Spring is finally here!
I mean that literally and metaphorically. It’s been a rough year, ya’ll.
Dare I say things are finally looking up? In our neck of the woods, we are anticipating Laura and Kenton’s new baby, due on her big sister’s birthday in July.
Laura and Kenton have also acquired a new family member. Meet Veronica (Ronnie for short.). She is a four-month old snorting and snoring bundle of fun.
Kenton has been busy training and housebreaking Ronnie, while I’m still struggling to housebreak Remy and Rory. The past few weeks have seen an explosive red nail polish spill on my kitchen wall, the side of my bed stickered with itty, bitty, impossible to remove stickers. There is a broken crane statue, which no one will take responsibility for, as well as a hole dug into the seat of my stationary bike. No one will claim that either, much less explain how they managed to dig. a. hole. in. my. seat.
I could go on, I’m sure, but as my friend, Joe, would have said, “Where’s the payoff?”
For you, dear reader, I hope that sharing this made you appreciate that kids are tearing up my house instead of yours.
The payoff for me, I hope, is that one day Remy and Rory will read this and be gentle with me in my old age. Perhaps bring me an ice-cream when the doctors have forbidden it. Sam, I’m talking to you, too, here.
Sam is responsible for carving his name into my dining room table, burning my new kitchen table with a hookah, smashing a hole in the wall carrying the ping pong table down the stairs during an illicit house party…
I may not be crazy about the damage to my stuff, but at the end of the day, it’s just stuff. As Max has quoted one of his favorite monastery’s abbots, “It was already broken.”
Part of the reason, I think, for the kids’ tendency to break things or cause chaos is boredom. The pandemic has kept us from doing so many things during the past year. Thankfully, the we and the world are adjusting and we're able to go out and enjoy things again.
A few weeks ago, we were fortunate to take Remy and Rory strawberry picking. Laura’s awesome neighbors, Becky and Laura, visited a u-pick in Boynton Beach. They shared some of the ripe, juicy berries with the neighbors, and I got an excited call from Laura.
When Laura was growing up, we visited a local u-pick called Battens many, many times. We loved it so much, in fact, that we made it a family affair. My mother in-law, Dorothy, sister in-law, Abbe, and nieces Shiri and Talia were thrilled to visit as well.
We were all saddened to see Batten’s sold years ago. I’m sure Bedner’s has been around for a long time, but this was the first we had heard of it.
Besides the fun we had picking our own berries, the girls and I had a blast shopping in Bedner’s farmer’s market.
The fruits and vegetables were ripe, plentiful and reasonably priced. We drove home with an abundance of gorgeous tomatoes, herbs, strawberries, Spring onions and fresh corn.
Fresh corn! While I love nothing better than a barely boiled cob sprinkled with some salt, Sam isn’t a fan. For him, the corn needs to be cut from the cob. Since tomatoes, onions and fresh herbs were part of my haul, I could think of only one thing: Macque choux.
Macque choux, pronounced “mock shoe,” is a Cajun dish that I had never heard of until I was an adult. A combination of tomatoes, corn and onions, there are many versions of macque choux out there.
Some call for sautéing bacon, then using the drippings to fry up your corn and tomatoes. Other recipes enrich the dish with heavy cream. I’ve even seen a version that uses fresh okra.
My macque choux changes with my mood. To me, the freshness of the ingredients is what’s most important. Heavy cream, I think, is an unnecessary addition. I’d prefer to scrape the corn cob to release all of the corn’s “milk”. It’s all about that gorgeous corn.
Not to mention the stunning spring onions, vibrant cilantro and ripe tomatoes I picked up from Bedner’s.
Cilantro is not an herb I’ve ever seen in a macque choux recipe. But we love cilantro in my house – so I threw it in. Macque choux is a forgiving dish. I vote for including whatever sounds good to you.
You can serve it alone, as a side dish, or over rice or farro as a main course. Add some cayenne if you want to spice it up. Be creative and have fun with it. For dessert, soak some strawberries in a little Chambord and sugar. Simple, elegant and the epitome of Spring.
2 tablespoons butter, browned
1 spring onion, diced
4 ears of fresh corn, cut from the cob
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
A handful of cilantro or parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown butter in a large pan on medium high heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, a couple of minutes. Add corn and tomatoes. Sauté for another couple of minutes. Add cilantro or parsley, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Serves 8 as a side dish.