In the dead of winter I sometimes stare out my back window at the crusty, white land. The trees are bare and seem to shudder in the cold as the wind cuts across the pond and ice crystals dance on the frozen surface.
It’s hard to believe that just a few months prior we were grilling out, picking tomatoes fresh from the vine and nibbling away at ears of sweet corn dripping with salted butter. I often wonder how this frigid landscape can possibly be transformed back to the lush green habitat of the grey heron and family of mallard ducks. As I sit there, with my warm cup of coffee and thick sweater, and I am thankful that back in August we stood over boiling pots of water and shucked one-hundred-fifty-six ears of corn. I slide on my slippers, hold my breath for the blast of cold and open the garage door. I shuffle out to the freezer and back again as fast as my feet can carry me and I carry a bag of gold. Ohio sweet corn. In the dead of winter.
I pull a sauce pan from the cupboard, break up the frozen treasure, and add butter and salt. When it is finally steaming hot, I take a bite and I am transformed. Sometimes all the way back to my childhood with visions of my Dad hard at work in the garden. The chill of winter is temporarily forgotten.
Processing Sweet Corn
Bring deep pots of water to a rolling boil.
(If you have an electric kettle, it comes in handy. Fill it, set it to a boil, and use this water to top off the pots as needed.)
Shuck the ears of corn and remove as much silk as possible.
Place as many ears of corn in the pot(s) as you can without crowding. Making sure the entire ear(s) are submerged.
Boil for 3-4 minutes. Remove immediately to a rimmed baking sheet.
Let cool for about 10 minutes.
Using a cutting board and knife (or your favorite cutting tool over a bowl) remove all the corn from the cob. Here is the most important part: Get all that juice from the cob. To do this, stand the cob on end in a large bowl. Starting from the top, hold a knife at about a 45 degree angle and scrap all the way down. Rotate the cob and repeat until the entire ear is finished.
Portioning and Storing
Our family will eat 1 1/2 cups corn, as a side dish, at an average meal. I prefer using 1 quart Ziploc freezer bags.
Measure amount of corn into bag – and don’t forget to add some of the juice from the bottom of the bowl in each one.
Close the bag 3/4 of the way. Lay it down on a flat surface and press the corn out, filling the bottom corners of the bag and working as much air out of the top as possible. Seal the bag completely. Label month and year with a Sharpie.
I like to press the bags as flat as possible and stack in a box.
Place in freezer.
NOTE: 13 Dozen ears of corn yielded 93 bags of corn (1 1/2 cup each).