Saturday, July 12, 2014

Corn Cob Syrup

After I cut off and canned my corn, I made corn cob syrup from the cobs...

I put all the cobs in my bid stockpot and covered them with water... brought the water to a boil, lowered the heat and simmered them, covered, for two hours.

I then drained the liquid into another pot and discarded the cobs.

 I then added sugar to the "corn juice," adding one part sugar to two parts liquid... for example, I ended up with 13 cups of juice, so I added 6 and a half cups of sugar... white or brown sugar may be used... I used half white and half brown sugar... more brown sugar will result in a darker "corn syrup" and all white sugar will make a light, almost clear syrup.

I stirred in the sugar(s), brought the mixture to a boil, and boiled gently until the mixture reduced and thickened to a syrup consistency.

Meanwhile, I washed, sterilized, and heated my jars and lids (I used half pint jars).

Once my syrup had reached the thickness I wanted, I added a little vanilla extract (optional) and filled my jars, leaving a half inch headspace.

I wiped the jar rims with a damp cloth and tightened on my lids to fingertip tightness.

I processed my jars in a boiling water bath (covering the jars with water) for 10 minutes.

After processing, I removed the jars of syrup using my jar lifter and set them on a folded dish towel on the counter to cool and to listen for the PING of each successfully sealed jar.

The syrup will be yummy on pancakes or waffles... and I'm sure there are other uses I haven't come up with yet!

Mr. G said, "Baby, you used that corn from the Rooter to the Tooter!"

I even saved the silks for a medicinal tincture! But that's another story for another day!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Canning Corn

Honestly, I don't usually can corn... it freezes so nicely and is much less work to freeze than it is to can... but alas, I have no more freezer space and a bushel of beautiful sweet "peaches and cream" corn... so I canned it.

I'm also really really lousy at cutting corn off the cob... Mr. G bought me this handy dandy corn cutter made by OXO that helped TREMENDOUSLY! But I'm still pretty lousy at it.

To make cream corn, you take a knife and barely cut the tops off the corn kernels, then you take the knife edge and scrape all the goodness (milk)... I remember my Nanny Sensing (my Mom's mom) making cream corn by the bushel when I was a kid... she would have corn all over the counter, the wall behind the counter, down her apron, and even on her glasses as she worked.

To make whole kernel corn, you cut the... you guessed it... whole kernel! off the cob.

I think I do something in between when I cut off corn... I cut MOST of the kernel off... and then I can't stand leaving anything behind, so I scrape the cob with a knife edge and get the rest... It's the best I can do... and I like corn that way, so we're all happy!

HOWEVER you take your corn off the cob, canning it is the same way.

I cold packed my corn... which means I cut it off the cob and then put it in the jars without heating it up or anything.

Before I was ready to pack my corn, I got my jars and lids nice and hot by putting them in boiling water on the stove for 10 minutes or so.

I've heard horror stories about canning corn... overcooking, even burning those golden kernels... I learned that the trick is NOT to pack the corn in the jars too tight, allowing room for plenty of water.

I canned my corn in pints... I packed, VERY LOOSELY, my raw corn into my hot, sterilized jars. Don't press it down, shake it down, NUTHIN'! Just loosely ladle it into the jar.

Then poured in boiling water to fill the jar, leaving a half-inch headspace. I added a half teaspoon of canning salt (this step is, of course, optional).

I wiped the jar rim with a damp cloth.

Then a tightened my hot lids on to fingertip tightness.

I processed my pints of corn in my pressure canner at 10 lbs. pressure for 55 minutes. (Corn is a low-acid food and MUST be pressure canned, no way 'round it, corn spoils way to easily to take any chances)

After the corn processed and the canner cooled down and the pressure in my canner dropped naturally and on its own to zero, I removed the jars using my jar lifter and set them on a folded dish towel on the counter to cool... and to listen for the PING of each successfully sealed jar.


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