Many people have asked for Grandma's Famous Recipe for Freezing Corn so until I get a "Recipe" page done on the website, here it is... (it is also printed on the back of our business cards, ask for one at the stand)
4 qts corn (cut off raw)
1 cup sugar (optional but suggested)
4 heaping Tsp salt
1 qt water
Cut off corn and scrape cob. Cook corn for 10 minutes after bringing to a boil. Cool the mixture (do not drain off liquid) and scoop into freezer bags and freeze. To eat, simply heat and add butter.
Don't try to cut too closely to the cob. Do the best you can, then turn the knife sideways and then scrape the remaining corn off.
Set your pan in ice water to cool before bagging. You can even freeze milk jugs of water beforehand to help cool your batches. DON'T PUT HOT BAGS OF CORN INTO FREEZER. Trust me on this...they will balloon up and maybe pop.
Lay your bags onto cookie sheets to freeze flat. They store nicely instead of frozen globs.
If you are doing a large volume, I have used metal grates from old refrigerators, box fans, etc to lay them on, spaced with wooden blocks. This way no bags are laying on top of one another and they freeze quickly with air circulation around them. Stacking a bunch of bags on top of one another creates the same problem as mentioned above, where the bags in the center don't get cold enough quickly enough and gas builds up in the bags.
I have heard of folks using electric knives and bundt cake pans to make things easier. We still just use a shallow cookie pan and a knife.
Well the first day of 2014 is in the books. As with every season, the first day is always a little disorganized. This is the time where I remember all the things that I forgot to do, fix or add from last year, as if I was taken by surprise that today we would be picking and selling corn. This was one of the better first days, though, as we normally are late to our stands. I am usually running around trying to gather up all of the "stuff" we need at the stand to sell, invariably hunting where I stashed stuff and trying to remember what I am forgetting We even had change for the change boxes and sacks...you know, the essential items you would think were ready to go.
The other thing about first days is just getting into the routine. I liken it to getting into a cold swimming pool, once you're in, its ok and you get used to it. This is the first of 70-80 days where life begins before sunrise and wholly revolves around nothing but corn which takes some getting used to. Believe it or not, not all farmers are the up-before-sunrise kind, myself included. While I do love the early mornings, you won't find me waking in the 4am range unless it is corn season (and I'm the happiest morning person in the family).
The most enjoyable part of the first day is people's unbridled enthusiasm and anticipation for sweet corn and tomatoes. Its a lot of fun to see and a reward for the effort we have put into our produce. It makes you feel as if you are doing exactly what you should be doing.
I know everyone is anticipating the beginning of corn based on the number of calls I have been getting. It is looking like it should be sometime next week but still too young to make a guess. We have had a nice amount of rain and heat to push it along.
On a side note...I am trying to get caught up being in contact with everyone about our start-date and other information regarding our 2014 plans. We left home Sunday June 22nd for the Vermilion Co. fair. We stayed at the campground and had various livestock shows and other 4-H and fair related events that our family was either in charge of, competed in, or both. Besides that the Rossville Fire Dept. had a house we burned as training on Saturday. We got home this past Sunday and then had the funeral for Betty Brown, my grandmother. Needless to say, there were very few times I was able to talk on the phone or be at a computer. Those of you trying to call me, I apologize that I have been unable to speak to you or return your calls. Today is the first day I have been on the computer since June 21st and I have quite a pile to plow through.
Regarding our plans for 2014, things are still a little up in the air. In Danville, the old Gutterridge building was bought by Family Dollar. I am still unsure if I will be able to use their parking lot. If not I will be somewhere close. In Rantoul, we are pretty sure we will be moving back to our old location across from the High School on 136, but again, we have some things to nail down before we are certain.
One other thing I would like to mention, I now have a twitter account which I can update from my phone. If you are on twitter, following @lingleybros hopefully will keep you in the know when stands are sold out, etc. I envision it as being a way to make up-to-the-minute updates to those of you who would appreciate them.
We are home, back in "production" mode and ready to get rolling!