Posts Tagged ‘corn’


Knee high...and then some!

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The October full moon is called the Harvest Moon. I have yet to get more than a glimpse of the moon, which was full on October 4th, as we have had heavily-overcast skies and rainy weather for the last week or more. However, that didn’t stop my own little harvest from taking place. My unambitious vegetable garden included several varieties of squash vines, and the squash, in keeping with the season, are ready to harvest. Even if you know nothing at all about gardening, you can grow squash. While better care may result in a better harvest, you can nevertheless enjoy a taste of home-grown squash simply by planting a few wee seedlings in the spring and ignoring them until October. Winter squash (as opposed to tender squash varieties such as zucchini) will keep much of the winter. Simply store them in a cool, dry spot and there you go, a summer treat awaiting your pleasure.


The Iroquois grew squash, corn and beans as the ‘Three Sisters’, sustainers of life. Together, the trio provide a complete protein. The Three Sisters were traditionally planted together. The corn provides a support for the beans. The beans enrich the soil by fixing nitrogen, while the squash plants shade the ground, conserving moisture and keeping out competing weeds. One of my favorite fall dishes is called Three Sisters Mizithra. It is made with spaghetti squash, a fun variety that can tempt even youngsters who wouldn’t consider eating squash.


To prepare the squash, pierce it in a few spots to allow steam to escape, and wrap it in foil. Place it in the oven and bake it at 375° for 1 hour and fifteen minutes. After removing the squash from the oven, remove the foil and cut the squash in half lengthwise, allowing it to cool until it can be handled.


After removing the seeds from the centre of the squash, use a fork to scrape the squash flesh from the shell. The squash comes away in the long, spaghetti-like strands that give the squash its name. Combine 2 cups of cooked white beans (I use a can of white navy beans) and 1 cup of corn, and heat until hot. Combine these with the squash in a large bowl. You can also add diced bell pepper to add a touch of colour. In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter together. Pour this over the squash combo and toss. Sprinkle with cheese, parsley and basil to taste.

The mizithra mentioned in the dish’s name is a kind of Greek cheese. I never have this on hand and usually use plain old cheddar, but other cheeses would make an interesting variation. Serve hot. Enjoy.


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Louis loves Corn


Louis doesn’t mind apples. If you cut an apple into bite-sized pieces for him, he’ll graciously accept a slice or two.


You can’t tempt Louis with carrots. This offering received not even a nibble from Louis. He’s just not an orange-vegetable kind of a guy. I split the carrot in half and the two horses, Mousie and Czarina were happy to share it.


Louis knew there was something better on hand. He checked my bucket.


No apples for Louis, no carrots. Louis loves corn!


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August full moon over corn field

The August full moon is celebrated in country and native lore as the Green Corn Moon. While the April full moon is called the Pink moon, there is precious little pink to be seen around here in April. Green Corn is a perfectly appropriate name for the August moon, however. It is amazing to learn that corn was being imported all the way from South Africa for milling in the early 20th century. Corn is now a commonplace crop, with some 21,000 corn producers in Ontario represented by the Ontario Corn Producers’ Association.

At this point in the summer, a drive along most any rural road will take you past at least a few fields of corn, reaching up six feet and more, with cobs of corn nestled against the stalks. Better still, a visit to a market or grocery store will offer an opportunity to bring home the first sweet corn of the season. Sweet corn, fresh from the field, boiled or barbecued in the husk, buttered, salted…mmmmm! Nothing like it!

Thank you to Birdgirl, who captured the Green Corn Moon on a recent visit, for the above photograph.


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