Well, folks, it’s week two of the Eat Local Challenge Month, and what a fine month it is. Here in MN, even more than other parts of the country, we have a short, intense growing season. Things like asparagus happen in mid-june, and if we are lucky, melons ripen by August. While the Californians might pity us, I’d like to suggest that it has an up-side.
Minnesotans have a “carpe diem” approach to summer that borders on the fanatical. We spend so many months of the year with a frozen landscape that when it warms up, we get crazy. Only in MN have I seen people in shorts when it hits 40 F. So when we get our local produce, we go hog wild.
This week, we are on week three of local corn. The first two weeks always involve the purest expression of the love of sweet corn:simple boiling, buttering and salting. Like a reuniting with a friend, long away, we don’t need to leave the house. Then we start stepping out to the deck to grill some corn. Not far, though.
But after a couple of weeks, we need a little more variety. The sweet, crisp corn calls out for some creativity. Now it’s time to start improvising with what is good right now. It’s time to start cutting the kernels off the cob and sauteing them.
So, looking around my garden, I picked some red jalapenos, golden zucchini, fresh thyme, and ripe, red tomatoes. Garlic from the farmers market and Pastureland butter completed the picture.
A hot skillet and butter met the corn, zucchini and jalpeno for a quick sizzle. The thyme and garlic joined for a few more minutes, then off the heat, I tossed in the tomatoes. It was even good the next day on nachos.