I had the greatest intentions of keeping up with all the changes around here and blogging about them. Yeah, right! Life as always intervenes:) I think I shall work to renew that promise. Cross your fingers.
Today, however, I made something that takes me back to much younger days….. Growing up in Eastern NC, on a farm, with extended family was a wonderful life. I realize that now, looking back through the years. I don’t know that I could have been convinced of that at the time. In the summer we worked really, really hard. The men in the family growing tobacco, corn, soybeans and hay. Those were the crops that paid the bills. The women grew our food. Grandmama had a garden, as did my Aunt Pat and Mama. These were not small gardens by any means. I would say easily an acre to an acre and a half each. This did not include the sweet corn, the potatoes or the peanuts. We kids, well we were cheap labor, for the regular crops but especially for the gardens. If you weren’t barning tobacco, you were in the garden. It was nothing to get up in the morning and barn tobacco all day, finish supper, get the kitchen clean, shower and start shelling beans. Once shelled or snapped or whatever, we cleaned them and put them up for later. We canned or froze most of our food for the winter. The ebb and flow of what was ready to harvest defined what you did each day.
Excellent example – For my whole childhood and teenage years July the 4th meant something else in addition to the usual meaning. July the 4th weekend was when the sweet corn was ready. The men left at the crack of dawn to pull the corn. The ladies and kids were waiting under the shade tree to start shucking. We would be in a circle with a tobacco sheet laid out in the middle. We would shuck and the husks and silks went on the tobacco sheet. Once the ears were shucked and cleaned they were blanched and cooled in coolers of ice water. Then really nice ears were selected to be frozen on the cob, the rest was cut off the cob. The kids who weren’t old enough to wield a paring knife ran the ears of corn in and the cobs out. Then the corn was bagged and hauled to the freezers. The best part of the day was dinner…….. Grandmama always made Chicken and Corn. Simply the best roasted chicken and roasted corn. I would always put some vinegar from the cucumbers, onions and tomatoes on my corn. Life could get no sweeter. Somehow, no-one wrote down exactly how Grandmama cooked it. We would get close but no cigar so to speak. I have worked on that recipe for a while. Today – nailed it!
Chicken and Corn
- 1 chicken about 4-5 pounds
- 16 ears of fresh sweet corn
- canola or olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut up a chicken and put in a roaster or heavy dutch oven. Salt and pepper the chicken, drizzle a little canola or olive oil over it. Roast for 45 minutes, turning the chicken over half way. When the time is up take it out of the oven. Leave the oven at 400 and whatever you do don’t get rid of the drippings.
Meanwhile, you will need about 16 ears of corn. Shuck and silk it, blanch it for 3 minutes and cool in ice bath. Cut the corn off the cob and pick out any remaining silks. When the 45 minutes are up. Put the corn in the pot with the chicken. Salt and pepper it. Arrange the chicken skin side up on/in the corn. Add enough water to just cover the corn. Put it back in the oven for another 40 minutes. Stir it, taste it and add salt and pepper as needed. Stir again and put it back in for another 20 minutes.
Take it out of the oven and gaze in awe at the deliciousness you have created. Then sit down and enjoy. Make sure to put a little cucumber vinegar on the corn for the full bliss.
Cucumbers, onions (scallions) and tomatoes in vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar
Mix the vinegar and water at a 50/50 ratio. Add salt, pepper and sugar. Taste and adjust to your liking. (you are making a quick pickle brine essentially). Slice the cukes, scallions and tomatoes into the brine. Let them sit for a little while – maybe 20-30 minutes if you can wait that long. Munch.
Hope you try this and enjoy.