"For free!?" Yes, for free. Last fall a neighbor said his corn picker had missed a lot and it was all out in the field free for the picking. Non-GMO corn, too. We threw a bunch of ears in the back of the truck and headed back home.
Aside from free animal feed, one of my goals for the corn was to make hominy- basically field corn that has busted out of its skin and puffed up. It tastes a lot like corn mush or corn meal.
Hominy is pretty easy to make and store. I do mine in larger batches to pressure can. You can also air-dry the finished hominy and boil it before using.
Ingredients for 5-6 quarts:
2 quarts shelled field corn
2 cups sifted hardwood ashes
1. Boil the ashes and corn together for 30 minutes or until the skins start to slip off.
2. Drain excess water off of the corn. Fill the pot up with water.
3. Using your hands, squeeze the corn kernels in between your fingers and "work it" so the skins slip off. These skins will float to the top of the water.
4. Repeat steps 2-3 until the water/corn is clean to your specifications.
5. Transfer kernels into large crock pot and fill pot all the way up with water (so corn can soak and expand). Sometimes I use a crock pot and let it cook for a few hours, especially if I won't be home.
6. Let the corn cook on High until it has doubled in size and split open.
And that's it! Basically boiling, rinsing, and boiling/cooking some more. The hominy can either be dried or pressure canned. To can, fill hot jars with hominy and cover with cooking liquid, leaving a 1/2" headspace. Process quarts at 10 lbs. pressure for 70 minutes.
Supposedly you can make cornbread, corn tortillas and cornmeal mush with hominy. My first attempts at this have failed, but I will let you know if I find a good recipe. For the time being, Hubs likes it with salt & butter, and also in his chili.