by Sherelle Christensen
As a farm family, summer and even early fall can be a whirlwind of chaos. The whole year has been dedicated to making sure our crops, yard and gardens are all well cared for. The end of August brings our day for preserving our large patch of sweet corn. Our whole family (aunts, uncles, cousins and a few in between) gather together to blanch and freeze corn.
The first chill of fall brings our annual potato harvest where we all work grueling hours together to bring in our famous Idaho potato crop. It’s a bit of a relief when the leaves start to fall, the garden has been cleaned out and tilled and the fields have been plowed. There is nothing we enjoy more than those first few months where the work day ends before dark, and our family is home together in the quiet evenings. I look forward to spending time doing chores inside our home, and especially cooking and baking.
When the temperatures start to drop, nothing tastes better than a warm bowl of soup and fresh-made bread. This delicious recipe combines some of my favorite summer treats that I’ve put away for the colder months: potatoes and onions from our cellar, corn from our garden and fresh herbs that I froze in oil to preserve.
Sherelle’s Corn Chowder
3-4 potatoes, peeled and diced
Peel and dice potatoes, cover with water and place in a medium saucepan. Boil until tender then drain and set aside.
1 lb. bacon
In a large, heavy bottomed pot, cook bacon until crisp. Set bacon on a paper towel to cool. Remove most of the bacon drippings, leaving about 1 Tbs. in the pot.
1 stick butter
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup flour
In the same heavy bottomed pot, add the butter to bacon drippings over medium heat. Add chopped onion and minced garlic and saute about 3 minutes. Add flour and make a roux, and turn heat to low. Add the following, and turn heat back to medium:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken broth
2 1/2 cups milk
Stir well, scraping bottom of pot and slowly bring to a boil. Add the following:
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 pkg. frozen corn (about 4-5 cups), thawed
Then return heat to low and add in:
cooked, diced potatoes
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup sour cream
Gently stir until well combined and warmed through. Now it’s time to enjoy a bowl of delicious corn chowder!
Sherelle’s Parmesan, Basil and Rosemary Bread
4 tsp. yeast
2 Tbs. sugar
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbs. chopped fresh rosemary (can substitute dried herbs)
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil (can substitute dried herbs)
3 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
6 1/2 – 7 cups flour
Place yeast and sugar in warm water and allow to dissolve. Add in salt, garlic, herbs, olive oil and cheese and mix well. Add enough flour to make a slightly sticky but lightly firm dough. Place in a greased bowl and cover. Allow to rise about 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Punch down dough and split in half. Shape each piece and place in two greased bread pans. Cover loafs and allow to rise 20-30 minutes. Place in oven and cook 20-25 minutes.