When Life Brings You Corn
I found myself in possession of a fair amount of corn, 15 ears to be exact. I thought this would be a perfect time to freeze some corn on the cob or to save space, cut the kernels off and freeze some cut corn. Sadly, this corn was past its tender prime. It still tasted good, but it was starting to get tough and if it wasn’t used quickly it would spoil altogether. Upon further inspection, one ear was already too far gone to use and two others would be gone in a day. I decided to make some Creamed Corn with it – immediately before I lost any more. Of course, this is a fiber arts site, not a cooking site. However, there’s a lot of people my age that doesn’t possess basic kitchen skills. Cooking has become a craft and to that end, I decided to make use of my space.
A lot of people don’t know how to make cream corn. Their only experience is the canned cream corn made with bits and pieces of corn, water, sugar, and cornstarch. Homemade cream corn is nothing like this, and can’t really be canned, but it can be frozen. I like to start with a dozen ears of corn (I used 14), one stick of butter, milk, and some salt and pepper – That’s all. Shuck the corn and cut the kernels from the cob using a sharp heavy knife or a corn cutter. I cut so I get about one-half to two-thirds of the kernel. Then I scrape the cob with the back of the knife or push it across the cutter again to remove the remainder of the kernel and liquid. It’s a messy job and I use a large bowl and some newspaper. You’ll be surprised how much corn and liquid this produces. I have used a cookie sheet when I used a knife before.
In a large frying pan (14 inches or better) or a Dutch oven melt one stick of butter over medium heat. Add the corn and liquid to the butter. Cook the corn in the butter stirring frequently. The corn will release more liquid after a few minutes of cooking. If you accidentally brown some of the corn it will add a nutty flavor, but try not to brown the corn. When the corn has cooked a good 8 to 10 minutes start adding milk (just less than a cup). Continue to cook the corn and turn it down if it’s cooking too fast. Occasionally taste the corn and once the kernels are cooked add some salt and pepper to taste. Salt can toughen corn, so it shouldn’t be added until it’s cooked and go light on the pepper. Continue to cook and add milk slowly in small amounts. The corn will thicken the milk, but only so much. We want the creamed corn to be cooked through, creamy, and a little loose but not runny.
When the corn is creamy and doesn’t continue to absorb the additional milk, it’s done. Serve as is, or place in containers, cool, cover, and freeze. When serving later you may need to add more milk or water if it has become too thick. It should be thick and creamy, a little sweet with a hint of salt and taste like fresh corn. I get four to five meals with generous portions for two people from 12 ears. You’ll only use canned cream corn in recipes after making it fresh.
12 Ears of Corn – Shucked, kernels cut, and the cob scraped
1 Stick Butter
Milk or combination of Milk and Water
Salt and Pepper (light on the pepper)
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