It may have been a great year, weather-wise, for apples and pears, but it's not been good for corn on the cob.
Last year we had a fantastic harvest of well matured cobs. There are still bags of cobs in the freezer.
I've been trying his year's corn cobs every few days for the last few weeks. They've been OK, but not quite right. Yesterday's was showing signs of being overripe, so today DH picked everything.
I stripped the husks and then looked at each cob. Some went in the bowl for washing, some were trimmed before going in the bowl, and some went into the trimmings bucket without further ado. The trimmings bucket was for the chooks.
There were a lot of cobs - as you can see from the pile of husks and stalks (with a decent sized cob in front, to give you an idea of scale).
However, many of the cobs were badly filled, or were too small, or too uneven, to bother freezing whole.
After I'd washed the cobs which has passed the initial inspection, I grouped them by size. I then blanched each batch, with similar sized cobs together. As soon as the time was up, I hoiked them out of the saucepan, drained them, and dropped then into some waiting iced water
The next batch was put in to blanch while the previous batch was cooling. Then the cooled cobs were dried and put into the freezer.
When all the cobs were done, I went through those that didn't make the grade. I could see that a number of them had a few kernels which would be OK, and I knew that I could blanch the cob, then cut the kernels off and either freeze or dry them. It wasn't worth it though. I had plenty of cobs, more than enough to last me a year.
So, it was going to be bonanza time for the chooks. It seemed a shame that they would have a few days of corn gluttony and then nothing.
I recalled seeing some dried corn cobs in a petshop recently, and I wondered if I could dry the less-than-perfect cobs. My dehydrator book had instructions for drying kernels, but not for drying whole cobs. Quite unerstandable as, from a human perspective, whole dried cobs are pretty useless. Still, that didn't mean it couldn't be done. So I thought I'd have a go.
I picked out the best of the rejects and blanched them (the book was clear that sweetcorn MUST be pretreated before drying), cooled them in iced water. I got the dehydrator warmed up, and looked at the cobs. In the end, I decided to slice them in half down their length, before putting them in the dryer. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
I've no idea if it will work, but it's worth trying just so as I know for next year.
I'll let you know the outcome...