Saturday, September 10, 2011

corn wars

Last night – it was so beautiful! A sunset, from the helm of a boat on lake Mendota. (A Tormach company cruise; it’s a tradition.) Unfortunately, my camera, my baby really, has developed a serious problem. I'm left with using my phone for photos. So all you get is this:

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Today I spend a long while talking to camera fixer-uppers. Once again, my sweetie pie, my wonderful Sony Nex, is going in for surgery.

In the meanwhile, I have a backup option. A reliable little point and shoot which has done a lot of work for me over the years. But this morning, as I zip toward the market on Rosie, I am thinking more about food than photography.

It is the season for corn.

And now that I am living in a farmhouse, I am especially having thoughts on how to store good foods for the winter. Because really, winter is an awfully long season. Yes, sure, I’ve already frozen lots of raspberries, peaches, rhubarb, tomatoes. Those are all from the garden.

How about corn? There’s so much of it around right now and it is splendid! Shouldn’t I shuck, clean and perhaps de-cob some corn for the winter? To throw into soups, to mix up with chili peppers for a winter saute... Corn! Let me pick up as much as Rosie can carry.


I sort through the corn and I say to the farmers – I know, I know, I should not store them in their husks. I’ll clean them the minute I get home!
You’ll what?
Oh, remove the husks now. For better flavor later!
Don’t do that! We never take off the husks until just before cooking. You’re reducing the shelf life!
But the other day, the farmer said...
All we’re saying is that our corn keeps better if you store it with husks. Unless you’re freezing it?
Oh dear.
Who is right on this?

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Market's done, one more stop at the grocery store and now Rosie and I are home. Her crate is brimming with foods, and my backpack is full and I have, too, a bag between my legs.

At the farmhouse, Ed comes out to greet me.
I’m going to freeze some corn today...
On the cob, right?
No no, I’ll take it off and bag the kernels.
Why would you do that?
For soups, for winter...
Keep it on the cob! Don’t make work for yourself!
Oh dear. Another set of opinions.

I turn away from the corn for now. We have other items on the to do list. Off we go on Ed's motorbike, to pick up paint at Home Depot. Lemon yellow (with the lovely name of Caribbean Sunrise) for the exterior of the farmhouse. Sort of the color of young corn...

At home I de-husk and freeze. Some on, some off the cob. When you don't know what you're doing, do a little of both.

Outside, Ed gets ready to roll on the Caribbean Sunrise.