12 November 2008

Homegrown Popcorn!

In our garden this year we planted about 20 row feet of popcorn. Not being a necessary crop I demoted it to the newly turned ground with just enough composted cow's manure to give it a try. We had to be careful with our precious compost this year, and make sure that the food crops we really rely on would yield enough to feed us for the year. So the popcorn came up, but it never got too high, only about 3 feet tall. But they put out tassels, and eventally small ears. Again, not being high on my priority list, I did not give them the attention they deserve, and never checked the ears for worms. In fact, I really didn't think there would be much of a harvest there. But after the first frost, as I harvested all of the squash and other frost tender crops, I checked one of the popcorn ears to see if there was anything worth salvaging. I was pleasantly surprised with these diminutive cobs, only about 3 inches long, and many of them damaged by corn earworms, but none the less golden popcorn kernels.
The kernels were already hardened on the cobs, but I let them dry inside for a couple of weeks. Then on a rainy day I shelled the corn, and sorted out the damaged kernels. I also saved the best, undamaged cobs for seed next year.
And of course, I had to try popping the corn! I have a favorite popcorn pot because it has a tight fitting lid, covered the bottom with olive oil (when I have ghee on hand, that is even better), heated the oil and threw in about 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels. Then goes the lid, and the pot sits atop the hottest part of the cookstove with a roaring fire going. These kernels started popping almost right away, the ones from the bulk store take a minute or two to pop, but fresh must be best. Tastes great too, with sea salt and dried basil, a good rainy afternoon movie snack. We watched "Fiddler on the Roof".

8 comments:

Susy said...

Oh, I wish I had room to grow my own popcorn. Oh well. I'll grow broccoli and buy my popcorn locally.

I usually use canola oil (the organic expellar pressed variety) but I'll have to give olive oil a try. And I finally made some ghee yesterday so I'm planning an evening with a documentary and some popcorn.

We just watched, "The Great Global Warming Swindle" last night - very interesting. Fits in well with my conspiracy theories about government.

badhuman said...

Real popcorn (no microwave bag!) is one of my favorite treats. We don't own any land but we can find it organic and local.

farm mom said...

I so want to grow popcorn next year. Oh! Fiddler on the roof.....classic. "Sunrise, sunset." And Topol looks soooooo much like my father did 15 years ago...it's unnerving!!

Becky said...

I grew some this year! please tell me how to properly remove it from the cob and prepare it for the pot! :)

Freija and Beringian Fritillary said...

Becky, I simply remove my kernels by hand, by rubbing them out of the cob when they are fully dried. Most of the cobs are dry when I harvest, but not all of them, so I husk them and leave them to dry for about 30 days. when they are hard, they rub out of the cob easily. I usually winnow the kernels as well, to remove the light chaff.

They are ready to pop any time after that. Store them in a glass jar or other air-tight container. If you are planning to store them longer than a few months, they may store better in the fridge or freezer. If they dry out too much, they won't pop.

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.

richard said...

drizzle a little cane syurp on that popped corn, shell a few parched peanuts over that and you have u guessed it,kracker jax! old batch in texas,merry christ mass

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