Savoring the Seasons: Variations on a theme
By MARY MCCLINTOCK
I love getting recipes from friends and folks who read this column, especially different ways to prepare foods I normally fix in my “usual way.” After all, someone else’s “usual” is often different from my “usual.”
I was glad to hear from Carl Doerner with this advice: “Sadly, the season for bringing fresh corn from the garden or local farmstand to the table is winding down. What to do with those starchy mature kernels we expose in these last days when the familiar sweetness has given way? I move from disappointment to preparing a rich chowder, blending the corn with chicken stock, onion, carrot, celery, potato, milk or cream and herbs.”
See below for Carl’s tasty recipe.
Hearing from Carl made me think about the “kale storage advice” he shared at a Winter Fare local food potluck in Ashfield a few winters ago. I asked him to remind me how he keeps kale. He said, “Kale keeps well in the garden deep into winter. Our problem is once snow falls, deer want to feed on it. I find cutting it frozen in the garden, storing it in meal-size quantities in plastic bags kept in the garage provides fresh kale as long as it lasts.
“Because you are simply moving the frozen kale from one place to another, it will stay palatable for months.”
All you kale growers, take note!
I’ve been busy preserving food for winter, freezing peaches, green beans, and corn. This past week, I also froze pesto to enjoy throughout the next year. I was glad to run into Mary Rose at Green Fields Market and to hear about her variation on the pesto theme. Many people love lots of garlic and cheese in pesto, but not everyone. Mary’s recipe below is a great garlic and cheese-free option.
Chilifest! Seeks Chili Cook-Off Contestants, Saturday, Sept. 14, 81 Rocky Hill Road, Hadley. The Kitchen Garden Farm’s Chilifest! seeks contestants for Chili Cook-Off contest on Saturday, Sept. 14 (cook-off is on Saturday, festival continues on Sunday). Anyone interested in participating in the Cook-Off can enter in one of three categories: meat with beans; meat without beans; and vegetarian. To enter, email your name, the name of your chili, which category, and your town to firstname.lastname@example.org. Contestants must deliver two gallons of chili by 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14. Deadline for entering Cook-Off is Thursday, Sept. 12. For full Chilifest! information, visit http://kitchengardenfarm.com/chilifest or call 413-387-5163.
This week we’re eating ...
By Carl Doerner, Conway
In a large heavy pot, put:
1 large sweet onion chopped and sautée in 2 T. olive oil,
1 large carrot chopped small and
Several small potatoes cut in very small pieces, and
2 lengths of celery cut small
Add 2 C. seasoned chicken stock and cook covered on low heat until vegetables are tender. Add kernels cut from 3 or more ears of mature corn. Correct seasonings and add chopped parsley or your favorite herbs. (I harvest and chop fresh herbs in summer and pack them dry into jars for the freezer. These can be forked out just as if they were fresh.)
This corn chowder will be thick. Thin and enrich with a cup or more of milk or light cream. Heat and serve.
PESTO WITHOUT GARLIC
By Mary Rose, Greenfield
Large bunch of basil, cilantro or parsley
2-3 T. olive oil
1-2 T. Braggs liquid aminos
1+ T. nutritional yeast
¼-½ C. walnuts
Put all ingredients in food processor and blend into spreadable consistency. Add more oil if too dry. Refrigerate. I started making this several years ago and enjoy it as much as the more traditional pesto. No aftertaste from the garlic, walnuts which are less expensive than pine nuts, and no dairy.