Thomas Jefferson inspires 2 corn dishes

Posted Sept. 21, 2010, at 6:23 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:52 p.m.

There is still a little fresh corn out there, both in our garden and at the market. It has been a remarkable growing year and our new garden gave us lots of corn with a minimum of added protein (earworms). I’ve always wanted to get weary of fresh corn (also asparagus and strawberries straight from the garden). This year we came pretty darn close. I’ve frozen about 26 pounds cut straight from the cob and stuffed into freezer bags and sealed up, frozen flat. Our neighbors, the Wuoris, taught me to do that, and every year I try deferring pleasure in order to have corn put away.

Of course, we had steamed corn and corn oysters, and grilled corn, too. And going off to speak at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello last weekend about the history of vegetable eating in America got the old juices flowing about older ways with corn. Then, as luck would have it, my Virginia host Nancy Carter Crump took me to visit Polyface Farm, featured in the movie “Food, Inc.,” and in Michael Pollen’s book “Omnivore’s Dilemma.” It is not at all far from that famous old vegetable grower and writer of the Declaration of Independence Jefferson himself.

It was great to see the place, and I bought some Polyface bacon to take home. Nancy, a native Virginian, told me about an old Southern way of cooking corn with bacon. So this week when I got home, we had an all-corn supper using the two sets of directions below: Genuine creamed corn, more or less Yankee-style, and Southern-style fried corn with my souvenir bacon.

It was awfully good, a real treat, and now the corn is gone, probably a good thing because I don’t think my waistline could take another round.

Genuine Creamed Corn
Yields adjustable servings.
2 cobs of corn per serving
1 tablespoon of butter per serving
All-purpose cream
Salt and pepper

Shave off the tops of the kernels with one pass of the knife, then repeat, and scrape the cob with the back of the knife to get the last bits and the milk. Put the butter in a heavy pan and melt it, then add the corn, and cook it until it changes to a deeper yellow color, stirring it to keep it from sticking. Then add cream until the pan is flooded but the corn is not submerged entirely. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the corn and cream becomes quite thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Southern Fried Corn with Bacon
Yields adjustable servings.
2 cobs of corn per serving
One strip of bacon per serving
All-purpose cream
Salt and pepper

Shave off the tops of the kernels with one pass of the knife, then repeat, and scrape the cob with the back of the knife to get the last bits and the milk. Fry the bacon in a heavy pan and remove and drain it. Keep at least 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat in the pan for each serving, and then add the corn, cooking it until it changes to a deeper yellow color. Stir and scrape it to keep it from sticking. Then add just enough cream to loosen the stuck-on bits in the pan. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the corn is done. Add salt and pepper to taste. Crumble the bacon and sprinkle over the top, and serve.

SEE COMMENTS →

ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business

Similar Articles

More in Living