I currently live in Charlotte, NC and after spending 7 years as a personal chef and caterer, I am now happy to share my love of cooking with friends and family. My heart is in the kitchen, but my soul is in the stars!

Returning to Normal

No matter how old you get, there are times when only your Momma can make you feel better.

When you're down with a bad cold, only Momma can make chicken soup just the way you like it.

A scraped knee?  Momma will make the boo-boo all better with nothing but a kiss and a Snoopy band-aid.

When your first (second, third or twentieth) true love breaks your heart, Momma is there to help you pull yourself up by the bootstraps and make you feel loved again.

And so it is that after I've been in a blogging/cooking rut for almost a year, only Momma could get me started again.

This time last year Boy Toy and I were getting ready for vacation in Mexico and the folks were on safari in Africa.  It was the last week of "normal" as we would know it until very recently. After months, days and weeks of watching my mother struggle to get her strength back, I was very pleasantly surprised when she showed up and dropped five dozen ears of corn at my doorstep.  Things were definitely getting back to normal.

My hometown in Tennessee has long been known for fruit and produce grown by the Scott family - namely strawberries, tomatoes, and corn.  There is a world of difference between real farm-grown food and the mass-produced food in the grocery store but most people never have the chance to experience the difference. Nor have they experienced the satisfaction of "putting up" food to be enjoyed long after it's out of season.

As a child, I can vaguely remember most all of my family members sitting on the porch at some point in time stringing and snapping beans from the garden or "working" tomatoes into pints and quarts.  It was a family affair - a time to be together, talk, laugh and tell stories.  It was a joint effort to do the work and a joint effort to enjoy the bounty for the rest of the year.  It was a way of life.  Sadly, the art of canning and preserving food has been lost on alot of today's population.  Invite a bunch of friends over for a bean stringing party or a corn shucking soiree and see how many show up!  I'm still a farm girl at heart because, even after years of being removed from it,  I still love the satisfaction of "working" real food. 

The folks and I spent Friday evening shucking and plucking 60 ears of corn (some of us even clowned around) from Scott's farm and planned to prepare it on Saturday for the freezer.  Once you get past all the shucking, it's really a pretty easy thing to do.  

Once the corn is clean of all the silks and the ends are trimmed, fill the largest pot you have with water (about halfway) and bring it to a slow simmer.  Add the corn in batches and give the water a few minutes to return to a simmer.  Cook the corn for about 4 minutes, making sure to push the corn down to the bottom a few times because it floats to the top. 

Remove the corn from the pot and put it into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.  Once the corn is cool, use a sharp knife and cut the kernels from the cob.  Bag the corn in freezer bags - it works best if you make the filled bags lay flat so you can stack them in the freezer and take up less room.  We bagged the corn in both pint and quart bags and got 10 pints for me and 9 quarts for Mom. 

When you're ready to use the corn, defrost it and cook however you please.  I like to saute it with a combination of olive oil and butter along with fresh garlic, diced red or green bell peppers.  Add fresh herbs like parsley, thyme or basil at the end of cooking and season with salt & pepper. 

With a little bit of time and effort this summer, you can enjoy fresh corn all year long!

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