One of my wildest garden to table dreams came true.
We grew a package of Glass Gem corn from Native Seeds out of New Mexico – and the harvest was a kaleidoscope, a celebration of awe.
I posted ecstatically about this corn a while back in The First Magical Ear. But I am so happy to share again – the story of the origins of Glass Gem. “Carl Barnes, a part-Cherokee farmer living in Oklahoma had an uncanny knack for corn breeding. More specifically, he excelled at selecting and saving seed from those cobs that exhibited vivid, translucent colors. Exactly how long Barnes worked on Glass Gem—how many successive seasons he carefully chose, saved, and replanted these special seeds—is unknown. But after many years, his painstaking efforts created a wondrous corn cultivar that has now captivated thousands of people around the world.”
For me, it was an experience that seemed to draw back into time. Deep into history – a primal memory of corn. Sitting on the floor in December, after the ears had dried and the kernels hardened, it truly felt like I had done this before.
As the mound of kernels grew, I was thrilled.
Ready for grinding – I felt like a proud mama when the first cornmeal burst forth.
With the oven lit, batter stirred, cast iron muffin pans filled, we waited. And then tasted.
It was nutty, and rich – with a depth to the flavor that was unlike any cornbread I have tasted. Pure joy! And if you’re like me, enjoying growing your own food and making the most of your harvest, you understand.
Glass Gem Cornbread
Makes about 15 muffins
Usually I will use half GF flour and half cornmeal in my cornbread – but for this batch, I wanted to taste the full pure flavor of the freshly ground Glass Gem Corn…
- 2 c. finely ground cornmeal
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. xanthun gum (binder)
- 1 organic egg
- 1 c. milk (I like unsweetened almond milk)
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. honey
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together dry ingredients. Make well in center and add rest of ingredients. Stir until just blended. Pour into buttered muffin pans. Bake 20 to 24 minutes, until cornbread is lightly browned. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before turning out.
And set out a “spirit plate” – with some bread and a blessing, if you wish. To find out more about this amazing heirloom corn, please visit http://www.nativeseeds.org/community/199-the-story-of-glass-gem-corn-beauty-history-and-hope.