Corn Time in Connecticut

The mighty corn

The mighty corn

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.

Simple ingredients make for a special soup

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

  1. 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.
  2. Cool soup, and puree in a food processor or blender and put through a sieve.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Pour soup into bowls and drizzle pepper puree.

Red pepper puree ingredients.
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.

A selection of my corn-friendly dinnerware

The final product

The final product – corn soup with red pepper puree on a  19th c. majolica plate

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.

I love to tie colors and tastes together

I love to tie colors and tastes together – the majolica variegated hosta leaves from the shade garden are mixed with green apples

Hope the video clarifies the thoughts!

img_3206

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.

cookies

Decorated sugar cookies were served with coffee. I cheated here though, purchasing from my favorite Charleston providore Southern Seasons.

Hope you are enjoying the start of early fall as much as I am. Hope you enjoy the video.  Until next time – cr

 

42 thoughts on “Corn Time in Connecticut

  1. Fall is my favorite season of the year ! Loving your ideas for table decor using green apples ! The soup just superb!

    It is always such a pleasure to enter to your home and garden and to be able to savor those small gifts life could offers.

    Sending you a big hug !

    • Thank you Kate, I’m a true believer in never having too much dinnerware – and joy is a very good way to describe it! cr

  2. You are so right….Connecticut Butter and Sugar corn is the best! Freezes beautifully when removed from the cob.

  3. I am looking forward to trying the soup hot. Living in Munich and today it is still summer but the weather is supposed to change still this week so I will be enjoying making this recipe. You have lovely blog!

  4. When is the Carolyne Roehm cook book coming out. With your lovely photos and beautiful water colors it would be a big hit. So nice to see a simple yet elegant soup recipe for our next dinner party or luncheon!!!

  5. Love your recipes and tabletop ideas. Like you, I am addicted to table wear, however, living in a cottage over two hundred years old has limited my buying. I am living vicariously through you.

  6. We share the same passion…Dinnerware, plates, glasses … a joy to collect and use! Always makes me HAPPY to see a beautiful table…Love this post…the colors make me ready for Autumn….

  7. Dear Carolyne,

    As in the past, your lovely images inspire me to reach back into the rich history surrounding your topic. How fun to research Italian glazed ceramics, inspired by your mother’s Victorian majolica. Tell your readers the majolica collection at the Victoria & Albert is very fine. And one can have a blast tracking down Della Robbia on Florence’s architectural facades, or trawling through the ceramics markets in Agrigento. (Your dishes pulled up a memory of being a dinner guest at an Umbrian farm house, where the host served his homemade vino (thick!) in a glazed ceramic pitcher.)

    Grazia my dear – Virginia Billeaud Anderson

    • Thank you Virginia—-Wish you could come and do research for me—I could use some help! Hopefully some of the readers will read what you wrote love it ! cr

      • I could do research for you – how fun! Research and writing is what I do for fun. Perhaps one day I could send you some of my published work. Virginia

  8. I have to believe when you say “it’s the best” because it LOOKS incredible! Today I dub thee Corn Goddess of Connecticut. 😉 Now about the soup recipe…are you sure it’s 2 CUPS of shallots? That sounds like a lot. Secondly, what is that beautiful yellow ?? sitting atop the red pepper puree?

    • Let me check Donna it is from my At Home with carolyne Roehm book —when it was retyped there might have been a typo——-just checked and it is correct.
      cr

    • OMG —Rebecca you are right it folded in Mt.Pleasant. I have not been to Charleston since March and had no idea. Makes me sad because I loved going there. I guess they have a small store downtown and are going to concentrate on an online presence thanks for the info–off to charleston in a couple of weeks cr

    • Perhaps their stand alone store, which is a huge shame, but the website is still up and running – and hope it continues to do so!

  9. Dear Carolyne,

    All lovely.
    When you are in Charleston I would love to see a table setting, set in the Chinoiserie room, inspired by the room. Just a suggestion.

    Love,
    ???? Marie ????

  10. The Corn Chowder recipe looks fabulous. Can’t wait to try it!! I do have one
    question, however. In the picture of the chowder, the corn kernels look whole and/or
    chunky, not pureed and put through a sieve as the directions say. Is that correct?
    I think that I would prefer it the way it is in the picture as I love the texture of summer
    corn. Also, love your blog and greatly enjoy viewing the results of your creativity and many
    talents Such a treat is right!

    • Hi Ann, they were pureed but a few individual kernels were added for decoration. You could of course keep them whole rather than using the sieve for a chunkier style soup. Enjoy! cr

  11. Hi Carolyne,
    Nancy Quattrini’s recipes are all delicious, as are the other recipes you included in your books .
    I have been looking for a recipe that is similar to the one you used with the Donne Del Grano Zebra Bowties in you blog. Please include that one in any cook book you do 😉

    • Thank you Betty, and yes, I haven’t ever come across one of Nancy’s recipes I didn’t like! I shall try and remember to include the bowties recipe, cr

  12. You are right about the corn in our area (including Upstate New York & the Berkshires). I as well, are eating it every day before it ends. I understand that Frank Sinatra always had corn delivered to Los Angeles from the New Paltz/Woodstock area which, as I said above, is our area. Thank you for the fabulous recipe which I will make before the corn (sadly) disappears.

  13. Carolyne,

    I’m a big fan of your work and your books! I especially love your home in Charleston, you did an amazing job with that project, it has so much charm and is glamorous at the same time. You are a big inspiration! I’m also an interior designer in NYC, been here over 20 years!, We are relocating to SC. For the time being we wanted to stay on Sullivan’s Island till the end of school year and make our final decision on where to live after we get our bearings.

    I was wondering if perhaps you knew of anyone who would be interested in renting short tem till the end of the school year? We are looking to move in Nov – Dec. If you hear of any one please pass along their info. When we were looking into moving to DC and Birmingham AL I had 2 contacts from an architect and antique dealer I work with who put me in contact with friends that had beautiful homes that would rent to us. We just decided we wanted to be closet to the water. So with that said I thought I would reach out to some people in the design community. I hope to meet you some day at some event in the near future. Keep doing what you are doing! You are fabulous! All the best, Dawn Nakamura

    • Dear Dawn,
      Thank you for your lovely comment and sorry I am only answering now. Sometimes i miss comments and then going back I wonder how did that happen. On the rental front I have no insights I have toyed with the idea myself of looking for a small place near me where I could work with out distractions and have room for an over flow of guests but have not gotten around to that. Sorry I am of no help. My time here is sporadic tho I am trying to change that. On the positive side I love it down here and hope you will as well. Good luck and let me know if you find something cr

  14. Dear Carolyne,
    Off subject, I had a question for you about raspberries. We have a strange issue with ours where the berries do not fully develop and break apart when you pick them. I know you took your raspberries out. Was that your problem with them? We brought in bee hives thinking they were not getting pollinated enough, but it did not fix it. Any thoughts?

    • Sorry Diane I wish i did . the first berries i planted 30 years ago were fabulous. I made the mistake,in hindsight,and transplanted them to a different location and they never were the same again until finally I gave up and pulled them out. cr

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