If you think back about eating at your grandparents’ house, do you associate certain foods with the dishes they were served in?
In my grandma’s kitchen, there were two things that were made in a big white Corningware baking dish. You know the one, square ceramic with a blue cornflower design on the side. There was the dish I’d like to forget but can’t – tuna casserole with a potato chip topping. And there was tamale pie.
It finally rained on Saturday morning, just briefly, but with a clap of thunder that scared the bejeezus out of H. and sent her into our shower and then downstairs to her safe spot. In California it was fireworks, here it’s the occasional thunderstorm. Poor ol’ girl. Skies were still overcast later in the morning, so I slipped on my socks and wellies and headed for the farmers market. Fall had arrived.
At our market, acorn and butternut squash is just coming in, peaches are thinning out, replaced by a new crop of apples. I’m pretending not to see them among the piles and piles of peppers and chiles. And so, this chowder. Poblano corn chowder.
Pop quiz! What makes succotash, succotash?
A. Lima beans
C. Cooking the vegetables
E. Who knows? All of the above.
On a multiple choice test, they always say, pick C, but in this case, I’m going with E. Merriam Webster says succotash is corn and lima beans. The word comes from the Narragansett for boiled corn, “msíckquatash.” Some recipes add bacon or ham. Most recipes cook the vegetables. Others add tomatoes, or red or green bell peppers. Sufferin’ succotash!
When corn is finally in season, it’s hard not to eat it non-stop. The first corn for us is always reserved for bill’s corn fritters, but after that, it’s game on for corn in salads, or roasted on the cob, slathered in butter and salt, or sprinkled with chile powder and lime juice. One of the best ways to enjoy the pure flavor of corn is in chowder. Soup in the summer? Yes, oh yes.
One of my all time favorite summer songs is DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince’s SummerTime. It’s a head-bobbin’, windows rolled down song that takes you right back to the summer of 1991, but is still a jam 20 years later. You know the one:
Summa, summa, summa-time. Time to sit back and unwind…
Here it is… the groove slightly transformed
just a bit of a break from the norm
just a little somethin’ to break the monotony
of all that hardcore dance that has gotten to be
a little bit out of control it’s cool to dance
but what about the groove that soothes that moves romance
give me a soft subtle mix
and if ain’t broke then don’t try to fix it…