Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another Pickle CHiPs Winner + CORN [RECIPE]

I started to get all "AHiPs" on this post and then decided against it because even I can't keep up with my failed CHiPs analogy anymore.

It's too much, people, these stories I weave.

So, I'll put it to you this way, Ms Dig still gets her pickles, because I love her and I believe all pregnant women should have access to pickles and now, Holly does, too because Dig is very nice and also has a healthy guilty conscience and since she'd just finished winning four of the last four contests she'd entered, she was ready to give up her pickles to someone else. Because of her guilt.

Which I found to be sweet and indicative of her lovely character. And I can't take pickles away from lovely characters? What would that say about me, then?


And I can't have y'all thinking mean things about me just all the time, now can I? No.

So - I ran the random thingy chooser again and this time it picked Holly of Life in the Shoe for a visit from the pickle chips who I've stopped addressing as Erik because it started to all get a little weird for my tastes.

Sorry, I just can't maintain these charades for so long. It cramps my brain.

BUT YAY FOR HOLLY! You win pickles, too! Just shoot me an email to finnyknits AT gmail DOT com with your mailing address and I'll ship you off your pickles to sunny AZ so that you can replenish your sodium levels after your triathlon training with some nice dilly pickle chips.

Also - I recommend fries. But that's because I'm SUCH a professional runner. Ahem. Yeah, not really.

And since I'm kinda sick of talking about pickles, chips, Erik Estrada and highway patrolmen - I'm going to stop now.

Instead - I'm going to talk about corn.

People, the corn is R.E.A.D.Y. In the, We Need To Eat it All ASAP, kind of ready.

Which is scary given we're going on vacation next week (Hey - FYI: no Finny next week - she'll be drinking cocktails at 2pm in Hawaii - yay, you're free!) and I can't trust our neighbors to actually come over and pick vegetables on their own without my semi-forceful coercing.

They're too nice and polite, these neighbors. I should train them in my rude and pushy ways.

Anyway, in an effort to de-ear as many stalks of corn as possible before we skip town for the islands, I invited some of these very polite neighbors over for Corn Feast 2009, in which we indulged in grilled corn on the cob, corn salad with tomatoes, grilled lamb chops and some other things that didn't involve corn but do go well with corn.

Sometimes you have to make compromises so that your meals make sense, I say.

I was not willing to compromise two corn dishes out of the meal, so instead we introduced lamb, which made it all make sense.

Anyway, even though I love grilled corn on the cob, the real highlight for me (aside from the lamb chops, which, YUM) was the corn salad which was originally inspired by a recipe in RealSimple, but was bastardized thusly to suit my tastes and the shit in my fridge that was pushing its way free from the crisper.

My crisper is less pushy now.

This is what my life has come to, y'all - being bullied by the crisper. It's ugly.

But this is pretty! For corn, anyway.
The Corn Salad You Must Make Right Now
Recipe adapted from Corn Salad With Feta and Walnuts, RealSimple
My changes in BOLD

Ingredients + supplies
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces
5 cups fresh corn kernels (from 5 ears), raw
1/2 Padron pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled fresh Feta
2 fresh tomatoes, picked right from the garden and chopped
Disposable rubber gloves or other hand protecting device

To make
*Indicates optional step

*Heat convection oven to 400 and burn the crap out of half a cup of walnut pieces. Discard.

Start over with another 1/2 cup of walnut pieces, this time ratcheting the temp down to 300 and standing nearby in the event of a flare-up.

Cut your corn off the cobs using Kris's method, and really, the only proper method for separating corn kernels from their cobs. Really, now.

Bubba taught me to shuck and Kris taught me to cut. It's a world of learning out there, folks.

I think this is self-explanatory.

Put on your rubber gloves and deal with chopping the pepper. Really. This is important. Because if you go chopping away on a hot pepper and then, because you're you, go to scratch your left eye or casually tap the end of your nose during a moment of introspection, without having worn gloves during the pepper chopping process, you'll spend the rest of the evening alternating ice packs, crunching Advil and basically hating your life as a swollen, throbbing, jalapeno-touching monster.

I'm just saying, those gloves are worth it. And then, just because you can, take those gloves off after handling the peppers, THROW THEM THE FUCK AWAY, and then wash your hands. Just to be careful.

Now, put all of that vegetable goodness into a big bowl, stir it up and let it sit around for at least half an hour before you serve it to anyone. The mingling is what makes it extra delicious. I promise you.

I don't know why I always take the Pre-Stir photos, but I do love them.

Plus, it'll give you time to grill some more ears (thus sharing/getting rid of more corn - you decide how you want to look at it), grill the lamb chops (HOLY GOOD) and steam those potatoes for potato salad which we'll talk about at another time but I'll tell you is an excellent excuse to introduce a new vinegar (champagne) to your regimen. But we'll talk about that another time.

Anyway, once everything is all mingly, the other corn and the lamb chops have grilled and the potato salad tossed, head out to the backyard with your third cocktail and proceed to get shitfaced drunk with your neighbors while you eat a shameful amount of corn and then some homemade strawberry shortcake brought by said neighbors.

And since no one has to drive anywhere, this entire scenario is totally acceptable.

Here's to Corn Feast 2009.

The unblurriness of this photo is a miracle. So you know.


  1. Ah, yet another phallic corn photo is now on the Internet. My work here is done.

    By the way, have you noticed how hairy Silver Queen corn is? It's impossible to separate all the silks. Our other variety was not like this. That Silver Queen needs some electrolysis, stat.

  2. You are hilarious and very kind. I am quite happy I met you. I must have that corn salad (but no nuts cause I'm all allergic and stuff). Very jealous of your corn...ours will be a bit. LOVE the corn in the bundt pan! Brilliant.

  3. You're SO funny Finny! The corn feast looks to die for -- and your corn looks -- well, worthy of being from the midwest!!! Have you seen any corn and blueberry salsa recipes -- excellent use of your corn too. And maybe next year you should schedule ye ol' vacation AFTER ye JUMBO harvest. You being a farmer and all!

  4. Corn Fest! I love it. Do you have gobs leftover to make tamales? I watched Rick Bayless last night and reconsidered the possibility of making the homemade tamale. And I know how the Finny likes her pork 'males.
    Hope you guys have such a lovely getaway!

  5. It's only 11 am and now I am mouthwatery for the corn salad. Maybe I can come pick yours while you are in Hawaii bc I just live up in the city . . . that sounds weird and stalker-y but because dig is a friend of my good friend up in Montana I give myself license to be like that.

    You are, in fact, very funny. Every time I read your posts I laugh aloud, which is too bad for the 4 other women who share this office.

    I am very envious of your vacation. My husband has this weird, anti-Hawaiian vacation problem so I am going to have to go without him.

  6. So what's the magic for getting all the silky strings off of corn? I try washing. I try rubbing with a damp paper towel. I try lighting little candles and doing a dance before Floofestra, Goddess of Corn but I never can get those darned things off.

    By the way, my word verification is "nessles" which I think I will now use to call those corn-y silky strings. So my question is now how do I get the nessles off?

  7. Kris - Yes, that is one of the things I enjoy most about photographing the corn - it's ability to look all phallic with very little help from moi. So accommodating ;)

    The corn is very hairy, but not any more than any other corn I've had. Keep in mind that I've also never grown corn before.

    Dig - Yes - awesome blogger blind date - I sorta feel like we're of similar souls. Not to get all weird or anything. Meanwhile - make that corn salad (no nuts) and use the bundt pan trick - super works.

    Anna - That is a good idea. Unfortunately this trait runs in the family and my mom has a long history of running off on a pre-scheduled vacation right when everything's coming into harvest. Oh well. The garden is very excited when you get home. It's kinda nice. And kinda scary.

    Kell - The idea of making tamales so from scratch that I'm hand grinding masa from my very own dried corn is a bit too handmade for me. HOWEVER - I may have to make tamales anyway now that you reminded me of my soul's desire for them.

    Melissa - You know, we should probably just be friends since you're pretty much Dig's friend and I'm pretty much Dig's friend and you live so close and like corn, etc. Right? You should also come down here and pick corn and tomatoes while I'm on vacay. Because WHOA. There's a good amount.

    Anti-Hawaiian? Is that like being Anti-Awesome or Anti-Fabulous? Because I think that it is. You go without him.

    Decca - The best way I've found to make sure the majority of the silks come off is to shuck the corn aggressively.

    Like, hold it in your hand, grab the top of half the husks (front half/back half) and peel it back forcefully as far as it will go, beyond the stem at the base. Fold the husk over the stem and, using it like a handle, flip the corn over and peel back the other half of the husk and silks. Aggressively.

    Then the silks will stick to the husks in one big bunch.

    Twist the husks around the stem and break the stem off the base of the cob.

    Rinse in the sink and add salt. ;)


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.