Bless you Dillner Family Farm CSA, I LOVE you! Why?
Having been raised on canned vegetables on sale from the local A&P ("Creamed Corn - 3 Cans for 38 Cents"!), fresh veggies were a revelation.
As a kid, I despised asparagus. Tell me, do they still commit the atrocity of canning asparagus today? Have you ever eaten long, slimy spears from the tall Green Giant can? Or, perhaps, grayish green Argo peas that were forced to give up their natural sweetness and "pop" by being overcooked and nearly brined to mush in the salty canning water? A shiver goes up my spine just thinking about the veggies of my youth.
The only fresh vegetables I recall as a kid at the family kitchen table were red cabbage - sweet and sour German-style, Brussels sprouts - boiled to a stinky, sulfurous death, and cauliflower - with cheese sauce, so who in their right mind didn't love THAT?! Oh, and carrots thrown in with celery, potatoes and onions along with a chuck roast - maybe with a packet of dry Lipton California Onion Soup Mix if my mom was feeling all fancy - in the old speckled blue enameled oval roaster. That Sunday roast was a classic.
I'll never forget having FRESH, crisp, bright green asparagus with hollandaise-kissed Eggs Benedict for brunch at Uncle Harry's place in Baltimore. "No thank you I don't like asparagus," I averred. "Try these, you'll like them," said Uncle Harry.
Well, they sure didn't look like any asparagus I'd ever seen on a plate in front of me before, so I trusted my very sophisticated (a least to my young Pittsburgh eyes and experience) uncle - he of the very cool silver Jaguar XKE and fabulous taste in both clothes and decorating style. Trust him I did. From that moment on, a new world of culinary adventuring opened up before me. And I am forever grateful.
Fast forward to today and the fam can tell you that it is rare when we don't have fresh veggies on our plates, even in the dead of winter. Occasionally, you might find canned corn in a soup or - rarer still - frozen petite peas when we have a roasted chicken with mashed potatoes. (I'm a sucker for tiny sweet peas with mashed potatoes and gravy. Sometimes - when I think no-one is looking - the inner four-year-old me will mix them all together. Blush.)
CSA season in our house today is a delightful abundance of very fresh-from-the-farm produce. So far, since early June, we've enjoyed lots of greens - spinach, kale and many types of lettuces, yellow and green squash, red and golden beets, onions, fresh garlic, gorgeous tiny and sweet strawberries, blueberries, kohlrabi, tomatoes, green peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and lots of fresh, unbelievably sweet corn. This last week, the corn was sooooo sweet that our hands were sticky when we finished husking it!
We're a family who loves homemade waffles, so when I considered making fresh corn fritters somehow thoughts turned to fresh corn waffles instead. My usual gluten-free waffle uses corn flour and cornmeal, wouldn't corn kernels make this a triple threat celebration of corn? Too sweet perhaps?
That's when I decided to add beautifully browned crumbles of down-home, savory sage sausage to the sweet batter. A sweet and savory combo waffle drizzled with real maple syrup over all? Breakfast simply couldn't have been any better.
You know what? I still have another cup or so of corn kernels left. What will I do with the last of last week's sweet corn and all the new Dillner Family Farm produce I'll pick up on Thursday? Hmmmmmm...thinking.......
Sweet Savory Triple Corn and Sage Sausage Waffles
- 1 1/4 C flour (use a good gluten-free flour to make this GF - I use Jules GF all purpose flour)
- 1/2 C corn flour
- 1/2 C cornmeal
- 2 t baking powder
- 3/4 t salt
- 1/4 C sugar
- 1/2 C cooked & well-browned breakfast sage sausage - nicely browned sausage gives a good depth of flavor to the waffles (if you can't find sage sausage, a good quality regular breakfast sausage will do just fine)
- 1 C corn - cut fresh from the cob
- 2 eggs, separated
- 2 C milk
- 5 T butter, melted
Mix all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Beat egg whites in a separate medium bowl until stiff, but not dry. Set aside.
Beat egg yolks and milk together. While beating, add the melted butter and continue to whisk until the mixture is homogeneous. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well.
Add beaten egg whites, folding gently until well incorporated and finally add the sausage and corn. Mix these in gently, too.
Bake the waffles according to your waffle iron directions, keeping each batch warm as you finish up the batter. Serve hot with syrup for brunch OR dinner.