Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Taste of Summer

Even though I'm still pulling gloves on as I walk out the door in the City, it's obvious that spring is on its way.

But the country - well, that's a different story.

Fall, though brief, is truly beautiful.

Spring, however, seems to be taken over by mud season. The snow melts, and the rains come, and the road, which is not paved, turns to mush. Without a crisp cover of white,

it's pretty bleak.

Last weekend Walter and Peggy stayed in town. Margaret and Tom went back to Baltimore.

And I don't blame them.

It's true. Soon the lilacs will bloom, and the bushes will bud. There will even be home-grown asparagus for breakfast to dip in the yolk of a softly cooked egg.

But, basically, from March through May, upstate everyone's waiting for summer, with its long languorous days, blue skies, and green grass.

Gin and tonics on the porch at the end of the day.

Eggplant from the garden fried crisp and topped with still hot with chunks of our own tomatoes marinated in olive oil and laced with garlic and basil. Zucchini and summer squash. Green and yellow beans plucked from their stalks right before blanching.

Even our own sweet little onions.

This is how the garden looks now.

But THIS is how the garden looked last August

when I walked outside to get some corn

to make this "simple and very rich"

Creamed Corn
Vegetables, Savory Fruit Dishes, Pickles & Preserves, Page 253

I shucked the corn and removed the silk.

Judy Rodgers says the "goal is to harvest the rounded tips of the kernels, leaving most of the tough kernel casing behind while still capturing all the sweet juice." I put the blade of the knife flat against the corn and slid it down the length of the ear, not cutting too close to the cob. I kept turning the ear of corn corn around, repeating this process, until I had all the kernels off the ear. Then I turned the knife around and used the dull side to extract as much of the milk that was left in the ear as I could.

I melted unsalted butter in a black iron skillet, added the corn to the skillet with a pinch of Maldon salt, and stirred the corn to heat it all the way through.

Once the corn was tender I stirred in about a quarter of a cup of marscapone, adding it a spoonful at a time. I only cooked three ears of corn, so I halved the amount of marscapone called for in the recipe. It didn't make it as creamy as if I dumped in a ton of heavy cream. It was more like using a lot of butter - but MUCH better.

It was delicious - better than any creamed corn I ever had before. I can't wait to make it again!



David said...

Glad to see you're back and posting again. Zuni is one of my favorite cookbooks. I've recently started my own "cook through the book" blog, over at Keep up the great posts!


EB said...

I can't even tell you how much I want a garden!! Lucky broad.