"What's in Season" article from the third week in August:
Hopefully you have gotten a chance to attend the 165th Muskingum County Fair this week. If not, you still have time. This means that on Saturday we will once again be holding Farmers’ Market downtown on Third Street. We had many customers tell us they drove to the fairgrounds last weekend before they remembered we were not there, so be sure to remind your friends.
On Monday night my mom, my friend Becky, and I participated in the potato peeling contest at the fair. I thought mom stood a good chance at winning; after all, she had to help peel potatoes for a family of twelve growing up. Her bucket was pretty full when time was up, but surprisingly, she did not place. Becky and I weren’t even close. Tuesday night here at home we had a little contest of our own. If you have been reading the column all season you will remember that I challenged my cousin’s wife, Kelley, to a corn husking contest. Kelley is my cohort when it comes to canning and freezing. It is so much quicker and more fun to have a good friend help you do these tasks.
We competed to see who could husk the most ears of corn in sixty seconds. Amazingly, we had to declare a tie. We ended up with the same amount of cobs, twice. We even inspected the cobs to see who got their ears cleaner and they were the same. We each did five ears. My dad got in on the first round and he lost and gave up. He claims we gave him “junky” ears though.
We put up 10 dozen ears of corn in about an hour and a half. We have a pretty good system to get it done that quickly. Here is how we do it: Husk the corn and put it in a large kettle of boiling water for five minutes. Remove it from the boiling water and dunk it in ice water to stop the cooking. This process is called blanching. To remove the corn from the cob we slice it off with an electric knife. This is a real time saver. Once the corn is cut off the cob put it into quart freezer bags. We put 4 cups into each bag and yielded 18 bags from our 10 dozen ears. Be sure to label all the bags with the date so when they get buried in the bottom of the freezer you will know how old it is.
There is still plenty of sweet corn for sale at Farmers’ Market and I’m sure you can find a farmer who will sell you a large quantity to put up in the freezer as we did. Here’s a good side dish you can make with your fresh corn (or use your frozen corn to make it this winter.) This is from my friend Dr. Maggie Somple.
· ¼ cup sugar
· 3 tablespoons flour
· 2 tsp. baking powder
· 1 ½ tsp. salt
· 6 large eggs
· 2 cups whipping cream
· ½ cup butter, melted
· 6 cups fresh corn kernels (about 12 ears)
Combine first 4 ingredients. Whisk together eggs, whipped cream, and butter. Gradually add sugar mixture. Whisk until smooth; stir in corn. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 13”x9” baking pan. Bake at 350º for 45 min. or until golden brown. Let stand 5 min.
Becky and I in the pizza eating contest at the fair.
Mom, Becky, and I in the potato peeling contest.
Mom weighing in.
Becky and I are next--none of us placed. Of the three of us, mom had the most, then me, then Becky.
Janelle double fisting the corndogs at the fair. That has nothing to do with the article, but I had to put this in to tease her!
These pictures are of some of my prize winning flower arrangements at the fair. All the flowers are from my garden. Apparently, I forgot to take pictures of my prize winning vegetables.
Red and green glads and red, yellow, and green zinnias in Grandma Julia's coffee pot.
Red zinnias in the shape of 165 to celebrate the "165th Muskingum Co. Fair"
Pastel arrangement--a bit of everything--zinnias, glads, spider flowers, love-in-a-mist, cosmos . . .
This one got "Best of Show." The theme was "harvest" and I had to use fresh vegetables in it.
Here's a better picture I took if it at home. It had eggplant, bell peppers, cayenne peppers, zinnias, dill, purple basil, sage, and more!
Kelley shucking corn.
Kelley and I blanching corn. Two pots of boiling water on the stove and a large bucket of ice water to cool them.
Dad chilling the wine in the corn bucket! (Of course, this event required a bottle of wine--Kelley and I drank the whole thing.)
Cutting the kernels off the cob with electric knives.
Kernels that we cut off the cob. Once the bowls were full we filled up our freezer bags.