Katty: Do you like corn chowder?

Lynn: You know if you like something, I don’t like it. You like smoked things; I don’t. You like cheeses I would never eat, like Brie.

Katty: Um, OK. What don’t you like about corn chowder?

Lynn: That there are no clams in it.

This bit of comic diversion was brought to you by an old friend–someone who, like me, can’t help but speak the truth (and be funny!).

I was beyond psyched to find native–yeah, real native, straight from Route 17 in Portland–butter ‘n sugar corn at one of my favorite farm stands, Q-P Market. To showcase it, I decided to make corn chowder.

What’s fun about soups is how simple it is to customize them–no rules, no science…it’s up to you! I used a classic Better Homes & Gardens recipe as a jump-off point, added a tip I learned from fellow Chowhound adamshoe last year along with some garlic, cilantro and cream and stirred up the following!

I didn’t thicken it, but you can if you wish. My mom recommends thickening with cornstarch rather than flour.

NATIVE CORN CHOWDER

6 ears corn
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion (I used a Vidalia), chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 new potatoes, unpeeled and cubed
3 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
14 oz. can of chicken broth
2 cups milk (I used Over the Moon 1 percent)
½ cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
3 slices bacon, cooked till crisp, then drained and crumbled (I love Bob Evans maple!)

Cut kernels off cobs, set corn aside and save cobs!

In a large stockpot, cook garlic onion and green pepper in hot oil till onion is tender, but not brown.

Add corn, broth, milk, potatoes and cobs. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered 10 to 15 minutes, or till potatoes are tender.

Remove cobs. Add salt, pepper, heavy cream and crumbled bacon.

Though there aren’t any clams in it, I hope you enjoy it! I have been since last week!

Soup’s on! What are you waiting for?

Last week I was “prescribed” spinach prepared in a cast iron skillet, three times a week. As far as prescriptions go, this is a particularly tasty one. Native spinach is readily available at local farm stands and I’m ready to experiment with new/interesting ways to go green.

Native spinach in world's coolest colander--note grape cut-outs!--from Berruti's Harvest House (Main St., Glastonbury, CT)

I was never a fan of cooking in cast iron. It’s heavy as all get out and I never seemed to grow adult wrists (!), but using two hands helps. Best of all, cooking in cast iron can increase your iron intake.

"It's gettin', it's gettin', it's gettin' kinda heavy..."

So, here’s a quick ‘n easy breakfast idea. Sautee a clove of garlic in a little bit of butter, then add a generous handful of fresh spinach and squeeze a quarter of a fresh lemon.

When the spinach cooks down (just a few minutes), make a little “nest,” crack an egg into the nest, cover the pan and cook to your desired consistency. I let mine cook about 3 to 4 minutes so the yolk could run all over the plate. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Spoiler alert: serious food porn to follow!

Ready for the waterfall effect?

Once the yolk had set a little, I topped it with a slice of fresh mozzarella in the pan. I am determined not to waste one bite of that creamy, dreamy cheese I bought earlier this week for my Capellini Caprese. A sprinkle of Penzey’s California Seasoned Pepper over the mozz completed the dish, served atop buttered toast.

Ahh, yes, the cascade of yolky goodness! Dig in!

I am (iron) woman, hear me roar! “I’ve got the power!” Oh, and true confession? I cooked two strips of Bob Evans maple bacon in that same pan. Dessert, if you will, because I wholeheartedly agree: bacon is meat candy! Please don’t tell Dr. Buckley.