I don’t take gentle, evening strolls through the garden, admiring the neat rows. I’m not that kind of gardener. Sometimes I wish I was, but then I get too busy with the dairy animals in June, the peak cream season, and if we are still in no want of vegetables to fill the table, I can’t justify the time investment of a neat garden. In my garden, it usually takes me awhile to get the courage up dive in for a harvest. I have to get everything ready – heavy-duty baskets, scissors, and twine for a half hearted attempt to tame the tomato jungle. Before I dive in, I alert the children of where I will be, urging them to send a rescue party if I don’t appear in more than an hour.
The summer rains that forced us inside for much of the time the past three weeks have created monstrous plants. Vegetables and weeds stand over waist-high, side-by-side, and meanwhile the luffa gourds and watermelon vines have conspired to take over the world. I spend ages struggling through rampant squash vines and bush beans, occasionally exclaiming with horror when I discover yet another 3-foot long okra that I missed, or a melon that perished tragically in all the rain.
The jungle inhabitants are the numerous and diverse insects, huge ones, worthy of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, but being an entomologist’s daughter, they don’t bother me like the spiny amaranth and the hidden melon vines that seem to cling around my ankles. Usually I come out with ant bites and scratches on my arms, struggling under massive vegetables.
The point of this anecdote is to explain why the sweet corn was not picked in time. I wanted to pick it, of course, but I was too busy with the bush beans, cucumbers, and eggplant, and we missed the milk stage. When we finally got around to picking the ears and eagerly tearing open the husks, we were at first delighted by the plump, juicy kernels that were revealed. Munched raw, they were sweet and delicious, but once boiled, the truth was revealed! They were starchy and bland – we missed the milk stage! And how could we? Sweet corn is a challenge to grow, and to go through all that just to miss it at the last minute – it was just too terrible.
However, this season’s cream and butter came to the rescue! This excellent creamed corn cheered us up, and made us wish for more.
Lost In The Garden Creamed Corn
About 5 ears of sweet corn, well-filled and pollinated up to the ends
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup cream
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- With a sharp knife, cut the kernels off of the cobs into a medium sauce pan.
- Add the butter, cream, salt and pepper. Cook over a low flame for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cream should cook down, and the corn will soften.
- Serve hot, with an extra grind of pepper.