Sweet Corn Life

(This is an old post but it’s coming out of retirement for the season!)

Summer in Iowa is otherwise known as ‘sweet corn’ season.  Who doesn’t like fresh – like, pulled right off the stalk fresh – sweet corn?  I swear the flavor is even better when you’ve grown it yourself.  This year was a bit rough with the long drought and crazy high heat, but JJ figured out a way to irrigate the sweet corn using old sprinkler heads from a golf course, PVC and a water tanker truck (a labor of love, let me tell you). We like to preserve as much of ours as possible so, annually, we pick a date tell our friends to come with armed with Ziplock bags, knives and beer and we all settle in for a long afternoon of fun work.  

Last night, after hours of shucking, boiling, cutting and bagging, we called it quits with around 250 quarts of sweet corn tucked into our deep freeze.  I snapped a few pictures along the way, documenting the simple, yet time consuming task that is Sweet Corn Storage.

We started with a couple Polaris loads of sweet corn, brought in directly from the field.

 And, of course, it all requires shucking.  Lots and lots of shucking.


Once the corn is clean, it gets tossed into boiling water for 2-3 minutes.  You only want to blanche the corn, not completely cook it.

 As soon as the corn is done cooking, it is removed to a bin of cold water.  This is done for 2 reasons: to stop the cooking process immediately and to cool down the corn quickly so it can move on the being handled by the cutters.

 Evan took it upon himself to serve as official ‘cool water tub monitor.’  He’s a very hard worker.

 Once cooled, the corn gets cut off the cob.  This can be done many ways.  With knives or slicers…

 …or with special ‘corn peelers’ like these.  I found these two at Bed Bath and Beyond.  For the record, the one on the left didn’t work well at all while the one on the right (resembles a carrot peeler) was worth it’s weight in gold!  That little guy sliced the kernels off perfectly.

 Next step is to bag it up.  The best bags to do this are Ziplock (don’t use the store brand…they don’t hold up as long) double zipper freezer bags.  Write the year on the bag (if you are someone who tends to get a lot of corn in saved up) and squeeze as much air out as possible before sealing the bag.

 All that’s left is to freeze it!

The key to getting things done efficiently with all this sweet corn is to have a good assembly line and lots of helping hands who don’t mind getting down and dirty (or sticky, I should say).

The best part of all this hard work is eating as much sweet corn as your heart desires!

It was a really fun afternoon and evening spent with friends.  We topped it off with burgers, Butter Bomb Potatoes (recipe to come soon) and cherry pie around the fire pit in the cool (yes cool!!) evening air.  Who could ask for anything more?? 🙂


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