corn

Top 9 Reasons the Ninth Month is Not My Favorite

by Anne Maxfield on September 2, 2019

Accidental Locavore Gala Apples

It’s Labor Day and I didn’t feel like laboring so please enjoy this post from a few years ago.

Those of you who know me, know September is not my favorite month and here’s why:

  1. It’s the end of summer! If it wasn’t apparent enough by the days getting shorter, back-to-school ads (yeah, ok, those start in July) and everything with “end of summer clearance”, the words “Labor Day” seemingly cannot be uttered without adding “the last weekend of the summer”. It’s really like rubbing your nose in it.
  2. Just because it’s September, doesn’t mean it’s time to pack up the grill. Even in New York, we generally grill until the food would get cold coming the short distance from the grill to the house, or we have to dig a path to the grill, (i.e. January).
  3. Therefore, I’m not ready to start braising anything! My theory: it’s not braising weather until there are no tomatoes or corn left at the farmers markets. When butternut squash is all you can find, it’s time for slow-cookers and Dutch ovens. After all, how many recipes for grilled butternut squash do you know?Accidental Locavore Moroccan Squash Soup
  4. Food I haven’t cooked. At the end of every summer, there’s always a huge list of things I wanted to try and didn’t. That’s not to say I wasn’t cooking, the blog (and my waistline) will vouch for that. It’s just that there’s so much you can do with all the great summer foods! And maybe because the gap from the last of the tomatoes to the first of the asparagus is a long one.
  5. I will park the white pants, shoes and bags, but that’s more a matter of upbringing than anything else. Wearing white after Labor Day never feels right to me, and, as we all know, if you don’t feel good, you don’t look good.
  6. When the temperature is above 80 degrees, cashmere, down, knee-high boots and everything else in the stores are nothing I want to come in contact with. Save them for the other ___ber and ___ary months. God knows they last long enough!
  7. I hate fall! There, I’ve said it. To me there is nothing intrinsically good or valuable in days getting shorter and watching things die. To the editor of Hudson Valley Magazine, you are wrong, wrong, wrong about fall being most people’s favorite season. Got it? Wrong!
  8. Even the music is depressing. See You in September, Wake me up When September Ends. September Song, September in the Rain, The September of my Years, not an upbeat tune among them!Accidental Locavore Dog and Football
  9. Football…enough said.

And what I like about September? Oh, just give me a while, I’m sure I can come up with something…

 

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Your New Favorite (Corn) Salad

by Anne Maxfield on August 19, 2019

Even thought I was in the throes of moving, when I saw this corn salad recipe on the Smitten Kitchen site, I paused and made it for lunch for friends who were helping us. Just give yourself a little time for the onions to pickle.

Your New Favorite (Corn) Salad

  • 1/2 a small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Slightly heaped 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 medium ears corn, shucked
  • 1/3 cup sour cream, or crema
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 ounces (heaped 1/2 cup) crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1 lime, halved
  • Tajín seasoning or chile powder
  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves

Combine red onion, red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons cold water, salt, and sugar in a bowl or jar. Set in fridge until needed. Onions will be very lightly pickled by the time you’re done assembling the salad, but if you can give them 1-2 hours in the fridge, they’ll be better.

Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Lightly oil grill grates and place corn cobs directly on them. Cook corn until charred in spots all over, turning as often as needed. Transfer them to a cutting board to cool slightly.

While you’re grilling your corn, combine sour cream, mayo, and cotija cheese. Spread on the bottom of your serving plate. Cut corn from cobs with a sharp knife and pile it over the cheese mix on the platter. Squeeze the juice of half a lime all over, then scatter with the pickled onion rings from the fridge. Generously shake Tajín or chile powder all over; if you’re using plain chile powder, season with salt and an extra squeeze of lime. Top with cilantro leaves. Cut remaining lime half into wedges and serve alongside. Serve and enjoy right away while the dressing is cold, and the corn is warm!

My verdict: Amazing! I’ve been wanting to try to make elote anyway and seeing this just sealed the deal. I had some chorizo, so we grilled that and served it with the corn salad. It was a perfect summer lunch and there wasn’t a kernel of corn leftover.

It was so good, that in the middle of moving, I almost bought some more corn just to grill so we could have it in our new (grillless apartment), but I’m hoping my grill pan will do a decent job.

If you have a Mexican grocery nearby, you can get the Tajin, cojita and crema there, otherwise substitute chile powder, crumbled feta and sour cream. I did use homemade mayo and crema, but it’s so good that that probably didn’t make much of a difference.

The Tajin seasoning is great and you’ll find lots of other uses for it. I might introduce it to some Fritos and see if I can replicate my favorite junk food from Mexico—Fritos with chili and lime. What do you put it on?

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Corn Shuckers I’m Sorry, So Sorry

by Anne Maxfield on August 12, 2019

Public corn shuckers out there, I owe you an apology.

One of my biggest summer pet peeves is watching, or trying not to watch, people shucking corn in the supermarket.

And I say supermarket because at most farmers’ markets they wouldn’t let you do it.

Recently I got 6 ears of corn to make a corn salad. The recipe (which was amazing and will post soon) called for the corn to be shucked and grilled.

No problem. I did my usual grab of 6 ears of corn—shaking my head at the peepers and shuckers  — and went home to make the dish.

Accidental Locavore Corn on the CobAbout the second ear it hit me—I almost never shuck raw corn. Our two favorite ways to do corn are to toss it on the grill or pop it in the microwave. With either method it’s shucked after it’s cooked. There is still a bit of a mess, but the silk comes out easier and the cob can be popped out of the husk.

But when the corn is raw—oh baby what a mess!

By the fourth ear I was flashing back to childhood when the kids and the corn would be tossed outside so the mess would be in someone’s backyard.

After all six were done, I vowed that next time I was joining the other supermarket shuckers because it made such a huge mess!

Accidental Locavore CornThe other thing you should know about me is that I hate doing floors. Don’t know what childhood trauma I suffered, but brooms and vacuums are the enemy. I’ll scrub a toilet or polish silver way before I’ll tackle a floor.

So, after all the work shucking, I’m now faced with getting bits of corn silk off the floor where it’s hiding under the butcher block and stuck in all the grout lines.

Now I owe all the supermarket shuckers an apology. The next time I’m making this recipe (and there will be many next times) I’m joining you around one of the giant trash barrels, where we can all make a mess and there will be someone to clean up after us!

However, if you’re one of the people who peel back the husk and reject the ear, or even worse, shuck an ear and toss it back, you’re still on my s**t list.

Don’t waste food.

 

 

 

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16 Top Tips For Shopping a Farmers’ Market

by Anne Maxfield on May 27, 2019

Accidental Locavore Farmers Market Produce As we start to get into peak farmers’ market season, here are my top tips for making the most of your market trip:

accidental-locavore-farmers-market-haul16 Top Tips For Shopping Your Farmers’ Market:

  1. If you want something special or the best selection, shop early
  2. When you find a farmer or stand you like, ask for a card. That way you’ll always know who has the perfect tomatoes.
  3. Bring bags, both big and small. A plastic box is always handy for carrying precious berries
  4. Bring cash, small bills and change
  5. Leave kids and dogs at home if at all possible
  6. Park bikes
  7. Give yourself time to cruise the market and then go back to make purchases
  8. Ask the farmers for advice and don’t forget to admire all their hard work!
  9. Even if you’re in a hurry, hand money directly to the person behind the counter. Don’t leave it on the counter or wave it in their face.
  10. Don’t shuck corn. Corn in the husk stays fresher, gives you more cooking options and is actually easier to shuck once it’s cooked.
  11. As tempting as it is to squeeze the tomatoes, if you don’t buy it, it will end up like a water balloon by the end of the day.
  12. Ask to taste something, but take the box you tasted it from if you’re going to buy it.
  13. Try something different. If you’re not sure what to do with it, ask the farmer.
  14. Be clean. Don’t leave trash or coffee cups on the counters.
  15. Wash everything when you get home. Store in clear containers or bags so you’ll see it and use it.
  16. Enjoy! There’s nothing better than food straight from the farm.

accidental-locavore-farmers-market-lettuceAny tips you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments below.

If you’d like a sheet to print out, click here. Accidental Locavore Farmers Market Tomatoes

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