Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Children of the Corn

I was a main character in my own horror movie today. No, I didn't fall prey to demonic corn-cult worshipers. It was much more urban than that. The black walnut tree that I have watched mature from a mere seedling when we bought this house was hacked up by some over-zealous tree trimmers working for the area telephone company. I no longer have a tree with branches, I have a pole with a little green stuff on top.

I am not an idiot. I do understand the importance of keeping a 6-foot radius clear around the overhead telephone/power lines. I don't want my trees rubbing against the lines and shorting out phone service or icing up in winter and taking down the entire grid in a storm. But, I also don't see why a ladder or truck couldn't be used to properly trim the trees instead of just standing on the ground and whacking off any branch that you can reach. I don't get it. I guess I just don't have the lack of caring (or common sense?) that would make me a good tree trimming employee.

To the telephone company's credit, they did respond very promptly to my call with the complaint. Someone was at my home within just a couple hours to investigate the damages. After our conference under the branchless, shadeless tree, the contractor for the tree service was brought over to discuss the next actions. The pole (that was formerly known as a black walnut tree) will be completely removed tomorrow, along with some proper trimming of other trees that could possibly cause issue for the lines in the future. Replacement is still being considered. I am weighing those options. The ending of my tree chopping horror movie is still being drafted. What other innocent souls may perish upon the return of the evil tree trimmers remains to be seen.

What does this have to do with corn? I don't know. It is just that last night I threw together what we thought was a great corn recipe and I had been trying to think of an avenue to share it here on the blog. In no way shape or form is Creamed Corn with Roasted Green Chiles and Spinach a horror. Even though it does require grasping the sweet corn nearest you and blindly whacking the corn from the cob, there is no evil in its preparation. I promise. It is also a pure common sense (possibly even for those that have none) alternative for serving up some of that sweet and juicy sweet corn that is flowing in from the gardens and fields.

So...that's my story. While I don't have any recommendations for a good tree trimming service, I do have what I think is a great side dish of Creamed Corn with Roasted Green Chiles and Spinach On My Plate.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2-3/4 cup diced onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 4oz can diced roasted green chiles (I used chiles from last year's garden that I had roasted, chopped, and frozen in ice cube trays...then popped into freezer bags for storage...3 cubes for this dish.)
fresh corn cut from 4-5 ears of sweet corn (or, if you must, frozen corn will work when sweet corn is not in season)
1/2 tablespoon flour
1/2-3/4 cup heavy cream
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
4 cups chopped fresh baby spinach

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.
Add the onions and saute until translucent.
Add the garlic, being careful not to burn.
Add the sweet corn and stir to coat with butter & onions in the pan.
Allow corn to cook slowly and almost caramelize or brown, but not burn. Stir, but not too frequently, you want a little crust.
Add the green chiles and heat through.
Add the flour and stir to coat the kernels of corn and cook out the "raw" taste.
Add the cream and bring to low simmer.
Reduce heat and simmer to desired thickness for the cream.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the chopped spinach, stir to combine with other ingredients and coat with cream sauce.
Cover skillet and simmer until spinach is wilted. (Serves 4-6)

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