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Connie, Kathy, and corn

"Simply Food"

September 8, 2009
By Wendy Monro

For a few years now, I have been invited by my great friend, Kathy Grothem, to come and pick sweet corn with her sister Connie on Connie's farm.

I didn't know until this year that I actually liked doing things like this. So, I had never taken her up on her offer. Now, I am kicking myself for all of those years I survived winter with an empty freezer. Oh well, I can't change the past. Now, I know better.

This summer, when Kathy asked me again to join her and her sister in the field and in the kitchen, I accepted with enthusiasm. Then, she told me she would be picking me up on a Saturday at 7:30 a.m. I still went!

Article Photos

Stir fried corn

All of our children pitched in and picked the corn while us ladies, sat in chairs and shucked away. It didn't take long before I realized that Connie is just as much fun to be around as Kathy and that I should be spending more time with these women. Connie told me that her Golden Retriever, Gracie, brings the sweet corn up to the house and shucks it on the doorstep when it is ready to pick how convenient! With six kids picking and three of us shucking, we were finished with 200 ears of corn in no time and we hauled it all back to the house in a cooler stuck inside a wheel barrel.

I never would have guessed that blanching, ice bath dunking, and cutting off kernels could be so fun! But, it absolutely was. We were like giggly little school girls making each other laugh while getting covered in corn juice. In the kitchen, I realized that Connie and Kathy were old pros. Connie manned the stove and ice bath. Kathy and I were stationed at the table with knives, trays and labeled baggies in hand. We stuck two and a half cups of corn into each bag and sealed it up. That way, the corn could be used however we want all winter long.

At first, I desperately wanted to eat the corn but no one was eating any. Would it be rude to chuck some in my mouth? Then, to my relief, Megan, Kathy's daughter came in and grabbed a handful of kernels and sampled the sweet corn. All bets were off. It was one handful for me, two and a half cups in the bag, one handful for me Within two hours we had the whole 200 ears transformed into freezer bags full of kernels and I had one happy full tummy. I still had room for the world's best BLT Connie was about to make for lunch.

Fact Box

Stir Fried Corn

Prep and cook time: 25 minutes

Feeds a family of four as a side dish

4 ears of corn

2Tbsp olive oil

1/4 C. diced onion

1Tbsp chopped ginger

1 Tbsp chopped chili (make it as spicy or mild as your taste allows)

A handful of chopped basil

2 Tbsp soy sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Shuck the ears of corn. Place the corn cobs into boiling water. Boil for ten minutes. Transfer the corn to an ice bath to stop the cooking. Once cooled, cut the kernels off of the cob. Place the olive oil into a hot wok or frying pan. Add the onion and saut five minutes. Add the corn, chopped ginger, chili, and soy sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste but you may not need it because it is so flavorful already. Stir-fry for five minutes. Sprinkle the basil on at the last second.

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Creamed Corn

Prep and cook time: 25 minutes

Feeds a family of four as a side dish

4 ears of sweet corn

Half a stick of butter

1/4 cup crme fraiche

2 cloves of garlic minced

Three mint leaves chopped

1tsp orange zest

Shuck the ears of corn. Place the corn cobs into boiling water. Boil for ten minutes. Transfer the corn to an ice bath to stop the cooking. Once cooled, cut the kernels off of the cob. Place the kernels in the food processor and blend until creamy and smooth. Add the crme fraiche and garlic and blend some more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You could blend in some dried chili here too if you like spicy dishes. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with mint leaves and orange zest. I love spicy, so I always add the chili to my individual bowl.

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Please visit my blog for some other tips, recipes, and a small video of the corn picking day.

www.yovia.com/blogs/simplyfood. Enjoy!

Then, and only then, did we bring out the Mojitos. We toasted to our success and cleaned up our sticky corny mess. As Kathy and I left Connie's farm house, I hugged Connie and gave her a heartfelt thank you. It really was a fabulous time.

Since that day, I have had a couple of neighbors bring by few more dozen ears of corn and I have been able to do this at home on my own. I never would have known what to do if it weren't for Connie and Kathy. However, since I already had so much sweet corn without any added ingredients, I decided it would be nice to have some varieties in the freezer.

Sweet corn loves butteror do I love butter? I get so confused. Well, sweet corn tastes fantastic with loads of butter. So, I made several bags with sweet corn, butter, salt and peppersimple but delicious.

Here are two different ways you can prepare the sweet corn, either to freeze and have in the cold winter months or for tonight's dinner. The stir-fried version is better for those who may be trying to avoid the butter. The creamed corn is a great alternative to mashed potatoes.

 
 

 

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