Blueberries, move over. There's another blue food to earn a spot in the garden, but it's no berry and the name is Black Aztec corn.
I thought it would take more than a week to be able to share results on a so-not-yellow corn experiment, but I didn't realize that at the time of the last post, the cobs were just about 99% dried and ready to be ground into meal. What do I know about drying corn? I've only ever harvested them when they were ready for boiling, so with a little intuition, a quick test trial in the grinder, and lots of dry, hot weather for 3 days in a row, all of that corn pictured in the previous entry became the makings of a really great meal. You know how they say that you learn something new everyday? Well now I can add making my own organic blue cornmeal to the list — never thought I'd be able to say that.
In retrospect, I shouldn't have worried about knowing when the kernels were dry enough to work with. A coarse, stoneground-type texture is what I was aiming for, and a pinch test between thumb and forefinger was the first indication used (if it held up then it was definitely dry). Each day I ran a few kernels in a spice grinder to check if all moisture had evaporated. Really nothing to this at all!
I harvested the corn when the husks were completely parched and devoid of any green color. The kernels were removed (still plump as you see here) the following day, but after 3 days under a hot sun, they shriveled quite noticeably and were dry enough to spin in the grinder.
Ready to cook. A very modest yield of 3½ cups total. The old spice grinder did the trick in small batches, but a large coffee grinder will prove indispensable if I'm to cultivate more corn next spring. 3½ cups is not enough! I keep the cornmeal in an airtight container in the freezer.
Blue tortillas from scratch. Insanely great stuff, and it was so quick to make that my husband took an interest and watched intently as I rolled out the pieces of dough. I used this really easy tortilla recipe from Hillbilly Housewife, following the directions down to the last word. Her recipe makes 10 but I wanted smaller rounds and divided the batch into 12 balls, rolling each to about 7½ inches in diameter.
Woohoo! It's blue! I really don't know who was more excited about the cornbread, me or my better half. Make that my better half because after one bite with turkey chile, it was seconds, then thirds. I made the sweet cornbread from All Recipes, substituting an equal amount of blue cornmeal for the yellow, but cutting the sugar to 1/2 cup.
The tortilla cone. My husband's answer to Konopizza, only there is nothing here that you'd find in a pizza cone. Leftover turkey chile, plain yogurt and homemade tomatillo salsa. I didn't get much from my tomatillo plant, but I do know that I will grow them again next year. The purple ones this time.
Today's high: 23°C / 73°F