August and September are the height of the corn season. We eat freshly picked corn everyday and the kitchen is abuzz with preparations to freeze enough to get me through the colder months ahead. Not wanting to start World War 3 (let’s face it, an area that definitely doesn’t need any assistance from me) I am putting it out there – I happen to believe Connecticut sweet corn is the best in the USA, if not the world. Several states claim theirs is the best but I maintain, after much sampling, that my vote is for Connecticut!
Starshine corn used to be grown at Weatherstone, but it takes up so much space, and with superb growers locall, there is really no need. When in season, I could eat it every day, either on the cob, in a chowder, muffins or bread. I tend to prefer the varieties Butter and Sugar, but also enjoy Bodacious Yellow and Cotton Candy. The season usually lasts here from late July right through to October….so no chance it would be “as high as an elephant’s eye by the 4th July” – Oklahoma we are not!
Recently I held a birthday luncheon for a friend, with the corn as the star. Starting with a corn chowder recipe from Nancy Quattrini, my former chef at Weatherstone. This soup is equally delicious hot or cold, and freezes well, allowing one to satisfy corn cravings all year long.
Corn Soup with Red Pepper Puree – Serves 6
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups chopped shallots
6 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons heavy cream
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 large red peppers, roasted, skinned and seeded
1 teaspoon white vinegar
- In a medium soup pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add shallots and sauté until translucent. Add corn, chicken broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Cool soup, and puree in a food processor or blender and put through a sieve.
- Return soup to pot and add ¼ cup heavy cream, milk, salt, pepper and chili powder. Return to medium heat and cook for 5 minutes.
- Put roasted peppers in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add 3 tablespoons heavy cream, salt and pepper to taste, and vinegar. Blend until smooth.
- Pour soup into bowls and drizzle pepper puree.
Of course with my love of dinnerware, I have managed to use corn as another excuse for a range specific to serving this divine yellow vegetable. Majolica (ceramics glazed with tin enamel) is originally from the Renaissance period, but gaining much popularity in 19th century Britain, it is often called Victorian majolica. The green leaf plates are a mix of old and new and several are a gift from my mother. All so colorful, that I can’t help but smile as I set a table with them. I love the little corn pitcher and corn plate. The flatware is made with blonde wood, from somewhere in France, but so old I can’t recall the exact manufacturer. The green glasses seem to be everywhere in stores both in glass and great looking plastic, and the raffia runner and the raffia edged napkins are from France as well.
The green theme continues, with the table decor. With my hosta in peak season it seems a natural to use these glorious variegated ones as a bouquet. I love the various patterns and colors of the leaves teamed with green apples for the table decoration. Remember a table is most exciting when it tells a story. This one is a story of vibrant greens, many textures and using what is peaking in the garden at the moment.
Hope the video clarifies the thoughts!
As you may know, at least those who have read my posts before, gift wrapping is a big love of mine. I even did a book on the subject – and it is still one of my favorites! I think in the telling of the “story” it is important to follow through with the theme by coordinating the gift wrap to the table. Pictured above is a gift wrapped with colors of the table and in the spirit of the table.
Hope you are enjoying the start of early fall as much as I am. Hope you enjoy the video. Until next time – cr