Savoring Corn Season

In New England, we measure the seasons by the crops, and this is one of the best!

When Corn Season is upon us, I hunter-gather at all the farm stands near home and buy a couple of ears from each. Then I cook them and taste. Most years, there is a standout favorite! We might be tempted to pick the largest ears, but often that is not where the best flavor is usually found. At the beginning of the season, first corn is usually disappointing. But this year, from the first bite, it was Corn Heaven! Corn at the beginning of September is usually really sweet, but as the season wears on, it can become starchy. Farmers often grow more than one variety as well, so you just have to taste, and taste again.

corn at farmstand

Our first corn meal will most likely be simple – thrown on the grill, husks and all, no soaking. Once done and the outsides nicely singed, before letting them cool, impatiently we peel back the husks to use as a handle, add a little butter and munch away, napkins at hand. That first corn meal includes nothing but corn, and we couldn’t be happier.

Roasted, grilled, steamed, or boiled, corn is a summer staple, and has been on this continent in one form or another for thousands of years. It grows remarkably well in the northeast, whereas grains such as wheat, do not, so corn’s versatility became a staple ingredient in the region’s cuisine.

For several months, we’ll use these golden nuggets in dozens of ways: fresh corn salad, corn muffins, New England spider cake, corn pudding, dips and salsas, succotash (my husband’s favorite), corn fritters, Johnny cakes, and, of course, corn chowder!

Corn Chowder and Corn Bread? Of course!

Corn Chowder

corn chowder
Corn Chowder is comfort food at its best. Fresh, sweet corn, new potatoes, leeks and onions, chives from the garden. Add whatever “cream” you like. Light cream is superb, but you can use anything from light coconut milk to evaporated skimmed milk to achieve a creamy base. Please omit the heavy flour roux!

New England Spider Cake

F Spider cake
Cooked in cast iron, New England spider cake can be made exactly as it has been for hundreds of years. A rich corn flavor with a creamy layer, it can be a side dish bread, or drizzled with maple syrup it can double as dessert.

© Copyright 2018 – or current year, The New Vintage Kitchen

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I love Corn Chowder and Corn Bread. My ex husband was from the States and introduced me to lots of your lovely comforting dishes…. I will be trying both of yours! 🌽💙

    1. Thank you so much! They really are comfort foods from our family, with a few little twists. I made it last week with light coconut milk (one dairy free person in family) and everyone loved it!

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