Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How To Dry Corn

Farmer John (that's really what he goes by), was selling the last of his corn crop from the bed of his pickup last week. I had to stop.

Corn, as any historian, commodity trader, or foodie can tell you, is... necessary. Experts speculate over 4,000 products in our grocery stores have corn or corn products as an ingredient. And the more corn we relegate to ethanol production, the more scarce and expensive corn is getting.

The Story of Corn is getting wild. Which is one reason why I shook Farmer John's hand and gave him a heartfelt thank you.

Yes, the price was too good to pass up. But what is a girl to do with 10 pounds of fresh, kernel corn? (I already have some canned. I already have a bit more stored.) Well, I'll tell you: channel my inner Pilgrim and Indian and dry it.

Here's how:

Set a large pot of water on to boil. Wash your kernels to remove any silk and sediment - especially if the corn's straight out of the garden. Once the water is boiling, blanch the corn (let it hang out in the boiling water) for about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain. (For me, that meant dumping it all out on a bit of cheesecloth, gathering up the corners, and letting it drip out over the sink. Of course, I dumped a bunch in the sink. A colander would be helpful here.)

Spread your blanched corn on parchment lined cookie sheets and pop it in the oven at 200 degrees F for roughly two hours. Maybe more, maybe less. In truth, mine took about 4 hours and I had to stick a wooden spoon in the oven door to prop it open and vent the steam. But it was a chokingly humid day. This is Texas.

Remove corn from oven once it's shrunken and leathery-crisp. It will have reduced dramatically in size as the moisture evaporates. Let cool and store in sterilized, airtight jars or plastic bags. (I vacuumed sealed most of mine.) Stored in an airtight, moisture-free, dark environment, this should keep at least five years.

To use, rehydrate one cup of kernels in two cups boiling water. Use in casseroles, soups, and side dishes. Make Cheddar Corn Chowder. Grind to cornmeal and make cornbread, stuffing, or polenta. Yum.

Wishing you and yours a bountiful, meaningful Thanksgiving. -Brin

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
-Psalms 100:4-5


Unknown said...

Wow, yummy! :) I can't wait to have my own home again so I can garden and can and do all this awesome, useful stuff! :)

Unknown said...

Happy Thanksgiving Brin, bright blessings are wished for you! :)

Michelle said...

This is wonderful! I've never dried corn before. Hope you're doing well, Brin!

Kristie @ Comfy Cozy said...

Dried corn...Yum!! Around here (South/West PA) we make stewed dried corn every Thanskgiving. There is a brand called Copes that's really good. I should probably dry it myself though.

MEME said...


Elenka said...

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving, Brin and Millie!

Amy said...

I didn't know you could do this! I'll have to try it next time I can get a good deal on corn!

Amanda said...

Um, WOW! That is soo cool I am so trying it!


ParkerMama said...

I've been doing this in my dehydrator. You can use the on 'super sale for the holidays' corn as well. AND it grinds into corn meal! woot!

Tammy and Parker