I have my own personal versions of corn chowder for every month of the year, or at least every season of the year. This version, the one I had two bowls of for Sunday lunch and then an extra bowl before I went to bed, is like liquid August. Sunshiney summer vegetables suspended in golden and creamy broth will impart the flavor of harvest warmth, like an edible Van Gogh sunflower painting. It makes me think of the poem by Robert Frost (and I hope I'm remembering it correctly):
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower,
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
Thus Eden sank to grief.
And Dawn turns into day
Nothing gold can stay.
Since nothing gold can stay, clutch the season and make this summer soup, since September is truly just a turn of a leaf and a calendar page away. Enjoy it while it lasts....
Money Saving Tips: Hit up your farmer's market for your fresh veggies and corn. Since the cobs of the corn will flavor the broth, you can even get away with economical chicken bouillon cubes.
August Corn Chowder
Estimated Cost: $5.00
Notes: Make this soup with the soft whole wheat rolls for a hearty and healthful August meal.
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ears of corn, kernels cut from cobs and cobs reserved
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies (or 1/2 cup home roasted green chilies)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 small summer squash, chopped
1/2 cup cream or half and half, (I've also used fat free half and half with good results)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or basil, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh lemon of lime juice
shredded cheese, optional for serving
chopped green onions, optional for serving
sour cream, optional for serving
In a heavy medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, corn, green chilies, and red pepper. Saute for five minutes. Add corn cobs to pan and saute an additional three minutes. Add broth, zucchini, and summer squash. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes or until every thing is tender. Remove cobs and discard. Stir in cream and cilantro and heat through. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. To serve, top with cheese, additional cilantro, green onions and cilantro.
My children are thrilled to death when I make homemade rolls. These ones are only slightly sweet, so serve them with loads of honey and of course butter. Leftovers would be great for sandwiches, but they never last that long at my house.
Honey Whole Wheat Rolls-adapted from Joy of Cooking
Estimated Cost: $2.00
Notes: During the summer, I let my bread rise in the car with the windows rolled up. It's hot and draft free in there.
1/4 cup warm water
2 and 1/4 teaspoons yeast (I use Saf)
3 tablespoons butter or oil, plus more for the bowl and roll tops
3 tablespoons honey, plus more for the tops
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water
1 cup all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour, plus more if needed
1/4 cup oats, for the tops
In a small bowl, combine warm water and yeast. Let stand for five minutes. In a separate large bowl, combine butter, honey, salt, and hot water. Stir until butter melts. Let cool until luke warm, about ten minutes. Add yeast mixture, egg, and flour, about 1 cup at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky. Knead the dough briefly, about two minutes. Butter the bowl and replace the dough. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and let rise for one hour. (You can refrigerate the dough for 2-12 hours, instead of letting it rise for one hour.) Punch down the dough and divide it into 12 portions. Shape them into round rolls and place in a greased 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Let rise, covered for about 1 hour. Bake for about 18 minutes at 425 degrees. When rolls finish baking, brush the tops with extra butter, some honey and give them a sprinkling of oats.
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