Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Frozen Corn #2 and #3

While thinking about this post on sweet corn, I realized that it’s late August, and the summer is almost over. Soon we’ll be thinking about harvest and fall. It’s mind boggeling how fast time flies, especially in the summer. I wanted to share this photo of my mom and her brother from this time of year when they were young. It looks like they may have been playing “dress-up”, but my favorite part is that the photo is taken in front of a load of hay bales!! It’s so cute!! They’re showing traditional roles here with my mom having a doll and a fancy dress and hat and her brother sporting the toy gun. I assume he’s on his way out to hunt up dinner for the family. Ha! So, so, so cute!

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I froze corn last week, but after doing my photography for this post, I started to think that maybe I’ve done Frozen Corn before. I was right, I had done it in an earlier post. The only difference between the recipe I used this time and the recipe I used last time was that last time the recipe included 2 Tablespoons of butter and this new one didn’t. If you look at the older post, you can see that at the bottom of the recipe card, it says “-over-“. As long as I did freeze corn, I’m including the newest recipe here, but I’m also showing the other side of that older recipe card. It’s basically the same recipe, but makes a larger batch and after cooking, cutting off the corn kernels, and adding the salt, sugar, and butter, you bake the corn in the oven for 45 minutes. In any case, here are two similar yet different recipes for Frozen Corn #2 and #3 for you to try.

First, the newest recipe:

Frozen Corn

Next, the back of the card used in the older post:

Frozen Corn 2

Note the “V. Good” connotation on this, and you can see that Grandma liked this one – she started using it in the early 80’s!!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Frozen Corn

Corn cut off of the cob raw:

8 cups

Put in saucepan and add:

2 cups water

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon salt

Boil 5 minutes.

Spread on baking sheet.

Cool.

Put in freezer bags.

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This was bi-color corn that I bought when visiting my mom in west central Minnesota and it’s amazingly delicious!

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There are many ways to cut the corn off the cob, but any way you can corral the kernels works. I just use a sharp knife and cut it in a cake pan. It seems to keep the squirting juice and jumping kernels to a minimum.

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This recipe is a bit different in cooking the kernels instead of the cobs.

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Putting the corn on a baking sheet helps it cool off faster.

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I like to use a 1 cup measure and put 2 cups into each quart size freezer bag. That way I have an idea how much I’m using when I take a bag out of the freezer.

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Fresh corn on the cob is delicious, but freezing it for use later this winter is a great way to know that it’s fresh – you know where it came from and what’s in it. I already have 8 quart size bags in the freezer, but I don’t know if that will be enough for everything I use it for. Take advantage of this perfect local vegetable and freeze a batch before it’s too late!!

 

 

 

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Marinated Carrots

I remember Grandma making these Marinated Carrots for holiday dinners. They are a bit on the sweet n sour side, and that’s being a bit adventurous for her. They’re a little different, but are amazingly delicious, and I’d say almost more of a relish than a side dish. This recipe makes a pretty large batch, but it’s nice that the card says they keep up to 6 weeks.

Marinated Carrots

I think I remember Grandma making these at Easter time.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Marinated Carrots

Cook about 10 minutes:

2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced

Add:

1 teaspoon salt

Cool.

Mix together:

1 can condensed tomato soup or tomato bisque (I used tomato soup)

1 cup sugar (gasp!)

1/4 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce (it said on the card that she once used 1 Tablespoon, so that’s what I used)

3 small onions, chopped

1/4 cup vinegar (she said she used 1/2 cup, so that’s what I used – apple cider vinegar)

1 teaspoon salt

dash of pepper

1/2 cup salad oil (I used canola)

1 green pepper, chopped

Heat, but do not boil.

Pour over carrots.

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What is with the teenie, tiny carrots they have right now? I hope this trend doesn’t continue. It’s ridiculous to try and peel these skinny things – it takes forever. What ever happened to the regular sized carrots they used to have in the stores? I don’t get it. I don’t like it. Just sayin’.

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This is another incredibly quick and easy recipe – the ingredients are pretty fast to pull together, but I did gasp – out loud – when it said to put in a cup of sugar. I think I’d try it with only 1/2 cup next time because it is – plenty sweet!

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It end up so pretty in the end. As pretty as a side dish can be.

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This is great with any main dish.

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Try this unusual side dish. It’s so good and is very tasty. Easy to make and colorful with that sweet n sour flavor – you’ll love it!

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Vegetable Casserole

This is Easter week and I just had to share an Easter photo of me from when I was about 5 years old. Back in the day, you had to have an Easter hat (although this one looks like a headband with silk flowers on it) and white patent leather shoes to wear to church. Too bad the dress is covered up and we can’t see what that looked like. I love the little spring coat – I wish I had one like that now!

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I loved Easter when I was a kid because there were arts and crafts involved: dyeing and decorating eggs, decorating an egg tree, and making paper Easter bunnies. There were things to bake like hot crossed buns and coconut cakes, cartoons to watch like “The Easter Bunny is Coming to Town“, movies to watch like “King of Kings“, amazing and incredibly fragrant Easter lilies to smell, and then there were the baskets that the Easter Bunny left for my sister and me to find on Easter morning. It was always so hard to wait until we got back from church to be able to eat the treats and have the big Easter dinner. Sometimes we would go to Grandma and Grandpa’s church, but the church we attended regularly made Easter morning special by having a sunrise service where they would black out all the windows, having a big black curtain across the altar hiding the cross on the front wall covered in white paper. Then when it was time for the church service to start, they would play a very loud ripping sound imitating the tearing in half of the curtain in the temple in Jerusalem when Jesus died (I hope I have that right), and there would be the white cross gleaming in the front of the church after the black curtain was pulled aside. It was very loud, very exciting, and very inspiring!

Today’s recipe is the kind of thing Grandma used to make a lot for holidays like Easter – a new and exciting vegetable dish, even though it’s basically frozen vegetables doctored up a bit. I think she was trying to make vegetables more interesting, but unfortunately, I still don’t think Grandpa liked them very much. This Vegetable Casserole is another really easy side dish that’s quick to make and easy to take to any gathering. You could even make it a day or two ahead and have it ready to go. It’s one of those dishes that’s great because it’s so nice and easy, and on a holiday there’s a lot to do to put on the big dinner. I know that’s what Grandma was thinking when trying this one for the first time.

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This is a good one!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Vegetable Casserole

Boil or microwave partially and separately:

1 bag of frozen crinkle cut carrots

1 bag of frozen chopped broccoli

1 bag of frozen cauliflower flowerets

Place in casserole (I lightly sprayed the casserole with non-stick spray for easy clean up).

Add:

1 onion, sliced

Mix together:

1 can cream of celery soup

1/2 soup can milk

1/4 cup sugar

Add to vegetables – I mixed them all together before putting into the casserole.

Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

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The sauce for this casserole is very simple. I had my doubts though – sugar? In vegetables?

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Putting it in the oven doesn’t really change anything expect the sauce. It makes a nice sauce in the bottom of the dish.

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It’s so easy, so good, and so pretty!

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I truly had doubts about the sugar thing, but it’s amazing how tasty it is! This is delicious! Try it! Save yourself some time and make this very easy, very good side dish. This one is so quick and easy, it will give you more time to enjoy things like Easter videos, Easter Bunnies, and chocolate eggs.

 

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Hot Bath Tomatoes

We had a garden every summer when I was growing up, both of my grandmas and grandpas had gardens every summer when I was growing up, and I have a garden every summer. There would be tomatoes coming out of our ears from these gardens (all except mine – I’ve lost all the sun needed to grow tomatoes – too many trees). We had to do something to preserve these tomatoes, so canning was the best option. Grandma did this every year, she taught my mom how to do it, and she taught me and my sister how to do it. Who knew that they were called Hot Bath Tomatoes – we just called them canned tomatoes!! We would have an assembly line going to tackle this huge project: someone would be putting the tomatoes into the boiling water to get the peel off easily, then someone would be putting the tomatoes into the ice water bath to stop the tomatoes from cooking too much. We would all have paring knives to peel the skin off of the tomatoes and cut them into fourths. Then the tomatoes were heated just to boiling and popped into the clean, sterilized jars, the rims were wiped clean with a damp towel, the lids were taken from boiling water and put onto the top of the jars, and at last the lids were screwed on. That was my favorite part back then, seeing the jars lined up and ready to go into the canner. If felt good to have helped make these things we would have to eat later in the winter. There was such a camaraderie with the whole family helping. It was hot work with the canner heating up the kitchen (it was usually done in late August or early September), and it was a lot of work to get it all done, but I LOVED it!!! I just loved it.

Hot Bath Tomatoes

These tomatoes are so great for making all of those sauces and soups later in the winter!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Hot Bath Tomatoes

Peel and cut tomatoes (for easier peeling, put into boiling water for 30-45 seconds, then into an ice bath to stop the cooking).

Bring tomatoes just to a boil.

Put into jars (quarts or pints) and leave 1/2 inch of head space at the top of the jar.

Put jars in canner, having water covering jars with 2 inches of water.

Boil for 45 minutes in canner.

You can find the recommendations for this on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.

Cool and listen for the “pop” of the lid sealing.

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I haven’t canned tomatoes this year (I did make a batch of Grandma’s Tomato Soup), but I did do them last year and I have just one jar left.

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You can see the tomatoes cut into fourths and how they make their own juice. There’s nothing but tomatoes in here!

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We use a lot of tomatoes throughout the year in spaghetti sauce, lasagna, soups, hot dish, the list goes on and on. Canning tomatoes this way is a tomato saver AND a money saver!

 

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Broccoli Casserole

I found this photo when looking through my big box of pictures, and I just had to share it now because it’s so appropriate for today’s obsession with facial hair. This is my great-grandfather, my grandpa’s father, who was Danish, and died of consumption when Grandpa was 2 years old. What a magnificent mustache! No wonder young men these days are trying to emulate this look. My son loves this mustache, has recently shaved off his beard, and is now sporting quite the mustache himself.

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The recipe for today is another traditional dish for our family. We had Broccoli Casserole at a lot of Sunday dinners at Grandma and Grandpa’s farm in the big dining room. It’s easy, it’s delicious, and it serves a large group.

Broccoli Casserole

This is a great side dish to use with any meat.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Broccoli Casserole

Cook as directed:

2 boxes frozen broccoli

1 box frozen cauliflower

Add until melted:

1 8 ounce jar Cheez Whiz

Combine with:

1 can cream of celery soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Can top with French fried onion rings.

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I couldn’t find actual boxes of frozen vegetables at my store, so I used small bags of vegetables.

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This isn’t the healthiest of dishes, with the use of 2 cans of cream soup and the Cheez Whiz, so I’d save this for a special occasion.

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The soup and Cheez Whiz make a lot of sauce, so don’t worry about using bags of vegetables instead of boxes. There’s plenty to cover a lot of vegetables.

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I had the vegetables in the oven with some other things, so I had it in there a little longer than 30 minutes, but still put the French fried onion rings on during the last 30 minutes.

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This vegetable dish is delicious and the aroma is amazing. Give this one a try. It’s so good. Just try to keep it out of your mustache.

 

 

 

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Freezing Pumpkin

I’d like to think that once Grandma’s family had a freezer, they did things like freezing pumpkins and garden vegetables. I don’t think they had a freezer at the time that this photo was taken!

action pic of Johnson kids

It’s a bit blurry, but I LOVE IT!!! These were the days of having to sit still when the photo was taken. You can tell that these kids were in constant motion! I THINK Grandma is the little blur in the bottom left. They probably did a lot of canning to preserve their garden harvest. I’ve never even thought of canning pumpkin, since we have the convenience of the freezer. I don’t remember stories of them eventually being able to freeze things, but she must have known how to do it. The year we grew so many pumpkins in Grandma and Grandpa’s farm garden, my mom wanted to try to make a pumpkin pie from fresh pumpkin and I’m sure Grandma helped her figure out how. There were so many pumpkins, we had to find a way to preserve them, so we figured out how to Freeze Pumpkin. Like many of these recipes, it’s pretty easy to do – it just takes some time.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Freezing Pumpkin

Pick a pumpkin that you want to freeze for pie making at a later time.

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It’s hard to cut up this gorgeous pumpkin!

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This pumpkin is about the right size for one pie.

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I split it in half and scoop out the “guts” and seeds. Make sure you keep the seeds for roasting! Check out my post for making Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds.

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Cut into pieces and roast in a 400 degree oven for 40-60 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.

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Scrape flesh off of rind and put into food processor.

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I was able to fit all of the pumpkin into the processor at once. Give it a whir until the pumpkin is as smooth as you want it.

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I usually fill the freezer bags with 2 cups so it’s enough for one pie. There’s always some that stays in the bag, so I add 1/4 cup extra to be sure you have enough pumpkin in the end. You can also take the pumpkin out of the bag before it’s thawed so that none stays in the bag, but I seem to forget to do that, and then I end up short.

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When the freezer bags are full, I freeze them flat so they take up less room in the freezer. That’s it. Not hard at all, it just takes a little time. I’ll be making a pie with this pumpkin in a couple of weeks. You’ll love the fresh pumpkin in your pie when you try this!

 

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Frozen Green Beans

Between our gardens and the farmer’s markets popping up everywhere right now, we need to do something with the abundance of green beans available to us. I don’t always have a lot of extra beans in our garden (we eat them all), but I try to freeze a few bags so we can have them in the middle of winter. This is really easy to do and great for preserving this local and plentiful vegetable.

There is no recipe card for this so I’ll just write it out.

Here is the recipe as I made them:

Frozen Green Beans

Pick and wash green beans.

Cut off ends and cut to desired length.

Blanch in boiling water 2-3 minutes.

Put beans into ice water bath and let cool a few minutes.

Drain and put into freezer bags.

Label with contents and date.

Freeze.

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Not everyone likes to cut both ends off of the beans. I do like to cut them off, but that’s the beauty of doing it yourself. You can do it any way you want to.

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Blanching and then the ice water bath really doesn’t take very long and you know what’s in there! Nothing but beans!

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I try to make the bags as flat as possible so they fit into the freezer better. I read somewhere that it’s a good idea to use a plastic basket in your freezer to hold all of those freezer bags full of frozen goodies. That made a lot of sense to me, so I tried it. It’s easier to see them, sort them, and get at them for thawing. It alleviates the problem of the bags sliding and falling out of the freezer and onto the floor every time you need to find something. There was one small issue – the freezer bags are taller than the basket so I can’t stack another basket on top and there’s a lot of wasted space above the basket of frozen vegetables. I’m still working on this issue so I can achieve maximum storage! These beans will be another taste of summer for the middle of winter. Go out and get some of these plentiful vegetables now while they’re so bountiful and local and fresh!!! This really is a pretty easy way to preserve them for later use.

 

 

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Frozen Corn

Grandma and Grandpa grew enough sweet corn on their farm to satisfy the whole family during the growing season and beyond. I can’t imagine how many cobs of corn we ate back then. All I know is that we put a good dent into the harvest of that field of sweet corn each year. We froze as much of that wonderful sweet corn as we possibly could for the winter. There are different ways to freeze it: whole and on the cob, plain and cut off of the cob, and there are recipes to freeze it ready to heat up with seasonings. There’s nothing better in the middle of winter than to cook up some Frozen Corn that came right from your own field. It tastes like it came right off of the cob! You get a little bite of summer all winter long.

Frozen Corn

Note that this recipe has the “V Good” connotation again! There is another recipe for freezing corn on the back of this card, but I will revisit that next year!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Frozen Corn

2 quarts corn cut off the cob

1 pint water

2 Tablespoons white sugar

2 Tablespoons butter

1 Tablespoon salt

Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Cool and bag.

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I thought I’d have enough to freeze some plain corn, which I use for chili and salsa, so I blanched the cobs for 3 minutes first and then put them in ice water to cool down. (When I freeze it plain, I just cut it off the cob and put it into the freezer bags. Simple.) I had 13 cobs and it was just enough for this recipe. I’ll have to do the plain corn another time.

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Next I cut the kernels off of the cob.

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I love how the kernels of corn come off in their little rows.

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The added ingredients make a nice little sauce to freeze the corn in.

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I use zip top freezer bags to store the corn. Make sure to write the date on the bag so if some bags get buried in your freezer, you can tell how old it is. Enjoy a little bite of summer next winter and freeze some of that wonderful sweet corn that’s so abundant right now. You won’t be sorry you did!

 

 

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