Thursday, September 15, 2011

Corn Canning

There were 88 ears of corn in this round of canning. First they all had to be shucked. The truck works as the perfect shucking stand with the tailgate open, I can sit at the back of the truck, shuck and throw the silks and shuckings out to the sheep and chickens.

Once the corn is rinsed and clean, it is ready to be cut off the cob. I have the best help around! Tim is always willing to pitch in a hand to keep the process going from picking the harvest to cutting and chopping to watching the kettle of boiling water! The corn is cut off the cob and the left over cobs are also given to the hens and sheep.

Next the loose corn is packed into sterile jars. It must be packed loosely as the corn expands while canning and if it too tight, produces a bad odor when opening the jar. That would spoil any appetite for corn, so be sure to pack lightly!

After the jars are filled with corn, add 1/2 t. salt per pint. Then pour boiling water over the corn and into the jars. Wipe the jar rims clean and set lids and rings on and tighten. Don't over tighten. This is call cold pack or raw pack because the corn was not blanched first.

Here are the jars after the 55 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure in the pressure canner. Corn must be canned in a pressure canner. Pressure canners must be watched carefully. This means no texting, no telephone, no computer, no gardening, it just means rest peacefully and watch the gauge! It slips over 10 pounds of pressure in an instant and can head into the red zone very quickly, so just pay attention. It is more fun to do it with a partner!

Here the sheep enjoy the shucking fun. The front pasture has a fair amount of volunteer plants like squash and pumpkin because there are the vegetables that were thrown out to pasture last year.

There was a little extra corn left over, so I decided to make a corn chowder of sorts. Realizing that it must have potatoes in it to be called a chowder, I added rice instead. It was left over rice and it made a quick, easy meal.

Garlic and onion were chopped and softened in butter in the soup pot. Then a red pepper was chopped and added along with a perfect sized zucchini from the garden, after that, the sweetest corn that had been cut off the cob went into the pot. Next went in the bacon that was left over from the morning meal and the left over jasmine rice and some chopped cilantro.

Finally, milk was poured into the pot with a bit of water to make a thick, creamy soup. It didn't take more than 20 minutes to make and you could really use any leftovers from the garden or the fridge you like!

We ate our mostly homegrown meal while watching the pressure canner preserve quart sized jars of corn. This takes 85 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure, so it was nice to enjoy a leisurely bowl of soup with the best soulmate ever!

1 comment:

  1. If only corn would grow in my garden. It looks delicious and your sheep are loving it.