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What to do with painted mountain corn when harvested?

 
pollinator
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Location: Derbyshire, UK
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I have grown painted mountain sweetcorn! But cornflour isn't something we use here.. so now I've harvested it I have no idea what to do with it! In previous years I've only ever managed to grow tiny amounts- and just fed the cobs to the chickens, but this year it has been really dry and I've managed to grow quite a bit.

I don't know have time to use it right now, so how can I preserve it to try in recipes in a few weeks? I assume I should dry it? Take the husk off and hang in the cool, dry pantry (as whole cobs). Or I can remove the kernals from the cob (how?) and put them into the dehydrator?

What do you make with corn flour? We don't really use it here, but corn bread and corn tortillas sound like interesting things to try.
 
pollinator
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That sounds like a great problem to have!  Air dry on the cob and then you can strip the kernels (there are low tech shellers for this).  Then you can store dry and mill as you need flour and meal.  You want to keep good air movement so the cobs dry quickly and you don't have mold issues.
 
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I recently shelled some corn I was saving for seed. I peeled the husk back and hung it out to dry. To shell, I just twisted the cobs with my hands. Like you're wringing out a towel. It didn't work with all of the cobs though, maybe like 3 out of the 15 cobs I had. With the ones that did work, they come off very easily. I would think a mechanical sheller would shell any of the cobs no problem.
 
gardener
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Corn meal is also used to make polenta.
Phil gave great drying tips as did Jeffrey.

 
garden master
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A few years back, we were given a bunch of dried ears of corn. For the mystery corn variety that we received, no tool was necessary. We just rubbed two cobs against each other. The kernels came off easily, no wrist fatigue, that wringing would cause me.
 
master pollinator
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We dry the cobs either by hanging them in pairs over a wire or spread out on a bench. Over the winter, we gradually shell and sort the varieties according to "eating corn" and "planting corn." My main method of preparation is nixtamalising with lime. Wood ash works too, but we like the taste of the lime-treated corn better. Once the kernels have swelled (usually after a few hours simmering on the fire), they get rinsed several times and rubbed to slough the skins off, then put through a hand cranked Corona wet mill and turned into masa. Hominy and posole are some other great things to do with nixtamalised corn.

Processing it this way gives you the greatest nutritional benefit and avoids the inputs required to grind a grain that is not too far away from pea gravel in consistency. Tortilla press ideas here.
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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I was given some corn on the cob that were frozen, still in the husks. Would this be able to be dried as described in this thread? I do know they would be useless as seed.
 
Phil Stevens
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Joylynn - If it's corn on the cob, when you thaw it out you'll still have "green" corn. The kernels at this stage are mostly water and sugars, so drying them won't be a very worthwhile exercise. I'd shell it and put the corn into a soup or some yummy dish.

Flour corn (and feed corn which is grown for livestock and all sorts of industrial applications, yay factory farming) has a high proportion of starches to sugars in the ripened kernels. This is why the kernels don't shrink much when fully dry. Sweet corn, OTOH, with its high sugar content, shrivels up and the kernels end up looking like little flakes. Dent corn is in the middle and the kernels have concave tops or dents.
 
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Corn is excellent in soup. Only if it is dry corn then I would soak it for several hours first
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Okay, thanks guys.
 
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