Storing the Surplus


As I mentioned yesterday, I picked corn.  I ended up with about 18 cobs and after The Duke had 2 for his lunch I was still left with a lot of corn to keep for another day.  After doing a bit of research, I decided to blanch it, strip the kernels and freeze them.

Here is what I did.

Blanching corn
Cooked 3 – 4 cobs at a time for 6 minutes in boiling water.  It needs to be a large enough volume so that the water returns to a rolling boil within 1 – 2 minutes of adding the corn.

Corn in iced water
Remove the corn from the water using a slotted spoon and drop immediately into iced water for 6 minutes.

Bundt tin to support corn
Strip the kernels from the cob using a sharp knife.  In the instructions I found on the internet someone suggested using a bundt tin to support the narrow end of the cob while cutting the kernels off.  I happened to have one of these so tried out.  I was very pleased with the ease of removing the kernels and the tin was perfect to catch them in.

Kernels and empty cobs
I gently stirred the mixture to separate the kernels and spread them on 2 trays, covered them and placed them in the freezer overnight.  I weighed the kernels before I froze them and my efforts yielded 1.7kg.

Trays of corn kernels
This morning I removed the frozen kernels and packed them into 2 containers.  This way the kernels are individually frozen and I can remove as much or as little as I need at a time.

Corn ready to storeDespite my despair of a few weeks ago, the corn has been a real success and there are more cobs which will probably be ready next week.

Fabulous February

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Today is the first day of the month.  The weather has been a bit cooler the past week and my mind starts to turn to gardening as our prime gardening season beckons in the next month or so.

Despite the fact that it is supposedly too hot to grow much over the summer there always seems to be something to harvest in the garden and today was no exception.


This is the reward today for what has been a summer of neglect in many ways.  Avocadoes, purple beans, corn, figs, blueberries, cherry tomatoes, lemon and eggs.

This is the first of the corn.  It is not bad considering that the seeds were expired by about 3 years, they got no supplementary watering, were almost dug up by the chickens, flattened by the wind about 3 weeks ago and generally neglected.

The Duke cooked 2 cobs for his lunch and declared that it was the best corn we have ever grown.

Tonight I am going to blanch the rest, strip the kernels and freeze them for use during the year.  I do not particularly like corn on the cob but we do add it to dishes such as tuna mornay and it will be great to use our own organically grown corn instead of imported, canned corn kernels.  I will also be drying more of the figs.  I did some last week as well.

I have never blanched and frozen corn before so I will make sure I take some photos and will tell you all about that in another post.

Storing the Surplus

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We have a fig tree that we planted about 5 or 6 years ago and for about the last 4 years we have been able to pick enough figs to enjoy a good feed during the relatively short season.  Invariably, the birds get some and some go rotten, particularly the last couple of years when we have had a lot of summer rain.  This season has been mostly warmer than usual and fairly dry.

I have been picking and eating figs when I am in the garden for the past few weeks so yesterday I started picking some and realised that there was an enormous number ready to pick.  Here is the result.  Yes, that is my hat that I collected some in.

2013-02-03 01I ended up with 5 kg of figs so it made sense to preserve some for later use.  I love fig jam but we don’t really eat much jam so thought I would trying drying them in the dehydrator.

2013-02-03 02I filled the 4 trays with cut figs.

24 hours later I have semi-dried figs.

2013-02-3 03I am going to store them in the refrigerator as there is still some moisture in them.  Meanwhile we still have plenty of fresh figs to eat at the moment.