There are some foods I just don’t buy except at the height of their season. Corn on the cob is one of them. I read a great post by Shaun H. the other day about Grilled Sweetcorn (https://catchmeonthewater.com/2018/07/21/grilled-sweetcorn/) and then saw the best looking fresh corn at Yoder’s (Madison, Va) the next day. Yes, need to try that. We got a dozen ears, followed his instructions for removing the silk, soaking the ears and grilling till slightly blackened, and oh how heavenly it was. Thank you, Shaun. The leftover ears I shaved clean with a sharp knife, then put the kernels in the fridge for another day, not having any idea what would become of them.
I love a new day and the ideas it brings. At the moment I have two little granddaughters in the house, Rise and Eppie, ages 5 and 4. “What shall we have for breakfast, girls?” In that moment I remembered three things: the fresh corn in the fridge, my wonderful recipe for Johnnycake (a.k.a. Cornbread) and another recipe I got from an Amish cookbook for “Unconventional Cornbread.”
I vaguely remembered that the “unconventional cornbread” recipe included corn as well as cornmeal. It had been a long time since I looked at it,* but I recall it had other things in it, bacon even – undoubtedly good, but more than I wanted to bother with at the moment.
Keep it simple. How about just a handful of the fresh corn in the cornbread? Use the tried (a hundred times) and true cornbread recipe and add the grilled kernels.
You can always tell which of my recipes date from way back. They are the ones that include shortening crossed out and replaced by butter. Early on, I just copied recipes from wherever I found them and generally followed them to the letter. But it didn’t take me long to discover that butter is far superior to shortening in all but a few applications, so I made corrections. Rule of thumb: Err on the side of butter.
This recipe is great for two reasons: 1. It’s simple and comes out great every time and 2. the maple syrup. I lived in Vermont for 22 years so I got used to the real stuff. If at all possible, use the real stuff. It is so much better there is hardly a comparison with the product called pancake syrup.
Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir them up. A wooden spoon works great. I don’t beat the rest separately, but feel free to follow the recipe. I just mix the dry stuff, then break the eggs onto it, pour the milk and maple syrup onto it and start stirring as I add the melted butter. Stir only enough to blend. This is important. Lastly, if you have it (find a way to have it!), add some fresh corn recently grilled and shaved from the cobs. I think I added about half a cup, maybe ¾ cup. The batter them looked like this, kinda lumpy, just right.
To make things easier (and fun) for the girls, we used paper muffin cups inside my tins. They loved wearing their aprons, helping to stir the batter and having the job of putting the papers in the tins.
This amount of batter was perfect for twelve muffins, which baked to a golden brown and smelled soooo yummy.
The jar to the left is my homemade strawberry jam, which in no way conflicted with the corn, in fact enhanced it. I also put honey and of course butter on the table. The muffins needed a basket for serving, and we were ready.
I tried to capture the steam wafting up from the hot muffin in this next photo – you might see it, but I don’t. I also know that a photo can’t capture the sweet scent, the waiting jam, our hungry bellies… It was almost 830am by the time we were sitting down, the preparation process taking slightly longer when two little girls are involved – not that I would trade this time with them for the world!
I haven’t had a good corn muffin in a long time. These were both new for me – never added corn to that recipe before – and beyond good. Outstanding texture, perfect moisture. I’ll make them a time or two again before that stash in the fridge is gone, and then most likely I’ll wait till next year for a repeat. I don’t mind a bit having something so delicious only in its season.
Naturally there were a few crumbs left on the plates when we were done, so guess who else got to enjoy some of this delicious breakfast: chickens! I think they like it too.
*In case you are interested in the “Unconventional Cornbread”