Another Corny Blog

Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 9:26 am
By: Doug Lund
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cornI have to admit, I was concerned that we were going to miss the prime sweet corn season while we were gallivanting around Alaska for two weeks. But I needn’t have worried. It turns out that our soggy chilly spring was good for one thing; it made for a late staggered start to planting season by my favorite sweet corn farmers; the Hokenesses. So, I have regularly stood, with dozens of other sweet corn lovers, at the flatbed trailer on 10th and Cleveland, digging through the huge pile of ears freshly picked from their farm each morning near Adrian, Minnesota.

The flatbed filled with sweet corn and melons just backed in and the rush was on.

The flatbed filled with sweet corn and melons just backed in and the rush was on.

Oh the joy of meandering through a mountain of magnificent morsels

Oh the joy of meandering through a mountain of magnificent morsels

This year’s harvest is again deliciously sweet and, at just a dollar a dozen, (provided you buy one other produce item) a great deal for those wanting to can or freeze some to enjoy on a cold winter’s day.  Does anybody “can” corn anymore? In my mind’s eye I can still see my mom holding her butcher knife standing over a stack of freshly picked sweet corn piled high on the kitchen table. With lightning speed that came from years of practice, she’d hold the fresh ear (never cooked) upright on her cutting board, slice downward with incredible accuracy so full kernels would tumble off the cob in submission. Once clean, she’d use the back of the knife to scrape the cob removing all the delicious corn milk. I don’t remember the other canning procedures but I do recall the joy of eating thick homemade “cream-style” corn as part of a Sunday dinner in December.  I was determined to make sure our family would be able to enjoy some locally grown sweet corn for Christmas so I headed back to the flatbed this morning to pick up a few dozen ears.  At the Lund corn processing factory, it’s my job to do the husking while Linda blanches the ears then trims off the sweet golden nuggets and packs them in freezer bags. (No scraping. whole kernel only) We usually put up a dozen or so packages. The trick is trying to make them last until the Holidays. Linda’s sister doesn’t blanch the corn before trimming and freezing and says it works great..just cook a  few minutes before serving . So we chose to eliminate that time consuming step this time. I hope she’s right and we don’t get worms.

Linda's getting pretty handy with the electric knife

Linda's getting pretty handy with the electric knife

Speaking of corn, I hope to consume at least one giant corn dog at the State Fair in Huron this week. Jim Woster and I will be singing with Mogen’s Heroes on the Freedom Stage at 3 and 6 PM Thursday September 1st. It should be a fun time and if you haven’t heard Mogen’s Heroes, featuring John Mogen, Denny Gale and Bill Hoffman, for a while…you’re in for a treat. Fun songs and amazing harmonies.

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Plans are already in the works for next Spring’s 4th annual South Dakota Music Association Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and concert. The list of this year’s inductees and performers will be announced in a few weeks. It’s certainly gong to be hard to top the 2011 show featuring “The Mob” but we’re going to try. Circle  Saturday April 21st on your calendar at the Ramkota Exhibit Hall.

Anyone who is a fan of early Rock and Roll should certainly check out the South Dakota Rock and Roll museum located on the Washington Pavilion’s 2nd floor mezzanine in Sioux Falls. On display is a fascinating assembly of memorabilia from rock music’s golden age including guitars (Myron Lee’s famous black Gretch is there) and other musical instruments played by some of your favorite bands. There are juke boxes, early band posters, stage uniforms hundreds of rare photos and albums. The Hall of Fame board wants to keep changing and adding to the exhibit so if you have any collectible items from that era in your possession and would be willing to loan them to the museum for a time, we’d sure like to hear from you. To find out who to contact and see other interesting stuff about the South Dakota Rock and Roll Music Association, CLICK HERE.

Well, Linda is all done shucking and bagging the sweet corn; 19 quart freezer bags full. Somehow that just doesn’t seem like enough so there’s a good chance I’ll be waiting in the Austad’s parking around 10:30 tomorrow morning craining my neck to catch first site of the Hokeness corn truck arriving from Adrian. We gotta keep pickin’ while the pickin’s good.

9 Comments

  1. Mike H says:

    Great stuff Doug! Deb and I went to the Iowa R&R Museum a couple of weeks ago. Very cool, but the SD one is well on it’s way! One thing I learned: Keith Knudsen, another singing drummer, of the Doobie Brothers and Southern Pacific was a native of LeMars. Have fun at the Fair.

  2. Andrea L. says:

    I was wondering if the corn had Doug Lund’s approval this year. Cobs started a little small a few weeks ago, but was pleasantly surprised to see they were bigger this week. So, I grabbed another 5 dozen from the corn trailer Monday and froze them Tuesday! ENJOY yours!

  3. Sweeps says:

    Not wanting to be appear too greedy when my neighbor asked how many ears of corn I wanted, I said (hesitantly), “Two dozen?” “Six dozen it is!” Good grief! Now what do I do with it all? Ah, ha! Good thing people like scalloped corn at potlucks and for Sunday dinner! No blanching for me. 21 pint jars of corn later (not enough freezer space), bring on the potluck dinners!

  4. john mogen says:

    Shucks! Another good story, Doug! Hope we see many familiar faces at the Freedom Stage tomorrow. Probably need to stop for some Forestburg melons, don’t you think? Rumor has it Dustin Evans and Gary Snow will drop by to help us on a tune or two! Maybe Holly Hoffman, too!

  5. grouse says:

    Thinking about your mom’s corn in December makes me smile! Lord, I wish I could taste it again. Then there was her lefse……and lot’s of other good things to eat. Thank God she always had an ample supply of “mistake” paper.

  6. Erika says:

    Our freezer’s are bursting with sweet corn this year. After freezing it for ourselves for the last few years we now have to freeze a little extra (20 quarts or so) for the hunters to take back to Las Vegas. They are small town men who miss the home grown food.

  7. Brenda says:

    I chose to try the non-blanching method and just had to try a bag to make sure it is good enough for when Taylor gets back from Afghanistan. IT IS GOOD!! But now am left with only 11 freezer bags to last until November. So…ahhh…..did you already go stand in line??!!! If not, I will PAY YOU DOUBLE to get some for me too. Have been there twice but if you are not there within the first 30 min of them showing you are out of luck. Two fruitless, or should I say cornless trips across town proved discouraging.

  8. ksa says:

    Yah, there’s nothing like a famiily getting together and picking, shucking,blanching and freezing corn. We froze almost 100 pint bags this year as we do every year. Sure taste GOOD in the middle of a snowstorm in Feb. or March. Nothing like home-grown produce, do alot of canning also and passing the knowledge on to the next generation makes it even more desirable.
    HAPPY TUMMY”S!!!!!!!!!

  9. Judy Hall says:

    Seeing Linda work so hard, I thought I’d share this tip. Position the ear on the center hole of your angel food cake pan. Use your electric knife to cut downward…and the kernals will fall into the cake pan. This has been an easy process for us. We then cook it and pack it after it cools.

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