Saturday, July 24, 2010

Of Corn and Country

Despite the stifling heat (it's supposed to be 110 degrees today!) I've finally settled in to enjoying the summer and have picked up the rhythm of harvesting and preserving food again. Just a month ago, it seemed impossible that anything would get done at all this year. God has been so good to me!

I even took out my little pad that I keep my canning inventory recorded on, which I was going to write off for 2010. Every canning season I write down how much of each thing I put away, so the following year I'll have an idea of the quantities I need to process to keep us well stocked. If we run short of something, I can look back to last year, so how much I did, and double the amount. If there is more than enough of something, then I'll know that however much I canned allowed me to skip a year so I can lend my energies elsewhere. This is one of my best organizational tactics. I wonder if anyone else does this?

A few days ago I took a drive through the country to run a few errands and pick up some corn. We have corn in our garden, but it's not ready to pick yet. And we eat more than we can grow. I took a few pictures.

Dog-tired by the buggy.

Narvon, PA

Looking north over tobacco field.

Most people freeze their corn, and I do freeze some also. But in addition to that, I also can some whole kernels in jars and do some corn relish. Of course, the best is eating it fresh. This is my favorite corn salad that I look forward to making every year. It was based on a recipe in Taste of Home. It's so easy to make, and what I love is that there is no waiting for water to boil here. Nope, you husk the corn (about nine ears) and take it right off the cob to start.

In a skillet, saute the corn in olive oil with some garlic (3 thinly sliced cloves, or minced equivalent) until tender. Then, stir in one Tablespoon of Dijon mustard.

In a large bowl, combine 3 large chopped tomatoes (though I sometimes like to use halved cherry tomatoes), a small red onion thinly sliced, 1/3 cup chopped green onions, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 3 Tablespoons minced fresh basil, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper. Toss to coat, and serve with a slotted spoon. Makes 7 large servings.

(Some chopped cilantro would be delicious in this also.)


  1. Oh, I just feel so summery just reading your post, all from the air-conditioned comfort of my computer room! Thank you for letting me become a virtual gardener and master canner extrordinaire without lifting a finger!

    Smart idea - keeping a list from year to year. Since you asked us, as you know, I'm not energetic enough to have a vegetable garden, but I do make a lot of lists and reminders that I keep from year to year. For example, my family Christmas Eve feast takes major planning, scheduling, and list-making to pull it all off. I save the menu each year, complete with notes on where to find each recipe, as well as the huge list of each task that needs doing for each item on the menu. It's a very detailed list with the timing for each chore noted (oven space juggling is always an issue). So I save that list until the following year, so I don't forget to put anything critical on it.

    I also have a master packing list for traveling that I save in my files. I have lists of things that I need annually also - all saved in my cell phone - like a checklist for who I buy valentines for; the names and color shades for all the makeup or toiletry items I use (I'm old - I forget if it's not written down!), etc.

    I keep all these things in two applications that are both online and in my cell phone (and they are free!). The two programs are called Evernote and CarbonFin Outliner (the online counterpart of CarbonFin Outliner is called Online Outliner). These two applications have (almost) literally kept me sane the past year and a half, and I don't know how I lived without them before. The Evernote application has even allowed me to almost completely do away with my old-style computer filing system! And it's all paperless - no dead trees!

    I've also begun adding my favorite recipes to Evernote, along with a photo of the dish. Through Evernote, since it's also online, I can share this collection of recipes with my family members - no emailing necessary. Anytime they want a recipe, they just go to my private online collection! I love it!

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  3. Batmom - Thanks for the Evernote idea! I just looked at their website and it looks great ~ I'll have to look into it.

    Mennobrarian - I love lists and feel out of sorts when things are chaotic. I not only like your idea but do the same thing when I "can" - if I buy 2 cans of green beans and it's not enough one week, I add another can to the grocery list for next week! Feel free to borrow that idea - it's a real time-saver. I know, you're thinking that you didn't even know green beans came in a can, right!? :D Thanks for the recipe - we'd eat that I'm sure. YUM I made a corn dip recipe not too long ago that was good also and it kind of had a "kick". Your pictures were GREAT ~ thanks for sharing. :)

  4. I also keep track of what I can and freeze. We got married in 1984 and I've kept all the index cards where I wrote all the info on. I also like to write down how much I have left from the year before. This way I can see how much we've actually eaten. I like orginazation, to much sometimes, to my husband's chagrin!

  5. I knew that word didn't look right. I think it's organization!

  6. BAT Mom- I've been meaning to check out Evernote. You've oversold it to me so many times, so it must be a great application.

    Beth- Of course I know green beans come in cans. I'm canning some right now! ;-)

    Twila- What a great idea about writing down how much is left! Tell your husband how blessed he is to have such an organized wife. :-)

  7. I have started the list of this years canning. It is such a good feeling to see all the pints and qt add up!!1


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