Sometimes a simple word will snag on my brain as it rolls off my tongue and I'll subliminally ponder where in the world that ubiquitous word originated anyway, and how ironic it is that it sounds so perfectly right for exactly what it is. Nowadays, the etymology of just about anything, whether confirmed fact or suspicious wive's tale, is but a quickie search and Wiki walk away.
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September is like the pentultimate checkpoint before the final curtain call on the plentitude of the "backyard-fresh" and locally-grown produce we enjoy all summer. Dozens of just-picked, quick-blanched and sharp-sheared ears of corn from Reed's Farm, as well as our own modest corn crop, have already been hustled into air-tight bags for chilly weather comfort foods... think airy fluffs of custard casseroles, souffles and spoonbreads.
So, with this pensive thought of pending seasonal changes, I ventured out early Saturday morning to tend to errands I'd put off forever if it weren't for the fact that my favorite cool weather business attire jackets were due for a dry cleaning and my swimming pool damaged hair was overdue a good chopping. Whenever I do manage to drag myself "out there," I usually make it a mission to cram as many "necessary things" as can possibly be squeezed into that venture... motivation often coming from unnecessary things accumulating in corners and tote bags... some migrating closer and closer to the doorway as gentle reminders that it's time to make a public appearance.
Heading home with a half dozen errands checked off the list, a few solid drops in the AmVets used clothing bin and no "confrontational episodes" encountered, my sense of accomplishment evolved into shameless thoughts of deserved rewards, which led to a glimmering hope that Reed's, which is right on route, still had some corn and maybe something else of seasonal interest... besides apples. I knew a basket of blushing ripe peaches was wishful thinking, but I'm not ready for apples just yet. Oh, joyous reward, there were limas! Corn, too, they said for about 7 to 10 more days; thus, I knew this was to be my last "husky" haul 'til July 2013.
With little regard and nary a care as to what else might round out our Sunday dinner plates, I was squarely making succotash! I really didn't need to store up any more corn, so I figured I'd try some Pinterest experiments on "alternative ways to cook corn" with a few ears while hulling limas and finally getting around to whisking together fresh herb butters to freeze before a mean October frost delivered its buzz-killing blow to the herbs gone wild party in the half barrels outside the kitchen door...and then, of course, there's that experimental corn that so graciously made itself available for the obligatory herbed butter taste test, volunteering without protest to lie still for repeated merciless slatherings... now well-decorated kernels, a medal of honor is served.
To make herbed butters: Gather an assortment of sprigs of organically-grown herbs and/or edible flowers, chop or snip into bits and incorporate well into cold unsalted butter of the finest quality. Spread smoothly into tin molds, jar lids, any cutesy vessel on hand, or log roll with parchment if you want to make cookie-cutter slices later. Keep it simple or get creative with combos or a multitude of additions such as citrus zest (lime/cilantro, lemon/tarragon), boldly colorful juices such as carrot or beet (so as to use a bare minimum of liquid), garlic, crushed nuts or seeds (try hemp or chia), flowers such as nasturtium, viola, borage, or those bolting above the herbs or veggies.