"You give them something to eat" – Jesus of Nazareth
Wednesday August 3, 2016
Corn is a native crop to the Americas and for most folks, it makes them think of Native Americans and everything that is beautiful about late summer and early autumn. For Native Americans, along with beans and squash, it was a sacred food that naturally filled their myths and folklore. In my family we had our own folklore surrounding corn.
It was known for its’ mystical deliciousness, amazing ability to accompany steamed crabs, and also its’ miraculous and singular ability to make me want to floss my teeth. As a child growing up in Maryland, I remember my grandpa picking up ears from we call the “Eastern Shore”, which is near Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean. There were corn stands on the the side of the road and some of my most memorable childhood meals were with local crabs (also bought from the side of the road). Both would get cooked in huge pots and a long table would be covered with newspaper. My grandma’s method for cooking corn on the cob was pretty simple. Boil a big pot of water, add the shucked corn, bring back to a boil, and boil for 7 minutes. And of course, smother with butter, salt, and pepper before eating.
Urban farms are perhaps not the most ideal places for planting corn, if only because of the limited space. But, as with many other things at 5 Loaves Farm, we are quick to sacrifice practicality for what is delicious. Corn is such a versatile food and we are always excited when we get to harvest it each year. What are your memories involving corn? Perhaps it was a that can of cream corn getting popped open and making strange sounds as it exited the can and causing suspicious facial expressions to appear on those within earshot. Perhaps it was the flakes that you would bathe in milk and sprinkle sugar on top of. Perhaps it was cornbread muffins with butter dripping down the sides. On 5 Loaves Farm, a movie favorite is the legendary film known as Nacho Libre. In it the hero eats a delicacy known as Mexican Street Corn (grilled corn smothered in sour cream, cheese, chili powder, garlic, and cilantro).
One of our favorite parts of the movie is when Nacho yells to a stranger in the crowd who’s enjoying some of the said delicacy. He points with both fingers and shouts, “Save me a piece of that corn for later!” In the spirit of Nacho Libre, we will be saving you a piece of that corn this Thursday and are excited to see how you will use the delicious ancient American staple.