By Judi Minor
Published in The Burg August 11, 2022
Growing up we always had a garden in our backyard, so maybe that’s where I got my green thumbs from. I guess the saying “You can take a man out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of a man” is so true. My dad grew up on a small dairy farm in Owen, Wisconsin but moved to Chicago as a young man, which is where he met my mom, who was a true “city girl”. The summer that I was born, my parents moved into their first and only house that they called home.
My dad’s garden took up almost one half of our large back yard. He took pride in his gardening skills and passed that skill on to his children.
Now that Galesburg has a wonderful farmers market every Saturday morning and there are a lot of pop-up vegetable stands around the area, I have given up putting in a vegetable garden, but I continue to grow fresh herbs. Plus we have enough friends who love to pass on their produce even when we don’t ask for it.
Saturday morning Arnie made our weekly stop at the farmers market and returned home with fresh sweet corn, a large bag of green beans, cucumbers, beets and some delicious plums. We had also received a gift of ripe tomatoes and a variety of peppers from Mike Gernant’s garden.
As Arnie unloaded his bounty, 2 different thoughts came to our minds. I envisioned a bowl of fresh corn salsa and Arnie wanted it made as a hot, fresh Firecracker corn dish. So, with both of us basically wanting similar dishes I went to the kitchen and pulled out a cutting board and my favorite knife and created a dish that was as delicious cooked and served hot as it was cold.
Firecracker Corn Salsa
3 ears fresh sweet corn
1 red onion
2 jalapeño peppers (more or less depending on hot hot you want it)
2 cow horn hot peppers
2 cloves garlic
1 cup cilantro
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh Mexican oregano
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Cut the corn kernels off the cob. Put them into a medium serving bowl. Chop the onion, peppers and herbs, adding each to the serving bowl. Crush the garlic, add to the bowl. Mix until combined.
Squeeze the two limes, about a quarter cup.
In a small container mix the lime juice, vinegar, ground cumin and salt.
Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to marinate.
To serve hot, put the Firecracker corn in a microwave bowl, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes until heated throughly. Otherwise you can cook it in a covered saucepan on the stove for 5-7 minutes.
(Judi Minor is a mom of 5, a wife, a grandma of 2, an empty nester, a volunteer coordinator at Compassus Hospice, an artist and a weaver who has an obsession with cooking, finding and creating new recipes and following traditional family recipes and loves to pass them on to others.)