Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Part I and a “Recipe” for Boiled Corn

As much as I look forward to vacation - who doesn't? - Connecticut summers are a joy. I’m sharing some pictures of 3 places I especially love to visit during the summer months: Greenfield Farms, and 2 neighborhood gardens that always make me feel content – both designed and planted by their current owners.

Greenfield Farms, the best local place to buy tomatoes, corn and zinnias is a short bike ride from our house. I’ve been a customer for years. Before we had children, one of my favorite summer meals was boiled corn with sea salt and a glass of wine (or two). Ahem! I still love a lazy Sunday dinner of boiled sweet corn, but I add crispy grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches now - they're pretty darn good!

Greenfield Farms
Open 7 Days a Week (July – October)
M-F 10 - 6, Sat & Sun 9 - 6
3763 Congress Street, Fairfield, CT 06824

Then there’s my neighbor Laila’s beautiful vegetable and perennial gardens. Below, swiss chard, and an herb bouquet - sage, basil, parsley.

A broccoli and the always lovely 'Becky' shasta daisy (rumbrum lily in background).

And my neighbor Jenn’s gorgeous perennial gardens that she seems always to attribute to benign neglect, though I see love and care – and definitely humor! – at every turn. This sea monster looks like a big silly! ...Maybe he came from the Long Island Sound??

Jenn's petite and perfect hydrangea garden, and some ruffly, sweet and girly daylilies.

Zinnias, an annual native to Mexico, are the first flowers I remember planting from seed with my mom. Really, could anything be easier to grow or more rewarding with that insane carnival of colors? And they’re flourishing at Greenfield Farms in the July heat.

At left, corn and zinnias from Greenfield Farms.

[Please note, you're going to be seeing this window quite a bit until I get my food photography lighting down - it is a 3-exposure window in my kitchen with beautiful light. I think of it as my food photography lighting blankie. *sigh]

Below, zinnias in a field at Greenfield Farms:

September corn is my favorite – those warm days and cool nights have a sweetening effect on the corn. I didn’t make that up. Click the link! But I’ve never turned down July corn. Or August corn for that matter! And this is how I like to prepare it...

Sweet & Simple “Recipe” for Boiled Corn
If you like it boiled like I do, just give it a quick dip in salted, boiling water. And I mean a rolling boil. Two minutes is enough. Serve it immediately, it doesn’t like to sit and get cold. Trust me. And I need a favorite sea salt for sprinkling on the-almost-too-hot-too-handle-corn. If you like to give your corn a gentle rub-down with sweet butter, knock yourself out! Why not?

Happy Summer!