ABC to XYZ in Foods: C, part 2 - coffee and corn

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Bette Banjack

Two foods known and used throughout the world are coffee and corn. Going back centuries up until today, they have been a mainstay in our daily diets.

COFFEE – Approximately 640 million cups of coffee are consumed each day in the United States alone. Until around 1723, the Arabs held a virtual monopoly on coffee plants. The Arabs are the ones that discovered that harvesting the coffee bean inside the cherry-like-fruit would produce a drink that became so popular. In America, most of the New World drank tea as a common beverage. But, due to heavy taxation and the Boston Tea Party, coffee became the common America beverage.

Instant coffee was real popular for quite a few years, but brewed coffee is once again regaining popularity. Several coffee shops can be found on many streets and it seems everyone is carrying around a coffee cup or mug attached to their hand.

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When making coffee at home, both brewed and instant coffee needs to start with clean, fresh ingredients and utensils.

CORN – Has been a mainstay of many groups and cultures. To celebrate the glory of corn, the Corn Palace was built in1892 in Mitchell, South Dakota. This mansion-style building took 3,000 bushels of dried corn. Everything inside and outside of the building is made of corn.

There is very little difference in the value of fresh, frozen or canned corn in recipes, or at least not enough to worry about. If using canned corn, drain and pour off liquid from the can. In a colander, rinse kernels under running water. This process gives a fresher product.

If you are sensitive or allergic to corn, read labels before purchasing groceries. Corn in cereal is one of the top five allergy-causing foods. It’s most noted in people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), causing pain and cramps.

Frozen corn is great as it can be served year-round and tastes as good as fresh.

Corn Salad with Honey Dressing

1 pound bag of frozen corn

1 small sweet red pepper, fine diced

1 small white onion, fine diced

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives

1 Tbsp. cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. honey

½ tsp. celery salt

1/8 tsp. salt

Place the corn in a colander and rinse and thaw out. Place corn in large bowl. Add peppers, onion and chives. Toss to combine. In a small sauce pan, combine vinegar, honey, celery seeds and salt. Cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until honey thins out. Pour sauce over corn mixture and toss. Can be served warm or cold.

Before we move on, let’s return to “B” for a moment.

BAY LEAF – Is known to improve the flavor of salt-free dishes. The best are known to be grown in Turkey. Their flavor enhances most meats, using two to three leaves. It is best to leave them whole and make sure each one is removed before serving. Not a very pleasant thought, but a bay leaf can stick to the roof of your mouth and you will choke to death.

Let me hear from you – banjack303@verizon.net

Good Food for a Good Life!