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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Eating Raw

Not sure why I choose to live in upstate NY.    I dislike winter weather even though I love the beauty of its presence.    I love spring, summer and fall seasons and all of their bounty.   I love to eat and cook with fresh from the garden ingredients.    I much prefer the taste of home grown ingredients to those mass marketed.  

My parents always had a huge garden.  As I child I remember bushels of fresh from the garden vegetables and my mom telling me not to eat so many of whatever it was we just harvested as it would make my belly hurt.   We all ate our share of the days harvest, if it was pea picking time, then we ate fresh peas as we hulled them and processed them for the freezer.   If it was cucumber time, we ate slices of cucumber while we processed them to be canned as pickles.   If it was time to pick tomatoes we ate our share of tomato sandwiches or cucumber and tomato salad while processing the rest to be canned.   Mmmmmm…..nothing better than picked fresh off the vine.

As an adult I still like to eat as fresh as possible.  However, I did not inherit the whole “grow your own” genes.  I tried.   I really did, when I first got married we rototilled a spot and I went to town planting and weeding.   The peas were okay.   They grew above ground.  The carrots, not so much.  We couldn’t pull them out of the ground.   Literally.    The soil where I live is so rocky that the carrots grew in and around the rocks.   The rocks held the carrots in the ground just like an anchor holds a ship in the ocean.    We had to get a shovel to dig them up.  The carrots were zig zag in form. That was the end of my garden.   I later turned the kids sand box into a small container garden where I can grow a few tomato plants and herbs. And I shop at the local food markets and take whatever freebies from the neighbors and friends that I can get.    I am thankful to have such wonderful friends. 

This recipe using fresh off the Cobb corn makes for a yummy lunch time meal or a side for dinner or barb-b-que.

Fresh Corn Salad

½ cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 cup olive oil

4 ears of corn, corn cut from the cobb
½ cup finely diced red onion (soaked in water 20 minutes and patted dry)
¼ cup cucumber, diced small
½ cup red or orange sweet pepper, diced small
½ cup cherry or pear tomatoes, halved or quartered
3 tbsp. Italian parsley, torn
1 tbsp. basil leaves, torn
1 tbsp. jalapeño, diced small (remove the seeds and veins if you like)
½ tsp. sea salt
1-2 cups small arugula leaves

To make the dressing: In a small glass bowl whisk together vinegar, sugar, salt, and black pepper.  Once sugar is dissolved whisk in olive oil.   Set aside while making the salad.

For the salad:  Cut corn kernels from the cob.  Chop all vegetables into same size pieces as the corn kernels.  Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour dressing over top and toss again just before serving.  Serve immediately. 


Notes and swaps

·         Swap out the red onion for shallot
·         Omit the jalapeño if you don’t like it spicy
·         Can’t find arugula, use your favorite green
·         You can add dried spices like onion powder or garlic powder to the dressing

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