This year’s sweet corn has been less than exciting. First it was mice. There’s an Australia-wide mouse plague going on, and the mice around here have heard about it. I’ve tried a fake owl, all sorts of elaborate protection, and in the end, bringing them in onto the verandah, using our Weber barbeque as a temporary propagation house, and trying (and not always succeeding) to remember to put the lid on every night!
I have ended up with corn seedlings to plant out, but later and fewer than usual. Usually I have advanced seedlings of sweet corn 20 cm tall and ready to plant out in September, with succeeding plantings through till February. This year the first batch I successfully got up and planted out wasn’t until November, and then it was only a dozen odd plants.
Which exacerbated the second problem. Corn is wind pollinated and won’t self pollinate. It does best in a block of at least a few dozen plants, with enough warm dry weather when it flowers (at the top) so the wind can blow the pollen from one plant around the silks of the corn on its neighbours. We’ve have a distinct shortage of warm dry weather lately, and with just a dozen odd plants in the block, a distinct shortage of suitable dads to fertilize the corn. I’ve had to hand pollinate, breaking a pollen-bearingflower off one plant and brushing it over the silks of all its neighbours.
Some years there is so much sweet corn, I am using up all my repertoire of corn recipes. This year, half the cobs were missing kernels. I’ve had to actually choose my favourite recipes to use it on. This one made it.
Makes 4 bowls like this. The recipe has eggs, which give it a decent amount of protein, and corn is such a good, filling, high fibre, low GI food that, with some toast for dipping, that’s a good dinner for four.
- In a little oil, sauté a chopped onion gently until it is transluscent.
- While the onion is cooking, strip the kernels from about 3 large cobs of sweet corn, or, if your corn crop is like mine, enough to get two cups of corn kernels.
- Blend the corn kernels and the onion in 2 cups of vegetable stock. You won’t get it completely smooth – you just want it to the texture of creamed corn.
- Tip back into the pot and use another cup of stock to rinse out the blender and add it to the pot too.
- I like to add a couple of tablespoons of grape juice (if grapes are on), or sweet white wine (if I have any) at this point, but it isn’t critical. Sometimes I also add a few drops of sesame oil.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, then bring back to the boil and simmer for ten minutes or so.
- While it is simmering, beat three eggs in a bowl.
- Turn the heat off and stir the soup. Pour the egg into the hot, swirling soup in a thin stream. The heat in the soup will cook it.
- Serve in bowls with a little finely chopped spring onions, chives, or chili to garnish.