Friday, August 20, 2010

On the Cob and With Skins On

Like a true country gal, I like to eat fresh produce from my garden (or other people's gardens) and I like to enjoy that fresh flavor throughout the year, which is why I tend to freeze a lot of summer's finest fruits and veggies.  I prefer to freeze things over canning because I am a busy mom with a job, so freezing just seems so much easier and less time consuming to me.

One of my favorite things to take into the winter with me is corn on the cob--so I freeze it.  You wouldn't believe the amount of people who ask me, "you mean, on the cob?"  Yes, I mean on the cob.  I thought this was normal practice, but I guess a lot of people cut their corn off the cob before freezing it.  That just seems like an extra step to me, plus it is not nearly as fun to eat!  Here's how you do it:

You'll want to select corn that is tender and is fresh from the farm.  If you purchase it from the farmer's market, you should be good to go.  Of course you will want to shuck it (that means take the corn husk off, for you laymen) and wash it.  You are then going to use a process called blanching. 

Fill a large pot with water and heat it to boiling.  That's when you'll drop the cobs in the water and boil them for about 4 minutes.  In that time, I fill my sink with cold water and add some ice cubes.  When the corn is done boiling, dunk the cobs in the ice water.  You'll want to use tongs, obviously, because the corn will be hot.  Let the corn sit in the ice water for about another 4 minutes and remove it.  When the corn is completely cooled, you can place the cobs in large freezer bags, label them, and stick them in the freezer.  I do not add sugar or salt.  They should last about four months. 

When it is time to eat my frozen corn, I simply boil it again and eat it. 

I also like to freeze fresh tomatoes.  I hate to see the yield go to waste before we can eat them and frozen tomatoes are wonderful for soups and chili in winter months.  This is usually when I am asked if I take the skins off.  Nope.  Again, why would I want to create more work for myself?  I don't even boil them.  I simply wash them, dice them, bag them and throw them in the freezer--skins and all!

Sometimes I'll use all those tomatoes to make salsa and freeze that too.  Or, spaghetti sauce.  I also freeze blueberries, (I don't do anything to those either) jalapenos, sweet peppers, and green beans (those you'll need to blanch).    This time of year is the perfect time to stock up and fill the freezer.  Happy freezing!

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