Hello my dear readers. This is a guest post from Debbi Pinciotti, our dear friend and neighbor. I hope you enjoy her article. (Photography by Yelena Strokin)
Just a few steps from my suburban townhouse front door, the corn really is “as high as an elephant’s eye”, just like the line in the song from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, “Oklahoma”. Oscar Hammerstein lived on a farm outside of Doylestown, Pennsylvania for about twenty years; I wonder if it was Bucks County corn that he was looking at when he penned that famous song!
Hello, I’m Debbi Pinciotti. I have the good fortune to be friend and neighbor to Yelena. My beloved husband Joe, scientist by profession but farmer at heart – and soul – has either grown or collected from the nearby woods and fields some of the nature objects and foods in Yelena’s gorgeous photos.
Joe’s most recent contribution is the beautiful and unique “Glass Gem” corn. This is a type of Indian corn that has striking colors; magenta, olive green, navy, rust, sky blue, lavender and more. Kernels on the newly-picked ears also have a lovely pearly translucence.
Joe found this corn online last summer and was struck by how pretty and unusual it is. He was not alone – the gardening websites called it “an internet sensation”. Of course Joe ordered some seeds – as soon as he found a supplier who was not sold out – and planted them promptly on June first!
We now have 30 corn plants. It’s a bit of an odd sight – a stand of corn on the lawn in the middle of ornamental suburban gardens! For the past couple of weeks Joe has been harvesting a few ears every day, peeling each one carefully leaf by leaf, with no idea of what colors each ear contains until the kernels are exposed. It’s like opening fun little presents; and he has not been disappointed yet! The corn is good to eat as well. It can be popped or ground to meal or flour. Joe hand-ground some of the corn into meal for Yelena to use in an upcoming recipe. We can’t wait to see what delicious culinary treat she will create!
Fried Green Tomatoes with Cornmeal from “Glass Gem” Corn
- 3-4 green tomatoes, sliced, about 1/2 inch
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4-5 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- some fine-ground cornmeal (1/2 cup or so)
- 1/4 cup grape-seed oil
Sprinkle the tomato slices with salt. Let them stand for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, place in separate shallow bowls: the flour and freshly ground pepper, the egg, and the cornmeal.
Heat the grape-seed oil in a skillet on medium heat. Dip tomato slices in the flour-pepper mix, then egg mixture, then the cornmeal. In the skillet, fry half of the coated tomato slices at a time, for 3-5 minutes on each side or until brown. Set the cooked tomatoes on paper towels to drain. These are fantastic with a yogurt and fresh herbs: mint, basil or parsley.