Thursday, October 28, 2010

Great Corn Meal - I hope

I've got to hurry for the milk is heating to separate, I've a pot of milk heating to make buttermilk. Now that I've had cream and buttermilk fresh, I don't know how I lived without it. I've decided I need to build up my supply of buttermilk, two quarts at least. There are just too many ways to use that yummy buttermilk.
The other reason I'd better get moving is Kirk brought home some coal last night. Yes, the nights are freezing leaving a good inch and a quarter of ice on the water buckets. So that means I'd better get some coal and wood hauled in next to the fire while the littlest one is taking her morning nap. You know how it is. Put the pedal to the metal while the kids sleep so you can get something done undisturbed.
But first, let me tell you about one of my new projects in the works. I saved the small and not full ears of sweet corn and dried them in the basement. It wasn't a lot, but enough to give me a good idea whether to continue with this project next year. My original plan is to start saving my own seed from some of the best ears of corn I grow. Then save the scrawny or not full ears to dry for corn meal. No, I'm not raising the grinding kind of corn. My garden just isn't big enough to separate two kinds of corn and not have them cross pollinate. What sparks my interest was when I read where some are using their sweet corn like it was a grinding corn. We don't use very much corn bread. Mainly when we have ham and beans so I don't need much and the thoughts of using the same corn for three purposes intrigues me. Corn for freezing, corn for corn meal, and the cobs for the fire to heat the house. If your stove isn't set up for cobs, don't burn many for it will ruin it. I don't have but a few and our stove is for coal and wood but mainly coal. That means it is more heavy duty.
I was shocked how the large cookie sheet was heaping with kernels from just a few ears of corn. It should be plenty to last me the year. Now I need to find out how much a cup of dried corn ground equals in flour and if we like the flavor. As soon as I get some navy beans canned I'll make some soup and grind up some corn. It is sure to be different than the traditional type but who knows maybe we will like it even better. The cobs went into the fire to heat our house yesterday as the wind howled and spit snow at us just making the day miserable, reminding us winter is just around the corner. The cobs made little difference but waste not want not is my motto and why fill the landfill when it could kick off a little badly needed heat.

As I worked, my mind couldn't help dreaming of a nice warm barn with enough room to pile dried corn we bought from a farmer. I know just the one I'd call. The same one that grows our hay. And as my mind wandered, I imagined myself sitting on the barn floor shelling corn in preparation for feeding it to the to the chickens, and the dairy goats the next day. But then why stop there I said to myself, why not grow extra pumpkins etc. to feed because of course if we had a nice big barn, we'd also have acreage to grow more crops. Wouldn't we save a bundle in feed costs. Alas, no nice warm dry big barn so I can only dream and hope this is one dream that will eventually come true. Meanwhile, I experiment on what I can do to become more self-sufficient in the situation I'm in.
And of course though I had to buy pumpkins this year instead of growing them because I just never got them planted in the garden, I did make the seeds from the jack-o-latterns into salted seeds. The kids haven't acquired a taste for them yet but Kirk and I are enjoying ourselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment