Sunday, July 1, 2012

Freezing Sweet Corn/Roasted Sweet Corn

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When I was a little kid, my Daddy would put in a huge garden every spring. He had an old Farmall tractor he hand cranked to get the engine started (once the crank flew off and plastering his nose flat on his face). We had to make a quick trip to the doctor's office to set his nose.

My Daddy, me, Uncle Jay and the Farmall ~ 1958


I remember how exciting it was, as a 6 year old, moving to our farm, complete with a huge red barn and delapidated tool shed. The acreage had a woods for picking buckets full of wildflowers each spring, wild black raspberries and there was a pond for catching pollywogs and becoming a real "country girl"!

I loved riding on the tractor with Dad while he plowed up the earth to prepare it for our garden. He purchased an old corn planter at a local farm auction, brought it home, cleaned it up, and loaded the hopper with early Golden Bantam and Silver Queen corn kernels. Each row measured an ample 70 to 80 feet and was marked with string tied to wooden stakes, one at each end of the row. Dad moved slowly down the long rows setting the base of the corn planter firmly into the earth and then tipping the handle forward to let one kernel at a time find its way into the warm soil.

1800's Sheffield Corn Planter, just like Dad's! I love the worn wooden handle on this planter! Just imagine the many calloused hands of generations of serious gardeners planting their long rows of corn and beans! This planter was probably passed down to the next generation and the generation after that, until it found itself at a farm auction and was purchased by my Daddy, who passed it on to his son! My brother, Joel planted his large garden this spring using the "old" but still very useful and time-saving, Sheffield Corn Planter.

Thankfully, here in Arizona, we are able to grow some type of vegetable all year round! Although my raised garden beds are considerably smaller than the huge garden Daddy prepared and planted, we can enjoy fresh produce staggered throughout the seasons and don't have to preserve as much food as areas with only one growing season.

Corn takes up a lot of room in a raised-bed garden, and during the week of 4th of July our local grocer, Albertson's, is selling beautiful, fresh, ears of sugar and cream sweet corn 10 ears for $1.00. While you may only purchase 10 ears per receipt, the cashiers don't mind if you go through the checkout more than once.

Between Will and I, we purchased 40 ears of sweet corn this weekend for a total of $4.00. Those 40 ears equaled 15 lbs. of deliciously sweet frozen corn kernels. There is such a difference between store-bought frozen corn and "corn off the cob" you do yourself! Hand-shucked, "corn off the cob" has the flavor and texture of just picked, "corn on the cob"! This is fantastic way and opportunity for you to get great taste and value! The cheapest you will find a 1 lb. bag of frozen, store-bought, corn is $1.29, but it's more likely you'll pay $1.69 for a 1 lb. bag. So, 15 lbs. will cost you anywhere from $19.35 to $25.35 and it won't have half the flavor or nutrition of this "do it yourself" frozen corn!


  1. Peel off corn husks, pick off corn silk, and trim the green end to 1 1/2 inches.
  2. Carefully lower corn into boiling water with tongs.
  3. When water returns to a boil, set timer for 3 1/2 minutes (this process is called blanching and it stops the enzymes present to prevent spoiling).
  4. Place blanched corn in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process.
  5. Cut kernels off the cob using a sharp paring knife. I stuck the narrow end of the corn in the bundt pan hole, Will put the cut green end (handle) in the hole. Both ways worked fine!
  6. Label and date freezer bags before adding corn.
  7. Fold bag over a container to keep the ziplock portion clear of food.
  8. Optional ~ Weigh your produce to have a consistent amount in each bag.
  9. Zip lock bag leaving one corner of bag open about an 1 1/2 inches. Roll bag up beginning with the end furthest from the zip lock seal, to remove excess oxygen . . . complete seal on unsealed corner.
  10. Stack bags on a sheet pan so they will freeze flat for easy storage (no more than 3 lbs on a sheet for a quick flash freeze).
Blanching corn ~ steps 2, and 3.
Ice water bath ~ step 4.


Removing kernels ~ step 5.


Step 6. label and date freezer bags. Filling bags ~ step 7.


Weighing bags to ensure each bag contains the desired amount ~ step 8.


Lay out filled freezer bags on sheet pan to prepare for freezer ~ step 10.


  • Follow step 1 for Freezing Sweet Corn to prepare your corn for the grill (omitting steps 2, 3 and 4).
  • Prepare handful of mesquite chips by placing in a foil pouch and piercing with a few small holes.
  • Place mesquite chips on the grill bars and preheat grill on HIGH for 10 minutes.
  • Clean grill grating with wire grill brush before adding corn (I also wiped the grating clean with a clean damp rag to remove any small charred food particles).
  • Lightly oil your sweet corn.
  • Bring timer and tongs outside with you. Add corn; set timer for 8 minutes, cooking on high, with lid closed. Rotate corn every minute or so to evenly cook and char the kernels (you will hear some of the kernels pop).
  • Return to instructions for Freezing Sweet Corn beginning with 5.
Lightly brushing on light olive oil.


Roasting on the grill.


8 minutes later . . . Perfectly Roasted Sweet Corn!

We made this a family affair and worked on this DIY project together. Will had the Dutch oven full of water, boiling away on the stove, to blanch the ears of corn, and my old bundt pan was used to cut the kernels off the cobs and also catch them as they fell. We shucked the corn, cleaned off the silk and trimmed the handle, and in between, I tried my hand at roasting some ears on the grill. They came out quite nicely and I'll be picking up more on Tuesday to do another batch of roasted corn for the freezer while it's still on sale.

So far we have 22 11-ounce bags of corn in the freezer! Not bad! The labor was free . . . the corn delicious and cheap and we had fun to boot . . . Over at Julie's!!!

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