It’s August in Quebec
and that means CORN, CORN and more CORN until there is no more left. This is the only time of year that I eat fresh
corn. The rest of the year if I make a
salsa I might toss in some canned corn.
I would never ever consider eating fresh corn at any other time of the
year because it wouldn’t actually be fresh.
Truly fresh corn is picked at dawn and served by 5pm! You can get away with keeping it in your
fridge for a day or two but that is it. To cook it properly, you bring
a big pot of water to boil and then throw your shucked corn in. Wait until it boils again and then time it
for 3 minutes. Take the pot off the heat
and plunge each cob into cold water.
This will stop the cooking process and keep the corn crunchy. then, return the corn to the pot and serve hot. If it is good fresh corn picked that day it
will be very sweet and there is no need to douse it in butter.
This time of year reminds me of a corn roast I was at when I
worked in Kanesatake. It was the best
corn ever! The Mohawks of Kanesatake and Kahnawake use corn as a staple
food. Even in today’s modern society
corn is always served during feasts and gatherings. Corn is used to make traditional bread and
corn soup which is actually an entire meal in a bowl. Traditionally, corn was (and still is!)
gathered and braided ensuring food safety throughout the cold winter months.
Natives also use corn in medicine and in crafts. The husks are used for doll making. If you would like to learn more check out
this interesting website by turtle island native network. I credit this information to my friend Robin
Sky who lives near Oka right in
My favourite thing to do with August corn is make peach,
corn salsa. I have never actually
written this down before but it gets a lot of compliments. Here goes: I cut corn off several cobs
depending on how many people I am serving it to. I guess you can say a ½ a corn per person. I dice in some fresh August Ontario peaches and again it’s about a ½ a peach per person. Then I toss in some freshly diced tomatoes,
at least a ¼ cup of fresh cilantro, for sure 1 fresh red pepper diced, ½ a red
onion diced, 1 ripe avocado diced and if I am in the spicy mood I will throw in a finely chopped green jalapeño. The piece de la
resistance has got to be the fresh lime juice I squeeze over the entire bowl
just before serving. Actually, you
should let the recipe sit on the counter for a while so the flavours can mellow
into each other.
Now you know how I really cook. I make things up with foods I guess will go
well together. It’s all visual. I just
open the fridge and see what I can toss into a bowl or pot. I am
not even sure I wrote down all the stuff that goes into my summer seasonal
salsa. This is the time of year to experiment. I love going to the outdoor markets and
getting fresh ingredients. Then I come
home and create something interesting.
After I wrote this blog and took pictures of the salsa, I threw in a can of rinsed black beans, chopped Swiss chard and a dollop of Balkan style yogurt and ate it for supper.