time to dry corn

as I was walking to my mailbox yesterday i glanced at my corn field. I noticed there were some ears of corn that had brown silk. that is a tip off the corn is ready. I picked the 3 ears of corn that are pictured here. I shucked them to see what they looked like. I popped one kernel with my thumb. it squirted out. another tell tale sign its ready. I like the sweet smell of fresh picked corn.

my son joe came over and we went to check the whole field. maybe about a third of the stalks didn’t have any corn on them. no surprise with the heat we had but it looked like there is enough ready to pick. some still has yellow silk on the ears of corn. that may be ready by next week, especially after the rain we had. this is real early to dry corn. usually we do it the first week or two of august.

I was very surprised I have some corn that I can dry. I can see the cornfield from my house. I could tell that some of it was stunted and had no ears of corn on it. some of the stalks were  brown from the heat. if I hadn’t looked at it up close while getting mail I wouldn’t have known some was ready. I am very grateful for what corn I have.

some old lady told me that corn was our life. as long as we have it, we have life. I think about that. that’s why I have given seed away to anyone wanting to grow some. corn is one of our sacred foods. we use it in ceremonies, that is why I grow it.

we will dry corn today. I have to get it done because we are having summer dance this weekend. I don’t know how much I will get until after we pick it. once we pick it we will blanch it then spoon it off the cob.

dont know how long that will take until we do it. it takes all of our family to dry our corn.  my niece came over a few times to help us. I texted her but must have the wrong number, so no help this year. we will get it done. we always do. we have been drying corn here for over 30 years.

I like to use indian fire when I cook our corn. the temperatures will be in the 90s the next few days. that is good drying weather. cant beat the heat but we can use it to dry corn. I am lucky the temps will be in the 70s this morning while I pick corn.

I had a big cast iron kettle that could cook all the corn we had in a couple of batches. I would build a fire under it to heat the water. I planned on using it the rest of my life. I left it outside. bad move. it cracked from being exposed to the weather. I took it to a couple of welders. they said there wasn’t much they could do to weld anything that was cast iron.

now I have to use a large pot someone gave me and a canner. that takes longer but gets the job done. I keep looking for a big pot to use while drying corn. those cast iron kettles usually cost several hundred dollars. they are sold as antiques. I don’t think many use them to cook with, some use them as planters.

drying corn reminds me of my mother. she is the one that taught me how to do that whole process. after I moved to my home here I started my own garden. she would come over and help us dry the corn. I would always give her some dried corn as thanks for her help. I will think of her today as I work.