Sunday 19 August 2012

Sweet, golden and crunchy - what's not to love about corn?

I love corn on the cob. Steam it for 10 minutes and watch the butter melt, crunch the sweet corn kernels between your teeth and reach for the napkin as the juice trickles down your chin. There's lots to love about corn but one of the things I like most is watching my children devouring it. We ventured up to North Jutland this summer - really far north - all the way to Grenen, north of Skagen, at one point. It's stunning up there: the water, the light, the sand dunes, the wind - its other wordly and its easy to see why artists flock there.

We were still in North Jutland at the end of the summer break as the maize harvesting began. The golden yellow cobs were a regular feature on the dinner table and my children just couldn't get enough. Their sweet taste is hard to resist but the high sugar content does actually make corn a great energy food. It is also rich in vitamins A, B and C.

The corn season here in Denmark is short and so enjoy them whilst you can! Right now, Aarstiderne has a MajsPosen (corn bag) with 8 cobs, which costs 69 DKK. Click here to order. The corn can be kept for 1-2 days at room temperature or up to 8 days in the fridge. Enjoy!

(Katherine Ball)

Monday 6 August 2012

Late summer fruits

The children and I spent a happy couple of hours at the weekend making jam. Being near to the end of the strawberry season now is the time to collect up the last of the home grown varieties and preserve them ready to be enjoyed as the weather draws in and the days get shorter. We had done just so and needing a meditative activity for three boisterous chaps I set them the task of preparing the strawberries,  cleaning and chopping them into small pieces.

Meanwhile, not one to miss out on a hour or two at the stove I patiently immersed myself in the job of de-stalking a kilo of red currants, it was all going well until my task seemed more appealing to the toddler and he made his way over to help. Thankfully although he was immeasurably helpful for a minute or so it didn't take long for him to prefer the sweet taste of the strawberries and between the four of us we were soon ready to begin in the kitchen.

The strawberry jam was a simple recipe, a quarter of the weight mashed in the pan and bought to a simmer for five minutes before adding the juice of one lemon, the rest of the strawberries and half their weight in sugar with added pectin. The eldest stirred the mixture until the sugar had dissolved before we carefully bought the pan to a low boil for 20 minutes.

The red currants went into a second pan with the addition of two red chilli's, a five centimeter length of grated ginger, grated orange rind and the juice of three oranges. The obligatory sugar went in next and again we bought the mixture to a simmer whilst the sugar dissolved before leaving it on a rolling boil for twenty minutes.

We had prepared our jars and they were freshly sterilized by the time the two jams were ready for potting. A job for Mummy this time due to the molten heat of the sugary fruit. We always leave a little jam to cool in a cup so eager are we to try our creations and today was no different. The kitchen clean we sat down to a very homemade lunch of bread, ham and chili jam with salad and a 'dessert' of bread butter and strawberry jam.... mmmmm

Written and photographed by Sally McWilliam

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