Sunday, May 07, 2006

The “Corn Phoenix” Rises

Long before food blogging I was in the habit of trimming recipes from the news paper. This interest in recipe collection started when I car pooled to work with a guy who had little to say, so I read the paper. I saved the recipes thinking they would expand my limited culinary repertoire. Little did I know that collecting the little squares of paper would become a passion, I still have them archived neatly arranged in black binders. At the time I lived a bohemian life style with minimal needs in sunny Florida right across the street from the beach. Bradenton Beach was my Shangri-La. One hot summer night the sirens woke me and I stepped out to see a house on fire two doors down on the Gulf of Mexico side of the street, beach front property. I grabbed my camera and headed for the blaze hoping for a prize winning shot. No winning photo but a week or so after the fire I went out to the street to get my mail from the box and this recipe was at my feet. As I examined my find I thought this is surely an object of beauty. Images of Nazi Germany filled my head, news reel footage of the flames of war, the hysteria of public book burnings. Again as a beautiful fragment, only this time a Byzantine manuscript salvaged when Caesar burned the Royal Library of Alexandria. This book page born aloft by the fingers of flame has been with me now for eleven years, a reminder of balmy summer nights by the sea. And so with the assistance of the internet I share with you the Phoenix, this delicious dish returns from the ashes with the addition of some fresh nutmeg grated over it. By the way the book can still be purchased. It is called “Great Food Without Fuss” by Frances McCullough and Barbara Witt.

Early Summer Fresh Corn Pudding
  • 6 ears tender fresh corn
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the corn from the cob and scrape the cob well to extract the milk. You should have 2 cups of corn.

    In a large bowl, mix the eggs, cream, and milk. Add the salt, sugar, and corn.

    Pour the mixture into a buttered shallow casserole or heatproof glass dish. Place in a shallow pan of warm water and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about one hour.

    Cooks note: For me the story of the burnt page is more important then the corn pudding recipe on it Although this is a good recipe it is quite common with many variations. For example this recipe can be made into a main course with the additions of either chicken, or oysters. A variety of herbs and spices can be added, basil and nutmeg being my favorites, not necessarily together. Other welcome additions are onions, scallions, red or green bell pepper or turn up the heat with any number of hot chillies. This is a dish that will make you famous at any pot luck affair.
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    terrie said...

    Morning, Polly and Dieter,
    We were so excited to see you had left a comment on our blog...this morning we are sitting under our awning on the old Airstream...listening to the rain...our first Oregon rain...we are loving it and would love to send some photos and Oregon campfire cooking stories to your blog...can you tell us how to do this...miss you guys...terrie and ray ....we also will put a link to your blog on ours...our friend Leigh at is a true cooking enthusiast...come on out!

    terrie said...

    Our blog address for any interested reader is:

    Learn that Poem said...