The Native Americans and pioneers used things to their fullest and I believe we should emulate them so I’m pondering just how can I use my corn plants to their fullest as a sign of appreciation and frugality. In the last bog post about the subject I thought I’d found them all. That’s never true.
I’ve found I was way under using corn husks. Cooked corn cobs in the husk on the gas grill outside yes, but that’s where it stopped. Of course we’ve had tamales and they use dried corn husks and I even made them once but that’s it. Then I ran across something about fish cooked open face on fresh corn husks. I guess it imparts a mild corn flavor. As for me, I’d fancy up the fish a bit with mayonnaise, dill pickles, dried mustard, touch of lemon, and black pepper mixture dolloped on top, yum, yum. I sometimes do this in the oven and then turn it to broil for the last few minutes to crisp up the top slightly. As a side, I guess cooked rice wrapped in corn husks is pretty good too. They use sticky rice but I hate the gluey tasting stuff so a combination of brown rice and wild rice sounds good to me.
Just found a grill I want and boy do we need it. Ours is a scary affair. But why stopped at tamales and corn on the cob? How about some turkey, cranberry, and stuffing from a Thanksgiving feast? Oh my!!, wouldn’t that be good wrapped in a corn husk? How about crab or fish cakes? Our fresh rainbow trout or brown trout need something new and exciting done with them. Fresh corn and fish sounds good. And I think I’ll look into this cooking with banana leaf thing. Our stores aren’t likely to ever see banana leaves but corn husks I can do right at home here in Wyoming.If I get to liking it really well, I’d better dry a few husks for winter. It could be a good thing. Besides no dishes to clean. Who wouldn’t like that?
Then there is corn husk baskets. I can’t find a thing on using the larger corn leaves instead of the husk. I wonder if it is because people are buying. Husks are available but not leaves. I think I’m going to save some of the large leaves this next fall. Some of the baskets are right sharp looking, others, really rough. Not a basket maker, skipped that chapter on survival training but I should learn. I’ve made some cordage from cattails why not corn leaves? Maybe should rectified that lack of knowledge next winter.
I’ve occasionally had sweet corn that had striped leaves, do you think the stripes would remain once dried? It could be really pretty in a basket. Definitely I will use Painted Mountain corn leaves when possible, they are full of color.
How about you? Are you a banana leaf cooker or a basket maker? Or have you explored cooking with corn husks? Maybe we should start.