups of cold water to cool the mixture (for a total of 3 cups of water), before adding to the bags of corn.
1/2 cup of the water mixture is used for each 2 cups of sweet corn.
I was concerned that there wasn’t enough liquid when I sealed and froze it. Some of the kernels weren’t covered. But after freezing, they seem to be all covered in liquid. This should prevent freezer burn, of course the sweet corn won’t be in the freezer for long- it is my favorite vegetable.
I was a little short of my goal for freezer sweet corn this year. I wanted enough for 1 bag a week, but ended up with 33 bags. Of course, that is still 33 bags of yummy sweet corn for us to eat. I am definitely not going back into the buggy garden by myself to find more sweet corn! Next year, I will make sure to have helpers around, when I pick and clean the sweet corn-less ears will go flying back into the garden.
I am glad though, to have found the new, easy way to process the sweet corn without heating up the kitchen.
Happy Camping (and enjoying this season’s sweet corn!)