My husband has created a 10-year plan and I’m all on board. We’re in agreement that we’ll ditch the busy city for a quiet farmhouse in the country. Away from the hurry up and wait. A break from the sirens and alarms and honking horns. Instead, we’ll replace it with the privilege of slowing down to breathe, listening to the wind blow, the birds chirping with maybe a low rumble of thunder in the distance. The deer will eat their breakfast on our lawn. The chickens will provide our own early morning meal (just kidding, honey – maybe). But definitely a garden – that’s what I desire the most. To spend the day ignoring the minutes ticking away by burying my hands into the soft, rich dirt, filling the wicker with fresh homegrown food. There’s a little pride evidenced by a slight sparkle in your eye when you grow your own food. At dinnertime, the smile on your face grows as you watch your family gratefully clean their plates with satisfaction. That’s what I want for our family and for our life – peace and wholeness.
And horses…I must have a horse (or two or three) at our next homestead. How can you not???
Call me old-fashioned, but the older I get the more I just want to get away from the everyday and take a step back into the more important areas of life. To turn off the opinions and the news and the really weird music out there and just sit back and relax to the sounds of nature. That’s where this corn chowder takes me.
I could just picture the ingredients in this dish coming straight out of my backyard. Fresh corn pulled from the stalk at the crack of dawn, bell and poblano peppers washed and chopped, basil snipped from the pot by the back porch, onions and garlic plants all in heavy rotation. Our kitchen counters will never see daylight with all of the bounty that’s brimming to the edges. Dinner time strikes and there’s this warm chowder simmering on the stove. The sun sets on a productive day and my family is gathered all around the table giving thanks, hands grasped in a circle, grateful for our blessings.
Some days it seems like this mental picture is only that – a dream that will never be realized. But I know that living intentionally and seeking out peace will ultimately be within our grasp. In the meantime, I present peace to our home through our stomachs, because that’s how my grandmother did it and that’s how she taught me – to show others how much you love them through the efforts put forth to nourish and comfort through food.
So. soak in the cool fall air with a warm bowl of Sweet Corn and Basil Chowder. Don’t rush through it but savor every nuance of taste, from the sweet roasted corn to the pungent garlic. Take a moment to feel the crunch of the vegetables. Turn off the TV and breathe. Relax. Take a moment to watch the leaves break their fall on your window, then surrendering to the cold earth. Be grateful for your family (no matter what you’ve just argued about) and let your stomach fill with food and your heart fill with love.
- 4 ears of corn, reserving the husks
- 1 poblano pepper, diced
- 1 small red pepper, diced
- 4 Tbs ghee or clarified butter, divided
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 3/4 tsp sea salt, divided
- 2-3 Tbs fresh basil, cut into ribbons
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Remove the husks from the corn and set aside. Holding the corn vertically, cut the kernels off by slicing top to bottom with a sharp knife. Reserve the kernels from one corn cob and place in a small food processor. Pulse until creamed and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, add 2 Tbs ghee/clarified butter and red onions. Cook approximately 5 mins or until soft and translucent. Add the water, 1/2 tsp salt and corn husks to the saucepan over high heat, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes. Remove the husks.
- While the corn broth is cooking, add the corn, poblano pepper and red pepper to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle vegetable mixture with 2 Tbs of ghee/clarified butter, mixing to coat with the ghee. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes, mixing the vegetables once or twice, or until the corn is lightly brown.
- Add garlic, roasted corn and pepper mixture, chili powder and 1/4 tsp salt and basil ribbons to the corn husk broth and simmer for 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to to blend. Add the creamed corn and gently heat until ready to serve.