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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Ah, Shucks, The Garden’s Nearly Gone

By Sherrie Norris

Along with wheat, rice and potatoes, corn ranks as one of the most important crops in the world. As one of the most valuable crops grown in the United States, corn is at a premium this year, with thousands of acres recently destroyed by storms in the country’s heartland.

It seems that many High Country gardens have been blessed with plenty of corn this year; however, at our house, we planted corn twice and never saw a single blade rise from the ground. You just can’t predict how your garden will grow. We’ve had plenty of beans, cucumbers and yellow squash, and it appears that our potatoes will be abundant, but other crops have struggled for reasons we can’t explain.

We were fortunate to obtain some of the most delicious corn we’ve ever tasted from a local nonprofit organization that grows it every year as a fundraiser, and have been joining others in preserving it for the coming winter months. Let’s enjoy it all while we can.


Roasted Corn On The Grill

Select tender, young sweet corn. Remove large husks; turn back the inner husks and remove silk. Spread corn with soft butter. Pull husks back over corn and place on grill 3 inches from hot coals, cooking 20-30 minutes, turning frequently. Serve at once with salt, pepper and butter.


Herbed Corn Bake

1 cup milk

½ cup mayonnaise

1 egg, well beaten

2 cups whole kernel corn,(drain, if canned)

1 cup herb seasoned stuffing

1 small onion, minced

1 tsp. parsley flakes

1 cup dry bread crumbs

2 Tbs. butter or margarine

Combine milk and mayonnaise; mix well. Add egg, corn, stuffing, onion and parsley. Pour into greased and floured baking dish. Toss bread crumbs with melted butter; sprinkle over mixture. Bake in oven at 350 for 30 minutes. Makes about 6 servings.


Supper-time Corn Scramble

12 slices bacon, diced

2 cups corn, cut from cob

½ cup milk

12 eggs, slightly beaten

1 ½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

½ cup grated Cheddar cheese

Fry bacon in skillet until crisp. Drain, reserving grease. Return 3 Tbs. grease to skillet. Add corn and cook 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir in milk, simmer 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until set. Serve topped with bacon and cheese. Makes about 8 servings.

It may sound strange, but it has been recommended as a satisfying main dish for a hungry family.


Southern Fried Corn

2 cups fresh corn kernels, about 6 ears

2 Tbsp. butter, or use part bacon drippings

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

Sugar, optional

In a heavy skillet, heat butter over medium-low heat until foamy. Add the fresh corn kernels; cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Lower heat if necessary to keep butter from burning. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

Taste and adjust seasoning, and add about 1 tsp. of sugar if desired. Serves 4.


Corn Fritters

2 cups flour

1 Tbs. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

¼ cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup milk

¼ cup melted butter

1 can whole kernel corn, drained (or about 1 ½ cups frozen, thawed or fresh)

Powdered sugar or syrup

Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Combine eggs, milk and butter. Fold in dry ingredients (add more or less flour – enough to bind batter); add corn last. Drop by tablespoons into hot vegetable oil and deep fry about 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve warm, sprinkled with powdered sugar or served with syrup.


Easy Corn Casserole

3 eggs

2 cups whole kernel corn, fresh

2 Tbsp. butter

½ cup milk

½ tsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped

½ cup cracker crumbs

Beat eggs; combine with corn, butter, milk, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour into a buttered pan; sprinkle top with bell pepper and cracker crumbs. Dot with butter. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until done.