When my father was here this past fall helping us get set up with our chickens, he also brought several stalks of decorative corn. The stalks leaned against the front of our home for months, until the snow was here to stay and I finally got to replacing the stalks with a old fashioned winter sled, also compliments of my dad. In a hurry, I threw the corn stalks over the fence next to the compost pile where they lay, frequented only by the three squirrels who have tired of the hawthorn berries. Until today.
Today we had an unseasonably warm day with highs in the 60s. So Avi and I ventured into the garden to see if there were any greens that we could feed the chickens. Some little stalks of kale and chard were pushing through older wet leaves that were covered in snow just days earlier. We picked some greens and then looking up, I noticed the scattered piles of corn stalks that I had thrown with such haste. As we began to break them down into the compost, we found several ears not yet discovered by the squirrels. "Let's gather these", I told Avi. "Theeeeese", he would mimic. "Yes, these".
We threw a few ears to the chickens along with some greens that they enjoyed and then Avi and I set to shelling the corn from the cob... because we were going to try our hand at popping corn. I wasn't sure if it would pop or not, but it was dried out and well, it was worth a try.
Avi liked taking the kernels out of the bowl more than he liked putting them in,
but we still got enough for a trial run.
A little olive oil in the pan along with the kernels and here we go! I did have my doubts, I wondered if I remembered seeing different varieties of corn in the seed catalogue or if I was just making that up in my head. After a few minutes, we heard some pops and I thought to myself, why did you doubt that it would pop? It's corn, after all!
"Avi, it's popping". An aside: Avi and I have recently started making popcorn together and it's a sight to watch him as he sees the kernels go into the pan, hears them pop, and then giggles with delight as we take the lid from the pan to reveal the white fluffy popcorn. "It's popping", I say smiling.
But then it stopped popping and when I removed the lid I found this:
This look on Avi's face speaks for both of us. This was it?
But we tasted it anyway and wanted popcorn, so we went to the cupboard to get:
our favorite: Boulder Popcorn's Mayor's Mix that we get from our local farmer's market.
a little oil and some kernels.
Now that's better!
Back outside to catch the last of the sunshine before it sinks below the mountains...
...and eat our popcorn.
Avi shares some with his pig.
"More", he says, grabbing this ear. And I wonder if maybe we shouldn't try again. After all, a few did pop... which means that there might be more popping corn in the bunch?
But we'll save that for another day... or at least shell the ears to feed to our chickens. And I think I will take a look in the seed catalogue... and order some popping corn to plant this spring!