The best thing about mid-August in New England is corn season. It comes quicker down in the valley but up here in the hills, we have to wait for our pleasures. We sometimes eat corn and tomatoes every night for a week but eventually we have to admit that we are never going to eat all that corn fresh and it’s time to start putting it up. I could can it and I may still do at least one load that way but I do love to have corn in the freezer too. We have a pretty simple method for going about it.

Bruce put his engineering mind to work and built me a corn holder. The holder consists of a screw and a block of wood, 8 inches by two inches. The block sits on a baking pan. I picked the corn while Bruce built the holder and we all worked to get the corn shucked. We shuck the husks right into Phoebe’s wagon. I use my water bath canner in my canning kitchen for blanching the corn. The ears fit very nicely in the canning basket. Four minutes in the boiling water then I dump the corn into a bucket of cold water and add another load to the canner. As the corn cools, I set an ear at a time on the screw and slice the kernels off. They stay right in the pan. When the pan gets full I pour the corn into a big wash pan. And so it goes. It is more than a one person operation but it goes pretty quickly. The cobs go into the wagon and as it gets full, Phoebe brings it down and throws the mess into the pig pen. I freeze the corn in my Food Saver bags. There is a lot of laughter and with a morning of pleasant labor a lot of food gets put up. Phoebe was happy, the pigs were happy and I am very happy anticipating corn chowder and corn fritters.

Preservation is in full swing around here. The tomatoes are looking great and the summer squashes are crazy. I shredded two today and made zucchini bread with some and froze the rest. I am terrible disappointed in cauliflower. I looked good a week ago and today I found it had all bolted. Peppers are prolific. I need to make some stuffed peppers soon. I have gallons of frozen peppers and really, how many can I use? Still, they keep coming. I may just let Phoebe set up a pepper stand on the front lawn just to find a home for them.

I planted buckwheat today, hoping to get a cover crop in the bed my garlic goes in. I brought out the extra blankets today too. Last night we were awaken by the strangest sound. It took a minute to realize that the furnace had started! Is it my age that makes each day pass so quickly? I remember when the time between the last day of school in June and the beginning of school in September seemed like eternity. Now, the summer season is gone in one heavy breath of air. Perhaps it just seems that way because we had such oppressive heat and now I need a sweater to go fetch the morning eggs. We missed anything in between.

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