Canning 101: How to Shuck Corn Easily

shucked corn

Two years ago, I made a triple batch of roasted corn salsa (the recipe is in Food in Jars). It is my husband’s favorite preserve and I like it a whole heck of a lot as well. We eat it with rice and black bean bowls in the winter, and over chicken fajita salads once the weather starts to warm. It’s also a nice topper for homemade nachos (as you can see here).

As much as I enjoy eating this salsa, I’ve never enjoyed the process of making it. That’s all changed now that I’ve discovered the secret to easily shuck the corn and remove most of the corn silk. I now roast the corn at 400 degrees F in its husk for about seven minutes in a hot oven before attempting to shuck it. Once the time in the oven is up, I pull the corn out and let it cool for ten minutes or so.

oven roasted corn

Once it is cool enough to handle, the husk comes off cleanly and leaves only a strand or two of corn silk behind (and those strands are easy enough to wipe away). This little trick has transformed a job I dread into one where I can clean two dozen ears of corn in just a few minutes without feeling in any way irritated by the task.

I do have a word of warning about this trick. Corn husks are flammable. Make sure to keep the husks and silk well away from the flame or heating element. I like to stack the ears on a rimmed cookie sheet so that I can move them quickly if something starts to singe. I also take care not to stray far from the kitchen when I’m roasting corn like this so that I can keep a close eye on the happenings.

PS: If you have an outdoor grill, I bet you could use that instead of your oven. I don’t have access to a grill, so stick to the oven approach.

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Upcoming Events: New York! Philadelphia! Toronto!

plums in a bowl

These next few weeks are the final big push before I hunker down and start developing recipes again (because, have I mentioned that I’m writing another book? This one is all about preserving with natural sweeteners and I think you guys are going to like it a lot). However, there are still more fun classes and events before the true recipe development begins! Here’s where I’ll be in the coming days.

 

September 6 – New York City
This Saturday, I’ll be at the Union Square Greenmarket from 11 am to 2 pm, offering up samples of jam and selling/signing copies of both Preserving by the Pint and Food in Jars (of course, I am always happy to sign the copies you already own as well). If you’re in the greater New York City area, I’d love to see you there.

September 9 – Philadelphia
This  Pickles Two Ways class is my final session in the series I’ve been teaching all summer for the Weaver’s Way Co-op. The class is held at the Chestnut Hill Friends Meetinghouse and runs from 7-9 pm. Click here to sign up.

September 11 – Toronto, Canada
This is the first class of my four-day stay in Toronto (thanks to Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison from Well Preserved, for making the dream of this trip into a reality), 7-9 pm. I’ll be demonstrating my small batch jam making method and will bring a couple of jars to share as well. Class is at F’Coffee and costs $45 CAD. Click here to sign up.

September 12 – Toronto, Canada
On my second night, I’ll be teaching at  Nella Cucina from 6:30-9 pm. I’ll make a small batch of jam for tasting and everyone will make their own jar of pickles to take home. Click here to sign up.

September 13 – Toronto, Canada
On Saturday, Joel and I are teaming up to offer a session that will dig into the work required to write a cookbook. I’ll tell you all the things I’ve learned having now done this twice, and Joel will share his very fresh experience as a first-time author. The session is from 10:30 am to 12 noon and costs $45 CAD. You can sign up here.

September 14 – Toronto, Canada
From 11 am to 5 pm Sunday is The Home Ec Big Outdoor Kitchen Party. This one-day food festival is designed to celebrate the small kitchens, independent producers, and local food champions who bring richness to the Toronto food scene. This free event will be held at the Harbourfront Centre and is something Joel and Dana have been planning for a very long time now. I am so excited to be a part of it.

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Giveaway: Blossom uCap from Spice Ratchet

blossom ucaps

For the last few years, my favorite canning rack has been a flexible silicone trivet made by a company called Spice Ratchet. It has always been something of an off-label use though, as I’m fairly certain that they weren’t thinking canning when they made that trivet.

blossom ucap sip

However, the nice folks at Spice Ratchet have recently released a line of silicone lids that are designed specifically for mason jars. These lids come in three different styles, are sold in packs of four, and have a number of applications.

cap n sip

The first style is a sipping cap. The lid snaps snugly onto the top of the jar and allows you to slip a straw into whatever liquid the jar holds. The lid isn’t entirely water tight (because it does have a hole in the top), but would definitely slow the flow if you were to knock it over.

Having spent the weekend with my spill prone nephew, I can see this one coming in very handy for households with kids. This style comes in both regular and wide mouth.

cap n seal

Next is the storage lid. Like the sipping cap, this style snaps tightly onto the top of a mason jar without needing to be screwed down or tightened.

It is leakproof and airtight, which means it is a great solution for both liquids and dry goods, because it will prevent spills and keep moisture out. This one also comes in both regular and wide mouth.

cap n fun

The final style is the flower frog. This jar topper has holes in the lid so you can use it for flower arrangements, clusters of party flags, or even as a cup holder. This lid only comes in a wide mouth version.

top of ucap seal

Spice Ratchet is providing samples for this week’s giveaway. There will be four winners and each one will receive one of each style of Blossom uCap 4-packs in the wide mouth size. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me how you’d use these lids in your home.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, September 6, 2014. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday, September 7, 2014.
  3. Giveaway open to United States residents only.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: Spice Ratchet is providing the lids for the giveaway. They sent me samples of their lids for review and photography purposes. They are also a Food in Jars sponsor and so do help contribute to the running of this site. And yet, all opinions remain entirely mine. 

September Sponsors: Cuppow, Fillmore Container, Orchard Road, Felix Doolittle, Spice Ratchet, and More!

felix doolittle labels

It’s the first of the month and that means that it’s time to dedicate a blog post to the sponsors who help make this site possible. Please do take a moment to read this post and if they offer something that clicks for you, I know they would so appreciate your business.

First up is jar accessory maker Cuppow! They are the creator of the original mason jar travel mug topper and the BNTO, a small plastic cup that transforms a canning jar into a snack or lunch box. They have a small stash of signed copies of Preserving by the Pint and just recently started carrying the Mason Tap, so they truly are the one stop shop for canning jar accessories.

A brand new sponsor is Orchard Road. They are new-to-market makers of mason jars, lids, and rings for home canners. They just recently launched their online store, so you can now order them straight from the source.

Next is our friends at Fillmore Container. They sell all manner of canning jars and lids, as well as a handful of books and jar accessories. They’re a family-owned business based in Lancaster, PA and they happily work with home canners and commercial producers alike. Their blog is a great source of canning info, and their latest post is all about using up those overgrown cucumbers. So timely!

New to the sponsorship roster is Spice Ratchet. They make the blossom trivet that I use as a canning rack, and just recently, they released a line of silicone Blossom uCaps for mason jars. They are available as a storage cap, a sipping cap, and a flower frog. Stay tuned, as I’ll have more about those lids on the blog soon!

Another new sponsor is Felix Doolittle (you may remember them from the giveaway post I hosted back in July). They make whimsical labels for canning jars, cookbooks, and other food gifts.

Our friends at MightyNest are back. They are an amazing resource for non-toxic, natural, and organic products for homes and families and recently added my beloved 4th Burner Pot to their stock.

Another new sponsor that is joining the ranks this month is Blue Kitchen Canning. They’re an online shop that sells all manner of canning gear. If you’re in the market for a new canning pot or you want to invest in a pressure canner, make sure to check them out! I have a giveaway and discount code coming up from them soon.

Mrs. Wages is also back for another month of canning goodness! I’ve written for them for the last three summers and this year, we’re teaming up for an official partnership. They make all sorts of pectins and canning mixes. Make sure to sign up for their newsletter for monthly installments of canning goodness.

Operated by Lyn Deardorff, sponsor Preserving Now is both a website and school dedicated to helping people expand their canning and preserving skills. Lyn teaches in both Atlanta and Nashville, so make sure to check out her schedule of upcoming classes and events and see if she’s offering a workshop near you! And, if you’re in the market for a tasty tomatillo salsa, make sure to check out the recipe Lyn just posted.

The Clay Studio is back with us! This Philadelphia-based non-profit was founded in 1974 and is dedicated to affirming the importance of the ceramic arts. They work to make clay an accessible medium to a broad range of people. I regularly drool over the many gorgeous pieces in their shop.

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Links: Pickles, Tomatoes, and a Mrs. Wages Winner

He just made his first jar of pickles! I am kvelling.

I’ve spent a lovely few days down in Fayetteville, AR at the Fayetteville Roots Festival. I rolled in on Thursday evening, just a bit later than anticipated, but intact and with my luggage in tow. Friday, I did a bit of work, hung out with my sister, nephew, and my brother-in-law’s parents, and got to shop for pickling supplies with Natalie (who is entirely delightful and maintains a gorgeous website).

On Saturday morning, I teamed up with Appleseeds to help farmers market shoppers make more than 75 pints of quick pickles (the picture above is my nephew Emmett, with the jar of pickles he made with just a little help). This morning, I taught a very fun class at the Williams-Sonoma in Rogers. And then tonight, I got to watch my sister play music with Rebecca Loebe and Smokey and the Mirror. Good times, all of it. Now, links!

A few things from my neck of the woods.

  • When I was out in Portland back in June, I made some canning videos with Rebecca from Cooking up a Story. The first one is live and you can watch it here.
  • While in Maine, I stopped by the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension to teach a class (they have an amazing space). Kate put together a little recap of the night, which was fun to read.
  • You may know that my sister is a folk singer, but you might not know that my dad writes and performs as well. He’s currently in the midst of an Indiegogo campaign and I’d love it if you’d check out his video and, if you are so moved, consider supporting his efforts.

berry prize pack

The winner in last week’s Mrs. Wages berry basket giveaway is #109/Karen Carsley. So many thanks to everyone who entered! And stay tuned, I’ll have another fun giveaway up this week!

Rosle Giveaway from Mighty Nest

FBprizeFIJ

Hey friends! Here’s a fun weekend treat for you! Mighty Nest is hosting a holiday weekend giveaway. The lucky winner will get a trio of sturdy, stainless steel kitchen utensils from Rosle (they make seriously high quality gear).

Just plug your info into the pledge form below to enter! The giveaway closes its doors on Monday, so get your entry in now!

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