All plans we had for yesterday afternoon were set aside when we were gifted a bunch of sweet corn. As any Iowan worth her salt knows, from the moment it's picked, the sugars in corn start to convert to starch and it doesn't take long for that sweet milky goodness to become tough and tasteless. We had to get these babies frozen and there was no time to waste.
Silas and I set up a little factory assembly line. He was in charge of husking while I...did everything else. I have to say that very often when I give him tasks to do in the kitchen the stakes are pretty low. I think it's important for him to be able to work at his own speed and for him to have the freedom to explore if he wants. The reality of this is that very often the tasks that we share in the kitchen take much (much) longer than if I were to just do them myself. Not in this instance.
His contribution on this project was real and meaningful. Although I intended for us to do it together, he husked every single ear of corn. He started with one, handed it to me to get all of the silk off and by the time I had done so he had husked the next one and on and on until we were done. I, quite honestly, could not have gotten it all done as quickly as I did without his help.
We talked about the wonderful zipping noise made when you pull off the husk. We felt how soft each strand of silk is. I pretended not to notice when he sneaked bites before the corn was cooked, loving his smile as he felt the pop of each kernel between his teeth.
I have very vivid memories of my mom freezing corn every summer and she did so by the bushel. If it wasn't from our own field or that of a neighbor, we drove north the the Green Giant plant and bought bags of super sweet from them. It was not her favorite task. Far from it. It made a huge mess, the constant boiling water made the kitchen hot and oppressive, and the repetitive cutting motion left her with wrists that were aching and sore. But she did it anyway because come December she knew how good that corn would taste with Christmas dinner (and every Sunday dinner before and after).
Our little corn freezing session was nowhere near as ambitious, but we now have enough in our freezer for a handful of meals this winter and it was put there by the hand of a very capable and eager-to-help two-year-old.
Of course, an ear or two didn't quite make it into the freezer.