JEFF TIEDEMAN: Winter CornThis hearty veggie can provide comfort when the weather gets you down.
I never really considered corn to be winter comfort food, despite the fact that we have it several times during the five- to seven-month period (the number depends on the year) when temperatures are anything but moderate and a blanket of snow covers the landscape.
That was until the past couple of weeks, when it seemed every time that I turned around, somebody was talking or writing about a corn recipe that they cherish.
First, it was a good friend and co-worker, Ann Bailey, who wrote in a Jan. 2 column in our Faces and Places section, how their beloved Rosebud — her 7-year-old daughter Ellen’s 2-year-old golden retriever — tore into shreds the recipe for her Grandmother Anna’s scalloped corn. (Fortunately, Ann’s mother, Marcia, had a copy of the heirloom recipe, which you will be able to clip and read about in this Sunday’s Herald.)
Next, Jerry Hamerlik, a retired UND administrator, caught my attention at the fitness center this past Saturday and told me about a corn dip recipe that his daughter and son-in-law gave him and that worked wonders for them in a weight-loss program. (Jerry has promised me the recipe, which also contains two kinds of beans, onion and sweet peppers, but I’ve yet to see it.)
Then, John Bridewell, an instructor at UND’s John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Science, on Sunday explained how dinner guests rave about the scalloped corn that he and his wife, Renae, serve, in which they substitute a muffin mix for crackers.
And if that isn’t enough, Jennifer Kelley of Minto, N.D., e-mailed me to inquire about a recipe for Devonshire Corn, which was published in the Herald around Thanksgiving. Jennifer said she’d clipped the recipe but had somehow misplaced it and asked if I could send her a copy of it.
Not too long after I sent her the recipe, she got back to me and said the dish was “absolutely fabulous.”
Jennifer said she used an entire 2-pound package of Schwan frozen corn instead of just two 10-ounce bags, and it was still creamy enough.
“There wasn’t a kernel left,” she said.
Jokingly, she said, “of course it must be about 1,000 calories per serving, so I can’t make it again until next year!”
Not really surprising
I guess all of this shouldn’t come as a surprise me, since I’ve always blanched and frozen 20 to 30 2-cup bags of corn at the end of summer to have over the course of the winter. We just love to have corn whenever mashed potatoes are on the menu, especially when it accompanies some homemade elk or venison sausage.
And this past year, besides “putting up” the regular whole-kernel variety, I also froze a half-dozen to a dozen bags of something called “Company Corn,” a tasty side dish that also contains half-and-half and butter, which came from Idamae Hendrickson, who along with her husband, Ronnie, and son, Rick, have a vegetable stand during the summer in the Grand Cities mall parking lot . (To see the recipe, go to (www.grandforksherald.com/event/tag/ group/ Life/tag/food/).
It’s nice to take comfort with warm recipes such as these when our sometimes unbearable winter weather has got us feeling blue (and cold) and summer is but a glimmer in the distant future.
Tiedeman is food editor at the Herald. Reach him at (701) 780-1136 or toll-free at (800) 477-6572, or e-mail at email@example.com.