Peaches & Cream Corn

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this year I planted Burpee's Peaches & Cream bicolor sweet corn.

The kernels were true to their name - peach and cream colored, plump and sweet.  The corn was ready for harvest approximately 70 days after planting.  The corn stalks were six feet high by the Fourth of July.  In Ohio we have the saying, "Knee high by the Fourth of July"; which is the benchmark for corn to attain to be on target for summer harvest.

I did not double plant this variety - putting in two seeds per 4" - as I do for Silver Queen.  It did not disappoint with a germination rate of near 100%.  The seedlings emerged around the 8th day and grew better than expected.

I pulled the first of two 8 1/2" ears a day after my husband went to Florida.  My husband lives for my sweet corn.  He missed the first sweet pickings. It was truly unfortunate because this corn was THE best tasting bi-colored sweet corn I have ever tasted.  The kernels were almost full set with two distinct crispy-sweet flavors.

He was gone for two weeks,
approximately the time this sugary enhancer hybrid
stays sweet and tender. 

Tasting is believing.  The homegrown corn he ate on day 14 tasted much like the supermarket corn that is trucked in from parts unknown.  I can't convince him otherwise.

Since his disappointment, all the corn has since been harvested, blanched and frozen. 

There's an amazing little Corn Pudding Recipe from the Frugal Gormet that uses fresh or frozen corn.  I had it recently using my fresh-from-the-garden corn.  Heavenly! 

I'm hoping his disappointment in this year's bicolor will be forgotten when it returns in this dish:

1 3/4 cups milk
1 stick butter, melted
4 eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups corn kernels
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
dash Tabasco

In a saucepan, heat the milk and gently melt the butter.  Allow to cool.  Beat the eggs.  Chop the kernels a bit in a food processor or by hand.  Keep the texture rough.  (Frozen corn should be melted first in a colander.)  Mix together all ingredients.  Place in a buttered 2 qt. baking dish  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/4 hours.  The top should be lightly browned.


On Volunteer Sunflowers

I love a volunteer plant: always unexpected, willing to grow anywhere, slowly unfolding its mysteries. 

Some of my fondest volunteers have included the pin oak sapling growing in the perennial bed, poke weed with its deep aubergine berry clusters, and yellow sunflowers.

Each year, the area beneath and adjacent to the purple plum tree is filled with volunteer sunflowers; sprouting from seeds which have spilled from the various birdfeeders.

I do not know the varieties growing therein, flowing like musical notes within a stanza, reaching toward the sun as it passes along the imaginary line that is east to west.  Yet, I enjoy their unfolding beauty, bright morning faces and the interwoven relationship between flower and pollen-ladened pollinator.  Golden flower and golden finch; clinging upside down, cracking the oil-rich, black-shelled seeds with their snubbed, orange beaks.


A Home-Grown Lunch

This is the reason why I get dirty; bend and beat up my middle age body, endure cold and heat: 

The harvest is sweetest when it is seasoned with one's own labor. 

Today, I enjoyed Arapaho blackberries sprinkled with table sugar and a crisp, green leaf lettuce salad with slices of "Fire n Ice" radishes* and "Super Snappy" peas*.

The Arapaho berries grow on the east side of the potting shed.  This year, there is an abundance of berries.  The branches hang heavy and low.  Two years ago, the canes were fertilized with chicken manure.  They are showing me their thanks!

The early kitchen garden of radishes, peas and lettuce is coming to an end.  This season's lettuce actually self-seeded so I am allowing a few plants to bolt and go to seed again this year.  In early August, I will replant leaf lettuce for harvesting in September.

I'll also replant some peas and radishes for fall harvest.

This afternoon, I will put in some herbs - dill and basil - and, the last of the tomato plants.  I've held back some plants to put in the kitchen garden.  The protected southern exposure will allow the tomatoes to produce some time after the tomatoes in the main vegetable garden have stopped.

Bon Appetite!

* Seeds are from Burpee